Getting into medical school doesn't need to be as hard as you might think. Imagine for a minute looking at two different applicants. Both have an equal GPA and MCAT score, and extracurricular activities are pretty comparable as well. There is no great way to distinguish between the 2 on paper. You may not realize this, but medical schools look at THOUSANDS of applicants like this every year. Yet somehow they need to whittle the list down from thousands to a hundred. How do you think they do that?
Fact is most people have a very limited understanding of how the admissions process works. I've talked to advisors, students, admissions committee members and pretty much anyone else involved in the admissions process. First thing you to understand is the very basics of the process.
Every medical school expects basic things from everyone who applies. They expect good GPA and MCAT first. Most schools rule out a certain number of applicants based solely on those two things. Many add to that science GPA as a primary way to weed out initial applicants. Once you meet the minimum requirements of those 3 things, you will get a secondary application. Once you get this application, most schools stop looking at numbers as a way to weed out applicants. From here on out they look at the application as a whole.
(note: please don't interpret this to mean that medical schools will stop looking at your numbers at this point, that is not true, but up to this point they have used it as a way to rule people out. Once you meet their minimum requirements you will no longer be ruled out on numbers alone, but rather your application as a whole.)
Now, you've made it to level 2 of getting into medical school. Here, most schools begin looking at your application as a whole in terms of strengths and weaknesses. Most medical school EXPECT you to have grades, MCAT score, AND extracurricular's in the medical field and volunteer work. Schools that are heavy research institutions EXPECT research as well. This means that if you do not have those things it will be a VERY difficult hurtle to overcome. More importantly, having those things alone will not set you apart from the other 5000 applications.
In order to set yourself apart, you need to do something extraordinary, OR show in your application how those experiences made you passionate about becoming a doctor. For example, if you are a well known researcher, such as getting published in premier medical journals, or if you have several articles published and are first author on some, those would qualify as exceptional activities. For the majority of you who don't get that opportunity, you need to show how your activities shaped your life and drove you to medicine. If you can do that, you make yourself just as unique as those people who are published, or connected, or have a 43 MCAT. And if you show that unique you, and share your story, you have a very good chance of getting accepted.
Now, you've made it through the impersonal steps, but step 3 of the process you have to show off that glowing personality. Now it is time to shine. Now you get an interview, and a tour, and time with the decision makers. Of course I do have a page for interview help. But this is about overall strategy so lets stay on topic. When you are at the school you need to shine. There are many ways to do this, too many to list, but each school interviews around 5-10 people for every spot in the class. You have to be the 1 in 5 that really makes a fantastic impression. Make sure you have a plan for that. Here again, your planning should include telling your story. what experiences did you have that shaped you life? Who are the people you came in contact with? How did they influence you? Why should you be the one getting into medical school instead of the person next to you?
In the end, getting into medical school is all about selling yourself. You should have 3 main goals as you prepare your medical school application. Then let your story highlight these goals in every aspect of your application.
1. Present Value - you need to show that you are a valuable asset that should be sought after. You do this by spending your undergrad years in such a way that this can happen. There are literally thousands of ways to do this. If you want to know if you are succeeding at this ask yourself this question: Am I doing something that no one else in my class is doing? Am I doing something that is uncommon among the other applicants I know of? If you can answer yes here, you are in a good spot.
2. Show off your value - do this both with the words your write (personal statement and secondary applications), and the words your speak (interview).
3. Make your value a need - in other words make the school you are associating with understand that without you, they will be worse off. Acknowledge your weaknesses and minimize them. Acknowledge your strength and maximize them. Find the schools hot buttons of what they are looking for and push them. Show them that you will do what they want their students to do.
If you accomplish those goals, you will have a much MUCH higher chance of getting in. Keep those goals in mind and stick to them. Have a plan of action from your first contact with the school. Soon you'll be wondering why everyone was so afraid of getting into medical school because you will be buried in your acceptances.
The difference between "accepted" and "rejected" has LESS to do with numbers than most think
What is the difference then? Those who get accepted do 5 things that others do not. And I'll show you what they are in this 5-day email course "The ONLY 5 things you need to do to get accepted."
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