Applying for medical school is equal parts intimidating and fulfilling. You get to showcase all the hard work and experiences you built up through college, but the competition is fierce and you know getting in is no easy task. Applying is just the bottom rung of the ladder. Here’s how to make your way to the top and get accepted.
Make sure you cast a wide net. While there is no magic number of schools you should apply to, 10-25 is a good range to keep in mind. You’ve likely seen the statistic that fewer than half of the 42,742 applicants in the 2010/2011 academic year were accepted. Remember this figure and keep yourself grounded. Aim high and keep applying for your dream schools, but don’t leave yourself without a safety net.
Break the mold. Every medical student knows the basic blueprint to follow: study hard and test well on your MCATS®, keep your grades up, and start getting real-world experience as soon as possible. With all your competitors following this path, what will you do to stand out? Many students have found success by including information not only about what makes them good students, but what makes them well-rounded people. Whether you’ve lived abroad, published a book, or have an interesting hobby, find space to include at least one non-medical fact about yourself. It could give you just the edge you need.
It may be part of the standard blueprint, but it’s no less vital: Get some real-world experience, because there really is no substitute for it. You can start by volunteering at a free clinic, or seek out pre-med programs that specifically place you with a physician to shadow. Don’t forget to explore your options as a medical scribe. Acting as a scribe is quickly becoming the standard for pre-medical experience, as it gives you exposure to the physician’s daily responsibilities, and shows you how to manage the vital medical data needed to treat patients competently. We at Proscribe know how particularly useful this experience can be, as more and more students incorporate medical scribing into their early careers.
Applying for medical school is just the start of your medical career. With a commitment to your studies, your extracurricular activities, and your experience, you’ll be off to a great start. Visit our website to see how Proscribe can help you make great strides towards your career goals.