I bet you’ve all breathed a sigh of relief knowing that the personal statement that you worked so hard on has finally been submitted. It can never bother you again! But at the back of your mind, you also know that you haven’t quite reached the end of your application journey yet. So what can you do now to keep yourself in the game during this waiting phase?
Some medical schools take a good few months before inviting any applicants for interview, so try not to worry about it if you don’t hear from any of them soon. It’s worth bearing in mind that each medical school has a different way of processing applications so they’ll be sending interview offers at various times across the year…therefore it’s not worth panicking when you hear about someone else getting an interview from a university that you didn’t even apply to! It might be worthwhile finding out roughly what date each of your chosen universities give out invitations to interview so you don’t spend a whole three months on edge waiting for a response!
Don’t keep reading through your personal statement thinking of ways it could have been improved, or speculating whether your application will be good enough. That’s simply not going to help you in any way! Instead focus your time and efforts into something that you can have an impact on – your A-Levels!
Let’s be honest – when you find out you’ve been invited for interview you simply won’t be able to do anything else apart from go through endless practice questions, ethical scenarios and so on. Once you’ve heard back, it will be very difficult to master interpreting the NMR spectrum for benzene, or the chronological steps in the Krebs Cycle, so do it now! Take advantage of this time knowing that you’re doing something which will help you immensely when it comes to achieving the grades needed for medical school.
This is always a good thing to have going on in the background and is presumably something you’ll be doing anyway considering you’ve applied to medical school with a natural interest in the subject.
I know it may be difficult to spare the time, especially when you’ve got a million and one other things to think about right now, but please do spend a little part of each day keeping up-to-date. If you find it difficult to just passively read through article after article, find yourself someone you can discuss current news and issues with instead.
Also bear in mind that you’re not really expected to go into extreme levels of detail with this wider reading, BBC Health and Guardian Healthcare should serve you well enough. Do whatever you feel will work for you, but give yourself a kick to get started now! If you wait until you hear back from a university you’ll realise that you simply won’t have enough time to have a good read around everything that’s going on.
Cramming in loads of reading in the last couple of weeks building up to your interview won’t be sufficient in giving you that crucial general awareness of what’s going on in the medical world. Start now and thank yourself later!
I hope these 3 tops tips keep you on track – and best of luck leading up to interview season!
Words: Masumah Jannah
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