9 Tips to Boost Your Medical School Application
Applying for medical school can be an intense period with so many things to consider; do the schools you are applying for require BMAT or UKCAT? What sort of interview structure will you have to follow? What are the entry requirements? The list goes on…
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has listed some top tips below to help you maximise your chances of getting into a medical school by ensuring your application stands out from the crowd.
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1. Show that you’re genuinely interested in medicine
Medicine is a vocation and being a doctor is a huge honour and responsibility. Make sure that your personal statement and any supporting evidence displays exactly why you want to pursue a career in medicine. What skills do you have that would make you a good doctor?
2. Gain some work experience in a clinical or care setting
Doing some work experience or shadowing in a clinical or care setting is a given when applying for medicine as it really helps you to get a feel for what it is like to be a doctor and work in healthcare. This work experience is crucial when applying for a medical school as it shows how committed you are to the career.
In addition to work experience, showing examples of voluntary work can also be a great way of making your application stand out. However, don’t just do it for your personal statement or CV, use the experience to develop further transferable skills for when you become a doctor, i.e. communicating with people you don’t know well, showing compassion to people in need etc.
4. Get experience as a leader
Medical students are the leaders of the future in terms of healthcare, so getting experience in being a leader in various settings will help you be a successful leader as a clinician. This may be a component of a part-time job or you may just seek to hold more responsibility in any clubs or societies that you are already part of.
5. Your personal statement is your time to shine
This document is one of the most crucial elements of the application process and these statements are thoroughly assessed by admissions tutors and academic staff. Use the opportunity to show what you know and who you are. Do you have any notable experiences to include that may show you have the potential to be a great doctor?
6. Show that you have an understanding of what being a doctor is
With your work experience this should be much easier to write about. Think not only about the scientific skills you will require but also the ‘people’ skills: from communicating with other healthcare professionals to holding conversations about sensitive topics with a stranger.
7. A good reference is key!
Your reference provides a real insight into what someone who has worked with you thinks of you. This has a huge impact on how you may be viewed as a medical student and future practitioner.
8. Don’t compare yourself to others
Be confident in what you have to offer. Whilst your fellow applicants will no doubt be exceptional candidates, there is only one you, so don’t forget to sing your own praises when it comes to writing your personal statement.
9. Be ready and prepared for your interview
Everyone gets nervous when it comes to interviews, but try to relax and see the experience as a positive one. Take some time ahead of the interview to practice some example questions with family and friends. It’s also a good opportunity to ask your own questions if you have any, so formulate a list and take it with you on the day of interview. Be yourself and be confident – your interview is your time to show your personality and prove that you will be a great doctor!
Words: University of Central Lancashire (UCLan)