Getting a chance in a medical school is highly competitive. Research by the Association of American Medical Colleges revealed that only about 40% of the applicants get accepted into medical schools. It is advisable that you prepare adequately before applying to a medical school. The preparation could include adding some medical experience on your resume for relevance, having some medical research projects to show, as well as identifying the major of your interests among others. Here are a few reliable tips on how to prepare for applying to medical school.
Take the MCAT
The Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is based on Social Science, Critical Analysis, Physical Science, and Biological Science sections. The MCAT is an important indicator of where you will go. Additionally, you can choose to join either the Allopathic Doctors or Doctors of Osteopathy medical schools. Your choice for any of these schools depends on the type of doctor you want to be. Regardless, enrolling for MCAT test prep will help you boost your chances of acceptance at a medical school of your choice.
Select a major to focus on
Although you might have heard the phrase that grades are not everything, they are of significant importance when it comes to applying for a medical school. Therefore, you need to choose a major in a field that you are not only passionate about but also able to tackle with ease. It is important that you focus on a field that will guarantee you a competitive grade point average (GPA). To stand a chance in a medical school, your GPA must be 3.5 for doctors of osteopathy 3.5 for medical doctors and 3.4 for Doctors of Naturopathic.
Get significant medical experience
Having experience in the medical field can serve as an added advantage when applying to a medical school. While you will not be expected to have real medical experience such as treating patients, proving to the admissions committees that you spend considerable time getting acquitted with will definitely increase your acceptance rate. You can consider both job shadowing and any other non-shadowing activity you come across to increase your medical experience.
Some examples of areas you can gain experience including volunteer work filing x-rays, learning how to read x-ray films through apprenticeship, or volunteering as an emergency medical technician, or even becoming a certified nursing assistant. In addition, you can gain considerable medical experience offering care to the aged or even in family care centres.
Participate in some research projects
Having some level of research skills is necessary for the medical field. Your undergraduate research experience is an added advantage when applying to a medical school. In most cases, medical schools are looking for individuals with an interest in research. As such, the best way to prove you have such interest is by showing some experience during your undergraduate. However, you do not just write or say that you participated in a given research project; you should show how your participation affected the outcome of the research or even what lessons you learned from the entire process.
Create your story for wanting to be a doctor
It is important that your reason for wanting to be a doctor stands out. Avoid giving generic answers such as “you have a passion for helping people”. While there is no correct answer to this question, only students who have a great story and are more specific tend to improve their chances of getting accepted.
Succeeding in medical school application is a dream come true for most students but it is not an easy process. It takes a lot of preparation including choosing an appropriate major, having the necessary experience, preparing and taking MCAT, as well as having a reasonable story of why you want to be a doctor. Regardless of what level of preparation you make, meeting the minimum GPA is a prerequisite when applying for medical school.