If you’re a college student planning to wait 1-3 years after graduating before attending medical school, I was very recently like you. Yay, we were the same! Although you or the people around you may have doubts about prolonging your training or entering the nebula of a life unstructured, I think the time you spend during your gap years can have a profound impact on your personal development and life trajectory.Read More
“Medicine is a social science, and politics is nothing else but medicine on a large scale.” Rudolph Virchow, the father of modern pathology, devoted an equally large portion of his life (when he wasn’t classifying thrombosis risk factors into a triad) to social medicine. Medical history is filled with countless examples of physicians serving as activists, and much of the advances made in public health are through the political advocacy of healthcare professionals that noticed a problem in their community.Read More
For some, early July is the season for poolside relaxation. For medical school applicants, it's the season of secondaries, or supplemental essays required by medical schools for admission. Secondaries roll in very fast, and applicants are expected to turn them around quickly, as admissions are rolling. What's more, each school has a slightly different set of prompts. All of these factors make early July a season of peak stress for medical school applicants.
We have worked with countless applicants on their secondaries, and our thousands of hours of experience in this process have yielded these 5 essential tips.
1. GROUP PROMPTS BY TYPES
Begin by understanding the repeated themes of secondaries - such as, career vision, diversity, adversity, leadership, clinical experience. You're not writing 1,000 essays; you're writing on a dozen themes.Read More
Competition for coveted medical school seats increases every year and with it the pressure on aspiring physicians to meet the ever-rising expectations of admissions committees. Whether you knew you wanted to become a physician since you could want anything at all or are planning on making a career change into medicine, it can be overwhelming to think about everything you will need to do just to be ready to start writing your application. George R. R. Martin once said there are two kinds of writers: gardeners and architects. Architects like to draw up blueprints, measurements, grand plans before even thinking about laying down a foundation. Gardeners, on the other hand, plant a seed, water it, and watch it grow, tending to the needs of the sprout as they arise. Your medical school application is the story of why you want to (and should) become a physician, so how are you going to go about putting it together? I don't think there is a single, right answer to that question, but I do believe that every premed should strive to find their own balance between master planner and rolling stone. In this two part post, I'll talk about how each mindset might shape your premedical career.Read More
Applying to medical school while abroad can be a wonderful and challenging experience, and will take careful planning to be completed correctly. There are many important factors, but two of the most important factors will be successfully filling out your AMCAS application and navigating interviews. Outlined below are some important features to consider for each.Read More
Almost every day during the medical school application process, I thought to myself ‘I wish I had considered X earlier’ or ‘It would have been nice if someone had told me to do Y beforehand’. The process can be long, exhausting, and can seem like a daunting prospect to future applicants. Below, I have listed 5 things that I believe can enhance and destress an application experience if executed possibly. Some things may seem obvious and others unconventional, but I think this (non-exhaustive) list will help you assemble an application the most fully represents your merits as a future physician.
So: you’ve decided to apply to medical school. You’ve completed all of your premedical requirements, prepared for the MCAT, and have slogged back and forth from your research gig. The application should be easy by comparison, right?Read More
Letters of recommendation are an integral component of the medical school application. Anybody can speak highly of themselves, filling pages on why they’d make a great doctor. What makes letters of recommendation so valuable is that each one represents someone else who believes that you have what it takes to pursue a career in healthcare. Each one represents a person who believes in you so much that they are willing write an essay about the remarkable qualities you possess in an attempt to convince the multiple admission committees who will review your application. This is no small thing. You can do a fine job of explaining why you need medicine all by yourself. A great letter of recommendation will explain why medicine needs you. It could very much be the reason why you get an interview invitation. Thus, acquiring letters of recommendation should be done with care and strategy.
Whether you’ve dreamed of being a doctor since you were three years old or this doctor thing only recently started seeming like a good idea, your days of being “pre-med” are almost over. You dodged getting weeded out by Organic Chemistry, you got through the MCAT. You shadowed doctors, you maybe even worked in a research lab. You carefully crafted your personal statement and you powered through that primary application. You slaved over those secondary applications and now you are finally receiving interview invitations.Read More
Unfortunately there is no easy answer on how to do this because it is an extremely personal answer that differs for everyone. Ultimately though, your personal statement must answer two essential questions:
- Why you?
- Why medicine?