Medical School Admission is getting more and more competitive: 62,442 students applied to medical schools last year for a total of 22,666 spots. With applicants each applying to an average of 18 schools, admissions committees have nearly 1.1 MILLION applications to look at. As an applicant, the mystery lies in what those admissions officers want in an ideal candidate. At Code Blue Essays, we can unravel that mystery by revealing the three questions admissions committees ask when they review your application:
1) Can you make it through medical school and succeed?
The first question admissions committees have is whether a student has the ability to make it through medical school. Medical education is intense, so admissions committees need to know that you have the tenacity to take on the challenge. Medical schools want their students to graduate – graduation rates range between 81% and 85%. As such, they want to select candidates they are confident can handle it!
How can you demonstrate this in your application? The body of work you’ve been building over the years shows this already – your undergraduate grades and MCAT score are already pretty good indicators of whether you can withstand the rigors of medical school. You’ll also have the opportunity to demonstrate your tenacity by explaining challenges and how you’ve overcome them in your essays.
2) Are you willing to undergo the rigors of medical education?
The simple act of applying to a school is not enough to indicate your willingness to undergo a medical education. Medical school admissions committees look for hard evidence that a successful candidate has a firm desire and commitment to the years-long training that being a physician requires. Including undergraduate education, becoming a physician requires 10-14 years of education, and the intensity increases over time. When a medical school grants you admission, they want to make sure you are willing to commit to the long haul because they are investing in you.
How can you show a committee your desire to undertake the intense experience of medical school and residency? Long-term commitment in your clinical experience shows that you’ve already demonstrated your desire to serve through healthcare. Highlight your clinical experience and an ingrained passion for healthcare in your application! Your personal statement is your opportunity to emphasize your enthusiasm for medicine. Use the opportunity to leave no question that you’re willing to put your medical profession first for the next several years of your life.
3) Should you go to medical school and eventually practice medicine?
Medical school applications committees want to know that you are pursuing the path for the right reasons. They want to know that you have the maturity and integrity to honor the decision to become a physician. During pre-med studies, an applicant naturally focuses on polishing themselves – getting the best grades, seeking perfection while building their application. However, schools are looking for students that can turn their attention outward. They want students who can work cooperatively toward a common good. Students must want to serve their community and demonstrate empathy for their patients.
How can your application show that you have social consciousness and empathy? You can show through your interests and activities that you have empathy: community service activities and projects are a must for a medical school application. However, nearly all applicants will show similar commitments to community service. You can stand out by using your personal statement to convey the qualities that make you a worthy medical school candidate.
The medical school admissions process revolves around answering these three questions: Is the applicant capable enough to handle medical school? Does the applicant have the commitment level to make it through medical school? Is the applicant going to medical school for the right reasons? The application process is lengthy! Your primary application includes your grades, Curriculum Vitae, MCAT scores, and a personal statement. Later come secondary essays, then interviews, and, hopefully, an eventual offer of admittance. Each stage is a hurdle, which is why you should ensure that your primary application is flawless. A strong personal statement leaves an admissions committee with answers to all of their questions. For help, you can turn to Code Blue Essays! Check out our Superhero Training Academy if you’re stuck while starting your personal statement, and contact us for more information about opportunities for more comprehensive admissions packages.