At Code Blue Essays, we have watched as medical admissions have become more competitive than ever. We know that as it gets tougher to gain admission to medical school, candidates have to submit an application showing admissions committees their best. We have been helping students do just that since 2014. Keep reading for ways you can transform your application from “good” to great!
Choosing Clinical Experiences
Good: Getting the required 100 hours of clinical experience in one summer shadowing a family friend who is a physician, and then turning your attention to maintaining your grades and focusing on the MCAT.
Better: Accumulating more hours than the minimum required for admission, and completing many of those hours under a continuous commitment.
Medical schools want to see students show meaningful experiences, and you can gain them much more easily when a student builds an extended relationship with an institution. It is also better to choose experiences out of your interests rather than convenience. You may discover that you have an affinity for research and cannot imagine going to a medical school without a prominent research program. Choose your clinical experiences wisely.
Writing about Clinical Experiences
Good: You find the Google sheet you used when you did your clinical experience hours so you can report the correct dates and number of hours on your application. You remember the exciting parts of the experience; you will write about that in the description.
Better: You pull out your Code Blue Clinical Experience Journal that has not only dates and times for your clinical experiences, but phone numbers, contact names, and detailed descriptions about the experience you had. When you review them, you remember your experience’s impact much more clearly.
Being able to describe your experiences in detail will set you apart from other candidates who vaguely describe their clinical experiences. Medical school admissions committees take notice when a candidate can detail the significance of their clinical experience.
Good: Taking the MCAT once and scoring above the 50th percentile. Sure, you could retake the MCAT, but you think you might be okay with the score you got as long as you nail your personal statement. You scored better than half the other test-takers, right?
Better: Taking the MCAT early to ensure that you have enough time to retake in case you do not get your desired score. You know that the mean score of students who matriculate is in the 84th percentile, so you need to make sure you really dominate this test.
Many students who take the MCAT early do not need to retake the test, but planning ahead confers an advantage in itself. A student who feels confident that they can put their best effort forth under less pressure performs better than a student who thinks that this is their last chance to perform. Put yourself in the best position to crush the MCAT.
Good: Applying to medical school well before the deadline ends.
Better: Applying to medical school as soon as the application can be submitted.
Starting the application process as soon as applications are released puts you at the front of the line. AAMC releases the AMCAS application at the beginning of May, but applications are not accepted until June. As such, you should ideally submit your primary application in June. On the other hand, applications are not technically due until December. Applying anywhere near that late would be crippling to your chances of admission.
Good: Maxing out letters of recommendation, including some from professors that gave you an A, no matter the size of the class or whether you ever talked to them.
Better: Getting the minimum number of letters of recommendation from professors with whom you had a meaningful connection.
If you choose professors who actually know you and can speak to your integrity and academic performance, admissions committees will be able to see that in their recommendations.
Good: You spend a weekend or two hammering out your personal statement. You think it is a pretty solid statement, especially since two of your friends who are also applying to medical school told you that.
Better: You have spent time over the past month or so processing what you wanted to write in your personal statement and using Code Blue’s Superhero Training Academy program to help you organize your thoughts. You finally feel like you have something that you are ready to submit for a professional review by an actual doctor – you purchased a personal statement editing package from Code Blue Essays when they were running a promotion earlier this spring and now it is time to take advantage!
Your personal statement is the most important part of your medical school application aside from the empirical portions of your application (GPA and MCAT). You should not leave anything to chance when it comes to how a medical school admissions committee may judge your personal statement. Even if it’s grammatically correct, you may be using an inappropriate tone to communicate your points. You may have an impeccable personal statement with a stale topic. Don’t take the chance of submitting a sub-par application. Reach out today to see how we can help you make your application all that it can be, and subscribe for more medical school application tips!