5 Expert Tips for Getting into Medical School
Editor & Writer
Editor & Writer
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- About 4 in 10 people get accepted into medical school each year.
- Healthcare professionals recommend going above and beyond what's required.
- Being familiar with a school's mission and journaling are among their top five tips.
Hate to break it to you, but there's no easy way into medical school. After all, only about 4 in 10 people get accepted into medical school each year, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.
But the odds could be worse. The hardest colleges to get into, like Harvard University or MIT, accept less than 4% of applicants.
Sheesh. How's this for a pep talk so far?
Here's the point: Getting into medical school won't be easy, but it's certainly doable, especially if you do the right things to stand out.
Gaining clinical experience even when it's not required, keeping a journal, and researching your school's values are among the top tips healthcare professionals share with hopeful medical students.
5 Expert Tips to Help You Get into Med School
- Connect with medical schools at recruitment events.
- Volunteering makes a good impression.
- Keep a journal for self-reflection.
- Having research experience is key.
- Get clinical experience even if it's not required.
1. Connect With Medical Schools at Recruitment Events
Many medical schools offer both in-person and virtual recruitment events. Take the time to connect with the medical schools you're applying to so you become a face they recognize.
2. Volunteering Makes a Good Impression
You can boost the strength of your application by getting involved outside of medicine. For example, volunteering for community service can help you gain leadership or soft skills and show you're committed to making a difference.
3. Keep a Journal for Self-Reflection
Document all of your experiences from day one. It will make reflecting on your experiences easier during the application process and allow you to share a unique story.
4. Having Research Experience Is Key
Research experience is not a requirement for medical school (unless you're an MD-Ph.D. candidate). But many schools and health professionals encourage it so you better understand the connection between science and medicine.
5. Get Clinical Experience Even if It's Not Required
Not all medical schools require clinical experience. But having some — preferably between 100-150 hours — can make you a more competitive applicant.
There are all sorts of ways to get experience. For example, you could undergo first aid training, assist in a blood donation drive, or shadow a physician. The goal is to show you already know what pursuing a healthcare career is like.