Applying to medical school can seem stressful, and slightly daunting. If you put in all of the time, attention, and necessary preparation, you will find that your application process can be smooth and rewarding.
Use Your Advisor
It is important to meet your pre-health school advisor, even if it is done over the phone. Make an appointment with your advisor so that you can develop a solid plan for how you are going to submit the best application possible. This is especially important to do as early as possible for service members. With hectic schedules, planning things far in advance is always a great help.
Your advisor can also assist you in planning your future coursework so that you can complete your schooling within the best time possible. Your advisor may also give you tips on how to amp up your application with the experience that you need, or may already have.
Attend Health Career Fairs
Career fairs are a great way to learn about numerous schools, programs, and admission necessities all at once. Sometimes they can be expensive, but it is worth the cost to get a large overview of what your future options are. This may save you money on applications in the near future so the entrance fee is often worth it. Fairs also give you a chance to meet face to face with the different schools, which can sometimes lead to an advancement of your application.
Interning, or working, at any medical facility before applying will really make your resume “pop”. It will also give you talking points to discuss on an essay or interview you may have to go through. Having experience beforehand, such as medical work in the field/while deployed, can also assist you in narrowing down what type of medical field you want to go into to, which will make you feel more confident in a decision that you are investing time and money into.
When the people in the admissions office go through your resume, they will also look at what types of organizations or extracurriculars you are involved in. They really look for any growth that you may have had over time within that specific organization, unit, battalion, etc. Your level of responsibility is a great indicator of the kind of student you may be in medical school. Leadership roles, planning events, and having an impact on the structure of an organization/unit makes certain people attractive prospects for higher education.
Take Time to Prepare for the MCAT
Nearly all medical schools in the United States and several in Canada require MCAT scores. Your advisor can assist you in deciding the right time to take the exam. Do not take the test until you feel one hundred percent ready because of the cost and time investment involved with the test. Online MCAT prep courses are a great way to get an in-depth feel for the test before you sit down to take it. Many people that were successful with the test found that an online MCAT prep course had a large impact. If you took the test once but was not happy with your score, then your advisor may be able to help you come up with a plan of attack on how to improve your scores for the future. You can focus on specific problem areas that can help you retest better.