A quick list of tips I learned while applying to medical school and getting in.
So…I got into medical school!!
Can’t even believe that that is really true. Like is this reality? It’s a total ‘pinch me is this real?!’ moment. It’s strange daydreaming about a day for so long and then having it finally arrive. Since it has come around, I have been reflecting on all the things I did right and all the things I didn’t do so great. So here I am sharing all that I learned with whoever it is that it may help. Before I get into my whole cuento, I just want to give some context of my application cycle. I applied to 14 schools, 10 MD and 4 DO. I received 5 interview invites, 4 MD and 1 DO. So here we go the top 5 things I learned about applying to medical school through my experience.
1. I was totally listening to the right advice.
The advice I was basing nearly all my decisions about my application to medical school was this awesomeee doctor Dr. Ryan Gray. He is the creator and CEO of The Medical School HQ. (Here’s a link to his website)This website has every service and all of the information you’ll need to get through your pre-med years. The resource more valuable to my process was his podcasts, precisely two: The Pre-Med Years and The MCAT Podcast. I cannot recommend these enough to every single pre-med student. I consider these resources to be essential! Begin today by listening to his podcasts as soon as you decide that you want to pursue this career. I attribute my acceptance into medical school to all of the information I learned and followed in these podcasts.
2. You are more than your numbers…tell your story!
You studied hard for the MCAT and for your undergraduate courses, and that has granted you two important numbers for your medical school application: your MCAT score and your GPA. No matter what those numbers are, I want you to listen to the next thing I’m going to tell you…YOU ARE MORE THAN THOSE NUMBERS! This is something that Dr. Ryan Gray stresses in all of his podcast, and I learned that he was absolutely right through my process. Now that’s not to say anyone can get in regardless of their GPA and MCAT but the point is that there are critical components of your application that I have nothing to do with numbers. Crafting and communicating those other components are just as important and part of who you are. For more tips on crafting the other parts of your application, check out this post.
3. APPLY EARLY
This one is short and simple. Be ready to hit submit the day applications are available. This will increase the chances that they will thoroughly review your application and in turn, dramatically increase the likelihood of your interview invite. To do this, you will have to plan accordingly, which includes beginning your application writing process as early in advance as you can and that means, taking the CASPer early, pre-writing secondaries, and taking the MCAT so that you get your score before or soon after you hit submit. And if you’re like me where writing essays feels like torture, you might really have to consider starting the writing process well in advance. I didn’t do this great so I didn’t finish MD my secondaries until the first week of September and my DO secondaries until October! I definitely think I would have gotten more interview invites if I had applied earlier.
4. Prepare for your interviews early
This one is also straightforward. When you submit your application, take that sigh of relief and celebrate! But after you take a few days or a week break, get to that interview prep! The more you prep, the better you do, the higher the chance you’ll get that acceptance! I wish that I had done that and not waited until I got my first interview invite because I didn’t do as well in an interview as I would have liked. I rocked MMI’s which were 2 of the 5 interviews I attended, the other 3 were so-so and were probably why I was waitlisted at 2 and rejected from another. MMI’s were easier for me and one-on-one’s definitely made me more nervous and I feel if I had starting practicing in the summer rather than November, I may have gotten more used to it. But anyways, for prep I highly recommend Dr. Ryan Gray’s interview prep book and his coaching if you have the money to spare. Both were super helpful to me.
5. Work hard but take breaks!
Last but not least, take breaks! Applying to medical school can feel like a full-time job at times. There were times where between work, studying, and writing essays for primary and secondary applications I found myself in full-blown breakdowns (mostly because again, writing is torture to me). But regardless of the reason, that fact is that for most people applying to medical school is overwhelming. And what I really learned that was a lot of my tears and stress could have been avoided if I had taken more breaks to spend time doing things I love like spending time with family, friends, going to the gym, etc. So whatever stage of your application that you’re in take a moment to pause, and take a break. If you don’t have the time at least remember to breath.
Well, that’s it, everything I learned about applying to medical school! I really hope this helps at least one person prepare for medical school and get an acceptance. If you have any questions, or you’d like me to elaborate on anything I mentioned or experienced in another blog post please feel free to leave us a comment, send us an email, or drop us a message on Instagram at @nomorechichos. Thanks for reading yall!