December 30, 2013
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Taking the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is essential for anyone wishing to apply to med school in the United Stated. It is advisable to take this test the year before you plan to attend medical school.
If you are planning on entering medical school in 2015, you consider taking the MCAT in the summer of 2014. There are several proposed plans to the MCAT which come into effect from 2015 so if you are planning on applying to med school in 2016 or later make sure you read the changes to the MCAT so you can prepare yourself accordingly.
Practical experience can often be the deciding factor when it comes to getting admission into medical school. Interviewing authorities want to see that you are genuinely interested in this field and they also want to know whether you are aware of what you are getting into. Some ways of doing this are by volunteering at various healthcare settings, spending time shadowing physicians and signing up for a medical placement in a developing country. All of these experiences allow you to get a good, hard look at the profession you intend to pursue and give you a realistic picture of what you can expect. Applying to med school after having gone through these experiences speaks volumes of your genuine interest and enthusiasm in medicine and can shift the balance in your favor when it comes to choosing two applicants who are otherwise equally qualified.
The personal statement that you submit along with your medical school application is of paramount importance. This is your chance to stand out and create an impression. Read all of our tips on how to write a personal statement and keep working on it till you are satisfied that it is perfect in every way.
You will also need transcripts sent from each school that you studied in as an undergraduate, even if you took only one class. Official transcripts are typically sent directly to the med schools that you apply to and this process can take 3 to 4 weeks. Always obtain a copy for yourself to double check that they are right.
Your interview is a crucial step when it comes to admission to medical school. Here’s where you get to show medical school admissions authorities why you are a great candidate, irrespective of your undergraduate GPA and MCAT score. Most med schools hold the interviews from about mid-September to sometime in April.
Letters of Recommendation
Every medical schools has their own set of guidelines for letters of recommendation, but most will require two from basic sciences faculty and one from a doctor or professional in a health care setting for which you have worked. Check the requirements of each school so that you can prepare the correct documentation for submission.
Keep in mind that these are only general suggestions. You will have to contact the admissions offices of each school to which you intend applying for specific guidelines and deadlines.