January 4, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Given its outstanding reputation within the health industry, getting into Harvard medical school is something that most med students dream about. Regarded as the best of the best, this is one of the most prestigious of institutes that you can hope to graduate from as a medical student.
On the flip side, Harvard has also acquired a formidable reputation of being ultra-competitive. Though this is justified, it means that many students do not even bother applying for admission because they are sure they do not stand a chance against. Should you apply to obtain admission or should you give up without even trying? What sets apart students who get into Harvard from those who don’t?
The truth is there is no magic formula for getting into this prestigious medical school and because the competition is so tough, predicting admissions almost impossible. For every student who applies and who has obtained outstanding scores, there are hundreds of others who have obtained scores that are a notch higher. The competition is close.
However, it’s not just the scores that get factored into the admission process, especially in a school like Harvard. A closer look at those who do gain admission into this medical school shows that there are certain characteristics that are common among the majority of students. While imitating students who have succeeded does not guarantee anything, it could increase your chances of getting in.
The importance of getting high GPA and MCAT scores if you are considering applying to Harvard cannot be emphasized enough. Never mind using the score to determine who they will give a medical seat to, the school uses the scores even to determine who they will call for the interview. According to reports, a MCAT score above 35 and an average GPA of 3.8 were the average cut-off figures for the entering class of 2010. Although it is not an official prerequisite, high GPA and MCAT scores are an unofficial requirement. If you have anything lower than that, you could be wasting your time even considering it.
Patients, and the world in general, have high leadership expectations from medical students who graduate from Harvard. To maintain this reputation, Harvard looks for students who are capable leaders, who aim high and can excel with the responsibility given to them. They look for students who stand out from everyone else. Running a program for inner city kids, launching your own non-profit organization, leading a medical mission trip are some of the things that prove that you have the drive and determination to be a leader.
Getting some work experience in the field of medicine is a great way to show admissions panels that you have initiative and commitment. Our medical internships are designed to give first hand experience to potential med students and require no previous qualifications – just a desire to excel as a physician!
The best physicians are those that not only have the knowledge but can also communicate that knowledge to their patients. You can expect your communication skills during the interview to be examined under a microscope. Many brilliant students do not get accepted into this school only because they fail in this aspect at the interview. If you are not a confident communicator, consider taking communication classes and work on your communication skills before you apply to Harvard.
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Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.