June 5, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
For students who are banking on their high academic scores to get them into medical school, it may come as a surprise to know that medical schools usually look for more than just high grades. It is an old myth, but still only a myth, that high academic scores automatically qualify you for medical school and most institutions would give you an easy pass into their programme.
The truth is there are several different factors that medical schools look into and give as much importance to, when considering any application.
Every school has put in place different admission procedures in order to help them make the right decisions when looking for students who they feel will be best for their particular institution. While some may focus on volunteer work that you have done, another may give more importance to any transferable skills that you possess and a lot of schools give preference to students who have taken part in medical research or any work in the field of medicine. Taking the time to know exactly what kind of student the particular medical school wants can help you focus on those aspects that you know will impress them and better your odds of obtaining admission.
One important quality that a lot of medical schools look for is leadership. Being a doctor is also about being a good leader. Your application should demonstrate that you are confident enough to manage a team of doctors and take control in difficult situations when necessary. Besides being a good leader, it is equally important to show that you are a good team player and you can also follow instructions as and when the situation demands. Before you make it to the top in your profession, you should be able to take orders well and work with others around you.
Arrogance has no place in medical school. No matter how knowledgeable you may be, that knowledge can pale in significance when compared to how much more there still is to learn. Learning to respect the decisions of others and knowing when to admit you are wrong can be particularly significant attributes. As a practicing physician, you will find yourself working alongside seniors as well as subordinates and respecting them and their decisions is the key to becoming a successful, caring doctor.
Medicine is all about personal sacrifice and putting a patient’s needs before your own. The best way to show the admissions authorities that you are serious about medical school is to participate in volunteer work and medical internships. Doing a one-day camp does not say much about your commitment to the field of medicine. However, volunteering for a longer period of time or going on an internship to a developing country where you spend a couple of weeks doing the rounds in hospitals and caring for patients, demonstrates your true passion to medicine and helping others and will give your application a major boost.
Sure, your academic scores will be taken into consideration and they will be instrumental in getting you past the first round of admissions, but after that you should know that all other factors will come into play and influence the authorities’ final decision.