Common myths surrounding medical admissions

August 1, 2014

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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There are a number of myths surrounding admission into medical school. Most applicants tend to believe that ticking certain boxes will guarantee them a place in the school of their choice. Others believe in avoiding a whole host of other conditions that they believe will prevent them from getting into medical school. While there may be some truth to some of these beliefs, there are many that are simply myths and should be ignored. 

Here are some of the more common myths when it comes to medical school admissions. 

Myths about grades

Gap Medics students getting excited for their hospital placements!The most common myth surrounding medical school admissions is that if you have fantastic grades, you will immediately be accepted into medical school, which also implies that if you do not have outstanding grades, you will not have as great a chance of getting into the school of your choice. However, this is not necessarily true at all. 

Even though a lot of schools expect you to have higher than average grades, the truth is that these grades are not the most important criteria for admissions. A number of students with outstanding grades are rejected every year and students with average grades are granted admission, instead. The truth is that admissions committees take into consideration a number of different factors while assessing student applications – and grades are only one of them.

Myths about subjects

While applying to medical school, people may tell you that you will not be eligible if you did not do Physics and Biology at A-level. A lot of students ensure that they take three science subjects for their A-levels so that they can qualify for medical school, or they include Maths as a subject. In reality, every medical school has different preferences when it comes to A-levels. Some may ask for these subjects to have been completed, but there are quite a few schools that accept students who have not attained a science degree before applying. You need to take a good look at the admissions criteria before you apply and apply to the schools where your qualifications are the best fit.

Work experience myths

When it comes to work experience, quality beats quantity in almost every case. The quality of your work experience is typically much more important than the quantity of it. Some people believe that the longer you have worked or volunteered, the higher your chance of getting into medical school. But the reality is that most admissions committees will choose a student who has spent a month doing a medical internship in an underprivileged country over someone who has worked part-time at a clinic in the neighbourhood for a year. When looking for work experience, the key is to look for something that will help you grow not just academically, but emotionally, as well, and demonstrate this in your essay and application. 

If you are serious about going to medical school, don’t give credence to hearsay. Instead, explore the websites of all the medical schools that you intend to apply to so you can find out firsthand all the information you will need regarding applications and the criteria set by various schools.