October 23, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
A very average profile will usually put you in the middle of the pack. This may make it difficult for you to get into a medical school. So what are the typical qualifications that a medical school wants? Most schools look for students who have high academic scores along with outstanding non-academic achievements that highlight skills such as leadership, communication, decision-making and critical thinking skills.
Some schools have automatic screening procedures based on these criteria and if you fail to meet them, your application is automatically rejected. Other schools may give you a little more leeway but still, if you have average academic scores and a few unrelated certificates, your chances would still be pretty dismal. The admission committees consider a lot of factors but the fact remains that it is important that you are not completely average.
Think about what you can do to improve your profile in whatever areas you can before you apply again. For example, you could go back and take some extra credit courses to improve your GPA. Get some serious clinical experience. Do an internship. There are several ways you can improve your profile and you have a year to do it in so don’t be defeatist.
A common mistake made by many students is the number of medical schools they apply to. When applying to medical school, more is always better. You may have very lofty goals and only want to go to the top schools in the country but remember, the more reputed the school, the tougher the competition. It does not necessarily mean you will not get in but you will have to make sure your application is absolutely outstanding in every way. And even if it is, don’t take any chances. Sometimes, it could be a choice between two applicants and you may have just lost by a straw.
To increase your chances, don’t just apply to the three top schools on your list. Apply to as many schools as you can.
Many students only apply to schools close to home or schools where they know people who attend. Instead, ask all the possible counsellors for options and also conduct thorough research on the Internet. Apply to schools all over the country. If you have the option, you can even think of applying to good medical schools abroad. Remember, applying to a school doesn’t mean that you have to attend that school if you get admission. Once you get a reply from all the schools, you can then take a call as to which is the best option and then decide. You may even decide to go to a school that you hadn’t considered in the first place!