November 6, 2014
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Almost every high school student has an online identity today and it’s no different with medical school applicants. You may have a profile on Facebook that you hardly use or you may be an avid blogger or even have your own website. For some people, their online persona is such a big part of their life that it may count as an achievement or major hobby in their medical school application. But is it a good idea to mention your online presence when you send in your medical school application? Here are a few things to keep in mind if you are planning on mentioning it in your application.
Before you send in your application, make sure you go through everything you have online and clean it out. Are there some blog posts that come across as rude or target certain individuals or perhaps certain cultures? Have you posted comments that contain a lot of abusive language? Do you have uncomplimentary pictures of yourself posted up on your site? Whatever you have up online should come across as positive and reflect a good side of you. Even if you are not blogging or do not own a website, go through your Facebook profile and remove embarrassing pictures or posts. If your profile looks the slightest bit dubious, change your privacy settings so that others cannot view it unless you grant them permission. A great way to make sure your online presence is squeaky clean, is to Google yourself and check what results show up. Depending on what you find, you can undertake your complete clean-out.
The Internet is actually a great way for people to get to know the positive side of you. Use it to impress the interviewing panel by showing that you are interested in medicine and everything related to this field. Launch a blog that talks about medicine or your personal experiences (remember to ensure that you never describe a patient or break any kind of confidentiality clause). A different and interesting Web presence can be a very positive point on your resume. But remember that you should do your research about everything that you put up on your blog or website. A lot of admission committees will actually take the time to go through your online content and if they find something interesting, they might ask you questions based on what you have posted. It is important to be able to give a well-researched answer to prove that your interest and your credentials are genuine.
Do not be afraid to put what you believe online. However, ensure that what you say is not wrong and it does not hurt anyone. If you are questioned about any of your views during an interview, don’t get hassled and change your view because you feel that the admissions committee does not agree with it. This does not mean you should get into an argument with them or fiercely defend your points of view. Instead, explain your point of view respectfully and stick to it. The interviewers will respect you for doing that.
If you feel that your online content will help make a positive impact on your personality, you can and should include a mention of it in your application. If not, it is far safer to leave it out altogether.