July 14, 2015
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
The medical school application process is lengthy, laborious and complicated. You need to put together the necessary transcripts, take the UMAT if you are applying for an undergraduate programme or the GAMSAT if you are applying to a graduate programme, compose an impressive personal statement and ask for letters of recommendation – all while attending to your other commitments and responsibilities. What makes it even more challenging is the fact that every medical school has a different procedure and different eligibility requirements. The key to staying on top of it all without getting overwhelmed is to get organised.
Taking the time to create a system of organisation can go a long way in reducing your stress levels and helping you gain more confidence as you put together and submit your applications to different medical schools.
Make a list of all of the schools you are planning on applying to. Against each school, make a note of the requirements for each school and the deadline for submitting your application. It may take some time upfront to get all of this compiled but it will save you time in the long run as you will have all the information you need in one place instead of having to go back and forth checking and re-checking. Also, you can keep track of all submission deadlines with one glance so you know exactly how much time you have to get put things together and are less likely to miss a deadline.
You will have to provide details of the classes, grades, term dates and number of units or credits with every application you put together. Some schools may also ask for this information again in your secondary. Creating a quick reference with all of the information in one place will help you save a whole lot of time searching for the necessary details multiple times.
There is a lot of information about yourself that you will need to provide in your med school application and this goes beyond just stating your birth date or your academic scores. You will want to talk about your volunteering experiences, extracurricular activities, awards and honours you’ve won, academic highlights and other personal stories that will help paint a picture of who you are. Having all of these details in one place will make it easier for you to arrange your thoughts and will help you save a lot of time as you work on developing your personal statement, describing your activities or explain the lapses in your academic records. It will also help you prepare better for interviews.
Don’t wait till last minute to start working on your personal essay or ask for letters of recommendation. Instead work backwards from the submission deadlines and create a schedule of self-imposed due dates within which you need to get each task completed. As you finish each task, check it off your list. If you find you need longer time than you anticipated, adjust the dates on your schedules. This will help you get a more realistic picture of how much time you really require for each task and whether you can afford to slow down or bit or keep moving in high gear.