Avoid These Med School Application MistakesDecember 3, 2013
From short-listing medical schools to checking out their tuition fees, admission qualifications and application deadlines, the whole process of applying to medical schools for admission can be time-consuming and stressful. There are several things that you need to do and even more things that you should not do. In an effort to make their application stand out, many premed students go all out to be extra-creative with their application, especially their personal statement. However, while creativity is encouraged to a certain extent, going overboard could have the opposite effect. Certain tactics may actually hinder your chances of getting your application approved. Here are a few mistakes you would do well to avoid when applying for admission to medical school.
Using an unprofessional email address
Many of us use very creative email addresses that swing from mildly amusing to completely dorky. While your circle of friends may see the humour in your choice of email address, the interviewing committee may not. Moreover, they may doubt your maturity and your level of professionalism. Keep your off-beat email address for personal correspondence only and create a new email address to use when applying to medical schools.
Any reference to religion and politics
Religion and politics are controversial topics at the best of times and even more so when it comes to medical school. You could be treading dangerous grounds if you refer to politics or religion in any context in your application. Medical school authorities want to know that you are capable of rising above your religious and political beliefs when it comes to treating patients whose views clash with yours.
Listing irrelevant passions and interests
When reading tips on applying to medical school, you will read a lot about how mentioning your passion and fields of interest can give you the competitive edge. Yes, that’s true but interviewers do not want to know about your stamp or coin collection. What they want to know more about is what are your passions and interests that relate to medicine and which make you an ideal medical student. Don’t try to fill up your application space with irrelevant details.
Listing irrelevant gap year experiences
So you followed the trend and took a gap year. Gap year experiences make great fodder for med school application. But here’s the catch – it only counts if you took the opportunity to engage in some kind of medical-related experience. Mentioning the culinary tour that you did during your gap year will only cause the school authorities to doubt your sincerity towards a medical profession. Best to leave it out. However shadowing a physician at your local hospital, doing a medical placement abroad or volunteering with a healthcare establishment will add tremendous weight to your application.
Including Negative Information
We all have our weaknesses but an application is no place to highlight yours. Do not include any unflattering information or any details that may prompt interviewers to want to find out more about your weaknesses. It is advisable to be honest when replying to any questions during the interview, but there is no need to call unnecessary attention to anything that can hurt your chances of getting admission.