Shadowing a DoctorJanuary 22, 2014
When you are looking into medical school applications, you will often hear it being said that schools are looking for ‘well-rounded’ applicants? So what exactly is a well-rounded applicant and do you qualify?
Most people think of academic excellence as being the prime factor that is taken into consideration when it comes to getting into medical school. This is only partly true. While academic excellence is a consideration, it is definitely not the sole or prime factor. Almost all medical schools consider 3 main factors when they accept or reject a student application- academic excellence is one factor and the other two include character and the motivation factor for a career in medicine. These three factors essentially cover the whole gamut of who would be considered an ‘ideal applicant’.
In addition to these 3 qualities, most medical schools also place a premium on meaningful academic and life experiences. In short, the type of person you are plays as huge a role in your selection as the accomplishments you have achieved.
This article explains why medical schools find it so important to accept only well rounded applicants and what you can do to fit that image and increase your odds of getting accepted into medical school:
Being a doctor requires smarts and hard work. The fact that you have excelled academically demonstrates that you are a hard worker and will be capable of handling the rigors of medical school and being a doctor. The path to becoming a doctor is long and rigorous and only those who are smart and willing to work hard and make sacrifices along the way can get there in the end. You must be diligent enough to overcome the many obstacles in your way and mature enough to learn from your mistakes.
The motivation factor
It’s easy to decide you want to become a doctor but how do you know for sure if this is really the right career path for you? This is no ordinary career. People’s lives depend on you so you need to be absolutely sure that you and medicine are a good fit for each other. To have a better idea of what it really is like to be a doctor, you need to have some sort of clinical and research exposure. Medical schools do not want students who are not so sure about whether they really want to get into medicine. The best way to convince school authorities about your conviction is to spend time volunteering, researching, shadowing or working in some kind of healthcare setting.
Character & Altruism
Do you really care about helping others or are you in it just for the money making potential? Medical schools look for signs that indicate that you are the kind of person who will be more concerned about patients and their health than about money. Your life experiences will speak volumes about where your priorities lie. Have you spent any time at all really caring for the sick or is it just something you say? What you do, will count more than what you say.
To medical schools, you are a well rounded applicant if you meet all of the above considerations.