Unique ways to make your medical school application stand out

October 19, 2016

There were over 50,000 applications to US med schools last year, and only 39% of them were successful. This means you’ll need to set your medical school application apart from the pack – but how?

Show that you understand the career

With plenty of young people wanting to channel their inner Meredith Grey, it’s no surprise that admissions panels look favorably on applicants who can show they understand the reality of becoming a physician. Chances are, if you’ve completed a work experience placement or done any sort of shadowing, you’ll know that becoming a health professional isn’t all about saving the day, but about waiting for test results, reassuring patients, and working out the best course of treatment. There are also plenty of meetings, training days and paperwork! The most promising applicants will recognize this and not be discouraged by it. 

In your medical school application: include details of any work experience you have completed in your personal essay. Explain that you know the reality of a medical career and say how you know.

Show that you have a global perspective

Whether you intend on working in the US or elsewhere, you will undoubtedly treat patients from all walks of life and all parts of the world. Understanding other nations’ approaches to healthcare and the unique challenges they face is key to being a great physician – and you simply can’t learn that from a textbook.

Joining us on a Gap Medics program is the perfect way to show that you have considered how medicine affects us globally. Not only will you see first-hand the typical facilities and procedures of a real hospital in Europe, Africa, Thailand or the Dominican Republic, but you will also get the opportunity to back up what you see with theory in our weekly global health seminars.

In your medical school application: talk about the specific cases you saw or common conditions affecting your host country. How will this experience make you a better physician?

Show that you can take the lead

It will come as no surprise that getting into medical school requires a strong academic record and high GPA. However, a lot of what makes a good physician comes down to personality and attitude to work. As well as the majors you study in college, taking on leadership roles in student groups or organizations is a particularly good way to show that you are well-motivated, committed and able to juggle lots of responsibilities. This bodes well for both your performance at med school and how much you will enjoy being a physician. While participating in your local HOSA chapter will look fantastic, there is no harm in speaking about any club such as debating, the college newspaper or a sports team.

In your medical school application: describe what leadership role you took on and the sorts of responsibilities you had. What was particularly strong? Did you organize an event, campaign for a change on campus, or keep track of your group’s finances?

How Gap Medics can help

Completing an internship overseas shows a huge amount of commitment to becoming a health professional – and while we welcome thousands of students every year, it’s unlikely to be something that crops up in most students’ personal essays. Not only will a Gap Medics program impress your favorite medical school, but reassures you that you’re on the right path long before you commit the time and money to a medical degree.

An adventure with us looks great on your resumé – but that’s just the beginning! To find out more and to secure your place in Thailand, Europe, Africa or the Dominican Republic, get in touch today.