Here are some things that rang true for me, while I was a premedical student and what I have seen in my own personal experiences is important to succeed as a medical student.
- Apply early: This is the most important step because rolling admissions processes means that even the most stellar application might be hindered by a lack of remaining interview slots.
- Grades and test scores are important, but they’re not the only thing: I find that grades and test scores are important to meeting a school’s minimum cut-offs, but after that, I think that schools want to see who you are as a person and if you have the skills to do well in medical school and residency and ultimately, be an effective physician in whichever specialty you choose.
- Do what you’re passionate in: Quality over quantity. People can see through a laundry list of activities. If you can’t answer questions about that research project or that leadership position and show how it was meaningful for you, it might be better off to not mention it.
- Show rather than tell how you can convey skills like communication and teamwork: Medicine is not an insular field; there are tons of support staff, mid-level providers, and consultants that a physician might work with in a single day. It requires a sense of leadership, an ability to take constructive criticism, and finesse with collaboration. I think it’s important to partake in activities where you’re able to apply these skills and become a person able to deal with difficult or stressful circumstances.
- Know your why medicine: Medicine is a big commitment and thus, you should be able to articulate why you want to become a part of this profession. Your “why” will keep you going in the application process and beyond!