The medical school application cycle is well under way. You’ve taken the MCAT and completed your application to medical school. CONGRATULATIONS!!! That’s a huge accomplishment. Many of us have gotten secondary invitations, some have received invitations for an interview and a few may have already received acceptance letters. No matter which stage of the application process you are in, waiting to hear back from medical schools can feel unbearable. While waiting you may wonder what to do next. Fortunately, there are some key things we can do while waiting.
- Continue participating in the activities that are important to you, especially those included on your medical school application. One key mistake that pre-med students make is to quit volunteering or shadowing because they’ve completed their application. However, continuing to participate in these activities can help to strengthen relationships with the people or organizations you are working with. You never know these connections will come in handy down the line.
- Seek out new opportunities for growth and experience. Pre-med students often think there is a magic formula that they must follow to gain acceptance to medical school. There are some key experiences that every pre-med student should have such as clinical exposure and physician shadowing. However, being unique and participating in activities (i.e. learning a new language) that sets you apart from other applicants will not only get your application noticed but it will make for interesting conversations once you are invited to an interview
- Read, read, read! As pre-med students and future clinicians, it is very important for us to be aware of what is going on in the world of healthcare and other areas which affect our lives and livelihood. Stay current with what’s going on by reading the local newspaper and a global newspaper or magazine. Most subscriptions are available digitally, which makes it convenient to read at anytime that you have free time (i.e. waiting on the bus or right before class). Leisure reading is also important too, so get lost in your favorite book to take a break from your studies.
- Get to know schools of interest. Once you get to the interview stage, you need to know at least some basic information about their medical school. Key questions you can ask yourself include: What interested me in this school? How does their mission fit with my goals of becoming a physician? Why would you be an asset at this school?
- Update your application! Don’t forget to update your application. Many schools allow you to update your application after you have submitted. This is a great opportunity to include significant changes to your application, which may help to improve your chances of an interview or acceptance. Did your role in an organization change and you are now one of the leaders? Have you gotten your research published? Have you started a new position? These are significant changes that should be updated in your application.
Good luck, future Doc! Don’t stop working towards your goal! We’re going to make it!
Are you a premed? Join Diverse Medicine now. It's free!