Applying to medical school (or dental school or other healthcare school) can be a daunting and stressful experience. You’ve worked so hard to prepare, and once you write your personal statement, fill out your application, and submit your letters of evaluations along with the rest of your app materials, it’s out of your hands. And that fact can come with nail biting suspense, anxiety, and stress. The wait to hear if you get an interview can be tense and intense, and I’ve seen students moved to tears in one fell swoop.
So. Is there anything you can do before you hit submit on your application to help increase your chances of getting the interview, so you can WOW in person and land the class seat of your heart’s desire? You bet! Lots in fact. So much so that we’ll focus this chat on the most basic, yet absolutely essential, life-defining thing you can do. It’s simple to say, harder to do. Reflect upon all that you’ve done up to this point and ask yourself in all that you’ve accomplished, what have you done to make sure that becoming a healthcare professional is the next right step for you and your future patients, and then ask yourself how do you know this? Understand beyond the simple and insufficient words of “Because I want to help people,” why it is that you want to help people with their lives and health by using the tools and knowledge of your chosen healthcare field. If you can do this, and you’ve shown that reasoning in your personal statement and throughout your application materials, you will greatly increase your chances of getting into medical school (or your chosen profession).
But this is far easier to say than to do. This is a process that requires self-reflection and honesty with yourself. And that can be an emotional journey some are not willing to take. The first and foremost way to make sure you get into your healthcare school of choice is to set sail with your love, passion, and interest, and see where they take you … see where you land. If you do this with honest self-reflection and by making good choices for yourself, you will very likely find your heart’s desire. To do otherwise is to merely set a goal and drive yourself there with ambition and determination. However, ambition and determination are not the only factors in achieving success. They alone will not guarantee you get what you want. And even if they do, what happens when you get what you thought you wanted, but you don’t get happiness or the fulfillment you had hoped for?
In fact, over the years, I’ve met hordes upon hordes of students who have stepped onto the path to becoming a healthcare professional, blindly and forcibly making themselves do “all the right things” to be considered a competitive applicant. This approach will catch up with you. If not before you apply, then likely after, even if it takes years and wasted money on the wrong education.
Admission committees see this blind drive all the time. And the quickest way to cut through potentially misplaced ambition and determination is to ask you, “Why do you want to be a doctor?” and then listen to the applicant either nail it to wall or flounder and freak at the direct question that they don’t have an answer for beyond, “Because I want to help people.”
If you want to get into medical school (or your chosen profession), then be able to answer the question: Why do I want to be a doctor, and how do I know? Be able to show how you know through substantiation and support from the experiences of your life. But thoughtful and reflective. Sincere and confident. Know that you are the right candidate for the programs you apply to and for your future patients, and then show it in your writing of your personal statement, in your letter of evaluation, in your application (and applicable secondaries), and in your interviews. And that’s the first and foremost, basic yet essential something that you can do to ensure you get into the healthcare school of your choice!
Check out How to Apply to Medical School…And Actually Get In! and How to Write the Best Medical School Personal Statement, EVER! for more incredibly valuable, insightful, guiding help for your preparation and application to medical school (and other healthcare schools)! Both of these books are included with your membership to The Best You PAL Academy, and you can learn more here.
How to Apply to Medical School…And Actually Get In! is available in wonderfully accessible video book and audio-video book forms here in the Academy. It is also at available in ebook and print form from Amazon.
How to Write the Best Medical School Personal Statement, EVER! is available in wonderfully accessible video book (with printable PDF worksheets) here in the Academy. It also available in spiral bound print form from Amazon.
Academy members are also able to purchase the print versions for substantially discounted prices directly from me, Mary Kate. :0) Simply contact me through the contact form in this website or by emailing me at (info at TheBestYouPALAcademy dot com).
One more quick note about applying … as I mentioned above, the application cycle can be filled with stress and uncertainty. I encourage you to get involved in whatever awesome, fun, engaging to-do’s that you love! Keep busy. Keep happy. Breathe. Exercise. Eat well. Hydrate. Get sleep. Spend time with your friends. Hang with your family. Whatever keeps you enthused and active … and not waiting around, stressing, and freaking about when you’re going to get an interview. Worrying will not make the call/letter come any faster. So get back out there and do what you love. Trust in yourself. And hug yourself … a lot!!! You can do this!!!