My Experience When Applying as a Non-Traditional Applicant: Help Was Lacking
The medical school admissions process was one of the hardest things about medical school so far.
When I started applying to medical schools, I was attending community college, fulfilling my prerequisites. I visited the academic advisers to see if they can guide me through the application process. They couldn’t. I did not know anyone else applying to medical school either. So I was pretty much on my own.
The one thing that made applying so challenging was the lack of a single source to guide me through the whole process. Instead, I had to piece together the application steps through many different sources. If you are applying to medical schools, I will make your life easier and guide you through the major steps of the medical school admissions process.
More Than One Road to Medical School
Many people think that to get into medical school, you should major in science. However, that is not true. After the requirements are fulfilled, there is more than one way to get to medical school.
Most of my classmates majored in some kind of science. Personally, I majored in Finance. You can be a traditional student, applying right after college. You can be a non-traditional student, taking time off after college to work before applying. Even if you are 50 years old, you can still attend medical school.
If you are a high school student, a college student, or anyone else reading this, do not be afraid to explore and experiment. Live in a foreign country for a few years and learn a new language. Start a business. Learn how to salsa. Volunteer to be a firefighter. Break out of the boundaries of what a medical school applicant should be and stand out. Basically, live your life to the fullest! If you do so, you’ll certainly be more memorable than the cookie-cutter applicants.
How to Apply to Medical Schools
With that being said, applying to medical schools is a very lengthy process. There are many steps you must take. I have listed the steps for you to follow:
1. Fulfill the medical school requirements.
2. Rock the MCAT.
3. Engage in medical extracurricular activities.
- mission trips
4. Complete and send out medical school applications.
- primary application
- secondary application
- medical school personal statement (see an example of a good personal statement)
5. Request letters of recommendation.
- see my secret weapon for getting strong letters
6. Ace the medical school interviews.
Lots of Work, but Doable
The list above is very comprehensive of what will be required from you. It may seem like a lot, but don’t worry, it could be accomplished within two years. Heck, I was even working part-time (20+ hours a week) while I was doing this. If I can do it, you can do it too!
More About Applying to Medical Schools
8 Tips for Writing a Personal Statement (and Kiss Your Acceptance Goodbye)
This section was written by two professional medical school coaches, Yael and Miriam. It shows 8 mistakes you should not make when you write your personal statement. Are you doing any of the following that will jeopardize your medical school acceptance?
How Hard Is It to Get into Medical School? Depends on Your Ethnicity
This section shows that the difficulty of getting into medical school will vary by your ethnicity. See which group has it the easiest and which group has it the toughest. Find out what your target GPA and MCAT score should be, based on your ethnicity, for guaranteed acceptance.
This article is part of the Get into Medical School series. Click on the link if you want more tips and hints about getting accepted into medical school.