A medical school resume is a comprehensive look into how you would fit into a specific institution, and how likely you would be a great doctor in the future. They require strong grades and test scores, field experience, and written statements, all of which can go south if not executed properly.
Getting started on your resume early on is key so you can study school requirements, acceptance rates, and even the little nuances that many students aren’t aware of including the implementation of resume keywords, good formatting, and more. Once you get your resume done and out of the way, you can be guaranteed to have a competitive edge when admissions start comparing applications side by side.
What Numbers Tell
Every year, students stand in stiff competition with one another to get into medical school. Due to low acceptance rates, students have been found to apply to 15+ schools, with only a 41% acceptance rate statistic back in 2018-2019. This is important because it means that no matter whether students have higher or lower grades, their resumes are not enthralling enough to show their true potential for admission.
Ultimately, applicants will want to craft a compelling medical school resume early on that stands out amongst their peers no matter where they stand with grades, test scores, and current circumstances within their lives.
What to Include in a Medical School Resume
Your educational section will undoubtedly be the most detailed part of your medical school resume. Admissions departments automatically look for GPA, academic achievements, class diversity, and skills attained within your information, so provide everything you can.
While having the highest GPA isn’t required for everyone to get accepted to medical school, it can show your poise and competency level in a variety of classes. If you know your GPA is on the lower side, be prepared to show how you use your core knowledge daily to readily solve any challenges thrown at you and how you will be able to keep up with your peers once accepted. Admissions will take into account these differences as long as they can see you’re absolutely equipped to work in the medical field.
2. Research Projects
Researching is a vital part of succeeding in the medical field, so being a part of a major project or leading a group can show medical schools that you’re ready to handle the heavy workload. To find them, you will want to check out the various medical departments within your university, summer programs online, and internships. There is a plethora of opportunities available consistently so all you have to do is keep track of them and apply to what interests you.
3. Volunteering Assignments & Extracurriculars
Having a few substantial volunteering roles over time matters more to medical school admissions departments than going from place to place to rack up hours. Schools want to see that you have a passion for helping others and can handle difficult situations over a significant period of time.
Before choosing any opportunity, think about what interests you the most and how you would like to give back to your community medically. You can have a few extracurriculars that are a part of your personal hobbies and then one major volunteering project that builds your repertoire as a medical specialist. You won’t be fooling anyone by taking a two-week trip overseas, as that’s not long enough to make an impact!
4. Roles of Responsibility
Having a role of responsibility can be anything from serving as a mentor to children after school to having internships and jobs. Of course, schools love to see those who have already gone above and beyond by participating in medical internships but understand that all jobs skills learned can be applied to the medical field. If you haven’t gotten one yet, be sure to include specific details about your employment history that explains any leadership roles and transferable skills.
The Personal Statement
Most medical schools will require a personal statement that supplements the rest of your resume. This shouldn’t be neglected as a well-written statement will display that you’re empathetic and have the communicative skills necessary to coincide with your analytical ones. As a future doctor, it’s absolutely necessary that you convey genuine sincerity for the medical science you eventually want to contribute to.
In some cases, the personal statement has been the deciding factor for acceptance when resumes are extremely lackluster. To cover your bases, you will want to think about a topic that relates to a personal experience, motivation, challenge, or hardship, and how that led you towards a career in medicine. Once you get the topic down, find your unique angle, and then write, edit, and ask for help if needed.
Start Planning Early
Have Well-rounded Extracurriculars
Medical schools understand that acquiring knowledge doesn’t just happen in a classroom. They want you to flourish within your personal life and think outside the box, so don’t think that you have to follow someone else’s lifestyle to gain a school’s acceptance. Schools appreciate seeing you diversifying your education, helping others less fortunate, and staying put with valuable opportunities instead of just counting volunteer hours.
Look Out for Cautionary Signs
Many future medical students make the mistake of examining any of their information that might send red flags to potential schools. If your education is going to take longer than expected or if there are gaps, schools will want a concise explanation of what happened, and how you used your time instead – being honest is better than being vague.
Medical schools also note if you retake any tests that you scored especially low in. If retakes or raising your GPA are not plausible, then you will want to emphasize on your extracurriculars and other section that better explain your story as a prospective medical student.
What Caribbean Schools are Doing
Caribbean medical schools are encouraging future students to start setting up their resumes as soon as possible so no last-minute emergencies happen. As part of their application process, AUSOMA does require a well-thought resume along with a personal statement.
AUSOMA also offers a pre-med program, which means students can gain hands-on experience at the school before moving on to a higher medical program. While enrolled, students will be able to add to their professional resume with research projects, electives, and more.