Maintained an excellent GPA but thrown by your medical school application and resume? You’re not alone! When medical school application deadlines loom, it can add even more anxiousness, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming!
Our comprehensive guide walks you through all of the tips and tricks you need to be accepted to your dream school.
What Is a Medical School CV and Why Is It Important?
A CV is just another way to say “resume”, and it’s almost always necessary to provide one when applying to med school. For prospective medical students, a resume is an easy-to-read summary of your education, training, honors/awards, and memberships.
Resumes are not only vital for med school acceptance committees but also important for your letter of recommendation writers to present accurate information about you.
How to Write a Med School Resume
During the drafting process, write down any previous experience that could be related to the medical field. Divide them into categories such as “Education”, “Training”, “Extracurricular”, “Research”, “Awards”, and so on. Be sure to list each section in reverse chronological order.
How Long Should My Med School Resume Be?
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach for a resume, but most experts caution you to keep it to a single page (two at the most). You won’t impress school representatives if they aren’t able to quickly determine which qualities make you better than other candidates.
Tools to Help Create Your Med School Resume
When you’ve chosen the points to include, online tools like Enhancv and Zety are wonderful options which put them into a unique and aesthetically-pleasing structure. Why not stand out for being excellent?
What’s a Personal Statement for Medical School?
A personal statement helps university admissions committees to determine whether you’d be a great student and future doctor. While you’ll need to illustrate your personality, you’ll also have to strike a balance between professionalism. This makes the personal statement one of the hardest documents you’ll ever have to write, but it doesn’t require you hitting your head against the wall.
How to Write a Medical School Personal Statement
It’s easy to fall prey to procrastination, so this is often the hardest step of the medical school application process. Set aside enough time, come up with a specific goal to accomplish during that time period, and – most importantly – turn off your phone!
Make a List
Hopefully, you’ve kept a sort of running list related to your high school, university, or post-grad experiences. Have you volunteered somewhere? Maintained a website that reflects a hobby or passion? Include elements that showcase your dedication and how you keep a cool head under pressure.
Choose from Strong Experiences
We recommend drawing from experiences where you were directly responsible for decision-making or working with people from a wide variety of backgrounds.
What Should You Include in a Personal Statement?
There’s no precise formula for putting together a personal statement, but the following elements are a great jumping off point:
Use Strong Anecdotes
Typically, a great rule of thumb is to include an anecdote that led to you learning a profound life lesson. Whether that’s related to your inspiration about joining the medical community or simply showcasing personal growth, it’s important to showcase that your experiences have led you directly to this path.
Choose the Right Voice
The right narrative can take your work from clunky to enticing. The first-person voice is great, but consider shaking things up with active and passive voice, rhetorical questions, and headers (for increased readability).
Don’t Be Afraid to Reach Out
If you’ve ever taken a creative writing class, you’ll know that – while sharing your work can be nerve-wracking – a fresh pair of eyes can spot mistakes or strange phrasing. Someone who knows you well might even provide a great idea that you never thought to include!
In a Nutshell
- Use active – not passive – statements
- Be confident, not cocky
- Include a story of how you progressed or learned a life lesson
What Pitfalls Should You Avoid in Your Personal Statement?
Avoid Vague Statements
Everyone is passionate about helping others. That’s one of the biggest prerequisites of being a future physician! You’re going to have to explain your ambition and why you’ve chosen to study medicine. Avoid vague statements and provide the admissions committee the opportunity to see you as a real person.
Keep It Real
It goes without saying, but gimmicks, theatrics, and artificiality won’t take you very far. Facts are your friends: Select the right details to create a unique personal description that compels the admissions committee to act.
Maintain a Professional Demeanor
It’s easy to fall into clichés, especially when discussing difficult upbringings, tales about a terminal illness, or personal setback. Avoid spending time on the sad parts and focus instead on how you overcame them.
The Finishing Touches
Feeling Overwhelmed? Take a Step Back
If you’ve been working at your med school application and your eyes are glazed over, there’s no harm in taking some time away from it. A few days (or even weeks) might give you the necessary mental clarity to create a stronger piece.
Edit, Edit, Edit!
Once you’re back in the right headspace, it’s time to tighten things up. Are you lacking a little information? Are you focusing too much on one element? Do you feel like you can do better? It’s not unheard of for prospective med students to completely scrap their personal letter and start over.
Ask for Help
While you’d never turn in work that had typos or misspelled words, it can be difficult to spot them. Tools like Grammarly are excellent options to ensure that your writing flows without a hitch.
Kickstart Your Medical Career Today!
An ideal choice for affordable and high-quality medical education, The American University School of Medicine Aruba (AUSOMA) is a certified medical institution that offers basic sciences, clinical sciences, and pre-med courses.