Getting into medical school is definitely a challenge but if you know the key areas needed to make the perfect application you have a good chance of standing out from the crowd.
Get the grades
Grades are always a major worry for prospective medical students but if you have a plan in place with a detail schedule and stick to the plan you will significantly increase your chances of getting in to medical school.
To stay organised, break down your syllabus into small chunks and commit a certain amount of time each day to studying. Put your head down and do the work when it is time to do the work. If you feel stuck on any information, make sure you ask for help.
Don’t forget to make time to socialise and relax. Balance is key – being a prospective medical student is only part of your life.
Although achieving good enough grades are important, it certainly wouldn’t be enough for a place at medical school. Great work experience will add a unique person to that faceless grade letter or number on a piece of paper. Try to get a range of experiences (primary care, hospital, voluntary work, employment etc.).
Be proactive in getting experiences: ask your parents, teachers and friends if they know anyone who can help you get experience. Look up job/role listings on the internet related to healthcare or taking on responsibility; you can even send emails or letters to doctors, surgeries, clubs or charities. Keep a journal of your experience as these will come in handy for your personal statement and interview.
Once you’ve completed an impressive amount of work experience it will be time to put it altogether convincingly on UCAS. Here is what you can do to put together a great personal statement:
Do research on the medical schools you want to apply for and look at the key themes focussed on, for example: do certain medical schools pay particular emphasis on responsibility, leadership or teamwork? Try and tease out the relevant parts of your work experience and show how you observed or demonstrated the desired skills and traits. Don’t forget to reflect on your experiences to show the medical school what you learnt from your experiences and how they will help you make a great doctor!