Applying to medical school is a long, difficult process, and is extremely competitive.  You need to carefully consider how to present youreself both on paper and in person.  Everybody who's applying has good grades and MCAT scores - how will you stand out as a person to the admissions committee?  Below is a brief list of tips that you should think about as you prepare your application and will give you some insight into what admissions committees are looking for when reviewing your personal statements and interviewing you.


Personal Statement

The writing must be clear and correct. Choice of topics or ideas is more personalized.

Express reasons to be in medicine

What experiences led to it?

Do you know what medicine is? How do you know? Personal experiences ok.

Avoid generic rhetoric - you need to become seen as an individual.

Does the reader want to meet this person?

They look at how a person writes, does it correlate with MCAT writing sample?

Creates an idea of the person

Use this statement to mention other selling points/experiences that don't show up as part of the application packet

Set up topics of conversation for the interview- growing up, travel, work, activities.




Applicants must sell themselves. This is equivalent to a job interview.

They must articulate their interactions, not say "help people".

Watch for an opportunity to get in "some things I want to say"

Great personality, great interview

Hit the high points, but be prepared for both "what are your greatest strengths?" and "what are your greatest weaknesses?"

Shy and quiet does not work - they are looking for candidates with good people skills.

What is your bedside manner? Can you talk? Express your motivations?

In five minutes an interviewer can detect sincerity. Not likely to get in for wrong reasons.

The interviews can be one on one with two individuals. One of the interviewers "presents" the applicant to the whole committee, tells what they are like.

Committee looks for inner fire, spark, shining stars, inner drive.

Because of the competition, you must stand out.

Some have entered undergraduate programs easily and are "shattered" by the rejection - this shows immaturity and lack of experience with realities.

With average applicant GPA 3.4-3.5, the applicant's focus must be to present their strengths in the best light.

Be prepared to ask questions re: curriculum, changes in managed care, change to corporation.  You will need to show that you are familiar with issues facing modern medicine today.

The interviewer is looking for a colleague.

Health Care experience shows commitment (or doesn't)

Discuss situations observed with patients.

You need to defend your interests. If you want to be a pediatrician, do they want your name on someone's refrigerator? If interested in primary care, do you know the subareas of primary care? (family, peds, internal med) Applicants need to know what they are getting into. This is getting a job.


You must apply to other medical schools. Otherwise it looks like you are not serious (because the odds are so tough). If no interviews from other schools, what's wrong? Did applicant choose the wrong schools or is there a flaw in the application?


If rejected, apply a 2nd or 3rd time. You must improve the application to get an interview. Become more competitive. In your secondary application, state what you have done to improve the application. If given advice about changes, take the advice.

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