Medical School Admissions, Explained

Application Skills

Welcome to the How To Be Pre-Med™ Application Skills Bucket.

I like to refer to application “skills” as application “art” because it takes tremendous creativity, writing, and interviewing skills to gain acceptance to medical school. Through the application, you have to create a story that helps you stand out among the other 40,000 applicants and convinces the medical school admissions committee why you will make an exceptional medical student and physician. You can use the following parts of the medical school application to develop your compelling story:

  • Recommendations
  • AMCAS Work/Activities
  • AMCAS Personal Statement
  • Secondary Essays
  • Interviews
  • Letter of Intent/Update Letters

You may wonder how to decide on your story. This is one of the hardest parts of the admissions process. My suggestion is to look at your experiences and see how they weave together. Have you dedicated significant time and effort to studying infectious disease in the laboratory and clinic? Then you can use these experiences to tell the story of how you want to become a physician-scientist dedicated to treating HIV patients. Have you played competitive sports your whole life and witnessed how orthopedic surgeons help patients and athletes get back on their feet after injuries? Then you can craft an interesting story discussing how you’d like to become an orthopedic surgeon who focuses on sports medicine and dream of becoming an Olympic physician one day. Have you spent years studying how health policy affects public hospitals and recently worked full time at the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine? Then you can develop a story focusing on your passion for creating lasting health reform in the US that improves care for the underserved. The key is to look back over all of your life experiences and see how they come together into a unified story that leads to a medical career. This story creation is the true art of medical school applications.