What To Do If You Want To Apply For Medicine
Med school is notoriously competitive, and grades will only get you so far. When screening applications, admissions officers tend to look for signs that you have the right motivations, value system and personality for a long and fructuous career in the health service. It’s not the easiest of careers, so they need to make sure you’re a right fit. Still think you’ve got what it takes? We spoke to the medical experts running UCLan’s Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) on how to maximise your chances of getting in.
Get clinical or volunteering experience
Before applying to medical school, you might want to get some experience shadowing in a clinical setting like a care home or a hospital to get a feel for what it is like to be a doctor. This experience will then ensure you can be more specific in your personal statement.
If this isn’t possible, you could also volunteer for an organization in your community, as this demonstrates some similar skills and personality traits. Don’t just do it for the sake of putting it on your CV though – use the opportunity to learn. What skills can you practice in your volunteer work that are applicable to being a doctor? Community service will of course boost your application and help you build skills, but it’ll also help convince admissions officers that you’re altruistic and true to your word, which are important qualities to have for careers in the health service.
Demonstrate an understanding of what being a doctor is
Of course, you have to have the scientific knowledge – but what about the people skills? Are you able to hold a conversation about sensitive topics with a stranger? Do you handle adversity well, and do you think you’d be able to cope with the emotional difficulties of dealing with death and sickness every day? Before you commit at least five years of your life to training for one of the toughest professions in the world, make sure you’ve got the emotional resilience required for the job, and then demonstrate that awareness and make your med school application stand out.
Speaking of which…
Ace your application. A good
reference is key, as this provides admissions staff with an insight into how
you’re regarded by someone who has worked with you. If this hits the right
notes, it will have a huge impact on how you may be viewed as a medical student
and future practitioner.
Don’t neglect your personal statement either. Training to become a doctor is hard work, and your personal statement needs to show your commitment to the health service. Explain how you came to love medicine and what you have done so far to attain your goal. Use examples from your volunteering or work experience that show you are passionate about medicine, are resilient and have desirable leadership and people skills.
Choose the right medical school for you
Medical school is likely to comprise
some of the toughest but most rewarding years of your life. Choose a medical
school with a good support system for academic and personal needs that offer
the best graduate outlook.
When shopping for courses, compare programs and ask yourself: does this course offer significant clinical experience from day one? Will the qualification be recognized worldwide?
UCLan’s MBBS offers the opportunity to train in the well-respected and beloved National Health Service in the north-west of England from year one. Students on the course will be able to follow their patients in years one to five, delivering high quality care, working in a world renowned team of medical professionals and learning from the best.