Medical School Fair: 3 Reasons Prospective Students Should Attend
If you’re planning to attend medical school, you probably already have a very long set of items on your to-do list. From excelling in your coursework to assembling compelling application materials, the typical med student’s life can be defined in one word: busy. Well, we’ve got one more thing to add to the lineup. Attending a medical school fair. Here are 3 reasons why these gatherings are an important part of any prospective medical student’s roadmap to becoming a doctor.
1. You will have the opportunity to make an impression.
While the essay portion of the application lets candidates show who they are as individuals, medical school fairs take this to the next level. Medical fair booths are staffed by people directly connected to the program. What better way to stand out and be remembered than to wow them with your presence and preparation?
This does take some effort, however. In order to make the best impression, research prospective schools and programs before stepping foot in a medical school fair. You should also be prepared to answer questions, although many admissions officers save those for the interview process. In this case, taking a proactive approach to explaining why you want to attend medical school — and/or a specific program in particular — can give you an inside edge. Not to mention that doing so is good practice for when you’re in the hot seat during actual interviews.
2. Networking opportunities
Want to take it to an even higher level? Request business cards from medical school fair representatives, then follow up later via email. Whether you have a lingering question, additional information to share, or simply want to say “thank you,” doing so deepens your connection and serves as invaluable networking — something you can never do too much of in today’s social age. You’ll not only get your name in inboxes…but you just might get your application at the top of the pile.
One email is appropriate. A series of emails? Overkill. Remember: your goal is to develop a positive relationship; annoying admissions officers by flooding their inboxes with unnecessary messages is likely to lead to the opposite result. In addition to meeting admissions officers, you can look forward to meeting current medical school students, as well, meaning you’re more likely to recognize a few friendly faces during those initially overwhelming first days.
3. You’ll gain access to information.
From types of medical school to specific programs, all medical schools are not created equal. Asking program-specific questions demonstrates both interest and initiative — two things medical school admissions committees value, but that’s far from the only reason to speak up during medical school fairs. Ultimately, these events are as much about empowering prospective medical school students as they are about the recruiting process. By assembling a list of questions in advance, you can get the answers you need to make the most informed decisions.
While attending a medical school fair may seem secondary to more immediate concerns, doing so can have a profound impact on your academic and career prospects — both in terms of showcasing your candidacy as well as in enriching your understanding of everything prospective medical schools have to offer.