Are you med school material? What traits are the adcoms looking for in their future students? It’s time to do some serious introspection to make sure that you’ve got what it takes to get into med school, and that you know how to show off these top skills to the admissions committee!
1. You can manage your time well
Do you have the discipline to get all of your work done on time? Can you remain focused to complete tasks and rearrange your obligations to meet deadlines?
Show it off: Show how you have been able to multitask to complete multiple projects on time and successfully.
2. You’re a strong leader
Can you exhibit the ability to lead a project or team? Have you had experiences where you motivated or inspired those around you to action?
Show it off: Use past experiences to illustrate this trait. Quantify and give details when possible – “motivating a team of 22 teenagers to raise $8,000 for a diabetes awareness 10k race” is much more impressive than “being a good leader while volunteering in a hospital program.”
3. You’ve immersed yourself in clinical environments
Have you spent significant time volunteering in a medically related location, be it a clinic, lab, nursing home, or doctor’s office?
Show it off: The adcoms want to see that you’ve immersed yourself in the medical field and know what you’re getting yourself into. If you haven’t had these experiences yet, now is the time.
4. You possess exceptional communication skills
Are you coherent and able to convey information plainly so that people will be able to understand you, regardless of their backgrounds or experiences? You will need to communicate with coworkers, patients and families throughout your career as a doctor, and must be able to express yourself in ways understood by all.
Show it off: Highlight communication skills by writing a superb personal statement. Bonus points go to applicants who can write well about instances where they communicated well under difficult circumstances and in diverse situations.
5. You are compassionate and respectful
Can you point to specific events that show you are caring and empathetic? Nobody wants a cold, stone-faced doctor…
Show it off: Point to volunteer experiences or jobs where you demonstrated these traits.
6. You’re easy to talk to and easy to work with
Today’s doctors work with a wide variety of people from many different health professions. Can you show that you can work well in groups and teams? How are your interpersonal skills?
Show it off: Discuss how you have participated in groups in college, volunteer activities, or work settings.
7. You have non-medical hobbies and interests
What are your other talents, interests, passions, and traits that will contribute to the med school’s community and enhance its community?
Show it off: This is your chance to shine. The adcoms want to see what is special and unique about you. Don’t be afraid to be a multi-dimensional human being. Reveal a non-medical, non-clinical side of yourself!
Consider each of these traits carefully and make improvements in the ones where you are lacking. Once you do that, you’ll be well on your way to being a successful candidate!
(This article was inspired by this AAMC Aspiring Docs fact sheet.)