Your med school strategy is to make it successfully from one step to the next, up to the point where you’re invited for the interview and then accepted. Minorities have the same goal as everyone else, but because of their (sometimes unique) circumstances, they may have a slightly different focus.
During the pre-interview writing stages of your application, what you need to do is come up with the most compelling story that you can. You need to get the adcom’s attention. You need to let them know that even though you’re from a minority origin/background, you have what it takes to plough your way through med school!
Underrepresented in Medicine
If you are from a group that is underrepresented in medicine and you struggled to make the decision to go into medicine, then you should definitely highlight those difficulties. The adcom wants to know the path you took to get to where you are. Once you get to your secondaries and go through your activities, you’ll show more about how you put your thoughts into action, your life’s path to medicine.
If you are coming from an overrepresented group, you will need to do a better job mining your experiences and coming up with the ones that confirm your unique desire to go to medical school. The best thing you can do is start your writing and your strategizing by looking at all the different stories that you can potentially tell and then plucking out that you think are the most persuasive and the most impactful. One other possible avenue for overrepresented groups is to apply to osteopathic medicine programs – you might have a better chance at something like that. They are a bit less competitive, and you might be able to tell your story in a way that emphasizes your life experience.
Final word: You are so much more than your numbers. Make sure the adcom see these other parts of who you are!
The advice in this post is based on a conversation we had in our recent webinar, Ask The Experts: Medical School Admissions Q&A with Cydney Foote and Alicia McNease Nimonkar. Check out the full transcript for more tips on applying to med school successfully!