What are your chances of entering medical school?
Only about 41% of applicants in the United States medical schools who applied for admission for the 2019-2020 school year registered, according to official statistics published by the Association of American Medical Colleges.
This is one of the reasons why medical school admissions experts advise applicants to have a realistic perspective of their degrees before deciding when and where to apply.
“Beyond that, they could also look at previous class profiles and see if these medical schools provide insight into clinical experience or research or the type of extracurricular activities their students have been involved in,” he said. he wrote in an e-mail. “Now, that said, I would recommend that applicants acquire the clinical, research and extracurricular activities that are meaningful to them and not try to fit into a medical school profile. Going their own way will serve better. the candidate because the person will then also find the medical school that suits them best. “
One resource that experts recommend applicants use to estimate their chances of entering medical school is a MCAT-GPA Grid published by AAMC. The grid scores acceptance rates among premeds with various combinations of GPA and medical school admission test scores using aggregate data from the 2017-18 to 2019-2020 admission cycles.
For example, the grid shows that 87.8% of applicants to US medical schools who had both an MCAT score above 517 and a GPA above 3.79 were accepted.
“Metrics like GPA and MCAT scores are often where students start to gauge their competitiveness for medical school, but it’s not just about metrics,” wrote Dr. Renee Volny Darko, Founder and CEO of admission consulting firm Pre-med Strategies Inc., in an email. “Life experiences play an important role in establishing a student’s ability to compete. Extracurricular activities such as employment, volunteering, clinical experience, research and physician observation allow students not only to stand for admissions committees, but also to consolidate by themselves that medicine is worth pursuing. “
Darko says there are situations where it makes sense for a potential student to wait a year for apply to medical school allow time to improve his candidacy. “Sometimes being patient and deferring the request is the best strategy,” she says. “It gives time to become more competitive and the candidate does not have to explain the previous rejection from medical school.”
Medical school admissions officials are urging premeds to remember that numbers aren’t the only part of their application that matters.
“Most medical schools these days use what we call a holistic review, which means they give equal weight to the academic record and the experiences of the candidate and, finally, to the personal attributes of the candidate.” says Dr. Quinn Capers. IV, Vice-Dean of Faculty Affairs and Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the Ohio State University College of Medicine.
He says medical schools care about applicants’ communication skills, collegiality, teamwork abilities, and how they take feedback. Capers recommends that applicants to medical schools apply to as many as 16 schools to maximize their chances of admission.
Capers says that in the past medical schools focused primarily on academic factors, such as GPAs and MCAT scores, but now these schools have expanded the number of factors they consider when taking admission decisions.
“You must have a strong academic record, but on top of that you must also have a solid record of experiences that show you want to help your neighbor, and you must be able to prove that you have the attributes that we want to see in medicine, ”he says.
Capers adds that his school assesses the quality of potential students extra-curricular activities, including leadership experiences, health related activities, to research and community service. A lack of community service experience can be a deciding factor in the admissions process, he says, because that type of experience is something medical schools specifically look for.
David Lenihan, President of Ponce University of Health Sciences in Puerto Rico, says he’s looking for well-rounded people who’ve done something worthwhile in college beyond studying hard and doing well in their classes. Lenihan, who has a doctorate. in neurosurgery and electrophysiology, says he appreciates when premedicins have participated in extracurricular activities such as sports, music or drama.
“A well-rounded student makes a much better doctor in the long run, and I think it’s that well-rounded student who is most likely to go into areas of need and practice,” he says. For example, Lenihan says he was intrigued by a candidate who was a concert violinist, because the activity was memorable, distinctive, and required commitment.
He suggests that students with passions outside of their schoolwork can elevate them during their medical school interviews in order to stand out. Applicants who pursued a non-academic project while preparing for the MCAT might discuss how they maintained a balance and juggled these two commitments, he says.
Lenihan also notes that students should look for schools that have a strong academic program in any field. medical specialty what excites them the most, whether it is rural medicine or psychiatry for example. He also advises students to seek medical schools with mission or vision statements that match their personal goals. “They will understand that, and it will help you improve your chances,” he says.
Very well classified research-oriented Medical schools tend to seek out students with outstanding academic statistics and academic achievement, says Lenihan, because an essential part of the missions of these schools is to develop leaders in the academic sphere of medicine, such as professors of medicine. Faculty of Medicine and scientific doctors.
In contrast, Lenihan says his main goal is to recruit medical students who have the potential to become excellent clinicians, and he argues that premeds with 4.0 Undergraduate surrogacy may not be the most effective at treating patients.
Dr. G. Richard Olds, president of St. George’s University, an international academic institution with a campus in the Caribbean, says the most common mistakes in the medical school admissions process do not apply to a sufficient number number of schools or not going to the most appropriate types of schools. Olds says it’s crucial to apply to a wide range, including reach, correspondence and security schools.
Residence and citizenship status is also an important factor in the admission process to medical schools, especially to public schools that have a strong preference for admitting students into the state, explains Dr. McGreggor Crowley, medical school admissions counselor at admissions consultancy IvyWise.
“Some states are ultra-competitive, like California and Massachusetts, where the state’s large population of citizens makes admission to their medical schools quite difficult… In states where the population is smaller and the qualified applicants is proportionately smaller, the competition may be a little less severe and out-of-state residents may have better chances, “Crowley wrote in an email.” National citizenship status is also important, and international citizens, even if they enroll in US colleges and universities for their undergraduate degrees, are still at a disadvantage in the selection process. “
Crowley says potential students should take an honest self-assessment to determine if they are competitive for medical school and whether they should apply now or later.
“Some students, however, may never be able to submit a very solid application to medical school, and these are the students I enjoy working with the most,” he said. “Helping them understand their core interests, talents and opportunities outside of the medical profession is very rewarding for me, because being a doctor is not for everyone, and there are a plethora of careers that a student will have. can find it even more rewarding once it has started. to investigate them. “
However, Dr. Louis Levitt, executive vice president and secretary of the Centers for Advanced Orthopedics, suggests that his own history of running for medical school four times until he enters shows what is possible.
Levitt notes that he eventually graduated in the top 5% of his medical class at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, which was previously known as the Medical College of Virginia. He has also been admitted to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, a selective and prestigious club for high performing medical students, residents, faculty and alumni.
“You know, everyday I go to work and I can help people feel better and have a daily impact on people’s lives.… If I had tried to do anything other than that, I would have been a miserable human being, I think. So … my persistence paid off for me. It might not have paid off for others, but it sure paid for me. ”