The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Decoding the Medical School Admissions Process

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen talks to Dimple Patel, the Associate Dean of Admissions at the University of Minnesota Medical School. They talk about the deliberation process for accepting applicants into medical school.

  • [01:04] Introducing Dimple Patel
  • [01:46] How Medical Schools Deliberate
  • [07:18] Showcase Your Core Competencies
    [09:41] Tips for Waitlisted Applicants
  • [13:17] What Dimple Patel Would Change About Healthcare

Transparency in Medical Schools’ Admissions Process

When applicants are rejected, they often feel like they’re not qualified to become medical students. In reality, there are a lot of factors that affect admissions. For example, the University of Minnesota Medical School allocates 80% of its slots for Minnesota residents, and the remaining 20% for non-residents. As a result, non-resident applicants face much stiffer competition.  Each school will have its own criteria and mission that will influence their deliberation process. Applicants would be able to increase their chances of acceptance if they can demonstrate how their personal values align with the institution’s own goals.

Attributes of Good Medical School Applicants

Different medical schools will differ in the core competencies they’re looking for. But generally, critical thinking, socio-cultural humility, and an orientation towards service are great attributes. In your application, prove that you possess those qualities by citing your experiences. It’s also helpful to share any changes and learning outcomes that you’ve gained. This will provide the admissions team with further insight into who you are.

Tips for Waitlisted and Rejected Applicants

If you have not been granted an interview, review your application again. Maybe you can improve how you present your learning outcomes or other core competencies. Include stories of how you overcame challenges in life or when your values were tested. If you have been denied after an interview, it may just be a matter of brushing up on your communication skills.


To learn more about how MedSchoolCoach can help you along your medical school journey, visit us at Prospective Doctor.

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Erkeda DeRouen

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen is a graduate of Hampton University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences, followed by completing medical school at the Boston University School of Medicine. She then completed residency at The University of Maryland Family and Community Medicine Program. After that, she worked at an underserved community health center, and currently is an Associate Medical Director of a telemedicine company. She recently became one of the first 1,000 lifestyle medicine certified physicians in the world! Her areas of interest include: health equity and eliminating health disparities, service of underserved populations, HIV management, transgender care, mentorship, and lifestyle medicine.

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