The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Navigating Application Cycles

Erkeda DeRouen welcomes back Dr. Blair Nelson, a radio DJ turned physician. He has decades of experience as an emergency room doctor and is also an educator, mentor, and coach.

Today, Dr. Nelson talks about navigating application cycles for medical school.

  • [02:25] Tips for a Successful Application
  • [08:13] How to Write Personal Statements 
  • [10:29] Application Mistakes to Avoid
  • [16:51] Medical School Interview Preparation
  • [22:47] Rejection and Reapplication to Med School
  • [29:05] Dr. Nelson’s Advice to Pre-meds and Medical Students 

Building a Strong Med School Application

Pre-med students should start building their resumes as soon as they realize their dream to become a doctor. Gain experience early on in different areas: research, clinical work, leadership, and community service. When the application cycle starts, you should already have a wealth of experiences you can write about. Otherwise, it will be too late. Do not procrastinate. To stand out, make sure to emphasize your unique traits. Highlight your interests and memorable activities. 

Med School Mock Interviews & Coaching

By the time you’re invited for an interview, you already have a 50% chance of getting in! To prepare, it’s helpful to answer practice questions and to do mock interviews with coaches. They can give you variable feedback so you can improve on different aspects. Or you can also ask your friends and family for help. Focus on connecting with the interviewer by being engaged. Ask questions and don’t forget to smile!

“What If I Don’t Get Accepted?”

Don’t give up if you don’t get accepted immediately. You can try again next time. During your gap year, strengthen specific areas of your resume that may need more work. If you can, ask for feedback on why you got rejected so you can improve. Contrary to popular belief, reapplicants are often prioritized and have increased chances of acceptance. Admission committees appreciate the persistence, determination, and growth in reapplicants. 

Reach out to Dr. Blair Nelson through his Med School Coach profile. Got questions, feedback, or suggestions? Send a message to Dr. Erkeda DeRouen’s Instagram or MedSchoolCoach’s Instagram

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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