The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Podcast 92: Primary and Secondary Applications – Tips from a Recent Applicant

Dr. Ziggy Yoediono is joined by one of his coaching clients, Michael, a recent med school applicant about to start his first year. Today, they’ll be discussing the application process and the hurdles that Michael faced.

[1.15] Surprises in the process

Michael discovered some surprises when he began his application. The range of experiences of other applicants was not what he had expected, and he learned to challenge assumptions about other applicants and the process.

[2.45] The importance of time management

Michael found that time management was key. The process is long, and splitting large tasks into smaller sections helped him to get through them without burnout. He also set attainable goals to avoid feelings of failure.

[4.45] Tailoring the application process to your experiences

Michael and Dr. Yoediono discuss making applications personal and what helps you to stand out, including personal statements, work and activities, and letters of recommendation.

Michael found answer two questions, ‘What led you to medicine?’ and ‘Why are you a good fit for the school you are applying for?’ by including specific qualities he has beneficial.

[6.40] Work and activities section

Regarding filling out the work and activities section of the application, space is limited and there is a necessity to be concise and specific. Relating work and activities experience to the impact they had on the skills he has acquired was key.

[8.50] Letters of recommendation

A reference you have had a meaningful relationship with can write a more personal letter. Michael also recommends looking outside of the sciences in order to give the school a fuller picture of who you are.

[11.50] Deciding your school list

Several different factors to consider when compiling your list are location, facilities and the school’s acceptance policies. Some only accept a certain number of students each year and this could impact your chances.

[16.05] Applying to secondary schools

Applying early to his secondary choices helped avoid becoming overwhelmed. He looked into previous years prompts ahead of time to get an idea of topics. Additionally, Michael envisioned himself at the school thinking about how he, specifically, would use the facilities to be helpful.

[21.35] Additional thoughts

He had fun with the process; meeting a variety of people and having the opportunity for self-reflection were bonus parts of the journey. He found his biggest challenge was patience and recommends working on other projects while awaiting decisions.

Ziggy Yoediono MD

Dr. Yoediono was a Duke University pre-major advisor, and an adcom member for Duke University School of Medicine, the University of Rochester School of Medicine and the Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Residency Program. Today, he is an Associate Director of Advising at MedSchoolCoach.

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