The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Rising Above the Rest: Creating a Standout Med School Application

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen talks to Deanna Hughes, the Director of Admissions at A.T. Still University. They talk about building a competitive medical school application and the faux pas to avoid.

  • [01:01] Introducing Deanna Hughes
  • [02:51] How Competitive are Medical School Applications?
  • [06:02] Strengthen Your Med School Application
  • [12:27] What NOT to Do in Your Application
  • [15:23] What Deanna Hughes Would Change About Healthcare

Limited Admissions into Medical School

At A.T. Still University, the most number of applicants they’ve received is from 8,000 students. However, they only have 150 available slots. The admissions process is very competitive, so most students would do well to start preparing as early as high school or college. Non-traditional applicants are also encouraged to apply, as medical schools also value diversity.

How to Build a Strong Portfolio

Each medical school has its own unique mission statement. Before anything else, students should choose schools that align with their own values and mission. Pre-meds can start to build a competitive resume by shadowing both MD and DO physicians. Getting letters of recommendation from both doctors is advantageous. Being a member or leader in pre-med organizations is also great for your portfolio. In addition to clinical work, community service makes for a well-rounded application. All these experiences and extracurricular activities are important, but don’t forget to keep an eye on your grades. 

Mistakes to Avoid in Your Application

Students might think that mentioning faculty members or staff can give them a leg up in admissions, but it actually has the opposite effect. Name dropping is generally frowned upon. Another practice that might hurt your application is gushing about a school’s location instead of the school itself and its values. What you want to highlight is how aligned you are with your chosen school’s values and mission statement, making you the perfect fit in their environment.  

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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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