The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Step By Step Process of Applying to Medical School

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen talks to Dr. Hilary C. McCrary, the chief resident in the Division of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Utah. Dr. McCrary also has prior admission committee experience at the University of Arizona.

Today, Dr. McCary talks about what it takes to get into the medical school of your choice, how to stand out from other applicants, and increase your chances of getting accepted.

  • [00:50] Getting to Know DR. Hilary McCary
  • [02:45] The Medical School Application Process
  • [07:03] How to Make Your Application Stand Out
  • [10:11] Common Mistakes Students Make When Applying
  • [12:45] How to Address the Question Marks In Your Profile
  • [13:46] Dr. McCary’s Advice to Potential Applicants
  • [15:05] Parting Thoughts

The Med School Application Process

Getting into medical school is hard. There are lots of things you need to keep track of, and this can be particularly confusing, especially if you don’t know where to start or are inadequately prepared. Here are some of the things you need to know about the process of applying to med school.

First, you must understand that grades and MCAT scores almost never matter when applying to medical school. Most applicants boast exceptional grades, so you really need to focus on what makes you unique. Think of all the things you’ve done in life that make you stand out as a culturally competent and well-rounded student. Focus on highlighting those.

The second most important thing when applying to med school is applying early. Tens of thousands of students just like you are applying to the school of your dreams, and it would be best if your application is sitting on top of the pile. The AMCAS application often opens in the first week of May for the following year’s medical school class.

Always have letters of recommendation ready. Although letters of recommendation are unnecessary before you submit your application, it’s always a good idea to have them ready and avoid the last-minute rush. A strong letter highlights your teamwork skills, academic ability, and other qualities that would make you a strong candidate.

Start preparing for secondary applications. Secondary applications are mostly essays designed by individual institutions to get a better sense of who you are and whether you’d be a good fit for the school.

Med school interviews. If your application goes through, the institution will schedule an interview to better understand who you are before making a decision. Interviews can be a long process but completely manageable now that most of them are done via Zoom.

Dr. McCrary’s Bio on MedSchool Coach

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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