7 tips for getting started with your medicine application
1. Start researching where you want to go early
Strategic applications medicine can be key to getting in. It is important to like the course, Uni and location but there is no point applying to a University where you will be cut off before they even get to see your application. Some places favour amazing UCAT scores, some outstanding GCSE results and others are very personal statement or non-academic information form orientated. By researching early, you will know the selection of Universities you can realistically choose from and help make your application as competitive as possible. It is also really helpful to look at what Universities offer widening access programmes, foundation years and graduate pathways into medicine.
This is a great website to help compare medical schools: https://www.themedicportal.com/application-guide/choosing-a-medical-school/comparisontool/
2. Keep a reflective diary
Try and keep a diary not just keeping a track of what you are doing and when but of how it made you feel or things you learnt about medicine from it. Also don’t just include virtual work experience and volunteering; any books you have read, podcasts you have listened to, information consumed from medical students and Doctors etc.
It is really important to consider not just what draws you to medicine but also what the challenges are and how you might deal with those, this will also help demonstrate you have a realistic insight into the profession.
Applying to medicine can be stressful, particularly if you are also balancing exams at the same time, it is imperative to keep going with whatever helps you relax and step back after a long day. Also, a key part of medicine interviews is assessing how you deal with stress and what you do outside of your studies. Whether it’s baking cakes, playing football in the park, knitting or painting… hobbies, interests and allowing yourself to destress are arguably some of the most important things you can do in the lead up to your application.
4. Find the gaps
Have a look through the skills and attributes below, these are all criteria outlined by the medical school’s council for applicants to medicine. Can you think of examples for a lot of these situations? Is there a certain area where you might lack in examples slightly? Reflecting on the weakness’ in your application and addressing these show’s real insight. Being able to say in interview “I recognised the fact that I hadn’t performed in a team environment much before, so I joined the debating club. I was out of my comfort zone having to do public speaking on behalf of our team but the fact we all worked together pushed me to do my best on behalf of everyone.”
· Motivation to study medicine and genuine interest in the medical profession
· Insight into your own strengths and weaknesses
· The ability to reflect on your own work
· Personal organisation
· Academic ability
· Problem solving
· Dealing with uncertainty
· Manage risk and deal effectively with problems
· Ability to take responsibility for your own actions
· Insight into your own health
· Effective communication, including reading, writing, listening and speaking
· Ability to treat people with respect
· Resilience and the ability to deal with difficult situations
· Empathy and the ability to care for others
5. Make a note of key dates
UCAS and personal statements, applying for funding and bursaries, admissions tests such as UCAT/BMAT/GAMSAT… there are a lot of deadlines to keep on top of. Having a planner or diary- online or on paper will really help you stay on top of all the key dates and allow yourself the right time to prepare.
6. Keep an eye out for webinars and resources
There is so much content online, try and find a resource that works for you. Whether it is you tube videos, blog posts, instagram posts or podcasts have a look around for materials that will help with your application.
7. Get a mentor
If you are applying to medicine next year and think a mentor would be helpful please get in touch- drop us an email email@example.com or DM us on insatgram @medics.me