In our first two posts, we talked about the determination and the planning goes into medical school (https://hemtecks.wordpress.com/2015/07/24/steps-to-a-successful-medical-school-application-step-1-knowing-if-medical-school-is-really-for-you/ and https://hemtecks.wordpress.com/2015/09/12/steps-to-a-successful-medical-application-part-2-plan-your-timeline/). Here, we will look at how to piece all your well-rounded accomplishments into a strong and concise application.
- First thing first: find your referees
Given most schools require two reference letters from the science faculty, I was very confident that I can meet the limit since I had a supervisor and a co-supervisor for my thesis. However, after asking my co-supervisor, he commented that he doesn’t know me very well outside of the academics and thus had to refuse the letter request. This was very shocking to me and I immediately start panicking of not being able to find another science professor. Fortunately, another science professor agreed to write a reference and I was able to satisfy the requirement on time. From my experience, I strongly recommend to ask for references very early as that is the least part you can control for your app.
- Start early.
Along with references, start writing your application early. Did I say EARLY? I mean EARLY! Until you start on your application, there will be a high possibility that you will underestimate the time allocated in preparing the application that could potentially determine your future. Thus, you want to make the best art piece possible. By starting early, you can leave some time for edits and re-read as well as having a clearer mind while writing. When I re-read my application two weeks after I wrote it, I thought my application was so bad that I re-wrote the whole thing and asked others to provide constructive feedbacks.
- Do some research
Before you write the personal statement, search up what makes each stellar. For example, writing a story on how you got interested in medicine makes your application much stronger than listing out what you have achieved. Everyone loves stories than cold facts. They can see the latter one in your EC/achievement section. I am confident to say that most of applications are very similar so you really need to make the personal statement shine.
- Tailor the descriptions of your EC/achievements
With the limited characters and many responsibilities in each role, you want to be selective in the content. One trick I used was to first list out all important skills that were developed in each experiences and choose the ones that can be strong supported by an example or an accomplished you achieved in that experience. If you are uncertain of which one to choose, pick the skills that are not as strongly supported as in other experiences so that all relevant skills are covered in your resume.