How to Get into Medical School; A Survival Guide

When I was in my early adolescence, I aspired to be holding a stethoscope, wearing a lab coat, and examining patients to diagnose their condition. Then, there came a brief time when I would imagine myself in scrubs, with a pair of surgical scissors and blades in my hands ready to perform an intricate surgery. I’m sure you all have been through this phase of your life too and are reminiscing about it along with me. 

Years passed and by then I had educated myself with everything you need to know for getting into Medical School but that’s when I realized how Medical School is getting really competitive and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to survive. 

So, I switched my field of study but quite astoundingly, I still remember all those tips and pointers regarding Medical School that I had mustered, clear as a day and just a while ago, I was posed the same question I asked myself before, by my younger sister and here it goes “ Is Medical School Getting More Competitive?” 

First of all, let’s understand the answer by getting to know why getting into Medical School is competitive and hard.

Why is Getting into Medical School so Hard?

The thing is, getting admissions to the best Medical Schools or Colleges across the globe has always been difficult. They have an acceptance rate so low, that only the best of the best medical students applying luckily get admission. 

With an acceptance rate of 3.7%, Harvard Medical School is the most difficult medical school to get into and is the hardest Med school. 

Shocking, right? Even I was stunned after knowing this but don’t give up as yet!

Each year the number of applicants and enrollments in Medical Schools increases, in 2020 by 18% as stated by the American Association of Medical Colleges( AAMC). 

Let’s discuss certain reasons why getting into Medical school is hard:

2 Most Common Reasons Why Getting into Medical School is Hard

  1. Acceptance rate:

The lower the acceptance rate, the more getting into Medical School is competitive.

The reason why most good Medical Schools keep their acceptance rate low is that the applicants are many and seats are unfortunately very few. They adopt this strategy to admit only the most qualified students who they think can perform well in Medical School.

Unfair, I hear you, but that’s how it has always been and unfortunately would sustain for the coming years too. 

  1. MCAT Score:

Every year the threshold of MCAT scores is released by your country’s Medical Commission and, sadly, the threshold has been creeping up slowly. This is the part where most of the students stumble.

They are exceptional in their studies but somehow score substandard in MCAT and hence, do not qualify to get admission into Medical Schools.

  1. Admission Eligibility Criteria:

As compared to the different fields of study, Medical Schools require higher high school grades from students who apply in medical schools. In most countries, a minimum of 75-80 percent is required to get admission to Medical Schools. 

  1. Number of Applicants: 

Each year the number of applicants increases which makes it tremendously hard to get into Medical School. When hundreds of great students apply, with a great High School Grade and high MCAT score, admission committees opt for the smart set of students while the exceptionally moderate students with perhaps appreciable capabilities are left behind. 

6 Tips For Getting into Medical Schools

Self Analysis: 

The foremost point is to determine if medical education is what you really want to acquire and pursue your higher education in. In several parts of the world, students are pressured by family members or society to become a doctor and so they do opt for it while suppressing their desired field of study.

 If you’re someone who’s facing something similar, talk to your parents about it and how you’d love to study something you’re incredibly interested in. 

If you’re someone who’s just intrigued by medicine, then definitely go for it!

High School Grades: 

 If you’re a pre-med student in High School, you need to start focusing and working tremendously hard for your High School grades. Medical Schools consider a few things in each candidate’s application and this is one of them.

MCAT: 

You NEED to get a really good score to get into your region’s best Medical Institution or any International University if you plan to apply abroad. For that, either prepared at home or it’s best to join some institution that helps you with the preparation of MCAT. 

Here is how you can set your MCAT schedule. 

Experience and Projects:

If you really want your application to shine among the others, medical experience and medical research projects would do the trick. Admission committees find it really impressive to find some authentic research projects conducted by students or medical experience such as volunteering at some hospital and so on. 

Apply in Several Medical Schools: 

You need to apply to other Medical schools apart from your top choices. Always play safe, especially when you know the competition in getting into Medical School is really high.

You could apply to international medical schools for scholarships or financial aid. You’d also find free Medical Schools in many regions such as Germany, Turkey, the Caribbean or you could check out our article on MBBS Schools around the world that are pocket-friendly. 

Don’t Lose Hope!:

I know you must be feeling; agitated, overwhelmed, and definitely terrified. I ran away from just the thought of it, but I’d advise you to stay put and focused. If you’re enthusiastically determined and the Medical field is destined for you, no one can stop you from getting into medical school no matter how competitive it can get.

Completely devote yourself towards it, watch youtube videos for unclear concepts, revise whatever you’ve previously studied, and don’t forget to eat healthy foods and sleep well! 

Now comes the question.

Is Medical School Getting More Competitive? 

The simple answer is yes. I won’t sugarcoat it, just as hard and competitive it is for getting into Medical School, it gets more competitive once you get into a Med School.

You’d be surrounded by a number of exceptional students, all striving to score the best. You need to prove to all of them that you are the best, you are the competition they need to worry about.

 The world has become a global village where everything is easily accessible on the internet. You’d find many med students with immense knowledge, all acquired from internet sources or Med Books.

Try that out, do your homework even before it’s assigned to you. Make all necessary notes and ask questions from your professors even if there’s a slight confusion. Lastly, do not give up!

I know how much you want to excel and succeed and they’d be ups and downs but you’d definitely see yourself with the prefix Dr. one day, just do not lose hope but keep working hard!

Takeaway:

I might have freaked you out, but I’ll repeat it again, do not lose hope. Even if getting into medical school has become competitive and surviving the cutthroat competition can get difficult, it does not mean you can’t get through it.

Many have graduated, completed their house jobs and residency years, and have become successful doctors. If they can do it, so can you, you just need to concentrate, be diligent, and put in all your efforts!

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