Guide to SDN Resources

SDN Resources

Updated October 21, 2021. When most people think of the Student Doctor Network, they think … Read more

Writing That Personal Statement

surgical specialties

Writing about yourself can be intimidating. Luckily, I’ve got this venue here for practice, but it really can be difficult, especially when it comes to writing to impress someone else, i.e. those on the selection committees of medical schools or residency program directors. It’s important to articulate yourself well and paint a picture of your personality in a way that makes them say, “Yes, I want this person to be in my program”. I recently finished up writing my personal statement for residency programs, so I have a few tips on how to go about this daunting process.

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When To Write What: Strategically Navigating The Medical School Application Timeline

application timeline

With so many deadlines and moving parts to med school apps, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. In this article, we’ll discuss how to be strategic about when you write what. At the end of this article, we’ll give a sample timeline that you can use. We will focus on the AMCAS app, but a lot of our advice is applicable to other application types as well.

Our motivation for writing this article is that we have too many friends who didn’t get into medical school because they applied late. It’s heartbreaking to find out you didn’t get in because of something so avoidable. We don’t want that to be you.

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Q&A with Dr. Suzi Schweikert, Ob-Gyn and Medical School Admissions Expert

Suzi schweikert

As a physician, I have worked in private practice, academic medicine, research medicine, and community health. I currently work in a non-profit community clinic, where I treat patients, supervise nurse midwives, and train providers on electronic health records. At Accepted, I advise students applying to medical school, residencies, fellowships, PA, NP, MPH, nursing, midwifery, and other healthcare-affiliated programs. I enjoy working with traditional and nontraditional applicants alike and believe that healthcare is at its best when providers come from a wide variety of backgrounds.

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What Really Matters When Choosing Your Medical School

choosing your medical school

Many students don’t realize that residency match should be top of mind when choosing their medical school. Even though residency is several years away, your time spent as a medical student will determine the fate of your residency. This is because residency directors have various criteria that they look for in their future residents, and this criteria comes from specific factors acquired in medical school.

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"Personal Branding" as a Premed: How Knowing Who You Are and What You Stand For Can Help You Get In

personal branding as a premed

I began my first job when I was just 12 years old (don’t worry, I had a work permit from my school!). It was natural for me to want to start earning my own income and save money for eventually purchasing a car. I continued to work through high school and on into college. I worked two jobs to pay for my tuition, housing, and living expenses. It wasn’t always easy, but providing for myself gave me a sense of pride and encouragement that I could achieve whatever I set my mind to. Although I wasn’t fully aware of it at the time, having this sense of determination shaped my personality and defined who I was. Eventually, sharing these experiences with medical school admission committees helped to convey my most desirable qualities as an applicant: responsibility, work ethic, perseverance, and strength.

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What Medical Schools Are Looking For: Understanding the 15 Core Competencies

When you think about how medical schools will evaluate your application, it can seem like … Read more

Applying for Residency

Last month I wrote about the early part of 4th year as a kind of second-look for medical students – an occasion for confirming specialty choice, or perhaps changing one’s mind altogether. For me, it has been an enjoyable and enlightening process to revisit the specialties I was most interested in and examine them more thoroughly, paying attention to finer details as I considered what a career in that specialty would entail beyond the years of residency. The specialty decision is often made on just a few weeks of exposure and may be highly influenced by observing residents, but it is important to remember that residency is relatively brief in the context of a career, and thus it is imperative to get opinions on the field of choice from practicing attending physicians. I have been grateful for opportunities to do just this; rotating through a field a second or third time has enabled me to make this aspect more of a priority.

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4 Strategies for Students Reapplying to Medical School

reapplying to medical school

In an ideal world, your first attempt at applying to medical school would also be your last. You would apply, receive several interview invitations, and at least one acceptance letter.
However, for many medical school hopefuls, applying to medical school does not result in an acceptance, and as the rejection letters pile up, it can be difficult to determine how to regroup for another application cycle. Ostensibly, you submitted the best application that you could, so how can you improve in the future? What was that original application lacking?

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Use Mind Mapping to Write a Personal Statement that is Unique to You

MCAT preparatory courses

Mind mapping is a brainstorming technique that can help you see the big picture of your life story, key personal strengths, and professional competencies. As such, it can be an invaluable method for students preparing for personal statements, medical school applications, interviews, etc.

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Advice for 4th Years: Creating Your Best Residency Application

The residency application process is winding down for the current cycle. As this is my second season reviewing applications to my residency program as a resident, I’ve across some insight that I wished I had as a fourth year medical student applying to residency. Being on the other side of the fence, I gained a deeper appreciation for the process and the care my program invested in selecting this year’s applicants. I will share some insight along with examples from current residents at various programs in the country. Here are five tips for 2017-2018 cycle applicants and beyond.

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Ten Ways to Improve your Medical School Application

Recently, I rounded out a full decade as a professional admissions consultant, assisting candidates with residency and medical school applications. One thing I’ve noted over the last ten years is that, regrettably, many applicants repeat the same subset of errors – miscalculations that I’d like to help future candidates avoid. Although these are mistakes to sidestep at all cost, I’ve written this piece with a positive bent, so proceed with optimism – and attention – please. Here are ten actionable items you can implement to significantly improve your medical school candidacy:

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Advice from 20+ interviews: Part 2

Don’t miss Part I of this article, which covered how to prepare before the interview and general interview advice.
COMMON INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
1. Tell me about yourself
You should have prepared for this! Like I said, have your key bullets/road map ready. Try to keep it around 5 minutes too. This question usually comes up on closed file interviews (where they don’t look at your file beforehand). You may want to cover a bit of question 2 (below) if you have time, since it may not get asked separately. I think it’s always best to include things beyond the typical premed experiences. Talk about your cultural background, travels, cool hobbies, non-medically related endeavors, odd jobs… They’ve always loved those things most. Mention the relevant premed stuff too, but don’t forget about what I mentioned in the previous sentence. Stand out as a person, not a premed machine!

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Advice from 20+ interviews: Part 1

interviews

I did 21 interviews. Don’t ask how much it cost because I don’t enjoy thinking about it! Basically, it was roughly the “Top 25” schools if you listen to US News. Since I gained a lot of experience, figured out what works, and had quite a bit of success (with the interviews themselves, not just decisions), I thought I would share what I learned with all of you who want to prepare for interviews.

The Key: Many applicants view interviews the wrong way, in my opinion. To me, it was my time to take control of the conversation and put out exactly the impression that I wanted them to get. You have the spotlight and power to present yourself and your achievements/activities in whatever light you choose. Your confidence and charisma are your greatest assets, and you can use them to make almost anything seem incredible. You shouldn’t be scared – you should be excited, since this is one of the few times you really get to control this process!

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Is a Post-Bacc Program Right for Me? Seven Benefits to Consider

It’s important to remember that as you prepare for and apply to medical school, there isn’t one set path you must take. It’s okay if your path takes different twists and turns along the way. Increasingly, applicants are taking gap years, sometimes called bridge years, between graduating from college and applying to medical school in order to gain more medically-related experience, pay down educational debt, or prepare for the MCAT exam.

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