Basic Strategies for Your Medical School Application

frustrated medical school applicant
Make sure that you have a strategy for your medical school application

I don’t have to tell you that it’s hard as hell to get into medical school. To improve your chances of acceptance to medical school, it’s crucial to plan your application carefully. This means not trying to do too much in any particular portion of it. View your application holistically, and plan what you’ll emphasize in each part so that you cover maximum ground, and cover it well.


The place to begin is your main personal statement. You have 5300 characters to frame your application, and that’s how you should view it: as an opening argument and something like an “elevator pitch” where you provide your best few arguments, most impactful experiences, or most compelling stories. Before you start, you may worry about filling up 5300 characters, but by the time you’re done, you’ll likely recognize just how precious that space is! In just 1.5 pages, you have the chance to introduce yourself to the admissions panel, share your background, and discuss your motivation for pursuing a career in medicine. Your approach to this essay must be strategic and viewed in conjunction with your broader application. You should demonstrate your enthusiasm for medicine while highlighting your most noteworthy accomplishments, experiences, and aspirations. Also, to keep the reader engaged, make sure your personal statement is well-written and interesting.

BUT, DO NOT TRY TO SAY EVERYTHING. There will be important stuff that you just can’t fit into your personal statement. Don’t try. Save some stuff for later. When people try to cover all the ground in their main personal statement, their stories will feel rushed or thin and they’ll struggle to convey a clear and coherent theme. That’s why you should use the Work & Activities section to go into depth about complementary or otherwise additional activities that are meaningful to you. Extracurricular activities, community service, research, and job experience are all included in this area. When it comes to selecting your “Most Meaningful” entries that allow you additional space, you should concentrate on experiences that have a direct bearing on medicine. You should also go into depth about your duties and the lessons you took away from them.

The secondary school-specific essays are a fantastic chance to demonstrate how well you would fit into particular medical schools you are applying to. Understanding the school’s mission, strengths, and core beliefs requires research, of course. You can then modify your writings to showcase your experiences and abilities that complement the objectives of the institution. By doing this, you show the school that you are a good fit for them and increase your chances of getting in.

Think of your medical school application as a package that covers lots of ground. Each part of the application should focus on a different job, and while it’s okay to have some overlap, they should never feel redundant. If you’re smart and plan beforehand, you can put together an application package that provides real depth of analysis and self-reflection on a few really important moments AND breadth regarding the various things that you’ve done.

For more help with your personal statement, check us out at Our personal statement editors and consultants have decades of experience helping clients get into top medical schools. Our specialty is helping you craft compelling personal statements that move the needle in your admissions process! For questions, shoot us an email at Check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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