Common Mistakes Medical School Applicants Make

Medical School Applicants


  • Therefore, if you are deciding on the next step in your medical career, you need to study the industry trends to help you choose a school that can empower you with the skills you need to succeed in the long term.

A lot goes into medical school application protocols, so overlooking important details can mar your chances of landing admission. The last disappointment you want to face is getting rejected after spending time building your resume. Sometimes it doesn’t matter if you have an impressive GPA or MCAT; mistakes can cost you in the long run. Seeing that over half of applicants fail to get admission into medical schools, avoiding the following errors can help you realize your dreams of becoming a successful applicant.

  • Grammatical and spelling errors

There may be a lot of writing required in the application process, so ensure you mind your grammar and spelling. Give your primary application attention and avoid making mistakes in your statement; most medical admission teams will look at this carefully. Consider double-checking all your documents for typos, and have other people read through your application before submission.

  • Lacking the appropriate recommendation letters

Many medical schools require applicants to submit at least three recommendation letters, two written by science professors and the other from different professionals. While each school’s requirements may vary, you don’t want to lack the right recommendation letters backing your application. Ensure you include the required number as your school may demand.

  • Not applying to the best school

Sending your application to the wrong medical school is not a smart idea. So, research to verify the school’s programs and whether they meet your career goals or interests. This will also allow you to determine whether a prospective facility offers good education. You may regret their lack of research if you discount a school based on one negative argument. Not only will you miss out on a huge career-changing research opportunity, but you may also limit your chances by framing your application around select medical programs. Sending applications to different institutions is important to widen your admission chances. The average U.S. prospective medical school candidate typically applies to about 16 different institutions, so more is better than less.

  • Not having enough experience

You may have excellent GPA and MCAT results, yet that doesn’t mean you should ignore the essence of having plenty of hands-on experience. Admission committees prioritize candidates who have practical knowledge of their respective fields. They also value those who strongly believe in their desired choices. Consider complementing your undergrad experiences with relevant pre-med courses; many schools prefer students with supplemental medical practice. There may be no requirement for clinical hours. However, seeking out opportunities or volunteering at a local hospital is a great way to gain further experience. Admission committees may doubt your passion for the profession if they discover you have never dealt with patients.

  • Not drafting your secondary essays on time

Writing many medical application essays can be stressful, particularly for those applying to five or more schools. Keeping the turnaround time for your secondary essays shorter is essential to avoid being overwhelmed at the latter stage. Most people agree that two or three weeks is a reasonable time frame. The best way to reduce stress is to be proactive and draft your secondaries in time.

  • Not considering future healthcare trends

Globally, medical professionals experience challenges in coping with rapidly evolving healthcare needs. Public health and medical education are closely related, striving to meet the health and wellness of individuals and communities. Fortunately, today’s medical institutions have access to new medical technology. Staying up-to-date with the latest healthcare trends is vital to practising modern medicine and crucial for predicting what the future has in stock for you.

Artificial intelligence is one innovation poised to transform medicine and medical education greatly shortly, and this can affect doctors’ job prospects. You should also note that nurses and doctors face diverse challenges in the post-pandemic world. And anecdotal evidence suggests that COVID may have worsened an existing healthcare workers shortage in critical care facilities in places like Australia. Therefore, if you are deciding on the next step in your medical career, you need to study the industry trends to help you choose a school that can empower you with the skills you need to succeed in the long term.

  • Not preparing for Vita’s interview and the Casper exam

Vita interview and the Casper exam are relatively new components of medical school application processes. The former was introduced after the COVID pandemic to choose high-quality applicants. It may have questions centering on your personal journey, traits, reasoning capacity in various scenarios, and medical aspects. The Casper exam is quite old in the system, and many schools are adopting it as a standard to measure how students think and react to non-medical situations. You must determine whether your preferred schools require these application components and the stipulated deadlines. Constant reminders may not come your way, so preparing for them in advance may be worth it.

  • Overlooking your extracurricular activities and important achievements

Ensure you add all your extracurriculars and significant achievements. This may sound intuitive, but many students overlook their extracurricular activities and major milestones in their works/activities section. Consider avoiding this mistake by preparing a full list chronologically early on. You’ll also find it helpful to regularly update your list with time. Taking these precautions will smoothen things when you finally fill out your application. Ensure you earn the necessary credit for all your diligent efforts in college.

  • Choosing a wrong college major

Although biology-centered college majors are popular among premeds, this factor doesn’t automatically boost your admission advantage. Medical school officials encourage premeds to major in academic disciplines they are passionate about and can excel in. Therefore, choosing a college major that doesn’t fit you is probably a bad idea. 

  • Rushing with your application

Don’t rush your application if you are not ready to attend medical school. Some students invest their time and energy into medical school applications only to later realize they are better off waiting for a year or two. Don’t fear to do what is ideal to get your application accepted for the first time. Are you preparing to apply this summer, but your MCAT results are average? That’s fine! You may consider taking extra time to improve your grades and achieve more experience before trying your luck next year. Medical schools are always available, so it is better to make the most out of your time and apply when you are fully prepared to go.