For years prior to medical school, the thought of what a doctor looked like was starkly different from how most pre medical students viewed it. This could have been one of the reasons that starting medical school at the age of thirty five was not far fetched for me. Looking back I realized that there is no physical prototype for a physician, but there are some characteristics that many medical students have in common. Lets explore some of the most common characteristics that medical schools are looking for:

Commitment to people

What a privilege it was working on the admissions committee for UT Medical school. This experience allowed me the opportunity to view hundreds of applicants over a five year span. One of the questions that the committee was interested in was how much volunteer experience did an applicant have. Most students who have tons of shadowing experience, but only one or two volunteer experiences outside of healthcare is a red flag. When you shadow a physician or healthcare provider, it shows you have a passion for medicine, but when you volunteer outside of healthcare, it shows you have a passion for people. Medical schools tend to favor students with a healthy balance between the two.

Scholastic aptitude 

Do grades and gpa really matter when it comes to medical school? Absolutely YES. Every year students apply to medical school with grade point averages that may not reflect their true potential. The problem is that medical schools can’t magically determine your potential. Your undergraduate academic track record is one of the ways to understand if you are medical school ready. The American Medical Association has a wonderful article entitled, “The 15 skills medical schools expect from students on day one”.

Read AMA article: Read more