I have been working in medical education for many years. I have helped, supervised, guided and examined medical students and doctors through interviews, exams and assessments. Once people have passed the first hurdle and got into medical school, the rules of the game are fairly clear. There is plenty of guidance about what is expected at various stages, how to prepare and what to learn. Medical students and doctors in training also have ready-made support from their colleagues and friends, who are often taking the same exams at the same time and can prepare together.
I have recently become involved in assessing people for entry into medical school. All applicants to medical school are clever, highly motivated, articulate and energetic and have spent months or years preparing – with work experience, personal statements and interview practice. They have spent time talking to parents, doctors, careers advisers and others. Most have also read around the subject.
I was shocked, therefore, at how easy it is for a bright, committed and academically successful young person to put all this work in and then make simple mistakes and fail to be accepted for medical school.
I realised that, without good advice, even a potentially brilliant young doctor can easily be filtered out long before an interview for medical school – along with the many thousands of others who apply to medical school every year only to be unsuccessful.
Medicine is challenging, exciting, infuriatingly and ultimately the most rewarding profession. I want to do what I can to help potential medical students to have the best chance to get into medical school. I am delighted that I chose a career in medicine and I want you to have the best advice so that you have the best chance of achieving the same.