If you could give one piece of advice to someone applying to medical school, what would it be?
Apply to your strengths; don’t apply to a university simply because it looks nice. Applying to universities where you have a strong chance of getting an interview means you have a much higher chance of getting an offer.
Did you do any work experience before medical school? How did you arrange this? Was it useful?
I did work experience in several different medical settings; a GP practise, general medicine, and an acute medical unit.
Many hospitals run work experience schemes and you can apply to do work experience there, which is where I got one of my placements. Otherwise, you can organise placements through asking friend’s parents who are doctors or even anyone in your family who is in medicine.
Work experience is very useful as it opens your eyes to what being a doctor is truly like. It gives you the opportunity to talk to doctors and find out if medicine is really the right choice for you.
Doing enough work experience gives you the chance to reflect upon all you’ve seen, procedures you might have observed and new things you might have learned about so you can write about these in your personal statement to help you bring across and support why you’d like to read medicine.
What was your experience of medical school interviews? Any tips?
The interviews are only as scary as you make them, 3 of mine were MMIs and the fourth was a traditional panel interview. MMI interviews have the advantage of stations which all test different skills you have, meaning if you mess up (or think you’ve messed up) a station, it’s soon over and you move on to the next one very quickly. The key to MMIs is forgetting the previous station and any mistakes you’ve made, so that you can properly concentrate on the next station.
Make sure you prepare the general common questions, try and have a few mock interviews to make sure you’re used to how the interviews will work. Even if they’re not exactly how your interview will be, it’s very useful to practise talking out your ideas to someone and making sure you don’t rush through answers. Definitely prepare, but try not to sound rehearsed or like you’re reading off a script. Also, make sure your answers aren’t vague; they should always be genuine and personal.