Top 10 questions to ask yourself—before applying to medical school

  1. Have you worked or volunteered in a clinical setting, where you have been able to directly interact and communicate with patients?
  2. Have you demonstrated a commitment to community service, where you are serving an underserved, marginalized, or disadvantaged population?
  3. Have you engaged in research (not limited to STEM fields) that involves inquiry, discovery, and critical thinking? (Being published is not necessary.)
  4. Are you familiar with the AAMC’s Core Competencies, and do you have experiences to support your skills, knowledge, or growth within those competencies?
  5. Have you proven you can handle the rigors of a science curriculum (via a strong GPA and MCAT)?
  6. Have you exhibited intellectual curiosity, academic diversity, and a love for learning?
  7. Can you secure a minimum of four letters of recommendation from diverse experiences and people, such as science and non-science faculty, research PIs, supervisors, and/or community service?
  8. Are you familiar with current events in healthcare (no need to be an expert, but aware of and able to converse about current events)?
  9. What do you do for fun outside of your pre-med activities?
  10. Can you answer the question, “What makes you a compelling applicant to medical school?”

Important Bonus Questions

  • Why are you interested in medicine? Was there an event or situation that prompted you to explore this career? What happened or piqued your curiosity to pursue medicine?
  • What sets you apart from other applicants? Is there something about your background and/or experiences? Do you have a theme to your experiences?
  • Can you give examples of experiences pertaining to leadership, teamwork, overcoming challenges, and embracing diversity?

As your advisor, I’ll help you explore the answers to these questions as you prepare your future medical school application.