Focus on getting into medical school of your dreams

By Bella Keys, Staff Writer

Getting into the medical school of your dreams can be tough, especially when the requirements seem overwhelming. Everyone you seem to ask has different opinions and ideas on achieving an acceptance letter. At first this may seem very discouraging, as things would be so much easier if there was just one set path, but as you progress into your research about what makes a good applicant you start to realize it’s nothing specific, and you don’t have to follow the beaten path.

Medical school administrators are looking for someone with a well-rounded background who does things that they are interested in. As an applicant myself I have chosen experiences that are meaningful to me and will give me something to talk about in interviews that I actually care about.

There have been many students who have perfect applicants but have been denied. So, it is important that this path is for you and that the reasons you are doing this have deep meaning for you. One current medical school applicant, Max Troyke, is going through the process.

“It has been exhausting and stressful, but the pursuit of medicine is worth it and I’m excited for the road ahead,” Troyke said.

Troyke is in interview stages with medical schools and has found that overall the process has been a very worth it, but trying experience. As a biochemistry and Spanish major, Troyke’s major combination has helped add to his applications. The student firmly believes that his Spanish double major will aid him in standing out to med school admissions and helping him to excel.

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Other opportunities that can aid in the medical school application process are observing and shadowing physicians in various settings. Participating in different medical settings is important to understanding the machinations healthcare professionals encounter in their given vocation. Resources at students’ disposal for such opportunities can be found on The Career Center website under “Experience for Health Professions” or at the Illini Union website under “Office of Volunteer Programs.” Avenues for padding a medical school application could also involve volunteer and community services, research positions, and clinical experience through certification as a CNA or EMT. These are crucial for learning the delicate art of bedside manner because being a physician at times entails being the bearer of bad news. It is important to keep in mind there is no such thing as a perfect applicant, but a superb one. 

Editor’s note: A source and quote from this story have been redacted because the source was not on the record. The Daily Illini regrets this error. 

Bella is a junior in LAS.

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