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101 Tips on Getting into Medical School

Tip #39
When it comes to a personal essay, be original rather than quoting famous authors. This is often done and the truth is, the admissions committee wants to hear from you in your own words, not someone else's. This is also one of your first chances to express who you are and what makes you stand out from other applicants. Take advantage of this opportunity.

We wrote the book on getting into Medical School. Actually, Jennifer Welch, Associate Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid did.

In her book, 101 Tips on Getting into Medical School (Gegensatz Press), Welch answers such questions as:

  • Does my personal essay read well?
  • Is my application worthy?
  • What shall I wear to my admissions' interview?
  • What questions will my interviewers ask?

While much of Welch's 15 years of admissions work has been devoted to reviewing applications and interviewing potential physicians in New York, her advice can relate easily to all students.

"When it comes to the college admissions process, I've seen a lot of students do some really great things and others do some not so great things," Welch said. "So, what I thought would be most helpful to students and their parents would be to provide an insider's view on the process, a basic 'do's and don'ts' in the admissions process."

The advice "to be yourself," contained in Tip 62, might sound trite, but Welch said it is really what admissions officials are looking for. "It's one of the most important tenets of a solid application and interview," she said. "I think it's quite evident when students offer canned answers and suggest they are someone different than who they really are."

For instance, Welch warns students that what appears in one's application and personal essay often provide the questions for the interview process. "If you highlight your passion for volunteering or serving your community in your essay but only demonstrate this 'commitment to service work' by participating in a blood drive once a year, this naturally raises concerns about your sincerity," she said.

Welch's easy-to-read guide captures the pursuit of a medical education from the moment of desire to be a doctor through the application process and personal interview to the acceptance or rejection letter.