Top Tips for getting into medical school – by Mehreen Mahfooz

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I’m Mehreen, I study medicine at Leeds University. It took me two attempts at applying for Medicine before a university actually offered me a place; so don’t be disheartened if you don’t get in first time! There’s always high competition for medicine courses but if you’re committed to this career and know, realistically, what you’re in for, you can try again and with slight tweaks your application can be vastly improved.

I’ve put together a series of vlogs with tips to help your chances of getting into med school and below are some points that I talk about in the series:

What to wear for a medical school interview

Be comfortable! – You’ll be wearing your outfit for a long time and you need to wear something that you can tolerate. An itchy shirt or tight skirt or trousers that dig into you might distract you during the interview so make sure you wear something comfy.

Be appropriate! – Dress professionally base your look on how you might see a doctor on the wards.

For girls: No low cut tops or short skirts. No excessive jewellery – no loop earring or long dangly necklaces.

For guys: Be clean shaven or if you have a beard make sure it’s well kept and not scruffy looking. A smart shirt is fine tucked in, there’s no need to wear a tie but if it makes you feel more professional then go ahead!

What not to say at medical school interviews

Try not to waffle! – When you’re nervous it’s easy to go off on a tangent but it’s best to take a second to compose yourself and keep thinking about the question that you have been asked to keep on track.

Be honest! – If you don’t know the answer to a question let them know, it’s better to be honest then try to make up an answer rather than make something up. When you don’t have enough experience it’s fine to

Don’t act like you know everything! – If you already knew everything about the field you wouldn’t need to go to medical school, you will come across badly to the interviewers and they won’t take to kindly to it!

How to talk about your experience at medical school interviews

Don’t worry if you don’t have much experience! You can talk about other things that are listed below.

If you do have some experience make sure you get that point across first. Make sure you let the interviewer know: Are you right for medicine? Did you enjoy it? What parts did you enjoy? Explain the parts of the experience you enjoyed the best. Do you have friends and family in the medical field that you have spoken to in depth about the reality of being a doctor.

What did you gain from your experience? – Listing off things you’ve done without backing up how you’ve learned from the situation or what insight you took away from it.

Talk about non-medical work experience – If you have a part time job or volunteer let the interviewer know about this. It shows maturity. If you work in a care home this would be a good example of how you have compassion, think of transferrable skills that you might have from these.

Extra-curricular – Having hobbies and interests shows the interviewers that you’re a well rounded person.

How to handle difficult questions at medical school interviews

Don’t get hung up on difficult questions –  They’ll appreciate you’re honesty about not knowing an answer than you wasting their time making up something you both know isn’t right.

4 principles of medicine – Research

Research – Make sure you do your research about what the interviewers will ask.

Books:

Medical school interviews

How Prepare Medical School Interviews

 

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