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What is the best way to stand out on applications?

My dream school is Harvard Medical School. The school is extremely competitive of course and I would like to know what to do in the next four years of my undergrad in order to stand out in the application process. -school #medicine #hospital-and-healthcare #healthcare #college #college-applications

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Marjolene’s Answer

Hi Jessica,

Beyond having an outstanding undergraduate GPA and admission test scores, graduate schools look for a well-rounded individual that has contributed to the community and has made a positive impact on their school and peers. In addition, your academic curriculum should be diverse and focused on areas outside your core major and pre-Med requirements. All this will help improve your analytical and problem-solving skills, prepare you for multicultural work and school settings, and help you become a leader amongst your peers.

Marjolene recommends the following next steps:

Volunteer at a non-profit of your choice, become a mentor to Freshman undergraduate students during your Junior/Senior years, and/or become a Teaching Assistant
Do a study abroad program for a semester or a year, and/or learn a foreign languge
Join an honor society, club and/or sorority, and be an active member in those groups
Complete an internship within your field, and/or work a part-time job
Beyond your academic requirements for medical school, complete a second major or minor outside your field (ie. Business, History, English, etc.). I also suggest completing additional certifications relevant to tech and digital, or anything that may be of interest to you (ie. Foreign language, fitness and nutrition, etc.)
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Richard’s Answer


In the US, to apply to medical school, you need a bachelor's degree. Any 4-year university should suffice.

Pick a major that interests you so you don't mind devoting a majority of your hours to studying. You will need to get good grades in college in order to apply for medical school. At the medical school I attended, the average GPA is reported to be 3.85, so even one or two B's can hurt your chances of acceptance.

Aside from this, any major is acceptable as long as you complete the prerequisite courses.

Typical medical school prerequisites include:

Biology: Lecture – 4 semesters; Lab – 1 semester

General Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester

Organic Chemistry: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester

Biochemistry: Lecture – 1 semester

General Physics: Lecture – 2 semesters; Lab – 1 semester

Math: Statistics – 1 semester

English: Rhetoric (Composition) and Literature – 2 semesters

Try to find opportunities to pursue research.

Volunteer at your local hospital or low-income clinic. Ask physicians, PAs or other clinical providers if you can shadow them.

During college study for and complete the MCAT. Devote an entire summer to studying for the MCAT and consider paying for a prep course if you can afford it.

My son used MCAT Complete 7-Book Subject Review 2019-2020: Online + Book + 3 Practice Tests (Kaplan Test Prep) Kaplan Test Prep
Kaplan Test Prep
Sold by: Amazon.com Services, Inc
It was about $140 and he achieved his goal score.

Apply to medical schools during your last year of college.
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Rachel’s Answer

Agree with above. I would just like to emphasize, GPA and MCAT are the gatekeepers with regard to your application. If you do not have a 3.8 or better GPA and an excellent MCAT score, you are unlikely to even be considered as an applicant.
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