Getting into medical school is a challenge since the competition is fierce and the demands on you as an applicant are high. A mentor can be key in helping you throughout your journey to medical school as they have experience and expertise in the medical field. They will listen, relate and act as a support system to increase your chances of getting accepted into medical school.
In this blog, we introduce ourselves at The Future Medic and tell you how a mentor like ours can help you with the challenging process of getting into medical school. We have provided tips on finding a good mentor, the challenges you’ll face when applying and some information about our medicine mentoring programme.
Top tips on finding a good mentor
Find an expert in medicine and a good role model. You need a mentor that has extensive experience in the medical field as someone who understands not just the process of getting into medical school but what the universities are looking for amongst the applicants that make them seem suited to a career in medicine.
Ask questions. Find out what your mentor can do for you to help you get into medical school, from UCAT coaching and reflecting on your skills and experiences that make you suitable for a career in medicine to personal statement mentoring and interview coaching. Ask everything you need to so you fully understand how the mentor can best support you through your journey to medical school.
Be open-minded. Different mentors can offer different things, depending on their own experience and if they act independently as a mentor or for an organisation. Some may be good at helping you network and find new opportunities within different medical schools and work experience placements once you’re successful, while others have extensive experience and expertise in the application process and understand what makes a strong candidate.
As a hopeful student of medicine wanting to get into your chosen school, find a mentor that has the coaching skills and track record to help get you into medical school.
Do your research. What does their track record consist of? Do they have a good reputation, and what do precious clients say about them? Do your research. It’s always best to choose a mentor from a successful, well-known organisation like one from The Future Medic.
Build relationships. Once you have found your mentor or mentoring programme, build relationships not only with your mentor but with other medical school applicants. Networking is one of the best things you can do for yourself to be successful because you can learn from others.
The challenges of applying to medical school
But what is all this about, you might be wondering. Is it really that challenging to get into medical school? Typically, 1 in 3 students gets accepted into medical school, and for the most popular universities, the statistics are more alarming at only 1 in 10 getting accepted. Of course, some medical schools are easier to get into than others, so don’t be put off by the statistics, as it certainly is possible to achieve, particularly with help from a mentor.
You’ll need to have done very well in your GCSE, particularly in Maths, English and Science, as well as As and A* at A level, including Biology and Chemistry, so it’s important that you remain focused on your A levels and exams because if you’re applying for medical school in year 13, you won’t have your results back until after you submit your application, meaning you’ll receive a conditional offer based on your grades.
If you have any medical contacts, try to utilise this. Putting work experience in your personal statement shows the reviewer that you already have some background in medicine and that you’re serious about the profession. Some degree of work experience is usually needed to make your application stand out, so the more you can get, the better.
You could do work experience in a GP surgery, pharmacy, hospital, care home etc. and the more settings, the better!
UCAT or BMAT?
Before you apply to medical school, you will need to you’ll need to take the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) or BioMedical Admissions Test (BMAT). Different universities require either one of them, so make sure you do your research into your preferred medical schools so you know which one to prep for. These tests are important as the score you achieve will determine which medical schools you can apply to.
It can take months to prep for these tests as they are challenging, but you can get help. Find a medical mentor that can coach you through the test and help you to prep so you’re as ready as you possibly can be for when the time comes.
When working towards your application for medical school, the pressure can get on top of many applicants due to the high demands. Many applicants struggle with the pressure, wonder if they’ll let themselves down when taking the UCAT or BMAT and wonder if they are using the best-supporting resources. Some students applying to medical school don’t know any doctors or anyone who has been through the process, so they can feel quite lonely.
In comes your very own superhero, a medical school mentor! They can help you to overcome your struggles and doubts so you feel confident and ready to go through the application process, giving you the best chance possible of getting accepted.
The application process for medical school
- Personal statement for medicine. A personal statement for medical school is the first impression you will make to a medical school. First impressions last, so ensure yours is the best it can be. At The Future Medic, we know that writing your personal statement isn’t easy, and it needs to stand out, so having one of our mentors on board to help you can give you a huge advantage.
- Medicine Interview Coaching. A medical school interview is the next stage in the process if you impress the reviewer with your personal statement and credentials, including your UCAT or BMAT score. During your interview, the interviewers will ask a series of questions to assess your capability for medicine, your motivation to study medicine and how it relates to your future ambitions.
Book a session with our medicine interview tutors, who can coach you on the types of questions you will be asked so you can feel confident going into your interview that you’re presenting your best self.
- Offers. The final part is when you receive offers. It can be a stressful time waiting for offers to come in, so in the meantime, you need to focus on your A-levels and ensure you get the grades you need to get into medical school.
Medicine Mentoring Programme
The aim of our Medicine Mentoring Programme is simple; our expert tutors will guide you through every aspect of the application process to aid in securing a place at one of your chosen medical schools. The programme has been specifically designed from the ground up by our Lead Tutor, Dr Valeed Ghafoor. It is a two-year programme from the start of year 12 to the end of the interview cycle in year 13.
About The Future Medic
Want to learn more about The Future Medic? We provide specialist tutors and mentors, so you receive the best advice and support. Each tutor is hand-selected / hand-picked after going through a rigorous training process to meet our standards so that we can guarantee the quality we provide our students.
Our founder, Dr Valeed Ghafoor currently practices as a GP Partner, with specialist interests in Medical Education and Medical Training; he is responsible for tutoring and mentoring doctors from their 1st year of medical school through to their last year of GP training. He also partakes in the University of Manchester’s Interview Process.
His passion for research and delivering high standards of patient-centred care has led to multiple achievements. As such, Dr Ghafoor currently holds two research publications, twelve national poster presentations, three international oral presentations and an internationally delivered audit project. You can rest assured that you’re in good hands with The Future Medic.