You have submitted your medical school application – what’s next?
Once you have finished and submitted your UCAS application, you might ask: what now?
There are a few things to be aware of between now and starting your first day of medical school, so let’s have a look at all of the things you need to do in the coming months to ensure that your medical school application is successful!
The first thing to say is – well done and stay positive! You’ve done much of the hard work already, with work experience, your (predicted) grades, UCAT/GAMSAT and your personal statement. However, whilst you can be happy that this part of the application is over, now is not the time to become complacent.
Don’t second guess yourself
It can be some time before you hear back from medical schools; each university has their own way of dealing with the applications, so don’t worry if you don’t hear back immediately. This is especially important if you hear of someone else getting an invitation to interview, even if they’ve applied to the same university.
On the same note, don’t spend hours and hours going over your personal statement and nit-picking things that could’ve been written better or improved. This type of thinking will not be helpful in your interview preparation at all! What is useful is making a list of potential topics from your personal statement that you may be asked at the interview – see our article here about how to identify these topics.
Don’t forget that there is only one way into medical school, even after getting offers – and that is getting the A-level grades that are required. Without these, it is impossible. So, make sure not to neglect your A2 studies!
We know, from our many years of coaching students, that almost everyone leaves their interview preparation to the last minute i.e., 1 to 2 weeks before their interview date. We would strongly advise against that, and instead that you put a study plan in place for interview practice. Of course, your A-Levels are the main priority, but a few hours per week of light reading around interview questions would be extremely beneficial for when you do get that invitation email.
As mentioned above, four to five hours a week (one hour of focused reading per weeknight) is always going to be beneficial and should be something you actually end up enjoying considering you’ve applied to medical school, and this is also part of life as a doctor!
If reading by yourself is tiresome and unengaging then we would suggest finding someone you can discuss current science in the news, controversial issues and general medical topics with. Family is always an option, a friend at school, or even your admissions counsellor/tutor at school.
Always be mindful that you should not, and are not expected to, go into great levels of detail on ‘broader reading’ (unless specifically mentioned in your personal statement), so having a good understanding of the topic is important but depth of knowledge is not required! If you wait until you hear back from a university, you’ll realise that you simply won’t have enough time to have a good read around everything that’s going on. Cramming in all of this information in the last couple of days and weeks before your information will have impacts on your studies and family/social life, but also equally importantly, you just won’t be giving yourself sufficient time to build that crucial general awareness of what’s going on in the medical world. Start now and thank yourself later!