January 25, 2020
Medical School, Medical School Application Canada , Non-Traditional Candidates in a Medical School
Not all candidates for medical school are undergraduates who have spent the last four years in the lab. More and more people are enrolling in a medical school later in life, perhaps after starting a family, leaving graduate studies, or conducting a different career. Here’s our expert advice on moving to medical school admissions as a non-traditional candidate.
Do Medical Schools Prefer Traditional Students to Non-traditional Students?
If an older applicant asks how the application process treats non-traditional students, keep in mind that medical schools now recognize a wide variety of candidates with special talents and backgrounds. Their goal is to bring real diversity to the modern middle class of medical students, meaning that the word “non-traditional” is less relevant. Students often spend a year or two studies on other activities, stay an additional year at their undergraduate university to get more education or work some time before applying. Some even take extended leave to raise a family or change their careers after trying out other occupations.
Our Best Advice for Non-traditional Candidates
1. Strengthen Your Application by using post-Bacc training
All medical schools require a minimum level of scientific preparation involving about one year of biology, chemistry, organic chemistry and physics. Many universities offer post-baccalaureate programs for students who need to meet pre-medical requirements. Post-Bacc programs vary by price, duration and selectivity of reception.
Even if you meet these requirements at the University, taking a refresher course in biology or chemistry can strengthen your demand. Most medical schools advise non-traditional candidates to show success at the last courses.
2. Get great letters of recommendation
Post-baccalaureate programs can also be useful for non-traditional students who have lost contact with some of their faculties and require medical school letters. However, post-baccalaureate recidivists should not completely replace the faculty letters from your undergraduate institution. If you’ve been busy for a while, make sure you arrange a meeting with your potential advisor to track them in your career and medical goals (prepare for a resume and a copy of your personal statement!), Some schools even receive letters from your business to replace an academic letter.
3. Show your unique skills
As a non-traditional candidate, you have unique experiences and skills. This will help you to distinguish yourself from other candidates and can be an important force. Your job is to prove your choice to go to medical school thoroughly. Even if your resume is impressive in other areas, you should add medical-related volunteer work to show that you are involved in medicine and understand what it looks like. Look at volunteering programs in health clinics or find short-term placements, such as EMT or nurses.
Despite recognizing the value of non-traditional students, admission committees may be skeptical for candidates entering another or third career. You can address this concern in your personal statement and your interviews by being very specific about how your life experiences have led you to deal with the drug.
4. Take the time to prepare the MCAT prep
Competitive MCAT score is important for all candidates, but may be particularly important for non-traditional candidates. Over the years, colleges and universities have made changes to the scales assessment and curriculum requirements. Therefore, your GPA may not be comparable if someone who recently completed the same school. Degrees in postgraduate studies are important, but there is a big difference in the policy of grading between regular undergraduate studies and the same courses in postgraduate studies. The advantage of MCAT is that it is standardized, it should enable the board to compare the capabilities of people with different backgrounds. Take an MCAT practice test to guage your strengths and weaknesses before choosing the right MCAT prep option for you.
5. Curate a Smart Application List
Research what accommodations your prospective schools make for non-traditional applicants and how many older students are enrolled. If you have a spouse and/or children, ask to be put in contact with students in similar situations. Many medical schools have begun to develop support programs for families of nontraditional students.
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