January 25, 2020
Focus on quality as opposed to quantity: The fact that OMSAS provides 32 entries for your sketch doesn’t mean that you have to find information to fill up all the entries. Focus on filling entries that demonstrate certain essential skills. Remember to fill the entries in a clear and concise manner because this helps to showcase your communication skills.
Fill in the main categories: Provide accurate details on the main categories of the sketch. This includes areas such as the formal education section, employment, volunteer work, research, extracurricular activities and other accomplishments. Whatever is included in these main categories is critical and will help to increase your chances of getting accepted to medical school.
Contact Your Verifiers
There are activities other than formal education and scholarships that you will be required to provide a verifier. Verifiers for structured activities include coaches, tutors and supervisors. For those unstructured activities, you can include your friends, neighbors or even yourself as a verifier. Select your verifiers keenly because they might be contacted to confirm if the information you’ve provided is accurate. Make sure you contact these verifiers early to ensure you are on the same page. Always make sure the contact information that you provide for the verifiers is accurate. Medical schools have different guidelines on what to do if they are unable to reach a verifier or if they verifier doesn’t agree with the information you provided.
Outline Key Activities
Provide Clear Descriptions
Provide clear descriptions of your roles and responsibilities: When providing descriptions on your responsibilities in a formal employment, make sure you make it very clear and concise. Don’t waste the 150-character limit given by giving too much information that is of no use. You can even use short hand and point form in your sketch to avoid very long descriptions.
Present yourself as a balanced individual: The sketch has different categories that allow you to present yourself as a well-rounded and balanced person. Do not focus too much on the formal education and employment area then disregard other areas such as the extracurricular activities and volunteer section.
Be honest: The people who will be reviewing your autobiographical sketch have read dozens of medical school applications and they can easily tell when someone is not being honest. Make sure you are very accurate and provide credible information of what you did and don’t exaggerate the timelines of what you were involved in.
Offer sufficient details: The wordcount is limited so you should be able to convey what you did and the skills and attributes that you developed in only one or two sentences. Choose words that help to demonstrate why you are a good candidate for medical school. You can use abbreviations such as “&” instead of “and” to help with the limited word count.
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