Getting into med school can seem like a pipe dream for many. As per data collected by accepted, the average acceptance rate at the top 100 medical schools in the US is a meager 6.3 percent!
Apart from competence and wits, a lot goes into applying for med school. The application process and the documentation required make it quite a complicated task. This is why many students seek help from professional consultants to ensure that they don’t make a mistake.
If you are also thinking of applying to med school by hiring an admissions consultant first, know that this task requires proper research and planning. After all, the fate of your application depends on their expertise!
Here are six things to consider carefully while hiring a medical school admission consultant.
1.) Years of experience
When you do your research, the first word you will often come across is “physicians.” Consultant companies have physician advisors that help students in reviewing their applications. However, they aren’t the ones who help you throughout your application preparation.
Instead, admission consultant companies rely on a team of resources, each with their own set of expertise, to review and prepare different aspects of your application.
The cumulative experience of the team, as well as the diversity of their experience, is very important in picking the right medical school coach.
Opt for a consultant who has helped various students gain admission to a diverse set of medical universities. If he has a team, be sure to inquire about them as well. The more experienced the team or your individual coach is in helping students from a varied academic backgrounds, the better it is.
2.) Customized service based on the student profile
No two students are exactly the same. Hence, no two medical applications will be completely similar. While one student may struggle penning down the essay, another might need help in bringing their scores to a competitive level.
This is why admission consultants cannot adopt a one-size-fits-all method when dealing with medical school applications. Any expert who tells you an outline of what they plan to do with your application without considering your strengths and weaknesses is not the ideal coach for you.
Remember, there is rarely such a thing as a perfect application. And in case you do have one, you don’t really need a coach, to begin with. So, seek help from those consultants that can identify your applications’ weak areas and help you improve them.
3.) Picking the right battles
A wise consultant can find the flaws that can best be improved in the shortest time and least effort. For starters, let’s say you already have a low GPA, and working on improving it would only produce a very small difference now.
Compared to this, working on your university tests will improve your chances of acceptance. An expert will focus on getting you prepared for the test rather than trying to improve your GPA.
4.) Success rate and transparency
You might have heard of the famous saying, “there is no such thing as a free lunch.”
If you do a quick google search of medical school consulting companies, you will notice a pattern. A lot of them boast about their success rate. However, only a few of them mention the limitations or conditions of getting that success.
For instance, the success rate might be higher for students that purchased a certain package or worked with a senior advisor. These things come at an additional cost. Look out for these caveats. Don’t just look at fancy success rates but the conditions under which those success rates were achieved.
Also, see how transparent they are about which medical schools the success rates signify. Are they ones where acceptance rates are already high? Or do they include highly competitive schools as well? Is it just limited to med schools, or is that a general figure depicting all students, irrespective of the field?
Get transparent answers to these questions first.
5.) Real doctors on the team
Hands-down, one of the most important considerations to take into account when seeking help for medical school admissions is to take advice from people who have gone through the process before. At least some doctors of the team should be recent graduates, since criteria tend to change with the passing year.
So, someone who applied to a medical university 20 years ago will have had a very different experience than current aspiring students. However, their experience will come in handy when reviewing your application from the point of view of the admissions committee.
Also, for ideal consulting, the team should have top performers so that they can tell you ways to succeed.
6.) Flexible schedule
Applying for med school means that you are also working hard at school. Not to mention that the application process itself is arduous, to say the least. So, you can expect to be quite busy as you try to juggle your academics, extracurriculars, and school application.
Here, how flexible your admissions consultant is regarding providing his or her services is very important. A consultancy that offers flexible timings allows you to match your available time with theirs. Hence, you will be able to work on various aspects of your life simultaneously.
Look for coaches that are willing to offer you this flexibility rather than services that rely on a traditional workday to get the job done.
Filling out a medical school application is a challenging task. Getting acceptance is even rarer. Don’t make the task harder than it is by getting the wrong coach on board. Take the six considerations into account when making your decision to ensure that you get the right help.
Reach out to other successful students if you further need help in filtering down available admissions consultants.
You’ve got this. Do comment and let us know about your experience once you get in. Best of luck!
Hi, I’m the Founder and Developer of Paramedics World, a blog truly devoted to Paramedics. I am a Medical Lab Tech, a Web Developer and Bibliophiliac. My greatest hobby is to teach and motivate other peoples to do whatever they wanna do in life.