The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted medical school life and upended many students’ plans, just as it has the rest of the industries. The lockdown and social distancing due to the unprecedented pandemic has made it difficult for the next gen of doctors to take the MCAT, get a shadowing experience and continue volunteering.
Despite the disease outbreak, medical schools and applicants are preparing themselves for the upcoming admission cycle. Many students are worried about completing their medical school application to stand out in the crowd.
Medical schools are receiving applications and the spring admission cycle 2021 is going to be more competitive. It clearly shows that aspiring medical students should prepare a strong personal statement to distinguish themselves in order to gain a spot in their favorite medical school. Medical school officials are aware of the fact that applicants have to make adjustments to their volunteering and shadowing plans, complete their MCAT and prerequisite courses.
If you are one of those aspiring students who are eager to pursue their dream of becoming a doctor and submitting their medical school application. It’s the right time to discuss how coronavirus has altered your academic and other plans and how you are coping with it in your medical school application.
Here are some important tips that future medical school students should keep in mind while writing about COVID-19 in their personal statement and medical school application.
Discuss How Coronavirus Affected Your Academics
Due to the disease outbreak, many colleges said goodbye to the traditional learning style and embraced virtual learning to maintain the continuity of education. Some schools and colleges have changed their grading systems to promote their students for the next class. If you have taken online courses to complete your coursework, talk about it in your application essay that you were motivated and wanted to prepare yourself for medical school.
Explain Why You Didn’t Get a Letter of Recommendation
A letter of recommendation is one of the most important medical school admission requirements that applicants are required to submit along with their application. This is why students put their best efforts into getting recommendation letters in order to stand out from the pool of applicants. While COVID-19 challenges, remote learning, and altered school calendars have made it a bit difficult for students to secure strong recommendations.
Due to the absence of lectures, labs, and absence of other campus activities, students find it more difficult to get to know their professors and ask them to write strong letters. If that is the case, inform the medical school admission officers about this scenario in your medical school application.
Canceled or Delayed MCAT
MCAT exams were canceled due to the impact of COVID-19, and if you are one of those students whose MCAT has been delayed or rescheduled due to restrictions to keep examinees safe. You can discuss this matter in your application to inform the admission committee about your MCAT delay. Clearly explain to the officials that you were prepared to take the MCAT but didn’t get the opportunity to take the test due to the rescheduling of the exam.
Lack of Clinical Experience
Many students were unable to gain shadowing experience and clinical volunteer work due to uncertain situations. Some were unable to attend hospital settings and gain research experience in the laboratory. It is better to discuss this scenario in your application and how you managed to participate in online volunteer opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For instance, if you attend medical webinars or gain some virtual volunteer opportunities or had an opportunity to experience telemedicine during the lockdown, discuss all these experiences in your application essay. Inform the admission officials about your future plans and how you will be going to help humanity and make a difference in the healthcare field by participating in clinical and research opportunities.
Show Your Passion for becoming a Doctor
While you don’t have enough experience and documents to make your medical school application a perfect piece. But still, you can make it the best application essay by showing your dedication and sharing your future plans with medical school admissions committees. Instead of writing, I didn’t get an opportunity to participate in any extracurricular activity, or I couldn’t find any opportunity to shadow physicians; you can use your personal statement as an opportunity.
Focus on showing your passion to become a physician, and you are willing to accept research and volunteer opportunities to polish your clinical skills and medical knowledge. You can explain you are ready to deal with the challenges and fulfill the demands of medicine.
You can take the disease outbreak as an opportunity by discussing how the disease outbreak has altered your plans. The medical school admission officials will notice how you coped with the trauma of the coronavirus pandemic and focused your energy on improving your academic and clinical skills. Stay safe, and good luck for your medical school journey!