The thought about taking the next step and pursuing your studies further can be intimidating and scary, but it helps you tremendously when you are able to prepare for it.
The aim of this article is to give you a little insight into what helped me get into Medical School and how I prepared for it. These few tips, alongside good grades, are guaranteed to boost your chances and opportunity to secure you an interview – or perhaps a place at your dream university.
1. Good personal statement
I was lucky enough to have amazing tutors from DIFC to help with this. They not only taught me the correct format to write one but also made sure it was custom to my personality and would capture the attention of the people reviewing it. As this is used as a reference during an interview, it is best to know your personal statement well and only from experiences that you have gone through.
Listen to the advice of your tutors and this will help you to write a personal statement that stands out in the crowd.
2. Volunteer work/clinical experience
The key to writing a good personal statement requires you to have something interesting writing about! This may be an interest and hobby that you are passionate about or volunteer work that you have done that is related to the course/degree that you are pursuing. For me, I had the amazing opportunity to shadow a couple of doctors back in Malaysia as clinical experience to gain further insight and exposure on what it was like to work in a hospital. This also helped realise that pursuing a career in Medicine was something I was determined about.
For Medical applications, volunteer experience or clinical work experience is very important to show your dedication to you future career and studies. If this can be arranged before you arrive in Ireland, that is best – but there are also options in Ireland for you to do this during your Foundation. For example, I also had the chance to volunteer in a local cancer hospital and helped in the Irish Cancer Society charity shop in Dublin during my Foundation studies.
With these experiences, I was able to write out a personal statement that I was confident with and could talk passionately about in my interview.
This is of course different for each individual, volunteering has to also come from the right intentions and dedication that you put in. Not everybody’s path towards Medical school is the same.
3. Having the right mind set during an interview
Going into an interview is a nerve-wrecking experience but being prepared and having the correct attitude, it makes it easier for you to get through it. With the help of the teachers from DIFC, I was confident enough to sit through the interview with speaking/answering the questions well. Practice makes perfect, so practice with friends and do plenty of mock interviews beforehand.
Not only did the sessions with the DIFC teachers help me boost my confidence levels for it -they also prepared me to be able to address the tricky questions with a good strategy.
Study smart, not study hard
Good time management + good variety of study resources = good grades.
Self motivation is so important and it is a good habit to have at the start. This can be really helpful during your time in medical school because it is all about self-directed learning most of the time.
This is something I’ve learned through my time in DIFC and have been using this study strategy throughout my time in RCSI.
And for my final tip! With good determination, you will succeed in achieving in your goals whether in university or with other things.
One of my favourite quotes that always inspires me is…
“The only way to achieve the impossible is to believe it is possible”
Written by Dawn Kaur
DIFC Ambassador – Malaysia
Now studying Medicine at Royal College of Surgeons Ireland