What Makes a Good Applicant?
Suggestions to be a successful application (Taken from OUHSC Health Advisors Day):
- Join the Pre-Med / Pre-Health Club (or other available organizations)
- Select a Major of Interest
- Prioritize Academics
- Gain Health Care Experience
- Volunteer Time
- Become involved on Campus
Additional Suggestions from the Pre-Medical Professions Advisory Committee
- START EARLY
- Find out what it takes in terms of classes and extracurricular activities – and do
- Strive to do well academically from the start (or from that point on…)
- Start your application as soon as becomes available – most are online by June
- Apply as early as you can – even before the application deadline – to get the best
chance of an early interview and early acceptance
- Seek advisement – from instructors, professionals in the field, the school to which
you are applying, and other students who have been there.
- NOTE: While other students are good sources of information, please verify what they
- Have other people review your application
- This is especially true of your personal statement – this is the first impression
that the professional school gets
- Demonstrate Leadership in at least one activity
- Do well on the pre-professional test – study for the test and do practice tests!!!!
- Gain knowledge about your field of interest
- Read the information found under the Pre-Professional Information section and visit the individual website(s) of the school(s) to which you are applying
- Go to the Helpful Websites section or search online to research the field
- Interview a professional within your field of interest
- Display a true passion for that field of interest
You’ve made the academic cut and you’ve got an interview – now what do you do??
- Be able to articulate an understanding of health care in general, the specific profession
for which you are interested, and the program to which you are applying
- Show that you are excited about that field – know specifically why you want to go
- Be able to describe at least one example from actual volunteer / work / shadowing
experience that left an impression on you
- If it is in your application, you better be able to explain it! (i.e., research experience,
volunteer work, participation in a club event, etc.)
- Mock interview so that you are familiar with common questions and are prepared to
think on your feet
- Be honest and be yourself – the interviewers want to get to know you as a person and
see if you are a good “fit” for the program
- Avoid canned answers – you will only get flustered if you can’t remember every word
that you had memorized
- Show up early and come prepared, with a copy of your application, resume, and transcript,
as well as pen and paper.
- Treat EVERYONE as if they were the interviewers
- Ask questions of the interviewers
- Make eye contact, try to relax as much as possible, and be confident – this is your
moment to succeed
What if you don’t get in the first time you apply??
- Try not to be discouraged
- Honestly assess the situation – is there a realistic chance for you to get in next
year if you make certain improvements to your application?? Improvements may include:
- Re-taking pre-requisites (although some professional schools are no longer honoring
academic forgiveness policies)
- Taking advanced courses in science
- Improving GPA (especially by taking more upper level science courses)
- Finishing your degree
- Taking classes to earn Graduate School credit
- Becoming more familiar with the profession (i.e., by researching on the internet or
interviewing health care professionals)
- Gaining more experience by volunteering or working in a health care setting
- Doing more shadowing in the specific field
- Seek advisement for specific recommendations
- Contact the professional school to make an appointment to go over the application
packet and interview scores
- Follow their recommendations and try again
- Re-interview with the SWOSU Pre-Medical Committee – be prepared to tell the Committee
why you are a stronger applicant and even more prepared now to enter into this field.
- By applying again, you are demonstrating that you have made a commitment to this field
and that (hopefully) you are now a more qualified applicant than in the previous year.
Being older and wiser definitely weighs in your favor in the medical fields!