Applying to Medical School If Your Parents Are Doctors

The following is a guest post by Dr. Caroline Cusak, MD. She grew up in a family of physicians and each of her siblings is now a doctor as well! Applying to medical school from a family of doctors can be tricky; you want to convince the admissions committee that you know about medicine, yet are applying to medical school not because of pressure from your parents! Dr. Cusak shares her insight on applying here!

 


Applying to medical school with parents as doctors?
I grew up in a medical family. Both of my parents and my older brother are physicians and my twin sister applied to medical school along with me. Many other medical school applicants find themselves in similar positions and wonder if it is something that they should bring up during the application process.

In my opinion: Of course growing up in a medical household is something you should feel comfortable talking about! It is part of what made you who you are today and likely has a large role in why you are applying to medical school. It also lets the admissions committee know that you understand the struggles of life as a physician and you know what you are getting yourself into. You have likely spent many holidays without a family member while they were busy caring for their patients. Maybe you have seen the distress that comes when a long time patient of theirs passes away. Perhaps you have seen their patients greet them on the street and express their gratitude. Stories like this are great to write in your personal statement or mention in an interview.

While being from a medical family is something to be proud of, it is also important to be able to explain your independent attraction to medicine.

It is not enough to say: “I want to be able to help people like my parents did.” You need to be able to explain why you are applying to medical school instead of other areas of health care. Hopefully you had an open mind about other fields and can explain why they were not the right fit for you. Maybe you can explain that during your time shadowing in the hospital, you gained experience watching multidisciplinary teams treat patients. You can explain why being a physician is different from these other areas and how physicians face unique challenges in their daily practice. Perhaps you even explored other career opportunities outside of health care before deciding on medicine. Don’t be afraid to talk about this. It shows the committee that you took your own journey for a career seriously and decided on medicine for yourself. The admissions committee will want to see that you didn’t decide on medicine just because it is a family business. They want to see a personal story of how it is the right fit for you.

Keep these tips in mind and you will be on the road to success, just like your family member!


Not sure what your unique angle is? Our medical school admissions advisors are here to coach you through the process.

 

 

What Does a Student Interviewer for Medical School Look For?

The medical school interview process can be near wracking. It is a high stakes situation; you’ve studied hard in college, done well on the MCAT, put your all into your extracurriculars and now it’s time to speak about it all in front of a physician! It’s so important to understand what medical school admissions committees are looking for in their students, so we sat down with Dr. Mili Mehta, a former interviewer at Columbia University, and got her perspective on the medical school interview.

For me, I’m always looking for people who are genuine about their interest in medical school and the activities they have done which have lead them to that point. It is easy to tell when someone is passionate about the things they talk about, whether it is community service, research or extra-curricular activities. There are a lot of things people do to try to get into medical school; hopefully each of these things you have done has had a meaningful impact on you and has led to a genuine interest in the field. I would let that part shine through in an interview.

The other thing I am looking for is someone I would want to be my medical school classmate. Are you someone who is going to be supporting your classmate while they’re studying? Are you someone I would like to collaborate with and learn from? Are you someone who will enrich my experience during medical school?

I am also looking for people who can communicate well, because I think this is the most important thing in patient care; having the ability to talk to your patient and get your points across clearly. So in the interview I am looking for someone who makes good eye contact and can have a pleasant conversation. That is really important to me when I am conducting an interview.

“The other thing I am looking for is someone I would want to be my med school classmate. Are you someone who is going to be supporting your classmate while they’re studying? Are you someone I would like to collaborate with and learn from? Are you someone who will enrich my experience during medical school?”

MedSchoolCoach’s advisors can get you ready for the interview! Our mock interviews are conducted with actual physicians who have been on admissions committees, so they know how you can stand out. Click here for more information about our interview preparation.