Are you in the midst of preparing for your residency application? Looking to touch up and improve the content of your application? We’ve rounded up the top five things program directors look at when they’re evaluating applicants. The list below might help you in emphasizing and convincing the program that you are highly qualified and competent to be a resident. Check it out below:
According to the National Resident Matching Program Survey held last 2016, 44% of program directors of different medical specialties cited that involvement and experience in research are considered an advantage to residency applicants. Most of the time, applicants with clinical research are highly favored because it involves actual work with patients; thereby indicating that this applicant knows how to deal with people and progressions of diseases. Having research experience as a student provides a foundation and learning curve - an easier understanding of the stages of illnesses, patient management, new clinical findings as well as comprehension and understanding recent medical literature.
There are many ways to gain research experience while you’re still doing medical school. But note that gaining such an advantageous experience will require tremendous hard work and excellent time management. Here are some ways to do it:
Aside from being a resident, program directors look at the other activities the applicants are involved in during medical school. As much as possible, they tend to favor students who are involved in other activities as this is an indication of excellent time management and a balanced lifestyle. Being a member of a medical organization indicates that applicants are highly motivated to learn beyond the classroom and are truly passionate about pursuing medicine. Other organizations that lean towards arts, community development, and environment are also considered as an advantage because program directors are also looking for applicants who are eager for holistic development during their residency.
Community health education and medical missions are considered to be one of the most fulfilling activities doctors can participate in. These activities tend to widen a person’s perspective and enthusiasm towards medicine - as they realize that one of the purposes of a doctor is to be of help to others, especially those who are in dire need and are in poverty. Program directors of residency programs consider applicants who have such experience with the community and medical missions because this indicates enthusiasm to learn not only within the hospital or classroom but also in communities. Involvement in communities is also a good venue to learn and motivate students to excel in fields that are needed by the mass population.
Having spent the majority of your life studying, program directors will surely look at your educational accomplishments. Most applicants mistake this as an indicator of how good or competent a resident applicant is - that could be possibly right. But most program indicators look at the progress as a medical student or does the field wherein you excel the most needed by the residency program. These are the questions usually answered by your curriculum vitae:
Away rotations are a great venue to gain experience from a different hospital setting, different mentors and patients. This is a major plus if you’re someone who is set to apply to a competitive field. This is also another indicator that an applicant is flexible and adaptable to a different work environment. Away rotations might be costly due to transportation and living expenses, time-consuming and can be stressful at times - so better make sure that if you try this, set your mind into finishing your rotation.