Tips for med school and residency matching application

  • I had the marks and the MCAT score to get in and still I was not invited for an interview. Where did I get wrong? Try to differentiate yourself through your letters of reference, personal statement, and extracurricular activities. Think quality versus quantity and progressive leadership roles in each of them. Is your overall application branded for the school you apply for? Do you come across as a future doctor or lawyer or is your application too general that you could apply for teaching college or art school with it? Try our Ideal CV software and see what you can  improve next time!
  • Take a CPR course and use it in your future volunteer activities!  Start to search for a physician to shadow as early as the first year.  For a step by step guide to get clinical research experience register for one of our free workshop on this topic!
  • Do not wait until you get the invitation to interview letter to prepare for the interview. Be aware of the type of the interview they have at the schools you apply for and prepare accordingly. Practice the interview as close to the real situation as possible. Dress up as for the interview and ask your family, friends to act as interviewers and read you questions and tape your answer. You will be amazed to look at your body language, and answers. Use their feed-back or a professional service to improve and polish your interview skills. For a step by step guide to master the interview register for one of our free workshop on this topic!
  • Start your personal statement early and carry it with you at all times and ask everyone around to read it and comment on it! Use a highlighter to underline the sentences that they find interesting and replace the others with better ones. For a step by step guide to write stellar personal statement letters register for one of our free workshop on this topic!
  • Graduate students register for free to Science Advisory Board  to add to your committee activities.  For a step by step guide to get membership and committee experience register for one of our free workshop on this topic!
  • Do not wait until 1 month before the deadline to ask for reference letters. The referees are busy, they might have already written for other students in the same competition other reference letters. Try to chose 2-3 possible referees for each of the three letters from the first year of university and continue to add to the list, continue to get involved with the activities of the referee. For a step by step guide to get the best reference letters register for one of our free workshop on this topic!
  • Do not wait to be nominated for an award or scholarship! In average the accepted students have 10 awards, nominations, scholarships. Search actively school websites, ask students in upper years, search the internet! There are hundreds of scholarships available for almost each and every characteristic, activity, skill! For a step by step guide to get nominations, awards, and scholarships register for one of our free workshop on this topic!
  • MCAT, DAT, LSAT…confused how to approach them? Sign up for free trials from all the prep companies and see where you stand and whether you need their services. For an information session on prep courses register for one of our free workshop on this topic!
  • Global medical trips! You heard about them and saw baking sales to support them! Sign up for one and differentiate yourself from the crowd! Fundraise the money to go and use that experience when you come home to write about and increase awareness about the problems those population face! For a step by step guide to get global medical experience register for our free workshop on this topic!
  • The second most popular activity on winning applications for med school is research experience. Start early by volunteering, apply for work study positions, co-op courses, courses with a research thesis, apply for summer research scholarships available in all departments and hospital research centres in GTA. For a step by step guide to get research experience register for one of our free workshop on this topic!
  • Navigating the route of course work, clinical volunteering, preparation for test and at the same time finding time for extracurricular activities necessary for your application seems sometimes difficult to balance. Try to get engages in activities you are genuinely interested in and link them to support biomedical research. If you like to play an instrument volunteer for a concert to patients, if you like drawing volunteer to teach sick kids in hospital beds how to sketch, etc. For a step by step guide to get high impact extracurricular activities register for one of our free workshop on this topic!
  • Do I need to chose between paid work and volunteer to enhance my CV? Balancing these while getting the scores in tests and a great GPA is not for everyone. Our best advice is so not work during the first year of university if you can. Is one of the year we see most students have the lowest GPA due to the transition from high school or form another city, or from family shelter to being by themselves. If your GPA is great you can try paid work next year. It is better to apply for work in campus, work study positions or paid research during the summer as you can get money and put these on your application. For a step by step guide to balance marks, tests, and paid work register for one of our free workshop on this topic.
  • You are about to register for your first year courses. Confused? So are all your colleagues! Try to chose courses that will allow you to meet the requirements of as many universities as possible when you apply for professional schools and try to chose courses you like and you think you are good for the rest. Nobody will give you extra bonus points at admission for getting 5 Physics courses. Many successful students in medical or dental school have a major in Spanish, Music, or an engineering background! For a step by step guide to chose the right courses for a great GPA register for one of our free workshop on this topic!
  • I worked three summers in a lab and do not have a poster or publications. You can always submit your work to our international conference in a poster form or try many other possibilities of disseminating your work (with your supervisor permission). Learn how to find a multitude of venues where you can have your experience showcased by registering for one of our free workshops on this topic.
  • Med school? DentalSchool? Law school? Not sure which one? Tried one and did not get in? Want to switch? We had students who successfully transitioned from one to another  by being prepared from the beginning to do activities that will help them acquire meaningful experiences for all. For a step by step guide to prepare for multiple professional schools register for one of our free workshop on this topic!
  • You tried everything and after 5 years you did not get in med school or dental school or vet school? More and more students chose an off shore US school in the Caribbean or an international school. We have created special sections of our free workshops in which such schools showcase their program. To learn more register for one of our free workshops. We hosted almost all Caribbean schools as well as Australian and European ones.
Tips for medical school application:
  • Start as early as you decide to go in this field to have time to create a strong application
  • Enrol in a program you love so your GPA will be higher
  • Take Physics, Organic Chemistry, Calculus, and English to expand the universities where you can apply
  • Pay attention to pre-requisite courses that can be different for each school in order to keep open as many as possible
  • Apply widely (but only to the schools where you can submit quality applications) and early (if it is rolling admission) to increase your chance of acceptance
  • ​Customize your application for each University
  • Organize your application and acquire experiences and skills in the competencies of an effective physician established by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons: Medical Expert, Professional, Communicator, Collaborator, Manager, Health Advocate, Scholar
  • Get meaningful clinical experience
  • Get involved in research, teaching, volunteer activities
  • Fill all sections of the application, empty sections, or one time activities in each category are clear indications that you are unlikely to contribute much to the medical program or your community
How to fill in some sections of the application

List your employment in chronological order, specify your title, education level during employment, indicate if the employment was during the summer or academic year, part-time or full-time, the total number of hours and the number of years and briefly describe your responsibilities.

Volunteer Activities
List your volunteer activities in chronological order, specify your education level, indicate if the activity was during the summer or academic year, the total number of hours and the number of years, provide the location where the volunteer work took place and briefly describe your responsibilities.

Extracurricular Activities
List your extracurricular activities in chronological order, specify your education level, indicate if the activity was during the summer or academic year, the total number of hours and the number of years. Indicate the type of activity: individual activity, team activity or club activity (sports, visual arts, music, student governments, personal activities).

Awards and Accomplishments
List  university entrance scholarships, service awards, NSERC and other summer research scholarships, dean list, humanitarian awards, community awards, athletic scholarships, nominations, etc. Specify when they were received, the money awarded, and the duration.


Specify  the title of the project, your education level, type of publications: paper (accepted or published, submitted or in preparation) abstract and oral or poster presentation at a scientific meeting, thesis, “Acknowledgment” in a publication,etc. Write full title of publication, type of publication, describing your role in detail. You can include lab volunteer work, RA positions, summer research (NSERC projects), course-based research, etc.
For all activities if repetitive state number of hours per week/month, etc. You will be asked to provide verifier name and contact.
Tips for a winning resume
  • Research and learn as much as possible about the school you apply to and customize your resume to reflect your experiences, skills and accomplishments that best match their mission
  • Decide whether a traditional chronological resume, a functional resume, or a mixed format best highlights you
  • Include a summary of qualification in bullet points that will draw attention to your most impressive qualifications, skills and achievements and differentiate yourself from the crowds
  • Emphasize leadership, team work, communication skills
  • Quantify the impact of your activities and contribution using figures, percentage, rankings
  • Include unique backgrounds, interests, hobbies, skills that make you memorable
  • Use verbs to start each bullet point
  • Each bullet point should be at most two lines long
  • Number pages and long lists
  • Stick with a conservative style; avoid strange fonts and embellishments
  • Use ample of white space and 11 or 12 fonts with 1 inch margins
  • Use design elements to enhance your resume (diamond- and arrow-shaped bullet, kerning, shading)
  • Check for grammatical and spelling errors ​​
Follow this roadmap to create a powerful and dynamic CV:
  • have a personal folder in which you gather all relevant documents about any activity you do
  • brainstorm all activities, experiences and accomplishments you have since last two years of high school
  • create a template that includes all 25 categories of a winning resume (e.g. summary of qualifications, educations, dissertations, theses, awards, various experiences (clinical, research, teaching/tutoring), publications, conferences, patents, professional licenses and certifications, memberships, volunteer activities, computer skills, languages, hobbies, etc., etc.)
  • add them in each category
  • write in bullet form job descriptions, achievements, and impact (in average 3-4 bullet points per activity)
  • make it stand out
  • edit style and grammar
  • proofread and edit format
  • keep your resume updated every time you join a new activity or have an accomplishment
  • review it with us
  • create a similar LinkedIn profile


Tips for a winning personal statement
  • Start as early as possible, it takes a lot of time and effort to talk about your interest in medicine, how it began, how it is part of your present, and how you envision your future medical career in a page
  • Create and outline and then crystallize your ideas in a draft
  • Decide which type of personal statement better reflects your experience: The “Rocket scientist”, The “Altruistic”, The “Global Trotter”, or the “Mixed profile”
  • Chose a few experiences and talents that will make it interesting to stand out from the crowd and to have higher impact as every reason you want to be a doctor is going to be written by thousands other applicants
  • Many start their statement with an event that marked them (death, difficulties, natural or human disasters, war, refugee camps, earthquakes, and disabilities) and made them chose this profession
  • You need to show how these events motivated and transformed you and what skills you acquired to support you decision to pursue this field (leadership, team player, communication, empathy, compassion, analytical, problem solving, etc.)
  • Give personal examples-tell an interesting story and make a case for yourself
  • Describe any particular talents (sports, arts)
  • Minimize any “red flags”  such as coming to medical school from another career, after doing postdoctoral studies, after taking a year off to travel by emphasizing the wealth of experience you can transfer
  • Write the best introductory sentence you can and then describe how your clinical or research exposure, your medical trip, the skills and experiences you acquired will help you to become a successful professional
  • Use active verbs and smooth transitions between paragraphs
  • Write concise, logical, clear, well organized essays
  • Do not use the same sentence pattern and clichés
  • The Admissions Office will perform random checks of applicants’ essays through for detection of possible plagiarism.
Tips for the Secondary Application Essay (mainly for USA schools)
  • To show that you are a good fit at a specific school research the school website you are interested to apply, join their Facebook page, LinkedIn groups, read articles about the schools, famous alumni to learn as much as possible about them
  • Know both the kind of student they accept and the kind of physician they make so you can find the best fit and write the best essay
  • Mention you match their ideal candidate profile and that you have the skills or particular focus of their school as major interests
  • Give examples of abilities you have, demonstrate specific interests in subject matter and include some research experience in that field
  • Should complement your personal statement and not be a repetition of your autobiographical sketch


The ideal reference letter should:
  • be written by someone who knows you extremely well and can write a glowing letter for you
  • come from the most renowned and respected professor, doctor, or person you have studied, did research, or worked with
  • be written by someone who has been involved and is interested in mentoring you and in your professional development
  • state clearly your high ranking among your peers
  • be a detailed and personalized letter and not a template letter
  • comment on the specific areas requested by each school

Need more help? Contact us and register with one of our experienced advisers from Medical Education Advising for a one on one consultation! E-mails us at



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