We are happy to have Ololade Saliu on the MyHealth Career Navigator blog! Ololade is currently a third-year medical student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. With the AMCAS application for entering medical school in 2019 opened, Ololade shares her experience applying to medical school and what advice she would give to her younger self.
MyHCN: How many schools did you apply to?
Ololade Saliu: I applied to around 20 schools during both of my application cycles.
MyHCN: How did you decide on what schools to apply to?
OS: I really wanted to go to a school in an urban center, so I chose schools in various cities. I chose schools that had a strong research focus so that I would get exposure to research as a non-MD PhD student.
MyHCN: What was your process when perfecting your personal statement?
OS: After brainstorming about topics that were both important to me and applicable to medicine, I wrote a first draft. After having family members read the draft, I edited it multiple times to improve the personal statement’s clarity and narrow the focus of the anecdotes that I included in the essay.
MyHCN: How did you manage stress when completing your application to medical school?
OS: I did my best not to finish the application process at the very last moment, spending a set amount of time writing every day. I also did what I could to prepare for the interviews by practicing interview questions I found on the Internet with my father. Finally, I did normal everyday things for fun – cooking, reading, watching TV – generally making sure I had a life outside of applying to medical school.
MyHCN: What advice would you give to your younger self during the application process?
OS: Be disciplined about spending a set amount of time every day to work on the application. Ask more experienced people for advice. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get into a school the first time you apply.
MyHCN: What was your favorite part about the application process?
OS: Getting to see the various medical schools during interviews. Many had great campus facilities. It was stressful but fun to travel to other states.