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An Interview with Krithicck

How did you get involved in Medic Mentor and why?

I first heard of Medic Mentor through school, where they advertised GIM conferences to learn more about the medical application process. Following this, I gradually immersed myself in more MM programmes such as the free work experience and medical society, which I found useful for building skills and experiences as part of my application.

What were you most scared of/worried about when it came to applying to medical school?

I was most nervous for the last step of the process: the interview. I was quite confident for the other stages such as the admissions tests as it was somewhat similar to other exams I had done in school, and there was more time to think about and check answers, The interview, however, I felt was a lot less in my control, and so it was a point of my application that I focused a lot on to do as much practice as possible.

Describe your experience of the Get into Medicine Conference

It was a very good introduction to the different components of the application process, however it can seem quite overwhelming. I think it is a good start, but definitely not a substitute for talking with older years and medical students which are the best resource for what you need to do for your application and its timeline.

Describe your experience of the Awards Programme

I started looking at the awards programme quite late in the application cycle. The large number of things on the awards programme checklist can seem very overwhelming, but you definitely don’t have to do everything on there to get a place at med school. I used the awards programme as a suggestion for parts of my application that could be improved, and prioritised areas that I though were most important.

Describe your experience of the Summer School

A good way to get most of the personal statement done, as well as meet a lot of like-minded medics that I still keep in touch with. It is not essential to do well in your application, but can be a helpful aspect for getting the personal statement done as well as get some early interview preparation.

Describe your experience of writing personal statements, what was difficult and what helped?

I found writing the personal statement as quite a boring task. While there is a checklist of skills that need to be included (teamwork, communication etc.), cramming all this into 4000 characters alongside my academic and extracurricular interests was very difficult. I think the hardest part is cutting down on the word count, and the only real advice I can give is to keep coming back to it over time. It is very easy to hit a roadblock when writing and editing the personal statement, and working little and often can help generate new ideas of what you want to write.

Describe your experience of preparing for the UCAT, what was Difficult and what helped?

It is no secret that the hardest part about the UCAT is the time pressure. I spent around 6 weeks, with the first week learning content, and the remaining time used for timed practice. The thing I found most difficult was motivation, as I found the UCAT to be quite repetitive in the question types (compared to the BMAT), and the only way I was able to combat this was to have breaks/switch what work I was doing. For example, I would do an hour or two of UCAT in the morning, then work on my personal statement, and then back to UCAT in the evening.

Describe your experience of preparing for the BMAT, what was Difficult and what helped?

The BMAT requires a lot more previous knowledge, so it is very important to fully learn the content (especially for section 2). I would then recommend doing all the past papers over time. I found BMAT questions far more interesting than the UCAT questions, so it was easier to practice and have motivation for me.

Describe your experience of preparing for the interviews, what was difficult and what helped?

Interviews are probably the hardest part of the medical application process. It’s hard to predict what questions will come up and what you even need to know. I learnt the basics such as medical ethics and common scenario questions, and then the best thing you can do is practice interviews with other people or record yourself. Its important to simulate the same pressure that you will be feeling in the interview itself. Also, sometimes if I was tired, I would just get some practice interview questions and just have a think about what I would say, which is less strenuous than properly recording yourself or doing a mock interview.

Describe your experience of preparing for school exams, what was difficult and what helped?

After getting med school offers, prepping for school exams is the relative easy part. This is the exams you will have practiced over and over throughout school, and so it’s back to basics with making sure you know the content you have covered in school, and then doing as many past papers as possible.

Why did you choose to apply for the scholarship programme?

I wanted to share the things I have learned in my medical application onto other applying students, as well as building a network with other medical students from different universities who are also scholars. I also thought that the teaching days on medical research and how to write academically would be very useful for my future career as a doctor.

What educational projects have you been involved in this year, and would you recommend this to other students/scholars? Any great advice that you might give them?

Not during the year, but I am undertaking a research placement in a lab over this summer which hopefully should give more insight and exposure into the medical research.

How have you found being a medical student?

Quite challenging, there is a large amount of work and there are many days when I wished I had more sleep. But I don’t regret it at all, I think it is a very interesting course and subject which makes all the long nights and hard work worth it.

Do you have any advice for Parents?

I don’t think that parents really need to do much, I think it is best if the applying students do all of their application and research, which makes sure they know what they are applying for and how much work is needed. With this being said, parents could help by just being supportive if asked for help by their children, I think the main area they could help with would be doing a mock interview occasionally. The parents don’t really need to have any medical knowledge, it is more about being someone who the student can talk to mimic the interview environment.

Do you have any advice for teachers?

I think that teachers can best help by doing mock interviews, particularly for Oxbridge medicine by covering topics that go beyond A-level. Aside from that, encouraging a school medsoc can be helpful, in my school over lockdown we discussed things that have been in medical news recently as well as doing mock interviews closer to interview season. The medsoc would be largely run by the students but having a teacher initially can help with growing the society in school and attracting other students.

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