by Lauren DiProspero, former admissions officer at Columbia University
The process of applying to medical school requires a lot of reflection on the part of applicants. As you start considering when you want to apply, the very first question you should be asking yourself is: Am I competitive for medical school? You need to do an honest assessment of your academics, MCAT score, experiences, and motivation. It can be helpful to include your pre-med advisor in this process as that person has seen many students from your college apply to medical school. They can also provide suggestions for next steps to take to improve your application. Remember, gap years are incredibly common and you do not want to apply to medical school unless you have prepared the strongest application possible.