The Application Process
The culmination of the experiences that the student gains while they are progressing through the system will be represented in their application to the professional or graduate school. As such, this step is a crucial one and requires much thought, planning, and effort. There is no shortage of schools to apply to, so efforts must be expended as to where to apply and why, how many is the right number, and, just like the importance of individualization with regards to mentoring, each individual school should offer something that “works” for each individual, whether it be something as straightforward as the weather/climate to the school’s reputation (as long as it is based on “legitimate history” such as students from the person’s school being successful there). Moreover, it could be the type of curriculum that is offered, which is especially relevant to medical education with the change in recent years or the research being conducted or the type of programs offered, e.g., specific PhD discipline vs. the “umbrella biomedical sciences” degree. The point is that the student must make a sincere effort to identify those parameters that are most important to them as an individual in choosing the schools to apply to and being able to indicate that as part of the application including the interview process. Input from experienced mentors is crucial at this stage and for this reason.