Becoming a great physician involves more than earning a high GPA, good MCAT scores, participating in volunteer work, performing well during clinical rotations and creating an effective treatment plan. Medicine is basically a profession that needs effective communication skills in order to effectively engage with patients, physicians, and other hospital staff to achieve the highest standard of care.
If truth be told, nearly all accredited medical schools understand the real importance of these other aspects of medicine, such as the ability to showing clinical empathy to patients, following directions in high-stakes situations and write clearly. Medical school admissions committees give more importance to applicants who have strong communication skills throughout their undergraduate years.
Besides focusing on securing high grades in your prerequisite classes, prospective medical students are highly advised to polishing your writing, listening, nonverbal skills so that you can come up with a killer medical school application.
Here are a few easy ways tips for aspiring doctors to refine theirlistening, writing, and communication skills which will surely improve your chances of getting into medical school.
Learn How to Write Clearly
There are many medical school hopefuls who don’t realize the importance of developing strong writing skills and how it can impact their future careers. Whether writing a recommendation letter, a personal statement, or a research paper, your ability to convey your thoughts and findings accurately matter most. Many medical schools require students to specifically take a writing class during their freshman year.
When it comes to writing a medical school personal statement, make sure your writing skills are in the best shape to increase your chances of admission success. To develop your writing skills, make it a habit of writing a journal entry, start a blog on a topic that you like most or start working as a freelance writer. You can also enroll in writing-intensive courses to improve your ability to write on a number of topics. Make sure you pay careful attention to your teachers’ feedback and discuss how you can strengthen your skills.
Become a Good Listener
In the field of medicine, mastering the art of listening is one of the most important factors to succeed. Medicine requires you to pay your full attention to the person in front of you, no matter the individual is a patient, a fellow student, the attending, or staff.
Potential medical students can easily refine their listening skills by practicing it in their daily life. For instance, give your full attention and set your smartphone aside while out with a friend or a family member. Make it a practice to focus on the details and remember the important points of a conversation. In addition, you can strengthen your listening skills by availing a lot of opportunities availableduring your undergraduate and gap years. There are many medical schools that offer positions in peer support as a resident assistant, as well as many volunteering opportunities that are tailored to help students develop the ability to deal with difficult situations. Moreover, volunteering in nursing programs and other healthcare settings gives potential medical students the opportunity to develop strong relationships based on listening and sympathizing with patients.
Once you developed strong listening skills, you can effectivelydisplay them at the time of interview at medical schools. Showing your interest in the people with whom you have interactedis probably an effective way to demonstrate that you are a good listener who is well prepared for the communication challenges of medical school.
Refine Your Nonverbal Communication Skills
Nonverbal communicationthat includes your facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, posture, and tone of voice plays a key role in conveying a trustworthy and well-informed impression. Using proper body language and showing a high level of confidence is a must during a medical school interview. It is strongly suggested to avoid crossing your arms or any other inappropriate body position.
If you want to polish your nonverbal communication skills, join groups, enroll in speech classes and participate in public speaking events, debate clubs. This way, you can learn how to convey your point to the person in front of you using your postures, facial expressions, appearance,and gestures.
In addition, you can strengthen your nonverbal communication skills by simply taking care of your sitting or standing position while talking to the other person. This will ensure your actions and words are aligned perfectly aligned when you talk to patients.
To Sum Things Up
Believe it or not, the quality of communication between patients and doctors plays an integral role in providing quality healthcare. In short, effective communication is considered as a keystone of a trustworthy patient-physician relationship. Refining your listening, writing, nonverbal and communication skills can better prepare you to apply to Caribbean medical schools and eventually a rewarding career in medicine.