One unique way of making your medicine application stand out is by entering various essay competitions that are relevant to science, technology, or healthcare.
By entering (and winning) essay competitions, medical schools will see that:
You don't need to win the competition for this to look good in your application. The fact that you've gone through all the effort to apply is fantastic in itself. It's something you can write about in your personal statement and bring up in your interviews. It's also something your teachers can write on your UCAS reference too.
Throughout the year, there are different essay competitions open for sixth form students to enter. We've compiled a list of some of the ones that are most relevant for your medicine application. Some of the deadlines are soon, whilst others are in a few months, so be selective and make sure you're giving yourself enough time to write something that is of a high standard.
https://www.ashg.org/dna-day/ - Deadline: 2nd March 2022
You're expected to write a 750 word essay answering the following questions:
Please note essays must be submitted by a teacher or administrator however if you are home schooled parent submission is acceptable.
https://newn.cam.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/Medicine-Information-and-Questions-2022.pdf - Deadline: 11th March 2022 at 12pm
Open to all female students currently in Year 12 at a UK state school. Choose 1 question from:
https://www.mindsunderground.com/medicine-competition - Deadline: 31st March 2022
Choose 1 question from:
www.mindsunderground.com/psychology-competition - Deadline: 31st March 2022
Choose 1 question from:
www.mindsunderground.com/sciences-competition - Deadline: 31st March 2022
The questions you can choose from cover the different STEM subjects. Therefore, it may be preferable to select the one most closely related to medicine:
www.libraeducation.co.uk/essay-prize - Deadline: 24th June 2022
You have a lot more flexibility and autonomy with this competition, where you can choose any essay title inspired by the following words.
The words that are arguably most relevant to medicine, science, and healthcare include 'sustainability', 'memory', and 'senses', though you can definitely make links with any of the words. For example, somebody could choose to write an essay on "Why is sustainability important in healthcare?" or "How has the pandemic impacted healthcare sustainability?"
For these types of essays, think boldly and be unique if you want your essay to stand out.
Various other competitions will open up throughout the year. Keep tabs on these two pages below as their competitions will open up later this year.
We would only recommend going out of your way to participate in essay competitions if you're quite comfortable with your academic grade. To write a good essay, you'll need to do extra reading and research in the topic area, and this can take some time. If your time is better spent revising and securing your grades, then please prioritise this. Essays are just another way to help your medicine application stand out, but they are by no means essential.
If you do have the time for it and you're not compromising your other commitments, then you've got nothing to lose - so give it your best shot!
If you're not quite ready to commit to an essay, you can also consider submitting articles to particular magazines or news outlets. If you're lucky, your piece may feature on their magazine, and this is sure to impress medical schools.
These don't have to be related to medicine or healthcare, it can be about your life as a student and any challenges you're experiencing. Even though it may not directly relate to medicine, it's certainly impressive and will show the medical school that you're not afraid to put yourself out there. For example: