Getting into Medicine

Typically, many top-performing students have the aspiration to become doctors. However, very few eventually make it due to inadequate preparation. Do note that there are a few highly selective courses in which grades alone is not enough to guarantee entry. Other examples are Law and Dentistry. While work experience is not stated as an entry requirement, the course is so competitive that selected students do have some form of experience or the other.

Why is gaining experience important?
  • Medical schools want to see that you understand what a career in medicine involves.

  • Work experience, and other related experiences, are only as valuable as the way you talk about them. While you will be expected to show some understanding of what it is like to be a doctor, part of this involves demonstrating that you know what it is like to work in a responsible role, particularly with the public.

Key skills and and core values needed to study medicine
  • Motivation to study medicine and genuine interest in the medical profession

  • Insight into your own strengths and weaknesses

  • Academic ability

  • Problem solving

  • Dealing with uncertainty

  • Manage risk and deal effectively with problems

  • Ability to take responsibility for your own actions

  • Conscientiousness

  • Insight into your own health

  • Effective communication, including reading, writing, listening and speaking

  • Teamwork

  • Ability to treat people with respect

  • Resilience and the ability to deal with difficult situations

  • Empathy and the ability to care for others

  • Honesty

Applicants are advised to reflect on how they might demonstrate the core values and skills needed to study medicine. In particular they should think of examples when they have demonstrated these values and skills. These examples can be used in aspects of the selection process including interviews and personal statements.

What is work experience?

Work experience is any activity or life experience that helps you to prepare for medical school. This means any activity that allows you to demonstrate that you have:

  • Had people-focused experience of providing a service, care, support or help to others, and that you understand the realities of working in a caring profession

  • Developed some of the values, attitudes and behaviours essential to being a doctor such as conscientiousness, effective communication and the ability to interact with a wide variety of people.

  • A realistic understanding of medicine and in particular the physical, organisational and emotional demands of a medical career

Usual ways you can achieve work experience 

  • Volunteer regularly (usually students join Interact Club or Red Cross)

  • Hospital attachments (look out for opportunities here)

  • Temporary jobs at a clinic or hospital after graduation

Other ways you can achieve experience

  • Talking with doctors and medical students (on-line if required)

  • Attending a university information session/open day (on-line if required)

  • Reading medical literature e.g The British Medical Journal’s open access information

  • Reading books on medicine e.g. "How Doctors Think" by Jerome Groopman, "What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine" by Danielle Ofri etc

  • Keep a reflective diary on what is happening in the news and online (especially during Covid-19 pandemic)

  • Virtual work experience e.g. Brighton and Sussex Medical School

  • Explore online e.g.

The key ideas here are 

  • Quality of experience over quantity

  • Accumulate reflection on experiences gained​

 
 
 
Medical Options

Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)

Note that it is NOT more difficult to enter LKCSoM, it is simply more tedious. But your effort may just pay off.

Doctor of Medicine (MD)

Overseas options

  • Note that you will only be allowed to practice in Singapore upon certain conditions e.g. holding a medical degree from a recognised medical school. Refer here for more details.

  • Learn more about UK Medicine here 

 
Preparation for MBBS Admissions​

 

This is the typical portfolio you will need to present

  • Personal statement (more information here)​

  • List of co-curricular activities

  • Official school testimonial

  • 2 referee reports (more information here)

  • BMAT results (for NTU applicants)

Note that you should select Medicine as a first choice.

2nd choice only if you chose Dentistry as the first.

Short-listed applicants will be invited for

  • an interview (more information here)

  • Situational Judgement test (for NUS applicants)

Do you need 90 rank points to be short-listed for interview?

  • Short answer is no.

  • However, since the course is so competitive, it is recommended that you apply through aptitude-based admissions if you did not get 90 rank points.