Over the last few weeks I’ve been talking about the pandemic and its impact on the general population and within the premed community, today let’s delve into more details about its impact towards the premed community! In the last time we discussed the topic, we talked about how to find opportunities during this time, and what’s available out there for premeds. Today we’re going to take a different approach! This time it’s all about making the opportunities, not just looking for them! As future medical professionals, many times you have to think creatively rather than just work on the surface as opposed to most traditional jobs. By creating your own opportunities, it shows how much of a drive and initiative you have to graduate school programs, and makes you stand above the rest, showing how you’ll excel as a professional in the field! An example would be instead of seeing how shadowing programs are full and being discouraged or cancelled, cold email many physicians in a targeted area! Although many physicians will say no or not respond, there are always going to be a few that can help you, or lead you to others that can!
A successful cold email consists of a well-passionate message that explains why you’re interested and what you bring to the table. However, it is important to make sure that you do make this email slightly personalized in order to convey your message more effectively! An effective cold email campaign does not randomly email all people, instead it focuses on a target group, and reaches out to everyone in that group. In this, the message that you send will feel more authentic to that audience (while still reaching out to a lot of people), and you’re more likely to have a higher success rate! These same strategies also apply to cold calling! The methods discussed here can also be applied to so much more than just shadowing, it also applies to research opportunities, internships, and reaching out to people for mentorship!
If there’s something that’s not out there, work hard and make it happen! If you want something, it’s very likely that others will be looking for the same opportunities. By doing this, you’re making the community more successful, through your initiatives, demonstrating great leadership skills at the same time! Students tend to underestimate the importance of having leadership skills, but in reality having leadership really shows the admissions committee about how much drive and passion you have more than merely showing up to activities (which is also important to have as a balance!). This pandemic has increased the amount of free time for most of us, take advantage of it!