Name Dropping: What Medical School Applicants Need to Know | Medical School Admissions Physician

To name or not? That is the question for medical school applicants.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, name-dropping is “the act of mentioning the names of famous people you know or have met in order to impress other people”. It is generally considered negative in evaluating applicants for admission to medical school and many other professions.

That said, it’s still entirely appropriate and even advisable to give credit to people who have supported and/or mentored you in some tangible way. A good example: When discussing the research described in your application, share the names of those who have supported you in your work.

There is a balance between credit to those who have guided you and what you have actually pursued independently. A freelance project you have taken on is certainly commendable and should be described in detail. However, it shows humility and gratitude when the principal investigator of the research project and others are mentioned by name as representing the lab and those who have taught or mentored you.

If you are asked about this during your interview, feel free to mention these research mentors by name again, expressing your appreciation for their assistance.

Clinical expertise and empathy at the bedside are frequently seen during physician shadowing periods. Commenting on this and naming on your application the people you have followed is fine. They may have made a favorable impression on you by helping their patients or perhaps even a family member during an appointment.

On the other hand, I would not mention their names if they did not show optimal care in your opinion, or if your comments could leave the impression that they were inconsiderate. If you disagree with their decision, remember that you don’t have their experience yet, and omit their names.

The list of cases where one should not name can be long. Naming eminent people in that medical center that you want to work with one day is not necessarily a wise decision. Likewise, throwing out the name of a well-known researcher with whom you have little or no work experience is discouraged.

If you want to do that, you’ll have to approach the discussion with caution. You may have read many articles by this person to help you with the design or methods of your own project. You might say something like, “There’s a team at school that has done great work in the same area as my team. ”

If I interviewed you, I would ask more about it and you could tell me the person’s name.

It is not wise to mention your parents, a relative from a university or a hospital administrator, or a family member or friend who is a well-known politician, unless they have played a leading role in your development. Thanks to your candidacy, the investigators know about your parents’ career and you don’t want them to believe that you are trying to pull strings. I saw this flashback when the candidate was discussed in committee.

If your relative is a prominent doctor in this medical center or another, it is also not wise to refer to them by name. A sensible decision point is, “Does mentioning this name imply that I’m trying to impress people with my connections and gain an undeserved advantage over other candidates?”

If so, do not mention the name. But if it’s from a position of sincere gratitude and humility, then use the name of the person who helped or inspired you along your path to medical school wisely.

About Frank Torres

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