ChatGPT and the Future of AI in Medical School Applications

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Can ChatGPT write, or at least improve your medical school application? Artificial intelligence tools are taking the world by storm, and medical school admissions is not immune.

Here’s the good and bad of how AI is already changing med school apps, and how you need to prepare.

 

1 | Will AI Revolutionize Med School Apps?

Medical schools have not yet fully adopted AI in the admissions process, but it will continue to be integrated as the software continues to develop. AI is an impressive tool for categorizing high volumes of information, and it does appear to be effective at choosing strong candidates.

However, medical schools do need to be wary of implementing AI too quickly, as it’s possible AI could have ingrained biases. After all, AI is still developed by human beings, and human beings are inherently biased.

It will take a few application cycles to understand the impact of AI tools on medical school admissions, so students applying soon likely do not need to worry too much about it right now. However, things may evolve by the time they reach residency.

2023 vs 2027 - The Future of AI & Medical Admissions

On the student side, AI tools could potentially help with the many essays you need to write during the application process. However, it’s unlikely this ability will revolutionize the application process, as personal statements are, as the name suggests, incredibly personal. It’s not your way with words that will get you noticed by admissions committees; it’s your authenticity and unique story.

Adcoms are not looking for poets or novelists. They’re looking for qualified candidates who possess a strong work ethic coupled with integrity and maturity. While AI tools can help get your essays started, relying on them exclusively will have you sounding generic and, in a word, robotic.

 

2 | Using ChatGPT to Craft Essays

AI tools could help level the playing field for premeds who can’t afford personalized essay editing services. However, given the extremely personal nature of medical school essays, AI can only help so much.

The same is true of bots like Grammarly and other spell checking tools. Grammarly can help ensure your grammar and spelling are correct, but you cannot rely on it exclusively. Even simple grammar editing tools make mistakes and can give wrong suggestions. It’s up to you to look at the suggestions, consider them, and choose which corrections are accurate based on the context of your writing.

Bots do not have a concept of self-perception, nor will they understand how the personal statement fits in the larger context of your application’s overall narrative. Your application essays will come off both basic and robotic if you rely heavily on AI. In many cases, at least for now, what an AI tool writes may require so much editing on your part that you are better off simply writing it yourself.

Strong applicants are unique applicants. AI tools can’t tell your story for you, and they rob you of your own voice. If you are using the tools to come up with your story, you’re going to have a hard time during the next phases of the process as you continue to answer questions about your journey in secondary applications and interviews.

The best applicants see every single piece of the application process as one more opportunity to stand out and win over admissions committees.

 

3 | Can Admissions Committees Tell If You Used AI?

Since ChatGPT and other AI writing tools are relatively new, it’s unlikely admissions committees are utilizing technology to detect if your essays are written by an AI. However, these tools are far from perfect, and as AI writing software improves, so will AI detection software.

Assume admissions committees have plagiarism software and will continue to invest in it as time goes on. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. By that same token, where there’s AI writing tools, there’s AI detection software.

Beyond detection software, you also run the risk of having a personal statement that’s too similar to someone else’s. If you are using software to cut corners, there’s a good chance other premeds are doing the same. This can result in a number of personal statements that share similar themes, stories, and sentence structure. It’s possible the similarities may trigger a program’s plagiarism detection software.

If it’s not caught in the early phases, it could be during interviews. You won’t be able to speak as clearly about your personal journey and extracurriculars if you weren’t the one who wrote about them. Everything you include in your application is fair game to be asked about. If you’re unable to speak about an experience you detailed on your application, that’s an automatic red flag.

However, an admissions committee’s plagiarism software should not be your concern; all you need to be concerned about is presenting your authentic self and delivering your application with integrity.

A doctor’s code of ethics is sacred. If you’re going against the core values of what it means to be a doctor before you even get into medical school, that’s a big problem. Bending or breaking the rules of the medical profession to become a part of it does not bode well for your future career.

The medical school application process is difficult for a reason. If it’s too easy, people will be blindsided by the difficulty of medical school. It takes hard work, dedication, and grit to succeed during the long and arduous application process. The difficulty of applying is an indicator of whether or not you can handle the rigors of medical school.

 

4 | Are There Rules Against Using AI for Med School Apps?

There are no hard rules against using AI yet, but they may be on their way. ChatGPT is relatively new on the scene. It’s likely some schools will make it a policy that you can’t use AI to write your essays.

While it would be difficult for schools to enforce this rule, they may be able to do so with detection software. If you get sloppy about using AI writing tools, there could be clues that you didn’t write it yourself, and you could face consequences.

Check the rules of each school you apply to and always fall back on the instructions they provide.

Learn more: Do NOT Go to Medical School (If This is You).

If you’re not applying to medical school until a future application cycle, the rules around using the tools is something to keep your eye on. How AI will be used by admissions committees and the rules around how students can utilize these tools will continue to evolve in the years to come.

 

5 | How Can AI Tools Help Students?

Using AI isn’t all bad. In some ways, it may level the playing field for people who can’t afford to pay for essay editing services or for those whose upbringing puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to the English language or writing in general.

These tools can synthesize and organize information, give you ideas for how you might tell your story, and help with potential sentence structure. But if you use it for class work and rely on it to write your essays for you, you’re using it wrong. Plug in beats from the story you want to tell and see how things go. But don’t stop there. Work with the language and adapt it to your own voice. The story must feel like it’s authentically you.

AI tools may also help you save time in other areas of your life, such as emails and other correspondence, so that you have more time to dedicate to your application.

If you believe AI software will magically generate a persuasive personal statement without you having to lift a finger, you’re sadly mistaken. Successful personal statements and medical school essays are authentic. Admissions committees want to see the real you. If you let a robot do the talking for you, it defeats the purpose. You’re much more likely to come off as bland and generic as opposed to uniquely you.

 

The Future of Med School Applications

AI & Medical Admissions - robot writing

If AI can successfully and unbiasedly get more applications sorted in a faster amount of time, that’s a win. It can free up time for adcoms to further develop other aspects of the application process, like interviews.

On the student side of things, both premeds and medical students need to tread carefully when it comes to utilizing AI tools for writing. You may be able to use them effectively for synthesizing notes, drafting correspondence, social media posts, and other simple forms of writing, but your personal statement is not something you want to cut corners on.

Ultimately, medicine and medical school admissions are still highly human endeavors, and there are no effective shortcuts. While AI has its place as a tool, it’s easy to be seduced by unrealistic expectations of its utility.

Admissions committees are made up of people, including doctors, who want to select candidates who will be assets to the incoming medical school class, and ultimately become great physicians. One of the most powerful ways to wow adcoms is with a cohesive narrative-based approach to the application, whereby all aspects of your med school app—from your personal statement to work and activities to secondaries to interviews, and more, all align with your central story.

The narrative-based application is what we specialize in at Med School Insiders, and is what we’ve used to help over 6,000 successful applicants get into their dream programs. Putting your best foot forward is mission critical in the competitive landscape of medical school admissions, and even more so if you’re aiming for a top program or you want to earn merit-based scholarships to reduce your loan burden.

If you want to work with a real physician who has actually served on medical school admissions committees, who can help coach and guide you on how to stand out and earn the adcom’s approval, visit our services page to learn more. There’s a reason we’ve become the fastest growing company in the space and earned industry-leading satisfaction ratings. We’d love to help you not only become a future physician but surpass your expectations of yourself in the process of doing so.

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