Those factors are maturity and leadership.
Why are these important? It takes a great deal of maturity and leadership to be committed to become a physician as a 17 or 18 year old. Few students of this age are really ready to make this kind of commitment. The biggest issue for most students is “how do I show that I have maturity and leadership?”
Leadership is easier to show. Have you led different organizations? Have you started any groups? This sort of activity shows leadership. This is also why it is important to be involved with groups early on so that you have a chance at leadership when you are a junior or senior.
Maturity is trickier. Maturity is shown by all of your actions. Volunteering, by showing you care for others, shows maturity. Volunteering for several years with the same activity shows greater maturity. Establishing a group that benefits others shows the most maturity.
Leadership can also show maturity. What you choose to write your essays about can show maturity. Your interview can show maturity. Basically, you show maturity through the entire application process. This is one of the areas that I help students with when we work on their applications.
What are you going to do to show your maturity and leadership? The earlier you consider this, the better.
Want more information about BS/MD programs? Check out the Guide to BS/MD Programs.