How to Get into Medical School


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How to Get into Medical School

  1. 1. GETTING INTO MEDICAL SCHOOL Tips and Advice from a Recent Undergraduate By Jessica Malin Spring 2009
  2. 2. THE BASICS General Advice  Be on top of your game – start planning early!  Have a true desire to become a doctor – don’t put yourself through it for any other reason.  Prepare yourself to work hard – but learn how to balance with activities you enjoy.  Understand the realities of getting into medical school – keep a positive attitude and an open mind!
  3. 3. IMPORTANT FACTORS 1 Grades  Maintaining a  If you are having competitive GPA is trouble in college: necessary:  Talk to an advisor  Most schools have an  Change your study average of 3.6-4.0 habits  GPA is the number one factor that schools  Consider switching consider majors and only taking  If you can’t keep a high necessary pre- GPA in college, requisites chances are, medical  Don’t give up or be too school will be too tough hard on yourself! to handle
  4. 4. IMPORTANT FACTORS 2 Pre-Requisites  All schools require  Some schools require or certain undergraduate recommend other classes: courses, usually:  1 year of Biology  1 semester of  1 year of Inorganic Biochemistry Chemistry  1 semester of Genetics  1 year of Organic Chemistry  Some breadth in the  1 year of Physics social sciences or  1 year of Math (1 humanities semester each of calculus  Check out school and statistics) websites to see their  1 year of English individual requirements
  5. 5. IMPORTANT FACTORS 3 Medical College Admission Test  MCAT is equally as  Take at end of junior important to grades year  Total score is out of 45:  Get a study book or  Physical Sciences: 15 study old class notes  Verbal Reasoning: 15  Taking a preparatory  Biological Sciences: 15  Writing Sample: J-T course is helpful  Kaplan  Competitive score is about 30 and above  Princeton Review  Study A LOT!
  6. 6. IMPORTANT FACTORS 4 Medical Experience Volunteer  Medical schools want  Volunteer hours are to see that you have basically required to get been exposed to the into medical school field:  Search for opportunities  Work in a hospital or at local hospitals or clinics clinic  Put time in at nursing  Shadow a doctor homes or with sick  Become an EMT children  Begin gaining  Find something you enjoy experience as soon as and stick with it! possible – don’t wait!
  7. 7. IMPORTANT FACTORS 5 Activities  Have other hobbies or  Research is one of the interests besides getting best activities you can into medical school get involved with  Leadership positions look very impressive on an  See if your university has application research programs with  Don’t join a million clubs local hospitals and barely get involved –  Dedicate a good amount pick one or two that you of time, but make sure it’s enjoy and dedicate your something you’re time to them! interested in  Attempt to get published!
  8. 8. IMPORTANT FACTORS 6 Recommendations Personal Statement  Required from three to  Essay defining who five you are and why you professors, depending on want to be a doctor the school  Required for the  Also helps to have one primary application from a volunteer or research mentor  Be honest and be yourself  Ask early, but only ask those who could write you  Write many drafts an effective letter  Have 10 people read  Get to know your and critique it before professors more than just you submit it sitting in their class!
  9. 9. THE NEXT STEP Application Time  Use the American Medical  Research schools to College Association Service decide which you are (AMCAS) – this common competitive for and would application will get sent to like to go to every school you indicate, making it easier  Average number to apply and hassle-free to apply! to is between 14-18  Use a book like the  Applications open June 1st – Medical School begin filling it out as soon as Admissions Requirements possible the year prior to (MSAR) to help desired matriculation  Aim for schools around  Schools have rolling your region – admissions admissions, so the are very local earlier, the better!
  10. 10. YOU’RE ALMOST THERE.. Secondary Applications  After the primary application is processed, you will start to receive secondary ones from individual schools  Fill these out as soon as possible – there are lots of essays, so start writing immediately!  Keep a spreadsheet to organize yourself – write down what applications you have sent in and what fees you have paid (remember that this part can get expensive!)  Don’t get discouraged if you don’t receive a lot at first – remember that there are thousands of applicants and you need to be patient!  Read all instructions: Some schools want it faxed, some want it online, some want a paper copy. Make sure you know exactly what you need for each school.
  11. 11. THE LAST STEP Interviews  When you get an interview,  In order to have a good you have passed the interview:  Get informed about the numbers part of the particular school admissions process  Read up on current events,  The interview is a huge health care, and politics  Know why you want to be a factor in admissions and the doctor and where you stand on last chance you have to sell ethical issues yourself  Be confident and relaxed  If you don’t know the answer,  Schools want to see if you be honest are personable and can  Wear a suit and look communicate – basically if professional you have the people skills  BE YOURSELF! needed to be a doctor!
  12. 12. YOU DID IT! On your way to becoming a doctor..  Be proud of yourself for  If you are not content sticking with your goal with your outcome: and achieving it!  Try to improve the  If you have a choice, consider the weaker parts of your cost, location, and application and re-apply opportunities at each next year specific school  Consider applying to  Have it narrowed down to DO or international one school by May 15th schools  Get excited!  Stay positive!