GETTING INTO MEDICAL SCHOOL
Tips and Advice from a Recent Undergraduate
By Jessica Malin
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!
IMPORTANT FACTORS 1
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
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!
IMPORTANT FACTORS 2
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
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
websites to see their
1 year of English
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
Competitive score is
about 30 and above Princeton Review
Study A LOT!
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!
IMPORTANT FACTORS 5
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!
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
Required for the
Also helps to have one primary application
from a volunteer or
research mentor Be honest and be
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!
THE NEXT STEP
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!
YOU’RE ALMOST THERE..
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.
THE LAST STEP
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!
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!