How To Be A Successful Medical School Applicant

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How To Be A Successful Medical School Applicant

  1. 1. How To Be A SuccessfulHow To Be A Successful Medical School ApplicantMedical School Applicant Ade OlasunkanmiAde Olasunkanmi Class of 2009/BALSA Co-Class of 2009/BALSA Co- PresidentPresident NYU School of MedicineNYU School of Medicine
  2. 2. Medical School OverviewMedical School Overview Medical School ProgramsMedical School Programs MD DegreeMD Degree MD/PhDMD/PhD MD/MPHMD/MPH MD/JDMD/JD
  3. 3. Medical School OverviewMedical School Overview  11stst 2 years2 years  The curriculum is devoted primarily to interdisciplinaryThe curriculum is devoted primarily to interdisciplinary biomedical science courses taking place in lecturebiomedical science courses taking place in lecture halls, conference rooms and laboratorieshalls, conference rooms and laboratories  There are small group learning sessions thatThere are small group learning sessions that emphasize topics covered in lecturesemphasize topics covered in lectures  There are also courses in which students interact withThere are also courses in which students interact with patients, learn the basics of patient-doctorpatients, learn the basics of patient-doctor communication, acquire physical examination andcommunication, acquire physical examination and diagnostic skillsdiagnostic skills
  4. 4. Medical School OverviewMedical School Overview  22ndnd 2 years2 years  In both inpatient and outpatient settings, studentsIn both inpatient and outpatient settings, students learn to apply clinical skills and the biomedicallearn to apply clinical skills and the biomedical sciences knowledge of the 1sciences knowledge of the 1stst 2 years to problems of2 years to problems of human diseases and illnesseshuman diseases and illnesses  Required clerkships during the 3Required clerkships during the 3rdrd /4/4thth year includeyear include  Internal Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, ObstetricsInternal Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Family Medicine, Geriatrics, Neurology,and Gynecology, Family Medicine, Geriatrics, Neurology, Ambulatory Care, and RadiologyAmbulatory Care, and Radiology  There are also elective months during the 3There are also elective months during the 3rdrd /4/4thth yearsyears during which the student can do research or pursueduring which the student can do research or pursue other areas of interestother areas of interest
  5. 5. Preparing For Medical SchoolPreparing For Medical School  General RequirementsGeneral Requirements  EnglishEnglish  Inorganic ChemistryInorganic Chemistry  Organic ChemistryOrganic Chemistry  General PhysicsGeneral Physics  General BiologyGeneral Biology  Mathematical StatisticsMathematical Statistics  Additional courses, not required, but very helpfulAdditional courses, not required, but very helpful  GeneticsGenetics  Molecular BiologyMolecular Biology  NeurobiologyNeurobiology  Anatomy & PhysiologyAnatomy & Physiology  FUN and LOTS OF FUNFUN and LOTS OF FUN
  6. 6. Preparing For Medical SchoolPreparing For Medical School DO NOT FORGET the mighty GPADO NOT FORGET the mighty GPA Take those classes that could get you easyTake those classes that could get you easy As to boost your GPAAs to boost your GPA Plan on how and when you want to takePlan on how and when you want to take your required classesyour required classes Taking organic chemistry, genetics andTaking organic chemistry, genetics and molecular biology in one semester couldmolecular biology in one semester could either mean you are a genius or you have noteither mean you are a genius or you have not put much thought into itput much thought into it
  7. 7. Preparing For Medical SchoolPreparing For Medical School Anybody could sit down and study all dayAnybody could sit down and study all day and get Asand get As What sets you apart is that you could get yourWhat sets you apart is that you could get your As and also be good at other thingsAs and also be good at other things Mentoring other studentsMentoring other students Club/Student leaderClub/Student leader Volunteering outside the schoolVolunteering outside the school ResearchResearch Hospital volunteeringHospital volunteering
  8. 8. The New Computerized MCATThe New Computerized MCAT Test Section Questions Time Tutorial (optional) 10 minutes Physical Sciences 52 70 minutes Break (optional) 10 minutes Verbal Reasoning 40 60 minutes Break (optional ) 10 minutes Writing Sample 2 60 minutes Break (optional) 10 minutes Biological Sciences 52 70 minutes Survey 10 minutes Total Content Time 4 hours, 20 minutes Total Test Time 4 hours, 50 minutes Total Appointment Time 5 hours, 10 minutes http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/testexpfaq.htm
  9. 9. The New Computerized MCATThe New Computerized MCAT  It is NOT and adaptive testIt is NOT and adaptive test  The test is a fixed form, currentlyThe test is a fixed form, currently  The new test has the same content focus as theThe new test has the same content focus as the paper testpaper test  Test now offered multiple times during the yearTest now offered multiple times during the year  You are allowed to take the exam 3 times in aYou are allowed to take the exam 3 times in a given year, but you can ONLY register for onegiven year, but you can ONLY register for one exam date at a timeexam date at a time  Scores are released 30 days after testScores are released 30 days after test
  10. 10. The New Computerized MCATThe New Computerized MCAT ResourcesResources MCAT Practice OnlineMCAT Practice Online Kaplan/Exam Crackers/PrincetonKaplan/Exam Crackers/Princeton Remember, the aamc website is your friendRemember, the aamc website is your friend (http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/start.htm)(http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/start.htm) PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICEPRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
  11. 11. The Personal StatementThe Personal Statement  Your personal statement says a lot about youYour personal statement says a lot about you  Write, rewrite and rewrite!Write, rewrite and rewrite!  Give your personal statement to 2 or 3 people toGive your personal statement to 2 or 3 people to critiquecritique  One of the people to read your essay shouldOne of the people to read your essay should preferably be someone who doesn’t know youpreferably be someone who doesn’t know you  For example, one of your creative writing EnglishFor example, one of your creative writing English professorsprofessors  Take criticism in stride. Don’t get offendedTake criticism in stride. Don’t get offended
  12. 12. The ApplicationThe Application  Choose the schools you want to apply to thoughtfullyChoose the schools you want to apply to thoughtfully  Know the schools’ application proceduresKnow the schools’ application procedures  AMCASAMCAS  Secondary applications/essaysSecondary applications/essays  DeadlinesDeadlines  Your letters of recommendation are importantYour letters of recommendation are important  Ask if your professor would be willing to write you a letterAsk if your professor would be willing to write you a letter  Don’t wait too late before you start asking for letters ofDon’t wait too late before you start asking for letters of recommendationrecommendation  ONLY ask professors who know you well enoughONLY ask professors who know you well enough  A generic letter of recommendation will not do you any goodA generic letter of recommendation will not do you any good
  13. 13. The ApplicationThe Application Submit your applications earlySubmit your applications early Follow throughFollow through It is your responsibility to call the schools andIt is your responsibility to call the schools and make sure that your file is completemake sure that your file is complete
  14. 14. Everything in your application is fair gameEverything in your application is fair game Why you are interested in schoolWhy you are interested in school Current events: assisted suicide, UniversalCurrent events: assisted suicide, Universal Health Care, HPV vaccine, cloningHealth Care, HPV vaccine, cloning Hypothetical social and ethical situationsHypothetical social and ethical situations Be prepared to ask at least 2 questions atBe prepared to ask at least 2 questions at the end of the interviewthe end of the interview The Interview*:The Interview*: Topics for DiscussionTopics for Discussion Section adapted from Dr Polite’s presentation
  15. 15. The InterviewThe Interview If possible, do mock interviewsIf possible, do mock interviews Before your interview, research the schoolBefore your interview, research the school On the day of the interview, dressOn the day of the interview, dress professionallyprofessionally Remember, anything on your applicationRemember, anything on your application is fair gameis fair game Always, ask your interviewer questionsAlways, ask your interviewer questions DO NOT ask questions you could find theDO NOT ask questions you could find the answers to on the school’s websiteanswers to on the school’s website
  16. 16. Types of InterviewsTypes of Interviews FacultyFaculty DeansDeans Student (most common mistake: being tooStudent (most common mistake: being too casual, comfortable with your interviewer)casual, comfortable with your interviewer) Group/PanelGroup/Panel
  17. 17. Appropriate Dress: MenAppropriate Dress: Men suit (black or blue)suit (black or blue) dark socksdark socks polished dress shoespolished dress shoes hold off on colognehold off on cologne good deodorantgood deodorant well-groomed hairwell-groomed hair
  18. 18. Appropriate Dress: WomenAppropriate Dress: Women  suit (black, blue, or tan; pants or skirt)suit (black, blue, or tan; pants or skirt)  closed toe shoesclosed toe shoes  pantyhose (bring extras)pantyhose (bring extras)  well-groomed hairwell-groomed hair  manicured nailsmanicured nails  hold off on perfumehold off on perfume  good deodorantgood deodorant  little jewelrylittle jewelry
  19. 19. Appropriate DressAppropriate Dress Ways to be individual/ creativeWays to be individual/ creative men: ties (sharp, crisp colors)men: ties (sharp, crisp colors) women: scarves, accessorieswomen: scarves, accessories Inappropriate attireInappropriate attire open toe shoes, sandalsopen toe shoes, sandals dresses, short skirtsdresses, short skirts
  20. 20. Basics about theBasics about the InterviewInterview BE ON TIME. BE ON TIME.BE ON TIME. BE ON TIME. Research the school prior to the interviewResearch the school prior to the interview If flying, bring light luggage that you don’tIf flying, bring light luggage that you don’t have to check inhave to check in *** Be polite to everyone. (Treat*** Be polite to everyone. (Treat everyone as a potential admissionseveryone as a potential admissions interviewer)interviewer)
  21. 21. Basics about theBasics about the InterviewInterview Turn off your cell phoneTurn off your cell phone Winter time: wear boots, bring shoes.Winter time: wear boots, bring shoes. Be prepared to go on walking tours.Be prepared to go on walking tours. Bring mints, mirror.Bring mints, mirror. Did I mention be on time!! If you will beDid I mention be on time!! If you will be late, call the school’s Admissions Office.late, call the school’s Admissions Office.
  22. 22. Purpose of the Interview:Purpose of the Interview: Mutual Exchange of InformationMutual Exchange of Information Gather information about your character.Gather information about your character. Give applicant an opportunity to explainGive applicant an opportunity to explain interests or accomplishments which do notinterests or accomplishments which do not come across adequately on application.come across adequately on application. Allow interviewer to provide additionalAllow interviewer to provide additional information about the school.information about the school. Key Point: You are your own salesperson!Key Point: You are your own salesperson!
  23. 23. Preparing for thePreparing for the InterviewInterview Reread your application andReread your application and personal statement before yourpersonal statement before your interview.interview. Bring interview invitation andBring interview invitation and information with you.information with you.
  24. 24. Know yourself. Be able to expressKnow yourself. Be able to express yourself. Think about how you canyourself. Think about how you can express the following:express the following: Areas/attributes of importance in preparingAreas/attributes of importance in preparing for a career in medicine.for a career in medicine. Your past experiences and accomplishmentsYour past experiences and accomplishments that relate to these areas.that relate to these areas. Your strengths and weaknesses in theYour strengths and weaknesses in the following areas: academics, personalfollowing areas: academics, personal attributes, and motivation.attributes, and motivation. Preparing for thePreparing for the InterviewInterview
  25. 25. Preparing for thePreparing for the InterviewInterview Again, research the schoolAgain, research the school Check out their websitesCheck out their websites Pick a few things that you like about the schoolPick a few things that you like about the school Strengths and weaknesses of the curriculumStrengths and weaknesses of the curriculum Do mock interviewDo mock interview
  26. 26. The InterviewThe Interview Start off with a firm handshake, addressStart off with a firm handshake, address the interviewer with title (Dr.)the interviewer with title (Dr.) Maintain good eye contactMaintain good eye contact LISTENLISTEN Relax and be yourselfRelax and be yourself Answer the question that you are askedAnswer the question that you are asked Answer clearly and conciselyAnswer clearly and concisely
  27. 27. The Interview, cont.The Interview, cont. Be humble. AvoidBe humble. Avoid anyany trace of arrogance.trace of arrogance. Avoid inconsistencies in your responses toAvoid inconsistencies in your responses to different interviewers.different interviewers. Avoid the appearance of fatigueAvoid the appearance of fatigue
  28. 28. CommunicationCommunication Be mindful of nonverbal communicationBe mindful of nonverbal communication Lack of focusLack of focus PosturePosture Nervous habitsNervous habits Nail biting , toe tapping, hair twirlingNail biting , toe tapping, hair twirling Verbal CommunicationVerbal Communication Proper grammarProper grammar Avoid the non-essentials: like, umm, yeahAvoid the non-essentials: like, umm, yeah

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