Saturday, November 19, 2005

A Word of Encouragement for Premeds

Confidence begins by understanding the medical school admissions process. Read about the different medical schools which interest you. Check their websites, email them (Directory of US Medical Schools). Clarify any outstanding issues. Note the difference in importance placed on academic aspects like GPA or MCAT results or on non-academic aspects like letters of reference, autobiographical materials or interviews. Be sure you are aware of the regional considerations (for this you should consider getting the AAMC's Medical School Admissions Requirements).
When you know the grades and/or MCAT scores you need - prepare, study, attain your goals with some to spare (Average MCAT Scores and GPAs in US and in Canada). Along the route, bend your thoughts to the non-academic part of the application: prepare, learn, read, and practice. All these things you do as if your future career depends on it, because it does.
This blog is designed to address the entire admissions process to medical school. We have already discussed your choice of premed studies and how to improve your grades in the first blog. The MCAT will be dissected, necessary scores discussed and a clear plan to excel is presented. We will also turn to the non-academic aspect of admissions. The interview is explored followed by sample questions and answers. A discussion on autobiographical materials, personal statements and letters of reference are each followed by sample successful submissions. You will also find current changes and trends in medical school admissions and education, lists of medical schools from across the country including average GPA and MCAT scores, The Hippocratic Oath, financing medical school, doctor's salaries, humor and much more.
The admissions process is imperfect and as such will continue to undergo change. The objective of this blog is simple: to underline the fact that the greatest factor affecting your chances of being accepted to medical school is you. The quality of your application does not depend on anyone else. There is no perfect candidate but you must strive to excel in the various aspects of the application. There are more than 15 000 positions in US and Canadian medical schools available each year. There is enough room for both sexes, all religions, all races and for great diversity in culture and experience. Use your unique experiences to clarify your decision to pursue medicine as a career. Once this is done, buckle up and get ready for the ride... By the way, you're driving.

3 Comments:

Blogger Kimberly McAuliffe said...

Hi Dr. F! My name is Kimberly, and I'm a pre-med student (sophomore) here in California. I just wanted to say thank you for devoting some of your own time to creating a blog for students like me. I've started one just a few days ago for pre-meds like me (non-trads, ex-military, ect). I'll be checking your site often for updates and adding you to my links column. Again, thank you!

9:30 AM  
Blogger Dr F said...

You are very welcome. Happy new year and good luck with your studies!

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Dr. F!

I am currently a 3rd year Human Bio major at UCSD. I never seriously considered being premed until perhaps the middle of my 2nd year.

I am interested in medicine and in helping people. I know there are other health careers out there, but I want to be able to diagnose patients and find ways to heal them and save lives. I want to continually investigate these problems and interact with patients.

My Human Bio major has all of the premed prerequisites, of which I have taken all but 3 classes. The problem is, I did not do well in those premed classes. Back then I did not have the same motivation as I do now and was facing some financial problems. Also, as a sidenote, I found out that premeds can be any major....so I am actually considering changing my Dance minor to a Dance major.

I recently heard about post-baccalaureate programs, but are they mainly open to non-traditional students? How much do they cost and how long do they take? Also, would my undergrad gpa be averaged with my post-bac. gpa or would my undergrad gpa be replaced?

Also, if I were to do a post-bac. program, should I wait until afterward to take the MCAT? Or should I take the remaining 3 premed classes and then take the MCAT before I enroll in a post-bac.?

Thank you, Dr. F!

6:05 PM  

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