How to Get into Medical School

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  • 1. GETTING INTO MEDICAL SCHOOL Tips and Advice from a Recent Undergraduate By Jessica MalinSpring 2009

2. THE BASICS General Advice Be on top of your game start planning early! Have a true desire to become a doctor dont 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. 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 3.6-4.0habits GPA is the number one factor that schools Consider switching consider majors and only taking If you cant keep a high necessary pre- GPA in college,requisites chances are, medical Dont give up or be too school will be too tough hard on yourself! to handle 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. IMPORTANT FACTORS 3Medical 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. IMPORTANT FACTORS 4Medical Experience Volunteer Medical schools want Volunteer hours are to see that you havebasically 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 dont wait! 7. IMPORTANT FACTORS 5 Activities Have other hobbies or Research is one of the interests besides gettingbest activities you can into medical schoolget involved with Leadership positions look very impressive on an See if your university has applicationresearch programs with Dont 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 its enjoy and dedicate yoursomething youre time to them!interested in Attempt to get published! 8. IMPORTANT FACTORS 6RecommendationsPersonal Statement Required from three to Essay defining who fiveyou are and why you professors, depending onwant to be a doctor the school Required for the Also helps to have oneprimary 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 yourand critique it before professors more than just you submit it sitting in their class! 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 tolike 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 rollingyour region admissions admissions, so theare very local earlier, the better! 10. YOURE 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!) Dont get discouraged if you dont 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. THE LAST STEPInterviews When you get an interview, In order to have a good you have passed theinterview: Get informed about the numbers part of theparticular school admissions process Read up on current events, The interview is a hugehealth 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 dont 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. YOU DID IT!On your way to becoming a doctor.. Be proud of yourself for If you are not content sticking with your goalwith your outcome: and achieving it! Try to improve the If you have a choice, consider the weaker parts of your cost, location, andapplication and re-apply opportunities at eachnext year specific school Consider applying to Have it narrowed down to DO or international one school by May 15th schools Get excited! Stay positive!