Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog » Medical School Admissions http://blog.accepted.com Admissions consulting and application advice Thu, 30 Jul 2015 19:32:14 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 University of Pittsburgh Medical School 2016 Secondary Application Essay Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/29/university-of-pittsburgh-medical-school-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/29/university-of-pittsburgh-medical-school-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips/#respond Wed, 29 Jul 2015 16:53:07 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32586 UPSOM places special emphasis on their collaborative problem-based curriculum and the fact that their medical students begin interacting with patients in their first year of medical school.  Providing the best care to patients through research, education, leadership and diversity is central to their mission.  In your own background, how can you demonstrate your commitment to […]

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Secondary Essay tips - download a copy today!UPSOM places special emphasis on their collaborative problem-based curriculum and the fact that their medical students begin interacting with patients in their first year of medical school.  Providing the best care to patients through research, education, leadership and diversity is central to their mission.  In your own background, how can you demonstrate your commitment to service?  Have you experienced the patient side of medicine yourself or through family members?  How have these unique life experiences and the communities you have served contributed to your unique development and identity?

University of Pittsburgh 2016 Secondary Application Essay Questions:

•  Two short essays with 250 word limits are required.

•  Applicants should use single line spacing and 12 point size font.

•  Responses should be constructed strategically to highlight all of an applicant’s strengths and how they relate to the mission and values of UPSOM.

Application Tip: Check out the UPSOM admissions committee procedures and criteria:

The following are required in the Secondary Application:

1. Tell us about a challenging problem you faced and how you resolved it. (Limit your response to 250 words or less.)

Given UPSOM’s focus on one-on-one patient interactions, use an experience in which you were able to resolve a professional conflict.  Emphasize the role that you played in finding a solution and the skills you employed to identify and implement a positive outcome that was mutually beneficial for all parties involved.  I recommend using an issue that has a clear positive resolution and one that is not personal in nature. 

2. UPSOM is a culturally diverse and talented community. How would you enrich/enliven the UPSOM community? The essay should discuss material that is not included in the rest of your application. (Limit your response to 250 words or less.)

To best address this essay, take your time to make a long list of your unique qualities, talents and experiences—the longer the better.  Cross out those items that you have already included in your personal statement.  Identify your top three on the list—as they relate to UPSOM’s mission and goals.  Explain how those three identifiers will allow you to connect with the community and how they represent you an individual.   

UPSOM Application Timeline:

University of Pittsburgh 2016 Secondary Essay Timeline

*Strong recommendation: Submit within two weeks after receipt.

If you would like professional guidance with your University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for the UPSOM application materials.

View our med school resource library for valuable tips on every stage of the application process!

 

Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.

Related Resources:

Med School Rankings and Numbers: What You MUST Know! [Free Report]
• Attn Med Applicants: A Class Is Matriculated Every Single Year  [Podcast]
• Boost Your GPA For Medical School Acceptance

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The 4 Must-Haves Of A Grad School Application http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/29/the-4-must-haves-of-a-grad-school-application/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/29/the-4-must-haves-of-a-grad-school-application/#respond Wed, 29 Jul 2015 16:12:44 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32831 Linda Abraham has been living and breathing admissions for over 20 years. Does she know the secret to getting accepted to graduate school? Well, since you asked – yes she does. Listen to the show (and takes notes!) for the four things you need to know and do to get admitted to your top choice […]

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Listen to the show!Linda Abraham has been living and breathing admissions for over 20 years. Does she know the secret to getting accepted to graduate school? Well, since you asked – yes she does.

Listen to the show (and takes notes!) for the four things you need to know and do to get admitted to your top choice grad school.

00:00:36 – Obsessed with stats? You may be barking up the wrong tree.

00:03:16 – Linda’s holistic framework for grad school admissions success.

00:04:39 – #1: Show you can excel: the role of grades and test scores.

00:05:30 – #2: Don’t apply to med school to become a financial analyst (but do apply if you want to be a doctor) AKA the importance of goals.

00:06:44 – #3: Can you show fit?

00:08:19 – #4: Climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Just kidding.

Applying the framework to:

00:12:26 – MBA Admissions.

00:18:47 – Grad School Admissions.

00:21:44 – Med School Admissions.

00:24:29 – Law School Admissions.

Click here to listen to the show!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com

Related links:

Get Accepted to HBS / Wharton / Stanford CBS
Get Accepted to Medical School in 2016
Writing Secondary Essays that Get You Accepted

Related shows:

How To Think Like A Dean Of Admissions
How to Earn a Spot on Team Fuqua
The Admissions Team at the Very Center of Business
Attn Med Applicants: A Class Is Matriculated Every Single Year
• Baylor College Of Medicine: A Holistic Approach To Admissions

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Lack Of Substance: Med School Application Flaw #1 http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/28/lack-of-substance-med-school-application-flaw-1/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/28/lack-of-substance-med-school-application-flaw-1/#respond Tue, 28 Jul 2015 16:34:14 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32791 “Lack of Substance” is the first post in our series, 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Essays. Writing about nothing tends to bore, like a trite sitcom or movie with no plot. They lack substance and so will your essay if it isn’t based on: • Substantive self-reflection. • Use of specifics, […]

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Download a copy of Navigate a Med School Maze.

Use good examples to bring your essays to life and engage the reader.

“Lack of Substance” is the first post in our series, 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Essays.

Writing about nothing tends to bore, like a trite sitcom or movie with no plot. They lack substance and so will your essay if it isn’t based on:

• Substantive self-reflection.

• Use of specifics, examples, and anecdotes.

• Willingness to reveal your thought processes and feelings.

So start your writing process with self-knowledge. You don’t have to search the internet or a large library. Start with your experiences and your dreams. Search your head and your heart. That is where the substance of a good personal statement is stored.

Then use anecdotes, specifics, and examples to reveal what’s in your heart and show that your dreams are grounded in experience. Good examples can bring your essays to life and engage the reader.

At the same time, recognize that essays with only examples and anecdotes don’t reveal your thought processes and consequently are also superficial. Make sure you balance your stories with insight and analysis.

Avoid Fatal Flaw #1: Bring your personal statements to life with self-reflection and astute use of examples balanced by analysis.

Navigate the Med Maze - Download your free guide today!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Navigating the Med School Maze
• Successful Medical School Secondary Application Strategies
• Nine Ways To Get Rejected From Medical School

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Why I Chose B’s In Medical School http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/27/why-i-chose-bs-in-medical-school/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/27/why-i-chose-bs-in-medical-school/#respond Mon, 27 Jul 2015 16:39:04 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32752 Journeys with Joshua: Joshua Wienczkowski walks us through med school at East Tennessee’s College of Medicine with his monthly blog updates. Get an inside look into med school down South and life as a student adcom member through the eyes of a former professional songwriter with a whole lot of clinical experience — thanks Joshua for […]

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Read more of Joshua's journey through med school!Journeys with Joshua: Joshua Wienczkowski walks us through med school at East Tennessee’s College of Medicine with his monthly blog updates. Get an inside look into med school down South and life as a student adcom member through the eyes of a former professional songwriter with a whole lot of clinical experience — thanks Joshua for sharing this journey with us! 

I’m over 50% finished with my MD program in the Appalachian Mountains, done with (and passed!) the first part of my licensing boards, and am finally onto the greener grass of clinical medicine. So, what have I learned, and how have I changed in this process? Through my first year, my clinical research in sepsis taught me so much about the bigger picture of medicine; I began to fine-tune my bedside manner; I was finally able to see and understand the undeniable impact of socioeconomic status on health. The second year of medical school is notoriously the hardest, because while balancing an even more challenging course load, preparation for licensing boards begins simultaneously. Yes, I learned about disease processes, drugs, interventions, and all that, but I learned about my priorities in the process. I was even crazy enough to get married – to another 2nd year medical student! I’m going to share something incredibly personal that I’m hoping you can grow from – my grades, how I got them, and why I chose (and continue to choose) life over numbers.

During my first year, I began to study how I study, the outcomes, and the most effective ways for me, personally. After dozens of exams, countless hours banging my head against my whiteboard, and proverbially throwing mud at the wall for months on end, I made some pretty interesting discoveries about how I learn. Turns out, it takes me personally about an extra 15-20 hours per exam of additional, dedicated study time on top of my normal study habits to achieve a strong A. What did getting that A do for me? Were those hours worth it? Well, also turns out it just means I pounded into my head the additional minutiae to get the detailed questions, but those details didn’t impact my overall understanding of the material or the concepts. Hmm… I found myself at a fork in the road – I could achieve a higher GPA, class rank, and increase my chances of matching somewhere fancy, OR I could invest those hours into something else.

I made the conscious choice and effort to achieve B’s in the first 2 years of medical school, and I don’t have a single regret about it. Here’s why:

With those extra 15-20 hours per exam (there are a lot of exams), I invested in my relationship with my girlfriend, who became my fiancé, and is now my dear wife. Clearing up some hours meant I always had an extra hour per day to take our Great Dane, Wrigley, on a walk or to the dog park with my wife. Those walks meant we had more quality time together every single day. We started taking longer lunches and dinners together. We talked more. We grew more. We went on more dates! We even built strong friendships at the dog park because we made the conscious effort to put ourselves before the books. I actually watched tv shows and kept up with them with my wife, and we had something to look forward to on Monday nights and could laugh about what farmer Chris was going to do next week on The Bachelor.

With more time, I began songwriting again, and recording things for pleasure, which I haven’t done in years. I even performed one for our school where I wrote about the life of my anatomy group’s donor, Winston. I even started brewing more beer while crafting new recipes, and I invested some time to learn about the craft brewing business to see if opening a brewery one day is a feasible option. With more time, my best friend taught me how to paint, and I was able to give my wife a meaningful piece on our wedding day.

Making the conscious effort to focus on myself, the people around me, and investing in the things I care about instead of numbers is one of the greatest decisions I’ve ever made. I noticed that when I did achieve an A, it came at the expense of my relationships with those I love as well my own ability to be introspective. Being introspective and decompressing with hobbies  and life outside of medicine is one of the most important pieces to handling and managing the immense pressure of medical education. Of course I’ve never been perfect in the process, and when I noticed myself turning sour to those around me, like a corked bottle of wine left too long without being enjoyed, it was because I had lost focus on my priorities. It’s a balancing act, and I’m thankful I have those who love me enough to help in this imperfect science.

With two years of medical education and a few weeks of clinical medicine under my belt, I’ve learned that medicine can be a selfish and consuming mistress, if you let her. I’ve learned it is incredibly easy to achieve at the expense of personal growth. However, if you choose day in and day out to love and invest in those around you instead of her, the payback is invaluable. I have also learned that your value can never be measured in numbers or letters, but instead in the depth of relationships you have with loved ones and the impact you make in your community. As a medical student, time is our most valuable asset – be wise with it. Invest it as you would your hard-earned money; buy things with it that will last the longest, and stretch your time-dollar as far as it will go with the things that matter most to you in life. I’m not top of my class. Not even close. But my relationship with my wife has never been better, and because I bought time to work on some humanities, I haven’t noticed any soured wine in quite some time.

Best,

Joshua A. Wienczkowski

MD Candidate, Quillen College of Medicine 2017

Get Accepted to Med School with Low Stats!  Download your guide today!

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Related Resources:

• Dear Diary…: Advice for Third-Year Medical Students 
• Reflections on Being 25% an MD
• Insights, Advice and Experiences of a Non-Traditional Med Student

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UCSF 2016 Medical School Secondary Application Essay Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/26/ucsf-2016-medical-school-secondary-application-essay-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/26/ucsf-2016-medical-school-secondary-application-essay-tips/#respond Sun, 26 Jul 2015 20:21:22 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32571 It is important to focus on your leadership roles and the diversity of your experiences and activities in this secondary application.  UCSF accepts students with highly competitive GPA’s and MCAT scores so it would be to your advantage to explain any decreases or irregularities in your academic records or test scores, if you have not […]

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Click here for more school specific secondary essay tips!It is important to focus on your leadership roles and the diversity of your experiences and activities in this secondary application.  UCSF accepts students with highly competitive GPA’s and MCAT scores so it would be to your advantage to explain any decreases or irregularities in your academic records or test scores, if you have not already done so in your primary application.  Be sure to highlight the qualities, experiences, awards and scholarships that set you apart from other applicants.   

UCSF 2016 Secondary Application Essay Questions:

•  One 500-word essay with additional information

•  Two additional 500-word essays for students interested in applying to the Joint Medical Program, described below.

•  Applicants should use single line spacing and 12 point size font.

•  Responses should be constructed strategically to highlight all of an applicant’s strengths and research interests.

1. If you wish to update or expand upon your activities, you may provide additional information below. (500 word limit)

Use this essay as an opportunity to update the adcom on your current activities.  Focus on the diversity of your commitments—in leadership, volunteering, tutoring, mentoring, as well as your academic, cultural, musical, athletic and professional interests.  If you have long-term commitments to organizations, discuss your years of service and continued commitment.  What sets you apart as an applicant?  Strategically bring their attention on the strengths that you have not covered in the primary application.        

JMP Program Only

1. Please describe the basis for your interest in and your preparations for the MS with research thesis. Given the opportunity to pursue such a degree, what topics, questions or areas of research might you be interested in addressing? (500 word limit)

The Joint Medical Program is hosted by UC Berkeley School of Public Health and UCSF.  It is a five-year program that allows participants to earn a Master’s Degree in health and medical sciences (HMS) as well as a medical degree.  Students are expected to complete at least 20 units of coursework and to write a thesis in addition to their medical education requirements.  To see a list of recent research topics, please see the invitation to the sixth annual UC Berkeley—UCSF Joint Medical Program Research Symposium.

Be sure to discuss in detail any research experience that you have.  Explain the projects that you participated in and the outcomes of your contributions—publications, poster discussions, panels, or workshops.  What was the level of your responsibility in the lab?  How long did you work on each project?  What issues did you encounter in your research and how did you find solutions these problems either individually and/or collaboratively?  If any of the topics that you covered are health-related, how could you further develop your ideas into a research project?   

2. Please describe the basis for your interest and experience with small group, case-based problem oriented learning. (500 word limit)

You should focus on any experiences that you have working successfully in small groups in this essay response.  This could range from athletics to clinical experiences.  Describe the roles that you played within the teams you have participated on.  What were you able to accomplish as a team?  What did you as an individual contribute?  How would you benefit from a program that uses a case-based learning model? 

UCSF Application Timeline:

Check out the rest of our school specific secondary tips and deadlines

If you would like professional guidance with your UCSF application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for the UCSF application materials.

Navigate the Med Maze - Download your free guide today!

Alicia Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs. Explore Accepted.com’s services to see how Alicia can help you achieve your professional dreams in healthcare.

Related Resources:

• Applying to Medical School with Low Stats [Free Report]
• Getting Into Medical School: Advice from a Pro [Podcast]
Successful Medical School Secondary Application Strategies

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The 6 Commandments For A Successful CV http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/23/the-6-commandments-for-a-successful-cv/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/23/the-6-commandments-for-a-successful-cv/#respond Thu, 23 Jul 2015 16:52:24 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32315 Your resume is a key part of your application materials for med school or residency. You may think that because you’re uploading all your materials through the AMCAS or ERAS system, you won’t need a stellar paper CV. Not so. Here’s why: A CV is a vital précis of your achievements. It can help you […]

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Click here for tools on how to navigate the Med maze!

Make sure your CV is polished and makes you shine!

Your resume is a key part of your application materials for med school or residency. You may think that because you’re uploading all your materials through the AMCAS or ERAS system, you won’t need a stellar paper CV. Not so. Here’s why:

A CV is a vital précis of your achievements. It can help you as you complete the ERAS CV section (or the AMCAS activities section).

Having a polished resume to provide to your recommenders (and later, to residency directors) is also helpful. In addition, it’s a good idea to maintain your CV as an evolving document as your career evolves.

How can you create an effective medical resume?

1. Keep the time period relevant. For a resume for medical school, keep the focus on work and activities during college; only look back to high school in case of really significant honors (such as a major scholarship that extended into college). For a CV for your residency, focus primarily on experiences during medical school.

2. Carefully consider the sections you want to include. You’ll tailor this to your needs, but examples are: Education; Honors/Awards; Training; Publications; Presentations; Research; Teaching Experience; Work Experience; Licensure; Professional Memberships; Volunteer Activities. Within each section, list your activities in reverse chronological order.

3. Include concise, clear descriptions of your accomplishments in each section. Use strong verbs wherever possible. Use consistent formatting. Avoid vague or unexplained acronyms and abbreviations—you want your reader to know what you’re talking about immediately.

4. Be concise and direct. Keep the length of your CV reasonable at 1-2 pages. Your CV will grow as your career does—CV length limits aren’t as constrained as resume lengths. For example, if you’ve had a career prior to entering medicine, or if you have extensive research experience and publications, your CV may exceed this 2 page guideline.

5. Leave out sensitive personal information (such as marital status, social security number, etc). Also, needless to say, leave out anything fabricated or exaggerated.

6. Proofread, proofread, proofread! It’s helpful to have someone else look over your CV to spot errors and inconsistencies.

The Quick Guide To Admissions Resumes - Download your free guide today!

Rebecca BlusteinBy Dr. Rebecca BlusteinAccepted.com consultant since 2008, former Student Affairs Officer at UCLA’s Scholarship Resource Center, and author of the ebook, Financing Your Future: Winning Fellowships, Scholarships and Awards for Grad School. Dr. Blustein, who earned her Ph.D. at UCLA, assists our clients applying to MS, MA, and Ph.D. programs. She is happy to assist you with your med school applications.

Related Resources:

• Navigating the Med School Maze
• Attn Med Applicants: A Class Is Matriculated Every Single Year 
• Do’s and Don’ts for Writing Your Resume – Part 1: The 9 Do’s

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Boston University Medical School 2016 Secondary Application Essay Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/23/boston-university-medical-school-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/23/boston-university-medical-school-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips/#respond Thu, 23 Jul 2015 15:54:09 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32549 BUSM’s MD Program offers students the opportunity to work with patients beginning in their first year of medical school.  Students will receive their clinical training at the prestigious Boston Medical Center, which has the largest trauma center in the Northeast.  Students also have the option of pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Health.  The secondary […]

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BUSMBUSM’s MD Program offers students the opportunity to work with patients beginning in their first year of medical school.  Students will receive their clinical training at the prestigious Boston Medical Center, which has the largest trauma center in the Northeast.  Students also have the option of pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Health.  The secondary application consists of five optional essays.

Boston University 2016 Secondary Application Essay Questions:

• Five optional short essays with varied word limits are requested.

• Applicants should use single line spacing and 12 point size font.

• Responses should be constructed strategically to highlight an applicant’s strengths.

Application Tip: Check out the BUSM Viewbook with admissions information:

The following are required in the Secondary Application:

1. If you did not go to college directly after high school, please explain: (1400 character limit, approximately 280 words)

Medical schools love non-traditional applicants who have life experience.  If this essay prompt applies to you, provide a brief explanation of how you spent your time before enrolling in college—detailing any awards or accomplishments you earned before entering higher education.  If you worked to help support your family, this is admirable and demonstrates that you took on significant responsibility at a young age.  Responding to this prompt will only help your application. 

2. If you are not expecting to go directly to medical school after completing your undergraduate work, please explain. (1400 character limit, approximately 280 words)

Be honest in this response.  If you need to take a break before applying to medical school, write about how you will use your time.  Discuss all volunteer work, extracurricular interests or clinical experience that you plan to participate in. If you have a goal for this period, provide it.  If you need to work to save up money to apply—state this in your response.  Explain where you intend to work and anticipated responsibilities.    

3. If you have spent more than 4 years as an undergraduate, please explain below. (You may skip this question if you have graduated within 4 years.)

If applicable, create a list of all the reasons why you were not able to graduate in four years.  After ranking your list in order of importance, use this as your outline.  Having multiple interests or double majors will only help your application, as the reader will have the opportunity to learn more about your unique talents and interests. 

4. Please provide a narrative or timeline to describe any features of your educational history that you think may be of particular interest to us. For example, have you lived in another country or experienced a culture unlike your own, or worked in a field that contributed to your understanding of people unlike yourself? Or, have you experienced advanced training in any area, including the fields of art, music, or sports? This is an opportunity to describe learning experiences that may not be covered in other areas of this application. It is not necessary to write anything in this section. (2000 character limit, approximately 400 words)

Though this essay is also optional, I would strongly recommend responding to it.  Using an updated copy of your resume or CV, work backwards from the most current to oldest experiences.  What are your other interests, outside of medicine?  Have you lived or worked in another country?  Did you win any science or non-science awards or fairs in your early education?  Focus this response on educational experiences—talents or skills you developed through training or learning opportunities (formal education or self-taught).   

5. We have found that for most applicants, an extra essay written expressly for Boston University adds little to the information content of the portfolio. While we no longer require an essay, some applicants feel that additional information is necessary in order to provide us with a comprehensive understanding of their strengths as a candidate for a career in medicine. If you wish, use the space below to offer an essay or any other information, addressing any issue you feel is of importance. If you choose to use the space, please do not duplicate information provided elsewhere in this Supplemental Application or in material you have submitted to AMCAS.

For most applicants, no supplementary essay will be necessary and this space can be left blank.

In this response, you could focus on any clinical, research or science related experiences that you have not already covered in detail in your personal statement that would reveal your commitment to a career in medicine.  Again, this essay is also optional, but by responding to it you will be demonstrating your interest in the BUSM Program.  Using a copy of your resume/CV or a timeline of your life experiences could assist you in deciding what to write about in this response.  Be strategic in your selection—covering information that you have not yet discussed that will highlight your strengths as an applicant.  

BUSM Application Timeline:

*(Strong recommendation: Submit within two weeks after receipt.)

If you would like professional guidance with your Boston University School of Medicine application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for the BUSM application materials.

Navigate the Med Maze - Download your free guide today!

 

Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.

Related Resources:

• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid In Your Med School Essays, [Free Report]
• An Inside Look at the Medical School Journey [Podcast]
• Successful Medical School Secondary Application Strategies

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Secondary Strategy: Why Do You Want To Go Here? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/22/secondary-strategy-why-our-program/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/22/secondary-strategy-why-our-program/#respond Wed, 22 Jul 2015 16:08:51 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32487 One of the most popular secondary questions asked by medical schools is “why our program?” Saying why you’re attracted to a particular school can be hard thing to explain, especially when you’ve looked at so many programs that they seem to blur. I think that’s why I so often see the same answer: “early clinical […]

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Medical School Secondary Essay Handbook: School Specific Tips for Top Programs - Download today!

Location is important, but don’t make geography the main focus of this essay.

One of the most popular secondary questions asked by medical schools is “why our program?” Saying why you’re attracted to a particular school can be hard thing to explain, especially when you’ve looked at so many programs that they seem to blur. I think that’s why I so often see the same answer: “early clinical exposure, great faculty and learning environment, and opportunities to work overseas and/or in the student-run clinic.” These reasons may all be true, but they come across as if all medical schools are similar. And just like you want them to differentiate you from your competition, they want to know that you’ve taken the time to learn about them.

Here are a few ways you can go beyond the cookie-cutter response to show that you’ve researched the school and discuss the program’s distinctive appeal for you:

1. Highlight the unique fit: What about this program, and this program alone, matches with your particular interests? If you have been volunteering in an oncology lab and know that Vanderbilt is investigating patient responses to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, then discuss your interest in that field and the special opportunities the school provides. Perhaps even bring up the work of a particular professor or researcher you admire, particularly if you’ve read one of their works. If you want to explore opportunities for medical publishing, then you’ll want to mention Stanford’s interdisciplinary studies and highlight your interest in their other faculties.

2. Explain why “where” is important: Sometimes you might also want to bring in the school’s locale and explain why it’s important to your education. For instance, George Washington University‘s proximity to Washington DC makes it great for people interested in community health promotion and policy; a busy urban center like Tulane or SUNY Downstate will expose you to diverse patient populations found nowhere else, and are special draws for those interested in fields like infectious disease; and the University of Washington gives students access to rural medicine that few programs can offer. Support systems – family members living nearby, for instance – can also be mentioned (in fact, some schools specifically ask for this information) but in general, don’t make accidents of geography the main focus of this essay.

3. Align your philosophies: Finally, I find that one of the best ways to approach the “Why _____?” question is to try to discover the school’s philosophy and then shape your answers around that. For instance, Yale is renowned for the “Yale System” and takes a lot of pride in their interdisciplinary, non-competitive, self-directed learning approach. Each program is going to have its own philosophy that you’ll discover by exploring their website (as well as talking with alumni, if you have the chance to do that).

Identifying why each school is special is definitely a time-consuming task. However, it might be one of the best ways you spend your time in the application process. While you’re ensuring that you attract the attention of multiple schools, you’re also gaining information you need about them. And when you have to choose between multiple acceptances, you’ll know exactly where you fit.

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Cydney Foote By , Accepted consultant and author of Write Your Way to Medical School, who has helped future physicians craft winning applications since 2001.

 

Related Resources:

• Medical School Secondary Essay Handbook: School Specific Tips for Top Programs [Free Guide]
• Successful Medical School Secondary Application Strategies
• How to Get the Most Out of Your Experience Working With A Medical School Consultant

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City College In NYC To Open Med School http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/21/city-college-in-nyc-to-open-med-school/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/21/city-college-in-nyc-to-open-med-school/#respond Tue, 21 Jul 2015 16:48:16 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32527 In partnership with St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, New York’s City College will be opening the Harlem-based CUNY School of Medicine in the fall of 2016, the first and only medical school in the CUNY’s 168-year history. The med school will be an expansion of City College’s Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education which already […]

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Learn how to navigate the med school maze!In partnership with St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, New York’s City College will be opening the Harlem-based CUNY School of Medicine in the fall of 2016, the first and only medical school in the CUNY’s 168-year history. The med school will be an expansion of City College’s Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education which already offers a seven-year BS/MD program which, according to the recent CUNY news release, focuses on “recruiting underrepresented minorities into medicine, increasing medical care in historically underserved communities, and boosting the number of primary care physicians.”

The CUNY School of Medicine will have the same mission – to train physicians with diverse backgrounds to work in underserved communities, particularly those in close proximity to City College and around New York State.

Maurizio Trevisan, City College Provost, explains that “in doing so, the school remains true to the mission of City College founder Townsend Harris, who stated, ‘… Let the children of the rich and the poor take their seats together and know of no distinction….’ ”

According to Capital New York, the inaugural class will consist of about 70 students.

Two additional medical schools are also in the process of becoming accredited and joining the AAMC: California Northstate University College of Medicine in Elk Grove, California and the University of Texas at Austin Dell Medical School in Austin, Texas. According to an AAMC article, the first will focus on training primary care physicians and the latter on “leadership, interprofessional, and transdisciplinary education as part of a research-intensive health system.” The AAMC article mentions the CUNY School of Medicine as the third to join the record 144 accredited medical schools in the U.S., stating that it will emphasize “commitment to increasing diversity in medical education…[and] concentrate on primary care training.”

Darrell G. Kirch, AAMC President and CEO, says: “At a time when the nation faces a doctor shortage, these schools and their diverse missions will help ensure greater access to care for a growing, aging population. We look forward to the outstanding contributions that will be made by the excellent physicians who train at these and all of our medical school programs. The nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals have committed to expanding medical student enrollment by 30 percent by 2019 to address the coming shortage. These new institutions are part of that effort. Now Congress must act to lift the cap on Medicare support for graduate medical education so that all new physicians can complete their residency training and serve their communities.”

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Related Resources:

• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Essay [Free Guide]
• 5 Things to Avoid in Your Med School Personal Statement
• An Inside Look at The Medical School Journey [Podcast]

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Georgetown University School Of Medicine 2016 Secondary Application Essay Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/21/georgetown-university-school-of-medicine-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/21/georgetown-university-school-of-medicine-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips/#respond Tue, 21 Jul 2015 15:47:32 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32436 Given the Jesuit influence at Georgetown and its adoption of the Cura Personalis philosophy, I recommend covering your clinical, research and community service experience Georgetown’s secondary application essay. The school places special emphasis on training physicians to treat medically underserved communities.  Highlight your personal connections, volunteer work and leadership roles in medically underserved communities. Georgetown […]

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Click here for more School Specific Secondary Application  Essay TipsGiven the Jesuit influence at Georgetown and its adoption of the Cura Personalis philosophy, I recommend covering your clinical, research and community service experience Georgetown’s secondary application essay. The school places special emphasis on training physicians to treat medically underserved communities.  Highlight your personal connections, volunteer work and leadership roles in medically underserved communities.

Georgetown University School of Medicine 2016 Essay Questions:

 • Two short essays, with character limits of 1,000, and one long essay, with a character limit of  5,000.
• Applicants should use single line spacing and 12 point size font.
• Responses should be constructed strategically to highlight an applicant’s strengths.

Secondary Application Essays:

Short essay #1: Georgetown University School of Medicine strives to ensure that its students become respectful physicians who embrace all dimensions of caring for the whole person. Please describe how your personal characteristics or life experiences will contribute to the Georgetown School of Medicine community and bring educational benefits to our student body. (1,000 characters)

Using an updated draft of your resume or CV as well as a copy of the activities section of your AMCAS application, select those experiences that you feel will be most helpful in sharing with your classmates. Did you learn to speak another language? Have you traveled to other countries to assist medically underserved communities? Do you have experience working with a particular patient population? More personally, what characteristics stand out most about you? How will your particular perspective of the world, based on this individuality, allow you to assist your classmates in becoming better doctors?

Short essay #2: Is there any further information that you would like the Committee on Admissions to be aware of when reviewing your file that you were not able to notate in another section of this or the AMCAS Application? (1,000 characters)

This would be the best place to cover any academic difficulties that you have overcome whether you’ve retaken courses, created an increasing trend in your GPA or retaken the MCAT for a higher score. Focusing on those areas of the application that you have successfully improved can provide compelling evidence of your academic potential and how you will perform in medical school. If this approach is not relevant to your application, you can use this section to update the committee on new publications, activities or awards that may not be on the AMCAS application. Discuss what you have been doing since you started the application process.

Essay: Why have you chosen to apply to Georgetown University School of Medicine, and how do you think your education at Georgetown will prepare you to become a physician for the future? * (1-2 pages).

Since this is such a long essay, it will be helpful to draw upon your previous experiences to demonstrate why your values align with those of Georgetown. Use concrete, specific examples to explain how and why you will integrate easily into their study body. The second part of this essay prompt requires that you focus on the future. After researching their curriculum and special programs, you can explain how each of these will enhance your medical education. Make a list and use this as an outline to guide your response. Focus on the most important points last; they may be forgotten if you include them at the beginning of such a long essay. For that reason, it will be important to provide a concise summary of what you’ve covered in the conclusion.

Application Timeline:

Georgetown 2016 Secondary Essay Timeline

If you would like professional guidance with your Georgetown University School of Medicine application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for GUSOM’s application materials.

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Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.

Related Resources:

Interviewing with Impact: How to Make an Impression in Your Med School IVs [Free Guide]
Medical School Admissions 2015-2016: A Dean’s Perspective [Podcast]
Successful Medical School Secondary Application Strategies

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Don’t Miss Out—Important Secondary Essays Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/20/dont-miss-out-important-secondary-essays-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/20/dont-miss-out-important-secondary-essays-tips/#respond Mon, 20 Jul 2015 19:11:52 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31889 Quick reminder! We’re hosting a free, 1-hour webinar on Writing Secondary Essays that Get You Accepted on Wednesday, July 22nd at 5pm PT/8pm ET. The webinar is free, but registration is required. Don’t miss it! There’s still time to register—sign up today! And if you have any questions you’d like addressed on the webinar, you can […]

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Register for the webinar now!

Quick reminder! We’re hosting a free, 1-hour webinar on Writing Secondary Essays that Get You Accepted on Wednesday, July 22nd at 5pm PT/8pm ET.

The webinar is free, but registration is required. Don’t miss it!

Register now

There’s still time to register—sign up today! And if you have any questions you’d like addressed on the webinar, you can reach out on Twitter using hashtag #PreMDQA.

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Successful Medical School Secondary Application Strategies http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/19/successful-medical-school-secondary-application-strategies-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/19/successful-medical-school-secondary-application-strategies-2/#respond Sun, 19 Jul 2015 16:19:40 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32447 To stay on top of your secondary applications, use the following strategies to get organized and to help you write better essays. Taking the time to think about how you will approach your secondaries can give you the “big picture” perspective you need to do your best work.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed, trying a new […]

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Register for our webinar "Writing Secondary Essays that Get you Accepted!"

Don’t underestimate the power of organization!

To stay on top of your secondary applications, use the following strategies to get organized and to help you write better essays. Taking the time to think about how you will approach your secondaries can give you the “big picture” perspective you need to do your best work.  If you’re feeling overwhelmed, trying a new approach can make all the difference in your ability to produce higher quality writing.

The most successful students I’ve worked with focus on the following areas:

1. Time Management

Depending on how many medical schools you have applied to this cycle, you may have a large volume of secondary applications to return in a short period of time.  To stay on top of all of your deadlines, create a table with the name of the medical school, date you submitted the primary application, date you received the secondary application and the deadline to submit it.  You can also include space to list the date you submit the secondary.  Creating a table to track your progress with each school will allow you to prioritize application tasks based on your deadlines—to maximize your time management skills.  Given the anxiety inherent in the admissions process, any way that you can minimize unnecessary stress will help you to use your energy more constructively.  Being on top of your deadlines will empower you to excel on the tasks that require your best efforts to help you reach the next level.

2. Research

To demonstrate your interest in each medical school, it is critical to do your research as you complete each secondary—to demonstrate a personal knowledge of their institution.  What is the school’s mission statement?  Does the school have any special programs that you are interested in?  What is the structure of their curriculum?  Where is the school located and do you have personal ties to the area?  It is essential that you draw connections between your interests and the school.  After you have reviewed their web page, what information stands out in your mind?  Create a list of reasons why you are interested in attending the school.  List all of the reasons and then rank them based on their importance to you and your life goals.  Use the ranked items as an outline to draft your response to any questions about why you have applied to their school or how their program will benefit you.

3. Timeline

Create a timeline of your life to consult as a useful tool for completing secondary applications.  Be sure to include all major life events—incorporate all your activities and interests.  The more detailed your timeline is, the more useful it will be.  To avoid repetition, highlight or mark those experiences that you have already included in your primary application.  This demarcation will help you to avoid being repetitive in your secondary applications.  As you review your timeline, ask yourself how each individual event or activity has influenced your life goals or has led you towards a career in medicine.  This comprehensive life history will help you to be creative in your secondary essays and encourage you to draw upon your rich and diverse life experiences to convey your commitment to completing a medical education.

4. Writing Routine

Secondary applications provide an exciting opportunity for self-reflection.  To fully benefit from this period of introspection, journal daily.  The more frequently you practice expressing your ideas and feelings, the more easily you will be able to engage in the process of self-reflection.  It can be helpful to look at pictures of yourself as you were growing up.  Review your yearbooks and awards.  Write about these experiences and what they meant to you.  As you examine your motivations for wanting to become a doctor, it can be powerful to reconnect to your family history, childhood, adolescence, academic and clinical experiences.  Schedule a time of day that you can work on your secondary applications uninterrupted.  Journal for twenty minutes to warm up.  Approach each question one paragraph at a time to avoid becoming overwhelmed.  Use outlines.  During this time, it is also important to read regularly—especially those authors who inspire you.  The time and effort you put into completing your secondary applications will be evident to your reviewers.  Give them the opportunity to get to know you.

5. Proofreading and Editing

To submit your best work, be sure to proofread and edit all materials before you submit them.  Complete each secondary a few days before the deadline to allow yourself time to engage in this essential final step.  It can be especially beneficial to have friends, family or even professional editors, like me or my colleagues from Accepted.com, review your materials and provide feedback.  This will help you gain valuable insight on how to improve the quality of your application materials—which will lead to an interview and eventually an offer of acceptance.

If you would like professional guidance with your secondary application materials, please consider using Accepted’s Medical School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services, which include advising, editing, and interview coaching for application materials.

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Alicia Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs. Explore Accepted.com’s services to see how Alicia can help you achieve your professional dreams in healthcare.

Related Resources:

• Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success [Free Guide]
Attn Med Applicants: A Class Is Matriculated Every Single Year  [Podcast]
• School-Specific Med Secondary Essay Tips

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Baylor College Of Medicine 2016 Secondary Application Essay Tips http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/16/baylor-college-of-medicine-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/16/baylor-college-of-medicine-2016-secondary-application-essay-tips/#respond Thu, 16 Jul 2015 16:34:45 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32415 Given the mission statement for BCM, I recommend covering your clinical, research and community experience in their secondary application essay.  They place special emphasis on recruiting students from diverse backgrounds and from ethnicities that are underrepresented in medicine.  Highlight your personal connections, volunteer work and leadership roles in medically underserved communities. Baylor College of Medicine […]

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Read other school specific med secondary essay tips! Given the mission statement for BCM, I recommend covering your clinical, research and community experience in their secondary application essay.  They place special emphasis on recruiting students from diverse backgrounds and from ethnicities that are underrepresented in medicine.  Highlight your personal connections, volunteer work and leadership roles in medically underserved communities.

Baylor College of Medicine 2016 Essay Questions:

• One autobiographical essay, with a character limit of 2,000.

• Applicants should use single line spacing and 12 point size font.

• Responses should be constructed strategically to highlight an applicant’s strengths.

The following essay is required in the Secondary Application:

Indicate any special experiences, unusual factors or other information you feel would be helpful in evaluating you, including, but not limited to, education, employment, extracurricular activities, prevailing over adversity. You may expand upon but not repeat AMCAS application information. (2000 character limit.)

Using a timeline you have created of your life that includes all significant events and/or an updated copy of your resume or CV, check off the items you have already covered in your primary application.  Creating a list from the remaining items that you have not covered, which are related to clinical, research, work, or leadership in community service?  Are there any items that relate to how you have overcome adversity?  Strategically selecting the activities or events that will reveal more about you as a person, create an outline using this short list.  Free-write to cover as much detail as you can from your outline.  After taking a break, edit the material to ensure you have a clear introductory sentence, solid body with explanations and a concise conclusion that sums up your experiences.

BCM Application Timeline:

Baylor 2016 Secondary Essay Timeline

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Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.

Related Resources:

• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid In Your Med School Essays [Free Guide]
• Baylor College Of Medicine: A Holistic Approach To Admissions [Podcast]
• A Med Student/Foodie Extraordinaire at Baylor College of Medicine

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Don’t Forget: Your Secondaries Are Super Important! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/15/dont-forget-your-secondaries-are-super-important/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/15/dont-forget-your-secondaries-are-super-important/#respond Wed, 15 Jul 2015 20:10:18 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31887 Just a quick reminder that our webinar on secondary essay strategies, Writing Secondary Essays that Get You Accepted, will take place Wednesday, July 22 at 5pm PT/8pm ET. There’s still time to register—sign up today! Who: Med school applicants who want a leg up on their secondaries When: Wednesday, July 22, 5pm PT/8pm ET Presenter: […]

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Just a quick reminder that our webinar on secondary essay strategies, Writing Secondary Essays that Get You Accepted, will take place Wednesday, July 22 at 5pm PT/8pm ET.

There’s still time to register—sign up today!

Register for the webinar before it's too late!

Who: Med school applicants who want a leg up on their secondaries

When: Wednesday, July 22, 5pm PT/8pm ET

Presenter: Alicia McNease Nimonkar, Accepted.com senior consultant and med school admissions expert

Register now!
Reach out to Alicia on twitter with any questions you’d like her to address on the webinar using hashtag #PreMDQA.

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Nine Ways To Get Rejected From Medical School http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/08/nine-ways-to-get-rejected-from-medical-school/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/08/nine-ways-to-get-rejected-from-medical-school/#respond Wed, 08 Jul 2015 15:54:44 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32196 With a decade of experience in medical school admissions, I have read thousands of AMCAS applications. Over the years, I have identified the most common reasons students are accepted or rejected. Below I am revealing the most common reasons for medical school rejections. To learn from others’ mistakes, I recommend that you avoid the following […]

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Visit our Medical School Admissions 101 page for more information!With a decade of experience in medical school admissions, I have read thousands of AMCAS applications. Over the years, I have identified the most common reasons students are accepted or rejected. Below I am revealing the most common reasons for medical school rejections. To learn from others’ mistakes, I recommend that you avoid the following approaches:

1. Applying with low numbers on both the MCAT and GPA.

2. Applying with a significant decreasing trend in your GPA.

3. Not using all of the space allowed for essays and activity descriptions.

4. Not including all of your activities or not using all 15 activities allowed.

5. Submitting your application late.

6. Sending in secondary essays late, well beyond two weeks after receiving them.

7. Applying only to dream schools.

8. Asking for letters of recommendation from professors who gave you B’s or lower or from high ranking individuals who barely know you.

9. Not competing all of the premed requirements.

Any one of these issues or a combination of them can ensure a rejection. To avoid receiving a rejection, you can use the following advice as a checklist:

• Carefully and objectively evaluate your statistics in deciding whether and where to apply.

• Consider requesting an expert opinion.

• Take your time on all essays and application materials.

• Ask someone experienced in med school admissions to review your application materials.

• Discuss your strategy for the activity section with an advisor or admissions expert.

• Do not apply with less than 15 activities.

• Begin working on secondary essays immediately after you submit the primary application.

• Strategically apply to medical schools where you have the highest chances of acceptance.

• Only ask for letters of recommendation from professors who gave you A’s and from people who know you well.

• Before submitting your application, double check that you have met all admission requirements in terms of prerequisite coursework and application materials

If you need assistance in any of these areas, you may want to consider contacting us at accepted.com. We can answer any questions that you have about applying to medical school. If you are not ready to apply to medical school, there are many other pathways that you may want to consider to become a more competitive applicant, like taking post-baccalaureate coursework or completing a Special Master’s Degree Program. There are lots of options. I love helping students find a successful approach.

Explore our services to see the many ways we can help you achieve your healthcare dreams.

Download your copy of "Navigating the Med School Maze" today!
Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.

Related Resources:

• Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success [Free Guide]
• Can You Apply To Med School With Low Stats? [On-Demand Webinar]
• Med School, AMCAS & Personal Statement Consulting Services

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First Scores From The New MCAT http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/07/first-scores-from-the-new-mcat/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/07/first-scores-from-the-new-mcat/#comments Tue, 07 Jul 2015 16:24:28 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32068 AAMC has released scoring data from the first administrations of the new MCAT (from April and May, 2015). The mean overall score was 500, with mean scores for each section around 125. This graph shows the score distribution for the first administrations of the new exam, with the curve centered around 500: Here are the […]

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AAMC has released scoring data from the first administrations of the new MCAT (from April and May, 2015).

The mean overall score was 500, with mean scores for each section around 125.

This graph shows the score distribution for the first administrations of the new exam, with the curve centered around 500:Download our free popular guide on how to get accepted to med school with low stats!

Here are the scores with percentile ranks:
Download our popular guide of How to Get Accepted to Med School with Low Stats!

Have you taken the new MCAT? How did it go for you?

Get accepted to med school with low stats! Watch the webinar!

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Related Resources:

• The New MCAT: What’s Hype, What’s Real, and What You Can Do Today [free webinar]
• MCAT Scores, MCAT Prep, and #MCAT2015
• What You Need To Know About The New MCAT

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Strategies For Secondary Success! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/06/strategies-for-secondary-success/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/06/strategies-for-secondary-success/#respond Mon, 06 Jul 2015 18:35:43 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31884 You’ve finished your primary med school app, and no doubt heaved a sigh of relief. But the primary app is just part of the puzzle. How will you make sure to grab the committee’s attention with your secondary essays, to make sure that you score that all-important interview (not to mention, an offer of admission)? […]

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You’ve finished your primary med school app, and no doubt heaved a sigh of relief. But the primary app is just part of the puzzle.

How will you make sure to grab the committee’s attention with your secondary essays, to make sure that you score that all-important interview (not to mention, an offer of admission)?

Register for the webinar!Join our live webinar, Writing Secondary Essays that Get You Accepted (Wednesday, July 22nd at 5pm PT/8pm ET) where Accepted.com senior consultant and med school admissions expert Alicia McNease Nimonkar will share key strategies for mastering your secondary essays.

Register nowAccepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Accepted Consultant Publishes Her First Novella http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/05/accepted-consultant-publishes-her-first-novella/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/05/accepted-consultant-publishes-her-first-novella/#respond Sun, 05 Jul 2015 19:43:43 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32090 You already know that our consultants are admissions experts, eagle-eyed editors, and incredible coaches. You can probably also guess that they’re prodigiously talented in their lives outside of Accepted (we sure think so!). Here’s a case in point: When she’s not helping clients get into law and med school, Jessica Pishko is a writer—and she […]

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Read more about Jessica here!You already know that our consultants are admissions experts, eagle-eyed editors, and incredible coaches. You can probably also guess that they’re prodigiously talented in their lives outside of Accepted (we sure think so!). Here’s a case in point:

When she’s not helping clients get into law and med school, Jessica Pishko is a writer—and she just published her first novella!

Based on a death penalty trial that she worked on as a law student,  A Trial for Grace explores the complicated question of guilt and innocence. It’s available for Kindle (and Kindle apps).

You can download A Trial for Grace here.

Check out the book!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• An Interview With Our Own: Jessica Pishko
• 5 Ways To Start Your Med School Personal Statement
• So You Didn’t Get Into Law School…

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Happy July 4th From Accepted! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/03/happy-july-4th-from-accepted/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/03/happy-july-4th-from-accepted/#respond Fri, 03 Jul 2015 19:02:24 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32018 Tags: College Admissions, Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions

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Happy July 4th from Linda Abraham and the Accepted Team!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Can You Apply To Med School With Low Stats? [On-Demand Webinar] http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/02/can-you-apply-to-med-school-with-low-stats-on-demand-webinar/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/02/can-you-apply-to-med-school-with-low-stats-on-demand-webinar/#respond Thu, 02 Jul 2015 19:32:32 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31636 The answer: YES! Now’s your chance to catch up on valuable information you may have missed during last week’s webinar, Get Accepted to Medical School with Low Stats. Med school applicants with low GPA and/or MCAT scores – you don’t want to miss this! Tags: low stats, Medical School Admissions, webinar

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The answer: YES!

Watch the webinar!Now’s your chance to catch up on valuable information you may have missed during last week’s webinar, Get Accepted to Medical School with Low Stats.

Med school applicants with low GPA and/or MCAT scores – you don’t want to miss this!

Watch the webinar! Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Accepted And Next Step Bring You: MCAT Diagnostic Test Review Session http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/01/accepted-and-next-step-bring-you-mcat-diagnostic-test-review-session/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/01/accepted-and-next-step-bring-you-mcat-diagnostic-test-review-session/#respond Wed, 01 Jul 2015 17:49:36 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32000 Next Step Test Prep has invited Accepted’s Linda Abraham to present What Does the MCAT Reveal About You? as part of its free webinar for med school applicants! Join NSTP and Accepted for the MCAT Diagnostic Test Review Session, Thursday July 9th @ 8pm EST. The MCAT review part of the webinar will be presented […]

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Next Step Test Prep has invited Accepted’s Linda Abraham to present What Does the MCAT Reveal About You? as part of its free webinar for med school applicants! Join NSTP and Accepted for the MCAT Diagnostic Test Review Session, Thursday July 9th @ 8pm EST.

The MCAT review part of the webinar will be presented by Bryan Schnedeker from Next Step.  Bryan will review lessons learned from Next Step’s free MCAT diagnostic test, and Linda will provide an overview of the MCAT’s role in the med school admissions process.

Join the webinar and learn what the MCAT reveals about you!

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn about the new MCAT and the med school application process! Register today.

Following the event, Next Step will raffle off two 5-packs of their full length MCAT practice tests, and attendees will also be entered into a grand prize drawing, where they’ll have a chance to win all 9 Next Step MCAT prep books, 5 practice tests, and a two hour session with Next Step’s National Director of MCAT Content.

Any other questions about the med school application process? Subscribe to our blog or check out our med school consulting services!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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The Doctor As Renaissance Man http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/01/the-doctor-as-renaissance-man/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/07/01/the-doctor-as-renaissance-man/#respond Wed, 01 Jul 2015 16:14:21 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=32033 Ajay Major is a fourth year medical student who has accomplished an amazing amount while pursuing a combined BS/MBA/MD program. Look at all those letters that will soon follow his name! Listen to the recording of our interview to be inspired by this current medical student who is also the founder and editor-in-chief of an […]

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Listen to the show!Ajay Major is a fourth year medical student who has accomplished an amazing amount while pursuing a combined BS/MBA/MD program. Look at all those letters that will soon follow his name!

Listen to the recording of our interview to be inspired by this current medical student who is also the founder and editor-in-chief of an online magazine for med school students, Medstro Medical Student Ambassador, and somehow juggles a host of other roles while preparing to apply to residency programs.

00:02:16 – Regrets about choosing the BS/MBA/MD path.

00:04:16 – The case for a non-brand name education.

00:06:35 – What Ajay likes most about medical school.

00:08:29 – Best tip for premeds: Step out of your comfort zone!

00:10:30 – Glimpse into the activities of an “entrepreneur, medical student activist, and aspiring physician-journalist.”

00:16:10 – The trick to having time for everything.

00:17:22 – In-Training: what it is and who writes it.

00:19:10 – How Medstro and In-Training differ from SDN.

00:23:51 – Last piece of advice for med students and premeds.

Click here to listen to the show!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com

Related links:

Ajay’s website
In – Training
In-House
Medstro
BS/MBA/MD Student Interview with Ajay Major
• 
Getting Ready for Residency: IV with a Med Student on the Way to Mayo
Writing Secondary Essays that Get You Accepted [webinar]

Related Shows:

• Elliptical, Meet Med School: Interview with Andrea Tooley
• Overcoming The Odds: A Story Of Med School Inspiration
• Baylor College Of Medicine: A Holistic Approach To Admissions
• Attn Med Applicants: A Class Is Matriculated Every Single Year
• Medical School Admissions 2015-2016: A Dean’s Perspective

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes! Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!
Download your copy of "Navigating the Med School Maze" today!

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An Interview With Our Own: Alicia McNease Nimonkar http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/30/an-interview-with-our-own-alicia-mcnease-nimonkar/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/30/an-interview-with-our-own-alicia-mcnease-nimonkar/#respond Tue, 30 Jun 2015 16:46:46 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31803 Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Alicia McNease Nimonkar. Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you […]

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Click here to view Alicia's bio!Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Alicia McNease Nimonkar.

Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you hold any graduate degrees? Where do you currently live?

Alicia: Since my dad served in the Air Force for thirty years, I grew up all over the U.S. Fascinated by other perspectives, I chose to study English Literature for my Bachelor’s Degree. I am currently completing a Master’s Degree in Composition and Rhetoric as well as Literature.

My first book, The Definitive Guide to Premedical Postbaccalaureate Programs was published this year and is available on Amazon and the Accepted.com website. I teach yoga and quilting where I live in the Boston area.

Accepted: Congratulations on your new book! Can you tell us about it? Do you have any plans for future books?

Alicia: The book describes all the different types of postbac programs in existence and includes interviews with students who I helped gain acceptance into medical school as well as interviews with postbac program directors from around the country. I hope that it will serve as a resource for students who might otherwise give up on their dream of pursuing a medical education.

I have collaborated with the renowned psychiatrist, Dr. Loma K. Flowers, to write a book on emotional competence. The manuscript is currently under review. For my next project, I plan to write a book on secondary application essays to help students prepare for the application process in advance.

Accepted: Can you share 3 fun facts about yourself?

Alicia:

1.   I try to practice yoga and meditate almost every day.
2.  I have lived in Italy and Germany.
3.  I love to cook and just recently started making my own sushi.

Accepted: How does your experience as a yoga instructor contribute to your role as an admissions consultant?

Alicia: As a teacher, I am continually learning from my students how I can better support them. After receiving my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Certificate, I have started a 500 Hour Yoga Teacher Training with Natasha Rizopoulos and Barbara Benagh in Boston. I also recently completed Level 1 and Level 2 in Integrated Positional Therapy with Lee Albert, NMT.

In learning to assess body posture and language, I am able to provide clients with more in depth feedback during mock interviews about how they, often, hold their breath and their bodies. I hope to empower every student I work with to be more authentic and comfortable in the way they present themselves to selection committees – in writing and interviews.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your experience at UC Davis School of Medicine? How did that contribute to your career as an admissions consultant?

Alicia: Leading and serving on selection committees for over five years to select students for our postbac program provided me with a strong understanding of what factors help or hurt a student’s application. Supporting students through the entire application process from beginning to end brought me a lot of joy! I learned that with the right strategy and support my students were able to earn record high GPAs and the highest acceptance rates for any program like it in the State of California.

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips?

Alicia:

1. It’s essential that you have an increasing trend in your GPA.

2. If possible, do not submit your application before you receive your MCAT score so that you can use that information to guide your strategy and school selection.

3. Be yourself. In all of your essays and interviews and allow the reader and interviewer to get to know you, for the best results.

Learn more about Alicia and how she can help you get accepted!

See what our medical admissions services has to offer!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• A Second Chance at Medical School: The A-Z of Applying to Postbac Programs
• Med School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services
• How to Get the Most Out of Your Experience Working With A Medical School Consultant

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What You Need To Know About The New MCAT http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/28/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-new-mcat/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/28/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-new-mcat/#respond Sun, 28 Jun 2015 16:29:42 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31935 Beginning with test dates this spring, the MCAT changed to a new format. What do you need to know about the new MCAT? How is it scored? How is it different from the old version? Here are a few points: 1.  The new exam has 4 sections: •  Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems […]

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Visit our MCAT 101 page for all things MCAT

Difference #4: The new MCAT is LONGER.

Beginning with test dates this spring, the MCAT changed to a new format. What do you need to know about the new MCAT? How is it scored? How is it different from the old version? Here are a few points:

1.  The new exam has 4 sections:

•  Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems

•  Biological and Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

•  Psychological, Social, and Biological Foundations of Behavior

•  Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills.

2.  The newer version tests more material. It has been designed to integrate subjects and test your critical thinking skills, in order to test skills that are vital in med school.

3.  Along with the different exam structure comes a new scoring structure. Each section will be scored 118-132, for a total possible score of 528. The mean score for each section is expected to be 125, with an overall mean score of 500.

4.  The new exam is much longer than the old one: over 6 hours of testing time, and over 7 hours total.

5.  Score reports will include percentile ranks.

The AAMC expects about half of this year’s applicants to submit scores from the new exam, and that this number will grow in the coming years. (They will continue to report scores from the older exam through the 2019 application cycle.) However, some schools will stop accepting the old exam before that application cycle: check with the schools you are applying to if you want to apply with an old MCAT for the 2016-17 or later application cycles.

How can committees evaluate a pool that includes some applicants with scores from the old exam, some with scores from the new exam, and some who may have two separate scores (one old and one new)? Isn’t it like comparing apples and oranges?

A bit, and that’s why AAMC advises that med schools not try to compare one with the other, but rather evaluate each applicant’s score in the context of his/her application. Also, scores from the older exam will be understandable within the framework that they always have been, and scores from the new exam can be contextualized with the help of the percentile information.

Good luck on your MCAT!

Check out The New MCAT webinar now to learn how you can ace the exam!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success
MCAT Scores, MCAT Prep, and #MCAT2015 [Podcast]
• How the Adcom Views Multiple MCAT Scores

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4 Things To Do Before Submitting Your AMCAS Application http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/26/4-things-to-do-before-submitting-your-amcas-application-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/26/4-things-to-do-before-submitting-your-amcas-application-2/#respond Fri, 26 Jun 2015 15:54:48 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31898 While the AMCAS process is open for several months, it’s to your advantage to apply earlier rather than later, so that med schools can consider your application when they have more seats available to fill. With an ongoing process, how can you tell when your application is ready to submit? Here are four things we […]

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Watch our recent webinar "Create a Winning AMCAS Application"

Caution: You want 1-3 people to review your essay – not the entire world.

While the AMCAS process is open for several months, it’s to your advantage to apply earlier rather than later, so that med schools can consider your application when they have more seats available to fill. With an ongoing process, how can you tell when your application is ready to submit? Here are four things we advise that you do before you submit, to make sure that your app is in great shape:

1.  Check that your application paints an impressive, holistic, and accurate picture of you.

Each section of your application – your essays, your CV, all those boxes and fields, your letters of recommendation, your MCAT score – should provide a snapshot of who you are. Double check that all information is accurate, and that your snapshot presents you in the best light. The sections of your application should complement one another, similar to a puzzle, where each piece works together to create a complete, cohesive, unified picture.

2.  Recruit/hire someone to review your essays.

Your AMCAS essays and secondary essays aren’t done until another person (or other people) have looked them over. Have a friend, family member, or an experienced Accepted editor read through your essays, check for errors and inconsistencies, and offer constructive criticism. No, it’s not fun to have someone point out your mistakes, but your essays will be better because of it, and as a result, so will your chances of getting into your top choice med school. (Caution: You want 1-3 people to review your essay – not the entire world. This is definitely a case where too many cooks can spoil the soup—or, more precisely, confuse matters hopelessly.)

3.  Proof your entire application.

Applicants spend so much time proofing their essays (which is great) but often forget that they need to proof the rest of their application as well (not great). Proofread every component of your application – your personal statement, the boxes, the experienceseverything. Check for proper spelling and grammar and correct any errors. The entire application package should be neat and clean and error-free. Try reading your application aloud – it’s an excellent way to catch mistakes that your eyes may miss.

4.  Think about timing AND quality.

While it is important for medical school applicants to submit early in the process, it is better to send in the application a day or two later and present something that is polished and excellent, rather than submit a sloppy and rushed AMCAS app at the beginning of the process. So don’t procrastinate; there is no time to waste. At the same time, don’t compromise on quality in a rush to submit.

Once you’ve completed these four items then it’s time to confidently hit that “Submit” button!

Now, take another step: subscribe to our blog for helpful advice to guide you through your med school application journey!

Click here to view a recording of our "Create a Winning AMCAS Application!" webinarAccepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Ace the AMCAS Essay [Free Guide]
Med School, AMCAS & Personal Statement Consulting Services
• WHAT Should You Include in Your AMCAS Essay?

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Approaching The Diversity Essay Question http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/25/writing-the-diversity-essay/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/25/writing-the-diversity-essay/#respond Thu, 25 Jun 2015 16:27:04 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31871 Many applications now have a question, sometimes optional, geared to encouraging people with minority backgrounds or unusual educational or family histories to write about their background.  If you are an immigrant to the US, the child of immigrants or someone whose ethnicity is a minority in the US, you might find this question an interesting […]

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Learn How to Use Examples to Write an Exemplary Essay

Explain how your experiences built your character.

Many applications now have a question, sometimes optional, geared to encouraging people with minority backgrounds or unusual educational or family histories to write about their background.  If you are an immigrant to the US, the child of immigrants or someone whose ethnicity is a minority in the US, you might find this question an interesting one to show how your background will add to the mix of perspectives at the program you are applying to. If you are applying after having an unusual experience for applicants like joining the military, becoming part of a dance troupe, or caring for an elderly relative, you can use your experience to evoke the way in which you will bring diversity to campus.

Your family’s culture, situation and traditions, and the way they have helped you develop particular character and personality traits are of interest, as well unusual experiences that have shaped you. Perhaps you have grown up with a strong insistence on respecting elders, attending family events or learning your parents’ native language and culture. Perhaps you are close to grandparents and extended family who have taught you how teamwork can help everyone survive. Perhaps you have had to face and deal with difficulties that stem from your parents’ values being in conflict with those of your peers. Perhaps teachers have not always understood the elements of your culture or outside-of-school situation and how they pertain to your school performance. Perhaps you have suffered discrimination and formed your values and personality traits around your success in spite of the discrimination. Perhaps you have learned skills from a lifestyle that is outside the norm–living in foreign countries as the child of diplomats or contractors, performing professionally in theater, dance, music or sports, or communicating with a deaf sibling.

Understanding and explaining how your experience built your empathy for others, a strong will, and character is a good focus for the diversity question.

Learn how to use sample essays to create an exemplary essay of your own!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes [Free Guide]
Writing About Overcoming Obstacles in Your Application Essays [Short Video]
• How To Write About Overcoming Challenges Without Sounding Like A Whiner

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How Good A Predictor Is The MCAT? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/25/how-good-a-predictor-is-the-mcat/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/25/how-good-a-predictor-is-the-mcat/#respond Thu, 25 Jun 2015 15:49:59 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31847 According to a study in JAMA, students who took extra time on the MCAT (due to disability) were admitted to medical school at the same rate as other students, but later earned lower average scores on the USMLE Step Exams and took longer to graduate. Researchers looked at data from 1991-2015, and studied the MCAT […]

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Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for SuccessAccording to a study in JAMA, students who took extra time on the MCAT (due to disability) were admitted to medical school at the same rate as other students, but later earned lower average scores on the USMLE Step Exams and took longer to graduate.

Researchers looked at data from 1991-2015, and studied the MCAT information (and subsequent academic achievement) of applicants who received extra time on the exam, compared with those who took the standard time. They found that while admission rates were not significantly different between these two groups, students who used extra time on the MCAT had lower pass rates on their first attempt taking the USMLE exams (Step 1, 82% vs 94%; Step 2 CK, 86% vs 95%; Step 2 CS, 92% vs 97%). They also graduated at lower rates, and took longer to do so:  after 4 years, 67 percent vs 86 percent; 5 years, 82 percent vs 94 percent; 6 years, 85 percent vs 96 percent; 7 years, 88 percent vs 96 percent; and 8 years, 88 percent vs 97 percent.

Researchers suggest that the new MCAT, which provides more time per question, might help ensure that the exam functions as a more accurate predictor, by alleviating some people’s need to request extra time.

They also suggested that the gaps illuminated by the study indicate that medical schools could do a better job creating a supportive learning environment for students with disabilities.

Download your copy of "Navigating the Med School Maze" today!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

Applying to Medical School with Low Stats: What You Need to Know
• Improve Your MCAT Score for Medical School Acceptance
How To Write The Statement Of Disadvantage

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Exclusive Low Stats Med Webinar Airing Live On Thursday! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/23/exclusive-low-stats-med-webinar-airing-live-on-thursday/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/23/exclusive-low-stats-med-webinar-airing-live-on-thursday/#respond Tue, 23 Jun 2015 17:43:35 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31632 Have you registered and marked your calendars for Thursday’s webinar, Get Accepted to Medical School with Low Stats? Be sure to reserve your spot by signing up ASAP (free) and get ready to learn how to boost your strengths so that the admissions committee won’t dwell on your weaknesses! Register here: Get Accepted to Medical […]

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Have you registered and marked your calendars for Thursday’s webinar, Get Accepted to Medical School with Low Stats?

Register for the webinar!

Be sure to reserve your spot by signing up ASAP (free) and get ready to learn how to boost your strengths so that the admissions committee won’t dwell on your weaknesses!

Register here: Get Accepted to Medical School with Low Stats

Time: This Thursday (That’s June 25th) at 5:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST

Grab your spot! See you soon!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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An Interview With Our Own: Jessica Pishko http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/23/an-interview-with-our-own-jessica-pishko/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/23/an-interview-with-our-own-jessica-pishko/#respond Tue, 23 Jun 2015 16:06:21 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31799 Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Jessica Pishko. Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Where do you […]

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Read Jessica's Bio here!Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Jessica Pishko.

Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Where do you currently live?

Jessica: I went to Rice University in Houston, Texas for undergrad where I majored in English and French. I currently live in San Francisco with my family.

Accepted: Can you share 3 fun facts about yourself?

Jessica:

1. I used to be a yoga teacher (but haven’t taught in a few years).

2. I worked in the French department in college where one of my primary jobs was to open bottles of wine for faculty parties. So, I got very good at it and used to work at a few faculty parties as a bartender for extra money.

3. I have a two-year old daughter and a Chihuahua named Sammy.

Accepted: Do you hold any graduate degrees? 

Jessica: Yes, I have a JD from Harvard Law School and an MFA in fiction writing from Columbia University.

Accepted: Can you walk us through the jobs and experiences you had that led you to become an admissions consultant for Accepted? 

Jessica: Before I went back to school for my MFA, I worked as a recruiter – this was 2008, which was a terrible time to be recruiting. But, I did learn a lot about the legal job market and found that I enjoyed working with people. As an MFA student, I had the opportunity to work in Columbia’s writing center, where I helped all sorts of students with their writing, from admissions essays to final papers. Based on my work there, I was asked to become a writing consultant for Columbia’s Postbac Program and worked with students applying to medical school. I really enjoyed helping people achieve their dreams, as cheesy as that sounds, and am thrilled to be on the team at Accepted.

Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about consulting?

Jessica: As someone who switched careers herself, I’m very sympathetic to the challenges of applying to school and getting accepted into the right program. I really like to help people who are working hard to achieve their goals and make their dream careers happen. That’s very satisfying for me, and I hope it’s equally satisfying for my clients!

Accepted: What sorts of applicants do you mostly work with?

Jessica: Law school, medical school and graduate school.

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips?

Jessica:

1.  Try to see the application – including the personal statement and interview, if applicable – as an opportunity rather than a hurdle to overcome. I think that changing your attitude about the process helps to reduce anxiety.

2.  Be flexible and willing to change. It can be hard to take criticism or encounter a set-back, but if you are able to let go of your preset notions, it’s a lot easier to revise and improve your application and admissions strategy.

3.  Be yourself. Too often, I think applicants worry about what admissions committees want or try to “stand out” rather than write something that actually reflects who they are.

Learn more about Jessica and how she can help you get accepted!

View our catalog of admission services! Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Get Your Game On: Prepping for Your Grad School Application
• Law School Admissions Consulting and Editing Services
• How to Get the Most Out of Your Experience Working With A Medical School Consultant

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Create A Winning AMCAS Application [Watch On Demand!] http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/22/free-amcas-workshop-available-online/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/22/free-amcas-workshop-available-online/#respond Mon, 22 Jun 2015 18:36:59 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=30464 Now’s your chance to catch up on valuable information you may have missed during our recent med school admissions webinar, Create a Winning AMCAS Application. Med school applicants struggling with the AMCAS application – you won’t want to miss this! View Create a Winning AMCAS Application for free now! Tags: AMCAS, Medical School Admissions, webinar

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Watch Create a Winning AMCAS Application!

Now’s your chance to catch up on valuable information you may have missed during our recent med school admissions webinar, Create a Winning AMCAS Application.

Med school applicants struggling with the AMCAS application – you won’t want to miss this!

Watch the AMCAS webinar!

View Create a Winning AMCAS Application for free now!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Using Med School Admissions Stats Strategically http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/22/using-med-school-admissions-stats-strategically/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/22/using-med-school-admissions-stats-strategically/#respond Mon, 22 Jun 2015 16:13:40 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31727 As the new med school application cycle hits its stride, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by stats and rankings. For example, US News recently posted a list of the med schools that received the highest volume of applications in 2014. Here’s the list: (A couple of notes: RNP indicates that a school is […]

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As the new med school application cycle hits its stride, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by stats and rankings. For example, US News recently posted a list of the med schools that received the highest volume of applications in 2014.

Here’s the list:

Find out what the med school rankings really mean. [Free Download](A couple of notes: RNP indicates that a school is ranked in the bottom quarter of the US News rankings. Unranked schools were not considered for this listing. For more information, see the report. )

Now, a few things: by itself, the number of applications a school received—without any other information (such as the admission rate, the yield, the average GPA/MCAT of admitted students)—is not that helpful. You need to contextualize this data as part of the other information you have about each school.

For example, if all you know about Drexel is that it received 14,648 applications, that’s not a lot to go on. If you can add to that the information that 622 applicants were admitted (a rate of about 4.25 %), you immediately know much more. Of those 622 admitted applicants, 260 enrolled. The median GPA of admitted students was 3.59, and median MCAT was 31. Now you have a fuller picture, and you can start to evaluate whether your own scores might make you a competitive applicant.

With this in mind, here are a few tips for how to use stats strategically in your application process:

1. Be realistic about where you are competitive and apply accordingly.

2. Apply to a lot of schools— around 15-20 is reasonable (and more if you’re applying to schools where your scores are less competitive). Medical school is hard to get into!

3. Think carefully about stats and their implications. On its own, application volume doesn’t tell you very much. But when you add information about acceptance rates, yields, and the scores of admitted students, you have more to go on.

Are you misusing the med school rankings? Click here to find out!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• U.S. News 2016 Best Medical Schools – Research & Primary Care 
• Numbers Aren’t Everything When You Choose Your Med Schools
• Where Should I Apply To Med School?

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How To Write The Statement Of Disadvantage http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/21/how-to-write-the-statement-of-disadvantage-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/21/how-to-write-the-statement-of-disadvantage-2/#respond Sun, 21 Jun 2015 15:47:26 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31715 If you have experienced any form of social, economic or educational disadvantage—at any time in your life—you can apply to medical school as a disadvantaged applicant.  To receive this designation means that you will need to complete an additional essay on the AMCAS application.  The character limit for this short essay is 1,325.  Examples of […]

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You are heroic for overcoming obstacles that would have prevented most people from applying to medical school.

If you have experienced any form of social, economic or educational disadvantage—at any time in your life—you can apply to medical school as a disadvantaged applicant.  To receive this designation means that you will need to complete an additional essay on the AMCAS application.  The character limit for this short essay is 1,325.  Examples of each of the three forms of disadvantage are listed below:

1. Social: Being treated differently due to ethnicity, language or religion.

2. Economic: Receiving any form of government aid or growing up in a single parent household on one income that is below the poverty threshold.

3. Educational: Overcoming a learning disability or attending low performing public schools.

It can be difficult to know what to include in the Statement of Disadvantage.  I recommend approaching it by using the following strategies:

• Create a timeline that includes any forms of social, economic or educational barriers that you experienced, from the beginning of your life through college.
•  State the facts, no need to express any emotions or to emphasize any details.
• End on a high note.

It’s important to remember that your application will be treated with the utmost respect and that you are heroic for overcoming obstacles that would have prevented most people from applying to medical school.  Congratulate yourself for making it to this point in your education!

It can be helpful to have another person review this essay to make sure that you have included all relevant information.  Be sure to include the details of the most significant obstacles that you have overcome to reach higher education.  The advantage of applying to medical school as a disadvantaged applicant is that most medical schools will not reject your application until it has been reviewed by at least one admissions officer.

If you’re unsure whether you should apply as a disadvantaged applicant or not, you are welcome to contact me for a free consultation.

Download your free Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes! Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.

Related Resources:

Create a Winning AMCAS Application! [Webinar]
AMCAS Application Packages 
• WHAT Should You Include in Your AMCAS Essay?

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Tips For Applicants With A Low MCAT Score (Part 2) http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/19/tips-for-applicants-with-low-mcat-scores-part-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/19/tips-for-applicants-with-low-mcat-scores-part-2/#respond Fri, 19 Jun 2015 15:39:27 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31586 The MCAT score is crucial to making it to the interview stage of the medical school application process. For those with low MCAT scores who want to attend a US allopathic medical school, the only real option is retaking the exam. When you determine that your MCAT is not competitive, you can either choose to […]

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Click here to download our "Navigate the Med School Maze" guide now!The MCAT score is crucial to making it to the interview stage of the medical school application process. For those with low MCAT scores who want to attend a US allopathic medical school, the only real option is retaking the exam.

When you determine that your MCAT is not competitive, you can either choose to work harder and retake the MCATs, or consider alternative career paths. DMD, patent law, and PhD programs are just a few of the common alternative career options that allow you to remain in science.

If you are committed to obtaining a MD, then you should plan to retake the exam and make it your last retake. Although schools do not penalize applicants who take the MCAT two or three times, before taking the exam for a 3rd time it is key that you make the third sitting your final attempt; more attempts reflect poorly on your application.

Keep in mind that many students do not prepare enough for the MCATs, thinking that their coursework is sufficient preparation. This is a faulty assumption, especially for applicants who struggle on standardized tests. Applicants need to study hundreds of hours over several months to review and prepare for the test. Applicants should utilize preparatory courses, private tutors and varying prep approaches to succeed. Applicants need to have real discipline to do the necessary work — 40 hours a week for several months. It is also extremely important to take practice tests regularly (ideally weekly) in order to master not just the content but also the necessary test-taking skills to succeed under the additional test-day stress.

There are many different resources out there to help –no one resource is the best – you need to find the approach that works best for you. Kaplan, Princeton Review and Exam Crackers are the most commonly used with Exam Crackers providing a more problem-based approach.

A last piece of advice: do not take the test unless you are scoring (on practice tests) above the range that you feel you need for admission. The confidence you possess on test day knowing you were scoring a 33 on practice tests is a large part of the mind–game you must master to succeed. Hard work, discipline and true motivation are the necessary ingredients to MCAT success.

See Part 1 for advice about Options Without Retaking the Exam.

Applying to Medical School with Low Stats CTAAccepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

The Results Are In: Analyzing Your MCAT Diagnostic Exam [Webinar]
• Improve Your MCAT Score for Medical School Acceptance
• Boost your GPA for Medical School Acceptance

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Get Accepted To Med School With Low Stats! [Webinar] http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/18/get-accepted-to-med-school-with-low-stats-webinar/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/18/get-accepted-to-med-school-with-low-stats-webinar/#respond Thu, 18 Jun 2015 17:44:12 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31628 Don’t forget to register for our upcoming webinar, Get Accepted to Medical School with Low Stats. Remember – this is a MUST-attend webinar for anyone applying to med school (or thinking about applying) with a less-than-desirable GPA or MCAT score. During the webinar, Alicia McNease Nimokar, senior advisor at Accepted.com, will provide loads of advice […]

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Don’t forget to register for our upcoming webinar, Get Accepted to Medical School with Low Stats. Remember – this is a MUST-attend webinar for anyone applying to med school (or thinking about applying) with a less-than-desirable GPA or MCAT score.

Register for our live webinar: Get Accepted to Medical School with Low Stats!

During the webinar, Alicia McNease Nimokar, senior advisor at Accepted.com, will provide loads of advice on how to get accepted to medical school despite those low numbers.

Mark your calendars!

Date: Thursday, June 25, 2015

Time: 5:00 PM PT/8:00 PM ET

Get Accepted to Medical School with Low Stats (Registration is free, but required.)

grab-your-spotAccepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Promoting Financial Health For Doctors http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/17/promoting-financial-health-for-doctors/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/17/promoting-financial-health-for-doctors/#respond Wed, 17 Jun 2015 17:09:42 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31607 “All doctors are rich.” “Doctors don’t know anything about money.” If you are a doctor (or will be one day), you’ve probably heard all sorts of myths about doctors and finance. Enter Dr. James Dahle, the White Coat Investor and your “colleague in the physician’s lounge who can tell you how the world really works.” […]

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Listen to the show!“All doctors are rich.” “Doctors don’t know anything about money.”

If you are a doctor (or will be one day), you’ve probably heard all sorts of myths about doctors and finance.

Enter Dr. James Dahle, the White Coat Investor and your “colleague in the physician’s lounge who can tell you how the world really works.”

Listen to the recording of our talk with Dr. Dahle to hear his views on successful financial strategy for doctors and future doctors.

00:03:09 – Why Jim joined the military and became an emergency medicine doctor.

00:06:36 – Sick of getting ripped off: How the White Coat Investor site got started.

00:10:29 – The bad financial experience that broke this camel’s back.

00:11:36 – Income vs. wealth and how to make yourself wealthy.

00:12:48 – Advice for premeds: Get accepted to medical school.

00:14:49 – Featured Applicant Question: Should I attend the med school I was accepted to or pursue a Masters and reapply to my dream school next year?

00:17:11 – The best financial move for medical school students.

00:19:32 – Important steps that residents can take to shape their financial futures.

00:21:25 – The optimal time to become financially literate.

00:24:47 – Set yourself up for financial success, but do work that you’d do for free.

Click here to listen to the show!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com

Related Links:

whitecoatinvestor.com
Medical School Admissions 101
Residency Admissions 101

Related Shows:

• Everything You Wanted to Know About MD/MBA Programs
Baylor College Of Medicine: A Holistic Approach To Admissions
• Attn Med Applicants: A Class Is Matriculated Every Single Year 
• Elliptical, Meet Med School: Interview with Andrea Tooley
• Medical School Admissions 2015-2016: A Dean’s Perspective

Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in iTunes! Check Out Admissions Straight Talk in Stitcher!

Download your free Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes!

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For Parents: How To Help Your Premeds In Waitlist Limbo http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/17/for-parents-how-to-help-your-premeds-in-waitlist-limbo/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/17/for-parents-how-to-help-your-premeds-in-waitlist-limbo/#respond Wed, 17 Jun 2015 16:12:15 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31618 It’s happened.  You and your premeds’ worst fears are coming true.  They have not received an acceptance to medical school—only waiting list notifications—and it’s getting late in the cycle.  You are both getting more and more anxious. Having a decade of experience in this field, I recommend that you, as a parent, take the following […]

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"Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success" Download your guide today!

Allow them the time to grieve, but encourage them “to get back on the horse.”

It’s happened.  You and your premeds’ worst fears are coming true.  They have not received an acceptance to medical school—only waiting list notifications—and it’s getting late in the cycle.  You are both getting more and more anxious. Having a decade of experience in this field, I recommend that you, as a parent, take the following action:

1. Gain some perspective. This is not your application.  You have a lifetime of experience with which to help your premeds see the bigger picture.  The most important thing that you can do is to help them gain a sense of perspective. Worst case scenario, even if they get rejected this cycle, it is not the end of the world—even though it might feel like it.  Things could always be worse.  And they are for many people out there who will never be able to access higher education to even be on the path to pursuing a medical degree.  Think about engaging in volunteer work and helping others to have a stronger frame of reference from which to examine the situation, especially during this time.

2. Be encouraging. The way that you react to this situation will influence how your premeds do.  Stay active.  Exercise.  Keep busy.  Your example will help them to do the same.  If you ask them everyday about the status of their application, it could drive you and them crazy.  Focus on the positive and they will, too.

3. Help them strategize. If you want to do something to help, you can research their options and/or gift them an hour of editing/advising time with a consultant like me who routinely helps students at all stages of the process get into medical school.  They can use the time to talk about their options, postbac programs or SMP’s, or they can use the time to create an outline for a letter of interest with edits on their drafts.  These letters can remind the school of their interest and possibly even move them up the waiting list.

4. Teach them resilience. Even if they do receive a rejection, this situation is an opportunity to increase their resilience.  Allow them the time to grieve the lost opportunity, but when they’re ready, encourage them “to get back on the horse.”  Reapplicants who improve as much as they can on their applications demonstrate enormous resilience in simply having the courage to reapply.

When things do not go as planned, we are given the opportunity to demonstrate character.  Even after such a disappointing experience as receiving a rejection from medical school, we can encourage our premed students to learn from the experience. They can use the reapplication to improve their strategy and to fine tune their approach.

Give your premed the space to grow from the experience.  And when in doubt, call an expert—we’d love to help.

Download Medical School Reapplicant Tips for Succcess

Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.

Related Resources:

• Parents of Pre-Med Students: How Much Help is Too Much Help?
• 7 Reasons Medical School Applicants are Rejected
• A Second Chance to Medical School: The A-Z of Applying to Postbac Programs

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Tips For Applicants With A Low MCAT Score (Part 1) http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/16/tips-for-med-applicants-with-a-low-mcat-score/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/16/tips-for-med-applicants-with-a-low-mcat-score/#respond Tue, 16 Jun 2015 16:11:13 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31465 Options Without Retaking the Exam All medical school applicants (or any other professional school applicant) must assess their credentials realistically in order to present themselves best during the application process. Since applicants are evaluated based on specific academic (undergraduate and graduate GPA and MCAT scores) and non-academic (research and clinical exposures, leadership skills, mentoring experiences) […]

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How can you get into medical school with low stats? Register for our webinar and find out!

Many schools will screen you based solely on your MCAT score.

Options Without Retaking the Exam

All medical school applicants (or any other professional school applicant) must assess their credentials realistically in order to present themselves best during the application process. Since applicants are evaluated based on specific academic (undergraduate and graduate GPA and MCAT scores) and non-academic (research and clinical exposures, leadership skills, mentoring experiences) criteria as well as on personal attributes such as compassion, discipline, motivation, and work ethic, you must acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses.

Unfortunately, most medical schools do weigh the academic credentials heavily, in particular the MCAT score because strong MCAT scores have been correlated with success on the USMLE. There are very few, if any, medical schools that do not require the MCATs.

If your MCAT score is a borderline, and you choose not to retake the exam, you can try to present yourself in the best light by stressing your other attributes and credentials and taking extra coursework that illustrates your strong academic background. Some schools will accept students with MCATs in this range if the student is extremely strong academically, realizing that sometimes standardized tests are not always the best representation of a students’ aptitude. Some schools will be able to look beyond the MCAT score to see your other attributes.The truth, however, is many medical schools will just screen you based solely on your MCAT number.

Alternative options include applying to Caribbean and foreign medical schools or pursuing osteopathic medicine; their applicant MCAT scores are sometimes lower than allopathic schools. If you are committed to attending an allopathic medical school here in the United States, then you must retake the MCATs and somehow manage to earn a competitive score.

Applying to Medical School with Low Stats CTAAccepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success
• Numbers Aren’t Everything When You Choose Your Med Schools
Applying to Medical School With Low Stats: What You Need to Know

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An Interview With Our Own: Natalie Grinblatt Epstein http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/16/an-interview-with-our-own-natalie-grinblatt-epstein/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/16/an-interview-with-our-own-natalie-grinblatt-epstein/#respond Tue, 16 Jun 2015 15:50:09 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31580 Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Natalie Grinblatt Epstein. Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you […]

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View Natalie's bio page!Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Natalie Grinblatt Epstein.

Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you hold any graduate degrees? Where do you currently live?

Natalie: I’m a first generation immigrant who grew up in suburban Detroit surrounded by aunts, uncles and cousins (we have a large family) that didn’t speak English, so I picked up Yiddish, French, and a little Hebrew along the way. My parents felt travel and community service were both extremely important to our upbringing and by the time I was 18, I put in over 1000 hours of community service for organizations ranging from the American Cancer Association to UNICEF. We also traveled to 20 different countries before I began university (that count is closer to 80 now).

I attended the University of Michigan and my closest friends and I lived in the same dorm, so we created our own sorority without having to go through pledging. We are best friends to this day.

I waived out of a lot of courses through AP and university testing, so I actually started as a sophomore, but decided to use that to explore the sciences, the arts and a lot of literature. I was active in theater groups, political action groups and I was lucky enough to be assigned on a research project that changed my world. I studied the Elizabethan period in depth and dropped pre-med having fallen in love with Shakespeare instead of Jonas Salk.

Theater enabled me to be fearless, but it didn’t lead to post-BA careers, so after spending two years in retail, I returned to Ann Arbor for my MBA.

Accepted: Can you walk us through the jobs and experiences that led you to become an admissions consultant for Accepted?

Natalie: I initially pursued the MBA for a career in CPG, but again, a research project turned my world upside down and my marketing professor/mentor suggested I implement my research at Michigan. I thought I would stay for a year, I stayed for 11. Understanding that I needed to diversify my resume, I was offered and accepted the role of Admissions Director at Cornell.

My first day was memorable: I walked in from orientation and 75% of my staff had resigned (I hadn’t even started yet), I negotiated to move Financial Aid under my charge, I discovered 10,000 “inquiries” that were still being hand entered and then automated the system. That year we broke all prior records despite being short staffed, and I created a team that I knew could navigate the most rigorous rapids.

I worked my way up at Michigan from Assistant Director, to Associate Director and finally Director managing not only admissions, but also students services, student affairs, events, marketing (now each of those has separate departments, but I was a one woman shop under the guidance of amazing mentors). I created my own roles at both Michigan and Cornell. They trusted me to make the school better, and I used intra and inter university relationships to do so. I created recruiting teams out of multiple schools to share costs and also data. It worked well for all schools who are now solidly placed in the top 15. Moreover, I volunteered for GMAC (the Graduate Management Admissions Council) for 9 years in order to strengthen those relationships. At Cornell, no one thought it possible to work together with the Fundraising offices at other schools to pipeline students. I institutionalized this at Cornell and again, it works well for all parties involved.

I loved Michigan and Cornell, but on a snowy day in Ithaca, I received a call from Arizona State University. My best friend lived in Phoenix, and I was missing the sunshine. I accomplished a lot at Cornell and felt like it was time for a move. So I did.

Soon after moving to Phoenix, I met the man who became my husband. He sent me a business plan before our first official date. I wasn’t sure if he wanted to date me or hire me. He did both. We launched a business together and then tied the knot. I became a mother instantly to two wonderful boys (my stepsons) and a technology venture.

We sold the business two years later, and I missed higher education, so I called Linda Abraham and asked her if she needed another consultant. I knew Linda because she was running chats for us that benefitted Cornell and Accepted.com, and I really enjoyed working with her. I knew she was sharp and I always want to surround myself with brilliant and positive people and Linda certainly fits that definition. I’ve been with Accepted.com ever since that phone call in 2008 and I enjoy being on the other side of the table helping clients understand the inner workings of admissions. Transparency helps everyone, and my knowledge has been a powerful tool for my clients. I also brought on two of my former admissions colleagues and have been conducting some business development for Accepted.com when I have time.

Accepted: What is your favorite book?

Natalie: My favorite readings are Shakespeare’s canon. I still love to read the history plays. Currently, I’m reading The Swerve, by Stephen Greenblatt (no relation), but this Harvard professor writes eloquently and I’m learning a lot about how once lost classical literature was found again and created the entire Renaissance movement.

Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about consulting?

Natalie: My favorite thing about consulting is helping others make their dreams come true. I find it so gratifying to hear, “I’ve been accepted and I couldn’t have done it without you.” It’s a great boost to my ego, but more importantly, I love to see my clients blossom and grow. Education is vital to growth and if I can help clients gain the education they deserve, I feel I’ve accomplished my vision for the future.

In terms of the nuts and bolts, I love brainstorming ideas with my clients and preparing them for interviews. I believe I have the greatest impact in helping my clients shape their stories both in their application and in person.

Accepted: What sorts of applicants do you mostly work with?

Natalie: Given my business school background, I work mostly with MBAs and EMBAs, but I also work with high school students (because I did work with undergraduates at Michigan), PhDs (because I did work with the PhDs at Cornell), MF or MFEs (because I had experience reviewing those candidates files as well) and MPH or EMPH because they are similar to MBA candidates and I have a personal interest and read a lot about healthcare. I also work with a variety of dual degree candidates because I’ve had that experience as well.

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips?

Natalie:

1. Keep it simple (many clients want to cram everything into an essay and it doesn’t work).

2. Show your multi-dimensionality. For example, I love Columbia Business School’s question, “What would your cluster be surprised to learn about you?” Surprise them. Many clients think this is business only, but as an admissions director, I loved reading about other things that motivated my candidates: athletics, cooking, unique travel; musical instruments; standup comedy (Twitter’s CEO, a fellow Michigan graduate, spent many years as a standup comic). Don’t be a one trick pony.

3. Use relationships you have to put in a good word for you (not too many or that becomes desperate, but a shout out coming from a faculty member, student or alum will gain the attention of the admissions director).

4. I know you asked for three, but I have 5 suggestions: Seek the help you need (consulting, tutoring, editing, proof-reading, resume-writing, interview rehearsals).

5. Finally, don’t wait until the last minute. Applying to school takes time, introspection, and a realistic outlook. Cast the net widely and you will land softly and in the right place for you.

Learn more about Natalie and how she can help you get accepted!

See how Accepted can help you succeed!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

MBA Interview Prep: How to Ace Your Interviews [Free Guide]
• MBA Admissions Consulting and Editing Services
MBA Admissions According to an Expert [Podcast]

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TMDSAS Personal Characteristics Essay: What Do They Want? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/15/tmdsas-personal-characteristics-essay-what-do-they-want/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/15/tmdsas-personal-characteristics-essay-what-do-they-want/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2015 15:50:23 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31555 The Accepted editors recently had a productive discussion about the Personal Characteristics Essay from this year’s TMDSAS application. Here’s the prompt: Learning from others is enhanced in educational settings that include individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Please describe your personal characteristics (background, talents, skills, etc.) or experiences that would add to the educational experience […]

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An experience doesn’t need to be earth-shattering. You don’t need to have cured cancer or climbed Everest. What it needs to be is meaningful. That means that you’ve thought through what this experience means to you, how it has prepared you for the environment you’ll encounter in med school, and how your unique/diverse perspective will help you contribute.

An experience is something that is meaningful. You don’t need to have cured cancer or climbed Everest.

The Accepted editors recently had a productive discussion about the Personal Characteristics Essay from this year’s TMDSAS application. Here’s the prompt:

Learning from others is enhanced in educational settings that include individuals from diverse backgrounds and experiences. Please describe your personal characteristics (background, talents, skills, etc.) or experiences that would add to the educational experience of others.

Is this primarily a diversity question? A question about your unique educational experiences? A combination?

Here’s what Dr. Herman (Flash) Gordon, one of our expert med school consultants, had to say:

“As a med school educator, and former chair of admissions, I see this as a purposeful question.  Medical education is changing from the old didactic style to peer-peer education (a subset of “interactive learning”).  Typical models are case-based instruction, team learning, and pair-share.  For this to be most effective, there needs to be something to learn from your peers.  In general, the more diverse your peers, the more you will learn.

“So I see this prompt as trying to elicit how well the candidate will fit into the new model of med ed.  It would be good for applicants to describe experience with such educational models and to reflect on what they got out of the experience, as well as what they were able to contribute to others.”

In other words: this is both a diversity essay and something more than that—it’s asking you to think through the ways that your unique background and experiences will help you contribute to an evolving peer-peer education model. Being able to discuss previous experiences in a meaningful way will help you here.

A diversity essay, like any personal essay, can be anxiety-producing for applicants: some people get caught up in telling the stories they think the committee wants to hear (but not putting their own, unique imprint on them), or block their own writing process by convincing themselves that they don’t have an experience worth sharing.

Another member of our med team, Dr. Rebecca Blustein, shared her advice: “It’s worth remembering that your experience doesn’t need to be earth-shattering. You don’t need to have cured cancer or climbed Everest. What it needs to be is meaningful. That means that you’ve thought through what this experience means to you, how it has prepared you for the environment you’ll encounter in med school, and how your unique/diverse perspective will help you contribute.”

As always, if you need help with essay strategy, our experts would be happy to speak with you!

See our catalog of medical services!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Ace the AMCAS Essay, a free guide
• Meaningful Experiences For Medical School Applicants
Get Accepted to Medical School with Low Stats, a free webinar

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I’m About to Make Your Day… http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/14/im-about-to-make-your-day-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/14/im-about-to-make-your-day-2/#respond Sun, 14 Jun 2015 16:24:39 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31493 …by giving my essay a catchy opening line that doesn’t turn you away or bore you to tears. See, I could have started this tip post with “Today I am going to tell you how to create a compelling essay opening,” but you probably would have skipped over something as drab as that. How about […]

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Download Your Free Guide to Crafting a Killer Admissions Resume

Does your opening line catch the reader’s attention?

…by giving my essay a catchy opening line that doesn’t turn you away or bore you to tears.

See, I could have started this tip post with “Today I am going to tell you how to create a compelling essay opening,” but you probably would have skipped over something as drab as that. How about these?

It is the art of philosophical car washing that got me thinking about pursuing an MBA.

or

There are numerous ways to make a banana split cry.

…now THOSE are essays or personal statements I’d like to read!

Yes, you want an engaging opening for your admissions essay or personal statement, but you also want to make sure to avoid anything obvious or chock full of clichés.

A good essay opening is one that:

• …sets the tone. A serious essay should be introduced by a serious opening line. If an intro sentence makes you chuckle, on the other hand, then you can assume the essay itself it humorous as well.

• …raises intrigue. Your essay’s opening line should encourage questioning or engender curiosity. Like for our first example above, “What is philosophical car washing?” or “What is the art form of this activity like?” or, as per our second example above, “Huh?” And that’s okay too!

• …surprising, shocking, or suspenseful. Causing your reader to flinch, raise an eyebrow in surprise, jump with shock, or furrow her forehead from suspense is a good thing. That reader will want to read on.

Grab your readers’ attention so they will read your essay because they want to and not because they have to.

NOTE: If you can’t think of a catchy opening, but know what you plan on writing, feel free to write your essay first and add a catchy hook at the beginning of the essay once you’re done, or sometime along the way.

Download your free Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes! Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Application
• From Example to Exemplary – A Free Guide
• Writing The MBA Application Essay

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Houston Anesthesiologist Rockets Through Residency http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/14/interview-with-rishi-kumar-md/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/14/interview-with-rishi-kumar-md/#respond Sun, 14 Jun 2015 16:18:24 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31513 This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with medical school applicants and students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top medical schools and the med school application process. And now, introducing Rishi Kumar… Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as […]

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Read more med school student interviews!This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with medical school applicants and students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top medical schools and the med school application process. And now, introducing Rishi Kumar…

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Where did you go for med school? What are some of your hobbies?

Rishi: Howdy! I’m a Texan through and through having lived in Houston for practically my whole life. I finished high school a year early and decided to utilize a scholarship at Houston Baptist University to complete a double major in Chemistry and Biochemistry Molecular Biology over three years. I took a year off to teach MCAT courses and ultimately attended my dream medical school – Baylor College of Medicine.

I see myself as a stereotypical nerd who enjoys computer games, programming, and absolutely anything tech-related! I also enjoy watching/playing basketball and investing in the stock market.

Accepted: Where are you completing your residency, and what stage are you at? What specialty?

Rishi: I’m about to begin my third year of anesthesiology residency at Baylor College of Medicine in the Texas Medical Center. Afterwards, I plan to pursue either one or two fellowships in cardiovascular anesthesia +/- critical care medicine.

Accepted: What attracted you to anesthesiology?

Rishi: The biggest draw about anesthesiology is having the ability to apply advanced physiology and pharmacology to every anesthetic I perform. Additionally, anesthesiologists can perform a myriad of procedures. For example, I had a recent call shift where I placed an arterial line, performed a emergent endotracheal intubation in the ICU, came back to the pre-op area and did femoral and sciatic peripheral nerve blocks, placed several intravenous lines using ultrasound, performed an epidural anesthetic, and ultimately placed a central venous catheter. It’s a field which requires quick thinking in critical situations and finesse with procedures.

Another aspect which I’ve come to appreciate is that 100% of my attention is focused on the patient in front of me. I don’t have 20 patients to round on. I don’t spend eight hours talking about the diagnosis and treatment (a la internal medicine rounds). Instead, I’m the one immediately diagnosing problems, administering medications, and making adjustments to keep patients safe under the physiologic stress of surgery.

Finally, my colleagues are incredibly bright and laid back! Residency is tough, but it’s a little easier to tolerate when the people around you are amiable.

Accepted: What have been some of the challenging and rewarding aspects of your residency training so far?

Rishi: The most challenging aspect of residency was easily the steep learning curve in the first month of anesthesia – learning to properly intubate, place lines, prioritize events, anticipate problems, diagnose and treat changes, etc. There are hundreds of small parts which sum into an efficient anesthetic, so learning how to best execute each one was initially a struggle. Looking back, it’s almost laughable how much I’ve matured in terms of knowledge base and skill set as an anesthesia provider.

The most rewarding aspect of my training has easily been my commitment to patient safety. Circulating nurses are busy managing the operative flow. Surgeons and scrub techs are focused on the surgical goals of the case. Who is actually watching the patient? Your anesthesiologist!

Surgery is gruesome and unnatural. Patients are often times scared to tears in the pre-operative area. I take this as an opportunity to establish professional rapport by framing everything in the context of maintaining patient safety above all else. Their safe operative course is a responsibility I take very seriously and constantly motivate others to recognize. Also, no one can fault you for doing something in the patient’s best interest. My surgical colleagues have come to realize how I conduct my anesthetics, and many have expressed gratitude along the way. =)

Accepted: From your blog, it seems like you have a variety of diverse interests (sports, tech, gaming, etc). How do you balance work/life as a resident?

Rishi: Some of the more organized residents out there would likely say they have structured schedules incorporating recreational activities with their work loads.

I’m not one of them, lol.

I sort of let each day unfold depending on my mood. After a busy shift, I might just watch some sports, read, and then hit the sack early. Other days I’ll be doing laundry at midnight, grocery shopping at 6 AM, and playing video games in my PJs afterwards (always a kid at heart!) If there’s a big exam coming up, then my time will naturally shift towards preparing for it.

Truth be told, my work life is incredibly fulfilling in so many regards. Everything else I can squeeze into my schedule is just icing. =)

Accepted: What are your top 3 tips for residency applicants?

1. Be prepared to begin your real training. Medical school helped you learn the basics, but now you’re a doctor. Your colleagues and patients will be looking to you for answers. Serve them well.

2. Humility above all else. Medicine is filled with brilliant people with all sorts of incredible life experiences. Never let your accomplishments cloud your pursuit for selflessness.

3. Most importantly… remember what got you here. Your friends. Your family. Your hobbies and interests. Hold onto your past times and those who supported you.

You can follow Rishi’s blog at RK.md. Thank you Rishi for sharing your story with us – we wish you the best of luck!

Download your copy of "Navigating the Med School Maze" today!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Essays
Residency Applications: How to Match, a free webinar
• An Inside Look at the Medical School Journey

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Get To Know Accepted! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/12/get-to-know-accepted/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/12/get-to-know-accepted/#respond Fri, 12 Jun 2015 16:39:22 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31490 As the dynamic and thoughtful community at Accepted continues to grow, we’d like to take a moment to thank you for your engagement and to introduce ourselves to those of you who may not know what we are all about. Keep up the great conversation in the comments section! We love hearing from you. Related […]

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As the dynamic and thoughtful community at Accepted continues to grow, we’d like to take a moment to thank you for your engagement and to introduce ourselves to those of you who may not know what we are all about.

Keep up the great conversation in the comments section! We love hearing from you.

See how Accepted can help you succeed!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Get to know our admissions consultants
Download a free admissions guide
Check out the Admissions Straight Talk Podcast

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Detailed Instructions For Writing Your AMCAS Personal Statement http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/10/detailed-instructions-for-writing-your-amcas-personal-statement/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/10/detailed-instructions-for-writing-your-amcas-personal-statement/#respond Wed, 10 Jun 2015 16:28:56 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29882 Do you want an experienced guide to walk you through the AMCAS personal statement writing process?Check out the video recording of our recent webinar, 5-Step Guide to Successful Medical School Personal Statements, in which Jessica Pishko, one of Accepted’s top consultants, discusses the 5 steps you MUST take if you want to create a winning […]

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Do you want an experienced guide to walk you through the AMCAS personal statement writing process?Watch the webinar!Check out the video recording of our recent webinar, 5-Step Guide to Successful Medical School Personal Statements, in which Jessica Pishko, one of Accepted’s top consultants, discusses the 5 steps you MUST take if you want to create a winning medical school personal statement.

View 5-Step Guide to Successful Medical School Personal Statements now!

Watch the webinar!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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An Interview With Our Own: Herman “Flash” Gordon http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/09/an-interview-with-our-own-herman-flash-gordon/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/09/an-interview-with-our-own-herman-flash-gordon/#respond Tue, 09 Jun 2015 15:56:28 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31369 Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Herman “Flash” Gordon. Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Where do […]

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Click here to see how 'Flash' get you the acceptance you are waiting for!Curious about the life and times of our spectacular admissions consultants? Please enjoy our newest blog series in which we interview the fabulous people who make up the Accepted.com staff. Next up is…Herman “Flash” Gordon.

Accepted: Can you tell us a little about yourself? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Where do you currently live?

Flash: I was born in Tokyo and have lived in many places, both inside and outside the US. I was a biochem major at Harvard and then a developmental neuroscience graduate student at Caltech. Despite my apparent credentials as a biologist, I always seem to come back to programming. My early talents were in math and then they evolved into programming. I’ve had a research career in developmental neuroscience. Now I’ve developed a pedagogy and associated software called ThinkShare™ to support the development of problem solving skills. I live in Tucson, AZ.

Accepted: Why “Flash”?

Flash: When I was in high school, I had a job as a system programmer for the Purdue University Computer Center. My office mates were Moira Gunn, now host of Tech Nation on NPR, and Ward Cunningham, later inventor of the Wiki. In those days, we submitted programming “jobs” as stacks of punch cards to a main frame. The first card was a 5 character job card. Employees got to use their last names, so my job card read GORDN. The resulting line printer output would then end up in my cubby labeled GORDN. One day, I couldn’t find my job output, and I was looking all around for it. People were smiling and giggling in the printer room. Finally, someone said, “Look under FLASH.” Ward didn’t like the missing “O” in my job card, so he swapped my job card for one with a 5 character name and created a new cubby. I’ve been Flash ever since.

Accepted: Can you tell us more about ThinkShare™?

Flash: ThinkShare™ is a social networking platform for developing problem solving skills. I invented it to support a course I teach about scientific problem solving. ThinkShare has really taken off for teaching Case Based Instruction in med school where small groups of students work on “challenges” online and then come together in face-to-face sessions to review and extend their work.

ThinkShare supports “structured problem solving” which is the use of a stepwise structure when working on a problem. A typical structure is 1) frame the problem, 2) brainstorm, 3) strategize, 4) execute, 5) reflect. By separating the steps, people know what they’re supposed to be doing, and they don’t get stuck going in circles.

With ThinkShare, students work in parallel, and after having made their own entry, they get to see peer entries at the same step and are free to edit their own entries in response. Students in this environment own their own entries, but they benefit from the compare and contrast with peers engaged at the same level of the problem. ThinkShare also provides instructors with a window into students’ minds. After working online, everyone comes together, aware of each other’s thinking. This jump starts the face-to-face session so that it gets moving more quickly and goes deeper as well.

ThinkShare leverages diversity in that everyone learns from each other’s perspectives and approaches. Even in scientific problem solving, where there is one answer, there can be many, very different ways to that answer. It’s very powerful to see the tools that others use and to be able to add them to your own toolbox.

ThinkShare is now available to everyone at ThinkShareApp.com. There are free, basic, and premium versions.

Accepted: What is your favorite flavor ice cream?

Flash: Pistachio (gelato actually).

Accepted: Do you hold any graduate degrees?

Flash: PhD.

Accepted: Can you walk us through the jobs and experiences you had that led you to become an admissions consultant for Accepted? 

Flash: My first exposure to admissions was as a freshman at Harvard. I sat in on the admissions committee and was amazed at how diverse the applicant pool was. There were all kinds of cool people applying. I especially remember one candidate whose personal statement read “I don’t have a lot to say for myself, but I’m quite proud of the attached 3 part invention that I wrote.” The committee sent the score off to the Music Department for evaluation. I always hoped that he got in.

As an academic, you’re exposed to “admissions” throughout your career. Students, post-docs, and faculty are always recruited to help evaluate students and job candidates. I served on various evaluation committees over the years. However, it wasn’t until I served on the University of Arizona College of Medicine Admissions Committee that admissions became a passion. I served for 2 years as a committee member and then another 2 years as chair. I always valued “uniqueness” in candidates, and I still see it as the most fair and productive way to generate diversity in a class. After chairing the admissions committee, I felt it was time to move on and allow new blood to make their impact on the process. Now I’m involved in outreach, especially to Native American applicants, and I consult for Accepted.

Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about consulting?

Flash: When I reviewed applications, I felt that it was too late to help candidates. Now I can help candidates portray themselves in ways that give them the chances they deserve. I love helping people gain the confidence to be themselves in the admissions process.

Accepted: What sorts of applicants do you mostly work with?

Flash: I mostly work with applicants to med school and scientific graduate programs.

Accepted: What are your top 3 admissions tips?

Flash:

1. The Personal Statement is EVERYTHING.

2. Be the unique person you are.

3. Be genuinely interested in the school and the people there with whom you interact.

Learn more about Flash and how he can help you get accepted!

catalog - grad CTA Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Plotting Your Way to a PhD: 6 Topics in PhD Admissions
• Getting Into Medical School: Advice from a Pro
• How to Get the Most Out of Your Experience Working With A Medical School Consultant

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Are You A Med School Applicant With Low Stats? Read On… http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/08/are-you-a-med-school-applicant-with-low-stats-read-on/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/08/are-you-a-med-school-applicant-with-low-stats-read-on/#respond Mon, 08 Jun 2015 17:27:38 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31185 Applying to med school and worried your stats are too low? Not sure if your numbers will make the cut? In our upcoming webinar, Get Accepted to Medical School with Low Stats, you’ll learn tips and strategies for putting together an application that focuses on your strength rather than your weakness – one that convinces […]

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Applying to med school and worried your stats are too low? Not sure if your numbers will make the cut?

Get Accepted to Medical School with Low Stats! Live webinar on Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at 5:00 PM PT/8:00 PM ET.

In our upcoming webinar, Get Accepted to Medical School with Low Stats, you’ll learn tips and strategies for putting together an application that focuses on your strength rather than your weakness – one that convinces the selection committee that you’ve got what it takes to excel in medical school and as a physician!

Registration is required (and free). Reserve your spot for Get Accepted to Medical School with Low Stats now!

Grab your spot at the webinar!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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Public Vs Private Med School Training: How Will It Affect Your Career? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/07/public-vs-private-med-school-training-how-will-it-affect-your-carreer/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/07/public-vs-private-med-school-training-how-will-it-affect-your-carreer/#respond Sun, 07 Jun 2015 15:46:55 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31315 A recent study has found that the type of med school a student attends (public or private) can have a significant impact on her/his career path, with substantially more graduates of public medical schools choosing primary care specialties. A sampling of the findings: • In 2010, there 10,946 students graduated from public med schools, vs […]

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Are you misusing the med school rankings?A recent study has found that the type of med school a student attends (public or private) can have a significant impact on her/his career path, with substantially more graduates of public medical schools choosing primary care specialties.

A sampling of the findings:

• In 2010, there 10,946 students graduated from public med schools, vs 9,591 from private schools.

• In 2013-14, the average cost of attendance totaled: public, $187,400 vs. private, $264,000.

• In 2013-14, med students’ average debt at graduation totaled: public, $155,000 vs. private, $180,000.

• Between 1997 and 2006, 28.8 % of public med school graduates chose primary care specialties, while 24.3% of private med school graduates did so.

• Physicians who train in a rural area are more likely to practice in a rural area.

• There are also regional differences: in the South, West, and Central regions, public medical training predominates, while in the Northeast, the majority of medical students train in private schools.

Discussing the findings, the American Academy of Family Physicians highlighted the need for more primary care physicians.

Are you misusing the med school rankings? Click here to find out!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Get Accepted to Medical School in 2016
• Med School Kicks Off: Ten Tips to Get You Through The Season
• U.S. News Most Selective Med Schools

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Experience Working With A Medical School Consultant http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/04/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-experience-working-with-a-medical-school-consultant/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/04/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-experience-working-with-a-medical-school-consultant/#respond Thu, 04 Jun 2015 15:43:14 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31250 As students contact me to share the good news that they have received acceptances to medical school, I can’t help noticing patterns in the way that successful applicants work with a medical school consultant, like me and my colleagues at accepted.com.  For those of you embarking on the process of applying to medical school and […]

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See how we can help you!

With a little encouragement, you can write your way into med school!

As students contact me to share the good news that they have received acceptances to medical school, I can’t help noticing patterns in the way that successful applicants work with a medical school consultant, like me and my colleagues at accepted.com.  For those of you embarking on the process of applying to medical school and considering working with a consultant, we can help in the following three substantial ways:

1.  Provide guidance on strategy

From advising you on which schools to apply to all the way to helping you decide which school to attend, we can help you identify and use the individualized approach to each part of the application process that will work best for you.

2.  Help you reduce your stress levels

I focus my clients’ attention on the sections of the application that they have control over and encourage them to do their best in these areas so that they can relax when it comes to the parts of the process over which they don’t have any control.  By providing activities and emotional support to guide clients through the process, I hope to give them insight into themselves and to increase and enrich their coping mechanisms so that they will not only get into medical school but are successful in their training and career.

3.  Give you the confidence to present yourself most effectively in writing and in interviews

By reviewing essays with clients and pointing out how they can improve their writing, I hope to encourage my students to become better writers as well as empower them through self-expression to make their dream of medicine a reality.  You can write your way into medical school.

Through mock interviews, I assist students by evaluating the rhetoric of their responses, facial expressions and posture.  I include exercises and nonconventional approaches to help students be more authentic and comfortable in interview settings.  You can enjoy the journey!

To get the most out of your experience working with a consultant, I recommend taking the following approaches

• Set deadlines for you to complete your application materials and share these dates with your consultant.

• Get organized by creating an excel spreadsheet with school deadlines and dates of submission for all materials and check it regularly.

•Meet all agreed-on deadlines for the primary application, secondary applications, and mock interviews.

• Be ready for scheduled appointments; don’t miss appointments.

• Ask for help when it’s needed, especially if you’re uncertain about how to proceed in any section of the application process or if you’re feeling frustrated.

• Talk to your consultant about any questions, worries or concerns that you have.

• Enjoy the process.

The best part of my job is working with clients.  I enjoy getting to know each student and identifying how I can best support each individual.  Once you have clear goals with realistic deadlines, share them with your consultant.  You will then gain not only the expertise that will lead to an acceptance but you will also acquire a mentor and a cheerleader to help you thrive in the application process.

View our catalog of med admission services

Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.

Related Resources:

Get To Know Our Consultants
Navigate The Med School Maze
• 5 Step Guide to Successful Medical School Personal Statements

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Baylor College Of Medicine: A Holistic Approach To Admissions http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/03/baylor-college-of-medicine-a-holistic-approach-to-admissions/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/03/baylor-college-of-medicine-a-holistic-approach-to-admissions/#respond Wed, 03 Jun 2015 16:10:39 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31259 As AMCAS season moves into full swing, we’ve nabbed an interview with two people whom med applicants everywhere are working to impress. Listen to our conversation where Dr. Jesus Vallejo, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Dr. Karen Johnson, Associate Dean for Admissions at Baylor College of Medicine, share a gold mine of information and advice for […]

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Listen to the Show!

Baylor College of Medicine

As AMCAS season moves into full swing, we’ve nabbed an interview with two people whom med applicants everywhere are working to impress.

Listen to our conversation where Dr. Jesus Vallejo, Assistant Dean for Admissions and Dr. Karen Johnson, Associate Dean for Admissions at Baylor College of Medicine, share a gold mine of information and advice for current and future med school applicants.

00:01:41 – What do deans of admissions actually do?

00:06:20 – Best part of the job!

00:08:05 – AMCAS & TMDSAS.

00:11:09 – An overview of the Baylor curriculum & approach.

00:16:29 – Ramifications of the new MCAT.

00:20:46 – Just how important is it to apply early?

00:23:15 – The best time to take the MCAT.

00:28:41 – Whom the adcom is hoping to “meet” in an AMCAS application.

00:32:03 – Baylor’s mission, vision, and values, and what they mean for applicants.

00:36:59 –Early decision: For the few and far between.

00:39:27 – What your secondary application to Baylor College of Medicine needs to convey.

00:42:57 – Preparing for a medical school interview.

00:45:44 – Important advice for reapplicants.

00:50:21 – Why does an applicant with good credentials get rejected.

00:53:09 – Take a reality check, be careful when you party, and other words of wisdom for applicants.

Click here to listen to the show!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related links:

BCM Admissions
• For questions, email admissions@bcm.edu
Baylor Medical School’s Mission and Value
Applying to Med School with Low Stats
• Create a Winning AMCAS Application
Navigating the Med School Maze, tips to help you apply successfully to medical school
Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success

Related Shows:

Attn Med Applicants: A Class Is Matriculated Every Single Year
Medical School Admissions 2015-2016: A Dean’s Perspective
• Admissions Straight Talk: All Things Postbac
• A Window into the World and Life of Medical Scribes
• Elliptical, Meet Med School: Interview with Andrea Tooley
• Overcoming The Odds: A Story Of Med School Inspiration

Download Medical School Reapplicant Tips for Succcess

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PoliSci To DO Via Special Masters Program: Undeterred By Rejection http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/01/interview-with-3rd-year-med-student-jason-spears/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/06/01/interview-with-3rd-year-med-student-jason-spears/#respond Mon, 01 Jun 2015 16:40:49 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31181 This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with medical school applicants and students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top medical schools and the med school application process. And now, introducing Jason Spears… Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an […]

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Read more med student interviews!This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with medical school applicants and students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top medical schools and the med school application process. And now, introducing Jason Spears…

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What’s your favorite hobby?

Jason: I’m Jason Spears and I’m from Reading, PA (Reading railroad as in the monopoly game).  My undergraduate studies were completed at Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) and it was actually the only college I applied to coming out of high school. While at Northwestern I studied Political Science while completing a majority of my premed science courses at Harvard Summer School.

Accepted:   Where are you in med school and what year?

Jason: I’m about to enter my 3rd year at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in Harlem, New York.

Accepted:  Did you go straight from college to med school? Or did you take time off? (If you took time off, how did you spend your time?)

Jason: I actually took time off between college and med school, and it wasn’t by choice originally. When I initially applied, AMCAS computers made an error with my application and they gave me zero credit hours for my Harvard coursework when transferring the credits, so to all the medical schools it looked like I didn’t complete the basic requirements. This is a complete fluke that is not likely to be repeated as it was a computer error which also involved quarter credit hours (Northwestern) and semester hours (Harvard).

Thinking I needed to improve my credentials without knowing about the AMCAS error, I applied to post bac and special master programs (SMPs). Ultimately, I ended up graduating from Boston University School of Medicine’s MAMS program. Before getting into the program I also worked at several jobs– some in pharmaceutical consulting, and also at a patient satisfaction firm.

So definitely, I had a journey before starting medical school– but that’s my story and I have no problems not starting out like everyone else. Although, it is interesting that many of my friends from undergrad have already graduated from medical school and a good portion are almost done with their residencies.

Accepted: How/why did you decide to start blogging at doctorpremed? What are your goals in developing this blog as a resource for applicants and incoming students?

Jason: While an undergrad student I was the president of the premed society and made numerous contacts with admissions officers from the top medical schools throughout the country. By the time I graduated, a lot of my friends would approach me one-on-one asking for individual advice on getting into medical school. After a while, I began to realize most of my peers had the same questions. Being the efficient and pragmatic guy that I am, I thought, why not start a website detailing exactly what it takes to get into medical school? It would be accessible anytime, anywhere– allowing me to help many more premeds than I possibly could on my own.

My goal has always been to be the premier premed resource and your one stop shop for all things medicine. Having been blogging for years and speaking with many students I know there are a lot of myths about what it takes to be a successful applicant to medical school, and I want to provide the honest facts that aren’t just my personal opinions, but advice that comes from admissions officers, doctors, medical students, and college professors.

Additionally, many students have never been through the application process before and I attempt to outline exactly what students should be doing and when through my timely “Premed Grand Rounds” newsletter. Basically, each month there’s a key part of the application a student should be focusing on.

Accepted:  Looking back, what was the most challenging aspect of the med school admissions process? How did you approach that challenge and overcome it?

Jason: I think the challenging aspect for me was not getting in the first time. I just remember waiting as the rejection letters piled up and holding out hope for that one school, constantly reminding myself that it only takes one, “yes!” The waiting game can be tremendously hard because once applications are submitted, everything is out of your control and all you can do is check emails and the mailbox, waiting on some form of news to arrive.

I overcame this setback by learning there wasn’t anything overtly wrong with my application—rather, there was a glitch in how my application was processed. Knowing I wasn’t academically deficient really was a huge relief and allowed me to move forward with confidence in my post-bac and my next application to medical school.

Accepted: Can you share some advice to incoming first year students, to help make their adjustment to med school easier? What do you wish you would’ve known when you were starting out?

Jason: There’s almost too much to share when it comes to first starting out in medical school. The biggest advice would be to learn material cold the first time around and realize that everything matters in medical school. To be successful, you’ll definitely want to create and stick to a schedule, and remember, as one mentor stated, “Those who hate the schedule need it the most.”

Additionally, one skill that will help students in the first year is utilizing spaced repetition learning to put things in longterm memory, which will make preparing for Boards much easier.

Accepted:  Do you have any other advice for our med school applicant readers?

Jason: Work hard, and never give up on your dreams of becoming a doctor if that’s what you really want. Also, if your heart isn’t in medicine, don’t go into the field to please family, friends, or for the income or prestige, because there are going to be many lonely and soul-searching nights where the work is more than you think is manageable– but if medicine is what you want, you’ll figure out how to get by.

If you’re applying right now, be sure to get your applications in early because that makes a huge difference in improving your chances for admission because the committee has more acceptances to offer but later in the season only a few spots are left so they’re really going to scrutinize every aspect of your application down to the last detail. Remember that the MCAT is the great equalizer: it will make or break your chances for getting into medical school, and this is a test you want to take once and only once, so only take it when you are best prepared.

But enjoy the process…far too often you’ll focus on the destination (medical school acceptance) without taking time to enjoy the journey.

You can follow Jason’s blog and sign up for his newsletter at doctorpremed.com. Thank you Jason for sharing your story with us – we wish you the best of luck! 

Download your free copy of 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Application Essays!Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Get Accepted to Medical School in 2016
Attn Med Applicants: A Class Is Matriculated Every Single Year
Who Needs a Postbac Program and Who Doesn’t

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Numbers Aren’t Everything When You Choose Your Med Schools http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/31/numbers-arent-everything-when-you-choose-your-med-schools/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/05/31/numbers-arent-everything-when-you-choose-your-med-schools/#respond Sun, 31 May 2015 15:47:50 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=31136 After completing the first steps in determining which medical schools you should apply to this application cycle, I recommend that you have your scores in front of you. It is essential that you use these scores simply to guide your decision-making process and not to beat yourself up about the numbers.  Separate yourself as much […]

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Check out our General Advice for Med School Applicants page!

Use your scores as a tool to help you get from Point A to Point B

After completing the first steps in determining which medical schools you should apply to this application cycle, I recommend that you have your scores in front of you.

It is essential that you use these scores simply to guide your decision-making process and not to beat yourself up about the numbers.  Separate yourself as much as you can from those numbers.  Taking the time to process any strong emotions before you begin selecting schools would help you to make wiser decisions.  When you are ready, use the scores only as a tool to help you get from Point A to Point B.

To get started and to save yourself considerable time and effort:

1.  Review the medical schools in your state first.

Statistically, you are more likely to be accepted into a school where you are considered a resident. Often, medical schools will have special programs geared towards serving those communities that are considered medically underserved in their area.  For example, UC Davis School of Medicine hosts a Rural PRIME Program for students from rural areas who want to return to them to work as doctors.

The strongest predictors of whether you will meet the criteria for these types of special programs include: 1) your personal connection to the community and 2) how much volunteer and clinical experience you have serving this particular group of people.  Take these factors into account when deciding whether or not to apply to any programs that may represent your community.

2.  Identify which out of state medical schools accept a higher percentage of out-of-state students.

Select the percentage that you are most comfortable with, say 40% or higher to be safe. Using this information will prevent you from selecting schools where your chances are especially low simply given that you are an out-of-state resident.  This tactic should narrow down your list considerably. There are some medical schools that claim they accept out-of-state residents; however, this year students notified me of some schools that gave them automatic rejections simply on the basis of their residency even though the schools stated otherwise on their websites.

3.  Out of this whittled down list of schools, begin comparing your scores.

In my experience, as long as your application is strong in all other sections, you can choose schools on the basis that you fit at least one of their averages for either MCAT or GPA.  For example, if you fit high into a school’s average for GPA, but are just below the MCAT averages, and you are genuinely interested in applying to the school, you can include it on your list.

4.  Taking the list of schools you have created, begin evaluating the schools on the basis of your personal interests.

These personal interests could include: ethnicity, financial aid, graduate degrees or combined programs and research opportunities.  Compare the number of students accepted from your ethnicity.  If it’s a relatively low number, you may have a higher chance at the school because you will enhance the diversity of your medical school class.

The availability of financial aid is always an important consideration.  Some schools have lots of private funding and scholarships available while others offer more austere packages.  Looking at the school in terms of its specialties and how it can support your career goals is important in the long term.  Just as much as you may feel that the decision is all up to the school, you have the ultimate power in choosing which schools to consider you.

5.  Double check that you meet all of prerequisite requirements for each school to further refine your list.

Unfortunately, many students forget to complete this step.  If you are missing even a single class, you may be disqualified from serious consideration.  Cross all your T’s and dot all your I’s.  It’s an expensive mistake to apply to schools where you simply don’t meet their basic requirements.  For example, some schools will only accept committee letters while other schools don’t require them.  If you don’t have a committee letter, it will not help to apply to any schools that will only accept this type of letter of recommendation.

So yes, the numbers are an element—an important criterion—but not the only one that you should consider when choosing which medical schools to apply to. In using your numbers to objectively select the schools where you have the highest chances of acceptance, you will be setting yourself up for success.  If this process seems overwhelming, don’t hesitate to contact us at Accepted.com. My colleagues and I would be delighted to share our expertise with you.  Ask for help, when it is needed.  It may be the best decision you have ever made!

Click here to read Part 1: How Your Academic Statistics Should Influence Your School Choices.

Learn how you can get accepted to med school even with a low MCAT or GPA!
Alicia McNease Nimonkar is an Accepted.com advisor and editor specializing in healthcare admissions. Prior to joining Accepted, Alicia worked for five years as Student Advisor at UC Davis’ postbac program where she both evaluated applications and advised students applying successfully to med school and related programs.

Related Resources:

Ace the AMCAS Essay
Where Should I Apply to Med School?
• Med School Admissions for Parents 101

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