Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog » Medical School Admissions http://blog.accepted.com Admissions consulting and application advice Wed, 25 Feb 2015 20:24:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 Admissions consulting and application advice Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no Admissions consulting and application advice Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog » Medical School Admissions http://blog.accepted.com/wp-content/plugins/powerpress/rss_default.jpg http://blog.accepted.com/category/medical-school-admissions/ 4 Things Your Medical School Application Needs to Reveal http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/24/4-things-medical-school-application-needs-reveal/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/24/4-things-medical-school-application-needs-reveal/#respond Tue, 24 Feb 2015 17:15:16 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28769 Your med school application is your sales pitch. If after reading your app, the adcom isn’t interested in hearing more from you, then you haven’t done an adequate job selling yourself. There are FOUR things you need to reveal in your application if you want to convince the admissions committee that you’re worth investing in. […]

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Will your application grab the adcom’s attention?

Your med school application is your sales pitch. If after reading your app, the adcom isn’t interested in hearing more from you, then you haven’t done an adequate job selling yourself.

There are FOUR things you need to reveal in your application if you want to convince the admissions committee that you’re worth investing in.

Your medical school application MUST:

1. Show you can do the work: High test scores, a solid transcript, and a good sampling of clinical work/research will prove to the adcom that you’ve got the brains and the know-how to succeed.

2. Share mission of the school: You must show your commitment to diversity, to working in undeserved communities, to holistic healing, to osteopathy, etc. – if your target school focuses on any of the above (or other areas), then it would do your application good to indicate that those factors are important to you as well.

3. Will make a good physician: Your letters of recommendation will come into play here. You need strong voices to vouch for your abilities and passion to become a physician. The more experience you have in the field here, the better.

4. Will contribute to your school community and medical profession: A foundation of admissions is the belief that “Past behavior predicts future behavior.” Schools want to admit students who will be active participants in their community, and alumni who will make them proud. Show that you have been active in the past and that you have revealed the qualities medical schools value to persuade them you have what they seek.

If you’ve been involved in extracurriculars, contributed to your school or local community, and/or volunteered, then you’ll want to include this information in your application. Similarly, if you’ve participated in important medical research and can show that you’re passionate about continuing to contribute to medical advancements, then this should be explained in your app as well.

If your pitch is weak in even ONE of the above four areas, then it’s likely that the adcom readers will turn you down and move on to the next applicant on their list.

Do you need help strengthening your pitch? Check out our medical school admissions services here.

Click here to register for the webinar!
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Related Resources:

• Med School Rankings & Numbers: What You Must Know
5 Reasons Why Med Applicants Should Volunteer
Med School Student Interviews

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Narrative Medicine, Medical Humanities & Spiritual Care [Admitted Student IV] http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/23/narrative-medicine-medical-humanities-spiritual-care-admitted-student-iv/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/23/narrative-medicine-medical-humanities-spiritual-care-admitted-student-iv/#respond Mon, 23 Feb 2015 17:16:56 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=29007 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 Vaidehi Mujumdar… Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you […]

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Vaidehi Mujumdar (Photo credit: Hebah Khan – hebankhan.com)

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 Vaidehi Mujumdar…

Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What’s your favorite non-school book?

Vaidehi: I’m currently living in New York City, but I was born in India, moved to Southern California at age three and then moved to Northern Virginia, where I spent most of my childhood. I graduated from Dartmouth College in 2013 with a double major in Biology and Anthropology modified with Ethics.

I love/hate this question because I have a long list of books and quotes I keep in a notebook to share with people. Just to list some titles I really love: Arundhati Roy’s God of Small Things; The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver; The Red Tent by Anita Diamant; Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC by husband and wife virus hunters Joseph B. McCormick and Susan Fisher-Hoch; The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman; and Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. Recently, I have loved reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah and Atul Gawande’s newest book, Being Mortal.

Accepted: Congratulations on your multiple acceptances to med school! Where will you be attending this Fall?

Vaidehi: I am actually still deciding between a few schools and it’s actually a lot harder than I thought it would be to make a decision. I think going to re-visit weekends and getting a better sense of the community, location, and fit will be really important for me. I am grateful that I have until April to figure it out and some part of me knows that it will end up being one of those decisions that starts with a large pro/con list but then ends up being made based on “feeling” – where I feel I can be successful and happy to pursue interdisciplinary interests in medicine.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your experience at the HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN)? What do you do there? How will this experience play into your future as a physician?

Vaidehi: Dartmouth has a Post-Graduate Fellowship Program for students interested in working in the non-profit sector. My fellowship was at an organization called HealthCare Chaplaincy Network, an organization that provides compassionate spiritual care to healthcare organizations and individuals through research, education, and clinical services. Spiritual care is interesting in that it is not religion or specific to a denomination. We all need spiritual care as patients and as healthcare providers to make meaning of lived experiences.

One of my main responsibilities at HCCN was to co-managing two hospital pilot programs based in Harlem and Queens. These programs utilized chaplains in providing spiritual care interventions to reduce unnecessary hospital readmissions for Medicare patients 65+. There was a lot of great quantitative and ethnographic data gathered from this study and I know the model we used can be built upon in the future. I really believe that integrating chaplains in the healthcare team can help improve patient outcomes. Having seen the difference chaplain and spiritual care has on patient satisfaction and health outcomes, I know I will be mindful as a physician in utilizing spiritual care as a possible tool a health care organization can provide for a patient.

Accepted: Why did you decide to take this time off after graduating college? Do you think you made the right decision?

Vaidehi: I grappled a lot in college if I was going to take time off and actually decided to do it so that I could double major, go abroad to do my anthropology thesis research, and actually also devote time to write a thesis. I absolutely believe I made the right decision. Initially, my plans to take a gap year(s) was very practical and had to do with timing in my undergraduate studies, taking the MCAT, and wanting to do all of those things well.

However, at the end of my first gap year, I realized how important it was for personal growth and just being able to have the time to explore myself, my passion for writing and journalism, and working full-time in one of the craziest city’s I have ever lived in. I really believe having this time will make me a better student in medical school.

I found on the interview trail that the people who were a couple years out of undergraduate were usually the ones who had a story to tell and an enthusiasm for getting back into school. I also feel like managing work-life balance and priorities is extremely important and it’s not something that I really considered so much in undergrad. If I could back and tell my younger self circa my sophomore year of college when I was struggling with how I could fit in everything I wanted to do academically and personally, I would definitely say, “Stop stressing about fitting it all in a set number of years just because that’s what you expected the plan to be.” Plans change. Flexibility and adaptability are important, and taking the time during gap years to enrich yourself is invaluable.

Through my 2 gap years, I have had the opportunity to pursue journalism and writing in New York City as well as health advocacy work and I feel like I have a better grasp of what I want to do in the medical field as a physician.

What MCAT Score Will Get You Into Med School?Accepted: Can you talk about your interest in medical humanities and spiritual care research? 

Vaidehi: My interest in the medical humanities I believe really started my junior/senior year of college when I wrote a thesis in socio-cultural anthropology and ramped up a lot during my gaps years when I started freelance writing for several platforms focused on self-care, trauma, women’s health in minority communities, and exploring narrative medicine.

I believe the medical humanities and spiritual care provide us with a holistic look at both individual and population levels that can help in creating effective solutions. For example, I am interested in conducting research on chronic endocrine and reproductive diseases in women. Narrative medicine as a subset of the medical humanities allows me to gather illness stories told by women about their lived experiences with these chronic problems. To me, medicine is about stories and through my experiences working in this realm, I have also realized how powerful stories are to healing.

On the other hand, spiritual care research, through the use of mindfulness based stress reduction, can help me provide data on if these techniques are useful in improving overall well-being and health. Along with allopathic medical training and an interest and understanding of medical humanities and spiritual care, I believe I am better equipped to be a physician who practices patient-centered care.

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

Vaidehi: The most challenging part of this process is keeping a positive attitude through what is a long process. At first, the process seems like a bunch of steps that if you do correctly, you’ll be fine. So you do the pre-reqs, the MCAT prep, the application writing, filling out secondaries, the interviewing, and then you wait. And for someone who works on patience everyday, waiting was my biggest challenge and you can drive yourself bonkers if you keep focusing on dates, interviews, and who’s doing what.

At some point you just have to let go and say you put everything you could out there in the best way you could and now the rest is not in your hands. Giving up that control will surprise you and it will definitely help with the waiting process.

The other challenging aspect of the process for me was coming up with a school list. Now almost done with the process, I have to say it is really important to come up with a list that is thoughtful and broad. I picked a range of schools based on statistics, but also focused on fit depending on their strengths/weakness. I believe it made a big difference in when and how many interviews I received.

Accepted: Do you have any additional tips for our med school applicants?

Vaidehi: Apply early. Everyone says this, but you have no idea how much of difference it makes when you’ve interviewed early in the cycle and have acceptances in the Fall. It sets you up for a less stressful cycle and the ability to relax as much as you can while waiting to hear back from other places.

Have multiple people read your personal statement and even some of the secondary essays that you may reuse for schools. It’s really important to get different viewpoints, while also remembering that at the end of the day it’s your story. I went through many drafts of my statement and through the revising process I was able to see how others reading my ideas were understanding and reacting to them. That’s important because admissions committees are made up of different people and therefore you want to create a personal narrative, while making it accessible and clear for anyone to read. Anyone reading your essay(s) without reading anything else in your application should know who you are, what experiences have brought you to choosing medicine, and why you are a good fit for this profession. I can’t stress how important I feel the personal narrative and the writing you do for your AMCAS and secondaries is in setting you apart from all the other qualified applicants.

I know people say this a lot, but be yourself at interviews. Be professional, but don’t try to fit yourself into what you think the interviewer wants or what you think the school is looking for. Wield your differences, because we all have them, as positives and use them to connect with your interviewer. The school has already read your AMCAS and believes that you have portrayed yourself effectively in your written communication to them. The interview is all about making an authentic human connection, which is not only important for medical school but in that long journey of pursuing medicine.

Early on in the cycle, I went to an interview where I took what I later thought was a pretty controversial stance on a topic I had experience with through work and research. After the interview, I mentally kicked myself, thinking I had ruined my chances. I was later not only accepted to that school, but my interviewer wrote me a note saying, “We need more people like you in medicine to talk about the issues we shy away from.” That was one of the biggest affirmation I got from a physician and in a process that often fills you with doubt. I know that particular interview experience helped me act more confidently and stay as true to myself as I could for future interviews

For one-on-one guidance on your med school applications, please see our catalog of med school admissions services.

You can follow Vaidehi’s adventure by checking out her blog, http://vaidehimujumdar.weebly.com/ and/or following her on Twitter (@VeeMuj). Thank you Vaidehi for sharing your story with us!

Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.

Click here to watch the webinar!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

The Ultimate Guide to Medical School Interview Success
Choosing the Perfect Medical School: Multiple Acceptances a Reality
Who Should Take a Gap Year

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The AAMC Fee Assistance Program: How & Who Should Apply http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/19/aamc-fee-assistance-program-apply/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/19/aamc-fee-assistance-program-apply/#respond Thu, 19 Feb 2015 16:55:35 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28646 Applying to med school isn’t cheap (see our breakdown of costs here), and the AAMC understands that not all applicants will be able to cover these costs. AAMC’s Fee Assistance Program was created with the conviction that application fees shouldn’t prevent serious aspiring doctors from pursuing their dreams because of financial obstacles. Let’s take a […]

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Application fees shouldn’t prevent aspiring doctors from pursuing their dreams.

Applying to med school isn’t cheap (see our breakdown of costs here), and the AAMC understands that not all applicants will be able to cover these costs.

AAMC’s Fee Assistance Program was created with the conviction that application fees shouldn’t prevent serious aspiring doctors from pursuing their dreams because of financial obstacles.

Let’s take a look at some of the program details…

Subscribing to the Fee Assistance Program

To apply for financial assistance, applicants must fill out the Fee Assistance Program application BEFORE they register for the MCAT, submit the AMCAS application, and subscribe to Pivio.

Note: The award from this program MAY NOT be used retroactively. If applicants already paid for certain application components, they will not be reimbursed.

You can use the application guide to help you with your Fee Assistance Program application.

You will receive an answer from AAMC within 15 business days after submitting your application.

Fee Assistance Program Eligibility

To be eligible for assistance from the AAMC, you must:

• Be a United States citizen, U.S. National, a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the U.S (“Green Card” holder), or have been granted refugee/asylum or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status by the U.S. government.

• Have a reported household income 300% or less than the 2014 national poverty level for the equivalent family size.

• Submit parental financial information and supporting tax documentation.

• Not have already been awarded fee assistance five times (the lifetime maximum).

 Note: Awards expire December 31st of the calendar year after you were granted assistance (for example, if your application is approved January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015, then your fee assistance will expire on December 31, 2016). If you reapply for benefits the following year, your current award will expire as soon as you’re new award is granted.

2015 Fee Assistance Program Benefits

MCAT benefits you will receive include:

• Reduced registration fees from $300 to $115 in MCAT testing year 2015 (for exams taken through December 31, 2016).

• Copies of The Official Guide to the MCAT® (MCAT2015) Exam and other official MCAT practice products ($125 value).

• Up to $500 towards the psycho-educational or medical evaluation (sometimes required for your MCAT accommodations application).

Medical school admission benefits include:

• Free access to the Medical School Admission Requirements website through December 31, 2016.

• Waiver of AMCAS application fees (for one application with up to 15 med schools). Must be submitted by December 31, 2016.

Pivio benefits include:

• $25 yearly subscription to Pivio for up to two years ($100 value).

Download your free special report: Navigate the Med School Maze!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• The New MCAT: What’s Hype, What’s Real and What You Can Do Today
• How Much Does Applying to Med School Cost?
How to Write the Statement of Disadvantage

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An Anthropologist, Theologian and Runner at Med School http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/16/anthropologist-theologian-runner-med-school/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/16/anthropologist-theologian-runner-med-school/#respond Mon, 16 Feb 2015 17:07:20 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28813 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 Joshua Niforatos… Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you […]

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Want to read more med student interviews? Click here!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 Joshua Niforatos…

Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? Do you hold other degrees?

Joshua: I’m originally from the suburbs of Chicago where I was born and raised. In grade school and throughout high school, I wanted to study archaeology in the Southwest and Latin/South America. Two aspects of the archaeological record fascinate me: (1) how ancient cultures interpreted the night sky, and (2) how people in antiquity conceptualized diseases. So, the best place to study Southwestern and Latin/South American archaeology is University of New Mexico, and that’s where I decided to go to for undergraduate studies.

I became a bit disenchanted with the necessary, though onerous, politics of archaeological excavation, and decided to focus on cultural anthropology, biology, and humanities. After studying cultural anthropology for a bit, I once again became disenchanted by what seemed to be the chronicling aspect of suffering rather than the amelioration of suffering within the discipline.

To make a long story very short, it was around this time period that I decided to pursue medicine. I graduated with a B.A. in anthropology (Ethnology/Linguistics), and then decided to stick around for two more years and earn another B.A. (biology major, chemistry minor).

During my second B.A., I realized I lacked a coherent philosophical system by which to base my desire to engage in social justice. One thing led to another, and I found myself at Boston University School of Theology where I studied anthropology, ritual, and theologies of liberation. I earned a Master of Theological Studies from Boston University.

Accepted: What year are you at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine? 

Joshua: I’m currently a first year at CCLCM, and I’ve been in the program for about 7 months now.

Accepted: What is your favorite thing about the program so far? And if you could change one thing about the program, what would it be? 

Joshua: I really like having no tests/exams and no grades, not even pass/fail. Yep, you read that correctly! But more importantly, I appreciate the family-like atmosphere of the program. On interview day, Dr. Franco, Associate Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs, was showing us some of the classrooms and I was very impressed by the fact that every student we passed she knew (1) their names, (2) where they went to college, (3) what field of medicine they want to pursue, and (4) what research they’re interested in. How cool is that!?

Also, the faculty at CCLCM and Cleveland Clinic are incredibly kind. There are almost too many opportunities for research and shadowing at CCLCM and the Cleveland Clinic!

If I could change one thing about the program I would probably rely less on Medical Physiology by Boron and Boulpaep as our primary normal physiology textbook during first year. It is a bit too dense, and it’s sometimes difficult to know what is really necessary from the reading.

Accepted: Can you share some advice to incoming first year students, to help make their adjustment to med school easier?

Joshua: In terms of coursework, I think it’s really helpful to have some physiology and biochemistry in your repertoire before starting medical school. But to be completely honest, medical school is not conceptually difficult; it’s not like quantum mechanics or theoretical math. The concepts in medicine, so far, are pretty basic, but there’s a LOT of concepts. It’s the volume of information that makes medical school challenging.

Other than that, take courses that you enjoy during college so that you don’t feel burnt out by the time you start medical school. And make sure that you do nothing but relax during the summer before you start class!

Accepted: Can you talk more about your unique route to med school? What inspired you to pursue a degree in medicine after completing your Master’s in Theological Studies? 

Joshua: I’m interested in health advocacy and social justice, and you don’t learn enough about these topics as a science major or medical student. You just don’t. There’s too much literature out there to read, too many seminars, lectures, and conferences to attend, and too many on-the-ground experiences to “experience” in order to understand the unique perspectives of those who are marginalized in society.

Medical/cultural anthropology gave me the theory by which to understand how ideologies and social structures become embodied as sickness, and theology gave me the ability to both hear and understand the voices of those who are marginalized in society. All of these readings became concrete when I did a 1.5 year public health project working with immigrants at risk for Type II diabetes.

Ultimately, I’ll probably get another master’s degree (a 1 year degree), either in medical anthropology or advanced theology since I need more formal education in LGBTQIA, feminist, black, and womanist studies.

Anyway, I wanted to pursue medicine before completing my Master in Theological Studies. I took the MCAT before I started seminary. Theology and medicine go hand-in-hand: physicians are healers of the body, while seminarians are healers of society and the soul.

Accepted: Do you have any foresight into the residency application process? What do you plan on specializing in?

Joshua: The residency process is about 3-4 years away for me right now since the CCLCM curriculum takes 5 years, so I cannot really comment on this. Currently, I’m interested in infectious disease medicine or psychiatry, but that might change in the future. Infectious disease medicine interests me from a public health standpoint, and psychiatry interests me from an anthropological standpoint.

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

Joshua: The most challenging aspect of the medical school admissions process is waiting to hear back. After you submit your primary and secondary applications, it’s a waiting game. If you get an interview, it can often be weeks to months before you hear back. Waiting is difficult, and patience is something I need to continually work on. I’ll be honest: I’m not someone to emulate when it comes to advice concerning how to practice patience. I made sure I was extremely busy during the 6-7 months of waiting, so between graduate school, working a part-time job, running, and working on my master’s thesis, there wasn’t a lot of free time to worry about acceptances or rejections. Though I’d imagine my housemates in Boston would beg to differ. ☺

Accepted: Can you tell us about Vagabond Running?

Joshua: I started Vagabond Running Blog in 2012 as way for me to write on a passion of mine. I started running frequently when I moved to New Mexico, and I primarily ran in the Sandia Mountains of New Mexico. I am really fascinated by the biomechanics of running, as well as the running shoe market. So, I decided to start blogging about running! I was sponsored by the outdoor company Merrell summer 2012 to represent them at the Outdoor Nation 2012 Summit in Boston, and since then companies ranging from The North Face and Arc’teryx to Mizuno and Skechers periodically send me running shoes and gear to review for my blog. We’ll see how long I keep the blog going, but it’s been a great outlet so far. My most popular post, interestingly enough, is How Running Improved My MCAT Score. Pre-meds, check it out!

For one-on-one guidance on your med school applications, please see our catalog of med school admissions services.

You can follow Joshua’s adventure by checking out his blog, Vagabond Running. Thank you Joshua for sharing your story with us!

Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.

Click here to read Med School admissions Q & A

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Navigating the Med School Maze
Get Accepted to Medical School in 2016, a free webinar.
Medical School Student Interviews

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How Much Does Applying to Med School Cost? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/15/much-applying-med-school-cost/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/15/much-applying-med-school-cost/#respond Sun, 15 Feb 2015 16:22:55 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28828 Before you even think about the $100,000+ of actually attending medical school, you’ll need to start pricing out the costs of applying to med school. Let’s take a look at how much the different application components cost: 1. MCAT exam – Expect to pay $275 to cover the basic MCAT registration fee and the cost […]

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Applying to medical school? Check out our Medical School Admissions 101 pages!

TIme to start pricing out the costs of applying to med school.

Before you even think about the $100,000+ of actually attending medical school, you’ll need to start pricing out the costs of applying to med school. Let’s take a look at how much the different application components cost:

1. MCAT exam – Expect to pay $275 to cover the basic MCAT registration fee and the cost of distributing your score to the med schools on your list. Be aware: Additional fees will be charged if you register late, change your registration details, or if you are taking the test at an international test site. (See payment details on the MCAT website.)

2. Primary application – To use the AMCAS primary application (which is what most med schools require), you’ll need to cough up $160 for the first school you apply to and $36 for each subsequent school. (If the med schools you’re applying to don’t accept the AMCAS app, you’ll need to pay their individual application fees.)

3. Secondary application – Most med schools require a secondary application. This will run you anywhere from $25 to $100 each. Applicants may apply to AAMC’s Fee Assistance Program – if you qualify, the secondary application fee may be waived.

4. College registrar services – This will vary based on where you went to college, as some schools charge a fee for transmitting your transcript and/or letter of recommendation, and some don’t. Check with your school for details.

Other expenses – Other expenses may include MCAT study materials, MCAT courses, travel for med school interviews, and admissions consulting and application services (you can talk to us more about that!).

Download your free special report: Navigate the Med School Maze!
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Med School Rankings & Numbers: What You Must Know
• Medical School Funding
• Your MCAT Score and GPA

 

 

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Introducing Accepted! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/13/introducing-accepted/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/13/introducing-accepted/#respond Fri, 13 Feb 2015 17:40:06 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28867 The Accepted team is super excited to welcome all of our new blog readers! For those of you who don’t know much about Accepted, here is a little bit about who we are and what we do best: We look forward to getting to know you better too – so keep up the great conversations in […]

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The Accepted team is super excited to welcome all of our new blog readers!

For those of you who don’t know much about Accepted, here is a little bit about who we are and what we do best:

We look forward to getting to know you better too – so keep up the great conversations in the comments section.

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

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5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Medical School Profile http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/12/5-easy-ways-improve-medical-school-profile/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/12/5-easy-ways-improve-medical-school-profile/#respond Thu, 12 Feb 2015 17:16:40 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28771 Are you planning to apply to med school this cycle? Below are a few easy things you can start doing now.  1. Volunteer! Med schools are definitely looking for students who will take advantage of the resources available to give back to their communities. Look for opportunities where you can spend a sustained amount of […]

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Check out our free medical school resources!

Schools are looking for people with an upward trend in their grades.

Are you planning to apply to med school this cycle? Below are a few easy things you can start doing now. 

1. Volunteer! Med schools are definitely looking for students who will take advantage of the resources available to give back to their communities. Look for opportunities where you can spend a sustained amount of time with people and have a measurable impact. This is an important part of the AMCAS application.

2. Don’t give up on your grades. Even if you have made some mistakes early in your college career, schools are looking for people with an upward trend. Those grades still matter! You can always point out to the admissions committee that you took care to address and improve on your academic weaknesses.

3. Reflect on your strengths and weaknesses. A great deal of the med school application process requires you to think about where you are strong and where you can improve. Take a look at the AMCAS application and begin cataloguing your accomplishments.

4. Reach out to people who will be good recommenders. The best letters of recommendation come from people who know you well. Take some time to get to know your professors who teach classes where you are excelling. Ask them about their current research. Spend some time getting to know them and letting them get to know you.

5. Do your research. Start researching schools, their requirements and profiles. Reach out to current and former students and speak with them. Get a good idea of what schools are the best fit for you.

The earlier you can start preparing, the better. Once the whirlwind of MCAT and applications season begins, you’ll be glad that you took some time to take stock of your profile ahead of time.

Download your free special report: Navigate the Med School Maze!
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• Get Accepted to Medical School in 2016, a free webinar
• Pre-Med Summer Undergraduate Research Programs
• Medical School Admissions 2015-2016: A Dean’s Perspective

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4 Things Your MCAT Score Says About You http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/11/4-things-mcat-score-says/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/11/4-things-mcat-score-says/#respond Wed, 11 Feb 2015 19:28:04 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28762 Why are standardized tests so important? Do they really reflect your abilities or capabilities? According to most medical school admissions committees, the answer is a resounding YES. How you perform on your MCAT says a lot about how you’ll perform in med school, in subsequent exams, and then later on as a medical professional. Here […]

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Click here for more info on the MCAT

The higher your MCAT score, the greater chance you have of finishing med school “on time.”

Why are standardized tests so important? Do they really reflect your abilities or capabilities? According to most medical school admissions committees, the answer is a resounding YES. How you perform on your MCAT says a lot about how you’ll perform in med school, in subsequent exams, and then later on as a medical professional.

Here are FOUR things your MCAT score can predict:

1. Grades in medical school.

The MCAT tests skills that you will use in med school. If you do well on the MCAT, then it shows you have what it takes to excel in med school. And if you don’t do well on the exam…well…you do the math….

2. Scores on STEP exams.

As you know, there are many steps and milestones before finally being able to practice medicine. Not only do you need to make the grade at school, but you need to pass your USMLE STEP exams. Research shows that those who do well on the MCAT are more likely to pass their STEP exams.

3. Likelihood of graduation in 4-5 years.

You don’t want med school to drag on forever. It won’t bode well when it comes to applying for residencies, fellowships, and jobs, nor will it fare well for your self-esteem. The higher your MCAT score, the greater chance you have of finishing med school “on time.”

4. Ability to pass licensing exams on first try.

The last thing that your MCAT score can predict is your ability to pass your licensing exam on your first try. When you’ve made it this far, you don’t want to push off practicing medicine any longer than you need to. Schools want their doctors to succeed out in the field as soon as possible; the higher your MCAT, the greater chances are that you’ll make your alma mater proud!
Learn how you can get accepted to med school even with a low MCAT or GPA!
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• How to Get into Medical School with Low Stats
• Improve Your MCAT Score for Medical School Acceptance
• How to Succeed on Your MCAT Test Day

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Valentine’s Day, Economics, and Stanford GSB http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/11/valentines-day-economics-stanford-gsb/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/11/valentines-day-economics-stanford-gsb/#respond Wed, 11 Feb 2015 18:22:33 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28838 The Valentine’s Day episode of Admissions Straight Talk — the perfect opportunity to invite… an economist to be our guest on the show. Listen to the full recording of our enlightening conversation with Dr. Paul Oyer, Professor of Economics, at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Dr. Oyer and Linda discuss the common thread between dating, […]

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Listen to our interview with Dr. Paul Oyer!The Valentine’s Day episode of Admissions Straight Talk — the perfect opportunity to invite… an economist to be our guest on the show.

Listen to the full recording of our enlightening conversation with Dr. Paul Oyer, Professor of Economics, at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Dr. Oyer and Linda discuss the common thread between dating, economics, and admissions. Spot-on, right?

00:02:12 – Featured Applicant Question: Do I need to explain my low GPA to the adcom?

00:06:18 – Why Dr. Oyer wrote Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Economics I Learned from Online Dating.

00:11:04 – The limits of economics in explaining online dating.

00:15:49 – How offline dating is like an economic market too. (Yup, economists take the fun out of everything.)

00:17:42 – Signaling: Why education is a waste, but still serves a purpose. How virtual roses signify credibility. And what the college/grad school admissions process has to do with signaling.

00:32:06 – The parallels between economics and dating – Wonderful, but not surprising.

00:33:47 – An interesting aspect of the law and MBA student internship-to-job-offer ratios.

00:38:20 – A Stanford GSB professor’s reflection on the defining characteristic of students at that b-school.

00:40:51 – How Dr. Oyer’s books have changed his teaching.

00:43:36 – What MBA students need to know before they start school.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

• Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Economics I Learned from Online Dating
Roadside MBA: Back Road Lessons for Entrepreneurs, Executives and Small Business Owners 
• How to Be a Better Valentine, Through Economics
• Stanford GSB Zone
• Stanford GSB 2015 MBA Questions, Deadlines, Tips
• Get Accepted to Stanford GSB, a free webinar

Related Shows:

• A B-School Professor on Main Street, USA
• The Stanford MSx Program for Experienced Leaders
• MBA Project Search: Matchmaking for MBAs and Businesses
• Entrepreneurship at Stanford GSB: Carlypso Drives Down the Startup St.

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

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

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http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/11/valentines-day-economics-stanford-gsb/feed/ 0 The Valentine’s Day episode of Admissions Straight Talk -- the perfect opportunity to invite… an economist to be our guest on the show. - Listen to the full recording of our enlightening conversation with Dr. Paul Oyer, Professor of Economics, The Valentine’s Day episode of Admissions Straight Talk -- the perfect opportunity to invite… an economist to be our guest on the show. Listen to the full recording of our enlightening conversation with Dr. Paul Oyer, Professor of Economics, at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Dr. Oyer and Linda discuss the common thread between dating, economics, and admissions. Spot-on, right? 00:02:12 – Featured Applicant Question: Do I need to explain my low GPA to the adcom? 00:06:18 – Why Dr. Oyer wrote Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Economics I Learned from Online Dating. 00:11:04 – The limits of economics in explaining online dating. 00:15:49 – How offline dating is like an economic market too. (Yup, economists take the fun out of everything.) 00:17:42 – Signaling: Why education is a waste, but still serves a purpose. How virtual roses signify credibility. And what the college/grad school admissions process has to do with signaling. 00:32:06 – The parallels between economics and dating – Wonderful, but not surprising. 00:33:47 – An interesting aspect of the law and MBA student internship-to-job-offer ratios. 00:38:20 – A Stanford GSB professor’s reflection on the defining characteristic of students at that b-school. 00:40:51 – How Dr. Oyer’s books have changed his teaching. 00:43:36 – What MBA students need to know before they start school. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Related Links: • Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Economics I Learned from Online Dating • Roadside MBA: Back Road Lessons for Entrepreneurs, Executives and Small Business Owners  • How to Be a Better Valentine, Through Economics • Stanford GSB Zone • Stanford GSB 2015 MBA Questions, Deadlines, Tips • Get Accepted to Stanford GSB, a free webinar Related Shows: • A B-School Professor on Main Street, USA • The Stanford MSx Program for Experienced Leaders • MBA Project Search: Matchmaking for MBAs and Businesses • Entrepreneurship at Stanford GSB: Carlypso Drives Down the Startup St. Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk: Linda Abraham no 50:20
Are You Ready to Nail the MCAT Test? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/10/ready-nail-mcat-test/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/10/ready-nail-mcat-test/#respond Tue, 10 Feb 2015 16:46:51 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28477 You will be after you attend Thursday’s webinar, The Results Are In: Analyzing Your MCAT Diagnostic Exam, and take Next Step Test Prep’s diagnostic test. Completing these two steps will bring you significantly closer to your short-term goal of acing the MCAT and your long-term goals of getting into med school and becoming a physician. Register […]

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You will be after you attend Thursday’s webinar, The Results Are In: Analyzing Your MCAT Diagnostic Exam, and take Next Step Test Prep’s diagnostic test. Completing these two steps will bring you significantly closer to your short-term goal of acing the MCAT and your long-term goals of getting into med school and becoming a physician.

Click here to register for the webinar!

Register for The Results Are In: Analyzing Your MCAT Diagnostic Exam for actionable, confidence-boosting MCAT strategies that will provide you with an outstanding MCAT game plan! (We’ll provide instructions for registering for the test after you register for the webinar so you can sign up for both right away.)

Details:

Date: Thursday, February 12, 2015

Time: 5:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST

Extras: During the webinar, two lucky attendees will win a set of Next Step strategy and practice MCAT books or a three-practice test bundle for the 2015 MCAT. Don’t miss out!

Reserve my spot! Accepted.com: The Premier Admissions Consultancy

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A Window Into the Life of A Busy D.O. on the Go: M1 Interview http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/09/window-life-busy-d-o-go/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/09/window-life-busy-d-o-go/#respond Mon, 09 Feb 2015 19:39:35 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28724 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 Andi… 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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Click here for 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 Andi…

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 ice cream flavor? 

Andi: I am from Tulsa, OK. I went to Oklahoma Baptist and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Biology in 2014. Cookies and cream is my favorite ice cream by far!

Accepted: Where are you currently in med school? What year?

Andi: I am a first year at Oklahoma State College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Accepted: What’s your favorite thing about med school? Least favorite thing? 

Andi: Oh, gosh that’s hard. Medical school is such a difficult, unique, and rewarding experience – from the vast amounts of information I’m taking in to the bonds I’m forming with my classmates – it’s hard but I love it. I just love the day-to-day. I love waking up in the morning, looking at my white coat hanging in my closet, and then heading to class to learn how to become the best physician I can be. My least favorite part is the tests, of course! I get really bad test anxiety, no matter how well I prepared.

Accepted: Why did you decide to go straight from college to med school? How did you spend your summer break in between? 

Andi: Going straight into medical school was always my plan, provided I got in. I know people that wanted to travel first, get married, or take advantage of a great opportunity for their year off, but I wasn’t like that. So, I applied my senior year of college and got in!

Over the summer between, I honestly just relaxed. I didn’t have a job. I took a road trip with just my best friend and I. I worked out when I wanted, slept when I wanted, went through several entire series on Netflix (oops!), and spent a lot of time with friends and family. It was nice to treat myself that summer. I felt like during undergraduate summers, I was always doing something to boost my application.

What MCAT Score Will Get You Into Med School?

Accepted: Now that you’re well into your first year of med school, can you talk about your transition to med school? Is med school what you thought it would be like? Any surprises?

Andi: Transitioning was fast and furious! You really have to hit the ground running! It’s a lot more in-class and lab time than my undergraduate class load was, which I didn’t expect. It was hard to get used to not being able to take 2 or 3 evenings off on homework/studying during the week. I am literally studying from right after lab or class until 11 every night. It’s really difficult to maintain that pace and stay motivated to do the things that I really enjoy- like running, shopping, and cooking. After days like that, even when I do have free time, I just want to sleep. That was really surprising; I thought I would be able to make the most of my free time and recharge by doing the things I love. But, more often than not, recharging involves a nap. That was hard to get used to, because I like to stay busy.

Accepted: Do you have advice for next year’s incoming class? What do you wish you would’ve known before starting school?

Andi: There’s nothing you can do to really prepare academically, so I would say just take it as easy as possible before you matriculate.

Other than that, I wish I had streamlined a lot of little things before going in. I found that I needed to reserve all the time and brain space possible. For example, it helps to buy extra toothpaste, deodorant, chapstick, and stockpile easy on-the-go snacks. I bookmarked my bills’ websites on my computer’s browser to make it faster and easier to pay my bills. Another small but helpful thing was to buy a couple extra phone chargers, so that there’s one in my car, one at home, and one in my backpack. That way I don’t have to remember to grab it every morning on my way to school. These may sound like odd little tips, but it adds up. I also plan my meals, pack workout clothes and pick out my outfit the night before so that I don’t have to scramble. Plus, it makes me more likely to eat healthy and workout!

Accepted: What’s your favorite class so far?

Andi: I absolutely love my osteopathic manipulation class! This is the class that sort of classically distinguishes us from allopathic medicine, but I like it because it actually makes me feel like a doctor. So much of the first two years is just class work, but in this class we partner up and practice techniques on each other to help with muscle aches, headaches, sinus problems, and things like that.

Accepted: Do you have any pre-med clinical experience? How important (or unimportant) do you feel this early exposure is to med students? 

Andi: Yes, I did a lot of shadowing when I was a pre-med. I switched back and forth between two doctors that I really got along with at a family clinic in my hometown. It’s important because you get to see what being a doctor is really like. There’s a lot of work – and an entire business side to medicine that you just don’t get to see when you are only there as a patient.

Shadowing was eye-opening for me. Medicine isn’t all just curing and helping people all the time. It has frustrating aspects from a healthcare provider’s standpoint too. I think it’s good to see those things before you apply, that way you know if medicine is really for you! I also found a free clinic that lets pre-meds take patients into their exam rooms, take their vitals, and then shadow the physician. Any kind of clinical experience gives you a leg up on your peers, because you are being exposed to terminology, asking questions, and networking all at once.

Accepted: Can you share your top 3 med school admissions tips with our applicant readers?

Andi:

1.  Don’t get discouraged by comparing your application to others! It can be daunting to read all the required scores and stats for med school entry. Just know that you’re already on your way, and there are so many ways to get into medical school. Some people have the numbers some people have the heart.

2. Find people that are going through it too. It helps to chat with and get tips from other people who know how hard it really is.

3. Make your personal statement personal. Some have had kids and other careers before they got into medicine. Some have had a serious illness that brought them into medicine. Some do research and find they like medicine. Your personal statement should tell a unique and personal story of how you know you’re supposed to be a physician.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? When and why did you start blogging? What have you gained from the experience?

Andi: My blog, www.doonthego.me, is something I started for a few reasons. First off, I’ve always loved writing and have kept a journal for a long time. Secondly, through the process of researching medical schools, I kept stumbling upon blogs and found that people were supportive and offered good insights. Reading real stories of people trying their hardest to succeed in such a grueling process was really valuable to me! I wanted to be a part of the blogging community, and give a personal, honest narrative about getting into medical school and what medical school is like.

For one-on-one guidance on your med school applications, please see our catalog of med school admissions services.

You can follow Andi’s adventure by checking out her blog, D.O. On The Go. Thank you Andi for sharing your story with us!

Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.

Download your free special report: Navigate the Med School Maze!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

Navigating the Med School Maze
• Medical School Application Strategy: MD vs. DO Programs
Medical School Student Interviews

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What I Look for When I Interview a Candidate for Medical School http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/08/look-interview-candidate-medical-school/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/08/look-interview-candidate-medical-school/#comments Sun, 08 Feb 2015 16:24:07 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28678 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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Click here for more medical school interview tips!

I get that you probably want to help people, but why?

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!  

This year, I’ve had the unique pleasure of interviewing prospective medical students, reviewing and scoring completed applications, voting on our Admissions Committee, and seeing several students’ dreams come true at my university. It’s such a surreal feeling sitting in the interviewer chair when just two and a half years ago, I was the one being interviewed. When I drove up the long and winding road to our campus to interview my first batch, I got the same sinking feeling and lump in my throat when I made that same drive to interview for a competitive spot to become a medical student. The trees that hug the road and guide the way through the heart of rolling acres were calming in that moment just as they were the first time I saw them. I wonder what’s going through their heads right now? Did they sleep at a hotel or have friends in town they stayed with? What kind of questions will they have for me? all rang through my head.

So what do I look for when I’m trying to decide who will fill 1 of our 72 chairs in a pile of over 2,000 incredibly qualified applications? What is my perception of an applicant as a current medical student? What makes me say yes, no, or fight for an underdog? What I’d like to do is walk you through my thought process from the time I arrive to do an initial review of a prospective student to the time we shake hands before going our separate ways, perhaps to meet again.

To preface, before I meet a candidate, they have gone through an extensive screening process, which our Admissions Committee does an incredible job of. By the time an individual meets me or another interviewer, several sets of eyes have seen their application, a secondary application has been written, and everything looks like it could be a great fit. I guess I might compare it to internet dating… Two people have represented themselves well on paper, look great in writing and in communication, but the first date is often the sink or swim.

I interview two people per interview day with one hour allotted for each interview in the afternoon. Their interview day begins long before this as they arrive early to learn more about our incredibly unique learning environment, our culture, and their potential home as they are guided by first year medical students, have lunch with third and fourth years, and spend time around our campus and hospitals. I’m usually in lecture during this time, and focused on being a second year medical student. After lunch, I head up early to review the applications of the people I’ll be interviewing. I cannot see scores or letters of recommendation, only the things people have written about themselves so I am not biased by extrinsic factors. My focus is solely on the person I’m reading about.

Here is where I meet you. We shake hands well before we actually shake hands. I’m often looking for red and green flags, which guide my talking points and goals for the interview. Did you have a TON of shadowing and patient contact in some form or another? Cool, I’m probably not going to ask you much about that. Have you only had 50-100 hours of shadowing and/or patient contact? I might be inclined to learn more about what experiences and exposure lead you to the decision to become a physician. I get that you probably want to help people, but why? One of the most common mistakes I see in applications and interviews is an effect without a cause. What I mean by this is that an intrinsic desire to become a physician without life experiences that shaped and lead you to that desire aren’t enough ground to stand on. On many occasions, I’ve finished reading everything an applicant has to say about themselves, sat in a room and talked for an hour, and I still don’t understand why they want to help people as a doctor other than they simply just do. Connect the dots for me. Show me that A + B lead to C, which exposed you to D, and ultimately lead you down a road with rhyme and reason for why you want to be an MD.

As I read, I’m also looking for interests outside of medicine. Are you an athlete, a musician, an avid stamp collector – what are you passionate about outside of medicine? Tell me these things, because it shows me you’re human, and not just a robot that can nail a 40 on the MCAT while publishing 16 papers and saving babies in the African desert. These qualities show me a level of diversity that can contribute to the culture of our medical school, and we take great pride in having lives outside of medicine. You like to hike? Fan-freaking-tastic, the Appalachian Trail is just up the road, and half of my class has gone to see the incredible landscapes at 6,500 feet. You play piano, guitar or paint as a hobby? Awesome, you’ll have something to keep your sanity, and a unique humanity to contribute to the culture of medicine in dire need of people like you. How do you define diversity, and what diverse qualities would you bring into your medical class? Show me this.

So, I’ve gathered my talking points, both green and red flags, and stand up to go meet you. Coffee and folder in one hand, the other outstretched, smile on my face, and I’m excited to find out more about you. First and foremost, look me right in the eye, and give me a strong handshake. Use my first name, and have some confidence.

At the beginning of the interview, I like to lay out my goals and intentions with our time together so you understand what we’re trying to accomplish. Interviews aren’t meant to weed you out, but to find out if my institution is the perfect fit for you, and you for us. All I ask is that you don’t blow smoke up my butt, and I’ll follow suit. I will answer any question as openly and honestly as I can, and I expect the exact same from you. If I ask about a weakness in your application, be open with me and tell me about what was going on in life when you maybe didn’t have time to shadow as much as you’d like because you just got married and wanted to spend time with your wonderful new husband or wife. That humility and honesty will go a lot further than making excuses, because I value family and always do my best to choose family over medicine. Don’t ever make excuses. Be honest. If I ask about your journey to getting in the seat across from me, I want to hear your story of what experiences, both good and bad, lead you to the decision to become a physician. What things shaped you? What life experiences will help ground you as a holistic physician that is always striving to be patient-centered? How do you respond under pressure, and what is your pressure release valve? Are you coachable? Can you pick yourself back up after failing at something? Are you someone I can see myself mentoring while I’m still a medical student here, and can I envision you as a classmate and colleague? What are your priorities in life?

During our entire interview, I’m trying to ascertain the answers to questions like these, because I want to represent you the best I can and respect the hard work it took you to meet me.

What I’m looking for when I interview a medical school applicant is someone who is personable, a strong leader, has great communication skills, will fit both the mission and culture of my university, has overcome some life obstacles, is dedicated and passionate, has emotional maturity and stability, and most importantly, can articulate the experiences and journeys that specifically lead them to the decision to help people as a physician. I go to the absolute best medical school in the country – for some people – and I want to find out if we both agree you are one of those people.

I wish you the best of luck, and feel free to reach out with questions.

Joshua A. Wienczkowski

MD Candidate, Quillen College of Medicine 2017

Click here to download your complete copy of The Ultimate Guide to Medical School Interview Success!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Interviewing with Impact: How to Make an Impression in Your Medical School Interviews, a free webinar
• Common Myths about Medical School Interviews
• Waitlisted! What Now?

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April and May MCAT Timeline & Benefits of Testing Early http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/06/april-may-mcat-testing-dates-benefits-testing-early/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/06/april-may-mcat-testing-dates-benefits-testing-early/#respond Fri, 06 Feb 2015 17:14:45 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28662 Thanks to the folks at AAMC for sharing this excellent timeline with us. Related Resources: • Navigating the Med School Maze • Get Accepted to Medical School in 2016, a free webinar • Med School Student Interviews Tags: MCAT, Medical School Admissions

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Thanks to the folks at AAMC for sharing this excellent timeline with us.

Click here to watch the webinar!

Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Navigating the Med School Maze
• Get Accepted to Medical School in 2016, a free webinar
Med School Student Interviews

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Important Info About the New MCAT 2015 http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/05/important-info-new-mcat-2015/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/05/important-info-new-mcat-2015/#respond Thu, 05 Feb 2015 19:41:46 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28426 Registration for the MCAT2015 exam will open in February 2015 and testing will run from April through September. MCAT 2015 Dates As you can see, there will only be 14 testing dates (fewer than previous years), but there will still be the same number of seats available as previous years. There will also be more […]

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Registration for the MCAT2015 exam will open in February 2015 and testing will run from April through September.

MCAT 2015 Dates

Click here for more MCAT advice!
As you can see, there will only be 14 testing dates (fewer than previous years), but there will still be the same number of seats available as previous years. There will also be more on-campus testing locations. The test day starts at 8:00 AM and will go longer than in previous years to accommodate the larger number of questions (and greater working time) on the new exam.

To encourage registrants to take the exam early, AAMC will provide April test-takers with a $150 Amazon gift card.

MCAT 2015 Fees

The cost of the 2015 MCAT will go up $25 this year, to $300. As in previous years, AAMC will offer its Fee Assistance Program (FAP) – a reduced registration fee of $115 – to help those need financial assistance. (April FAP examinees will receive a $60 Amazon gift card.)

Exam Breakdown

Here’s a breakdown of what you should expect on test day (from the AAMC site).

Click here to check out our MCAT resources!

The Podcast that can clarify all things MCAT, listen now!
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy

Related Resources:

• How the Adcom Views Multiple MCAT Scores
• The New MCAT: What’s Hype, What’s Real, and What You Can Do Today
• 3 Reasons to Be Excited for the New MCAT

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Interview with the Youngest M3 at The UNC School of Medicine http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/02/med-school-interview-mini-md-youre-old/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/02/med-school-interview-mini-md-youre-old/#respond Mon, 02 Feb 2015 17:33:17 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28502 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 Elizabeth Freeman… 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 Elizabeth Freeman…

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What is your favorite non-school book?

Elizabeth: I’m from Wilmington, North Carolina – right on the beach! I went to UNC Wilmington for undergrad, where I very uncreatively decided to major in biology with a minor in chemistry and I wrote my honors thesis in virology.

I have a LOT of favorite books. It’d be hard to pick just one! Some of my very favorites are Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder, The Hot Zone by Richard Preston (also loved The Cobra Event and The Demon in the Freezer), and recently I read Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore, which was hilarious and irreverent in the best ways possible. And I have a definite weak spot for historical and legal fiction – David Baldacci is my favorite guilty-pleasure author.

Accepted: Where are you in med school? What year?

Elizabeth: I’m an MS3 at the University of North Carolina. I love it here, and I love being an MS3!!

Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? When and why did you start blogging? And how does your blog title reflect on who you are?

Elizabeth: My blog was originally, and always will be, a space for me to reflect on things that are happening during med school and beyond. I’ve pretty much always been in the habit of journaling, but it makes it a lot more fun having people read and like and comment! I started blogging at the beginning of this school year, and adding on a community of fellow writers has already just enriched the experience of writing more than I expected it to!

The blog title is a little weird and I’m not entirely sure how I put it together initially, to tell the truth. The “Mini” part of it was a nickname someone gave me a long time ago (now made more real by the fact that I have yet to take care of an adult patient who doesn’t outweigh me). Then the Tarheel is more straightforward – go UNC! There used to be this little cafeteria near our lecture hall called the “TarHeal Café,” which I thought was a pretty cute play on words, which is why the subtitle of the blog is “TarHealer in Training.” Finally, MD, because eventually I’ll be one!

Accepted: Did you really graduate college when you were 18-years-old? How did you manage that?

Elizabeth: I did actually graduate from college when I was 18. Most of this has to do with my awesome parents who kind of let me do whatever I wanted academically speaking. For most of my life I was homeschooled which really gave us a lot of flexibility in terms of moving through courses more quickly than the average public or private school student might get do.

I started taking classes at the local community college at 14, when the laws in NC only allowed students under 15 to attend class with a parent in the room (um, mortifying!) which my mom very gracefully dealt with. Then I transferred to UNCW when I was 15 and ended up loving it! I stayed home throughout college and don’t feel like I missed out on too much in doing so. I had a great group of friends and family who made the whole college experience really special.

What MCAT Score Will Get You Into Med School?

Accepted: Did you start med school straight after finishing undergrad? If you took time off, how did you spend your time?

Elizabeth: No, I actually took a couple years off! This was absolutely the best decision I could have possibly made, no question. I worked two very different and amazing jobs, both of which contributed to my personal growth tremendously. The first was as an intake coordinator at a free clinic in Wilmington. Basically, that meant I was responsible for making sure all of the patients were evaluated for financial eligibility at entry and then again annually. It was a lot of work, but by the time I left I’d made their system a lot easier to use and made room in the program for about 600 new patients. I learned a lot from pharmacists, business administrators, nurse practitioners, and fellow volunteers about what it means to serve the underserved and how poor access to care negatively affects chronic conditions.

The other job, in very stark contrast, was at J.Crew. I had so much fun styling people (and mannequins!) and worked with a bunch of surprisingly motivated coworkers; in addition to the friends who are pursuing careers in retail and fashion at places like Anthropologie, Ralph Lauren, and Rag & Bone, several are now teachers, law students, social workers, and MBAs, which was so not what I expected when I popped in the store one afternoon and decided to apply for a job. I am so proud to have been a part of that group! Oh, and the discount was amazing. I call that the wardrobe-building phase of my career.

Accepted: I assume you’re the youngest med student at UNC — what’s that like?

Elizabeth: Actually, even though I’m the youngest person in my class, there’s actually another kid in the class above me who started med school when he was only 18! For the most part, people don’t really care how old I am – there’s a moment of “wait, you’re HOW old?” and then we move on. Occasionally a patient will comment on how young I look, so I just say “yeah, I get that a lot” and change the subject. The only time it was an actual problem was during orientation and a few other times in first year when a lot of events were 21+ which meant I legally couldn’t go to socialize! But people were very accommodating and found ways to make me feel included.

Accepted: What is your favorite thing about UNC?

Elizabeth: There are so many things about UNC that make it an awesome school to attend. We go back and forth with UWash for #1 in primary care, but still have really strong research rankings as well, which makes it a really well-rounded institution where you can literally do whatever you put your mind to. The people here are so kind and caring and genuinely want to produce awesome physicians, and I think they’re accomplishing that easily.

The place I’ve invested the most time and energy, outside the classroom at least, is at the Student Health Action Coalition, or SHAC for short, which is the country’s oldest, and arguably largest, student-run free clinic. Last year I was a clinic director, which basically meant 15-20 hours per week of working to give away more than $100,000 worth of free care to the area’s underserved. I don’t know a lot of med students who had that sort of opportunity while they were still just working on their MD!

Accepted: Do you have any tips for incoming first year med students? Is there anything you wish you would’ve known when just starting out?

Elizabeth: Relax. The first few weeks of med school are overwhelming – you’re meeting tons of new people, taking more classes than you ever have before, and if you’re like me, living in a totally new city. None of this is a walk in the park and it’s so easy to build up a lot of anxiety about all the stressors in your life! Your classmates will also be feeling nervous and neurotic about studying 24/7 and that energy can contribute to your stress level as well. To stay sane, I made sure I kept connections to things outside of med school as very prominent parts of my life – a daily yoga practice, friends not in medical professions, regular phone calls to family – and I let go of expectations that everything had to be perfect all the time. You’ll have bad days. Everyone will have bad days. Just pick yourself up and keep going – we all get through it one way or another!

Accepted: Can you share your top 3 med school admissions tips?

Elizabeth:

Unless you’re someone who absolutely cannot stay focused on a schedule for MCAT studying, I wouldn’t recommend spending the time and money on an MCAT prep course.

That being said, if you’re someone who absolutely cannot stay focused on a schedule for MCAT studying, are you going to be able to motivate yourself to study enough in med school? A lot of learning, especially in the clinical years, is self-directed, and it’s important to be able to keep yourself moving forward without seeing a professor every couple of days who has given you a strict reading schedule. I think setting up your own MCAT study plan and sticking to it is a good barometer for how you’ll handle the pressure of med school.

Have people read your essays.

Over and over and over. Get strangers to read it, get your mom to read it, read it out loud to your dog (that last one can actually help you catch typos that you’d miss if you’re reading it silently!) and welcome any sort of feedback you receive. Ultimately, the words are your own and you have to be happy with the content, but people who don’t know you will be making huge decisions based on this essay and it’s great to know how it comes across to a variety of readers before you submit it.

Make sure you have a diverse and unique application.

If your CV shows that you’re a cookie cutter pre-med, you’re going to struggle to stand out on paper. Try non-health-related volunteering, travel (but skip the “voluntourism” – just travel for fun so you’ll learn more about the world have interesting stories to talk about), and major in something that isn’t science, unless you’re just particularly into biology. I really wish someone would have made it clear to me at the start of undergrad that I would get plenty of basic science in med school and that I should study something fun while I had the chance. Med schools want well-rounded, nice individuals – everyone here is smart, it’s the kind and genuine people who stand out on applications.

And a bonus #4, which may actually be the most important piece of advice ever: apply early.

With rolling admissions, just submitting by the deadline is actually pretty late.

For one-on-one guidance on your med school applications, please see our catalog of med school admissions services.

You can follow Elizabeth’s adventure by checking out her blog, Mini MD: TarHealer in Training. Thank you Elizabeth for sharing your story with us!

Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school journey with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.
Download your free copy of 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Application Essays!
Accepted: The Premier Admissions Cosultancy
Related Resources:

• Navigating the Med School Maze
• Get Accepted to Medical School in 2016, a free webinar
Med School Student Interviews

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Valuable Information for MCAT Test Takers! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/01/valuable-information-mcat-test-takers/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/02/01/valuable-information-mcat-test-takers/#respond Sun, 01 Feb 2015 16:08:35 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28473 The first step for anyone who is ready to begin their MCAT prep should be to take an MCAT practice test. This vital first step will help you understand where your strengths and weaknesses are and help you plan where to focus your MCAT prep. To get you started, our friends at Next Step Test […]

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The first step for anyone who is ready to begin their MCAT prep should be to take an MCAT practice test. This vital first step will help you understand where your strengths and weaknesses are and help you plan where to focus your MCAT prep.

Analyzing Your MCAT Diagnostic Exam Score

To get you started, our friends at Next Step Test Prep are making their MCAT 2015 diagnostic practice test available to you for free. This abbreviated version of the 2015 test will provide you with section scores and an overall score based on the new scoring scale. You will also receive a detailed breakdown of the science topics tested by the new MCAT.

This free resource will be available for the entire month of February. This test represents a great opportunity for you if you aren’t able to make it to a practice test scheduled on campus.

But that’s not all!

To help you analyze your diagnostic score and then plan your MCAT prep, Accepted will host a webinar next week to be presented by Next Step Test Prep’s Bryan Schnedeker. The webinar, The Results Are In: Analyzing Your MCAT Diagnostic Exam, will air live on Thursday, February 12, 2015 at 5:00 PM PST/8:00 PM EST.

Do it right. Register for the webinar now! (We’ll provide instructions for registering for the test after you register for the webinar so you can sign up for both right away.)

Click here to register for The Results Are In: Analyzing Your MCAT Diagnostic Exam!

BONUS: During the webinar, Bryan will be announcing two lottery winners who will receive a set of Next Step strategy and practice MCAT books and a three-practice test bundle for the 2015 MCAT. Be there for your chance to win!

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3 Reasons Why You Should Take an MCAT 2015 Diagnostic Test http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/27/3-reasons-why-you-should-take-mcat-2015-diagnostic-test/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/27/3-reasons-why-you-should-take-mcat-2015-diagnostic-test/#respond Tue, 27 Jan 2015 21:09:54 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28446 Worried about the new MCAT? Prepare yourself with Next Step Test Prep’s new MCAT 2015 diagnostic test. Here are three reasons why you should take this high-quality practice exam… 1. To better acquaint yourself with the new test. The new test has an increased emphasis on bio and biochem, as well as a new psychology […]

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Get ready for MCAT 2015Worried about the new MCAT? Prepare yourself with Next Step Test Prep’s new MCAT 2015 diagnostic test. Here are three reasons why you should take this high-quality practice exam…

1. To better acquaint yourself with the new test.

The new test has an increased emphasis on bio and biochem, as well as a new psychology and sociology section. Taking old practice tests just won’t cut it if you want to be prepared for the 2015 MCAT.

2. To determine your weaknesses.

Next Step’s diagnostic test results will clarify for you which areas are your strongest and which are your weakest. Once you’ve received your “diagnosis” (individual section scores, a total score, and detailed analysis), you’ll be able to work on those weak spots until you feel confident in ALL areas of the exam.

3. To learn a thing or two about time management.

One of the more difficult aspects of the new MCAT is the increased length. It is not easy to sit for eight hours, and you will do little to prepare yourself for the exam if you practice in short 1-2 hour spurts. Next Step’s four-hour diagnostic will not just help you in terms of content, but in terms of getting used to sitting for long periods of time and time management.

Sign up today to gain access to this valuable free resource.

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Med Student Interview with Amanda: “Be as Prepared as You Can Be” http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/26/med-student-interview-amanda-prepared-can/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/26/med-student-interview-amanda-prepared-can/#respond Mon, 26 Jan 2015 17:47:22 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28030 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 Amanda Xi… 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 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 Amanda Xi…

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 non-school book?

Amanda: I was born and raised in metro-Detroit. During my Sophomore year of high school, I stumbled across an ad for the Acceleration to Excellence Program at Bard College at Simon’s Rock (Great Barrington, MA) and applied for it. By the Spring of that year, I was offered the full-tuition scholarship and made the decision to drop out of high school to attend this college early.

After I completed my Associate’s Degree, I transferred into the Biomedical Engineering program at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) where I completed my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees.

Before starting medical school at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine, I worked at Terumo Cardiovascular Systems as an engineer for a few months – it was a great way to confirm that medicine was definitely a better fit for me than engineering.

My favorite book tends to be the one I’m currently reading. Today, that’s Atul Gawande’s new book, Being Mortal. I developed an interest in biomedical ethics over the course of medical school and his book does a great job encouraging medical professionals, caretakers and patients to take a moment to reflect on end-of-life planning.

Accepted: Where are you in med school? What year? What is your favorite thing about that program? Least favorite thing?

Amanda: I’m currently a 4th year medical school student and part of the Charter Class at Oakland University William Beaumont (OUWB) School of Medicine in Rochester, Michigan. My favorite thing about the program is how receptive administration has been over the course of the last 3.5 years in accepting and implementing our feedback.

When I started at OUWB, I knew that I signed up to be a guinea pig and as expected with any new institution, there were definitely bumps along the way (this is my least favorite thing). But this wasn’t a big issue for me because we had supportive faculty and staff working on every issue from the moment it surfaced.

Accepted: Do you know what you’ll be specializing in? Have you had any clerkships that have stood out?

Amanda: I applied to Anesthesiology residency programs this last fall. We had an elective month during our 3rd year; because I had an interest in the field (I later learned that engineers tend to naturally gravitate toward the specialty), I decided to do a clerkship in it. From Day 1, it was clear that the field was a good fit – I enjoyed the intellectual discussion, procedures and environment. Additionally, I felt comfortable working alongside the anesthesiology residents and attendings, which was important to me because I would be spending the rest of my life working with this group of individuals!

Accepted: Can you share some residency application tips with our readers?

Amanda: Be as prepared as you can be. That’s the best advice I can give – the process has a lot of little things to consider (e.g. which programs to apply to, how many, letters of recommendation, when to take Step 2, away rotations, etc), but if you start planning your 4th year during the winter of your 3rd year, nothing will surprise you when you start July 1.

Obviously if you are not sure what specialty you want to apply to, this is a bit more difficult, but you can still plan to do away rotations/sub-internships in the specialties you’re interested in and ask for letters in support of multiple specialties.

If you perceive that certain parts of your resume may hold you back (e.g. Step 1 score), think of ways you can show improvement (like taking Step 2 early). Make sure to ask the students in the year ahead of you about their experience and for specific advice tailored toward your situation.

Accepted: Looking back on the med school application process (if you can remember that long ago!), what would you say was your greatest challenge? What did you do to overcome that challenge?

Amanda: I submitted my primary and secondary applications on the later side, so the greatest challenge for me was trying to stay positive despite having no interviews for many months then later being waitlisted at the first two institutions I interviewed at. I didn’t get my first acceptance until 9 months after I started the process, so it was a tough time for me. I turned to my support system to keep me afloat and in the end, it all worked out.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? When and why did you start blogging?

Amanda: I started amandaxi.com the summer before M1 year as a way to reflect upon the application process and answer any questions about attending a brand new medical school. It evolved into a cathartic outlet for me and the inspiration for my Capstone research project on social media. I slowed down in 3rd and 4th year to free up time for my other commitments, but hope to get back into the swing of writing more regularly when I start residency.

The direction of my entries may end up evolving away from a day-to-day discussion to more scholarly reflections upon current events in healthcare, but we’ll see! I’m also hoping to start a video blog series with advice on applying to medical schools and getting through medical school.

Accepted: Can you recommend a nice coffee shop on or around campus that you recommend for studying or meeting up with friends?

Amanda: I’m a Starbucks fanatic, so just about any one will do for me!

For one-on-one guidance on your med school applications, please see our catalog of medical school admissions services.

You can read more about Amanda’s journey by checking out her blog, And thus, it begins. Thank you Amanda for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school story with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.

5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Residency Personal Statements.

Accepted.com: The Premier Admissions Consultancy

Related Resources:

Residency Applications: How to Match

Help! I’ve Been Waitlisted – 6 Tips for Waitlisted Applicants

• Residency Application Tip: Settling, and How To Avoid It

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Pre-Med Summer Undergraduate Research Programs http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/26/pre-med-summer-undergraduate-research-programs/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/26/pre-med-summer-undergraduate-research-programs/#respond Mon, 26 Jan 2015 15:31:12 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28305 Often top medical schools in the U.S. offer pre-med summer undergraduate research programs. The purpose of these programs is to expose ambitious, talented college students to graduate-level medical research, usually over the course of 6-12 weeks over the summer. These programs generally provide generous stipends, as well as free housing and compensation for travel expenses. […]

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Often top medical schools in the U.S. offer pre-med summer undergraduate research programs. The purpose of these programs is to expose ambitious, talented college students to graduate-level medical research, usually over the course of 6-12 weeks over the summer. These programs generally provide generous stipends, as well as free housing and compensation for travel expenses. Students work closely with faculty members on research, usually resulting in a large, final project that’s presented at the end of the summer term.

Below are some of the top undergraduate research programs in the U.S. But first, a few notes:

  1. Each program awards students a stipend (detailed in the chart), as well as free housing. Some also cover travel costs and provide other subsidies, which are specified below.
  2. Each program requires applicants to submit an online application. See the specific applications for details as the number of essays/personal statements differ per program (generally ranging from one to three essays).
  3. While none of these programs require students to have a minority or disadvantaged background, nearly all of the programs explain that this background is sought and a plus in the admissions process.

Here are a few highlights from the different research programs:

premedsummerresearch

Interesting in applying? Here is application information:

PreMedSummerProgramApplicationInfo

Are you interested in pursuing a career in medicine? We have more pre-med resources where this came from! Continue reading our blog and check out our catalog of medical school admissions services. We are happy to help you achieve your dreams!

Related Resources:

Navigating the Med School Maze
Where Should I Apply To Medical School?
Medical School Admissions: MD vs DO Programs

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Medical School Admissions 2015-2016: A Dean’s Perspective http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/21/medical-school-admissions-2015-2016-deans-perspective/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/21/medical-school-admissions-2015-2016-deans-perspective/#respond Wed, 21 Jan 2015 21:05:18 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28245 It is ‘Medical School’ time of year.  Some of you are getting ready for the interview. Others are dealing with being waitlisted or rejected. And some of you are getting your applications ready to submit this summer for the first time. Now that MCAT 2015 is another and new ingredient in this volatile mix, we […]

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It is ‘Medical School’ time of year.  Some of you are getting ready for the interview. Others are dealing with being waitlisted or rejected. And some of you are getting your applications ready to submit this summer for the first time. Now that MCAT 2015 is another and new ingredient in this volatile mix, we thought it was time to bring a medical school admissions expert, Jennifer Welch, to our podcast.

Jennifer Welch, currently the Associate Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at SUNY Upstate Medical University, has been a medical school admissions director and dean for over twenty years.

Listen to the recording of our conversation as Dean Welch graciously shares her time and insights on medical school admissions 2015-2016.

00:04:07 – The New MCAT – a different focus.

00:05:35 – MCAT – are high scores still necessary for acceptance?

00:07:00 – New vs old MCAT scores, how to evaluate?

00:08:05 – The goal of the medical school interview.

00:09:25 – Interview day – time to make sure you are a good fit!

00:11:45 – Speaking with students on campus?  Chatting with a receptionist?  The “interview” isn’t over.

00:12:31 – Be real…feel real…in a suit.

00:13:47 – MMI Interviews – what is the SUNY Upstate’s approach?

00:17:00 – The student who did not get an interview and why. Suggestions so that you snag the med school interview invitation.

00:19:45 – Great GPA and MCAT but no clinicals – what are your chances?

00:21:35 – Details, details, details!

00:22:50 – How to make shadowing count.

00:26:59 – 2016 Applicants – get the applications in early!

00:28:26 – Took a gap year?  Explain. (It’s to your benefit).

00:29:24 – Reapplicants – what should your focus be?

00:30:15 – Think being a waitress or camp counselor wasn’t important?  Think again.

00:32:33 – Waitlisted – When is updated information helpful?

00:33:43 – Dean Welch gives advice for college students thinking of med school.

00:35:43 – Final pearl’s of wisdom for all applicants.

 

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!Relevant Links:

• SUNY Upstate Medical School Admissions
• 
Navigating the Med School Maze
• A Second Chance at Medical School: The A-Z of Applying to Postbac Programs
• Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success

Related Shows:

Getting Into Medical School: Advice from a Pro
Med School Conversation with Cyd Foote
All Things Postbac
MCAT Scores, MCAT Prep, and MCAT2015
MCAT Mania: How to Prepare
• 
A Window into the World and Life of Medical Scribes
 What You Need to Know About Post-bac Programs

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*Theme music is courtesy of podcasthemes.com.

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http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/21/medical-school-admissions-2015-2016-deans-perspective/feed/ 0 It is ‘Medical School’ time of year.  Some of you are getting ready for the interview. Others are dealing with being waitlisted or rejected. And some of you are getting your applications ready to submit this summer for the first time. It is ‘Medical School’ time of year.  Some of you are getting ready for the interview. Others are dealing with being waitlisted or rejected. And some of you are getting your applications ready to submit this summer for the first time. Now that MCAT 2015 is another and new ingredient in this volatile mix, we thought it was time to bring a medical school admissions expert, Jennifer Welch, to our podcast. Jennifer Welch, currently the Associate Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at SUNY Upstate Medical University, has been a medical school admissions director and dean for over twenty years. Listen to the recording of our conversation as Dean Welch graciously shares her time and insights on medical school admissions 2015-2016. 00:04:07 - The New MCAT - a different focus. 00:05:35 - MCAT - are high scores still necessary for acceptance? 00:07:00 - New vs old MCAT scores, how to evaluate? 00:08:05 - The goal of the medical school interview. 00:09:25 - Interview day - time to make sure you are a good fit! 00:11:45 - Speaking with students on campus?  Chatting with a receptionist?  The “interview” isn’t over. 00:12:31 - Be real...feel real...in a suit. 00:13:47 - MMI Interviews - what is the SUNY Upstate's approach? 00:17:00 - The student who did not get an interview and why. Suggestions so that you snag the med school interview invitation. 00:19:45 - Great GPA and MCAT but no clinicals - what are your chances? 00:21:35 - Details, details, details! 00:22:50 - How to make shadowing count. 00:26:59 - 2016 Applicants - get the applications in early! 00:28:26 - Took a gap year?  Explain. (It’s to your benefit). 00:29:24 - Reapplicants - what should your focus be? 00:30:15 - Think being a waitress or camp counselor wasn’t important?  Think again. 00:32:33 - Waitlisted - When is updated information helpful? 00:33:43 - Dean Welch gives advice for college students thinking of med school. 00:35:43 - Final pearl's of wisdom for all applicants.   Relevant Links: • SUNY Upstate Medical School Admissions • Navigating the Med School Maze • A Second Chance at Medical School: The A-Z of Applying to Postbac Programs • Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success Related Shows: • Getting Into Medical School: Advice from a Pro • Med School Conversation with Cyd Foote • All Things Postbac • MCAT Scores, MCAT Prep, and MCAT2015 • MCAT Mania: How to Prepare • A Window into the World and Life of Medical Scribes • What You Need to Know About Post-bac Programs Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk: *Theme music is courtesy of podcasthemes.com. Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 38:20
Parents of Pre-Med Students: How Much Help is Too Much Help? http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/20/parents-pre-med-students-much-help-much-help/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/20/parents-pre-med-students-much-help-much-help/#respond Tue, 20 Jan 2015 18:41:34 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28216 As a parent of a pre-med student dreaming of getting accepted to medical school, you probably wonder “How much help is too much help?” We’re pretty sure we’ve got just the resource for you… Here’s an excerpt from our new guide, Parents of Pre-Meds: How to Help, on respecting boundaries during the admissions process: As […]

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Download our Parents of Pre-Meds guide!As a parent of a pre-med student dreaming of getting accepted to medical school, you probably wonder “How much help is too much help?” We’re pretty sure we’ve got just the resource for you…

Here’s an excerpt from our new guide, Parents of Pre-Meds: How to Help, on respecting boundaries during the admissions process:

As the application season progresses and anxiety is rising, avoid bringing up the topic of medical school admissions or calling medical schools on your son or daughter’s behalf. Most children are thrilled to share good news with their parents – once they get it. To prevent unnecessary stress, allow your child to be the person who gives you regular progress updates. (Rejoice! No need to nag.)

Your children are adults now. And giving them the space that adults deserve will enhance their sense of self-responsibility and independence, not to mention your relationship with them. Applications can become a painful topic for them and bringing it up before exams or while they are focused on other goals can derail their progress in those other activities. You can even have an open and honest conversation with them early in the application process about how they would like to manage the topic. Whatever you agree to do, honor your word.

Are you looking for more spot-on advice on how to help your child achieve their med school dreams without panicking, pushing, or pestering? Download Parents of Pre-Meds: How to Help  today!

Get your free copy of 'Parents of Pre-Meds' now!Accepted.com: The Premier Admissions Consultancy

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Meet PreMedPrince: Getting Back on Track with Hard Work & Strong Support http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/19/meet-premedprince-getting-back-track-hard-work-strong-support/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/19/meet-premedprince-getting-back-track-hard-work-strong-support/#respond Mon, 19 Jan 2015 16:16:14 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28028 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 Jared Sharza, aka PreMedPrince… Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what are you […]

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Read more interviews with med school applicants!

PreMed Prince

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 Jared Sharza, aka PreMedPrince…

Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what are you studying as an undergrad? When do you plan on graduating?

Jared: I’m a 20 year old 2nd semester Junior, preparing to transfer into my next university for my last 3 semesters. I originally started school at St. Lawrence University, a prestigious institution located in arguably the most frigid area of Upstate New York. I started off as a premed student but couldn’t keep up with the level of work necessary to move on in the premed curriculum, so I was cut from the program for the following semester.

After a brief semester stint with liberal studies, I found a niche in Economics and International Relations. I always had a deep interest in foreign policy and valued other cultures but decided I could express it best in government. My Economics side was harvested during my 2nd semester Freshman year when I started up a sober driving service for students from campus and into the town. The most rudimentary ideas of Economics came into play as I began to understand the lack of supply, yet high demand for a transportation service into the town (after all, the winters got as cold as -20). Towards the end of that semester, I decided to start investing in Penny Stocks and decided to further cultivate my interest in Economics by studying more of it the following semesters.

My last semester at St. Lawrence was filled with Government and advanced Economics. I was delegated as Class President which I began to get very excited about early on. I also was rushing a fraternity at the time. Everything seemed to start off flawless as I began to think my future was going to be promising my last few semesters at St. Lawrence. However, after a major Greek Life scandal that I had lied to the school administration about, I was placed on judiciary probation which later changed to being placed on a semester of suspension.

I was in a dark place for a while afterwards. I didn’t know how to tell my parents I was suspended- so I didn’t for a few weeks until I had a plan to get back on track. Just after New Year’s 2014, on my birthday, January 2nd, I told my parents. They were absolutely distraught that I didn’t ask them for help or had come to them earlier when the situation was going on. It was a very stressful time.

With the support and guidance of my parents, however, I was able to gain admission to a local community college, Finger Lakes Community College, who was willing to look past my imperfections as I explained to them my plan to move forward. I decided that I had become a strong enough student to give the pre-medical curriculum another try, but this time with a goal and direction to take the MCAT at the end of the year. Throughout this past year, including the two summer accelerated semesters, I finished the whole premed curriculum and had been actively studying for the MCAT along the way.

I was lucky enough to get a seat for the January 2015 MCAT, just before the major changes to the exam come. Two days after taking the MCAT, I will move into Nazareth College as a 2nd semester Junior majoring in Anthropology. A lot of people have asked me, “Why Anthropology, don’t you want to be a doctor?” I always try to explain to them that not everybody who goes to medical school has to major in a Science. I further attempt to express how Anthropology is the study of interacting with people and being able to see through diversity, but to learn to interact with people with an understanding of their culture. It’s very profound to me because I am sometimes asked the difference between Sociology and Anthropology.

I have a deeply rooted passion for languages and cultures alike coming from a family with a heavily diverse background. I feel that through studying Anthropology, I will find a way to express my passion to help others of diverse backgrounds through understanding and learning how to relate my studies to enhance my abilities with the proverbial “Doctor-Patient interactions.”

I will also be part of the Men’s Tennis team at Nazareth and the Pre-Health Club, as well as the school’s respective honors society (having gained Phi Theta Kappa honors society membership this past year).

Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? When and why did you start blogging? What have you gained from the experience?

Jared: Part of my plan to get back on track after having been suspended for a semester was to find the support necessary to succeed. I had no friends at the school so I virtually had no distractions from school other than sports. My parents provided a strong support, but I sought a larger group. I took to Twitter using an anonymous Twitter handle name, PreMedPrince, to join the ever-expansive network of premeds, med students, and doctors alike. I became very comfortable with the network as they supported my plans I had expressed.

Towards the middle of the Spring ‘14 semester, I decided in order to keep up my momentum, I had to lose a few of my ghosts that kept on haunting me. Whenever I had doubted my ability to pursue my endeavors, I could attribute it to being suspended, so I shared my experience in the form of a blog. I like to write, and had been using a journal as a pathway for stress-relief and for planning.

After I put up my tell-all story regarding my suspension and how I had planned to get back on track, I received immediate feedback and strengthened support. From the experience, I gained the ability to reach out for support. It had been something I had been lacking for as long as I can remember. I have always tried to be proud of doing things by myself. I have often been very egotistical until I was humbled by being suspended, it was the first time I hadn’t been able to work my way out of something by myself. Success is a team-driven experience. Without a support group, I find it very difficult to succeed at anything.

Accepted: You have very successfully pulled your GPA from a very low point to a high GPA. How did you do that?

Jared: During my semester of suspension while I was attending Finger Lakes Community College, my main goal was to do as well as I could in my courses. The reason behind this was because I had a lot to prove to not only myself, but to future admissions. I have an outstanding disciplinary punishment that will follow me around whenever I apply for schools; I have to check “yes” on the applications. My main concern was how I was going to secure my future when asked about it by schools. I used my suspension as a reality check, a learning experience and I was hell-bent on proving my worth by excelling in school.

I was always a little inferior when it came to school. I never put my best in, rather I’d focus everything into my athletic career. This past semester has allowed me to realize my potential by staying disciplined, seeking support from online groups, and demonstrating to my professors my zeal to thrive and succeed in their classes. After my first semester getting a 3.87 semester average taking 17 credits, I was proud of myself but wanted more, I was addicted to success. I felt so good knowing my hard work had paid off in and out of the classroom.

During my research into medical schools, I came to realize GPAs were extremely competitive. My goal and thought process was to get as close to an A in every course. I didn’t have room for anything less than an A because, again, I need to prove myself to admissions.

Blog CTA Med Low StatsAccepted: How would you advise other premeds who are struggling to boost their GPAs?

Jared: It’s no secret that the level of work premeds are expected to do in and out of the classroom is becoming more and more competitive. GPAs have to be high, very high. Students cannot afford to get more B’s than A’s in required courses. I’ve pinpointed a few keys that contributed to my success and have worked for others. I found that I wasn’t doing all-nighters anymore, rather, studying smarter.

Figuring out how to actually learn the material is something I found worthwhile. Students tend to rely solely on the word of their professors which may only help in the short-run, but the material won’t likely stick. In order to effectively learn the material, I used YouTube videos for absolutely every topic I had this past year. What this does is it allows you to get another perspective on the subject and could potentially offer tricks to simplify the material. I found this really useful when I was taking Organic Chemistry because we were getting a lot of material to cover.

As a visual-learner, I made use of whiteboards whenever I could. I found it extremely helpful for comprehending metabolic content for Biology, mechanisms for Organic Chemistry, and Physics problems. Actually doing and exploring concepts allowed me to get a more complete understanding which helped me on exams. I also supplemented this with making flash-cards for Biology as I found them to be most useful for this course specifically.

The last piece of insight I can offer is visiting professors. I always read that medical students and doctors suggest to visit professors during their office hours. I finally realized this was necessary to demonstrate my ambition and actual curiosity to learn and figure out ways to enhance my abilities in the classroom. I found this to be extremely helpful as my professors would look over my papers early and offer significant advice that directly contributed to my success on assignments.

The main thing to keep in mind when struggling to boost your GPA is that whatever you try won’t work instantly. Through persistence and dedication, you will get there if you sincerely have the inner drive. Make sure you look at your whole life at school and see if there is anything that is holding you back, or something that could potentially culture your success. Schools have many assistance programs that are just waiting for you to reach out, the thing is you have to reach out for the support; they can’t help you if you don’t inquire.

Accepted: What stage of the med school admissions process are you up to so far?

Jared: I am currently in the final days leading up to my MCAT, so currently studying! This past semester I chose my professors that I wanted to write for me letters of recommendation on behalf of my science proficiency. This past year has been very hectic and everything has been moving very quickly so I will be taking some time to breathe and relax afterwards into the Spring semester. I will be working on writing parts of my personal statement and continue to research into medical schools and may even visit a few. I will also be volunteering at the local hospital on weekends and hopefully be shadowing the athletic trainer during home games for various sports. The reason I want to shadow an athletic trainer is mainly because I have a passion for sports medicine being an athlete, but also because I plan on shadowing physicians during the summer.

Accepted: Can you share some MCAT studying tips with our readers?

Jared: The MCAT is very daunting, intimidating if you will. I found out very early when I first started my pre-medical requirements this year to supplement my course studies with MCAT preparation material. This allowed me to tailor my way of thinking in these courses to the way the MCAT asks questions. I also was able to get a new perspective on the material, which allowed me to further enhance my understanding of a topic at a given time.

The mind-set necessary for the MCAT is one that is very tough and is able to adapt to studying and find outlets to channel stress. For example, my stress reduction outlets include Swimming and working out (alternating every day) and writing a reflection in a personal journal about the previous week and to write goals for the next week. Premeds need to learn early on that since the MCAT is such a big deal with a lot of content, to take things step by step.

Learn one unit of material at a time and move on to the next. Make sure to keep the information in your mind by using flashcards that briefly summarize what you’ve just finished and it will all come together after a while.

The biggest studying piece that I found was on the AAMC website. They list everything that could possibly be tested, content-wise. I will have gone through all of the material over 21 days which at first was very intimidating, but having taken it step by step, I found myself to have retained a lot of it through the practices I listed above.

I have done my MCAT content review without any structured company review. I can see how they are helpful, in virtually every way. Personally, I found that I had all the material, and used the AAMC practice tests to measure my performance throughout my review and was confident in my ability to do this on my own.

Some advice though would be to not allow others opinions sway yours. Everybody has different ways of learning and the silver lining to taking the MCAT  besides successfully completing it, is that there is an abundance of resources out there to help you prepare- from practice tests, practice questions, practice videos, etc. All of these major prep companies offer free trials and free material to try out their services. I advise to try them all, however. Even if you don’t like their questions or the way they deliver their material, at the very least you are getting practice of the same material with a different perspective.

Accepted: Do you have target schools in mind yet? Where do you think you’ll apply? Do you have a “dream” school?

Jared: I don’t have a dream school in mind. I think the reason for that is because of all that I’ve been through, I realize my chances have been harmed. However, I like to think that my continued persistence up until I apply will be worthwhile and some admissions panel will take note.

Being a native of NY, my dream school would most definitely be the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons. However, I do plan on applying broadly, which is something I think is worth sharing. In this day and age, premeds are entering a very competitive domain and some people would be inclined to argue that applying broadly is important because once you’re in; we all have the similar goals and outcomes. However, don’t let that idea keep you down from shooting for the stars.

For one-on-one guidance on your med school applications, please see our catalog of med school admissions services.

You can read more about Jared’s journey by checking out his blog, PreMedPrince. Thank you Jared for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school story with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.

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Related Resources:

Ace Your AMCAS Essay
GPA Issues when Applying to Med School: What To Do With A “W”
MCAT Scores, MCAT Prep & MCAT2015

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Admissions Tip: BE YOURSELF! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/16/admissions-tip/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/16/admissions-tip/#respond Fri, 16 Jan 2015 15:24:40 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28149 Admissions committee members across the board (college, grad school, med school, b-school and law school) want you to do ONE thing in your applications, and one thing only: Introduce yourself. This does NOT include: • Talking about who you WISH you were. • Exaggerating your volunteer achievements. • Making up job titles to boost your […]

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Be Yourself: Everyone Else is Already TakenAdmissions committee members across the board (college, grad school, med school, b-school and law school) want you to do ONE thing in your applications, and one thing only: Introduce yourself. This does NOT include:

• Talking about who you WISH you were.
• Exaggerating your volunteer achievements.
• Making up job titles to boost your employment profile.
Cracking jokes when you’re really not such a funny person.
• Using big words that you found in a thesaurus when you have no idea what they mean.

Instead, when introducing yourself to the adcom, follow these simple tips:

• Use your own, authentic voice in your writing.
• Talk about what’s important to YOU instead of what you think the adcom want to hear.
• Tell things as they are – you don’t want to get the boot because a fact checker shows that you were really an “Office Assistant” instead of an “Office Manager.”
• Use a dictionary/thesaurus to ensure you use words correctly, not to engage in communicative creativity…

In short, if you want to stand out among the throngs of applicants in your field, your goal shouldn’t be to introduce yourself as a superhuman, god-like overachiever; instead introduce yourself as you actually are, with your unique interests, passions, accomplishments, and voice. This will be the most extraordinary, stand-out, note-worthy introduction. Not the introduction that makes the adcom members roll their eyes and say “yeah right.”


Accepted.com: The Premier Admissions Consultancy
Related Resources:

From Example to Exemplary – A Free Guide
6 Tips for Getting Started on Your Application Essays
The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes

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Got Dinged? You Can Handle It! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/14/got-dinged-you-can-handle-it/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/14/got-dinged-you-can-handle-it/#respond Wed, 14 Jan 2015 16:59:55 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28055 It may or may not be fair, but many of you are going to get at least a few rejections. What are you going to do about them? First and foremost—if you’ve gotten dinged at your top choice school, that doesn’t mean that you’re never going to get in. It doesn’t even mean that you […]

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Rejected from your top-choice school?It may or may not be fair, but many of you are going to get at least a few rejections. What are you going to do about them?

First and foremost—if you’ve gotten dinged at your top choice school, that doesn’t mean that you’re never going to get in. It doesn’t even mean that you won’t be going to school next year.

And so my first point is: DON’T GIVE UP.

However, you do need to respond constructively. For the Four Reasons for Rejection and tips on how to do exactly that, please see this video.

For more admissions-specific reapplication advice, check-out:

For all of you, if you don’t know why you were rejected or would you like expert advice on improving your next application, please consider an application review:

Subscribe to the Accepted Admissions Blog!

Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

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• Help! I’ve Been Waitlisted!
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DO Student Interview: Shadowing, Reapplying, Not Being Too Hard on Yourself http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/12/do-student-interview-shadowing-reapplying-not-being-too-hard-on-yourself/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/12/do-student-interview-shadowing-reapplying-not-being-too-hard-on-yourself/#respond Mon, 12 Jan 2015 20:48:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28037 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 our anonymous blogger Med State of Mind… Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? […]

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Read more medical school student interviews here!

“My first time applying, I wasn’t showing enough interest in healthcare.”

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 our anonymous blogger Med State of Mind…

Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What is your favorite flavor ice cream?

Med State of Mind: I am from the Midwest, and I went to a state school for undergrad. I have a B.S. in microbiology. In undergrad I did a bunch of research.

My favorite ice cream flavor is vanilla soft serve with Reese’s peanut butter cups mixed in.

Accepted: Where are you in med school? What year? (If you are keeping this info private, can you please just give us some hints — like that it’s a DO school and maybe the region of the world/country?)

Med State of Mind: I am currently a first year medical student at an osteopathic medical school in the Midwest.

Accepted: Why did you choose a DO school? 

Med State of Mind: I only applied to MD schools my first application cycle. That didn’t work out that year, and in deciding if I should even reapply to medical school, I looked more into DO programs. I didn’t really know much about DO besides that it existed at that point.

I shadowed a DO and did a ton of research on it, and I found out that it actually fit better with how I want to treat my patients in the future. I like that we are taught to look at more than just the patient’s numbers, and we also learn Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT). I like that as a doctor, I will have extra tools in my tool box to help treat my patients better, including non-pharmaceutical methods. Not that MDs can’t practice like that, but it is definitely emphasized in our training!

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?

Med State of Mind: I only planned on taking one year off, but ended up taking two. My first application cycle didn’t go well, but I applied to more programs including DO in my 2nd application cycle, and finally got accepted!

Initially I just volunteered at the hospital and shadowed during my time off, but I figured out I could get my CNA and get work experience in a clinical setting. I worked at a hospital for about a year. I also continued to volunteer and shadow during my time off.

I think my first time applying, I wasn’t showing enough interest in healthcare during my time off, so I think it definitely helped once I was able to work in a healthcare setting.

Accepted: What are your thoughts on the importance of clinical experience? How would you advise our pre-med readers on this subject?

Med State of Mind: I think it is one of the most important things you can do! Medicine is not an easy path to take, so I think it is critical that everyone has a clear understanding of what they will be getting themselves into. Shadowing is definitely great to see what doctors do, but I think it is important to also do other activities like volunteering. Shadowing doesn’t necessarily show your work ethic, but being involved with volunteering and other activities does. I would recommend at least 50 hours shadowing, and make sure to include some with a primary care doctor.

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 have known before you started school?

Med State of Mind: Make sure you take some time before school starts to do absolutely nothing! I took about 2 months off and just went on vacations and did things I enjoyed. Once school starts, you don’t get much time to do things like that. The summer before school starts is a great time to check some things off your bucket list.

It also helps to talk to 2nd years in your program. They know what to expect, what books to buy, how different professors do things, all that good stuff. At my school we are matched with a 2nd year who mentors us, and I definitely go to her whenever I have a question about something!

I wish I would have known it isn’t quite as bad as I was expecting. The long hours of studying suck when you’re stuck in a room by yourself for 14 hours, but I’ve shown to myself that I CAN do it. I had pretty low expectations for myself going in, but I didn’t need to be so hard on myself. Yes, you have to study a lot, but it’s definitely possible to have some sort of a life outside of school and do okay in your classes. You just have to take it all one day at a time, and make sure you take the time to get away from school. I don’t think I would survive if I didn’t take the time to work out, hang out with friends, and be involved with activities outside of school.

It also helps I feel like I’m learning more relevant things to my career most of the time. Medical school can be fun sometimes!

Accepted: Can you talk about your experience as a reapplicant? What do you think went wrong during your first cycle of applications? What did you change the second time around that helped you get accepted?

Med State of Mind: I think I already covered this in another answer, but basically I did not have nearly enough clinical experience applying the first time around. I think schools doubted that I knew what I was getting into. I also don’t think I sold the clinical experience I did have enough. How you word things can definitely make a difference. I’m not saying you should lie or embellish (definitely don’t do that!), but make sure someone who knows nothing about the activity can clearly see what you were doing and what you got out of the experience. So if while you were volunteering at the hospital, you also got to interact with doctors a lot – say it! Don’t just assume the people reading your application will know what you did.

Accepted: Why did you decide to tweet about your experience? What have you gained from the experience? What do you hope others will learn?

Med State of Mind: I started my Twitter because I found some pre-med accounts and liked the community of pre-meds and medical professionals on Twitter. It was a great support system and a way to stay motivated when I got rejected from medical school the first time around. There are so many people on Twitter that are willing to help and give advice! I don’t know if I would have reapplied if I wouldn’t have started my Twitter, to be honest. It was hard getting rejected, but I was able to see other people applying and going through the same thing, and it kept me going! It especially helped me since I was out of school at that point and didn’t get to interact with other pre-meds very often.

I hope that people can learn from my mistakes and that I can help people get through the tough process that is getting into medical school. It is definitely a tough journey, but so far I am so glad I did it. Now I can share my experience in medical school with my followers, as well!

For one-on-one guidance on your med school applications, please see our catalog of med school admissions services.

You can read more about Med State of Mind’s journey by following him on Twitter @med_stateofmind. Thank you for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school story with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.

Download your free copy of 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Application Essays!

Accepted.com: The Premier Admissions Consultancy
Related Resources:

Med School Rankings & Numbers: What You MUST Know, a free downloadable guide
• Medical School Application Strategy: MD vs. DO Programs
5 Questions to Help You Decide Where to Apply to Med School

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Oh No! A Typo!! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/09/oh-no-a-typo-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/09/oh-no-a-typo-2/#respond Fri, 09 Jan 2015 18:35:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27988 Will it doom your otherwise perfect application to the great round file in cyberspace, putting the kabosh on years of effort and nixing your attempt to walk through the hallowed halls of your favored institution? No. A single, minor typo will do absolutely nothing. So don’t sweat one minor spelling mistake, a missed comma, or […]

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Worried about writing your application essays? We've got you covered!

If the readers see a lot of mistakes they will assume you are careless and sloppy.

Will it doom your otherwise perfect application to the great round file in cyberspace, putting the kabosh on years of effort and nixing your attempt to walk through the hallowed halls of your favored institution?

No.

A single, minor typo will do absolutely nothing. So don’t sweat one minor spelling mistake, a missed comma, or a couple of transposed letters.

You have cause for worry if you find any of the following after you have hit SUBMIT or put the envelope in the mailbox:

1. You find several typos or mistakes. If the readers see a lot of mistakes they will assume you are careless and sloppy. Not exactly the impression you are aiming for, and one that will definitely hurt you.

2. Your typo changes the meaning. For example, a client years ago submitted a draft to me in which he wrote, “Through research I exorcised my mind… ” I have never forgotten this one because I almost fell off my chair laughing. He meant “exercised.” If this only happens once, I don’t think it would necessarily be fatal, but you don’t want to be remembered for rib-splitting typos either. In his case, I just had a good laugh and it was never submitted.

 3. You forget to change the school’s name somewhere in the essay. Ouch. Adcoms universally hate that. It isn’t really a typo either, and it usually results in rejection.

What should you do if you find any of 1-3 in your application after submitting. It’s a tough spot. If you find the error(s)–especially if you find 1 or 3 — soon after hitting SUBMIT, you can contact the school and say that you accidentally submitted the wrong draft of your essay(s). Maybe, just maybe, someone will have mercy on  you and let you submit the corrected draft.

Download 5 Fatal Flaw to Avoid in Your Application

Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes
5 Ways to Clean Up Your Online Presence for When You Apply
How to Deal with Deadlines

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4 New Year’s Resolutions for Medical School Applicants http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/08/4-new-years-resolutions-for-medical-school-applicants-3/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/08/4-new-years-resolutions-for-medical-school-applicants-3/#respond Thu, 08 Jan 2015 16:17:16 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=28011 Do you want to be in medical school in Fall 2016? Then resolve to: Sign up ASAP for an MCAT course so that you are fully prepared to take the test early. Ideally you want to ace it no later than April because then your scores should be released by June 16, 2105. See the 2015 […]

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Get the 411 on Med School Admissions!

Want to be a doctor? Get used to working under pressure.

Do you want to be in medical school in Fall 2016? Then resolve to:

  1. Sign up ASAP for an MCAT course so that you are fully prepared to take the test early. Ideally you want to ace it no later than April because then your scores should be released by June 16, 2105. See the 2015 MCAT Registration Deadline and Score Release Schedule for more information.
  2. Continue or begin clinical exposure If you are going to be a doctor, you need to have experienced the hospital environment – working under pressure, dealing with sick people, responding to family members, and interacting with tired and even more pressured colleagues.
  3. Develop a relationship with faculty members and supervisors who can provide letters of recommendation.  You will want people who know you well to write your recommendations. Nurture relationships with TAs, lab supervisors, research sponsors (who work closely with you) for their intrinsic value, and you will also have strong recommendations.
  4. Clarify what’s important to you in a medical school. Are you primarily interested in primary care? Or do you find research attractive? Do you prefer an urban, suburban, or rural setting? Which approach to medical education appeals to you, and why? Yes, I know that you will be happy to go where you get in, but you really can’t apply to every school in the country.  Once you have determined what would be your ideal, then consider if those schools are feasible. For example, cost is frequently a constraint, or if you aren’t competitive at every medical school, then your qualifications are a constraint. While it’s easy to apply to more rather than fewer schools through AMCAS, it could get pretty expensive. Choose based on what’s important to you. You’ll save time and money.


Learn How to Get Accepted to Med School in 2016!

Accepted.com: The Premier Admissions Consultancy

Related Resources:

Get Ready for the New MCAT
5 Questions to Help You Decide Where To Apply To Medical School
• The Best 4 Things to Do Before Med School

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Essay Tip: The Devil is in the Details http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/07/essay-tip-the-devil-is-in-the-details/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/07/essay-tip-the-devil-is-in-the-details/#respond Wed, 07 Jan 2015 15:01:18 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27983 You can argue about the devil, but certainly the substance, distinctiveness, and success of your essays depends on the details. Many applicants tend to bury their uniqueness and success under vague assertions. You don’t want to hide your achievements; you want to trumpet them loudly and clearly. For instance, if you led a team working […]

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Trumpet your accomplishments loud and clear!

Don’t hide your achievements; trumpet them loudly and clearly!

You can argue about the devil, but certainly the substance, distinctiveness, and success of your essays depends on the details.

Many applicants tend to bury their uniqueness and success under vague assertions. You don’t want to hide your achievements; you want to trumpet them loudly and clearly. For instance, if you led a team working on a software development project, was it a three-member team or a thirty-member, cross-functional team with representatives from five different divisions and two continents? Was the potential market for the product $5 million or $200 million? Did you launch the product on time and in budget? Did it zoom to the top of the market-share charts? The details reveal the level of your responsibility, the confidence others have in your abilities based on their prior experience with you, and the significance of your accomplishment.

What about your volunteer work? Do you simply “volunteer”? If you do, you aren’t saying anything distinctive or substantive. Are you an EMT working five hours per week? Do you volunteer at a legal aid clinic? What have you seen or experienced? What have you learned? Have you launched a bereavement group in a country where such services were previously unheard of? What were the challenges you overcame to establish that group? What did you learn from the experience? How has it influenced you?

You may ask, “How can I fit all these details into a short essay?” Good question. Include many of the specifics in the work history sections — the boxes — of the application or in an attached resume if allowed. Then in the essay, provide enough detail to provide context and create interest. Balance your profound insight and reflection with devilishly dazzling detail.

How can you show the adcom that you will be a leader in the future? Click here to find out!

Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

Related Resources:

5 Fatal Flaws To Avoid
6 Tips for Getting Started on Your Application Essays
Personal Statement Tip: Story Time

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Med Applicant Interview with Ashley: Premed Mommy Par Excellence http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/05/med-applicant-interview-with-ashley-premed-mommy-par-excellence/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/05/med-applicant-interview-with-ashley-premed-mommy-par-excellence/#respond Mon, 05 Jan 2015 15:07:23 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27966 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 Ashley… 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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Meet more medical school applicantsThis 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 Ashley…

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 non-school book?

Ashley: I am from Miramar, FL. I received my Bachelor’s in Biology from Florida State University. I also have a Masters in Public Health from Florida A&M University. My favorite non-school books are the Twilight books.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your current master’s program? Why did you decide to pursue this degree before applying to med school?

Ashley: I’m currently in a Master of Biomedical Sciences program. The program is specifically designed for pre-meds and pre-dents who desire to improve their stats and be more competitive for applying to medical or dental school. Our classes are similar to subject matter we would see in the first year of medical school. The challenges of the program have definitely made me a better student. I chose to get a Master’s in Biomedical Sciences to strengthen my science GPA after receiving rejections to med school the last time I applied.

Accepted: Motherhood and pre-med — that’s quite the juggling act! Why did you decide to apply to med school at this stage of your life? How do you manage to find the time to get it all done?

Ashley: Being a mother and grad student is very challenging! My daughter is a major motivation to keep me going. I’ve always wanted to be a doctor and I did not want to give up on my dream when I became a parent.

Prioritizing, planning, and support from my family helps me balance school and motherhood. My family is such an amazing support system and they help me with my daughter when I’m in class and studying. I make sure to spend as much time with my daughter as I can. Balancing motherhood and school is challenging, consists of long days and late nights, but it’s all worth it to live out my dreams and be someone who my daughter will be proud of.

Accepted: What stage of the med school application process are you up to?  

Ashley: I am in the application process. All secondary apps have been submitted and I have had one interview so far. So now I’m just waiting. ☺

Accepted: Can you share your top 3 tips on writing secondary applications? 

Ashley: My top 3 tips for answering secondary essays:

 1. First and foremost be honest! Don’t fabricate experiences or activities just to make yourself sound good. I think med schools really want to know who you are, how well you will fit with your classmates, and with the mission of the institution.

2. Don’t rush. The last thing you want to do is rush through a secondary, make grammatical errors, and give a weak response. You want your responses to be well-thought out and demonstrate that you can provide an intelligent answer.

3.  After you answer your essays, step away from it for at least 24 hours, and come back to it later. This allows you to give your essays a second look with a fresh mind and perspective. After you review it, have someone who can be objective review your essays.

Accepted: How did you first interview go? Any advice for our readers there?

Ashley: My first interview went well! The school was nice, the students and faculty were friendly, and I had a great experience there.

My advice for students preparing for interviews is to relax, as much as you can, and just be yourself. The admissions committee invited you to interview for a reason. Be yourself and be personable so that they can get to know you and your motivations for attending their school. Also, make sure to ask questions that are important to you and your future to be sure that the school is a good fit for you.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your blog? Why did you decide to blog/tweet about your pre-med journey?

Ashley: I decided to blog about my journey to share my experiences with other people like myself. I have been rejected from med school in the past, I’m a mother, a grad student, a nontraditional student, and I’ve taken the MCAT multiple times. I want others who don’t have a traditional, straightforward path to medicine to know that there is someone out here who can relate to their situations and support them. I hope my experiences are an inspiration for others to continue to chase their dreams and fight for what they believe in no matter what challenges or circumstances arise in life. I also want to be able to meet other people on this journey so that we can support and inspire each other.

For one-on-one guidance on your med school applications, please see our catalog of med school admissions services.

You can read more about Ashley’s journey by checking out her blog, Premed Mommy. Thank you Ashley for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school story with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.

Click here to download your copy of The Ultimate Guide to Medical School Interview Success!

Accepted.com: The Premier Admissions Consultancy

Related Resources:

• Medical School Reapplicant Advice: 6 Tips for Success
• School Specific Tips for Your Secondary Application Questions
• Med School Application Process: AMCAS, Secondaries, Interviews, Decisions & More! 

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France to Open Giant Global University http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/04/france-to-open-giant-global-university/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/04/france-to-open-giant-global-university/#respond Sun, 04 Jan 2015 18:28:29 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27724 There were no French universities in the top 20 of the most recent QS World University Rankings, and there were only two in QS’s top 100. According to a recent BBC News article, France plans on changing those stats with the new Paris-Saclay University, a government project that will unite 19 French institutions under the […]

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Traveling abroad to study? Here's the scoop on financial aid & health insurance.

Ariel view of the planned Paris-Saclay University

There were no French universities in the top 20 of the most recent QS World University Rankings, and there were only two in QS’s top 100. According to a recent BBC News article, France plans on changing those stats with the new Paris-Saclay University, a government project that will unite 19 French institutions under the same roof, “with the aim of building a university of a size and scale that can compete with global giants like Harvard or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).”

This new “hi-tech knowledge hub” is expected to boost the French economy and, according to Paris-Saclay president Dominique Vernay, to become a top-10 institution, if not in the “top two or three.” It will be a meeting point of research, hi-tech businesses, and startups, not unsimilar to how Stanford University served as the launch pad for Silicon Valley.

Here are some highlights from the BBC article:

The university will have 70,000 students, 10,000 researchers, and a 1,300 acre campus. The entire institution will be twice the size of UC Berkeley.

There will be a heavy focus on graduate courses and international recruitment (of students and staff).

The “federal university” model upon which the university will be built will be similar to that of the Oxbridge model.

Some master’s classes will be taught in English and some in French.

See the BBC article for more details.

Get Your Game On: Preparing for Your Grad School Application, a free guide

Accepted.com: The Premier Admissions Consultancy

Related Resources:

The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes
Financial Aid & Health Insurance for International Students
An Inside Look at INSEAD

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Help! I’ve Been Waitlisted! http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/02/help-ive-been-waitlisted/ http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/02/help-ive-been-waitlisted/#respond Fri, 02 Jan 2015 14:56:13 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27855 In honor of New Years we’ve decided to repost one of the most popular episodes of 2014. If you didn’t hear it the first time, or if you just want to review, now is the perfect time to listen to our highly informative podcast with Linda Abraham discussing the timely topic of being waitlisted. *Theme music is […]

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Need waitlist help?In honor of New Years we’ve decided to repost one of the most popular episodes of 2014.

If you didn’t hear it the first time, or if you just want to review, now is the perfect time to listen to our highly informative podcast with Linda Abraham discussing the timely topic of being waitlisted.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!

*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Relevant Links:

•  MBA Waitlist Advice 101
•  Med School Waitlist Advice 101
•  Grad School Waitlist Advice 101
•  College Waitlist Advice 101 
•  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on an MBA Waitlistan ebook
•  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Med School Waitlistan ebook
•  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Law School Waitlist, an ebook

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

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

Subscribe to the Accepted Admissions Blog!

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http://blog.accepted.com/2015/01/02/help-ive-been-waitlisted/feed/ 0 In honor of New Years we've decided to repost one of the most popular episodes of 2014. - If you didn't hear it the first time, or if you just want to review, now is the perfect time to listen to our highly informative podcast with Linda Abraham disc... In honor of New Years we've decided to repost one of the most popular episodes of 2014. If you didn't hear it the first time, or if you just want to review, now is the perfect time to listen to our highly informative podcast with Linda Abraham discussing the timely topic of being waitlisted. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Relevant Links: •  MBA Waitlist Advice 101 •  Med School Waitlist Advice 101 •  Grad School Waitlist Advice 101 •  College Waitlist Advice 101  •  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on an MBA Waitlist, an ebook •  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Med School Waitlist, an ebook •  The Nine Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make on a Law School Waitlist, an ebook Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk: Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 13:39
Favorites in 2014 at Accepted! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/31/favorites-in-2014-at-accepted/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/31/favorites-in-2014-at-accepted/#respond Wed, 31 Dec 2014 15:00:59 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27902 What admissions issues were keeping you up at night? Here are the five articles and posts that you were most interested in this past year. 1. Harvard Business School 2015 MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines 2. Boost Your GPA for Medical School Acceptance 3. Writing Your Graduate Statement of Purpose or Personal Statement 4. Dealing with a Low […]

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Celebrating the best of Accepted in 2014What admissions issues were keeping you up at night? Here are the five articles and posts that you were most interested in this past year.

1. Harvard Business School 2015 MBA Essay Tips and Deadlines

2. Boost Your GPA for Medical School Acceptance

3. Writing Your Graduate Statement of Purpose or Personal Statement

4. Dealing with a Low MCAT or GPA

5. MBA Admissions: Low GMAT or GPA

Conclusion: You’re aiming for Harvard, but worried about low stats. And you’re writing your application essay.

However, Accepted’s most visited pages aren’t even articles. They are sample essays.

Those Sweet Sample Essays

1. Most popular medical school AMCAS essay: The Story

2. Most popular sample college personal statement: While the World Sleeps

3. Most popular sample grad statement of purpose: MPH Essay

4. Most popular sample law school personal statement: Change

5. Most popular sample MBA essay: Goals Essay

Speaking of goals, I wanted to grow Admissions Straight Talk, Accepted’s podcast, this year. Thanks to you, my listeners, and to the wonderful guests whom I’ve been privileged to talk to, it has busted through every goal I had for it. Thank you for listening! And thanks to the remarkable guests who did most of the talking.

The Most Popular Podcasts in 2014

1. GMAT, GRE, SAT, and All Things Test Prep with Magoosh’s CEO and founder, Bhavin Parikh.

2. Waitlisted! What Now? in which I discuss what to do when waitlisted.

3. Is a Ph.D. a Good Idea? with Dr. Karen Kelsky of The Professor is In.

4. The Stanford MSx Program for Experienced Leaders with program director, Mike Hochleutner.

5. What You Need to Know About Post-bac Programs with Dr. Barry Rothman, medical post-bac expert extraordinaire.

6. A bonus: How to Become a Management Consultant with Michael Boricki, currently Managing Partner of Firmsconsulting.

The Greatest Free Admissions Guides of 2014

1. Medical School Secondary Essay Handbook

2. Best MBA Programs: A Guide to Selecting the Right One

3. Top MBA Program Essay Questions: How to Answer Them Right!

4. 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your Med School Essays

5 . 5 Fatal Flaws to Avoid in Your College Application

Now that I’ve revealed your favorites, I’ll tell you a few of mine as I review 2014 and prepare for 2015:

5. The increasing dialogue taking place on this blog. I’m particularly appreciative that the conversation is civil, cordial, and collaborative.

4. The guests who have contributed to this blog, Admissions Straight Talk, and our webinars. What wonderful people have taken the time to share their insights and experience with us all!

3. The people behind the scenes who make this site and this company work: Rachel, Miriam, Sara, Michal, Yael, Sarah, and Lisa.

2. Accepted’s consultants, who generously share their admissions savvy on this site and tirelessly and expertly guide Accepted’s clients.

1. You – our clients, readers, fans, listeners, video viewers, participants, questioners, and commenters. In short, the Accepted community.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2015.

A year filled with “Yes! I’m in!”

Subscribe to Our Blog!

Linda AbrahamBy Linda Abraham, president and founder of Accepted.com and co-author of the definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools.

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Boost Your Chances of Getting In To Med School with PSOMER http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/30/boost-your-chances-of-getting-in-to-med-school-with-psomer/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/30/boost-your-chances-of-getting-in-to-med-school-with-psomer/#respond Tue, 30 Dec 2014 16:35:05 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27871 Are you looking for a way to boost your med school application profile? Seeking new ways to increase your chances of GETTING IN? Check out University of Chicago/Pritzker Medical School’s new PSOMER program, an eight-week on-campus research, education, and mentoring experience for rising college seniors or rising postbac students, focusing on basic science and clinical […]

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Research experience is critical for all premed students

Topics covered include medical & research ethics, statistics, and research tools.

Are you looking for a way to boost your med school application profile? Seeking new ways to increase your chances of GETTING IN? Check out University of Chicago/Pritzker Medical School’s new PSOMER program, an eight-week on-campus research, education, and mentoring experience for rising college seniors or rising postbac students, focusing on basic science and clinical research.

Here are some details about PSOMER:

• Applicants must be U.S. citizens/permanent residents.

• The program is ideal for students from disadvantaged or underrepresented backgrounds in the health/medicine field.

• Housing is provided along with a partial meal subsidy.

• There is a mandatory research presentation forum at the end of the summer.

• Topics covered in weekly “cluster groups” include health care disparities, medical and research ethics, statistics, and research tools.

• Pritzker Medical School students and staff will provide mentorship and guidance to the PSOMER students.

• A $3,200 stipend will be provided to participants.

Important Dates

• Application Deadline: Friday, January 30, 2015, 11:59 PM CST

• Program Dates: Monday, June 15, 2015 – Friday, August 7, 2015

See the Pritzker Medical School site for more details.

Getting into med school is getting more and more competitive each year. Are YOU ready to sharpen your competitive edge and beat the other highly qualified applicants? Do you need help boosting your med school profile and constructing a winning application? Please be in touch – we’d love to help!

View our catalog of medical school application services

Accepted.com: The Premier Admissions Consultancy

Related Resources:

• A Second Chance at Medical School: The A-Z of Applying to Postbac Programs
• Applying to Medical School with Low Stats: What You Need to Know
• To Research or Not to Research is Thy Pre-Med Question 

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Why Not Start the Medical School Admissions Process Now… http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/29/why-not-start-the-medical-school-admissions-process-now/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/29/why-not-start-the-medical-school-admissions-process-now/#respond Mon, 29 Dec 2014 18:02:32 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27776 …when you have the time to get it right? In our Get Accepted to Medical School in 2016 webinar, which aired live two weeks ago, admissions expert Alicia McNease Nimonkar paved the road to med school application success by sharing tried-and-true advice on how and why you should begin the 2016 med school admission process […]

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…when you have the time to get it right? In our Get Accepted to Medical School in 2016 webinar, which aired live two weeks ago, admissions expert Alicia McNease Nimonkar paved the road to med school application success by sharing tried-and-true advice on how and why you should begin the 2016 med school admission process early. And when we say early, we mean NOW!

Click here to learn how to get into med school in 2016!

Missed the webinar? No problem! Take a look at the recording of Get Accepted to Medical School in 2016 for much-needed advice on jump-starting your med school journey today!

Click here to view the webinar!

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Happy Holidays from Accepted! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/24/happy-holidays-from-accepted/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/24/happy-holidays-from-accepted/#respond Wed, 24 Dec 2014 17:03:08 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27742 Tags: Admissions Consulting, College Admissions, Grad School Admissions, Law School Admissions, MBA Admissions, Medical School Admissions

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A happy holidays message from Linda Abraham, president of Accepted

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What Med School Applicants Need to Know About Residency Match http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/23/what-med-school-applicants-need-to-know-about-residency-match/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/23/what-med-school-applicants-need-to-know-about-residency-match/#respond Tue, 23 Dec 2014 17:14:46 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27672 This fall, a record number of students began medical school, while a record number of medical students failed to match into a specialty. With more medical students vying for residency positions, many students are facing the possibility of not matching into their chosen specialty. A basic understanding of The Match—and its risks—is important for anyone […]

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Applicants and 1st Year Positions in The Match, 1952 - 2013

Applicants and 1st Year Positions in The Match, 1952 – 2013 via NRMP Results and Data 2013.

This fall, a record number of students began medical school, while a record number of medical students failed to match into a specialty. With more medical students vying for residency positions, many students are facing the possibility of not matching into their chosen specialty. A basic understanding of The Match—and its risks—is important for anyone going into medical school.

The residency match program began in 1952 as a way to provide a single clearinghouse for medical residency positions. Using an algorithm, the match program allows candidates and programs to rank each other, then attempts to match applicants to their highest ranked programs, while also working to fill every position. The first match included 6,000 applicants and 10,400 positions. In 2013, 40,335 applicants applied for 26,392 PGY-1 positions. Of these applicants, 17,487 were US Allopathic students (1). The rest of the applicants are osteopathic students and international students, both US and non-US residents.

In 2006, the Association of American Medical Colleges began approving new medical schools across the country, adding seventeen new schools with seven more coming in the near future. These new schools, and expansion of class sizes at other schools, has led to a 30% increase in enrollment since 2006 (2). While the AAMC has been increasing medical school numbers, the residency positions have not increased.  Unlike medical student spots, residency positions are controlled both by available funding and approval by private organizations, called Residency Review Committees (RRCs). Residency positions are approved by RRCs for each specialty, and the vast majority are funded by Medicare funding through Direct Medical Education (DME) payments (3). Since 1996, medicare funding for residencies has remained frozen, preventing any viable expansion of residency positions, since it costs approximately $145,000 a year to train a new resident (4). Although some hospitals have begun funding their own residency positions, this is a difficult and expensive proposition for most organizations.

So what does this mean for students currently entering medical school? Although the vast majority of US allopathic medical students will still match, roughly 500 each year will find themselves unmatched. In 2013, 17,487 US allopathic students matched at a rate of 93.7%, so the odds are still on your side. The growing competition from international medical students, osteopathic students, and US students who train overseas, along with a growing allopathic class size, means more students will find themselves unmatched each year. Until more residency positions are made available, the most important take away is that students must become increasingly competitive to secure their chosen specialty.

(1)  “Results and Data; 2013 Main Residency Match.” NRMP. 1 Jan. 2013. Web. 23 Nov. 2014
(2)  Doctor Shortage May Swell to 130,000 With Cap
(3) Nicholson, Sean. “Barriers to Entering Medical Specialties.” NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH 1 Jan. 2003. Web. 23 Nov. 2014.
(4) Innovative funding opens new residency slots

Are you misusing the med school rankings? Click here to find out!

By Evan Kuhl, a fourth-year medical student wanting to match in emergency medicine. Evan is interested in the intersection of sports and medicine, and is an avid cyclist. His website, www.evankuhl.com, includes helpful tips for pre-med and current medical students.

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Related Resources:

Med School Rankings and Numbers: What You Must Know
Medical School Application Strategy: MD vs. DO Programs
Is My Profile Competitive?

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Your Holiday Gift Awaits! http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/23/your-holiday-gift-awaits/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/23/your-holiday-gift-awaits/#respond Tue, 23 Dec 2014 15:53:19 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27674 We’d like to wish you a joyous holiday season by offering you a gift – a free copy of The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes, a guide that will teach you how to create a stand-out resume that will help you get accepted! In The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes, you’ll learn important tips and […]

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Get your free admissions gift!

Grab your holiday gift!

We’d like to wish you a joyous holiday season by offering you a gift – a free copy of The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes, a guide that will teach you how to create a stand-out resume that will help you get accepted! In The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes, you’ll learn important tips and tricks for marketing yourself in your resume – putting your most impressive experiences and qualifications front and center so that when the adcoms take that initial glance at your resume, they’ll want to immediately read on to learn more about who you are and what you’ll contribute to their next class.

Get your free resume admissions guide!

Grab your gift of The Quick Guide to Admissions Resumes now and have a very happy holiday!

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Meet Amanda: A Balanced Brunette Passionate about Hands-On Care http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/22/meet-amanda-a-balanced-brunette-passionate-about-hands-on-care/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/22/meet-amanda-a-balanced-brunette-passionate-about-hands-on-care/#respond Mon, 22 Dec 2014 16:39:40 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27659 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 Amanda Miarecki… Accepted: We’d like to get to know you! Where are you from? Where and what did you study as […]

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Click here to read more med applicant 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 Amanda Miarecki…

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 non-school book?

Amanda: Hello! I am originally from Michigan but currently living in Boulder, Colorado. I studied at Michigan State University and graduated with a degree in Political Science – Pre-Law. I actually moved to Boulder to attend University of Colorado Law School. My dream job was working abroad with an organization like Amnesty International or UNICEF supporting human rights legislation.

After spending some time working wilderness medicine in the Rockies, I fell in love. I immediately scrapped my plans for Law School and started taking pre-med courses. My love for medicine was further solidified after I spent time abroad in Cambodia on a medical mission trip in 2012 (where I got to deliver a baby!). I traveled abroad again to Thailand in 2013 as a medical supervisor for a gap year program. Both of these experiences made me realize my passion was truly hands-on care. I love medicine, I love people, and I love travel. My dream had evolved into working as a Global Health Physician.

My absolute favorite non-school book is Eat, Pray, Love. I think the story is a fantastic combination of travel, personal growth, and following your dreams (certainly something I can relate to).

Accepted: Can you tell us about your website/company? When did you start Toned & Fit Balanced Brunette? What was your motivation behind starting it? What services do you offer?

Amanda: I officially launched Balanced Brunette (formerly Toned & Fit) in 2012. I had been posting my favorite new foods and workouts on my personal Facebook page and my friends kept asking for my recipes and tips. After answering the same questions multiple times I decided to store all that information in one place and Balanced Brunette was born. Shortly after, I had an opportunity to get a Health Coach certification and I took it. I felt like it was the perfect complement to my new healthy lifestyle and would benefit me as a doctor later on. We all know nutritional counseling and education is lacking in a doctor’s training and I want to be as well-rounded as possible.

My blog offers free articles and advice for women. I also offer personalized coaching for women with more specific health goals. I focus on overall health and wellness. I don’t promote macro counting, calorie counting, or any other method of food tracking. Counting can very quickly lead to eating disorders in women and I truly want every woman to be as healthy and happy as possible! It’s all about balance. I focus exclusively on clean eating (80/20 split), portion control, and enjoying treats in moderation. (I have a serious froyo addiction.)

Accepted: How has this experience led you to want to go to med school?

Amanda: All of my experiences over the past 4 years since graduating from MSU have shaped my decision to go to medical school. Health Coaching and providing nutritional advice through Balanced Brunette is how I plan to round out my medical education. Doctors are really great at diagnosing disease but don’t normally get formal training in nutrition. I was lucky enough to acquire that training and I want to put it to use.

Helping women is also something that is consistent across all aspects of my life. My blog is tailored towards women and I find myself drawn towards women’s health professionally. Through my blog, many women approach me with personal health related questions. I want the credentials to be able to answer their questions instead of responding with “Please ask your doctor.”

Accepted: What stage of the application process are you up to so far?

Amanda: In January, I will be starting my Masters in Public Health. That will take me through 2015 and into the 2016 medical school fall admissions. Because the MCAT is changing in January 2015, I must wait until 2016 to enroll (which was a factor in my decision to “fill my time” with my MPH). I am tying up loose ends with a few remaining prerequisites, focusing on rounding out my education with my MPH, studying for the new MCAT, and beginning my medical school applications.

Accepted: What has been the most challenging aspect of med school admissions so far? What steps have you taken to overcome that challenge? What advice can you share with others who are experiencing the same obstacles?

Amanda: The most challenging part of admissions is keeping track of each program, what types of prerequisites each requires, and when their deadlines are. I highly recommend making an Excel spreadsheet in order to track programs and requirements.

Regarding the new MCAT, I really don’t know what to expect! I have been using the brand new Kaplan 2015 MCAT study material which includes the test prep books (all 7!) and the MCAT flashcards + app. I am excited that the MCAT is changing. The new MCAT seems well rounded and applicable to what medical students are actually learning in school.

I am also very invested in my lifestyle. While medical school will certainly keep me busy, I am determined to stay active in my free time. My top choice is the University of Washington. The program is fantastic and the geographic location offers mountains and ocean, which is very important to me. Definitely choose a place that offers a lifestyle you want.

Accepted: Can you tell us about your experience as a medical assistant? How do you think these experiences will help you along the way as you apply to med school and eventually become a physician?

Amanda: I have been working in health care (in multiple capacities) since 2011. I started in Wilderness Medicine as a WFR (wilderness first responder). Rural or emergency medicine is definitely an adrenaline rush. You have to be able to think and act quickly. I moved into a hospital setting to experience another side of health care. I spent about a year in an outpatient lab. Never underestimate the lab! I learned so much about disease, laboratory tests, chemistry, hematology, cytology, and pathology. I am also an expert phlebotomist, which has been extremely useful as I progress through my professional life.

After the lab, I started at a Women’s Clinic (my absolute favorite!) and, after about 7 months there, moved on to Planned Parenthood. These two experiences really shaped who I think I will be as a provider. I have no problem discussing very personal or sensitive issues with patients. I learned how to remove personal bias and really focus on patient care. One of the top complaints I see from medical students is being uncomfortable taking a sexual history on a patient. My experiences will ensure I won’t be uncomfortable when it comes to clinicals in medical school.

I left Planned Parenthood to join two physicians who were starting a private primary care practice. I was able to set up the clinic from scratch. Everything from ordering initial supplies, to stocking rooms, to developing protocol and procedure guidelines, training new medical assistants, and setting the standard for the practice. This was an invaluable experience and I am grateful I was part of the start up. The only downfall was that I was more in a manager/administrative position as opposed to patient care. I recently left the practice to re-join the hospital in the ICU. I could not be more excited for the next chapter of my professional life.

Real-world experience is crucial for medical students. In a world where everyone can get good grades and pass a test, you absolutely must set yourself apart. Volunteer, shadow a physician, go on a medical mission trip, or get yourself certified as a paramedic. These experiences will ensure you have an amazing admissions essay that is guaranteed to draw attention.

Accepted: Can you share your top 3 clean eating tips with us?

Amanda: My top 3 clean eating tips

1.  Eat 5-6 smaller meals per day. Smaller meals are great because you can really focus on proper serving sizes. They also ensure stable glucose levels throughout the day and keep your metabolism fired up!

2.  Drink 2-3 liters of water per day. The average person walks around mildly dehydrated which can cause fatigue, dry skin, sluggish muscles, and food cravings. Not into plain water? Try NUUN tablets, coconut water, fruit infused water, or Mio Liquid Enhancer.

3.  Increase your protein! Many women are falling painfully short of this important macronutrient. Research has proven that high protein diets increase weight loss and lean muscle building. Incorporate lean meats, legumes, beans, quinoa, fish, eggs, and dairy into each meal. I personally snack on turkey jerky, hard-boiled eggs, steamed edamame, and (if I’m super busy) a quick chocolate protein shake. (Try this amazing Coconut Mocha Protein Shake.)

For one-on-one guidance on your med school applications, please see our catalog of med school admissions services.

You can read more about Amanda’s journey by checking out her blog, Balanced Brunette. Thank you Amanda for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school story with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.

Learn how you can get accepted to med school even with a low MCAT or GPA!
Accepted.com: The Premier Admissions Consultancy

Related Resources:

Med School Rankings & Numbers: What You MUST Know, a free guide
Where Should I Apply to Medical School?
Med School Application Process: AMCAS, Secondaries, Interviews, Decisions & More! 

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How the Adcom Views Multiple MCAT Scores http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/21/how-the-adcom-views-multiple-mcat-scores/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/21/how-the-adcom-views-multiple-mcat-scores/#respond Sun, 21 Dec 2014 17:17:55 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27644 In 2007, the MCAT was first offered electronically.  Prior to this technological shift, the MCAT was only offered a limited number of times a year—as a paper and pencil exam.  There was also a restriction placed on the number of times you could take the exam in one year as well as in your lifetime. […]

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Should you retake the new MCAT?

What really happens with multiple MCAT scores?

In 2007, the MCAT was first offered electronically.  Prior to this technological shift, the MCAT was only offered a limited number of times a year—as a paper and pencil exam.  There was also a restriction placed on the number of times you could take the exam in one year as well as in your lifetime.  Now that the MCAT is offered 37 times, just this year alone, and there is no limit placed on the number of times that you can take the exam in a calendar year or in your lifetime (Oh, joy!), many students take the exam more than once before applying to medical school.

Multiple MCAT Scores! Oh My!

The way that these scores are viewed by adcoms can cause a lot of anxiety, depending on the combination of scores that you have.  Some adcoms prefer to look at your best scores in each section from multiple tests while other schools consider the average of all of your scores.  There are many forums and discussion threads that attempt to identify the schools that rely on each method.  However, adcom members may each have a personal preference for how they rank scores and applicants.  It’s impossible to predict how any one school will view your scores when there are so many different people involved in the review process.  Each committee member will bring his or her unique perspective and opinion to the discussion.

MCAT Average Correlates with Step 1 Score

In an article published in 2010 in Academic Medicine on the “Validity of Four Approaches of Using Repeaters’ MCAT Scores in Medical School Admissions to Predict USMLE Step 1 Total Scores,” the authors encourage adcoms to use the average of the students’ scores because they found that these numbers correspond most closely to the scores students will earn on the USMLE Step 1.

In April 2015, the new MCAT will be introduced. Researchers will need to conduct new studies to examine how students’ scores on the new exam will compare to their performance on Step 1.  If you are applying with scores you’ve received before April 2015, it would be safe, based on the research available, to use the average of your scores to help determine how they will impact your application.

What Really Happens with Multiple MCAT Scores

That being said, based on my experience serving on selection committees, I noted the following trends in our discussion of MCAT scores:

  • The most recent score carried the most weight.
  • As long as there was an increasing trend in the test scores, previous scores—even if they were low—did not hurt an applicant’s chances of acceptance (as long as all other parts of the application were strong).
  • When there was high variability within the scores, the highest score for each section was considered and the average was calculated.

Overall, it demonstrated determination to see that a student had taken the MCAT more than once—this helped applicants especially when they improved their scores each time they took the exam.

Multiple MCATS: Demonstrating Determination

Taking the MCAT more than once will not necessarily hurt your application—unless you receive a lower score than your previous exam(s).  One of my favorite medical students, David, had taken the MCAT six times and completed three or four different postbac programs before he got into medical school.  He was—by far—the most popular mentor for our postbac students because he had the best sense of humor and sense of perspective.  In taking the MCAT multiple times and improving his score, overall, he demonstrated his determination to succeed.  He was able to convince adcoms that there was no other career for him.  While I don’t advocate taking the MCAT six times, I do recommend that you learn from each practice exam and test you take and that you use that knowledge to improve.  Create a strategy that will not only help you get into medical school, but one that will help you in medical school and in your career.

Learn great advice on all things MCAT!

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:

The New MCAT: What’s Hype and What’s Real
MCAT Scores, MCAT Prep and MCAT2015
Medical School Admissions: Is My Profile Competitive?

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5 Tips For Aspiring Pre-Med Researchers http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/18/5-tips-for-aspiring-pre-med-researchers-2/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/18/5-tips-for-aspiring-pre-med-researchers-2/#respond Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:51:52 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27538 Gaining research experience won’t just make you a more competitive medical school applicant—it’ll also help you sharpen your critical thinking skills, and give you training you’ll draw on as a medical school student and physician. How can you find the right research opportunity for you? 1.  Start early. Ideally, it would be great to have […]

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The importance of research experience according to one med student.

Gaining research experience will make you a more competitive applicant

Gaining research experience won’t just make you a more competitive medical school applicant—it’ll also help you sharpen your critical thinking skills, and give you training you’ll draw on as a medical school student and physician.

How can you find the right research opportunity for you?

1.  Start early. Ideally, it would be great to have 1-2 years of research experience under your belt before you apply—so the earlier in your undergrad career you identify promising opportunities, the better.

2.  Find an area that interests you. For example, if you’re more interested in Psychology or Anthropology than you are in Chemistry, look into the possibility of assisting a professor in one of those fields.

3.  Make contact with professors to see if they need research assistants/laboratory volunteers. If your university has a research office or a central list of undergraduate research opportunities, check there first. If the system is less formal, do some research into professors’ current work (through department websites, professors’ CVs, etc). Then make contact via email and ask if you can speak to them about the possibility of volunteering in their lab. Let them know what background you have in the field (especially any prior research experience).  If they don’t need research assistants at the moment, don’t be discouraged- talk to someone else.

4.Think about doing a thesis. Depending on where you’re studying (and what field), this might allow you to design your own experiment.

5.  Consider summer research opportunities. AAMC provides a good listing here.

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 medical school, residency, graduate school and Ph.D. programs. She is happy to assist you with your applications.

Download your free special report: Navigate the Med School Maze!

Related Resources:

How Important is Research for a Pre-Med
Get Accepted to Medical School in 2015
Clinical Information Managers: An Interview with Kathleen Gregg Window

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7 Must-Do’s After You Get Your Med School Interview Invite http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/17/7-must-dos-after-you-get-your-med-school-interview-invite/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/17/7-must-dos-after-you-get-your-med-school-interview-invite/#respond Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:04:17 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27572 Congratulations! You have been identified as one of the most promising applicants for medical school this application cycle. Follow these seven steps to ensure that you will ace your interview and receive an acceptance: • Celebrate! While you may be nervous about embarking on the next step in your journey, don’t forget to celebrate each small […]

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Learn how to use medical school rankings to choose the best med school for YOU.

Exercise has been proven to increase mental acuity—this will help you stay sharp and focused on your goal!

Congratulations! You have been identified as one of the most promising applicants for medical school this application cycle. Follow these seven steps to ensure that you will ace your interview and receive an acceptance:

• Celebrate!

While you may be nervous about embarking on the next step in your journey, don’t forget to celebrate each small victory along the way.  Take some time to fully acknowledge all of the people and effort that have contributed to your success.  Share the good news and express your gratitude!  

•  Stay Active

To ensure that you will be in the most positive frame of mind, work out at least three times a week. Staying physically active will allow you to burn off all that nervous energy and help you to regain your focus while increasing your endorphins.  The closer it gets to the interview, work out more frequently but not to the point of injury.  Exercise has been proven to increase mental acuity—this will help you stay sharp and focused on your goal!

•  Review your AMCAS application

The most important thing you can do to prepare for an interview is to review your AMCAS application every day leading up to the interview as well as the secondary essays you submitted to the school. Reminding yourself of all of your experiences will make it easier for you to answer specific questions about them and to provide an overall timeline of what you have done to prepare for medical school.

•  Update your CV/Resume

Arriving at your interview with copies of your updated CV/Resume and reviewing it on the way will help you appear organized and focused.  If it’s a traditional interview, it may guide the direction of your conversation.  Use it as an opportunity to update the interviewer on what you have been doing since you submitted your application.

•  Research the School

Take some time to read the school’s website.  If you have friends or family attending the school, contact them to ask questions about what they do and don’t like about studying there.  You should prepare at least three questions for your interviewer(s) that demonstrate your knowledge of their curriculum, special programs and volunteer opportunities in the community.

•  Prepare with Mock Interviews

Whether it’s a traditional interview or a MMI (mini multiple interviews), mock interviews are the best way to prepare yourself for the actual interview day.   Running through all possible questions and scenarios can help you formulate the strategies that will earn you the most points!  Take the time to practice. Mocks will not only ease your mind but give you an edge!

•  Test Drive your Interview Outfit

While that suit or outfit may look fabulous on the hanger, you won’t know until you try it on whether the buttons are loose or if it would benefit from a visit to the tailor.  Wear the outfit you’re planning on using for the interview for a few hours and see it is comfortable and professional enough for the interview.  You don’t want to have any wardrobe malfunctions when you’re traveling and unable to find a replacement.  It wouldn’t hurt to bring a couple of back-up outfits, just in case.

Having helped students successfully prepare for medical school interviews for almost a decade, I hope that the tips that I have shared will lead to a wonderful experience and that you will be offered an acceptance.  Most importantly, be yourself.  And answer the questions honestly and thoughtfully.  Good luck!

Multiple Mini Interview Webinar

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:

The Ultimate Guide To Medical School Interview Success
Interviewing with Impact: How to Make an Impression In Your Medical School Interviews
Common Myths About Medical School Interviews

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So Your MCAT Score Is Not Perfect… http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/16/so-your-mcat-scores-not-perfect/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/16/so-your-mcat-scores-not-perfect/#respond Tue, 16 Dec 2014 18:08:24 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27399 …that doesn’t mean that you can’t get into med school! Medical school admissions boards are looking for well-rounded students, and while high stats are certainly important, it IS possible to highlight some of your other super strengths and still get accepted. There are also other routes you can take (DO programs, international programs, taking additional […]

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You can get accepted to med school low stats!…that doesn’t mean that you can’t get into med school! Medical school admissions boards are looking for well-rounded students, and while high stats are certainly important, it IS possible to highlight some of your other super strengths and still get accepted. There are also other routes you can take (DO programs, international programs, taking additional courses, etc.) that will do wonders to your profile if you find yourself in a situation with less-than-perfect stats.

What can you do NOW to increase your chances of getting in? Read up on essential tips and information in our new admissions guide, Applying to Medical School with Low Stats: What You Need to Know. This 16-page report will become your trusted companion as you make the journey towards med school acceptance.

Don’t let your low MCAT or GPA get you down! Download Applying to Medical School with Low Stats: What You Need to Know to get started on your admissions adventure today!

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Meet Toni: An Optimistic, Realistic Pre-Med with a Solid Plan B http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/15/meet-toni-an-optimistic-realistic-pre-med-with-a-solid-plan-b/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/15/meet-toni-an-optimistic-realistic-pre-med-with-a-solid-plan-b/#respond Mon, 15 Dec 2014 17:02:17 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27504 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 Toni J.… Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you […]

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Read more interviews with med applicant bloggers!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 Toni J.…

Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? If you’re not currently in school, how are you spending your time?

Toni: I am a first-generation American. My parents migrated from Jamaica, West Indies. I am from Queens, NY. I attended CUNY Brooklyn College, where I received a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry. My journey is a bit untraditional. I’ve worked in allied healthcare since I was seventeen years old (pediatric, geriatric and rehabilitation). I wasn’t born wanting to become a physician. It was my patient interactions that motivated and inspired me. Having just graduated and in a gap year, I decided to seek meaningful employment that would allow me to learn and grow professionally. Having no prior experience with dermatology and blessed with the opportunity of working with some of the top cosmetic dermatologist in the world, I knew that this would be a great introduction to the dermatological specialty.

Accepted: What stage of the med school application process are you up to? What has been the most challenging step and how did you work to overcome it?

Toni: I have filled out/sent in my primary AMCAS application and received/sent in my secondary applications. I received two rejections, a hold and I am currently in review at five other medical schools. The most challenging part is being patient. It takes so much, for me not to check my e-mail repeatedly throughout the day, in hopes it’s an interview invitation from the remaining schools. I haven’t been able to rid myself completely of the anxiety associated with waiting, but I have calmed myself by devising a plan B. A post bacc program that would allow me to be more competitive and strengthen my chances of medical school acceptance.

Accepted: You describe yourself as a “nontraditional” med school applicant. Can you elaborate? Can you tell us more about your postbac plan? What sort of advantage do you think this will give you long-term?

Toni: I am a “nontraditional” med school applicant in the sense that I wasn’t prepared to hit the ground running after graduating high school. I was a late bloomer in many respects, emotionally and academically. This in conjunction with a physically demanding job was a recipe for disaster. I divulge quite a bit, about this, in my verified post on my blog.

I applied and was accepted to one college my senior year of HS, CUNY College of Staten Island. The distance proved to be the biggest hindrance, spending four hours commuting (two hours to and from work, home and school) left little time for studying and sleeping (FYI: the reason I transferred to Brooklyn College).

Having gone through that experience, I encourage those, who are in similar shoes, to take some time to evaluate their situation. With honest self-introspection, I believe anyone can prevent making the same mistakes in the future.

After seeking guidance from my mentors (professors, premed advisors, club mates and medical school faculty) and after careful thought, I made the decision to attend a post-baccalaureate program, if I am not able to get into medical school on my first attempt. Post-baccalaureate programs will not only strengthen me academically, it will strengthen me professionally thus make me a competitive applicant.

Accepted: It looks like you offer some good advice for underrepresented minority applicants. Can you share some of your advice here with our readers?

Toni: Being an underrepresented minority, I found getting accurate information, tailored to my specific needs somewhat challenging. My college premed department had limited information regarding the opportunities available to underrepresented minorities. Most of the information I know and provide on my blog, I learned through my own research and through the Minority association of pre-health students (MAPS), my college club (affiliated with the Student National Medical Association – SNMA).

I advise students to join a pre-heath club, devoted to the mission of increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in medicine, because I believe that this will make all the difference in the strategy used to construct a competitive medical school application.

Accepted: Why did you decide to blog about your experience? What have you gained from the experience? What do you hope others will learn?

Toni: Helping people, whether it be assisting patients, tutoring underclassmen or even by providing useful information I learned along the way (will hopefully prevent others from making the mistakes I’ve made) is quite emotionally rewarding. Blogging allows for a cathartic release, a form of therapy in many respects, that gives my past mistakes purpose.

For one-on-one guidance on your med school applications, please see our catalog of med school admissions services.

You can read more about Toni’s journey by checking out her blog, KeepCalmGoToMedicalSchool. Thank you for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school story with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.

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Related Resources:

The Definitive Guide to Pre-Medical Post Baccalaureate Programs
Medical School Admissions Tips for Non-Traditional Applicants
How To Write the Statement of Disadvantage

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Not So Secret Secrets to Nailing the Medical School Interview http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/12/not-so-secret-secrets-to-nailing-the-medical-school-interview/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/12/not-so-secret-secrets-to-nailing-the-medical-school-interview/#respond Fri, 12 Dec 2014 16:08:00 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=25930 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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More med school interview advice.

Sorry, there are no magic tricks to interviewing and getting accepted to 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! 

Right now, every week, there are a slew of fresh faces coming to interview for a coveted spot at our medical school. They come mostly from Tennessee; many have done undergraduate work all over the country, had previous careers, and are very impressive on paper, but they all share one thing in common: a feeling expressed on their faces that hints at sheer excitement and terror mixed evenly. Interviewing for medical school is one of the most exciting things someone can do; the hours have been poured into taking classes, studying for the MCAT, writing the lengthy application, shadowing in hospitals, researching in labs, and often times neglecting personal life to become one of the few to don the white coat as a student doctor.

There are a few things that I feel should be said to students getting ready to interview for medical school. Just a year ago, I was in those nervous, excited shoes and suit, and I’m incredibly thankful for the mentors that guided me in the following ways:

1. Practice. Hours are spent practicing for the MCAT, why not practice for the one thing that could make or break an acceptance into one of the extremely competitive seats of a med school? Each undergraduate school has a career development center that is well versed in preparing students for professional interviews, both academically and industry-oriented. I always recommend setting up a practice interview with a career counselor, and gaining invaluable feedback on some personal quirks that aren’t always apparent to ourselves. A fault of mine is that I have unfaltering eye contact with a big, forward personality to match, and this is sometimes mistaken as aggressive and commanding to people. This was pointed out to me in a practice interview I scheduled, and I was guided on how to lighten up my intensity to let the more communicative, and expressive parts of me come across more clearly. A good way to practice answering interview questions and getting solid feedback is to work through Dr. Jessica Freedman’s, “The Medical School Interview” with friends and family. It’s a quick read and I found it helpful to hear my parents’ perspective with tidbits they thought would be important in telling my story while answering interview questions.

2. Read up! I’m baffled sometimes when I give a tour to interviewees, and some have very basic questions that are easily accessibly on our website. The ones I know have invested time into reading about our school already understand the mission of the school, and want to know more in-depth things like what the student life is like, what things there are to do in the area, how accessible and helpful faculty are, and they essentially are interviewing me to see if my little corner of the world is somewhere they can see themselves fitting well in. It’s absolutely ok, and I encourage interviewees to treat the interview day like a two-way interview. When I was in the hot seat, I asked so many questions about why my interviewers chose that school, why they like the area, and the pros and cons of that school. You’re the one that has to spend the next four years with your hands at the grindstone, so you should absolutely be invested in choosing a school that YOU see yourself at, not just one that offers you a seat. This is YOUR education, and I am a firm believer that you should take control and command of it, starting with the school you want!

3. Don’t try and impress anyone. What I mean by this is that everyone already knows about everything you’ve ever done, because those things should have been well articulated in your application and secondaries. When we invite students for an interview, we’ve already thoroughly screened them, scrutinized their credentials, and know they are qualified to succeed in the rigorous medical education. The interview isn’t to test academic prowess, but it’s so we can meet the person we’ve been reading about, are excited about, and see if we like each other. Come to your medical school interview prepared to show everyone the person you’ve written about in your application! We already know about your awards and what everyone else to say about you in your recommendation letters, and now we just want to spend some time and see if we’re a fit for you, and you for us. Be yourself. Be yourself. BE YOURSELF! Interview day is a lot of pressure, but it’s the most enjoyable and exciting part of this whole process, in my opinion.

Having just gone through the rigors of applying and getting accepted to medical school a year ago, all I can say is that you should be extremely proud of the obstacles you’ve overcome to reach this momentous achievement. There are no magic tricks or secrets to interviewing and getting accepted to medical school; however, being an honest person with the integrity that I hope you wrote about in your application, and showing that person to us as a medical school and student body is a fast-track to an instant acceptance. The people we end up accepting are the people that I want to spend the next four years with, through the good and the bad, and they with us. The person I’m willing to go out of the way for and write an email to the admissions committee is the person that would do the same for me, and is also someone I’d want to have a beer with next year. So, in your interview, show them that person.

Good luck!

Click here to download your complete copy of The Ultimate Guide to Medical School Interview Success!

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Related Resources:

Interviewing with Impact: How to Make an Impression in Your Medical School Interviews
Multiple Mini Interviews: Method or Madness?
Common Myths About Medical School Interviews

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Application Timing: When Should You Submit? http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/11/application-timing-when-should-you-submit/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/11/application-timing-when-should-you-submit/#respond Thu, 11 Dec 2014 19:51:59 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27444 Timing. Timing. Who’s got the best timing? Applicants frequently stress over when to submit,  wondering if when they apply will affect the outcome. They lose sleep with questions like: When is the best time to apply? When do I have the greatest chance of getting accepted? The answer is surprisingly simple. Listen to this episode for […]

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Listen to the show!

Timing. Timing. Who’s got the best timing? Applicants frequently stress over when to submit,  wondering if when they apply will affect the outcome. They lose sleep with questions like: When is the best time to apply? When do I have the greatest chance of getting accepted? The answer is surprisingly simple.

Listen to this episode for Linda Abraham’s important advice on timing your application to enhance your chances of acceptance.

00:01:56 – The simple answer to when you should apply.

00:03:45 – When should an MBA applicant apply Round 3?

00:06:09 – The best time for 2016 MBA applicants to take the GMAT.

00:06:52 – MBA applicant with a military background, high GPA but low quant score. When should he apply?

00:09:21 – Medical school applicants – the importance of being early!

00:09:50 – Thinking of applying late? Think of the game of musical chairs.

00:10:25 – Rushing to take the MCAT? Submitting your application before it’s ready? Think again!

00:11:13 – The ideal time table for submitting your AMCAS application.

00:12:40 – The advantages of starting your AMCAS personal statement this winter break.

00:14:18 – Linda’s rule of timing when applying to grad school.

Listen to the full conversation to learn more!*Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com.

Related Links:

•  MBA Application Timing
•  MBA Round 1 Timeline
•  Medical School Admissions: Why Applying in June is Critical
•  Can You Submit Your AMCAS Application BEFORE Retaking the MCAT?
Applying to Medical School Late in the Application Cycle

Related Shows:

Waitlisted! What Now?
How to Edit Your Application Essays
MBA Admissions According to an Expert
Med School Application Process: AMCAS, Secondaries, Interviews, Decisions & More!

Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:

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

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http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/11/application-timing-when-should-you-submit/feed/ 0 Timing. Timing. Who’s got the best timing? Applicants frequently stress over when to submit,  wondering if when they apply will affect the outcome. They lose sleep with questions like: When is the best time to apply? Timing. Timing. Who’s got the best timing? Applicants frequently stress over when to submit,  wondering if when they apply will affect the outcome. They lose sleep with questions like: When is the best time to apply? When do I have the greatest chance of getting accepted? The answer is surprisingly simple. Listen to this episode for Linda Abraham's important advice on timing your application to enhance your chances of acceptance. 00:01:56 - The simple answer to when you should apply. 00:03:45 - When should an MBA applicant apply Round 3? 00:06:09 - The best time for 2016 MBA applicants to take the GMAT. 00:06:52 - MBA applicant with a military background, high GPA but low quant score. When should he apply? 00:09:21 - Medical school applicants - the importance of being early! 00:09:50 - Thinking of applying late? Think of the game of musical chairs. 00:10:25 - Rushing to take the MCAT? Submitting your application before it's ready? Think again! 00:11:13 - The ideal time table for submitting your AMCAS application. 00:12:40 - The advantages of starting your AMCAS personal statement this winter break. 00:14:18 - Linda's rule of timing when applying to grad school. *Theme music is courtesy of podcastthemes.com. Related Links: •  MBA Application Timing •  MBA Round 1 Timeline •  Medical School Admissions: Why Applying in June is Critical •  Can You Submit Your AMCAS Application BEFORE Retaking the MCAT? • Applying to Medical School Late in the Application Cycle Related Shows: • Waitlisted! What Now? • How to Edit Your Application Essays • MBA Admissions According to an Expert • Med School Application Process: AMCAS, Secondaries, Interviews, Decisions & More! Leave a Review for Admissions Straight Talk:   Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog no 16:59
Medical School Admissions: Why Applying in June is Critical http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/10/medical-school-admissions-why-applying-in-june-is-critical/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/10/medical-school-admissions-why-applying-in-june-is-critical/#respond Wed, 10 Dec 2014 16:11:52 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27391 When you have spent years preparing to apply to medical school, the last thing you want to do is jeopardize your chance of acceptance by applying late.  Since selection committees operate on a rolling admissions basis, if you submit your application in August or September, they may not have enough spots left to offer you […]

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Click here to learn how to get accepted to medical school in 2016.

If you apply late, you may never receive a review if there are no spots left available.

When you have spent years preparing to apply to medical school, the last thing you want to do is jeopardize your chance of acceptance by applying late.  Since selection committees operate on a rolling admissions basis, if you submit your application in August or September, they may not have enough spots left to offer you an acceptance, even though your application may be strong.

 Here are the reasons why applying late can hurt you:

• Rolling admissions is based on the concept of first come, first served

If you apply late, you may never receive a review if there are no spots left available.  Medical schools receive thousands of applications and this requires hours and hours of time spent on reviewing applications and interviewing candidates.  Once a medical school has met its enrollment capacity and filled its waiting list, there is very little time spent on reviewing applications—especially given the time and energy it takes to conduct interviews and MMI interviews, in particular.

•  If you are rushing to submit your application late, chances are there will be mistakes

In the mad dash to get your application submitted, it’s easy to leave out critical details or write sloppy essays that do not represent you well.  If you have put off applying, there may be a reason behind it.  It’s important to examine the reasons that have forced you to consider applying late. It  would probably be in your best interest to take your time and apply early rather than do a rush job that will only force you to face the possibility of reapplying the next year.  Since it is so expensive and time consuming to apply, doing it right the first time is in your best interest.

•  Applying late and without an MCAT score is like double daring the Fates

Since most schools will not review your application until they receive your MCAT score, applying late and then forcing the schools to hold off on reviewing your application may put you even further behind.  Generally, I don’t recommend applying without an MCAT score.  You don’t want any hidden surprises especially when it comes to determining the direction of your career.  If necessary, apply early the next cycle after you have received competitive scores.

From nearly a decade of experience in medical school admissions, I recommend getting your application submitted anywhere from mid-June to late July.  I have seen students receive acceptances when they have applied in August and September but it’s a wild ride and one I recommend avoiding, if at all possible.  To avoid unnecessary stress, plan on applying early.

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:

9 Must-Know Tips to Steer You through the Med School Admissions Process
Is My Profile Competitive?
Applying to Medical School Late in the Application Cycle

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3 Reasons to Start Your Med School Applications NOW http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/09/3-reasons-to-start-your-med-school-applications-now/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/09/3-reasons-to-start-your-med-school-applications-now/#respond Tue, 09 Dec 2014 19:40:46 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27197 You want a seat in the med school class of 2020. What could you possibly have to do now? LOADS! If you think applying to medical school is a task that can be left until the last minute, then you’re terribly mistaken! Here are three reasons why you should get started now if you want […]

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You want a seat in the med school class of 2020. What could you possibly have to do now? LOADS! If you think applying to medical school is a task that can be left until the last minute, then you’re terribly mistaken!

Watch our free webinar on how to get accepted to Med School in 2016!

Here are three reasons why you should get started now if you want to enter med school in 2016:

1.  Your recommenders will thank you!

No one likes to write a letter under pressure, and if you want a favorable letter of recommendation, then you’ll give your recommenders ample time to write it!

2.  Slow and steady wins the race.

An application that’s slapped together last minute is bound to have errors – not something you want when trying to make a good impression! Start early to avoid careless mistakes!

3.  You’ll understand your strengths and weaknesses early on.

The sooner you begin to evaluate your profile, the better position you’ll be in if you need to retake a chem class or step up your MCAT studying.

To encourage you to jumpstart your medical school admissions journey early, we invite you to join us TOMORROW (Wed. Dec. 10th) at 5:00 PM PT / 8:00 PM ET for a webinar that will prepare you for next year’s med school application process. When those 2016 applications are released, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running!

Register for Get Accepted to Medical School in 2016 now! Remember – the early bird gets the worm!

View the webinar!

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Top 10 Gifts for Pre-Med Students http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/09/top-10-gifts-for-pre-med-students/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/09/top-10-gifts-for-pre-med-students/#respond Tue, 09 Dec 2014 15:21:32 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27376 When it comes time to buy gifts, pre-meds can be even more challenging than any MCAT question or biochemistry final. Here is a list of ideas that any pre-med is sure to enjoy. If you have any additions, add them below in the comments! 1.  Coffee shop gift cards: Every pre-med student will appreciate this […]

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When it comes time to buy gifts, pre-meds can be even more challenging than any MCAT question or biochemistry final. Here is a list of ideas that any pre-med is sure to enjoy. If you have any additions, add them below in the comments!

1.  Coffee shop gift cards: Every pre-med student will appreciate this gift. Even if your student isn’t a big coffee drinker, they can pick up a tea or pastry pick-me-up. Try to find their favorite local shop, or go with Starbucks. The Starbucks smartphone app will let you reload their card when funds go dry. Either way you can’t lose.

2.  Evernote Premium: Evernote is a revolutionary digital notebook that keeps notes organized  and synced across devices and the cloud. The subscription service provides your student with more space, powerful search tools, and the ability to annotate directly on PDF files. Premium service is $5/month or $45/year

3.  Light reading: Break up your student’s study day with some fun reading. Books by Atul Gawande, Abraham Verghese, and Fitzhugh Mullan all provide a unique perspective on the author’s own career, personal life, and what it means to become a physician. Bonus; these books will give your student something to talk about during their medical school interviews. My favorites are Atul Gawande’s Complications and Better.

4.  Ipad: More medical schools are making iPads mandatory for incoming students, so get ahead of the game and make it an awesome gift. Besides studying and MCAT question blocks, an iPad is great for keeping up with the news and the rapidly changing world of modern medicine.  Checkout the refurbished and education store for discounts.

iPad_3_New_iPad200312_11_copy

5.  Clothing subscriptions: Grueling class schedules are no excuse to look beat down. Subscription clothing services can provide fresh styles and professional looks at a decent price without having to spend time shopping. For men, check out Bombfell,  Manpacks, and TrunkClub. For women, Stitch Fix and Cypress &  5th offer clothing and accessories, while Birchbox  provides beauty and grooming products.

6.  Shadowing time: If you’re short on cash, or have a good connection, consider asking a physician-friend to let your student shadow for a day. Giving a shadowing date may sound odd, but can provide educational and networking opportunities, even letters of recommendation further down the line. Before offering, be sure the physician would be open to the student shadowing and has agreed to it, as some offices may have policies against shadowing.

7.  Noise canceling headphones: Give the gift of peaceful study time. You can’t always shut up the noisy library users, but you can block them out. There are a ton of options, from the affordable Sony MDR-NC7-CBB’s  for $35 to the opulent Bose QuietComfort  at $299. A good compromise may be the Monoprice headphones, modeled after the Bose QuietComfort at a more affordable price.

Noise Cancelling Headphones

8.  Leather portfolio: Part of acing an interview is looking the part. Keeping an extra resume and paperwork tucked in a nice portfolio keeps your student looking professional and prepared. There are numerous options and many can be personalized, some are even able to fit an iPad. I recommend keeping it simple and understated.

9.  Backpack/messenger bag: Keep your student organized and stylish while running across campus with a new messenger bag or backpack. Bags like the J Crew Abingdon Messenger bag are popular and will withstand the beating of campus life. Inside, the Cocoon Grid-I-T  will keep all their cables and chargers organized.

10.  Accepted.com services: For the pre-med who has everything, consider giving the peace of mind that comes with a perfectly written resume and personal statement, reviewed by the experts at Accepted.com. No portfolio or clothing thing service will make them standout better than having a polished application. You’ll be the first person they call when their acceptance letter arrives.

Any other good gift ideas? Leave a comment below with what you would like to receive!

By Evan Kuhl, a fourth-year medical student wanting to match in emergency medicine. Evan is interested in the intersection of sports and medicine, and is an avid cyclist. His website, www.evankuhl.com, includes helpful tips for pre-med and current medical students.

Get Accepted to Med School in 2016!

Related Resources:

Tips for Pre-Meds Applying for Scholarships or Financial Aid
Where Should I Apply to Medical School?
How to Shadow a Doctor

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Med School Interview with Eleasa: Enjoying the Newlywed Medical School Rollercoaster http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/08/med-school-interview-with-eleasa-enjoying-the-newlywed-medical-school-rollercoaster/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/08/med-school-interview-with-eleasa-enjoying-the-newlywed-medical-school-rollercoaster/#respond Mon, 08 Dec 2014 17:42:18 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27333 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 Eleasa… Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you study as […]

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Click here for 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 Eleasa…

Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself? Where are you from? Where and what did you study as an undergrad? What’s your favorite non-school book?

Eleasa: I was born and raised in South Carolina and decided to attend the University of South Carolina (go gamecocks!) for undergrad because they had the #1 international business program in the country. That’s right, I started off as an international business major and had no intentions of going into the medical field. Then, one day I realized that a career in business did not sound very fulfilling to me and that I wanted to work in a job where I could directly see how I was benefitting people. This led me to change my major to public health my sophomore year and shadow people from just about every health profession (nurses, OTs, PTs, researchers, PAs, NPs, physicians, etc.). After I shadowed a family physician, I knew I had found a career that would provide the intellectual stimulation and interpersonal interaction that I was looking for.

I read a ton of physician autobiographies after I decided to go into medicine (just to make sure I knew what I was getting into) and still enjoy reading about those that have conquered medical school and residency before me. One of my favorites is Blue Collar, Blue Scrubs by Michael J. Collins. Dr. Collins chronicles his journey, going from a construction worker in Chicago all the way to an orthopedic surgery resident at the Mayo Clinic. This is definitely inspiring and shows you that med school and a career as a physician are achievable with persistence and hard work.

Accepted: Where do you go to med school and what year are you?

Eleasa: I attend the University of South Carolina School of Medicine – Greenville and am currently a first year student.

Accepted: What is your favorite thing about med school so far? And if you could change one thing, what would it be?

Eleasa: I have really enjoyed my hands-on patient care experience so far. At my school we become certified Emergency Medical Technicians and ride on an ambulance with Greenville County EMS once a month. In addition to this I have gotten to take histories from real patients in the Emergency Department for my Clinical Diagnosis and Reasoning class. Being around patients really motivates me and reminds me what I’m working towards.

My school opened just three years ago, so with such a new school that means that there are occasionally hiccups or kinks to work out regarding our schedules and how they do things. However, they really listen to student feedback, and I feel that we have a great amount of input regarding our education.

Accepted: Congrats on your recent marriage! Looks like you have a lot to get used to all at once — how are you managing during this adjustment period? 

Eleasa: A lot of people thought I was crazy for getting married 9 days before starting medical school. It definitely was a rollercoaster having my wedding, going on a honeymoon, and getting back and immediately jumping into schoolwork. However, I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. I didn’t want to plan a wedding during medical school, and I am so glad I got married during the summer when I didn’t have anything else on my plate to worry about.

It has been wonderful having my husband by my side throughout this transition. He is constantly encouraging me and supports all my hard work. I also think that being married has motivated me to study more efficiently. I know the less time I have to spend studying at home, the more time I get to spend with him!

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?

Eleasa: I took a year off before staring medical school and worked as a dialysis technician during that time. This was by far the most difficult job I have ever had, but I’m so glad that I did it. It taught me to respect those in every position on the healthcare team and gave me great hands-on patient care experience. I know that this clinical experience really set me apart from other applicants because I got asked about it at every single one of my interviews.

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

Eleasa: The MCAT was definitely my nemesis when I was applying for medical school. I barely studied before I took it for the first time, and no surprise, this resulted in a really low score. I realized that I needed to make a detailed study schedule and change up my study methods. This resulted in 10 weeks of intensive studying (4-6 hours a day, even while I was on vacation), making lots of notecards, and doing practice problems and sample tests. Those 10 weeks weren’t always the most fun, but it was so worth it when I got my score back.

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

Eleasa: I say to get lots of clinical experience before you apply (this will give you lots of great stories to tell and examples to give on your interview day), and keep a running list of all of your volunteer/research/extracurricular activities as you are going throughout school. This will make it so much easier to pull your application together and get it in early.

Accepted: Why did you decide to blog about your experience? What have you gained from the experience? What do you hope others will learn?

Eleasa: I decided to blog as a way to keep a “diary” about my medical school experience. You hear so much about the constant studying and burn out, but I want use this blog as a way to reflect on the positive things that are going on both inside and outside of school. I hope others can look at it and see that it is possible to balance medical school, relationships, and a social life, and that medical school can be a really fun 4 years of your life!

You can read more about Eleasa’s med school journey by checking out her blog, Marriage & Med School. Thank you for sharing your story with us – we wish you loads of luck!

Do you want to be featured in Accepted.com’s blog, Accepted Admissions Blog? If you want to share your med school story with the world (or at least with our readers), email us at bloggers@accepted.com.

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Medical School Application Strategy: MD vs. DO Programs http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/05/medical-school-application-strategy-md-vs-do-programs/ http://blog.accepted.com/2014/12/05/medical-school-application-strategy-md-vs-do-programs/#comments Fri, 05 Dec 2014 17:03:31 +0000 http://blog.accepted.com/?p=27320 Before you decide whether you want to apply to allopathic (MD) and/or osteopathic (DO) medical schools, I recommend that you shadow both types of doctors.  They each represent dramatically different approaches to health and healing.  Gaining exposure to both forms of medicine will help you make an informed decision about what types of treatment options […]

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Click here for help on how to navigate the medical school process from start to finish.

Both DO’s and MD’s provide valuable perspectives and approaches to patient care.

Before you decide whether you want to apply to allopathic (MD) and/or osteopathic (DO) medical schools, I recommend that you shadow both types of doctors.  They each represent dramatically different approaches to health and healing.  Gaining exposure to both forms of medicine will help you make an informed decision about what types of treatment options you would like to be able to offer your patients.

There are 141 allopathic schools and 30 osteopathic schools in the U.S.  Only two schools offer both programs, Michigan State and Rowan University.  Statistically, there is a much larger number of MD’s practicing than DO’s.  In researching the differences between these two courses of study, some students claim on premed forums that the DO schools are considered “less competitive” and therefore easier to matriculate into.  The average MCAT and GPA for students accepted into MD programs in 2013 were 28.4 and 3.54 (3.44 science), while they were 26.87 and 3.5 (3.38 science) for DO programs for the same application year, as reported by the AAMC and ACCOMAS.  While the osteopathic scores are lower,  the numbers are not so dramatically different.  Given the increasing number of students applying to medical school in recent years, the gaps between these numbers are closing quickly.  The difference in scores for students accepted into either program are projected to shrink.

Essentially, the decision to apply allopathic or osteopathic should be based on the different educational advantages each approach can give you.  The MD educational pathway includes more opportunities in research and speciality training, since allopathic medical schools have more funding and resources available in these areas. They are also more likely to have a hospital connected to their medical school campus.  DO’s are best known for their hand’s- on and holistic approach to patient care. The DO route provides training in Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM), also referred to as Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT), depending on the program.  One attending physician who participated in a discussion forum claimed: “If it came down to choosing MD over DO, I would’ve picked DO again.  The curriculum suited my personal interests at the time of applying and [I am] glad I did.  Being an osteopathic physician has never really limited my options nor any of my colleagues in all fields.  The manual skills if you are interested in musculoskeletal medicine are invaluable!”

This quote leads us directly into the second most common issue in the MD vs. DO dilemma: the issue of obtaining a residency after completing your medical education.  One doctor argued that it’s “a statistical fact [that] a higher percentage of MD’s than DO’s match to highly competitive residencies.”  In the past, there have been fewer residency spots available for DO residents than MD residents.  However, in July 2014, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education announced that both DO and MD medical school graduates would be applying for residencies through a single match process in 2020.  This merger will simplify the residency application process since currently there are two separate systems with two separate deadlines. Both of the licensing exams for MD’s and DO’s will be accepted, USMLE Step 1 and COMLEX Level 1 (at most schools).

The last point to take into consideration when considering which path to take is whether you are interested in practicing primary care or specializing.  Most students are not able to make this decision until after they have completed their rotations and have gained exposure to all the possibilities.  Some doctors argue that DO programs are excellent in training students for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and primary care.  Capitalizing on this strength, there are DO schools that offer three-year accelerated programs in primary care.  However, if you are interested in specializing you may have more opportunities in research and exposure to certain fields through an allopathic education.

To learn more about both programs:

•  Shadow allopathic as well as osteopathic doctors

•  Read books written by doctors from both backgrounds

•  Attend premed conferences to meet representatives at all levels from both disciplines

•  Visit medical school campuses and events

•  Sign up for a mentoring program to work with a medical student mentor

•  Join discussion forums and network to ask medical students, residents and doctors for their advice and opinions

Actively begin collecting more information about the options available to you.  The more thought you put into your decision, the happier you will be with the end result.  Both DO’s and MD’s provide valuable perspectives and approaches to patient care.


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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.

 

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