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Applying to Medical School

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Presentation on theme: "Applying to Medical School"— Presentation transcript:

1 Applying to Medical School
American Medical Student Association Elliot Toy, Kat Braun, Ben Lin

2 What You Need Letters of recommendation Personal Statement
Official Transcripts Pre-medical course requirements MCAT Financial support Patience

3 Pre Medical Course Requirements
ALWAYS: Biology: 1 year. At least one semester advanced bio. General Chemistry: 1 year, with labs. Organic Chemistry: 1 year, with labs. Physics: 1 year, calc or non-calc based. English: 1-2 semesters (some classes may count if writing intensive) SOMETIMES: Statistics: 1 semester. Math: 1 semester Calc I or above. If you have specific schools in mind check the requirements early.

4 MCAT Keep the timing in mind Things to consider
Consider leaving enough time to re-take the exam Time of day is important – when do you think best? Exam will change in 2015 (add social science) Things to consider Courses are available: Kaplan, UW Sponsored OR come up with a personal study plan – usually 4-6 months of studying Books are available: Kaplan, Exam Crackers, Princeton Review, The Berkeley Review BEST ADVICE: Practice exams!! And don’t dismiss the verbal section… Costs $275 Sections – Physical, Biological, Verbal Have a goal set based on desired medical school admitted ranges – not averages Know at which score you will keep/retake the exam

5 Letters of Recommendation
Ask early At end of the semester (even if you are not applying yet) Who to ask? People who know you. Avoid the generic letter Take advantage of your smaller lectures/seminars Go to office hours! How many? Most medical schools require 3 Two academic faculty (professors), one science, and one non-science, and one non-academic letter Shoot for two science (bio/physics/chem), one non-science (arts/music/humanities), one research (if you research), and one volunteer-based

6 Letters of Recommendation
When asking for letters of recommendation: Have PS and CV to give to them them AMCAS letter writer form Provide clear, simple instructions for completing and uploading letters Give them a due date – don’t be afraid to be the squeaky wheel *Identifying info on your letters! * AMCAS primary application can get verified without all your letters

7 Personal Statement Why do you want to go into medicine?
You don’t need to have a sad, tragic, or profound story You do need to be honest, compelling, and unique It will be a process – many drafts are normal Keep it concise – under 5300 characters (including spaces) How to start? Chose a theme/think about the big picture Avoid writing down a list of things you have done Stick with a few of the most important experiences, realizations, and people Tell the admissions committee why you want to be a doctor through specific stories Give people names, make it personal Not only “…this is why I want to be a doctor”, but more importantly “this is what will make me a great physician” Stick with a professional tone (i.e. no contractions), avoid “cutesy” things - be honest and sincere. Who should read it? 3-5 TRUSTED people Not too many people…you can quickly lose your own voice Stick to what you feel is right….don’t make every change that is suggested

8 Which Schools to Apply to?
Chose wisely! Spend time learning about the schools MSAR (book and online) Individual school websites What is important to you? Location, cost, class size, prestige/rank? Also consider: curriculum outline, match list, in-state/out-state acceptance rate, GPA/MCAT range, DO/MD, scholarships available?, affiliations, requirements, lifestyle of the city, housing options Read through mission statements!!! How many? Up to you – typical is 12-18 1/3 safe, 1/3 in-range, 1/3 stretch #1 Rule: DO NOT APPLY TO ANY SCHOOL THAT YOU WOULD NOT BE HAPPY GOING TO… $$$$ For every school you put on your primary application – you will most likely have to complete secondary essays for

9 Primary Application AMCAS Submit early!! First impression
Application opens in May First Day to submit: First week in June typically Submit early!! First impression Quality over timing

10 Parts of AMCAS Identifying information Schools attended
Name(s), ID numbers Schools attended High school, college, institutional action Biographic information Address, childhood info, how you pay for college, crimes

11 Parts of AMCAS Courses Find exact course names, credits, grades and classification * when in doubt err towards what requirements you need Reference

12 Parts of AMCAS Work/Activities

13 Parts of AMCAS Do not undervalue the importance of activity descriptions – real estate is at a premium

14 Parts of AMCAS Work/Activities Letters of evaluation Medical schools
Character limit, max. 15 entries, contacts *3 most influential Edit, edit, edit Letters of evaluation Letter ID’s, AMCAS service, Interfolio Medical schools Fun but $$$ Assign letters of recommendation individually to medical schools

15 Parts of AMCAS Personal comments Standardized tests Personal statement
MCAT score(s), test date(s) You can indicate you plan to take a future MCAT score after submitting your application…both scores are still available, however

16 Crafting your AMCAS Persona
Know yourself before you can sell yourself What can you bring to the school? What makes you unique? How does every aspect of your AMCAS reflect this? How can you exude your persona during your interview? Example career goals: Private Practice Health Policy Academic Medicine Public Health Health Care Administration Example: Researcher / educator with diverse non academic interests and a passion for patient care Potential career goals: Private Practice Health Policy Academic Medicine Public Health Health Care Administration

17 Secondaries When do they arrive? Who gets secondaries? What are they?
As early as August – late fall Depends when you submitted primary app Who gets secondaries? Most everyone… very rough or no screening at this stage What are they? Usually essays – wide ranging though. i.e. Mayo – pay fee. Duke – 4 essays with no character limit. Describe the community in which you were nurtured or spent the majority of your early development with respect to demographics. What core values did you receive and how will these translate into the contributions that you hope to make to your community as a medical student and to your career in medicine? Be timely and efficient Return quickly – within two weeks is ideal! Plan ahead Peer reviews are good Keep school mission in mind

18 Interview – What to Wear - Men
No fashion statements Suit and tie Tailored grey or black suit White shirt Tie color Tie bar

19 Interview – What to Wear - Women
No fashion statements Pant or skirt suit Panty hose/tights Neutral colored blouse Neutral colored pumps Hair up, minimal make-up

20 Major Interview Questions
5 things to prep for every interview 1) Tell me about yourself 2) Why medicine 3) Why ________ (your persona) 4) Why that particular school 5) Questions about the school Also, know your 3 most significant activities Have a list of questions specific to that school prepared

21 Interview Themes Key foundations for interviews
patient / doctor communication right to privacy patient autonomy teamwork socioeconomic boundaries and implications healthcare system

22 Interview Styles Traditional Multiple Mini Interview (MMIs)
30 minutes to 1 hour with 2-3 people Multiple Mini Interview (MMIs) 10 minutes at 8 – 10 stations Wide variety of stations Traditional questions Ethical / scenario questions Teamwork stations Acting stations

23 MMI Philosophy There is no wrong answer! Things they are looking for:
1) Communication skills 2) Critical thinking ability 3) Balance 4) Empathy The Magic Bullet: Consider and discuss every party that would be affected

24 Sample MMI Questions Example: Placebo (Ethical Decision Making)
Dr. Smith recommends homeopathic medicines to his patients. There is no scientific evidence or widely accepted theory to suggest that homeopathic medicines work, and Dr. Smith doesn't believe them to. He recommends homeopathic medicine to people with mild and non-specific symptoms such as fatigue, headaches and muscle aches, because he believes that it will do no harm, but will give them reassurance. Consider the ethical problems that Dr. Smith’s behavior might pose. Discuss these issues with the interviewer.

25 Other Common Interview Questions
3 things you’d improve about healthcare? 3 strengths and 3 weaknesses? What have you read lately? Nonfiction? Who would you have dinner with? Someone you’ve learned something from? Fun fact about yourself? What's your spirit animal?

26 We’re Happy to Help! Ben Lin (UCLA) –
Elliot Toy (MCW) – Kat Braun (UW) –

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