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ACADEMIC PREPARATION FOR MEDICAL SCHOOL. Medicine Needs YOU  … African Americans, Latinos/as, and Native Americans comprise 25 percent of the U.S. population,

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Presentation on theme: "ACADEMIC PREPARATION FOR MEDICAL SCHOOL. Medicine Needs YOU  … African Americans, Latinos/as, and Native Americans comprise 25 percent of the U.S. population,"— Presentation transcript:

1 ACADEMIC PREPARATION FOR MEDICAL SCHOOL

2 Medicine Needs YOU  … African Americans, Latinos/as, and Native Americans comprise 25 percent of the U.S. population, but only 12 percent of US medical student graduates and only 6 percent of physicians in practice...  So we’re offering our advice in hopes that you will be able to join the ranks and thereby increase the percentages

3  There is no magic formula for getting into medical school  We, University of Chicago students, didn’t have an identical journey to medical school Important Considerations

4 General Pre-med Pointers  Take the time to find out how you learn and to determine what mixture of studying techniques works the best for you  Get to know your professors Helps you understand and enjoy the material more – and is a great way to begin cultivating relationships for LOR!  Utilize your resources! Go to office hours, review sessions and your learning center

5 General Pre-med Pointers  Research is good to have on your application-whether it is basic science, clinical or social sciences research  Continuity of extracurricular activities is good to have on your application Conveys passion about the activities in which you were involved Being involved in some of your activities consecutive years and holding leadership positions in these activities are good ideas

6 General Pre-med Pointers  Activities/Organizations to Consider Activities in which you are genuinely interested Organizations that allow you to use your talents Outreach activities that acquaint you to community issues Health or medically oriented programs/projects that provide or reinforce reasons for wanting to become a physician Activities that allow you to add to your sense of self

7 General Pre-med Pointers  Your success during your freshman year will not determine whether or not you are accepted into medical school A strong upward trend and having a long pattern of excellence by the time you apply You can fail classes your freshman year and still go to med school  Find an activity that de-stresses you and do it regularly

8 FRESHMAN YEAR  Choose in which organizations you would like to be involved, and run/apply for leadership positions in them at the end of the year  Choose a volunteer activity about which you are passionate, and engage in the volunteer activity  Meet with a premed advisor and make an honest assessment of where you are in your pre-med path.

9 FRESHMAN YEAR  Determine what you want to do this summer SMDEP, work in a lab, or do something different  Find a class that really fascinates you to take next year  Think about whether or not you want to go abroad  Choose a clinically related activity in which to get involved during your sophomore year and possibly during the upcoming summer

10 FRESHMAN YEAR  Chicago Academic Medicine Program 6-week non-residential tuition-free summer program for freshman and sophomores Helps students build knowledge base and academic skills for success in a pre-med program  Group-learning and team-building projects  Interactive lectures on 3 major organ systems  Clinical shadowing opportunities  Pre-medical advising  $1000 stipend Application Deadline: Monday, March 14, 2011

11 FRESHMAN YEAR  Start saving up for an MCAT class (if you want to take one), application fees and the interview trail MCAT class-$1800 Application Fees-$2000  Note: AAMC will reduce your application fees if you can show financial need  AAMC Fee Assistance Program (FAP) – Interview-$300-$400/interview (assuming a flight and a hotel stay)

12 SOPHOMORE YEAR  Engage in a clinical experience  Volunteer  Pursue leadership positions again for your junior year  Decide when you want to take the MCAT  If you can complete the pre-med requirements early, consider taking the MCAT early (e.g. summer before junior year or during winter break of junior year)

13 SOPHOMORE YEAR  Decide on the science classes in which you are going to obtain letters of recommendation from professors  Plan your junior year schedule so that you can focus on doing well in those classes  Plan to do something geared toward your pre-med path this summer  If you are interested in working in a lab, make sure you investigate summer research programs at your institution and elsewhere

14 SOPHOMORE YEAR  Pritzker School of Medicine Experience in Research (PSOMER) 8-week research, education, and mentoring experience with University of Chicago faculty  Research presentation at the end of the program  Advising sessions with Pritzker admissions officers  $3,200 stipend  Participants will live on campus Projects range from basic science laboratory to clinical research projects Application Deadline: Monday, March 7, 2011

15 SOPHOMORE YEAR  Meet with a pre-med advisor and make an honest assessment of where you are in your pre-med path  “Developing Application Portfolio” Handout  Decide on additional experiences and classes that would be helpful in order be competitive for medical school  Consider whether or not you want to apply during your senior year or take some time off

16 JUNIOR / SENIOR YEAR  Take the MCAT  Take all subjects on the MCAT-biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics- before taking the MCAT  Register early-spots fill up very quickly  Also, sign up with the AAMC Medical Minority Applicant Registry (Med-Mar) Program when you take the MCAT

17 JUNIOR / SENIOR YEAR  If you can afford it, consider an MCAT Class  Pros- Structured study regimen Additional resources-lectures, books, practice exams  Cons- Costly A waste if you do not apply yourself Not absolutely necessary-but have to be very disciplined if do not take a class

18 JUNIOR / SENIOR YEAR  Alternatives to taking a class: Study from review books specifically made for the MCAT as not all topics on the MCAT are covered in college courses Look for summer programs or scholarships that provide free or reduced MCAT prep The AAMC provides one free practice exam online  Order others for $35 each from website WWW. E - MCAT. COM WWW. E - MCAT. COM

19 JUNIOR / SENIOR YEAR  Take the MCAT during the summer or after/during a light semester MCAT=2 Classes  Understand that preparing for the MCAT is like preparing for a marathon  Allot at least 3 months of intensive studying  PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE  Take at least 6 practice exams before you take the exam

20 JUNIOR / SENIOR YEAR  Obtain letters of recommendation Provide your CV and personal statement to all recommenders Give recommenders at least 1.5 months If recommender will be mailing your recommendation, provide an addressed and stamped envelope

21 JUNIOR / SENIOR YEAR  Determine whether or not you want to apply during your senior year or take some time off The gap year will never hurt you – it is better to apply once you're the best candidate you will be  “Are You Applying This Year?” Handout  Engage in a clinical experience  Volunteer

22 APPLICATION PROCESS  Review requirements of each school and the average GPA and MCAT scores of accepted students  Determine your “safety,” “feasible” and “reach” schools

23  The Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) profiles ever medical school in the US, Canada  Check the MSAR well before applying to see the school’s numbers, requirements, and curricula The MSAR aka Your Best Friend

24 Another Essential Text: MSOUSMS  Review Minority Student Opportunities in US Medical Schools (MSOUSMS) – learn about recruitment, applicant and matriculant data by gender, race and ethnicity  Also provides descriptions of programs designed to provide opportunities for racial/ethnic groups underrepresented in medical education E.g. summer programs and educational partnerships

25 APPLICATION PROCESS  APPLY EARLY Many schools have rolling admissions, so when you apply is very very important!  Submit your AMCAS primary application by July 4 th  Obtain sample interview questions from a pre-med website  Do 2-3 mock interviews before you have your first interview

26 APPLICATION PROCESS  Research each school thoroughly before you interview Write down questions that you would like to ask your interviewers  Try to stay with a host when you interview  Send thank-you cards to your interviewers after each interview

27 GOOD LUCK!

28  For Additional Questions:  Thank You To: Washington University in St. Louis College of Arts and Sciences University of Pennsylvania Office for Diversity and Community Outreach  Powerpoint is available at


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