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Preparing for Medical School Sue McPhatter Transfer Center Counselor (23 yrs as premed advisor at UCSD) Make Tues. & Wed. appts. with Sue in the Transfer.

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Presentation on theme: "Preparing for Medical School Sue McPhatter Transfer Center Counselor (23 yrs as premed advisor at UCSD) Make Tues. & Wed. appts. with Sue in the Transfer."— Presentation transcript:

1 Preparing for Medical School Sue McPhatter Transfer Center Counselor (23 yrs as premed advisor at UCSD) Make Tues. & Wed. appts. with Sue in the Transfer Center

2 Today’s Agenda What is medical school like –Types of medical school Why go to med school? Academic preparation Experiential preparation What schools look for

3 Very Important See premed advisor soon after you transfer to four year college or university. Premed advisor has admission data for that college’s applicants, and will tell you what you need to do before you apply. Ask that advisor about reference letters and service they can provide you.

4 The Medical Degrees Allopathic (M.D.) 3.4 – 3.7 GPA, strong MCAT scores Osteopathic (D.O.) 3.0 – 3.5 GPA, good MCAT scores Podiatry (D.P.M.) 2.7 – 3.0 GPA, average MCAT scores All require same science course pre-requisites All require the MCAT & some experience All can work independently Continuing education required throughout career

5 Allopathic Medicine (M.D.) Historically, the traditional medical degree Over 125 schools in U.S. –Some acceptable foreign medical schools –Admission can be easier M.D. accepted world-wide –The best option for international work Can pursue any specialty training Can teach in M.D. medical schools Requires USMLE (three parts) –U.S. Medical Licensing Examination Tests science and clinical skills

6 Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) D.O. degree after 4 yrs. –May not be accepted in some foreign countries Basic sciences & rotations same as M.D., and Includes osteopathic philosophy & techniques –Holistic, “hands-on” approach with patients –Musculoskeletal manipulation –Other non-surgical, non-drug therapies Can pursue all medical specialties Three schools in the West; most back East –Bay area, Pomona, Phoenix area Similar licensing exam required 2/3 of D.O. grads pursue residency in M.D. setting –They take are req. to take the USMLE also

7 Podiatry (D.P.M.) 1 st & 2 nd yrs. – sciences, labs, intro to podiatry 3 rd & 4 th yrs. – core rotations, orthopedic & podiatry rotations, and podiatric surgery rotation 2 or 3 yr. Residency required: 2 yr. residency to become podiatric surgeon Not including. rear foot and ankle 3 yr. residency to become podiatric surgeon Including rear foot and ankle Licensing exams required throughout training

8 Med School Curriculum (M.D.) 1 st & 2 nd yrs (the “healthy” body) –Science lectures & labs Anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, etc. –“Intro to clinical interviewing” –Some patient contact (more at some schools) –Some schools use “case study” approach –Science electives –General topic electives –Can begin research projects –Take Part One of USMLE (science knowledge) at end of second year

9 M.D. curriculum (cont.) 3 rd & 4 th yrs (the “sick” body) –Core rotations in clinics & hospitals (1-2 mos. each) –Surgery, family med, peds, emergency med, psychiatry, ob/gyn, internal med + others –Elective rotations in subspecialties, e.g. Oncology, orthopedics, dermatology, neurosurgery, etc. –Elective time for research, public health project, experience abroad, study at other med schools –Apply & interview in 4 th yr for internship/residency –Take Part Two of USMLE (Clinical Skills) At end of 4 th year

10 After Medical School (M.D.) One year internship in general medicine Part Three of USMLE after that year –required for medical license 2 to 5+ yrs residency in specialty area Can then work as specialist (e.g., Ob/Gyn) 2 to 3+ yrs fellowship for “sub-specialty” Can then work as sub-specialist –e.g., pediatric oncologist, neurosurgeon, etc.

11 Length of Specialty Training For all M.D. & D.O. graduates 3+yrs = pediatrics, internal medicine, family medicine, emergency medicine, general practice medicine 4-5+ yrs. = psychiatry, general surgery, orthopedic surgery, dermatology, radiology, others 6-7+ yrs.= neurosurgery, cardiac surgery, others

12 Cost of Medical Training You pay for medical school (4 yrs) –$20K to $60K/year, $30-40K average tuition –Some financial aid available –Students generally borrow significant amount You are paid for: –Internship year (general medicine) About $35K to 40K per year –Residency years (specialty) About $40 to 45K per year –Fellowship years (sub-specialty) More $$$ than residents make

13 Why Go To Medical School? To help others through knowledge of science Your love of science (esp. biology & chemistry) You are a problem-solver You possess intellectual curiosity You want lifelong learning You enjoy teaching others It’s a “calling” and becomes your “identity” You enjoy being a leader or making decisions You enjoy being in “authority” position

14 Personal Characteristics Needed Maturity & ethical integrity Motivation and determination to succeed Interpersonal & communication skills Demonstrated interest in helping others Willingness to accept responsibility Energy, enthusiasm, physical stamina Compassion, empathy, altruism Problem-solving skills & good judgment Awareness of the medical profession Exposure to various cultures & life problems –“Cultural competency” stressed Able to accept constructive feedback & criticism Ability to lead, teach or influence others

15 Academic Preparation 1 yr. General biology (not botany) 1 yr. General chemistry 1 yr. Organic chemistry 1 yr. General physics 1 yr. College level math (calculus & statistics) 1 yr. College English composition ( ) Upper division biology recommended –Biochemistry, physiology, genetics, one U.D. lab Bachelor’s degree in any major Breadth in humanities, social sciences, arts Can do all course prep here at Grossmont –Except upper division science courses

16 Your Transcripts AP units can count for required courses All grades count in GPA, except APs Original grades of repeated courses count Comm. College units & grades count Better to get “W” than to repeat “D” or “F” Not too many “W” or “CR/NCR” grades Upward GPA trends look good Light course loads don’t “look good” –Unless you were working full time or ??

17 Medical College Admission Test The “MCAT” Test of general biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, verbal reasoning, writing (2 essays) After 2007, MCAT will be offered all year (all-day exam) Need average or better scores to be admitted Take MCAT in Spring of year before you graduate –Apply to med school that summer for following fall Repeated MCAT scores are not averaged Many take commercial MCAT prep course

18 MCAT Scores Biological, Physical, Verbal sections: – Each section scored 0 – 15; 8 is national mean Writing section: –Scored “J through T”; “O” is national mean M.D. requires 10’s or higher D.O. requires 8-9’s or higher D.P.M. requires 7-8’s Multiple MCAT scores are not averaged Highest scores used for admission

19 Experiential Preparation Demonstrated commitment of service to others: –Working, interning, or volunteering to help others –Medically related experience helpful –Hospital, clinic, nursing home, public health clinic –Clinical research through a medical school –Teacher’s aide, asst. or tutor (any school level) –Community agencies (homeless shelter, geriatric) –Leadership on or off campus Including captain of NCAA team or officer in student org –Volunteer with a physician mentor –Medical mission work, other church work

20 Scientific Research ?? Research exp. required for M.D./Ph.D. program Pre-med research experience shows: –Independent interest in science –Dedication & initiative in independent work –Intellectual curiosity –Can help a low GPA applicant –Can be a good source of faculty reference letter –Explore summer research programs –Desire to contribute to scientific knowledge –Find year-long research oppties. after transfer

21 When to Get Involved? ASAP!!!! That means NOW!! Volunteer or work summers & school year Minimum 6-12 mos. in one location 4 to 6 hours per week Keep record of your service there Keep supervisor’s name, address, phone –For reference letter when applying

22 What Medical Schools Look For To predict success in 1 st & 2 nd yrs med school: –Total college GPA (from all colleges) –Science GPA (all math, biology, chemistry, physics grades) –MCAT scores –Rigor of academic experience Including caliber of bachelor’s degree college Course load difficulty

23 To predict success in 3 rd & 4 th yrs. & beyond: –Reference letters (from faculty and others) –Application essays, including life experiences –Answers to specific application questions on: Challenges and hardships Diversity of background and experience Handling of ethical dilemmas Goals for the future –Interview the applicant to learn: What is motivating the student Their interpersonal skills The sincerity of their goals

24 Many applicants take one or more years off after college graduation before applying to medical schools

25 Application Process MCAT in Spring of junior year, or earlier Apply June/July to application service –Transcripts, essays, select schools, approx. $1,000 August – November, send supplemental –More essays, photo, reference letters, $500-1,000 September – March, interviews at schools –Costs include plane fare, hotel, business attire, etc. Rolling admission notification –October 15 through following summer Average Californian applies to schools –May get 5+ interviews, then admitted to 1+ school –May not be admitted and have to reapply the next year –Total application cost may exceed $2500 or $3000

26 What To Do If You Are Rejected? Take a deep breath, then Call the schools and find out why Assess your chances for reapplication Assess what you need to improve Ask yourself how determined you are Choose best course of action Should you consider alternate careers?

27 Maybe You Need More Experience, or ? Peace Corps, Americorps, or ? More exposure to health care? More time helping others ? Could research experience help ? Should you repeat some courses ? Should you repeat the MCAT ? Do you need stronger reference letters ? Evidence of maturity & responsibility ? Post-baccalaureate programs ?

28 Post-baccalaureate Programs 1 to 2 year programs after B.A./B.S. degree To show potential to succeed in med school Can be a Master’s degree or just courses Some courses are with medical students MCAT prep included Research project usually included Strong programs at: –Georgetown, Boston U., Chicago Medical College, Drexel U. Some programs for underrepresented applicants Good admission rates to medical school

29 Transfer Center has AAMC’s Guide to Medical School Admission Includes info on all U.S. M.D. programs Also, check out the following Web sites:

30 (M.D.)www.aamc.org –Info on careers, preparing, applying, and M.D. medical education (D.O.)www.aacom.org –Info on same as above, for osteopathic med (D.P.M.)www.aacpm.org –Info on same as above, for podiatric med Also, good info at UCSD’s Career Center site: then, click on “Medical School Information”


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