It depends, but in some cases, you can be like Aladdin and go from street rat to prince with a little help from the (MCAT) genie! If you’ve spent 4 years goofing around, or you worked hard but couldn’t get the right strategies together to get those A’s, then you might be forced to rummage through the med school garbage for admissions scraps. Many students think that taking more classes is the key to getting off the streets and into the palace. Not so fast! GPA stands for grade point average, keyword being average. It took you 4 years to create your current crappy GPA and it’s not going to improve overnight after a few classes. If you GPA is really bad, it could take 4 years or longer to make it competitive. You might also think that a post-baccalaureate program is a great option, which it can be, but it will cost you upwards of $50,000 and 2 years of your life in most cases.
Many students feel guilty for going to college while their family is struggling. Making it worse, their family constantly reminds them of how bad they are struggling and how they feel abandoned and like the student doesn’t care about them anymore. Then when the student comes home for the holidays, everyone says “you’ve changed… you talk different, like a braniac… you talk about all this success your having at college, but we are out here working for real… you need to get a job… you need to be here more often… why are you wasting your time in the books?” Anybody ever hear something similar?
A perfect example of unwarranted family pressure comes from a pre-med student I worked with a couple years ago. She was a bright student, but she was sabotaging herself so she was struggling in the classroom. Her...
As Sophocles said, “No enemy is worse than bad advice.” Take a second and write that down, because it is some of the truest words you will ever read, and something that many pre-meds don’t understand.
I see so many students running in a thousand different directions, none of which is getting them closer to medical school, and in the end, they can’t figure out why they never made it. “I did exactly like Dr. A said… Mrs. B told me I would definitely get in if I did X… The dean said all I had to do was improve Y.”
How many of you have friends who have said similar things? The reality is, there are a lot of people out there claiming to be pre-med advisors, but they simply don’t have the expertise to help you. The wrong advisor could be intentionally, or more commonly, unintentionally leading you to your doom. So, I thought I would take a few minutes and lay out some ground rules for selecting your mentors and...
A KFC Fry Cook and a Boy Genius Apply to Med School …
Ask any doctor or medical professional how they became a doctor, and they’ll tell you a different story every time. Premed programs bring together some of the most interesting and diverse peer groups because people from all across the socioeconomic spectrum hear the call to pursue one of the world’s most noble professions.
Take, for example, Franco Jin. His parents moved to Utah from Argentina when he was 12. By the time he was a senior in high school and all his friends were applying for college, he thought he might be content keeping his job frying chicken at KFC.
“I was pretty happy working at KFC,” Jin told the Salt Lake Tribune. “They would let me eat all the chicken I wanted, no complaints.”
But then he got what many young people need: a gentle push in the right direction. Thanks to a pilot program that connects college students with high school classrooms, he heard about the...
Can You Have a Life And Get Into Medical School?
We all know that medical school is expensive and that getting to medical school can be pretty costly too. The average medical student graduates with approximately $200,000 in school debt. That is a hefty sum, but it pales in comparison to the price pre-med and medical students pay in their personal life to become doctors.
Every premed knows this story: You’re in the library, and outside, it’s a sunny day. Out on the campus green, your peers in other departments are soaking it in. And it looks glorious. They’re throwing the frisbee, they’re reading, they’re having a picnic with friends, they’re napping.
And that morning, when you were waking up early to go to the library, they stumbled through the front door with your roommate smelling like perfume and sweat with glitter on their faces. Their lives look fun.
But you can’t have fun with them, because you’re a premed. Becoming a doctor is...
How to Effectively Promote Yourself in Premed While Avoiding Gunner Status
Practically anyone who’s stumbled in to an O-Chem lecture can pick a gunner out of a lineup. These are the folks that obsess over getting into med school while displaying little to no understanding of human compassion. They constantly discuss academics and consider how every instance of social participation will look on a med school application.
Gunners will do anything to succeed. With applications just about in and interview season rolling around, things can get ugly. A recent Reddit post described one premed student donning their military uniform for an interview.
For those who have served, wearing your uniform during a non-military function is absolutely verboten. This is an instance of a gunner clearly crossing the line. As one ex-military user wrote, “There is literally zero excuse for it … We honor those that died every day by continuing to live and not forgetting. Wearing your dress...
Are You Sure You Want to Become a Doctor?
Choosing a path in life isn’t like selecting an ice cream flavor down at Coldstone. Some people take years to find the right one. Others never find it at all. A lot of Premeds come up for air in their second or third year and realize they have no idea if they want to be a doctor. And this is after they, like you, have been asked thousands of times, ‘Why do you want to be a doctor?’
At this point, you’ve probably practiced your answer to that question enough that it comes readily. And the more we repeat a statement, the more it becomes real for us, regardless of how true it is.
But have you ever stepped back and really reflected on your answer?
I want to share with you a process that I myself went through under the guidance of my colleague Ulrich Schmidt. It really helped me create a clear vision of what I wanted in life, and why I wanted...
While Waiting for Med School Decisions, Try These 4 Diversions
As you read this, tens of thousands of premed students are currently at the end of their ropes. I always say that the year you spend applying to medical school can be one of the hardest years of your life because at this point everything is out of your control and it is just a waiting game. Applications for med school are pretty much all in and a few have been playing the waiting game since August. Some have received interview invites, but many are still waiting. Interviews have mostly come and gone. Some have heard back with a few pieces of good news, but acceptance and rejection emails will continue to roll in for months.
During this period, it can be difficult to do anything but sit in front of your computer hitting refresh every few seconds.
Some like to play mental games with themselves, like waiting for a certain time of the day to check one’s...
I’m very excited to be hosting my 1st annual “Study Less, Get Better Grades Bootcamp.” This is a 6-week interactive and intensive program designed to make students more skilled, more confident and more independent so that they can get better grades than they ever thought possible, while simultaneously studying less than their peers.
The foundation of the Bootcamp is my course “The 5 Pillars of Studying Less & Getting Better Grades.” Other study books, courses, and programs that bring together a bunch of questionable, random tips and tricks. My course is a complete system for studying smart that gives students a comprehensive and step-by-step road map to getting great grades. There is no guess-work, there is no confusion, there is only exceptional execution.
In our first session, we discussed how systems allow us to create consistency and improve our performance continuously, making our studying...
Dominate the Medical School Interview Bootcamp
The medical school interview season recently got underway.
Waiting for interview invites can be one of the hardest parts of the entire journey to medical school.
If you didn’t know, after you submit your primary application to medical schools, schools review the hard data of your application (your MCAT score and GPA), and decide whether or not they want to learn more about you in the form of a secondary application. Secondaries come relatively easy, but the real bottleneck occurs at interview invitations. It costs schools a lot of money to host students for interviews, so they are much more selective about who they invite to their campus.
As such, if you receive an interview invite, you should know that you are qualified, otherwise the school wouldn't waste the money on you. That being said, with everyone who makes it to the interview stage being a qualified applicant, how you perform on interview day can make or break your...