Dealing With Premed Stress

premed stress

With another busy semester behind you, you might be using your summer to work or volunteer, prepare for the MCAT exam, or work on your medical school applications. But summer is also a good opportunity to catch your breath and practice a little self-care. Being a premed is stressful, but there are healthy habits you can start practicing now that will help you manage stress next semester, and later when you’re in medical school.

1. Cook at home. It’s tempting to save time by always buying meals on the go, but cooking for yourself can actually be a stress relieving activity. And it’s often the healthier choice. Plus, it will save you money! Try listening to music, a podcast, or an audiobook while you cook, or turn it into a social activity by cooking with your roommate or significant other.

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Four Tips for Completing Your AMCAS Application

amcas application

The 2018 AMCAS application cycle has started! If you plan to apply to attend medical school starting in Fall 2018, the application is now open for you to begin working through the nine different sections of the application. While the application is straightforward, it can be easy to make simple mistakes that can delay the verification process. To help you fill out an application that may be processed faster, we asked for tips from the AMCAS Verifications Team, as they review and process thousands of AMCAS applications each year. The Verification Team provided us with some important tips to help you avoid making mistakes and ensure your application gets successfully verified.

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Where to Apply to Medical School: Factors to Consider when Making Your School List

where to apply to medical school

If you’re applying to medical school this year, you’re probably starting to think about what school you’d like to attend. Many students are encouraged to apply broadly, and on average, applicants apply to 16 medical schools. While the right number of schools is different for everyone—you may apply to more or less—a good rule of thumb is to only apply to the medical schools you would attend if accepted. This will save you time and money overall, even if it means doing more research before the application cycle begins.

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New Student Success Stories: How I Prepared for the MCAT Exam

Studying for the MCAT exam can be daunting, and chances are, you’ve typed “How do I study for the MCAT exam?” or “What’s the best way to prepare for the MCAT exam?” into your search engine. You may have even wondered how long you should spend studying.
Whether you are about to begin studying or are currently in the process, it’s likely you are still looking for guidance about where to start or where to find the best review strategy, or whether you are on the right track with your preparation. To find these answers, you may have searched the web, skimmed online forums, and consulted with friends or family, likely uncovering hundreds of different results, advice, and opinions that can leave your head spinning.

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Is a Post-Bacc Program Right for Me? Seven Benefits to Consider

It’s important to remember that as you prepare for and apply to medical school, there isn’t one set path you must take. It’s okay if your path takes different twists and turns along the way. Increasingly, applicants are taking gap years, sometimes called bridge years, between graduating from college and applying to medical school in order to gain more medically-related experience, pay down educational debt, or prepare for the MCAT exam.

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Five Tips for Staying Healthy and Productive in School

staying healthy and productive

While your dream of getting accepted to medical school probably involves countless nights studying, hundreds of volunteer hours, and a very long application process, taking time for yourself may not always be at the top of your priority list. What many aspiring doctors tend to forget is that taking some time to relax can actually boost your productivity once you get back to work.

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Medical School Interview Do’s and Don’ts

One of the most important phases of the application process is your interview. It’s your chance to demonstrate your communication and interpersonal skills, judgment, maturity, and the qualities that are important for a future physician. It’s also your opportunity to see if the school’s learning environment and culture is a good fit for you. It may seem early to start thinking about interviewing, but some medical schools start as early as July, while others interview throughout the fall and spring until their class is filled.
To help make your interview day a success, here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind as you prepare.

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Top 3 Myths about MCAT Scores Busted

As with any high stakes exam, it’s not surprising that there are a number of rumors circulating around the MCAT exam. So we are busting three of the top myths about the MCAT scores and score scale.
Myth #1: The MCAT exam is graded on a curve. 
There is no curve associated with the MCAT exam. Instead, the MCAT exam is scaled and equated so that scores have the same meaning, no matter when you test. What does that mean, you ask? There are many different test forms that are produced for a testing year, any of which you could see on your exam day. The forms of the exam are designed to measure the same basic concepts and skills, but each form contains different sets of questions. While care is taken to make sure that each form is about equivalent in difficulty, one form may be slightly more or less difficult than another. We adjust for these differences in the difficulty of test questions when we convert the number of questions you answer correctly to the MCAT score scale. This ensures that scores have the same meaning across test administrations and testing years.

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Diversity in Med School: Why It’s Important and What Minority Applicants Need to Know

While getting accepted into medical school is more difficult than ever in America, there are some particular challenges facing would-be medical students from certain ethnic groups that have been traditionally underrepresented on medical school campuses across the country. For many reasons, the American Association of Medical Colleges (AAMC) is heading a multi-faceted campaign to increase racial diversity among would-be doctors.

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Minorities and the MCAT

minorities and the mcat

The MCAT looms large on the horizon of many would-be medical students – and there is a lot of anxiety over choosing preparation courses and books and in finding different ways to achieve the highest score possible. And there is good reason for this – a poor or mediocre MCAT score can close the doors of many medical schools.
For students who are minorities and/or coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, however, the MCAT can seem even more intimidating. Part of this is that students from underserved communities can lack the study skills and strong science background that is needed to do well on this test. There is also the cost of preparatory courses and testing fees that can act as a barrier to students’ ambitions to become a doctor if they are coming from a low-income background.
This article covers why increasing diversity in medicine is important – and what the AAMC and individual medical schools are doing to help remove the MCAT as a barrier to students from a minority and/or underserved background.

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Tips to Get the Most from the Medical School Admissions Requirements® (MSAR®)

Medical School Admissions Requirements

Chances are after deciding to become a doctor, you’ve likely heard a lot of opinions about where you should apply to medical school. There is a lot of information out there, which can create the perception that you should look for the “best” school only based on average GPAs and MCAT scores of its applicants. But we know that your success is not measured by scores and academic data alone.
Just as you want a medical school to evaluate you as a whole applicant—considering your experiences, attributes, and interests—you shouldn’t evaluate medical schools based just on the numbers and statistics that represent them. The most important thing to consider is whether the medical school is a good fit for you. But how do you figure that out with so many schools and programs?

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Why isn’t learning about public health a larger part of becoming a doctor?

public health

Chronic conditions, such as Type II diabetes and hypertension, account for seven in 10 deaths in the United States each year. And by some estimates, public health factors, such as the physical environment we live in, socioeconomic status and ability to access health services, determine 90% of our health. Biomedical sciences and actual medical care – the stuff doctors do – determine the remaining 10%.
Clinical medicine can treat patients when they are sick, but public health provides an opportunity to prevent disease and poor health. But too often, medical students don’t get to learn about public health, or how to use it when they become doctors. That means many of today’s students aren’t learning about health care in a broader context.

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Time to Start Thinking About Your Medical School Application

If you are planning to start medical school for the 2017 Fall Semester, it’s already time to start thinking about your application!
You will apply using the American Medical College Application Service® (AMCAS®) for your medical school applications – the 2017 application cycle opens in early May. AMCAS is the primary application method used by most US medical schools. For you, this means that you’ll submit only one online application, regardless of the number of medical schools you choose to apply to.
We’ve highlighted tips and resources to help you begin to prepare for completing your application whether you are applying for this upcoming cycle or sometime down the road.

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The Medical School Interview: They Aren’t All The Same!

“What kind of interview will it be?”
This is not a question applicants ever asked 10 or 15 years ago but often do now. Every year, more medical schools now conduct Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI) while most still conduct “traditional” one-on-one interviews. A few medical schools also conduct group interviews with either groups of students who are interviewed together or several faculty who interview one student together. Therefore, when thinking about the medical school interview process, it’s important to be aware of what you might encounter on the interview trail.

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6 Tips for Med School Interviews

The interview is one of the most important steps in the medical school application process. It’s your chance to get to know the medical school in person while demonstrating good communication skills, professionalism, maturity, and your passion for medicine.
Below are six tips to help you make a good impression:

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