Legal Matters: Institutional Action Basics

Institutional Action - Red Flag

The Student Doctor Network gets several questions to our Confidential Consult experts a month about what is … Read more

How to Choose Extracurriculars as a Premedical Student

You may have heard that there’s a “perfect formula” of undergraduate extracurricular activities sought by medical schools. Research experience? Check. Hospital volunteering? Check. A summer internship in a lab or clinical setting? Check.

While these endeavors might demonstrate your interest in and commitment to clinical medicine, the idea of selecting your extracurricular activities solely based upon this perfect formula ignores one key trait that medical school admissions committees are looking for in their applicants: authenticity. As you navigate your pre-medical years, you may be wondering how to cultivate a resume that evidences your investment in medicine but also leaves plenty of room for pursuing your other interests. The key to selecting your extracurriculars is to not treat these two intentions as mutually exclusive—medicine can overlap with your other interests (and vice versa). Check out these suggestions for choosing your undergraduate extracurriculars in a way that will please both you and admissions committees.

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5 Ways You Can Help Prevent Your AMCAS® Application from Being Delayed

prevent your AMCAS application from being delayed

Many applicants applying with AMCAS strive to complete and submit their application as quickly as possible. However, an incomplete or incorrect application can cause delays — which may cause you to miss an important deadline. [Here are important dates to be aware of for the 2018-2019 application cycle.] Never fear: We talked to the staff who verify applications, and they shared some quick tips that can help prevent your 2019 AMCAS application from being delayed.

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When To Write What: Strategically Navigating The Medical School Application Timeline

application timeline

With so many deadlines and moving parts to med school apps, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. In this article, we’ll discuss how to be strategic about when you write what. At the end of this article, we’ll give a sample timeline that you can use. We will focus on the AMCAS app, but a lot of our advice is applicable to other application types as well.

Our motivation for writing this article is that we have too many friends who didn’t get into medical school because they applied late. It’s heartbreaking to find out you didn’t get in because of something so avoidable. We don’t want that to be you.

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Writing Your Most Meaningful Experiences

most meaningful experiences

If you haven’t started already, now is the time to begin writing your AMCAS activities section and your personal statement. Your AMCAS application—or the primary application submitted to allopathic (MD) schools—serves a significant role in the path of applying to medical school. This is where admissions committees will gain an understanding of your academic abilities, extra-curricular activities, and personal strengths. It cannot be stressed enough that the primary application should be taken seriously and ample time should be spent preparing it.

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Non-Academic Ideas to Boost Your Med School Chances

non-academic ideas

At this point, you are probably already aware of how competitive medical school admissions are. For instance, you may already know that the most competitive med schools boast acceptance rates of nearly 3%—that’s almost half the acceptance rate of Harvard College. Pretty dire, right?

The truth, however, is that while medical school admissions are and will continue to be incredibly competitive, there are a number of steps you can take throughout college to distinguish yourself from the enormous pool of hyper-qualified candidates. Along with doing the typical extracurricular activities for med school like lab research, teaching experience, etc. the best candidates think outside of the box to make their extracurriculars stand out.

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What Medical Schools Are Looking For: Understanding the 15 Core Competencies

When you think about how medical schools will evaluate your application, it can seem like … Read more

4 Ways to Address a Low MCAT Score on Your AMCAS Application

low MCAT score

Overcoming a low MCAT score on your AMCAS application can feel daunting. Can they really judge my whole application by my performance on one 8 hour block of life!!? Sadly, most schools do put extensive emphasis on MCAT scores. However, a low score is not the end of the world if you are within the range of applicants to a particular school. Ask yourself: What do medical schools look for? The answer is more dynamic than just a good MCAT score…

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4 Things I Wish I’d Known About the MCAT

taking the mcat

Walking out of the test center after I had completed the MCAT was a surreal experience. Somehow, the far-off test date for which I had been preparing for months had not only arrived, but had already passed. I was suddenly and thankfully in possession of all of the components of a complete medical school application, as an MCAT score was the last blank space to fill on my impending AMCAS application.

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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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Finding Clinical Opportunities: Show Up, Ask, and Follow Through!

I was recently asked to give advice on finding clinical opportunities. Here’s the short version: show up, ask, and follow through! This is an exciting and supportive profession you are entering. Physicians not only remember what it feels like to be in your shoes but they are eager to support you. Part of our responsibility in medicine is to educate and mentor the next generation. This applies to everyone from a first-year medical student all the way to the most seasoned attending.  I’ve had opportunities to tutor my classmates, write for Elsevier, deliver a heart from its pericardium, coordinate a helicopter landing and practice my old fashioned medical skills on the 7th continent all because I have shown up, asked for opportunities, and followed through when given the chance. Here are a few notes on how I approach gaining these clinical opportunities.

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The Most Important Lessons I Learned While Applying to Medical School

Applying to medical school is a humbling experience, even if you have a successful application cycle. No matter how great your pre-medical advisor is or how many articles you have read about the process, you are still bound to have a few missteps that will leave you doubting yourself as a potential MD or DO candidate. It has been nearly a year since I submitted my primary AMCAS application, and as I reflect on the application cycle, several moments stand out to me as essential lessons to learn before you begin your own application process:

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