Preparing for Medical School as a High School Student

high school student

By Renee Marinelli, MD

Looking to college and beyond is a major step for a high school student. You are about to embark on your journey into adulthood and establish yourself as a college student. For students considering a career in medicine, it is not too early to start exploring this path in high school. To give perspective, to become a physician, it takes four years of undergrad, four year of medical school and then three to seven years of post-graduate training. In essence, making the decision to become a physician is no feat to be taken lightly. If you are considering this path, you can start to solidify your decision in high school. Here is what you can be doing to determine if becoming a physician is the right career choice for you! Continue reading “Preparing for Medical School as a High School Student”

Non-Academic Ideas to Boost Your Med School Chances

non-academic ideas

By Joel Butterly

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. Continue reading “Non-Academic Ideas to Boost Your Med School Chances”

Should You Retake the MCAT? 3 Key Things to Consider

retake the mcat

By Andrew George

Studying your butt off for months, suffering through an anxiety-inducing test day, and then waiting an entire month just to get a lower-than-expected MCAT score is by no means a pleasant experience. It is so bad in fact that many students decide to quit trying to go to medical school altogether. But please don’t despair. You may still have a good chance without needing to take the MCAT again. Let’s consider three things that will help you decide on what steps to take next: Continue reading “Should You Retake the MCAT? 3 Key Things to Consider”

How to Maximize Medical School Second Looks

second look

By Cassie Kosarek

While most students dream of getting an acceptance letter from just one medical school, others find themselves in the enviable position of having to choose between two or more schools to which they’ve been accepted. If you are deciding between schools, Second Look days can help you determine where you’ll commit. Second Look days are offered by most medical schools, usually after their application cycles are complete and acceptances have been extended to candidates. They are meant to give potential students an idea of what attending that particular school will be like. While many students attend Second Look days with the intention of getting to know potential classmates and to see what the academic environment “feels like,” others may want to head into these days prepared with a few specific questions aimed toward helping them gather the information they need to make a final decision. If you’re getting ready to travel to some potential medical schools this spring, keep these questions in mind: Continue reading “How to Maximize Medical School Second Looks”

Confessions of a Former Mediocre Premed Student

premed

By You Jung Kim

Many students start college gung-ho about going into medicine, and many end up falling short of their goals. Their reasons are varied. Some discover new careers that better appeal to their interests; others realize that they can’t stomach the long commitment required in medicine. However, the saddest group of people are those who come to believe that they aren’t cut out for becoming a physician because of their performance in science courses. I was very close in becoming one of them. Continue reading “Confessions of a Former Mediocre Premed Student”

What Really Matters When Choosing Your Medical School

Many students don’t realize that residency match should be top of mind when choosing their medical school. Even though residency is several years away, your time spent as a medical student will determine the fate of your residency. This is because residency directors have various criteria that they look for in their future residents, and this criteria comes from specific factors acquired in medical school. Continue reading “What Really Matters When Choosing Your Medical School”

A Beginner's Guide to Financing Your Medical Education

You got into medical school! Now how do you pay for it? You already sold a kidney and your grandma disinherited you after your last arrest. What options are left?
In this guide, I’ll provide a rundown of some basic options for funding medical school. This subject is very complex and my guide won’t be 100% comprehensive, but it’ll be a good starting point. As you prepare to matriculate, work with your school’s financial aid office to explore these and other options. Continue reading “A Beginner's Guide to Financing Your Medical Education”

The Top 3 Myths About Medical School

myths

Maybe you have been watching Untold Stories of the E.R. on loop, and you are expecting non-stop action during your clinical years. Maybe your physician uncle told you that he did nothing but study in medical school and residency, foregoing sleep for eight years in order to become a doctor. Maybe your friend who is already in medical school tells you that all her classmates are at the top of their game all the time. Continue reading “The Top 3 Myths About Medical School”

"Personal Branding" as a Premed: How Knowing Who You Are and What You Stand For Can Help You Get In

I began my first job when I was just 12 years old (don’t worry, I had a work permit from my school!). It was natural for me to want to start earning my own income and save money for eventually purchasing a car. I continued to work through high school and on into college. I worked two jobs to pay for my tuition, housing, and living expenses. It wasn’t always easy, but providing for myself gave me a sense of pride and encouragement that I could achieve whatever I set my mind to. Although I wasn’t fully aware of it at the time, having this sense of determination shaped my personality and defined who I was. Eventually, sharing these experiences with medical school admission committees helped to convey my most desirable qualities as an applicant: responsibility, work ethic, perseverance, and strength. Continue reading “"Personal Branding" as a Premed: How Knowing Who You Are and What You Stand For Can Help You Get In”

Location, Location, Location! Should You Apply In-State or Out-of-State? 

The AAMC Premed Team recently conducted a few twitter polls which asked premeds to share what you are looking for in a medical school. We received hundreds of responses, and while a school’s mission statement and scholarship opportunities were both important influences, the results pointed to one factor above all others: location! Continue reading “Location, Location, Location! Should You Apply In-State or Out-of-State? “