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The Answers to Your Stupid Questions Thread

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by rafflecopter, Dec 14, 2010.

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  1. sc4s2cg

    sc4s2cg

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    SDN Members don't see this ad. (About Ads)
    AMCAS GPA Calculator: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=590424
    AACOMAS GPA Calculator: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=450050
    Manually: http://www.williams.edu/registrar/records/gpa.html (except that an A+ is still considered a 4.00, just like an A)
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011
  2. Sinfest

    Sinfest Slick

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    Great thread raffle!

    Just to slightly correct medzealot's answer to question number 12, he states that "all DO schools are private". This is false.

    The public DO schools are: Michigan State University COM, Ohio University COM, Oklahoma State University CHS, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Texas COM at University of North Texas, and West Virginia COM.
  3. glotris173

    glotris173

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    Oh maybe this is the place to ask my question. I'm planning on living abroad next year before enrolling in med school. Is there any way to anticipate when interviews will happen, and if they will all be around the same time? I want to see if it's feasible to go back and forth. thanks!

    John
  4. CougarMD

    CougarMD Come up screaming Moderator Emeritus

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    New question:

    What the heck is a committee letter, and why should I get one if my school offers one?
  5. CougarMD

    CougarMD Come up screaming Moderator Emeritus

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    There is really no way to know when your interviews will be, or (I don't mean this in a mean way) whether or not you will get any. Some schools assign you a date, others let you choose from a list of available dates.

    If you will be living abroad I would let all of the schools know this. I would also apply as early as possible so that you at least have an opportunity to interview early. You could do a couple of things. First, you could wait until you get your first interview, and then just plan to come back to the US for a few weeks or a month around that time, and let all of the schools know. Or you could plan a month that you will be in the country and tell all schools about what that time will be.

    Some schools (like Duke) offer virtual interviews, but this is the exception and not the rule.

    Someone else may be better able to answer this question. Even though being abroad is great, you may be putting yourself at a disadvantage interview-wise.
  6. medzealot

    medzealot Best closer in NY Gold Donor

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    Thanks for the correction.
  7. CougarMD

    CougarMD Come up screaming Moderator Emeritus

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    This thread needs a serious bump.
  8. 2050vlsb

    2050vlsb bleed blue and gold

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    All medical schools, whether MD or DO, require you to submit letters of recommendation in support of your application. There are generally two ways of going about this. One is to individually collect letters of rec from various sources (professors, research PIs, advisors etc.) and have them sent to medical schools through AMCAS. Most schools will have a limit of how many individuals letters they accept.

    The other option is to have a letter written by your school's Premedical Committee (referred to as a "committee letter") in lieu of individual letters. The committee is usually made up of professors and instructors who will review your entire file and write a letter on your behalf. The exact process will vary by school, with their being different requirements in terms of what classes you must have completed, whether you need to have taken the MCAT, when you need to submit forms by, whether an interview is required or not. The specifics of the entire process can be easily found on your school's Career Center or premed advising page.

    It's advisable to find out as soon as possible whether or not your school actually has a premed committee. If they don't, you will need to collect letters individually from professors as you go along (going back to your freshman chem professor as a senior is not likely to lead to a very strong letter).

    As a rule of thumb, if your school has a Premedical Committee, you should go through them for your letters of recommendation. If you don't, you're almost guaranteed to get asked why you chose not. Not having a very good reason for it can negatively impact your application. Moreover, collecting letters individually can be pretty stressful, so in some ways having a Committee makes things a bit easier.
  9. 51stCenturyFox

    51stCenturyFox

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    Here's another dumb question:

    Is it customary to send "thank you notes" to your interviewers?

    (And if my interview occurred a month ago and I have yet to send a "thank you," should I bother? :oops:)
  10. apumic

    apumic Oracle of the Sheet

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    Yes (generally within 1 week)...and nope, you're too late now.
  11. GooseWing

    GooseWing

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    bumpage

    Hey I thought I'd throw this question on here because it's definitely a stupid question that I've seen answered multiple times just need a clarification on the details.

    When I apply (end of junior year), I'll be short 1 prereq (2nd semester bio+lab) that I'll be fulfilling with a microbio class(+lab) first semester senior year.

    What does this mean for filling out AMCAS and getting verified and all that jazz?

    Thanks

    oh and yes I did a few searches to no avail
  12. GooseWing

    GooseWing

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    bump

    for everyone's sake I'd rather not make a whole new thread for the above question.

    Anyone have any input?

    Much appreciated!
  13. mauberley

    mauberley radiating prestige

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    When you fill out your transcript, you will enter in the grades you've already received. You can mark in classes that you will be taking or are presently taking (that is, you do not have grades for them) as "current/future." They will be recorded in your app, but will not be included in the verification process or in the calculation of your GPA.

    So in your case, you'd mark the microbio class as "current/future" and not enter a grade in for it, then complete and submit the rest of the application as you would normally. The time to verify your transcripts is not affected.

    Note that when you do finish the class, you would not be updating your primary app with the new grade. The med school at which you matriculate will request a copy of all transcripts to be received before you start classes; it is at this time they would note the microbio class and apply it against your prerequisites.
  14. GooseWing

    GooseWing

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    Excellent! Thanks so much for your response.
  15. Mahliah

    Mahliah

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    Are the MCAT practice tests equal to the real thing? I was lurking on another thread where a premed talked about his high scores on the practices exams. Another poster basically said "its just a practice test" and that it means nothing.
  16. BadHorse

    BadHorse I meant Gandhi

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    The AAMC practice tests are pretty much equal to the MCAT. They serve as good indicators for how you will do on the real thing, though there are always outliers, and test anxiety can be a factor for some.
  17. rafflecopter

    rafflecopter MS-0

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    I forget the thread, but someone posted some data on this. Pretty much everyone falls within +/- 2 points of their AVERAGE on the AAMC practice tests. Usually test anxiety, or recent upward trends in studying can be the reasons why someone would do much better or worse than their average. Its a good predictor of what the actual exam is like, although in recent exams the verbal passages have been much longer than anything on the AAMC practice tests, and generally the difficulty level is a bit higher. Other than that, very similar.
  18. MCAT guy

    MCAT guy ...

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    This thread is pretty awesome. Wish I had it to read when I started out.
  19. HAV000

    HAV000 MS-0, MPH

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    I felt the difficulty level was considerably higher for a few questions each on the bs and ps portions, and 1 or 2 Qs can make the difference when you're trying to get into the upper ranges (>10). That being said, taking AAMC practice tests is still an invaluable experience and as the saying goes, you only test as well as you practice.
  20. kansaskid

    kansaskid too school for cool

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    I have a stupid question!

    If a school says that they require biochemistry and I didn't ever take biochemistry, should I even bother applying?
  21. CougarMD

    CougarMD Come up screaming Moderator Emeritus

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    Can you take biochemistry this summer?
  22. BrainBuff

    BrainBuff

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    Taking biochem (or any pre req in the summer) is a bad idea. Med schools don't like it. You have your whole senior year to take biochem. Med schools will accept you with the condition that you complete it prior to starting classes, but it won't influence their decision one bit.
  23. kansaskid

    kansaskid too school for cool

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    So if I've already graduated and won't have any opportunities to take biochem I should cross that school off the list then?
  24. CougarMD

    CougarMD Come up screaming Moderator Emeritus

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    I'm pretty sure she is a non-trad, that was why I suggested it that way.
  25. CougarMD

    CougarMD Come up screaming Moderator Emeritus

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    If you have no opportunities to take it, the best thing to do is call the school, and see if they will waive the requirement for you, possibly because of some cool upper division bio you've done.

    The answer will probably be "no" but WAY better to ask than to not even try.

    I had a requirement waived at a school and was eventually accepted there.
  26. kansaskid

    kansaskid too school for cool

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    Yeah, I'm out of undergrad and with the Peace Corps. But, you know, I might have the option of taking biochem the summer before matriculation to med schools, but I'd have to apply and get acceptances beforehand. Can I tell schools that require biochem that I'm planning on taking it before I matriculate and still get acceptances? Thanks!
  27. CougarMD

    CougarMD Come up screaming Moderator Emeritus

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    Yep, you totally can! But do everything you can to make sure that actually happens. Budgets are being cut everywhere and summer schedules are pretty messed up these days:)

    You can list it under "future courses" when you're filling out your AMCAS app. It isn't that big of a deal to do so.
  28. Scooby dooby

    Scooby dooby

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    How would you enter graduate school grades that my school counts as 1 unit classes (but are essentially similar to 3 credit college classes) on the AMCAS?

    I worry that if I put it down as "1 credit" it won't hold as much weight as the 3 credit college classes that I have taken.

    I wouldn't normally worry about it except for schools that factor in graduate school GPA with undergrad GPA.

    Thanks!
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2011
  29. Kgizzle

    Kgizzle

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    Are taking classes over the summer semester viewed in a negative way as opposed to doing them during the regular year(fall/spring)
  30. mauberley

    mauberley radiating prestige

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    Was your grad school on quarters? Usually it's the quarters system classes that get listed as 1 unit on transcripts; these are equivalent to 2.7 semester hours.
  31. Scooby dooby

    Scooby dooby

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    It's on a semester system. the main issue, I think, is that the graduate school I am attending has a different system of listing courses than my undergraduate school (all grad courses are weighted the same, hence 1 credit, instead of the traditional credit system of my undergrad)
  32. BadHorse

    BadHorse I meant Gandhi

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    A thread was just created asking why the OP was laughed at when she said she liked fish sticks.

    I formally request we add this to the SAQ (Stupidly Asked Questions) hall of fame.
  33. HAV000

    HAV000 MS-0, MPH

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    You mean there is such a thing?!?
  34. OzelloPiRat

    OzelloPiRat

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    Committee letters-
    Was told by a few med schools that if your school has one, you had better get one. A CL is a culmination of a few science prof ideas of your performance. You request the letter, they review your class work between them, and then they make a combined LOR. Med schools know what UG have committees. If you choose not to get one, it is a huge red flag. They then believe you are hiding something. Hope this helps!
  35. rafflecopter

    rafflecopter MS-0

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  36. dawgbone

    dawgbone Post-bacc non-trad

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    Why would med schools not like the fact that you can handle the same amount of information in 2 fewer months? :eek:

    Turrible advice IMO.
  37. roseglass6370

    roseglass6370 Are we there yet?

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  38. sector9

    sector9 'He's a loathsome, offensive brute' Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    This information could be useful for questions about committee letters.
    This is from the TMDSAS, but is a good overview
    Source: http://www.utsystem.edu/tmdsas/medical/application-instructions.html
  39. noquarter1

    noquarter1

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    Realistically (not necessarily SDN standards) by what month of applying have your chances gone done, assuming you are an average applicant? For example, My school has three semesters (Fall/Winter/Spring) so I'll graduate in July, and take the MCAT sometime after that (not til October, according to the three month plan). Is this too late, or does it significantly decrease my chances?
  40. courtnes

    courtnes always sunny

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    Applying in October (or November in your case, since it'll take a month for your scores to come back) is very late. In terms of a realistic idea of when your chances start going south, I'd say September is when you'd want to be complete including secondaries at the latest. I added 4 schools on at that point in the game and got a couple interviews from the additions.

    The biggest reason for this is that many people do apply early, which means that schools are already swamped and have reviewed a large number of applications before yours even arrives. You might not get the consideration you deserve simply due to the fact that adcoms have already read through tons of PSs and ECs (what I like to think of as bull**** fatigue), and your interview will be later in the game which is a distinct disadvantage for rolling schools.
  41. Long Dong

    Long Dong My middle name is Duc.

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  42. HAV000

    HAV000 MS-0, MPH

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    LOLLL. Who is this directed to?
  43. Long Dong

    Long Dong My middle name is Duc.

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  44. gettheleadout

    gettheleadout custom title blank Moderator

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    Except this is a really useful thread...and raffle (OP) wasn't mad.
  45. Long Dong

    Long Dong My middle name is Duc.

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    I know the title sounded angry i really just wanted and excuse to post my funny gif.
  46. rafflecopter

    rafflecopter MS-0

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    I support :thumbup:
  47. nolookpass

    nolookpass

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    I'm sure it is written somewhere, but hey this is the stupid question thread :laugh:

    When applying to medical school isn't there a difference between how your school calculates GPA and how the medical schools calculate your gpa? What is the difference?
  48. mauberley

    mauberley radiating prestige

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    1) AMCAS calculates your GPA, not the medical schools.
    2) Individual schools may have different policies with respect to what makes it into one's GPA: retaking a course might replace the previous grade (versus averaging both grades), certain grades may not count if non-major-related, academic forgiveness, etc. AMCAS has a single, standardized way of calculating GPA, which is accepted by all medical schools participating in AMCAS.
  49. nolookpass

    nolookpass

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    What is the standardized way of calculating GPA by AMCAS
  50. Mac Blade

    Mac Blade One of "Those two dudes"

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