Anything you wish you did during pre med that you didn't ?

CAK2012

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I'm currently in my first semester of my undergrad, just trying to gain some wisdom from the crowd. I don't want to miss on opportunities, not take advantage of any resources I do not know about or make common mistakes that can be avoided by someone who has been there and done that.


Also, any tips that can be given will be very much appreciated. Maybe on how to become a stronger candidate, maybe tips on certain mandatory courses I will be taking (OCHEM lol) and how you studied for them. Just any general knowledge that can be passed down.


Thanks,

Cody
 
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Promethean

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Take anatomy and physiology. Okay, I did that, but many years prior to med school. Wish I'd taken it again when I took my pre-reqs. And drilled it hard.

You basically cannot overstudy anatomy. You can't ever know it too well. The more detailed your recall of anatomy, the easier everything else becomes.

Speaking of which, I should be studying now.
 
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CAK2012

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Take anatomy and physiology. Okay, I did that, but many years prior to med school. Wish I'd taken it again when I took my pre-reqs. And drilled it hard.

You basically cannot overstudy anatomy. You can't ever know it too well. The more detailed your recall of anatomy, the easier everything else becomes.

Speaking of which, I should be studying now.
I was going to take A&P this semester, but my Pre-Med advisor said “A&P will not help me get into med school and it won’t matter if I took them or not." Do I need to go ahead and get my BIO mandatory pre reqs out of the way then take it?


P.S thanks for posting something on here lol it was getting pretty lonely lol
 

Promethean

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Do your pre-reqs. Do A&P whenever you get a chance. It isn't going to "help you get into med school" in that no adcom is going to be like... oh, well, this one took anatomy... better let them in! But it isn't going to hurt you either... and while it isn't going to be taught at the same level as what you get in medical school, it will absolutely help you to have at least had an overview of the material before. I would be up a creek right now if I didn't have some background in anatomy.

Pre-med advisors don't know their heads from their tails.
 
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gothicfoxes

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I absolutely adore A&P and highly recommend it. I was talking about this with a friend earlier this week who's a med student, and he wishes he had taken A&P during undergrad. He said this probably would have helped during first-year cadaver dissections.
 

NotASerialKiller

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Ask Mary-Sue to the box social.

Also worry much more about your GPA in your 1st year. College =/= HS so you want to make sure you have your study routines etc. down pat and are succeeding before you start doing a lot of ECs.
 

Afp0731

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Indeed. I was super involved on campus and had tons of great leadership ECs but my only significant medical exp was shadowing a surgeon. I thought I was well-rounded but during my first interview , the dean of that medical school told me I essentially "played with myself in the corner of a room once a week" lol. If I could go back, I would cut down my university involvement to one or two organizations where I was able to lead and help raise funds for medical care/research organizations. I would focus primarily on ongoing activities where I could have direct contact with patients and develop relationships with them. For example, working with hospice patients is hard to beat. I would also highly recommend volunteering at MDA summer camps. Truly amazing experience and resume gold. Learn each day's worth of material after class. It will make college sooo much less stressful and you will make the grades with good memory retention. Have a good time! Do not be one of those premeds who knows nothing outside of class and medical school prep. You will burn out easier in med school and you will look back with regret. It is not at all impossible to excel in school and have a lot of fun. Just don't go out every night of the week and skip class.
 
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FantasyVesperia

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This has probably been stated multiple times, but really try building a professional relationship with your professors. This includes going to their office hours for help or just to say hi and discuss your goals for the class, strategies and etc. Also if you want a recommendation letter from them or want to get involved in the their research, this is the way to go.
 
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Munty

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Getting involved in a weekly volunteer position at a hospital or clinic early on is really good. Also like others have said, don't over commit to 15 different groups. Now that I am filling out applications and interviewing, I must say the parts of my resume that I am most thankful about are things I did outside of medicine. So I would suggest having a few involvements in things you are passionate about outside of healthcare and hold leadership roles in those organizations. I would highly suggest something where you are working for diversity advocacy or public health.

There are suggested 'boxes' that should be checked off on the application, but standing out from other premeds is so vital when a school has 100 spots and 5000 applicants who all volunteered, did research, majored in biology, shadowed doctors for x hours, etc.
 
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Keep your GPA up. Taking heavy course loads won't make up for B's and C's.
Wait until you're ready to take the MCAT and recognize that, for many people, 3+ months of studying is what it takes to do well.
Keep reading SDN.
 
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Have fun. You can get good grades and still go out or do whatever you enjoy. Don't waste your undergrad years only thinking/doing things that will help you get into med school. I see fellow classmates doing this all the time and it is sad in my opinion.
 
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Affiche

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Study abroad. I got into my dream study abroad program but did not end up going because of 1. money and 2. I was worried about fitting in courses. This is the one true regret that I have in life lol.
 
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CAK2012

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Thanks to everyone who replied to my thread. One more question though ? I obtained my Advanced EMT license I have read on sdn that it's good to have but also have read that it isn't going matter, which is true ?
 

md-2020

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Biggest piece of advice: kill freshman year. So many people get caught up in college party of life and TANK freshman year (get 2.0-2.5 GPA) and when they finally get their act together by junior year, they realize that the damage they did from freshman year will never go away. My freshman year GPA was something obscenely low like a 3.1. My GPA over the next 3 years was almost straight 4.0 and my overall GPA still came out to only like a 3.75. Imagine if I had actually done well freshman year!
While I agree that starting off focused is useful, in your case it's not like it would have made a difference...3.75 is high enough for any school.
 

Ad2b

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I'm north of 45. Don't be me. :)
 

Lawper

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Don't take the MCAT before you're ready.
Don't take the MCAT before you're ready.
Don't take the MCAT before you're ready.
(Being repetitive in the hopes that you can learn from my mistake.)
Ask Mary-Sue to the box social.

Also worry much more about your GPA in your 1st year. College =/= HS so you want to make sure you have your study routines etc. down pat and are succeeding before you start doing a lot of ECs.
Have more fun.
Don't stress over little things.
Take care of yourself.
All excellent advice. The "premed journey" isn't one route to go to medical school. Do well in academics, get clinical exposure and some research, and have fun.
 

Spector1

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I wish I was more social.
 

samac

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With my first block exam tomorrow I wish I would have picked a different career!

Just kidding. . . Kind of. o_O
 

Silence in ER

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1) don't take more than you can handle frosh year. Also, if you hate calc, do not take calc III, statistics is just as good and easier.

2) Holy **** don't take the mcat for fun. If I could time travel, I'd probably take my past self who was taking the mcat 1 year ago "to see how I'd do" and slap them or perhaps bury them in the room until the mcat was over

3) travel. go after your dreams.

4) Cut activities out that are making you miserable.
 

mikil100

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I wish I did at least some research.

I also wish I found a good place to volunteer at earlier.
 

Psai

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Get with this incredibly hot and smart girl that was really into me but didn't ask out because for some reason I thought I had no chance even though there were a ton of obvious signs
 

Lawper

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Get with this incredibly hot and smart girl that was really into me but didn't ask out because for some reason I thought I had no chance even though there were a ton of obvious signs


My condolences. :cryi::cryi:
 

cryhavoc

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Did less research, studied more for the MCAT. Took less challenging science classes so GPA would have looked better. Took a lot of classes to challenge myself when I should have just tried to look good.
 

TaroBubbleTea

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Find something you are passionate about and pursue it. Doesn't have to be science related. Probably better if it isn't.

2) Holy **** don't take the mcat for fun. If I could time travel, I'd probably take my past self who was taking the mcat 1 year ago "to see how I'd do" and slap them or perhaps bury them in the room until the mcat was over
lolwut? People actually did this?
 

Dr. Death

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Thanks to everyone who replied to my thread. One more question though ? I obtained my Advanced EMT license I have read on sdn that it's good to have but also have read that it isn't going matter, which is true ?
It doesn't matter if you don't do anything with it. But if you use it to volunteer or get a job then I think it is viewed quite positively
 

Lucca

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I hope I find a good way to study abroad. At this point it may be too late and it doesn't look like it's going to happen. A damned shame really
 

OSUkid

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Im just a kid with goals. I guess forwarding 4 years into the future and reflecting back to my present self, which is the past for my future self, would be to not regret what I did in the past, the past of my present now, not the present of my future self, but indubitably the past of my future self since the past of my present will surely be the past of my future.

Will surely be to what happened to the flash last season, when the city got destroyed by the water wave, but he breaks into a different timeline where everything is fine, but what happens to the timeline of where the ocean wave hits the city, would be a regret to not email the t.V producers and ask them will surely be a regret of mine 4 years into the future, heck even present time.
Terminator timeline, the first made sense philosophically, you know T1, but T2 and T3 were surely all over the place, hell a causal loop. Man think about that now.
 

mimelim

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All excellent advice. The "premed journey" isn't one route to go to medical school. Do well in academics, get clinical exposure and some research, and have fun.
I got with the ridiculously hot and smart girl from Freshman orientation and we've been together for 11 years now.

I didn't get her pregnant. (yet...)

Everything else is secondary, but... Pretty much did what I wanted when I wanted throughout undergrad and most of medical school. *shrug* can't complain.
 

FutureOncologist

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  1. Take economics. Micro and Macro
  2. Study abroad. I swear you'll never have a chance to do this again in your life while you're young if you become a physician...
  3. Ask that hot girl out anyway. Who the **** cares at the end of the day? It worked for me more times than not.
  4. This isn't a race to the goal line (medical school.) Take it as your first real start of a marathon to the rest of your life.
  5. Enjoy. Every. Bit. Of. College. Attend a bunch of interest meetings, find 2-3 groups you like, and stick with it now. Most likely these people will be your friends for the rest of your life. And to go off of that, attend every social gathering too. Go to a football game. Hit up that ice cream social that student activities association started up. Meet everyone on your dorm floor.
  6. Take classes outside the prereqs and your major at least once a year. Hell, take a nutrition class. They don't teach that **** in most medical schools, and it is appalling to me that they don't do so. We have such an obesity problem in this country that, if I were to open my own medical school, my students would take a nutrition class.
  7. Make memories. Because college will seem longer the more memories you make.
  8. Medical school is not as hard to get into than what this site perceives it to be. Hell, numbers are overstated on this board. (Most) Everyone on here means well, but if you stay on here, you will develop neuroses and will think that a 3.5 GPA dooms you to DO schools (for the record, I have nothing against. But there is a stigma on here too about them.)
  9. Take a gap year or two off. Work, get another degree, study abroad, seek a passion, or a combo of some or all. Your medical career begins as soon as you attend medical school. And there are little to no breaks until MANY YEARS LATER.
  10. There is nothing else like college. It will be hard, demoralizing, soul-crushing, and sometimes seemingly-impossible. But, at the same time, it will be the best years of your life. Stories that you create there will be told to your children, future significant others, friends, and future colleagues. At the very least, make the stories interesting.
 

Lawper

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I got with the ridiculously hot and smart girl from Freshman orientation and we've been together for 11 years now.

I didn't get her pregnant. (yet...)

Everything else is secondary, but... Pretty much did what I wanted when I wanted throughout undergrad and most of medical school. *shrug* can't complain.
I was about to say i am jealous of you... but that would mean i'm hitting on your wife. My apologies. :shy::oops::p
 
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Oh yeah totally, but that's only because I killed the rest of my college life. Lots of my friends got 3.0's their freshman year, then sophomore-senior year averaged ~3.6's. The 3.6 average would have been fine for MD, but the 3.0 from freshman year brought their overall GPAs down to ~3.3-3.4 and killed their chances at MD (you know...unless they could get a 527 on their mcat haha)...but regardless of semantics, the point still stands!
according to this forum, there are always SMPs and post-baccs to where people with GPAs in the 2s eventually get an MD
 
Oct 22, 2013
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As for my answer, rushed a fraternity. If you go to a big state school with an active Greek Life scene, you miss out on a lot by not going Greek. I did not go Greek and it led to lonely nights, missing out on some social events, and not doing too well in the social scene. I had friends and I am a naturally extroverted guy but I feel that I would have done even better socially if I had been in a fraternity.
 
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As for my answer, rushed a fraternity. If you go to a big state school with an active Greek Life scene, you miss out on a lot by not going Greek. I did not go Greek and it led to lonely nights, missing out on some social events, and not doing too well in the social scene. I had friends and I am a naturally extroverted guy but I feel that I would have done even better socially if I had been in a fraternity.
You can party and get laid just as much and more without being part of greek life. The only difference is you have to make your own moves instead of paying for friends that set things up for you.
 

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She was just being nice to you so she could copy off your homework. :)
Nah we never copied homework. Just did it separately at her house and helped each other. She was just as smart as me bro
You can't copy homework and then expect to do well when asked about langrangian mechanics
 

golfman7

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Have fun. It's totally possible to maintain a high GPA and enjoy college life. I wish I had socialized a little more as an undergraduate.
 

themoonman2

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I regret not exploring the many unique cultural attractions of the city in which I went to college (e.g. restaurants, bars, museums, art galleries, concerts, etc.).
 
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1. Study abroad/travel/learn a new language -- it's been stated before, the only time you will get to do this. Unfortunately if you study abroad you will likely need to take a gap year due to the gen chem - ochem - biochem (junior year) sequence at many schools
2. Join a frat - I didn't do it freshman year because people like to talk **** about frats, but at the end of the day it gives you a place to invite girls without seeming weird while you're under 21. Most college girls don't want to go on that coffee date. It also gives you access to the cool kids club and hot ditzy sorority girls during your mixers
 

studentdocftw

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RESEARCH. I decided to pursue medicine my junior year...later than most. I had no idea so many medical schools sought extensive research in applicants (I always assumed that was reserved for students that go to graduate school). So don't have the complete lack of research attached to your app like I do mine.
 

Afp0731

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As for my answer, rushed a fraternity. If you go to a big state school with an active Greek Life scene, you miss out on a lot by not going Greek. I did not go Greek and it led to lonely nights, missing out on some social events, and not doing too well in the social scene. I had friends and I am a naturally extroverted guy but I feel that I would have done even better socially if I had been in a fraternity.
I went Greek reluctantly my first semester and I must say it was the best decision I ever made. You will meet hundreds and hundreds of people(and surely make some life long friends/meet tons of attractive members of the opposite sex(or same lol)), you will become connected across campus, you will get to do some of the most fun things imaginable which anti-greek people never get to experience, you get opportunities for leadership and raising money for great causes, and the list goes on. I really cant imagine having a more fun college experience. You also don't have to dress like a professional fisher to enjoy the fun either. The naysayers only look at the bad apples and have not a clue what they are missing. Does it make concentration on school a little more difficult? Yep. However, if you don't have the discipline to balance both, you wont have the discipline to make good grades anyway. You can't put a price tag on the social development you receive either.
 
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Afp0731

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You can party and get laid just as much and more without being part of greek life. The only difference is you have to make your own moves instead of paying for friends that set things up for you.
Actually, the only difference is that you wont meet 2 percent of the girls/guys you would meet if you went greek and you wont have almost any of the same opportunities to mingle with them. The making moves bit is silly. The dues go to maintaining a house for your fraternity to have, throwing parties, tailgating, food, and insurance. If you have ever gathered a group of friends who put up money to have a good time, you cant knock on fraternity dues.
 
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Afp0731

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Oh yeah totally, but that's only because I killed the rest of my college life. Lots of my friends got 3.0's their freshman year, then sophomore-senior year averaged ~3.6's. The 3.6 average would have been fine for MD, but the 3.0 from freshman year brought their overall GPAs down to ~3.3-3.4 and killed their chances at MD (you know...unless they could get a 527 on their mcat haha)...but regardless of semantics, the point still stands!
I had an entire year when I made under a 2.0 lol.. I too made a 4.0 for the following three years and re took every class I screwed up in while making nearly perfect grades in them. While my overall GPA was slightly than what is considered competitive, my final 30 hours of science were 4.0 and it gave me a unique perspective as an applicant which I actually believed worked to my advantage a little.