May 24, 2015
6
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey guys, I just began my semester yesterday at college and I am hoping to get into a top notch medical school. Now, I know that extreme hard work and diligence will be expected from me. However, I was very curious and wondering if you guys can let me know what I need to do to maximize my chances on getting into a good Med School.
-When should I begin studying for my MCAT?
-I am currently taking Chem and Bio, would that be too much for me?
-What volunteering/extracurricular activities should I do to raise my chances? How do I get into those activities?
-And finally, advice on how to study and do well.

Thanks in advance :)
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
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If Chem and Bio at the same time are too much for you, perhaps medical school would be too much, too, and you might be better suited for a different career path. Work hard in both and see how it goes.

If you work well in a group, form a study group of like-minded students in your class and work together reviewing homework or doing problems beyond what is assigned or explaining difficult concepts to one another. Draw a bright line between group work and assignments that are handed in. Under no circumstances should you collaborate on homework or lab reports, lend lab reports or homework to others or touch another student's clicker. Never cut and paste from one source into something you will hand in as your own work. Do not cheat, ever, as this is a death sentence in medical admissions.

If you hit a snag, seek help right away. Some schools offer tutors, office hours, or TAs who can help with concepts you have trouble with.

If this is your first term, spend it getting to know people and getting to know what the school offers. Find something fun that gives you a chance to blow off steam. If you enjoy sports, join an intramural team. If you enjoy performing arts, get involved with a performance group. If you like journalism, activism or environmentalism, there is likely to be a group for that on your campus. You can't and shouldn't figure on studying 24/7 and you should find something enjoyable to do with some of your spare time. If you must work, or if you have been tapped for work-study, find a job that gives you the opportunity to work with the public or as part of a team. My kid works at a coffee bar on campus. By this time next year you should have two, or at the most three, things you really love that take some of your free time. These might be school based activities, community-based activities, or things you do on your own (hobbies like repairing electronics or making jewelry).

If you must drink, limit yourself to no more than one drink. If you can't limit yourself to one, don't drink. If you want to avoid having to report being in trouble for alcohol, don't drink until you are 21, avoid locations where underage drinking is taking place (even after you turn 21) and do not store alcohol in your university-controlled living space or allow others to do so.

You won't take the MCAT until sometime after your second year of college. Traditionally, it is taken in April of junior year but that has changed with the increased flexibility that students have in scheduling the exam. You should figure on 8-15 weeks of solid preparation for the MCAT but the earliest you should take it is about 2-2.5 years from now so relax for the time being.
 

NotASerialKiller

2+ Year Member
Jul 7, 2015
1,457
6,866
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Medical Student
Shift your focus from thinking about getting into a "top notch" school and just do your best to remain competitive at any school. Worrying about the prestige of the med school you might one day attend is very silly, especially before you even know how you're going to do in university science courses. A "best or nothing" attitude will not help you succeed.
 

Dr. Death

2+ Year Member
Feb 11, 2015
1,550
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Shadow several physicians in different specialties and get healthcare experience early on. The longer you are involved in an EC the better it looks on applications. You would rather have 5 experiences for 2-3 years each than 10 experiences for 3-4 months each.
 

Strudel19

5+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2011
511
189
Status
Pre-Medical
Don't have a backup plan - be determined to get into medical school while keeping your mind open to new ideas and perspectives along the way. If you find that you'd rather take another road, cool, but don't let it be a backup.
 

narvik2016

2+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2014
258
261
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Medical Student (Accepted)
I agree with NotASerialKiller.

Sure hard work and diligence are both very important and necessary, but I also encourage you to explore your interests and participate in activities and experiences because you WANT to. I think some of the most successful applicants are probably people who explore their passions and find real meaning in their ECs, as opposed to "box-checking," although some things are necessary like having clinical experience, for example. Figure out what you really care about and pursue that.
 

Lawper

cat in a box
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Jun 17, 2014
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If Chem and Bio at the same time are too much for you, perhaps medical school would be too much, too, and you might be better suited for a different career path. Work hard in both and see how it goes.

If you work well in a group, form a study group of like-minded students in your class and work together reviewing homework or doing problems beyond what is assigned or explaining difficult concepts to one another. Draw a bright line between group work and assignments that are handed in. Under no circumstances should you collaborate on homework or lab reports, lend lab reports or homework to others or touch another student's clicker. Never cut and paste from one source into something you will hand in as your own work. Do not cheat, ever, as this is a death sentence in medical admissions.

If you hit a snag, seek help right away. Some schools offer tutors, office hours, or TAs who can help with concepts you have trouble with.

If this is your first term, spend it getting to know people and getting to know what the school offers. Find something fun that gives you a chance to blow off steam. If you enjoy sports, join an intramural team. If you enjoy performing arts, get involved with a performance group. If you like journalism, activism or environmentalism, there is likely to be a group for that on your campus. You can't and shouldn't figure on studying 24/7 and you should find something enjoyable to do with some of your spare time. If you must work, or if you have been tapped for work-study, find a job that gives you the opportunity to work with the public or as part of a team. My kid works at a coffee bar on campus. By this time next year you should have two, or at the most three, things you really love that take some of your free time. These might be school based activities, community-based activities, or things you do on your own (hobbies like repairing electronics or making jewelry).

If you must drink, limit yourself to no more than one drink. If you can't limit yourself to one, don't drink. If you want to avoid having to report being in trouble for alcohol, don't drink until you are 21, avoid locations where underage drinking is taking place (even after you turn 21) and do not store alcohol in your university-controlled living space or allow others to do so.

You won't take the MCAT until sometime after your second year of college. Traditionally, it is taken in April of junior year but that has changed with the increased flexibility that students have in scheduling the exam. You should figure on 8-15 weeks of solid preparation for the MCAT but the earliest you should take it is about 2-2.5 years from now so relax for the time being.
Excellent advice, although i admit i slightly (ok maybe entirely) violated the drinking advice :p :p

... under legal grounds of course :naughty:
 
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Oh_Gee

5+ Year Member
Nov 15, 2013
1,697
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rock hurtling through space
Status
Medical Student
If Chem and Bio at the same time are too much for you, perhaps medical school would be too much, too, and you might be better suited for a different career path. Work hard in both and see how it goes.

If you work well in a group, form a study group of like-minded students in your class and work together reviewing homework or doing problems beyond what is assigned or explaining difficult concepts to one another. Draw a bright line between group work and assignments that are handed in. Under no circumstances should you collaborate on homework or lab reports, lend lab reports or homework to others or touch another student's clicker. Never cut and paste from one source into something you will hand in as your own work. Do not cheat, ever, as this is a death sentence in medical admissions.

If you hit a snag, seek help right away. Some schools offer tutors, office hours, or TAs who can help with concepts you have trouble with.

If this is your first term, spend it getting to know people and getting to know what the school offers. Find something fun that gives you a chance to blow off steam. If you enjoy sports, join an intramural team. If you enjoy performing arts, get involved with a performance group. If you like journalism, activism or environmentalism, there is likely to be a group for that on your campus. You can't and shouldn't figure on studying 24/7 and you should find something enjoyable to do with some of your spare time. If you must work, or if you have been tapped for work-study, find a job that gives you the opportunity to work with the public or as part of a team. My kid works at a coffee bar on campus. By this time next year you should have two, or at the most three, things you really love that take some of your free time. These might be school based activities, community-based activities, or things you do on your own (hobbies like repairing electronics or making jewelry).

If you must drink, limit yourself to no more than one drink. If you can't limit yourself to one, don't drink. If you want to avoid having to report being in trouble for alcohol, don't drink until you are 21, avoid locations where underage drinking is taking place (even after you turn 21) and do not store alcohol in your university-controlled living space or allow others to do so.

You won't take the MCAT until sometime after your second year of college. Traditionally, it is taken in April of junior year but that has changed with the increased flexibility that students have in scheduling the exam. You should figure on 8-15 weeks of solid preparation for the MCAT but the earliest you should take it is about 2-2.5 years from now so relax for the time being.
where were you when i was an ignant freshman :)
 

Dr.Sticks

2+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2014
1,118
620
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Pre-Medical
Here is what I'm doing as a college Freshman..
Volunteering at a Hospital where I am involved, and interact with patients a lot(plan to stay here for 4 years)
Working on becoming an EMT(4 years most likely)
I also do non-clinical volunteering work in the community in my own group that I lead, and I am looking into volunteering with an organization
I also am looking to do research in Spring, and currently looking to join some clubs that I think I'll love being a part of and hopefully making it in several leadership positions
Along with all my ECs I am keeping my grades up, currently have all As.. So far..!!!

As for the MCAT I think you start studying in the summer after Sophomore year, and take it during Junior year. Someone more informed can probably confirm that for you..

So ultimately here is my advice.. Do EC activities you think you'll love, and do it for the long term.
 

md-2020

The Immaculate Catch
2+ Year Member
Jun 29, 2015
2,298
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Medical Student
Here is what I'm doing as a college Freshman..
Volunteering at a Hospital where I am involved, and interact with patients a lot(plan to stay here for 4 years)
Working on becoming an EMT(4 years most likely)
I also do non-clinical volunteering work in the community in my own group that I lead, and I am looking into volunteering with an organization
I also am looking to do research in Spring, and currently looking to join some clubs that I think I'll love being a part of and hopefully making it in several leadership positions
Along with all my ECs I am keeping my grades up, currently have all As.. So far..!!!
You're literally like a week into undergrad, right? That's quite a large amount of things to be involved in already, watch out for those exam hell periods.
 

Dr.Sticks

2+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2014
1,118
620
Status
Pre-Medical
You're literally like a week into undergrad, right? That's quite a large amount of things to be involved in already, watch out for those exam hell periods.
I started volunteering like a couple weeks after graduating High School. I love volunteering in general so yeah..
Well, I have my time managed well.
Taking a break today, gonna finish my quizzes, and H.W tomorrow. Sunday I'm free after I read two chapters from my textbooks..
 
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md-2020

The Immaculate Catch
2+ Year Member
Jun 29, 2015
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I started volunteering like a couple weeks after graduating High School. I love volunteering in general so yeah..
Well, I have my time managed well.
Taking a break today, gonna finish my quizzes, and H.W tomorrow. Sunday I'm free after I read two chapters from my textbooks..
Don't forget to go out and let loose on occasion too!

The tidal wave of working weekends will wait, don't worry :D I'm mired in one right now, in fact :p
 

Dr.Sticks

2+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2014
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Pre-Medical
Don't forget to go out and let loose on occasion too!

The tidal wave of working weekends will wait, don't worry :D I'm mired in one right now, in fact :p
I always have fun. :p
I'll probably go hiking or go biking when I buy a bike on Friday afternoons.
 
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OP
M
May 24, 2015
6
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Here is what I'm doing as a college Freshman..
Volunteering at a Hospital where I am involved, and interact with patients a lot(plan to stay here for 4 years)
Working on becoming an EMT(4 years most likely)
I also do non-clinical volunteering work in the community in my own group that I lead, and I am looking into volunteering with an organization
I also am looking to do research in Spring, and currently looking to join some clubs that I think I'll love being a part of and hopefully making it in several leadership positions
Along with all my ECs I am keeping my grades up, currently have all As.. So far..!!!

As for the MCAT I think you start studying in the summer after Sophomore year, and take it during Junior year. Someone more informed can probably confirm that for you..

So ultimately here is my advice.. Do EC activities you think you'll love, and do it for the long term.
Thank all of you guys very much, I already got a volunteering gig at a pediatrician clinic. Now my question is to Dr. Sticks. I'm also considering EMT-B for volunteering, however, I have many classes piled on me so I won't have time for it during the fall/winter time. When are you thinking of studying for EMT? Did you begin already?
 

Strudel19

5+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2011
511
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Pre-Medical
A week into undergrad? Man, I start Monday and I thought I started early.
 

Dr.Sticks

2+ Year Member
Nov 24, 2014
1,118
620
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank all of you guys very much, I already got a volunteering gig at a pediatrician clinic. Now my question is to Dr. Sticks. I'm also considering EMT-B for volunteering, however, I have many classes piled on me so I won't have time for it during the fall/winter time. When are you thinking of studying for EMT? Did you begin already?
Nope; I would wait for the training to be offered to you for free.
Find a place to volunteer at as an EMT and then move up the ranks.. A lot of places will give you 100% free training, and you could do it over summer. I would take something like this slow, and steady.
So for me, I'll just start as a basic EMT, and then eventually transition into being a paramedic. I'm not gonna just jump into it.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
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Don't list EMT training on your application unless you actually end up using the training to be an EMT.
 

GiveMeThatMD

Consider this thread DERAILED.
2+ Year Member
Dec 11, 2014
295
352
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Don't have a backup plan - be determined to get into medical school while keeping your mind open to new ideas and perspectives along the way. If you find that you'd rather take another road, cool, but don't let it be a backup.
I don't know.... I've always been told that a backup plan is an absolute must. The amount of students that get weeded out of Pre-Med is pretty devastating, and the least one could do is have a backup plan.