Z

ZachF

Hey everyone, I'm new to SDN, so forgive me if my questions have already been beaten like a dead horse.

Im going into my first year of pre-med at St Edwards university in Austin, and after an entire highschool career of coasting by, I'd like to really put myself forward and get into a top of the line medical school. From the research I've done, I'd like to go to either Mayo, John Hopkins or Yale.

As far as questions go, I'm mostly still curious about extra curriculars.
I've read tons of threads about research and shadowing a doctor, when should I begin this? I've got a slightly more than average course load my freshman year at 19 hours, but two of them are just extra classes I'm taking as part of Globalization and Cultural awareness programs. Should I pursue shadowing a doctor from my freshman year, or will that seem "over the top" in a gunning sort of way?

As far as research goes, what does that entail? Just sitting down with an established lab or doctor and doing labs and such?

Because of AP, credit by exam and dual enrollment I have the option to pursue a minor in German, Buisness, History or Music, which do you think medical schools would look most favorably on?

Thanks for any and all advice!
 

Naijaba

10+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2007
1,057
107
Status
Pre-Medical
Congratulations on taking your first steps towards an MD. In regards to your questions:

Should I pursue shadowing a doctor from my freshman year, or will that seem "over the top" in a gunning sort of way?

It is very hard to appear "over the top" in medical school admissions. Many applicants will have relatives/friends/associates who are doctors and will have shadowed long before college. Start shadowing as soon as possible. Better yet, try to find a direct patient-care volunteering opportunity where you have to get your hands dirty. It will be a far richer experience.

As far as research goes, what does that entail? Just sitting down with an established lab or doctor and doing labs and such?

The importance of research for top schools cannot be understated. You mentioned Hopkins as a top school, right? If you're basing this ranking on U.S. News and World Report you better understand that they're ranked by research output. Hopkins is not in the top 10 for primary care.

Research itself varies from laboratory work, to software engineering, to clinical trials, and so on. I am of the opinion that quality research leads to results; not necessarily a publication, but at least a presentation of some kind. If you invest yourself in research you'll learn a ton of information and it will significantly help your chances at research-intensive schools.

Because of AP, credit by exam and dual enrollment I have the option to pursue a minor in German, Buisness, History or Music, which do you think medical schools would look most favorably on?

Do what you enjoy: it'll be better for you and you're more likely to achieve good grades.
 
OP
Z

ZachF

Well, nobody can say you put off narrowing down your list of schools. :laugh:

Haha, I don't mean to sound narrow minded about it, Ive been thinking of it sort of like I did with college apps, pick several "High tier" several "Middle" and so on. I realize those are all very difficult to get into as well, and that I may need to broaden up my choices more.
 
OP
Z

ZachF

Congratulations on taking your first steps towards an MD. In regards to your questions:

Should I pursue shadowing a doctor from my freshman year, or will that seem "over the top" in a gunning sort of way?

It is very hard to appear "over the top" in medical school admissions. Many applicants will have relatives/friends/associates who are doctors and will have shadowed long before college. Start shadowing as soon as possible. Better yet, try to find a direct patient-care volunteering opportunity where you have to get your hands dirty. It will be a far richer experience.

As far as research goes, what does that entail? Just sitting down with an established lab or doctor and doing labs and such?

The importance of research for top schools cannot be understated. You mentioned Hopkins as a top school, right? If you're basing this ranking on U.S. News and World Report you better understand that they're ranked by research output. Hopkins is not in the top 10 for primary care.

Research itself varies from laboratory work, to software engineering, to clinical trials, and so on. I am of the opinion that quality research leads to results; not necessarily a publication, but at least a presentation of some kind. If you invest yourself in research you'll learn a ton of information and it will significantly help your chances at research-intensive schools.

Because of AP, credit by exam and dual enrollment I have the option to pursue a minor in German, Buisness, History or Music, which do you think medical schools would look most favorably on?

Do what you enjoy: it'll be better for you and you're more likely to achieve good grades.

So as far as research and and shadowing goes, should I try to combine the two and research with who I shadow?

Should I try to broaden my research and shadowing experiences, or stick heavily to one field that I'm interested in?


Thanks so much for the help!
 

apumic

Oracle of the Sheet
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2007
3,924
7
Denver, CO
Status
Medical Student
Haha, I don't mean to sound narrow minded about it, Ive been thinking of it sort of like I did with college apps, pick several "High tier" several "Middle" and so on. I realize those are all very difficult to get into as well, and that I may need to broaden up my choices more.
STRIKE ONE! j/k, but seriously, a flawed approach for med school. Rankings are by research output and in medicine rankings really mean little more than how much you pay to go there.... They have little impact upon future success (unless you're going into academic medicine...and then this approah is actually even more flawed...)