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PAPrincess2018

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To all pre med students, if there was one thing you wish you knew when starting down the pre-med track what would it be? Also what are your best tips for a student wanting to go into medicine?
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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For me, I wish I hadn't second guessed myself so much. When I started working in the OR, I found myself enamored with the science of medicine. But as I continued working and started along the pre-med path, the responsibility of people's lives seemed huge. I knew I was smart enough to handle med school, but my younger, immature self wasn't sure he could handle the responsibility. And maybe I couldn't at the time, but instead of trusting that the process would prepare me, I hemmed and hawed for years.

Of course, I have no regrets. If I hadn't hemmed and hawed, I probably wouldn't have met my wife.
 
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WedgeDawg

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Don't sacrifice your GPA for extracurriculars. You can do your extracurriculars later or once your GPA is stable.
 
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Lawpy

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    1. Major whatever you want and do what you like provided you get some necessary ECs in like clinical and nonclinical volunteering, shadowing, etc.

    2. Follow the advice and suggestions given by adcoms, faculty and stickies, since these are the biggest assets of the forums

    I think with these two, SDN can be used as a very powerful tool in helping you get into med school.
     
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    onceawolverine

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    Don't sacrifice your GPA for extracurriculars. You can do your extracurriculars later or once your GPA is stable.
    unclear if this is something you wish you knew or if its a tip for other students. please clarify, we're all awaiting your response anxiously.
     
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    deleted407021

    Vet everything your advisor says against information you find from other premeds, medical students and physicians.
     
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    mitch8017

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    I wish I would have taken a little bit of time out of my schedule to dedicate towards volunteering at the cancer center or tutoring a bunch of young kids, and things of that nature. If you are able to put just 2-4 hours a week into that for 3 years just during the semester, that would come out to roughly 180-360 hours of commitment to that activity if I did it about 15 weeks/semester. Also, I wish I would've taken good, but relatively general notes from my pre-req classes and saved any figures that I found very helpful in understanding a concept as these would be great for kicking off MCAT studying. I wish I woulda taken time to shadow a physician twice a semester or twice a break or something like that since it would have been easy to fit them in and again would have been sustained, which med school likes to see.
     
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    anonymoose1640

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    I recommend only participating in activities you are truly passionate about. Don't just seek to check off a box, it becomes very obvious on an application and in an interview. If you are truly invested in the work, then the essays and talking about it during an interview will come much more naturally.

    And also, try not to compare yourself to other premeds, whether friends or on SDN, doing so can make you pretty miserable.

    Good luck :)
     
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    Dandine

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    Here are a couple things (as well as some app stuff I've noticed).
    • It is very, very easy to compare yourself to other pre-meds: focus on what you need to do when you need to, and that will be much more important for your life (and app) in the long run. On a related note, people giving advice will usually have a very good reason to give the advice they give, but you have to balance it out with what you want from life. In other words, know thyself and get help where needed.
    • Find good mentors: variable definition depending on your goals, but strive to find people who can guide you. The best mentors will want to help you and see you grow.
    • The MCAT is not impossible. I had hyped it up to be so much harder than it was the day of. Not saying it's easy, but if you have studied you will have at least seen everything on the exam in some way, shape, or form. If I had to do prep over, I would have gone even more in-depth with practice questions and practice exams because they would have sharpened the interpretation skills that were really crucial the day of the test. When it comes to content, know what you do and don't and review what you don't (as opposed to panic-cycling through material...yeah, that happened...).
    • Be realistic when applying. I found @WedgeDawg 's lovely rating calculator too late for my app but did it for fun...really wish I had known about it sooner because it was eerily accurate for my cycle. Choosing schools is a bit of an art, but if I were to apply again, I'd really keep that in mine.
    • Sleep. Diet. Exercise. You need these.
    • Do not ignore yourself...that will come back to bite you. Keep up with what's necessary for you in order to be fully invested in your work and relationships with others...including but not limited to hobbies, spending time with people close to you, finding your best ways to study, time management, prayer, meditation, workouts, Sudoku...
    • Doubt is normal. Take each challenge as it comes, and relish every moment.
     
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    osckey

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    Enjoy undergrad way more than you did.
     

    Astra

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    Use the search function on SDN
     
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