If you could have done one thing more for med school... what?

amnesia

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    As a graduating senior from high school, if you could've done one thing right from the bat in college, what would it have been? This is for a better chance in the med school running.

    Thanks.
     

    crzyemeni

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      amnesia said:
      As a graduating senior from high school, if you could've done one thing right from the bat in college, what would it have been? This is for a better chance in the med school running.

      Thanks.

      1. win the nobel prize
      2. find a cure for cancer, aids
      3. get a 45T with a 4.0 gpa

      but really i would have wanted to up my 3.7 gpa or mcat
       

      dajimmers

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        Find something I really like to do, and commit to it like crazy, while remaining well-rounded in everything else. I feel like a well-rounded app, but I don't have that stunning four year experience as a student leader for a local Aids clinic that I helped establish, or something equally unique.
         
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        argonana

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          I definitely would have studied harder during the first two years of college. Beyond that...just would've gathered more leadership + clinical experience.

          GPA's the thing that bugs me the most, though. I had fun with my college activities, and that does seem to count for something.
           

          Anastasis

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            Studied more my first year of college, that way my GPA wouldn't suck. Dropped calc III before I got that damn C.

            That and NOT lived in an all-freshmen honors dorm - wouldn't have improved my chances of getting into med school but would have been alot more fun.
             

            Risa

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              I would've become an EMT earlier so that I could actually spend time throughout college working on an ambulance. I finally got registered this past spring, but now I'm too busy with apps to actually commit to an EMT job :-(
               

              argonana

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                Hmmm...wouldn't it be nice if AMCAS dropped freshman grades? Or adcoms themselves could just throw them out the window.
                :thumbup: :smuggrin:

                Oh yeah, I also would've liked to have started EMT work earlier...I'd love to have been able to volunteer as a paramedic or even a firefighter for some time before med school. I'm going to miss EMS next year!! :love:
                 

                tacrum43

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                  Majored in something I found more interesting like Philosophy or Psychology, and just taken the pre-reqs, plus maybe genetics and biochem. Of course, at the time I didn't know I would like those courses so much. But what can you do?
                   

                  QofQuimica

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                    amnesia said:
                    As a graduating senior from high school, if you could've done one thing right from the bat in college, what would it have been? This is for a better chance in the med school running.

                    Thanks.

                    I would have taken more art classes. I took two, and I ended up illustrating my own thesis, which was kind of cool. Oh, and I would have taken more chem classes earlier on so that I could have been a chem major.
                     
                    amnesia said:
                    As a graduating senior from high school, if you could've done one thing right from the bat in college, what would it have been? This is for a better chance in the med school running.

                    Thanks.

                    Taken more classes that I was interested in (e.g. more Spanish classes), done a study abroad program (even just for a summer- I almost did, but didn't have enough $$$), been less stressed out, studied less (okay, not less exactly, but more effeciently so I coulda had more free time) and LIVED more. :cool:
                     

                    Shredder

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                      amnesia said:
                      As a graduating senior from high school, if you could've done one thing right from the bat in college, what would it have been? This is for a better chance in the med school running.

                      Thanks.
                      get your name on publications, meaning start on some research early
                      pick good organizations early and get a stranglehold on leadership positions
                      optional: major in economics

                      the first two are concrete things to do that will substantially increase your candidacy as a med school applicant. pair them with clinical experience, 3.8 gpa and 36 mcat and youre golden for top 10. this is straight up cookie cutter advice that will work, and not something like have more fun or go to more football games
                       
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                      Law2Doc

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                        amnesia said:
                        As a graduating senior from high school, if you could've done one thing right from the bat in college, what would it have been? This is for a better chance in the med school running.

                        Thanks.

                        (1) Take a major that you find interesting and can get straight A's in, no matter how unrelated to med school it might be.
                        (2) Get involved in some sort of community service (nonhealth).
                        (3) Schmooze your professors so they know you come LOR writing time.
                        (4) Stay far away from anyone who considers themselves "premed" during freshman year.

                        and that Nobel prize thing cited by a prior poster wouldn't hurt either.
                         

                        Em1

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                          I actually did this, but STUDY ABROAD!
                          I'm not sure if it helps a whole lot with the med school thing, but when else in your lifetime will you be able to spend an entire summer in europe? (or wherever)

                          Other than that, I wish I had figured out earlier than spring semester of my junior year that I wanted to go to med school. It would have made things smoother, but it looks like you've already got that one covered.
                           

                          lazygunner

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                            Take your prereqs as early as possible. Maintain a >3.7 gpa...don't listen to those people who say, "come on, you're only in college once, you'll remember the crazy times we had, not the times you were studying"...these people clearly aren't premed (or won't be soon), and it's extremely possible to maintain a good gpa if you know how much time you need to prepare for exams...the fun times will come with good time management. Then again, if you find that all you're doing is work all the time, make sure you get in some fun/stress-releasing activities. Don't take classes over the summer...do something interesting/medically related like research or volunteering. I did research in England and NYC for the past three summers - best times of my life because when you're not in the lab you can party like a madman in fun cities. Get involved, get leadership positions. Shadow a few doctors, get some patient contact (You do not need 100+ hours of EMT experience or anything like that...just something you would feel confident talking about in an interview). Don't listen to anything your premed advisor says...never met with the woman and never go to any of the information sessions, they're just there to scare you. Take the mcat in August before Junior year, or April during Junior year (don't do it in August if studying for it is the only thing you'll do that summer). Get your applications in early!!!
                             

                            -Goose-

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                              Risa said:
                              I would've become an EMT earlier so that I could actually spend time throughout college working on an ambulance. I finally got registered this past spring, but now I'm too busy with apps to actually commit to an EMT job :-(

                              ditto.
                              I earned my emt license freshman year and it has def. been the single most important experience during my pre-med years.
                               
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                              amnesia

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                                gujuDoc, I haven't decided yet. I've applied to six random colleges, all ranging from top to bottom tier.

                                Right now, everything is going as planned in high school. And, really, I want to hit the ground running when I get into college. :)

                                Keep them coming, gang! I really appreciate this. :)
                                 
                                i would have done better in college, earning better grades. i had everything else down. i have myself in publications, leader of a cultural group that did community service, ok MCAT (could have been in improved), good LORs in the end. oh and i wish i had not been stupid my sophomore year.
                                 

                                Samoa

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                                  I'd have taken a year off and worked sometime around sophomore/junior year. In the end I wouldn't have lost any ground, and it would have helped me realize that I could survive without my parents' financial support. I don't know if that would have made a difference in how long it took me to find medicine as a career, but it would definitely have taken away one major excuse why I wasn't even considering it.

                                  Of course, this doesn't apply to someone like the OP, who is already a dedicated pre-med. :p
                                   

                                  gujuDoc

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                                    minah86 said:
                                    What are different types of leadership roles, besides being President or Vice Pres. for a group and tutoring...is there anything else?

                                    Leadership does not always mean being a club president. It can be shown in things like leading the church quoir like my friend does.

                                    It can be shown in taking lead of various smaller projects like being a site leader for a volunteer activity, or if in a club, being on a smaller committee for different activities.

                                    For instance, our AMSA chapter has a committee for what they like to call the Black and White ball in which they raise money for pediatri aids. Being on the committee is one way a non executive member could show leadership.

                                    Other ways would be to volunteer to head the group of volunteers for a particular volunteer activity here and there.

                                    So don't always stress about being president of a specific organization.
                                     

                                    neovenom

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                                      i wouldn't have taken histology, because it hurt my GPA. in fact, i would suggest that you not take classes that have a high probability of hurting your grades. just take the pre-med reqs, and use your other hours to pursue fun classes, things that interest you, or will help boost your GPA.

                                      also, get more involved in your clubs (with leadership roles being the ideal, of course). i just joined them to put down on my resume. actually doing things gives you something to talk about during the interview.
                                       

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                                        gujuDoc said:
                                        Leadership does not always mean being a club president. It can be shown in things like leading the church quoir like my friend does.

                                        It can be shown in taking lead of various smaller projects like being a site leader for a volunteer activity, or if in a club, being on a smaller committee for different activities.

                                        For instance, our AMSA chapter has a committee for what they like to call the Black and White ball in which they raise money for pediatri aids. Being on the committee is one way a non executive member could show leadership.

                                        Other ways would be to volunteer to head the group of volunteers for a particular volunteer activity here and there.

                                        So don't always stress about being president of a specific organization.


                                        To add to this, being president or vice president of a club and not actually doing anything (like a lot of officers do) won't be very impressive either. It might help you get an interview, but once you get there, you'll look like an idiot. I ran an organization as an undergrad. I got several questions about what I did as president, what kinds of events I planned, how I ran the organization, etc. I think what came off as impressive was not the title (president), but that I could talk enthusiastically about some of the events I had planned that I was especially proud of. They know titles can just be crap. What matters is that you got something out of it.
                                         

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                                          neovenom said:
                                          i wouldn't have taken histology, because it hurt my GPA. in fact, i would suggest that you not take classes that have a high probability of hurting your grades. just take the pre-med reqs, and use your other hours to pursue fun classes, things that interest you, or will help boost your GPA.

                                          also, get more involved in your clubs (with leadership roles being the ideal, of course). i just joined them to put down on my resume. actually doing things gives you something to talk about during the interview.

                                          Breadth and difficultly of classwork is always considered in admissions. Nothing risked, nothing gained, sort of. Any 4.0 is nice, but they see if you had to work for it or not.
                                           
                                          amnesia said:
                                          As a graduating senior from high school, if you could've done one thing right from the bat in college, what would it have been? This is for a better chance in the med school running.

                                          Thanks.

                                          Hi there,
                                          I would have become conversant in Spanish. I speak a little medical spanish but I would love to be able to speak more and understand this beautiful language more.

                                          In secondary school (British system), I learned Greek and Latin plus French. They are of little use to me as a General Surgeon today. Spanish would have been a huge plus as many of my patients only speak Spanish.

                                          njbmd :)
                                           
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