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Jul 13, 2002
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First, this is an awesome website and thank you fellow
pre-meds/med students for your advice!!

1) MCAT preparation: What is the Princeton Review Prep
class like? Are the practice materials similar to what is on
the MCAT? Also, what are the examcracker books?

2) Does it matter what medical school you go to in order to
get into a good residency position? I am interested in
surgery and cardiology? Going into my junior year, I really
don't care what medical school I go to, as long as I get in.



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May 5, 2002
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I took the Princeton Review course during my senior year when I took the MCAT. I really did not want to take a prep course, but my last semester was my busiest. I had a full course load, thesis to finish, and work. Personally, the quality of the classes are determined by the people who teach it. The main reason I wanted to do Princeton was the fact that they gave all the test materials so I could do it at home. Kaplan had much of their stuff at their place, which for me, was too much of a hassale to go there. Anyway, I thought the materials they gave were really good. I did not, however go to their classes, I only went to the practice test they gave (very invaluable). The few classes I did go to were okay, but I had too much school work to attend many. The practice test were good, I pretty much got the score on the really thing that I got on my last practice (a point higher anyway:mad:) I recommend Princeton, not so much for the classes, but for the good books they give and the practice tests to do on weekends.

In regards to if medical school you go to helping you get into a residency program, there is alway a big debate to this. Nice flame wars on this topic. In short, the school you go to can defineitly help you get into a comp res program. Yes, the heart of getting in is good grades, performance more so in your clinical years, solid boards scores, and honors help. The name of your school is not the thing that will get you in, but it does help. If you, for instance, look at the matches from a top ten like John Hopkins and then to another med school that may not be as well known, you can definitely see a difference. In truth and IMO, US med schools are all good, you should aim to go where you'll be happiest. The name can help, but it is not the primary factor in getting a good res match. Anyway, I hope this helps. Good-luck and if you have any questions, you can email me.


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Nov 28, 2001
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I, too, took Princeton. If you think that you are very diciplined and can study several hours a day for a couple of month's, don't spend the money. Personally, I knew that I did not have the dicipline for a rigid self-study progrom. TPR did a good job of pacing me to study, and the practice tests were helpful.

I do think that schools matter some regarding residency. But it depends on what you want out of your training. If you want to be an academic physician at a university, go to the best school that you can. They really look at pedegrees. If you just want to be a good doc and be in primary care, than it doesn't matter so much. Your patients will not care where you went to medical school. You doctor colleagues might.


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May 13, 2002
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i agree with all of the opinions expressed, but as a fellow undergrad, i urge you to not get ahead of yourself. i think that it is really easy to put the carriage in front of the horse and get carried away with residency matches, but it is important to note that it is possible to get into most residency programs from virtually any U.S. medical school. all you need to do is get good grades, good recs from rotations and honors, and you will be fine. i think it is wonderful that you are concerned about this, i think it shows true foresight and purpose, but worry about those hurdles when you get to them, and don't let them detract energy from your current efforts.
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