mdx1

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I'm going to be a freshman in college this fall, and there isn't any doubt in my mind that the pre-med path is the right one to take. However, I'm not even in college yet and I'm already feeling overwhelmed by everything I need to do over the next four years to look attractive to the application reviewers, score high on the MCAT, get into a great med school, etc.

Phius.com makes is sound like I'm already on the wrong track- I'm going to a small, liberal arts school (Centre College). Am I really going to be at that much of a disadvantage, if I have my sights set on big-name med schools?

So I guess my question is this: What's really important? What do I need to think about now, and what can I put on the back burner until later on? What do you wish you would have done/known when you were where I am now?

Thanks.
 

ADeadLois

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Relax, and have a fun freshmen year. Start doing your pre-reqs, join a few clubs or student groups for things YOU enjoy, and don't think about the med school application for at least 1 year and half.
 

SoCuteMD

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As a liberal arts grad I feel the need to respond to this. I haven't read Phius.com, but the students from my liberal arts college have, in recent years, been admitted to Baylor (out of state), WashU, Emory, Vandy, Duke, etc. Obviously these were top pre-med students who would have done well at any University. As a struggling pre-med student I still managed admission to a good medical school at which I am pretty happy, despite the ups and downs.

Take it a day at a time. Freshman bio/chem first - study hard. Find an EC you like, and begin to lay the groundwork to be a leader. Then orgo - study hard. Then, junior year you can begin thinking about where you might like to apply and studying for the MCATs (reverse the order in the last one!).

Breathe :).
 
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I'm two years ahead of you. I wouldn't really have done much differently. Just start off taking your bio and chem and something else to get you immediately immersed in college life. For me, it was the marching band, but it could be just about anything.

Oh, and make sure you keep at least one good friend who is not a pre-med.
 

AngryBaby

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ADeadLois said:
Relax, and have a fun freshmen year. Start doing your pre-reqs, join a few clubs or student groups for things YOU enjoy, and don't think about the med school application for at least 1 year and half.
Well, I disagree somewhat. Sure have fun but I would say don't STRESS OUT about the application for a year and a half. I think EC's should definitely be starting now. Wait to shadow a doc for another year or 2 but definitely look to get some clinical volunteer work (approx 4hrs/wk) and then either continue it or volunteer in something else to get different perspectives. You should have some clinical volunteer experience and some (approx 3-6 mo.'s) shadowing to clear the whole "do you have any clinical experience?"/"do you know what you're getting into?" question.

Start getting to know some science profs and try to get an idea of what (if any) research opportunities are available for undergrads. You can take care of that anytime in your 4 yrs really, unless you're gunning for an MD/PhD deal and then the more research the better.

Anyway, that's my general idea. I'm sure there's stuff I left out here but just off the top of my head that covers it. Oh, and DO WELL ACADEMICALLY. At least as many A's as B's here, anything below a 3.5 overall and 3.4 science GPA will make admission to allopathic schools tough I think. Any other advice please chime in.

Good luck!!
 

geogil

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mdx1 said:
I'm going to be a freshman in college this fall, and there isn't any doubt in my mind that the pre-med path is the right one to take. However, I'm not even in college yet and I'm already feeling overwhelmed by everything I need to do over the next four years to look attractive to the application reviewers, score high on the MCAT, get into a great med school, etc.

Phius.com makes is sound like I'm already on the wrong track- I'm going to a small, liberal arts school (Centre College). Am I really going to be at that much of a disadvantage, if I have my sights set on big-name med schools?

So I guess my question is this: What's really important? What do I need to think about now, and what can I put on the back burner until later on? What do you wish you would have done/known when you were where I am now?

Thanks.
I don't think it really matters which undergrad school you go to as long as it's not Podunk community college. Also, major in something YOU enjoy. For me that meant a double major in french and history, then finishing the prereqs as a post bacc. If you know medicine is for you, take the prereqs along the way. Go to your professor's office hours so they get to know you (useful for LOR's later). IF you're starting your freshman year this fall, you have a lot of time ahead of you before you start sweating applications and the MCAT. If i were you I would avoid reading the SDN forums too much before, they'll get you freaked out even if you have a 4.0 and 43 MCAT. Good luck!
 

ParvatiP

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I would suggest you start getting involved in medically-related (and non-med) ECs that interest you- volunteering, shadowing, etc. That never hurts. And just try to keep your grades as high as you can. It doesn't matter where you go to college as long as you keep your GPA high. I go to a LAC as well and I really like it because of the small class sizes, so I don't think you're at a disadvantage in that regard.

One thing I wish I'd have known...well I didn't decide to go pre-med until sophomore year. If I had known in the beginning, I would have been able to set up my schedule to fit in a study abroad. I don't know if you're interested in that sort of thing, but if you are, you should start thinking about your schedule and how to fit in pre-reqs and requirements for your major.

Also, keep an open mind about your future and be sure to take classes that interest you.

Good luck and try not to stress out so much!
 

Anastasis

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BTW, I'm not sure how much I would trust that website. I just checked it out and under MCAT advice it says to bring earplugs, which aren't allowed. I know that's one minor point but its kinda a red flag to me.
 

brains

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geogil said:
I don't think it really matters which undergrad school you go to as long as it's not Podunk community college. Also, major in something YOU enjoy. For me that meant a double major in french and history, then finishing the prereqs as a post bacc. If you know medicine is for you, take the prereqs along the way. Go to your professor's office hours so they get to know you (useful for LOR's later). IF you're starting your freshman year this fall, you have a lot of time ahead of you before you start sweating applications and the MCAT. If i were you I would avoid reading the SDN forums too much before, they'll get you freaked out even if you have a 4.0 and 43 MCAT. Good luck!
Great advice geogil. I totally agree. Relax for awhile. Focus mainly on what's in front of you, and you will do fine. Freshman year can be overwhelming no matter what you want to go into. Just stay on top of studying, don't party too much, but take the classes you will need to get accepted. Try to space your classes out right so that you don't take all your pre-reqs in your feshman/sophomore years and then you're left with weird, useless classes that you won't need.
 

etf

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the best advice i can give you is get the absolute best grades you can. strive for the 4.0 from the get go. ECs you can pick up when you're ready and you can retake the mcat if you screw up, but there's really no recovering from a crappy gpa.
 

Law2Doc

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mdx1 said:
I'm going to be a freshman in college this fall, and there isn't any doubt in my mind that the pre-med path is the right one to take.
Go to college with an open mind. You should be full of doubts, even if med school is ultimately going to be the right path. You have seen nothing, lived nothing. Explore other subjects, talk to classmates interested in other things. Major in whatever sounds cool, even if it has nothing to do with science. Enjoy college. Just take the prereqs as you go along.
 

LucidSplash

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socuteMD said:
As a liberal arts grad I feel the need to respond to this. I haven't read Phius.com, but the students from my liberal arts college have, in recent years, been admitted to Baylor (out of state), WashU, Emory, Vandy, Duke, etc. Obviously these were top pre-med students who would have done well at any University. As a struggling pre-med student I still managed admission to a good medical school at which I am pretty happy, despite the ups and downs.
I'm goint to ring in here and agree with socuteMD. I am a liberal arts grad and I think all of my classmates and I were both well-prepared to take on the challenge of med school as well as attractive candidates for admission. I for one wouldn't trade my experience at my small liberal arts school for any "big name" school (not saying that a bigger school isn't better for others, just that for me it was perfect).

Also, take into this account quotes like this, found on the aamc website:

"As you select a college remember that just as in high school, a good liberal arts education is a key ingredient to becoming a physician. You'll need a strong foundation in mathematics and the sciences that relate most to medicine: biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics. But it's important for your college experience to be broad. Taking courses in the humanities or liberal arts will help you prepare for the "people" side of medicine."

This quote is speaking more towards the types of courses you take rather than the type of college you attend, but I think its good to keep in mind.

Additionally, I think there can even be an added benefit to attending a smaller school when it comes to letters of recommendation. It is easier to get to know your profs at a smaller school and thus easier to request letters and easier for your profs to write good ones if they truly know you. I also received a great deal of assistance from my alma mater's pre-health professions advisor, even though I did not apply until I had been out for a couple of years. She knew who I was and I wasn't just another face in the crowd to her.

So, in short, I agree with what other's here say. Make sure you ENJOY your college experience. Do things you like, and get through Organic, etc, before you truly decide that you want to follow this path. Do some shadowing, some volunteering, etc, but do what you LIKE. And be proud of your small liberal arts school. It's worth it.
 

James Moriarty

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As long as you do your best to get good grades and are fairly active on campus with a mixture of premed and non-premed clubs, you will be ok. Do your best in school and have fun. There is no reason to start stressing out now, you're way too early in the game for that. Just try and be mindful of what you think you should be doing (which you can find out by reading these forums and such), and slowly tack on activities as you progress through college. :thumbup:
 

halekulani

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sleep with as many girls as you can freshman year. the longer you wait, the harder it gets. as a pre-med, you'll be seeing a lot of the same people and you'll be around the same type of people...so get around while you can. unless you're really smart, you've just signed your soul to the school's library.
 

Hurricane95

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Phius.com...who the hell wrote this nonsense? The site looks terrible.
Their workout tips are totally off-track too. Arm exercises are inefficient? You'll never get big arms just doing trunk exercises, how ridiculous. Sorry about the rant, back to the premed stuff: I agree with everyone else on here. Do your own thing and you'll be fine. Be goal-oriented from the beginning, but don't overwhelm yourself either. Keep a big picture in mind, but tackle your goals on a step-by-step basis. For example, focus during your freshman year on getting good grades in all your classes, not preparing for the mcat! Thats way too early do be worrying about that. Take it all in stride, breathe, and you'll be ok.
 
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