fxfalcon35

New Member
10+ Year Member
Jan 6, 2007
7
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I am currently a first year student at a less than stellar small liberal arts college in New Jersey. I have alot of AP credits that I am using for my general education requirements. Enough credits that I am considered a sophomore. I will take summer courses and will hopefully graduate in three years. I am a Biology BA major, so I will have half science and half general courses. I am not using AP credits for science courses, and will not take science classes in the summer, because I really want to build up a strong science background. Also, I plan on graduating with honors; I don’t know how much that will help?

Anyway, I am sure that I want to become a physician. However looking at these forums and other boards, it seems really competitive. I have always expected it to be a challenge, and I am ready to start working really hard. So I have questions about how to start setting my self apart.
I am aware that GPA and MCATs are top priorities. Will alot of MCAT prep make a difference? I have never been great at standardized tests, so I am really worried. MY SAT score was only 1300 (Reading and math) and 1920 total.

Then the extracurricular are really important. Research is not a big deal at my college, so I am not sure if I will have as much experience in the research field. However, there are two hospitals near by where I will begin volunteering at one of them soon. Also, I plan on taking a three month night EMT course starting in January as I take my spring semester. There are various agencies around where I will volunteer as an EMT (at one of them) and eventually start working for pay.
My question is, will that EMT really be that much help? I am not sure if that will be good experience, but I am hoping it will be a good way to find a better position in the hospital.

Also anything else I should look into? I really want to go to a good, preferably great medical school. Thank you in advance.
 

Mobius1985

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2007
3,484
2
I plan on graduating with honors; I don't know how much that will help?

Will alot of MCAT prep make a difference? I have never been great at standardized tests, so I am really worried.

I plan on taking a three month night EMT course starting in January as I take my spring semester. There are various agencies around where I will volunteer as an EMT (at one of them) and eventually start working for pay. My question is, will that EMT really be that much help?

anything else I should look into?

I did the same thing you plan to, entering college as a sophomore, and graduating in three years. I did all my sciences as classroom courses, rather than AP. I did calculus as AP without repeating it, and had no problems, even though it is often a prerequisite. I was an honors student, and honestly, it makes no difference having an "H" next to the course titles on your transcripts. Your GPA is the most important.

It does help to study longer for the MCAT, and it helps more to take a formal prep course, like Kaplan, or Princeton Review.

EMT certification is not useful, unless you volunteer or work using the skills you gained. If you do that, it is an outstanding clinical experience, with lots of face-to-face patient care (rather than getting to wash gurneys in the ER, as I did). If you are going to work as an EMT, you need not do the hospital volunteering, unless it will be a quality experience. You can do some other form of humanitarian work instead, or choose another venue, like nursing home, clinic, or hospice to get a varied experience.

Keep trying to find a research experience, but don't worry about it this year. Your first priority to is get very high grades. You will also eventually want to get a leadership experience. Keep the need for Letters of Reference in mind, but not this year, as they need to be more recent.
 

fxfalcon35

New Member
10+ Year Member
Jan 6, 2007
7
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Mobius1985 thank you very much for your response, I do plan on volunteering, and eventually working with the EMTs. The thing with honors is that it will make me volunteer 30 hours a semester and fill my general requirements, so i figured it would be good and keep me volunteering in other things. I think the formal course is a good idea because it will force me to study for the MCATs. Thanks alot.
 
About the Ads

Mobius1985

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2007
3,484
2
For me, the best thing about being in the honors program was being able to register for the next semester's classes three weeks before everyone else. The smaller class sizes were nice too.
 

mmmcdowe

Duke of minimal vowels
Staff member
Administrator
Volunteer Staff
10+ Year Member
Sep 13, 2008
9,859
1,806
Status (Visible)
  1. Resident [Any Field]
New Jersey has many private and academic research venues. You don't have to just do research at your university, you can also do something in your city. My buddy does work at TGEN in phoenix, which is probably better than most research that could be done at my University.
 

HrryUpNwait

Class of 2013
10+ Year Member
Oct 24, 2008
203
1
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Kudos for getting such an early start on things!! You sound like you will be fine with such determination. I would recommend a few things--

1) Get a high GPA- no secret there- do the little things like going into professors office hours because it leaves an impression on them and they will remember if your are on the edge between grades. Lets face it, they get paid the same whether they give you a B+ or an A so you might as well be their little buddy and get the A.

2) Work on the MCAT early- chip away at this massive beast. I made the mistake of thinking- I can't review until I take all the prereqs- NO! Start reviewing, youre a smart kid teach yourself a thing or two out of the books. If you can get something like a 27 a year before you have to take it then the prep course will shoot you into Ivy world.

3) Shadow some docs- letters of rec from MDs look really good. The EMT stuff will help- but for 1,000 hours of that you could get something just as appealing in 100 hours. If you like it do it- it will help and you will get paid- but if it makes classes difficult its not worth a few knocks on the GPA.
 

HrryUpNwait

Class of 2013
10+ Year Member
Oct 24, 2008
203
1
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
oh yeh, one more thing- try to do a summer research gig. They are easy to apply for and look awesome. Also, don't sweat the SAT- I got a 1480 with a perfect 800 math score and ripped out a 27 MCAT. The SAT is logic and natural intellect whereas the MCAT is more knowledge based (you can more easily study for the MCAT than something like the SAT or an IQ test). More work=higher grade.

Note- for all the SDN members who love to nit pick- that was a generalization about the MCAT and SAT and I know the MCAT has some logic and the SAT has some knowledge based stuff so don't split hairs here.
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 12 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.