Preparing for Medical School

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Rebecheka, Jan 31, 2000.

  1. Rebecheka

    Rebecheka New Member

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    Hi. I am currently a sophomore at a private liberal arts college, and I am a biology major. I am interested in attending an osteopathic college when I graduate.

    My school does not have a strong biology program, so I do not receive a lot of help from my advisors concerning my future plans. Also, no one from my school has ever entered an osteopathic school.

    What should I be doing now to prepare for the MCAT and medical school? Should I be doing specific activities during the school year and summers? If anyone could give me any advice, I would appreciate it. Also, if you can give me any specifics about what to look for in a medical school and which ones are the "best," I would be grateful.

    Rebecca

    ------------------
    Romans 12:2
     
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  3. Nanook

    Nanook Senior Member

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    Reba--

    As a post-bacc student looking back at all the opportunities I missed, here are some tips on things I wish I would have done:

    --find a physician (a DO, if you want to go to osteopathic school) to shadow and/or get to know. His/her rec letter will be important. This sounds more difficult than it is--it just takes some initiative.

    --There are all kinds of summer medical research programs out there, including one at Ohio COM. They usually pay around $2000 for 10 weeks work, which is around enough to break even, sometimes less. Start applying now for one this summer. Here is a URL to get you started: http://www-hl.syr.edu/hpap/sumprgs.HTM
    These programs are mostly for minorities, but some will accept others. Also check out Baylor University's page for the SMART program at http://www.bcm.tmc.edu/smart/

    --volunteer somewhere medical. A local hospital, EMT squad (what I did), or whatever. Your university may be able to hook you up with something.

    --Don't worry too much about your school's biology program not being all that good. Unless you're applying to an Ivy League school, it probably won't matter.

    And of course, keep your GPA up. Start studying for the MCAT about 6 months b/f you take it. Take it in April of your Jr year, so you have the scores back in time to apply in June. And apply early in the summer b/f your Sr year.

    Lastly, buy a few books on getting into med school. They will repeat the same advice I just gave you, for the most part, but it will help to solidify it for you.

    Good luck
     
  4. Nanook

    Nanook Senior Member

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    And of course, do not let the world (of pre-med syndrome) conform you to its likeness, but be continually transformed by the renewing of your mind.

    If He wants you to get in, you will....

    :)
     
  5. ntxawmx

    ntxawmx Senior Member

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    Rebecheka:

    You're doing something helpful already by asking these questions. I wish I had done the same as an undergrad. Like the previous poster, I'd like to share my perspective on some things I would have done differently. I attended a small liberal arts college and graduated with a biology degree in 1995 with the intention of going to medical school. Unfortunately, not everyone gets into medical school their first try - which was the case for me. I was so disappointed and didn't know what to do from there. So I decided to get a graduate degree in public health. Now I'm working in human services and not really liking it very much. My heart is still in patient care and medicine.

    If I could do undergrad all over again, I would not have majored in biology. I enjoy the study of biology but not for the sole purpose of knowledge. I wanted to apply my knowledge. My school had other health-related programs such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, and nursing - all good alternatives for me if I never get into medical school.

    I'm just babbling now but my point is, if you really want to provide patient care and can't see yourself doing much else, as is my case, I would major in something more concrete than biology, so that you have a back up in case you don't get into medical school. Of course, if you're interested in biology as a back-up career then, by all means, stay with it. I wish someone had given me this advice. I'm still trying to get into medical school, 5 years after graduating from college. Being older now with a bit of experience in public health and human services will only help me as physician, but while I wait to become a physician (I hope), I wish I were doing something I enjoyed.

    Just some thoughts. Hope it was helpful. Good luck.

    Yer
    St. Paul, MN
     
  6. Lakini

    Lakini Junior Member

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    Nanook,
    Good point! There's a lot of wisdom in those few words! [​IMG]
     
  7. DO Boy

    DO Boy Senior Member

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    The road to osteopathic school is simple:

    1. Keep your GPA up (try not to get any C's)
    2. Do well on your MCAT (>27 or 28)
    3. Shadow and volunteer with DOs/MDs (This also helps with your interviews)
    4. Stay in good touch with the head of your Pre-Med Committee (the one who will be writing your recommendations). Take a class with him/her. Visit often to talk about medschool. Try to get personal without looking like your trying.
    5. If you can, try to be an officer of an organization (frat/sorority, premed org, biology club, helping org, or start one of your own).
    6. Research is the last thing you want to consider, but it sure does help.
    7. Have fun in college too!

    I only did the first four and number 7 and was accepted on my first try. If you can do all of them (it's hard but nowhere near impossible), you WILL be accepted!

    Good luck and keep up your interest!


    DO Boy
     
  8. Hskermdic

    Hskermdic Senior Member

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    DO Boy,
    I absolutely agree. I think those things, and in pretty much that order, are a great idea. I would add though to do things outside of premed life, like sports or something fun, both for yourself and for your application to make you look a little more rounded. Especially for students who are coming straight out of college.

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    Carrie
    KCOM '03
     
  9. DO Boy

    DO Boy Senior Member

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    I agree with you too Carrie! The personal "fun" (e.g. sports, hobby, etc.) that makes you more rounded is part of my Number 7. In fact, I'd say that if you go through college with an all work, no play ethic, you'd be missing out on some major life experiences...and plain old fun!


    DO Boy
    TCOM 04
    (When do I become a senior member?)
     

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