Butterflies14

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So I have a few questions about a few different things. I'm a freshman going for a BS in microbiology and immunology. Around what time during my undergrad education should I start preparing for my MCAT? When is the best time to take the MCAT? I've read about extracurriculars. What exactly constitutes as extracurriculars and what kind should I be looking into? I know I need to do some shadowing but I've also heard about logging clinical hours? I'm an LVN can my work experience be used for my clinical hours? I have many more questions but these are all I can think of at this moment so any and all advice is appreciated!
 

new_dood_don't_be_rude

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So I have a few questions about a few different things. I'm a freshman going for a BS in microbiology and immunology. Around what time during my undergrad education should I start preparing for my MCAT? When is the best time to take the MCAT? I've read about extracurriculars. What exactly constitutes as extracurriculars and what kind should I be looking into? I know I need to do some shadowing but I've also heard about logging clinical hours? I'm an LVN can my work experience be used for my clinical hours? I have many more questions but these are all I can think of at this moment so any and all advice is appreciated!
I believe there is actually this new thing called google to answer all of these questions and more!
 

tessellations

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Check out A Compilation of Essential SDN Wisdom.

MCAT preparation is up to you. If you're planning on applying straight through, you'll want to take it before around June of your application year (the summer going into Senior year). If you take a gap year, you'll obviously have more time to prepare. If you can, try to have your prereqs done before you start studying.

Extracurriculars are any non job activities that you do outside of schoolwork. The main ECs premeds should have are volunteering and clinical experience. Working as an LVN would count as clinical experience, but you will still need to do some sort of volunteering. Try to volunteer with a disadvantaged population if possible. Shadowing is also important. Lastly, find some ECs that you are simply passionate about! Medical schools want to accept real people, not 4.0 robots. Bonus points if you can take on leadership roles within your ECs.
 
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MedCat9

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Don't listen to the clearly salty pre-med. We all start somewhere on how much we know about the process.

When you take the MCAT is really dependent on how prepared you feel for taking an 8 hour long test that covers a good chunk of what you've learned in school. Traditionally, most people take the MCAT the spring/summer of their junior year, and apply to medical school during their senior year so that they start med school right away. If you do that, you want to have all of your mandatory pre-med classes done before your MCAT. Some people opt to take it during what's called a "gap year" which is after you graduate university.

Volunteering and extracurricular stuff should be both relevant to clinical stuff and stuff YOU enjoy, which can be outside of medicine (like hospital volunteer work, community outreach projects, habitat for humanity, pre-med honor societies, etc etc). Shadowing is a good way to network with physicians, and you should try to shadow a few different types of doctors to see what you like/don't like and see medicine from different perspectives. Just keep a log on your computer of what you do, how long you do it, and stuff about what you did -- like a resume of sorts -- so you have that information for when you do apply to med school.

As a current med student who was completely clueless about the process when I started (first gen doc in my family), the best advice I could give is to tell you to take it one day at a time and never compare yourself to others in a negative way.
 
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candbgirl

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Spend time reading the many, many threads detailing all of these issues. There is even a MCAT forum. Relax and enjoy your first few weeks of college but study hard and do well. Good grades are the first steps. Good luck.


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Butterflies14

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Jun 27, 2017
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Don't listen to the clearly salty pre-med. We all start somewhere on how much we know about the process.

When you take the MCAT is really dependent on how prepared you feel for taking an 8 hour long test that covers a good chunk of what you've learned in school. Traditionally, most people take the MCAT the spring/summer of their junior year, and apply to medical school during their senior year so that they start med school right away. If you do that, you want to have all of your mandatory pre-med classes done before your MCAT. Some people opt to take it during what's called a "gap year" which is after you graduate university.

Volunteering and extracurricular stuff should be both relevant to clinical stuff and stuff YOU enjoy, which can be outside of medicine (like hospital volunteer work, community outreach projects, habitat for humanity, pre-med honor societies, etc etc). Shadowing is a good way to network with physicians, and you should try to shadow a few different types of doctors to see what you like/don't like and see medicine from different perspectives. Just keep a log on your computer of what you do, how long you do it, and stuff about what you did -- like a resume of sorts -- so you have that information for when you do apply to med school.

As a current med student who was completely clueless about the process when I started (first gen doc in my family), the best advice I could give is to tell you to take it one day at a time and never compare yourself to others in a negative way.

His comment is irrelevant to me. Thanks so much for answering my questions this has given me a good idea of my time line for my goals. Thanks for the advice!
 
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