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The Basics of Getting In?

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m3dicalstudent

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I was wondering, if someone focused on the few basics of getting into medical school, and really excelled at those few things, would that entail pretty good chances of getting accepted? For example, the basics of getting in, as I see it, are 1) GPA 2) Science courses 3) MCAT 4) Few good extracirrucular activities

And that's it! I mean it seems that many people are really bogged down with the little details. What if someone were really to put their 110% into the actual basics. Applied. Would they get in? I mean really focusing on courses, getting As in them, focusing on prereqs, getting As in them, focusing on MCAT, scoring well, and choosing a few ECs to do over the summers and really putting in time and dedication. Not a laundry list of ECs, just a few good solid ECs with real passion.

Isn't that enough? Or you still need an extreme hard to come by 'hook'?? What are your all's thoughts?
 

MadEvans

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And that's it!

Yes. No saving of african babies or winning of pulitzer prizes required. Some people have a really easy time getting into medical school. But for most of us...

These 'basics' you talk about mastering are easier said than done.

Edit: You still should have the passion for medicine. But if this is deficient, then you wouldn't be going into medicine, right? You don't go into medicine for money or prestige.
 

TooMuchResearch

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Feel free to note that I am merely a pre-med; however, I would say that your list pretty much covers it. As long as you follow the list and aren't arrogant, you will likely be accepted.
 

Live4Life

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I was wondering, if someone focused on the few basics of getting into medical school, and really excelled at those few things, would that entail pretty good chances of getting accepted? For example, the basics of getting in, as I see it, are 1) GPA 2) Science courses 3) MCAT 4) Few good extracirrucular activities

And that's it! I mean it seems that many people are really bogged down with the little details. What if someone were really to put their 110% into the actual basics. Applied. Would they get in? I mean really focusing on courses, getting As in them, focusing on prereqs, getting As in them, focusing on MCAT, scoring well, and choosing a few ECs to do over the summers and really putting in time and dedication. Not a laundry list of ECs, just a few good solid ECs with real passion.

Isn't that enough? Or you still need an extreme hard to come by 'hook'?? What are your all's thoughts?

I think one of the most underrated factors of the application is the personal statement. Do not underestimate the importance admissions committees place on your understanding of medicine, your motivations for entering a career in medicine, and how you will use your training to bring about change (whatever type of change you want, it doesn't have to be helping the poor). My numbers are very average, but I have had tremendous success this cycle and I even applied late. So far I am 100% for acceptances post-interview and I still have many more interviews in the near future. In everyone of my interviews, the interviewers raved about my personal statement and told me that my story and motivation sold them. I encourage you to find out who you are and what your story is early on in your college career so that you can begin to formulate your application around those two points. Use these aspects to create themes in your application (as evidenced by your volunteer activities, work experiences, courses taken, research) and use those themes as supporting evidence for your personal statement. Think of your personal statement as a personal ad, it is your chance to sell yourself, so don't sell yourself short by submitting a lackluster personal statement.

EDIT: I was rereading this, and I know when I said "I encourage you to find out who you are and what your story is" sounds cliche, but it is really important.
 

MadEvans

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Wow, that PS sounds like pure gold. What do you talk about in it?
 

DrYoda

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Isn't that enough? Or you still need an extreme hard to come by 'hook'?? What are your all's thoughts?

What you describe is all it takes to be strongly conisdered for admissions. You don't need some amazing/gimmiky "hook" to get in, but you do need to be able to sell yourself in the interview.
 

fahimaz7

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Isn't that enough? Or you still need an extreme hard to come by 'hook'?? What are your all's thoughts?

You know, it's funny that you mention a hook. When I wrote my PS, I did so by telling a story about an old man (Hook) and how had to defy my inner-most instincts and hide any of my preconceived notions to help that said man. It wasn't until I dedicated my life to helping the "lost boys" that I eventually found the strength to put one final push towards helping that sad old man.

In the end, we got him off his crack addiction, he stopped visiting the brothels, pillaging nearby villages/boats, and we even fitted him with a sociaty-accepted prosthetic arm.

I got in.. but it wasn't b/c of my personal statement...It was my dedication to helping fictional characters and, at the same time, the medically underserved community that, to this day, struggle with being labeled monsters, old fogies, and pirates!
 

alwaysaangel

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That's pretty much it. No you don't need a 'hook' but it sure helps to have something that emphasizes your passion for medicine that creates a common thread through all your activities (research, underserved communities, a minority community, whatever). Simply because its easier to pitch yourself in secondaries and interviews if you have that.
 

Diksha

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This is more or less how I got in, yes. I would say being able to tell your story well helps a great deal as well, so you should also focus on becoming a decent writer. It impresses people.
 
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