eli2k

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This summer is going to be the end of my sophomore year, and I recently saw a post where someone mentioned it's more useful to do some sort of summer program rather than sacrificing it to study for the MCATs, since it's the last summer you can really do anything. I had to spend my freshman summer taking courses since I wanted to switch between drastic majors.

I was curious if someone can give me advice as to what I should do. I see three options. One is to focus solely on MCAT, while doing something on the side, like working in a hospital/medical center. Two is the focus on some sort of summer program. Or three is to do both.

My problem is I am planning to go back home during summer. I would like to do research, but what is the probability that a professor would accept me into his lab just for that summer? Does anyone have any tips and/or experiences they can share? I'll probably take an MCAT prep course, but if I take Princeton, their classes are during the day, and if I take Kaplan, that is better since their classes are mostly at night. Again, someone mentioned in the recent thread that Kaplan is better geared towards people who can self-study, which is what I'd rather do, with resources available to help me if I need it. Therefore I have the day free, mostly.

Thank you,
- Eli
 

virilep

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eli2k said:
This summer is going to be the end of my sophomore year, and I recently saw a post where someone mentioned it's more useful to do some sort of summer program rather than sacrificing it to study for the MCATs, since it's the last summer you can really do anything. I had to spend my freshman summer taking courses since I wanted to switch between drastic majors.

I was curious if someone can give me advice as to what I should do. I see three options. One is to focus solely on MCAT, while doing something on the side, like working in a hospital/medical center. Two is the focus on some sort of summer program. Or three is to do both.

My problem is I am planning to go back home during summer. I would like to do research, but what is the probability that a professor would accept me into his lab just for that summer? Does anyone have any tips and/or experiences they can share? I'll probably take an MCAT prep course, but if I take Princeton, their classes are during the day, and if I take Kaplan, that is better since their classes are mostly at night. Again, someone mentioned in the recent thread that Kaplan is better geared towards people who can self-study, which is what I'd rather do, with resources available to help me if I need it. Therefore I have the day free, mostly.

Thank you,
- Eli
Eli, I would definately concentrate on the MCAT. doing the best u can is imperative. so i'd study for the MCAT like a bitch and then do some shadowing on the side (like 5 hrs a week) but study like it's a full time job. that's my advice.
 
R

Revolution #9

Why devote your entire summer to the MCAT? A few hours a day for a couple of months will suffice. You can work full-time and study at night and still do very well.
 
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eli2k

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virilep said:
Eli, I would definately concentrate on the MCAT. doing the best u can is imperative. so i'd study for the MCAT like a bitch and then do some shadowing on the side (like 5 hrs a week) but study like it's a full time job. that's my advice.
I like that avatar, lol. Thanks for the advice. I have a question about shadowing, however. I'm attending an out-of-state college, and when I get back home, the closest medical center I know of is UC Irvine. But I don't have any information about shadowing. My school offers a "medical tutorial" course, which is the equivalent of shadowing for credits. I was wondering if you know how I would obtain such information. I was planning on volunteering in a clinical setting, but you think shadowing is more useful, or beneficial, in deciding if I truly wish to become a doctor?

Revolution#9 said:
Why devote your entire summer to the MCAT? A few hours a day for a couple of months will suffice. You can work full-time and study at night and still do very well.
I'm just worried it wouldn't be enough. I have a very tough time with verbal. I also studied a bit over winter break (some sciences), and ended up making illogical mistakes multiple times (thinking the wrong way, not seeing the easy way, etc).
 

riverie

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also you wanna make sure you've finished the recommended courses for the mcat, so that you're actually prepared to take it this summer. thinking back on what i knew after sophomore year in terms of biology, having the upper level courses under my belt after first semester junior year definitely boosted my mcat biological sciences score. that said, you don't need the higher level bio classes. they just tend to help you figure out questions faster, at least that's what i found. in my summer after soph year, i worked at a research lab at my college and volunteered at a children's hospital on saturdays. do what you feel is most sensible for you at the moment, b/c you still have time to do the other things you mentioned.
 

NickPapagiorgio

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Here is some novel advice from someone who is currently a fourth year in med school: Now this might be hard to do, but bear with me....how about actually having a life. I hate to break it to you but the summer after sophmore year is hardly "the last summer of your life"....what exactly are you planning to do after junior and senior years? The last true summer of your life is the summer after first year of med school. Try doing something not at all medically related. If you want to take the MCATs, fine but you don't need to devote the entire summer to it. When I was in college I spent the summer working in a pool store, selling pools and spas...then I spent the rest of my time getting drunk off my ass. There will be plenty of time to work hard in the future. I took the MCATs in April of my junior year, so naturally I didn't study during the summer, but had friends that did and they still have a life. I know that when you are in college applying to med school you think that it is the be-all-end-all of life, but trust me it isn't. As someone who is now facing the real world in a few months, let me offer you some words of advice. Enjoy this time while you have it. You don't have to devote every waking moment to your pursuit of medicine.....
 

45408

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Take the MCAT this summer. You'll thank yourself - and me - later.
 

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eli2k said:
This summer is going to be the end of my sophomore year, and I recently saw a post where someone mentioned it's more useful to do some sort of summer program rather than sacrificing it to study for the MCATs, since it's the last summer you can really do anything. I had to spend my freshman summer taking courses since I wanted to switch between drastic majors.

I was curious if someone can give me advice as to what I should do. I see three options. One is to focus solely on MCAT, while doing something on the side, like working in a hospital/medical center. Two is the focus on some sort of summer program. Or three is to do both.

My problem is I am planning to go back home during summer. I would like to do research, but what is the probability that a professor would accept me into his lab just for that summer? Does anyone have any tips and/or experiences they can share? I'll probably take an MCAT prep course, but if I take Princeton, their classes are during the day, and if I take Kaplan, that is better since their classes are mostly at night. Again, someone mentioned in the recent thread that Kaplan is better geared towards people who can self-study, which is what I'd rather do, with resources available to help me if I need it. Therefore I have the day free, mostly.

Thank you,
- Eli
If you would have started looking ahead a few months earlier, you would have been able to apply to research programs that are structured for just the summer, but the latest deadline that I had seen is March 15th. I found these by just going to the websites of med schools and searching for summer research opportunities and was fortunate enough to get accepted into one. If research is something that you want to do next summer, then you should start looking for programs in January at schools that you would be interested in applying to. Sorry that this information will not help you for this summer.
 

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Study during the summer, have a life, kick ass on the MCAT, done deal!
 

bmcgilligan

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Are we talking about studying the summer before for the April MCAT??? That's a little early for hard-core studying IMHO.

If you are interested in clinical medicine, but are tired of the "shadowing" positions, look up the local tissue/eye bank in your area and see if they have any openings. You could even work PRN during school. I have worked for an Eye Bank for the past 2.5 years and I have learned so much about medicine...or at least diagnosis, disease, anatomy, etc.

More importantly, have fun this summer. I don't know how your degree plan works, but Junior year was the killer for me. This is probably the last fun summer you will have. Next summer will be spent with applications and then the following summer will be spent with anticipation of acceptances.
 

NickPapagiorgio

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willthatsall said:
Easy for you to say, you went to Vegas and won like 3 free cars...
Hey don't hate the playa hate the game....I put a quarter in a won a car, I put a quarter in I won a car, I put a quarter in I won a car......
 

Blue Scrub

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NickPapagiorgio said:
Hey don't hate the playa hate the game....I put a quarter in a won a car, I put a quarter in I won a car, I put a quarter in I won a car......
:eek: :confused:
 

Shredder

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virilep said:
Eli, I would definately concentrate on the MCAT. doing the best u can is imperative. so i'd study for the MCAT like a bitch and then do some shadowing on the side (like 5 hrs a week) but study like it's a full time job. that's my advice.
:thumbup: :thumbup: looking back on the summer after my 2nd year, I regret doing a summer program that took all of my time. Now I'm stuck trying to squeeze in not only studying but princeton classes with all of my regular classes and research, and its a real bummer. i have absolutely no life, time, or happiness, really. it would have been a luxury to have an entire summer to study for the mcat--try to take pertinent classes before that summer (orgos, genetics, physiology, physics, etc). maybe thats asking for a lot, so take what you can and you should be able to learn what you need to from the books or a prep course. provided you score well, you will feel so much more relaxed than your stressed peers come this time, and you can start thinking about other aspects of the application process. part time shadowing sounds like a good plan, but i say steer clear of any work or research.
 

aumed22

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eli2k said:
This summer is going to be the end of my sophomore year, and I recently saw a post where someone mentioned it's more useful to do some sort of summer program rather than sacrificing it to study for the MCATs, since it's the last summer you can really do anything. I had to spend my freshman summer taking courses since I wanted to switch between drastic majors.

I was curious if someone can give me advice as to what I should do. I see three options. One is to focus solely on MCAT, while doing something on the side, like working in a hospital/medical center. Two is the focus on some sort of summer program. Or three is to do both.

My problem is I am planning to go back home during summer. I would like to do research, but what is the probability that a professor would accept me into his lab just for that summer? Does anyone have any tips and/or experiences they can share? I'll probably take an MCAT prep course, but if I take Princeton, their classes are during the day, and if I take Kaplan, that is better since their classes are mostly at night. Again, someone mentioned in the recent thread that Kaplan is better geared towards people who can self-study, which is what I'd rather do, with resources available to help me if I need it. Therefore I have the day free, mostly.

Thank you,
- Eli
If I was you, I would study all summer for the MCAT. The MCAT is the only way schools can compare you to other students from across the country and you don't want them to have any questions about you. You should have time to work in a hospital or take a class while studying, but the MCAT is important enough to devote a summer to make sure you do it right.
 

sockandmittens

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Ok so I took it my sophomore summer.

I went home, returned to a lab I had working in all through highschool. Did research from may to my birthay - ie around july 20th while taking Princeton Review classes and then stopped and studied until Aug 16th or whatever date it was, but honestly, I didn't study more than 5 hours a day. If you can't do research intern at a mental hospital, nursing home, with troubled kids, juv detention, hospice etc. Pick one thing with flexible hours and do the mcat.

I took it with all the basic pre reqs short on the bio, without biochem, and had to teach myself physiology. I believe that I could have gotten a higher score on the verbal (my pretests were higher) and maybe bio if I had waited; however, I DID FINE. Well enough for top ten medschools though maybe not the number schools which I didn't apply to.

Why was is worth it? It enabled me to go abroad to Africa my junior spring which has been the subject of every single interview and I'm sure has contributed more to my success than a 36 on the mcat would have. I honestly, don't know how people take it during the academic year- honestly, the info is all on the test, you just have to practice it. good luck!
 

leechy

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I recommend focusing on the MCAT and maybe a little something else.
I actually did zippo except study and socialize the summer while preparing for the MCAT. In retrospect, I think I could have (and should have) taken on a part-time activity (less than 10 hrs/week), just to help de-stress. The intense focus paid off though. The MCAT is worth devoting a summer to, unless you're already very confident about getting the score you want.
 

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Hannah's Summer after sophomore year:

Princeton Review Course in the AM
Work in the PM (~20 hrs a week)
Party in the late PM (occassionally)
Beach on the weekends (always)
MCAT on August 16

Hannah's Summer after junior year:
EUROPE.

Eli, this is NOT the last summer vacation you'll have! Take the MCAT and get it out of the way so you never have to think of that evil exam again. I really don't understand why they suggest taking it during your junior year. As long as you've taken bio, chem, orgo, and physics (and are taking a review course) you will be fine!

Good luck! :luck:
 

45408

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Scarletbegonias said:
get a job.
yeah, that too. I got a good MCAT score, and I didn't work as much as I should/could have. I'm hurting now.