Dismiss Notice

Interview Feedback: Visit Interview Feedback to view and submit interview information.

Interviewing Masterclass: Free masterclass on interviewing from SDN and Medical College of Georgia

What do I need to know if I want to apply early?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ravin, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. ravin

    ravin Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey. I go to a relatively expensive school (30grand a year). I am wondering whether or not it would be a good idea to graduate early and apply to med school early. So I have a few questions. I can easily finish by the end of my junior year, but I will only be able to get a major and minor at most. Does that make me less competitive than someone who has gotten two majors or something? Also, if I did not apply early, I think that I would just study abroad or do something like that. I would end up taking the MCATs before junior year while applying. Does this decrease my chances?
    Either way I will take my MCAT before my junior year. Does it cost that much to apply, and is it that hard of a process if I only would be willing to go to a few select schools?
    My point is this. I can finish early and have a lot of experience, but an extra year would not give me that much more, in my opinion. The only things I see myself doing in a fourth year are studying abroad, like I said and doing more research. 30,000$ is a whole bunch that I could save. I just am not sure if this is a valid reason to do this. I am not set on it, I am merely exploring the possibility.


    Finally a few general questions:
    Are Med Schools likely to accept people hat graduate early?
    Does it matter how many majors I have?
    What is your advice?


    Thanks
     
  2. kayw028

    kayw028 Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    0
    as long as your gpa and ec's are good, a major and a minor is fine. i went to a similar type school applied early and got multiple acceptance that i was happy with. one word of caution, going abroad all senior year will definitely affect your ability to attend interviews if you applied that summer.
    i know people who graduated a year early, took the year off to do research and are going to some fantastic schools next year. either way, you can't go wrong if you're a strong candidate.
     
  3. fullefect1

    fullefect1 Senior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2003
    Messages:
    790
    Likes Received:
    0
    Obtaining one major does not make you less competitive in the least bit as someone who earned a double major. I also do not believe graduating early will put you at to much of a advantage or disadvantage. It really matters on what you are doing with the time off. But if I were you, I would most likely graduate early and save the tuition money.
     
  4. Marina9

    Marina9 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    0
    What about taking a semester or two off during your time in undergrad? I'm thinking of saving $40,000, but at the same time, I have this research fellowship that I can only use while I am an undergrad (and the funds would still be available to me if I took a semester or two off, but not if I have graduated).
     
  5. bewitched1081

    bewitched1081 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    748
    Likes Received:
    3
    two concerns. if you will be graduating in your junior year, then you will have a full schedule. right? then when will you have time to study for the mcat? also, will you have time to gain clinical experience and engage in other activites, such as research? remember you dont want to overwhelm yourself so that your gpa drops. also, having extra time to study can significantly improve your mcat score (start studying and doing practice passages before jan if you can).
     
  6. bewitched1081

    bewitched1081 Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Messages:
    748
    Likes Received:
    3
    oh and about applying to only a few select schools. i hear you. im from cali and applied to about half of the recommended number of schools. if you really feel like you would never want to go to any other school than the ones that you have in mind, then dont apply to any others. but it might be worth your while to do some extensive research on other schools before you make your decision. i found that i didnt even know much about the schools until after my interviews. and one school that im waiting on is not even a choice anymore. i dont think i would ever go to that school, even though its highly ranked.
     
  7. SaltySqueegee

    SaltySqueegee El Rey de Salsa
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    1,261
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    Resources that are extremely useful:

    http://www.studentdoctor.net/
    Links to almost everything you could ever need. Interview feedback, MCAT prep, Links to excellent sites, news updates for the process, and much, much, much, much more.

    http://forums.studentdoctor.net/
    Discussion Forums to ask and receive answers to every facet of the medical school process (ask any question and receive a ton of information).

    http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/grad/rankings/med/medindex_brief.php
    Medicine Rankings, Tools, and Articles including admissions statistics for in state and out of state, and much more (useful for choosing your schools, and preparing for interviews).

    http://www.princetonreview.com/medical/research/advsearch/match.asp
    More information regarding school description and focuses.

    http://www.aamc.org/
    Association of American Medical Colleges: AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service), MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) and other Medical School Resources. Surveys, Data on National applicant profiles (GPA, MCAT, gender, state, ethnicity, etc.), relevant articles, and pretty much everything official on the application process as a whole.

    http://www.lewisassoc.com/links.htm
    Useful Links to all sorts of timelines, applicant data, how-to FAQ, and much, much more.

    http://eduserv.hscer.washington.edu/bioethics/topics/index.html
    Concise information on how to handle bioethical situations (useful for interview questions).
    -Autonomy
    -Do no harm
    -Do good
    -Equal justice and opportunity

    Letter Services (The importance of this cannot be underestimated!):
    http://www.lewisassoc.com/
    Dr. Lewis and Associates (Highly reputable, and responsive to your needs; also provides advising). Call for pricing; it will actually end up cheaper than doing it by yourself. Trying to take care of this process yourself can be much bigger than you anticipate.
    http://www.interfolio.com/ (Another Highly reputable Letter Service)
    Also, there are other services available on the internet that offer competitive pricing with similar services; use Google to search them out.

    Read/Watch the news for updates regarding current issues in Health-Care (i.e. http://news.google.com/news/en/us/health.html and http://news.google.com/). Also check SDN for posts on these topics. This information is useful for the Writing Section portion of the MCAT, and is helpful for fielding interview questions that pertain to contemporary Health-Care issues.

    Books:
    AAMC: Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR)
    The Princeton Review: Complete Book of Medical Schools
    Kaplan Newsweek: Medical School Admissions Advisor
    Barron??s: Essays That Will Get You into Medical School

    Some companies that publish books for MCAT prep, and also offer courses for review:
    Princeton Review http://www.princetonreview.com/medical/testprep/
    Kaplan http://www.kaplan.com/ ?? Click on the link that says MCAT
    Exam Krackers http://examkrackers.com/
    Berkeley Review http://www.berkeley-review.com/
    AAMC http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/start.htm

    Things to always be considering:

    ?h Informing potential Letter writers of your intention to use them as a recommender (do not spring this time consuming task on your Letter writers at the last minute; at best they will be ambivalent about writing your letter).

    ?h Involving yourself in some extracurricular activities (outlined above).

    ?h Working on your journal, and writing/proofing rough drafts of your personal statement.

    ?h Getting good Grades!

    ?h Do not rush this process or it will back fire; have patience; this is a game that requires waiting, which is punctuated by moments of craziness.

    ?h By the Spring 2 years prior to matriculation you should have completed: Animal Biology, Cellular Biology, Intro to Genetics, General Chemistry, O-Chem (the harder of the two series) + lab, Physics series, Math through Calc 1(no calculator allowed on MCAT!), English series, History series, and Critical Thinking course. These courses will provide you with the basic skill set to tackle the MCAT successfully.

    ?h Some classes that are Highly recommended by Medical Schools, but are not necessary for the MCAT are: Physical Chemistry (Survey Course okay), Physiology, Molecular Biology, Biochemistry (Survey Course okay), Quantitative Analysis in Chemistry, Calculus 2 or higher, Statistics, Computer Science Basics, Wide breadth of Humanities courses (>30 semester units), and Behavioral Sciences (Psychology/Sociology). Consider doing this after you have completed the course work outlined for the MCAT.

    ?h Now you may be wondering how you??re supposed to tackle all of this in a four-year curriculum? The answer is that it really isn??t all that feasible unless you cut out sleep. So you may want to consider taking five or more years to prepare for medical school. The main idea is to make sure your application is as strong as possible before you apply. If it isn??t, you may find yourself reapplying, and explaining why you think you weren??t ready the previous time. Apply when you??re ready but not earlier. Plan, Plan, Plan! And don??t concern yourself about what the medical schools think of a 5 or 6-year plan. The average applicant age goes up each year. And every application cycle, the percentage of applicants that are post-baccalaureate, Masters level, PhD level, or have some other specialty/professional training is increasing.
     
  8. SaltySqueegee

    SaltySqueegee El Rey de Salsa
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    1,261
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    General Timeline:

    August (2 years prior to matriculation) ? Consider taking this MCAT over the Summer 2 years prior to matriculation to allow for time to study. Allow for at least three months of dedicated, daily preparation (at least 300 total hours is recommended; but of course is highly variable depending on the person). The importance of high test scores cannot be over-emphasized! These test scores cannot be simply explained away. If you score poorly you may want to consider retaking it in taking it the Summer (2 years prior to matriculation) MCAT you afford yourself the opportunity to take the test again without prolonging the application cycle. Make sure you have the aforementioned classes at a minimum before you take the MCAT; you want to spend your time reviewing not learning material for the first time.

    February - March 21 (year prior to matriculation) - Register for the Spring April MCAT if you haven't taken it previously. Registration information for the Medical College Admission is available at their website (http://www.aamc.org/).

    March (year prior to matriculation) - Request feedback about drafts of the biographical information and personal statement in your application from faculty, trusted friends and family who have outstanding written communication skills. Also, think about which medical schools interest you. Read catalogs, talk with seniors who have visited schools and consult your faculty advisors on your choices.

    March (year prior to matriculation) - Approach the people from whom you talked to earlier and have been building relationships with, and let them know that wish to request a Letter of Recommendation and have the letters put on your Confidential Letter File held by your letter service. What should the letter contain? Formally write a letter to your Letter Writer requesting them to comment on the following topics in the letter, if appropriate:

    Academic Performance (n.b. when possible, and if you believe it to be in the best interest for me, please rank me among other students you have known), Attitude, Character, Motivation, Maturity, Leadership Ability, and Special Accomplishments. Comments regarding suitability of student for medical school or the field of medicine are particularly helpful (i.e. how do you see the applicant as a future doctor? Would you use his/her services?.)

    Include a section in the letter to your Letter Writer that comments on specific accomplishments, projects, traits, i.e. things you wrote about in your journal, but due to restrictions of space you were not able to include in your personal statement, your post-secondary experiences, or your secondary essays (which are commented on below).

    Include a small section at the bottom that says the following to your Letter Writer:
    PLEASE TRY TO AVOID:
    Bland, general and non-specific statements that could be applied to ANY applicant.

    April (year prior to matriculation) - Request further feedback on your Personal Statement from advisors, family and trustworthy friends, for suggestions on grammar, syntax, flow, theme, catchiness, etc.

    April 15 (year prior to matriculation) - AMCAS Fee Assistance Program. Submit the waiver application, which requires the signature of a college financial aid officer, parents or guardians, and considerable financial information. It will take 2 to 3 weeks to process and, if granted, you need not pay for the first 1O schools in your application. Refer to the AMCAS website for the fee schedule for additional schools. Read all forms and instructions on the website for more information. If granted, you will receive a fee reduction for the MCAT and AMCAS. Note: The primary application process alone can cost you $500-$1000 depending on the number of schools you apply to. If you don't submit a FAP, individual schools normally won't give you reduced fees for your secondary applications, which are even more costly. But, you must be quite needy to qualify.

    Early May (year prior to matriculation) - AMCAS website is activated to draft your application. Read the instructions to prepare for submitting. Complete the forms from AMCAS?s application page requesting all of your schools? Registrar Office to send your college transcripts to AMCAS and to non-application service schools that you intend to apply to. Highly consider putting in multiple (~3) transcript requests from each school in order to ensure that at least one leaves the college and is successfully received by AMCAS and processed (This will save you time and headaches). The question of whether to include or not include spring grades depends on the date of their availability from your school, your overall spring academic record, etc. Having the spring grades included are not mandatory. Some exceptions to this rule are if the spring grades reflect a positive trend compared to previous grades.

    May (year prior to matriculation) - Register for the August MCAT (if you did not take the spring or earlier exam). Get high quality passport-sized pictures made. Be sure to wear a shirt with a collar or a nice dress, or pant suit. Possibly consider purchasing, borrowing, locating a suit that will be used for future interviews (i.e. look out for possible sales). Request applications from non-central application service schools to which you will apply.

    Early June (year prior to matriculation) - The earliest date that your completed AMCAS application will be accepted is about Early June (web only). You are urged to have your application ready to submit on this date or soon thereafter. "THE EARLIER THE BETTER" applies to all phases of the application process. Assuming your application is in order, the application service will duplicate it and send it by hard copy and/or electronically to the schools you have designated within three to five weeks. Schools' responses to receipt of your application will vary tremendously. Some will tell you that they want no further information for the time being (it may be months before you hear from them again), while others will immediately request supplementary materials such as additional essays, money, a picture, and recommendations. You should be prepared to respond promptly to whatever requests they make. Throughout the entire process, keep very good records of everything you send. Make photocopies of all essays and applications in case they are lost in the mail, record the dates on which you request your letter service to send letters, etc. Keep records of all communications from the schools, as well, and make notes of any phone calls. Once your web application is sent or hard copy is mailed, you can begin work on applications to non - application service schools. The same advice applies to these applications - submit materials as early as you can. Be prepared to respond promptly to requests for additional information. Also, some schools will not ask AMCAS for a copy of your primary application until you submit the Supplemental application from their school first. Visit the individual school?s websites to see which ones play by these rules. Many California applicants apply to approximately 28 medical schools, because of extremely high in state competition for California applicants, plus the competition of applying out-of-state. The average California applicant will land approximately 9 interviews out of the 28 medical schools applied to. From that pool of approximately 9 schools, the average number of acceptances is 3. However, these are only averages and do not represent the extremes. Some receive 15 interviews, and can be waitlisted indefinitely never receiving an acceptance. If you need to, you can add more schools at a later date after you've mailed your initial forms by submitting an additional designation form and paying an additional fee.

    April ? July (year prior to matriculation) ? Primary applications from AMCAS are received by the various medical schools. Deadlines for these transmittances are typically in the fall, however, you should still contact the individual schools to determine the exact dates. Actually, the word ?Deadline? should NOT be in your vocabulary. Get in all materials EARLY, which translates to ?on time?!

    June (year prior to matriculation) - All Letters of Recommendation should be in your Letter Service?s file. Your letter packet should be ready to mail for the upcoming secondary requests.
     
  9. SaltySqueegee

    SaltySqueegee El Rey de Salsa
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    1,261
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    May ? June (year prior to matriculation) -You will receive an acknowledgment of electronic submission and a status check of your application process email from the AMCAS application service from 1 day to two or more weeks after you submit it. Check 'your application home page' on the website. If you plan to take the August exam, you must designate it on your application. At the time you take the exam, you may also designate all non-AMCAS schools which are to receive scores.

    July through August (sometimes through February [very rare]) (year prior to matriculation) - Individual schools will begin to request secondary applications from you. Complete and return them within 2 weeks of receipt. Have your Letter packet sent only to schools which specifically request secondary applications. Call or write the schools which do not provide receipt postcards to determine if they received your application materials. Study for the August MCAT (n.b. your application file will be delayed if you take the August MCAT the year prior to matriculation) if you are taking it.

    Summer (year prior to matriculation) - (see also section on Interviewing) Keep track of all your applications in the following weeks and months. Some schools will be explicit in telling you when you should expect to hear something from them. If you have not heard anything soon after that date, it's reasonable to give them a call to make sure your file is complete. Other schools may not give you a timetable. In such cases, it's generally acceptable to check the status of your application if you haven't heard anything in four weeks. Use good judgment in deciding whether or not to contact a school. It's important that you not wait until March (the year of matriculation) to find out some important part of your application was lost in the mail back in July (the year prior to matriculation), but it's also important that you not pester the school every two days. They'll never get to reading your application if they have to spend their time answering calls from over-anxious applicants!

    August 31 (year prior to matriculation) - Plan to complete all secondaries by the end of summer; you don?t want to be working on these along with taking a full load of classes. It will take an average of 100 to 200 hours to complete all of your secondary applications with their individual essays (n.b. the individual essay questions can be found posted on old threads within the studentdoctor.net forums; do a search for the individual schools to find them). Start work on these essays immediately. They can consume a large part of your time and energy.

    September (year prior to matriculation) through April (year of matriculation) - School interviews. Visit studentdoctor.net?s forums and interview feedback for information on interview style and possible questions to prepare for. Look through your MSAR, individual schools? websites and other pertinent resources for school?s mission statement, and facilities/programs of interest to you. Consider doing mock interviews with your faculty advisors, friends, family and dog/cat in order to feel comfortable answering questions. Before you leave for an interview, contact the school to see if they have a student host program to ease the financial burden, and to ease any trepidations about the upcoming interview. Bring a copy of all pertinent documentation (i.e. copy of your AMCAS application, publications, relevant updates, etc.) in case they ask for it during your interview stay.

    March 15 (year of matriculation) ? All medical schools participating in AMCAS must have offered a number of acceptances equal to their expected class size.

    April 15 (year of matriculation) ? A day in which students that are holding acceptances generally receive Financial Aid packages from all the schools in which they are holding spots. Usually, some waitlist movement occurs around this time as spots open where those holding multiple spots pick the school with the best financial package/education/location etc.

    May 15 (year of matriculation) ? A day in which those that hold multiple acceptances must choose only one school to attend. Expect waitlists to move a great deal right before and for some time after this date.

    July, August, or September ? Matriculate to medical school (hopefully).
     
  10. SaltySqueegee

    SaltySqueegee El Rey de Salsa
    10+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2003
    Messages:
    1,261
    Likes Received:
    3
    Status:
    MD/PhD Student
    Just a small piece of my mind...;)

    I know the previous posting is not necessarily directly related to the question. But my overall answer is this.

    PLAN. And do not apply when you are not prepared. All you have to do is imagine ~35,000 other crack smoking OCD pre-meds that are just as competitive, if not more competitive than yourself, to make you wait an extra year or so to round yourself out. Study Abroad programs, especially in underserved countries can be excellent experiences.
     
  11. ravin

    ravin Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    Frosh
    premed classes
    premed classes
    research
    volunteer

    Summer after
    volunteer, research, clinical exp

    Soph
    premed classes
    research
    volunteer

    summer after
    MCAT prep and take the mcat
    Apply

    Junior
    Apply
    Finish class reqs
    Extra stuff
     
  12. ravin

    ravin Senior Member
    7+ Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2004
    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    0
    this way i would be taking the MCATs as the last thing in my app
     

Share This Page