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When to visit med schools?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by CremasterFlash, Mar 7, 2007.

  1. CremasterFlash

    CremasterFlash Born yesterday. 7+ Year Member

    May 27, 2006
    The Mothership.
    I plan to apply in May/June of 2008. I've met some admissions folk via several fairs and conferences but would like to do a series of trips to visit schools and introduce myself before I apply. Is this a bad idea? I tend to do well in interview settings so I'm not worried about coming off poorly, more concerned that such introductory visits are just not done. Anyone familiar with this topic? When would be the best time to visit schools? When are they most likely to be receptive to meeting with me (i.e. least busy)? I suppose I should just call some admissions offices and ask, but figured I would appeal to the infinite wisdom of the non-trads first.

    thanks in advance for any advice.
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  3. melissainsd

    melissainsd 2+ Year Member

    Nov 2, 2006
    I have never heard of this. There is never really a time when they are not busy. They will most likely be pulling people off the waitlist up until class starts, and by then they are already reviewing the next years applications. I did meet with deans from two schools (when they came to my undergrad). The dean from Baylor basically told me I wasn't good enough to get in but I applied anyway and was given an interview (still waiting for final decision though). The dean from Pritzker told me I was a great fit for the school and encouraged me to rejection. I honestly think visiting would be a waste of time and money. You'll need all that $$ for your secondaries and travel expenses for interviews.
  4. neurorat

    neurorat 2+ Year Member

    Feb 28, 2007
    Some schools do not allow you to meet with any of the admissions staff. I know that Ohio State allows you to take a self directed tour (you walk yourself around the med school!). I found that OUCOM was very open to visits, especially at the end of fall quarter. Drexel was pretty open, as well.

    The thing about these visits is that they want to talk to you about their school, programs, etc NOT about your records and chances of admission. I learned this the hard way. I went to my visits fully prepared to get a jump on the application process and to meet the dean of admissions but this simply wasn't what happened.

    I am not sure if they remembered me or not, or if it helped at all, but I was admitted to the schools that I visited...
  5. cubbbie

    cubbbie Member 5+ Year Member

    Aug 5, 2004
    I seriously don't think there's much advantage in doing this. Knowing how most schools go about deciding who to interview, I can tell you that you're not going to garner any interview invites with this strategy. BUT, if you do manage to get an interview on your own, you may feel a little more comfortable/confident in the places you're visiting since you visited them before. And if the question "why _(med school)___?" comes up, you can profess your love and long-term devotion to the school, as evinced by your visit to the campus a full 2 years before your hopeful matriculation date. Otherwise, honestly, I think it's a waste of time. I really, really don't think it'll do you much good. Good luck though!
  6. Lshapley

    Lshapley Old Man Med Student 2+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2006
    Some med schools do offer open houses. In January, RWJ in New Jersey had an open house. In April, PCOM and UMDNJ-SOM are also having open houses. I actually had the chance to meet some of the admissions staff when I went to the RWJ open house. Maybe it is helpful that they keep seeing you pop up and they know you are truly interested? I don't know. Anyway, go to the school websites that are closest to you and see if they have any open houses.

    I agree with a previous poster that this would not be worth the money and time if you are thinking of traveling to visit these schools though. I would only go if it is nearby.
  7. Bleurberry

    Bleurberry 5+ Year Member

    Jan 30, 2007
    PCOM's my First and ONLY choice, aww yeah. Of course, I'm an Osteopathy maniac, not just your average bear.
    If you're a Temple Student, let me know, we just started a pre-Student Osteopathic Medical Assosciation club. Just got approved by SAC over the break.


  8. burntcrispy

    burntcrispy Member 5+ Year Member

    Feb 22, 2006
    Funny story.

    I visited a medical school admissions office early on in my premed track. The woman in the office told me that because of my low GPA (3.1 at the time) I most likely would need to do graduate work and then most likely wouldn't make it.

    Well, 3 years later I was accepted to that medical school. (no graduate work, just all As in premed work and a above average MCAT) They didn't remember me and I really wish I could have remembered who I had spoken with that day. The "in your face" would have almost made the pain that she put me through that day worth it. I did well in med school and am now a happy resident.

    I don't know if visiting the schools helps or not. From my experience the main thing they care about are GPA and MCAT. Not age, extracirricular activities, previous jobs, volunteering, etc. Study hard and try to do the best you can on the MCAT and the interviews/acceptance will come.

    Burntcrispy, MD
  9. Captain Fantastic

    Captain Fantastic Physician 10+ Year Member

    Mar 28, 2005
    Mizzou Med
    Dr. B, if what you say is true I will have just met my first happy resident -- and I've known dozens. What in blue-blazes did you match into?
  10. burntcrispy

    burntcrispy Member 5+ Year Member

    Feb 22, 2006

    From my experience, the anesthesia residents are usually the happiest, most laid back residents around in any hospital. I love it and actually look forward to going to work each morning.

    There are a few other specialties in which the residents are generally happy (or not miserable). It follows a medical school saying, "the R.O.A.D.E" to happiness. It refers to jobs which give you a better lifestyle (read minimal call, not getting worked to death, and with above average compensation)

    Rads, Optho, Anes, Derm, ER

    I would add Ortho to this. It is not a lifestyle job because they tend to work fairly hard but these guys LOVE their jobs.

    Just a tip: when you get into medical school work your butt off studying to make good grades and good board scores because these ROADE jobs range from above average competative to ultra/elite competative. Being older you will most likely want one of these "lifestyle" jobs. Almost all of the older students from my medical school chose one of these. After medical school most of us nontrads are way behind financially and with a huge debt so these jobs are a great way to catch up while not working yourself into an early grave.
  11. Kateb4

    Kateb4 7+ Year Member

    Nov 28, 2006
    Well, not sure of your state, but there is an annual Illinois Medical School Admissions Seminar (which I guess didn't happen this year, but I went last year) in which all of the medical schools in the state send their reps and give info about their school, info about applying and tips to help students out with the application process. I found it very useful last year. I got info from each of the schools without having to fuss about filling out requsts, and I got to ask personal questions to their admissions reps that were there as well as students that they sent to be ambasadors. They also had a few different seminars throughout the day with regards to writing your PS or MCAT info, etc. So, I'd ask around in your state to see if there is anything like that.

    Another idea is if you are still in college, check to see if there is a pre-professional association. Ours meets once a month and a speaker from various professional schools come to talk about their programs. I go to all of the med school ones and get some really good info in a small group setting. There is always a chance to ask the reps (usually admissions reps) specific questions that you may have also, and of course they give you info about the school also.

    So, check into those things. I know that alot of school have open houses, or you can go for a tour. But they are not really receptive to sitting down and meeting with you on a one-to-one basis at these random times. Plus you may not want to do all of this traveling when you will have to go back if/when you get the interview. Just a thought.
  12. CremasterFlash

    CremasterFlash Born yesterday. 7+ Year Member

    May 27, 2006
    The Mothership.
    thanks for the advice folks, very, very helpful. probably saved me quite a bit of money and time.

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