Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

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LiveSimple
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Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by LiveSimple » Sun Apr 17, 2016 6:41 am

Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Appreciate the input from you all. Most of you helped with your thoughts a lot for my son's college selection in two treads.
Now he will be is heading to University Of Michigan, for engineering.

My daughter is a Sophomore Student in Bio Medical Engineering, with an aspirations to complete medical school.

As a parent, our observation is that she may not be an A+ student to get all the requirements herself in place and go to the top notch schools.
But a B / B+ student, who is interested in science, engineering, medical stream. Once she has a plan, she can execute well, there may be slips as well, but will come back on track. Doing undergrad in engineering, being in honors college and completing premed class, is challenging.

As a parent now seen two kids come out of school, we see around us, other families that there were some support, help, directions to the high schools that help the students to achieve the greatness or go to competitive schools.

So looking for pointers, who went to medical school or medical school drop outs, what worked for you or what did not work for you.

What did you do in college, extra curricular, in junior and senior year, the student should be aware of.

What the requirements to meet, in college course ?

What GPA to meet ?

What Science GPA to meet ?

What volunteer work is needed ?

What research / additional intellectual work is recommended ?

What are the low competitive medical schools to keep an eye on ?

She is still passionate about the health care professional. She always says, if I do not make it to the M.D. program, I will still stay in health care field.
So what others areas she can focus.

Yes, we know, the student has to do their studies and figure out, but as parents, what we can point here to, where we can be helpful.

Disclosure : We are an engineering family, we do know a thing / two about engineering profession, but zero on the medical / healthcare profession ( Except seeing our doctors for medical care :D )
Last edited by LiveSimple on Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:10 am, edited 7 times in total.

cheapindexer
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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by cheapindexer » Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:18 am

I finished undergrad in 1992, so as a 45 year old perhaps I'm outdated for some advice for a sophomore undergrad, but perhaps not!

In my day , it was beneficial to take the MCAT in the spring . If you take it in the fall, the med school class is 75 percent full or so.

The MCAT is the ONLY Test I have taken in my life where time was an issue ( as in not enough of it). The prep classes helped me with timing more than anything else

Other than that , consider the CHEAPEST med school you can get into ! I can't remember the last time someone asked me where I went to medical school ! My wife is a physician as well and she would tell you the same thing

Student loans..... Suck .... Like a fifty pound weight around your neck

also, I personally would worry more about grades and the MCAT than volunteer work or anything else. Just volunteer a few hours here or there at a hospital.

and , no such thing as a second or third rate medical school ! ( I would stay away from new schools though )

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LiveSimple
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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by LiveSimple » Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:29 am

cheapindexer wrote:I finished undergrad in 1992, so as a 45 year old perhaps I'm outdated for some advice for a sophomore undergrad, but perhaps not!

In my day , it was beneficial to take the MCAT in the spring . If you take it in the fall, the med school class is 75 percent full or so.

Other than that , consider the CHEAPEST med school you can get into ! I can't remember the last time someone asked me where I went to medical school ! My wife is a physician as well and she would tell you the same thing

also, I personally would worry more about grades and the MCAT than volunteer work or anything else. Just volunteer a few hours here or there at a hospital.

and , no such thing as a second or third rate medical school ! ( I would stay away from new schools though )


Appreciate cheapindexer.

Take MCAT in Spring of Junior year or Senior year.

Reworded, to "low competitive medical schools to keep an eye on"
Last edited by LiveSimple on Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by LAlearning » Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:34 am

Has she considered using her degree for what is was intended? That sounds a lot more interesting...
I know nothing!

strafe
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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by strafe » Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:34 am

Prerequisite courses may be school specific but will generally include general biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry and general physics. Some schools have extra math requirements that we won't need to worry about as an engineering grad. Doing a human anatomy course (with cadaver lab) and a systems physiology course as an undergrad would make the first year a lot easier. (dont confuse this with "anatomy and physiology" courses that are often taken by nursing students.)

It's been a more than 10 years since I went through this process but 3.6 GPA was toward the bottom end of acceptable, 3.8 about average and 4.0 at the top end.

MCAT matters more than GPA. Practice tests help a lot. I believe US News tracks the MCAT score ranges for matriculants by school.

Research and volunteering definitely help.

All U.S. allopathic (MD) schools are largely similar in training and will allow her to flourish. Some hyper competitive surgical residencies may look for "pedigree" to winnow down the applicant pool, but those programs also select for a certain type of personality anyways.

Osteopathic (DO) and foreign allopathic schools are highly variable in quality and would put her at a disadvantage for most high caliber residencies.

I'm guessing since you're asking these questions that she hasn't yet explored it seriously. The first question should be, is she sure this is what she wants to do?

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by LiveSimple » Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:35 am

What is the difference between an osteopathic program, as compared to an MD program

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by LiveSimple » Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:41 am

LAlearning wrote:Has she considered using her degree for what is was intended? That sounds a lot more interesting...


A couple of pointers, here. yes she is in biomedical, which will put her in something related to healthcare, either in hospitals or research.
All MD aspirants, take some specialization during undergrad, and focus on the Medical School requirements.

For my daughter, we / she picked this school / major, as the school is local and got a full tuition aid !!!
Basically the admission fall on her lap with a good financial aid and was the best competitive program in the school.
Many friends did not get in.

She likes the program now ! This year she is a RA and that will pay for her room / food. Almost will graduate with less out of pocket expenses.
Last edited by LiveSimple on Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by LiveSimple » Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:46 am

strafe wrote:I'm guessing since you're asking these questions that she hasn't yet explored it seriously. The first question should be, is she sure this is what she wants to do?


Yes, she wants to be in healthcare profession from middle school. She is still persistent.

That is why we do want to be of a support system, or provide support as she goes to junior / senior years of college.
Last edited by LiveSimple on Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:22 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by tigerdoc93 » Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:14 am

The differences between allopathic and osteopathic medical schools are narrowing as time passes. A degree from either will allow your daughter to apply for any residency she chooses. However, an MD (allopathic) degree has traditionally been more sought after by residency programs. Therefore, an MD student would have an advantage over a similar DO (osteopathic) student in being accepted to a particular residency program. That's not to say a DO student can't specialize in any field of medicine. They just may have to work harder and stand out in other ways. I work with excellent physicians from both MD and DO schools. Keep in mind that most MD schools are less expensive than DO schools but MD schools are more difficult to obtain acceptance. I know graduates of DO schools that owe $300k when they start to practice medicine. Our local DO school tuition is twice as high as the tuition at MD school.
I hope this helps your daughter make a decision. As above posters noted, grades and MCAT scores are most important when applying to medical schools. The higher the gpa the lower the MCAT score has to be and vice versa.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by climber2020 » Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:28 am

LiveSimple wrote:What is the difference between an osteopathic program, as compared to an MD program


If you get accepted to an MD school in the United States, you go to that school. If you can't get into the MD school, you try for the osteopathic school. If you can't get into the osteopathic school, you go to medical school in the Caribbean and hope for the best. No sane person (who is not trying to make some sort of political statement) would willingly go to an osteopathic school when they have the option of going to an allopathic (MD) program.

I've met great osteopathic doctors, incompetent MDs, and vice versa. The choice of school does not dictate the competency of the physician. However, going any route other than the MD will make getting into a good internship/residency much more challenging. I went to a top 10 residency program and know for a fact that our program does not interview osteopathic students, regardless of their grades and test scores.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by letsgobobby » Sun Apr 17, 2016 8:56 am

For a borderline GPA, MCATs are going to be the deal maker or deal breaker. All the other things have to be done - demonstrated interest and experience in medical field and a capacity to work with and care for vulnerable human beings - but none of that will matter if her GPA isn't very good and MCATS excellent.

Have her spend some time meeting with UM med school admissions counselors so they can guide her in course selection and volunteer and work opportunities; and so they can review her coursework and provide feedback on her chances of admission.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by jpelder » Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:27 am

I'm not a doctor, but I do know that most universities gave a "pre-med" academic advisor. She should speak with them. Some places have courses that are especially useful for pre-med students.
Of course, a high GPA is the number one thing med schools are looking for. All of my MD friends and relatives described medical school as the most academically challenging time in their lives (and these are all people with perfect undergrad GPAs)
Getting involved in undergraduate research is also a good idea. It can be one more factor to distinguish her from the competition.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by EnjoyIt » Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:36 am

Have her get a job as a scribe for physicians. Particularly in emergency medicine. This will place her elbow deep in medicine. She will see the management of sick patients directly. She will learn how doctors think, how to do physical exams, what tests can be ordered, and even how to treat diseases. If she does it right, by learning from this experience, she can be miles ahead of any other medical student. There are tons of jobs around the US.

BTW, I work with scribes. Those who take it seriously become excellent medical students.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by LiveSimple » Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:53 am

EnjoyIt wrote:Have her get a job as a scribe for physicians. Particularly in emergency medicine. This will place her elbow deep in medicine. She will see the management of sick patients directly. She will learn how doctors think, how to do physical exams, what tests can be ordered, and even how to treat diseases. If she does it right, by learning from this experience, she can be miles ahead of any other medical student. There are tons of jobs around the US.

BTW, I work with scribes. Those who take it seriously become excellent medical students.


Appreciate your input EnjoyIt. This helps.

Will send your note, to my daughter for the next steps.

Just google for scribe for physicians" should help I think.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by Herekittykitty » Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:10 am

It has been a long time since I graduated from medical school. I believe that at the time I got in, about a third of qualified applicants were getting in on the first application. I don't know the overall rejection rate including marginal applicants, just that well qualified applicants had about a one out of three acceptance rate on the first application. Some applicants who didn't get in the first time got master's degrees, reapplied, and got in after that. One rejected applicant I knew who had average grades ("B" I think) and an average score for accepted applicants put a phenomenal amount of time and work into studying for the MCAT (including getting so good he taught MCAT classes) and increasing his score into the stellar range and reapplying. He did get accepted after that.

I personally got in on my first application with an average MCAT for accepted applicants and stellar grades in a double major, excellent recommendations, some research experience, volunteer work over years, a compelling life story, and I interview well. I was ready with plan B, plan C, and so on in case I didn't get in the first time, although I thought I would. Although I was an older student when I went to medical school, I had wanted to be a doctor since early childhood. Had I not gotten in on the first application I would have gotten a master's degree, done more research, and worked hard to increase my MCAT score and reapplied. Then if I did not get in, I would have gone to Mexico or elsewhere for medical school and come back for residency. I would have practiced out of the country if needed - I would have been fine with that. If I could not get into an American medical school by the third try and couldn't get into a foreign medical school, I would have gotten a PhD (I had the area identified) and either tried again or been satisfied that I had done what I could.

I do not know what it is like these days getting into medical school. I do know from working with medical students that they are some very hard working and goal directed people, some with compelling life stories.
I don't know anything.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by LiveSimple » Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:15 am

Herekittykitty wrote: Had I not gotten in on the first application I would have gotten a master's degree, done more research, and worked hard to increase my MCAT score and reapplied.


Yes, I hear a lot, on go to masters and reapply. What does this opens up.
    More maturity / time to ace the MCAT.
    Does it ups the borderline undergrad GPA, if taking a easier graduate studies ?

Over you plan seems like what she / we are thinking, have some plan B and C.
But focus on plan A first.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by Herekittykitty » Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:22 am

LiveSimple wrote:...........

Yes, I hear a lot, on go to masters and reapply. What does this opens up.
[list]More maturity / time to ace the MCAT.
Does it ups the borderline undergrad GPA, if taking a easier graduate studies ?.......


I don't know the answer to that. I do not know what it takes these days. It could easily be very different now. I just offered my experience as one example from years ago, to show how one person (myself) thought through it all, and to give an idea of the kind of drive and determination it took then and I would guess it would take now although I don't know. I would guess also that if the undergraduate grades are not competitive that acing the MCAT and/or graduate school with top grades would help - but again - I do not know as I don't have current experience or knowledge.
I don't know anything.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by livesoft » Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:40 am

By the time I was a sophomore in college, I had already worked full-time as a nurses aid in a small rural hospital. I was the only male on the staff during my shift, so I got to do all the male pre-op urological shavings, all the enemas, and other things that the nurses and doctors did not want to do.

What has your daughter done outside of college in the healthcare arena?
This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by ks289 » Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:46 am

Good luck to your daughter. Biomedical engineering is not an easy major, so being successful in that major will prepare her well for a number of different careers and for the medical school application process too.
Many of the course requirements for medical school are likely to be fulfilled by biomedical engineering requirements (calculus, physics, chemistry, orgo, biology, etc). These courses also comprise much of the MCAT material, although taking a prep course is likely to be helpful. Focusing on being an outstanding BME major is really the priority because GPA (in particular science GPA) is so important when applying.
Although the the AAMC has data on average total GPA and MCAT for applicants (3.55, 28) and matriculants (3.70, 31), these are only a rough guide and the competitiveness of the school does have an impact.

https://www.aamc.org/download/321494/da ... blea16.pdf

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by shantster » Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:47 am

LiveSimple wrote:What is the difference between an osteopathic program, as compared to an MD program


I'm currently a resident (MD) in a field that takes a number of DOs. Though I agree that the differences are narrowing, going the DO route puts you at a number of disadvantages. (these are as far as I remember with some of the discussions with DO colleagues and from our residency program - things may have changed)

1. It is much harder to match in the more competitive fields (NSGY, RadOnc, etc) simply because of the DO degree rather than the MD degree. Even within the more traditional specialities that are "less competitive" like internal medicine, many of the more academic fields do not interview DOs.
2. Most of the MD schools are associated with a hospital system for the clinical year training during 3rd and 4th years of medical school. From what I've seen of the DO schools, it's the exact opposite where most are not associated with a specific hospital system, and you have to move during your clinical years to get this training. In some systems, you might go to one city for the entire 2 years, but I've seen people need to go to multiple cities during the two years. Besides the inconvenience of moving, IMHO, you do not get as strong of clinical experiences as the preceptors are not invested in your education from day 1.
3. Within point #2, there is an advantage of being integrated into the hospital system from day 1. This includes more availability to begin to build relationships with attendings in an area you might be interested in exploring more immediately. That provides better mentorship experiences.
4. With points #2 and 3, getting exposure to more subspecialties that are not part of the core curriculum is more challenging, particularly if a clinical rotation. You will need to do at least 1-2 rotations in the subspecialty you choose to pursue to be able to learn about the field, show interest in the field, and obtain LORs. Away rotations would be expected, but these sometimes can be more difficult to obtain if coming from a DO school than an MD school depending on the bylaws of the hospital system (ours is only allowing certain DO schools to do a full rotation, others can only do a few days observership for some reason).
5. From what I've seen, the opportunities for research and other academic pursuits that are good supplements to one's CV for residency applications may not be as readily available at DO schools. The same can be noted for smaller MD schools that are not directly affiliated with a university. With a biomedical engineering background, if your daughter is interested in doing some research projects, she would likely need to pursue summer research experience after MS1 at another institution.
6. Licensing/Boards - If going to a DO school, you need to take the COMLEX examination for licensing purposes. Most ACGME accredited residencies will require USMLE scores as well. If going for MD degree, the USMLE is the only one taken. (ACGME is the governing board for the traditional "MD" residencies. DOs apply for these slots as well. There is a "DO-specific" residency match, but from what I understand, there are less slots in smaller, more community based areas. A lot of people at DO schools apply in the ACGME match system for residency)
7. Further licensing issues - ACGME-accredited residencies and fellowships require completion of ACGME-accredited intern year. For some residencies, the intern year is a part of the residency, but some specialties have the intern year as a separate one that you would additionally match to. For years, people could do ACGME residency after doing a DO intern year, but this has changed. What makes it more complex is the few states that require all DOs to complete an AOA-accrediated (AOA = ACGME for DOs) intern year to obtain a license. If doing an ACGME-accredited residency in these states (or wanting to ever practice in these states), you'd need to make sure the intern year was accredited by both governing boards.
8. Costs - DO school tuition for the most part costs quite a bit more than that for MD schools. The vast majority (if not all) MD schools are non-profit entities, but a number of the DO schools, particularly the new ones popping up, are for profit.

I do agree that with her current GPA, it will be tough to get into an MD school without having other excellent things on the resume (research, volunteering, excellent LORs, something unique about herself). The competition gets greater every year - During medical school I gave tours and could not figure out how I got into the school with the accomplishments of the people that were interviewing. She needs work hard to get that GPA up and do outstanding on the MCAT. She also needs some good medical volunteering/work/etc to demonstrate her interest. She'll need to apply broadly to both and see what happens there. DO is definitely preferable to Caribbean MD school - those are all for profit, and from what I understand, not great in the clinical rotations or for aiding your success in finding a residency slot.
Last edited by shantster on Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by coalcracker » Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:53 am

I graduated medical school in 2005, and went on to become a radiologist.

First, some bad news. Medical school, just like college and private school all the way down to pre-K, seems to get more and more competitive each year. And for better or worse, many if not all medical schools use "the numbers"-undergraduate GPA and MCAT scores-to initially screen applicants for interviews. Incredible life experiences, recommendation letters, or legacy situations can overcome lower-than-typical numbers, but these are generally rare exceptions. I suspect much of this is related to U.S. News rankings and the emphasis placed on some of these numbers in rankings.

If her school has a "pre-med" advisor or dean, she should definitely get in contact with that person. Ours was very familiar with the application process and has experience with the degree of competitiveness your daughter may have at certain medical school. In a few instances, our advisor even gave a few individuals the honest assessment that medical school was not for them.

With a B/B+ GPA, she will have to ace the MCATs or have something else amazing on her application to be get her foot in the interview door at most allopathic medical schools.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by Allixi » Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:16 pm

Med school is getting more competitive all the time. This is not the best place to learn about it - I suggest you or your daughter get familiar with StudentDoctor.net and the forums - those posters are a lot closer to the process than we are.

The only thing I'll say is that make sure your daughter knows what she's getting into:

1) You DON'T have to be a doctor to be involved in healthcare or even do clinical work! There are all sorts of technicians and ancillary specialists (pharmacists, dieticians, PT/OT, etc) involved in patient care. I know lots of PAs/NPs who are scrubbed into the OR doing closure and all but the most important anastomoses. Yes these jobs may not be as prestigious in popular opinion, but the cost of entry is MUCH lower in both time and money.

2) Getting into med school is the BEGINNING not the end of the process. At the end of 4 years of hard work, you still have to leave your fate in the hands of a giant lottery called the match. Speaking as someone who's been burned by it not once but twice (PM me if you want details), be aware that's what you're signing up for. Google "Not a Doctor, Just an MD" to see a worst-case scenario.

3) Healthcare is changing very fast. 15 years ago there was no such thing as "hospitalists", now they're probably the most popular jobs in all of internal medicine. 10 years ago General Surgery was a "backup" specialty, now it's almost as competitive as ENT/Urology or any other subspecialty. You need to lay groundwork early in order to have a realistic shot (PUBLISHING research, establishing relationships with professors so you can get Letters of Recommendations, etc.), while ironically you need to be flexible about your goals or you could be in for a lot of heartbreak.

4) Doing well on tests is a NECESSARY but not SUFFICIENT criteria to going into medicine, starting with the MCAT. There's no way around this and it doesn't get easier. There is no such thing as "homework" once you get to med school, it's all about test performance with exams, shelfs, and USMLE steps. If you can't do well on those it's pretty much hopeless. Anybody that knows this to be a personal weakness, I would NOT recommend they try to go into medicine.


Oh yes, stay away from Caribbean schools like the plague. The match process is now rigged to exclude foreign/international medical grads. I suspect someday DO schools will also feel the squeeze even more than they do now.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by VoiceOfReason » Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:54 pm

LiveSimple wrote:

She is still passionate about the health care professional. She always says, if I do not make it to the M.D. program, I will still stay in health care field.
So what others areas she can focus )



I would suggest considering the business side of healthcare. I was a biomed engineer for a large medical device manufacturer and wanted more $$ so I moved into capital equipment sales.

There are so many sales, business, administrative and consultative, roles in the healthcare industry. Many are extremely lucrative and require nothing more than a BS degree.

To many not in the industry, all they know are the "doers" of medicine. (Drs, nurses, etc). There is so much more opportunity with less investment and in many cases comparable compensation to the traditional MD position.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by CriticalCareJunkie » Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:05 pm

So there's a whole lot to know here. I'm finishing up residency, about to start fellowship.

She needs to understand what she is getting herself into. She's about to work harder than any of her colleagues for the next 10-15 years through training, then continuing to work hard for the rest of her life. She will miss Christmases, Thanksgivings, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. She will work 80 hours a week through training. She will incur massive amounts of debt. She will lose friends that think she is ignoring their requests to hang out to study. She will have periods of depression through training. She will not be as healthy because she'll live off fast food and never exercising for long periods. She may delay getting married and will almost certainly delay having children. She will spend more time working on a computer than treating patients. She will have to explain to bean counters why she wasn't as fast as they want her to be, because they don't understand that grieving with a dying family is more important than seeing the next patient. She will deal with patients who think they are entitled to free healthcare and expect you to fix any problem they have without taking any responsibility for their own health. Medicine is changing and becoming more political. She will feel incompetent frequently. She will fear losing everything she has in a lawsuit despite working as hard as she can constantly to provide good care for her patients. She will deal with midlevel practitioners who think they are more intelligent and qualified than her despite having less than half the training. She will likely have to move around the country for medical school, residency, fellowship and likely where she ultimately practices based on the local needs and job opportunities.

It is VERY hard to get into med school. You need phenomenal grades, a great MCAT, good extra-cirriculars, clinical experience and some people like research. Your daughter needs to understand that getting into med school is a full-time job starting now. Your daughter should also know that the highest rate of attrition is prior to getting into med school. Being a B student won't cut it. Your daughter needs to understand if she can only be a B student in undergrad, the odds of her doing well in med school are low. She can likely do better, but needs to put in more effort. Undergrad in engineering is a cake walk compared to med school and residency.

Re: admissions - Every school is a little different, but essentially all med schools have similar admission requirements with a few exceptions. There are very few hard and fast MCAT and GPA requirements, but I believe you can pay for an online copy of admission statistics by gender and race (may even be school specific, but it's been too long for me to remember). As far as course requirements, essentially every school will require Bio I and II, Chem I and II, Organic Chem I and I, Physics I and II. Most places require a semester of biochem, some require a semester of calculus. Some have other random requirements (genetics, etc), but if you fulfill the above requirements, you'll probably be eligible for most med schools. Her goal needs to be a 4.0 every semester, if she falls short, that's OK, but aiming for anything less is setting herself up for failure.

MD (allopathic) vs DO (osteopathic) - Definitely MD, no question. MD is the standard by which all else is measured. MD is essentially just medicine. Allopathic schools have extra hoops to jump through for training. They also do a lot of quasi-medicine training that is not supported by evidence. DO schools tend to be much more expensive and are located in less desirable locations. It is also much harder to secure a strong residency program from a DO school. If you want to do a more competitive specialty (ENT, dermatology, orthopedic surgery, etc), it is easier to get a position (albeit still extraordinarily difficult) to get a position from an MD school. Don't go Caribbean.

Re: choice of med schools. Apply broadly and be realistic. She will be better served spending more money on her first application process to apply and interview at more places, than she will be financially by spending an extra year doing a low paying job. She should go to the cheapest school she gets into. That has been the best financial decision I've made to date. People like the big name on their diploma, but it's a bad financial investment. Although med schools advertise drastic differences in their curriculum, essentially every US MD school is the same. You spend 2 years learning anatomy, pathology, pharmacology. You take Step 1. You spend a year doing your core rotations (Surgery, Pediatrics, etc). You spend a year doing a few extra core rotations, electives and away rotations. They can dress it up however they want to, but they're the same. Further, almost everyone goes into private practice where name means nothing (I doubt you can tell me where your doctor when to med school). Further, your residency training is much more important than you med school; that is to say that someone who went to Harvard for med school, then a no-name residency program would be less likely to get a competitive job than someone who went to state school for med school, then trained at Harvard for residency. In all things in medicine, your last institution is the most important one on your CV. Really, name matters only if your daughter gets interested in research and decides on a career in academics.

Re: Extra-cirriculars - She will need "direct patient contact" time. This can be via shadowing, volunteering, being a scribe in an ER, etc. Essentially this is just a box you need to have checked off so that admission committees know the is committed.

Re: Research - It depends on the school. Some places are research crazy, others aren't. It looks good if she can get involved in a project. If she wants to be involved in research, she should understand that clinical research is easy to have results in a short period of time than basic science research. She needs to find a mentor that produces. Time in a research lab (other than paid time) without any production means very little.

All of that is not to say she shouldn't do it. Medicine is an amazing job, but it's a job, a way to provide for your family. It's not a calling. If she is OK with everything above, by all means, she should proceed. There are very few ways where you can provide a service that is life saving or improves quality of life while making 200+K/yr. If you can get an acceptance letter to a US MD school and fake a smile for the next 7-10 years, you are set. Like I said, I don't know any other profession where you're guaranteed 200+k/yr - it really is the golden ticket. I can't imagine doing anything else, but I would have felt tricked if someone didn't explain all of those things to me before I started.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by LiveSimple » Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:15 pm

VoiceOfReason wrote:To many not in the industry, all they know are the "doers" of medicine. (Drs, nurses, etc). There is so much more opportunity with less investment and in many cases comparable compensation to the traditional MD position.


Great to know. However she do need to gravitate towards these positions.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by LiveSimple » Sun Apr 17, 2016 1:21 pm

Appreciate CriticalCareJunkie for your detailed response. Value your response as gold.

IT jobs can bring her 125K+ and it is easy to reach to 150K or 200 K, with some focus, however she is not interested in this path for now.
If she changes her mind, I am fine. The life is simple this way.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by snowman » Sun Apr 17, 2016 2:54 pm

Fascinating thread! While neither of my kids is interested in being a doctor, it’s very interesting to read what it takes to become a doctor. I especially appreciate CriticalCareJunkie’s post – very informative!

Let me ask the forum a question: if high GPA is so critical, would it not make sense for undergrad student to pick easier major in college than biomedical engineering? Something that the student finds really interesting and can also excel at to get desired high GPA? Unless med schools weigh difficulty of undergrad major, that's the message I am getting from this thread.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by EnjoyIt » Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:04 pm

Critical care junky. What a sad and honest truth.

The post above is spot on for most physicians.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by Rotarman » Sun Apr 17, 2016 3:15 pm

I am a 1st year MD student who obviously just went through admission, so I'll give you my N=1 on the subject.

The first point is that she is unlikely to get much of a break for having a hard major. It's unfair - I majored in a nontraditional physical science, and my GPA was average-low average for matriculants at my medical school and I worked my butt off for it, so I know how much it sucks. 3.7 is a safe minimum to shoot for for allopathic. If that's not possible though, all isn't lost.

Second point is that almost nothing makes up for a low MCAT score. Average for allo schools is ~30-31. Keep in mind, if you have a lower than average gpa you'll want a higher than average MCAT and vice versa if possible. I took an MCAT prep course through my school which was somewhat helpful. Taking the MCAT prereq courses later in your college career and putting a lot of effort into them is also helpful. I know some students who retook lower level classes (especially if they tested out of them and thus hadn't taken them since highschool). I hadn't had "freshman bio" since junior year of HS when I took the MCAT and ended up with biology being my lowest subscore, so retaking classes is something to really consider.

Third try to reduce the number of credit hours as low as possible the semester before taking the MCAT. ie go with really light courses 2nd semester junior year and study hard then schedule the MCAT for late in the summer and study the summer too.

Finally only focus on medical EC's to the extent you have something to write/talk about in applications and interviews. Shadowing is an unwritten requirement. Some form of volunteerism is also essentially required. Research is really nice to have, but by no means a requirement.


There really aren't any non competitive medical schools. DO schools are less competitive (and a great option!) but still average around 3.5 gpa. Your daughter will also want to calculate her science GPA based on the AMCAS rules (ie only math/chem/bio/physics essentially) to ensure it's on track - if it's not, pick up some science classes known to be easy in the summer and Ace them. Also start getting good recommendation letters now; I found that I went to professors offices a lot more freshman/sophomore year and thus could have gotten good recs from them if I hadn't waited until late junior year to get them.
As some others have alluded to, all these hoops are really protecting prospective students. Despite the difficulties of admission, the year above me lost about 7% of their class in the first year (no refund on the $50k of debt!).

Whatever she decides, good luck to your daughter! If you have any specific questions, feel free to PM me.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by climber2020 » Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:40 pm

snowman wrote:
Let me ask the forum a question: if high GPA is so critical, would it not make sense for undergrad student to pick easier major in college than biomedical engineering? Something that the student finds really interesting and can also excel at to get desired high GPA? Unless med schools weigh difficulty of undergrad major, that's the message I am getting from this thread.


Yes. What you major in makes no difference as long as you take all the required science courses. I disliked biology and chemistry, so I majored in a fine art. It worked to my advantage because every single medical school interviewer spent a large proportion of the interview time asking me questions about my atypical major - which I was passionate about and loved discussing - instead of grilling me with normal interview questions.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by White Coat Investor » Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:46 pm

LiveSimple wrote:Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Appreciate the input from you all. Most of you helped with your thoughts a lot for my son's college selection in two treads.
Now he will be is heading to University Of Michigan, for engineering.

My daughter is a Sophomore Student in Bio Medical Engineering, with an aspirations to complete medical school.

As a parent, our observation is that she may not be an A+ student to get all the requirements herself in place and go to the top notch schools.
But a B / B+ student, who is interested in science, engineering, medical stream. Once she has a plan, she can execute well, there may be slips as well, but will come back on track. Doing undergrad in engineering, being in honors college and completing premed class, is challenging.

As a parent now seen two kids come out of school, we see around us, other families that there were some support, help, directions to the high schools that help the students to achieve the greatness or go to competitive schools.

So looking for pointers, who went to medical school or medical school drop outs, what worked for you or what did not work for you.

What did you do in college, extra curricular, in junior and senior year, the student should be aware of.

What the requirements to meet, in college course ?

What GPA to meet ?

What Science GPA to meet ?

What volunteer work is needed ?

What research / additional intellectual work is recommended ?

What are the low competitive medical schools to keep an eye on ?

She is still passionate about the health care professional. She always says, if I do not make it to the M.D. program, I will still stay in health care field.
So what others areas she can focus.

Yes, we know, the student has to do their studies and figure out, but as parents, what we can point here to, where we can be helpful.

Disclosure : We are an engineering family, we do know a thing / two about engineering profession, but zero on the medical / healthcare profession ( Except seeing our doctors for medical care :D )


My advice is to get your daughter as interested in going to medical school as you are interested in her going to medical school. All of the answers to these questions are readily available to any serious premed (books like How to Get into Medical School, forums like student doctor network, premed advisors, premed club, the guy sitting next to you in physics class etc) without having to have your parent go to a finance and investing forum to find them from docs who haven't applied to medical school for 10-30 years.

I can tell you this though, people who are "B Students" in college struggle in med school, residency, and beyond. Most of the successful premeds I knew were worried their 3.7 was going to keep them out of med school. And when I say 3.7, we're only counting the science classes filled with other cutthroat premeds, not all the fluff.
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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by shaiboy » Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:56 pm

As a current medical student, in my opinion the two most important factors for getting an invite to interview at a medical school would be 1) GPA, and 2) MCAT score. Many schools have a cutoff, if you don't meet the cutoff, they won't look at the rest of your application. After you get your foot in the door by meeting their cutoff, they'll consider your personal essay, letters of recommendation, volunteering, experience in the medical field, etc. When applying, apply as early as possible (first few days that the application cycle opens). The reason for this is that many medical schools give invites on a rolling basis, meaning that they send out invites as they review applications, and once they invite their desired amount, won't send out invites again until applicants cancel on them.

An invaluable resource that myself and the majority of my classmates found useful is the Student Doctor Network forums--a place where pre-med students can gather together and share information and experiences.

It's a long and arduous path to becoming a doctor, both in college, in medical school, residency, and as a physician. They say it's worth it, I hope they are right.

~shai

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/categor ... -forums.4/

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by mt » Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:15 pm

Stay away from Caribbean schools.

I cannot remember much about the MCAT in the late 1980s, but my daughter crushed it recently by taking a lot of practice exams and studying up on any weak areas identified.

I have had the conversation about major of choice with many MDs, and most would agree that an engineering major would not be the first choice. People obviously do it, but the difficulty of an engineering major may adversely impact GPA and the classes will not be helpful with the MCAT.

For folks that have incoming college freshman, be aware that freshman chemistry is the first filter. Lots of students drop premed before that class is halfway through. The next filter is organic chemistry. Do poorly in either of those classes and you are probably done as a med school candidate.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by Big Dog » Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:42 pm

what state are you in, OP? A 3.6 won't cut it in California, but might elsewhere. And yes, that's a 3.6+ in the math-science courses as well as overall. After GPA+MCAT scores, then EC's come into play: volunteering, research, etc.


Student Doctor netwrok is a fine source, but can be really snarky to a parent. I'd recommend you mosey over to CollegeConfidential which is a lot more parent friendly.

I second the others: google your D's college name and premed, and it should give you a good overview of the basics for that school.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by cookymonster » Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:45 pm

If your daughter is a marginal applicant, she'll be best served by applying to schools with lower tuition, with larger class sizes, and obviously with higher rates of acceptance. Schools in smaller cities and away from the coasts will have higher quality/competitiveness ratios. When I applied to schools ~10 years ago I paid about $15 to US N&WR to get some data on the number of out of state applicants, which, when compared to class size, gave me a decent idea of which schools were most worth applying to. There are some public schools that take virtually no out of state students, and some take half or more from out of state. But for most applicants, the in-state schools are the cheapest and the schools where they have the greatest odds of acceptance.

Also, students fighting for acceptance can improve their odds by targeting schools that have long and difficult "secondary" applications, since more students are going to apply and complete the applications that are short and easy, and the time and difficulty of the application can weed out some of the competition.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by ram » Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:47 pm

http://www.startmedicine.com/app/medstatistics.asp

My daughter got decent GPA and MCATscores, volunteered at the local hospital and overseas at a 3 month camp and applied to about 20 schools. Now in her 2nd yr of med school.
Ram

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by GK4321 » Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:28 am

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by LowER » Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:33 am

CriticalCareJunkie wrote:So there's a whole lot to know here. I'm finishing up residency, about to start fellowship.

She needs to understand what she is getting herself into. She's about to work harder than any of her colleagues for the next 10-15 years through training, then continuing to work hard for the rest of her life. She will miss Christmases, Thanksgivings, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. She will work 80 hours a week through training. She will incur massive amounts of debt. She will lose friends that think she is ignoring their requests to hang out to study. She will have periods of depression through training. She will not be as healthy because she'll live off fast food and never exercising for long periods. She may delay getting married and will almost certainly delay having children. She will spend more time working on a computer than treating patients. She will have to explain to bean counters why she wasn't as fast as they want her to be, because they don't understand that grieving with a dying family is more important than seeing the next patient. She will deal with patients who think they are entitled to free healthcare and expect you to fix any problem they have without taking any responsibility for their own health. Medicine is changing and becoming more political. She will feel incompetent frequently. She will fear losing everything she has in a lawsuit despite working as hard as she can constantly to provide good care for her patients. She will deal with midlevel practitioners who think they are more intelligent and qualified than her despite having less than half the training. She will likely have to move around the country for medical school, residency, fellowship and likely where she ultimately practices based on the local needs and job opportunities.

It is VERY hard to get into med school. You need phenomenal grades, a great MCAT, good extra-cirriculars, clinical experience and some people like research. Your daughter needs to understand that getting into med school is a full-time job starting now. Your daughter should also know that the highest rate of attrition is prior to getting into med school. Being a B student won't cut it. Your daughter needs to understand if she can only be a B student in undergrad, the odds of her doing well in med school are low. She can likely do better, but needs to put in more effort. Undergrad in engineering is a cake walk compared to med school and residency.

Re: admissions - Every school is a little different, but essentially all med schools have similar admission requirements with a few exceptions. There are very few hard and fast MCAT and GPA requirements, but I believe you can pay for an online copy of admission statistics by gender and race (may even be school specific, but it's been too long for me to remember). As far as course requirements, essentially every school will require Bio I and II, Chem I and II, Organic Chem I and I, Physics I and II. Most places require a semester of biochem, some require a semester of calculus. Some have other random requirements (genetics, etc), but if you fulfill the above requirements, you'll probably be eligible for most med schools. Her goal needs to be a 4.0 every semester, if she falls short, that's OK, but aiming for anything less is setting herself up for failure.

MD (allopathic) vs DO (osteopathic) - Definitely MD, no question. MD is the standard by which all else is measured. MD is essentially just medicine. Allopathic schools have extra hoops to jump through for training. They also do a lot of quasi-medicine training that is not supported by evidence. DO schools tend to be much more expensive and are located in less desirable locations. It is also much harder to secure a strong residency program from a DO school. If you want to do a more competitive specialty (ENT, dermatology, orthopedic surgery, etc), it is easier to get a position (albeit still extraordinarily difficult) to get a position from an MD school. Don't go Caribbean.

Re: choice of med schools. Apply broadly and be realistic. She will be better served spending more money on her first application process to apply and interview at more places, than she will be financially by spending an extra year doing a low paying job. She should go to the cheapest school she gets into. That has been the best financial decision I've made to date. People like the big name on their diploma, but it's a bad financial investment. Although med schools advertise drastic differences in their curriculum, essentially every US MD school is the same. You spend 2 years learning anatomy, pathology, pharmacology. You take Step 1. You spend a year doing your core rotations (Surgery, Pediatrics, etc). You spend a year doing a few extra core rotations, electives and away rotations. They can dress it up however they want to, but they're the same. Further, almost everyone goes into private practice where name means nothing (I doubt you can tell me where your doctor when to med school). Further, your residency training is much more important than you med school; that is to say that someone who went to Harvard for med school, then a no-name residency program would be less likely to get a competitive job than someone who went to state school for med school, then trained at Harvard for residency. In all things in medicine, your last institution is the most important one on your CV. Really, name matters only if your daughter gets interested in research and decides on a career in academics.

Re: Extra-cirriculars - She will need "direct patient contact" time. This can be via shadowing, volunteering, being a scribe in an ER, etc. Essentially this is just a box you need to have checked off so that admission committees know the is committed.

Re: Research - It depends on the school. Some places are research crazy, others aren't. It looks good if she can get involved in a project. If she wants to be involved in research, she should understand that clinical research is easy to have results in a short period of time than basic science research. She needs to find a mentor that produces. Time in a research lab (other than paid time) without any production means very little.

All of that is not to say she shouldn't do it. Medicine is an amazing job, but it's a job, a way to provide for your family. It's not a calling. If she is OK with everything above, by all means, she should proceed. There are very few ways where you can provide a service that is life saving or improves quality of life while making 200+K/yr. If you can get an acceptance letter to a US MD school and fake a smile for the next 7-10 years, you are set. Like I said, I don't know any other profession where you're guaranteed 200+k/yr - it really is the golden ticket. I can't imagine doing anything else, but I would have felt tricked if someone didn't explain all of those things to me before I started.


Very well said. Nothing to add.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by TroutMD » Mon Apr 18, 2016 3:14 am

Great advice already in this thread, but I will echo some things in a short form.

First and foremost, she needs to understand what being a doctor is fully about, what the commitment is, and she needs to be behind that decision 100%.

GPA matters, solid B student isn't probably enough, she needs A's with a sprinkle of B's. Solid Bs probably wont get into medical school.

MCAT matters. A higher MCAT can outweigh a lower GPA, but again not a solid B average GPA. Much weight is put on the MCAT.

Personality, interview skills, volunteer work, etc is important as well, but probably less so than the above. You can be a d**k, but have top MCAT and GPA and you will get in. You can be the nicest, best interviewer with poor scores and you wont even get an interview.

Good luck, its not a job, its a lifestyle. One getting increasing covered by red tape and unappreciative patients.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by LiveSimple » Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:09 am

ram wrote:http://www.startmedicine.com/app/medstatistics.asp

My daughter got decent GPA and MCATscores, volunteered at the local hospital and overseas at a 3 month camp and applied to about 20 schools. Now in her 2nd yr of med school.


Great this link provides great information.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by LiveSimple » Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:11 am

ram wrote:http://www.startmedicine.com/app/medstatistics.asp

My daughter got decent GPA and MCATscores, volunteered at the local hospital and overseas at a 3 month camp and applied to about 20 schools. Now in her 2nd yr of med school.


Great this link provides great information.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by White Coat Investor » Mon Apr 18, 2016 5:54 am

cookymonster wrote:If your daughter is a marginal applicant, she'll be best served by applying to schools with lower tuition, with larger class sizes, and obviously with higher rates of acceptance. Schools in smaller cities and away from the coasts will have higher quality/competitiveness ratios. When I applied to schools ~10 years ago I paid about $15 to US N&WR to get some data on the number of out of state applicants, which, when compared to class size, gave me a decent idea of which schools were most worth applying to. There are some public schools that take virtually no out of state students, and some take half or more from out of state. But for most applicants, the in-state schools are the cheapest and the schools where they have the greatest odds of acceptance.

Also, students fighting for acceptance can improve their odds by targeting schools that have long and difficult "secondary" applications, since more students are going to apply and complete the applications that are short and easy, and the time and difficulty of the application can weed out some of the competition.


I'm not sure you understand how this works. The schools with the lowest tuition are the hardest ones to get into. It's the really expensive DO, Caribbean, Private, and state schools for out of state students that are easiest to get into. People fight tooth and nail to get into my local state medical school.
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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by LiveSimple » Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:14 am

Great posts and information.
Mostly this post is for all parents, who has a child and interest in the field of medicine.

In all socially responsible, activities there is a slight selfishness, for me it is

    Are we doing the right thing as parents ?

    Also if push comes to shove, are we encouraging the high tuition and less possibility to achieve success, like the Caribbean schools.

    Also do we encourage / push / influence / helicopter the kids thoughts :happy


As a parent / mentor, I see when we grew up, we had less opportunities and more drive, so we invented the opportunities , now I see in my kids more opportunities and less of a self drive. Time will tell.

End of the day, we are blessed and we are happy of our outcomes and our kids :happy

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by cookymonster » Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:31 pm

White Coat Investor wrote:
cookymonster wrote:If your daughter is a marginal applicant, she'll be best served by applying to schools with lower tuition, with larger class sizes, and obviously with higher rates of acceptance. Schools in smaller cities and away from the coasts will have higher quality/competitiveness ratios. When I applied to schools ~10 years ago I paid about $15 to US N&WR to get some data on the number of out of state applicants, which, when compared to class size, gave me a decent idea of which schools were most worth applying to. There are some public schools that take virtually no out of state students, and some take half or more from out of state. But for most applicants, the in-state schools are the cheapest and the schools where they have the greatest odds of acceptance.

Also, students fighting for acceptance can improve their odds by targeting schools that have long and difficult "secondary" applications, since more students are going to apply and complete the applications that are short and easy, and the time and difficulty of the application can weed out some of the competition.


I'm not sure you understand how this works. The schools with the lowest tuition are the hardest ones to get into. It's the really expensive DO, Caribbean, Private, and state schools for out of state students that are easiest to get into. People fight tooth and nail to get into my local state medical school.

Lower tuition is one factor that makes schools more competitive. However, 82% of the seats in Utah's medical school are guaranteed to residents of the state, and they only have to compete with each other for them. That ~100 seats may not sound like much. But think of how many students from Utah, which has less than 1% of the nation's population, are in the average 150-student medical class elsewhere. Tufts and Vanderbilt may be a lot more expensive, but students who apply to those schools are competing with students from all 50 states for those seats.

The Caribbean and DO schools are less competitive, but that has as much to do with the drop in quality and prestige than cost of education.

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by inbox788 » Mon Apr 18, 2016 6:44 pm

Allixi wrote:Med school is getting more competitive all the time. This is not the best place to learn about it - I suggest you or your daughter get familiar with StudentDoctor.net and the forums - those posters are a lot closer to the process than we are.

Image
That seems to be the perception, but I think reality is like comparing the unemployment rate and adjusting for things like workforce participation rate.

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/sus ... -lowest-38

It may be a little more competitive now, but having more less qualified applicants doesn't make things more competitive. There was a time when the best and the brightest went into medicine and law. Today, I believe many choose engineering/computer science and business instead.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/1 ... 69424.html

Only the best of the best choose both.

https://bioengineering.stanford.edu/aca ... ngineering
http://www.bme.jhu.edu/graduate/md-phd/

If you're among the best applicants to medical schools, it's not that competitive to secure a spot, just not that specific highly competitive school (i.e. Stanford or Harvard). If you're not above average, consider alternate plans in case you don't get in. And of course, consider your competitiveness as an applicant when deciding which schools to apply to.

http://www.kaptest.com/blog/med-school- ... al-school/
http://www.startmedicine.com/app/medstatistics.asp

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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by White Coat Investor » Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:48 am

cookymonster wrote:
White Coat Investor wrote:
cookymonster wrote:If your daughter is a marginal applicant, she'll be best served by applying to schools with lower tuition, with larger class sizes, and obviously with higher rates of acceptance. Schools in smaller cities and away from the coasts will have higher quality/competitiveness ratios. When I applied to schools ~10 years ago I paid about $15 to US N&WR to get some data on the number of out of state applicants, which, when compared to class size, gave me a decent idea of which schools were most worth applying to. There are some public schools that take virtually no out of state students, and some take half or more from out of state. But for most applicants, the in-state schools are the cheapest and the schools where they have the greatest odds of acceptance.

Also, students fighting for acceptance can improve their odds by targeting schools that have long and difficult "secondary" applications, since more students are going to apply and complete the applications that are short and easy, and the time and difficulty of the application can weed out some of the competition.


I'm not sure you understand how this works. The schools with the lowest tuition are the hardest ones to get into. It's the really expensive DO, Caribbean, Private, and state schools for out of state students that are easiest to get into. People fight tooth and nail to get into my local state medical school.

Lower tuition is one factor that makes schools more competitive. However, 82% of the seats in Utah's medical school are guaranteed to residents of the state, and they only have to compete with each other for them. That ~100 seats may not sound like much. But think of how many students from Utah, which has less than 1% of the nation's population, are in the average 150-student medical class elsewhere. Tufts and Vanderbilt may be a lot more expensive, but students who apply to those schools are competing with students from all 50 states for those seats.

The Caribbean and DO schools are less competitive, but that has as much to do with the drop in quality and prestige than cost of education.


Utah is a net exporter of medical students. If a given school takes a lot of out of state folks, there will be Utahns in the class. I think there were 250 students applying to medical school from BYU and a similar amount from the University of Utah the year I applied. I think the medical school took about 25 from each school. Everyone else either didn't get in anywhere or went out of state. And if you went to any other state university, the odds were even lower.

There are very few medical schools I would pay more for if I was admitted to a lower cost school.
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SleepKing
Posts: 233
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:45 am

Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by SleepKing » Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:42 am

For the hard numbers your child should look at the admission pages at regional schools to get a feel for the incoming class numbers and demographics. Many schools have very detailed information. She can complie a spreadsheet with numbers,demographics, in state/out state admissions, costs, etc...

Id recommend she look NOW (already very very late in summer applcant season) for reasearch and volunteer opportunities at local hospitals. These can include college/medical student research programs, volunteer in patient care activities, etc...

Tell her to think outside the box: hospice centers, extended care facilities, etc... May all have programs or create/welcome a college student interested in healthcare field.

Be warned, these jobs are little to no pay, but the experience and line item she can place on application and potential discussion during interview are invalueable.

You are a great parent to help her stimulate the discussion and guide her. Like you said, she needs to do this on her own but be there for support, great work.

Best,
Sleepy

necrotic
Posts: 22
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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by necrotic » Tue Apr 19, 2016 6:49 am

I have several friends and relatives who are now or who have recently been in this process at the undergrad level. I try to talk them out of it. Seriously. When I went through there was no one to talk me out of it but I wish there had been. I love my job, don't get me wrong, it's awesome what I get to do. However, it has been a very long road (11 years total after undergrad) and I consider myself very fortunate to have gotten a position in a competitive specialty. Many students are unable to get spots in the specialty of their choice.
One example of an alternate:
Nursing is an excellent career that is still competitive but does not require the upfront time commitment. You can work indefinitely with just an associate's or bachelors degree. If you later decide to go to CRNA or nurse practitioner school you can do so and make excellent pay and in some states practice completely independently. You don't have to repeat residency if you want to change specialty. Huge oppprtunities also exist in admibustration. Many CEOs of hospitals were nurses.


You daughter should also consider her future family plans. I have several colleagues who agonize about being a full time mom and a full time doctor at the same time. It's hard for dads too but women have it harder I believe in our society. Some of the very best docs I know and work with are female. They are passionate and dedicated and technically excellent. I have also seen them struggle with infertility as they have delayed having children into their late 30s/early 40s. Biology is biology.

A career as a physician demands so much of your life.
You spend your best biological years slaving away through training, shunning a normal social life, incurring huge debt, with years of opportunity cost. Then, you face great uncertainty about the future of medicine in our country.

If your daughter can find the same fulfillment in doing something else, she should do the something else.

I have this talk with all my friends and relatives who are premed. Some have changed into other fields. Some have decided they really do want it and have entered med school hopefully with open eyes. If someone can be talked out if med school, they should be. This will hopefully shunt away those choosing medicine for the prestige, money, independence, or job security (most of which are waning). A deep and true commitment will give them the inner resolve to keep at it and stay positive through all the ups and downs. I love my job, I'm very lucky. It is a great career but it will consume your life

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LiveSimple
Posts: 894
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Re: Medical School preparation Pointers for a Sophomore Student

Post by LiveSimple » Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:34 am

necrotic wrote:I have several friends and relatives who are now or who have recently been in this process at the undergrad level. I try to talk them out of it. Seriously. When I went through there was no one to talk me out of it but I wish there had been. I love my job, don't get me wrong, it's awesome what I get to do. However, it has been a very long road (11 years total after undergrad) and I consider myself very fortunate to have gotten a position in a competitive specialty. Many students are unable to get spots in the specialty of their choice.
One example of an alternate:
Nursing is an excellent career that is still competitive but does not require the upfront time commitment. You can work indefinitely with just an associate's or bachelors degree. If you later decide to go to CRNA or nurse practitioner school you can do so and make excellent pay and in some states practice completely independently. You don't have to repeat residency if you want to change specialty. Huge oppprtunities also exist in admibustration. Many CEOs of hospitals were nurses.


You daughter should also consider her future family plans. I have several colleagues who agonize about being a full time mom and a full time doctor at the same time. It's hard for dads too but women have it harder I believe in our society. Some of the very best docs I know and work with are female. They are passionate and dedicated and technically excellent. I have also seen them struggle with infertility as they have delayed having children into their late 30s/early 40s. Biology is biology.

A career as a physician demands so much of your life.
You spend your best biological years slaving away through training, shunning a normal social life, incurring huge debt, with years of opportunity cost. Then, you face great uncertainty about the future of medicine in our country.

If your daughter can find the same fulfillment in doing something else, she should do the something else.

I have this talk with all my friends and relatives who are premed. Some have changed into other fields. Some have decided they really do want it and have entered med school hopefully with open eyes. If someone can be talked out if med school, they should be. This will hopefully shunt away those choosing medicine for the prestige, money, independence, or job security (most of which are waning). A deep and true commitment will give them the inner resolve to keep at it and stay positive through all the ups and downs. I love my job, I'm very lucky. It is a great career but it will consume your life


Great pointers necrotic. I totally agree with you. Let us see what unfolds for my daughter in the next two years.
Sure, there are many professions, that pay you well and you can have a work life balance. At the same time, twenty something is the time, anyone do need to work their best, hard and smart.

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