How To Get Into Medical School

theDoctor Aug 9, 2007 School
Want the specifics of maximizing your shot at becoming a doctor? Want more advice than just - "get good grades and do well on the MCATs?"

This assumes the following:

• You have great reasons for wanting to go into medicine.
• You have the drive to succeed, the will to achieve.
• You can and will do well in all the prerequisite classes, including g chem., ochem, bio, physics, math, etc.
• You're well adjusted and have friends.


This edu will detail how to plan to get in with the least amount of pain from a standard 4yr college.


You need to have the following by the time you apply to medical school -


• A high gpa - duh
• Bio related research to show your interest in the science of it all
• Volunteer work to demonstrate your devotion/dedication to medicine
• Well rounded extracurricular activities

So as you are working towards all of it simultaneously, plan on taking the MCAT in the April of your junior year. You get your scores back in time to be one of the first applicants, hopefully have an acceptance by December so you can cruise the rest of the senior year in college.


You apply centrally through the AMCAS and then individual colleges ask you to fill out more detailed questions, called secondaries. You also pay an additional fee at this point. After the secondaries are submitted and reviewed, you get an invitation to interview.
Some schools do not participate in AMCAS and you apply separately.


Again, the reason for taking the april mcats is to secure a spot as early as possible. The first round of interviews take place early October, and the acceptance letters by December. After you have your first acceptance, you can be more picky about where you choose to go to interview, and you do not want to spend the second half of your last year worrying about what you'll be doing come fall.



You MUST do well on the mcats. Whether or not it is applicable to a career in medicine does not matter. You will be asked to do things that do not matter to you nor anyone else, but you must do them well - it shows character and discipline. It is divided in 4 sections:


Physcial sciences - physics and gchem
Biological sciences - bio and o chem.
Verbal - reading comps and other verbiage
Writing sample - specific formats

My plan for mcats was long term. In addition to all the social sciences, writing, math, etc filler classes, the major classes I took were:


1st year - gchem, bio
2nd year - ochem, bio
3rd year physics, more bio


Kick ass in g chem the first year, review by tutoring it the second year.
Second year, kick ass in ochem, and tutor it during the 3rd year for reviewing purposes.
During the summer after your second year, take a physics course early, so that when you take the april mcats, you won't have a huge gap in your physics knowledge. I took it out of sequence just for that.


I also went to part time status starting January for the mcats. I had plenty of units anyway, needed to do volunteer work, research, and study for the mcats.
Gather as much prep materials as you can from the people who have taken prep course. I hope you have friends that will undergo this process with you, and an understanding girlfriend to help you through, bring you food, and take care of your needs..

I never took a prep course because I knew the pace wouldn't match mine, and I wanted to cover everything I can. So gather all the Princeton review, hyperlearning, berkely review, Columbia, whatever you can, and start reviewing. Fill the gaps in your knowledge base for from January to March...


Starting mid march or so, start doing timed practice tests for physical and biological sciences... As many as you can, and you'll see a lot of the same questions come up. This is the best way to prepare for the real thing...


With about a month to go, starting brushing up on the reading comps if you need to. By now, you're up to your ears with all the science stuff, so it should be a welcome break.. also, start reading the newspapers for current events to help you with your writing sample... it's retarded, but the essay you write is blah blah blah "whether or not blah blah" one paragraph for, another against, and a conciliatory one. But that also needs to be practiced, so write them , time them, have it read over by some of those humanities chicks... that's mostly what I did for the last two weeks leading upto the mcats - write b.s. arguments...


The Interview


Alright, so you kicked ass on the mcats, and you have a solid application that you sent off early, and you look gorgeous on paper. So naturally, you get an interview invitation.

You've worked your ass off for the past few years, so don't take this step lightly, please!
This portion of the application is not a formality, your numbers will not guarantee acceptance at this point.


Do your research about the school you're interviewing at. Be ready to answer some stupid standard interview questions like - tell me about yourself, etc etc..

And just as important, have some questions ready.

When you are interviewed by more than one person that day and you've already asked your best questions, ask them again. It's better than not asking anything.

They are not really interested in discovering that you are a unique snowflake nor a beautiful flower. They have an image of a medical student in mind - smart, driven, proper, and social. They do not want to see the real you if your hair is dyed green, have multiple piercings, and you love clubbing and wear matching women's panties with your tie. Fake it. Smile, be enthusiastic, curious, and respectful. They are taking time out of their busy day to assess you.


Be extra nice and courteous to the secretaries and people around you. It is a small office, and they too have an input into what kind of a person you are...

Send thank you notes EARLY, before they send in their evals of you. Send flowers and chocolates to the admissions office if you want... not that I have, but I know people that have with great results...


And.... That's all I have to say about that.

What did you think of this tutorial?
- 17
9 CommentsAdd a Comment
Matthew Strutt on May 31, 2016
nice articles but too old. its posted on 2007 its 2016 so its totally different now Regards Matthew
wowgold5 on Sep 17, 2013
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Naeem Sheeraz on Sep 25, 2010
very nice article Naeem Sheeraz
medstud on Aug 2, 2009
what a stupid article. and regards it as one of the most popular. =(
Jungle Girl on Feb 4, 2009
I think the writing is somewhat sloppy,with misspelled words and incorrect punctuation. How did you do on the writing portion? Some comments are unprofessional-kicka**? I have never heard the MCAT referred to as MCATs.
Breana on Jan 29, 2009
I found the advice " make sure you have an understanding girlfriend...etc " sexist - this is making the assumption that you are addressing a male audience only - as if women don't study medicine - they just serve the purposes of "girlfriend"
dj1963 on Aug 17, 2008
I have to say that I was surprised that this tutorial was approved. I counted many spelling mistakes, slang, profanity and very sloppy writing. The next time you write a tutorial,check your spelling, make it more professional and don't swear or refer to your sex life,
1978 on Mar 10, 2008
+ 1
passerby on Mar 1, 2008
how about making it less informal? Repeating the phrase "kick ass" is great when talking to friends but not so great when writing a tutorial. You write well but need to be more serious about it
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