December 21, 2012
- Shadowing - To shadow a physician means to follow him or her around during their daily duties: sitting in during patient appointments, speaking with families, processing and interpreting lab tests, and generally seeing what the life of a physician is like. To find shadowing opportunities, consider approaching family friends (or friends' families!) who are physicians, asking science professors if they have colleagues who are practicing physicians, or checking if there are any lists at your school's pre-professional advising office.
- Hospital Volunteerism - Many major hospitals (and some private clinics) have opportunities for premed students to help out on the floors by talking with patients, assisting in patient transfers, and medication distribution. Historically, this was called "candy striping," since the uniforms kind of resembled a candy cane. Check on hospital's websites and don't delay in applying -- often, this is such a popular activity that you'll have to wait a little while for the next available volunteer training cycle.
- Research - Since medicine is always looking for the next big cure, the safest new medications, and the answers to understanding the impact of illness on individuals and communities, research is a major part of the medical field. Research is required if you're planning on applying to MD/PhD programs. Again, local hospitals, your school's pre-professional advising office, and science professors should be your go-to for checking out research opportunities.
- Community and International Outreach - These outreach programs include local community initiatives (such as Covenant House, a nonprofit charity for homeless and marginalized youth; the Ronald McDonald House Charities; and volunteering at nursing homes) as well as other national or international opportunities (the Peace Corps, alternative spring break trips, or programs through the World Health Organization).
- I. The Holistic Review Process
- II. The Personal Statement
- III. Secondary Applications
- IV. Medical Extracurriculars and Experience
- V. Non-Medical Extracurriculars and Experience
- VI. Letters of Recommendation
- VII. Interviews
May 24, 2012
- What is the student lifestyle? Some schools are more party-oriented than others. Other schools are very competitive and stressful. Consider whether you will prefer a collegiate, social atmosphere or a competitive, high stress environment in medical school.
- Does your personality get along with that of current students, can you see yourself making friends and fitting in at this medical school?
- Are intramurals/campus student-life important to you? If so, does the student body engage in such things?
- Do you feel that the administration is friendly and supportive? The Deans and staff in student-focused offices (such as the Offices of Student Affairs and Medical Education), will be like your parents in medical school. Can you see yourself going to them for help if you are having a personal or professional crisis?
- How is life in the town/city the medical school is located in? There are tremendous cultural differences across the country, and even within a single state, so consider if you’re applying to schools in places that you feel comfortable and accepted. The last thing you want to do is get used to a startlingly different environment while adjusting to medical school.
- Finally: What would it take for you to go to this school? Would you be happy to go if it was your only option? If the answer to the second question is ‘No’ then it’s probably not a school you want to apply to!
May 7, 2012
April 17, 2012
April 12, 2010
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- Finding the Right Medical School For You: Your Questions Answered
- Pros and Cons of Taking the New MCAT 2015 in April
- The Pre-Medical Experience: A Critical Review
- A Tale of Two MCATs: Which Should I Take?
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