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|By Jadex (Jadex) on Sunday, August 01, 2004 - 10:22 pm: Edit|
I have another question. It's about the MCAT, so I'm not sure if it should go here, but here goes:
When is the best time to start studying for the MCAT to gain the most knowledge for understanding(not specifically for testing)? I know most colleges say start a hard review 2-4 months before, but I'd like to thoroughly understand the test when I go into it so I do well. I know some people who have been studying old MCATs and test prep books since freshman year of high school. I know that's probably the extreme cases, but should I spend the money and buy some sort of testing aid (I'm looking at the Kaplan comprehensive review) this fall, when I start college? I don't want to overload myself, but I also want to be early studying for the MCAT. As always, thanks in advance for any and all advice/help that's given!
|By Sparkle1026 (Sparkle1026) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 03:22 pm: Edit|
Can anyone tell me what programs are out there that guarantee admission into both undergrad and graduate medical school at the same time? I've heard of a couple of programs: University of Illinois at Chicago GPPA program, Northwestern University HPME, USC has one, Kansas-City...what else is there?
|By Rutger818 (Rutger818) on Monday, August 02, 2004 - 04:57 pm: Edit|
Check the AAMC website:
|By Sparkle1026 (Sparkle1026) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 08:16 pm: Edit|
Rutger818, thanks, the list is great. I'm still trying to find out more info about these types of programs. I know they are extremely competitive. Do you know which of the programs are "easier" to get into and which are harder? I may just attend a normal undergrad program pre-med, but would like to keep these guaranteed programs as an option also. Thanks.
|By Sparkle1026 (Sparkle1026) on Tuesday, August 03, 2004 - 08:22 pm: Edit|
me again! i have another general question that i hope someone can answer. which schools have really strong pre-medicine programs? i mean which undergrad programs have the most of their students being admitted into med schools?
|By Jenskate1 (Jenskate1) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 11:24 am: Edit|
sparkle - go read the message board on multiple degree programs...
|By Mamajan (Mamajan) on Wednesday, August 04, 2004 - 03:19 pm: Edit|
I have diligently researched the archives, and am unable to find an adequate answer to the following. If my son, who is very sure he wants to pursue a career in medicine, is accepted at some of his top undergrad choice schools such as JHU and Northwestern, as well as a 6 or 7 year BA/MD at Penn State/Jefferson, which is preferable? I recognize that there is greater risk associated with getting in to med school from a regular undergrad (average 35% acceptance rate), however prestigious the establishment. But does getting an MD via the 6 or 7 year route put you at any disadvantage in the long run?
|By Jenskate1 (Jenskate1) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 10:28 am: Edit|
Some physicians that I have spoken to DO feel that the accelerated programs shortchange the future physicians. You come out of these programs less well-rounded, and some feel this makes the doctor less able to relate to his patients. It also might make having interests and hobbies outside of medicine as an adult less likely. However, you do (in some cases) save a lot of money by going for 6 or 7 years rather than 8.
Something I'd be concerned about, and I don't know if this is the case w/ the accelerated program that you mentioned, is the possibility of not getting a bachelor's degree if you leave the program before completion. I never could get a straight answer about this from the Brown program, but Northwestern said in their literature that you can EITHER study abroad OR get a bachelors. So, If you had dropped out of the Northwestern program in the fifth year, but had done study abroad in the third, you would not have any degree at all, even after 5 years of school!
In my opinion, the best bets are 8 year combined programs like Rice/Baylor or University of Rochester REMS.
|By Gangsta (Gangsta) on Thursday, August 05, 2004 - 03:01 pm: Edit|
Alot of 6/7 year programs, you get the bachelors degree while in medical school. Physicians coming out of some of the very well established and old programs are excellent. The ones that graduated usually chose the program route over top ivies in fact. Some programs that I know are very successful are the old UMichigan program, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Inst (RPI) 7-yr program, the Rochester program, and the Miami Program. The graduates of these programs have done very well. Ask any MD and they'll tell you that variation between medical schools is minimal and success really depends on you in this field.
|By Mj23 (Mj23) on Friday, August 06, 2004 - 07:41 pm: Edit|
Hi I'm in high school and I can't choose between honors physics or AP Biology. I hope to enter the medical field and I need someone who can tell me which course is the better one to choose. Thanks
|By Kkgirl06 (Kkgirl06) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 09:22 am: Edit|
To get into med school, i know that there are certain required classes (ie biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, calculus, english...), but is there a recommended order in which to take the sciences? For example, from what ive gathered you take one science your first year (2 semesters) and your second take both organic chem and the other science (both for a full year). Finally, the third year you usually take 2 semesters of physics. Which should come first, biology or chemistry? And where does calculus come in? Thanks in advance.
|By Kkgirl06 (Kkgirl06) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 09:29 am: Edit|
hey mj23 what year are you in? at my school, we were required to take honors biology as freshmen and honors chemistry as sophomores. the final 2 years we had some choice as to which classes we could take. most people take honors physics as juniors. as seniors we could take any one of the AP classes, and i took AP Biology. I think its very important to have physics somewhere down the line so it all depends on what year you are in. If you are going to be a senior its a tough decision because you really need to take a physics but you also need to experience an AP science.
|By Jarchivist (Jarchivist) on Sunday, August 08, 2004 - 11:25 pm: Edit|
There's no real order to take classes in - take them in as they fit. I would suggest taking bio and chem before organic, and calculus early on in your college career in case you choose to take a calculus-based physics.
|By Soljaofortune (Soljaofortune) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 09:07 pm: Edit|
Hey guys, I'm going into a BS/MD program at VCU/MCV. I am currently set on majoring in Biomedical Engineering and thinking about applying out into another med school or stay at MCV since im already in and its a great med school to my standards. My question is whether or not it would be worth it to stay in the program and whether if it would aid me when i apply for a residency or success in med school! All responses appreciated! THanks
|By Hdotchar (Hdotchar) on Sunday, August 15, 2004 - 09:31 pm: Edit|
i would not suggest any pre-meds to take calculus-based physics, as it is wholly unnecessary. med schools are only looking for a general physics course (read: non calculus). most pre-meds tend to be weaker in these areas, and a calc-based curriculum (for engineers&mathematical sciences majors) is probably not something you want to take, seeing that it takes hard work to get an A in.
soljaofortune you are majoring in BME? engineering is a rather non-traditional path into med school, because the curriculum is more rigorous and intense than what most pre-meds pursue. in fact, engineering & mathematical sciences are by far the hardest majors available at the undergrad level. seeing as how avg. gpas tend to be lower in engineering, and unlike pre-law, i dont know of any application engineering can have to becoming a doctor.
on the flip side of things, if you really are passionate about purusing a degree in engineering and do manage to do very well in it, you're in luck. med schools give you some credit for majoring in something rigorous and will be impressed by a high gpa in engineering. in addition engineers who go on to be doctors and lawyers tend to graduate at the top of their class due to the rigor involved in thier undergrad majors.
|By Sakky (Sakky) on Monday, August 16, 2004 - 12:05 am: Edit|
I'd have to agree with hdotchar's second paragraph, and I would extend it further to say that you may actually be seriously hurting yourself by choosing BME. Engineering is hard and youd grades will be lower - possibly low enough that you won't be able to get into medical school at all.
It is true that the rigor of BME will help you prepare for the rigor of medical school and that you will stand a greater chance of doing well in medical school. But in order to do well in med-school, you first have to get admitted to med-school, and that's precisely the problem for engineering students. As an engineering student, you will be competing against guys who chose easy majors filled with easy, do-nothing classes where they will pull high grades for doing very little work.
|By Katielw (Katielw) on Tuesday, August 17, 2004 - 03:10 pm: Edit|
I have a question about high school grades. I currently have a 4.0 gpa, but the first two years of high school i didnt. I had surgery on my face and missed a ton of school which made my grades suffer. I am entering my senior year of high school and will be done by january. Once I finish I am going to start at a local community college getting all my pre med classes out of the way. My question is will my high school grades affect me getting into med school. Or once you began at a junior college is that what they look at? Thanks for all of your time.
|By Rutger818 (Rutger818) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 10:09 pm: Edit|
High school grades are a factor at the undergraduate level only. However, your college GPA and MCAT scores will play a significant role in your admissions to med school.
|By Katielw (Katielw) on Friday, August 20, 2004 - 10:21 pm: Edit|
Thanks so much.
|By Blessed85 (Blessed85) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 03:12 pm: Edit|
I got o Temple University, where I was given credit for doing my A level Physics exam, so I don't have to take Physics to fulfill my bio degree. However, some medical schools accept the credit as fulfilling the Physics requirement, while others, for instance, Harvard Medical School do not accept it. I have looked at an MCAT book and I am familiar with almost all the Physics concepts. Is it worth taking a year of Physics in college?
|By Buckwald (Buckwald) on Thursday, August 12, 2004 - 03:22 pm: Edit|
what would you take instead of physics?
|By Rus (Rus) on Sunday, August 29, 2004 - 12:05 pm: Edit|
I am new to this section of the board. I have not seen a topic for MCAT review courses/prep. I have looked under several topics and noticed every question on MCAT review courses/prep goes unanswered. I take this to mean this question is discussed under a different topic . Can anyone direct me to the correct thread or heading to find this info ? Thanks for your time.
|By Rus (Rus) on Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - 10:05 am: Edit|
Thanks for moving my question to the appropriate
thread/topic. Now , anyone have any info and /or experience with MCAT prep courses ? Are they beneficial? A waste of money? I would love to gain from any info others have garnered. For background, a have a junior who is planning on taking the MCAT Spring of 05 , and he says all his classmates are signing up for a 1400 + Kaplan review course. Good idea?
Again, I appreciate any input .
|By Tweaks (Tweaks) on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 02:50 pm: Edit|
From what I've been able to glean, prep courses can be useful for discipline and materials, although they are rather pricey.
Alternatives include home study by buying some Kaplan books and etc. You can get official practice MCAT exams (one free, other 3 can be bought for about $90 total I think) at www.e-mcat.com I think. But it's up to you. If your son/daughter is really set on taking the course, it might be the best method simply because he'll put in some amount of time and effort behind it and he'll be willing to undergo its rigors.
I have a friend who's a sophomore at UCI who's looking into early assurance/acceptance programs so they wouldn't have to have MCAT-stress and all of that. My impression is that these programs tend to be fairly rare and probably harder to get into than med school itself, but can anyone say anything more substantial about this? Is there any chance for a decent student (say, 3.6 gpa, biochem major) to be accepted into one of these programs?
|By Rus (Rus) on Saturday, September 04, 2004 - 06:28 pm: Edit|
Thanks, Tweaks ! We did agree with his rationale for taking the course, and just were wondering what others thought the value of such courses were. He intended to pay for all ( you are right, very pricey) but we are splitting cost, and feel his investment is important . Hopefully it will be helpful to him .
Thanks for the input.
|By Almostdead (Almostdead) on Monday, September 06, 2004 - 10:50 pm: Edit|
hmm... i tried to search but didn't get enough information... much apologies if this is a repeated questoin:
How important is volunteering? Is sophomore year too late to start?
Also... how do premed students manage to do so many things at once? It seems like next semester I'll have three lab classes (bio, chem, physics), and I might try to work at the same time. Seems impossible to squeeze much ec in! Any advice? Thanks!!!!!!!
|By Tweaks (Tweaks) on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 01:38 pm: Edit|
I'm sure this isn't terribly revolutionary but in the "READ ME FIRST" section it says that EC's are fairly important but less though than in undergrad apps. (but in UG apps ECs can be unimportant too if you're applying to a big public or something ... although they're vital at places like Harvard) So volunteering is pretty helpful, but not at the level of a strong GPA+MCAT.
|By Psedrish_Md (Psedrish_Md) on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 02:00 pm: Edit|
Tweaks: You actually looked at and then applied the "read me first" stuff? You've made my day!
|By Almostdead (Almostdead) on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 04:11 pm: Edit|
Alas, I am so very sorry...
I had assumed the "read me first" was the normal rules etc etc!!!
Thanks a lot Tweaks, and my apologies for asking the same old questions over again.
|By Psedrish_Md (Psedrish_Md) on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 06:07 pm: Edit|
Hey Almostdead I'm glad you got help, vague as it was.
I had an experience in med school that really taught me to read it all, all the time.
I took a histology exam in 1st year. The proctor gave the usual blah blah blah about reading all the instructions before beginning, etc.
Only one of us saw the blurb "observe all tissues presented; describe only tissue #25." Of course, nobody finished on time. Sadly, we all got a D, except the girl who caught it. She identified the tissue incorrectly and then gave a poor description of both what she saw and what she thought she had seen. She got an F.
|By Jl87d (Jl87d) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 09:00 am: Edit|
Is it okay (advisable) to take my premed courses at a cc?
Here's my dilemma, I'm currently attending a Community College and it looks like I need to take some, or maybe a majority of my pre med courses before I transfer out. In order to take my premed courses in time for the MCATS I'll need to take, Biology first year, inorganic chem. second year, physics third year, and organic chem in second or third.
These are my options: A. My cc offers a block of 35 credits that transfer to univ.'s that I could take in my first year this would have me taking only bio. at a cc, however this would have me moving away from home a year early, and this IS an issue. B. Attend the CC for 2 years as planned and take Bio, and at least 1 chem. class, probably 2, resulting in only 1 of my pre med classes(phy.) being taken at a univ.
What should I do? Does it matter where you take your pre med courses, as long as you do well on your MCATS?
P.S. Don't know if it matters, but I'll be majoring in Psychology
|By Psedrish_Md (Psedrish_Md) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 11:15 am: Edit|
Any pre-med level courses taken at a CC will be viewed very poorly by any med school adcom. In most cases, they will not accept them at all.
|By Sakky (Sakky) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 03:00 pm: Edit|
I am not aware that most med-school adcoms will not accept premed courses taken at a CC. If you have such proof that most med-schools have specifically said that they will not accept CC credit, could you present it?
Now, I agree that getting top grades in premed classes at a CC does not look as good as getting top grades in premed classes at a highly rigorous and prestigious school. The problem, of course, is that it's extremely difficult to get top grades in premed classes at a highly rigorous and prestigious school. Imagine trying to get all A's in your premed requirements at a school like MIT or Caltech - for most people, it is impossible. Even if you do nothing but study, you still might get mediocre grades because everybody else is studying very hard, the exams are extremely difficult, and premed classes are usually graded on a curve meaning that there are only a limited number of A's to go around.
Furthermore, the fact of the matter is, most med-school applications are never read by a human being. Med-school admissions are broken into 2 rounds, and the first round is almost exclusively numerically driven. You submit basic information (your premed GPA, your overall GPA,your MCAT, other basic information) to med-schools during round 1, and only if the med-school thinks you're a viable candidate will the med-school invite you to round 2. And round 1 admissions are mostly numerical - if you don't present certain minimum numbers, you won't get to round 2.
The upshot is that you need to do what you gotta do to get to round 2, when your application might actually be read by a human being. So if that means taking courses at a CC in order to get past the round 1 numerical cutoffs, so be it. Let me be clear - if you do that, you will be a weaker candidate than a guy who took all his classes at a rigorous program and got top grades. But clearly you will be far far better off than the guy who took all his classes at a rigorous program and did not get top grades such that he didn't even make it past round 1.
The bottom line is nobody ever became a doctor who couldn't make it past the round 1 med-school admissions numerical cutoffs. You gotta do what you gotta do to stay in the game to give yourself any chance of winning it. Obviously the optimal strategy is to take all your classes at a tough program and do well. But clearly not everybody can do that. Again, imagine trying to get straight A's at a school like MIT. So if for you, staying in the game means taking courses at a CC, then so be it. You gotta do what you gotta do to stay alive in the game.
Having said that, let me repeat something I've said before. I don't like this strategy. I don't think this is the way it should be. I agree that this is an example of 'gaming' the system. Ideally, med-schools should have a human being carefully look at each person's application and make a decision accordingly, and candidates who attend tough programs at tough schools should be sufficiently compensated.
But that's not the way it is. Med-schools have shown time and time again that they want high numbers from their candidates, and are not going to compensate you sufficiently for attending a tough program. I don't think they intended to do this, but it doesn't matter whether they intended this. The only thing that matters is the final result. And the final result is that if med-schools rely on numerical round-1 cutoffs, then that punishes people who attend tough programs.
So I agree that there is a problem here. But the problem is not with the candidates who game their way into med-schools by taking classes at CC's. No. The problem is with the med-school adcoms themselves and the way they run admissions. So if you're like nyugrad and you don't like what I'm saying, that's fine. I don't like it either. Take it up with the med-school adcoms themselves. If they insist that their candidates present top numbers, then applicants should do what they have to do to present top numbers.
|By Psedrish_Md (Psedrish_Md) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 04:00 pm: Edit|
You are correct: the CC courses may get you a closer look, but they will not get you into med school, as that same closer look reveals an unacceptable truth.
It may well be that kids from a very good school and sporting 3.75 GPAs can outgun kids from an Ivy with a 3.00, but even a 4.0 from a CC is a non-starter.
|By Sakky (Sakky) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 07:02 pm: Edit|
But hey, it's better to at least get yourself into round 2 than not.
The point is, you gotta do what you gotta do to stay alive through the numerical cutoffs. Only then will you have the chance to really present what you can do. Once your application is read by an actual human being, then you can demonstrate all your extracurricular activities, all your research experience, your 'wonderful' essays you've written, and all that good stuff. But if you can't even make it past round 1, then all of that stuff becomes moot.
So clearly, I never said that having all A's from a CC will make you look "good" to med-schools. In fact, you will look bad. Clearly having all A's from, say, MIT, is better. I never disputed that. But the point is that most people can't get all A's at a place like MIT. In fact, many people at a tough school like MIT will end up pulling mediocre grades, even if they study like a dog.
So while you might look "bad" coming out of a CC with straight A's, at least you're getting looked at, which is far far more than what a lot of premeds who attend tough schools can say. And if you're getting looked at, then you have the opportunity to show your other qualifications. Sure, the fact that your A's came from a CC isn't going to impress anybody. But at least they will get your application through round 1 and looked at by a human being, and from there, your other qualifications might close the deal. At least it keeps you alive in the process.
So the point is that if you believe you're good enough to attend a rigorous program and get excellent grades, then God bless you, this discussion does not apply to you. This discussion is directed to those mere mortals who can't go to a rigorous program and get top grades. What I'm saying is that for mere mortals, you should consider taking classes at a CC as an option. Like I said, you gotta do what you gotta do to stay alive in the admissions process. Nobody ever became a doctor by having their application rejected before it was even read by a human being.
|By Lemmethink (Lemmethink) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 12:33 pm: Edit|
what should i major in. I really enjoy biology, microbiology and chemistry (those are my absolute fav subjects ever!). but if i don't get accepted to med school, i want to have a degree that i can actually use. can someone help me out? thanks
|By Nyugrad (Nyugrad) on Sunday, October 10, 2004 - 06:24 pm: Edit|
Sakky, I've posted several times regarding this issue, and once again, I'd have to agree emphatically with Dr.Psedrish.
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