Book Review: 101 TIPS On Getting Into Medical School

101 TIPS on getting into MEDICAL SCHOOL (Paperback)

By Jennifer C.Welch
Gegensatz Press; first edition (May 10, 2007)
ISBN-10: 1933237066

When this book first landed on my desk about a year ago, a quick flip though evoked a disappointed, “Duh!” My random riffling took me to such suggestions as, “Being a bridesmaid is not an extracurricular activity,” “Do not argue with or be rude to any member of the admissions office staff,” and “Do not tell your interviewer you are going into medicine for prestige or money.” At the head of the You’ve-Got-To-Be-Kidding hit parade was, “Do not complain about the lunch you are served at your interview.”

Frankly, I couldn’t believe that anyone who could survive organic chemistry and college calculus would be clueless enough to remark, “Gee I’d love to be at Harvard Med next fall, but your tuna panini really sucks!”

But then, recently, I reached for this book again with an open mind, spurred by a letter I’d spotted in “Dear Abby.” (Yes, I confess, I’ve been a closet fan for years.) The author of the Abby missive was offering advice to young college grads seeking jobs, based on his (or her?) experiences as an employer. The pointers from “Exasperated Recruiter” included: “If you have a phone interview, please find a quiet place from which to place the call. It is difficult to understand you above your roommate who is cursing over a video game” and “Set up an account using your name or initial so I don’t have to send e-mail to ‘hotchick99.'”

I then began to envision all the hotchick99’s of the world who might be aspiring to a medical career and making the same sorts of bonehead blunders that Exasperated Recruiter had encountered. Perhaps, I reflected, Jennifer Welch’s seemingly simplistic tips could be worthwhile after all.

On closer inspection, I did indeed find some information that may help to demystify the medical admissions process. Welch’s anticipated interview questions might make such sessions less stressful. Her brief overview of the application process could be enlightening to newbies, too.

Overall, I suspect that this book is best for high school students who are considering a future in medicine and want an easy-to-read preview of what may be waiting down the road. But it makes me uneasy to think that any college student who found the bulk of this book to be informative might one day be bending over my body with a stethoscope or, heaven forbid, a scalpel.