Once you submit your secondaries and the summer dies down, it's time to send update letters to the medical schools on your list! Confused about how to start? What to include? When to send them off? We're here to answer all of your pressing questions and help you craft a stellar update letter that gets noticed by medical schools.
We’re not saying that you need to be hyper-obsessive and plan out every little detail, and we’re not saying that you can’t change your mind or take time to explore. BUT getting into medical schools is HARD, and the competition is STEEP, so careful planning will be crucial to your success. And it’s not just about planning in general. You’ve probably heard the phrase “work smarter, not harder.” The same idea applies here. We want to help you “plan smarter” by offering you tips and insights that will give you a strategic advantage.
Imagine having to record an 18-minute speech about your qualifications for becoming a physician. Now imagine that speech being sent to all the medical schools you’re applying to, without being able to make any edits or start over. Sounds pretty terrifying, right? Well, that’s essentially how the new AAMC Video Interview Tool for Admissions (VITA) is going to work… more or less.
It was recently announced that two medical schools - University of California Davis School of Medicine and University of Minnesota Medical School Twin Cities - will be participating in the AAMC’s pilot Situational Judgment Test (SJT). If you’re applying to either or both of these schools, you probably have a lot of questions: Is the pilot test mandatory? Will the test affect my admissions chances? What kinds of questions will be asked? We’re here to help get those questions answered!
The AMCAS opens for submissions in two days on May 28. Are you ready?
When we Googled “how to talk to parents,” the results were all over the map. Some were quite serious: depression, dating, moving out, etc. What we didn’t find was how to talk to your parents about applying to medical school. In our experience, this task can range from laidback to very stressful, depending on the pre-med, family, and numerous factors like income or culture. Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, we have some helpful tips to prepare you for this pivotal conversation in your pre-med journey.
UPDATES 8/27/20: Medical School Applications Have Gone Up 14% Over This Time Last Year. Click here to read more about this development!
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Apply early. It's great advice, but what does early mean? If AMCAS opens June 1 but the deadlines aren't until October, when in this 5-month window is the sweet spot?
Ever imagine what it must be like to work in the registrar's office? Your job is to take orders from other people all day, deal with a mountain of paperwork, and pretty much never get thanked.
Read to your kids. It's parenting 101. I know the majority of you reading this are not parents (like I am), but I bring up this example to show us why we should examine the underlying assumptions behind what we believe about the admissions process.
If you wanted to apply to 151 medical schools, what would you need to accomplish that?
Imagine a private gathering of medical school admissions officers, perhaps in an ivory tower somewhere. This conclave of academic gatekeepers, mostly from prestigious schools, is meeting behind-the-scenes to discuss candidates and divvy them up amongst their programs.
How much does it matter to apply early to medical school? We touched on the idea briefly when we posted this year’s AMCAS application dates, but, because we’re getting down to the wire, I’ve created a video (complete with a Lego pre-med) to show you whether it’s advisable to submit late this cycle. .
The race begins! The AMCAS (American Medical College Application Service) opens tomorrow, and if you’re not one of the first few to fill it out in the hours that it opens, you will never fulfill your dreams of becoming a physician.
My friend begins every trip to Vegas at the roulette table, throwing down a chunk of chips on black or red. “Let’s just see what happens,” he says.
The last thing you want is to waste a year of your life. Becoming a doctor already requires four years of med school and another four of residency, so unless you want to get a real paycheck before you’re 30, you’d better get a move-on. Right?
During the American Civil War, Henry Wirz, a particularly vicious Confederate general, was convicted and hanged for torturing Yankee prisoners of war. During the trial, it came out that he had drawn a line in the dirt, beyond which any prisoner who crossed would be shot. Some believe this particular act to be the origin of the term “deadline.”
One thing that’s inevitably passed down from generation to generation is a resentment towards the younger generation. Just take some time to read the news on social media, and you’ll see countless articles about what’s wrong with millenials, how Gen Z’s are all screwed, or (perhaps most apt in this case) how baby boomers are out of touch.
Join the club. If you’ve been rejected from medical school, that makes you normal. 60% of applicants DON’T get in. The people who get in are the unusual ones.
Pre-meds are Type A. Rather than wait for the application deadlines, they rush to submit their application on the first day each application opens.Is this crazy? Well, not really. When you apply affects whether you get in.
Last week, we dove into the first three lessons that successful students can teach us about how to get into medical school. Let’s continue with our final three lessons:
"Nobody gets into medical school these days." I hear this statement a lot, and I understand where it comes from. When you see scores of well qualified candidates - brilliant classmates, selfless neighbors, hardworking siblings - apply and get rejected, it's easy to think, "there's no way I can get in."
One year from today, your life will be over. When you start medical school, you will be consumed by academic and extracurricular responsibilities, and your free time will effectively end. And of course, while it's hard to think about that day when we haven't yet gotten in, it's important to plan for it nonetheless.
What are the best times to travel during your year when applying to med school? On the one hand, your first responsibility is to your applications, so you don't want to be out of the country and miss an important secondary application or interview. On the other hand, this is your last year to do some serious travel, and plane tickets to another continent aren't exactly cheap.