Secondary application fees range anywhere from $75 to $150, averaging at $112.5. What if we told you that you could significantly improve your virtual interview appearance for less than a single secondary fee?
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.
As a pre-med student, your time is precious. You’re writing your secondary essays, practicing your virtual interview skills for AAMC’s VITA, preparing for the CASPer, studying hard for mid-terms, planning your path to med school, and stressing about whether you're good enough to make it in the end. How in the world will you have time to find the information you need to succeed in this application process? The answer: podcasts. Whether you’re studying, driving, or exercising, podcasts allow you to multitask. What better way to kill two birds with one stone? With podcast popularity on the rise, podcasts offer endless options and topics, including the medical school application process, medical education, and medicine. Out of the 700,000 active podcasts, which are most helpful for pre-meds?
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!
We’re facing a shortage of doctors in the United States, anywhere between 40 and 100,000 by the year 2030. And yet, getting into medical school is harder than ever. What gives?
With recent changes to the MCAT start times to 6:30am, 12:15pm, and 6:00pm each day, some people may find that adjusting their biological clock has been added to the test-day preparation list. Good news - we have some tricks that will make adjusting your sleep much easier.
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!
The Best Volunteer Opportunities for Pre-meds During Coronavirus (Without Leaving Home)
50 Activities for Your Pre-med College Bucket List
5 Bold Coronavirus Predictions: What Will Happen to Med School Admissions in 2020?
Quiz: Should You Hire a Medical School Admissions Consultant?
5 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Medical School Admissions Consultant
The Art of Small Talk: 40 Questions for the Pre-med Conversationalist
Pros and Cons of the New Pass/Fail Step 1 of USMLE
On February 12th, it was announced that Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) will now be graded on a pass/fail basis, as opposed to a numerical score. According to the official announcement, the change will be phased in over the next 11-24 months.
I would like to recommend an app that has been so important to me that it has replaced part of my brain.
On its face, it looks like DO schools are harder to get into than MD schools (their overall acceptance rate is 7 points lower). So what's happening in the data?
They say “everything is bigger in Texas” - 10-gallon hats, 72oz steaks, the world’s largest cowboy boots - but does this expression hold true for your chances of getting into medical school as well?
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.
In an era of fake news and an explosion of opinions on social media, you may have heard the term “confirmation bias” before. If not, it’s pretty simple - it means we tend to seek out and believe information that reinforces our pre-existing opinions.
People tend to view their strengths and weaknesses as unchangeable - certain superpowers or fatal flaws that are hardwired into their genes and personality.
You've heard us stress the importance of good writing in your medical school application, and being a good writer, just like staying in shape, takes training and practice.
We received a healthy flow of poop responses from all of you, dear readers. Your verbal discharges will not go to waste; no, let us wallow in the bouquet of responses, both good and terrible.
"I'M GOING TO APPLY TO MEDICAL SCHOOL, JUST TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS."
The Savvy Pre-Med: A Conversation with Rob Humbracht
Are you an optimist or pessimist? A glass-half-empty person, or glass-half-full? Patch Adams or Dr. House?
Following the 2016 election, our country has reached unprecedented levels of political polarization. Even the most moderate seem to be caught up in the us-versus-them mentality. People have written each other out of their lives entirely, all in the name of ideology.
“No one can go back and make a brand new start, but anyone can start from the present and make a brand new ending.”
With graduation right around the corner, pre-meds everywhere are taking inventory. You’re looking back - reflecting on your favorite memories and funniest stories from college.
Getting rejected from medical school is like getting dumped. You feel fully committed and enamored with the medical field, only to find out that it doesn’t feel the same way about you. You might feel jaded or cynical. You might even be tempted to give up. It’s only natural to dwell on your flaws or wallow in the self-doubt that comes with rejection.
For pre-meds, this question might sound sacrilegious. Downright blasphemous. Why would we want to stop fixing people?
Like grammar, punctuation helps to ensure clarity in your writing. It’s also a bit like dressing up for an interview--it’s part of your presentation and professionalism, a way to show the reader that you care about how your message is conveyed.
Pre-meds have to be successful to get into medical school: successful at school, on the MCAT, and outside the classroom. The idea of failing might seem foreign or taboo, so resilience is something that pre-meds don’t always realize, or admit, that they need.
Naloxone Saves Lives, but is No Cure in Heroin Epidemic. Every day, thousands of people who overdose on opioids are being revived with naloxone. Hailed as a miracle drug, it carries no health risk. It cannot be abused and does no harm to non-drug users
When people hear the word ‘valedictorian,’ they might think of a hustling overachiever who participates in every possible organization or activity. Others might picture the opposite--the highly gifted coaster who gets by on nothing but his or her natural ability.
We’re trying an experiment. Over the next three months, we’re writing a series of articles aimed at younger pre-meds (even as young as high school students!). As a preview of coming attractions, we’re planning to unveil:
In part two of our new series, the experts at Passport Admissions will be analyzing a student’s application, including both the applicant’s chances of getting accepted into medical school and which aspects of his or her story to highlight. We’ll also give strategies that we recommend to leverage the applicant’s personal strengths and experiences
It’s no secret that doctors are viewed as experts.They are said to provide ‘consultation.’ They hand out notes that free people from work and other responsibilities. If 4 out of 5 of them recommend something, few will disagree. Due to their esteemed position, doctors will always be seen as authority figures whom the public can trust.
In our brand new series, the experts at Passport Admissions will be analyzing a student’s application, including both the applicant’s chances of getting accepted into medical school and which aspects of his or her story to highlight.
When pre-meds see the word “diverse,” they’re likely to consider race, gender, ethnicity, or class status. Most would never think about where their families stored the ketchup.
In the last edition of Highly Recommended, you learned about Dale Carnegie’s famous best-seller, How to Win Friends and Influence People (1936), which encourages certain attitudes and behaviors for achieving social aptitude.But does Carnegie’s advice hold up in the modern era? And if it does, are his steps to winning friends and influencing people even plausible?
Imagine a pot filled with cold water, with a frog peacefully swimming in it. A fire is lit under the pot and the water becomes lukewarm. The frog finds this rather pleasant and keeps swimming, but then the temperature keeps rising. As the water turns hotter, the frog grows uncomfortable, but it also becomes weak, so it stands the heat as long as it can and does nothing.
Pre-meds need help, and not just psychiatric help (though, let’s be honest, plenty of them do). To get into medical school, pre-meds need the help of influential people: professors, doctors, and even other student-group leaders. Pre-meds are often assertive and competitive people, but that’s not always enough to secure letters of recommendation, internships, or research positions.
There is so much to do to get into med school: get good grades, prepare for the MCAT, volunteer, shadow, research… the list seems infinitely long. You would be excused for loading up your schedule with activities and classes, giving yourself very little time to do anything else.
A fascinating article appeared on fivethirtyeight.com showing just how easy it is to manipulate results in scientific experiments. The article doesn’t just tell you how this is done; it lets you do it yourself. It gives you a set of data about politics and the economy and challenges you to find correlations between Republicans or Democrats being in power and the influence on the economy. Use employment and GDP as your economic factors, and Republicans have a negative effect on the economy. Use inflation and stock prices, and Republicans have a positive effect on the economy.
Last night I watched Jon Stewart’s farewell episode, and I reflected on why I have been such a fan for the past 13 years (I have watched every episode since January 2003). I was of course struck by the string of political opponents willing to go on camera to say goodbye to an adversary, and I was blown away by the plethora of former correspondents who returned to the studio to gather for a group hug. And while I will forever be thankful for Jon’s ability to help make sense of the tragicomedy of current events (or, as he put it, to help us spot bulls**t in the world), I think his most lasting impact on me has been how to lead a large organization.
A fascinating piece by John Oliver and company at This Week Tonight shows just how much money big pharmaceutical companies are spending on marketing to doctors. In fact, while pharmaceutical companies are spending $4 billion dollars a year to market to all 300 million Americans, they're spending $24 billion just to market to the roughly 1 million doctors in the United States.
You’re excited! You’ve got a ticket to the pre-health conference coming up, and you want to make the most out of your workshop schedule. Unfortunately, there’s more workshops than you can possibly attend, so you’re forced to prioritize. How should you figure out what to see and what to skip?
We’ve all been there. We’re trying to get work done, but our brain is elsewhere. It’s re-hashing our troubles, revisiting embarrassing moments from our past, refusing to budge from a tense exchange with a friend. Wherever our brain is, it’s preventing us from focusing on the task at hand, and the inner monologue - that we’re stupid, that we’re unworthy, that we can’t ever get into med school - is dragging us down.