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APPLYING TO MEDICAL SCHOOLS: A PRACTICAL GUIDE Advisors: Jacqueline Sedgwick, MD Aparna Sreenivasan, PhD Robert Lerrigo UCSF – MS3 OUTLINE About Me Project Goals Timelines MCATs Extracurriculars Taking a Year Off Available Resources Questions ABOUT ME 3rd Year UCSF Medical Student Working at Natividad Medical Center, completing the Family Medicine clerkship Continuing community project: CSUMB PreHealth Advising PROJECT GOALS Create long-term solutions to CSUMB’s PreHealth advising needs: Dynamic online repository for application information Revised course timetables MCAT aids and resources Help initiate the CSUMB chapter of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA®) Students helping students: Mentor-mentee pairs Identify existing barriers to application process TIMELINES Application process: 18 months Preparation process: several years Know the course requirements: CSUMB Premedical Pathway http://catalog.csumb.edu/undergrad-education/majors/biology/course-pathways/premedical-freshman- pathway AAMC General Course Requirements https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/requirements/ MSAR https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/requirements/msar/ Create a Four-Year Plan* The earlier you submit your AMCAS, the better! June 1, first day submission TIMELINE – PREMED FRESHMAN PATHWAY Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior CHEM 110/L, 211, 212 111/L BIO 240/L, 241/L 242/L, 300 311, 320/L, 310, 414, 490 PHYS 220, 221 MATH/ MATH 150, STAT 100 or 250 STAT 151 ENVS 211 212 CST 101 FYS 100 Language 2 3 Others Creative/Artistic Expression; Literature and Popular Community Participation Upper division Service Learning; Culture & Equity; MLO 9 Service Culture in Biology (all 300 level or above) Vibrancy Activity Vibrancy Theory Concentration MLO 10 Bio Capstone and Adv Elective Democratic Participation; US Histories SAMPLE TIMELINE FOR APPLICATION DIRECTLY AFTER UNDERGRADUATE STUDIES First and second year – finish premedical requirements, participate in prehealth activities such as volunteering, research, Third year – continue prehealth activities, maintain a strong GPA, take MCAT, and find recommenders Summer after third year – apply online using the AMCAS, the earlier the application is submitted, the better! Fourth year – Secondary applications, received invitations to interview, matriculate by May 15 TIMELINE – MCAT DATES 2011 Test Date Exam Start Registration Regular Registration Closes* Late Registration Closes** Tentative Score Release Date Time Opens 11:59 p.m. ET 11:59 p.m. ET After 5 p.m. ET Friday, January 28, 2011 8 a.m. October 6, 2010 January 14, 2011 January 21, 2011 March 1, 2011 Saturday, January 29, 2011 1 p.m. October 6 January 15 January 22 March 1 Saturday, March 26, 2011 8 a.m. October 6 March 12 March 19 April 26 Saturday, April 9, 2011 8 a.m. October 6 March 26 April 2 May 10 Saturday, April 16, 2011 8 a.m. October 6 April 2 April 9 May 17 Friday, April 29, 2011 1 p.m. October 6 April 15 April 22 June 1 Saturday, May 7, 2011 8 a.m. October 6 April 23 April 30 June 7 Friday, May 20, 2011 8 a.m. October 6 May 6 May 13 June 21 Saturday, May 21, 2011 8 a.m. October 6 May 7 May 14 June 21 Thursday, May 26, 2011 1 p.m. October 6 May 12 May 19 June 28 Thursday, June 16, 2011 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. TBD June 2 June 9 July 19 Wednesday, July 6, 2011 1 p.m. TBD June 22 June 29 August 9 Saturday, July 16, 2011 8 a.m. TBD July 2 July 9 August 16 Thursday, July 28, 2011 8 a.m. TBD July 14 July 21 August 30 Friday, July 29, 2011 8 a.m. TBD July 15 July 22 August 30 Friday, August 5, 2011 1 p.m. TBD July 22 July 29 September 7 Saturday, August 6, 2011 8 a.m. TBD July 23 July 30 September 7 Friday, August 12, 2011 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. TBD July 29 August 5 September 13 Thursday, August 18, 2011 1 p.m. TBD August 4 August 11 September 20 Friday, August 19, 2011 8 a.m. TBD August 5 August 12 September 20 Tuesday, August 23, 2011 1 p.m. TBD August 9 August 16 September 27 Thursday, September 1, 2011 1 p.m. TBD August 18 August 25 October 4 Friday, September 2, 2011 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. TBD August 19 August 26 October 4 Thursday, September 8, 2011 8 a.m. TBD August 25 September 1 October 11 Saturday, September 10, 2011 1 p.m. TBD August 27 September 2 October 11 MCAT: WHEN DO I TAKE IT? When you are prepared: When course material is fresh When you’re done studying Test prep courses (Kaplan, etc.) are popular, but not required: know deadlines and test prep center locations (San Jose, La Jolla) At the very latest, aim for a summer MCAT the year you are applying (>1 year before the start of medical school) Scores obtained before submitting AMCAS Taking a June test scores in by July: The option of retaking the test Consider taking the MCAT earlier: June 1 AMCAS submission Keep in mind: You can only register for one test at a time July and August test dates fill up quickly Retaking the MCATs may mean taking the test at another location Medical schools don’t review applications until receiving the MCAT scores: September test scores of the year of application may delay the date when the application will be reviewed MCAT: THE BASICS Medical College Admission Test An important exam Know your enemy Computer-based Verbal Reasoning, Physical Sciences, Writing Sample, and Biological Sciences Have a plan: 1) Start your research early 2) Read up on essentials from the AAMC 3) Take a free practice test: Your baseline 4) Commercial review courses vs. self-studying 5) Explore the forums (StudentDoctor.net) What are my chances of getting in? EXTRACURRICULARS* Medical schools want to know why you want to be a doctor Passion, dedication, progress Shadowing clinicians: Contact local hospitals Contact your childhood doc Volunteering: Hospital Auxiliary Social work Evidence of academic rigor Research Publications TAKING A YEAR OFF Is not frowned upon, may in fact be beneficial Most students take 1-2 years off after graduating Most common reasons: Students feel burnt-out Students need time to build their application Post-baccalaureate programs http://services.aamc.org/postbac/ Time for reflection Time to satisfy your interests TAKING A YEAR OFF: COMMON OPTIONS Volunteering in health and non-clinical settings Internships/fellowships in your field of interests Studying abroad Medical mission trips Becoming active in school groups Shadowing physicians Clinical/laboratory research Coordinating projects, teaching Peace Corps Becoming an EMT Armed Forces – Reserves AVAILABLE RESOURCES Student Doctor Network www.studentdoctor.net Premedical Career Pathway Research – Stanford www.pcpr.beagooddoctor.org Association of American Medical Colleges: Makers of the MCAT and AMCAS www.aamc.org American Medical Student Association www.amsa.org MCAT Review Courses princetonreview.com/home.asp www.kaplan.com GENERAL ADVICE You are not alone: Talk to advisors Talk to upperclassmen Scour the message boards and take notes Do not be intimidated by others – you have strengths nobody else has The Personal Statement: Be honest Display your values and your passion Do not reiterate everything that’s been written elsewhere in the application – emphasize what is important Journal writing: ask yourself every month why you want to become a health care professional. INTERESTED IN STARTING AN AMSA CHAPTER? Member benefits: Access to national AMSA scholarships, internships, shadowing opportunities Involvement in a well-known medical organization Involvement in health care politics Contact Chanelle Shamoun, email@example.com QUESTIONS?
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