Thoughts from a successful re-applicant
Med-2 President, McGill University
Senior Staff Member, The Student Doctor Network
(www.studentdoctor.net, SN: “Vihsadas”)
A stellar GPA and MCAT
will NOT get you into
GPA & MCAT
are like good
They get you the first date,
But they won’t seal the deal…
MCAT & GPA vs. Acceptance Rate
It is not right that I
worked so hard in school,
but I still didn’t get in!
1) Ability to handle curriculum
2) Commitment to the field &
Service to others
3) Knowledge of what to
expect & capacity to deal
4) Would they trust you to be
their mother’s doctor?
Get an MSAR!
1) Intro class & labs: bio, phys, chem 1I/II
2) Organic class & labs I/II (Do it in the summer)
3) English (Two semesters, writing intense)
4) Biochem (201 and 311 meet UBCs req.)
6) Statistics (PSYC Stats anyone?)
7) Liberal Arts
9) Computer Science (Comp Sci for Life Sci)
“If you can’t smell the patient, it’s
not a clinical experience.”
- LizzyM, School Adcom on SDN
Letters of Reference
Letters of Reference
1. One science - prof from a class I had
2. One science - PI (ideally a research class)
3. One science - advisor or another course
4. One MD reference
5. One non-science faculty letter
The Personal Statement
“…I noticed that a single phrase—“I have always been
fascinated by the human body”—was cropping up
more and more in applicant essays. It got to the point
where…the entire committee began to wonder what
was going on.”
–John J. Frey III, MD, Wisconsin
A. Tell an interesting and personal story to start
B. Every sentence should answer either:
1. Why medicine?
2. What is your motivation for medicine?
(Beware of the “EC” trap)
**C. Show them, don’t tell them
D. BE HONEST. Seriously.
A. Are you passionate?
B. Do you seem to have a deep sense of why
you choose medicine?
C. Are you realistic about a life in medicine?
D. Are you humble, well-grounded?
E. Can you converse comfortably and build
F. Are you genuine about serving
G. Do you have a balanced viewpoint?
A. Write out possible questions (See SDN
Interview Feedback Database)
B. Write and say your answers to those
questions (do it in a mirror)
C. Think about possible retort/comments
D. Get as much practice as you can
SDN Interview Feedback - http://more.studentdoctor.net/schoollist.php?type=2
Bioethics at U Wash - http://depts.washington.edu/bioethx/topics/index.html
A. Wow. What a wild ride… Get and ethics book. I rec:
“Doing Right – Philip C. Hebert”
B. How to deal with actors?
C. Your thought process is what is important
D. Demeanor – Can you mediate a situation without
E. Practice by talking to random people in the real world
MMI Evaluator Manual - www.acupunctureprogram.com/articles/Manual_for_Interviewers_2006.pdf
MMI Interviewer Training - www.medfac.usyd.edu.au/futurestudent/applicant/mmi_interviewertrain_08.pdf
Google “MMI Sample Scenarios” – First link
ECs? What types?
A. Clinical experience (Volunteering, Shadowing, Clinical
B. Community involvement (Fundraising, Charities,
C. Diverse array of disciplines (Sports Music, hobbies)
D. Initiative & Leadership
E. ***ECs should be things you are truly interested in
The Admissions Process
A. BEFORE you apply – Jan through May
1. Get your letter writers
2. Submit your transcripts
3. Organize your CV/Activities, Write essays, MCAT
B. Submit your app – Start/Middle of June:
1. AMCAS verifies your app in 1-4 weeks
2. You app is marked complete
C. Complete Secondaries – ASAP (By Middle August)
D. Interviews – Start in August
E. Submit your Canadian Apps – Sept through Nov
F. Interviews end in March
G. Acceptances Waitlists – August through August
The Letter of Update/Interest
A. Make sure you stay active enough that you have
something to update the committee on!
B. Write each letter 1.5-3 months apart
C. Each letter should have a unique theme. Don’t try to
write about everything at once!
D. Keep it under half a page – they don’t have time
E. Letter of interest should be genuine. Stock letters are
easy to weed out.
Apply as early as you
possibly can –
nothing in the US!
(In Canada – ok)
…About being realistic