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Friday, June 1, 2012

Medical School Admissions Guide: Book Reviews

The Medical School Admissions Guide: A Harvard MD's Week-by-Week Admissions Handbook continues to receive great reviews and 5/5 stars on Amazon.

Another satisfied pre-med wrote:

"Ask any pre-med student, and they will tell you: applying to medical school is nothing short of a chaotic headache. Considering this, a young clinician once told me, "The most important thing you can do when you are applying is to find someone you trust and heed their advice. Regularly." While this seems pretty simple, with a litany of organizations trying to tell you their version of how to get into medical school, it can be nigh impossible to know where you stand.

And having been there, done that myself, I can say with experience that this book, "The Medical School Admissions Guide" is hands down THE BEST pre-medical application book I have encountered. This is the swiss-army-knife of admissions guides that will help get you into medical school.

There are a few things that I found that made this book stand out as more then exceptional:

1) Actually gives examples that work: Though I considered myself a neurotic pre-med student, I quickly got sick of the platitudes and abstractions that my colleuges keep insisting were valuable information regarding medical school. Dr. Miller's book not only discusses the theory about how to approach your application and candidacy but then discusses real-world examples. You end up essentially taking a class on the application process, with valuable case-study work added in.

2) Puts you on a schedule (if you want): What really worked for me was how the book organizes its content within a specific timeline. One of the big draws of people taking an MCAT review course is that it allows you to schedule your time out automatically, and I appreciated being able to take the same framework of an MCAT class and apply it to the entirety of the general application process of medical school: less thinking on my part and I could focus my willpower and discipline elsewhere.

Please note, though: I felt that the content is categorized enough such that it entirely possible to use the material discussed in the book a la carte, so you could independently apply it to different aspects of the application process.

3)No-nonsense, no-fluff strategy: there is a LOT of material out there on applying to medical school. And a LOT of it are vague generalizations and trivial information that will lead you pretty much nowhere except out a couple hundred bucks that could have been used on secondary application fees. Dr. Miller's book is unique in that it gives concrete and ACTIONABLE steps to getting yourself in position to be a competitive medical school candidate. There really wasn't any guesswork required on my part to how I needed to work the system, based on the advice in the text.

In summary: skip the other stuff and get "The Medical School Admissions Guide", you will thank me later."

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