Questions?

Do you have burning questions about the pre-med, medical school admission, and residency process? Post a comment, and I will happily answer any and all questions.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Medical School Admissions (2013-2014 Cycle): Why does every pre-med bring a fancy portfolio and legal pad to medical school interviews?

If you have already undergone a medical school interview, you will have noticed that everyone brings a fancy, leather portfolio with a legal pad inside. You probably did too. But did you, or any other pre-med in attendance, actually use the portfolio? What's the point of bringing a portfolio if no one uses it?

I may surprise you by advising you DO bring a professional-looking portfolio with a legal pad. But I also suggest you actually use it to store some important items and take notes. Here's how a porfolio should be used in the medical school interview scenario:

1. Store a copy of your AMCAS application, secondary application for the school you are visiting, and any publications/abstracts in the inside folder. This will allow you to review these items prior to the interview or during breaks in the interview day. It is unlikely any interviewers will ask to see your publications, but it's not unheard of - so best to be prepared.
2. Put a small roll of dental floss into the pocket as well. I can't tell you how many times I've seen pre-meds with food stuck in their teeth when interviews occur after a meal. Having floss might just save you from an embarrassing situation.
3. Take notes! There is no need to take notes during the interview, as that may seem pretentious. But definitely jot down your thoughts after each interview making special note of:
Interview date
Interviewer name and title spelled correctly
Topics discussed
School positives
School negatives
Overall gut reaction
Taking five minutes to log your thoughts will be helpful in keeping the details of each school straight in your mind and remembering specifics to put in thank you notes. As schools start to blur together on the interview trail, these notes will be very helpful.

Good luck and get in!

Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP
Emergency Physician
CEO, MDadmit Medical Admissions
www.MDadmit.com
415.939.5251

Author of:
How to be Pre-Med
The Medical School Admissions Guide
How To Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Medical School Admissions (2013-2014 Cycle): It's not too late to receive an interview

I am receiving many anxious e-mails, calls, and tweets from pre-meds who have not yet received a medical school interview invite. Though it is a bit late in the cycle, there is no need to panic yet. Most medical schools still have some interview invites to hand out.

However, there are a few things you can do to determine if there is a problem with your application requiring immediate action:
1.  Review your AMCAS and secondaries with a medical school expert, such as your school's pre-med advisor or a medical school admissions consultant. I just had a client who realized certain classes had been categorized incorrectly on the AMCAS application, making the science GPA inappropriately low. This is the kind of issue that can sink a medical school application and needs to be addressed immediately through the appropriate AMCAS channels, such as submitting an official academic request form.
2. Call each school that you have applied to and returned a secondary application. Ask if your application is complete and if all interview invites have been given. You may find a secondary you submitted was never received. You will also learn if some interview invites remain.
3. Call each school that you have applied to and not received a secondary from and ensure the school has everything it needs prior to sending a secondary application. Also inquire about whether any more secondaries will be sent out (quite unlikely at this stage in the medical school cycle but it doesn’t hurt to ask).

The key here is to look for help and ask questions. Ignoring the situation because you are too busy or afraid of the answers is not the way to go. Get informed and fix any errors. You never know, asking for expert advice and making a few phone calls to medical schools could mean the difference between medical school acceptance and rejection.

As always, let me know if I can help!

Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP
Emergency Physician
CEO, MDadmit Medical Admissions
www.MDadmit.com
415.939.5251

Author of:
How to be Pre-Med
The Medical School Admissions Guide
How To Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Which medical school admissions book should I buy?

I have been receiving many questions about which of my three books should be read when. So I thought I would lay it out for you here.

How to be Pre-Med is meant for high school, early college, and non-traditional pre-meds trying to determine what is required in the pre-med process or looking for a way to assess how they have been doing so far. Though you want to read this book as early in your pre-med career as possible, it will be helpful throughout the pre-med process up until you apply to medical school. How to be Pre-Med is available in paperback and e-book formats through Amazon and Barnes&Noble.

The Medical School Admissions Guide is a step-by-step guide of the actual medical school admissions process. It's best read for the first time when you are certain you will be applying and then should be by your side ready to be reviewed as you move through each stage of the application process. In addition to weekly advice, the book also contains numerous personal statement, AMCAS work/activity, secondary essay, and letter of intent examples from successful applicants that will show you what it takes to get in and will stir up your creative juices. The Medical School Admissions Guide is available in paperback and e-book formats through Amazon and Barnes&Noble.

How to Get into Medical School with a Low GPA is an e-book directed to premeds who have a less than stellar academic record. It provides numerous scenarios and strategies of how to deal with a low GPA in medical school admissions. You might be surprised to know that a low GPA does not mean medical school doors are shut to you! The e-book is available through the website howtobepremed. Please note the website was recently hacked, and my technical team is diligently working to correct the issue. If you'd like a copy of How to Get into Medical School with a Low GPA now, feel free to send me an e-mail at info@MDadmit.com and we can complete the transaction via PayPal/e-mail.

As always, let me know if you have any questions.

Good luck and get in:)
--Dr. Miller

Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP
Emergency Physician
CEO, MDadmit Medical Admissions
www.MDadmit.com
info@MDadmit.com
 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Medical School Admissions (2013-2014 Cycle): Interview preparation for inevitable Obamacare questions

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Fall is in the air and the medical school interview season is upon us! 

With all of the shenanigans happening in Washington, DC these days, the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is on the forefront of many minds - including your interviewers! This means you are very likely to be asked at least one question about Obamacare. In fact, the majority of my clients tell me they have been asked about Obamacare in their recent interviews.

So this leads to the query I am receiving almost daily from premeds around the country: "How do I prepare for an Obamacare question?

Luckily, I won't suggest you read the many thousands of pages of the Affordable Care Act. Most politicians who voted on the bill haven't read the entire thing. But I do suggest getting as familiar as you can with the basics of the bill - both positive and negative. This will take some research and reading on your part. 

1. Starting with newspaper media coverage. Go to your favorite major newspaper (New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, Wall Street Journal, etc.) and type 'Obamacare' or 'Affordable Care Act' into the search term. You will see dozens of relevant articles pop up. Look for summarizing articles that explain the bill in layman's terms and opinion pieces that give one point of view. Start a paper or virtual file of the articles and organize them so you can review them later if needed for future interview preparation.
2. Search sources such as The Economist, The New York Times Magazine, and The New Yorker for longer, often more detailed articles on the Affordable Care Act. Soak up the details and pay attention to the pro and con arguments given.
3. Spend thirty minutes a day with your favorite news source - be it network TV news, CNN, Huffington Post, or even Twitter. Pay attention to any comments on Obamacare and think about whether or not you agree with the opinions presented.

After doing your research, it’s time to form your own opinion. Brainstorm what you think are the three biggest positives and three biggest negatives of Obamacare. Determine what you would do to improve the bill if you had the power. Think about what a health care reform bill would look like if you were president.

After this process, you will be ready for the vast majority of questions interviewers with ask during a medical school interview. The key is to be knowledgeable on the subject, see both sides, and be able to state your opinion clearly.

Congrats if you have already received interviews and good luck if you are still waiting.

--Dr. Miller

Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP
Emergency Physician
CEO, MDadmit Medical Admissions
www.MDadmit.com
415.939.5251

Author of:
How to be Pre-Med
The Medical School Admissions Guide
How To Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Medical School Admissions (2013-2014 Cycle): Diversity


Are you deep into medical school secondary essay madness? I am sure you have seen or will see secondary questions like this:

"At the XXX Medical School, we are committed to building a superb educational community with students of diverse talents, experiences, opinions, and backgrounds. What would you as an individual bring to our medical school community?"

"If Applicable, describe a situation where you were not in the majority."

Diversity is one of the most popular secondary essay topics.  The point of these types of questions is to prove how you will make a unique contribution to the medical school class. 

When the word “diversity” is used, many think of racial diversity. But this is a very limited view.  Think outside the box. Do you speak a foreign language? Are you a non-traditional applicant with significant “real world” experience? Other possibilities include athletic achievements, musical/art/dance talent, and international experience. Everyone can add diversity to a class. 

Looking for help on how to answer secondary essay questions? E-mail me at info@MDadmit.com to get started.

Cheers,

--Dr. Miller
 
Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP
Emergency Physician
CEO, MDadmit Medical Admissions
www.MDadmit.com
415.939.5251

Author of:
How to be Pre-Med
The Medical School Admissions Guide
How To Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA

Friday, June 28, 2013

Maine Pre-Meds: Check out the FAME Program

Though, as a Maine resident, you don't have a state medical school, the state has gone out of it's way to create opportunities for you. There are two programs you should check out:

The Financial Authority of Maine offers Maine residents access to financial aid and a connection to Dartmouth and the University of Vermont medical schools. In general, there is a commitment of five seats at Dartmouth and 10 seats at University of Vermont for applicants from Maine. It appears you have to fill out a “FAME application” that will be provided from the participating medical schools. Getting into the FAME program offers a huge advantage when it comes to acceptance at Dartmouth of the University of Vermont. If you are from Maine, be sure to follow-up on this!
 
Tufts has partnered with Maine Medical Center (MMC) in Portland, Maine to offer a "Maine Track" for applications "interested in a unique, innovative curriculum that offers clinical training experiences in Maine and exposes medical students to the unique aspects of rural practice as well as training in a major tertiary medical center." In addition, both Tufts and MMC "have committed to aggressively pursuing support that will allow Maine Track students to attend medical school without an unusual financial hardship. Plans are to seek grant support, philanthropy, and state funding to subsidize tuition for the Maine Track students with the goal of reducing the tuition to a level comparable to in-state tuition at a regional medical school within a public university." What a great program!

See, it's not a disadvantage to be a pre-med from Maine after all!

--Dr. Miller

Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP
Emergency Physician
CEO, MDadmit Medical Admissions
www.MDadmit.com
415.939.5251

Author of:
How to be Pre-Med
The Medical School Admissions Guide
How To Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Premeds and Medical Students Beware: admissions committees are inspecting your social media sites

Please click here to see my article published on Student Doctor Network (SDN) about how medical school and residency admissions committees have started to investigate applicants social networking sites!

http://studentdoctor.net/2013/06/pre-meds-and-medical-students-beware/

--Dr. Miller

Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP
Emergency Physician
CEO, MDadmit Medical Admissions
www.MDadmit.com
415.939.5251

Author of:
How to be Pre-Med
The Medical School Admissions Guide
How To Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pre-meds: Dr. Miller added a 2nd MDadmit Admissions Bootcamp in June

Hey pre-meds,
 
The May 30-31, 2013 MDadmit Admissions Bootcamp sold out. Given the demand, I have added another bootcamp that will still allow you to submit your AMCAS application in early June:
 
Dates: June 6 and 7, 2013
Hours: 8am to 5pm
Location: New York City (Manhattan)    

More info can be found here: http://www.mdadmit.com/component/content/article/121
 
Feel free to contact me with any questions (info@MDadmit.com).
Also not that payment plans are available.


MDadmit Admissions Bootcamp highlights:
Can you imagine how much time and energy you will save by strategizing MCAT timing, deciding on recommenders, creating a school list, completing the AMCAS work/activities, finishing the personal statement, outlining secondary essays, preparing for interviews, and learning post-interview tactics in TWO days? MDadmit Admissions Bootcamps makes this dream a reality.

MDadmit Admissions Bootcamps are intimate, intensive, and strategic seminars run by Dr. Miller and her team of experts. Realizing the incredible amount time and energy pre-meds spend on medical school admissions, often because of inexperience with the process, Dr. Miller has created MDadmit Admissions Bootcamps to provide personalized, efficient, and comprehensive admissions help that will give you an advantage in medical school admissions.
  • Limited to a maximum of five pre-meds to ensure personalized service.
  • Expertise and real-time feedback from Dr. Miller, CEO of MDadmit, best-selling author, and leading medical school admissions consultant.
  • Dr. Miller runs and is present for the entire bootcamp with professional editors and interviewers assisting.
  • One-on-one writing sessions with Dr. Miller and expert team of professional editors.
  • Essay editing by Dr. Miller and expert team of professional editors.
  • Mock interview by experienced university professors with video recording and written feedback.
  • Blend of targeted lectures, interactive workshops, and one-on-one sessions.
  • Pre-bootcamp preparation including copy of The Medical School Admissions Guide: A Week-by-Week Admissions Handbook, 2nd Edition and comprehensive MDadmit Bootcamp Preparation Guide and Workbook.
  • Breakfast and full lunch provided each day.
You will walk out of a MDadmit Admissions Bootcamp with:
  1. Clear understanding of how to approach the MCAT
  2. School list (including MD, DO, and foreign schools, if applicable)
  3. Recommendation list and approach to recommenders
  4. Complete, professionally edited AMCAS work/activities
  5. Complete, professionally edited AMCAS personal statement
  6. Secondary essay outlines
  7. Mock interview recording with verbal and written feedback
  8. Plan for post-interview tactics
  9. Personalized, clear strategy of how to excel in medical school admissions process
  10. All of your questions answered in a personalized, supportive environment
 
 
Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP
Emergency Physician
CEO, MDadmit Medical Admissions
www.MDadmit.com
415.939.5251

Author of:
How to be Pre-Med
The Medical School Admissions Guide
How To Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA

Friday, May 10, 2013

Pre-meds: Do you know how the AMCAS will classify your courses?

There is nothing worse than working hard in a course you thought would "count" for medical school admissions requirements only to find out the AMCAS application does not classify said course in the way you expected. Be an educated pre-med! Review the AMCAS course classification guide published by the AAMC before you sign up for classes. And if you are applying to medical school this cycle, be sure the courses you have taken count the way you think. Because if they don't, you may need to take a summer course or change your future classes to meet the requirements.
 
--Dr. Miller
 
Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP
Emergency Physician
CEO, MDadmit Medical Admissions
www.MDadmit.com
415.939.5251

Author of:
How to be Pre-Med
The Medical School Admissions Guide
How To Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Medical School Admissions (2013-2014 Cycle): Free Q&A on Premed Problems May 10

I am doing a free question and answer session tomorrow on premed problems forum:

Date: May 10, 2013

Time: 10am to 12pm EST

Location: www.premedproblems.com/forum

I am answering all pre-med and medical school admission questions. Come join!


--Dr. Miller


Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP
Emergency Physician
CEO, MDadmit Medical Admissions
www.MDadmit.com
415.939.5251

Author of:
How to be Pre-Med
The Medical School Admissions Guide
How To Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA



Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Medical School Admissions Cycle (2013-2014): To delay or not to delay the MCAT

With the AMCAS medical school application opening upon us (opens May 8), I have been receiving frequent e-mails from pre-med clients wondering, "Is it ok for me to delay the MCAT?" Many of these premeds are scheduled to take the exam at the end of May and want to move it to the end of June. Here are the issues every premed should consider if contemplating delaying the MCAT:

1. A low MCAT score (below 30 and less than 10 in each section) can sink an otherwise stellar application. You want to take the test when you will be best prepared.
2. Applying "early," which means submitting your AMCAS application in June, offers a large advantage in the admissions process of rolling admissions schools.
3. It takes about 30 days to get your MCAT score back. So if you take the test in late May, you'll get the score back in late June and still have enough time to submit the AMCAS in June. But if you take the late June MCAT, you won't get your score back until late July, which is not an ideal time to turn in the AMCAS. Further, submitting your application without knowing your MCAT score is a huge risk. If you don't do well, you may want to take a year off, retake the MCAT, and apply the next cycle. And you don't want to be a re-applicant, which is treated as a red flag by medical school admissions committees. Unless you are scoring near the 40s on your practice test, don't apply without seeing your MCAT.

So, we have a "catch 22" here. If you take the test in May, you may not be ready. If you take it in June, your application will be late. So how do you make the decision?

If you are scoring well on practice tests (mid to high 30s consistently) and only want more time to boost confidence, then take the test in May. If not, take the test in June and be sure to have your AMCAS application 100% done other than the MCAT score so that you can hit the submit button the minute your score comes back.

Good luck!

--Dr. Miller

Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP
Emergency Physician
CEO of MDadmit Medical Admissions
www.MDadmit.com, 415.939.5251

Author of:
How to be Pre-Med
The Medical School Admissions Guide
How To Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA

Monday, May 6, 2013

Medical School Admissions (2013-2014 Cycle): Get ready for the AMCAS

The AMCAS application "opens" on May 8 at 9:30am EST. "Opens" means you will be able to log into the online application and officially begin filling it out. It does not mean you can submit the application. This is not allowed until early June.

Even though you can't submit the application for about a month, it will take you a month or more to prepare. Now that finals are behind you or soon to be behind you, it's time to dedicate serious time and effort to the AMCAS application. It's a huge process. But as with any large task, it is best to break things down into smaller, less intimidating chunks. Here is my suggestion for how to tackle the AMCAS:

1. Obtain AAMC ID and login
2. Send recommenders letter writer form (if you have not yet done so)
3. Request official transcripts to be sent to AMCAS
4. Obtain unofficial transcript for yourself
5. Fill out identifying, schools attended, and biographic sections
6. Enter grades from transcript (this takes longer than you think)
7. Use updated resume to create first draft of AMCAS work-activities. After you have edited the draft at least three time and chosen your most meaningful activities, send to an editor.
8. Write personal statement. Go through at least three drafts and then send to editor.
9. Re-edit work/activities section based on editor's comments. Send out for one more round of edits.
10. Re-edit personal statement based on editor's comments. Send out for another round of edits.
11. Finalize AMCAS work/activities
12. Edit personal statement again. You will likely go through about 10 drafts. Do a final copy edit for any typos or spelling errors.
13. Choose where to apply, casting a wide net.
14. Copy and paste (from txt or rtf) work/activities and personal statemnet
15. Proofread entire app and send in early June

If you like the idea of a step-by-step guide to the medical school admissions process, I think you will find The Medical School Admissions Guide quite helpful.

Good luck and get in!


Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP
Emergency Physician
CEO of MDadmit Medical Admissions
www.MDadmit.com, 415.939.5251

Author of:
How to be Pre-Med
The Medical School Admissions Guide
How To Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pre-meds: Medical school admissions committees are looking at your social media sites!

We all knew it was coming. Prospective employers are already doing it. Other admissions committees do it. And now it has arrived in the pre-med world - medical school admissions committees are looking at your social media sites as part of the admissions process, as evidenced but his recent article.

Thought that Twitter handle filled with expletives was funny? Hope its super funny if it keeps you from getting into medical school. Even if your Facebook settings are private, you still may be tagged in photos posted on someone else's page. Though college students rarely consider their social media presence seriously, every pre-med must diligently check your online presence to ensure there is nothing posted that will hurt your chances of getting accepted to medical school.

Here are some suggestions for how to prevent social media from hurting your medical school application:
1. Turn your Facebook settings to the most private ones possible. Then search for your name and check that no inappropriate pictures or posts exist on other pages. If they so, ask the person who posted the less than flattering content to take the photo or post down. If they refuse, ask them to untag you.
2. Check your Twitter handle. Does it say something like "Premed Bitch" or ""Premed F-up" or "Cougar Premed." When you are sick, would you want to go a doctor who tweeted from "Premed Bitch?" Doubt it. Create a professional Twitter name and pretend that every tweet you send could be viewed by an admissions committee.
3. Ensure your Instagram photos are all appropriate. Again, would you feel comfortable showing all the pictures to a medical school admissions committee? If not, delete them.
4. YouTube. Did you know YouTube is one of the three most searched sites in the world? Are you included in any videos that might make you look less than professional? Have you posted videos that could be thought of as inappropriate? Check your presence on YouTube and delete any videos you wouldn't want an admissions committee to see.
4. Create a professional LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn has escaped the frivolousness that plagues much of social media. Create a respectable profile and obtain recommendations. Think of it as putting your resume online for all to see.
5. Look at your Blogger/Tumbler/Wordpress pages if you are a blogger. How does it look? All good? if not, delete it.
6. Remember all of the other sites you are on (Google +, Reddit, etc.) and apply the same rules as above - what would a medical school admissions committee think of the content? Do you look professional? Do you look like an aspiring physician?

Social media is fun and can be an excellent source of obtaining news and maintaining friendships. But it can also sink an otherwise outstanding medical school application. Manage your social media presence now as a pre-med and continue these practices throughout your entire career.

Good luck and get in!

Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP
Emergency Physician
CEO of MDadmit Medical Admissions
www.MDadmit.com, 415.939.5251

Author of:
How to be Pre-Med
The Medical School Admissions Guide
How To Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Medical School Admissions (2013-2014 Cycle): Important Medical School Application Dates and Deadlines

AMCAS is being finicky with their dates. Here are the most recent application dates and deadlines:

May 8, 2013: AMCAS application opens
June 4, 2013: AMCAS starts accepting submissions
June 28, 2013: AMCAS starts transmitting data to medical schools. This is the first day you can receive secondary applications from medical schools.
August 1, 2013: Early Decision Program deadline
Sept-Dec: Application deadlines. But you are going to submit your application in June, right?

--Dr. Miller

Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP Emergency Physician
CEO of MDadmit: Medical Admissions Consulting and Essay Editing
www.MDadmit.com, 415.939.5251

Author of:
How to be Pre-Med
The Medical School Admissions Guide
How To Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA

Monday, April 29, 2013

Pre-meds: Stay on top of changing requirements!

Change in coming to the pre-med world. With the onset of MCAT 2015, universities are considering changing science major general education requirements. This is because the MCAT 2015 has added a new section emphasizing social sciences (psychology, sociology, etc), statistics, and research methods. Georgetown, for example, is already talking about a possible change in this The Hoya article.

Though I fully support these changes and a focus on the "softer" side of science, these changes will require pre-meds to stay on top of their school requirements and possibly add new classes. Be sure to pay attention as your school discusses such changes. I even suggest getting involved in the discussion. As a pre-med, your voice should be heard!

--Dr. Miller
 
Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP
Emergency Physician
CEO of MDadmit Medical Admissions
www.MDadmit.com, 415.939.5251

Author of:
How to be Pre-Med
The Medical School Admissions Guide
How To Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Practical advice for the parent of a pre-med

I am thrilled to announce the publication of my "Practical Advice for the Parent of a Pre-Med" on KevinMD's fantastic blog.

How to be Pre-Med Book Talk: Georgetown Pre-Med Society

Hoya Saxa! Thank you to the Georgetown Pre-Med Society for the engaging How to be Pre-Med book talk this past Wednesday night. Though I was very impressed by the myriad questions, one stood out in particular that I would like to discuss here: "Should I turn in my AMCAS application in June if I am taking a June MCAT?"

Wow is this a hard question. And my answer will certainly create controversy, but it stems from over a decade of helping pre-meds get into medical school. My answer is NO! Do not turn in your application until you know the quality of every part of it. In other words, what if you bomb the MCAT? You don't want to hit the apply button and then learn you earned a subpar MCAT score. This can tank your application. Hitting the AMCAS submit button, regardless of whether the MCAT score is in, "counts" as an application. The last thing you want to do is be categorized as a re-applicant - it's a red flag to medical schools. Let's say you bomb the MCAT and then retake it is August and do better. By then, it will be September and many medical schools will already have thrown your application into the rejection pile.

So you have two choices if you are taking a June MCAT:
1. Wait until July to see your MCAT score then hit submit
2. Apply next cycle

My only exception to this rule is for pre-meds who are excellent test takers and are 100% sure they will do extremely well on the MCAT. But this will be <1 br="" nbsp="" of="" out="" pre-meds="" the="" there.="">

Thank you to Bryan Crutchfield for making this Georgetown book talk happen!

--Dr. Miller
Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP Emergency Physician
CEO of MDadmit: Medical Admissions Consulting and Essay Editing
www.MDadmit.com, 415.939.5251

Author of:
How to be Pre-Med
The Medical School Admissions Guide
How To Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA

Friday, April 26, 2013

How to be Pre-Med Book Talk: Good Counsel High School

What fun it was to visit my high school alma mater and talk about How to be Pre-Med to Good Counsel High School students this past Wednesday. It's a good sign these teenagers were willing to give up an hour of sleep to hear me talk! Though the morning was filled with engaging questions about the Six Buckets of How to be Pre-Med, one question stood out, "Do high school activities matter for medical school?"

The answers are: no and yes.

In general, medical school admissions committees only assess your accomplishments beginning the minute you step foot in college. Med schools don't care about your SATs or high school grades. But if you have very remarkable high school accomplishments - such as winning the Westinghouse Science Award, publishing an article, or starting a community service project abroad - than you can certainly include them on your medical school application. Additionally, if you started a project in high school and have continued pursuing it in college, then this can certainly be part of your medical school application. This is good news all around. If you'd like to forget high school and not mention it on your medical school application, this is perfectly acceptable. And if you have an outstanding accomplishment or have continued an activity from high school to college, you are welcome to include it. Everyone wins!

--Dr. Miller

Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP Emergency Physician
CEO of MDadmit: Medical Admissions Consulting and Essay Editing
www.MDadmit.com, 415.939.5251

Author of:
How to be Pre-Med
The Medical School Admissions Guide
How To Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Medical School Admissions (2012-2013 Cycle): May 15 Deadline

For all pre-meds applying this cycle: The May 15 deadline is less than three weeks away. What does this mean?

1. It means that if you are holding multiple acceptances to medical school, you have to make a final decision by May 15. By this magic day, you need to unaccept all but one acceptance. Said another way, you no longer get to brag about having said yes to multiple schools that accepted you. Pick where you will become a doctor and let those on the waitlist have a chance:)

2. For those of you on waitlists, May 15 is a great day. With many of your pre-med brethren having to let go of the ego-boosting multiple acceptances, waitlists will start to move. Yah! In general, most schools will try to make waitlist decisions before the AMCAS opens again in early June. Some fail miserably at this goal, but most make a good effort. If you are waitlisted, be sure you have checkout out my waitlist strategy post: http://mdadmit.blogspot.com/2013/04/medical-school-admissions-2012-2013.html

Good luck and go get in!

--Dr. Miller

Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP
Emergency Physician
CEO of MDadmit: Medical Admissions Consulting and Essay Editing
www.MDadmit.com, 415.939.5251

Author of:
How to be Pre-Med
The Medical School Admissions Guide
How To Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Medical School Admissions (2013-2014 Cycle): Transcripts


The primary application to medical school, known as the AMCAS, will open in a week (May 1). Are you ready?

Get started with transcripts. Did you know that you can request transcripts to be sent to AMCAS even before your application is complete?

Medical schools require transcripts from every post-secondary school you have attended. This includes all junior college, community college, trade school, or graduate school. You have to submit a transcript even if no credit was earned from a course.

AMCAS provides a transcript request form that you can complete online, print, and turn into each school’s registrar’s office. You can fill this form out and submit it even if the rest of the AMCAS application is incomplete. Go to www.aamc.org/amcas and get this done now as the process can often take weeks. Transcripts are notorious for holding up applications. It is also a good idea to obtain a transcript from each school for yourself and put it on file. You may need it later.

Good luck and get going!

--Dr. Miller

Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP
Emergency Physician
CEO of MDadmit Medical Admissions
www.MDadmit.com
415.939.5251

Author of:
How to be Pre-Med
The Medical School Admissions Guide
How To Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA



Monday, April 22, 2013

Medical School Admissions (2013-2014 Cycle): AMCAS Grade Conversion Guide

Now that pre-med across the US are revving up for the upcoming medical school application cycle, I am fielding many questions about how AMCAS calculates GPA. In an attempt to create a standardized system, AMCAS has made the GPA calculation process a bit convoluted. Thankfully, they have created a free, downloadable AMCAS Grade Conversion Guide to help pre-meds understand the system and calculate their own AMCAS GPA.

Be sure to download this guide asap and calculate your GPA. You may be surprised by how different the AMCAS GPA is to your school's GPA, and this disparity could affect whether or not you should apply this application cycle.

As always, feel free to send me any questions.

Good luck!

--Dr. Miller

Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP
Emergency Physician
CEO of MDadmit Medical Admissions
www.MDadmit.com
415.939.5251

Author of:
How to be Pre-Med
The Medical School Admissions Guide
How To Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA



Saturday, April 20, 2013

Medical School Admissions (2012-2013 Cycle): Waitlist Strategy

April is a tough time in the medical school admissions process. Pre-meds everywhere are floating in the horrible neverland known as the waitlist (or deferment or hold). I am asked almost daily by pre-meds, "If I am waitlisted, what do I do?" Luckily, there are things you can do to move from the waitlist to the accepted list.

1. Send an update letter to your top choice.
This letter should state that the school is your top choice and that you would attend if accepted.
(For more on how to write a letter of intent, including examples, see The Medical School Admissions Guide)
2. Write update letters.
Send basically the same letter as your letter of intent (sans the top choice bit) to other schools you would attend if accepted.
3. Ask your pre-med advisor or a recommender to call your top choice on your behalf.
4. If you can't get anyone to call, consider sending in another recommendation (to be additional to the recs you have already sent via AMCAS or TMDSAS).

Though I highly recommend these tactics, be careful not to go overboard. I cannot tell you how many pre-meds have innundated admissions committees with updates, recommendations, and phone calls only to be rejected based on being "annoying." I suggest sending each school one communication (letter) from you and one communication (call or letter) from a pre-med advisor or additional recommender. And be sure to check with each school before you contact them. Some schools have no contact policies when you are on the waitlist. Contacting a no contact school is a sure fire way to quickly land on the rejected list.

Remember, being waitlisted means you are still in the game. Keep your head up!

--Dr. Miller
 


Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP
Emergency Physician
CEO of MDadmit: Medical Admissions Consulting and Essay Editing
www.MDadmit.com, 415.939.5251

Author of:
How to be Pre-Med
The Medical School Admissions Guide
How To Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA

Friday, April 19, 2013

For pre-meds applying this cycle that have not heard from medical schools yet

I have been receiving many e-mails recently from pre-med clients asking about their chances of getting into medical school if they haven't heard from the schools yet. I wanted to share my response with all pre-meds, as I know this is a commonly asked question and an incredibly stressful time.

All medical schools, by rule, must have offered the number of acceptances as places in their class by April 15. Given that it is April 19, it is most likely that if you haven't heard from a school yet, you will likely be either waitlisted or rejected. Though some schools will offer more acceptances than places in their class, it is rare. But don't despair! If you are waitlisted, you are still in the game. The vast majority of medical schools "move" their waitlist - this means that some pre-meds on the waitlist gets in.

If you are waitlisted, check back next week for my weekly Medical School Admissions blog covering waitlist strategy tips.

Hang in there,

SMM

Suzanne M. Miller, MD, FACEP
Emergency Physician
CEO, MDadmit: Medical Admissions Consulting and Essay Editing
www.MDadmit.com
415.939.5251
Author of:
How to be Pre-Med
The Medical School Admissions Guide
How To Get Into Medical School with a Low GPA

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Medical School Admissions (2013-2014 Cycle): Important Websites

With the AMCAS opening on May 1, 2013, I wanted to share some helpful websites to be used through the entire application process. Bookmark this page for easy access.

Most technical medical school questions www.aamc.org
AMCAS and personal statement www.aamc.org/amcas
Texas Medical and Dental Schools Application Service (TMDSAS) www.utsystem.edu/mdsas
Ontario Medical School Application Service (OMSAS) www.ouac.on.cal
American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine Application Service (AACOMAS) http://aacomas.aacom.org/

Good luck and get in!

--Dr. Miller
415.939.5251

Friday, April 12, 2013

Pre-Med Parent Survival Kit

For over a decade, I have advised pre-meds on how to maximize their chances of getting into medical school. During this time, as I witnessed thousands of anxiety-ridden pre-meds wade doggedly through the murky waters of medical school admissions, I have noticed pre-med difficulties often pale in comparison to those of pre-meds parents. It’s often much easier to be the athlete on the field than the coach on the sidelines. And so it goes with premeds and their parents.

My parents, a systems engineer and English teacher, knew little of the pre-med process. Taking a year “off” post-college, I lived at home while performing health policy research and applying to medical school. Despite their lack of expertise in medical school admissions, my parents thanklessly copy edited my application, served as sounding boards for secondary essay topics, and peppered me with practice interview questions. All the while, I stormed about the house in an anxious funk, snapping every time my parents asked if any news had arrived about interviews or acceptances. There was even a visit to the emergency department for stress-induced palpitations. It was not a pleasant time.

Though parents should feel no obligation to help their pre-med child get into medical school (it really is the pre-med’s responsibility), there are multiple tactics parents can take to maintain family harmony, ward off feelings of helplessness, and improve a pre-meds chances of achieving the dream of doctorhood:

Start Early
From the minute pre-meds step foot in college their actions will be subject to scrutiny in one of the most competitive and complex of all graduate school admissions processes. Over 40,000 pre-meds apply to medical school each year with less than half gaining admission. Every grade, including study abroad courses, are “counted” by the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS), creator of medical school’s primary application. Thus, there is little room for the traditional slump in grades freshman year while pre-meds ward off the transition blues. Further, pre-meds need more than stellar academics to get in. Medical schools are looking for well-rounded students, and rightly so. Great doctoring depends as much on interpersonal and leadership skills as on academic prowess. Given the rigorous nature of pre-med requirements, it’s important to start early and plan how to fit in academic, research, community service, extracurricular, and clinical experiences. I don’t want parents creating day-to-day schedules for their pre-med children. But I do suggest helping with a broad timeline starting freshman year allowing a pre-med to see how all of the prerequisites can be fit in by doing what one loves and doing it well.

Get Informed
In order to help make an effective timeline, a pre-med parent needs to understand the intricacies of pre-med requirements. Many universities provide online resources through the pre-health advising office that serve as an excellent starting point. Then I suggest reading some of the many books written by admissions experts listed in Amazon’s Medical School Guides section. Pick up a book with the goal of learning the pre-med requisites and admissions process details. Then hand the book to your pre-med. Further, you can skim through the many website, blogs, and forums dedicated to helping pre-med students. But be aware that many of these sites, particularly the forums, are unregulated and contain misleading information. I beg my pre-meds to stay off forums not actively monitored by an expert, as such mediums tend to be sources of increased anxiety. As the time to apply nears, visit the AMCAS website, which has an excellent instruction manual and frequent asked questions section dedicated to the next application cycle.

Avoid Nagging
One of the greatest difficulties faced by pre-med parents is becoming the dreaded nag. Pre-meds often need a gentle push to get going on a research project or start writing the application personal statement, but remember that becoming a physician requires intense self-motivation. Perhaps a pre-med dragging academically or in extracurriculars doesn’t really want to enter medicine. I always tell my pre-meds to only become a doctor if they can think of doing nothing else. Pre-med parents certainly want to avoid nagging a child into a profession that will not bring a lifetime of joy.

Ask for Help
Even after a pre-med parent has started early, gotten informed, and avoided nagging, there will still be many questions regarding how to be pre-med and gain acceptance to medical school. The first stop for questions should be the university’s pre-health department. This is how I became involved in medical school admissions – I served as a pre-med tutor at Harvard’s Eliot House and spent my days helping pre-meds get in. However, not all universities have Harvard’s level of commitment to the admissions process. Many pre-health advisors serve hundreds of students and simply don’t have the time to provide individualized information. This has left the door open for admissions consultants to provide targeted, personal help. A simple web search reveals medical school admissions consultants of every expertise and price level. There are even multi-day, intensive medical admissions bootcamps dedicated to helping pre-meds gain acceptance to medical school. Premed parents need not feel helpless; support is all around.

Though the pre-med process is arduous, understanding what is required removes much of the stress surrounding being a pre-med and a pre-med parent. Pre-meds should do more than just check the boxes in order to get into medical school. As future physicians, they should embrace the beauty of curiosity, joy of discovery, compassion for those in need, and satisfaction of helping others. By following these tips, pre-med parents can guide their pre-med and turn medical school preparation from a time of apprehension to one of enlightenment.

Dr. Suzanne M. Miller is an emergency physician, CEO of MDadmit, and author of three books, including the newest release How to be Pre-Med: A Harvard MD’s Medical School Preparation Guide for Students and Parents.



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Medical School Admissions (2013-2014 Cycle): The AMCAS is Coming!

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It’s April! Spring is in the air. And the American Medical College Application Service, or “AMCAS,” will let you start filling out your application in less than a month. AMCAS is a centralized application processing service for those applying to medical schools in the United States. AMCAS has nothing to do with the admissions decisions – that’s the job of each school’s individual admissions committee. The vast majority of medical schools use this service. But in true Texas style, many schools in that state use another system called TMDSAS. To make it even more confusing, some Texas schools MD-PhD programs go through AMCAS. If you are applying to schools Texas, be sure to check early to determine which application processing service to use. For most up-to-date information on AMCAS participating schools, visit: www.aamc.org/students/amcas/participatingschools.htm. 

Even though the AMCAS doesn’t let you see the application until May, you can get a head start by checking out the 2014 AMCAS instructions manual, a free download found here https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/amcas/how_to_apply/. It may be a long, relatively boring read, but understanding the application is a must!

If you are applying to DO or Canadian schools, separate application services exist. To determine which schools accept which service and gain a sense of each school’s competitiveness, purchase the Medical School Admission Requirements (MSAR). It is available in print or electronic form at: https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/requirements/msar/. Everyone heading to medical school should obtain and read this book. 

Happy reading!


--Dr. Miller
415.939.5251

Sunday, April 7, 2013

10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Prepare for Medical School Admissions

It's April and the medical school AMCAS application will be opening in a few short months. Time to get ready!

Please see my latest guest post on Future MD's blog: "10 Things You Can Do Right Now to Prepare for Medical School Admissions."

 

 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

MDadmit Admissions Bootcamps: Only 2 Spots Left

The MDadmit's Admissions Bootcamp on May 30-31 only has two spots left. Visit MDadmit to find out more and sign up.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

New US Medical School Focuses on Primary Care

Interested in primary care? Frank H. Netter School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. is looking for you. http://ow.ly/jGnqy

Monday, March 25, 2013

US News and World Report publishes its medical school rankings

The US News and World Report has publisehd its 2013 best medical school ranking broken down by research and primary care.

Here they are!

Best Medical Schools: Research

1. Harvard

2. Stanford

3. Johns Hopkins

4. UCSF

4. Penn

6. Washington U in St. Louis

7. Yale

8. Columbia

8. Duke

8. U of Chicago

8. U of Michigan

Best Medical Schools: Primary Care

1. UNC Chapel Hill

2. U of Washington

3. OHSU

4. UCSF

5. U of Colorado - Denver

6. U of Nebraska

7. U of Minnesota

8. U of Michigan

9. U of Massachusetts

10. U of Alabama - Birmingham

You can view full lists, which include tuition information, here

 

Can you get your entire med school application done in 2 days?

Can you get your entire med school application done in 2 days? Yes!

Check out MDadmit Admissions Bootcamps.

 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Is it a good thing the MCAT 2015 no longer has a writing component?

The MCAT 2015 has dropped the writing component and added a section on social sciences. Is this a good thing? http://ow.ly/jlUnP

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

What's New? Dr. Miller announces MDadmit Admissions Bootcamps dates for 2013

I am proud to announce the first 2013 date for MDadmit Admissions Bootcamps:

Dates: May 30 and 31, 2013
Hours: 8am to 5pm
Location: Harvard Club of New York City

Can you imagine how much time and energy you will save by strategizing MCAT timing, deciding on recommenders, creating a school list, completing the AMCAS work/activities, finishing the personal statement, outlining secondary essays, preparing for interviews, and learning post-interview tactics in TWO days? MDadmit Admissions Bootcamps makes this dream a reality.

MDadmit Admissions Bootcamps are intimate, intensive, and strategic seminars run by Dr. Miller and her team of experts. Realizing the incredible amount time and energy pre-meds spend on medical school admissions, often because of inexperience with the process, Dr. Miller has created MDadmit Admissions Bootcamps to provide personalized, efficient, and comprehensive admissions help that will give you an advantage in medical school admissions.

Find out more and sign up for MDadmit Admissions Bootcamps at MDadmit.com.

The Medical School Admissions Guide is Amazon's #1 rated medical school guide

The Medical School Admissions Guide is Amazon's #1 rated medical school guide.

Thank you to all the pre-meds and pre-med parents who have supported the book!


Monday, March 11, 2013

What's New? How to be Pre-Med now a best-seller on Amazon

Thank you to all pre-meds who have helped make How to be Pre-Med a best-selling medical school admissions guide on Amazon!

 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Should pre-meds with hepatitis B be allowed into medical school?

A court says yes. A US medical school initially rejected medical students with known hepatitis B infections. Now being forced to make amends. Read more here.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Is the medical school lecture dead?

Great Atlantic article on the decline of medical school lectures. Worth a read by all pre-meds.

Can you imagine getting into medical school without the MCAT?

Thanks to Mt. Sinai, the time is now. With "FlexMed" up to 50% of Mt. Sinai students will be admitted without MCAT scores. Read about it here.

Looks like residency work-hour restrictions might be a good thing

New article from AAMC on effect of residency work-hour restrictions on internal medicine exposure

Friday, March 1, 2013

Why Failing Med Students Don’t Get Failing Grades

Great New York Times article on how difficult it is to accurately assess "soft" skills in medicine: Why Failing Med Students Don’t Get Failing Grades. This blog, called Doctor and Patient, has some great articles pre-meds and medical students can read to prepare for medical school and resident interviews, respectively.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How to be Pre-Med in the Press

Check out this lovely article on Dr. Miller's now book: How to be Pre-Med

How To Be Pre-Med assists high school, college, and non-traditional students interested in becoming physicians by describing the pre-med route from start to finish using the Six Buckets model Dr. Miller developed through over a decade of medical school admissions
advising. This guide is equally helpful to those hoping to pursue a medical career and to loved ones, such as parents, spouses, relatives, and friends, supporting a pre-med.

Dr. Miller created How to be Pre-Med to serve as a prequel to the best-selling The Medical School Admissions Guide: A Harvard MD's Week-by-Week Admissions Handbook because readers frequently provided feedback wishing they had received similar expert guidance sooner in the pre-med process.

How To Be Pre-Med covers all information required to excel as a pre-med and prepare for the medical school application process. I suggest you read this book as soon as you decide to pursue the pre-med path to help strategize selection of undergraduate or post-baccalaureate experiences. Then return to it each year to assess how you are filling up the Six Buckets.

Once you have decided to apply to medical school, pick up the latest edition of The Medical School Admissions Guide and follow the weekly steps required to create the best application possible to maximize your chances of admission.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What's New? How to be Pre-Med is now carried by Books-a-Million

MDadmit is proud to announce Dr. Miller's new book: How to be Pre-Med: A Harvard MD's Medical School Preparation Guide for Students and Parents is now carried by Books-a-Million.


How To Be Pre-Med assists high school, college, and non-traditional students interested in becoming physicians by describing the pre-med route from start to finish using the Six Buckets model Dr. Miller developed through over a decade of medical school admissions
advising. This guide is equally helpful to those hoping to pursue a medical career and to loved ones, such as parents, spouses, relatives, and friends, supporting a pre-med.

Dr. Miller created How to be Pre-Med to serve as a prequel to the best-selling The Medical School Admissions Guide: A Harvard MD's Week-by-Week Admissions Handbook because readers frequently provided feedback wishing they had received similar expert guidance sooner in the pre-med process.

How To Be Pre-Med covers all information required to excel as a pre-med and prepare for the medical school application process. I suggest you read this book as soon as you decide to pursue the pre-med path to help strategize selection of undergraduate or post-baccalaureate experiences. Then return to it each year to assess how you are filling up the Six Buckets.

Once you have decided to apply to medical school, pick up the latest edition of The Medical School Admissions Guide and follow the weekly steps required to create the best application possible to maximize your chances of admission.



Friday, February 22, 2013

Dr. Miller's Amazon Books Listmania

I had so much fun compiling my Amazon Listmania list today: Dr. Miller's List of Best Pre-Med and Medical School Admissions Books.

Have you read any fabulous medically-related books recently, fiction or non-fiction? I'd love to hear your suggestions!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

How to be Pre-Med Book Talk with Harvard Pre-Med Society

A big thanks to Connie Zhong and Meewon Park for organizing last night's How to be Pre-Med Book Talk for the Harvard Pre-Med Society. I always long to return to my old stomping grounds, though Sever Hall still bring back less than positive memories (all my final exams seemed to be held in Sever:).

We had a lively discussion of the Top 10 Pre-Med Questions...and Answers including:

*What GPA does a Pre-Med need to get into medical school?
*Who should I ask for recommendations?
*What’s the key to a great personal statement?
*What happens if I don’t get into medical school the first time?

 Thanks again Connie and Meewon, and I hope to see you again next year!

---
Are you interested in having Dr. Miller give a pre-med talk at your pre-med meeting? Send her an e-mail at info@MDadmit.com and she will happily try to make it happen.

 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What's New? Barnes & Noble now carries How to be Pre-Med

Barnes & Noble now carries Dr. Miller's new book, How to be Pre-Med

Pick up a copy here: How to be Pre-Med: A Harvard MD's Medical School Preparation Guide for Students and Parents

Get it at Barnes & Noble

Book Description:
How To Be Pre-Med assists high school, college, and non-traditional students interested in becoming physicians by describing the pre-med route from start to finish using the Six Buckets model Dr. Miller developed through over a decade of medical school admissions
advising. This guide is equally helpful to those hoping to pursue a medical career and to loved ones, such as parents, spouses, relatives, and friends, supporting a pre-med.

Dr. Miller created How to be Pre-Med to serve as a prequel to the best-selling The Medical School Admissions Guide: A Harvard MD's Week-by-Week Admissions Handbook because readers frequently provided feedback wishing they had received similar expert guidance sooner in the pre-med process.

How To Be Pre-Med covers all information required to excel as a pre-med and prepare for the medical school application process. I suggest you read this book as soon as you decide to pursue the pre-med path to help strategize selection of undergraduate or post-baccalaureate experiences. Then return to it each year to assess how you are filling up the Six Buckets.

Once you have decided to apply to medical school, pick up the latest edition of The Medical School Admissions Guide and follow the weekly steps required to create the best application possible to maximize your chances of admission.

SDN Test Prep Week 2013

MDadmit is proud to be participating in Student Doctor Network's (SDN) Test Prep Week 2013.

Visit SDN for chance to win:

1. Free copy of Dr. Suzanne M. Miller's new book How to be Pre-Med
2. Free copy of Dr. Miller's best-selling book The Medical School Admissions Guide, 2nd Ed
3. Discounts on MDadmit Admissions Consulting with Dr. Miller
4. Discounts on MDadmit Admissions Bootcamps