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, August 31, 2010

Can Rain Prevent You From Getting Into Medical School?

Interesting New York Times article on a quirky physician who seeks to answer interesting questions, such as if interviewing on a rainy day decreases your chances of admission to medical school.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Medical School Secondary Applications: Diversity

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.

For example:

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.

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 or call 415.939.5251 to put a Harvard/Stanford MD and medical school admissions expert to work for you!

Check out for more information.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Medical School Secondary Applications: General Strategy

Though schools change their secondary essays from year to year, most of the questions fall into eight broad categories:

Personal Challenge
Most Important Activity
After College Activities
Long Term Goals
“Other” Information

Instead of writing a new answer to each question for every school, I suggest that you compose general answers to each of these eight questions and change them as needed to a particular application. This will save you an incredible amount of time and energy. It also gives you a chance to write exceptional essays that, with minor tweaking, can be used multiple times. Most of the secondary essays range from 250 to 500 words. I suggest writing each essay listed below in 500 words or less than editing as needed to fit each particular word requirement. Each essay listed has been taken from real secondary applications. Get that literary mind going, you may have hundreds of secondary essays to write in the next few months!

Overwhelmed by secondary applications? E-mail or call 415.939.5251 to put a Harvard/Stanford MD, published author, and expert editor to work for you!

Check out for more information.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Medical School Secondary Applications

“Secondaries,” or medical school secondary applications, are sent individually from each medical school once the AMCAS application has been received and reviewed. Many schools use the AMCAS as an initial screening then send secondaries to obtain more information from applicants in order to determine who receives an interview. Sometimes secondaries are sent to applicants who meet certain requirements (often based on GPA and MCAT scores). More and more these days, schools automatically generate a secondary upon receipt of your AMCAS application with no screening performed.

Secondaries vary greatly in substance. Some require nothing more than your name and a check (average secondary charge is $75). Others entail up to 10 essays and are very time consuming. The due date varies by school. It is best to turn in a secondary as soon as possible after receiving it in order to move the admissions process along.

Overwhelmed by secondary applications? E-mail or call 415.939.5251 to put a Harvard/Stanford MD, published author, and expert editor to work for you!

Check out for more information.

Monday, August 9, 2010

AMCAS Personal Statement: Copy Edit and Recommendation Check

Before submitting your AMCAS, be sure to copy edit EVERY WORD for typos. You will have looked at this application so many times, it may be impossible to do a meticulous edit yourself. Ask family, friends, colleagues, etc. to edit not for content but for grammar and typos.

Now that you are ready to submit the AMCAS application, remember to contact all of your recommenders/premed committees to ensure the recommendations have been sent out and received. Many schools will not process your AMCAS application until all recommendations are in hand.

Want a final edit of your medical school admissions personal statement?
E-mail or call 415.939.5251 to put a Harvard/Stanford MD, admissions expert, and published author to work for you!

Monday, August 2, 2010

AMCAS Personal Statement: Get Help

After the sixth draft, it is time to send out the essay for an expert opinion – choose two or three people with experience in writing personal statements and gather their thoughts on three things: content, grammar, and flow (how easily the essay reads).

Afraid you don’t know anyone who can edit the essay for you? Don’t be – you are surrounded by them. Try your parents, spouse, friend who majored in English, cousin in medical school, career counselor, university writing service, writing instructor, family physician, coach, admissions consultant, etc. etc. Don’t be afraid to ask.

One word of caution – do not send the essay to too many people for opinions. Comments will undoubtedly disagree and it can be very frustrating trying to please everyone. The only two people you have to please are yourself and the admissions officer.

Looking for expert help with arguably the most important part of your medical school application as this stage? E-mail or call 415.939.5251 to put a Harvard/Stanford MD, published author, and expert editor to work for you!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

USA Today Article - ER Myths

An excellent USA today article on some of the downsides of Obama's heathcare reform. 

ER Myths