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.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Medical School Interviews - Season Winding Down

This is often the last week of interviews. If you have not received an interview invite from a school at this point, you can consider that a rejection. Many schools, unfortunately, will never officially contact you to provide a rejection.

Now it is time to focus your energies on schools where you have been interviewed and are either waiting to hear or have been waitlisted. By this, I mean writing a letter of intent to your top choice or update letters to other schools that you are interested in (see last two posts for specifics on these letters).

This stage in the medical school admissions process is often a painful waiting game. It can be very difficult. Hang in there!

Need help getting off the waitlist? Call 415.939.5251 or e-mail to set up a consulting session with a Harvard/Stanford MD and medical school admissions insider.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Medical School Interviews – Letter of Intent (Part 2)

Many medical school applicants ask if they can send a letter of intent to multiple schools. By strict definition, a letter of intent should only be sent to your top choice. However, this does not mean you cannot send an update letter to other schools that are in your top 5 or 10. Such a letter will follow a similar format to the letter of intent but will not state outright that the school is your top choice and will focus more on updating the school on your recent progress. Such updates can include a recent publication, new grades from a post-bac program, an international experience from the Fall, or a new leadership position you gained, just to name a few. Keep these letters short (definitely less than a page).

Unsure of what makes a good update letter? Call 415.939.5251 or e-mail to get help from a Harvard/Stanford MD, published author, and medical school admissions expert!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Medical School Interviews – Letter of Intent

Some rolling admissions schools have already given you their decision. You may be on waitlists or have not heard anything from schools yet. This time of year, the question often arises: “Do I tell my top choice that they are my top choice?” 

The answer is yes.

If you have an absolute top choice and have not been accepted, writing a “letter on intent” can improve your chances of acceptance. Medical schools want students who want them. You can only tell one school that they are “the one,” so be sure it really is your top choice.

Write a letter to the dean of admissions explaining why the school is your top choice. Include specifics on why the school is your top choice (curriculum, research opportunities, location, etc.) and reiterate your strengths. This should be a short letter and can be hand-written on a card or more formally typed.

Would you like help editing your letter of intent? Call 415.939.5251 or e-mail to get help from a Harvard/Stanford MD and medical school admissions expert!

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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Medical School Admissions Guide Book Event: George Mason Alpha Epsilon Delta

As part of The Medical School Admissions Guide: A Harvard MD's Week-by-Week Admissions Handbook book tour, I have been speaking to pre-med groups throughout the country. Tonight, I had the pleasure to address the George Mason University Alpha Epsilon Delta chapter in Fairfax, Virginia. Thank you to James Colchao for making this event happen.

These talks are the most enjoyable part of my work as an admissions consultant. I particularly love the one-on-one interactions after the lecture and general Q&A session when I hear each individual applicant's story. Tonight, I had the pleasure to meet a non-traditional student who had initially attended an Ivy League university then joined the military where he realized a passion for medicine. Now, in his late 20s and a retired veteran, he has returned to school to complete pre-med coursework while gaining clinical experience. It just goes to show that it is never too late to apply to medical school. If medicine is your calling, you will find out how to make it happen one way or another.

This night was also special in that I had the pleasure of meeting US Navy Captain Calloway and Joan Stearman from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) admissions committee. Captain Calloway provided an incredibly informative presentation on the academic and financial benefits of obtaining a medical education at USUHS. I can say from personal experience teaching fourth-year USUHS medical students during my work in the Emergency Department at Inova Fairfax Hospital that these student are very well-educated. In this time of exponential increases in the cost of medical education with decreases in doctor salaries, I suggest every medical school applicant investigate the pros and cons of a military-based education. You can find more details at the USUHS website.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Medical School Interviews – Avoid Burnout

Are you one of the few who have more interviews than you know what to do with? Are you finding school or work slipping because you are always flying off to an interview? Do you think your performance in interviews is slipping due to fatigue? If so, you should be very grateful. And you should also think about canceling some of the interviews to avoid burnout. Look at the list of interviews that you have left. Be sure to only attend interviews of schools that you will seriously consider attending if accepted. For example, you have already been accepted to one of your top choices and have a few “safety school” interviews in February. Do yourself and the admissions committees a favor and call to cancel those interviews.

Need help deciding which interviews to attend? Call 415.939.5251 or email to set up a consulting session with a medical school admissions insider.


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