Asked in College Applications and Entrance RequirementsEnglish Alphabet HistoryHigh School Middle School/Junior High
How hard is it to get accepted to med school?
January 12, 2010 7:36AM
Honestly, just read number 9... There is no way around this... THERE IS NO WAY AROUND THIS... CIRCUMFERENCE IS TOO LARGE
Getting accepted into a Medical School is difficult. There are several factors that are considered that either work for or against you.
1) Your GPA. There's no way around it. You have to have a good GPA. If it is low that really is not an excuse because every other person with a low GPA also has an excuse. Try to keep it above a 3.7. On the flip side though, a high GPA guarantees nothing. I know people with GPAs above 3.9 who are in Phi Beta Kappa and have not gotten into Medical Schools. There is more to being a competitive applicant than having a good GPA. There is no way around this.
2) Your MCAT score. Just like GPA, there is no way around it. You have to get a 30. That will make you competitive for most med schools. This is assuming you also have a high GPA. But again, a high GPA and a good MCAT score guarantees nothing. What I am saying is that the last two pieces of advice I gave mean nothing. There are people I know with both of these requirements who still have not gotten into Med Schools. There are people I know with neither of these requirements who are chiropractors... The rest couldn't get in, so they went to medical school.
3) Applying Early. If you have a high GPA and a good MCAT score, applying early is also critically important. If you have a low GPA and a low MCAT score, applying late is also critically important. You have to look at applying to Med School as a numbers thing. There are so many applicants and you are just a number. As qualified as you think you are, there are a lot of applicants just like you with the same numbers. In fact, I can't tell you apart from everyone else. Med Schools operate on a rolling admissions. This means once a med school has accepted a certain number of applicants who are "just like you," they have no need to except you because they already have you times ten. I mean, even if you only weigh 90 pounds, this clone they have of you weighs 900 pounds. Good luck fighting your apply early clone, he is huge, there is no way around this!
4) Regional Issues. Your best chance to get into med school is in your state of residency. There is no real way around this (Circumference is too large). Apply to every program in your state and at least have a safety school (Like Wash U). An important thing someone once told me about getting into med school is "you have to start with one." It's true.
5) Undergrad Issues. Some colleges get a lot more respect than others in the eyes of medical school admissions officers. I go to a college in Florida and when I went up to interviews in New York, the interviewers I had talked down about my school. It's a depressing thing to think all your work means nothing to these people, but you just have to accept that is the way people think.
6) Research. Research looks very good when applying to medical schools. If you can get your name on a paper or two before applying this is a major added bonus. Medical Schools are looking for people who are interested in academic medicine and research fits this priority. Also, research has the added bonus that getting your name on a paper carries over to applying for residencies and looks good there as well. Be aware though, that doing a lot of research without getting your name on a paper could mean nothing to a medical school. Lot of applicants do research. It does not matter if it is for 4 years or only 3 months. Admissions Committees see that you have done research and put a check mark next to your name. So it is important to get your name on a paper so that your contributions to a lab are shown. It is almost impossible to get your name on a paper if you only did research for three months. If you do research for four years though, you'll have a very good shot at having your name on a paper
7) Volunteering. The more you volunteer, the more you will seem like a real person in an interview. The more you have to talk about means that admissions officers will see you as someone who is genuinely interested in medicine.
8) Ethnicity. Just mentioning it here because it is a factor. Read "The Shape of the River" if you really want to understand it's role in admissions. It is not as much as you think and you should not be offended by it. But also, if you are black or Mexican, you automatically will get in.
9) There is no way around this, unless you have a 45 and 4.0 you are not safe, there is no way around this, even Wash U won't accept you, there is no way around this, no one with less than 3.7 has ever gotten in, there is no way around this, no one with less than a 30 has ever gotten in, there is no way around this. Even with a 45 and a 4.0 there is no way around this, you have to volunteer and shadow, there is no way around this, even if you volunteer and shadow, Wash U won't accept you, there is no way around this, even if you have a 4.0 and 45 and one thousand shadowing, volunteering, and paid clinical hours, there is no way around this... What I am saying is that honestly, this thing is so wide in circumference that it is really impossible to get around it, so there is no way around this, medical schools only take people with perfect scores... THERE IS NO WAY AROUND THIS