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Touch of Grey
02-14-2011, 08:36 PM
Hello to all. I am currently a sophomore in high school, at a very solid public school. I want to go to a medical school after a 4-year university (obviously). I just want to know what it takes to make it into medical school. (I know it is very difficult). At this point in time I have a 3.7 (hoping to make it a 4.0 by the end of semester). Next year I am taking a solid work load, Honors English, AP US history, Pre-calc, AP stats, AP art history, Chemistry. My extra curricular activities are pretty solid in my opinion. Did a leadership thing where I helped incoming students in my middle school learn the school. Also over spring break I'm going to Mexico to help build houses for the impoverished. I'm working on a garden and I will give the crops to a local food shelter near me, and I'm doing various other activities like that to help the less fortunate.

Is there anything else I can do to improve my chances in getting into a good college/ anything I should do in the future to help my chances with med. school.

Oh, and my tennis will also help me to get into a good college, I am between 150-200 nationally for my class.

Thank you.

tennisnoob3
02-14-2011, 08:39 PM
med school= grad school, you're quite far away.

if you want a college admissions forum, go to college confidential

mikeler
02-15-2011, 06:02 AM
Stay away from Mexico or you may not have a chance to go to college.

Find out the easiest undergrad degree you can have to get into med school. It worked for a buddy of mine. Another girl I went to school with who was valedictorian picked a super hard undergrad degree and did not have high enough grades to get into med school, so she ended up going to law school.

mctennis
02-15-2011, 09:49 PM
First- you'll have to stop playing tennis and concentrate on school only. Get your grades up so you can get into a good pre-med school. That will determine if you have a chance of medical school. You can play tennis after you're a physician. A 3.7 isn't going to get you noticed.

8F93W5
02-15-2011, 09:57 PM
......... I want to go to a medical school after a 4-year university (obviously). I just want to know what it takes to make it into medical school.............

Is this the best place you know to ask that question?

Jonny S&V
02-15-2011, 10:12 PM
First- you'll have to stop playing tennis and concentrate on school only. Get your grades up so you can get into a good pre-med school. That will determine if you have a chance of medical school. You can play tennis after you're a physician. A 3.7 isn't going to get you noticed.

Our #1 is double-majoring in Biology and Chemistry, and he's pre-med with a 4.0. :neutral:

mctennis
02-16-2011, 05:37 AM
Our #1 is double-majoring in Biology and Chemistry, and he's pre-med with a 4.0. :neutral:

That's great news. I wish him all the luck in his future. Sounds like a smart guy. We need more like him going into the medical field. However, if his grades start to suffer and he needs more time to study he'd be a fool to keep playing tennis to perhaps ruin his chance for his medical future. His tennis career will be done if he he goes into medical school unless he doesn't go to medical school and goes and plays tennis instead. Of course there are exceptions to every situation or statement. My statement to Touch of Gray was simple- don't sacrifice your chances of your future job/profession/ career on playing tennis for a school when your grades need to be as high as possible. Sacrificing your grades to play tennis isn't worth it in the long run. I don't think you can disagree with me on that statement.
Also pre med isn't a guarantee you'll get into the medical school you want or even any medical school for that matter. Where he is at ( your #1) is a step towards his goal but he has a lot more road to go before getting into medical school. I hope you realize that also.

Jonny S&V
02-16-2011, 07:55 AM
That's great news. I wish him all the luck in his future. Sounds like a smart guy. We need more like him going into the medical field. However, if his grades start to suffer and he needs more time to study he'd be a fool to keep playing tennis to perhaps ruin his chance for his medical future. His tennis career will be done if he he goes into medical school unless he doesn't go to medical school and goes and plays tennis instead. Of course there are exceptions to every situation or statement. My statement to Touch of Gray was simple- don't sacrifice your chances of your future job/profession/ career on playing tennis for a school when your grades need to be as high as possible. Sacrificing your grades to play tennis isn't worth it in the long run. I don't think you can disagree with me on that statement.
Also pre med isn't a guarantee you'll get into the medical school you want or even any medical school for that matter. Where he is at ( your #1) is a step towards his goal but he has a lot more road to go before getting into medical school. I hope you realize that also.

I do realize that, but the things that kids don't tend to realize (although the OP seems to be on the right track) is that you need to start these things early. Amongst other things, our #1 has been studying for the MCAT since the summer after he graduated. He's become one of the best examples of time-management I can find, and I feel that (especially since he's given me a lot of tips) a lot of us college/high school students have no idea A) How to study AND B) When to study. It's obviously more of a personal preference, but if you figure out the optimum way to study for you, what you do in your free time shouldn't matter.

Touch of Grey
02-16-2011, 08:19 AM
Is this the best place you know to ask that question?

Obviously not, I was on the website at the time so I decided to see what some people here have to say. I'm sure there's a decent amount of people with a great deal of knowledge on here, and I decided to get some people's opinion.

Fedace
02-16-2011, 08:38 AM
Hello to all. I am currently a sophomore in high school, at a very solid public school. I want to go to a medical school after a 4-year university (obviously). I just want to know what it takes to make it into medical school. (I know it is very difficult). At this point in time I have a 3.7 (hoping to make it a 4.0 by the end of semester). Next year I am taking a solid work load, Honors English, AP US history, Pre-calc, AP stats, AP art history, Chemistry. My extra curricular activities are pretty solid in my opinion. Did a leadership thing where I helped incoming students in my middle school learn the school. Also over spring break I'm going to Mexico to help build houses for the impoverished. I'm working on a garden and I will give the crops to a local food shelter near me, and I'm doing various other activities like that to help the less fortunate.

Is there anything else I can do to improve my chances in getting into a good college/ anything I should do in the future to help my chances with med. school.

Oh, and my tennis will also help me to get into a good college, I am between 150-200 nationally for my class.

Thank you.

Nice, i like your volunteer work. That should be a definite plus. It shows where your heart is and you aren't interested in the career in medicine for the money. Have you thought of doing internships in Congress over summer( this is good because healthcare reform is a critical topic in capital hill currently) ? or doing volunteer work at the local hospital over summer ? Large county hospitals or VA hospitals have some good programs that is aspiring to become a physician.

max
02-16-2011, 09:02 AM
Playing varsity tennis in college takes up a great deal of time, time you'd, at that point, want to expend on your studies, etc.

Find ways to get your foot into the door to see and learn more about the medical field; there are plenty of ways to do so.

LuckyR
02-16-2011, 10:06 AM
First- you'll have to stop playing tennis and concentrate on school only. Get your grades up so you can get into a good pre-med school. That will determine if you have a chance of medical school. You can play tennis after you're a physician. A 3.7 isn't going to get you noticed.

This sounds like well intentioned but inaccurate advice. Based on your description you are not going to get into Medical School based on your pure academic prowess. However plenty of current docs didn't either, so it is totally possible.

As time goes on, my read is that the value of having more on your resume beyond the ability to answer multiple choice questions correctly, is increasing.

Certainly pursuing tennis to the exclusion of your studies, is a fool's plan. By the same token, you should be able to do lots of extracurricular stuff (like tennis) and still pull down great grades. Face it, if you can't then maybe you shouldn't be in Medical school.

Also I wouldn't get overly concerned about getting this or that University for the purpose of getting into Med school. It is better in the long run to get into a school where your best attributes are displayed to their maximum, which for many isn't Harvard.

Good luck.

ollinger
02-16-2011, 10:13 AM
LuckyR is right -- make sure "your best attributes are displayed to their maxiumum," but just not sent to anyone in an email.

sureshs
02-16-2011, 10:42 AM
Yet another student doing "social service" in a "poor" country to boost his chances of getting into college (and no doubt he "passionately" believes in it as he will surely write in his college app).

I think colleges should just stop considering this and stem the charade.

Touch of Grey
02-16-2011, 02:52 PM
Yet another student doing "social service" in a "poor" country to boost his chances of getting into college (and no doubt he "passionately" believes in it as he will surely write in his college app).

I think colleges should just stop considering this and stem the charade.

Yeah it's true that some kids may just do that to beef up their app, but not all do. It's not fair to assume that everybody who does volunteer work is doing it to simply put it on a college app. Plenty of kids I know do it out of the goodness of their heart, not because it may help them get into college. You can't just say to somebody you don't know and say that they are doing this solely for their app. I'm sure that when I'm out of college, med school, or whatever that I will continue to volunteer for people in need because that who I am, and how I was raised.

angharad
02-16-2011, 03:13 PM
Try to get some volunteer work in the medical field. See if local medical-based charities (think Visiting Nurse Associations, blood drives, etc) need volunteers for anything. Most do, even if it's only doing office work. My local hospital has teenagers volunteer in the ER, helping to check people in and show people to their rooms.

Once you're old enough, and if it's okay with your family, see about being certified as an EMT.

When you start looking at colleges, ask which have a lot of undergraduate research opportunities. Being involved in research can be a huge plus.

NickC
02-16-2011, 03:14 PM
Yet another student doing "social service" in a "poor" country to boost his chances of getting into college (and no doubt he "passionately" believes in it as he will surely write in his college app).

I think colleges should just stop considering this and stem the charade.

Agreed. If the kids were passionate about helping others out, they'd do what I did and actually go live there for a while, help the local economy as much as possible, attend a university down there, and volunteer at an orphanage or school.

The 5 day thing over spring break is complete horseshit, IMO. I know tons of kids who did it, and they didn't learn anything at all. They kept to themselves and built a house. That was it.

sureshs
02-16-2011, 03:21 PM
Yeah it's true that some kids may just do that to beef up their app, but not all do. It's not fair to assume that everybody who does volunteer work is doing it to simply put it on a college app. Plenty of kids I know do it out of the goodness of their heart, not because it may help them get into college. You can't just say to somebody you don't know and say that they are doing this solely for their app. I'm sure that when I'm out of college, med school, or whatever that I will continue to volunteer for people in need because that who I am, and how I was raised.

Sorry to pick on you, but it has become an industry out here. Private companies are approaching private schools with tours to "poor countries" - complete package deals with food, accomodation, etc, and a custom book for every student with photographs capturing the charitable activities. A girl I know suddenly discovered her life's calling of "helping children" in the summer before 9th grade when her mother discovered that her daughter could volunteer at the school she works part time. A guy I know discovered his leadership skills just in time in 11th grade and shows up with sunglasses and smart phone to lead a team of younger volunteers (and told my son it is great for your college app). Yup, my son has also entered the field. He has started off small with a 4 hour assignment at a community event. This summer he will probably be helping out at the public library.

pushing_wins
02-16-2011, 03:28 PM
if all else fails, there is ross university.

http://www.rossu.edu/

Fedace
02-16-2011, 03:29 PM
Agreed. If the kids were passionate about helping others out, they'd do what I did and actually go live there for a while, help the local economy as much as possible, attend a university down there, and volunteer at an orphanage or school.

The 5 day thing over spring break is complete horseshit, IMO. I know tons of kids who did it, and they didn't learn anything at all. They kept to themselves and built a house. That was it.

Not everyone has the luxury to go out of the country and stay there for extended period of time. If you are on track to get into a good college and pursue your career, you can't take extended time off and go to another country to help out.
It is an experience for most high school and college students. We are not going there because we think we will have a long term impact in this 3rd world country. and hopefully, the experiece will make you into a better human being for the rest of your life.
and when he is a doctor, years from now, perhaps then he will take 3 month off and go to these poor countries and make a real difference to few people. Even then, it will be a tremendous sacrifice since you have families that depend on you.

Mansewerz
02-16-2011, 04:52 PM
That's great news. I wish him all the luck in his future. Sounds like a smart guy. We need more like him going into the medical field. However, if his grades start to suffer and he needs more time to study he'd be a fool to keep playing tennis to perhaps ruin his chance for his medical future. His tennis career will be done if he he goes into medical school unless he doesn't go to medical school and goes and plays tennis instead. Of course there are exceptions to every situation or statement. My statement to Touch of Gray was simple- don't sacrifice your chances of your future job/profession/ career on playing tennis for a school when your grades need to be as high as possible. Sacrificing your grades to play tennis isn't worth it in the long run. I don't think you can disagree with me on that statement.
Also pre med isn't a guarantee you'll get into the medical school you want or even any medical school for that matter. Where he is at ( your #1) is a step towards his goal but he has a lot more road to go before getting into medical school. I hope you realize that also.

Good point, but he's still only in high school :)

dlk
02-16-2011, 05:10 PM
I typically have 1st year medical students shadow me at work. I will ask one 2/17/11 how he got into med school, & that of his peers.

Touch of Grey
02-16-2011, 05:46 PM
I typically have 1st year medical students shadow me at work. I will ask one 2/17/11 how he got into med school, & that of his peers.

Thank you very much!

retlod
02-16-2011, 06:08 PM
High school only matters in that it can get you into a decent college. It doesn't even have to be a good college, just not a bad one. State universities are usually just fine. In college, keep a 3.5 or above, do some volunteering work, get jobs as an RA in a res hall or TA for a class, and try some shadowing. Then rock the hell out of the MCAT. Select the best school you can get into, then crank it up. If you do well in med school, you can get a great residency and from there a fellowship. Work really hard in those and you can write your ticket. Bottom line--the farther you get in training, the more hard work will pay off.

As others have said, don't do it for the money. If money is the reward you seek, it's not worth all the work you'll put in. There are lots of easier ways to make a living.

dlk
02-17-2011, 04:02 PM
High school only matters in that it can get you into a decent college. It doesn't even have to be a good college, just not a bad one. State universities are usually just fine. In college, keep a 3.5 or above, do some volunteering work, get jobs as an RA in a res hall or TA for a class, and try some shadowing. Then rock the hell out of the MCAT. Select the best school you can get into, then crank it up. If you do well in med school, you can get a great residency and from there a fellowship. Work really hard in those and you can write your ticket. Bottom line--the farther you get in training, the more hard work will pay off.

As others have said, don't do it for the money. If money is the reward you seek, it's not worth all the work you'll put in. There are lots of easier ways to make a living.

This is about right.

The med student I talked with today. Grades were nothing special in high school. Went to Michigan=Pre-Med 3.7 GPA, no extra curricular activites. Got his second choice for Med school. He believes, there is a "who you know" aspect with residency, but not med school admission.

Claudius
02-17-2011, 04:13 PM
In terms of your major, don't limit yourself to chemistry or biology. Take the necessary prerequisites of courses, but majoring in a social science like economics or psychology may not be a bad idea.

get it in
02-17-2011, 04:15 PM
You are a long way from medical school. Get good grades and rock the MCAT like someone mentioned earlier. Lots of people take the MCAT, few do very well. Extracurricular activity is just that-extracurricular. Schools will sit up and notice your grades and test scores first, then use the rest to separate the wheat from the chaff. Everyone who applies to med school is good, there aren't many bad applicants. If you do well on the MCAT, that says a lot. I didn't go to med school but 9 of my friends did (including 1 @ Harvard med). Don't think I wasn't watching and learning. BTW, the one who went to Harvard med absolutely rocked the MCAT 15-15-14=44 out of 45! Needless to say, that person is very, very successful.
You may find out in a few years that medical school isn't for you. Don't be disappointed. There are a lot of good careers out there that do not require an M.D.

get it in
02-17-2011, 04:29 PM
For those of you curious about MCAT score distributions, here it is:

https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/admissionsadvisors/mcat_stats/

50% of the test takers score 26/45 or lower. If you can score 30 or higher, you're in pretty good shape although ideally you will want 33 or higher for a top flight school. Yeah, it's a really hard test. I like it that way because it ensures you get the most qualified applicants becoming your future physician. If I'm going to get surgery you better believe I want the best qualified person around doing that job!

sureshs
02-17-2011, 04:54 PM
In terms of your major, don't limit yourself to chemistry or biology. Take the necessary prerequisites of courses, but majoring in a social science like economics or psychology may not be a bad idea.

Why? What is the point in taking other courses?

Jonny S&V
02-17-2011, 05:13 PM
Why? What is the point in taking other courses?

Become a more well-rounded person? If you only take one type of course all through college, most people will get burnt out easily. Taking a course that you're interested in rather than one that you need to take is refreshing, and can alleviate a little of the stress that you get in college.

tennisnoob3
02-17-2011, 05:37 PM
This is about right.

The med student I talked with today. Grades were nothing special in high school. Went to Michigan=Pre-Med 3.7 GPA, no extra curricular activites. Got his second choice for Med school. He believes, there is a "who you know" aspect with residency, but not med school admission.

michigan has a pretty good rep, not an easy state school to get into

T1000
02-17-2011, 06:34 PM
You're not going to med school right after college, you need work experience. My sister just graduated from nova with a 4.0 gpa with a major in biochem and she didn't get in anywhere. They are looking for kids with work experience now, so strive towards that

Touch of Grey
02-17-2011, 07:17 PM
You're not going to med school right after college, you need work experience. My sister just graduated from nova with a 4.0 gpa with a major in biochem and she didn't get in anywhere. They are looking for kids with work experience now, so strive towards that

Okay thank you. I was also wondering something, does it look better if you have say a master's in something like chemistry(or anything like that).

retlod
02-17-2011, 07:58 PM
You're not going to med school right after college, you need work experience. My sister just graduated from nova with a 4.0 gpa with a major in biochem and she didn't get in anywhere. They are looking for kids with work experience now, so strive towards that

Medical schools are accepting more and more diverse applicants every year. Some have experience working in the health industry, some other careers altogether. Some are older, but most are still right out of college. I don't have a sister who applied--I'm a physician who has met hundreds, if not thousands of medical students.

coyfish
02-17-2011, 08:26 PM
You're not going to med school right after college, you need work experience. My sister just graduated from nova with a 4.0 gpa with a major in biochem and she didn't get in anywhere. They are looking for kids with work experience now, so strive towards that

Not to be rude I guess your sister did something wrong because that is not the general trend at all. 4.0 GPA in biochem ... im sure she could have gotten in somewhere even with a pitiful MCAT.

Im in the waiting / hearing process right now. So far I have gotten into 2 MD schools and 3 DO's. Still have interviews to do as well. My GPA is pretty low but I do have a solid MCAT.


If you have a +3.2 GPA at a decent school / +28 MCAT you will get in somewhere. If not MD then DO which today really is the same thing.

I read somewhere that the average 1st year med student in the US was 24. Many kids fresh out of college, many who worked for a few years, and many nurses / PA / dentists who decide to go to med school.

Mansewerz
02-17-2011, 08:40 PM
You are a long way from medical school. Get good grades and rock the MCAT like someone mentioned earlier. Lots of people take the MCAT, few do very well. Extracurricular activity is just that-extracurricular. Schools will sit up and notice your grades and test scores first, then use the rest to separate the wheat from the chaff. Everyone who applies to med school is good, there aren't many bad applicants. If you do well on the MCAT, that says a lot. I didn't go to med school but 9 of my friends did (including 1 @ Harvard med). Don't think I wasn't watching and learning. BTW, the one who went to Harvard med absolutely rocked the MCAT 15-15-14=44 out of 45! Needless to say, that person is very, very successful.
You may find out in a few years that medical school isn't for you. Don't be disappointed. There are a lot of good careers out there that do not require an M.D.

For those of you curious about MCAT score distributions, here it is:

https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/admissionsadvisors/mcat_stats/

50% of the test takers score 26/45 or lower. If you can score 30 or higher, you're in pretty good shape although ideally you will want 33 or higher for a top flight school. Yeah, it's a really hard test. I like it that way because it ensures you get the most qualified applicants becoming your future physician. If I'm going to get surgery you better believe I want the best qualified person around doing that job!

I'm not in college, but I plan on going the medical route, and I support what you say as that's EXACTLY what my teachers have told me.

Why? What is the point in taking other courses?

It separates you from the other chem and bio majors. Med schools like that, especially now.

Mansewerz
02-17-2011, 08:41 PM
michigan has a pretty good rep, not an easy state school to get into

Michigan, as in University of Michigan? It has a very good rep. Don't be fooled by the state school moniker, it has some very, very talented people there. It is ranked 19 in the world by US news last I checked. (Not just a public school ranking)

sureshs
02-18-2011, 07:26 AM
I'm not in college, but I plan on going the medical route, and I support what you say as that's EXACTLY what my teachers have told me.



It separates you from the other chem and bio majors. Med schools like that, especially now.

Sounds strange. So they would rather have someone study a dilute course like economics than a real serious one like biology - to become a DOCTOR?

Rippy
02-18-2011, 09:29 AM
Become a more well-rounded person? If you only take one type of course all through college, most people will get burnt out easily. Taking a course that you're interested in rather than one that you need to take is refreshing, and can alleviate a little of the stress that you get in college.

Well surely if they want to go to medical school, it wouldn't be too surprisingly if they were interested in Biology/Chemistry lol.

retlod
02-18-2011, 10:17 AM
Sounds strange. So they would rather have someone study a dilute course like economics than a real serious one like biology - to become a DOCTOR?

A lot of college biology focuses on non-human life forms. There is a lot of it that's not pertinent to medicine at all. College chemistry and physics are much the same (although you need to master them to do well on the MCAT). Liberal arts courses are encouraged because they teach students to be well-rounded and experienced in areas of study other than science. I've met doctors who majored in everything from biology to physics to mathematics to history to economics to finance to English to art history.

Years later, as physicians, that experience and education helps us relate to patients from different demographics and really enriches our lives. We live in the same world as everyone else and need to know how and why it operates the way it does. I liked economics in college and have never regretted taking two econ courses. Careers in medicine can *consume* people. We need more in our lives than just our jobs.

Jonny S&V
02-18-2011, 11:55 AM
Well surely if they want to go to medical school, it wouldn't be too surprisingly if they were interested in Biology/Chemistry lol.

I'm interested in Exercise Physiology, and am required to take a Biomechanics course. Do I like Biomechanics? No. Is it an integral part of my major? Yes.

My point is, even within your major, you will take many classes that you hate, and most people have deep interests outside their major.

sureshs
02-19-2011, 05:45 AM
A lot of college biology focuses on non-human life forms. There is a lot of it that's not pertinent to medicine at all. College chemistry and physics are much the same (although you need to master them to do well on the MCAT). Liberal arts courses are encouraged because they teach students to be well-rounded and experienced in areas of study other than science. I've met doctors who majored in everything from biology to physics to mathematics to history to economics to finance to English to art history.

Years later, as physicians, that experience and education helps us relate to patients from different demographics and really enriches our lives. We live in the same world as everyone else and need to know how and why it operates the way it does. I liked economics in college and have never regretted taking two econ courses. Careers in medicine can *consume* people. We need more in our lives than just our jobs.

I see your point, but well-rounded education should end with high school and the first 2 years of college, no?

CoachingMastery
02-19-2011, 06:47 AM
Since I'm a tennis professional and my wife is a doctor, I thought I would share a few life-experiences with the OP.

Dedication to your goal is the key. Just as if one wanted to become a professional tennis player, you will want to look at medicine as the most important thing in your life. Study should never be felt like a sacrifice...it should be thought of as opportunity. Desire to seek all you can know about the profession should be a premium. Steady growth in your profession should be sought.

But, you should also be organized to the point that you can achieve other skills; sports, musical instruments, hobbies, are all VERY common among those in medical school. (You should have seen my wife's "Talent Show" every year at her medical school...I thought I was at the finals for America's Got Talent!)

If you feel you can't do these things, then you will have difficulty in successfully pursuing any high-level profession.

It is a little like writing a book: most people look at writing a novel as something that is just unattainable, something that will take so long or that they lose interest along the way. But, many people write many novels, (I'm on my third along with my two tennis books), and once you believe you can do it, you will.

What courses you take now and in your next few years of college are helpful, of course. But, this is a no-brainer: every school has counsolers and pathways that spell out for you what the best classes to take for a career in medicine. (I wouldn't just go by what is offered by those here!) Ask other doctors, (my wife majored in zoology and physiology and minored in chemistry). She is a pediatrician.

Good luck...but, more importantly, Good WORK. You will succeed if you wish to succeed. Sincere goal-setting is critical. If they are not sincere, you will meet difficulty.

sureshs
02-19-2011, 10:14 AM
If you feel you can't do these things, then you will have difficulty in successfully pursuing any high-level profession.


There is no evidence of this. It is a self-fulfilling statement, in the sense that those who who had all kinds of other skills and are successful are the proof, and those who don't have these skills but are successful can always be shown to have some skills, by using a little flexibility of imagination.

Many scientists whose contributions are legendary were very unsocial and one-dimensional people. Newton is a good example. He shut himself up in his home for a year and a half to write a book.

I have been playing tennis for 7 years now. It has neither been harmful or beneficial to my professional life. I have colleagues who do nothing but work and they are quite successful.

Take Nadal as an example. Or for that matter Federer. They do not fulfil your criteria. Now, as I said, you can always contradict me, because surely Federer has enjoyed some music and Nadal has played soccer and modeled for underwear? See what I mean? Once successful, people will diverge out, and all kinds of good things will be said about them.

I also don't think CEOs like Bill Gates were multi-dimensional people.

ollinger
02-19-2011, 10:30 AM
I think Mastery actually makes good points and I understand the point highlighted above. Being organized and being able to juggle many cognitive tasks at once is absolutely vital to medical practice, if for nothing more than the calls and problems one has that interrupt office hours and force you to manage numerous situations simultaneously. This ability MIGHT be reflected in having other interests, or perhaps not, but it's completely different from the sort of singlemindedness that is not only not a liability but may be in asset in the sort of research pursuits sureshs describes. One need not be brilliant to practice medicine well, but you'd better be organized.

sureshs
02-19-2011, 10:40 AM
I think Mastery actually makes good points and I understand the point highlighted above. Being organized and being able to juggle many cognitive tasks at once is absolutely vital to medical practice, if for nothing more than the calls and problems one has that interrupt office hours and force you to manage numerous situations simultaneously. This ability MIGHT be reflected in having other interests, or perhaps not, but it's completely different from the sort of singlemindedness that is not only not a liability but may be in asset in the sort of research pursuits sureshs describes. One need not be brilliant to practice medicine well, but you'd better be organized.

I see. But I think one needs to be at least way above average in intelligence to get in and make it through medical school.

What about tech CEOs like Gates or Jobs? They do intense multitasking and interact a whole lot with people, but I don't think they were good at "other things" necessarily.

I see a cosmetic surgeon around here who is on the courts every weekend morning till lunch (at a local resort) and I hear other times too. I have heard he is a top guy in his field and rolling with money. I have hit with him a couple of times. I always think - where is he getting the time? Shouldn't he be brushing up on new stuff or something? Should I be suspicious of surgeons who play golf all weekend?

ollinger
02-19-2011, 10:57 AM
CEOs don't need to multitask very much. Tell the secretary you don't want to be interrupted -- and you won't be. They can focus on one thing. And the notion that CEOs are not multidimensional is an unproven fantasy. As for your surgeon friend, don't worry that he has time for tennis. Things don't change quite that quickly in medicine and it's not hard to keep up in your spare time, especially now that numerous online services send us new articles and review material every day.

sureshs
02-19-2011, 11:15 AM
CEOs don't need to multitask very much. Tell the secretary you don't want to be interrupted -- and you won't be. They can focus on one thing. And the notion that CEOs are not multidimensional is an unproven fantasy. As for your surgeon friend, don't worry that he has time for tennis. Things don't change quite that quickly in medicine and it's not hard to keep up in your spare time, especially now that numerous online services send us new articles and review material every day.

I was talking about particular CEOs, not in general. I have not heard of Gates' sporting or musical abilities, for example, only that he was always a nerd. A different matter that he has become an art connoisseur and philanthropist, but that is after the fact.

As for the surgeon, I am worried about something else, now that you bring it up! He might only be a 3.5 player considering that I could beat him. His hand-eye coordination in tennis is, shall we say, not spectacular, and he seems unable to brush up on the ball. Should I be worried about his surgical skills :-)

Mansewerz
02-19-2011, 11:31 AM
Sounds strange. So they would rather have someone study a dilute course like economics than a real serious one like biology - to become a DOCTOR?

No, not at all. Medical school, like all grad schools, requires a certain set of prerequisites. If you're an English or mathematics major and you still had good enough grades in your prerequisite science courses, you're in! (Note: This is barring bad MCATs, etc.)

sureshs
02-19-2011, 11:57 AM
No, not at all. Medical school, like all grad schools, requires a certain set of prerequisites. If you're an English or mathematics major and you still had good enough grades in your prerequisite science courses, you're in! (Note: This is barring bad MCATs, etc.)

OK so there are pre-requisite science courses, that is good to know.

dlk
02-25-2011, 09:12 PM
focus on pre-med & biology. Don't sweat the extra-cirrcular stuff. Find a good mentor & stink on ****.

ramseszerg
02-26-2011, 01:28 AM
Undergrad GPA is the most important thing. Like ollinger said, there is no proof that you need to play musical instruments or know how to dance to be a good doctor. If your GPA is good but you don't have great MCAT scores you can always rewrite. If your GPA is good but your extracurriculars may be lacking you can legitimize the extracurriculars that you do have with sincere reasons why you pursued them, what they meant for you and how they have improved your qualities and skills. But if your GPA is sub-par you have no chance. One person mentioned 3.2+, that's not competitive enough unless it is for an osteopathic school.

edit: I think the more important reason to be "organized" would be so that you can still live and be happy while you pursue your goals. Not so that you can play a musical instrument. You know, spending time with the people close to you.

CoachingMastery
02-26-2011, 06:35 AM
There is no evidence of this. It is a self-fulfilling statement, in the sense that those who who had all kinds of other skills and are successful are the proof, and those who don't have these skills but are successful can always be shown to have some skills, by using a little flexibility of imagination.

Many scientists whose contributions are legendary were very unsocial and one-dimensional people. Newton is a good example. He shut himself up in his home for a year and a half to write a book.

I have been playing tennis for 7 years now. It has neither been harmful or beneficial to my professional life. I have colleagues who do nothing but work and they are quite successful.

Take Nadal as an example. Or for that matter Federer. They do not fulfil your criteria. Now, as I said, you can always contradict me, because surely Federer has enjoyed some music and Nadal has played soccer and modeled for underwear? See what I mean? Once successful, people will diverge out, and all kinds of good things will be said about them.

I also don't think CEOs like Bill Gates were multi-dimensional people.

Sureshs, I think you misinterpreted my post. (Or maybe I didn't write it very well!)

When I said 'if you feel you can't do these things,' I meant more in terms of being dedicated to your goal, being able to sacrifice.

I never inferred that you had to be a social butterfly or had to specifically be good at a lot of things. I said you needed to be organized. I also said that "being profiecent in other things is very COMMON..." I never said it was an absolute criteria. The fact that many med school students are good at other things is a result of this trait. It isn't that they said, "Oh, I'll go to med school so I should learn the piano."

I agree 100% that there are many different paths. However, having been around hundreds of doctors (now), I see many common traits...not just observing my wife during med school and her classmates.

However, I will say that if you hope to be a good doctor who works with patients, (not necessarily surgeons, radiologists, etc. who don't specifically work with patients as much as family practice docs, pediatricians and other physicians who deal directly with patients), most doctors will want to have some level of "bed side manner"...but I will say there are many doctors who are horrible with the personal side of medicine. They might still be considered successful, but they are not as successful as others who communicate well. (or certainly are not viewed by some as being 'good docters' because they don't communicate well.)

GPA is essential. (A given, which is why I didn't mention it).

There are exceptions to every individual, but certainly having the study habits to get a good GPA, (and the value for education), will translate into many of the necessary traits to become a doctor.

coyfish
02-26-2011, 08:46 AM
Undergrad GPA is the most important thing. Like ollinger said, there is no proof that you need to play musical instruments or know how to dance to be a good doctor. If your GPA is good but you don't have great MCAT scores you can always rewrite. If your GPA is good but your extracurriculars may be lacking you can legitimize the extracurriculars that you do have with sincere reasons why you pursued them, what they meant for you and how they have improved your qualities and skills. But if your GPA is sub-par you have no chance. One person mentioned 3.2+, that's not competitive enough unless it is for an osteopathic school.

edit: I think the more important reason to be "organized" would be so that you can still live and be happy while you pursue your goals. Not so that you can play a musical instrument. You know, spending time with the people close to you.

GPA... Important . . . sure... essential . . . not at all

3.2 is competitive enough as my GPA isn't much higher and I have recently been accepted to several MD's. There are MD schools in every state which accept kids with GPA's near 3.0.

Research / MCAT > GPA for more and more schools. That is a growing trend. Many schools value research so highly. There is an economic reason for that which drives everything...

"you can always retake the MCAT" sure you can but that doesn't mean you will get a good score. So many people with very high GPA's can't get over a 30 on the MCAT. Getting a 24-28 3X with a GPA of 4.0 says a lot about the applicant. It says yes I can do well in biology I but no I don't have what it takes to think critically and apply what I know to new scenario's . . . . which just happens to be the whole essence of becoming a doctor. I would much rather have a low GPA and a killer MCAT than visa versa.

sureshs
02-26-2011, 10:58 AM
pediatricians and other physicians who deal directly with patients), most doctors will want to have some level of "bed side manner"...but I will say there are many doctors who are horrible with the personal side of medicine. They might still be considered successful, but they are not as successful as others who communicate well.

That is the trend. Just send the patient for tests. It is more automated now. Also, doctors are under too much pressure from HMOs and insurance plans on payment issues and personal touch gets lost.

ramseszerg
02-26-2011, 11:12 AM
GPA... Important . . . sure... essential . . . not at all

3.2 is competitive enough as my GPA isn't much higher and I have recently been accepted to several MD's. There are MD schools in every state which accept kids with GPA's near 3.0.

Research / MCAT > GPA for more and more schools. That is a growing trend. Many schools value research so highly. There is an economic reason for that which drives everything...

"you can always retake the MCAT" sure you can but that doesn't mean you will get a good score. So many people with very high GPA's can't get over a 30 on the MCAT. Getting a 24-28 3X with a GPA of 4.0 says a lot about the applicant. It says yes I can do well in biology I but no I don't have what it takes to think critically and apply what I know to new scenario's . . . . which just happens to be the whole essence of becoming a doctor. I would much rather have a low GPA and a killer MCAT than visa versa.

Just because some people get in with 3.0 doesn't make that a competitive GPA. What if say for example 5000 out of 10000 people with 3.5+ get in but 1000 out of 20000 people with around 3.0 get in. Look at what the average GPA for accepted people is and aim for that, not something 2 standard deviations or so lower.

Also, I think you need to be able to critically think/apply if you want to do well at university level biology (not to mention chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, physics, and many other courses one is taking).

max
02-26-2011, 02:32 PM
There is no evidence of this. It is a self-fulfilling statement, in the sense that those who who had all kinds of other skills and are successful are the proof, and those who don't have these skills but are successful can always be shown to have some skills, by using a little flexibility of imagination.

Many scientists whose contributions are legendary were very unsocial and one-dimensional people. Newton is a good example. He shut himself up in his home for a year and a half to write a book.

I have been playing tennis for 7 years now. It has neither been harmful or beneficial to my professional life. I have colleagues who do nothing but work and they are quite successful.

Take Nadal as an example. Or for that matter Federer. They do not fulfil your criteria. Now, as I said, you can always contradict me, because surely Federer has enjoyed some music and Nadal has played soccer and modeled for underwear? See what I mean? Once successful, people will diverge out, and all kinds of good things will be said about them.

I also don't think CEOs like Bill Gates were multi-dimensional people.

Suresh, study up a bit more on Newton's life!

coyfish
02-26-2011, 03:33 PM
Just because some people get in with 3.0 doesn't make that a competitive GPA. What if say for example 5000 out of 10000 people with 3.5+ get in but 1000 out of 20000 people with around 3.0 get in. Look at what the average GPA for accepted people is and aim for that, not something 2 standard deviations or so lower.

Also, I think you need to be able to critically think/apply if you want to do well at university level biology (not to mention chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, physics, and many other courses one is taking).

University science is completely different from the MCAT. That is why many people with great GPA's can't do well on the MCAT. It isn't simply regurgitating info. Some people can study study study but it takes something extra to do well on the MCAT. Not saying a GPA is not important but the MCAT is a completely different animal. Many schools have varying difficulty amongst professors but the MCAT is the MCAT. An A in anatomy can be easy or be one of the most difficult things ever...

Competitive can mean different things... Of course the better your GPA the better your chances. That isn't what im saying. Competitive means getting to the interview stage. That means the schools are really looking at your application. With a 3.2GPA and 30+ MCAT you have a good shot at multiple US MD schools. Will someone with a 4.0 GPA be better off ... of course. But having like a 2.8 GPA or a 22 MCAT won't even get you looked at. That is not competitive.

goober
02-26-2011, 04:10 PM
GPA... Important . . . sure... essential . . . not at all

3.2 is competitive enough as my GPA isn't much higher and I have recently been accepted to several MD's. There are MD schools in every state which accept kids with GPA's near 3.0.

Research / MCAT > GPA for more and more schools. That is a growing trend. Many schools value research so highly. There is an economic reason for that which drives everything...

"you can always retake the MCAT" sure you can but that doesn't mean you will get a good score. So many people with very high GPA's can't get over a 30 on the MCAT. Getting a 24-28 3X with a GPA of 4.0 says a lot about the applicant. It says yes I can do well in biology I but no I don't have what it takes to think critically and apply what I know to new scenario's . . . . which just happens to be the whole essence of becoming a doctor. I would much rather have a low GPA and a killer MCAT than visa versa.

getting over 30 on the MCAT is not really a high score. Rather 24-28 is a very low score. There are PLENTY of applicants that have over 30 on the MCAT and GPA 3.6+. Really- that is pretty much run of the mill applicant unless scores and gpas have fallen these days.

coyfish
02-26-2011, 07:31 PM
getting over 30 on the MCAT is not really a high score. Rather 24-28 is a very low score. There are PLENTY of applicants that have over 30 on the MCAT and GPA 3.6+. Really- that is pretty much run of the mill applicant unless scores and gpas have fallen these days.

Well im just being interviewed / accepted so what would I know. . .

goober
02-26-2011, 08:52 PM
Well im just being interviewed / accepted so what would I know. . .


The average gpa and MCAT scores for matriculants at allopathic medical schools for 2010 is 3.67 and 31.1

https://www.aamc.org/download/161700/data/table21-mcatgpa-statemat2010.pdf.pdf

coyfish
02-26-2011, 11:46 PM
getting over 30 on the MCAT is not really a high score. Rather 24-28 is a very low score. There are PLENTY of applicants that have over 30 on the MCAT and GPA 3.6+. Really- that is pretty much run of the mill applicant unless scores and gpas have fallen these days.

Who said anything about a 30 being high or low? All im saying is that GPA isn't the most important end all be all thing. Research / MCAT is weighted more heavily than purely GPA in more and more schools.

goober
02-27-2011, 06:08 AM
Who said anything about a 30 being high or low? All im saying is that GPA isn't the most important end all be all thing. Research / MCAT is weighted more heavily than purely GPA in more and more schools.

well you did of course. You certainly implied it.

"you can always retake the MCAT" sure you can but that doesn't mean you will get a good score. So many people with very high GPA's can't get over a 30 on the MCAT. Getting a 24-28 3X with a GPA of 4.0 says a lot about the applicant.

As for the second part of your statement- if it were true than the GPAs should be going down (or at least remain flat) and MCAT scores should be going up as a general trend. On the contrary over the last 11 years average GPAs have gone up pretty much every year for matriculants.

https://www.aamc.org/download/161690/data/table17-facts2010mcatgpa99-10-web.pdf.pdf

Of course MCAT scores have been going up every year as well. This likely reflects the fact that more are more applicants every year for the last 10 years. That is why we rely on data, not individual anecdotal experiences.

Is it possible that at some schools MCAT/research is weighted much more heavily than GPA? OF course. But there has also been a trend at many schools to value nonacademic traits that show humanistic qualities. If 2 applicants had the exact same gpa/mcat from the same college and one spent a year in lab and the other spent a year overseas in 3rd world country providing medical assistance to undeserved populations, who do you think would stand out more to an admissions committee? Unless the research was something significant (which is hard to do at the undergraduate level) I would say most likely the latter.

coyfish
02-27-2011, 09:22 AM
well you did of course. You certainly implied it.



As for the second part of your statement- if it were true than the GPAs should be going down (or at least remain flat) and MCAT scores should be going up as a general trend. On the contrary over the last 11 years average GPAs have gone up pretty much every year for matriculants.

https://www.aamc.org/download/161690/data/table17-facts2010mcatgpa99-10-web.pdf.pdf

Of course MCAT scores have been going up every year as well. This likely reflects the fact that more are more applicants every year for the last 10 years. That is why we rely on data, not individual anecdotal experiences.

Is it possible that at some schools MCAT/research is weighted much more heavily than GPA? OF course. But there has also been a trend at many schools to value nonacademic traits that show humanistic qualities. If 2 applicants had the exact same gpa/mcat from the same college and one spent a year in lab and the other spent a year overseas in 3rd world country providing medical assistance to undeserved populations, who do you think would stand out more to an admissions committee? Unless the research was something significant (which is hard to do at the undergraduate level) I would say most likely the latter.

I didn't imply that a 30 was high at all . . . If anything I implied it was decent considering I said a 24-28 was low.

Anyway you have to take the trends with a grain of salt. While im sure it isn't far off there is a lot of skewing and reasons that go beyond simple changes in applicants.

You are right regarding research. It is hard to find those opportunities which is why it is so respected. If you publish good research . . . that is HUGE on your transcripts. Some schools told me that they rarely consider applicants without research and most matriculants have multiple publications. Other schools told me that they weigh the MCAT as much as 60-70% over the raw GPA.

MCAT score has gone up 3 points which is more significant than GPA going up .1... As you said more applicants = higher and higher averages across the board.

tennisplayer1993
05-28-2013, 04:14 PM
University science is completely different from the MCAT. That is why many people with great GPA's can't do well on the MCAT. It isn't simply regurgitating info. Some people can study study study but it takes something extra to do well on the MCAT. Not saying a GPA is not important but the MCAT is a completely different animal. Many schools have varying difficulty amongst professors but the MCAT is the MCAT. An A in anatomy can be easy or be one of the most difficult things ever...

Competitive can mean different things... Of course the better your GPA the better your chances. That isn't what im saying. Competitive means getting to the interview stage. That means the schools are really looking at your application. With a 3.2GPA and 30+ MCAT you have a good shot at multiple US MD schools. Will someone with a 4.0 GPA be better off ... of course. But having like a 2.8 GPA or a 22 MCAT won't even get you looked at. That is not competitive.

.... This is incorrect information. You want at least a 3.5 gpa and a 30 MCAT to have a good chance at a MD school if you want to be safe. Lowest gpa I've heard of and MCAT that I know of that got into MD schools is probably a 3.3-3.4 and a 29. However, that person had a really good resume and frankly, IMO, got very lucky. For DO medical schools, a 3.2 and a 30 MCAT would give you a great shot at most of them. However, realistically, I would say you want at least a 3.4 by graduation if you're trying to apply to medical school. A strong MCAT can off balance a low gpa (3.0-3.5). A 22 MCAT score can get you into a DO school but very unlikely. A 2.8 gpa, I would recommend anyone with those statistics to do a SMP program and retake courses.
Realistically, I would say you want to aim for a 3.6 gpa 32 MCAT to be on the safe side for MD and DO schools. If you want to get into top medical schools, I would recommend something like 3.7 gpa 35 MCAT.

tennisplayer1993
05-28-2013, 04:15 PM
GPA... Important . . . sure... essential . . . not at all

3.2 is competitive enough as my GPA isn't much higher and I have recently been accepted to several MD's. There are MD schools in every state which accept kids with GPA's near 3.0.

Research / MCAT > GPA for more and more schools. That is a growing trend. Many schools value research so highly. There is an economic reason for that which drives everything...

"you can always retake the MCAT" sure you can but that doesn't mean you will get a good score. So many people with very high GPA's can't get over a 30 on the MCAT. Getting a 24-28 3X with a GPA of 4.0 says a lot about the applicant. It says yes I can do well in biology I but no I don't have what it takes to think critically and apply what I know to new scenario's . . . . which just happens to be the whole essence of becoming a doctor. I would much rather have a low GPA and a killer MCAT than visa versa.

I do agree with this, research is the main reason one of my friends who had a 3.4/29 (taken twice) got into 4 MD schools (along with 7-8 interview invites from MD/DO schools). Also the main reason why I'm trying to have a few publications by graduation.

tennisplayer1993
05-28-2013, 04:18 PM
SDN Network for Allopathic and Osteopathic are two great websites with pre med students/medical students/interns/doctors who give great advice. I would refer to those if you have questions about pre-med and medical school. Obviously, if you have pre med advisors or family/friends in medical school or are physicians, they can always give you sound advice since htey have been their already.

tennisplayer1993
05-28-2013, 04:25 PM
In terms of your major, don't limit yourself to chemistry or biology. Take the necessary prerequisites of courses, but majoring in a social science like economics or psychology may not be a bad idea.

I agree with this. I would definitely recommend psychology.

Seth
05-28-2013, 05:08 PM
Coming out of the woodwork, I see.

tennisplayer1993
05-28-2013, 05:57 PM
Coming out of the woodwork, I see.

Yeah, just stressing a lot as as pre med student. Didn't realize how uncompetitive my 3.45-3.50 gpa is at the moment.

813wilson
05-29-2013, 06:25 AM
It would be nice to know what happened to the OP. Thread start should put him at graduation and a school selection....

tennisplayer1993
05-29-2013, 03:34 PM
It would be nice to know what happened to the OP. Thread start should put him at graduation and a school selection....

Hm true, honestly I feel that many people overhype the difficulty to get into medical school saying if you don't have a 3.5 + gpa, 30 + MCAT, don't apply. I know a few kids who gotten into medical schools (granted DO not MDs) with a low 2.9.

tennisplayer1993
05-29-2013, 03:35 PM
Im struggling a lot this term and i'm expecting my gpa to drop to a high 3.3 or a low 3.4. Or stay where it is at which is about a 3.5

tennisplayer1993
05-29-2013, 03:43 PM
First- you'll have to stop playing tennis and concentrate on school only. Get your grades up so you can get into a good pre-med school. That will determine if you have a chance of medical school. You can play tennis after you're a physician. A 3.7 isn't going to get you noticed.

:roll: Yeah that's why my friend with a 3.4 got into 4 MD and 2 DO schools.