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How to Get Into Medical School

Matthew A. Armfield DHS Health Careers Forum May 16th, 2008

Statistics
• 129 allopathic (M.D. granting) medical schools in the United States & 25 osteopathic (D.O. granting) medical schools. • For the allopathic medical schools:
• Class size: ranges from 42 (Mayo) to 307 (UIC) • Average class size: 141 • Total med. school enrollment in 2007: 17,759

Statistics
• For the entering class of 2007:
• • • • • Number of applicants: 42,315 Number of applications: 546,315 Number of applications per applicant: 13 Number of matriculants:17,759 Acceptance rate = 42.0%
The odds are against you from the very beginning!

201 Applicants 16.488 17.000 39.625 30.315 Persons 25. 1996-2007 50. Matriculants.759 Matriculants 5.965 45.000 33.000 0 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Class of .108 35.000 40.000 42.Applicants vs.361 17.000 20.000 46.000 16.000 10.000 15.

0% 44.0% Percentage 49.0% 0.5% 20.0% 30.0% 10.4% 42.0% 50.0% 70.0% 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 Class of .0% 90.0% 40.Acceptance Rate.0% 60.0% 34.0% 80. 1996-2007 100.

648 • Graduation rate = 96.9% .Statistics • For the graduating class of 2006: • Number of matriculants (in 2002) = 16.

000 0 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Class of .000 16.676 14.139 12.000 4.Matriculants vs.000 2.648 16.000 Persons 8. Graduates.000 10.000 Graduates 6.170 15.000 Matriculants 16. 2002-2008 16.

0% 80.9% 96.0% Percentage 20.9% 70.0% 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Class of .0% 50.0% 10.0% 30.0% 90.0% 40.Graduation Rate.0% 0. 2002-2008 100.0% 60.0% 96.

. the medical school will (almost) try very hard to help you graduate. in • Once you’ve been accepted. the most conceptually difficult material you will have to study is during your pre-medical years.Conclusions • The most competitive part of medical school is getting in. • Furthermore.

Your Application • The three big parts to your application: • Undergraduate GPA • MCAT Score • Everything else GPA Other MCAT .

Physics. • Reported as three scores: • Overall GPA • BCPM (Biology. . Chemistry. Math) • Other • Your specific major does not matter as long as you take certain required courses.Undergraduate GPA • This is the marathon race of the application.

Organic (1-2 semesters. with lab) • Chemistry. with lab) • Physics (2 semesters. with lab) • Calculus (1 semester) • Recommended: • Biochemistry (1 semester) .Undergraduate GPA • Required courses: • Biology (2 semesters. Inorganic (2 semesters. with lab) • Chemistry.

you . • Seek help if you’re struggling! • Tutors and professor’s office hours • Study centers & test banks • Choose a major that interests you. especially the BCPM.Undergraduate GPA • Goal: aim for a B+ or above in all courses.

Undergraduate GPA Class of 2011: • Biology (75) • Chemistry (38) • Psychology (21) • Biochemistry (16) • Medical Science (11) • Mathematics (4) • Physics (2) • Other science (12) • Engineering (31) • Non-science (48) .

65 .62 • Overall GPA: 3.39 • Other GPA: 3. 2007 • Applicants: • BCPM GPA: 3.Average GPAs.49 • Matriculants: • BCPM GPA: 3.59 • Other GPA: 3.73 • Overall GPA: 3.

30 3.59 3.70 3.50 3.60 3.20 3.00 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Class of .Average Science GPA.50 Matriculants Science GPA 3.40 3.39 3.10 3.26 Applicants 3. 1996-2007 3.

org .The MCAT • Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) is the sprint race of the admissions process. critical thinking. http://www.”1 1American Association of Medical Colleges. • Computer-based examination given on 23 different dates throughout the year. • It is “designed to assess problem solving. and writing skills in addition to the examinee’s knowledge of science concepts prerequisite to the study of medicine.aamc.

hours .C. 70 minutes) • Each M.The MCAT • Four parts to the examination: • • • • Physical Sciences (52 questions. 30 minutes/each) Biological Sciences (52 questions. section is scored on a scale from 1-15. • Your writing sample is given a letter value from J-T. 60 minutes) Writing Sample (2 essays. 70 minutes) Verbal Reasoning (40 questions. • The test will take you approximately 5 hours.

examination . etc… • Practice tests! Practice tests! • Remember the basic concepts you learned in your prerequisite science courses. • STUDY! You only want to take the test once.The MCAT • Goal: aim for a 10+ on each section. • It’s a passage-based examination. Kaplan. • Give yourself about 3-4 months to study for this test. • Consider The Princeton Review. and don’t memorize.

The MCAT Physical Sciences Example .

The MCAT Verbal Reasoning Example .

The MCAT Biological Sciences Example .

2007 • Applicants: • Physical Sciences: 9.3 30.2 • Verbal Reasoning: 9.6 27.6 • Verbal Reasoning: 9.8 .Average MCAT Score.8 • Matriculants: • Physical Sciences: 10.9 • Biological Sciences: 10.0 • Biological Sciences: 9.

1996-2007 32.0 30.Average MCAT Score.0 27.0 25.0 31.0 28.8 27.4 Matriculants MCAT Composite Score 29.0 30.0 26.0 Applicants 24.0 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 Class of .1 26.8 29.0 23.

letters of recommendation & your personal statement. . medicine • Three big parts: extracurricular activities. • The admissions committee looks at this section to see if you have personality and a commitment to medicine. part of your application. yet very important.Everything Else • The most overlooked.

hobby clubs. religious affiliations. • Volunteering: health or non-health related. political groups.Extracurricular Activities • Clubs: volunteering organizations. • Research: presentations & publications • Awards / Honors: If not already mentioned above. . • Sports: at any level (almost…) • Jobs: full and/or part time.

professors • Harder to do at a big University. • Committee Letter vs. not TAs. personal • Obtain LoRs from professors. non-science. • Make yourself known! Go to office hours.Letters of Recommendation • Between 3-6 letters of recommendation (LoR) • School specific: science. • Ask for LoR immediately following the conclusion of a course. Individual Letters . but still possible.

Personal Statement • One essay on the primary application: • “Discuss your motivation for a career in medicine. single spaced) • This essay crafts a person out of your numbers. . Make a great impression.5 pages. • Approximate time spent reading the essay: 2-3 minutes.300 characters (approximately 1.” • Limit: 5.

Why?” • Loyola: “What self-education.” • Wayne State: “Describe a noteworthy experience you have had with others from diverse backgrounds (persons from backgrounds different than yours) and what you learned from that experience. research. or independent scholastic work have you undertaken and what do you feel you have accomplished in this work?” . interest. • Case Western: “Please describe an experience or situation which you found personally challenging and discuss how it helped to shape you as a person.” • Northwestern: “Describe the top 3 distinguishable characteristics (nonacademic) you possess and tell us how you think these characteristics will enhance your success as a medical student and future physician. that you are passionate about or love.” • UIC: “Describe a hobby.Secondary Essays • Each school’s secondary application may contain between zero and ten individual questions/essays to answer. or activity other than something in medicine.

• ~50% of interviewees are accepted.The Interview • The final hurdle to cross is the in-person interview. personality and commitment to medicine. . panel. group) are used to see if a candidate has motivation. • 1-3 interviews (1-on-1. • ~10% of applicants are offered an interview.

if desired or necessary 2Adapted from Application & Admission Timeline. • Successfully complete first-semester required premedical coursework.org/students/considering/timeline.aamc.Timeline: Freshman Year2 • First Semester • Meet prehealth advisor & investigate prehealth program. • Summer • Complete summer paid/volunteer medically related experience • Attend summer school. AAMC. http://www.htm . • Second Semester • Identify summer paid/volunteer medically related opportunities • Successfully complete second-semester required premedical coursework.

AAMC.aamc.htm .Timeline: Sophomore Year2 • First Semester • Investigate available volunteer/paid medically related clinical or research activities . • Successfully complete required premedical coursework. http://www. if desired or necessary 2Adapted from Application & Admission Timeline. if available • Attend summer school.org/students/considering/timeline. • Second Semester • Participate in paid/volunteer medically related clinical or research activities • Identify summer paid/volunteer medically related opportunities • Successfully complete required premedical coursework • Summer • Complete summer paid/volunteer medically related experience • Participate in a summer health careers program.

• Complete secondary applications as quickly as possible.htm . • Second Semester • • • • Start researching specific medical schools. Finalize personal statement and prepare AMCAS application.aamc. Take the earliest MCAT administration as possible. (April/May).org/students/considering/timeline. • Successfully complete required premedical coursework.Timeline: Junior Year2 • First Semester • Begin preparation and register for desired MCAT administration. AAMC. • Submit the AMCAS application as soon as possible. 2Adapted from Application & Admission Timeline. • Summer • Take the MCAT if not already done so. Successfully complete required premedical coursework. http://www.

Timeline: Senior Year2 • First Semester • Continue academic studies. • Second Semester • Continue interviewing at desired medical schools.org/students/considering/timeline.htm . AAMC. (April/May). • Interview at desired medical schools. http://www. • Decide on a medical school to attend.aamc. ☺ • Summer • Relax – you deserve it! 2Adapted from Application & Admission Timeline. • Take the earliest MCAT administration as possible. • Graduate.

studentdoctor.org) • American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine (http://www.aacom.kaplan.org) • The Princeton Review (http://www.mdapplicants.net) • MDApplicants (http://www.Online Resources • American Association of Medical Colleges (http://www.com) • MDPotential (http://mdpotential.com) • Kaplan Test Preparation (http://www.com) • The Student-Doctor Network (http://www.com/) .princetonreview.aamc.