I recently learned about a pretty cool service that I think my pre-med followers could use.
I know you’re thinking, “who is this Roheet guy and why should I trust him to read my junk?”
To that I reply 1) Roheet is awesome 2) he writes extremely thoughtful posts (and you should probably follow him) and I’m sure that style overflowed into his own personal statement 3) he was just accepted to several medical schools, and 4) because I said so.
You’re also probably thinking “what’s the catch?”
Ok, yeah, there’s a catch. There’s a DEADLINE of MAY 20, 2013 to get your essay in to him. I mean hey, the guy can only be so nice, right? I’m sure he has a life and stuff and thangs to do.
Also you’re thinking “is it really free.99?”
Yes. Or no, if you’re also an awesome person and actually throw some dollas Roheet’s way. He does have a thingy set up for donations, so be generous.
And hey, maybe I’ll be a total copy cat and offer a similar service in the fall for residency apps…
Man if I had this when I was doing my essays I think I’d be a MUCH happier girl!
My two cents on medical school applications (primaries and secondaries).
The end of medical school applications round two is in sight! And good thing too with school beginning again in two weeks; I won’t be dealing with essays once school starts and I’ll have other things to distract me while I’m waiting with painful anticipation.
The main reason I’m getting this out is because I went through this application thing essentially blind. I’m sort of disconnected from my resources at school as well as have no pre-med upperclassman friends to help me out here. So if nothing else, if one person has an easier time at it after reading this, then yay.
(Applicable to AMCAS and AACOMAS, and which other common applications exist out there).
- Begin early. As early as you’d like. Please do not wait until the application begins online to start getting everything down. Keep track of your extracurriculars as you go— type of activity, dates, and blurbs about what the experience was and what you got out of it. Same with your personal statement— “Explain why you want to go to medical school in approx. 5300 characters (including spaces).” This is not an easy question to answer, and you will go through several angles, several drafts, several long panicky nights to get this done.
Exactly on point about everything!
Personal Statement: Tips and Tricks
Good stuff right here
As a continuation to this post:
The personal statement is nothing to sneeze at. Given thousands upon thousands of medical school applications, the admissions committees soon grow tired of formulaic statements and shaky logic leading to the choice to become a doctor. As my preceptor put it, if you can seriously imagine doing anything else, don’t practice medicine. If the statement isn’t convincing, the adcom can toss away the application without a second thought. There are plenty of people applying, and the individual passion and commitment — much more so than numerical measures like MCAT and GPA — is essential.
Keep in mind too that this key question, “Why do you want to go into medicine?,” will indubitably come up during almost every interview as well. If you don’t have a good answer, you probably want to hold off on applying until you’ve done some soul searching.
But wait: what is a good answer?
philosandphysio asked: Hello, my AMCAS primary application has been available for the medical schools to see for a little over a week now - how long does it take to get secondaries? Thanks!
When you get secondaries will depend on each school. The earlier in the process you get your application in, the sooner you’ll hear. That being said, right now is a good time to prepare for the secondaries’ storm. Relax a little, check your email, start organizing your application stuff in excel docs, folders, whatever you’d like so that when the hurricane of short essays hits, you’ll be organized and ready to write!
Hope that helps. Be patient and stay strong; here’s hoping those secondaries get to you soon!
delleyy asked: hi! I'm a junior in college and I'm applying to med schools this summer! What's your advice on the application process (personal statement, MCAT, recommendation letters, AMCAS, secondaries, resume) and the actual interviews? I'm pretty much a nervous wreck this semester =/
Hi there, delleyy! First of all, congrats on making this big decision. :)
Being nervous this semester is healthy; that means that med school and more importantly, your future, are significant to you! That being said, don’t let it paralyze your life because my advice regarding the app process boils down to one word: be SWIFT. Like a coursing river! ;)
Disney songs aside, let’s start with the things you should have ready BEFORE filling out your primary AMCAS application. When should you start? There’s no good answer. But the goal here is to click “SUBMIT APPLICATION” on the first day AMCAS is taking applications. SO…
- sign up for AMCAS. Fill in as much ‘easy’ info as you can (name, address, etc.). Because when you hit the resume and other thorny parts, you’ll want lots of time.
- resume: always in work in progress. But because your resume is 100% under your control, YOU can always have it ready and up-to-date. This is important for filling out AMCAS (makes the process more painless), finding ideas for your secondary essays when they arrive, and handing to interviewers when you go interview. Have friends who are working or mentors/adults in the field you trust assess your resume for organization, clarity, logic, and missing awards, things you’ve done, etc.
- Personal statement: If you’re not much of an essay writer, get started on this FIRST. Even if you are one, get started on this first, because many submit late or later than they could because they want their essays to be perfect. Not good. Your essay never needs to be ‘perfect’. It just needs to be you, your honesty, your strength and your passion, shining from the pages.
- Rec letters: give those who are writing your rec letters a minimum of a month to write your letter. They’re busy like you and me. I gave my recommenders a little ‘rec package’: A folder with a cover letter, thanking them for doing this, instructions for mailing or electronic submissions, and what was enclosed in my folder, my resume, and stamps, envelopes, and pre-printed labels with their address (if I knew it) and AMCAS rec letter submission address. You don’t have to do that, obviously, but give your recommenders as much info and courtesies as possible. After all, they are writing about how fabulous you are, so be fabulous to them!
- MCAT: I hesitate to say this, because everyone’s MCAT scores come in at different times. If you have them already, bravo! Plug them into AMCAS. If you don’t (I didn’t have them the first time I applied), fill everything else out on your AMCAS and wait for those numbers. When you get them, plug them in and hit ‘submit’!
Alright, so the goal is to hit ‘submit’ on the first day AMCAS takes applications. This is so schools will see your app first and remember you! And when you’re remembered, you hit…secondaries!
Do you remember applying to undergrad? Do you remember modifying through some pre-written essays? Same drill here. Also, submit those SWIFTLY! Don’t sit on any of them. The sooner you send them, the sooner you hit my favorite part…actual interviews! No sarcasm here, I really liked interviews.
For now, don’t worry about interviews. They are a long conversation that I am more than happy to talk to you about in the future! But because this is long, and I know I’ve been writing a tad too much now, I’ll leave it for later.
Best of luck this summer!! It’s going to be tough, but I’m cheering you on! Let me know how it goes, you can do it!