Adventures in Medical School Interviews

My first interview was last week. It was everything an interview day should be: fun, informative, boring, nerve-wracking, awkward, stressful and relieving. I hope you all get to have this enlightening experience.

Biggest take home lesson?

The interview is as much about the school evaluating the candidate as it is about the candidate evaluating the school. The school goes out of it’s way to display the best possible picture of life at their institution of learning. Keep that in mind as you go on interviews, it may put you at ease a bit.

Best question during the actual interview? (which by the way was only 25 minutes out of the 5 hour interview day)

If you happen to come to this university (and I hope you do) when we the faculty are watching you walk across the stage during graduation, how we will remember you? This question caught me a little off guard, but has provoked a lot of thought since the interview. I essentially answered it talking about my perceived personal strengths.

So what’s next? I am the lucky recipient of five more interview requests. One is this Friday, another the following Thursday.

All the interviews are at Osteopathic schools. I applied to five MD schools and have one rejection so far, but no interviews. Let’s get a move on MD schools!

I will be updating as I continue with the interview process. It is finally starting to feel like all the hard work on this journey is coming to fruition. The beginning of the next journey is becoming more tangible. I can hardly wait!

My First Interview Request

Well, it has started. I received my first interview request this week. I got another phone call yesterday for my second interview request.

Whew.

It’s nice to know that my applications are complete and schools are reviewing them. It’s better to know that they like what they see and they want to know more.

I’m excited and anxious. I thought about how I would answer interview questions last night. The thought crossed my mind, “Do I really want to do this? Am I really sure I want to commit my life to medicine?”

How can you be 100% sure about something? I don’t know. Could there be a calling out there that fits better with who I am, that would make me happier? I suppose. But I do know, medicine fascinates me. I love the interaction with people, the opportunity to be there in difficult times, the responsibility of leadership, the influence a physican can have on a community, the problem solving, the intellectual stimulation, the commitment to life-long learning. I could go on.

As I pondered my life path, I considered what careers I would enjoy more. The only thing that really stood out to me was playing basketball in the NBA. While I have a sick jumpshot and once scored 27 points in a 7th grade basketball game, I just don’t see that as a realistic opportunity.

Of course this is all a little premature, I have not been accepted yet.

Good luck to all applying. It’s a long haul. Look forward to a guide showing how I’m using Google Docs to streamline the interview process.

How Many Applicants Get Into Medical School? 2009 Data Released

The AAMC recently released applicant and enrollment data for 2009.

What are your chances of getting into medical school just based on the numbers? About 43.5% based on the 2009 data. The ratio was also 43.5% in 2008.

While the number of slots in schools have increased slightly, so have the number have applicants thus the constant ratio.

Click on the link above to read more about the numbers based on gender and ethnicity.

Keep in mind these numbers represent MD schools only, AACOM has not released acceptance numbers as far as I know. Applicant data for DO schools for 2009 is here.

What does this mean for you? We can expect the numbers to be similar for this year, meaning 56.5% of us are going to be very dissapointed. Good luck to all who are applying.

An Update on my Application to Med School

I submitted both AMCAS and AACOMAS July 10th. I applied to fourteen schools- seven MD and seven DO.

I’ve received four secondary applications, all from MD schools. I’ve completed one, with goals of finishing the remaining three by the end of the week.

Some secondary applications are simple, some are annoyingly complicated. The most time consuming aspects are the essays, but a few applications just have some busywork that takes time and effort.

I’ve heard that DO schools take a while longer to process the primary application and send out their secondaries. Has anyone else heard the same thing?

Where are you in the application process? What do you find to be the most frustrating aspect?

Good luck to all applying! To those of you who will apply in the future, take heart, it’s a long process but not incredibly difficult.

Applications Submitted!

I’ve been working on primary applications so the blog has been a little quiet. But I’m finished!

I submitted both AMCAS and AACOMAS yesterday morning. Both were tedious and took longer than I wanted but I’m just glad it’s over. I applied to seven MD schools and six seven DO schools.

Now I’m awaiting secondaries which my pre med advisor says may start appearing next week.

I’m looking forward to a little break from applications but also anxious to keep going. This is a crazy process.

Requirements for Medical School

Each medical school has it’s own set of requirements that each applicant to their school must meet. Every school requires an MCAT score and minimum course requirements that are outlined below. Volunteer experience, physician shadowing, relevant work experience etc will all depend on the school you are applying to.

Most medical schools require a basic course load that is very similar. Here are the main undergraduate courses that nearly every medical school will need in order to accept your application.

Biology
-1 year of general Biology with labs
-Anatomy and Physiology
-Other upper division Biology courses such as Genetics and Biochemistry

Chemistry
-1 year of general Chemistry with labs
-1 year of Organic Chemistry with labs

Physics
-1 year of Physics with labs

Math
-At least 1 term of Calculus or Statistics

English

-Usually 1 year of English courses

Obviously the requirements vary quite a bit. Some school may require a whole year of English, while others may not require any at all. Math is another highly variable subject, some would like a whole year of Statistics or Calculus. Some schools may also like courses such as Cell Biology or Molecular Biology. If you have a school that you would really like to go to, be sure to check their pre reqs early on in your pre med journey. You don’t want to start applying to that school and realize that they had one obscure class that they want all their applicants to take. Do your research!

Do you have any questions about what is necessary to apply to medical school?