Restructuring pre-med requirements?

Here’s an interesting article I stumbled across titled Changes could be coming for Pre-Meds and the MCAT. It’s worth reading, especially if you’re early in the pre med process.

Here’s an excerpt:

Say 10 years from now, your recommendations have been implemented. How is a typical pre-med’s life different from today?

It’s going to open up the ability to colleges to be more innovative and — this is the key word — interdisciplinary in teaching. We could envision courses where you learn physics and chemistry and biology in the same course and see how they interrelate to each other, whereas right now a pre-med takes, say, a year of physics, a year of chemistry, a year of organic chemistry.

The hope is that these science courses will be much more interesting. Pre-med students and biology undergraduates will be drawn in by how fascinating science is, rather than seeing it as this awful thing to get through in order to get to medical school.

Interesting ideas. I’m curious who they would get to teach such classes that would combine physics, chemistry and biology. It sounds great, and I would love to know more about how those disciplines interact, but making that actually happen may take some time.

The article seems to suggest that changes in the MCAT may take even more time. And they were short on specifics.

Do you have any suggestions for how the pre med process could be improved?

Winter Term Sucks: Here Are 4 Tips to Make it Better

Winter TermIt’s cold. It’s dark. You have a frustrating group lab project hanging over your head. You hate life right now…it’s winter term.

Trust me, I can relate. While I was in school, this was my least favorite time of year. The lack of daylight and cold weather piled on top of tough coursework made life miserable at times. But I learned a few things to help get me through the hard times. Here’s a few tips:

1. Exercise. If you’re an outdoor exerciser, this can be difficult if you live in a place with cold winters. But if you can join an intramural basketball league- do it. Indoor soccer, running on a treadmill, broomball, yoga. Something to get you moving. Not only is it good for your physical health, but it does wonders for your mental sanity as well. Basketball games gave me something to look forward to, and during the game it was a great way to release the stress pent up inside.

2. Get away from school. Try a mini vacation. Grab some friends and take a weekend where you spend a couple days somewhere, anywhere away from school. When I was in leadership positions at school our staff would often take winter retreats. Some of my best memories are from those retreats, and I always came back refreshed and ready to tackle the stresses of life as a pre med student.

3. Take one longer term project/paper/assignment and finish it within the next few days. This one’s hard. But the benefit is worth it. If you get it done now, it’s one last thing to worry about at the end of the term. When you finish it you may be surprised how much it was weighing on you. That’s one last stressor hanging over your head for the end of the term.

4. Look forward to the future. The work you’re doing now is going to lead to a wonderful future as a physician. Think about the experiences you’ll have in med school, imagine what it would be like to practice as a doctor and talk about these dreams with your friends. Discuss how much fun it would be to practice together. It’s fun and it gives you some hope that the sacrifices you’re making now will pay off in the future.

Yep, winter term sucks. But Spring Break is soon! Take heart fellow pre meds, "The night is always darkest before the dawn."

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Why Pre Med Students Should Read Medical Blogs

Vitum Medicinus says it’s because it will help you get into medical school. Check out this stellar article outlining all the reasons it’s a good idea to read as many medical blogs as possible.

Among some of the best reasons provided: you’ll write a better essay, you’ll know for sure if medical school is right for you and you’ll get a chance to have a conversation with medical professionals. The best part about the post is that it is stuffed with links to blog stories providing examples backing his reasons.

I hope Vitum is right, because I read a lot of medical blogs. They are terribly entertaining. Vitum Medicinus is one of my favorites, although the author is in medical school and he doesn’t write often enough (which is completely understandable).

So what are you waiting for? Find some great medical blogs, fire up that RSS reader, subscribe and have at it! Here are a couple ER blogs to get started:

Crass-Pollination: An ER Blog

ER Stories
Have fun!

Pre Meds- Are You Ready for a Commitment to a Life of Medicine?

It’s a question you need to consider deeply on a regular basis. It’s a question to which you cannot provide a fake answer. It’s a question that may provoke hours of thought and conversation, which may or may not provide an encouraging answer.

It’s easy to dismiss the question. It’s easy to tell yourself that you’ve already thought about it enough.

A physician recently told me that of his graduating class, 50% would have chosen not to go to medical school if they knew what it was going to be like. Of course, that means 50% were very happy they decided to go to medical school. But a 50/50 chance seems like a big risk for such a huge decision. My guess is that many had misconceptions about what medical school or the practice of medicine is really like.
Continue reading Pre Meds- Are You Ready for a Commitment to a Life of Medicine?

Back to School Checklist

Ahh… the beginning of the school year. So many mixed feelings. The anticipation, the excitement and yes, the anxiety. Seeing old friends, old aquantances, and some people you’d probably rather not see. Buying books. Meeting professors. It’s a unique time of year, and I will truly miss it.

For those of you heading back to school now, or in a month or so, here are some tips to get your year off to a great start. Continue reading Back to School Checklist

The Best Pre Med Forums

One of the best places to find information about a topic quickly are internet forums. These forums can also be a place where community is built between people with common interests.

Several good pre med forums exist, and are a great resource for anyone trying to get into medical school. Here are the best pre med forums on the web, check them out and I think you’ll find they will be invaluable for your journey.

1. The (SDN) Forums

These are by far the most active pre med forums, and that is one of the reasons is probably the best pre med site out there. Thousands of pre meds use the site each day. It can actually be a little overwhelming at first because there are so many different forums to read. Here is a quick guide to the most useful parts of the site for pre med students:

Continue reading The Best Pre Med Forums

Numb in the ER


I mentioned to a friend the feeling of numbness that develops while working in the ER. It hasn’t always been present for me, but often I have been so overwhelmed by what was going on around me, that I felt completely numb. The nurses and doctors seem numb as well, but it’s not because they are overwhelmed. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or not. Emotion can cloud judgment, but isn’t the reason most people become doctors is because they care about people and want to help them?
Continue reading Numb in the ER