This is the first of a series of posts called, “Adventures in White Coat Culture”. It was important to start here because for someone interested in becoming a physician, what is most important?
SURVIVING. Getting into medical school, of course!
I was motivated to write this after reading, “Getting Into Medical School Part 2: Extracurricular Activities“, written by Dr. Jeff Young, M.D., and I was initially surprised by the statements. The author is very blunt and straight-forward–as I believe every physician should be. Especially when he states in the first installment of “Getting into Medical School”:
Lets go through the factors and my strong opinions about them. If you are a medical student or college student and think I’m wrong, you are probably wrong. If you are a Dean of Admissions at a MD or DO school and think I’m wrong, please write in and tell me where I am incorrect so the readers get the best information.
- Dr. Jeff Young, M.D.
I think the initial shock was because I must be accustomed to people sugar-coating advice. Or so I think? Maybe it is because some people are trying to make the idea of getting into medical school whilst remaining a determined student possible for the doe-eyed hopefuls? Well, it is possible. Ask any medical student or physician. I am sure there was some point in their academic career when medical school was the equivalent of attending Hogwarts.
What I do know is this: I am not on an admissions committee for any medical school (yet, but I am definitely going to try!) and I am not a physician with years of experience (yet). I am, however, in the position to do as much research as I can about the medical school admissions process because I refuse to familiarize myself with ultimate failure.
I know that I am confident but hopeful. I know what I have done, where I have worked and volunteered, what I have read, who has supported me, and the questions I have asked premedical admissions advisors, medical students, former medical school admissions committee members, and physicians. But is that enough to succeed and get into medical school? I need to start asking the right questions and doing the “right” things.
What I liked most about Dr. Young’s post was the fact that it has encouraged me to reconfigure my outlook on what really matters when it comes to “Getting Into Medical School”. This is just my synopsis but I know now that applicants must have an application that does not take longer than 24 hours for a committee to make a decision. This was not stated in the post but it is what I have taken from what I read.
What I consider to be a zero thought application is easier said than done. It must include: High GPA (3.8 and Above), High MCAT (top 5%), ACTUAL Clinical Experience (You must actually TOUCH a patient–standing in the room does not count), Research Experience (More than just playing with the rodents and signing on as the 14th of 15 authors!), and I am sure some other things that I am obviously missing.
Please note, I am clearly ranting and should not be taken serious in this moment. I’ll delve deeper at another time.
Read Dr. Jeff Young’s post, “Getting into Medical School Part 2: Extracurricular Activities“, and the first installment, “Getting into medical school: Part 1, College Choice and Grades“, at his blog, ClinicalBrainTraining.com.
- Images of people in white lab coats: here, here, and here.
- Dr. Jeff Young, M.D.’s post originally read on OnSurg.com