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> Hi Rich, I have a Bachelor
of Science in Visual Communications that I received
> in 1990. I have been very successful at my job as a Graphics
artist but I
> would like to go back to school and take the science courses
I need so I can
> apply for medical school. I am 30 now. What is your advice
for me for trying
> to get into Medical in a few years? AND Do you think I will
be able to pass
> and do well in Organic Chemistry with no prior chemistry
experience if I study
> very hard?
Basically what you need to do is to do well in the core science
plus perhaps a few others, get some clinical experience, and
do well on the
MCAT. If you go about it the right way you will greatly enhance
chances. You want to go to a school with a first rate pre-health
Ask how long the current pre-health advisor, or head of the pre-health
advisory committee has had his or her current position. Less
than five years
is bad news, more than ten years is generally good news, but
sources (students) too be sure. A good advisor can do more than
or she can pick up the phone and call up a member of a medical
admissions committee and act as your advocate (its rare, but
I've seen it
done). There is often an advantage getting into a post-baccalaureate
with a medical school. If you get to know your advisor or other
the admissions committee you may increase your odds of admission.
You definitely want to look at or buy the Medical School Admission
Requirements book, even if your getting good advising, and learn
as much as
you can about the medical school admissions process. See
http://www.premed411.com/pages/pmr.html. You should buy a copy
Practice test II, III or IV and start looking at it as you take
courses. It is not the kind of test most folks are used to, and
it pays to
realize what you'll be in for earlier, rather than later.
As for as passing Organic, you need to take General Chemistry
first. If you
have no background in Chemistry, you should consider taking a
Chemistry course first. You could even do this at a community
take the "real" Chemistry. Although you are suppose
to transfer all your
academic records when you apply to medical school, some students
transfer the baby chemistry records, because it looks better
inclusion. As background for Organic, approximately 15% of General
is used, and of that 15% only a third is necessary. This 5% is
covered in the first two chapters of the Organic book. Since
you will have
just recently completed a year of General Chemistry, and your
probably go over the first two Organic chapters in class, you
will have all
the background you need. (A far larger fraction of General Chemistry
for Organic lab.)
One last thought, although you will find this and more, on
you decide to go head with all of the above, GET THE OLD TESTS!
-- and make
it a top priority. Good Luck!
> I recently heard that a person applying to any medical school
does not need a
> bachelors degree is this so? And if it is would it just
be better if I
> became an RN in Neonatology and then go to medical school?
Or another idea
> was just to go to school in Mexico since I have both citizenship
and do not
> have to pay for out of town tuition.
------ reply 07/24/99
There are special programs that accept students directly out
of high school
that allow them to take 2 years of college before entering medical
(Six year programs). There are other (Seven year) programs that
college students in their second year. They then complete one
year of college before entering medical school. Although there
may be a few
additional possibilities related to medical school admission
obtaining a degree, the point to remember is that for the vast
applicants a degree is required. Going to school in Mexico would
put you at
a sever disadvantage in the competition for medical school admission.
Listen, what you need to to is find out more about the admission
Find a good pre-health advisor and/or get a copy of the Medical
Admission Requirements book (See http://www.premed411.com/pages/pmr.html).
All the stuff I mentioned above is in this book, plus a lot more.
take some time to read through, since it contains such a lot
but if you have the patience you will learn what most premedical
should, but don't, know. Good Luck!
> Hi Rich!
> I just love your site on the Net.It is great especially
> students like me who can get a lot of info about US med
> I was wondering if you could help me out with a problem
I have.I am
> already in med school, I have already completed my first
year from the
> Aga Khan University Karachi.
> The problem is that I want to transfer to a good medical
college in the
> US. Could you please help me out?
> Thank you,
------ reply 07/24/99
Thanks for your comments about my site!
I know that it is very difficult to transfer from one medical
another in the States, without having to retake most of the material
again. Transferring in from outside of the States is more problematic,
it can be done. You would need to send out your application and
to take the
MCAT and submit your scores (in most cases) just as all other
If you are accepted, you would start off as a first year medical
See "Medical School Admissions Requirements" book,
it can be ordered on line
-- more info about this at http://www.premed411.com/pages/pmr.html.
> I've really enjoyed looking around the premed411.com website.
> me with a lot of info. I'm an undergrad senior, and will
have my BS in
> Chemistry in May. I am working on applying to med school,
and will take the
> MCAT in 5 weeks (August 1999 test). I was just wanting to
see what your
> opinion was on my chances of getting accepted. I saw you
tell someone on
> your site that she had a 1 out of 100 chance of getting
in, so i know you'll
> tell me straight!
> I'm a 20 yr old white male. I have a 3.56 GPA, and am making
mid to upper
> 20s on my practice MCAT tests, although i haven't taken
> since I really stepped up my studying regimen. I am also
an EMT, and will
> be a Paramedic in a couple of months. I have worked full
time in hospitals
> (mainly Radiology departments) since I was 16.
> Do you think my clinical experiences will help put me over
that bit of a
> hump of my GPA/MCAT? Organic is what got my GPA down.. I
got a C 2nd
> semester. It's the ONLY C I have EVER made... college, high
> anything! It is almost embarassing having that thing on
my transcript, but
> I don't have time to take it off.
> Well, what do you think? Mainly, I'm asking whether being
a Paramedic will
> help me get into med school. Thanks for your time...
Yes, being a paramedic will help. Folks on medical school admissions
committees are looking for individuals that are very hard working,
committed, and who have clinical experience. A big part of the
admission committee members want applicants to get clinical experience
before entering medical school is to give them a chance to determine
medicine really is the career they wish to pursue. So it will
help, but how
much? Your GPA is fine. One C in Orgo is not that good, but it
is not a
disaster. If you made an A in the other half, it hurts less of
bottom line is you are in pretty good shape for now. Being a
a bit, the C in Orgo hurts a bit, but its the MCAT that will
difference. Three 10's across the board on the MCAT will give
you even odds
Continue to work hard on the MCAT. You may wish to get Practice
Test IV, if
you haven't got it already (you can order it from the AAMC web
could take it as your final full length practice test about 2
the real thing. During the final week before the MCAT you should
and relax more. Preparing for, and taking, the MCAT is a prolonged
stressful form of torture. It's best to be fresh and study a
bit less, than
to be brain dead because you didn't know when to lay off. Hope
it goes well!
> Hi Rich,
> I am currently a student at Florida International University
> majoring in Biology. I am an international student on an
> visa, will this be a problem when applying to medical school
> I have benn living in Miami for 8 years now.
> Please reply soon,
Not an insurmountable one, although there are some disadvantages.
what the Medical School Admission Requirements book has to say
In 1998-99, 146 foreign students entered the first-year
Prospective applicants from other countries should study
carefully the application considerations and admission criteria
discussed in this resource, since they apply equally to both
U.S. and non-U.S. citizens. Successful applicants from other
countries will ordinarily have completed several years of their
undergraduate college work in the United States. Proficiency
in the English language is required, and medical schools may
require proficiency certification either from the appropriate
official agency in the applicant's own country or from the
American undergraduate college the applicant has attended.
A majority of U.S. schools are required to give preference
to applicants from their own states or regions.
Most of the financial aid available for use at U.S. medical
schools comes from federal sources, which require U.S. citi-
zenship or permanent residency. Since some countries impose
severe restrictions on the exportation of currency, applicants
should investigate the accessibility of financial resources
before applying. In no case should foreign applicants assume
that financial aid will be available in the United States. Foreign
applicants should be prepared to present detailed plans for
financing their medical education.
> Dear Rich,
> I am a RN who will be getting my BSN in 1 year with 18 years
> experience behind me. I would like to pursue a medical degree
with a major
> in Ophthalmology. I would like some info on beginning this
> having this degree and experience make this a positive attribute??
> 1 full year of biology constitute 2 semesters of biology??
etc etc.. I am
> looking for a mentor to assist me- do you have any suggestions???
> or info will be greatly appreciated.!!
Yes, your experience and educational background will help.
Two semesters of General Biology or Zoology with lab (the
course", not the "elective course") constitutes
2 semesters of biology.
The best mentor is an experienced and dedicated pre-health
advisor. Short of
that, or in addition to that, individuals who have already gone
admission process should be able to provide a good deal of useful
I'd also recommend the Medical School Admissions Requirements
which can be purchased from the AAMC web site, or from most large
bookstores. This can provide answers to almost all questions
you may have
along the way. Other publications that will come in handy later
on are the
MCAT Announcement, published annually, it is available at most
February at no charge as part of the MCAT registration kit; and
application forms (the electronic forms are easier to deal with
folks), see MSAR for more details.
Finally, I have a lot of information at http://www.premed411.com/home.html
> Dear Rich,
> Hello again
------ reply 07/31/99
> Dear Rich,
> I'm only a sophomore at St. John's College (it's a tiny
liberal arts school
> less than 100 people per graduating class, known more for
turning out english
> Ph.ds than doctors). My Mom's an RN at a family practice.
The doctor she
> works for is very nice and said I could shadow him next
summer. The problem
> is I wasnt planning on coming home. Do you this this would
be worth it?
> Thanks. Your Site's great. Amelia
------ reply 08/0799
Since medical school applications are typically sent out during
year, you really have very little time left to get first hand
experience, before you send off your application. As part of
application you would like to be able to report some first hand
experience, and would like a letter of recommendation, or two,
individuals who are outside the academic community. A letter
physician who has had a chance to get to know you in a clinical
would help. Check into other options, volunteering at hospitals,
closer you are to working with patients the better. I am not
what "shadowing" entails, but it sounds like it may
be a good opportunity.
Thanks for your comment about my site.
> To Whom It May Concern:
> Hi My name is Hyejin. I am going to be a college freshman
this August as a
> So, I am very much interested in the Early Assurance Program
> sophomores to get an early admission into medical schools.
I have tried to
> find the
> list of those schools that offer such program, but I did
not have much
> If, by any chance, you have the list, could you please e-mail
> I really appreciate your time and concern. Thank you.
------ reply 08/0799
Most of these programs are not well publicized. You can find
out about them
by calling the medical school which is affiliated with the University
are interested in. The requirements, standards for admission,
and number of
students considered and accepted per year, would certainly be
some of the
information I would request. Since I am from the University of
Miami, I do
know that they have what is called a "seven year program"
where students are
selected during their sophomore year, and enter medical school
completion of their junior year. Its a smart move thinking ahead
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