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[I]

> Hi, I am a 13 year old girl and I want to become a doctor. Can you please
> tell me what classed I'd need and the skills I'd need to get into pre-med?
> I'd totally appericiate it. Thank you

------ reply 11/14/99

In high school you should take Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. In choosing
a college it is important to investigate the quality of the premed advising
available. A good premed advisor can greatly improve your chances of
admission to medical school. In college you can major in any field you wish,
but you will need to take at least one year of Biology, two years of
Chemistry, and one year of Physics. In most cases a year of English is also
required. During your college years you should seek out opportunities to
gain first hand experience regarding the clinical aspects of medicine. This
often evolves volunteer work at a hospital.

For more information you may wish to visit http://www.aamc.org.

Good luck!

-Rich

 

[II]

> Richard,
> I am a 26 year old female "non-traditional" student considering
> medical school. I graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor's degree in Radiologic
> Technology from Southern Illinois University. I am both a registered
> Radiologic Technologist and registered Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
> technologist,cross-trained in CT, working full time in the Chicagoland area.
> I am in the early, gathering information stage. I have requested MCAT
> registration materials, etc. My question for you is as follows:
> I have extensive knowledge of anatomy/sectional anatomy, medical terminology,
> and procedures. However, in the radiologic science profession strong emphasis
> was not put on chemistry. I did take physics and biology courses, and of
> course, general chemistry but did not know if those would be enough to be
> considered for MS. Furthermore would these courses be enough to help me on
> the MCAT? ( I would enroll in your couse were it not for the geograhic
> inconvenience.) I am interested in the materials you say one can buy to
> study independently. I know very little about this process and do not know
> who to ask. Any suggestions you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
>
> Thank you for your time,
>
Kellie,

------ reply 11/14/99

The MCAT science sections cover General Chemistry and Physics on the
Physical Sciences section, and Organic Chemistry and General Biology on the
Biological Sciences section. With your background you may be able to review
the relevant materials without the need for a course. I'd recommend MCAT
Comprehensive Review (by Kaplan) a 2000 edition is out, but the ISBN # for
the 1999 edition is 0-684-85357-4 and is available in Barnes and Noble. To
get a true feel for what the MCAT is really like I advise you to order
Practice Test II/Practice Items, and Practice Test III from
http://www.aamc.org, each sells for $20 + S&H. The 1999 Kaplan book sells
for $60, the newer edition sells for $65. Since there really is no
difference between these books, feel free to buy the older version if you
find it. Good luck!

-Richard

 

[III]

> Hi Rich:
>
> My daughter is in the Honors Program at a very competitive university. She is
> a second year student majoring in English. Currently she has a 3.9 math and
> science GPA and an overall GPA of 3.7. She is wrestling this semester with
> organic chemistry. She feels that the Introductory Psych course which she is
> taking as an elective, conflicts with her organic exams and is pulling her
> down. She does not need this course to fulfill any part of the core
> requirements since her social science requirement is covered through the
> Honors curriculum. Continuing as is, she feels she would get a C in both these
> course. She feels she has a chance to pull the organic grade up to a B if she
> drops Psych. Question is how does a "withdraw" look to medical schools? Again,
> Psych is not her major and not part of her core requirement. She need advise
> ASAP since the deadline for droping a course is coming up very quickly.
>
> Thanks for your help.
>
> Doug
>

------ reply 11/28/99

As long as she is still taking over 12 credit-hours (full time status), and
does not make a habit of withdrawing from classes, it sounds quite sensible
to withdraw from the Psych course.

-Rich

 

[IV]

> I'M 20 years old and i am just starting my undrergraduate studies in pre-med.
> What advice can you give me to help send me in the right direction. I've
> always wanted to be a doctor, and I know it's just a matter of time. p.s. am I
> too old to start pre-med.
>

------ reply 11/28/99

Learn as much as you can about the process. Here's a good place to start:
http://www.premed411.com. Check the on-line and on-paper resources at
http://www.premed411.com/pages/pmr.html. Talk to knowledgeable individuals.

You are not even close to being to old. Good luck!

-Rich

 

[V]

> Hi my name is Frank and I live in Chicago. I graduated college in 1992 with a
> major in biology. I intend to take the April MCAT. I came across your site
> and am interrupted in obtaining some guidance from you to prepare for the
> exam. While I can't take your live course I would be interested in paying you
> for some guidance into how to prepare for the exam and any further information
> you may provide. I do not want to take courses such as chaplain since I heard
> negative remarks about them. If you are interested in setting up some sort of
> help sessions please email me with any suggestions you might have on preparing
> I anxiously await your reply
>

------ reply 11/28/99

Frank,

I've receive several request similar to yours, but I have never taken anyone
up on such an arrangement, principally because I feel that, short of the use
of broadband, there really is no effective method to teach over the internet
--including some very innovative distance learning techniques. I am however
willing to listen to what you would expect to receive in the way of
guidance. If you are willing to except the limitations inherent in such an
arrangement and are able to work effectively on you own, it is possible that
we could work something out.

On the other hand you may find the guidance you seek at
http://www.premed411.com/pages/mcat.html

-Rich

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[VI]

> hi rich i have a question regarding the amcas 'grades' form which they sent me
> weeks ago. on the form, i realized that Amcas did not convert/compute any of
> my narrative evaulation courses into grades nor the hours. This means that i
> only have grades from the summer courses which i took at other community
> college and grades from post bac program. in terms of hours, i only have 8.9
> hours (from community collges) compared to 28.0 hours from the post-bac
> program. This means none of my undergraduate courses (all based on narrative
> evaulations) were counted toward the GPA calculation and the credit hours.
> i've tried to contact amcas but they denied my request. Can you explain what
> is going on with the grading system that Amcas is using?
>
> Also, since i might consider re-applying next year, should i just convert the
> narrative evaluation into grades according to my own judgement on the
> application? What is your advise on this perspective?
>
> sincerly yours,
>
> Michael
>

------ reply 11/28/99

I'm not familiar with the AMCAS procedures regarding the courses you
describe, but you should be able to find this information in the AMCAS
application materials. I strongly advise that you do NOT convert the
narrative evaluation into grades.

-Rich

 

[VII]

> I took the MCAT in 94. How long are the scores good for? My understanding
> back then was three years.
>
> Thanks
>

------reply 11/30/99

It varies from school to school. The oldest MCAT score accepted for each
school is listed in the Medical School Admission Requirements book,
available from the AAMC -- http://aamc.org. Most schools will not consider
MCAT scores from 1994.

-Rich

 

[VIII]

-----> Hi, I am not a student YET. I have been out of high school since June of '94
> and completed 4 years of military service. Although my decision to enter the
> medical profession is rather new, my impetus for wanting to be a medical
> practitioner has been one I've romanticized for some time. I will do whatever
> it takes to become a Physician and fullfill my need to help others and learn.
> However, I do not know where to begin. SInce it has been some time since I've
> been to school, should I try to go to a JC then a University, or should I try
> going straight for a University. What special factors can you think of that
> will apply to my situation? No, I'm not doing this on a whim, I'm extremely
> serious. Thanks for your time,

------reply 12/11/99

Hi,

As far as going to a junior college, first there is certainly a financial
advantage to doing so, and it also may be a good way to reintroduce yourself
into the academic environment. You should plan to take courses like organic
chemistry and physics at a University though, since grades from most
Universities are more respected than those from most community colleges, and
these are subjects that will be more closely looked at. Since grades from
Universities are more respected, there is an advantage to going to a
University right away, but based on what you have told me, I would recommend
you go to a community college first.

I'd advise you to try to find a community college with a strong premedical
advising program. You should buy a copy of MSAR (See
http://www.premed411.com/home) and learn as much as you can from it. It may
be tedious, but a good premed adviser can't do everything, and you really
need to be informed, so that you may be in a position to maximize your
chances for admission.

Since you've been out of school for a while it makes good sense not to
overtax yourself initially. You want to build up a solid foundation of
knowledge and study skills before you take on the brutal semesters that you
will eventually need to take to prove you have the right stuff. I'd start
off slow -- save the harder courses for later -- and build up a head of
steam gradually.

While you should make yourself aware of the topics and style of the MCAT,
your primary objective initially is to build up a solid foundation, and most
importantly to obtain a high GPA. Toward this end you should scout out which
professors to take --it can make a BIG difference. You should make an effort
to find the old tests and to use them to prepare for your classes. Very
frequently the student who works out the old exam questions does far better
than the student that does the assigned homework from the textbook. You
should network with other students in order to find out more about
professors and to obtain old tests. You may also wish to join a premed club,
which besides helping you network, will often sponsor speakers from various
medical schools (this may not be available until you enter a University).

You sound very determined, that's important. Good luck!

-Rich

 

[IX]

Im a high school junior , I love medicine and hope to go to med-school after
college , but I dont know what to do for college.I live in CT and want to go
to a college their.The two colleges ive looked at are UCONN and Southern CT
State.Southern CT is just what I want in a college; its not a party school
and it has a great pre-med staff.I can get a single room dorm and the dorms
are quit , no parting allowed.But the problem is I dont know if the college
is good enough for when I apply to med-school.Thats why I look at UCONN; its
a nation wide known university , but its a huge party school and thats not
what im looking for. My mother is a paramedic so ive talked to doctors about
this.They say it doesnt matter where you get your credits.That Med-School
just looks for the basic Chem and Bio credits , your MCATS , and that your
well rounded.So what I want to know is is this true.

------reply 12/11/99

No it is not true. Grades are evaluated based on the school from which they
were obtained to prevent "grade inflation". In many cases this is not a
significant variable, but it can be. GPA evaluation data for large schools
is usually not necessary, but for smaller colleges most medical schools
independently create documents which help them to evaluate the relative
significance of a student's academic record.

-Rich

 

[X]

> Hi ! I just recently found your website and it has been very helpful. My
> question is this: are "science" gpas calculated with only science course
> grades or with math grades as well? I am planning to apply to medical school
> in June of 2000 and so now is when I pick apart my transcript! I have two math
> grades that are satisfactory and I am worried about them affecting my gpa. I
> have read conflicting info.. Anything you know about this would be
> appreciated. Thanks. Lauretta

------reply 12/11/99

Hi Lauretta,

Math is normally included as part of the science gpa.

-Rich
 

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