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> Hi ! how are you ? As I am a freshmen of Lamar unversity. Because I study a
> MCAT 's book before I attend to the university, I ready for the test. Can I
> take the test right now or have to wait for few years.How do I register for
> the test ?

------ reply 01/20/00

You can, but I'd advise that you wait. Although you may do well now, you are
almost certain to do better after taking additional courses. If you do
decide to take the test early, consider canceling your scores before leaving
the testing center. If you cancel your scores, medical schools will not be
informed that you took the MCAT on that date.

You can pick up an MCAT registration Kit next month from your premed
advisor's office or from your school's testing center (if they have one).

Also you may wish to look at what a real MCAT looks like, some prep books do
not do a very good job representing the true nature of this test. I'd
recommend buying AAMC Practice Test III from your bookstore, or from




> Rich,
> My GPA is currently 2.6. The problem is my grades from 5 or 6 years ago.
> They were terrible. I left school and worked for a few years and then decided
> to come back as premed. I am 28 years old and taking the MCAT this april.
> All courses relating to med school have been retaken with excellent grades.
> In science and math courses, my grades are all A's. Got a B+ in Philosophy.
> My transcripts will show a marked difference between the student I was then
> and now. With 3.8-4.0 now and a good MCAT score, how much do you think those
> F's from my distant past, and their affect on my cumulative GPA will affect my
> chances of being accepted today? Thanks for your help.

------reply 02/06/00

With a GPA below a 3.0 it is hard to get admission committees to look in
side your application folder unless your MCAT score is high. You would
probably need a combined MCAT score of a 33 or better, to have a realistic
shot. Remember though that if you do not get accepted, and elect to take
post-graduate courses, that although your entire academic record will be
included in your AMCAS application, it will be your graduate GPA that will
be used to make the first evaluation of your suitability as a medical school
applicant. Kind of like a second chance up at bat.

Best of luck,


Hi Rich,
I was wondering where I could find more about Accelerated Programs / Early
Acceptance programs for High School students wishing to earn an M.D., as you
mentioned in your web-site. Any schools you know? Any website with links?
Any book I could get from the library? Your response is very much

Thank you.

Best regards, - P

------reply 02/06/00

The MSAR* lists all schools that have the programs you refer to. The next
step is to go to the web-site or contact the school for more information.





> Dear Rich,
> I am really glad about the advice you give students.I have been to
> your website on a number of occasions.I am a studying Biology in NGCSU and i
> am currently going through my first semester.I want to go to a good medical
> school.I am not an american citizen,so i know it is much more difficult for
> me.I will like you to please give me some advice concerning some issues.I will
> like to whether by participating in the ROTC program is an advantage.I will to
> know if Physicians Assistance have very good chances of gaining admission into
> med schools.I will also like to know if there is a limit to the number of
> times MCAT can be taken and how early can it be taken.Please,which med School
> has a high rate of accepting international students.
> I don't want to change my goal because of the difficulties
> around.Please give me solid advice abput how i should prepare and what i
> should do while in college.I will really appreciate it if you can help me.
> Sincerely,
> B

------reply 02/06/00

Participating in ROTC could be an advantage but only in the context of your
overall record. As long as it is not a substitute for getting clinical
experience in medicine, I would consider it an asset.

Physician assistance programs do increase your chances of admission,

The MCAT may be taken at any time, and if permission to do so is granted,
which it typically is, the MCAT may be taken an unlimited number of times --
even though your best bet is to take the MCAT once and do well.

I'm sorry I am aware of no statistics regarding acceptance of international
students to medical school.

Regarding what to do in college and how to prepare, I'd suggest looking over
the information in The Premed Zone, including The Email Archive, Although I do not have information directed toward
the international student, the same general information applies. Also I
believe there are some emails in The Email archiveregarding the concerns of
international students.

Best of luck to you,



> Dear R. Hochstim,
> My name is C and I am the president of the premedical society at the
> University of Cape Breton in Canada. I've been looking for a well regonized
> course for the MCATS because, frankly, I want to breeze through the MCATS in
> my junior year without stress. I am currently in my second year of study with
> an uncertain major. I started off taking computer science but through some
> experiences I had I realized that I wanted to be an MD. The problem this
> brings is that I want to take the MCATS this year for practice and am just
> going to complete the my first year of chemistry this april. Basically, I have
> no organic chemistry until my third year unless I take it in the spring. Why
> am I contacting you about an MCATS course? Well, I have a father that lives in
> Tennessee which I visit every summer. It really won't be as far a travel to
> relocate if you take this into account. However, if you know of other courses
> closer then maybe that would be an option for me to take up. I just want to
> get in Med school. That's my main goal!
> Thanks for your time, Sincerely C

------reply 02/06/00

Sorry, the only MCAT course I am aware of in Tennessee is Kaplan, and possibly
Princeton Review. The quality of these courses, in my opinion, depends largely on t
he individual instructor(s) who is responsible for teaching the course.





> hi, i was just wondering what mcat scores and gpa i need to get in a med
> school like harvard, john hopkins or yale.
> thanks

------reply 02/12/00


In 1998 the average GPA for students entering Harvard Medical School was 3.8,
and the average MCAT scores were VR-10.8, PS-12.0, BS-11.9.



> Hi Rich,
> I love your's extremely helpful
> I am a senior graduating in May and haven't taken the MCATS yet. I plan on
> volunteering in the Peace Corps after I graduate. I was wondering when I
> should apply for medical school. Should I do it before I go overseas and try
> to defer, or while I am in the Peace Corps. Also, when should I take the
> MCATS...would it be offered outside of the US?
> Thanks, Norm

------reply 02/19/00

Hi Norm,

Glad you found the site helpful.

The MCAT is offered around the world. For info go to your premed advisor and
pick up a free copy of the MCAT registration kit. You should take the MCAT
when you are prepared for the test, and preferably a year to a year and a
half before you intend to enter medical school. If you are afraid you will
forget some of the material on the MCAT while overseas, taking the exam a
year sooner would be ok. As long as you are able to take care of your
letters of recommendation, and will be able to travel to interviews, you
stand a better chance by not going the deferral route, besides as an added
benefit your Peace Corps experiences can be added to your application.

Best of luck,



> Hello Rich, I'm a pre-med student from PR. First of all I want to
> congratulate you for your page. It has been really helpful in my
> application process. Now, the reason I write you is because I have a few
> questions about an interview I had at Harvard. Which I still don't
> understand how I got it in the first place! So here it goes:
> 1. I was interviewed by 1 faculty and 1 student. Do you know if the
> faculty has more power than the student in the admissions committee? They
> said they had the same power but I don't know.
> 2. I read you were an interviewer in your Med School. How does the
> admission process work? Does everyone remember each applicant? Do they seat
> around a table or something and start saying: "I don't like this applicant
> so he's out, I like this one so he's in..." Does each interviewer interview
> only one applicant or several? Are they very quantitative at interview
> reviews or do they just look at the general picture of the applicant? For
> example, my faculty interviewer didn't write anything down while on the
> interview but the student did.
> 3. What is an associate director of admissions? Is it good that they
> remember you in a positive way when the decision for admissions comes? What
> role do they play on admissions?
> 4. Finally. About the thank you note, is it ok if I write a thank you
> e-mail? What should it say? I wrote thank you's to my interviewers, very
> short cause I didn't want them to feel like I was sucking up. I basically
> wrote: thank you for your time and hospitality...
> I'm sorry for writing so much. Please take your time on answering the
> questions. And answer them only if you can... I know you must have a lot of
> work to do being in medical school.
> Thanks a lot,
> Jose
> P.S.: My MCAT is VR 6, PS 12, BS 10. GPA 4.00. Just in case.

------reply 02/20/00

Hello Jose,

1. Thanks for your comments concerning, and congratulations on
getting the Harvard interview! Although the faculty member and the student
may have the same power on paper, I am not sure what the actual situation
is, it depends on the personalities involved.

2. I never was an interviewer, (I'm a professional tutor not a medical
student) but I do know that the process is not standardized. Some schools do
not involve students, some do. Some schools require written evaluations,
some do not. But there does typically come a time when selection committee
members do sit around a table and make their decisions, but this process too
can vary from school to school (re: quantitative/general picture--some
schools have numerical rating forms for personality, maturity etc., while
others do the "well what did you think of so and so?" evaluation). By the
way, most of the time the number of interviewees seen in a day by an
interviewer is small, so they do remember each applicant.

3. They are one of the higher ups in the admissions program, and may or may
not be directly involved in the decision making process. So I guess, again,
the answer depends on the school.

4. No, it is not advisable to email. What you did sounds fine (write do not
email). Your thank you notes will be added to your application files.

Best of luck,


> I have heard that actual clinical research plays a big part in acceptance to
> med school. What are ways to conduct clinical research? Is it the same as
> shadowing a doctor, or volunteering in a hospital? I really need help on this
> subject. I have asked many people and no one has been able to give me an
> answer. Thank you so much.
> Please feel free to give me as much info as you can.
> thank you.

------reply 02/20/00

Clinical experience, not necessarily research, is important. The ideal
situation is a paid position that involves direct contact with patients.
While this is hard to come by, volunteering in a hospital would be the next
best choice, as long as the work exposes you directly to patient care.
Medical school admission committees want applicants to have hands on
clinical experience, not so much to learn anything in particular other than
whether or not they really want to go into medicine, and to demonstrate that
they have a level of commitment that the medical profession requires.
Shadowing a doctor is fine, but not alone, I'd still recommend one of the
above two options.

Best wishes,



> Hi Rich,
> I'm a 2nd year chiropractic student looking to get into med school. My problem
> is the horrendous undergraduate GPA (B- average) I received from a major
> university when I earned my BS degree. Being that I am now serious about
> getting into medicine, should I 1)continue, earn my DC degree, and hope that
> my 3.5+ GPA will make up for my undergrad GPA or 2) quit chiro school and
> retake my undergrad pre-med courses. My worry is that med school admissions
> will not look at chiropractic coursework as favorably as undergrad coursework
> either due to lack of comparability or ignorance (even though the chiropractic
> basic science curriculum is very similar to a medical curriculum). Your
> opinion and advise would be greatly appreciated. Thanks! -Andy

------reply 03/04/00

Hi Andy,

Choice 2) would probably not increase your chances of acceptance, since
retaking these courses will not provide a true test of your abilities.
Choice 1) provides you with the option of becoming a chiropractor should you
not be accepted to medical school, and is more likely to increase your
chances of acceptance than choice 2) but is not your best bet. If you were
to enroll in a serious Masters program in a medically related science and do
well, this would help your chances of acceptance the most, but you would
need to weigh this against the added cost, time, and effort that would be
required. Good luck!



> Hi Rich! Thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate you taking the time and
> effort to share your advice.
> -Andy



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