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> Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2001 22:56:41 -0700
> Hi Rich,
> I have a friend who lives outside of the US and is a 3rd year medical student.
> Can he transfer to a University in the US? or will he have to start a medical
> School program from scratch.
> thanks,
> Laura

Hi Laura,

In almost all cases your friend would have to start over as a first year
medical student.


Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 23:14:10 -0500


I am diong a research project for english over becoming a radiologist and i
need some information about what they do, what the requirments consist of
and things of that nature. Please can you help me?


> Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 17:28:20 +0200
> Hi My name is Waleed. i am currnetly a 4th year medicine student at the
> university of Ain Shams, Cairo, Egypt I studied many aspects of medicine (2
> years left to graduate) My dream is to start all over at the US. How useful is
> my previous knowledge of medicine? How useful will the course of miami be??
> HOw long would take me to study the material needed for MCAT? what are my
> chances if i get a good grade? Thank you very much for your time. Looking
> forward to hearing from you and hopefully meeting u in person yours truely'
> Waleed

Hi Waleed,

Your previous knowledge of medicine may be very useful in making your
journey through a U.S. medical school easier, but probably will be only
marginally to moderately important with regards to U.S. medical school

As far as "the course of miami", I assume you are referring to the MCAT
course. MCAT prep depends largely on two factors: knowledge of the core
sciences; and familiarity and experience with the test format. The utility
of the course would depend on your current knowledge of these topics, and
your ability to obtain knowledge of these topics from other sources, for
example you may be able to obtain practice MCATs and review materials and
work independently with out the need for a course. Without more information
it is not possible for me to comment further.

Preparation time for the MCAT can vary from 1 year to 3 months, with the
normal range being 3 months of intense study, or 6 months of study at a more
measured pace.

I have a good amount of material on site regarding medical school admission.
Without more information, the best I can do is suggest you use this
material, especially MSAR (See to estimate your


Date: Tue, 1 May 2001 17:16:04 -0400

Dear Rich:

I want to know how much of a difference it would make if I sent in my AMCAS
application on June 18 which is the first day you can send it in as opposed
to June 28 or early July? I am going to Europe on May 11 and will be back
on June 28. I just finished school and am working on my personal statement.
I am not sure if I can finish my application before my trip to Europe and I
will not be able to work on the application in Europe. So can you please
tell me how much I hurt my chances by delaying the primary application by
abour 10-15 days. Thank you very much.


Hi Barak,

It will not make very much difference. Hope you are having a good time in


> Date: Wed, 09 May 2001 15:30:01 -0700

> Hello,
> I am a 23 years old. I entered college late, and just now finished by
> GE requirements. My father got his MD in russia, but in the USA he does
> biochem research. A year ago a friend sent me to a CNA program, and I
> have been a CNA since. Since I am now done with GE, my father told me to
> get an RN and then do my pre med requirement at the same time as I get
> my RN.
> He said I can be an RN for a year or so take me MCAT and then go to
> medschool while supporting myself as a nurse. I would
> really like to hear your advice and opinion. To be honest, I am really
> confused - as there are to many different ideas/stories
> being thrown at me.
> Thank you very much for your time,
> Sincerely,
> Ilya


Your father's advise outlines one possible route to medical school. Could
you please tell me of the other "ideas/stories". In other words, what other
possibilities are you entertaining. I could comment on the strengths and
weaknesses of each.


> Dear Rich,
> I am very happy to hear back from you. My father's proposed route is just one
> of the few I have been thinking about. I had 2 other people propose the
> following:
> 1. major in microbiology or biology 2. major in a completely unrelated field,
> take all the suggested premed classes and take MCAT.
> I would appreciate any suggestions, help, contacts.. really anything would
> help.
> Thank you so much,
> Ilya

Hello Ilya,

The advantage of "your father's" suggested route is that it provides you
with ample clinical experience and with a reliable way to support yourself.
It has a disadvantage in that many nursing courses will not directly help
you do well on the MCAT.

The advantage of "route 1" is that it will provide you with one of the best
possible backgrounds for the MCAT, and can also establish an academic record
in a core medical science that will be more substantial then if you where
simply to take the minimal premedical requirements. The disadvantage is you
will need to supplement this path with clinical experience.

The advantage of "route 2" is that medical schools are looking for diversity
in their classes. By taking a major in an unrelated field you may increase
your chances of admission. This route has both of the disadvantages listed

Factors to consider:

If you are truly interested in a non-medically related field, consider; route 2.

If you feel you would do well in microbiology, consider route 1.

If financial issues are important, consider your father's route.

Since none of these routes is "bad", which is best, depends on your personal

Good luck,

Date: Thu, 10 May 2001 19:10:21 -0700

Hello Rich,

For students who have not been admitted to medical school the first time
around, you recommend they go to graduate school in some medical related
science. I have not met the requirements to get into a science grad
program, but I can get into a Math Program (as I am a math major). Would
doing well in Math Grad School help me to get into medical school?


Thanks for all of your help!


Hello Deb,

It may help a little, but your best bet is focus on medically related


Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 21:18:59 -0500

hey, once again the site is awesome! but i have some ???. I go to a small
no name Jr. college that i feel will score extremely low on the med. school
"score sheet." I have re-taken 6 classes (3 in science) that i got B's in
originally, but now my GPA is a 4.0. What significance does this jr. college
GPA have on entrance to med. school? Also, what kind of scholarship opps.
are there to undergrad. school, in which i work in a medical office 35 hrs.
a week and volunteer much time to the schools learning program?
thanks a million.

Hi Ryan,

A 4.0 always looks good, but it will be down weighted by retakes (if they
appear on your record) and by the reputation of the school. Its possible
that your 4.0 may only be worth a 3.5 when compared against other schools.

You can get info on scholarships from each school's website and/or by
contacting the school's admissions office.


> Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 23:04:23 -1400
> Dear Rich,
> Thank you for the incredible amount of information you have put into your
> website.
> I am a biology major finishing my junior year at Georgetown and have just
> taken the MCAT in April. I am interested in taking a year off in between
> college and medical school, and I was wondering if you could give me any
> advice about how I would go about it and whether it would hurt my chances of
> admission. I would like to take the time to gain some additional clinical or
> research experience in addition to participating in a volunteer program in
> India. Is it possible, as people often do with undergraduate schools, to
> apply to medical school and then defer admission for a year after gaining
> acceptance, or would it be better to simply wait until June of my senior year
> to enroll in 2003?
> I also have a question regarding required courses for medical schools. I
> received AP credit at Georgetown for Physics, such that I did not have to take
> it for my Biology major. I decided, however, to take one semester of
> Mechanics anyway in order to help me with the MCAT. Do you know if medical
> schools will require me to take another semester of Physics in spite of
> testing out of it?
> Thanks, Chris

Hi Chris,

Getting a deferred admission is possible although it may be difficult unless
you have a very strong record. This would be your best bet. If you can not,
its not such a big deal. Sounds like you'll be putting that extra time to
good use. As a result, this should not hurt your chances for admission, and
may help.

Some medical schools accept AP credits and others do not. See MSAR
( for details.



> Date: Fri, 18 May 2001 23:21:14 EDT

> Greetings Rich,
> I graduated in December of 2000 with good grades, and currently I've been
> working hard in preparation for the August 2001 MCAT. In any case, I am
> fairly confident that I could be accepted to medical school for the Fall of
> 2002. Since graduation I've been working long hours, taking some extra
> courses, and preparing for the MCAT. This fall I imagine that I'll be busy
> working, taking some additional courses, and hopefully filling out many
> secondary applications. If things go well the spring will be filled with
> interviews. In preparation for medical school I feel like I'm working even
> harder than before I graduated, and at times I think it might be nice to spend
> the year prior to medical school doign something completely unrelated to GPA,
> the MCAT, fast-paced clinical work, applications, etc. (But I am kind of
> anxious to get this stressful application process over with.) Is it possible
> to defer acceptance to medical school for a year with no explanation - even if
> I'm not doing something "impressive" like research or setting up a clinic in a
> third world country? If it is possible, is this common...or will it be a hard
> sell to the medical school?
> One additional question: Some of the schools to which I plan on applying
> require calculus, which I've not yet taken. I plan to take it next spring or
> summer. I will thus list it on the amcas application as an anticipated
> course. If I am rejected fairly quickly from the schools to which I'm
> applying that require calculus, however, I am not interested in taking
> calculus for its own sake. If I then decide not to take calculus, might this
> be a problem for the other schools that thought that I'd be taking it, but
> don't explicitly require it?
> Your thoughts on these matters will be greatly appreciated.
> Thanks,
> Ben

Greetings Ben,

Some schools do allow applicants to defer entrance to med. school for a year
without some grand plan to save the world :-) This option is usually made
available to those with impressive records. Just as students compete to get
accepted to med. school, med. schools compete with each other to get the
"best and the brightest"; granting a deferred admission can be an enticing
signing bonus to a early round draft pick. While not common, it is possible
to take a year off, if you look like a good catch.

As to your second question, you DO anticipate taking calculus and are
perfectly correct in putting this on application. Should circumstances
change, and you decide not to take it, its not a big deal if you don't turn
it into one. You might get an interview question about this. Most interview
questions are not about what you are asked, but instead, about how you
react. So if you are asked why you didn't take calculus, a direct, brief and
honest answer will win you more points than weather or not you actually did
take it. A follow up question might be, "We recommend that you take
calculus, do you consider our recommendations unimportant?" To which you
might reply "Of course not, however I was advised that a course in
microbiology (or whatever) would be more beneficial"...etc.


> Date: Wed, 30 May 2001 03:19:09 +0300

> Hello,
> Thank you very much for your reply!
> Well i was wondering about the relevance of medicine that I studied with
> MCATs core science?
> I studied complete courses in :
> physiology
> anatomy
> biochemistry
> histology
> microbiology &immunology
> pathology
> pharmacology
> parasitology
> forensic and toxicology
> community medicine and epidemiology
> otorhinolaryngology
> ophthalmology
> Would this make the MCAT easier?
> do i have to take the course during the 3 month period immediatly before my
> exam?
> how much is considerd a good grade?
> What are my chances to join US university if I get a good grade?
> Do I have a chance to get a scholarship?
> Thank you so much, you have been a really great help
> Yours truely,
> Waleed.


These courses will be of considerable relevance for the biological component
of the Biological Sciences section of the MCAT, a small help for the organic
chemistry component of the same, and have little to no relevance for the
chemistry and physics on the Physical Sciences section of the MCAT.

Yes, taking these courses, will make taking the MCAT easier, but you still
must go back to review the core sciences on the MCAT.

A good score on the MCAT is a 10, 10, 10, on Verbal Reasoning, Physical
Science, and Biological Science.

No, you do not need to take an MCAT preparation course 3 month before the
MCAT, you can take it 6 months before instead.

Unless you are a resident of the U.S. your chances of acceptance are "slim
to none". As a resident your record and MCAT scores would largely determine
the chances of you being accepted. A 10, 10, 10, is the average MCAT score
of students admitted to medical school.

"What are my chances to join US university if I get a good grade?"
I'm not sure.
"Do I have a chance to get a scholarship?"
I'm not sure.


Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2001 18:19:09 -0700

I wrote you a few months ago when I received my MCAT of 9, 10, 9 and an O.
You advised me to take the MCAT again in April, which I did and just
received a 10, 10, 10 and an S. At least I am consistent, right? (= Well,
I am not exactly happy about this score, but I am leaving for the Peace
Corps on July 4th and do not want to change those plans. I will be working
in health education and at a clinic in West Africa for two years, and I have
a high GPA (graduated from a state school magna cum laude 3.9), worked at
NIH last year, and will also be completing NIH malaria work in Mali before
medical school. All of that is figured out and in order....I just still
worry about this MCAT score as I plan on applying to competitive schools
such as Harvard, Yale, UCSF and Stanford. I am a California resident and am
beginning to consider possibly doing an early acceptance app. for USCF.
However, I worry I will regret not applying to all of the schools and maybe
shortchanging myself in the long-run. But then I also have the concern that
my MCAT scores are just not high enough for those schools and something like
early decision might be the only thing that could help me to get in. Do you
have any suggestions for me? I really appreciate your help and your
web-site! I am thankful for any advice-I will have good letters of recc
from professors whom I did two years of biological and psychological
undergrad research with (I was a Psy major) and my pre-med adviser...I just
feel that my adviser is so 'out of the loop' that I take his advice with a
grain of salt. I don't see that retaking the MCAT a third time is a good
idea or a helpful one-what do you think?
Thanks again!


You did improve your scores and you have an excellent record. Even though
your MCAT scores are not equal to the average scores for the top schools,
they are within the range of possible acceptance. Your GPA and
out-of-classroom activities are certainly a plus.

If you apply to a wide range of schools, you have a good chance of
acceptance somewhere, possibly at a top school. In fact, although your
chance of acceptance at a top school is hard to quantify, it is certainly
not trivial.

If you plan to go into a very competitive area of medicine, the benefits of
going to a prestigious school can be significant, otherwise, it may not be
of any great importance.

There is no clear right or wrong answer to your dilemma. You need to decide
how important it is to go to a top school, and weigh this against the safety
and certainty of accepting early decision.

Good luck,


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