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[I]
Date: Sun, 2 Jun 2002 15:48:27 EDT

Hi Rich,
I'm taking Physics I and II this summer to finish my pre-med requirements.
Next year will be my junior year of college, and because I have two large
extracurricular responsibilities next year, I've been considering taking the
August MCATs this summer. I don't think I'll have much time to study next
spring, and to be honest, I just dont want to give up another summer on
pre-med requirements. I've signed up for a Princeton Review class for this
summer, which meets daily in the evening, and my physics class meets daily
in the morning - both have homework, I'm told. Do you think it's too
ambitious to try to learn physics and take the MCATS in one summer? This
would be ideal schedule-wise; I'm just not sure if I'll be able to finish
both and do well. What do you think?

Sincerely,
P

Hi P,

Your plan is too ambitious for approximately 75% of premed students. I'd say
if you are significantly above the "premed average" in BOTH brains and in
will power, you have a good chance for success. Since I do not know you,
based on the law of averages, I'd advise you against taking on a such
challenging schedule.

Best,
-Rich
 

[II]
> Date: Wed, 05 Jun 2002 11:53:50 -0500
>
> Rich,
> Wonderful site, loads of interesting info. My case is that of being a
> 'non-trad' med school aspirant.I
> -Am 26 years of age
> -Am a permanent U.S resident (NOT a citizen)
> -have a Masters in Computer Science and Engineering from Florida. I had
> written a thesis, which has been used as a reference in some publications.
> -have been working as a Software Engineer ever since I graduated (4 yrs) -My
> GPA in grad school was 3.75 -Am a resident of California.
>
> Lets say I am capable of making a 30+ on the MCAT, what are my chances of
> getting into a good school like Stanford? What happens if I make less than a
> 30? I have NO clinical experience, but a lot of extracurricular activities and
> have been in many leadership roles starting from high school to Grad school.
>
> Your input is very valuble to me and I'd appreciate your feedback.
>
> Regards,
> SJ.

Hi SJ,

I'm glad you found the site useful.

WITH clinical experience and an MCAT score of 35 you'd have a good chance of
being accepted at a medical school of the quality of Stanford. Here's the
averages for Stanford in 2001:

Mean Cum GPA = 3.73  
Mean Science GPA = 3.71
Mean MCATs = V-11 P-12 B-12.

WITHOUT clinical experience your chance's drop, but I do not know by how
much. Most schools really want to see some clinical experience. Many want to
see a fairly substantial amount, but this will depend on the school, and
there are no stats that I am aware of concerning this. My advise would be to
definitely get some clinical experience if you wish to be accepted to a top
flight medical school.

Best,
-Rich
 

[III]
Date: Sat, 8 Jun 2002 23:35:00 -0500

Hi! I am a 34 year old non-trad student (married with 4 children aged 9
yrs. to 2 yrs!) I am currently attending an community college and have a
GPA of 3.90. (I have not taken the MCATS yet) I will be transferring to a
4 year University (USD) that also has a med school. I plan to take premed
classes and major in psychology. Before I transfer, I plan to get my LPN,
and I will also be taking several Spanish classes. My back up plan in case
I don't get into med school on the first try will be to go back and finish
my RN, and try to get in again or do Physician's Assistant. I should
mention that I worked in doctors offices for 8 years, so I have plenty of
knowledge about the medical field. Here are my questions: 1) Will getting
an LPN/RN increase my chance of getting into med school or PA school; or
will my work experience suffice? (I have already shadowed an MD) 2) How
much will my age count against me? (Yes, I know the can not discriminate
against age, but lets face it, they are going to be comparing me to 24 year
old applicants!) 3)I live in the Midwest and there is an unmet need for
Spanish speaking medical professionals, will 2 semesters of Spanish be
enough to say the admissions board, or do I need 4 semesters? 4) And
finally, just how much does it cost to take the MCATS? Even a ball park
figure will be fine. All I have been able to find out is how much MCAT prep
courses and books cost. Much thanks, and I think your site is great!
-Shelly

Hi Shelly,

> 1) Will getting an LPN/RN increase my chance of getting into med school or PA
> school; or will my work experience suffice? (I have already shadowed an MD)

It will not significantly increase your chances if you already have fairly extensive clinical experience.

> 2) How much will my age count against me? (Yes, I know the can not
> discriminate against age, but lets face it, they are going to be comparing me
> to 24 year old applicants!)

Since you are still a relative "youngster" it will only be a problem if you respond in a negative way to
questions related to your age in the interview.

> 3)I live in the Midwest and there is an unmet need for Spanish speaking
> medical professionals, will 2 semesters of Spanish be enough to say the
> admissions board, or do I need 4 semesters?

Four semester would help.

> 4) And finally, just how much does it cost to take the MCATS?

$180

> I think your site is great!

Thanks.

Best,
-Rich
 

[IV]
> If I do inform AMCAS of my intent to retake the MCAT, they would put a hold on
> my application until the August scores came in. Isn't that correct?
>

Yes, that is correct

Best,
-Rich
 

[V]
Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 18:08:10 EDT

Hi Rich,
  I'm just wondering.. Is there any penalty for applying to a school the
second year if you were rejected the year before. For instance, if i "look"
ok right now, and am thinking of applying before i finish my master's
program, is there any harm in applying now and then applying next year if i
am rejected?
Susie

Hi Susie,

I have heard from admissions officers specifically that there is NOT a
penalty, and have never heard of any credible evidence that there is--as
long as you are a viable candidate.

Best,
-Rich

TOP ^
 

[VI]
> Date: Sat, 15 Jun 2002 20:18:15 -0500 (CDT)

> Rich,
> What a great site!! Good job on the best resource for pre-meds ANYWHERE on
> the Net. I guess I just wanted to ask your opinion of my application and the
> competitiveness of my numbers. I got A,A,A+ in my Bio courses, A's in Gen
> Chem and First Orgo class with lab and B in my 2nd Orgo. I had a B+ and A- in
> Physics with a Undergrad GPA of 3.71 (Science GPA of 3.73). I am working on
> Masters of Biochem (thesis) and have a 3.86. My MCAT is 14 Bio 10 PS 10 VR.
> How are my chances at in-state? Out of state? Finally, is it true that if I
> have grad. GPA that they look primarily at that GPA and not at undergrad?
> Thanks so much for your help!!
>

Hi,
Thanks for your comments.

Your chances in-state are excellent! Your chances out of state depend a lot
on which schools you apply to. See MSAR*. Some schools have strict out of
state limits, others do not. Re your last question, if there is sufficient
data, i.e. credit hours at a respectable school/program, than yes they do
look primarily at your graduate record.

Best,
-Rich
*MSAR info is at http://www.premed411.com/home.html
 

[VII]
Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2002 12:02:57 EDT

My whole life I've known that I want to be a doctor. Now I'm beginning to
enter my senior year at a FL private school and I have to make a decision.
I only have a 3.0 and I haven't gotten my mcat scores yet. I know that I
can't go to medschool right away but I don't know what to do now. Do I have
a chance of getting into a carribbean school? Should I go to a masters
program? Do I even have a chance of getting into a masters program? Is
there someone I can talk to about all of this? I don't have a plan right
now and it's stressing me out! -Sue

Hi Sue,

If you score a 27 or better on the MCAT you should have a good chance of
being accepted to a Caribbean school. If you wish to go to a U.S. medical
school a masters programs sounds appropriate--yes, you should be able to get
into a masters program, the requirements are considerably lower than for
medical school admission. If you can find an experienced pre-health adviser
at the school you are attending I would strongly encourage you to consult
with him or her. A good way to channel your stress is into finding as much
as you can about your options. Much of this information is available online.
I strongly recommend you use Google.com to investigate advise available
online from various medical schools in and out of the states. I expect you
will be surprised, if you are persistent, how much useful advise is posted
online that is relevant to your situation.

Best,
-Rich
 

[VII]
> Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2002 21:06:37 -0500 (CDT)

> Hello,
>
> I see the great advice you give on the site and have a few questions of my
> own. First, what exactly counts as a science GPA at most schools? I'm
> majoring in Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern, just finished my first
> year, so most of my courses have been applied science courses except for
> organic chemistry. Unfortunately, I received B, B+, B+ in organic, but got A-
> or A in all other courses. My overall GPA is 3.7 now, but I worry that if
> science GPA doesn't include the engineering courses and calculus courses, it
> will be much lower than my overall and look bad.
>
> My second question deals with years in college. I can comfortably graduate
> with a BS in three years, including all premed req. met, and 4 or 5 electives.
> I have 17 Advanced Placement exams giving me a lot of credit in a whole range
> of subjects, from art history to government. However, I've heard that breadth
> of education is important to medical school admission committees. Should I
> stay another year (cost factor becomes important in this) to do more
> humanities and non-science courses, or will graduating early not adversely
> impact my chances of admission?
>
> Please let me know what you can tell me about all this. I apologize for the
> length.
>
> Thank you very much for the help.
>
> Sincerely,
> Gokul

Hi
> First, what exactly counts as a science GPA at most schools?
Science plus math GPA (this TYPICALLY includes engineering courses--you
should confirm this with a premedical advisor at your school)

> Should I stay another year (cost factor becomes important in this) to do more
> humanities and non-science courses, or will graduating early not adversely
> impact my chances of admission?

Graduating early would not be expected to significantly impact on your
chances for medical school admission.

Best,
-Rich
 

[VIII]
> Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 13:05:37 -0700
> Subject: Applying to Med Schools... Don't know what to expect
>
> Dear Rich,
>
> Hi there.
>
> I was looking at your website but I couldn't find a place to email you on the
> email archive. So I'm emailing you here.
>
> I'm currently applying to Med Schools. My GPA is a 3.93, and I received a
> score of 40 on my MCATs. I know that I want to go to Med School, but I do not
> know what to expect once I get there. I've been trying to do my research
> online, but I'm only getting a fuzzy idea of what it may be like.
>
> Is it like college where we get to pick and choose our own courses? A few
> websites indicate that it is otherwise... with the curriculum set and you just
> go to the classes that they select for you. Also, how large are the classes?
> How hands on is the program? Is it lecture style? Lab Style (I understand
> that there are separate labs)? Discussion Style?
>
> Please help...
>
> Sincerely,
> Patty

Hi Patty,

My expertise in this area is anecdotal and primarily limited to med students
attending the University of Miami. It may be somewhat dated.

In the first two years of medical school there is some clinical experience
but the bulk of the curriculum is course work. There is little to no choice
as to which courses you may take. At UM over 100 students are in a class.
Class starts at 8 AM and runs to about 2 PM, with a few breaks--including a
lunch break. Students stay in the same room through out the day--as
different professors come in to lecture. By and large the coursework during
the first two years is memory, rather then problem solving, intensive. In
the afternoon smaller discussion groups and labs, which are hands on, are
conducted. Typically medical students leave the medical school at, or a bit
before, 5 PM.

Class last either 2 or 4 weeks. A 4 week course typically contains the same
quantity of information as a 3 credit 300 level undergraduate biology
course. Much of the information you are responsible for is in the textbook
but not explicitly covered in lecture.

To keep up with their coursework most students must study a minimum of four
hours a day, seven days a week.

I'm not well enough informed about what occurs after the first two years,
other than to say there is more clinical experience and most students I
talked to find it more interesting than their first two years.

Best,
-Rich
 

[IX]
> Date: Mon, 1 Jul 2002 10:46:09 -0500
> Subject: RE: April 2002 MCAT Part II
>
> I'm sorry, Rich.
>
> My daughter has taken the Mcat in April 2003 and scored VS-12/PS-11/BS-8/WS-S.
> She will applying to Med school in 2004, so she have time to retake the Mcat
> in April 2003, but my concern, based on statistic numbers for students why
> retake MCAT, that it will be very hard to keep other numbers (like her VR
> score) on the some level. The University of Iowa, our state school, consider
> all MCAT's scores. What if the VS or PS will drops?
>
> Thank you for your patience,
> Inna

Hello,

If your daughter can increase her BS score by two points, while at the same
time dropping by only two points total in her other scores, i.e. VR 10, PS
11, BS 10 or VR 11, PS 10, BS 10, or VR 12, PS 9, BS 10, she will improve
her chance for acceptance. If after evaluating her performance on practice
tests, and studying the statistics that are provided regarding score
fluctuations typically experienced upon retake, she believes she can achieve
the results listed above, than I would strongly recommend that she consider
retaking the MCAT.

Best,
-Rich
 

[X]
Date: Fri, 12 Jul 2002 16:50:19 EDT

Hey Rich. I have yet another question for you. Do you know, on average,
how many questions missed out of the 219 or so in order to get a 9, 10, 11,
or 12?

I can't seem to find this anywhere on the web.

Thanks again.

Sam

Hey Sam,
For Practice test V a ten is (missed) VR- 14-17, PS- 16-19, BS- 16-19
For Practice test IV a ten is (missed) VR- 14-18, PS- 17-20, BS- 17-21

Since VR is changing as of April 03 (only 60 questions and placed after PS)
the above VR scores will no longer be relevant.
Best,
-Rich
 

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