Monday, May 18, 2015

Is Osteopathic Medical School Right for You?

Osteopathic medical schools are a good option for many applicants. Osteopathic medicine emphasizes helping each patient achieve wellness by focusing on health promotion and disease prevention. Osteopathy teaches that a strong foundation in primary care makes one a better physician, regardless of a doctor's specialty.

Here is a great article from last summer's New York Times on osteopathic schools and their influence on American medicine. There are also some useful statistics about admissions in the article.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Medical School and Residency Personal Statements

It's time to get moving on your medical school or residency personal statement. (It's actually late to start on your medical school essay; if you don't already have a good draft, I'd recommend starting immediately.)

The goal of the personal statement is to distinguish yourself from everyone else and demonstrate your worthiness as a candidate. Here's a piece I wrote for Student Doctor Network (I did not choose the title ;)) that will guide you.

Monday, May 4, 2015

AMCAS Upcoming Dates and the Advantage of an Early Application

Here's a reminder that AMCAS 2016 opens on May 5, and you can submit your application starting June 2. Because of rolling admissions, submitting a complete application early in the cycle has distinct advantages at many schools.That doesn't mean you should submit suboptimal written materials; it means you should start early enough that you are offering your best work.

Rolling admissions means that a school takes applications in the order in which they are received and makes decisions about interviews and then acceptances, accordingly. So, as times goes by, there are fewer interview and admissions offers remaining to be made.

If your application is not complete, your candidacy may not be evaluated early when there are more opportunities for interviews and admissions. So, if you have not already, get started immediately. It could make a huge difference in your available opportunities.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Physician Burnout

The Medscape Physician Lifestyle Report 2015 is out, and don't be surprised if you find it a little discouraging. U.S. physicians suffer more burnout than other U.S. workers with 46% of American doctors reporting the problem. Critical care doctors are most affected at 53%, followed by emergency physicians at 52%. The report cites bureaucracy, administrative tasks, and long work hours, among other causes.

Check out this piece on emergency physician burnout to better understand why there is such a disconnect between medical student interest and physician satisfaction in the emergency medicine field.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Medical School - Accepted!

So far this year, Insider clients have seen a lot of medical school acceptances. School include University of California - Irvine, Washington University, Drexel, University of Michigan, Northwestern, Louisiana State University, Tulane, University of Texas - Southwestern, Baylor, Temple University, Oakland University, and Hofstra-LIJ North Shore School of Medicine, to name a few. Click here to see a complete list of Insider client acceptances.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Avoiding a Re-application to Medical School

After disappointing admissions cycles, multiple medical school re-applicants hire me every year. Individual cases are complex, but keep the below five suggestions in mind as you approach the application season in order to avoid missteps:

1. Make sure you have robust clinical experiences. No one wants to hire a chef who's never been in the kitchen.

2. Ensure you have the grades/MCAT and apply to schools that are appropriate to your academic level. Check out the Medical School Admissions Requirements (MSAR) to get an idea of what grades you'll need. (Take a deep breath. It might be shocking.)

3. Get very strong letters of recommendation. Consider a mediocre letter a bad one in this competitive environment.

4. Craft a compelling personal statement that distinguishes you from everyone else.

5. Practice interviewing. Don't get as far as the interview only to be rejected because you weren't prepared.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Step 2 CS

For residency applicants, there is an updated version of the Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) Content Description and General Information booklet now available. As many candidates know, because the test is not a familiarly-formatted multiple choice examination, Step 2 CS requires careful preparation. The test is made up of 12 patient encounters and lasts about 8 hours.

Monday, March 30, 2015

How to Approach the Medical School and Residency Application Process with a Smile

19890994_sDreading the medical school or residency application process? You are not alone. This marathon is filled with hard work and long hours. How can you approach the process with as little stress as possible?

1. Start early. I can not emphasize this enough. Assume your personal statement and AMCAS/ERAS will take you three times longer than you previously thought. Also, approach letter writers promptly.

2. Read before you get started. Below are two brief pieces on personal statements. Their target is medical school applicants, but the principles are the same for residency candidates: How to Write a Personal Statement for Medical School and What Your Medical School Essay Reader is Thinking.

3. Consider what will make you happiest. If you are a pre-med, do some introspection and make sure you really want to go to medical school. As crazy as that sounds, being assured of your plan will help you stay happy throughout this rigorous application process. If you are a residency applicant, speak to faculty - academic and private - in your planned field, and ensure you are picking the right specialty for you.

4. Get help. My website is here. Having someone experienced on your side will alleviate a lot of anxiety. If you already know you are going to work with me, hire me now. The earlier in the season, the more likely I can help you avoid missteps and get your candidacy on the road.