Monday, June 29, 2015

ERAS 2016 Updates

Here are some ERAS 2016 quick reminders:

1) For International Medical Graduates, ERAS 2016 tokens are available through the ECFMG's OASIS site now.
2) For those waiting for Board scores, USMLE score reports will not be released during the week of July 4. Score reporting will resume on July 8. Here is the USMLE site for more information.
3) On July 1 MyERAS opens to all applicants.
4) On July 15, DO applicants can begin applying to residency.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Secondary Essays: Why Do You Want to Attend Our School?

Secondary essay prompts vary, but there are a few that are standard fare. "Why do you want to attend our school?" is a common topic pre-meds will encounter.

Med school admissions officers want to be assured that you know their institution, are seriously considering it, and will fit in well there. In approaching the "why-our-school" question, do your research on the institution and link something specific about you with the school's philosophy, curriculum, surrounding patient population, and/or extracurricular programs.

For instance, if you were a teaching assistant for chemistry in college, you might link your use of the Socratic method with a school's tutorial-based learning. In that way, you demonstrate knowledge of the school, show that you connect well with it, and showcase your accomplishment.

Monday, June 15, 2015

"Dude, Me Too!"

Here's a great article for pre-meds and medical students alike on imposter syndrome by an assistant program director at Georgetown University. This is a great piece to read as you maneuver the medical education and medical admissions processes. You are not alone.

Monday, June 8, 2015

IMGs (and Others) Participating in the 2016 Match: Sign up for Step 2 CS Immediately

Here's an important reminder from the ECFMG® News page:

To participate in the National Resident Matching Program® (NRMP®) Main Residency Match®, international medical students/graduates must have passed all exams required for ECFMG Certification. If you plan to participate in the 2016 Match (in March 2016) and still need to pass Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS), you should register now to take the examination.

To help ensure that your result will be available in time to participate in the 2016 Match, you must take Step 2 CS by December 31, 2015. If you do not register now and schedule soon, it is possible that you will not be able to obtain a test date in 2015. At the time of this writing, the earliest available test date at any test center is in October 2015.

The USMLE program also has issued a Scheduling Reminder for Step 2 CS, strongly encouraging medical students/graduates to schedule their exams early to obtain a testing appointment this year.
If you register and schedule now, you can change your scheduled testing appointment (subject to availability) at no cost, provided you give notice of more than 14 days.

Detailed information on the results reporting schedule for Step 2 CS is available on the ECFMG website.

Monday, June 1, 2015

AMCAS Question: Can a medical school see the names of other med schools you apply to?

Med school applicants sometimes worry about adversely affecting their chances of admission because they might "offend" one school by applying to others. Good news: Schools will never know which other institutions or how many other institutions you applied to through AMCAS.

In February, med schools at which you are accepted will be able to access a report which will show them at which other schools you are holding acceptances. But, of course, at that point, it's too late for that information to harm you.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Physician Salaries, Compared by Specialty

Here's a very interesting Medscape piece (with clear graphics) on current physician compensation, compared by specialty.

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.