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Premed Reddit and the Most Common Premed Myths Found in Online Forums

Premed Reddit Myth #1: Medical school admissions is super competitive and therefore, only students with exceptional stats should apply.

For many prospective students, one approximation is a constant source of anxiety: roughly 60% of applicants don’t get accepted into any medical school the first time they apply. This percentage is often referenced alongside other statistics that speak to the competitive nature of medical school admissions, which can leave you feeling overwhelmed, depressed or out of control of your future.  

But what’s important to keep in mind is that about 40% of applicants do get into somewhere by focusing on the things they can control: their academic credentials, written materials, application timeline, and their overall outlook on the process.

Think about it this way: spending too much time worrying about your odds of getting in is energy spent away from researching and employing strategies to improve your chances. And believe us, the folks getting in are not just the ones with incredible stats. We routinely help students with sub-3.6 GPAs and sub-508 MCAT scores get into medical school, even MD programs.

Premed Reddit Myth #2: A good MCAT score is one that’s above a 520.

All students dream of getting a good score on the MCAT, but it’s important to keep in mind what a good score really is. There’s a great deal of back and forth about what’s a good score versus a bad score on the internet, so let’s put some facts on the table. Here are general statistics on how students score on the test:

  • Mean MCAT score: 500

  • Mean MCAT for applications over the last 4 years: 504.6

  • Mean MCAT for matriculants over the last 4 years:  510.5 

The average score for matriculants typically rises from year to year (in 2020-2021 it was 511.5), so you’re right to assume the MCAT carries more weight in medical school admissions now more than ever.

However, when thinking about how your score will factor into the admissions process, there’s no need to piece together various bits of information. The Association of American Medical College’s MSAR Database is the preeminent resource to see how your MCAT score measures up against those of other applicants and matriculants at select schools.

Once you have an MCAT score, make sure you reflect on what it means for your overall profile. Remember, admissions officers will be weighing it beside other key factors, particularly your GPA and extracurriculars, when developing their initial impression of your application.

Using MSAR and additional resources can help ensure that schools on your list are the right fit for you.  

(Suggested Reading: What MCAT Score Do You Need to Get Into Medical School?)

(Suggested Reading: How Many Medical Schools Should I Apply To? Which ones?)

Premed Reddit Myth #3: Premeds with a low GPA are doomed.

Similar to your MCAT score, your undergraduate GPA matters significantly in the admissions process. Schools that review your application want to know you’re academically prepared for medical school.

Although it’s difficult to get into medical with a low GPA, here are some basic strategies that can increase your chances:

  • Have a high MCAT score. Statistics have shown that performing well on the MCAT will increase your chances of getting into medical school.

  • Consider enrolling in a Post-Baccalaureate program or a Special Master’s Program. These one to two year programs offer an opportunity to retake undergraduate pre-med courses and/or take courses alongside first-year medical school students. An added bonus is that many of these programs offer linkage with medical schools. 

Premed Reddit Myth #4: Undergrad prestige is more important than stats.

Medical schools are looking for the most qualified applicants, plain and simple. However, if you’re an applicant who didn’t go to an Ivy League-caliber school for undergrad, you may be concerned about how your GPA will stack up against your competitors from more prestigious institutions. 

Unlike the MCAT, your GPA is representative of your academic credentials at a particular institution. In medical school admissions, an undergraduate GPA of 3.8 obtained at Stanford is viewed differently than an undergraduate GPA of 3.8 obtained at a lower-ranked university. There’s no universal metric to measure how admissions officers perceive or rank different undergraduate institutions.

Here are some strategies to counter potential anxieties you may have about your undergraduate institution:

  • Remember, a strong GPA such as a 3.8 or above is impressive regardless of the reputation of your undergrad.

  • Make sure you develop strong relationships with your undergraduate professors so they can write you stellar letters of recommendations that speak to your intellectual curiosity, work ethic, etc.

  • Make sure you score high on your MCAT 

(Suggested reading: Average GPA and MCAT score for every medical school)

Premed Reddit Myth #5: When it comes to extracurriculars, quantity is king.

We all have a vision of that perfect medical school applicant. In addition to having a high MCAT score and GPA, their resume is full of clinical and shadowing experiences and research opportunities, which can leave you, their competitor, feeling like you’re doomed to fail in the admissions process. 

But when it comes to highlighting extracurriculars in your AMCAS Work and Activities section and school-specific secondary essays, remember that quality is just as important as quantity. For instance, let’s say you have two applicants: one who has completed a dozen activities with no significant accomplishments in any of them, the other is rockstar researcher with several first-author publications. Who is more prepared for medical school? Which candidate has developed a rapport with supervisors who’ll write them better letters of recommendation? 

Ultimately, you’ll need to develop your own narrative around how these experiences helped shape you for medical school applications. You can always enhance any weak spots on your resume if you edit your written materials with this goal in mind. Even though this work can sometimes be frustrating, there’s always an opportunity to amplify impressive parts of your application.    

Premed Reddit Myth #6: There are specific topics you should include/avoid in your personal statement.

The AMCAS personal statement is one of the most important components of your application. It’s your chance to speak directly to admissions officers, share aspects of your character and personality, and make a case for why becoming a doctor is the right path for you. For these reasons your statement should, in fact, be personal. 

There’s a lot of discussion about what content makes for an impressive personal statement, and what content should or shouldn’t be included. This advice can make you feel self-conscious about your initial essay topics or latter drafts that don’t seem to align with examples you see published online. 

We’ve distilled proven strategies for writing these statements in our comprehensive resource titled, Medical School Personal Statement: The Ultimate Guide. Here, you’ll learn about what every successful personal statement requires without sacrificing an applicant’s individuality and personal voice, plus numerous examples.

Premed Reddit Myth #7: Submit AMCAS primary and secondary applications ASAP (regardless of quality).

The medical school admissions timeline can be a tricky thing to manage, especially if you have other responsibilities like work, internships or school.

To take advantage of rolling admissions, you’ll want to submit your primary application as soon as AMCAS opens in June. This means working on your personal statement and Work and Activities section well in advance.

However, if you find that your materials need some work, quality should take priority over a speedy submission. In other words, it’s okay to submit your materials a few days later if it means there will be substantial improvements in quality. Conversely, don’t delay your application for an extended period because of perfectionism.

Our Ideal Medical School Admissions Timeline guide outlines important times of the year for the process.

Final Thoughts 

As a premed, you may feel like you’re overloaded with information, which can make you question your commitment to becoming a doctor. But remember, there is no such thing as a “perfect applicant.” Your journey toward medical school will be unique no matter the circumstances surrounding the process. By following the strategies outlined in this post, you can approach your admissions process with peace of mind.

Sours: https://www.shemmassianconsulting.com/blog/premed-reddit

Getting started in med school, Reddit was one of the best places I found online to get lots of useful hints and tips on how best to study.

Instead of writing another article from my perspective, I’ve decided to curate a list of 26 top tips from other med students in the Reddit community.

I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I did!

How To Study In Med School: Before You Start

The following tips are organized in a way I feel students would get the most benefit from reading just before they start med school. These are the kinds of things I’d wished I read going in!

1. Approach Med School Like It’s Your Job

One of the biggest problems I see med students suffering from is lack of discipline. Approaching med school like it’s your job, and scheduling free time where possible, is important. 

Treating your medical school life as a 9-5 job (or however heavy your schedule is; 8-6 etc.) is more effective than any other method of working I’ve tried. Going home/to your halls knowing that you’re done for the day and can rest is such a liberating feeling.

u/h00nking

Related: I’m A Lazy Medical Student: How Do I Improve?

2. Remain Open Minded

Although I’ve got lots of my own recommendations and tips on how best to study, you’ve got to remember; there’s no one single way. You’ve got to be open minded and as flexible as possible to the idea of switching tactics and trying new things.

The first year of medical school is really all about figuring out what kind of studying works best for you. You’ll get a million potential ideas but it’s your job to go through all of them, succeed with some not all, and find the best fit.

u/maybefull

3. Work Hard to Overcome Intellectual Challenges

Maybe you feel you’re not the smartest student in the world. There are things you can do to overcome that. Working hard is the first place to start. Working smart is the second.

Work ethic x natural intelligence= good student. You can’t change natural intelligence, but you can change work ethic.

u/LongjumpingBudget

4. Determine Your Goals

You’re going to be pressed for time in med school. Aspects of your life will suffer as a result. You get to choose your sacrifices though.

Say you study for 80 hours for a test and you get an 80%. That is all fine and dandy. To get a 90, doesn’t mean 90 hours. Its more like 120 hours. You have to determine if those are hours are worth it. Would your time be better spent in a relationship, with hobbies or with family? Only you can answer that.

u/MrBigglesworth

Related: Do Medical Students Have Free Time?

5. Embrace Failure To Fix Mistakes

A real growth mindset is what will get you through med school successfully. Don’t be afraid of failure. It’s the best teacher.

You must take each failure and rigorously analyze what went wrong, what strategies or skills to hone in order to fix those mistakes. This will vary widely for each person, and each time may have you addressing a different specific issue.

u/areyousquidwardnow

If you’re interested in more tips on how I’d recommend planning for life in med school check out my article: What To Do Before Starting Medical School: 10 Key Tips.

How To Study In Med School: First and Second Year Tips

Once you’ve got the first few days and weeks of med school under your belt, it might make sense to review some of the following study tips.

1. Get Experienced Insight At The Start of Each Course

I’m a huge believer in this tip. Every semester I’ll contact some of my friends in higher years to see how they’d suggest tackling school-specific classes.

First, before you start a class, ask about it from someone who took it before. This cuts out a lot of nothing work at the beginning where you’re trying to find out what to read, what not to read, who are worthwhile professors etc.

u/jbsilvs

2. Use Flashcards Strategically

In the initial weeks of med school is when I’d first suggest new students get to grips with electronic flashcard apps like Anki. Working out the best practices now will save you time later.

I made all of my own cards my first semester then switched to zanki when we went to systems and I saw some positive improvements in my grades. I think what makes it work is making sure that you police yourself. If I find myself just trying to remember a word without actually knowing why it’s the answer to that card I’ll pause and look it up to make sure I understand it.

u/aggielax7

If you’re wondering what zanki is check out my article; What Is The Best Anki Deck for Step 1? 

You can also read more about the use of digital flashcards as a tool in this article: How Many Med Students Use Anki? (What Students Get Wrong About Anki)

3. Scope Each Subject

Just like asking older year students they’re opinion on how best to ace classes, it’s important to then set a plan in action. Scoping a subject out is one of the best ways.

At the beginning of every block/rotation I would map out just how many questions/practice tests and what readings/note-taking I would do every day, and always stuck to it.

u/maybes617

4. Ask Yourself; Are Lectures Worth it?

If lectures aren’t mandatory at your school they might not be worth going to.

Figure out if your lecturers are good or necessary. If they end up just reading the slides, you need not worry about going to their lecture. Saved me several hundreds of hours in medical school.

u/misteratoz

5. Make Lectures As Active As Possible

If you do have to go to lectures (or aren’t sure if you want to yet), then try and make them as active as possible. Doing so helps you stay engaged and hopefully stops you from sleeping!

Speak up in lectures. It it the most stupid thing when the lecturer asks a question and everyone sits there in silence. Who cares if you’re wrong and if you actually interact with the lecturer you learn so much more and you won’t fall asleep.

u/nbentley92

6. Practice Questions From Day One

Can’t recommend this advice enough. It’s something that makes up my own med school philosophy – you can read about this here; How To Study Medicine More Effectively.

I’m at the end of my 3rd year now and I wish that I started doing QBanks much earlier in med school. Great way to reinforce concepts and see how they might be tested and used to solve problems.

u/hjl19

7. Go All In On Physiology

Physiology is definitely up there as one of the hardest classes you’ll take in med school. Learning it well the first time around will help massively moving forward.

If you’re going to spend massive amounts of time on anything during the didactic years, nail down the physiology. It will come back time and time again, pretty much no matter what rotation you’re in.

u/redbrick

Related: Is Physiology Hard (Beginner Tips!)

How To Study In Med School: Tips for Clinical Rotations

Moving on from the preclinical years, there are still some study tips you might want to know. Here’s one good one I came across.

1. Patients Are There For Practice

It costs nothing to introduce yourself and ask! Much harder at a European med school though where I’m far from proficient in the local language…

For clinical exams it’s like an actor learning his lines. Just standing at the bus stop I would run through my head the cardiovascular exam or neurology exam and all the different steps I needed to do. For practice I would go round the ward for the hospital I was assigned to and I would look out for patients sitting there bored who looked well and I would be honest and say I’m a med student would you mind if I examined you? and most patients are so bored they’re delighted for something to do and we would tell each other different exams to do and critique each other.

u/kenlike

How To Study In Med School: General Study Tips

As for more general-style tips that you can apply to any field of study (let alone medicine) there’s some gold here too.

1. Learn To Synthesize The Material

You’ve got to constantly ask yourself what’s going to give you the most bang for your buck in terms of time spent studying. Learning to figure out the wheat from the chaff should be first on your list.

You do have to learn to recognize which details are worth knowing and which are not. This comes with time studying and reviewing some of the well-regarded resources. It’s all good knowing things beyond what is in the board review books, but there’s also a point where you can get bogged down in the details.

u/blacktarrystool

I like to call this 80/20’ing the subject. 

2. Be Ruthlessly Efficient With Time

Not much explaining needs to be done here!

Be ruthlessly efficient with your study time. Don’t study with other people. Constantly make connections in your head about new materials. Never take things at face value – figure out why it makes sense. Focus on what is testable.

u/fighter2

3. If In Doubt Go With Your Gut

This is a huge one. So many times I’ve switched out answers in multiple-choice quizzes only to find out my gut reaction was right.

Never overthink a question. Some professors like to make questions confusing for no reason. Half the time I realized that I knew the exact slide they were referencing in the question. You’ve looked at the slide a million times, You remember small details about it (some types of receptors, a clinical sign, lab values). Just pick the answer you remember seeing on the slide. Most of the time its the correct answer.

u/getfat

4. Find The Resource That Works For You

I’d also add not to spend too long in the process here. Sometimes you’ve just got to choose one good thing and run with it. Time is not on your side.

Honestly, half the battle is finding a good resource that explains things in a way that is succinct enough that you don’t just glaze over half of it but comprehensive enough that you can truly get what’s going on and aren’t just memorizing meaningless words on a page. I highly recommend Pathoma and Boards and Beyond – especially if your trouble spots are physiology.

u/caxoo

Related: Pathoma Vs Boards and Beyond: What’s Best To Use In Medical School?

5. Don’t Read Everything

Again, not much to add here.

You have to pick better books or learn how to simply skim or skip certain books all together.

u/sunealoneal

6. Repetition is Key

Yes, most of med school is just brute force memorization…

I try to always get 3-4 passes with the lectures. First pass is streaming the lecture and taking notes only on what the professor emphasizes or is not readily available in the slides. My second pass is usually the same day as my first pass, and is by far the most time consuming step: handwritten 1 page outline of the lecture. I write everything on a tablet. I reorganize the information from the slides in a way that makes sense to me, and I densely pack that page with notes. For my 3rd and 4th pass I only study my handwritten outline. – u/anonymous

How To Study In Med School: Active Recall Tips

Studying with evidence-based study techniques is absolutely the right way to go about things in med school. Active recall is all about that.

1. Active Recall With Good References

Here’s one way to do that…

What I do is just watch lectures at 2x speed, jot down the important stuff, consult Wikipedia, review book, or textbook if I need clarification, make a study guide on Word or use Anki.

u/bananacreampie

2. Actively Review Questions

Habit is what makes this powerful.

Don’t skimp on multiple choice questions. Do them every weekend (or if you have enough, at the end of every study session) then review them the next day.

u/bigavz

3. Test What You Don’t Know

Troubleshooting is the main aim of this exercise.

Doing some form of active recall, e.g. drawing pathways from scratch, drawing/writing muscle innervation/blood supply, lets me know clearly what I am/am not retaining

u/absie207

4.  Learn Directly From Practice Questions

Don’t be fooled into thinking you need to have memorized the concept first. The process of thinking about questions and applying logic is very useful to learning and remembering.

Practice questions are not to check if you have learned the material. They are to teach you the material. Use them to your full advantage. Do questions, figure out why the correct answer is correct and why the wrong answers are wrong. Then read the explanations thoroughly.

u/YUNOtiger

5.. Quiz Like Your Life Depends On It

Working in groups is a great tip for making this more fun!

I had the best results with finding 1-2 other classmates who were the same way and just quizzing each other. You’ll get questions that are more likely to be on what your professors will test on and coming up with questions to ask your buddies forces you to understand the material better. It worked out great for me and the people i quizzed with, but I’m sure it isn’t for everyone.

u/ATStillfullof

6. Settle On A Workflow

Ultimately you want to take all these tips and get a workflow or process going that works for you. Here’s how one med student does it… 

The details of my approach varied from block to block but always had the same principle: preview-learn-review

1. Preview – read lecture notes or a review book just to get an idea of what’s important

2. Learn – watch lecture, read a textbook, or both

3. Review – make flash cards, reread notes or books, try practice questions, some kind of recall-based learning is probably good for this

u/jokerbot

7. Keep A Sense Of Perspective

Finally, when the going gets tough, you need something in your armory to help you find the motivation to keep going. I’ve included this advice because I think it’s a great reminder of the things we need to keep in mind when studying just isn’t going our way.

1) We’re lucky to be in medical school. Even when it sucks, we’re participating in something that 99% of the world will never get to do.

2) Suffer now, because later our suffering will go away. The people who work crappy jobs and struggle to find meaning in their work will not see an end to their suffering. Study hard because it will be worth it.

u/FindThisHumerus

Summary

Hopefully, this round-up of Reddit tips has helped serve as inspiration! 

If you’re looking for even more advice check out my article; How To Succeed In Medical School: 10 Top Tips For Anxious First Years.

Good luck!

How Hard Is It To Get Into Medical School? (Reddit’s 19 Best Opinions)

Will

Born and raised in the UK, Will went into medicine late (31) after a career in digital marketing and journalism. He’s into football (soccer), learned Spanish after 5 years in Spain, and has had his work published all over the web. Read more.

Sours: https://willpeachmd.com/how-to-study-in-medical-school-reddit
  1. Gowns on ebay
  2. Appliances phenix city al
  3. Animation vs minecraft
  4. Lady jaguars basketball

If you’re wondering how hard it actually is to get into medical school then Reddit’s a pretty good place to go.

The communities’ unfiltered and candid opinion? Something that can be valuable for prospective students weighing up their options!

To help you filter through all the noise, I’ve curated (based on my own judgment as an actual med student), what I feel is the best input when it comes to answering the question.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How hard it is to get into med school
  • How hard it is to get into DO school
  • Why med school is so hard to get into

Ready to learn more? Let’s go.

How hard is it to get into medical school? Reddit’s best opinions…

Clearly, medical school is hard to get into. But every student sees it differently.

I’ve attempted to sum up the main factors why it may/may not be hard below…

It differs by country

Probably around 9/10 on the hardness scale.

Canadian schools being 11/10.

– dodolol21

One thing to consider, as the user above points out, is that the process of getting into med school varies depending on where you’re applying.

Some countries are more competitive than others.

But there are “easier” options

Caribbean School.. do you have a pulse and a checkbook?

– HyrumBeck

Caribbean Schools (just like European ones) do have the stigma of taking students with lesser stats.

Even if a lot of graduates go on to successfully work as doctors internationally!

Related: How Hard Is It To Get Into Saba Medical School? (Explained!) [2021]

The prereqs are tough (and many people give up)

It’s fairly rigorous. Getting an adequate GPA and MCAT score on top of having all of the extracurriculars in place can be difficult for many people, and of all of the applicants every year, ~60% get rejected from every school they applied to. While a ~40% acceptance rate seems high, you have to take into account that that’s 40% of a fairly self-selected group of students. The vast majority of premeds don’t make it to the application at all and switch to another career route.

– tummy

It’s obvious that grade point averages (GPA) and MCAT (the med school admissions test) scores are going to come up in an article on how difficult it is to get into medical school.

That said, many students underappreciate how tough it actually is to come out with high scores for both!

Throughout undergrad, they typically get discouraged.

It’s easier with high stats

Honestly I don’t think it’s as hard as people make it out to be. If you cut out all applicants with a <3.4 GPA and <66th percentile MCAT, about 70% of remaining applicants will make it into at least one school.

– byunprime2

This one is pretty straightforward. It’s much harder if you fail to meet the GPA and percentile MCAT cut-offs.

To know what those are, you’ll want to pay close attention to the yearly admission statistics of the schools you intend on applying for.

It’s easier if you apply “smartly”

About half the applicants get at least one acceptance. Considering that a solid 20% have low stats and another 15-20% apply poorly (late, bad school list) I don’t think it’s overly hard. Apply early and apply smart and broad with 3.5/507+ – should have an 80%+ chance of acceptance.

– Bubba_Gump2020

Things like applying late or applying for schools you have little chance at make for many wasted applications.

You need to tailor your application to schools you see yourself fitting. The best way to do that is through research.

Certain factors can play in your favor

Depends on a lot of factors. Your race, who you know, etc. Some people get in with pretty terrible scores, others are rejected with stellar exam results and high grades.

– mycuspidvalve

While it’s true most med schools have a strong commitment to diversity, you can’t take your socioeconomic or minority status as a given you’ll get accepted.

It can be an advantage in certain cases but you’ll still need to work hard.

There may be an in-state advantage

Getting in is difficult, but once you’re in, you’re in. State medical schools also depend a lot on your state of residence. The state schools are usually always heavily biased toward in-state students and reserve a certain number of seats for them. This can be good/bad depending on what state you live in.

– Darkfire757

Anecdotally, the bias appears real. But in-state applicants also usually benefit from reduced fees too. Without being able to pay for medical studies, it can be hard to get in!

But it’s mainly just a numbers game

Getting into a specific med school is much harder. Even if you are choosing an average med school, getting into a specific school is hard from purely a numbers standpoint. There are thousands of applicants for a few hundred spots, even if you are qualified, there is a chance factor that you won’t be chosen due to the numbers game.

– Anonymous

This is another reason for tailoring your application to those where you have the best chance of getting in.

You figure that out by looking at acceptance rates, stat averages, the number of places, etc.

Related: Easiest Medical Schools To Get Into In Florida (3 Examples)

And sometimes down to luck

T10s and T20s can honestly be a major crapshoot. There are more applicants than there are seats for those positions. Sometimes great students are overlooked and other times an under-qualified one really fits the schools mission and connects with the school and gets accepted.

– Pooker__

But it’s also hard because you can seemingly do everything right and still not make the cut (more on this later).

T10 and T20 refer to the “top ranked” 10/20 med schools in the US.

How hard is it to get into DO school? Reddit’s best opinions…

Whereas allopathic (MD) schools are notoriously tricky to get into, there’s an idea that osteopathic (DO) schools could be easier.

Let’s take a look and see whether Reddit feels that’s true…

Potentially easier as they accept lower stats

DO schools have slightly less rigorous requirements because they’re tailored towards non-traditional applicants (veterans, people changing careers, etc.) but they are extremely competitive as well (504-505 average and 3.4 GPA on average). In the U.S. DOs practice medicine in all 50 states and learn osteopathic manipulation on top of traditional medicine.

– renaturedprotein

As you can see, you still have to work hard at undergrad (and beyond) to gain acceptance into DO schools.

But hard as they expect other commitments

I disagree that DO schools are “easier” to get into all around – yes their MCAT/GPA requirements are lower but I think they force you to work harder in other ways. My interview for the school I was admitted to (a DO school) was much more intensive and required pretend patient interactions with actors, as well as a lot of emphasis on the reasons behind pursuing medical education and the kind of stuff I had worked on in health-fields while in college. It isn’t simply “easier” – they give you more leeway in some areas and expect more in others.

– Anonymous

DO schools often have just as great expectations of their applicants too. Even if the stats may be lower than those going for MD, the process has its own complexities and challenges.

And schools have reputations to keep up

They are not easy. Especially when you get to the more established DO schools. They will be more forgiving than MD schools if one aspect of your app fall poor, but they cannot and will not accept students with lackluster apps. The students and their performance reflect on the school and they don’t want student who can’t perform well in med school.

– blue20_02

DO schools are just as competitive as allopathic ones in their quest to recruit top talent. They’re not going to let just anyone in. That would damage their reputation.

Getting in has varying degrees of difficulty (not all schools are equal)

Not all DO schools are equal. Someone applying to TCOM, Michigan, Heritage, PCOM, etc will have to try much harder than someone applying to ARCOM or KCOM. The older more distinguished ones and the ones attached to state schools (receiving state funding) are not the same as the brand new low quality ones. The resources and support are on different levels even if there is lack of prestige.

– stresseddepressedd

As it is with allopathic schools, no one DO school has the same application process.

Some may favor students with lower stats, others may have a slight in-state bias.

It’s down to you to research each school and figure all that out.

Why is it so hard to get into medical school?

As for theories on why it’s so hard to get into medical school, Reddit offers some interesting input.

Feel free to follow through to the threads to read the discussions in their broader context.

The question of supply and demand

The reason doctor’s salaries are consistently high is because the medical schools strongly restrict admissions. They are basically restricting supply. If we opened twice the number of medical schools and still kept the same standards, medical expenses would fall significantly.

– IanArcad

This is true in every country. Physicians are expensive to train and the process is lengthy.

This isn’t your everyday training program.

The MCAT

The MCAT on the other hand required a year and a half of classes and cramming 5 subjects into my head on my own in 10 weeks before the test. It was infinitely more difficult and time consuming than the LSAT or the bar exam (though the three day, all essay bar exam takes the cake as a test of endurance).

– jendet010

In a discussion over if it’s easier to get into law school than med, this user comes up with a very good point.

The MCAT, the admissions exam most med schools will rank applicants on, is definitely no walk in the park.

Related: Why Is The MCAT So Hard? (Important Questions Answered!)

The process can be overwhelming

Get good grades. Forget about research, volunteering, or anything else until you have a stable grade foundation. Bad grades are near impossibile to fully recover from, whereas research and volunteering can be fixed last minute senior year or in a gap year if needed. (Obv not for MD PhD) Moreover, it is WAY MORE EXPENSIVE to fix GPA than it is to fix any other part of your app. You have to pay an extra year of rent to get more research or volunteering in? Thats 15k. If you have to do an SMP, thats 70k.

It pains to see freshman and sophomores post about being overwhelmed and how their GPA is tanking as a result.

Having a 3.7+ GPA opens you up to SO many schools and high GPA MCAT combos put you in contention for scholarships. It makes life easier.

– KingofMangoes

Yes, a high GPA and MCAT is the key to making getting in easier.

Prioritize it above everything else.

The obstacle of picking the wrong major

I’ll go ahead a add my mistake of doing a hard major. I am the first person in my family to go to college and medical school. I had no idea what I was doing. Majoring in biochemistry was a terrible idea. I struggled there and think it got in my way much more harm it helped.

Do something that will get you good grades. That’s all that matters.

– Stefanovich13

I’ve written about this trap extensively here; What’s The Easiest Pre Med Major? (Read This First!).

The lack of clarity in terms of admissions

Med school is unfortunately very unpredictable. Many very qualified applicants don’t get in anywhere because their stats are too high for low tier schools but they aren’t interesting/unique enough for top schools. Or there could be many other reasons.

– Code_Moo

Again, it’s important to recognize that sometimes luck plays a part in how easy/hard it is to make it into medicine.

Admissions processes are transparent to an extent, but there’s also a whole load of guesswork.

The task of staying motivated

You just have to have some way to keep yourself motivated. I’m about to be a 4th year Bio Major at UC Irvine in California. Going in with a full-ride scholarship, I thought I had a pretty good chance of getting straight A’s with an easy path to Med School. But there are just a lot of times in the past three years where I’ve lost sight of my goal, and my grades have slipped a couple of times… I think as long as you have a good friend to remind you of your goal or you can keep yourself motivated, you’ll be fine. There are a lot of distractions in college, though, so you better decide what your values are before you head in.

– AzureSky

This certainly rings true. You have to stay motivated (both before and during med school) if you ever hope to make it as a doctor.

As I’ve said many times on this site, studying can be a grind.

But it’s a grind that gets easier with discipline.

I got into medical school: Reddit’s stories

But if you’re feeling discouraged reading all that (and downhearted about your chances), don’t. Reddit has some great success stories too.

As evidenced here…

Perseverence wins in the end

I applied to medical school 4 times before being accepted. The first two times, I was not a good candidate, and knew it. I didn’t even get an interview. I decided to go to graduate school and got a masters degree in physiology. The courses for that program were the medical school courses. While the medical school operated on a pass/fail system, the graduate school operated on a letter grade system. A ‘B’ was considered passing in graduate school, while anything lower (B- and below) was considered failing. In order to get a ‘B’ in these med school classes, you had to be in the top half of the course. In other words, in order to pass graduate school courses, you had to beat the majority of the medical students. I lost half of my graduate school class that year, and actually had a little survivor guilt.

The third time I applied, I had passed all of my graduate school classes and was now tutoring the medical students in their classes. I was interviewed, but still didn’t get in. I was getting ready to cut bait and get my PhD, but I sat with the director of admissions to ask for advice (from someone who was notorious for not giving advice). She told me that if I didn’t apply one more time, I’d be giving up a year too soon. I applied again, my name came up for discussion, and I was in with no issues.

– angmarsilar

Like any worthwhile goal, medicine is hard. But, as this scenario shows, if you really want it, you’ll find a way.

You might have to put up with years of rejection first. Perseverance is key.

Success built on targeting specific schools

I ended up getting 3 interviews, out of 25+ applications. One from a top 15 school, another from a top 40, and one from my state school, which is pretty damn good. I just got into my state school, rejected from the top 40, and waiting to hear from the top 15. I made an A list of the schools I would love to go to, and that I thought would be a perfect fit. What I found interesting was that I got interviews at 3 out of 8 schools on that list. I think this might show that when you do your research, and can write essays that target the school, you stand out more.

– u/yayprocrastination

I fully recommend reading through the thread here.

You could really learn from the mistakes of this repeat applicant. They spent 10 years in the process!


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Will

Born and raised in the UK, Will went into medicine late (31) after a career in digital marketing and journalism. He’s into football (soccer), learned Spanish after 5 years in Spain, and has had his work published all over the web. Read more.

Sours: https://willpeachmd.com/how-hard-is-it-to-get-into-medical-school-reddit
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