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Hello! I am currently a senior in high school that did not get accepted to my dream school (UCLA) with a psychobiology major. I definitely want to become a psychiatrist and go to medical school, but am torn between going to a community college and then transferring to UCLA or attending either UC Irvine or UC Santa Barbara. My question is, if I choose to attend a community college first and then transfer to UCLA, will that affect my ability to attend a medical school?
No. As long as you fulfill your pre-med requirements and do well in community college/UCLA, where you go to school will not impact your application. Keep in mind that community college may be limited in research opportunities, extracurriculars, course difficulties, in comparison to a competitive school such as UCLA. If you are interested in doing research or going beyond what is taught in the classroom, while attending community college, you should actively seek out those opportunities at nearby universities or hospitals.
I'm a high school senior who only recently realized they were interested in medicine. Tons of kids my age have already done research/ volunteered at hospitals/ etc., will I be at a disadvantage for not having done that going into college and applying to med school?
No. You have plenty of time in college to do research and volunteer (and much, much more). College is a time for you to explore what fields you are interested in, so you might even change your mind about medicine during those four years. Keep an open mind and take advantage of the opportunities you will have in college!
Why are orthopedic surgeons considered the "jocks" of medicine?
It’s a stereotype that has some truth to it. Those interested in orthopedic surgery are usually tall, buff, and athletic guys. However, there are definitely petite girls that go into the field.
Will just fulfilling med school pre-reqs classes be enough to get into a top tier med school? (assuming my grades in those classes and overall are stellar and I do some research?) I would like to major in a non-medical field (history probably).
Yes. Majoring in a non-medical field will give you unique learning experiences and perspectives that other applicants may not have. However, majoring in a scientific field will help you pick up materials better in medical school (in general).
I have a very particular question. Truth be told (and I'm not trying to play myself down, here) I don't go to a good university. My university is not known to help transition students into medical school. We have a small pre-medical advising office, and truly awful professors teaching prerequisites. It seems to be that the school discourages students from taking on a pre-med curriculum. How do you overcome academic difficulty in a uni with no helpful resources?
Unfortunately, when your university can’t help you, you have to find resources on your own. The internet is a great resource for both academic success and for the medical school application process. Reach out to your fellow classmates. First, older students from your institution will have great advice on how to navigate your science classes & the application process. Second, if you are struggling, it is likely that others in your class are feeling the same way. Making study groups has always been a helpful resource for us. On a larger scale, you can use this as an opportunity to change the environment at your institution. Bring your grievances to your school’s administration and advocate for you and your fellow classmates!
The process of applying to medical school is difficult, but with the help of the internet and your friends, you can be successful.
Hello! So, I'm a first year undergrad and feel a bit lost as where to go. I'm attending a top university where grade deflation is extremely prominent, which sucks a lot. How do med schools feel about grade trends and lots of experience? I'm spending the next four summers at a guaranteed internship at a private practice pediatrician's office (which will be what I hope to go into.) Along with that, I might volunteer at the local hospital and go into research. What should I focus on? Thank you!
This answer should help.
Med schools love that you have medical experience. They also want to see who you are as person!
Don’t allow your status as a “pre-med” to be your only defining quality.
I've had an extremely rough first 3 semesters in college.. Is there any way to redeem myself before applying to medical school? I know I can do way better, there were just factors that really strayed me away from focusing and doing well in school.
Hello! (I’m going to answer 2 related questions in one here.)
Sorry to hear that you’ve been having academic difficulties.
In general, medical schools look favorably on upward trends in grades. However, your GPA still matters. Some schools will automatically reject your application if you have a cumulative GPA of less than a 3.0 (usually this is disclosed on their websites). Of course, your MCAT score will also be taken into account, but you must have a high MCAT score to offset a lower GPA. You can apply for a master’s program after graduation or a post bacc program to further supplement your application.
You also need to focus on how you will improve your performance to make the most of your remaining time in college. Evaluate your study habits, your time management, and your priorities. Having personal difficulties is understandable as long as you show that you have learned from your experience. If given the opportunity, incorporate your narrative into your personal statement. If you received D’s or F’s during this time, you must address these grades somewhere on your application and turn the experience into a positive aspect of your journey.
Bottom line, medical schools appreciate growth. Show that you have grown as a result of your experience and that it makes you an invaluable asset to their institutions.
Source: (The Awkward Yeti)
hi! im going to be a college freshman in the fall majoring in neuroscience! i know for sure that im going to be doing research my freshman year and im guaranteed to be published in a medical journal by the time i graduate. i also plan on shadowing and volunteering at the hospitals. besides keeping my grades up, what else should i be doing to prepare myself for apps/med school? thanks in advance!
If you want to go above & beyond, do something NON MEDICAL: get involved in a unique club or student group (better yet, start your own student group), take up an instrument, start painting, tutor on the side, etc…
Medical schools like to see that you are an interesting person outside of the classroom. They want to add people to their class who can talk about things other than academics, science, or medicine. Use college as a time to develop your whole person & explore the things that make you happy!
Hi! I'm a newly admitted student to UCLA and I'm planning to major in psychobiology and maybe minor in neuroscience. My questions are: 1) Was neuroscience difficult for you guys? (did you struggle with the material/exams were hard) 2) I've read the medical school requirements and they say "1 year of biology" but since UCLA is on a quarter system, will 3 quarters satisfy the 1 year requirement or will 2 quarters? Thank you!
Hello Fellow Bruin!
First, we loved our major. Neuroscience was definitely challenging, but using study groups and going to office hours helped a lot. Like everything, each Neuro course could be easy or hard, depending on your workload that quarter and your interest in the subject. When you start taking Upper Division Neuro classes, you will have the option to choose your NS electives and focus on the aspects of Neuro that interest you. Requirements for the minor will be different from the major, which you can read about here.
Second, 3 quarters of a subject = 1 year by medical school standards. If you are very concerned, you can call individual medical schools to verify.
Just wanted to drop by & say I'm so glad this exists. :) I'm in 1st year undergrad in Canada. If you could please answer the following, I'd really appreciate it: 1. I'm probably going to end up with a year 1 GPA of 3.9. Is it good enough? Without a 4.0 am I at a real disadvantage? Also, I got a research position but it's mostly just data entry, not actual lab work. Does it still count or does lab work look better? I'm trying to get it for next year but for now this is all I have.
Sounds like you’re off to a great start!
First, Your GPA is MORE THAN ADEQUATE.
Second, most people start their research experiences with data entry and develop from that point. Use this opportunity to make connections within your lab and learn more about what types of research or what topics interest you. You can always change labs in the future once you have a better idea of how you want to focus your studies.
Remember, focus on your goals, but don’t forget to have fun and use college as a time to develop as a whole person.
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