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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.
Hey there! Love the blog. Quick question - just how important is getting involved in research? My advisor and many professors have mentioned that research is super important for the application. While I do have leadership positions in organizations, as well as hospital/clinical volunteer experiences (including some shadowing!), I feel nervous for this upcoming cycle that I don't have research under my belt. Thoughts? Thanks!
Please tell me that there is hope for a (albeit exhausted and caffeinated) *happy* medical student. We only live once, grantedly, so if you do what you love...
There’s always hope! :)
& it always gets better. Fix your sights on your future and keep on keepin’ on.
- Dr. __ during Dean’s Hour today.
Thank you, I’ll try. It’s hard when you’re an M2 living on coffee and free lunches and struggling to keep all the information straight and doubting yourself and scheduling your life around your exams and, in a few months, the exam. But I will try to remember. I will.
Hello there! What is your most important spot of advice for someone about to have their first (and possibly only) med school interview? I've got a mock interview with a professor/mentor tomorrow, but otherwise I won't really have much to go off of (at least in terms of personal experience). Thank you, I appreciate it!
Definitely have as many mock interviews as possible. To make your mock interviews worthwhile, make sure you are practicing with someone who is comfortable in giving you honest, constructive criticisms.
An interview invite most likely means that you have already passed the school’s screen for good academic standing. The focus of the interview should be presenting yourself, as a human being, to the admissions committee.
Things I look for (in no particular order):
In general, avoid sounding too rehearsed. Allow room for spontaneity and be genuine. Do not try to put a plug in for your extracurriculars in all your answers, only when it is appropriate/relevant.
Any advice for a future med student that Hates math? (Is there a future)
As a med student, you will be fine just knowing how to simple math and basic statistics. As a pre-med student, you need to know enough to pass (and do well) in pre-med math requirements.
Hello! High school junior here, I'm looking forward to becoming a cardiothoracic surgeon in the next 15 years or so. My question: high school gpa vs SAT score, which is more important for getting into undergrad, and is it bad to go to a not so prestigious school for my bachelors?
Most colleges have a publication listing the GPA or SAT/ACT scores for their accepted students (UCLA’s publication can be found here as an example). Typically a high GPA can offset a lower/average SAT/ACT score and vice versa. Remember that colleges account for the number of AP/IB classes that your school provides and any challenges that you have had to overcome during your life.
As for your second question, see below.
Is it necessary to go to an elite undergrad college for admission into a good medical school? If I am a poor minority student and I have to attend a state college, would that affect me negatively as a med school applicant?
As long as you are able to make yourself stand out as a student who is passionate about medicine, you will have as good of a chance of being accepted as any other applicant. Focus on making yourself the best possible candidate by taking advantage of all of your opportunities both in school and out of school.
Is your "45 Things I’ve learned while studying for the MCAT" post, about summer studying or semester studying?
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