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What do I need to do as a pre-med student to ensure that I get into top medical schools in the country How should I study for the MCAT? Do you know if there is any specific internships I need to look into??

I'm going to be a freshman in University this fall planning to major in Biology on the pre-med track.

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Jesse’s Answer

Three things most of the boards look for: Metrics, Experience, Attributes/Demographics.

Metrics:
-UG GPA Science/Math
-UG GPA Cumml Total
-MCAT total score (most recommended up to 3 but I’ve heard doesn’t look good more than that)
-Grade trends (I’ve seen started pretty badly, but kicked butt, retool classes, crushed their junior/senior year and got accepted)
-on track to compete course work

Experience:
-any healthcare experience? in what capacity? How long? Invest in an internship in the specialty you think you want; or try several.
(Have a letter of intent/cover letter before you start knocking on Doctors doors).
-community service/volunteer (KEEP LIST OF CONTACTS IF ABLE)
-experience in underserved population?
-What adversities have you conquered? Or has your whole life been easy? How do you stand out?
-Leadership experience? (You’re the doctor you can’t stand in the corner during a code)
-Research experience?
-Global experience?
-Any other life experiences that Marie you stand out?

Demographics/Attributes:
-US citizen
-State residency?
-Do you have a good family support?
-Single with no kids? Married?
-Rural/Urban background
-First Gen college student? First Gen medical school student? Potential first Gen doctor?
-How well you interview? (Better read on current events, understand Medicare, any other opinions with a good response like to COVID? What changes
-How good are your letters of recommendation?
-Age/Sex
-What are your values and beliefs?
-Languages?
-Team Player or will everyone hate you
-Critical thinking, social skills
-Hobbies/interests?

Hopes this helps.

Here’s a couple of links:

https://students-residents.aamc.org/medical-school-admission-requirements/medical-school-admission-requirements-applicants

https://students-residents.aamc.org/

https://www.studentdoctor.net/
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Ahsan’s Answer

Arrange a meeting with your program advisor and explore any on-campus groups for Pre-med students, such as AMSA. Also, if your school offers a graduate program in medicine, reach out to the advisor there. It's even more beneficial if your undergraduate program has a connection with the graduate school, as this could lead to a friendly introduction.

Ahsan recommends the following next steps:

Setup a meeting with your program advisor.
Look into any on-campus organization for Pre med like AMSA.
If your school has a graduate program for medicine email the advisor.
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Emily’s Answer

Hi Maneka!

I understand how incredibly stressful but also incredibly excited you must feel about pursuing your goal of becoming a doctor. As someone who also had the opportunity to pursue pre-med for many years, I understand the desire to be in the top 1%. One of the greatest pieces of advice I ever received was to focus on nurturing my passion more than my grades. When you apply to colleges after taking your MCAT, a good score can only get you so far. The board of physicians who interviews you are looking for not only bright, but also incredibly passionate people. If you can prove to them and display your need and desire to participate in Healthcare as a physician, your MCAT scores are of less importance.

That being said, making sure to ask many questions in class when you're not sure about an answer. Instead of waiting to study for the MCAT devote as much of yourself as you're comfortable with to truly understand the content of the things that are more difficult for you. For me, that was chemistry and math. I set more time aside for my homework, spoke with my peers and professors during office hours, and truly went the extra mile to understand the foundations of the questions I had. Building a strong foundation will help you a lot when you're studying for your MCAT, and will make the process less daunting.

I have been told that there is no magic number for when you should start, but I was recommended to begin no less than 4 months and no greater than 7 months before the exam. If you study content too soon you have the unfortunate chance of forgetting too much, and if you don't provide enough time you won't be able to focus on everything you need. Many of my peers broke up the sections of the MCAT by what was most difficult, focusing on what they had a good foundation on but weren't great at vs focusing solely on things they struggle with, followed by what they were good at, and leaving the most difficult sections for last.

You know yourself best, but I do hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask on here, and as Ahsan stated previously, please talk to your advisor. Your advisor is going to be your greatest asset to getting into medical school, they will more than likely be your first reference. Have a fabulous week, and good luck, you're going to do great things!
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