medschool

Medical Students Graduate Under Transformative National Curricula Redesign Initiative

CHICAGO — With five medical schools this year graduating their first classes of students fully trained under a transformative national curricula redesign initiative, the American Medical Association (AMA) is highlighting innovations from recent years that have better trained the next generation of physicians. Launched five years ago, the AMA’s Accelerating Change in Medical Education Consortium includes 32 of the country’s leading medical schools working together to create the medical school of the future. The first medical students to graduate after receiving full training using the Consortium’s innovative curricula include, NYU School of Medicine, Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine, the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) School of Medicine, and Penn State College of Medicine. These schools were among the 11 founding medical schools to receive $1 million AMA grants to develop curricula to reimagine medical education and join the AMA Consortium. “Through our work over the past five years, we have made significant progress in a short amount of time toward ensuring future physicians are prepared to meet the needs of patients in the modern health system,” said AMA CEO & Executive Vice President James L. Madara, M.D. “Today, the foundation we created is producing real results through the trail-blazing advancements in medical education developed by the Consortium. These future physicians will be better equipped to provide care in a practice environment of rapid progress, new...

Three Things To Remember When Studying for the MCAT

Studying for the MCAT is truly a marathon, and there are great challenges if you approach this exam like a sprint. I began my MCAT preparation in January of this year, and after waves of triumph and defeat, I had to reevaluate how I was studying and the mindset I had towards doing well. This is because marathons are not as easily affected by things like mindset, weather conditions, opponent capabilities. These are the qualms of a sprint – the short-term, rapid onset of results. Approaching the MCAT must be steadier and more constant than this. You have to be resistant to waves of triumph and defeat, flexible in your training, and open-minded. While I’ve learned a lot about science while preparing for this exam, I’ve learned even more about myself. Be flexible to change. This is applicable to anyone preparing for an exam or in school. I had strategically planned exactly how I would study, when, where, and what content. I learned early on that the way I had designed was not the most suitable way for my learning and that I was worried more about marking something off my checklist than actually reviewing and learning the material. So, you must be open about changing your study plan and constantly reevaluating if what you are doing is most suitable for you. For me, this meant transitioning from mostly...

The Importance of Psychiatry to Medical Students

“Psychiatry is the art of teaching people how to stand on their own feet while reclining on chairs.” – Sigmund Freud After hours of combing through the Internet, I finally laid eyes on this quote that most aptly defines my perception of psychiatry after having rotated in the specialty as a medical student for a mere three weeks. I distinctly remember my first morning as I walked through those double-locked doors on the 14th floor. I can still feel the reverberations of those barrier-like monstrosities shutting behind me as I hurried into the unit. I was apprehensive, no doubt about it, as I found myself under lock and key in the psychiatric ward for the first time in my life. As I searched for my phone in the blind-ending pockets of my white coat to check if I was on time for orientation, I heard someone exclaim “Good morning!” leaving me almost stunned by the unexpected familiarity. As I looked up, I saw a patient with yellow headphones on his head, holding a book and greeting me with a smile. And let me tell you, that was the first of many such greetings. Curious to find out what brought him here, I spontaneously rushed to find the resident and ask him. Obviously, someone this happy and upbeat couldn’t possibly have anything wrong with them now could they? To my...

Here’s What You Need To Know Before Applying to Medical School

College students are always asking “how do I get into medical school?”. Before we even ask that it’s important to know what’s important before applying to medical school. Wouldn’t you want to know the basis of what makes a high-quality medical school applicant? In this post, I break down what I think are essential items you need to know before applying to medical school. Learn how hard medical school really is in my first pre-med post! But first, let me give you some insight into my applicant process. When I was applying to medical school, l I was not a stressed out applicant. In fact, I was anything but. How do you ask? I had developed a strategic plan from the very start. I knew how I would gradually develop a competitive resume. I knew that my gameplan would lead me to become a high-quality medical school applicant. Did I know I would get into medical school on my first try? Did I think I’d receive acceptance offers from every school I interviewed at? Did I know I would get into one of the top institutions in the country? Absolutely not but I was confident I would do well! Now maybe you’re thinking I did well because of a stellar MCAT or a high GPA. I had an average MCAT and a decent GPA. It was the extracurriculars which made me a...

How To Dress For Your Medical School Interviews

Need help finding the right dress or suit for your interviews? Don’t show up in a lab coat (unless you have to). Here are the best ways to dress for your medical school interviews. Suit Don’t be cheap. You’ll keep this suit forever (or until your weight changes significantly), so don’t worry about the price tag. Buy a conservative suit that fits you perfectly (or get it tailored to fit perfectly). Check out this article for a lengthier discussion on interview attire. Women: the skirt versus pants debate rages on. (Especially for surgeons.) I personally opted for pants because I feel more comfortable in them, which translates into more confidence in my interviews. Plus I just can’t see myself at a program where I am expected to wear a skirt. With that being said, if I were equally comfortable in both I would actually opt for a skirt, as a skirt is technically more formal. Of course, make sure your skirt is long enough, especially when sitting down. Men: I would save the 3-piece suit for another day. It’s a bit much. (This is just my opinion, but I’ve also heard some residents and attendings make similar comments.) I would also avoid bow ties, unless you’ve seen the program director or department chair in one. Bow ties just bring up very strong feelings and you don’t want your interviewer secretly judging you for something so...

Is A Post-Bac Program Right For You?

As someone who took a few years off after college, I am a huge proponent of attending a post-bac pre-med program even if you have the slightest interest in it. Every student’s intentions and motivations are different. There are some students in my class that pursued combined programs. This means that they enrolled in their university’s medical or any other health professional school program after a certain number of years. Other students in my class are older (in their 30’s) and pursued other interests before matriculating in our program, such as being a flight attendant, attending culinary school, or working in investment banking. Despite what seem like “crazy” paths, we all ended in classmates. We will all become doctors. If you’ve heard about or want to know more about this route, read on. AAMC has a list of post-bac programs, but this list is not all-inclusive. Most programs geared towards students who have graduated college with or without science courses. There are grade-enhancing programs that help boost your science GPA and these programs are NOT considered post-bac programs. If you’re confused or the website is clear, it is perfectly acceptable to call the admissions office to double check if the program is the right fit for you. There are two types of post-bac programs. Some programs are more structured and formal and have a list of their own requirements, such as...

Are Grades That Important in Medical School?

A question that we’re asked quite frequently at Med School Tutors relates to the letters that have either plagued or overjoyed students for the last 17 years of their education: GRADES. Medical school is in fact “school,” and just like every school, it relies on grades to stratify students into quartiles and ranks. This begs the question that so many medical students are asking: How important are my grades? Will a never-ending string of H’s make me a shoe-in for the program I want? Will obtaining a grade of “pass” in the clerkship of my chosen specialty interfere with my life-long dream of becoming a [insert specialty here]-ologist? It would be easy to say that grades are of the utmost importance so you should do your best and get the highest grades you can. However, based on some objective data from the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP), the actual grades that you attain might not be as important as you thought they were. Let’s have a look inside the 2014 Program Director Survey to see what PD’s are really interested in, and where grades fall into the mix. The Program Director Survey is conducted by the NRMP, the algorithmic black box company that determines the fate of 42,000 students and MD’s alike, all vying for coveted residency spots. The purpose of the survey is to answer questions like the one this...