AMCAS Application

A couple days ago I just started putting filling out the online application. This application is used by most medical schools. One of the most annoying things about the process if that you have to enter the grade of every course you have taken in your college career. We already pay for the service. They could at least enter the data themsevles since they require an official transcript.

And to submit the application to a medical school isn’t cheap. I’ve been reading the book Ultimate Guide to Medical Schools by U.S. News and World Report. The suggest that each applicant apply to around 10-15 schools. The AMCAS fee for one medical school is $160 and then $30 for each additional school.

So, for someone sending the application to 15 schools, that would be $580. I’m not sure if there are additional costs yet or not… Oh well, let the fun times roll…


Kaplan MCAT Prep Course

Looks like I’ll be enrolled in the Kaplan MCAT Prep Course this summer. The course is almost $1500. Fortunately I received a certificate to take the entire course for free. The Pre-Med Club here at Walla Walla College conducted a raffle. The certificate expires this summer, so only those who planned on taking the Aug ’05 MCAT exam were eligible.

In total there were 6 people and my name was the name that was drawn. I’m eager to see what the class will be like as I’ve heard both good and bad things about these prep courses.

I’ll plan on posting updates throughout the summer about how the course is going as well as the application process that I should be beginning in the next month or so.

Update: A review I wrote about the Kaplan course can be found here


The Interview

Well, today I finally had the interview with Dr. Nyirady. If I had to describe it in one word, I would say that it went “unexpectedly.” Last week I went to the Walla Walla College career center for an interview workshop. While it was geared towards graduating seniors looking for jobs, I still was able to pick up some great tips. Afterwards I asked the career center director for common questions asked during medical school interviews.

Although the career center director told me that it was just an informal interview, I still expected some of the common questions to come up during the brief 20 or so minutes with the Loma Linda University representative. However, as far as I can remember, there were only two questions asked: (1) What kind of experience do you have in the medical field? (i.e. volunteering or shadowing a physician) and (2) What kind of outreach have you been involved in?

Okay, I’ll admit question #1 was expected. But I did expect things like “Tell me about yourself,” or “What are you strenghts and weaknesses.” Perhaps that comes in the formal interview conducted in the Fall? At least I hope so… I understand that #2 is a valid question for a school whose mission statement is “to continue the healing and teaching ministry of Jesus Christ, ‘to make man whole,'” but I expected more than just the two.

I wonder if my transcript sealed my fate…


Informal “Get-to-know-you” Interviews

I just got an email from one of the three Pre-Medicine advisors here on campus. On Tuesday, May 10, Dr. Stephen Nyirady will be visiting the campus. If I remember correctly, he is the Vice President for admissions from Loma Linda University School of Medicine.

One of the things he will be doing while on campus is presenting at an “interest” session. The second thing he will be doing, and I’m sure the one most people are a little bit nervous about, is conducting interviews. I’m told that for those who are planning to submit an application this summer (to begin Med school in Fall of 2006), this interview is a more informal one just to “get aquainted.”

LoL. No pressure, huh?

Well I shall see how it goes. I’ll probably sign up for an interview and try to find out about how the school operates; it’ll be useful to know how classes operate, class size, how many students get into their first choice for residency… that sorta thing.


Why I Started This Blog

Semper pertinax. It’s Latin for “always persistent” — a quality that everyone needs regardless of what profession you choose. It’s a quality that will get students through the drudgrey of undergraduate studies, through medical school, through residency and into a rewarding career as a physician.

As I begin this blog I am in the third quarter of my junior year of college. My summer won’t be a pleasant one. It’ll be spent studying/cramming for the August MCAT.

And so as I sit here at my desk thinking ahead to the summer that will pretty much decide my destiny I wondered about what resources are out there for students who are thinking about choosing to become a physician.

I got the idea of putting up my own personal blog, to chronicle my journey as I try to get into medical school. And hopefully, assuming I get in, the blog will evolve into a journal of what to expect once in medical school.

I got on and started filling out the form when I noticed that my first choice for a URL was taken. It was started by a student in 2002. It had one entry and looked like the author had the same idea I have now. But only one post. This happened two more times. I guess the idea is an old one…

Well lets just wait and see. Maybe this one will stop after this first post. Maybe I will become one of the thousands of students who don’t get into medical school. But hopefully not. And hopefully this site will be able to help others thinking of starting down the path towards a career as a physician.