Yes, you absolutely can apply to 2 specialties. It’s usually advised that you don’t tell one specialty that you’re applying for the other, because programs like applicants that are all in, so to speak. And yes, you should probably write 2 personal statements, each one specific to the specialty. I read a PS recently that was very generic and the writer just wrote about medicine in general rather than family med specifically. We all had doubts as to whether the applicant was 100% gung-ho family med after reading it. It’s a pain, but it will make your application stronger. Some people tweak their PS for certain programs, too. For example, when applying to an OB-heavy family med program, the applicant might emphasize their love for OB, and do the same for geriatrics in a geri heavy program.
PMTHers, (Pamthers?) feel free to add your own questions to this list. We need to get cracking on recruitment for this year if we expect to get any good residents.
Since it’s Med School and Residency Interview Season, I give you a lil something to help you prepare.
Wow, I just did this 2 years ago and it has almost completely left my memory.
What I remember is that you do your whole application online through ERAS (see their user guide here). They have their own forms for you to fill out. The only thing I remember using my CV for was to send to people I asked for letters of recommendation from so they knew my accomplishments.
When it came to doing my CV, I just looked up templates online until I found one that looked clean and uncluttered. My goal was to keep my CV to 1 page, so as to avoid overwhelming people. I’ll post a template separately just to give you an idea.
steffyluvsu asked you:What do you consider a good/well-balanced application for med school?
I’ve had this question in my inbox for weeks now (sorry steffyluvsu…i luv u too?) because I thought I had already been through this in my Advice to Premeds series. I sort of have, but not in one post.
So here goes:
I am currently in the application cycle for medical school, and my application to my dream school seems to be on a hold.. (I was complete 7/23, but people who applied before and after me both got interview invites, and rejections). I thought the only way I can have a chance was to send a follow-up letter of intent, but wasn’t sure what to include. What do you think? -mediclopedia
The first thing I’d do, mediclopedia, would be check with the school and make sure your application isn’t missing any pieces. That may be why you haven’t heard anything (good or bad) from them yet. That’s important. Also, if you haven’t gotten a secondary application, I’d probably consider that a rejection. Many schools don’t send out early rejection letters—they just don’t send secondary applications.
Next, I’d call the admissions office and just ask them if letters of intent actually carry any weight at the school you’re hoping for. If they don’t, ask if they accept additional letters of rec or something like that.
Letters of intent can be very helpful, especially helping AdComs decide between you and another wait-listed applicant who hasn’t shown interest in their school. I googled "Letter of intent for med school example" and got several good examples on the first page of hits. They don’t need to be super lengthy (less than a page, definitely), but you can essentially use it a second personal statement. Use it to give more reasons why you’re an interesting applicant.
Also, address your letter to the Dean unless the admissions office tells you otherwise. It may still go to the AdCom, but hey, if the dean reads it first, that has to be helpful, right?
Finally, if you don’t get in on this cycle, seriously consider applying Early Decision if your school of choice has the option. It’s sort of like a legally-binding letter of intent. You can only submit ED applications to one school. You would potentially be interviewed in an earlier cycle (which is always good), and if not, you still roll over into the general pool. If they accept you, they got you, for better or worse.
Good luck friend!
I’m currently a medical student applying to family medicine programs this year and reading your stories, I know you’ll be a great family doc and I hope to be like that some day. But, right now I’ve been writing and re-writing and editing my personal statement for residency programs and it isn’t that great. Do you have any suggestions or tips on what would help make it a good personal statement for family programs? -anon
Family med programs are looking for applicants who:
So it helps to show that you have these qualities in your personal statement without listing them out like on your CV. You need to show how family medicine (and not some other specialty) fits your personality.
Remember that your reader is probably a residency director who is tired of reading personal statements, so don’t write a research paper.
Weave stories and examples throughout your writing. Many people will also somewhat tailor their personal statement to the programs they apply to. For example, if you apply to a program that is geriatrics-heavy, you might want to mention your interest in geriatrics more in the PS you send to them. The same would go for OB or sports medicine or global health or any other side interest within family medicine.
Ultimately, your goal in a personal statement is to make the reader want to know more about you—and therefore invite you for an interview. Leave some mystery in it, but give them a taste of how awesome you are ;).
My plan B was to do a 1-2 year stint as a missionary so that I could decide if a career in missions was right for me, and to gain that ever-coveted “life experience” that med schools seem to look for.
Since I only applied to one medical school, this was a pretty big plan B. I didn’t worry about whether or not I’d get in to medical school, because I knew I would enjoy plan B just as much as plan A.
Not everyone can say the same about their Plan B, but it’s still a good idea to have one. Don’t give up on medical school because you no longer fit the “traditional” mold. Believe me, there are TONS of people your age (and *gasp* OLDER) who get into medical schools every year. But yeah, think of a back up plan just in case. There are not nearly as many med school slots (and residency slots, but that’s a different story) as there are qualified applicants.
I believe you’re looking for this post.
Realistically though? With these numbers? Probably not. A bad year or semester can be softened by having stellar grades the rest of your 4 years, but an overall low GPA isn’t going to be looked upon well.
I had to phone a friend on this one because I couldn’t completely remember what the AMCAS transcripts looked like when I was an interviewer. From what we could both remember, they show a letter grade and your science + overall GPA. No actual numerical grade.
Rebloggable by request.
What year do you think you should start trying to apply to medical schools? I’m a junior almost a senior in College and haven’t even started shadowing anyone let alone have thought about studying for the MCAT. I feel like I’m falling behind and am getting discouraged but I know being a doctor is what I truly want to do with my life. Any advice? Thanks :) - anon
Apply when you’re ready and 100% sure there’s nothing else you’d rather do with your life. If you want to follow the “traditional” path, you take the MCAT at the end of junior year or during the summer and apply at the beginning of your senior year (see the AMCAS timeline here). If you feel a little behind, don’t feel like you have to play catch up. Do it right, even if it takes you an extra year or two.
I recently learned about a pretty cool service that I think my pre-med followers could use.
I know you’re thinking, “who is this Roheet guy and why should I trust him to read my junk?”
To that I reply 1) Roheet is awesome 2) he writes extremely thoughtful posts (and you should probably follow him) and I’m sure that style overflowed into his own personal statement 3) he was just accepted to several medical schools, and 4) because I said so.
You’re also probably thinking “what’s the catch?”
Ok, yeah, there’s a catch. There’s a DEADLINE of MAY 20, 2013 to get your essay in to him. I mean hey, the guy can only be so nice, right? I’m sure he has a life and stuff and thangs to do.
Also you’re thinking “is it really free.99?”
Yes. Or no, if you’re also an awesome person and actually throw some dollas Roheet’s way. He does have a thingy set up for donations, so be generous.
And hey, maybe I’ll be a total copy cat and offer a similar service in the fall for residency apps….
Hey, I know you’ve probably been asked 8,657,239 times, but do you have any rules that would be helpful when trying to pick certain schools? I’m SO lost right now. *brain cramp* I don’t know how to pick schools. The only reason I’m in the university I’m in right now is that they offered me a lot of money and how could I turn that down? I still have a little while before I’m in dire straights, I just want to know if you have some advice.-bitemebloody
I felt like I had answered this before (not 8,657,239 times though), but I couldn’t find anything in my archives except this, so here goes, in no particular order and with random gifs that don’t fit any other posts:
Know your learning style: Is the school majority PBL, lecture, or an even mix of both? Do you want to be fed the material, or are you interested in more self-directed learning?
Scholarship opportunities: They’re few and far between in the med school world, but if they offer you one, jump at it.
Residency opportunities: What residency programs are available at the hospital affiliated with the school? Is this a place you may potentially like to stay in? Do they have fellowships in fields you’re interested in?
Location, Location, Location: You will need a support network in medical school. Consider a school’s proximity to family/friends/significant others. Also think about availability of jobs for spouses in your location, size of the town, availability of activities you enjoy, etc. Where will you be doing clinical rotations? Is the hospital a place where you can get a good experience?
Research availability: Maybe you’re an uber nerd who loves research. Is that school doing interesting things? Are you interested in an MD-PhD? Is their program any good?
Cost: If you’re looking at equally awesome schools, pick the cheap one, duh.
Size Matters: I did better at a smaller undergrad, and the same was true for med school. I wanted small groups, a low student:professor ratio, and a smaller city. Maybe you prefer big cities and classes and schools. Who knows.
Reputation: Not all med schools are created equal. If it’s brand new, the reputation isn’t going to be established (doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad though). The reputation and the “brand” associated with the school can potentially be helpful in your residency match process.
Stats: Do their graduates match to residency programs? What is their board score pass rate (first try)? What is their teacher:student ratio? Are your grades at least the average for that school? Do they have a good match rate for the specialty you’re considering?
Bonus Points: What do they have that the other schools don’t?
So yeah, make a chart of all your schools, their info, and pros and cons, and ask yourself these questions. Hopefully it will point you toward a favorite.
Hi, what makes students who get into top medical schools different from other candidates? I can’t seem to find any student profiles on the web. Thanks <3
Let me start with sort of an obvious statement: Students who apply to (and go to) top medical schools want to be in a top medical school. Think about this: there are TONS of super smart people out there who specifically chose NOT to go to a top school. They make this choice for a myriad of reasons, including geographic preference, cost, family obligations, specialty interests, and research preferences (or lack thereof…some schools require research, others do not). So a degree from somewhere other than Pitt or Hopkins doesn’t mean they aren’t brilliant.
But students who go to top schools often go to those schools for the prestige of it all. They know that school will look good on residency and fellowship applications, and they know they will have a solid education there. But remember, one does not have to go to a top school to get a top education. What you learn is mostly up to you.
Also, know what a “top medical school” is for YOU. Just because it’s the best doesn’t mean it’s the best for you. For example, I could have applied to the top school in my state, which is ranked in the top 25 for research and top 20 US medical schools overall. However, their rankings in primary care education are much lower, and considering my interests, it wouldn’t have been the best place for me to go.
Back to the question. I’m guessing it really was more about how to get into a top school, so let’s go there. If you wanna go to a commonly recognized top school, you need: