Applying to Medical School Series

Applying to Med School 101

 

If you’re premed you likely already know that the AMCAS will be opening soon. For those of you who don’t know, AMCAS is the application service for allopathic (MD) medical schools. This post is to introduce a new series I’m starting that may help those of you who are thinking of applying to medical school now or in the future.  As someone who was really all over the place during her application cycle, I wish I had more mentorship and just overall practical advice from students who had already applied. Don’t get me wrong, Harvard Office of Career Services and my premed advisors were great, but there were a few tips and tricks I wish I knew prior to applying.

Why are you blogging about medical school admissions if you’re already in medical school?

I didn’t get to where I am in life on my own. Yes I worked hard, but I had the support of family, friends, advisors, mentors, and awesome parents who helped every step of the way. Not everyone is fortunate to have that. We all have our own life circumstances and sometimes not everyone gets the support they need. As a result, I hope that by sharing my stories, my successes, and my failures, I can help someone else get one step closer to their goals. And even if you have an awesome support system, you can still benefit from hearing about someone else’s journey.

Additionally, I am a Black woman in medicine who truly believes that representation matters. As a result, I feel like I’m obligated to help future minority doctors in anyway that I can. I’d be doing a disservice to others if I kept the life lessons that I learned to myself. There’s not many of us Black women, and even less Black males in medicine. As someone who made it here with a lot of support from others, I have a genuine desire to pass it forward.

Will your posts only be helpful for minority medical student applicants?

Absolutely not! I identify as a black woman and although I would love to motivate women of color to enter medicine, I think that anyone, regardless of gender, race, and ethnicity can benefit from my posts.

Show me the receipts… How can I trust that you know what you’re talking about?

The advice and tips that I choose to share on my blog are based on my own personal experiences and sometimes the experiences of friends. I hope to share things that I learned along the application cycle and interview trail. My hope is that future readers don’t have to make the same mistakes I did and find ways to learn from my experience so that their application cycle a lot easier than it was for me.

In regards to credentials I am by no means a professional consultant for medical school or graduate admissions. Following my advice won’t necessarily “get you in” and not following my advice won’t make you a less qualified candidate. If you don’t know already, you’ll learn through my posts that the journey to medical school is different for everyone. I have worked with medical school admissions during my first two years of medical school and I have also worked for the Harvard admissions committee and did alumni interviewing of Harvard applicants as well. With that being said I won’t really talk about those experiences for conflict of interest reasons. Instead, I rather just focus on my experiences and what I learned along the way. Besides if you’re trying to learn bout a specific program’s admissions policy, the best place to go for questions if their admissions office or your advisor, not me.

What types of things will you talk about?

I plan on covering a bunch of topics, such as:

  • The cost of applying to medical school and interviewing
  • Choosing when to apply and gap year options
  • Deadlines, timing, and why submission times matter
  • Interview tips – what to wear, what to bring, do’s and don’ts
  • Travel tips
  • Thank you letter ettiequte
  • How to be the “best you” and stand out (in a positive way) during interviews
  • Letters of recommendation

But thats not an exhaustive list. I have a bunch of other ideas that I hope to get out to you all over the course of the next few months.

 

I’m considering caribbean medical school, osteopathic medical school (DO), nursing school, PA school, pharmacy school or another health profession. Can you still help me?

In regards to your specific application then no I can’t help you. I’d be doing you a disservice to offer help in something I’ve never done before. However there’s a lot of universal themes that I’ll cover such as interview etiquette, how to request letters of recommendation, tips on finding gap year opportunities, study tips, etc. that I think any pre-health student can benefit from.

What if I have a question that you haven’t addressed?

If you have any questions then definitely shoot me a email. I had several people already reach out to me already. If I don’t know an answer I have a ton of awesome, and amazing friends and mentors in medicine that would be open to speaking to pre-med students that I can connect you with via email. I’m all about sharing the wealth and helping you build your own tribe of supporters, but all you have to do is ask!

How often will you post about the road to medical school (i.e. medical school applications and interviewing)?

I’m a student first and a blogger second. As a result my academics come first (but you already knew this). I’m going to try to post something pertaining to the application cycle & interviewing at least 1x per week. Sometimes life gets rough and it may be every other week, but I promise not to let more than 2 weeks go by without updating. As for the the specific day, I’m going to play it by ear. I want to say every Tuesday but my schedule varies so I don’t want to officially commit to it, but lets just say I’ll try my hardest.

Update (6/16/16) – It was really ambitious for me to decide to post about this every week. My med school posts take a little bit longer because I want to make sure I’m putting out accurate and up to date information. I will try to update this series as much as possible. With that being said, if there is a topic that you’d like me to cover or if you have a specific question shoot me an email via the contact tab at the top of the page. I’ll be sure to answer your question personally, and if it seems like something others would want to know, then I will turn it into a blog post (anonymously of course, all of your info such as name, email, & whatever personal details you provide are safe with me).

But you post about other things… How can I make sure I don’t miss a post in this series?

The homepage lists all my posts in chronological order. However, if you click the “Medicine” link on the top you’ll find a page that has just my medical school related posts. Hopefully this can help when navigating my site! Also to really make sure you don’t miss anything, you can join my email list and subscribe via email. This way you get one email that includes all the posts I wrote from that week. To sign up, put your info in the subscription box (left side of the page if you’re on a computer or toward the bottom of a page if you’re accessing the mobile version of the site). Or you can follow me on Bloglovin’ to receive automatic updates.

 

Update 5/5/17: This post has been super popular on Pinterest! To make it easy I decided to make a list of a few of my most popular/ most recent medical school posts to get you started! Don’t forget to check out my other medical school related posts by clicking Medicine in the header above! 
  1. How to Get an Awesome Letter of Recommendation
  2. How to Choose the Right School For You
  3. Study Like a Medical Student – Study Tips!
  4. Things to Do During Your Last Summer Before Medical School
  5. Writing About Your Most Influential Activity on AMCAS
  6. Being a Minority in Medicine

I hope that this series helps someone out. If you do find it useful, please let me know. And as always don’t hesitate to contact me via social media or via email using the contact box found on my “contact me” page!

-xo, Trisha

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