AcademicGround How hard to get into med school?

Edited: 5/9/04 12:00 AM
Posts: 7
Hey guys. Every test and everything I take tells me to be a doctor, and truthfully that's the only thing I want to do now. About half of the people I know in college are trying to do the same thing, though. Does anyone know how hard it is to get in to medical school? How many people change majors, etc.? Any help would be appreciated. * Note: There are no med schools in my state but we have a program that takes 20 people from my state per year into the medical school program at the University of Washington. Does that make it harder?
Edited: 5/10/04 12:00 AM
Posts: 3014
make sure you REALLY want to be a doctor and are not just doing it cuz your mommy told you or because u want to make $$$. Do it for the right reasons or don't do it at all.
Edited: 5/12/04 12:00 AM
Posts: 3644
Edited: 5/17/04 12:00 AM
Posts: 5884
I have a family full of doctors, and Mozilla is correct. The gameplan for getting into medical school isn't so complicated. Score super high grades, do research (with papers ideally), have lots of extracurriculars where you have ACCOMPLISHMENTS, get great rec's, and kick ass on the MCAT. It's the gameplan execution that's hard.
Edited: 5/18/04 12:00 AM
Posts: 96
Both Mozilla and asdf are correct. Getting into medical school is extremely difficult. A lot of people have goals to go to med school and end up failing to do so. But if that's what you really want to do, go for it.
Edited: 5/20/04 12:00 AM
Posts: 4513
It's incredibly difficult, the competition is incredibly high. It can be done but you gotta have stellar academic results, a whole lot of life experience that they are going to find beneficial to your future medical career, and a lot of luck coming out on top of thousands of other applicants for only (for example) a hundred places.
Edited: 5/20/04 12:00 AM
Posts: 4514
but what program is it you were talking about?
Edited: 5/22/04 12:00 AM
Posts: 8
Gakami, this is the WWAMI program. I am currently going to school in Montana, and since there is no medical schools in this state, or really any around here, they take students from Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho (W.W.A.M.I.) into the school at the university of Washington. On the website they say they take twenty people from Montana every year, but it also says they only have a hundred applicants every year. I know at least that many people interested in it right now, but I've only finished my first year, so who knows how many of them will change majors, etc. asdf, what kind of extracurriculars would you recommend? (I doubt jiu-jitsu would be one of them) To everyone else, thank you for the responses. Actually, my mom wants me to do something else. While I didn't grow up with a lot of money, I don't think it's the solution to, well, anything. I want to help people and that same old cliche, but I actually believe in it. Thanks! Wish me luck!
Edited: 5/23/04 12:00 AM
Posts: 5923
My wife did TKD, got her black belt, and put that on. At graduation dinner of a recent group of residents, they mentioned people with cool extra curriculars - one was all-conference in soccer. In this year's graduating class, one is a former olympian for Canada, another was on the US Ski team. Accomplishments in extra-curriculars can help you, IMO. Also, extra-curriculars relating to medicine (like volunteering in a hospital).
Edited: 5/23/04 12:00 AM
Posts: 4546
" I want to help people and that same old cliche, but I actually believe in it." Actually, that's what a majority of applicants say in their interviews (yes each and everyone of them actually believe it's cos they want to help). It's been done to death and the interviewers do not want to hear it. What will make you stand out, and also show a more genuine interest in the science of medicine (not just a general moral interest in helping people), is if you are able to show them that you are actually interested in the science of medicine. You have to convey to them how you like to see how the human body ticks, how it's interesting how medicine works on a pharmacological basis etc. Don't give them the "i want to help people" line, they've heard it a million times and don't really care to hear it if you have nothing else to back it up.
Edited: 5/24/04 12:00 AM
Posts: 5927
gakami makes a good point. My wife is a surgeon and she loves doing surgery. Many of the surgeons are the same. If you are thinking about going into surgery, you might say "I think opening up bodies and fixing body parts is so cool!" (if it's true).
Edited: 5/26/04 12:00 AM
Posts: 479
i'm a med student in the usa, med school is hard to get into if you don't do all the right things but if you do everything you're supposed to, its not difficult to gain an admission...having a weak mcat or gpa will make things hard - those 2 features of your application are by far the most important, everything else is secondary... good luck
Edited: 6/14/04 12:00 AM
Posts: 427
Here's the real deal. Med school is difficult to get into. Especially if you fall into the overrepresented minority or the majority. GPA's and MCAT's have to be above the averages listed. In recent years, there has been a downward trend in number of applications (i.e. it's still hard but not at the peak of competitiveness). Would I do it again? MOST LIKELY NO! Lawyers dictate what you can and can't do. Some of the most rewarding specialties get hammered by HMO's which make making a living in them near impossible (e.g. Peds anything). I went to school too long, and I take too much responsibilty, to be middle class (I came from poverty). I know I sound like it's all about the money, but if you're miserable trying to keep your family and office and self above water, you aren't going to be able to give all the attention to your patients that they need. Also, I put my name on a piece of paper saying that YOU DON'T HAVE CANCER. How many of you would want to do that everyday? What would I do? I still like helping people and I will always want to interact on this level. I tell everyone I would go to Dental school and do orthodontics and general dentistry. It is mainly cosmetic, but you are still helping people. The reason I chose Radiology was that I can have as much or as little patient contact as I want and I can affect more patients in one day than any clinician. Also, I am now the "doctor's doctor". But most of all, was lifestyle. Go ask a surgeon, or OB/GYN if they like there lifestyle (esp. the ones with a family). Or better yet, ask there kids how often they see their Mom/Dad. Just think this decision through. If you don't like my point of view, the 20 other residents in my program feel the same, as well as my best friend (doing Opthamolagy), or I can find a dozen in 20 minutes that will aggree with me. Andrew L. Doe MD
Edited: 8/8/04 12:00 AM
Posts: 116
AndrewDoe makes some really good points. There's so much you find out after you get into med school that makes you second guess your decision. Anyway, about getting in. I have to agree with pretty much everyone else. I do want to emphasize though that even if you are very competitive in your GPA, MCAT scores, extracurricular activities, letters of rec and interviewing skills... so are most of the other applicants. So much depends on luck. I know from experience. With that said, good luck.
Edited: 9/4/04 12:00 AM
Posts: 3894
Andrew, thanks for your post, I feel much better now :). I was very disappointed at not getting into medical school but I think overall it has been best for my marriage and kids.
Edited: 9/25/04 12:00 AM
Posts: 2
I finished med school in 2000 and am now in my last year of residency. I ABSOLUTELY would not do it again given what I know now. However, since I am at this point in the process I can say that there are some positives in sticking with it, but you have to LOVE the field. The sleep deprivation, being ridiculed and treated like crap (by "professionals"), the low salary and long hours, call, getting GERD and panic attacks and depression and the medications to treat these, the lonliness... all these are considerations. I don't LOVE it but I do find it interesting and rewarding at times. It is one hell of a long and difficult road.
Edited: 11/11/04 12:00 AM
Posts: 103
Reminyl is absolutely correct. My girlfriend is currently a third year med student and is questioning whether or not she really wants to go through with med school. Make absolutely sure that you want to be a doctor for the love of medicine. You will have very little time for anything else when you are in med school. Don't forget about residencies, board exams, rotations, lack of sleep, stress, etc. (especially what reminyl mentioned). In regards to getting accepted, it is very difficult to get into med school, let alone a top tier one. My girlfriend goes to a top 10 med school and had some impressive stuff on her resume. Make sure you have good grades, good mcat scores, and good extracurricular activities.
Edited: 11/13/04 12:00 AM
Posts: 145
the answer is VERY simple...ace the MCAT and have a good gpa (and don't be afraid to apply to DO schools, they are docs just the same, and the only people who really know the difference are those who possess an MD. ace the MCAT and your dreams will come true, and don't let others try to hold you back. fuck the naysayers, do your thing.
Edited: 11/13/04 12:00 AM
Posts: 9706
You could have the highest gpa, and the best MCAT score, but if you don't have a good application, references, and a kickass interview, you won't get in.