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The Road to Medical School


The Road to Medical School Dr. David Frank Chemistry Department CSU Fresno McLane 159 (278-2273; email is better) * * The New MCAT (Begins ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Road to Medical School

The Road to Medical School
  • Dr. David Frank
  • Chemistry Department
  • CSU Fresno
  • McLane 159 (278-2273 email is better)

11th Annual UC Davis Pre-Medical Pre-Health
Professions National Conference Passion for
Life, Education, Service, and YOUR Future in
Healthcare Saturday Sunday October 12-13,
2013 800am-600pm University of California at
Davis, Pavilion For Bundle (Bus, Food, Lodging)
contact Cristian Sarabia cristiansinaloa_at_mail.fres
(No Transcript)
  • Malpractice Insurance
  • Cost depends on the state location
  • Internal Medicine 6K - 11K/year
  • OB/GYN 55K/year (2009)
  • General Surgeons 28K - 55K/year
  • Physician Assistant 2K 6K/year

  • Financing Physician Education
  • The median education debt for indebted medical
    school graduates in 2012 was 170,000, and 86
    percent of graduates report having education debt
  • Debt Public 160K, Private 190K
  • Cost Public 197K, Private 275K
  • Scholarships (4 yr) Public 14K, Private 30K
  • Remember you need a good credit score to qualify
    for many loans.

Academic Medicine, Jan. 2013 Study shows that
recent medical school graduates with the median
amount of education debt (160K-170K) can enter
primary care, raise a family, live in an
expensive urban area, and repay their debt within
10 years without incurring additional debt.
However, heavily indebted primary care graduates
(who owe 250K) must plan repayment and
lifestyle choices carefully and strategically.
The article includes debt repayment models across
a variety of scenarios and specialties. It
suggests that education debt need not play a
determining role in specialty choice and
illustrates the capacity of physicians to repay
their education debt.
The Path to Becoming a Physician
  • Bachelor Degree
  • Possibly Post-bac work to shore up soft GPA
  • Medical School - 4 years
  • Residency - Minimum of 3 years (1st year often
    called internship)
  • Optional Fellowships for further specialization

Have A Plan
  • Academics - Required Courses, Bachelors
  • Extracurricular Activities (including medical
  • MCAT
  • Research
  • Letters of Recommendation
  • Finances for the Application

What Should I Major In?
  • Whatever interests you the most, BUT...
  • English, philosophy, history, music majors, etc.
    may take longer to graduate to get all of the
    pre-reqs, cannot get grants for units outside of
    their major, and the science GPA is vulnerable.
  • Advantages of Biology or Chemistry major
  • Premed prereqs are part of the degree
    requirements-grants scholarships can only
    cover units of MAJOR
  • Science (BCMP) GPA is buffered by taking more
    science classes
  • Better preparation for first year of med school
  • Higher priority at getting into impacted first
    year Chem 1A/1B and Biol 1A/1B.

Undergraduate Academic Preparation
  • 1 year of General Chemistry (1A and 1B), even if
    you have AP credit. NOT 3A/3B
  • 1 year of Organic Chemistry with lab 128 A
    129A, then 128B and 129B)
  • 1 year of General Biology with lab (Biol 1A and
    1B), even if you have AP credit. NOT Biol 10
  • 1 year of physics with lab (Phys 2A/B Does not
    have to be physics for physics majors).
  • Math 75 and Math 101 (Statistical Methods 4

AP Credit
  • In general we advise pre-med students to take
    general chemistry and biology at Fresno State
    (not a community college) even if they have AP
    credit for these courses.
  • However, you can check with the medical schools
    in which you are interested to find out about
    their policy on AP courses.
  • The medical school might allow an upper division
    course in the particular discipline to fulfill
    the requirement.
  • Hard to know early on which med schools you will
    choose to apply to

Academics - Courses Required by Many Medical
Schools(and really important for the MCAT)
  • 1 year of EnglishUpper division with lots of
    reading, critical thinking, and writing or
    Philosophy courses
  • 1 year of Math (calculus, statistics, computer
  • 1 semester of Biochemistry

Academics Other Courses
  • Physiology (Comparative or Human can help
    with the MCAT)
  • Genetics (can help with the MCAT)
  • Human Anatomy (just before entering can help
    with first year med school)
  • Cell Biology Molecular Biology (can help with
    first year med school)

Academics Other Courses
Because the the MCAT in 2015 will change, we
strongly advise students who may take this exam
to take One or two semesters in introductory
psychology -PSYCH 10. Introduction to
Psychology (3 units) -PSYCH 40T. Topics in
Research Design and Statistics One or two
semesters in introductory sociology -SOC 1
or 1S. Principles of Sociology (3-3 units)
-SOC 3. Critical Thinking about Society (3
units) Introductory Biochemistry Chem 150
Before applying, make sure that you have
fulfilled the course requirements for the medical
schools to which you intend to apply.
Academics Count
  • Aim for a minimum 3.6 GPA, for BOTH your overall
    GPA as well as your BCMP (Biology, chemistry,
    math and physics) GPAs.
  • For allopathic medical schools, the GPA is
    calculated based on all courses taken, even those
    for which you applied for grade substitution.

Stanford Irvine
Upper Division Biology
Nationwide 20,518 seats and 46,454 appicants 44
Schools with multiple CSUF accepytances 2011-2013
32 other schools have accepted one CSUF student
in this 3 year period.
2013 Data
of Applicants
2648 - 20518 44
2013 Data 44 CSUF students applied, 20 were
admitted to at least 1 school 45 acceptance
rate. Highest MCAT with acceptance 39R Lowest
MCAT with acceptance 23Q Highest GPA 4.0 Lowest
GPA 3.57
What is Osteopathic Medicine? Critical
physician workforce shortage. By 2020, the gap
between our physician supply and demand 50,000
to 100,000. gt 4,200 new osteopathic
physicians/yr enter the workforce. gt 63,000
fully licensed osteopathic physicians practice
the entire scope of modern medicine, bringing a
patient-centered, holistic, hands-on approach to
diagnosing and treating illness and injury. gt
20 of US medical students -gt osteopathic
physicians. DOs can try for any specialty,
prescribe drugs, perform surgeries, and practice
medicine anywhere in US. Osteopathic
manipulative techniques to diagnose and treat
patients. Osteopathic physicians work in
partnership with patients to help them achieve a
high level of wellness by focusing on health
education, injury prevention, and disease
Osteopathic Medical Colleges AACOM.ORG
There are currently 29 colleges of osteopathic
medicine, offering instruction at 37 locations in
28 states. Twenty-three of the COMs are private
six are public.
What is a Physician Assistant? A physician
assistant (PA) is a medical professional who
works as part of a team with a doctor. A PA is a
graduate of an accredited PA educational program
who is nationally certified and state-licensed to
practice medicine with the supervision of a
physician.   What can PAs do?   PAs perform
physical examinations, diagnose and treat
illnesses, order and interpret lab tests, perform
procedures, assist in surgery, provide patient
education and counseling and make rounds in
hospitals and nursing homes. All 50 states and
the District of Columbia allow PAs to practice
and prescribe medications.
Prereqs for Physician Assistant Program - Tuoro
8 semester/12 quarter units (including labs) in
each of the following categories Biological
Sciences (may be comprised of general biology,
genetics, immunology, embryology, etc.)
Chemistry (may be comprised of inorganic,
organic, biochemistry) 4 semester/5 quarter units
(including labs) of the following Human Anatomy
(must be completed within 5 years of expected
year of matriculation) Human Physiology (must be
completed within 5 years of expected year of
matriculation) Microbiology Statistics (3
semester/5 quarter units) All pre-requisite
courses must be completed with a C or better
Clinical Experience - Tuoro
Candidates must have obtained a minimum of 500
hours of health care/clinical experience, either
as a volunteer or in a paid position. 
Competitive candidates, however, will have
obtained 1,000 or greater healthcare
hours. Evaluation Criteria for Clinical
Experience Total number of hours Setting Specific
duties performed and/or skills acquired Descriptio
n of the duties Patient population served Level
of supervision Time frame of the experience    
Prereqs for Physician Assistant Program - SJVC
 General Chemistry (with lab)  General
Microbiology (with lab)  Human Physiology (with
lab)  Human Anatomy (with lab)  Public Speaking
or Oral Communication  Intro to Sociology or
Cultural Anthropology  Reading and
Composition  General Psychology  College
algebra or higher 2,000 hours of direct patient
care experience is also required for admission
(paid and volunteer hours are acceptable). Hours
accrued as a student in a training program cannot
be used towards this total.
  • Some Pros for a PA Career
  • Requirements for admission to PA school easier
    than med school
  • PA school is only 2 years need not acquire huge
    student debt.
  • You can easily switch specialties without lengthy
    schooling residencies
  • Work fewer hours and time off is really off(?)
  • Malpractice insurance less costly 2K 6K/year

  • Some Cons to a PA Career
  • If you have a leadership personality and would
    prefer to give orders rather than take them, PA
    may not be right for you.
  • PA salaries are capped and less than a doctors.
  • Less status as a PA than as a doctor.

The Old MCAT (Before 2015)
  • Three Multiple choice parts
  • Verbal Comprehension
  • Physical Sciences
  • Biological Sciences
  • Writing Sample is gone in 2013
  • Be sure that you have completed all the
    coursework required
  • Take practice exams. Scores on these will
    determine whether you are ready to take the real
    one. These are available for only 35 each, after
    the first free one, from AAMC.

The New MCAT (Begins 2015)
  • Natural Sciences concepts in biology, general
    and organic chemistry, biochemistry, and physics
  • Psychological, Social and Biological Foundations
    of Behavior Concepts of introductory psychology
    and sociology, and introductory biology concepts
    that relate to mental processes and behavior.

The New MCAT (Begins 2015)
  • Critical Analysis and Reasoning Skills be able
    to analyze, evaluate, and apply information
    provided by passages from a wide range of social
    sciences and humanities disciplines.
  • Does not test specific knowledge
  • Does test the skills in analysis and reasoning
    that you need for medical school
  • may prompt you to read broadly as you prepare
  • Along with many others, passages about ethics
    and philosophy, cross-cultural studies and
    population health are included.

The New MCAT (Begins 2015)
(No Transcript)
MCAT Timing
  • The best timing is to take the MCAT in the
    spring of the calendar year prior to the year
    you plan to enter. (For most this will be April
    of their junior year.) However, do not take the
    MCAT before you are ready. APPLY EARLY, SEATS
  • The MCAT is now offered on-line on 24 different
    days during the year. The exam is now a 7 hour
    test. There is a test site in Fresno. Register
    early to be sure you get the date and site you
  • Go to the AAMC website for information and

MCAT Preparation
  • While taking chemistry, biology and physics,
    remember you are preparing for the MCAT.
  • Check the AAMC website and consult The Official
    Guide to the MCAT Exam available from AAMC
  • For MCAT2015, visit
  • https//
  • Remember to schedule in preparation time before
    taking the MCAT. Consider the Kaplan prep course
  • Dont ever take the MCAT for practice its
    expensive (270). Plan to take it only once.

MCAT Preparation
Change your high school study habits Rote
memorization doesnt work so well for the MCAT.
You need to develop conceptual thinking
skills. Start making notes from your text as
well as lectures. Organize the material by
topic. Look for logical connections between
all of the facts, don't just memorize
isolated facts. Read and review notes for
understanding. This all takes TIME (2-3
hours of study for each hour in
class) Recommend Engl 101, 102, 103 for
reading comprehension critical thinking
(No Transcript)
What Do I Do In The Summer?
  • There are lots of summer opportunities for
    students interested in being physicians. Check
    the internet, the AAMC and the aspiringdocs our
  • Applications are due between January and March
    and are extensive. Look into programs early.

Extracurricular Activities
  • Medical Experience
  • Leadership
  • Volunteer Service
  • Research

Keep Good Notes
  • Keep track of your extracurricular activities and
    the hours you devote.
  • You might want to keep a journal of clinical
    experience to record your experiences and
    maturation its good material for that personal

Letters Of Reference
  • Two science faculty, one non-science faculty, and
    one or two others
  • Remember while taking courses that you are going
    to need letters of recommendation.
  • Doing research with a professor helps him/her get
    to know you and write a more credible letter.
  • Have the letters on file the spring semester
    before you apply (April/May of junior year).

Letters Of Reference
  • Most med schools use the AMCAS letter
    distribution service. They only accept letters
    from AMCAS.
  • You must provide each letter writer with your
    AMCAS Letter ID found on your AMCAS Letter
    Request Form, as well as your AAMC ID.

Letters Of Reference
  • Instruct the letter writer to either send your
    letter to AMCAS directly, or to Ms. El-Bendary in
    the Information Center (S1-136). In either case,
    the letter must be accompanied with your AMCAS
    Letter Request Form, as well as your AAMC ID.
  • We shall send your letters to AMCAS on your
    instruction. If all are being sent to the same
    schools, they can be sent as a packet with the
    same Letter ID .
  • Advantages of our service we keep copies of your
    letters which may be needed for scholarship
    applications, for non-AMCAS schools, and for
    AACOM applications.

The Application Process
  • Primary Application - takes time!
  • transcripts from all college-level schools
  • personal statement
  • record of extracurricular activities
  • names of letter of recommendation writers for
    those medical schools that use the AMCAS service
    for collecting letters of recommendation
  • Secondary Applications
  • more essays
  • request letters of recommendation be sent to
    AMCAS, the MD application service. (Letters to
    AMCAS can be sent after the primary application
    is submitted.)
  • unless school is not using the AMCAS letter
    distribution service.

Secondary Application
Institution 1 What is your interest in XYZ
School of Medicine? Insitution 2 Describe
your motivation to become a physician. What
do you see as the most significant issue the
medical profession will face in the next 40
years? What personal benefits have you gained
from your major extracurricular activity?
What personal benefits have you gained from your
research/teaching experience? Given the
opportunity to share dinner conversation with one
person (deceased or alive) who has made a
significant contribution to science, medicine or
human service, identify the individual you would
select and why?
  • Institution 3
  • Please explain your reasons for applying to XYZ
    School of Medicine. We understand that you are
    probably applying to several medical schools. We
    are interested in why you have placed XYZ School
    of Medicine on your list of schools. (max
    character limit 1500)
  • Please describe any unique characteristics you
    have that will contribute to the diversity and
    bring educational benefits to the entering class.
    (max character limit 1500)
  • If you are not in a degree-seeking program,
    please indicate what you will be doing from the
    time you complete this application to the start
    of medical school.

The Interview
  • Choose medical schools carefully. Know what they
    offer and what you offer them. Review your
    application and their catalog and mission
    statement. Talk to medical students. Find out
    about hospital affiliations, curriculum, student
  • If possible, engage in a mock interview.

The Interview
  • Your experience in medicine. You need to explain
    your experiences that have helped you to
    understand the reality of a medical career.
  • You have the longevity, discipline, motivation,
    and resiliency to succeed in medical school. How
    can you convey the evidence of these traits?
  • You have thought about, and to some degree
    understand, the current and future state of
  • How can you convey to the interviewer that you
    are one of them.

Planning for Necessary Expenses
  • All professions have application expenses.
  • Med school application 4000 to 8000 ()
  • MCAT review class 2000
  • schools you apply to where you interview.
  • AMCAS Application 160 first school, 32 each
    additional school (UC Berkeley avg 20 25
  • Secondary applications 70 to 100 each in CA
  • AMCAS has a Fee Assistance Program.
  • Dont short-change yourself on the application

Item Cost
MCAT Test 270
MCAT Preparation 2,000
Initial AMCAS Application 160
Each additional school (24 is average) _at_ 32 768
Secondary Application (20 _at_ 100) 2000
Travel Costs to Interviews 3000
Total 8158
Stanford 463 interviewed, 86 accepted. Rush
399/130 (19/33)
Resources Getting Started
  • Premedical Web Site
  • Advising
  • Informational Sessions, Conferences on and off
    campus (i.e., UC Davis conference)
  • HCOP (Health Careers Opportunity Program, targets
    students from educationally or economically
    disadvantaged backgrounds.)
  • AEW (Academic Excellence Workshops, NSCI 40T,
    LSAMP program)

More Resources
  • Student Clubs Fresno State Premed Club (only
    premeds), AMSA Chapter (anyone interested in a
    health profession), Tri Beta Biology Club
  • Natural Science class The Art and Practice of
    Medicine (NSCI 1 spring class)
  • Academic Research Associate Program at Community
    Regional Trauma and Burn Center headed by Dr.
    Greg Hendey and administered by Brandy Snowden.
    (NSCI 110)
  • Research Opportunities-during the year and in the
  • Conferences Given by Medical Schools for Premed

Yet More Resources
  • Scribe Program at St. Agnes Hospital headed by
    Dr. David Claypool
  • Other scribe programs via CEP America at
    Community, Clovis, and Madera.
  • WorService to Collect and Send Out Letters of
    Reference. (You must open a file with me and
    sign a form to either waive or not waive your
    right to see your letters of reference.)

Plan B
Postbaccalaureate Programs academic
record-enhancement, career changing,
underrepresented groups, economically or
educationally disadvantaged groups.. CSU
Fullerton CSU East Bay Charles Drew
University Mills College San Diego State
University San Francisco State University
Scripps College UC Berkeley Extension
University of Southern California
UC Postbaccalaureate Consortium http//meded-postb Helps educationally and economically
disadvantaged students get into medical school.
Must be committed to practicing in underserved
communities of California. Post-bac
nationwide http//
Plan B
Caribbean Medical Schools There are three
medical schools in the Caribbean that stand out
St. Georges University in Grenada, West Indies,
Ross University in the Commonwealth of Dominica,
and American University of Antigua.  Students
admitted to St. Georges have an average GPA of
3.34, and an average MCAT of 28. At Ross, the
average GPA is 3.4, with a range of 2.7 - 4, but
for early admission they require at least an
overall GPA of 3.0 and a science GPA (BCPM) of
3.25, with an MCAT score of at least 24. Also
UAG School of Medicine in Guadalajara, Mexico
Plan B
  • Options
  • 1. Medical Doctor 6. Optometrist
  • 2. Podiatrist 7. Physician
  • 3. Dentist 8. Nurse
  • 4. Pharmacist 9. Ph.D.
  • 5. Veterinarian 10. Clinical Lab

Excellent Books
  • Medical School Admission Requirements
  • The Official Guide to the MCAT Exam
  • Complications A Surgeons Notes on an
    Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande, M.D.
  • Better A Surgeons Notes on Performance by
    Atul Gawande, M.D.
  • The Checklist Manifesto, by Atul Gawande, M.D.

Useful Web Sites
  • Advising Information
  • General Information
  • Interviews
  • Scholarships
  • Summer Opportunities