Med School Application Project
Standing between you and your health practitioner's degree stands a mountain: medical school. Before scaling that hill, you have to be admitted into the club. There is an application process for this, and the goal of the Med School Application Project is to help prepare you for getting into graduate school.
What are your options for being involved in the health field?
* MD -- from family practice to
surgery to pediatrics to psychiatry
* MD/PHD * MD/JD * MD/MBA
* DMD -- dentistry/orthodontics
* DO (doctor of osteopathy) -- often family practitioners -- more preventative, lifespan medicine, small but growing
*DO/PHD *DO/MPH *DO/JD *DO/MS(MA)
* PA -- growing need for these, too
* NURSE -- this degree ranges from LPN to ARNP, from ADN to PhD
* ALLIED HEALTH -- Physical therapy/occupational therapy/speech therapy/midwife (doula)
Organizational settings: hospital, private practice, university (usually md/phd -- combo of teaching, research, clinical), NGP/NPO, centers (CDC), government (NIH), WHO, etc.
How do you know what -- or if -- you want to do it? (see Readings for strongly recommended articles/web sites)
Honest assessment of talents, inclinations, abilities (loving science is not the same thing as doing it; having a private practice requires business training)
Lifestyle considerations -- what's important to you? is family time crucial? are you willing to exchange time with children for time with patients?
Demonstrate -- you must volunteer in at least two settings: hospital and one other -- preferably, managed care (assisted living) -- see what it's like. Volunteer experience is the most important extra-curricular activity you need; you're simply not credible if you haven't tested the experience. If you intend on going to a university with a strong emphasis on basic research, you'll need at least a semester's research to compete successfully. Research in the basic sciences is not equally important for all institutions, including those with strong research programs. If you are not really into life in the lab, but would like to do research, consider joining one of the many clinically-oriented research groups on campus. These range from the impact of inter-cultural communication training on physician-patient relationships to diagnostic tests for early detection of autism to the outcome of various kinds of exercise on cognition.
If going for a dual degree, must thoroughly demonstrate passion for both -- history of research for md/phd, history of business classes/ventures for md/mba, history of law classes/debate for md/jd
Professional Organizations/Automated (centralized) Application Sites
The AssignmentsNote: For both assignments, you will need to choose a medical school/grad program to apply to. Even if using an online, centralized system, you will need a specific program for the interview portion. This program can be a med school or a local program such as the JHMP.
The Written Assignment
The "Personal Portfolio" is the collection of work surrounding your Medical School Application. This includes a personal statement, a resume, and a couple of paragraphs of information about the medical school to which you are applying (the philosophy, values, unique identity of the school -- do NOT include the technical requirments). We start the Personal Portfolio work much earlier than the final due date because the assignment provides the foundation for the interview process! Also, the Personal Portfolio assignment includes a "thank you" note written to one of the interviewing panel, so it cannot be turned in until after the interviews are completely finished.
Personal Statement -- This is the all important essay that distinguishes you from the other applicants who also have great grades, good MCAT scores, and interesting medical experience. It answers the basic questions "why I want to be a doctor" and "why I am the perfect candidate for your school." The personal statement will be handed in typed and double-spaced (even though the AMCAS will have you writing in single space) and must include the character count, including spaces, at end of document. Personal Statement will follow the AMCAS guidelines unless you are going into a different field -- in that case, use the personal statement directions of that field.
Resume -- The concise version of your education and work/volunteer/research/clinical experience. This will be written with reference to a particular internship or volunteer position you'd be interested in applying for.
Thank you note -- An important and often forgotten aspect of gracefully finishing an interview, the "thank you" note is addressed to one of the interviewers. A successful "thank you" note thanks for interviewer for their time, specifies some aspect of the interview that was particularly interesting, and provides the opportunity for you to pitch yourself one last time!
For some more explanation and examples, see here!
The Spoken Assignment
You will be required to participate in two mock interviews. In one you will be the interviewee. In the second interview, you will serve as part of the interviewing panel. A signup sheet for specific dates will be available in class. Attendance for all students is still required during the interviews as you will learn as much from watching as from participating.
Each interview will last approximately 10 minutes ending with an opportunity for the interviewee to ask questions.
Prepare for a mock interview as part of the application procedure of this program.
You should research the school, program, research, area, etc. in order to ready yourself for potential questions asked during the interview. Review the list of sample questions.
Prepare an opening statement which might cover why you are interested in the medical field or why you are considering this school/program.
Prepare a couple of questions to ask during or at the end of the interview.
Hand-deliver three hardcopies of your resume, personal statement, and a brief description of the school/program to your instructor in advance (due date will be announced in class). These materials will be used in the interviews by your assigned interviewer and both of your instructors.