Newport specializes in helping premeds and applicants create an outstanding, compelling, authentic medical school application that accurately reflects your demonstrated motivation and qualifications to be a physician.
4) Review study abroad options and see advisor about application and planning discussion.
5) Sign up for volunteer opportunities for the spring.
6) Update your resume.
7) Write short blurbs on the activities that you completed this semester including research, volunteer, jobs, leadership then assign AAMC Core Competencies to each one for your one reference.
8) Determine so far, who could write you a letter of recommendation for med school. You should have at least 2-3 people in mind so far. Keep in touch with them and network with them.
If you stay ahead of the game, applying in a few years will be easy.
JR/SR/Soon to be Applicants:
Lots to do this spring so let's get ORGANIZED!
1) MCATS.... determine when you will take them. If you are applying this summer, take them for the first time before July 1. You can always retake in August but don't wait until August to take it for the first time. Go to the bookstore and review MCAT review books and determine what style suits you best. Decide if you are going to sign up for an MCAT review course or study on your own. Investigate if there are any discounts through your school, premed club or go online and fill out a scholarship application. It never hurts to ask. MCAT review courses are VERY expensive so save money where you can.
2) Do an inventory of your application so far and determine what you need to work on. If you are weak in any one area, focus on it during the spring and summer. For example, if you already have two research projects don't go off and get a third when you lack significant clinical experience. Start writing blurbs summarizing your experiences. You will use these blurbs when filling out your AMCAS/AACOMAS application this summer. Include dates, hours, contact information and summary of your experience including some reflection. This will also help you as you determine where you have any weaknesses that need to be addressed during the next 8 months.
3) Develop your leadership experience. Don't overdo yourself or overcommit but step up.
4) Make a list of who will write your recommendations. Investigate your school's policy on sending out letters of recommendation. If no premed application committee exists, go to the Career Center for directions on how to collect and send recommendations. Aim for 5 people: 2 science, 1 non-science, 2 others (research mentor, boss, additional science or non-science). You will request letters in January/February and hope to get them in by May/June. When you ask for a letter, it is good form to create an organized packet to assist them in writing your letter. Include in each packet: a form with a signed waiver, an updated resume, a statement of why you want to be a physician and directions on where you want the letter sent and when. Use this opportunity to try and answer the question...why do you want to be a doctor? So start getting this packet ready now so you are not rushing at the last minute in May when everyone else is asking people. Faculty may put a cap on how many letters they write so secure your spot soon!
5) Purchase the MSAR book and start making a list of schools you would like to apply to. Check all PREREQUISITES. Do you have all of them? If not, can you fit them in during the next 3 semesters? Make sure you take the required prerequisites before taking the MCTAS, but if several schools need BIOCHEM or an additional social science or literature, you can take them later on as long as you take them before you matriculate. Your acceptance will be conditional upon your successful completion of this course. This is an effective strategy of you are worried about your BIOCHEM grade lowering your science GPA this spring. Hold off and take it in the fall. Med schools will see that you are taking it, but it will not negatively impact your GPA during the initial part of the application cycle.
6) Get a copy of all university level transcripts to check for accuracy. It's best to get OFFICIAL transcripts so you can see exactly what the medical schools will see. Sometimes unofficial transcripts can look slightly different. You will use these to enter your coursework in AMCAS. If there are any issues, resolve them this semester. Don't wait until June. When I mean, ALL university transcripts, I mean ALL....this includes summer school, study abroad and even some high school coursework. According to the AAMC 2017 AMCAS Instruction Manual, include"College-level courses you took while in middle or high school even if they were not counted toward a degree by any college." The AMCAS Instructions will outline what to include and what not to include and how to enter all of these courses in your AMCAS. It's just an accurate history of all university level coursework you attempted. Don't stress about this, just be prepared and be accurate. You don't want to scramble later on in the summer to hunt down these transcript only to find they are inaccurate. If you want to read more about this topic, here is the 2017 AMCAS Instruction Manual.
Enjoy your holiday and take this time to do some research and reflection on this all important year ahead!
Remember, if you have any questions, simple email or call me for a free consultation. I want to help you realize your dream of becoming a doctor!
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