I know there’s no real “cookie cutter” major for premed students, but I’d very much like your opinion. I’m planning to major in nutrition and minor in either psychology or biology. I find each minor equally interesting… Which one will more adequately prepare me for the rigors that med school includes?
I would say biology would better prepare you. You’ll get your requisites for med school as well as other helpful courses like biostats, biochem, etc.
Hello, I was admitted to an osteopathic school but honestly wasn’t ready for med school when I started. I ended up failing all my classes. Medicine is my passion and I don’t want to give it up. I had horrible study skills and would read my notes over and over again and not be able to retain anything. I felt so stupid. But I don’t want to give up. I saw your study skills page and that you took the STAT program. Would you recommend it? Do you think I could turn around my performance if I followed these study techniques? I really want to be a doctor but I feel so stupid for failing all my classes. I got mostly As in undergrad
This literally sounds just like me. I got accepted the day of orientation to my osteopathic medicine. I had to pack up all of my life basically in 24 hours and was not ready for school. I failed. 2 out of 3 classes I took. I passed the first, but my best friend died and grabdmother died and I was not in a good place so I took personal leave. If you’re like me, you didn’t need to study in undergrad so you felt kinda lost on medical school. I’ve been there and done that and STAT took me from C’s and failing to A’s and B’s depending on how much time I wanted to put in. I highly recommend the stat program. I took it for 2 weeks and I learned study skills I never even knew existed. It saved me honestly. I would be failing without it. I want you to know you’re not stupid. This is very common. Just because you fail a course doesn’t mean you’re stupid. Don’t be so hard on yourself. I know the feeling of everything you’re going through so I understand. I would check out Ryan Orwig STAT program. You can google it, or also check out Promedeus. They are doctors that have made it and gone through. They’re also significantly cheaper than Ryan. The STAT program was very pricey, but again, worth every penny. But check out Promedeus see how they can help you first – Ryan isn’t a doctor, he’s a learning specialist. It might benefit you to talk to doctors that have gone through the exact thing you’ve gone through and have made it to the other side before you talk to Ryan. Let me know what you decide and don’t be afraid to DM me on Twitter for more help! I hope this helps! Good luck and keep me updated!! XO
Hey Student Doctor Diva, I don’t mind spending more for STAT program if can actually help me. I have been crying everyday since I left med school….I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else. At this point, I don’t mind an expensive program—I am willing to do anything. Would you recommend the STAT program over Promedeus? Which helped you the most? I need lots of help with my study strategies….I am not sure how I got straight As in college but failed med school 😦
Did I respond to this already??
Also I am so scared that I will go back and waste more time/money and end up failing again. I am in a very tough situation now
It’s okay to be afraid. I was too . It’s natural. But if you honestly believe in yourself, I know you can do it. You have to ask yourself is it worth it though. Weigh your pros and cons
My question is regarding applications for med school. I finished my sophomore year this year. I have pretty good grades, I do research in chemistry education, and am volunteering with a non-profit organization this summer as well as working as a lifeguard. However, I have barely shadowed doctors and am finding it difficult to do so. A lot of my friends have connections and are able to easily shadow doctors, but I do not have those connections. How important is shadowing as part of the application? Also, what other things can I do to make my application stand out? I am a Chemistry and Spanish double major, so I am hoping the other language helps me with that. Thank you! I love your blog and twitter, you give me hope and have inspired me to look at becoming a D.O.
Shadowing isn’t necessarily that important, do you have any clinical experience? It just looks good for them to see that you’ve been in the field and know what career you are pursuing etc. I recommend starting with your family doc. Ask to shadow them and go from there. Ask to tag along with your friends! Good doctors welcome students, the more the merrier, especially in teaching hospitals. Your Spanish major will definitely make you stand out. Do you have any unique extracurriculars? Thanks so much for following me! I’m glad I can assist! 🙂
I’m switching my major to biology (premed) from speech pathology. This would be no biggie except that I’m switching after a full year of college (bleh). I can successfully complete all degree and general pre-medical requirements over the next three years, but my problem is that they don’t be done on the right timeline. Basically I won’t be “ready” to take the MCAT until I’ve graduated with my Bachelor’s, and I’ll have to take a gap year. It’s not ideal for me, but there’s not really any other way to do it. Do you think med schools will look down on me for waiting so long to change my major? Will this hurt my chances of getting in?
Why are you switching to biology? There are thousands of bio majors. You want to stand out. There aren’t as many speech path majors.
I think they might be more interested in your speech path major than bio. Everybody and their brother majors in bio, get my drift? It’s too common. There will be thousands like you. Hundreds maybe in speech path see what I mean? A bio degree isn’t a guarantee into med school. No major is a guarantee. People get in with history and art majors. They like unique, different.
My speech path major doesn’t interest me anymore and I couldn’t possibly meet the degree requirements in addition to completing med school requirements/mcat-necessary courses because they are two completely different sets of coursework. What about if I majored in psychology with a bio minor? That way I’d still be on track. I seem to have talked my way through this myself now. Haha. Thanks!
You could do that! Whatever you wanna do. Whatever you wanna major in is what will you get you in 🙂
Do you think being (a little) involved in political organizations is a bad thing to put on med school applications? (I’m volunteering for a political party either way, I’m just not sure if any schools would look down on me for my beliefs).
Not at all I think it’s a great thing to put down. Shows you’re well rounded, have interests outside of medicine and school, shows leadership, knowledge of communities, political agendas, worldly affairs etc.!
I would very much love to interview you for my blog. I know you get very busy during the school year so I’d like to do it soon before school starts back up, if at all possible! Do you have an email address for business inquiries?
Hey! I’d love to. Here’s my email: email@example.com
My Fiance just started Med School orientation this week so now I have some questions for someone who has been through their first year. We just got his list of supplies that he needs to get ASAP that we had no idea about before, so do you have any recommendations on where to buy some stuff and what types of these things such as otoscope and ophthalmoscope, sphygmomanometer,percussion hammer, tuning fork, EKG calipers, also anatomy lab equpiment like scalpel, probe, scissors, … and maybe a bag to carry all of this in?
We are both totally new to this and do not have much knowledge of most of these items. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
Also want to thank you for your blog and twitter! I have followed you for quite a while and your whole journey has really given me the confidence to be able to help him through this and to give him the confidence and hope that he would be able to get in to school. I love reading your posts! We just went and bought him a dry erase board and set it up in the extra bedroom at our apartment last week, I loved that idea that you gave and now he really likes it too. He has a whole wall to write on, it really is a great idea!
I may have more questions after I hear more from him today haha.
Hi Tara! Congrats to your fiancé and you as you go through the journey of medicine TOGETHER! So many people forget that if it weren’t for you and the family at home, behind the scenes, helping to do so much for us, we wouldn’t be half as successful as we are! As for the otoscope, ophthalmoscope etc does their school partner with Welch Allyn? Ours did and it came as an entire diagnostic set with the sphygmomanometer and everything. As for the tuning fork and percussion hammer, all of that was in our campus book store. Try there first! The anatomy lab equipment was in the lab for us, we never had to purchase scalpels or scissors or anything like that. Again, I’d check the campus store or else try Amazon! I know there are some great suturing/cadaver kits on there with all the tools he would need. As for bags, you know I got you in the female department as for men, I’d go with a nice messenger bag he could fit those things in along with his notebooks, people always carry backpacks too. A lot of that diagnostic equipment comes already in a case so a lot of times I would only take my diagnostic kit to clinical lab and wouldn’t need any other bag. As for stethoscopes I recommend Littmann classic or Cardio III whichever he prefers, one is much cheaper and does fine but the other obviously is higher quality. Great job on the white board!! You’re such a great partner already! Thank you guys for following me and good luck to him! You all have an exciting journey ahead of you! Let me know if you need anything else! Xoxo
Do you know of any good resources for aspiring PAs? I have a question about clinical experience I’d like to ask but I’m not really sure who to go to. Thanks!
Ahhhh my aunt is a PA, I could ask her any questions you might have but other than that I would search Twitter. I’m not that familiar with PA resources 😦
Do you know anything about bs/md programs? I can’t find anyone that went into that program
I just followed and retweeted someone that did! Check my Twitter!!
I start OMS1 next week and am so excited, yet so terrified!!! I read your last 2 blog posts and am wondering if you could send me the template for your study schedule? That is such a wonderful idea and I am the kind of person who I think would benefit from it! Also, do you have any other words of advice for someone getting ready to start? How do I deal with the information from the first day so that I do not fall behind???
Hey! I am wondering if you could let me know how to get a discount on picmonic! I am a couple months into my first year of med school and would love to try it out. Trying to figure out how to study effectively is the bane of my existence right now haha
Hey! I usually have a code but I haven’t gotten one recently. I would go to their website they’re usually doing a sale. Sign up for the emails and they let you know when the sales are!
Hey! I was wondering if I could personally talk to you about the admissions cycle via email?
Of course, send me a direct message on twitter!
congrats on completeing 2nd year, you’ve come a long way! are you taking both the comlex and usmle? Good luck!
Thank you!! And I’m only taking COMLEX. One is enough for me plus they merged 🙂
Hi, my name is Pamela. I am an education major at TX Wesleyan. For some reason lately i have been interested in following doctor profiles.
My question is how do doctors pay for school? Do you have to come from a wealthy family?
What does your day consist of? Do you get much sleep?
Also, in my concepts of health and wellness my professor mentioning there is a myth that doctors receive some type of stypen for the prescriptions they give patients?
KEEP WORKING HARD! LOVE YOUR INSTAGRAM POSTS!
Hey Pamela. We take out loans unfortunately that have an insanely high interest rate. 😦 patients think doctors have all this money when in reality sure we make over 6 figures but many graduate with half a million dollars in debt! It’s so sad how the system gets over on us. Luckily I will have only 200,000 in debt which is still a very large amount but not near the average. I don’t come from a super wealthy family but my parents have helped me along the way. I get about 7 hours of sleep a night, my day is mostly studying. I have to take boards before I’m allowed in the hospitals. And no, we don’t receive any stipend at all. That’s horrible medicine and you can sue doctors for that kind of horrible practice. We only prescribe medicines in which we think will be beneficial to the patient and nothing more! Personally I think the less medicine, the better! I am not in it for the money so I don’t care if I make a lot or a little. I truly care about my patients wellbeings and will do whatever I can to make them better and have a better life. I put their life over my own.
Do you think you will ever reveal who you are? Also, how can you afford such luxury items while in med school? Hope this isn’t too personal!
I am looking for honest feedback/advice regarding my situation. I graduated from engineering school in 2011. I had one W and one semester of all C’s. I took a gap year after graduating where I shadowed and volunteered. I took the MCAT in 2012 with no strict studying and obtained a 13Q. I then got an engineering job, but after the training it was not the best fit. So then I went back to volunteering at free clinics and mentoring an at risk child while taking refresher courses at the community college. I was then offered a scribe job and studied again for the MCAT while volunteering. I should have studied more as I got a 17 and 19, both taken in 2014. In August 2015, I was in a MA Biomedicine program and got a 3.6. I was withdrew from the Spring semester as I had to go back home to take care of a personal issue, which is now resolved.
My final undergrad gpa was a 3.08; not sure about science. In community college, I got all A’s but there is one F from a class i took while I was a senior in high school that will be on record.
I am just confused if I should go back the school to finish my MA; it will take me 2.5 years instead of 2 and I will be a few months shy of turning 29 when I graduate. I believe I have a 3.4 science gpa. My biggest fear is not getting an interview because I took a break and I took the MCAT more than 2 times.
I appreciate all advice and honesty about my chances of getting into DO school. I really enjoy medicine as I have experience taking vitals and writing HPIs. But at the same time, I may need a reality check.
Also my overall gpa may be greater due to grade replacement
Hi. In some med. schools, you can’t have lower than a C in the required courses. Non-required courses are different though. The 3.6 in the biomed program looks good actually! I’m also glad your personal issue is resolved. The F shouldn’t be on record, they don’t use high school transcripts so you should be safe there. They only look at your college transcript! I think you have a shot, I would definitely apply to DO schools. What can it hurt you know? Plus if medicine is the only thing you want to do in life and you don’t get in, check out the carribbean schools, I have friends that went there. some schools don’t require an mcat at all. There are lots of pros and cons to those schools that can be discussed later. I would try to finish your MA. It’s totally okay to start med school at 29 if YOU ARE OK with it! I have classmates that are 30 and above. Med school is a journey, a marathon, not a sprint. It’s best to start when you’re ready and no age is ever too late! 🙂 I hope this helps! xo
I have applied to several med schools and have been rejected as well as haven’t heard back from one. My major is exercise science and I am graduating with a 3.6 gpa. Since I haven’t been accepted for the fall of 2016, I was wondering if I should possibly apply to get my masters. But I am not sure in what. What do you think would be a good program to get my masters in to better prepare me for med school? Or should I not get my masters at all, should I just try to better my application by taking a year off and apply for the fall of 2017? My MCAT score was not great and I have to retake it again so I know that is on my list of things to do.
I am determined to get into med school and I want to do whatever I have to do to better myself as well as be a strong applicant. I could sure use your help.
Hi I’m so sorry to hear that! I know the application process is rough. You could get your masters in public health! That’s always a good option as well as retake your MCAT. What does the rest of your app look like? Did u get any interviews and if so how did it go? Any other shortcomings in your app?
Hey . I’m in my first year of medical school about to go into second year . I’ve been working assiduously but i’m still not seeing the results i want . The other day I was so prepared for an exam..even taught people the material and I made so many mistakes in areas that I know very well . lol some part of my academic life has been spent under a glass ceiling and each time I feel as if I’m about to break it , I just tap it . It’s very annoying but i’d like your advice on the matter . Wish You all the best as well .
Did you pass your test at least? That’s always the Main goal but I understand your frustration! Check out my study tip blog post and I also highly recommend Promedeus or Ryan Orwig from the stat program! They’re both on twitter! 🙂 Ryan took me from DS & Cs to As and Bs!
Congrats on almost completing step 1!
I was wondering if you’d be able to expand on your study schedule/materials used for board prep study and how you liked/didn’t like certain ones. Also if you took both USMLE & COMLEX or just 1. As a fellow osteopathic student it seems kind of daunting trying to navigate what resources to use/not use, how to study for both USMLE & COMLEX. Love to hear back from you! Best of luck as well 🙂
I am doing a post exactly like that AFTER I take boards and see how I do! Look for it towards the end of July and it should answer all of your questions! 🙂
Hey! I want to start by saying how amazing and inspirational you are to me! I followed you on all your social media accounts, I hope one day I can be as collect as you. That being said, I am just finishing high school and finishing late. I am 20 years old and I have two children. In the past year I have kicked it into gear and finished all my highschool credits in hopes to start a physiology degree in January 2017. Lately I have become so interested in medicine. It just fascinates me. I would love to work hard and potentially make it to med school. My question to you is, is it too late for me? Most of friends are on year three of thier degree at this point so I’m feeling discouraged. Also is thier things I could be doing now to help lead me on the path of medicine? Thaks in advance!!
Thank you so much! I really appreciate that! And absolutely not too late at all! Don’t compare your journey to theirs, it’s your journey. Take all the time you need! We all get their eventually, some of us have shorter or longer pathways but the end result is the same! Don’t be discouraged, your path is just different from theirs and that’s totally ok! I would start by finding a pre-med advisor at your college!
Do you think pursuing collaborative bachelor of science in nursing prior to applying for med school would be wise. Or would you recommend studying bio, chem or physc. I am eager to work in health care and nursing would be amazing, however I just want to make sure i don’t screw myself over with that
Yes I would do a BSN. If I could do it over I would. The experience they get is amazing plus they know so much more clinical wise than we do as med. students.
Hi, love your blog! I am going into my senior year of highschool and am extremely interested in pursuing a career in the medical field. I’m aware that deciding exactly which medical path I would like to take is not necessary now, but still, it’s a constant thought. I was wondering how/why you decided to go with osteopathy as oppose to allopathy. I know it is a personal decision but I would really appreciate the insight from someone who has chosen osteopathy.
I love their holistic approach and their views fit my own. My family doc was a DO. He could do treatments and manipulations using his hands that truly helped my body and my athletic career! I love being able to be equivalent to an MD and more – having an extra set of tools and skills to treat using my hands and diagnose using my hands. Osteopathy was started by an MD and was a reformation if you will. Look it up! They believe in treating the whole patient – not just the disease. I love it so much
Hi ! 🙂 will there be a post about Usmle Step 1 prep in the future?
Absolutely. I will go in depth on my study methods, what I wish I would’ve done differently etc. AFTER I get my score and see how I do of course !
Hey! I’m a big fan. I was wondering your thoughts on nursing before med school & also The route of maybe a double major or major and minor.
I love nursing before medicine – I would’ve done it if I could do it over and double majors and minors always look better than a solo you know.
May I know what school you were accepted to? My MCAT score is low (495), but I have a great GPA (3.8) and extracurriculars (volunteer, leadership skills, research, clinical experience – CNA/CMA, etc.). I am retaking the MCAT on August 4th. Is there anything you can advise I do to improve my score drastically? I studied for over 6 months and still received the 495. I do not believe it was caused due to a lack of studying. However, I am taking more practice full length exams and questions in general to study for this second time. However, is there something you can advise me or any schools you may have in mind that would be willing to accept me based on my stats?
Hey! I got accepted at wvsom! What prep are u using and how are you studying?
I bought the Kaplan books. My first time around I read them all and took notes (7 books each about 450 pages) and studied that material. I watched all the videos that came with my bundle and took all the passage based questions. I took multiple full length exams and score 489,491,492, and a 500. However, my real score was a 495. Now that I have started studying again, I’m just looking over bigger concepts and looking at the summaries of each of the chapters. I took 2 practice exams so far and I got a 498 and a 503. I do see some improvement but I want to do better on my second exam. My goal is to get a 505 or higher. I want to keep a realistic goal. I only have a little over 1 month left so I want to take as many practice exams as possible.
That sounds like a great idea and you’re improving
Can I get a copy of your template as well? My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. i would also like to find out more about memory palaces and character maps. Did you write a post on that? I can’t seem to find it. Thanks!
Hi! I’ve searched your posts but didn’t find anything on my question so I’m so glad you have the “ask me aquestion” portion 🙂 I’m not as young as others looking into medical school and I just finished up my undergrad. I’m currently job hunting and plan on taking the next year to study for the MCAT and save some money up. My question is, is it possible to work while in medical school? I managed to make it through undergrad debt free and I’ve heard horror stories about the loan process and if my rent isn’t dependant on loans that might help me stress a bit less about the thought of medical school. Thanks for all your great advice!
Hi! School will be your full time job. Unfortunately it will take all of your time and be physically impossible to work while in medical school. Also, schools don’t let you. Some students that were nurses or scribes before med. school work like one day a week or so I’ve heard, but nothing more than that and it’s only for a couple hours. You definitely can’t work a full time or even part time job in med school. It’s inevitable that you’ll come out debt free unless your parents or relatives will pay for it or you go to the army/navy etc and have them pay for it which is always an option. Average tuition for instate is 20-30k, out of state is 50-60k and above PER year. 😦 You could work this year and try to save up a year of rent or more but you’ll need 4 years worth of rent for med school.
I’ve been following you since your PreMedPrincess days & I always get SO excited when I see how far you’ve come! Anytime I feel as if I’ll never get there, I look back through your social media to remind myself that it can be done. I’m still on the fence about whether I want to go to PA school or med school, but it’s always refreshing to realize that all it takes is hard work & dedication. I really just wanted to thank you for putting yourself out there because it’s helped me so much over the last 3 or 4 years, especially through the times when I just wanted to give up because it felt so impossible. I’m super excited to follow you through the rest of your journey to becoming a doctor & I wish you the best of luck in the rest of your rotations!
Hey Arianna. This meant more to me than you know. Thanks for being a part of my journey! You’re amazing and either path you choose, you’ll be great at it! Thank you so much.
I am an OMS-1 student and I just started my first week. What is the best way to take notes in lecture/before lecture?
I don’t take notes before lecture but taking notes during lecture should be minimal and only what’s important – you’ll know by the tone and emphasis on each point by your professor. Anything key, high yield, major topic, good to know, important to remember, or “you might see this again in the future” is worth writing down! Really try to absorb and take it all in instead of frantically trying to write every word down bc a lot of times those extra words and notes and irrelevant! Hope this helps.
Okay that is good advice. Thank you! I really enjoy your blog 🙂
What extracurriculars were you a part of in college?
I was a full-time student athlete on a full ride for track, Vice President of the Spanish club, involved in the big brother big sister mentor program for two years, secretary of chi Beta phi national scientific honorary and also involved in the American chemical Society, I was a part of community cleanups, I volunteered at my church soup kitchen and clothing ministry, I shadowed several different doctors MDs and DOs alike, I worked every single break I could as a waitress, I was a tutor, I did research in both microbiology and neuroscience, and I was a science fair judge. There were a few other things I did and was involved in but college was like four years ago so I can’t really remember it all
If you don’t mind me inquiring- what were your undergrad cumulative and science GPA’s? Reading your post about your MCAT scores gives me hope, because I fall in the same boat score- wise.
My undergrad was a 3.8, I think science was 3.75!
Oh wow, that’s impressive! Please tell me that is with grade replacement?
What’s grade replacement?
Grade replacement applies if you re-took any classes- the last attempt only gets factored into your gpa
I never retook any classes!
I wrote a couple months ago and I couldn’t help but write again. I just wanted to thank you for all of the motivational tweets/instagram posts/snapchats! Because of you, I never gave up on finding an entry-level position at a local hospital. Just a few days ago, I was able to accept a position as a specimen processor. You’ve indirectly helped me so much over the last several years and I hope you know how much other people look up to you and appreciate all that you do!
Thank you so much Arianna! I really appreciate that 🙂
can you able to work out of your continent
I’m not sure if you’ve done this in the past, but could you do a blog post on your current playlist?
Thank you for existing. I love. your. blog. It is so useful. Thank you for taking the time.
Hi there, i actually just graduated from pharmacy school and become a licensed pharmacist but i realise i want to become a doctor (yeah i kno i am crazy). I was just wondering o you see anybody in school with similar situation like me coz i heard it’s hard for ppl like us to get into medschool comparing to students doing bio biochem major?
And when i look at the MCAT material i realise i forget a lot of those basics stuff since i was buried by medications for 6 years lol. I was wondering how did you prepare yourself for MCAT, any tips or did you take any of those MCAT prep course?
Thank you in advance and hope that you don’t get annoyed by my lengthy questions 😉
Hey! I see that happen – not a lot but it happens so you’re not alone! You don’t need a bio hen major. It actually looks so badass you’re already a pharmacist. You’ll have the pharm down to a T. I suggest examkrackers and lots of practice tests!
What did you use to study for boards and when do you recommend starting to study for them? How did you handle studying for classes and boards at the same time? I am an OMS-I but I just want to get an idea of what to expect next year and to be able to prepare.
I used DIT and found that it wasn’t helpful. It was geared toward usmle and I take comlex. I then used boards boot camp which is much better in my opinion however it is so extensive. I couldn’t finish. So now I’m at Wolfpacc and so far this is the best board review program I’ve ever seen or heard of in my life. It makes everything make so much sense..
I would do questions either in uworld or combank comquest at the end of the day but we were done with class in mid march and didn’t take boards until end of may or June
If I score the 96th percentile on my mcat and have 200 hours of volunteering and worked as a scribe for a year. But got a GPA of a 3.1-3.4 by the time I graduate . You think I got a shot
I do yes
Hi!! First off love your blog and social media. You are so inspirational and remind me of why I want to be a DO!!😊 I’m just wondering what suggestions you have for people who may have a lower GPA? What things can I do to make my application stand out? Any ideas?
Also unrelated, but my boyfriend is going to medical school about 4 hours away and I am still in undergrad. We are going to try to make it work because both of us don’t know what med school is like obviously, do you have any thoughts or input on it? Is it possible wih the time commitment that Medical school is? I do understand that I will be the one doing most of the traveling and that’s okay 😊
Thanks so much! You are wonderful!
Aware anonymous is spelled wrong I accidentally pressed send before I was ready 😂
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