Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community polls, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

How can I get into Harvard Med?

spaul2spaul2 Posts: 3Registered User New Member
edited July 2010 in Pre-Med Topics
Hi,

I'm an undergraduate (freshmen) at Washington College, and I want to go to Harvard Med to become a neurologist. I recently got my first two exams score back, and I got B's! Which are terrible-in my standards...and I got worried and I looked online and saw that to get into Harvard Med, you need a 3.8? I know that as hard I will probably try I will never get a 3.8. Maybe a 3.6 or 3.7 but a 3.8 seems intangible to me. Any advice? What could I do to prepare and successfully get into Harvard Med? Besides getting good MCAT and a GPA(which I'm currently working on). Please don't say that I don't have a chance of getting in because if I aim for Harvard, and get into Columbia, that's not such a bad thing right?
Post edited by spaul2 on
«1345

Replies to: How can I get into Harvard Med?

  • apumicapumic Posts: 1,529Registered User Senior Member
    You can't.

    Next question?


    Seriously, though, it's highly unlikely even w/ a 4.0/35. I'd say 3.75+/34+ and outstanding clinical, research, and to a lesser extend volunteer experience to be taken seriously. FYI, if you don't get into Harvard, your chances at Columbia are really no better. These are top research schools and NO med school is "uncompetitive." You should aim for your state school(s) primarily. If you're struggling to get a 3.7 now as a freshmen, it's likely to be a tough road for you. I should mention, however, that it really doesn't matter what MD or DO school you go to as long as it's in the U.S. -- this is esp true for fields such as neurology, which isn't really that competitive of a specialty to begin with.
  • loislaneloislane Posts: 15Registered User New Member
    Why limit yourself to Harvard? Prestige factor?
  • shades_childrenshades_children Posts: 2,206Registered User Senior Member
    Because the naive believe:

    1) Harvard/Ivy League schools are the only medical schools worth shooting for, or
    2) Harvard/Ivy League schools are the only medical schools that could possibly be a good match for them.
  • PharmagalPharmagal Posts: 1,266Registered User Senior Member
    Newsflash! Many kids (including my DS and his friends) with stellar stats are headed for our state funded school. They want to pay in state tuitions and avail of state funded scholarships. So, don't be under the impression that there is no competition at State level.

    There is a world outside the boundaries of Ivys. Just work hard, work smart, and keep your focus. Keep yourself informed and maintain a good attitude, which is half the battle!
  • GoldShadowGoldShadow Posts: 6,160Registered User Senior Member
    Please don't say that I don't have a chance of getting in because if I aim for Harvard, and get into Columbia, that's not such a bad thing right?
    Clearly, you don't understand how medical schools work.

    Worry less about "getting into Harvard med" and more about what medical school entails.
  • mmmcdowemmmcdowe Posts: 2,348Registered User Senior Member
    HMS is a great school, but people should realize that there is no "top" school, just the one that is the best combination of pluses and minuses for them. Presitge, location, financial situation, learning style, feel, etc, etc are all necessary to consider.

    Also OP, Lion pride makes me frown at you for considering Columbia your Harvard safety. ;)
  • arez10arez10 Posts: 151Registered User Junior Member
    I'm going to give you some word of advice that you should at least take into consideration.

    As a freshman, you should realize as soon as possible that you're going to be a very different person when it comes time to apply. So:

    1) Don't assume you're going to become a neurologist. You will probably change your mind many times before applying for a residency. Focus on being premed.

    2) When you're applying to med schools, you hopefully will be mature enough to realize that money is a HUGE factor. You are going to be in enough debt as it is, and it's probably more practical to go to a cheaper school than go to an Ivy that will put you in even more debt. I'm not saying it's impractical to go to an expensive med school altogether, but just consider money as a factor.

    3) Very few of your patients are going to care what med school you went to. I'm sure it's awesome to hang up a Harvard med diploma in your office, but that's not a good reason to go to a particular doctor. Word of mouth, I assume, is much more important.

    4) Going off #3, prestige, grades, etc, are NOT everything. You need to have a good personality and good bedside manner as well. And as a student, you need to be well-rounded and not just study all the time. Which is probably what you need to do in order to get into Harvard med, unless you're naturally very very bright.

    5) You need to do what makes you HAPPY. You may realize that you hate Massachusetts. Or you're not big on research.

    Basically what I'm saying is, don't go through college saying to yourself "I MUST get into Harvard med." You will mature and grow as a person by the time you actually apply, so don't restrict yourself to one school, or one specialty, etc. Look at the big picture.
  • misterpop92misterpop92 Posts: 396Registered User Junior Member
    agree with hating Massachusetts. Tom Brady is such a turn off from that state! =[

    I have a cousin, pediatric orthopedic surgeon from Harvard med class of 2000. She's at Stanford Hospital now and lemme tell you, her stories about Harvard Med aren't they greatest. Not saying it's a bad school because it's probably one of the greatest out there. But you may want to open up your choices more. Let life take you on its trip. Don't go to a school just cause its name is harvard
  • spaul2spaul2 Posts: 3Registered User New Member
    wow, i never really thought of it like that. Maybe I'm not Harvard material. But, you know the main factor I am aiming for Harvard, is because I thought that if two people apply for the same job one who graduates from Harvard as a doctor and a person who graduates from a state school, wouldn't the person from Harvard be picked? Please someone refute this for me. It is true that while I'm only a freshmen and my future is uncertain, I know though, that I'm going to a neurologist for sure. It's what I always dreamed of as a kid, the brain fascinates me and I could never imagine myself doing something else. That being said, Neurology has been stated as not-competitive field as other fields, does this mean my chances are higher or lower? In the end, I'm still going to apply to Harvard Med, no matter how many people tell me that I can't get in. However, whether I get in or not, is another story.


    p.s. I would like to point out that I am ASKING for advice, and I would like that advice to be delivered in a respectful tone, I do not appreciate the condescending tone, that some of you are replying in.
  • apumicapumic Posts: 1,529Registered User Senior Member
    wow, i never really thought of it like that. Maybe I'm not Harvard material. But, you know the main factor I am aiming for Harvard, is because I thought that if two people apply for the same job one who graduates from Harvard as a doctor and a person who graduates from a state school, wouldn't the person from Harvard be picked? Please someone refute this for me. It is true that while I'm only a freshmen and my future is uncertain, I know though, that I'm going to a neurologist for sure. It's what I always dreamed of as a kid, the brain fascinates me and I could never imagine myself doing something else. That being said, Neurology has been stated as not-competitive field as other fields, does this mean my chances are higher or lower? In the end, I'm still going to apply to Harvard Med, no matter how many people tell me that I can't get in. However, whether I get in or not, is another story.


    p.s. I would like to point out that I am ASKING for advice, and I would like that advice to be delivered in a respectful tone, I do not appreciate the condescending tone, that some of you are replying in.
    Last edited by spaul2; Today at 08:14 PM. Reason: side note

    First, no, the HMS doc doesn't necessarily have any advantage. In some cases, sure, but in most, not really. Word of mouth and connections are far more important.
    Second, not being competitive means it's easier to get into.
    Finally, this is a question that gets asked a lot. If you'd looked around you'd know that. I am sorry if some of us have come across condescending but in defense, it should be considered that some of these questions get asked ridiculously often and you could have easily looked around and you would have seen that in the past month alone probably a good 5-10% of posts have something to do w/ "top schools" (which don't really exist -- "top" for what? And what's a "bottom" school?!). If you went a bit further and checked out SDN, you'd see these responses even more. If you had posted this there, you would have gotten twice the condemnation and laughter. Still, I am sorry you felt offended by the responses here.
  • IndianjattIndianjatt Posts: 784Registered User Member
    First think of just getting into medical school. Then decide from there - admission is tough.
  • mmmcdowemmmcdowe Posts: 2,348Registered User Senior Member
    spaul, you have no clue if you really want to be a neurologist. You just think you do based on a skewed outsider's view based on very limited data. Like changing your major in undergrad, changing your specialty of choice in medical school is almost a given.
  • BigredmedBigredmed Posts: 3,676Registered User Senior Member
    Yes, just like it makes no sense to get focused on a particular school too early, the same is true for getting fixated on a specialty. Until you've made it into medical school and experienced what life is like in the clinics and on the wards, you have very little insight into what type of medicine will be a good fit for you. Most people are only familiar with medicine in the clinic and don't really have an idea of inpatient medicine is like, they don't know if they enjoy diagnosis or prevention or intervention or management aspects of medical care the most (or the relative combinations these exist in), and they don't know how their life may have changed that makes lifestyle considerations important...

    So bottom line, focus on doing the best you can in college now, keeping an eye on the horizon and your future goals but putting your effort into making the next step in front of you.
  • curmudgeoncurmudgeon Posts: 12,101Registered User Senior Member
    Brm, that advice ^^^^^^ is spot-on from what I can tell.

    "Stay light on your feet. Jab and move, jab and move."
  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP Posts: 13,443Registered User Senior Member
    To get anywhere, you should be close to 3.8 from what I understand. The friends D has graduated from Duke with 3.7 and could not get anywhere, although I do not know the rest of her story. She finally got in to our local Med. School. Getting into any Med. School is completely fine and admirable by any standards.
«1345
This discussion has been closed.