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What kinds of questions should I ask advisors for Med School preparation?

Sixers76Sixers76 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
H all,

I am trying to decide between three schools. I have been accepted to all three schools' honors programs. However, I am thinking of completing a non-science major, such as Business or Statistics, while completing med school pre-requisites on the side. What kinds of questions should I ask the advisors, during my appointments, to help me decide which university to attend?

Thanks so much! :)

Replies to: What kinds of questions should I ask advisors for Med School preparation?

  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,082 Forum Champion
    Undergrads do not prepare students for med school or the MCAT.

    But, you can visit the Premed advising office and see how organized they are. Ask them if they do Mock Interviews. Ask if they write Committee Letters. Find out if there is an ACTIVE premed group/club/association on campus...and find out what they do. Does the association or school bring in guest speakers? Do they help list shadowing opps. Do they review your application list and provide input as to which schools might accept you and which ones are too much of a reach/unlikely.
  • VSGPeanut101VSGPeanut101 Registered User Posts: 886 Member
    The key question is how to fit all the requirements in. Here are some of my initial thoughts.
    What general education requirements does each college have? Some of these will likely overlap with the pre-med requirements. (calculus, biology).
    Do you have AP credits - if so, inquire if some of those credits can be used either to meet the med school requirements or the gen ed requirements at the college?
    How many other classes outside your major will you be able to have each year in the business or statistics major? Can you fit all the pre-med science classes and labs in? Ideally, you would space out your sciences (bio, chem, organic chem, physics) over the whole 4 years.
    How many people at each school finish a business/stats degree in 4 years? If the run-of the mill business degree is a 5 year degree at a school, it is less likely that you will be able to complete both that and the pre-med requirements in 4 years.

    Ask about the pre-med advising office at each college. The pre-med advisers should be comfortable with students pursuing a variety of majors - don't expect the advisers in the business program to be able to help you prepare for medical school admissions at all.

    Good luck with the process!
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Forum Champion Financial Aid, Forum Champion Alabama Posts: 84,082 Forum Champion
    >>>>
    The key question is how to fit all the requirements in. Here are some of my initial thoughts.

    What general education requirements does each college have? Some of these will likely overlap with the pre-med requirements. (calculus, biology).

    Do you have AP credits - if so, inquire if some of those credits can be used either to meet the med school requirements or the gen ed requirements at the college?

    How many other classes outside your major will you be able to have each year in the business or statistics major?

    Can you fit all the pre-med science classes and labs in? Ideally, you would space out your sciences (bio, chem, organic chem, physics) over the whole 4 years.
    >>>

    Yes, all good things to consider.

    The AP credits (science) will not likely be used to fulfill med school requirements, BUT....they can often be used to take the next higher classes which will get used as premed prereqs.
  • i_wanna_be_Browni_wanna_be_Brown Forum Champion Brown Posts: 8,225 Forum Champion
    edited January 2015
    How accessible is the pre-med advisor? E.g. how far in advance do you have to schedule meetings, how often can you meet with him/her etc.
    What percentage of science courses are taught by grad students vs. professors?

    Maybe less relevant for you:
    What percentage of faculty have undergrads in their labs doing research?
    Is funding available for students to perform research? (e.g. Brown has UTRAs: http://www.brown.edu/academics/college/fellowships/utra/)
  • Sixers76Sixers76 Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Should I take the credits, or just retake the classes to cushion my GPA? By the time I graduate, I will have taken AP: Literature, Biology, Chemistry, Government, Statistics, Calculus AB, Physics A, and Psychology
  • plumazulplumazul Registered User Posts: 1,744 Senior Member
    edited January 2015
    @Sixers76
    Should I take the credits, or just retake the classes to cushion my GPA? By the time I graduate, I will have taken AP: Literature, Biology, Chemistry, Government, Statistics, Calculus AB, Physics A, and Psychology

    If you get 5's on the exams, it would be silly to retake. Take something more advanced/interesting. The whole point of going to college is to get an education, so don't waste any opportunities.

    Oh, and what is AP Physics A? I've never heard of it.
  • N's MomN's Mom Registered User Posts: 2,212 Senior Member
    I differ with plumazul on this one. AP Bio and Chem in high school were no where near as intense as intro Bio and Chem at S's college (and S got 5s on both APs). He was glad to retake these courses so that he had the foundations down and it gave him some breathing room as a freshman. There was a lot to adjust to anyway without having to power through what can be tough 'weeder classes' at many schools. Now, in fairness, his buddy at State U covered half the material that he did in a semester, so maybe in that case, a retake would have been boring and a waste of time. You may want to look closely at the curriculum to see how much of it you already have under your belt, keeping in mind that in two years, when you are studying for your MCAT, you'll probably need to review it all again.
  • plumazulplumazul Registered User Posts: 1,744 Senior Member
    edited January 2015
    If there is any standardization in higher education, it's the content of first year science classes. All across the country, students taking these classes are covering virtually the same material, using the same books, and taking them in the same order. There are certainly exceptions, but not many. The College Board works with universities around the country to make sure that their courses and exams are consistent with these "standard" courses. If you scored a 5 on the AP exam, you have the foundations down, and you are ready to move on. This is the recommendation of medical schools (who make such a recommendation) and most university pre-health offices. If your concern is "weeder" classes, then you are most likely to run into such classes by taking first year science classes. AP credit allows you, in many cases to leapfrog the potential problem.

    There is so much to learn, esp. in Bio. The upper division Bio. and BioChem classes I took were some of the most useful WRT first year medical school curriculum. Why would anyone want to retake high school classes when there is so much more to learn?
This discussion has been closed.