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WashU Premed Program

thebeststudentthebeststudent Registered User Posts: 28 New Member
What kind of students get into medical school from Washington University in St. Louis? people say the premed program is phenomenal- can someone elaborate for me what this means? can people share with me success stories about the average premed at washu? thanks.
Post edited by thebeststudent on

Replies to: WashU Premed Program

  • vbball90vbball90 Registered User Posts: 236 Junior Member
    When you start looking at any school like Wash U, you're going to find on average a very high success rate (both in the percentage of people who go to med school, and the type of med school they go to).

    Last year I know there were over 15 Wash U students who went to Wash U med school. My freshman year RA went to Cornell med school for what it's worth... she was very bright, but I don't think she was the top student in the class or anything (although this is hard to gauge at Wash U because it's not the culture where people talk about grades really). I think, on average, any university with a medical school is more likely to accept it's own undergrad students. Considering that our medical school is ranked 3rd, I think it says something about the quality of the pre-med program on the whole that so many kids go to our own medical school.

    Pre-med here isn't a cake walk, so that's something to keep in mind when you're looking at programs. You do have to work really really hard. I know that our Gen Chem courses teach things that most other colleges don't so early on, and pre-med students here mostly take a 3-semester bio sequence (as opposed to the standard 2-semester at most colleges) and most seem take Diff Eq for math. I think even at colleges that are comparable to Wash U, these are unique factors to our school specifically.

    If you are smart enough to make it through, you'll probably have a lot of really great med school acceptances. And I don't mean "book smart" when I say "smart enough"... you need to be able to take advantage of things like the Cornerstone learning center, PLTL (basically upperclassmen who tutor freshmen/sophomores in group sessions), do some research over in the med school or the bio department (which is very easy and common, btw), watch the recorded video lectures on top of going to class, and always ask for help. While I'm not pre-med, the general atmosphere on campus is laid-back and highly supportive, and not at all cut-throat. People tend to study just as often in groups as by yourself, I would say. I think this helps people do well and really easies your mind... there is something to say about not feeling like you're competing with everyone. Wash U pre-med is totally doable if you seek those opportunities and don't try to do everything by yourself.

    Does a 3.8 from Wash U pre-med mean more than a 4.0 from main-street-usa-college? probably, yes. Does a 3.8 from Wash U pre-med mean something more than 3.8 from Duke or Penn or Northwestern? Who knows... that would be far too subjective to answer.

    At the end of the day.... the person who graduates last in his class from even the last-ranked medical school in the country is still a doctor. If you're just an average Wash U pre-med kid, you'll likely go to an amazing medical school, but if you do finish last in your class.... hey you're still a doctor! My advice is to take a chill pill, go to a place that helps you to succeed and where you feel comfortable, and enjoy college.
  • zenith602zenith602 - Posts: 394 Member
    I second each and every drop of wisdom that has just fallen from vbball's virtual lips.
  • vbball90vbball90 Registered User Posts: 236 Junior Member
    thanks for the graphic sentiment, zenith :)
  • FHN_dentFHN_dent Registered User Posts: 138 Junior Member
    On a freshman floor there will be several other pre meds. And although group studying can be useful if directed properly(ie. PLTL), it is easy to waste hours under the guise of studying while some members of the group distract you. Even if you exhaust all the help options it isn't enough, you have to develop a knack/skill for figuring out what the professor is asking. (sounds simple but many times I think they are asking one thing but they are asking something completely different) You have to find out what works and what works fast before you do poorly on an exam because there isn't much room for error. In most intro pre med classes they make up the majority of your grade if not all of it.

    Most pre med classes have purely free response type questions which can be frustrating because they wont always recognize an equivalent to the right answer. On Bio tests sometimes i feel like you have to even include information about the topic they didn't directly ask for. I've had to send in regrades for many of my tests because of poor grading.

    Get ready to fail like you have never failed before but so long as you are failing less than everyone else you will be fine. (means of mid thirties on one of the first few tests of orgo and gen chem this year) You will be challenged but you will learn a lot. But yes you will get weeded out early if you do not have what it takes but better for it to happen in undergrad rather than medical school.
  • lollybolollybo Registered User Posts: 776 Member
    Everything that has been said in this thread has been spot on.

    Classes are tough, but if you survive, you will rock.

    Free response exams are really annoying in terms of grading, but force you to know your stuff. I think it gets better though, upper level classes tend to have more qualified TAs.

    Failing (yes, you will fail) is a very humbling experience, but in the end you will only get stronger.
  • collegehappycollegehappy Registered User Posts: 712 Member
    So a couple of people have mentioned how you will almost certainly fail, but how does this work in college? I mean, how do you get into a decent med school if you've failed classes? Do they curve at the end of the semster or something or are they just like "oh sucks for everyone in the class since they all have Fs"?
  • lollybolollybo Registered User Posts: 776 Member
    Sorry, I meant failing before the curve. Usually the mean is curved to a B, with the exception of Gen Chem, which I think curves to a C+.
  • collegehappycollegehappy Registered User Posts: 712 Member
    Wow. So how do the top medical schools view a C+ from a top tier school like washu? Is a C+ in college difference from a C+ in high school?
  • lollybolollybo Registered User Posts: 776 Member
    I wouldn't know about that, but I'd say one should shoot for at least a B+ science GPA. A C+ won't get you into med school.
  • WUSTLFutureWUSTLFuture Registered User Posts: 45 Junior Member
    I want to eventually be a doctor. I'm in high school. I'm getting all A's in my science classes. I got a 760 on my chemistry SATII. I'm also planning to take AP Physics, AP Chemistry, and AP Biology. Is this a competitive curriculum that will give me a head start with other premeds, should I be accepted into Washington University in st. Louis? Good to know the WashU premed program is so strong, but it also sounds pretty difficult. I want to be eventually competitive enough with the best premeds in the country and attend a top medical school. Thanks.
  • lollybolollybo Registered User Posts: 776 Member
    I think you will do fine- just work hard and make sure your study skills and habits are good.
  • dufaydufay Registered User Posts: 381 Member
    Please comment on pre-med advising, and how easy/difficult it is to access. At Penn- you get a web site with info, and then meet with someone who will write your composite letter. You're on your own- and schedules may be booked for weeks.
  • jemarcusjemarcus Registered User Posts: 22 New Member
    I'm not sure if this is available for access off campus, but there is a lot of great information here: Life Sciences Forms | The College | Arts & Sciences
    I think the statistically interested would appreciate the PreMed supplement.
  • zenith602zenith602 - Posts: 394 Member
    Thanks jemarcus.

    Guys, I tried to compile a list of questions and answers popular amongst premeds. Check them out here:

    Please let me know if there is anything I did not cover. Thanks a lot!
  • apply2schoolapply2school Registered User Posts: 184 Junior Member
    Thank you for this!
    Overall, about premed, very useful
    an expat mom in India
This discussion has been closed.