PMY 179 : Why this Nontrad Helped Make a new MCAT Course

Session 179Session 179

Ryan talks with Elizabeth, who now has an acceptance to medical school. The more interesting thing is that she took her experience studying for the MCAT and is now helping other premed students on their journey as she teamed up with an MCAT prep company where they now offer great MCAT services.

Listen in to learn about Elizabeth’s journey to medical school, preparing for the MCAT, juggling her time working full time and taking classes at night, and more about the MCAT prep course that she co-created which you might get great help from as you’re preparing for the MCAT.

Here are the highlights of the conversation with Elizabeth

Elizabeth's journey to medical school

  • Started her college at a music conservatory but suffered from an arm injury
  • Discovering her love of science accidentally and majored in neuroscience
  • Not being premed but having interest in health policy and science writing and doing it for five years
  • Getting turned off by the competitive “premed” life in Columbia and wanting to explore different interests

Resources she tapped into to figure out the first steps

  • Internet research on the different requirements
  • Making spreadsheets of classes she needed to take
  • Planning and having a strict schedule of what she needed to do

Her thought process to go about the medical school applicatio

  • Community college options (being able to take night classes)
  • Working full time and study at the same time
  • Suspending her course schedule while studying for the MCAT
  • Take leave at work when studying for exams

Juggling her time studying and working full time

  • Effective planning
  • Being flexible – allowing yourself to have time being a human being
  • Being motivated and staying on top of it
  • Making time for yourself and for the things you need to do
  • Fitting in her shadowing experience a few hours a week

How her science policy work helped the application process

  • Being able talk about healthcare trends and health policy issues
  • Being able to connect with the interviewer
  • Being able to draw a line back to medical school and why she wanted to apply

Considerations in choosing which medical school to go to

  • Geography
  • Interdisciplinary education
  • Looking from multiple perspectives
  • More integrated program with focus on practical issues
  • With a curriculum that matched how she wanted to learn
  • Right kind of culture and education

How she researched for school

  • Looking at the school's website and checking their values and the opportunities offered
  • Touring schools and talking to current students or applicants at school

Preparing for the MCAT

  • Transitioning from work + course classes to work + MCAT preparation
  • Her classes prepared her for studying for the MCAT
  • Taking the very first of the new MCAT
  • AAMC's website
  • Commercial MCAT prep courses (She chose Kaplan)
  • The course not meeting her expectations to prepare for the new test because it was reason-based
  • No matter what prep course you use, it all boils down to YOU! You get out of it what you put into it.

Her involvement in changing the test prep

  • Recognizing the need for a new prep that adapts to the new test
  • Teaming up with Dr. Conrad Fischer
  • Putting up together the new course called MCAT Fastpass

About medQuest's MCAT FastPass

Save 50% off the course through the month of May 2016 by using the coupon code: medschoolhq

(After May 2016, save 20% off the course using the same code.)

  • Online video course plus a book on Amazon (can be bought separately)
  • The also encourage everyone to purchase the AAMC practice resources

What the MCAT FastPass video course includes

  • 1 Full-length practice test that's scored
  • Types of MCAT questions and how to approach them
  • A walk through on solving a passage
  • Different strategies behind taking the MCAT

About the MCAT FastPass Study Guide book

    • Condensing all information into the most concise form
    • Comprehensive of all the test content
    • Things you need to know as set by the AAMC
    • Written in outline for for easy navigation and review
    • Works as a checklist for easy tracking and organization
    • Handy enough for you to carry it everywhere you go
    • Quickly review topics to make sure you're making the most of your time
  • (It has all the amino acids which you need to memorize!)

Some pieces of advice for premed students

If you work full time and apply to medical school at the same time, three months is not enough time. Start earlier to help you ease into it and slowly ramp it up. Think about when you want to have your scores and work back to when you need to start studying.

Take the MCAT only when you're ready. Give yourself the time you need.

Links and Other Resources:

MedQuest FastPass video course

MedQuest FastPass book on Amazon

Save 50% off the course through the month of May 2016 by using the coupon code: medschoolhq

(After May 2016, save 20% off the course using the same code.)

AAMC's website

Kaplan MCAT prep course

Try listening to this podcast on Google Play Music at medicalschoolhq.net/gpm

If you need any help with the medical school interview, go to medschoolinterviewbook.com. Sign up and you will receive parts of the book so you can help shape the future of the book. This book will include over 500 questions that may be asked during interview day as well as real-life questions, answers, and feedback from all of the mock interviews Ryan has been doing with students.

Are you a nontraditional student? Go check out oldpremeds.org.

For more great content, check out www.mededmedia.com for more of the shows produced by the Medical School Headquarters including the OldPremeds Podcast and watch out for more shows in the future!

Hang out with us over at medicalschoolhq.net/group. Click join and we'll add you up to our private Facebook group. Share your successes and miseries with the rest of us.

Listen to our podcast for free at iTunes: medicalschoolhq.net/itunes and leave us a review there!

Email Ryan at ryan@medicalschoolhq.net or connect with him on Twitter @medicalschoolhq

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