In today’s episode, Ryan talks with Lea, a premed student at Pitzer College in California. Today she shares with us tips for developing study habits, preparing for the MCAT, the 7-year BA/DO program that she’s currently attending, the tools and resources she used along the journey, and just a little bit of everything.
When Lea knew she wanted to be a doctor:
- Promised herself to do healthcare delivery
- Wanting to be a neonatologist
- Rather be “no doctor” than a mediocre doctor
- The importance of being informed especially about changes in health care
Finding a mentor as a premed:
Lea found her mentor and developed a natural relationship that had great impact on her journey to becoming a doctor. She also found three other mentors through social media.
- Take initiative.
- Reach out to them.
- Ask and be denied, rather than not ask at all and not know what could have been.
Narrowing down her majors:
At her school, they get to choose their majors by the time they finish freshman year.
Her current medical program:
- 7 years BA and DO linkage program
- 3 years of undergrad, 4 years medical school
- Applying for the medical program prior to undergrad application
- Narrowing down applicants from around 200 to 20
- Going through an undergrad interview and a medical school interview (4 hours in total) at 17 years old
There are other medical school programs like this where you apply early, and some don’t even require you to take the MCAT.
On developing study habits transitioning from high school to college:
- Don’t give up.
- Save the homework problems you couldn’t do by yourself, and do them in office hours.
- Study habits are personal to everyone.
- Find the method or environment that works best for you.
Resources that Helped Her as a New Premed
- Evernote: note-taking app useful during reporting or take pictures of diagrams that get planted in your notes
- YouTube: can help with studying organic chemistry and biology; watch the videos sped up
- College Info Geek from Thomas Frank
- Study Hacks Blog from Cal Newport and his book How to Win at College
[Related episode: How Do I Remember Material I Studied Four Months Ago?]
Studying for the MCAT:
- Lea chose Kaplan for her MCAT test prep.
- Take a lot of practice exams.
- Do a postmortem of the practice test to study why you missed what you missed and why you got right what you got right on each practice test.
- Learn different tricks and strategies to boost your score.
[Related episode: Four Tips for Memorizing Science for the MCAT]Do a postmortem of each MCAT practice test you take. Find out why you missed what you missed, and why you got right what you got right.Click To Tweet
Study tips for premed students who are struggling every day:
- Collect yourself and talk to your advisor, mentors, or upperclassmen to see what you can change.
- Understand the importance of knowing what kind of study habit works for you.
- Download a browser extension that blocks Twitter, Facebook, and all other sites that would distract you from studying.
- Turn off your phone while studying.
- Keep informed and understand what’s happening right now with health care
- Listen to The Premed Years.
Links and Other Resources
- College Info Geek from Thomas Frank
- Study Hacks Blog from Cal Newport
- Related episode: How Do I Remember Material I Studied Four Months Ago?
- Related episode: How Can I Best Utilize Mnemonics for the MCAT?
- Need MCAT Prep? Save on tutoring, classes, and full-length practice tests by using promo code “MSHQ” for 10% off Next Step full-length practice tests or “MSHQTOC” for $50 off MCAT tutoring or the Next Step MCAT Course at Blueprint MCAT (formerly Next Step Test Prep)!
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