In today’s episode, I interview Shay Garrison, a current 1st-year medical student at Albany Medical College and author of the book Getting Into Medical School: The Ultimate Guide for the Anxious Premed.
Shay shares with us how she did everything “wrong” with her medical school applications—yet she still got into medical school.
Shay is now well on her way to becoming a physician. We will be covering topics such as getting letters of recommendation, application timing, and so much more in this episode.
Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.
Shay’s Path to Medicine
- Her primary interest in research and her experience at Caltech
- Shadowing to see if medical school is really for you
- What she could have told her high-school self to make the right choice the first time
Shay is mostly a traditional medical student. Perhaps the only nontraditional thing about her application was that she transferred to a different school during college to take advantage of the university’s open curriculum and on-campus hospital, a perfect avenue for her to pursue shadowing experience.Shay is now well on her way to becoming a physician. Click To Tweet
[Related episode: How Should I Prepare for My First Shadowing Experience?]
Figuring out the Path to Medical School
- How transferring to another school affected her medical school application
- Entering the premed world and gathering information on the whole process
- Taking the MCAT exam pretty late in August to be able to get in by September (Whew!)
- What inspired her to write her book
[Related episode: When Should I Take the MCAT?]
The Importance of Premed Letters of Recommendation
- Asking for letters of recommendation
- Knowing when professors aren’t really interested to write a letter of recommendation for you
- What helped her application
- What is a strong letter of recommendation?
[Related episode: Where to Get Letters of Recommendation as a Nontrad.]
The Biggest Mistake Premeds Make
- Starting off her blog and writing her personal statement
- The biggest mistake premeds make
- The requirements being there for a reason, not just being boxes to check off
- The importance of preventive medicine
Some pieces of advice for premed students:
- MCAT and GPA are just part of the application. You don’t have to be the “perfect applicant” that everybody thinks they need to be.
- The medical school application process looks at who you are as a person, so your essays and letters of recommendation are really important.
- Know what you really want out of the process. Know why you want to be a doctor. Put it all into the perspective of your life, where you want to be in the future, and what you want to be doing.
Links and Other Resources
- Check out my Premed Playbook series of books (available on Amazon), with installments on the personal statement, the medical school interview, and the MCAT.
- Related episode: Overcoming Obstacles on Her Way to Medical School.
- Related episode: 54-year-old Med Student Overcame 5 MCATs, Rejection, and More.
- Need MCAT Prep? Save on tutoring, classes, and full-length practice tests by using promo code “MSHQ” at Blueprint MCAT (formerly Next Step Test Prep)!