Messing up the medical school interview is only one of the many reasons why premed students fail to get into medical school. In this episode, I tackle seven of the most common mistakes premeds make on their path to medical school, and how you can avoid them.
Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.
7 Reasons Why Premed Students Fail to Get Into Medical School:
Poor MCAT score
- Lack of respect for the MCAT
- Failing to see how the MCAT is so much different from a normal exam
- All the prep it takes
What you need to do:
- Take the MCAT prep course from Next Step Test Prep
- Here’s my review of their course (with a promo code).
- Get the best score you can get!
- Understand there are no other tests like the MCAT.
- Go get help.
- Recognize the importance of delayed gratification.
- You cannot put off the hard stuff.
- Study, study, study!
- If you have a poor GPA, take the next step to strengthen your application.
- Establishing an upward trend in your GPA can be enough, even if your overall GPA is still low.
- If you can’t get your GPA above a 3.0, listen to this episode.
- The #1 unexcusable reason to not get into medical school!
- If you apply late to medical school, you already failed the first medical school test.
- The application is available a month before you can submit. Submit early.
- The game of musical chairs: acceptances are given on a “rolling admissions” basis.
Failure to course-correct
- Take a moment to figure out where you are.
- Reflect on your performance: What went well? What didn’t?
- Figure out what to do to course-correct to get yourself back on track.
- Your path to medical school doesn’t have to be anywhere near perfect.
Taking on too much, too soon
- Premeds have a tendency to take on everything (classes, shadowing, volunteering, research, etc.).
- Undergrad classes are different from high-school classes.
- Your #1 job: Learn how to be a student. Figure out your extracurriculars and everything else after that.
- Don’t worry about shadowing, volunteering, and research for now.
Not doing the right extracurricular activities
- There is no checklist to get into medical school.
- The importance of shadowing a physician for a quality amount of time.
- You need to see what it’s like to be a physician.
- You need to interact with patients and make sure you like being around sick people.
- Go out there and smell the patient.
- Is research required to be accepted into med school?
Poor letters of recommendation
- Just because you get a good grade from a teacher doesn’t mean they have the ability to write you a good letter of recommendation.
- It’s important to build relationships with your professors, research PI’s, advisors, and other people along your premed path.
- Find strong mentors along your path. A good mentor will often be able to write you a great letter of recommendation.
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: 6 Secondary Essay Mistakes and How to Avoid Them.
- Related episode: 5 Biggest Medical School Personal Statement Mistakes.
- Need MCAT Prep? Save on tutoring, classes, and full-length practice tests by using promo code “MSHQ” at Next Step Test Prep!
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