How Do You Show Med Schools You can Handle the Pressure?

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OPM 219: How Do You Show Med Schools You can Handle the Pressure?

Session 219

Do AdCom’s really expect you to quit your job and take classes full-time to show you can handle the demands of med school? You might be surprised.

Your questions here are taken directly from the Nontrad Premed Forums. Check out all our other podcasts on Meded Media including The Premed Years Podcast.

Listen to this podcast episode with the player above, or keep reading for the highlights and takeaway points.

[01:25] OldPreMeds Question of the Week

“Currently at a crossroads as to what to pursue to give myself the strongest impression during the Application Procedure:

Currently,. I’m Active Duty and my current contract ends in 2021. I can transition to the National Guard and pursue a full-time position (very demanding) and take 2-3 classes at the same time so as to not lose the majority of my income while finishing my B.S. I feel that balancing the stresses of my remaining classes with full-time service may show I can handle the pressures of school.

Conversely, I can stay part-time while going to school full-time. However, my only source of income would be the housing allowance afforded as part of the G.I. Bill. Also, my wife will still be working.”

[02:10] What It Means to Set Yourself Up for Success

Ultimately, the question comes down to how to set yourself up for success in the best way? This can be defined in my mind in only one way. Unfortunately, students try to define it in a few different ways which this student in highlighting this.

“Setting yourself up for success means how will you be the happiest, the most fulfilled, and most successful?”Click To Tweet

Most successful, to me personally, is getting good grades, getting a good MCAT score, having the time to get clinical experience and shadowing and all the other stuff. That is what success is when it comes to the application process for being a premed. You also have to maintain relationships, eating well, and exercising – doing all those other good things for you.


This student is measuring success based on how the admissions committee is going to view the application. Do not do things based on how you think it’s going to be interpreted by someone reviewing your application. The fact that you’re active duty shows a ton all by itself.

'Getting good grades shows that you can handle the pressures of school.'Click To Tweet

Getting good grades alone is enough to show that you can handle medical school. That’s the whole point of looking at your GPA and MCAT score. Are you smart enough? Can you handle that?

Are you taking one class every semester? Then there’s that red flag of can you handle lots of classes at the same time.

Handling lots of classes at the same time, not two to three classes at a time is a better way to show that you can handle the pressures of school.

Assuming your finances work out, go to school full time and focus on the rest of your application. Getting into medical school is not just having a strong GPA and improving to handle the stress of school. It involves clinical experience, shadowing, volunteering, research.

Going part-time with work and full-time with school allows you to do those other things that will make you a more well-rounded applicant.

[06:20] MCAT Prep Help

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