My Admissions Journey as a Pre-Med Transfer Student
CollegeAdvisor.com presents My Admissions Journey as a Pre-Med Transfer Student in a 60-minute webinar and Q&A with Kelsey Auman. Our CollegeAdvisor will share their insider perspectives on transfer applications and studying medicine. Come ready to learn and bring your questions!
2021-06-15 My Admissions Journey as a Pre-Med Transfer Student
[00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to CollegeAdvisor’s webinar on My Admissions Journey as a Pre-Med Transfer Student. As a pre-med transfer student. To orient everyone with the webinar timing, we’ll start off with a presentation. Then answer your questions in a live Q and a on the sidebar. You can download our slides and you can start submitting your questions in the Q and a tab.
Now let’s meet our panelists.
Okay. Hi everyone. Can you hear me? I hope this is working. Um, okay. So my name is Kelsey. Um, I graduated from Vanderbilt in 2018. Um, and I have, um, I had transferred there in 2016, so, um, that I only spent two years there. Um, but I also was pre-med when I was going there. So, um, today we’re [00:01:00] going to kind of go through a little bit of my, um, admissions process to Vanderbilt as a transfer, and then, um, kind of how being premed played a role in that as well.
Okay. Um, so in terms of describing my college admissions process, um, I kind of did it twice because I applied and then I reapplied when I transferred. Um, and so I would say when I first applied, um, coming out of high school, it was definitely very overwhelming. So you’re not alone if you’re feeling that way about it.
Uh, there’s a lot to kind of take in. There’s a lot to, uh, consider and be aware of as you’re going through and looking at schools and figuring out what is going to be the best option for you. Um, [00:02:00] it’s also very humbling because, you know, I went in with, um, pretty high expectations for myself. Um, and I think a lot of us come from a place where, you know, Smartest person in our school or one of the smartest people in our school.
And then you, uh, kind of realize when you’re applying to colleges, that there’s a lot of people that are like that. And you kind of, um, get to understand that you still have a lot to learn and you know, a lot to, um, a lot of room to grow. Um, definitely surprising where, you know, in terms of you don’t really know what’s going to happen, you don’t know, um, you can apply a lot of places, but even if you fit into the metrics of the schools, it doesn’t really necessarily mean you’re going to get in.
Um, just cause there’s so many different factors that can go into it. Um, Demanding in terms of like time, you know, obviously it’s, it takes a lot to [00:03:00] apply to schools. Um, and then every additional school you add is going to be more work that you’re putting, putting on yourself. Um, so just something to be aware of and stressful, you know, you’re obviously, um, this is kind of like something that’s consuming your life in a, it feels like at certain times, but you kind of have to, um, put it in perspective and try and remind yourself that, you know, you’ve worked hard up to this point to get here.
Um, and so while the process is stressful, like you’ve already, you know, hopefully done the work for it. Um, leading up to that point, um, you know, frustrating in terms of. The unpredictability of it. And, um, a lot of us, you know, being type a people, we want to, uh, control things and to, um, know what’s going to happen.
And that’s not always the case with this process. Um, [00:04:00] as I learned, um, you know, a roller coaster ride, you’ve definitely like will probably have moments that you’re really happy and also moments that are really tough. Um, for me, like I, I applied to, um, You know, as you can see on the last bullet point there, I applied to Vanderbilt, um, when I was in high school and I did not get accepted.
Um, and I did not even get waitlisted. So I was kind of, uh, really upset about that obviously is I’m sure a lot of you would, would be as well. Um, but there’s also, you know, happy moments too. Like, you know, even if you get wait-listed like, um, they can pull you off the wait list. Um, and any time, like for me, I ended up getting off the wait list at one of the schools about three days, I think, before decision day.
So it’s never too late, um, for those kinds of things to happen. [00:05:00] Um, okay. So we’ll keep going here. Can I change this? Okay, perfect. Um, okay. So what factors during high school affected my application? So, um, Basically, I mean like many of you, I was in, in a lot of, uh, extracurriculars, you would say, um, so probably, uh, if there was a club at my school, I at least been to a meeting for it.
Um, just because I was in so many, so many clubs. Um, but I think the important thing to remember here is that you don’t have to do that many clubs. Um, it’s more about like what you, um, get out of it and you want to kind of, if you can narrow it down to a couple, that’s usually the, uh, I think the better way to go, because I was like constantly like going to club meetings.
I just never, I would never go home at a normal time. Um, and you can definitely, [00:06:00] you know, wear yourself out, um, doing that. And you can, you can’t really, um, possibly be, you know, dedicated to that many things at the same time. Um, and. Let’s see, um, in terms of like preparing for college, I didn’t really know the application process very well.
Like I didn’t know if I should do things, um, like I didn’t know what I should be doing. And in high school I kind of was just doing things that, um, were interesting or seemed cool. Um, but I think that, um, a lot of kids are, will be, you know, their parents are telling them, like, you should do this, you should do this summer program.
You should do that. And I didn’t really have that. So I think, you know, or maybe you have a CollegeAdvisor, like one of us who’s telling you to, uh, to do these things. Um, so. I think that, [00:07:00] you know, if you do have someone like that, take your, take their advice with a grain of salt, but also, you know, I appreciate it because they, uh, they may actually have good advice.
Um, and it’s, uh, it’s tough when you’re doing it all by yourself. Um, okay. So let’s see. Uh, oh, so I only applied to six schools. Um, Which is probably less than a lot of people would apply to. Um, but I wanted to not end up with too many options, which is a problem that a lot of people will, um, kind of end up running into in the, um, college application process.
If you’re applying to 10, 12 schools and you get into 10 of them, that’s, uh, that makes your decision really hard. Um, so I kind of tried to narrow it down a little bit, and I do recommend that you do that if you can, um, [00:08:00] because you will be grateful later on when you don’t have as hard of a decision to make.
Um, if you still feel like you would be happy at 10 schools and, you know, definitely apply to all of those, but, um, It’s a, you want to think about like what, um, what schools are actually a good fit for you. And, um, it is hard to narrow it down, but it does help you out later on. Um, if you can do that and let’s see, uh, in terms of ed or early action, I did not, um, really want to go that route.
I probably would have applied early action, but my application honestly, was not ready at that point, um, because I was still working on things. So I think that, you know, there definitely are advantages to early decision and early action. You, you get to find out early where you’re going. You can, um, have a better [00:09:00] opportunity of getting into some of these schools that are really difficult.
But that being said, um, for me, I just didn’t really think it was a good option because, um, I didn’t want to be. Um, in a situation where I had to go to a school and I didn’t feel that I was getting like the best financial aid package or something like that. Um, so I just decided that for me, it was kind of something that I wasn’t, I just wasn’t going to do.
Um, if my application had been ready, maybe it would have been different, but, um, it’s definitely, um, something to think about. And, uh, you want to plan ahead if that’s the case, because you’re going to be finishing application much earlier than, than most other people. Um, let’s see, what else? Oh, I, so going along with, uh, going along with submitting my application late, um, [00:10:00] I think that, you know, I definitely am a procrastinator, as many of you might be.
Um, so your essay is like a really important part of the application and, um, I think if you can spend a lot of time on it, that’s going to be super beneficial for you. Um, because you can, you know, if you write over the summer, for example, you can revise it. You can make, um, a couple of drafts and have a lot of people read it.
And, um, I didn’t really think that far ahead when I was writing mine, because I didn’t really realize how important it was. So I think that with the essay, you know, don’t do what I did, but if you cannot, if you have any opportunity at all, to write it early and have, um, a lot of, you know, time to kind of sit and think about it and, um, revise it, I think it would definitely, um, benefit you in the long run in terms of [00:11:00] helping you to.
Have a better application overall, and that goes along with every part of the application, you want to take your time on it because you don’t want to be making mistakes or having it come out sloppy. Um, which I don’t really think I ran it, ran into that issue, but it’s just definitely easier to write when you’re not under pressure.
Um, okay. So strengths. Um, okay. So strengths of my initial application. Um, so I thought that my application was pretty strong. Um, when I applied, um, I mean, I, I didn’t have like the highest, highest test scores, but you know, I had a 1400 on the sat, which is, um, pretty good. It’ll, it’ll kind of get you into the range of, of a lot of schools.
Um, And I was [00:12:00] 11th overall in my class. I went to a pretty good school, but it was just a public school, not private or anything. Um, so, you know, I was feeling, I was feeling pretty, pretty good about that part. Um, I did have, like I said earlier, a lot of extracurriculars on my application. I did girl Scouts outside of school.
I was, um, involved in sports and, um, I played an instrument, so I kind of had a little bit of everything, um, which I think is, is good because schools, in my opinion, they probably don’t want someone who, um, has really good grades and didn’t do anything else. Um, one thing that I don’t think that I really had was.
You know, a lot of volunteer work outside of like what I did through school. Um, but I think it’s going to touch on that later. And, um, yeah, I had, [00:13:00] like, I was president of one of the clubs I was in. So, um, that’s probably the case for a lot of you as well. Um, but definitely take advantage of those leadership opportunities if you can.
And don’t, you don’t need to be the president of every club, but if you find something you like and you can be the president of it, it will probably be helpful for your application, but also it’ll help you to, you know, maybe if you have a project you wanted to do or something to really get that kind of started and, um, take control of that.
Um, which is kind of what I was able to do as president of the organization that I was in. Um, and. There’s let’s see, um, in terms of the essay, I think that the topic does matter, but it’s, it’s also equally as much how you write about it. Um, so for me, I [00:14:00] wrote about like some of my own personal, like health issues I’ve had, um, and which played into like my, um, pre-med background and, um, wanting to do that for a career.
So I think that that definitely was helpful to, they kind of helped to bring my application together, um, especially because I didn’t really have any other pre-med, uh, type things going on, um, in terms of any summer programs or that kind of thing. Um, and then I also had strong letters of recommendation, so, um, You know, I was always, um, active in classes and raising my hand and talking.
And, um, I think that teachers definitely noticed that. And, uh, you can definitely, uh, really help yourself if you get to know your teachers and they get to know you, [00:15:00] and then that can really benefit you in terms of getting, um, getting their, uh, their like, I guess, uh, blessing in terms of, you know, this person’s like really, um, interested in science or they’re really like, they love math.
They are, they’re always talking in my class and that really does make a difference. Um, So, whether it means like staying after school or doing, um, like extra projects, um, or just doing a really good job and all your work in the class, um, teachers do do notice that stuff. Um, so see, going on. Okay. So this is the weaknesses of my application, um, which I kind of touched on, but, um, so I didn’t, I didn’t take as many AP courses as I could have taken, which is not like a huge deal.
[00:16:00] Um, however, if you are not taking all of the AP courses that are taken, you have to also realize that other people are going to take every AP course they can take. So it’s kind of like one of those things where you have to try to find a balance for yourself, that’s, that’s sustainable, but also, um, realize that, um, you, uh, You’re the number of APS you have is probably going to be something that is looked at like pretty closely in terms of the application process, because they can see how many APS your school will offer, and then they can also see how many your, that you’ve taken when you apply to, to college.
Um, so you know, it is what it is. I did take a good amount, but I didn’t, I definitely, um, like opted out of a couple of them that I just wasn’t really interested in taking. Um, and then I also did not have like a passion project, which [00:17:00] a lot of you will think about and want to do. I kind of was thinking I would do one, um, through like girl Scouts.
Um, but it just didn’t end up happening. So, you know, it is a good thing to have, but I don’t think it’s like critical if you can’t get one, especially right now during COVID, it’s really hard. Um, But, you know, anything you can get like that is something that’s really gonna make you stand out from other people, I think, um, because it’s something that not everyone is going to have.
So, you know, if, if it’s something you can do, I would, I would definitely, definitely recommend it. Um, I think for the passion project, the hardest part is definitely, you know, thinking of what you want to do though. Um, cause with anything like that, there’s always, you know, so many different things you can do and then there’s a whole organization of it and how we implement this and all of that.
So, you know, if you, if you’re going to do something like that, just make sure that you have the time to take [00:18:00] on that responsibility. Um, and I didn’t do like any summer programs or like, um, anything really over the summer. I didn’t have a job over the summer. I didn’t do, um, I volunteered at a library near me, and I did that over the summer, but that was really the extent of it.
And it wasn’t, um, you know, a ton of volunteer hours. So I guess, you know, summer is a good time to take advantage of if you can, to, um, kind of do things that are interesting and maybe there’s programs offered in your city or something that other people aren’t aware of. So definitely worth looking into, um, in terms of like research programs and things like that.
Hopefully next summer there’ll be more things going on because I know this summer, it was still kind of limited in terms of what’s offered because of COVID. [00:19:00] Um, and yeah, obviously if you can get a job and work, that’s, that’s really awesome. I, I ended up getting a job after high school, but you know, that obviously it doesn’t impact my application.
So, um, It was more like, uh, the time in involved in having a job and the fact that I was doing so many other extracurriculars and stuff, that it would have been difficult for me to balance how, um, having a job with everything else. Um, well, let’s see. Okay. So what was the transfer application process like?
Um, so it was pretty similar to my normal application. Um, if you looked at the common app, you know what I’m talking about, your, um, so, you know, you’re, you have your sat score. If you have your act scores, if you took like, uh, um, AP classes, all of those scores go on there, [00:20:00] your, um, transcripts from high school, um, your transcripts from college, um, your teacher evaluations, um, The main difference with the transfer application that I did notice was the essay topic, um, because it does make, um, it does make you talk about what you w why you want to transfer and, um, excuse me, you, uh, you have to know, like when you’re transferring, right.
Why I want to transfer. So, um, your reasons, um, could be like that, you know, The school is your dream school, which is kind of what my reason was. But when I wrote the essay, I had to write an essay about it. So I couldn’t just write, you know, this is my dream school and that was it. So I kind of talked about how I wanted to like more opportunities and like the different things that they had there that were, you know, Vanderbilt that were really interesting [00:21:00] to me that I couldn’t do at my, at my current school or, um, you know, something along those lines.
Do you want something concrete that, um, you know, they can look at it and say, okay, this person, um, you know, wants to transfer and then, you know, they also have a good reason for doing it. Um, so that reason being, you know, your objectives, so like how is transferring and help you like achieve your goal?
Being whatever you want to be in my case, being a doctor. Um, so let’s see. Um, okay. So in terms of the evaluations, they need to be college professors, not high school teachers, that’s different, right? Because we’re not in high school anymore. Um, so that kind of just makes sense. Um, so there might be a supplemental essay.
So similar to the common app, you know, you have your main essay that you write, which is generic for [00:22:00] all of the schools. So that, one’s more so about, like why I want to transfer in terms of, you know, broader scope. Um, and then they might ask you in your supplemental essay for the school, like, why do you want to go to this school, but in particular, and then you can talk about like, um, things there that are more specific to that program.
Um, Let’s see. Oh, so there’s an application fee, obviously as well. You know, that’s is pretty much without saying, and then there’s a fee assistance program. So if you get that, you won’t have to pay the, the fee. Um, and because the transfer application, it does have a bit of a tip, a different timeline. So like I applied in, um, I turned in my application in March, um, and then I started at Vanderbilt in August.
So it was very like close together. Um, whereas your normal college application, you’re turning it in, [00:23:00] in December. So it’s a little bit later, um, which is why they do require a midterm report from that semester so that they would require like your, um, All of your college grades, but then you would also need a midterm report from like, so the spring semester of when you were applying, which would tell them that you’re in good standing at your current school.
Um, and I didn’t mention this, but if you do want to transfer, you can transfer either in sophomore or junior year. So, or I’m sorry, freshman or sophomore year. So you can start at your new school as either a sophomore or a junior. Um, okay. So what did I like about Vanderbilt? Um, a lot of things I liked that the student body was super diverse.
Um, so like people that I met there were from all over the world, um, and all over the United States, which was [00:24:00] really amazing because I CA I came from a small, um, not very, uh, diverse place growing up. Um, And it was just really cool to see all these different cultures meshing together and, um, different, uh, religions and different, um, festivals that people celebrate and holidays.
Um, which like I never would have known about if I didn’t go to Vanderbilt. Um, so like for example, we had, um, a campus holy celebration, which if you know about Holly, um, is a, um, is a holiday, um, And we, uh, we all went out on the lawn and we, um, or like white shirts and we, uh, they, they got like chalk, um, or some kind of special chalk paint.
And we kind of just like, you know, [00:25:00] holy is like the festival of colors. So we sweep got, you know, chalk paint all over ourselves with the, um, by throwing it at each other. Um, so things like that are just really fun because I’m probably never going to get to do that again, but it was really cool to be a part of something like that.
Um, and just to see everyone from like all the different cultures still participating in this like event, even though it may be maybe not something that they would normally celebrate. Um, so things like that were, were really, really cool to see. Um, they really tried to be inclusive of people who do not have, um, Financial resources.
So what I mean by that is someone who maybe got a lot of financial aid, um, which Vanderbilt gives out a ton of financial aid. So in general, they do try to make it so that anyone can go there, but you know, college is expensive and it’s tough, you know, when you’re [00:26:00] living in, in Nashville, it’s very, um, the cost of living is high there.
So you, there, there are students who will work during school to pay for, um, like just normal living expenses, whether that be like going to movies with friends and that kind of thing, or, or who knows what else? Um, and I was one of those students, so I just really thought it was cool that they have, they had things set up where, um, such as experience Vanderbilt, where you would apply for money and then they would allow you to, to have those funds to use for.
Certain clubs and stuff that might require dues or, um, certain types of, um, campus events that would require you to pay, to go to them. You could use that money towards that. Um, so. It doesn’t fix everything, but it is, they are trying to, to make it as inclusive as they can. [00:27:00] Um, and let’s see, they do have many meal options on campus, and I think their food in general is, is pretty good compared to, um, a bunch of other places.
Um, they they’ve won several awards for their campus dining there, but, um, they also allow students to use their meal money or whatever you want to call it at, um, local restaurants in Nashville. So you can use it at like restaurants nearby the school that have partnered with the, um, campus dining. And this is cool because you can go out to eat with your friends and then you don’t actually have to spend real money.
You’re just spending like your, your meal dollars. Um, so I really liked that part of it. Um, let’s see, obviously, like living in Nashville was really. Um, an awesome experience if you’ve ever been, you can probably understand why. Um, there was a lot of live [00:28:00] music everywhere. Um, really great concerts, free concerts, paid concerts, but just, uh, just a ton of, um, things to do.
And, um, it was, uh, three miles away from the river in Nashville, which is kind of like the, I think of it as like the center of the city, um, or, or downtown. So it’s really not too far, but it’s also not too close either where you’re feeling like you’re, um, getting distracted because you’re too close to all of the craziness on Broadway.
Um, so that is a little bit about Vanderbilt. Um, so being pre-med, how did that affect my application? So, um, I was in a research lab at, um, my previous school before I transferred. And I was a little scared to be leaving because I knew it was going to be hard to get into a new lab. Um, [00:29:00] so I, I tried to find a school that really dressed research, which Vanderbilt does.
Um, and that’s something you can kind of figure out based on, um, You know, a little bit of research online, whether they, they, uh, have a lot of research opportunities for students or not. Um, and, and I was very lucky to, uh, be able to find the Vanderbilt did, um, and something that, you know, definitely helped with this is that they have a medical school, they have the medical center nearby.
So, so there’s just a lot going on in that, in that area, um, in terms of new, new research and discoveries. Um, and let’s see what else? Oh, I wanted, okay. So going to the second point here, I did want to go to a school that was near nearby a medical center, or, you know, had a medical school because I wanted to, um, volunteer.
I wanted to try and shadow, and I knew that I may not have like my car because, [00:30:00] um, depending on where you live, it’s it can be very difficult to have a car there. Um, So it’s always easier if it’s, if it’s kind of close by, um, like it was there to, uh, get there and get, get back to class and where you need to be.
Um, let’s see. I, okay. So underserved populations is, um, it’s kind of something that I’m passionate about. So, um, Nashville does have a large refugee community. So I kind of, um, you can kind of see where, um, certain places they may have, like free clinics for people, um, who are refugees or, um, different organizations that you can volunteer with, uh, help, um, those populations.
Um, so again, this is something that is a little bit more difficult to find maybe, but, um, it’s definitely. There definitely are. I think [00:31:00] those populations in any big city. Um, so if you seek them out, you can kind of find them, um, Which I guess kind of narrows down, you know, okay. I want to go to a city if you want to work with those populations like I did.
Um, and then I kind of wrote about being pre-med in my application essay, which was the main essay on my common app or transfer a common app. Um, and I w I wrote about how I wanted, how I felt like I needed more of a challenge because there were points when I was taking like 21 credit hours, which is, which is seven classes.
Um, and I just was like, well, this is not like, how am I taking this many classes? It was just crazy. So I kind of wanted to go somewhere where I felt like I was being challenged and having to work harder, I guess, for, um, to be successful because I wanted to make sure that if I were to go to med school or something, that I was going to be [00:32:00] able to handle it, and I wouldn’t feel like, oh my gosh, I can’t do this because it’s so hard.
Um, which is, might be a little bit of a weird thing to write a transfer essay about, but, um, I think, yeah, we all kind of know our limits and I just felt like for me, that I wanted to do more, um, kind of academically than what I was being pushed to do at the time. Um, okay. So in terms of my transfer application, so I, um, I mean, I was very involved in my undergrad before I transferred.
So I did rowing, um, which is something that’s very specific in terms of where you can do it. Uh, you can’t row in the, if you’re in a landlocked state. So I, uh, definitely sought out places that might offer me that opportunity, um, to keep doing that. And, uh, another thing that you kind of [00:33:00] have to be mindful of that.
If you’re transferring, you know, is, um, I completed so many credits and, um, I didn’t really look into this as much as I should have when I transferred. But, um, if you transfer, you’re going to go to a school and they’re going to tell you that some of your credits probably aren’t going to count for, for them.
Um, which is what happened to me. So you have to kind of think about like, okay, what am I, how many credits do I have? Like, can I afford to lose any, like, what if they don’t take them all? Like, you kind of have to have a backup plan and be constantly thinking about like, like for me, for example, I, I was able to drop my minor and then I had time to take whatever credits I didn’t get from transferring.
But, um, you may just be mindful that like, you may have to give up, um, something, um, like that, for example, [00:34:00] like with my minor. There, uh, they actually didn’t even have my minor at Vanderbilt when I transferred. So you, uh, you may go to a school where they, they have, um, a lot of the things that you want, but they may not have everything.
Um, which is just kind of the nature of the process, but it’s something to, to, uh, look into, um, if you have a specific major that you’re doing or that you wanted to do, you still want to look and see if they have that? Um, so let’s see again, I applied very late. Um, I submitted in March and then they notified me in April.
So that’s clearly very, um, quick turnaround time. Um, I don’t think that normal college applications get turned around in a, in a month. Um, but the process in general is just a little bit faster as well, which is, which is nice. Um, and. I had prioritized most of the [00:35:00] schools that I applied to. So what I mean by that is I’d applied to them before, or I had a, um, like I had, uh, gone on a tour there or something like that.
So I was able to kind of use that to my advantage, I think, um, when I applied to those schools, because you’re definitely like showing interest if you applied already and they didn’t accept you and you apply again. Um, I definitely think they would pay attention to something like that. Um, okay. Oh, we have a poll.
Okay. So I will launch the pool. So the question is, um, where are you in the college? Um, vocation process. So I haven’t started, I’m researching schools. I’m working on essays. I’m getting my application materials together or I’m almost on. Um, so we’ll let y’all answer that for a quick minute. My dad actually transferred from use [00:36:00] not one of the California schools to Southern, and then he had done for years with a school and got dropped down to being a sophomore.
Okay. Yeah. It’s really crazy the way that the credits work and like, I don’t think you can really tell before you transfer somewhere, like how they’re gonna, how they’re going to take everything or what they’re going to take. And then you have to look at if they’re on a quarter system or semester, or it’s a lot.
Okay. So we have, um, pupil haven’t started, 11 people are researching schools, two people are working on their essays. Two are getting their application materials together, and one person is almost done. Awesome. Do I go to the, okay. I can go to the next one. All right. Um, so what advice would I give to people who are pre-med?[00:37:00]
Um, so a lot of there’s a lot of advice out there, I think for pre-med, but, um, in my opinion, um, I think that you should do things in high school. You know, you should do things that you enjoy. So, um, maybe this may not be as true in college. You know, if you’re volunteering or something that doesn’t mean that you need to do volunteer, work in a hospital.
Like if you, if you can, that’s awesome. But if you can’t, I don’t want you to think, oh gosh, I can’t be a doctor. Um, cause you’re only in high school, so definitely like take the time to explore different things. And um, any like volunteer work you do is going to still be helpful for your application and for helping you learn and, and all of that.
Um, and then, you know, I don’t really, I don’t know if they really have office hours in high school, but, um, you know, go in and stay after school and talk to your [00:38:00] professors. And this is going only going to help you to, um, you know, network, to find research opportunities, to get letters of recommendation.
That’s applies to college and high school, really because you constantly want to be. Talking to those professors and teachers, and I’m just like picking their brain because they’ve done this a lot. So they have a lot of knowledge that we can kind of use to, uh, help us. And even if they aren’t a science professor, you can still talk to them because, you know, for example, like say you build a really close relationship with your English teacher in high school.
Maybe you can ask them to read your college essay and they’ll help you edit it or something like that. So it, uh, it all helps. Um, and, and networking is like just a life skill that you can always use to, to help you. Um, so, so try to do that as much as you can. Um, and maybe, you know, who knows your professor might know someone [00:39:00] who knows someone at the medical center that could let you shadow them.
So you just don’t know what connections that people have. Um, okay, so use your health advisor as a resource. Okay. So I think I wrote this more in the terms of a college, um, college perspective, but use your health advisor as a resource. So that means that you should go talk to them and same as your professors and see what they think, ask for their advice, get their opinion on, you know, oh, should I take this class now?
Should I take it later? But at the same time, they are not, they’re not the only person you can ask for advice. So they may not know everything about the application process. I’m sure they know a lot, but, um, we’re all human and, uh, there’s, there’s definitely, always different perspectives. So don’t be afraid to ask for a second opinion, if you, uh, if you get something, if you find out something and you’re like, Hmm, that seems kind of weird to me.
Um, you know, don’t be afraid [00:40:00] to go and try and seek out, um, information somewhere else to see if maybe, you know, The, uh, something has changed since, uh, since you’re your health professions, advisor was aware of it or something, you know, you just never know. Um, these, the college, the med school application process is constantly changing.
It’s not the same this year as it was last year. So it’s, it’s a lot to keep up with. Um, and let’s see, oh, so plan make a plan. So, you know, that, that means looking at, um, when you go to college, right? Your, your classes you need to take for your major, but also if you’re, especially if you’re not a biology major or if you’re not a chemistry major looking at, okay, what classes do med schools need me to take?
What, when am I going to take them? And one, can I take them so that way I’ll have them all done by the time I want to have them done by, because the last thing you want to do is get to like [00:41:00] senior year and be like, oh, I have eight science classes today. Um, cause then you’re just not going to be happy. So it’s really the best plan to just space them out.
Um, if you take one or two a semester, it won’t be bad. Um, and your, your health professions advisor can help you with this, but you should also have like an academic advisor as well, that will help you with this. Um, so you don’t have to do it all on your own. Um, okay. So kind of to compare yourself, this is one that is hard for everyone, but really the, the key to this process of being a pre-med is that everyone has their own schedule that they’re doing things on and your schedule might be different than the person next to you.
But that doesn’t mean that it’s it’s better or it’s worse. Um, You know, I, I, uh, thought that I’d be in med school by now. I’m it? I graduated three years ago, but at the, at the same [00:42:00] time, it’s been really awesome to have three years off of school and to be able to, um, see the world and work in different jobs and get different experiences.
So it’s really never a bad thing to take a different path that just is different. So you kind of have to think about this, you know, whenever you’re pre-med, because there’ll be a lot of competition and a lot of like, feeling like, oh, well, you know, that person is already in med school. Why am I not in med school?
And you just never want to feel that way. Cause it’s, it’s really not a race. And, um, it’s, it’s, uh, just as good for you to get into med school. Um, You know, four years later, four years after your classmate, as it is for them to get in four years earlier than you. Um, and yeah, so, so just don’t feel like, oh gosh, it’s like, you know, if I don’t go to med school right after college, it’s the end of the world.
Like it’s not the end of the world, it’ll, [00:43:00] it might be different than some other people, but it’ll all work out, um, the way that it’s supposed to work out. Um, okay. So COVID issues, um, just really quickly, they’ll try to be exposed to people. Hopefully COVID is not going to be around much longer, but, um, you know, try to get into the clinics, try to shadow doctors, um, try to get jobs in doing medical things, whether that’s as like a CNA or doing, um, being a medical assistant.
Um, it may be hard for free to do this with, uh, with vaccine vaccination requirements and, and visitation requirements in hospitals and all of that. But, um, any clinical exposure you can do is helpful because you don’t want you, the last thing you want to do is get into medicine and get into medical school and then be like, oh, I don’t want to do this anymore.
So [00:44:00] the clinical exposure is really it’s for the medical schools for your application, but it’s also for you to help you figure out that you really liked this. Um, because, um, you know, if you try to apply with no clinical exposure, it’s probably just not going to go well for you. So, so you know, it is still important even though we’re in a pandemic right now.
Um, let’s see. Okay. So what would you tell transfer students? I would tell them. Um, well, first of all, be honest about why you want to transfer. So don’t tell them like this tall tale about who knows what, you know, it’s going to be easier for you to write an essay if it’s honest. Um, and it’s also going to be a better essay.
Um, so, so try to be honest, that be appropriate and, you know, focus on academics. Like if you can, um, because that’s the most important thing and we’re going to school to go to school. [00:45:00] Um, let’s see what else, um, pay attention to acceptance rates because they’re going to be very different than what they were for the school in normal admission.
So they are going to change and they will, um, vary significantly. Some schools don’t take transfers at all. Um, some schools take a lot of transfers, so, so be mindful of that. Um, you know, I was lucky because Vanderbilt takes a lot of transfers and their transfer acceptance rate is higher than their normal acceptance rate.
Um, Use your application, um, as a tool, right? To show that you are going to contribute to their campus. So, um, make, make yourself, you know, seem, seem like you, uh, are going to do something, right. Like you’re not going to go there and just sit in your room. Um, they want to see that you’re going to be out on campus, like volunteering or that you’re going to be out on campus doing like playing in the [00:46:00] band or I don’t know, like doing research.
So you want to kind of try and, um, you know, trying to stay in the, in the whole, you know, do what you’re interested in, but, but also show them that, like, not only are you going to be able to be successful in the classroom, but you’re also going to try and make the campus better than when you, you left it.
Um, And let’s see, um, look at schools thoroughly to see if they’re a good fit. This is good for both transfer admissions and normal admissions. Um, but you don’t, you don’t want to transfer to a school and then find out that you hate it there, because then you’re going to just be like, wow, I transferred for nothing.
So really, really try to like, if you’re going through CollegeAdvisor, try to talk to someone who, who went there, um, try to do as much research as you can online, try to go visit the campus. Um, all of this will help you make sure you’re going to be happy there. Um, [00:47:00] and look into the transfer credit thing as we were kind of talking about already.
So they’re, they’re not going to be the same at every school. And, and I know people that had to spend extra semesters at school because of transferring. So this is not to say you shouldn’t transfer, but it’s just a warning that you, you do want to be careful with that. Um, let’s see. Oh, of questions and answers.
So this is the end of the presentation part of the webinar. I hope you found this information helpful and remember that you can download the slides from the link in the handouts tab, moving on to the live Q and a I’ll read through questions you submitted in the Q and a tab, paste them in the public chat so you can see them and then read them aloud.
Before our panelists gives you an answer as a heads up, if your Q and a tab, isn’t letting you submit questions, just double-check that you joined the webinar through the custom link in your email and not from the webinar landing page.
So [00:48:00] I will read one of our pre panel questions. Um, so,
uh, can you go, can you be pre-med but go to a physician’s assistant program instead of medical school. Um, I mean, I think pre premed and pre PA are pretty similar, like in terms of what people do to apply to those programs and what they’re interested in. And a lot of people kind of switch between them, um, for various reasons, whether it’s because they decide, you know, they shadow a PA and when they’re trying to shadow a doctor and they realize they like PA is better, um, or who knows what the reason is.
But I, I think, you know, you can definitely just be pre med slash like, you don’t really have to, um, you don’t really have to choose until the point where you’re actually going to submit your [00:49:00] application because they are that similar other than like the ONCAT and the GRE. Portion. Um, but that’s kind of later on, um, more like junior year, I guess you would maybe have to decide, but, um, that would probably be the earliest point in time.
And if people don’t know which they want to do that, that’s okay. I would recommend just trying to shadow one of each and then seeing what you like better. Um,
okay. Um, so here’s one question. I’m pasting it into the chat. Um, where is it? Hold on. Oh,
okay. So which specific classes should I take for pre-med or pre-med route? Um, there [00:50:00] are a bunch of lists floating around, outlaw on line out there. Um, but. In terms of like prerequisite classes that you’ll have to take. Um, it’s pretty standard across the board for every school and this applies to PA school as well.
Um, so you have your general biology, which is eight credits you have. So that’s two biology classes with, with, um, one law for each eight credits. And then, um, you have your chemistry classes, eight credits again. So that’s general chemistry. Um, and, um, that’s like a year of each, so that would normally be like freshman year people take that.
And then there’s, um, a year of, uh, physics with lab, um, a year of organic chemistry with lab and, um, Some medical schools will require biochemistry, which is a typically one [00:51:00] semester or half of a year. Um, it really depends on the school for that one. Um, but most people, if they’re taking any type of biology related chemistry related major, there, they’re going to end up taking biochemistry anyways.
So, um, I wouldn’t worry about that one too much. And then there will be other random requirements that some schools will have such as one semester of English, um, one semester of, um, like psychology. Uh, but, but for the most part, you will end up doing those, um, when you’re doing like your gen ed classes that you, um, will likely have to take when you start as a freshmen, um, unless you’re going to, to a school that doesn’t, um, have any gen ed requirements.
The chemistry at Cornell university for pre-med is beyond me. I, uh, that’s, [00:52:00] that’s a general opinion of everybody, but you know, some people get there. Um, so one more question before we do a little promotion, uh, what does being a pre-med student entail? Um, I mean, a lot of things there, uh, some people aren’t pre-med in college and then they become pre-med later on in life because they decided they wanted to go back to medical school.
Um, some people will be pre-med in college. Um, if you’re pre-med in college usually, or, you know, you are taking those prerequisite classes, a lot of people will major in. Biology chemistry. Um, those types of, of majors, maybe biochemistry. Um, a lot of people will do research. I did research, as I mentioned in the presentation.
That’s not a requirement. Um, but it’s something that’s, you know, if you’re a pre-med student, I would say the majority of people do at some point. Um, the, uh, the big thing in my opinion is, [00:53:00] is clinical exposure. So that means you’re getting yourself into those doctor’s offices, those hospitals, and it can be hard.
You, you may have to call a bunch of places and they’ve probably a lot of them will say no. Um, but, but you will eventually find something and, and, um, shadowing a doctor is awesome. You get to see so much and really get to. Learn a lot about medicine. So, you know, shadowing, you get that clinical exposure, or even if it’s not shadowing, maybe you worked in a hospital or you worked in, um, you worked as an EMT on an ambulance.
So, so that’s something a lot of pre-meds will do. Um, and they’re also gonna have typically they’re, they’re doing at least one or two extracurricular activities through their school. So, um, you know, whether that’s they’re a pre-med club or, um, which most schools will have, or whether that’s other clubs, it could be any clubs that they’re interested in, but typically they are.[00:54:00]
They are students that are doing more than just studying all day. Um, because when you go to apply to med school, you’re, you’re putting down 15 activities that you’ve done and you don’t have to have 15, but, um, just to give you an idea of like the, um, you know, the scope of, of that, um, application, and it does it, doesn’t just ask for, you know, your, your grades and your own cat score.
It’s definitely, you know, more, more than that. And, you know, you want, people are, a lot of people have, have, you know, a thousand plus volunteer hours. Um, which sounds crazy, but you know, you have, you do have four years to accumulate this, so it’s not, it doesn’t have to be done overnight or, um, anything like that.
Okay. So one to work with one, to work with an advisor from our team of over [00:55:00] 155 advisors and admissions office, such as Kelsey, sign up for free, um, with, uh, sign up for a free consultation, uh, by going to CollegeAdvisor.com and clicking the green button at the bottom of the bottom, right corner of the screen from there, just write in consultation and alive and alive team member will act to you to help coordinate your free consultation with us.
Okay. Now back to the Q and a,
what was your major and your first school that you went to. Oh, sorry. Um, I D I majored in, so I had a double major because it was weird, but I majored in mile, sorry, biology and human biology. So like human biology was more like anthropology, um, [00:56:00] and a bunch of anthropology classes. And then there was just like normal biology.
Um, biology is kind of a weird one. Some schools will like make you pick a concentration in biology, which is what happened. When I went to Vanderbilt, it was like, I had to pick one of three concentrations and I ended up doing molecular and cellular biology. That is a lot of, uh, let’s see. Okay. What are some things in college that will help, um, that will make getting into a top medical school?
Um, easier that will help with that? Um, well, There’s there’s a lot of things that go into the application as I kind of already said, but I think if, if you’re trying to make it easier, that the best thing you can do for yourself is, um, focus on focus on getting good grades and then doing whatever you can outside of that, that will [00:57:00] still allow you to get good grades.
So what I mean by that is like, I don’t want you to do, um, 8 million things outside of school, and then you don’t have time to study, but if you can study and still do well in your classes, but you can also volunteer at the Ronald McDonald house and you can work as a CNA then that’s great. I think you should definitely do that because, um, It will, it’ll totally, um, help you in the future.
So it’s about it’s about balance, but, but the number one, in my opinion thing is his grades and I’m Kat. And if you do well in your classes, you’re gonna do well on the AMCAP because you’re going to be prepared for it. Well, so when you’re preparing for the MCAT, starting from when you first take your first prerequisite class, um, and that doesn’t mean that I want you to go buy em cat books the first day you start college, but, um, you’re prepared.
Think about it as like. [00:58:00] Um, you’re setting yourself up for success in the future, if you’re doing well in these prerequisite classes, because it’s all gonna be on the MCAT. And if you know it already, then, um, you have less studying to do and, you know, you’re probably going to do better. Um, so, so that’s, you know, the number one thing is going to be the BM cat is going to be the grades and then everything else, you know, the extracurriculars.
So the larger recommendation from teachers that you’ve hopefully gotten to know, um, the, uh, the what’s it called volunteer hours, um, the different, the, the essay that you’re going to write for, for med school, um, all of those are kind of more secondary things to, um, To the grades and the, um, test scores.
Because if you, if you don’t get a certain grade or, or a certain test score, um, there’s going to be schools that may not even look at your application and that’s just the reality of it. [00:59:00] Um, but if, if you can get past a certain threshold, um, you know, every school look at your application and beyond that, it’s just kind of like, what, what are they looking for in a student?
And, um, about to wrap it up. I think we just have like one quick question, if you can give a quick answer, but how many years does it take to do med school until you become a doctor and surgeon specifically? Um, well, it’s pretty long. So you, so you’re doing undergrad, which is four years or maybe three, if you graduate early and then you, um, will have med school, which is four years.
Um, and then the shortest residency that you can do after med school, I believe is three years. So, um, You’re looking at about seven years, um, once you graduate undergrad and if you want to be a surgeon, um, that might be, it depends on what kind of surgeon, but I think it would be [01:00:00] maybe eight years, um, is my best guess.
So your, it kinda just goes up from there if you’re specializing, like if you’re a cardiac surgeon or like, I don’t know, a pediatric surgeon, um, maybe it would, um, be more years on top of that, but at minimum, you’re looking at seven years after undergrad. Thank you. Thank you everyone for coming out tonight and thank you to our panelists.
So I’m going to stop.