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You can go to medical school with an average GPA and MCAT.

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HS Phenom
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xx Advice for High School Students
« Thread started on: Jul 30th, 2004, 7:57pm »

Hello Vijay Uncle, my name is HS Phenom. I'm an Indian high school student attending Schaumburg High School in Illinois near Chicago. I'm going to be a junior now, and I'm starting to prep for my college years to come. My cousin, Sohum, got accepted into a direct-med program at Texas A&M and he's a very bright student. I also want to get into a direct-med program like him, because you don't necessarily have to worry about the MCAT that way. And what I wanted to know was, where do I start? What should I do to prepare for such a difficult task that lays ahead of me? How would I make myself a good candidate for a direct-med program? They're usually very competitive, accepting only 40-150 students depending on the program.

I have a 3.96 cumulative weighted GPA and rising. I'm ranked 47 out of 653 (top 6%) and my rank is rising as well. I attend a very competitive and good school and take my honors and AP classes. I'm a very active member in my school in regards to clubs such as Debate Team and in the community, volunteering at a local hospital and Hindu temple every weekend for a few hours.

I've conducted some research with a professor at ISU in Bloomington, IL on grasshoppers. My research will be published in next spring and it the gist of it is to basically take the agriculture industry by storm; because the info we gathered in our research will potentially lead to a decrease in deaths from eating food with insecticides on it, better and tastier food, ability to control overwhelming populations of insects such as grasshoppers and locusts in Northern Africa, and further advances in medicine and anti-biotics. I really like computers and will soon posess 2 computer certifications (A+ and Network+).

I hope to continue my research for next summer and possibly do some research in a medical-related field.

Where do you think I would stand in a group of applicants trying to get into a direct-med program?
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Vijay Mehta
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xx High School Students
« Reply #1 on: Jul 30th, 2004, 9:03pm »

Dear HS Phenom,

First of all I am not a big time fan of direct medical program. As a matter of fact I was instrumental in discontinuing that program. Now A & M does not have medical science scholar program.

You may ask me why? Well, the reason is, I when I interviewed all this outstanding students who are senior in high school they would totally impress me. And I would interview them again three or four years later. Even though they had guaranteed admission they were required to give the same interview as regular applicants. To my shock, I discovered that four years later the same candidates seem much weaker. And very rarely they matched the level of mainstream candidates.

What I realized is, that these super stars had a guaranteed admission. So, most of them did not work as hard as regular candidates. While others were working in hospital, doing leadership activity and volunteer work or research most of these super stars were relaxed. Human mind works better under pressure. So time after time when we observed this phenomenon, it was obvious to us that not having the competition, and uncertainty that regular applicants face, actually worked to the detriment of character building of this straight admission candidates!

As far as I am concerned, you have enough brain power and enough passion that MCAT or going thru regular admission process is only going to make you a better candidate. And will save some big bucks for your dad!

However, I understand the craze so many Desi parents have for going to straight medical school so I shall leave that decision to you and your family.

Now, if you do decide to go for direct admission, you will be in great shape. The area you should focus on are;

1. Communication skills: read a lot about what is happening in our world; your debating experience will come in handy. Learn to discuss any issues with confidence.

2. Social Consciousness: Engage in something that shows your passion to help the poor and disadvantaged. Learn about the problems of poor people. Habitat for humanity, Meals on wheels, serve at soup kitchen, help homeless etc.

3. Maturity, Stability and tolerance: Learn about other ethnicity and cultures and religions. Show your tolerance to people you do not agree with. Leadership activities, teaching activities etc.

4. Motivation: You need to demonstrate that you are becoming physician for the right reason and not for money, glory, or make your parents happy. You have realistic expectation about the medical field. You are driven by a burning desire to help fellow human beings. Or medicine is your calling. Medically related activities or research will help.

If you can demonstrate all this four areas very well than next 20% or so that depends on academic skills, you already have. A good SAT score will help you to demonstrate that you are not top 6% but top 0.5%!

I hope this helps.
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HS Phenom
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xx Re: Advice for High School Students
« Reply #2 on: Aug 2nd, 2004, 9:14pm »

Vijay Uncle,

You said if I don't do direct-med, I can save my dad big bucks. So are direct-med programs more expensive than conventional 4 year college and med school combined?

yes, because you can go to good quality state school for much less tuition than direct med school program which may charge you out of state fees. The difference can run in thousands of dollars - Vijay Uncle
« Last Edit: Aug 2nd, 2004, 10:10pm by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

guest
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xx Re: Advice for High School Students
« Reply #3 on: Aug 3rd, 2004, 6:21pm »

my advice

apply to couple med schools when ur a jr or sr. some here, canada, abroad. which ever suits u. . also take ur time in studies. don't stress too much feeling u need to finish in 4 yrs or 3 in premed. don't burn urself out. enjoy college and excel. always try ur best. ur are gonna have up and downs. we all do. avoid people that are negatitive and put you down. even jealous people. when ur a jr start going online and contact these schools.


dont rely on that school that ur enrolled in if it has a med school that it will take u. nothing is guaranteed. what i seen in college life experience that colleges are about money and nothing is a long road that u just go in one direction and there are no obstacles. . sometimes u have to take some other roads to fulfill ur dream. . one thing is that u need to remember that u are in control of ur dreams. there are advisors and profs that can tell u your not dr material or this school might not take u. dont listen to them always try, cause u have to try ur best in any circumstance. be smart and courageous meaning you dont give up in ur dreams. part of becoming a dr is being determined to finish ur goal no matter what. if it's a health issue and serious circumstances then u need to re-think over and work w/what's best.

wat if u don't get in the first time : if the first time u dont get in try the second time.

like Uncle said it's true about smart students lacking off. hey, in school it's anyone game. even the worst student in hs can turn around and become a successful lawyer and doctor. i proved that among my peers so far. one thing i noticed anybody can say they want to become a dr but only few make it. cause why, u go through so much stress, pressure and may have no life doing hobbies, social parties and stuff. people who find it hard quit those who challenge the work and sacrifice succeed.

i really beleive you will succeed. you seemed to be a very focused and determined person. i wish you all the best.
i hope that my advice helps.


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HS Phenom
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xx Re: Advice for High School Students
« Reply #4 on: Aug 9th, 2004, 3:39pm »

Thannks for the advice. I really hope I will succeed.

VIjay Uncle, I have talked it over with family, friends, read a few books, etc. And I have decided to pursue my ambitions of getting accepted into a direct-med program. Though I know there are many people out there that "slack off" after getting accepted, I for one am also against that. I will try my best and maintain my "superstar" status throughout my years.


I have a few questions regarding my activities. I am a current member of my school's declining debate team, declining meaning of less-popularity. I'm not even sure if we'll have enough students in the following years of my high school career. But anyways, I have technically been in it for about 2 years, but the first year I only attended 1 meet/tournament. The 2nd year I went to a handful of meets/tournaments; I wasn't a superstar, I only got 1 trophy and that was for 1st place at 1 of the smaller tournaments. The reason I'm talking about debate is because I get VERY scared and VERY nervous in prep of the meets, before the meets, and during the meets (especially during the actual debates). This sort of thing is probably the reason why I'm not an "all-star" debater. And I have considered "quitting" debate altogether, because there's no reason to pursue something I'm not good at and get scared at. There IS a speech team in my school, however, and my best friend has encouraged me to join it. It involves "acting", charectar, confidence in speaking, etc. And I have gained somewhat of an interest in this speech team. The problem is, that debate and speech are parallel in terms of meets/tournaments and practices after school. And I'm not sure what to do now. I know its better to "stick with" something for 4years straight, especially since I might be debate captain my senior year due to a lack of leadership and "good" debaters. But I also know that I will succeed more in something I'm better at, something I'm interested in, and something I like. So what should I do regarding this whole debate/speech mess?you got to do whatever you are best at. - Vijay Uncle
« Last Edit: Aug 9th, 2004, 4:30pm by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

HS Phenom
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xx Re: Advice for High School Students
« Reply #5 on: Aug 10th, 2004, 6:49pm »

Well I don't know what I'm "better" at. I mean I think I'll probably end up doing better in speech, since I always get scared out of my mind during debate.

SO would it be better if I won more in speech than to stay with debate for 4 years? I though direct-med programs valued committment over success.

Go with the speech.
« Last Edit: Aug 10th, 2004, 8:06pm by Vijay Mehta » User IP Logged

HS Phenom
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xx Re: Advice for High School Students
« Reply #6 on: Aug 21st, 2004, 4:45pm »

Vijay Uncle,

I forgot to mention this before, Well, I do agree with you that yes I should probably go ahead with speech. But here's the thing with debate, I could possibly be named co-captain this year and captain next year should I choose to stay with debate. I don't want to, due to the fear factor involved, but debate does almost gurantee me a leadership position. I haven't done speech so I don't know if I'll be able to get a leadership position in that.
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You still go to heaven even if you do not go to Medical School !
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