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Weekly Weigh-in: AMCAS Application Advice

Weigh In

Welcome to PDr’s Weekly Weigh-in! Each week, we ask medical students and physicians to weigh in on some of our most frequently asked pre-med questions. This week’s question: What’s one thing you wish you had known before starting the AMCAS application process?  Evan Laveman, DGSOM MS2 There are many things that I wish I had known before starting the AMCAS ...

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Write About Your Hobbies On The Medical School Application


A medical school’s atmosphere, its charm, is defined by the energy and passion that the students embody. Students are encouraged to maintain their wellbeing and cultivate a diverse community, and many schools promote cultural celebrations, athletic competitions, talent shows, art showings, and philanthropic fundraisers. While your GPA and MCAT score will meet the basic criteria for each school, it will ...

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How To Stand Out With Extracurricular Activities

Color Pencils

Your GPA reflects your academic diligence and your MCAT demonstrates your performance on standardized testing. While those are the 1-2 punch that you lead with, “5 Parts of a Competitive Medical School Application” highlighted the importance of extracurricular activities. Your extracurriculars can set you apart from the other applicants the way numbers and scores cannot. Involvement in extracurricular activities rounds ...

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Winging It: Medical School Application Overview


The first time I applied to medical school, I did it in the dark. I was not familiar with the components of the primary application (AMCAS), I did not understand the critical timing of primary and secondary submissions for rolling admissions, and I more or less wrote my entire application on the fly. I had to scramble to line up ...

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Tips from a Medical School Admissions Officer

Magnifying Glass

A student admissions officer from a prominent NE medical school helps elucidate the admissions process at his school. Process Overview At this particular school, members of the medical school admissions committee screen applications and assign a score, which conveys the level of desire to extend the candidate an interview. A second committee member then sees the score and reads over the ...

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How a Premed Can Impact Medicine


By Evan Laveman When you’re a premed student you don’t know enough to contribute medically, yet there are plenty of things you can do to make a contribution to medicine. For instance, I hear many doctors say that they see undergraduate medical mission trips as an activity that benefits the traveler more than it actually benefits the region. With so many ...

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How To Write About Extracurriculars

Talking about ECs

As a new application cycle starts this spring, applicants around the nation are beginning to fill out the Work/Activities sections. This article provides some insight into how to best talk about volunteering experiences in both the local and global community. In my most recent article I discussed the importance of extracurricular activities in the medical school application. However, the value ...

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4 Ways Greek Life Can Help Your Medical School Application

Greek Life 1

By Evan Laveman Over the past few years I’ve noticed a tendency for medical school applicants to downplay their fraternity or sorority involvement when submitting their applications. It seems the stigma of Greek life has driven some people away from embracing that aspect of their college identity. In my opinion, if you sell an admissions committee short on yourself because ...

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Weekly Weigh-in: Letters of Recommendation Package

Weigh In

Welcome to PDr’s Weekly Weigh-in! Each week, we ask medical students and physicians to weigh in on some of our most frequently asked pre-med questions. This week’s question: “What was the composition of your letter of recommendation file when applying to medical school?” Evan Shih, MS2 Lower division Molecular Biology professor (with input from a TA) Upper division Physiology professor (with ...

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