Kirkland Pre-Med Information

Main Contact Email for the Pre-Med team: k.premed@gmail.com

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Kirkland's 2019-20 Pre-Med Tutors: Dawn Comstock, Julia Pian, Rachel Tandias, and Elliot Akama-Garren

General Information:
Choosing medicine means you'll have a long road ahead of you (i.e. 4 yrs med school, 3-5+ yrs residency, 1-3+ yrs fellowship), so make sure you do your homework and know what you are getting into! Read about the profession, get involved in shadowing or volunteer experiences in medicine, and have conversations with your family, friends, and advisors about the decision.

Be sure to explore our links on the right for helpful handouts and tips for completing pre-medical course requirements and navigating the application process.

Academics
  • Premed coursework includes: Biology, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Physics, Math, and English
  • MCAT: many dates to choose from, aim to do well the first time (especially if your GPA is not that strong)! Remember to respect the test; it takes practice to do well, so give yourself enough time to prepare.
  • Research: It can be in any field, and it can be in the classroom (e.g. senior thesis) or outside of it, as long as you demonstrate your ability to think independently and develop hypotheses, etc.
  • More Tips: Remember that you can concentrate in any field/department. While you're in college, showing an upward trajectory in your grades is always helpful. You can take some of your premed requirements after graduation if you need to. You don't need a perfect 4.0 to go to med school, but showing that you can handle the academic coursework is a must.
 Personal
  • Make sure medicine is for you! If you're unsure, think about starting with shadowing experiences. Email k.premed@gmail.com for a list of Kirkland non-resident physicians that you can shadow.
  • Get involved in service/volunteer opportunities - they don't necessarily have to be inside the hospital. Check out the list of clinical opportunities on the OCS website.
  • Do the things you love (these will make you stand out from the crowd), and pursue leadership opportunities as they arise in your extracurricular activities. It's also good to demonstrate long-term commitment.

Application Year

(also see docs on the right)

  • OCS (Office of Career Services):
    • OCS is a valuable resource for prospective and current medical school applicants. Please refer to the OCS website for advising opportunities and a central repository with up to date information about applying to medical school.
    • If you are a current applicant or an alumni planning to apply in a future cycle, be sure to subscribe to the OCS Medical School Applicant Listserv using a harvard.edu address (@college, @post, or @alumni.harvard.edu) to recieve important reminders and updates. 
  • MCAT:
  • Letters of recommendation:
    • You will need 3-6 total letters of rec in your final application packet. 
    • Tips to share with new letter writers on how to write rec letters for medical schools, as well as tips on asking for letters
    • Ask for letters to be printed on official stationery, addressed: "Dear Medical School Admissions Committee"
    • Every letter must be returned with a Kirkland Confidentiality Waiver signed by you and your letter-writer.
    • Check the OCS website for more advice on asking for rec letters.
  • AMCAS application:
  • Personal statement:
    • Plan for about 4-6 weeks to work on your personal statement. Make sure to get plenty of feedback from your friends, family, advisors, and even strangers!
    • Be sure to review the OCS Guide for personal statements.
  • Preparing for interviews:
    • Look at sample interview questions and prepare some possible answers.
    • Prepare a 3-5 sentence description of each of the activities on your resume (at the level that your parents or roommate would understand). Also prepare a short story (~5 sentences) highlighting a specific example of what you did. Practice saying these out loud!

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