MedEdits | Medical School Admissions Consulting

Friday, August 29, 2008

Understanding Academic Medical Centers

A colleague sent me an interesting article today by Joseph Simone. This article may seem sophisticated for medical school and residency applicants, but it offers tremendous insight regarding the inner workings of academic medical centers. Even if you are in the early stages of your medical career, understanding how institutions function, how leadership and recruitment decisions are made and how processes in these centers work in general, will give you an advantage now and in the future. This is a classic article to save and refer to as you move up the ladder.

Click Here to read the article.

MedEdits offers admissions consulting to help navigate the murky political waters of academic medicine.


Client Snippet: How Do I Approach Secondary Essays?

A client wrote me today and asked: "Dr. Freedman, I am confused about my secondary essays. What should I write about?"

I encourage clients to read secondary essay prompts carefully. Many applicants don't answer the actual question that is being asked. It is important to say something fresh that isn't stated elsewhere in your application. Don't drone on and try to be as succinct as possible. Think of the person reading your application -- they have already read through your entries, personal statement, letters of reference and now they are reading your secondaries. This is a tiring process especially when the reviewer may have a huge stack of applications to review in one sitting.

Regarding optional essays, don't feel that you must complete these. If you have nothing new to add and have done a thorough job representing yourself in the rest of your application, it is OK to leave this space empty. The thing that made me crazy when I screened medical school applications was reading something in a secondary essay that I had already read elsewhere.

Also be sure to proofread your secondary essays. More than once I read a secondary essay when an applicant referenced the wrong medical school rather than the school for which the secondary essay was intended. These applications were screened out because this spoke volumes about the applicant.

MedEdits provides comprehensive assistance for medical school applicants.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

MedEdits Blog: Client Feedback

A talented medical school client who has already received interview invitations wrote this to me today:

"I have recently started reading the MedEdits blog and have found it incredibly informative. It is great how you have provided pertinent AND interesting material related to the practice of medicine and I don't even have to sift through useless information or ads! I just wanted to let you know that I think the blog is an excellent addition to the MedEdits website."

We welcome suggestions from our readers regarding topics they would like covered in our blog.

Email us:


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Admissions: Battles Over Affirmative Action

An article in the AAMC reporter discusses the issue of affirmative action in Arizona, Colorado and Nebraska. Votes in these states could impact the right for public institutions, including medical schools, to have race and gender based hiring and admissions policies. This is a hot debate with some saying it is time for a race-neutral society and others advocating that such policies are crucial for diverse academic and professional environments.

"I don't think affirmative action is the cure-all," Boyd (of Rush Medical College and AAMCs Minority Affairs Coordinating Committee) said. "Admissions committees should start to look at the individuals, and the roads they've traveled to get to medical school."

Click Here to read the article.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Women In Medicine

While this article is in an emergency medicine journal, it may be inspiring for many. Six of the leaders in national emergency medicine organizations are women. Together they examine if there is a "woman leader" profile, what is essential for success in medicine, gender bias and the future for other women (and men) in medicine.

Click Here to read the article.


Client Snippet: Interview Attire

Clients ask me so many questions, many of which apply to a broad population. I have decided to post a weekly -- or possibly biweekly -- client question, concern or comment of interest.

This week, a very talented medical school applicant who already has interviews asked: "Dr. Freedman, I have heard that women should not bring purses or shoulder bags to interviews. Is this true?"

I am always amazed when I read admissions books that suggest women should only bring briefcases to interviews. I think this advice dates back to the 1940's and suggests that successful women should look (and act) like men. My suggestion is to bring whatever makes your comfortable. Colors are in this season. Be bold -- bring a red handbag. As long as your overall look is professional, there is no need to completely blend into the navy blue masses. Just be sure to bring a pen and a folder to hold any important documents.

MedEdits provides interview preparation for medical school, residency and fellowship.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Primary Care or Invasive Cardiology?

An article in the New England Journal of Medicine tomorrow by John K. Iglehart examines the policies under which Medicare supports Graduate Medical Education (GME). Medicare provides significant financial support for the training of residents through GME programs.

"An increasing number of medical-school graduates pursue specialties with a controllable lifestyle and shun careers in primary care..."

Not surprisingly, much of this decision making has to do with salaries and work hours. Illustrated by the 2006 graph above, specialists earn more than primary care providers and often enjoy more manageable work hours.

Even though allopathic US medical schools are increasing enrollment until 2015, many experts are still concerned about a looming doctor shortage. This may increase the liklihood of GME reform in the future.

"Advocates of primary care practitioners believe that nothing short of a major overhaul of economic incentives would attract more medical-school graduates to pursue careers as general physicians."

Click Here to read the abstract.


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Caribbean Medical School Pays $100 Million For Hospital Contract

The New York Times has a lead article today announcing a 10-year, $100 million dollar contract between St. George's University School of Medicine and New York City's Health and Hospitals Corporation to provide clinical training for medical students. The concern is that US-based medical schools will need to increase tuition to compete for these clerkship slots.

"The contract...has turned a meritocracy into a bounty system in which struggling city hospitals collect more for every St. George's student they take, and could squeeze out local students."

"This changes to whole dynamic from an academic relationship to a dollar-based relationship," said Dr. Michael J. Reichgott, associate dean for clinical affairs and graduate medical education at Albert Einstein of Medicine in the Bronx.

This will give St. George's students greater opportunity in clinical clerkships allowing them work alongside US medical students which could open doors and help earn residency positions.

Click Here to read the article.


Monday, August 4, 2008

Residency Match Data

The residency application season is approaching and many candidates are considering where to apply. When making this decision, it is important to review the data that is available from previous NRMP matches.

Charting Outcomes in the Match, published by the AAMC and NRMP, provides easy to read graphs showing the distribution of successful and unsuccessful applicants based on USMLE scores, number of programs ranked, research and publications, AOA membership and other characteristics. Even though this information is from the 2007 match, it is a useful reference. Click Here to access the report.

The most recent data from the NRMP provides information on the 2008 match. Click Here to access the report.