MedEdits | Medical School Admissions Consulting

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Good News For Medical School Applicants: Slightly Less Competition

A report released by the Association of American Medical Colleges today showed a slight decrease in the number of applicants in 2008 and an increase in the number of first year positions. The number of first time applicants decreased 3% from 2007. First year enrollment increased 2% since 2007 to more than 18,000 students, an all time high in our nation's history.

The number of Latino enrollees rose by 10% and the percentage of women enrollees was 48%.

The average GPA for applicants was 3.5 and the average MCAT was 28.1.

Click Here to read the report.

Click Here to see the data.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Cultural Competency: It Isn't Just For Medical Students

The Joint Commission recently announced that it is "developing accreditation standards for hospitals that will promote , facilitate and advance the provision of culturally competent patient-centered care."

The Joint Commission, formerly the Joint Commisssion on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, is an accrediting body that evaluates health care facilities based on performance standards.

This new commission initiative is important to medical school, residency and fellowship applicants because it highlights the significance of cultural competency in your medical education and your (future) career.

Click Here to read the Joint Commission plan.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Medical School Applications And The Economy: Lessons From The Past

Some medical school clients who are applying for 2010 and 2011 have asked me if the current economic crisis will result in an increase of medical school applications (and increased competition). While I am not an economist, looking at previous trends helps predict the impact of our current economic situation.

As discussed in a New York Times (NYT) article written during the most recent recession in 2002, the only professional schools that are unaffected by recessions are medical schools. This is because a career in medicine requires a significant time commitment compared to other professions.

The AAMC reporter in 2003 indicated a 3.4% increase in applications (34,785 applicants) for the 2003/2004 academic year which was in part attributed to the economic slowdown at that time. There has been a steady increase in the number of medical school applications since 2002/2003 and 42,315 individuals applied for the 2007/2008 academic year.

Click Here to read the NYT article.

Click Here to read the AAMC article.

This is an issue that is being widely discussed right now amongst students and admissions committee members. I welcome your comments and thoughts on this topic.

Email me:

MCAT To Undergo Review

The Association of American Medical Colleges announced today that it will be launching a comprehensive review of the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). The plan is to review the content of the test and recommend changes that will increase its usefulness for admissions committees. The review will be completed by 2012. The last comprehensive review of the MCAT was in 1990.

Click Here to read the report.



Getting Into Residency: What Is Most Important?

Many residency applicant clients have been asking me what key elements of the application are most important for selection. There is no simple answer for this and the answer may vary between programs and individuals. The only "hard data" I could find to substantiate what I advise my clients was from Academic Emergency Medicine and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.
In the EM article, the authors found the selection criteria that was most important to program directors were specialty rotation grade, interview, clinical grades and recommendations. Surprisingly, the personal statement was considered the least important factor.

Click Here for access to the article.
The orthopaedic literature found that program directors most value specialty rotation performance with USMLE 1 score and medical school ranking following close behind.

Click Here to read the abstract.
For personalized guidance to help you navigate the nuances of the residency application process, email me: or visit:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Commonwealth Medical College: Preliminary Accreditation

The Liaison Committee on Education (LCME) has granted preliminary accreditation to The Commonwealth Medical College (TCMC) in Scranton, Pennsylvania. The school is actively recruiting students and plans to have an entering class in 2009. The school will be accepting applications through AMCAS within 2 weeks.

Click Here to visit TCMC.

The President and Dean of TCMC, Dr. Bob D'Alessandri also has a wonderful blog.


Medical School Interviews: Some Actual Questions

My medical school clients are having tremendous success this season. Click Here to see where they are interviewing.

If anyone would like to (confidentially) send me the questions they are asked on interviews, I would be happy to summarize and post these questions periodically on this blog. Email them to: Please include your name and email address.

Here are some actual questions my clients have been asked this season:

If you had a free day what would you do?
How do you achieve balance in your life?
Tell me a joke.
Teach me something.
What experience made you want to pursue medicine?
Why XXX school?
Who is your best friend?
What is the one thing you pursued on your own without the influence of your parents?
What is the one thing you tried really hard at but it didn't turn out as expected?
Do you have a part time job?
How do you remember everything you have to do?
How will you deal with debt?
Where have you traveled around the world?
What was your greatest challenge?
What is the last book you have read?
Where will you be in 10 years?
What would you do if you could not pursue a career in medicine?
Tell me about your research/clinical work/volunteer experience.
Why are there more women in medicine today?

MedEdits offers individualized preparation and advice for medical school, residency and fellowship interviews.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Student Doctor Network: Dr. Freedman is featured on SDN!

I am a featured author on the Student Doctor Network. While my contribution is about residency admissions, there are aspects of this piece that may be helpful to medical school and fellowship applicants.

Click Here to read the article.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Importance of Cultural Competence

Many medical school clients have been asking me for advice regarding secondary essays pertaining to cultural competence. I find that many applicants neither understand the meaning nor the importance of cultural competence in the practice of medicine today. Because the population in the United States is becoming increasingly diverse, it is essential for physicians (and physicians to be) to understand how culture influences health related behavior, beliefs and perceptions.

An article by Betancourt et al clearly describes the definition and importance of cultural competence. I encourage all medical school and residency applicants to be well versed in this topic.

Click Here to read the article.