MedEdits | Medical School Admissions Consulting

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Importance of Away Rotations in Medical School

By Jessica Freedman, MD, MedEdits

If you are a rising 4th year medical student, you should be seeking out away elective rotations in your desired specialty. Many students worry that doing away electives at a program they would like to attend could do more damage than good. However, unless you have a poor performance, even someone who is perceived as slightly above average as a visiting student might be ranked higher than a student with similar stats and has not worked in the department. When I was the associate residency director, I always preferred to rank highly a student who was a "known entity" and had a predictable performance rather than a student whom I didn't know.

What can you do to ensure that you are perceived in the best light during your away rotations?

1) Show up early and stay late.

2) Work harder than you have on any other rotation. Do not plan to have much free time during this rotation.

3) Read about your cases.

4) Be professional and confident (but not over-confident).

5) Be independent and a help to the residents and attending on your team; you want to be perceived as a true team player.

6) Treat everyone well -- your fellow students, residents, nurses, staff and, of course, your attending(s).

7) Go to every conference and be sure to introduce yourself to the program director if s/he is not the attending on service.

I am now working with clients for the 2010/2011 match season. Many students need supplemental guidance or advising while in medical school and throughout the residency application process. If you would like to work with me this year, I encourage you to contact me soon. As a private medical educational advisor, I work one on one with students and play the same role as I did when I worked in a formal academic setting at Mount Sinai in New York City.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Compassion in Medicine

By Jessica Freedman, MD,

An enlightening piece by Katherine Rosman in the Wall Street Journal illustrates the importance of compassion when treating patients and their families. It also reinforces how our personal experience with illness nurtures our empathy and shapes our approach to patient care. This article, and the corresponding comments, should be read by anyone considering a career in medicine.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Residency: Are You Competitive?

By Jessica Freedman, MD,

When choosing your specialty, it is essential to determine your competitiveness for that specialty. How do you start making this evaluation? I suggest applicants first review the NRMPs Charting Outcomes in the Match which is published annually. This report outlines average USMLE scores, number of research experiences, volunteer experiences, etc. for US allopathic medical school graduates and "independent" residency applicants. A caveat in evaluating this data is that all candidates who are not US allopathic medical school graduates are lumped into the "independent" category.

It is important to be realistic. For example, if you failed the USMLE Step 1 on your first attempt and then barely passed on your second attempt, it is unlikely that you can match in the most competitive specialties. If your stats are on the "borderline," you should also consider applying for your top choice specialty and another "backup" specialty, just in case.

If you are interested in working with me for the 2010/2011 application season, please retain my services soon.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

AMCAS, TMDSAS and AACOMAS Applications 2010

by Jessica Freedman, MD,

The AMCAS application system will open "on or about May 4th, 2010." You can start working on your application when the system opens but you cannot submit until early June. For applicants who do not have a premed committee that is sending a letter packet, keep in mind that you can use the AMCAS Letters of Recommendation service. Only 14 medical schools are not participating in this option.

The Texas, TMDSAS, and osteopathic, AACOMAS, application services both open on May 3rd.

If you are interested in working with me on your medical school or residency application for the upcoming season, please contact me soon. 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Personal Statement Article and Podcast

by Jessica Freedman, MD,

An article that I authored, Personal Statement Myths, was published today on the Student Doctor Network. You can also listen to the corresponding MedEdits podcast on iTunes.