MedEdits | Medical School Admissions Consulting

Friday, April 15, 2011

The MedEdits Blog has MOVED!

Visit the new MedEdits blog here:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ross Medical School Founder Dies at 92

Robert Ross, the founder of Ross University Medical School in the Caribbean, died on Saturday at the age of 92. We extend our deepest condolences to the Ross family.

Click Here to read Robert Ross' obituary.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Match Results!!!

MedEdits, LLC would like to congratulate all of our clients who matched this week. So far, we know that clients matched in anesthesiology, dermatology, orthopaedic surgery, general surgery, internal medicine, family medicine, neurology, and pediatrics. If you are a client and haven't yet informed us of your match results, please get in touch! Below are some notes we received from clients yesterday.

Thank you so much for all of your help, I said it before, but this was really a pleasure and opportunity that I'm glad I found!  
-Client matched in orthopaedic surgery.

Thank you so very much for all your help.  I know I couldn't have survived the whole process without your help, especially since I was going for such a competitive specialty. If you ever need a reference, I will be more than happy to be one.
 -Caribbean medical student who matched in radiology.

I have matched into my third choice for internal medicine.  I really thought that the mock interview that you conducted with me back in October 2010 really helped my chances of securing a internal medicine residency in the US.  I learned not only how to express my thoughts better but how to talk about myself more comfortably in a more formal setting.  I thank you for you and your staff's dedication to making our dreams a reality. 
-Caribbean medical student who matched in internal medicine.

I really could not have done this without your help. I would love to write a testimonial on your page. Please let me know it that would be ok. 
- Matched in internal medicine.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What Makes a GREAT Hospital?

What factors most influence the quality of patient care? Having the most skilled physicians? The best electronic medical records? The most advanced technology?

I have worked in many clinical settings with a variety of work cultures, and those that encourage communication, accountability, and smooth operations and organization make it easiest for physicians to provide the best patient care. In settings that have multiple "layers" of on-call doctors, for example, it may take an hour or more to find the doctor who is "responsible" for a given patient, and this doctor rarely knows anything about the patient in question, making communication complicated and allowing for less than ideal patient care. In other medical environments, the culture may be to "outshine" your colleagues and demonstrate that you know more than they do or to "point a finger" if something goes wrong. In both of these situations, the culture does not support optimal patient care

An article in the New York Times eloquently discusses these issues and also reviews the findings of a recent Annals of Internal Medicine article that studied what factors influenced the mortality of patients with heart attacks at top- and low-performing hospitals. The results of this study are not surprising to a practicing physician and echo what I have observed in my own practice. Indeed, the investigators observed that an institution with well organized operations and protocols, clear communications among providers, and a supportive environment result in better patient outcomes.

For graduating residents contemplating what job offer to accept and for patients deciding at which hospital to receive care, evaluating a hospital's culture is not always easy, however, and often can be discovered only by spending time in the actual environment.

Click Here to read the article.

Match Day!

Everyone at MedEdits would like to congratulate all MS4s who are participating in today's match.  Please let us know where you will be training!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Residency Prematching: A thing of the past?

Read my latest article on residency prematching on the Student Doctor Network.

Click Here to read the article.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

AAMC and ERAS Websites Down

Due to the high volume of traffic during match week, the AAMC and ERAS websites are currently down.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Free Stuff: SDN Test Prep Week!

MedEdits is participating in Student Doctor Network's Test Prep Week! Enter to win a free interview book and personal statement editing!

Click Here to view the offerings.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

How Money Can Impact Medical Practice

An excellent article in the New York Times today explains how reimbursements have impacted the practice of psychiatry. The article focuses on one physician in particular; his experience and the evolution his approach to patient care since the early 70s illustrates some of the difficult decisions physicians have had to make to ensure they can support themselves and their families.

What are your thoughts?

Click Here to read the article.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Harvard and Columbia Medical School Acceptances

As I tell all of my clients, receiving an acceptance to any medical school in the United States is a major accomplishment.  Today we would like to specifically congratulate those MedEdits clients who have been accepted to Harvard and Columbia Medical Schools this week. The emails and phone calls we have received today give us tremendous joy and we congratulate everyone who was accepted to these prestigious medical schools.

Click Here to see a full list of where MedEdits clients have been accepted to medical school for the past three years.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Getting Into Residency: Most Important Factors

Read my latest article on the Student Doctor Network about what factors are most important for getting into residency. Click Here to read the article.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

Patient Confidentiality and Facebook

In The Ethicist column of the New York Times yesterday, Randy Cohen wrote about medical students posting pictures and comments about patients on Facebook. I am sometimes a bit surprised by what my attending colleagues and friends post about patients, too. Sometimes they write about specific details regarding other physicians, hospital operations, and patient encounters. As medical professionals, shouldn't our integrity and respect extend beyond the clinical arena to Facebook and other online forums?

Click Here to read The Ethicist article.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

UCLA International Medical Graduate Program

An innovative program at The University of California, Los Angeles educates international medical graduates from Spanish speaking countries to pass the United States Medical Licensing Exams and apply for family medicine residency positions. After completing their residency training, program participants must then practice family medicine in medically underserved California communities for at least 24 months. Applicants must legally reside in California, have graduated from medical school less than five years before enrollment, and demonstrate proficiency in English and Spanish. Click Here to read an article about the program in UCLA's Daily Bruin.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day Special!

To celebrate Groundhog Day, we are offering 10% off all MedEdits' editing services purchased by 9 AM EST tomorrow. Get a head start on your medical school, residency, and fellowship applications.

Use coupon code GROUNDHOG at checkout. Click Here to view our editing services and to make your purchase.

All services must be used within six months of purchase. No refunds will be offered.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

MMI Interview

The Multiple Mini Interview (MMI), which was originally developed in Canada, is now being used at medical schools in the United States. The scenarios presented at the MMI must remain confidential to keep things fair. These interviews also consist of discussions between the student and the interviewers. Thus, it is tough for students to "feel" adequately prepared for these interviews. Students must rely on their own instincts, communication skills, ethics, values, and ideals which is exactly what the MMI is testing. Two of my clients who recently had an MMI interview said that none of the scenarios were clinically based. It will be interesting to see how many medical schools adopt the MMI next year and which schools take a clinically, versus a non-clinically, oriented approach.

Unsure of How to Rank Residency Programs? How About Communicating with Programs Before the Match?

The end of residency interview season is approaching so it is time to start thinking about how you will rank programs. The NRMP matching algorithm works in favor of the applicant so you should rank programs based on where you would like to train rather than where you have the greatest liklihood of matching.
You should also communicate with every program that you will rank either by doing a second look (and making sure the program director is aware) or by sending an email to the program director. 
The email to your first choice program should explicitly state that you will rank them first. For other programs on your rank list, don’t even mention the word ranking. Phrases such as, “I will be ranking you highly,” or “Your program is one of my top three choices,” tells the program director, indirectly, that they are not your first choice which is less than ideal. Instead, state something such as, “I would be honored to match with you.” 
Do these letters really make a difference? It is tough to know. All program directors want to avoid the scramble so they all try to rank enough applicants to fill their programs. Programs (especially those at prestigious medical schools) also like to boast when they “matched their top picks” which is why letters of intent can influence your position on a rank list.
If you are interested in working with me for the 2011/2012 application season, be sure to retain my services soon.

Visit: MedEdits

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Residency Second Looks

Even though residency programs often state that second looks do not affect rankings, I still think second looks provide an opportunity to meet other faculty and residents who can put in a "good word" for you and thus influence your candidacy. It is your job, if you do a second look, to make sure the program director is aware. Consider stopping by the program director's office during your second look to say hello. If this is not possible, after the second look, send the program director an email to express your interest in the program and that your second look helped confirm this interest. Also mention whom you met during the second look.

However, doing second looks after programs rank applicants will not impact your ranking. Programs typically rank applicants by the second week of February so, if you are considering a second look, do them now! 

Visit: MedEdits

Thursday, January 13, 2011

MMI Interview

Click Here to read this descriptive article about the Multiple Mini Interview at Stanford.

Medical School in Israel

Attending medical school in Israel presents a great alternative for applicants who cannot gain admission to medical school in the United States. Click Here to read an article on this topic.

Thank You Notes: Email or Hand Written?

My recommendation is that applicants email thank you notes. Why? Everyone in academic medicine is now "connected" and checks email incessantly. Email communications also present the possibility of dialogue between you and your interviewer. An email thank you note can also be saved and filed. In contrast, a written thank you note may end up in your hard copy file (if the program/school prints out hard copies), but more often ends up in the garbage.

The only time you should consider writing a hand written note is if your interviewer seems "old school." For example, do you think this person works in an office that uses paper charts and has not yet converted to an electronic medical record system?

My clients have had great luck with email thank you notes; interviewers sometimes hit the reply button, acknowledge receipt, and express something positive. If, however, you do not receive a reply to your email, there is no need for concern.

If you are interested in working with me for the 2011/2012 application season, please contact me soon.

Visit: MedEdits

Friday, January 7, 2011

Residency Letter of Intent

Read a previous post about letters of intent. It is time to start composing these letters and thinking about which program you will rank first.

Consider hiring MedEdits editors for help with your letter of intent. Please contact us for information.

If you are interested in working with Dr. Freedman for the 2011/2012 application, please retain her services in advance.

Visit: MedEdits

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Do you value the opinion of Dr. Jessica Freedman and MedEdits?  The New York Times does.

At MedEdits, we advocate for all of our clients regardless of their path into medicine.  In a New York Times letter to the editor, Dr. Freedman discusses why medical educators from New York and the Caribbean must work together to ensure high quality clinical training for all medical students.  
Click here to read Dr. Freedman's letter to the editor.

Talking About Bad Grades on Medical School Interviews

Medical school applicants are often nervous to talk about poor grades they may have received during college. They don’t want to “make excuses” or “blame someone” for their performance. So, what is the best way to frame your discussion when talking about poor grades? First of all, explain the scenario. Was this a difficult time in your life, was the subject matter especially difficult, were you bored, did you question your commitment to medicine, or were you adjusting to college? Many applicants have less than stellar academic performances, especially early in college, because they lack the time management and study skills to do well. During your interview, after talking about why you earned poor grades, also give an explanation for your academic improvement. Did you become more mature, realize your passion for medicine, or improve your study and time management skills? Don’t only speak about the poor grades; segue into a discussion about the steps you took to improve.

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