MCAT Questions Answered

I have seen alot of people asking the same questions I have on other sites.  For example – How many questions can you miss to get a 12 in each section tested?  Other students seem to get mad at these types of questions like you are trying to get by without doing the work…give me a break!  People ask these questions so they will know where they stand.  They could use this information to make changes to the way they study in order to improve on their score. 

Well, here is what I found in the Kaplan MCAT Premier 2011-2012.  My goal is to make a 12 on each section.  In order to make sure this goal is attainable, I must know how many I can miss in each section!  In order for me to score in the 90th percentile (which is a 12 on the low end).

Physical Science – can miss 12

Verbal Reasoning – can miss 7

Biological Sciences – can miss 12

Of course all the tests are graded differently, but this does give you a place to start.  I think what most people are looking for is a reference point just to know that we are doing okay!

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5 Reasons Why Being a Non-Trad Med Student is Better

1.  Coming in to class hung over, not likely…we have experienced them enough to know that if you drink as much water as possible before going to sleep (and maybe add one or two tylenols) good-bye hang over.  Even though we know how to avoid them, the chance of us actually going out on an all night binge is slim to none (in my life at least).  We have responsibilities that we are obligated to, but we do them without thought or stress; it is just who we are now. 

2.  Laying out of class – rare occasion if ever.  We are paying for this shit, why would we lay out.  For as much as I am paying to go to school, I could have a new car and a down payment on a house.  Lay out, are you crazy?  Our parents aren’t paying and we probably aren’t starting with a scholarship either.

3.  Dedication – we have dedicated our lives to the pursuit of medicine.  Our families are going to suffer through the process with us, and probably feel like they never see us at times.  We have so much invested in this, it would be catastrophic if we had to quit.  Other students would have the advantage of being able to start something else easily without having to severe many ties.  This is our life! – need I say more?

4.  Patience is a virtue that many traditional students don’t have (specifically I didn’t have it when I was younger).  Going to school for 4 – 8 more years is hard to chew when all your other friends are already out here making 100K doing something else while your stuck paying that much a year to be a medical student.  But, we already know the payoff is worth it so we will see it through.  We know that 8 years go by with the speed of lightening and it will be over before you know it – like your parents used to say.

5.  Experience – I have experienced life to the fullest and I am ready to use that experience to become the best doctor I can.  One thing that school and books can’t teach you is how to work and how to work with others.  This is something you can read about, but you’ll never really be good at it until you practice it.  Many of us have held jobs for long periods of time, and we are good at working and learning from other people.  We have also developed better ways to study in order to make time for our families or the 60 hrs we work a week to pay for school.    

 

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Study, Study, Study…

I am in the process of studying for the MCATs as we speak!  I have finished my non-organic Chem and my Biology classes so I am focusing all my attention on those subjects over the summer.  However, I am also a full time student at another university that goes year-round, work full time, have 1 child, and 1 husband (lol).  Sometimes I feel alone in my pursuit to MCAT success.  It is hard to find info on non-traditional students and what they go through to get to the end.  Alot of things I read discourage people with husbands or children from going to medical school.  I do agree with one aspect of that statement – if you are not truely passionate about being a doctor, then you will probably be unhappy and you will put your family through hell.  On the other hand, being a non-trad could also give you an edge that traditional students do not have.  I am 27 and I have 4 years experience in management and I have worked since I was 14 (co-op program in high school).  I have developed better study habits over the years and figured out how to keep balance in my life.  I don’t have any doubts about wanting to be a doc…it is rooted deep within me and I will not be satisfied doing anything else!  I am determined to get there, but is that enough???

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Why NOT to become a Doctor…Really???!

I have searched several times, like most people wanting to be a doctor propably have, “why to become a doctor”.  I’m not really sure why I search this topic, but I do.  Maybe I just want to hear some GOOD things so that I feel like committing the next 8 years of my life to medicine is a promising choice.  At first, these “101 reasons not to be a doctor” used to just flat out piss me off.  The funny thing is, I don’t have doubts about becoming a doctor because if I did, these sites would sure steer me away!  I am so sure that being a doctor is what I am destined to do that these sites actually make me laugh every time I read them now!  When I get tired of studying, I will look them up just to get a good laugh because I can kind of understand the poster’s point.  If those things detour you from wanting to be a doctor, then you probably shouldn’t be one because they are all real-life characteristics that med students and doctors have to go through.  So I am actually suggesting that you read some of these like I did and see how they make you feel about becoming a doctor.  I would love to hear how other “med people” feel about these…

#1 Funniest Good Reason to be a Doc – that I’ve found so far…..

You get to see everyone naked —- however, this is also the number one reason to NOT be a Doc on that same list!!

101 Reasons to NOT start Med School – I posted this one because I am closer to starting med school than I am to becoming a doctor…

  1. If I had known what it was going to be like, I would never have done it.
  2. You’ll study more than you ever have in your life.
  3. Only half of your class will be in the top 50%. You have a 50% chance of being in the top half of your class. Get used to it now.
  4. You don’t need to know anatomy before school starts. Or pathology. Or physiology.
  5. Third year rotations will suck the life out you.
  6. Several people from your class will have sex with each other. You might be one of the lucky participants.
  7. You may discover early on that medicine isn’t for you.
  8. You don’t have to be AOA or have impeccable board scores to match somewhere – only if you’re matching into radiology.
  9. Your social life may suffer some.
  10. Pelvic exams are teh suck.
  11. You won’t be a medical student on the surgery service. You’ll be the retractor bitch.
  12. Residents will probably ask you to retrieve some type of nourishment for them.
  13. Most of your time on rotations will be wasted. Thrown away. Down the drain.
  14. You’ll work with at least one attending physician who you’ll want to beat the shit out of.
  15. You’ll work with at least three residents who you’ll want to beat the shit out of.
  16. You’ll ask a stranger about the quality of their stools.
  17. You’ll ask post-op patients if they’ve farted within the last 24 hours.
  18. At some point during your stay, a stranger’s bodily fluids will most likely come into contact with your exposed skin.
  19. Somebody in your class will flunk out of medical school.
  20. You’ll work 14 days straight without a single day off. Probably multiple times.
  21. A student in your class will have sex with an attending or resident.
  22. After the first two years are over, your summer breaks will no longer exist. Enjoy them as much as you can.
  23. You’ll be sleep deprived.
  24. There will be times on certain rotations where you won’t be allowed to eat.
  25. You will be pimped.
  26. You’ll wake up one day and ask yourself is this really what you want out of life.
  27. You’ll party a lot during the first two years, but then that pretty much ends at the beginning of your junior year.
  28. You’ll probably change your specialty of choice at least 4 times.
  29. You’ll spend a good deal of your time playing social worker.
  30. You’ll learn that medical insurance reimbursement is a huge problem, particularly for primary care physicians.
  31. Nurses will treat you badly, simply because you are a medical student.
  32. There will be times when you’ll be ignored by your attending or resident.
  33. You will develop a thick skin. If you fail to do this, you’ll cry often.
  34. Public humiliation is very commonplace in medical training.
  35. Surgeons are assholes. Take my word for it now.
  36. OB/GYN residents are treated like shit, and that shit runs downhill. Be ready to pick it up and sleep with it.
  37. It’s always the medical student’s fault.
  38. Gunner is a derogatory word. It’s almost as bad as racial slurs.
  39. You’ll look forward to the weekend, not so you can relax and have a good time but so you can catch up on studying for the week.
  40. Your house might go uncleaned for two weeks during an intensive exam block.
  41. As a medical student on rotations, you don’t matter. In fact, you get in the way and impede productivity.
  42. There’s a fair chance that you will be physically struck by a nurse, resident, or attending physician. This may include slapped on the hand or kicked on the shin in order to instruct you to “move” or “get out of the way.”
  43. Any really bad procedures will be done by you. The residents don’t want to do them, and you’re the low man on the totem pole. This includes rectal examinations and digital disimpactions.
  44. You’ll be competing against the best of the best, the cream of the crop. This isn’t college where half of your classmates are idiots. Everybody in medical school is smart.
  45. Don’t think that you own the world because you just got accepted into medical school. That kind of attitude will humble you faster than anything else.
  46. If you’re in it for the money, there are much better, more efficient ways to make a living. Medicine is not one of them.
  47. Anatomy sucks. All of the bone names sound the same.
  48. If there is anything at all that you’d rather do in life, do not go into medicine.
  49. The competition doesn’t end after getting accepted to medical school. You’ll have to compete for class rank, awards, and residency. If you want to do a fellowship, you’ll have to compete for that too.
  50. You’ll never look at weekends the same again.
  51. VA hospitals suck. Most of them are old, but the medical records system is good.
  52. Your fourth year in medical school will be like a vacation compared to the first three years. It’s a good thing too, because you’ll need one.
  53. Somebody in your class will be known as the “highlighter whore.” Most often a female, she’ll carry around a backpack full of every highlighter color known to man. She’ll actually use them, too.
  54. Rumors surrounding members of your class will spread faster than they did in high school.
  55. You’ll meet a lot of cool people, many new friends, and maybe your husband or wife.
  56. No matter how bad your medical school experience was at times, you’ll still be able to think about the good times. Kind of like how I am doing right now.
  57. Your first class get-together will be the most memorable. Cherish those times.
  58. Long after medical school is over, you’ll still keep in contact with the friends you made. I do nearly every day.
  59. Gunners always sit in the front row. This rule never fails. However, not everyone who sits in the front row is a gunner.
  60. There will be one person in your class who’s the coolest, most laid back person you’ve ever met. This guy will sit in the back row and throw paper airplanes during class, and then blow up with 260+ Step I’s after second year. True story.
  61. At the beginning of first year, everyone will talk about how cool it’s going to be to help patients. At the end of third year, everybody will talk about how cool it’s going to be to make a lot of money.
  62. Students who start medical school wanting to do primary care end up in dermatology. Those students who start medical school wanting to do dermatology end up in family medicine.
  63. Telling local girls at the bar that you’re a medical student doesn’t mean shit. They’ve been hearing that for years. Be more unique.
  64. The money isn’t really that good in medicine. Not if you look at it in terms of hours worked.
  65. Don’t wear your white coat into the gas station, or any other business that has nothing to do with you wearing a white coat. You look like an ass, and people do make fun of you.
  66. Don’t round on patients that aren’t yours. If you round on another student’s patients, that will spread around your class like fire after a 10 year drought. Your team will think you’re an idiot too.
  67. If you are on a rotation with other students, don’t bring in journal articles to share with the team “on the fly” without letting the other students know. This makes you look like a gunner, and nobody likes a gunner. Do it once, and you might as well bring in a new topic daily. Rest assured that your fellow students will just to show you up.
  68. If you piss off your intern, he or she can make your life hell.
  69. If your intern pisses you off, you can make his or her life hell.
  70. Don’t try to work during medical school. Live life and enjoy the first two years.
  71. Not participating in tons of ECs doesn’t hurt your chances for residency. Forget the weekend free clinic and play some Frisbee golf instead.
  72. Don’t rent an apartment. If you can afford to, buy a small home instead. I saved $200 per month and had roughly $30,000 in equity by choosing to buy versus rent.
  73. Your family members will ask you for medical advice, even after your first week of first year.
  74. Many of your friends will go onto great jobs and fantastic lifestyles. You’ll be faced with 4 more years of debt and then at least 3 years of residency before you’ll see any real earning potential.
  75. Pick a specialty based around what you like to do.
  76. At least once during your 4 year stay, you’ll wonder if you should quit.
  77. It’s amazing how fast time flies on your days off. It’s equally amazing at how slow the days are on a rotation you hate.
  78. You’ll learn to be scared of asking for time off.
  79. No matter what specialty you want to do, somebody on an unrelated rotation will hold it against you.
  80. A great way to piss of attendings and residents are to tell them that you don’t plan to complete a residency.
  81. Many of your rotations will require you to be the “vitals bitch.” On surgery, you’ll be the “retractor bitch.”
  82. Sitting around in a group and talking about ethical issues involving patients is not fun.
  83. If an attending or resident treats you badly, call them out on it. You can get away with far more than you think.
  84. Going to class is generally a waste of time. Make your own schedule and enjoy the added free time.
  85. Find new ways to study. The methods you used in college may or may not work. If something doesn’t work, adapt.
  86. Hospitals smell bad.
  87. Subjective evaluations are just that – subjective. They aren’t your end all, be all so don’t dwell on a poor evaluation. The person giving it was probably an asshole, anyway.
  88. Some physicians will tell you it’s better than it really is. Take what you hear (both positive and negative) with a grain of salt.
  89. 90% of surgeons are assholes, and 63% of statistics are made up. The former falls in the lucky 37%.
  90. The best time of your entire medical school career is between the times when you first get your acceptance letter and when you start school.
  91. During the summer before medical school starts, do not attempt to study or read anything remotely related to medicine. Take this time to travel and do things for you.
  92. The residents and faculty in OB/GYN will be some of the most malignant personalities you’ve ever come into contact with.
  93. Vaginal deliveries are messy. So are c-sections. It’s just an all-around blood fest if you like that sort of thing.
  94. Despite what the faculty tell you, you don’t need all of the fancy equipment that they suggest for you to buy. All you need is a stethoscope. The other equipment they say you “need” is standard in all clinic and hospital exam rooms. If it’s not standard, your training hospital and clinics suck.
  95. If your school has a note taking service, it’s a good idea to pony up the cash for it. It saves time and gives you the option of not attending lecture.
  96. Medicine is better than being a janitor, but there were times when I envied the people cleaning the hospital trash cans.
  97. Avoid surgery like the plague.
  98. See above and then apply it to OB/GYN as well.
  99. The money is good in medicine, but it’s not all that great especially considering the amount of time that you’ll have to work.
  100. One time an HIV+ patient ripped out his IV and then “slung” his blood at the staff in the room. Go, go infectious disease.
  101. Read Med School Hell now, throughout medical school, and then after you’re done. Then come back and tell me how right I am.

101 Reasons to Become a Doctor — thought I would end on a positive note!
1. Doctors are well respected
2. Being a doctor can be very lucrative
3. Doctors are needed all over the world
4. Doctors are respected by their family
5. Doctors are respected by their friends
6. Being a doctor allows for the helping of people
7. A doctor can alleviate people’s pain
8. A doctor can comfort people
9. A doctor can save lives
10. A doctor can prolong life
11. Doctors can work anywhere in the country
12. A doctor can work in an office or hospital
13. Doctors are needed in the military
14. A doctor is a very attractive profession
15. Doctors get good golf tee times
16. Being a doctor can be very self rewarding
17. Being a doctor can have a sense of accomplishment
18. Doctors are in need around the world
19. Doctors are in need around the country
20. A doctor can prescribe medicine to those in need
21. Being a doctor is an interesting profession
22. Being a doctor allows for constant human interaction
23. Doctors generally drive nice cars
24. Doctors generally have nice homes
25. Being a doctor can allow for a lot of time off
26. Doctor shifts can vary
27. Doctors can make peoples lives better
28. A doctor can help prolong an athletes playing days
29. Doctors can perform surgeries
30. A doctor who works in the ER deals with many interesting issues
31. A doctor in the field can help people who have been injured on the battlefield
32. Doctors views are well respected by the community33. A doctor does not have to wear a suit and tie
34. Doctors can cure diseases
35. A doctor can catch diseases before they become life threatening
36. Doctors can put people at ease
37. A doctor can aid outside of their work area
38. A doctor can be attractive to the opposite sex
39. A doctor is always attractive to the opposite sex’s parents
40. A doctor can aid in medical emergencies
41. A doctor can aid in disaster situations
42. A doctor can aid in case someone has an emergency medical situation
43. A doctor’s services are needed in times of crisis
44. A doctor can be comforting to the family of a person who is ailing
45. A doctor’s services are needed by sports teams
46. Doctors can retire early
47. Learning about the body is interesting
48. There are many different types of doctors
49. A doctor can open their own practice
50. A doctor can work in an office
51. A doctor can work in a hospital
52. A doctor can give speeches
53. A doctor can be published in medical journals
54. Doctors constantly learn new techniques
55. Doctors constantly learn new curing methods
56. A doctors opinion on medicines are frequently sought after
57. Being a doctor allows for financial security
58. Job headhunters are always looking for doctors
59. Doctors can move into administrative positions
60. Doctors can move into research positions
61. Doctors can move into teaching positions
62. A doctor can team up with other doctors to open a practice
63. There is many different types of doctors in the medical industry
64. A doctor can give CPR to someone who needs it in an emergency
65. A doctor can prescribe medicine
66. Being a doctor can allow for interaction with interesting people
67. Doctors can come up with patents for medicines
68. Doctors can come up with patents for medical devices
69. Doctors can help new doctors learn the medical profession
70. People look to doctors for advice
71. A doctor can help an entire community
72. A doctor can stay in shape considering they are always on their feet
73. Doctors can pass on their knowledge to nurses and younger doctors
74. Being a doctor is self rewarding
75. Being a doctor is very challenging
76. A doctor can perform innovative surgeries
77. A doctor can come up with innovative methods of curing diseases
78. Doctors can bring life into the world
79. Doctors can save the lives of their loved ones
80. A doctor has peoples lives in their hands which is empowering
81. A doctor can feel a sense like they are accomplishing something for the greater good of humanity
82. A good doctor is always in need
83. There are many types of specialty doctors in the medical field
84. Doctors are the first to see people when they come into the world
85. A doctor can act calm in pressure situations
86. Doctors can work in aid organizations
87. Doctors can work at schools
88. Doctors can work in the military
89. Doctors can be of aid in research and development of new medicine
90. A doctor can challenge themselves with coming up with cures for patients
91. A doctors’ services are always needed at hospitals
92. Doctors make people who are suffering feel better
93. A doctor can put a persons mind at ease by telling them they can help them
94. A doctor can interact with many interesting people
95. Doctors can switch shifts with other doctors
96. A doctor faces tough decisions every day which keeps them alert and prepared
97. A doctor can look death in the eye and defeat it
98. A doctor can feel very powerful when holding a life in their hand
99. A doctor can take any course of action which they deem fit for the treatment of a patient
100. Being a doctor can be a very emotional job
101. Family doctors keep an entire family healthy

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MCAT Study

Well, I am already studying for the MCATs, which I won’t be taking until the Spring of 2013.  Am I crazy?  I have finished my N0n-Organic Chemistry and Biology pre-req classes so I am spending my summer studying those topics that will be covered on the MCAT which seems like everything!  I will then be taking Physics and Organic Chemistry in my next two semesters.  I have been scouring the internet trying to find some good study tools, and I would like to share a few of them with you.  ALL of these are FREE by the way!

1.  MCAT Review – mcatreview.org/

 —This site breaks down study material subject by subject.  This site, for me, is more doable than most.  All the information could easily be covered and studied without getting lost from link to link.

2.  WikiPreMed MCAT Course – http://www.wikipremed.com/course_design.php

This site is a little more complex, but a great tool.  I like this site for trying to understand my more troublesome subjects.

3.  The princeton review provides a free MCAT practice test that is taken on the computer just like the real-thing!  www.princetonreview.com/medical/mcat-test-preparation.aspx

4. Grey’s Anatomy – I just ordered an older eition of this book (new) off of Amazon.com for $11 — From what I have been told, this book is required for 1st year med students and will be helpful now and forever

 

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The Long Road to Becoming a Doctor

I am a non-traditional student who has just gotten their shit together to pursue their dreams.  I remember when I first started college, and eight years seemed like an eternity.  Well, it’s eight years later, and I sure wish I had pursued my dreams then, but I was too worried about instant gratification…like many kids are today.  I will graduate from college with a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management in December – yay!  However, becoming a doctor is still a dream that I wanted to pursue.  So I am left constantly putting my life into perspective – I am married and have a 4-year-old daughter, and 4 more years is a long time (plus another 4 to do what I really want to do).  But, how will I feel in 4-8 years when I look back and say wow, I could be a doctor now…but I’m not!  So, I refuse to make the same mistake twice!  I will be taking my MCATs next spring and applying to medical school shortly after, and I feel great about my decision.  What makes me feel even better is that my husband supports my decision and might even be more excited than I am.  I am starting this blog because I want to connect with other people who are going through the same thing or might go through the same thing in the future.

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