How to get into medical school: Lessons from a med school dean
Posted July 31, 2011
Earlier this summer, as part of an ongoing seminar series, Dr. Rachel Brown (associate dean of student activities at the MU med school) led a discussion oriented seminar with pre-medical students from Mizzou and a handful of other schools.
(Note: This was part of a summer 2011 assignment for all Fellows to blog about summer seminars.)
Dr. Brown’s goal in the talk was to emphasize the student aspect of applying to medical school, and how a student can optimize their experiences prior to application.
What hit me as one of the most important lessons she gave to students was to have a vision when going for a medical school interview. She stressed the importance of finding the mission statement to each medical school you apply to, and to find where your life and application lines up with the mission statement.
The three areas that Dr. Brown said she analyzed on each application were academics, personal characteristics, and exposure to health care industry.
For academics, it’s to ensure that you will not be overwhelmed by the hard sciences you will learn in the first two years. If you are wondering if you can handle it, take a biochemistry class. Dr. Brown said that these classes were the closest to what you will be doing daily in medical school.
Personal characteristics are harder to expound on, but Dr. Brown emphasized teamwork, maturity and compassion to be the ones she looks at the closest. And the reason she recommends exposure to the health care industry is to know the business of medicine. She said that medicine is a dirty profession, and that a medical student should never be shocked by what they see in clinic.