(L41) Biol 2651 – MedPrep I – The Lecture Series
Because of the information provided in helping students become a well-rounded, complete applicant by the time of application to medical school, it is recommended that students take MedPrep I as early in college as possible.
Objective #1 – To give students accurate, honest, and detailed information on how to become the most competitive and prepared applicant to medical school possible.
Taught by Dr. Gregory Polites, Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Chair of the Central Subcommittee for the Washington University School of Medicine’s Committee on Admissions, MedPrep I give students accurate, honest, and detailed information on how to become the most competitive and prepared applicant to medical school possible. For this reason, we recommend students take MedPrep I as early in college as possible, preferably in their first or second year. Through a weekly two-hour lecture, MedPrep I gives students a road map and strategy for their four years of college and reviews the common pitfalls encountered by unsuccessful applicants to medical school.
What are the key ingredients of an outstanding application? How do I go about getting letters of recommendation? Should I do research? What kind of volunteer activities are important? What is a competitive score on the MCAT? What do I do if my GPA is weak? What if I want to take a year off after graduation? Will taking a summer course at my state school hurt my application? How do I prepare for the medical school interview? What types of questions are asked during the interview?
All of the above questions are answered in this course.
Objective #2 – To clarify the entire educational process required to become a board-certified physician and the lifestyle one can expect in medical school, residency and beyond.
As you will learn, the road to becoming a physician is a long one. It involves many steps, years of assessment and evaluation, and many graded levels of responsibility. While your science courses will give you the foundation for your pre-clinical years in medical school, MedPrep will give you a thorough and uncensored view of the process you are about to enter and life during medical school, residency and beyond.
Most students complete the semester more energized and motivated to pursue a career in medicine than ever. Some students, however, begin to rethink their plans of a medical career and a few even leave the pre-med track after taking this course. Regardless of how MedPrep I influences you, many of your preconceptions regarding a life in medicine will be modified or drastically altered after taking this course. As one student put it, this course helps in “breaking the glorious illusion of a career in medicine and replacing it with a rugged, more valuable vision of what is to come.”
Everything from the assessment and examination process in medical school to the details of medical school and residency training are discussed. Students will learn the most important factors to consider when choosing a medical school and the pros and cons of various medical school curricula. The training pathway for every major specialty is reviewed and the challenges faced in medical school and residency regarding work-life balance, sleep deprivation and the stress of making major medical decisions are also covered. What are the most competitive specialties and why? What factors do medical students consider when choosing a specialty? What are the rewards and challenges of academic vs. private practice? These questions and more are all answered in MedPrep I.
Finally, the course ends with a Q&A session with current medical students from the Washington University School of Medicine. During this session students can ask any question they would like regarding life as a medical student from those who are currently going through the process.
Objective #3 – To prepare students for the expectations and attitude that will be required of a successful medical student and future physician.
MedPrep I begins with foundational talks where students learn what qualities go into making an exceptional medical student and physician. Students will learn how the values of Generation Z sometimes conflict with the current culture of medicine in areas that involve much more than simple rules of etiquette or behavior. Many students don’t recognize that there are significant differences in expectations in many areas including dress, work ethic, interpersonal communication, and attitudes regarding work-life balance. Because these differences can often result in awkward situations for the student, MedPrep reviews what is expected from a learner when they enter “the house of medicine” and what values physicians currently in practice consider important.
Objective #4 – To help students decide if medicine is the right career for them.
Choosing a career is never easy. And choosing to pursue a career in medicine can be even more difficult because there are so many variables to consider. Some students know from their first day in college that they want to be a physician. Others are a little less sure. Some have no idea. Some students need reassurance that they are pursuing the right career. Others simply want to be as informed as possible.
Regardless of where a student is in their decision to pursue a career in Medicine, MedPrep I will help. Topics pertinent to the future physician such as the training pathway, lifestyle, and how physicians manage the stressors of a medical career are thoughtfully covered. MedPrep I will give the student a clear understanding of the other issues physicians confront besides taking care of patients. Ultimately this information will help the student make the most informed decision possible.