Major at SMCM: Biology
Year of graduation from SMCM: 2011
Year of entrance to professional school: 2011
Professional school: University of Virginia School of Medicine
Professional Field: Medicine
St. Mary’s provided a very rigorous educational program that prepared me well for the level of work expected by medical school. It made for an easier transition from St. Mary’s to UVa. The collaboration and small classroom environment prepared me well for the teamwork of providing medical care for patients. UVa updated their curriculum to become a more collaborative learning experience. In fact, we have more group activities than lectures! Preparing for the activities ahead of time and working well withothers is essential to exceling. Absolutely.
The pre-health advisory program was very helpful throughout the whole process – helping me pick the appropriate classes to take, providing feedback on my coursework and application essays, and sending in their material to medical schools in a timely manner. Each student receives a lot of individual time from the committee, so it doesn’t feel like you’re just getting “shuttled through.” The one difficulty that I encountered with the committee is in the practice interview – it was way more difficult than any medical school interview I attended. However, I suppose if you can make it through that, the rest of your interviews will be a piece of cake.
Enjoy your free time because soon you will have none! Medical school will consume your life. Don’t feel like you have to take all the difficult science classes just because you think it would make your application look better – do well in the required classes and use the extra credits to take something fun like art or dance or whatever it is that floats your boat. It will make you a happier and more well-rounded applicant.
Stay focused! It’s easy to become distracted but grades trump volunteer experiences, sports, and other activities in the medical school application. Having a ton of extracurriculars will not hide a below-average GPA or MCAT score.