Dr Leonard Krivy Cherry Hill 856/428-1282
Philadelphia 215/545-1555
1765 Fireside Lane
Cherry Hill, NJ  08003
Email: lpkphd@aol.com
Website: LeonardKrivyPhD.com

Schools & Schooling Seminars

Dr. Krivy’s helpful hints on how to avoid the pitfalls and be accepted to the medical school of your choice.

 Being accepted into a medical school is a strategy.  How well you play the game may often determine the difference between acceptance and rejection.  Here are some practical dos and don’ts: 

  1. Play it safe and don’t try to prove that you’re an academic superstar the first day in college.
    1. In general, do not accept advanced standing credit for courses taken in high school.
    2. Do not accept the invitation to take the most advanced level science courses.
    3. Avoid taking a heavy course load during your freshman year.
    4. Register initially as an undeclared major, and choose your science courses carefully.
    5. Do not take two science courses during your first year in college.
    6. Except for the required courses, avoid taking advanced science courses during your first three years.
    7. Carefully select your non-science electives.
    8. It does not matter what you major in.  Majoring in a non-science will probably raise your overall GPA and put you in a more advantageous position when seeking admission.
    9. Remember, that once you become a doctor, your patients won’t care where you went to college.
    10.  If possible, take an occasional night course.
    11. Don’t take too many summer school science courses.
    12. A high grade in organic chemistry is a must.  WHEN IN DOUBT, AUDIT.
    13. If you have difficulty with any required basic science, audit the course before taking it.
    14.  Don’t be afraid to take a non-major course pass-fail or credit/no-credit.
    15. Unless you have a burning interest in scientific material, you are not doing yourself a favor by taking extra science courses.
    16. Arrange your undergraduate pre-medical program so that all required courses are completed by the end of your junior year.

REMEMBER:
  • THE HARDEST OBSTACLES TO OVERCOME IN BECOMING A PHYSICIAN IS GETTING ADMITTED TO MEDICAL SCHOOL.

  • IT IS NOT GENERALLY WHERE YOU GO TO SCHOOL THAT MATTERS.

  • IT IS NOT GENERALLY WHAT YOU MAJOR IN THAT MATTERS.

  • GRADES ARE PARAMOUNT!!! 

  1. Besides your GPA, there is probably no single more important criteria for admission to medical school than your performance on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).
    1. Take the MCAT in the spring of your junior year (possibly as early as the Fall).  If necessary, retake the exam in the fall of your senior year.
    2. Take a reduced course load, or include some “gut” courses during the semester in which you intend to take the MCAT.
    3. Spend as much time as possible (minimum of several weeks) studying for the examination in a systematic way.
    4. Take a prep course for the examination.
    5. Answer every single question, even if you have to guess.
    6. Initially, have the test scores sent to a minimum number of schools.
    7. Place your emphasis on the physical science and biological science sections.
    8. View your preparation for the MCAT as you would if you were taking another science course required for Medical School admission.

  1. Many significant errors are made during the application process.  This is your chance to show the committee more than just grades and board scores.
    1. Begin the application process during the summer between your junior and senior years.
    2. Obtain a copy of Admission Requirements of U.S. Medical Schools, published by the Association of American Medical Colleges, and become familiar with the contents.
    3. Complete your pre-professional file (i.e., Committee or individual letters of recommendation) before you leave campus for your summer vacation at the end of your junior year.
    4. Carefully select those professors whom you can trust, who have “clout” and who will be able to write a strong letter of recommendation.
    5. Treat your interview with your pre-professional committee and with your advisor seriously.  Be prepared.  Your essay and statement prepared for the Committee’s recommendation should be no less polished than your final statement submitted with your eventual application.
    6. Carefully select the schools to which you apply.  A larger number of applications does not increase your chances for acceptance.  Make application to a reasonable number of schools.  The stronger the candidate, the greater the number of applications; the weaker the candidate, the fewer applications. 
    7. The personal statement portion of the application is of particular significance.  It is your chance to shine.  Do not use this as a means of repeating information included in other parts of the application.  Ask yourself:  WHAT MAKES YOU STAND OUT?
    8. Keep a detailed record of all application deadlines. 
    9. Keep a detailed record of all correspondence with medical schools.
    10. Do not flood your application with excessive numbers of optional letters and published reports.  Exercise good judgment and discretion: five or six solid recommendations are enough.
    11. Keep the medical schools apprised of your progress: new grades, new recommendations, etc., if appropriate.
    12. Do not accept on blind faith anyone’s word.  Not your advisor’s – not even mine.
    13. Do not apply early decision.  If you’re good enough to be accepted as an early decision candidate, you will be accepted to several medical colleges.  It is not worth the chance.
    14. You should have non-academic accomplishments to talk about, however, it’s the quality of your activities, not the quantity that counts.

NOW, AFTER THREE YEARS OF STRUGGLING TO MAINTAIN OUTSTANDING GRADES, AND HAVING SCORED WELL ON THE MCAT, AND HAVING WRITTEN A GOOD APPLICATION, WITH STRONG RECOMMENDATIONS, –ALL OF WHICH MAKE YOU STAND OUT – NOW YOU ARE READY FOR THE BIG DAY:  THE INTERVIEW. 

  1. The interview is a humanizing aspect of the medical school admission process.  This is your chance to sell the product you know best: yourself.
    1. Prepare for the interview the same way you would prepare for an oral examination.
    2. Before meeting your interviewer, try to determine something about his or her background, e.g., clinician or basic scientist.
    3. Anticipate certain “standard” interview questions – and, remember, there are generally no “right” or “wrong” answers to the questions asked.  Nevertheless,
    4. Tell the interviewer what he or she wants to hear.
    5. Lead the interviewer to the information about yourself that you want to discuss and emphasize.
    6. Do not volunteer information unless you want the interviewer to raise additional questions on that point.
    7. Keep abreast of what is going on in the world: A daily newspaper and at least one weekly news magazine would be fine.
    8. Never be afraid to say, “I don’t know” – (Not too often, however).
    9. Do not go into the interview with a list of prepared questions to impress the interviewer with you knowledge of the school.
    10. Dress neatly and conservatively.
    11. While waiting your turn for the interview, do not believe half of what you hear from other students also waiting.  In fact, tell them you’re engaged to the Dean’s daughter (or son), and that your uncle is chairman of the board.
    12. Review your application in detail before your interview.

  1. What if it all fails?  Your application could be lovelier the second time around. 
    1. Review your application with the help of a counselor.  Try to objectively evaluate why you were rejected.  Then set out a specific plan to correct your deficiencies – with a timetable.  Simultaneously, explore other alternatives. 
    2. Dentistry is not an alternative to medicine.  There are other allied health fields to explore.
    3. Application to foreign schools is a last resort.
    4. A graduate program is not an automatic route: explore medical school graduate programs specifically designed to enhance student’s re-application.
    5. Don’t accept admission to another professional school assuming you may transfer to medical school.