How To Improve Your GPA Using Community College

There are many tactics out there to help students improve their GPA. Let me show you how to improve your GPA using community college.

Let's face it, a highly motivated premed can get an A in almost any community college course with minimal effort. Some courses offer a ridiculous number of credit hours for fairly little effort. You can even take classes online that only require a few hours of work each week.

Remember that AMCAS will report your science GPA and your overall GPA. Taking easy science courses at a community college may increase your GPA, but could create some red flags. Your overall GPA can easily be bumped with 12 credit hours of things that you may consider hobbies. You would be shocked what you can get credit for.
Explore your local community college for classes that interest you and you can pick up some extra A's to pad your GPA with.

Many premed's are often interested in getting their EMT certification and some community colleges will offer this certification. This is a great way to add another 12-16 credits of 4.0 to your GPA. Which can make a huge difference!

By |May 25th, 2013|Pre-Med|1 Comment
  • Are Doctors Happy

Are Doctors Happy? Physican Job Satisfaction

Just how happy are doctors?
As pre-med students begin to shadow and gain more real world experience, eventually they come in contact with a physician who isn't exactly satisfied with his job. Quite frequently these doctors go out of their way to warn prospective students about their career choice. They typically start with, "If I could do it all again, I would have been something else". Often they could rant for hours ,if given the chance, about the myriad of reasons that it's not a good idea to be a doctor in today's society. But just how common is this?

Medscape recently performed a survey which touched upon physician job satisfaction and came up with some interesting results. Only 51% of doctors said they would choose another career in medicine. Only 42% said they would pick the same specialty. Surprisingly, only 19% said they would choose the same practice settings. About 48% of physicians  surveyed feel they are unfairly compensated financially for their services.

So really, it's about a 50/50 chance! When asked about aspects of their job that physicians found rewarding, the number 1 response was "Being very good at what they do". Job satisfaction is a very interesting subject with lots of legitimate research and data behind it. For pre-med students who find this data alarming I highly recommend reading "So Good They Can't Ignore You" by Cal Newport. This is an excellent read that touches upon satisfaction and career choices and has a lot to offer for any pre-med who is still on the fence.

You can Purchase it here!

For the full Medscape survey results click here

By |May 11th, 2013|Pre-Med|0 Comments
  • Study Groups

Study Groups, The Key to Success or a Social Distraction?

Study groups are essential for medical school and premed success, yet this is only true if you pick the right people to study with. Try to study with people who are getting good grades, who are organized, who have a study strategy you wish to emulate, and who won’t be a distraction. It’s better to study alone than to waste time "hanging out" with people over some text books. If you want to go have fun, then go do something fun with your friends!

Studying with other students who are doing poorly will rarely help you. It may seem obvious, but finding someone who is excelling effortlessly and copying their behavior is the easiest way to improve your study habits. If you're doing well and want to spend some time helping out other students, then go for it. Teaching information to others is one of the best ways to see just how well you know the information yourself. If you're doing well it is likely that other study groups will frequently ask you to stop by.

The most important factor to consider is if studying with friends is going to be more distracting than motivating. Even the most efficient study teams you can anticipate an element of socialization. This is not a bad thing. Often, hours of studying can get tedious, and having friends to pass the night with can help with your endurance. Short breaks for conversation can be helpful to recharge and ultimately keep you awake and attentive.

The point of a study group is for everyone to benefit from a group effort. Each person should have a role! For example, you  could have each person type up different chapter summery, or have different people make [...]

By |May 7th, 2013|Study Tips|0 Comments
  • Physician Salary

Physician Salary – How Much Money Do Doctors Really Make?

Students frequently ask me about the average physician salary. With the current discussion about our expensive healthcare system, physician salaries can be somewhat of a controversial issue. This is an important aspect of any career, and all students considering medical school should have a somewhat realistic idea of how much money they can expect to make.

This is overall a very difficult question to answer. Physician salaries vary greatly depending upon the specialty, the physician's experience level, business acumen and overall goals. Medscape recently released their physician compensation report for 2013. This is one of the more comprehensive reports on how much money doctors make.

Across all specialties, one third had an average income of over $300,000 annually. The current top three earning specialties are orthopedics, cardiology and radiology. Average salaries ranged from $170,000-$400,000, depending on specialty. Across-the-board, average salary for specialties tended to increase over last year.

One important consideration that is not included in this study is the number of hours worked per week and the relationship to salary. This is something that students need to consider carefully. Although dermatology had a median salary of $306,000, it is important to consider that they work significantly less hours than the average general surgeon with a median salary of $279,000. I personally think dollars per hour is a more realistic way to look at your future physician earning potential. About half of the doctors surveyed said they felt as if they were fairly compensated.

Business acumen also plays a strong factor in your future financial success. There are family medicine physicians who have built multimillion dollar practices and there are orthopedic surgeons filing for bankruptcy. It is also very important to factor in student debt, although this is an [...]

By |May 2nd, 2013|Pre-Med|1 Comment
  • Personal Statement Advice Panda

Personal Statement Advice from Panda Bear MD

Some of you may still remember Panda Bear, MD.

He was a legendary medical blogger with a unique sense of humor, and a brutally honest critic of our current health system and the process of medical training. Sadly, for personal reasons years ago he gave up his blog. It still exists as a ghost of its former self, hacked and displaying advertisements for medical supplies.

Scattered amidst the advertisements still stands excellent advice. Below is possibly one of the most useful articles about personal statement development ever written. Panda Bear, if you are still out there somewhere let us know...

(As those of you applying to medical school know, the personal statement on the AMCAS application is, at least by conventional wisdom, one of the most important parts of your application. It doesn’t seem fair when you think about it, that all of your effort to get good grades and to position yourself with extracurricular activities can be undone by a few lines of prose, but that’s just how it is. Here are some general rules that might help you get started.-PB)

You Are Not Applying For A Position In Management

Every generation has its peculiar bureaucratic vernacular. In the nineteen-fifties it was the breezy patter of the Madison Avenue ad men. In the sixties it was vacuous leftist duckspeak. Today it is the stilted jargon of the diversity Mafia with which the timid writer protects himself from the one true sin of diversity, that is, to have an original idea. In fact, if you can’t write a decent-sized page without mentioning “diversity,” “inclusiveness,” “open-mindedness,” or any of the other shibboleths of the ossified Pharisees who protect the academic temple from blasphemy, you’re not trying hard enough to [...]

By |May 1st, 2013|Pre-Med|0 Comments