A is for Anatomy

To Med School & Beyond

GPA v. MCAT - Your Guide to Matriculation

As competitive as it is to matriculate into med school, many students find themselves slumped down because of their low GPA.

I.Feel.You. Trust me! But your GPA isn’t a tell-all about YOU. If you have a low GPA, your chances of getting into med school are not ruined. After doing some of my own research, I found a few very helpful tips to those with less-than impressive GPAs.

  • • You have to balance out a low GPA with your MCAT score. The lower your GPA drops, the higher your MCAT score should be. As always, the higher, the better no matter what, but a great MCAT score will help prove your understanding of the material necessary to matriculate.
  • • Extra-curriculars are extremely important for those hoping to matriculate. If you have a low GPA, show your interest in the field by volunteering in hospitals and clinics, shadowing physicians, and participating in on-campus pre-medical professional fraternities or clubs. 
  • • Provide an upward trend. This means if you really bit the dust your freshman year, pick yourself up and improve your grades over time. Slowly bring up that GPA! It will probably never get to to a 3.8 (or anything magnificent), but will show that you became more serious as you went through the motions of undergrad. A reverse trend could severely discredit you as a candidate. 
  • • Post-baccalaureate and graduate school programs are rigorous programs designed for people with unimpressive GPAs and career changers. The course work can allow you to prove to med schools (AND YOURSELF) that you are cut out for a career in medicine. Many med schools look at students from post-bacc programs in a different light than those who are applying seniors in undergrad.
  • • Last (but certainly not least) is your Personal Statement. This is your opportunity for a tell-all about yourself. Who are you, and why are you interested in medicine? What sets your apart from your fellow applicants? What makes you YOU!

So, you see there is hope! This link provides a GPA versus MCAT score statistical sheet of applicants and matriculants. See where you fit on the chart, and what you should aim for!

Good luck to all of my peers!

Mid-morning study sesh #goodmorning #uno (Taken with Instagram)

Week III of Pre-med Courses

You’d think that “freshman” biology and chemistry would be rather easy. Biology, maybe. Chemistry…DEBATABLE! 

I can probably blame some of this on the fact that my teacher doesn’t teach and that the TA in lab doesn’t explain ANYTHING well. Just because we’re premed, pre-dent, pre-nursing, and pre-vet doesn’t mean we’re geniuses and we shouldn’t be treated badly when we have questions.

And you should learn how to provide us with explanations and answers when we’re confused.

Chemistry thus far is a lot of memorization and fundamental conversions, grams to moles, moles to atoms (6.022 x 10^23) and other conversions within the SI measurements. It’s not difficult, but the teachers should actually learn how to profess their craft.

I have no complaints about Biology aka my FAVORITE subject. I suppose that’s it for now. Just needed to vent. 


Just some of the polyatomic ions I have to memorize for #chemistry #premed (Taken with Instagram)
Geeked out today. Am I getting ahead of myself? (Taken with instagram)

Kaplan’s Medical School Insider

For all of those hopefuls who will be applying to med school in the future, Kaplan Test Prep is offering a live, 2-hour event on Monday May 7. Medical School Insider is an annual live discussion hosted by some of the nation’s (US) medical school admissions deans, counselors, and directors.

Everybody has heard of anecdotal information regarding medical school admissions, from the application process to interviews. This discussion will help you gather a better insight to your personal situation because you will be able to submit your questions during the event.

This is a rare opportunity to get to speak to an actual Dean of Admissions, and everyone interested in applying to med school should seize it! Although each school is different, this will indeed by very helpful for all us hopefuls! 


Top 10 List: Pieces of advice for pre-med students.

Another essential read for the pre-med student. Although I’m also ensuring I want to be a physician, it’s possibly some of you are acting outside of your own will - pressured or otherwise expected to attend med school. You need to be impassioned about practicing medicine in order to be happy with the daily sacrifices that you’re going to have to make in the years to come. 

3. Make sure that going into medicine is your own decision. Are you doing this because an expectation has been imposed on you by your friends or family? Is this a dream you once had that has now faded, but it’s just too hard to tell everyone that you are switching career plans? If you do go into medicine just to satisfy someone else’s plan for your life, you are going to hate yourself, and you’ll have nothing to keep you going when you have to give up everything for medicine.

The New University Medical Center

New Orleans is an ever-expanding, striving city, as evidenced by the flock of entrepreneurs, startups, and Hollywood businesses that continue to move to NOLA every year. This has created such a dynamic and influential environment, and it will just keep getting better.

Although not particularly influenced by the entrepreneurial growth of New Orleans, the new University Medical Center will definitely impact the city greatly. The hospital will create more than 19,000 permanent jobs and put South Louisiana near the top in trauma care, educational centers, and cutting-edge biotechnology. The new VA Medical Center will be on-site, as well as a replacement for Charity Hospital which presently sits in disuse. 

I. Am. Such. A nerd. 

University Medical Center

Seriously, though - look how beautiful this building is? The contemporary architecture, the atriums, the courtyards - everything is so so cool! Environments like this are conducive to healing and learning. 

The new University Medical Center will become the flagship hospital of NOLA’s Hospital (Biomedical) District, which includes the former Charity Hospital, the present University Hospital, VA Hospital, and Tulane Medical Center among other clinics, laboratories, and medical schools (LSUHSC and Tulane Medical School). The UMC will be an educational joint effort with local universities, including LSU, Tulane, and Xavier - training med, pharm, and dent students as well as those in allied health, nursing, and public health professions.

I stayed up until like 2am reading all about the medical center, its goals, and how the plans came about. Basically I geeked out, and it hasn’t quite stopped. The UMC is expected to be completed in late 2013, which means by MS1 2014, I will be among the first students to use the medical center! AH! Cannot WAIT! 

(Source: mclno.org)

So Far: Experience at UNO

Prior to UNO, I attended a private, Liberal Arts college in New Orleans. I was so used to the faculty and staff being willing and helpful, I had just assumed that most universities and colleges were like this. Not the case.

A local community college, Delgado, has a terrible reputation to begin with, but the staff (I cannot speak for the faculty as I’ve not had any experience with them) was rude, crass, and mean. I was only going to take some classes there to supplement my interest in biological sciences. I was charged a double fee for my application, which I had to argue my way through. After waiting 5 minutes for the ‘busy’ (she was sewing) admissions administrator to acknowledge me, I was rudely informed that students were NOT allowed into the admissions office unless they went to the “help desk” first (which is a terrible cluster of madness). I was so baffled and bewildered by my short experience there, that I decided not to go at all. 

However, UNO has proved so far to be a similar experience to my private university. Everyone is so helpful and nice, and are willing to point me in the right direction when I’m confused or missing paperwork. It’s a struggle getting used to everything when attending a new school, but hearing the administrator of the Physics department endearingly call you “turkey,” you can’t help but smile. Because of all this, I was able to seamlessly build my schedule for Summer and Fall 12. I’ve never been more ready! 

By the way, my fall schedule is both exciting and cringeworthy! 

Fall '12 Schedule