Category Archives: Medical Education

Pre-Meds: Time To Start Thinking About Personal Statements

As mentioned in class this week, spring break is over and it is time to start thinking about your medical school personal statement. Please email me if you are interested in updates about our spring meeting to brainstorm your personal statement. We’ll be looking at personal statements that worked for students, the early rough drafts these students wrote as well as talk about what admissions’ committee members are looking for (and what drives them crazy). We don’t have a firm time and location for our first meeting over the coming weeks just yet, please email to be added to the announcement email.

From Friday (2/24) – AMSA Conference 2017

A few things that stand out from the AMSA (American Medical Student Association) Conference in Arlington, VA.
From the companies exhibiting products:
– new to the US, AMBOSS is a German company that has created a great, tightly integrated platform for studying content for the medical shelf (and USMLE) exams. A quick demo showed that this system is truly a one-stop shop for mastering clinical cases without relying upon other resources (such as textbooks or clinical photos).

From the lectures:
Dr. Pritish Tosh (Mayo Clinic, Internal Medicine Residency Program Director)
– Reinforced few points that we make to our pre-medical students, namely, as a medical student your standardized exam scores are important but less so that being excellent and taking advantage of opportunities at your school.
Dr. Roberta Gebhard (Masonic Care Community, Assoc. Medical Director)
– Emphasized taking care of yourself as a prerequisite for outstanding patient care and also reminded students to be kind to all people they encounter (from the janitorial staff to the CEO of the hospital).
Dr. Claudia Krebs (Professor of Teaching, Univ. of British Columbia Medical School)
– Insightful look at how you learn should change and evolve as you progress from college, to medical school and beyond.
Mr. Petros Minasi (Kaplan Test Prep)
– Spoke about your medical school personal statement. 100% agree that all students should work with an engaged, expert advisor who supports your success, but disagree with the Kaplan “one-size-fits-all” philosophy and some of the statement writing suggestions. Certainly worth discussing during our on campus pre-med seminars.

Highlights from selected day 2 fun conversations and talks….coming soon!

AMSA Annual Meeting (Feb 23-26 2017)

Having been asked by many pre-medical students how they might be able to learn more about medical school, meet other pre-med students and learn from current medical students about their schools (and how they got into medical school), I have referred them to a conference held by the national American Medical Student Association. An annual conference is held in Crystal City, VA (in Arlington) and offers students many opportunities to learn by attending lectures, meet other students and gain exposure to clinical aspects of medicine, including the always popular suture tying mini class (don’t worry, you won’t be stitching up people!). Review the conference program, think about what your goals for attending the conference are and plan how to get the most out of your time and money at this exciting meeting. The first day, Thurs is generally less compelling for most students, the lectures and events pick up more on the 2nd day (Friday) and on Saturday. Visit their website at and certainly send me an email, I will be there meeting with other advisors and attending talks.