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Summer Jobs for Premeds Great Positions For Students Pursuing Careers As Doctors School Spotlight

UniversityofKentucky School of Medicine


Find Out How You Can Enrich Your Premed Credentials

Especially This Specialty What Does It Take To Become An Anesthesiologist?

Do Medical Schools Really Care About Research? FIND OUT WHAT OUR EXPERTS HAVE TO SAY P.XX

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July/August 2011



Summer Jobs For Premeds | 14 Great summer positions for any student pursuing a career as a doctor

Enriching Your Premed Credentials | 22 Here are a few tips to help you polish your academic record and bring it up to par

Snagging Recommendations | 26 Find out the best way to go about getting recommendations from your professors



Ask The Experts | 12 Your questions answered by knowledgeable insiders who give insight about the medical school admissions process


School Spotlight| 21 Get a glimpse into what the University of Kentucky School of Medicine has to offer Especially This Specialty | 31 Find out what being an Anesthesiologist is all about and what it will take to become one

IN EVERY ISSUE Newsbites| 6 Recent news & information relevant to students applying to medical school



Gadgets & Gizmos Check out a few of the gadgets & gizmos that we’ve picked out for this issue - they’re sure to keep you entertained. From a pop-quiz math clock to bubble calendars, these items will make you smile. p.36

In The Stacks| 41 Books to inspire you or provide you with advice along your journey to medical school Better Life, Better You| 42 Advice & tips for taking care of yourself to make it through your hectic pre-med life College 101| 46 Here are some things that every student attending college should know about

Want to be featured in PreMedLife Magazine? We’re looking for pre-med students to join the PreMedLife Student Advisory Board. Are you interested in sharing your opinion about what topics matter most to pre-med students? Then join our team. Students selected to be a part of the PreMedLife Advisory Board will be acknowledge in every issue and considered a part of the PreMedLife staff. Sounds interesting? Log on to and make your bid for the position.

July/August 2011 | PreMedLife Magazine | 3

PREMEDLIFE the magazine for premedical students

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Find us on Facebook PreMedLife Magazine is published six times per year by Kisho Media, LLC. and copies are provided to selected colleges and universities free of charge. The information in PreMedLife Magazine is believed to be accurate, but in some instances, may represent opinion or judgment. Consult your pre-med advisor with any questions you may have about the medical school admission process and related topics. Unless otherwise noted, all photographs, artwork, and and may not be duplicated or reprinted without express written permission from Kisho Media, LLC. PreMedLife Magazine and Kisho Media, LLC. are not liable for typographical or production errors or the accuracy of information provided by advertisers. PreMedLife Magazine reserves the right to refuse any advertising. All inquires may be sent to: Kisho Media, LLC. P.O. Box 7049, New York, NY 10116. Or call (347) 231-6429 or email


publisher from the

With all this talk of a push to increase medical school enrollment, it's a very exciting time for pre-med students right about now. And although the requirements for getting into medical school aren't becoming any easier, with institutions making their first year classes larger than ever before, students who would have once been turned away, now have a greater chance of getting in. The bottom line is, there will always be a need for physicians so you're on the right career path. Even if as a doctor you choose not to practice, there are many other options for you if you have an M.D. degree. So let's say, theoretically, there comes a time when a newspaper headline reads, "Too Many Doctors - Hospitals Cutting Half of Physician Staff", well you wouldn't have to worry because with an M.D. degree you can teach, you can write, you can do research, you can consult, and the list goes on. So either way you look at it, getting an M.D. degree turns out to be a "win-win" situation in the end. If you're committed to becoming a doctor and you are willing to invest the time and money that will be spent, going to medical school will be well worth it in the end. So hold on tight to your dreams and know that the career move you're planning to make is a very smart one.

Sheema Publisher

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>>> Recent news & information relevant to pre-medical students applying to medical school

From High School Right to Med School International researchers suggest ways to reduce the number of years required to become a doctor in the US and they say that skipping an undergraduate education is one good way to do it Medical students should have to commit to a medical specialty early on during their education, say researchers in Jerusalem. According to the researchers, "undergraduate medical education is too long; it does not meet the needs for physician's workforce; and its content is inconsistent with the job characteristics of some of its graduates." So for these reasons alone, Jochanan Benbassat, from the MyersJDC-Brookdale Institute in Jerusalem and Reuben Baumal, from the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at the University of Toronto, attempted to respond to what they view as "problems" with the current medical education system and proposed three reforms. While they are not the first ones to propose such ideas, in their paper Benbassat and Baumal also go in-depth about the erroneous assumptions that undergraduate medical education appears to rest on. First, having an undergraduate degree would not be required for admission to medical school. With that change, high school graduates would be eligible for 4-year medical school programs. Second, before starting medical school (right out of high school), students would be required to commit to a medical specialty and choose one of four paths: (1) The Interventions/Consultations path that would prepare graduates for residencies in secondary and tertiary specialties, such as cardiology and surgery. Apparently, the content of its pre-clerkship portion would be similar to that of current undergraduate preclinical programs. (2) The Continuous Patient Care path for primary care specialties, such as family medicine and psychiatry. With this long-term care path, the authors propose that it will be more successful because of its required commitment to a career in primary care, the content of the proposed preclerkship program, and because its graduates would be eligible for residency training programs that will occur only at the primary care setting. (3) The Diagnostic Laboratory Medicine and Biomedical Research path that would prepare for either laboratory-based careers, such as pathology, biochemistry and bacteriology, or research. According to the study authors, this path would attempt to respond, first, to the society need for physicians in diagnostic laboratories

and for physician-scientists, and second, to the aspirations of those medical students who are oriented to biomedical research. (4) Lastly, the Epidemiology and Public Health path that would include population-based research, preventive medicine and health care administration. Third, the researchers said the content of each of the four paths mentioned would focus on relevant learning outcomes, and medical school graduates would be eligible for residency training only in specialties included in their

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path. The graduates of this path would be eligible for specialty training to the MPH or MBA levels in the sub-paths of epidemiology, health care administration, public health and preventive medicine. "It may be argued that high school graduates are too immature and poorly informed to commit themselves to a specific medical specialty," the authors noted. "Yet, already at present, European high school graduates are committing themselves to nursing and dentistry, and after graduating, most of them do pursue the careers, to which they committed themselves."„

NEWSBITES Premed Students Don’t Really Care That Much About Science, New Study Finds Researchers examine what influences students to participate in research Premed students are less interested in science and care more about helping people, according to a study published in the journal CBE-Life Sciences Education.

The study, conducted by Lara Brongo Pacifici, from the Department of Biology and Physics at Kennesaw State University and Norman Thomson, from the Department of Mathematics and Science Education at the University of Georgia, examined possible differences between premed and non-premed students in their influences to do research and expectations of research. To reach their conclusion, the two researchers analyzed questionnaire responses from 55 premed students and 80 non-premed students. The results revealed that while both premeds and non-premeds expected to gain the same from their experience with participating in undergraduate research, attitudes toward science and intrinsic motivation to learn more about science were significantly higher for non-premed students. "Premed students, while not motivated to learn more about science, were motivated to help people, which is why most of them are pursing medicine," the authors explained. "They viewed research as a way to help them become doctors and to rule out the possibility of research as a career." The researchers found that non-premed students participated in research to learn more about a specific science topic and gain experience that may be helpful in graduate school. Based on their

findings, the study authors suggest that undergraduate research opportunities may want to tailor their programs to best suit students with different future goals. The results of this study lend a bit of truth to the notion that many premed students only participate in research projects and assignments, most during summer sessions, because it will “look good” on their medical school application. While this may be the case for some, there are certainly many premed students who actually like the science behind the research and genuinely want to participate in a scientific research project. Could the reason behind the dislike be due to the difficulty of advanced science courses premed students may take during their undergraduate years? Only you really know what your motivation is to become a doctor. And whether its to care for people or your love of science it’s important that you’re doing it for the right reasons. If you are a premed student who doesn’t actually like science per se and you get accepted into medical school, prepare yourself for a lifelong sentence of misery because science will become an everyday part of your life. Science isn’t all that bad, is it? „

Medical School Teaches Students Lessons on Poverty Through a program call Just Neighbors, first year students at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Medical School will be exposed to a working understanding of poverty and the physical and emotional toll it takes. Just Neighbors, which is categorized as poverty awareness curriculum, is part of the service learning component for the school's first year medical students. The program is an interactive, multi-media curriculum that is designed to challenge the many myths about poverty. "The Just Neighbors curriculum will help our VCU medical students to develop a deep understanding of the complex nature of poverty and the impact that poverty has had on many of the patients they will serve during their medical education here in Richmond, Virginia", said Lynn Pelco, VCU Service Learning Director. "Through the Just Neighbors curriculum and their service-learning experiences, our first-year medical students will have multiple opportunities to reflect on the lives of patients who

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have experienced poverty and on their own development as empathic and effective physicians." VCU Medical School Director of Curriculum, Lelia Brinegar said, “Just Neighbors provides the structure we need to provide opportunities for our students to reflect on what they are seeing.” According to the press release announcing the program, the Just Neighbors sessions will be supplemented with presentations by members of the local community familiar with the problems of poverty in Richmond. Programs like this, and others across the country are making a huge difference in the communities they serve. Initiatives like the Just Neighbors program gives future doctors the opportunity to make a life-changing difference in the lives of the patients they serve. As more and more students are choosing to practice primary-care medicine, it is important that they are familiar with dealing with patients from many different walks of life and Just Neighbors is giving students the exposure they need.„


Learning The “Smart Way” May Help Med Students There are aspects involving the biology of learning that can make medical school easier and more effective, according to a study published in the journal Academic Medicine. In the paper, Michael Friedlander, professor of biological sciences and biomedical engineering at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute, and his colleagues presented the following 10 aspects of learning that they believe can be incorporated into effective teaching models in multiple ways: REPETITION - This one pretty much comes from the saying "practice makes perfect". According to the researchers, students who review topics from different perspectives learn topics better. REWARD AND REINFORCEMENT - Rewarding a student who has performed well in some way or another is apparently a good way to reinforce what they've learned. Whether you realize it or not, the brain has an intrinsic reward system that reinforces learning. If professors are able to utilize some sort of reward system with their students, this may ultimately encourage and reinforce topics and subjects that they've learned. VISUALIZATION - According to the study authors, even if you're not a visual learner, being able to "picture" a concept in your mind sets off "neural circuitry in sensory, motor, executive, and decision-making pathways of the brain". ACTIVE ENGAGEMENT - You've probably heard about "hands-on" experience. And it is the action of actively getting involved with a particular process that can help one understand a concept or topic better. STRESS - Stress may not be such a bad thing - it actually helps to "potentiate synaptic connections in the formation of memory." If you're the type of students who freaks out at the thought of working in a small group because you know that you're probably going to have to actually participate, your professor is doing you a favor. When

you're in a small-group setting, like a recitation workshop, you are more accountable for your performance and while this may be a little stressful for some, it will, in the long run, reinforce what you've learned. FATIGUE - In order to retain what you may have spent hours learning, researchers say that getting rest is a biggie. Naturally, you brain needs a break sometimes and you will need to set aside time to sleep so that it can recharge. So pulling all-nighters may actually be counterproductive if you're really looking to remember what you've learned. Getting adequate rest is just as important, if not more important, that learning the actual material itself. MULTI-TASKING - Researchers have suggested that incorporating multimedia into the curricula may enhance a student's learning experience. INDIVIDUAL LEARNING STYLES - If professors are able to adopt a teaching style that appeals to multiple learning styles, students will be able to benefit in a big way. If the way a professor teaches only benefits the "visual" learner, what good is that to the "audio" learner, and vice versa. ACTIVE INVOLVEMENT - This is just another push for more hands-on learning and actually "doing" and "seeing" what you're learning. Not only will this make what a student is learning more interesting, "doing is learning, and success at doing/learning builds confidence." And according to the authors, this provides a strong argument for simulation-based teaching. REVISITING CONCEPTS THROUGH MULTIMEDIA/ SENSORY PROCESSES - And we're pretty much back at were we started reviewing stuff you've already learned. So this is apparently a huge part of getting what you learn to "stick". "Teaching concepts redundantly through different sensory processes helps to retain knowledge more long-term."„

MEDICAL SCHOOL PIPELINE Here’s a list of new medical schools that are being developed in the U.S. W NE



PALM BEACH MEDICAL COLLEGE Palm Beach, Florida Anticipated TBA


CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE Mount Pleasant, Michigan Anticipated Fall 2012

COOPER MEDICAL SCHOOL OF ROWAN UNIVERSITY Camden, New Jersey Anticipated Fall 2012


QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE North Haven, Connecticut Anticipated Fall 2013 or 2014

UPDATED 5/2011

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NEWSBITES AAMC's Plan to Increase Med School Enrollment On Track Enrollment at medical schools across the country has increased in the last year and is projected to increase even more over the next four years to meet the growing demand for doctors In 2006, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) called for a 30 percent increase in US medical school enrollment by 2015, and in 2011 it looks like that goal just might be met, according to a report issued by AAMC. The report, which details the results of a medical school enrollment survey, revealed that medical school enrollment has increased by 13.2% as of the 2010-11 academic year and is projected to increase by 27.6 percent by 2015.

The good news is that almost half of the planned growth (47.8%) has already taken place. 100 of the original 125 schools have already increased their first-year enrollment and collectively have plans to increase by another 1,058 spots by 2015. "There can be little doubt that the medical education community has risen to the challenge of achieving the 30 percent growth in first-year medical school enrollment," the authors stated. "Whether by 2015, 2016, or 2017, it currently appears that the goal will be

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met. However, it will be important to continue to track the country's progress toward 30 percent growth, as well as conduct a regular review of the need for that growth amidst other factors, including the availability of clerkship and graduate medical education positions, growth in osteopathic education, physician assistant and nurse practitioner enrollment, the economic climate, and changing demand for physician services such as when the newly insured enter the health care market in 2014." „

NEWSBITES Temple Med School to Open Brand New Campus Tough Competition for New Medical School About 1,500 pre-med students applied to Florida Atlantic University with the hopes of snagging one of the 64 seats the school will have for the inaugural freshman class. "The response we have received from prospective students applying to our new medical education program has been truly outstanding," said Michael Friedland, MD, vice president of medical programs and dean of FAU's College of Medicine. "Florida Atlantic University and our surrounding communities are in a unique and privileged position to welcome 64 talented young men and women to our charter class beginning this fall."

FAU has developed an innovative curriculum, which features early and continuous community-based clinical experiences and problem-based learning with emphasis on smallgroup and self-directed learning. In addition, a key component of the innovative curriculum is early exposure to patients and actually being in the health care practice setting. What's more - FAU partnered with Scripps Florida to offer a dual MD/PhD degree which only eleven out of the 1,000 plus applications were for. For more information about FAU, visit „

Duo Busted for Cheating on the MCAT Two men are accused of trying to execute an elaborate scheme to cheat on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). According to court documents, on January 29, 2010 Housman RezazadehAzar and Josiah Miguel Ruben attempted to cheat on the biggest exam for medical school applicants. "Rezazadeh-Azar was using an undefined model of a pinhole camera in order to capture images of the MCAT and was wirelessly sending them to Ruben, who


loaded them onto a thumb drive and had a tutor answer them. Once the questions were answered, Ruben relayed the answers to Rezazadeh-Azar." The men were caught when two wouldbe tutors called the police after they became suspicious when the saw Ruben wearing a headset and talking to someone. Turns out the tutors, which were hired through Craigslist, were taking the same exam Rezazadeh-Azar was taking. „

Temple University School of Medicine (TUSM) will soon set up shop at a new four-year medical school campus in Pittsburgh, the school recently announced. Through a collaboration with West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS), the opening of TUSMPittsburgh will address the looming shortage of physicians in Western Pennsylvania by educating and retaining doctors to serve the local community for many years to come. WPAHS currently serves as a clinical campus of TUSM for third- and fourth-year medical students but will soon be home to first- and second-year medical students at Temple University. According to the school’s Web site, the expanded relationship will enable WPAHS to provide all four years of undergraduate medical education to TUSM students, in addition to the large number of residency and fellowship programs currently offered as graduate medical education. “We believe this new program will ultimately improve the scope and quality of healthcare in our region. One of our primary goals is to recruit the highly talented students who live in Pennsylvania, provide them with excellent medical training and keep them here,”said Christopher T. Olivia, WPAHS president and CEO. Thirty students will be accepted in the first class of the new medical school program, scheduled to begin in 2013. In addition to attracting new students, the new medical school campus is expected to provide new job opportunities and drive growth for businesses on Pittsburgh’s North Side. “This new venture with West Penn Alleghany reflects Temple University’s deep commitment to serve the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through its educational programs,” said Temple President Ann Weaver Hart. “By training more Pennsylvania students to become physicians and encouraging that they practice in the state, hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians will benefit from improved access to medical care throughout the Commonwealth.”„

percentage of medical students who said that they had been required to go shopping or babysit for one of their supervisors July/August 2011 | PreMedLife Magazine | 11


>>> Your questions answered by knowledgeable insiders who give insight about the medical school admissions process

GOT QUESTIONS? Get answers to your important premedical questions with the help of experts and insiders about the process. Our Ask the Expert section connects you with individuals who can answer questions on a wide variety of topics. Send them to

Orgo Blues didn’t do too well in organic chemistry. Should I take Q| Iorganic chemistry during the summer? you struggled through Chemistry I and II, taking Organic A| IfChemistry during the summer may not be the best idea. Summer

Preferential Treatment school I currently attend as an undergraduate also has Q| The a medical school. Are my chances of admission higher if my bachelor’s degree is from the same school where I want to apply to medical school? an undergraduate institution also has graduate school proA| Ifgrams, many of the schools undergrad students may decide to stay put and apply to their school's graduate program. If a large percentage of undergraduate students apply and are accepted into their school's graduate school program, this type of school is called a "feeder school" since it basically feeds students into graduate school from its undergrad program. Students who meet strict criteria may actually gain automatic admission into their school's medical program. Even though attending one of these schools may potentially increase your chances of getting admitted to your school's medical program, it in no way guarantees that you will get a coveted spot into the incoming class. If you plan smart, you can take advantage of this type of "perk" if you currently attend one of these feeder schools.

Early Pickings heard so much about how tough early decision proQ| I’ve grams are. Do I have to be an exceptional student to apply to an early decision program? Early Decision Programs typically have very high requireA| Since ments, pursuing such a path is not ideal for any student who has "average" or "below average" grades. The best advice I can give is to consult with your pre-med advisor before electing to apply to an Early Decision Program. Your advisor will be able to look at your personal file and background and give you an honest opinion on whether or not this path is for you. According to the pre-medical advisors at Georgetown College, "Generally EDP means that your application will receive serious consideration, and so it can be a boost to your application if your credentials make your application competitive to begin with."

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courses in general are considered more difficult than those offered during the regular semester because the material is condensed and packed into a few weeks during a summer session. This mixed with the complex concepts and topics of organic chemistry make for a bad combination in itself. For the average student organic chemistry is hard enough as it is during the regular semester, but if you do try to tackle this "weeder" course during the summer just know what you're in for. And like all of your other pre-med prerequisites, this is a class that you're going to want to do well in. If you're planning to head back home to take the course, make sure that whatever school you're taking it at is approved by your school so that you don't have any problems when it comes to transferring your credits over.

Saving Face received a C in the first semester of general chemistry. Q| IHow do I go about explaining this grade in an interview? a "C" grade in one of your courses, you are not A| Iftheyoufirstreceived pre-med to ever do so and you definitely won't be the last. But even if you received a poor grade in one of your courses and retook the course to get a better grade, you're still going to have some explaining to do if your medical school interviewer makes a point to mention it. Don't worry - you can get through it if you prepare now and know what your response will be. The first thing you'll want to do is talk about any circumstances that might have had a direct impact on your performance in school. Hopefully, you'll then be able to talk about what you learned from the situation and how your academic performance improved since you received the grade. This will give you the opportunity to take the focus off of your "C" grade and allow you to boast about how much you've matured and grown since. Talk about what you learned about yourself as a person from the experience and what kept you motivated and drove to you continue on your path to becoming a doctor. Showing perseverance is an excellent quality to have especially for a future medical student. Just make sure that you know what you're going to say and how you're going to say it. You don't want to sound like you're giving them a whole bunch of excuses. So start now in preparing your response and you should be able to breeze right through this question.

The total number of first-time applicants to U.S. medical schools for 2010-2011 entering classes

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best summer jobs for

PREMEDS There are certain jobs which seem like they were made especially for premed students. Here’s a look at a few gigs that may be worthwhile for any student heading to medical school


f you plan on working this summer to earn some extra money, then why not make it worth your while and find a gig that applies to some aspect of your premed life? While there are a ton of seasonal jobs that you can easily get during your summer break, working for the greater good of your future is the way to go. From working in a biomedical research lab to teaching biology to kids at science camp, finding summer job that touches on some aspect of your premedical career is highly recommended Some positions will allow you to keep those brain juices flowing and some will give you hands-on experience with some aspect of the medical field. Either way, you're going to want to spend your time off from school wisely. If you are not going to be participating in a summer premed program, here are a few jobs and internships that are beneficial to you in one way or another as you embark on your journey to medical school.>>>

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Finding summer job that touches on some aspect of your premedical career is highly recommended

Research Assistant/Intern

Medical Camp Team Leader

Zora Neale Hurston once said, "Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose." So, what's better than getting paid to do research? Well, that is if you're interested in research, and for many pre-medical students, that sure is the case. And for those of you wishing to pursue MD/PhD programs, undergraduate research programs may very well just be your new best friends. During the summer there are a ton of organizations that offer internships for pre-medical students. Participating in an undergraduate research program will give you the chance to explore your academic interest beyond the classroom. Many institutions offer research opportunities geared toward students who are interested in biomedical research and getting a real life, hands-on experience conducting research. Also called undergraduate fellowships, there are many programs that offer students the opportunity to gain lab and research experience, often working alongside published researchers and scientists. In addition, pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and Amgen, sponsor summer student programs that provide undergraduate students with the opportunity to engage in a hands-on summer research experience at some of the world's leading institutions. Participating in these types of programs also sets the stage for possibly getting a recommendation from one of the researchers or scientists you may be working with. This is a chance for you to develop a professional relationship with faculty who may essentially be one of the individuals who you rely on in the future for a recommendation. Another great component of many undergraduate research programs is the opportunity to attend lectures and seminars. While some of the events are specifically tailored subjects of interest for the students, there is also an opportunity for students to attend lectures and events open to the campus community, if the research program takes place at an academic institution. And if you're worried about not making any money, many of these programs offer generous stipends and sometimes even travel reimbursement, housing, and meals for their student interns. Internship opportunities for pre-medical students may come in many forms.

Growing in popularity over the years, medical camps give young students who are considering medical careers the opportunity to experience the health care environment firsthand. From simulated patient interaction to learning how to conduct patient interviews, medical camps help students learn more about what being a doctor is all about. Many premed camps also give students the opportunity to participate in hands-on lab experiences, attend presentations by health practitioners, and learn more about applying to medical school. For many of these camps, which can run from three days to one month, college and graduate level students are assigned to a group of students to facilitate medical simulations, discussions, and other practice experiences within the health care environment. If you like working with kids this may be the job for you. During your time working there, you will get the chance to inspire students and even become a role model for them.

Science Camp Counselor During the summer many colleges and universities offer summer programs for high school students with an emphasis on the sciences. Science camp programs are usually day camps held during the summer for young campers to learn about topics in science. In addition, science museums recruit camp counselors who are college students who are majoring in science, education, or other relevant fields of study. For pre-med students who are currently majoring in biology or chemistry, this may actually seem like you're not working at all. For biology majors, being a counselor may mean leading biology-oriented activities and facilitating discussions among their group of students. For chemistry majors, the program may wish to use you to teach chemistry through fun and engaging experiments like the good old baking soda and vinegar experiment. And in this case, you'll also have to discuss and demonstrate the necessary safety precautions for the experiment of the day. One school that hires students for roles like this one is Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland which runs summer programs as part of its Center for Talented Youth in which students with academic talent engage in rigorous academics and learning. As a camp counselor, you will most likely work with a small group of students, usually 4-6 students. For some programs, counselors are responsible for leading general science experiments and projects. And since you will be a counselor, you will take on the role of a tutor so for most camps, counselors should have at least a science GPA of 3.0. In addition to working with students in a group, many of the camps structure the day so that counselors also have time to work with each student one-on-one as well.

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Health/Science Writing Intern Although the pay may not be much, working as an intern at a medical publishing company is the perfect opportunity for premed students who also enjoy writing. In this position, your title may be Editorial Assistant, which, as the name suggests, assist the editor and other editorial staff members with various duties, including writing science or health-related articles. As an intern you may work on science and health news and feature stories and magazine articles for the publishing company's print or online products. In this role, you may also be assigned to interviewing researchers and physicians and conducting background research on a particular medical condition or health topic. Students with significant science backgrounds may also complete independent projects, summarize scientific journal articles, and attend research meetings. While this position may require you to have some type of writing experience, some companies may bring you on without having actual journalism experience as long as you're are able to demonstrate good writing skills in general. Most companies will also require that students have demonstrated academic excellence, a strong scientific background, and outstanding writing/editing and interpersonal skills.

Laboratory Technician Intern There are a few programs out there that offer students with knowledge in chemical and biological sciences the opportunity to intern as a laboratory technician at their facility. Interning as a lab technician is a great way to gain lab experience and add professional clinical experience to your resume. Interns usually work under the supervision of a practicing medical technologist, applying their academic studies to the clinical setting. And depending on the program, students will get the opportunity to rotate through various disciplines, including but not limited to chemistry, immunology, transfusion medicine, microbiology, and hematology. Interns will work closely with laboratory professionals to perform complex and varied laboratory analysis, and use critical thinking skills in determining the accuracy and validity of test results. In addition, interns will most likely receive clinical instruction to learn routine and specialized testing procedures specific to the particular discipline/area they are interning with. Aside from all the cool stuff, interns may also be required to perform routine lab maintenance duties, lab ware cleaning, rinsing, sterilizing, prepare chemical solutions and media for growing microorganisms, labeling Petri dishes for various projects, and assisting in biological sample preparation. Most facilities looking to hire interns for laboratory technician positions look for students with strong math and communications skills and some coursework with lab components.

Medical scribes assist physicians in hospital and clinical settings by documenting important information about patients

Medical Scribe Becoming very popular among premeds, medical scribes enter information into computers as physicians examine patients. The primary function of a scribe is the creation and maintenance of the patient's medical record, which is done under the supervision of the attending physician. Working as a scribe will put you right in the middle of the "action" and pretty much gives you the opportunity to shadow a doctor and get paid for it. If you don't mind doing administrative work, working as a scribe will give you the opportunity to gain a lot of exposure to the medical environment. If you like it and your schedule permits, you can even work on a part-time basis during the school year. Since you often need to go through at least 2-4 months of training, it might be best to start planning ahead before the summer arrives or you can begin training during the summer and when the Fall semester rolls around you'll be ready to take on a few hours as a scribe if you want. Since a medical scribe is responsible for assisting doctors they can work in emergency rooms, various hospital departments, and medical clinics. Additional responsibilities may also include ordering laboratory tests, assisting with the patient's disposition, and documenting consultations. You'll probably get to wear a pair of scrubs when you work in a hospital or clinical environment and most likely have tons of interaction with both the medical staff, as well as the patients. Depending on which state you are working in, as a scribe you can earn, starting out, from $12-18 an hour. So if you are going to spend this summer working, why not try to get a position that may actually count for something. Whether its getting

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hands-on experience working in a biomedical laboratory alongside an accomplished researcher or teaching a group of fifth-graders about what makes up a cell, getting a position that can work its way into your pre-medical life is what you should be striving for. As you already know, if you’re going to be a doctor, medicine, and science overall, will be an integral part of your life so now’s the perfect time to start getting used to “working in medicine,” no matter which facet it may be. Summer is the perfect time for you to gain experiences for you to add onto your pre-medical resume. And it actually may be the more non-traditional position that catches the eye of an admissions committee member - hey you never know! Another nice thing about working during the summer is that you get to meet people. From an award-winning scientist to an inquisitive highschooler, there will without a doubt be at least one teaching moment during your experience. You may even experience a moment that will be that “standout” moment that you use as the basis for your personal statement. These summer positions will also give you an opportunity to test out what you like and what you don’t like about science and medicine. Maybe you always thought you wanted to be a physician-scientist so you eagerly accept a position you are offered for the summer in a research lab at a top-ranking research university. So you get there and by the end of the first week you ask yourself “what was I thinking?”. We’ll the good news is that you found out early on that research is just not your thing and didn’t waste any time pursuing this route. And this is why your summers are so important. Even if you only have the position for four weeks out of the summer, it allows you the opportunity to see what’s out there and learn more about yourself and possibly narrow in on what part of medicine you ultimately want to be involved with. „



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Get a glimpse into what one medical school in the U.S. has to offer prospective students <<<

UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY COLLEGE OF MEDICINE Lexington, Kentucky The University of Kentucky College of Medicine (UKCM) offers a range of options so students can pursue their individual interests and passions. From the Rural Physician Leadership Program to the MD/PhD Program, medical students at UKCM are given the opportunity to take advantage of non-traditional pathways within the world of medicine. According to the school's website, "The University of Kentucky College of medicine provides innovative, high-quality education through its nationally recognized curriculum, emphasizing early clinical experiences, continuity as a guiding principle, integration of the basic and clinical sciences, and innovative teaching and learning methods such as problem-based learning, small-group tutorials, standardized patients, computer-assisted instruction, clinical training models, and interactive lectures and laboratory exercises". In 2004, UKCM was one of only eight institutions in the world (yes, in the world), to be recognized in the journal Academic Medicine for their medical education research productivity. And in 2010, UKMC was ranked among the top 20 medical schools in the US based upon its "social mission score" representing the percentage of graduates who practice primary care, work in underserved areas or are underrepresented minorities. With only 113 spots available for its incoming class of first-year students, UKCM can definitely Digital rendering of a medical building on the campus of the University of Kentucky School of Medicine

be regarded as one of the more competitive schools with over 2,000 applicants from around the nation vying for a spot. One reason why UKCM is so attractive to aspiring doctors may be due to the fact that approximately 95% of all medical students receive some form of financial aid and 46% benefit from scholarship awards. What's more, UKCM is one of four medical schools in the US to have what's called the "Tuition Guarantee Program", a program that guarantees each entering class a set tuition that will remain constant for the four years they are enrolled in medical school. And for all of you students who want to get out of taking a second semester of organic chemistry lab, UKCM admissions will accept biochemistry as a substitute for a second organic lab. In addition, UKCM recognized biology and chemistry AP credits for required prerequisite medical school courses but does recommend taking additional upper division biology with labs and taking general chemistry and organic chemistry, both with labs. In addition to the Rural Physician Leadership and MD/PhD Programs, UKCM also offers the following combined degree programs: BS/MD combined degree accelerated program and MD/MPH program for students wishing to also pursue a Master's in Public Health.Â&#x201E;







# Applicants Accepted 113

Tuition $30,110 - In-State $55,248 - Out-of-State

July/August 2011 | PreMedLife Magazine | 21



Credential CheckUp Bringing your pre-med credential up to par may be just what you need to gain admission to the medical school of your choice


efore you apply to medical school you must be realistic about where you stand as a medical school candidate. With more and more students applying to medical school these days, it is extremely important that you evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and determine where you stand as a medical school applicant. If academic performance is one of your weaknesses, then this will without a doubt be the number one factor that will hinder your chance of getting into medical school. Since medical schools look closely at your overall GPA, and more importantly your science GPA, you should already know that your academic credentials must be up to par. If you had a slip up in one semester but performed

22 | PreMedLife Magazine | July/August 2011

well in every other semester and continue to get good grades during your undergraduate career, then you can attempt to explain your circumstances and hopefully medical schools with hear you out. However, if you find yourself in a situation where you've gotten poor grades in more than one or two of your premedical courses, then there's some work that you're going to have to do. So what if you're in a position where you haven't done well at all in your premedical course but still believe that you are capable of succeeding in medical school despite the story your not-so-impressive undergraduate grades may tell? Well, if you've got that "little engine that could" attitude and are determine to make it to medical school,

There are multiple ways to enhance your academic credentials to show admission committees that you can compete at a level required of medical students.

July/August 2011 | PreMedLife Magazine | 23

there is still hope. Depending on what stage of your premedical career you are at, there are multiple ways to enhance your academic credentials to show admission committees that you can compete at a level required of medical students. UNDERGRADUATE If you received a grade lower than a B- in any your pre-medical prerequisite courses, you have to retake the course. If you're saying, well there was a good reason for my poor performance and I can explain that to the admission committee during the interview, well then who's to say that you'll even get that far? Many medical schools use GPA to screen out candidates that they don't feel they should move forward with. In most instances, GPAs are used for the first round of screening before even looking at a candidate's application. As it turns out, there are some schools that won't even send their secondary application to you if your GPA does not make their "cut-off". You're competing against thousands of other students who did well in the same course you didn't do well in, so you may not even get called for an interview and get that chance you want to "stick up" for your grade. So why not prove to the admission committee that you can do well by just retaking the course. You should find out what the policy is at your school about retaking classes. If your school will totally remove the previous grade you received from your transcript then retaking the class is definitely the way to go. Unfortunately not all schools will do this so if you retake a course the old grade will remain on your transcript but now after receiving a better grade the second time around you can show that you are capable for successfully completing the course. But what if you're dealing with a number of poor grades in your science courses? Well, the first thing you need to do, whether it's on paper or in your head, is think about why your performance has been so poor. Were you distracted by ongoing personal issues? Were you working too much to devote adequate time to your studies? Did you attempt to take courses without have adequate science background? Whatever the case may be, once you've identified what the issues were leading to your poor performance, you'll be ready to move on and move forward. You can counteract the effects of a pattern of poor grades in your science courses by taking additional science course and performing above-average. If you do all that you can do to improve your science GPA and still come up short in the eyes of medical school admission officers, then you may need to consider one of the other options for improving your credentials. POST-BACCALAUREATE PROGRAMS Post-baccalaureate programs can be an essential part of building a competitive academic profile for those individuals who are eligible to utilize them. While many post-baccalaureate programs are designed for students who never took pre-medical science courses during their undergraduate career, there are also many schools that tailor programs for students who have taken their medical school prerequisite courses during their undergraduate years but are specifically looking for a second chance to retake pre-medical courses to "prove" that they are able to successfully complete these courses. Most programs are designed to make post-baccalaureate students more competitive for admission through a combination of coursework, standardized test preparation, and health science activities. Student with an upward trend in their GPA, or whose GPA is lower due to a difficult semester are often quite successful in post-baccalaureate programs. However, students who have consistently performed at a C-level in their undergraduate work will need to make significant changes in their study habits to be successful in a post-baccalaureate program. Students pursing this type of program often come from very different backgrounds and have different needs. For some students, their biggest concern is improving MCAT scores, and for others it is obtaining higher grades in competitive science classes. Not only do these academic enrichment post-baccalaureate programs allow students to take the pre-medical courses required for medical

24 | PreMedLife Magazine | July/August 2011

school admissions, some of them have linkage programs that guarantee medical school admission to exceptional students. Or in some cases, if you follow the program guidelines and succeed in a number of courses you can gain what called a letter of support for you to submit with your medical school applications. Most of these programs offer upper-level science courses and the opportunity to demonstrate science mastery. If you're applying to one of these program chances are your GPA is not too impressive, but luckily the required GPA for admission is usually not greater than a 3.0, and in some cases could be as low as 2.5. However, for students with at GPA less than 3.0 many schools like to see aboveaverage GRE scores to "offset" poor academic performance. While many of these programs do not grant degrees, they are also shorter than typical graduate school programs, and can take up to 1 year to complete. As you know, these programs will not replace your undergraduate GPA, but will provide additional coursework beyond your Bachelor's degree to showcase your ability to successfully complete coursework and your desire to become a doctor. For a complete list of schools that offer post-baccalaureate programs for academic enhancement, visit, a searchable database of programs offered by The Association of American Medical Colleges. SPECIAL MASTER'S PROGRAMS Obtaining a master's degree may actually be a better option than enrolling in a post-baccalaureate pre-medical program for students looking for a way to prove that they are "cut out" for medical school. There are a number of graduate-level programs that offer training in the biomedical sciences. Programs like these would not only give you the opportunity to take graduate-level science courses, which in some cases are the same courses first- and second-year medical students take, but also complements your later programs of study as a medical student. Some medical schools even sponsor special programs that are essentially designed for students whose academic credentials were strong but not strong enough to gain admission to medical school. Like other biomedical master's programs, these special master's programs also allow non-medical school students to take courses alongside first-year medical students. And for students that perform well in these programs there is a greater chance of gaining admission to that particular medical school sponsoring the program. If accepted, students are usually able to apply the credits they've earned toward their first-year course requirements. In order to be competitive for admission to medical school, the grades you receive in the master's program have to be high, along with a high MCAT score. Since this is pretty much the last chance for a pre-medical student to make-up for past poor performance, it is very important not to squander this last opportunity. Students who feel that they have overcome their previous academic performance and can prove to medical schools that they can perform at a higher level are appropriate applicants to programs like this. And if you are not immediately accepted into medical school once you've completed a special master's program, you can readily find jobs in research laboratories, academia, industry, or government biomedical positions. Whichever path you choose, it is important that you make the decision that's best for you. It is always a good idea to make an appointment with you pre-medical advisor to discuss what options you have. As much as you may want to be a doctor, you're not going to get around the fact that you have to perform well academically. Once you've identified where you went wrong the first time around, whether it was poor study habits or challenging personal issues, you must understand that if you want to get into medical school, you will have to get good grades - period. If you know you are capable of doing well academically then it's time to snap out of it and get focused. Here's your chance to make your dreams reality, so don't blow it! Stay motivated and focus on the bigger picture and the end goal - getting into medical school. Â&#x201E;



Top medical school candidates give this part of the application process the same level of attention as the personal statement.

If just the thought of asking one of your professors for a medical school recommendation scares you, then you need to make sure you do it the right way


ach semester, for every class you have, one of your goals, aside from getting good grades, should be to develop a strong relationship with your professor. And you should already know why this is. Letters of recommendation are an important part of the medical school application. Aside from the type of student you are on paper, schools want to learn about aspects of your potential that they cannot assess from how you scored on the MCAT or grades you've received. Your recommendation writer will most likely be asked to describe your character, personality and temperament as valued by medical school admissions committees. As it turns out, top medical school candidates give this part of the application process the same level of attention as the personal statement. Since you're going to need at least three letters of recommendation you need to make sure that you have an airtight plan for what you're going to do to get them. And not only are you looking for recommendations from your science courses, you will also want to get at least one recommendation from a professor teaching a non-science course, like humanities or social science. Obtaining strong letters of recommendation will require advance planning. Here are some ways to be proactive about getting the recommendations that you need to apply to medical school. Get good grades. This should go without saying, but if you do well in a particular course, chances are the professor teaching the course will be more agreeable to writing a recommendation for you than if you performed below-average in the class. Getting good grades can give you the confidence you need to even request a recommendation in the first place. You can approach you recommender with you head up knowing you performed well in their course. Many applicants believe that if they get good grades, they'll get a recommendation. This is so far from the truth. While it will make the atmosphere for requesting a letter less awkward, getting good grades alone will not be enough to get a professor to write a recommendation for you. Go to office hours. Visiting your professor during his/her office hours will help establish a positive interaction. Stopping by your professor during office hours gives them the opportunity to get to know you on a oneon-one basis. Your best letters will come from professors who know you well. In addition to going to office hours, professors can get to know you if you speak up in class and ask questions. When you go to office hours it is important to have a reason for your visit. Otherwise it will just be an annoyance and waste of time for the professor if you're just "stopping by to say hello." Have a reason for visiting - whether it's asking for clarification on a concept you can't get the grasp of or having a discussion about a research project that you learned your professor is involved with. Be

26 | PreMedLife Magazine | July/August 2011

interesting- be yourself and don't hide who you are as a person and be interested - "Google" your professor’s name and do a quick background check on what projects your professor may be involved in and ask questions, they'll like this a lot - who doesn’t like to talk about themselves. Give ample time. Your goal is to make this process as easy and seamless as can be for your recommenders. You just want to make their job easy! This means giving them ample time to write your recommendation. As you know, your professors may have very busy schedules so it is very important that you give your professors at least 2 months to write your letters. And don't dare wait until the end of the semester to ask for your letter because you will most likely not be the only student requesting a recommendation. Giving your professors ample time will also work in your favor because they can spend more time writing a quality letter and won't feel rushed to put something together because of time constraints. Take more than one class taught by a professor. If you take a more than one course taught by the same professor, and get a good grade, this is a sure tight way to get a good recommendation. Not only will they be able to see first-hand that you are capable of excelling academically, they may also get the opportunity to learn more about you on a personal level. Although sometime not available to you until your senior year, you may also want to look into taking an independent study course which will give you the opportunity to get to know a professor on a one-on-one basis. „

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Learn more about various specialties and what it will take to pursue a certain specialty<<<

Becoming an...

Anesthesiologist If you let some tell it, anesthesiologists are a patient's best friend. Why? Well, if you're ever in the hospital, anesthesiologists will work with other doctors to give you the medication needed to relieve pain during surgery. And once they've administered anesthetic or sedation, they will need to monitor the patient before, during, and after anesthesia to watch for any adverse reactions or complications.

WHAT DOES AN ANESTHESIOLOGIST DO? Some of the primary responsibilities of an anesthesiologist include examining a patient to determine the type of anesthetic needed, communicating all relevant information to the appropriate medical practitioners, and administering local, intravenous, or spinal anesthetic to the patient. Other duties may include recording the type and amount of anesthesia administered, maintaining the patient's vital life functions (i.e. heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and breathing) through continual monitoring and assessment during surgery, and conferring with other physicians and surgeons to determine the condition of a patient before, during, and after sedation. An anesthesiologist's first contact with a surgical patient is usually during a "preoperative interview." At that time the anesthesiologist reviews the patient's medical history and medications, discusses the upcoming surgery, and reviews the options for anesthesia and pain-killing drugs.

HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO BECOME AN ANESTHESIOLOGIST? Undergraduate - (4 Years) to obtain bachelor's degree Medical School - (4 Years) to obtain a doctor of medicine degree (MD)

Anesthesiologists are perioperative physicians who provide medical care to patients before, during, and after surgical procedures. Anesthesiologists are responsible for delivering (or ensuring the delivery of) anesthesia safely to patients in virtually all health care settings, including all major medical and tertiary care facilities.

WHAT ARE CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD ANESTHESIOLOGIST? To be successful in anesthesiology, individuals must excel academically, be incredibly detailed-oriented, calm in stressful situations, and warm and caring in order to ease patient's anxiety. Specialists such as anesthesiologists will experience the greatest rise in employment in response to patient demand for access to specialty care. You should also be self-motivated and able to work long hours under pressure. It also helps to be a strong decision-maker and a good communicator. Anesthesiologists must be especially calm and cooperative since they work so closely with a team during surgery -- always a potentially tense situation.

WHAT IS THE CAREER OUTLOOK FOR ANESTHESIOLOGISTS? Historically there has been a shortage of anesthesiologists. In order to better serve the population, residency positions in anesthesiology for physicians have been steadily increasing the past several years. Government economists expect jobs for doctors, including anesthesiologists, to grow much faster than the average for all careers through 2018.

WHAT DO ANESTHESIOLOGISTS EARN? Median salary - $292,000. Top pay $408,000. Anesthesiologists provide medical care to patients before, during, and after surgical procedures.

Internship - (1 Year) to train in diagnosis or treatment in other areas of medicine. Residency - (3 Years) to participate in intensive program on the tech nology and medical aspects of anesthesiology. Fellowship (optional) - (1 Year) to obtain one more year of study in a specific area of anesthesiology such as critical care medicine, pain medicine, research or education.


ARE SOME OF THE SUB-SPECIALTIES OF ANESTHESIOLOGY? Ambulatory Anesthesia, Cardiac Anesthesia, Critical Care Medicine, Neurosurgical Anesthesia, Obstetrical Anesthesia, Pediatric Anesthesia, Orthopedic Anesthesia, Trauma Anesthesia, Transplant Anesthesia

July/August 2011 | PreMedLife Magazine | 31


How Smart Students Study Getting good grades does not always mean you should have to study harder but can be as simple as studying smarter


f you've ever wondered how "smart" student study thinking that whatever it is that they're doing, you could do the same and join them at the high end of the learning curve, then you've got it all wrong! Just because you see the highest scoring student in your p-chem class shuffling through his stack of flashcards in the library doesn't mean that you go and run to make your own set of cards. Little do you know (or maybe you do know and you're just denying it) you may not be the visual-repetitive learning type. You'll go ahead, make your flash cards, spend hours giving your wrist a workout flipping them over and over, and then test day comes and you don't recall a single piece of information from your flash cards. So here's the dealâ&#x20AC;Śexperts say that each person has a unique learning profile that consists of various components. Once you discover your brains unique preferred way of absorbing, storing, and retrieving information, you will begin to study more effectively and perform better on exams. You may have

32 | PreMedLife Magazine | July/August 2011

already identified your preferred way of absorbing knowledge but have yet to see it at its maximum potential. So what it comes down to is that you can be a "smart" student if you just take the time to identify and strengthen your learning style and not try to adapt someone else's. It may sound a bit corny but understanding your own learning style is the key to your success. You probably already know a lot about what works for you and what doesn't. Research on individual learning styles has lead to multiple ways to define how people learn differently. "There is no one way to define a learner and no one 'right' test to take to find out how you learn". The following is information about learning characteristics and strategies for different types of learners. Students should think about what applies to them and how it can help them become "smart" students. Many studies have revealed that students who are able to identify their learning styles can use the information to improve comprehension and memory.

Experts say that each person has a unique learning profile that consists of various components.

July/August 2011 | PreMedLife Magazine | 33

it’s time for a quiz...

What’s Your Learning Style? So the first step is to begin by identifying if you are a visual, audio, or kinesthetic/tactile learner. Directions: To find out what you learning style is add 1 point for each statement that STRONGLY fits your personality. >>>


I prefer to listen to books on tape or to read books aloud.


When I forget how to spell a word, I sound it out.


The more I discuss a problem with my classmates, I find it easier to find a solution


My papers and notebooks always seem messy



When I read, I need to use my index finger to tract my place on the line

I remember what people have said before I remember who said it.



I would rather listen and learn than read and learn

I like to complete one task before starting a new one.


A train could be passing through my living room and I would still be able to hold a good conversation with my Aunt Sally on the phone.


In school, I only needed to attend class lectures to perform fine on the tests.



When I take on a project, I want to start doing instead of planning.



When I pick up something as ordinary as my stapler, my mind drifts to memories somehow associated with a stapler.

When I need to take a break from studying, I have to get up and move around my room.


I use the trial and error approach to problem-solving


I can work effectively in Starbucks or at a table in the cafeteria I don't need to be at my desk to do homework.


I enjoy sports and do well at several different types of sports



I use my hands when describing things

I would like to ride my bike to class, if I don't already.



I have to rewrite or type my class notes to reinforce the material.

I am often aware of the temperature the classroom.



I can remember that I need to do something if I write it down.


I am horrible at remembering jokes.


I need to visualize myself wearing something to make a decision about what I want to wear.


I can remember phone numbers if I can visualize typing them on a phone's key pad.


I take copious notes during class and often can remember what the page of notes looks like before I remember what the notes say.


I have trouble following lectures



I doodle or draw pictures on the margins of my notebook pages

I need to look at a person when they're speaking.



When I take a test, I can see the textbook page of my notes in my head

It has to be quiet for me to be able to complete my work.

TOTAL POINTS = Continue to pg. 36 to find out what type of learner you are >>>

34 | PreMedLife Magazine | July/August 2011

If you scored the most points in the blue box then you are an... AUDITORY LEARNER and learn best when information is presented orally. You benefit from listening to lectures and participating in discussions. Audiobooks, reading material aloud, and reciting material aloud help you memorize and retain information. You do well working out solutions or problems by talking them out or role-playing. Study strategies: Record class lectures to listen to repeatedly, such as in the car while traveling. Read text and notes out loud. You may also find it helpful to join a study group or work with a partner to discuss and review material orally. Study in a quiet place. Make up a song using subject matter or key words; rhymes also work well to remember facts, dates, names, etc.

If you scored the most points in the red box then you are a... TACTILE/KINESTHETIC LEARNER and learn best when you are physically engaged in a hands-on activity. In the classroom, you benefit from lab settings, demonstrations, or projects where materials can be manipulated to discover and learn new information. You may take notes, but often need to draw or doodle to remember and retain information. You also learn well through field trips. Study strategy: Incorporate physical activity into learning by moving around when studying, using fingers to name off ideas or items for review, reading aloud, listening to audio tapes of material while exercising. Sit near the front of the room and take notes throughout lectures. Jot down key words and draw pictures or make charts or diagrams to help remember information you are seeing and hearing. Take frequent breaks in study periods. Try to "beat the clock"-set up 30minute study sessions and cover a specific amount of information in that time.

If you scored the most points in the yellow box then you are a... VISUAL LEARNER and learn best when information is presented visually through pictures, diagrams, charts, etc. You generally like professors who use visual aids such as charts, notes written on a board, or PowerPoint presentations. You prefer working in a quiet room and generally don't like to work in a study group. Study strategies: Use graphics, including but not limited to, diagrams, charts, illustrations, slides, timelines, outlines, to reinforce learning. You may also find it useful to make flashcards of vocabulary words and concepts that need to be memorized - but limit the amount of information you put on each card so you can make a mental picture of the information. Translate words and ideas into symbols and pictures. Before an exam, make visual reminders using sticky notes containing key words and concepts and place them in highly visible places-on the bathroom mirror, notebook, car dashboard, car keys, glasses case, backpack, lunch sack. It will also help to study in a clutter-free space.


>>>Our pick of cool and unusual items that we thought our readers might be interested in

Nothing This lovingly crafted vial of emptiness is filled to the brim with unfettered nothingness. Free from the burden of possessions, the weight of responsibility, Nothing is a idiotic as it is brilliant.



Ice Tube Tray For those of you with the luxury of even having a refridgeration, let alone one that sits higher than your knee, the ice tube tray is a convenient way for you to turn a warm bottle of water cold. The trays make slender ice sticks that fit perfectly through the neck of any water bottle.

` 38 | PreMedLife Magazine | July/August 2011

Pop Quiz Math Clock If you can read this clock you are without a doubt a geek! Math fans can show off their love for numbers and all things calculated! Or...if you just want people to think you are a genius hang this clock and act like it ain't no big thing

GADGETS & GIZMOS| To-Do Tattoo The To-Do Tattoo kit includes 12 graphic "To Do" forms that you can apply to your body wherever it's most convenient (or creative) and a skin-safe, washable-ink gel pen


Bubble Calendar This is a poster-sized calendar with a bubble to pop every day, it puts our love of popping sheets of plastic bubbles to a useful purpose. The calendar is fully functional, with days of the week and all major U.S. holidays marked and weekends bolded for easy reference.

a a

I Am Not A Paper Cup Love coffee? Love the Earth? Perfect! The "I Am Not A Paper Cup" cup is the coolest thing since sliced bread. Be nice to the environment while slurping your morning mojo. Two layers of porcelain are separated by a hollow cavity that acts as a perfect insulator for hot or cold drinks!

July/August 2011 | PreMedLife Magazine | 39

Free events and programs across the nation are being offered to premedical students . From MCAT preparation to learning more about the medical school admissions process, students can take advantage of the many upcoming events. For more information about free programs being offered in your area, visit




Get an introduction to med school, the MCAT, and the application process. If getting into medical school keeps you up at night, you should take advantage of this seminar. Students will gain an in-depth knowledge of the MCAT and demystify the medical school admissions process. At the end of the session, you'll know the MCAT and how to put together an application that will impress any admissions committee.

Ask you know, the MCAT is a computer-based exam. Attend this MCAT free event to learn everything there is to know about the MCAT CBT. You'll meet an expert Princeton Review instructor who will walk you through some questions and teach you some of the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s proven strategies that you can use on test day.

TESTFEST 2011 FREE PRACTICE TEST Put your skills to the test by taking a free practice exam. Participants also receive a detailed analysis of their results.

PRE-MED JUMPSTART Admissions and MCAT test experts to come together for this free workshop. Find out what you need to know about Medical School Admissions and the strategies you will need for the MCAT.

ANATOMY OF THE MCAT Learn the ins and outs of all the areas of the MCAT. Meet expert instructors who will break down all the areas of the test, what to expect and what you need to know in order to be ready on test day. A team of specialist instructors will dissect the MCAT subject by subject and share strategies designed to improve your score on each section of the exam.

MCAT & MEDICAL SCHOOL ADMISSIONS FORUM In this free seminar, students will gain an indepth knowledge of the MCAT and demystify the medical school admissions process. At the end of the session, you'll know the MCAT and how to put together an application that will impress any admissions committee

HYPERLEARNING MCAT CLASS At the Hyperlearning MCAT Free Class, you will experience the most thorough, demanding, and effective MCAT prep course around. An instructor will teach you some of the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most effective test-taking strategies and lead you through several MCAT sample problems. To find information about free programs being offered in you area log-on to:


Books we thought that aspiring doctors might be interested in reading<<<

SECOND OPINIONS: STORIES OF INTUITION AND CHOICE IN THE CHANGING WORLD OF MEDICINE by Jerome Groopman Told through eight clinical dramas, Second Opinions reveals the forces at play in making critical medical decisions. Dr. Groopman illuminates the world of medicine where knowledge is imperfect, no therapy is without risks, and no outcome is fully predictable. He portrays moments of astute diagnosis and misguided perception, of lifesaving triumphs and disappointing failures. These real-life lessons prepare readers to navigate the uncertain world of illness, and enable readers to balance intuition and information. WHAT THEY DIDN'T TEACH YOU AT MEDICAL SCHOOL by Alan V. Parbhoo During medical training there are certain parts of day-to-day tasks that are not taught at medical school nor are they in the traditional reference books. There are some skills that medical students are expected to learn by "osmosis" while on placement and under the guidance of junior doctors. These skills are never officially taught or examined in medical school. They are, however, a fundamental part of being a safe, good, and efficient doctor. This book includes "golden rules" or important points to remember and case examples. This book is designed to help the junior doctor unlock their potential and improve their performance, cutting the time it takes to achieve certain medical objectives. RESIDENTS: THE PERILS AND PROMISE OF EDUCATING YOUNG DOCTORS by David Ewing Duncan David Ewing Duncan dissects the complicated process by which America's doctors are trained - a process little known by those outside of medicine, and often misunderstood even by physicians who have been through it. It's a sympathetic yet provocative examination of this most critical phase of training; years that profoundly shape young physicians and directly impact how our healers will treat us, especially as managed care propels us into a new era of health care. Residents draw on four years of intensive study, thousands of hours spent following and living among residents, medical educators, and patients. EVERYTHING I LEARNED IN MEDICAL SCHOOL: BESIDES ALL THE BOOK STUFF by Sujay M. Kansagra, MD In his book, Dr. Sujay Kansagra gives readers a glimpse into what his four years at Duke University Medical School was like. Dr. Kansagra reflects on the many experiences which lessons that he was able to not only apply to his new life as a doctor, but also to life in general. For all you premeds out there, Dr. Kansagra, who is currently training to become a pediatric neurologist, offers his personal insight about many aspects of medical school. He provides a candid look at what life is like as a medical student and resident. Overall, this book is a great read for any pre-med student or future medical student. If you're interested in getting preview of what this read is like, Dr. Kansagra has a substantial following in Twitter and often posts insightful and useful tweets.

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>>> Information on taking care of yourself as a student living a busy pre-med life


Health | Wellness | Fitness | Nutrition | Mind & Body

Studies Show That Exercise May Improve Memory

Exercise may help enhance brain function, say researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In a brief review, published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, Michelle W. Voss and colleagues used the findings from 111 recent studies to highlight the effects of aerobic exercise and strength training subjects, from children all the way to elderly adults. In addition, the researchers found similar results for studies involving animals, such as rats and mice. The review pointed out that physical inactivity is associated with poorer academic performance and results on standard neuropsychological tests, while exercise programs appear to improve memory, attention, and decision-making. Moreover, these effects also apply to young and elderly adults, with significant proof that aerobic training has a positive influence on "executive functions," which include multi-tasking, planning, and inhibition. This is good news for pre-med students, since aerobic exercise also has been shown to increase the number of brain structures important for memory. "It is increasingly prevalent in the print media, television, and the Internet to be bombarded with advertisements for products and programs to enhance mental and physical health in a relatively painless fashion through miracle elixirs, computer-based training, or gaming programs, or brief exercise programs," the authors say. "Although there is little convincing scientific evidence for such claims, there have been some promising developments in the scientific literature with regard to physical activity and exercise effects on cognitive and brain health." While the researchers concluded that the studies suggest that both aerobic exercise and strength training can have significant positive effects on brain health and function, they did note that more research is needed to better explain these effects. „

COLLEGE STUDENTS: Do you have a question about fitness that you want answered by our health and fitness experts? We’ve hired a master personal trainer just for you! Send your questions to and he’ll answer them. Or visit 42 | PreMedLife Magazine | July/August 2011

PreMedLife Magazine Student Advisory Board

NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS Researchers Identify Reason Behind Feeling "Bad" When Sick Researchers can now explain why most people are inactive and feel exhausted when they're sick, according to a study published in The Journal of Neuroscience. The study, led by researchers from Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children's Hospital, opens up new doors for possibility finding ways to restore energy and motivation in people who are sick. For the study, Daniel L. Marks, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator and associate professor of pediatrics in the Papé Family Pediatric Research Institute at OHSU Doernbecher Children's Hospital, and colleagues, studies the brains of rats and discovered that acute and chronic inflammation-induced tiredness was caused by a specific group of inflammation-sensitive neurons located near the neurotransmitter system that controls physical activity and arousal. To counter the effect, when the research team injected the rats with a hormone called orexin, signaling to the area was restored and motivated behaviors and movement was also restored. "We all know what it means to feel 'bad' when we're acutely ill. In particular, patients with chronic diseases experience a compromise in motivated behaviors. They don't feel like getting up and doing anything. Yet the brain mechanisms behind this common experience have remained obscure," said Dr. Marks. "Our lab has found that the neurotransmitter system thought to be primarily involved in the induction of sleep is actually extremely important in maintaining motivation and movement during acute and chronic illness."„

PreMedLife Magazine is now accepting applications for its Student Advisory Board. This is a great opportunity for you to be the voice of pre-med students nationwide. Deadline: Friday, September 30th, 2011 Don’t delay, only a limited number of positions available!



>>> Information on taking care of yourself as a student living a busy pre-med life

Most Late Sleepers Gain More Weight than People Who Are Early-Risers

People who go to bed late and wake up late tend to eat more calories, and consume double the amount of fast-food and half as many fruits and vegetables than people who go to sleep earlier and wake up earlier, according to a study published in the journal Obesity. The study, led by researchers from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, involved 51 people who were an average of 30 years old. Late sleepers went to bed on average at 3:45am and woke up by 10:45am, ate breakfast at noon, lunch at 2:30pm, dinner at 8:15pm, and one last meal at 10pm. On the other hand, normal sleepers on average were awake by 8am, ate breakfast by 9am, lunch at 1pm, dinner at 7pm, and had a snack at 8:30pm, and were asleep by 12:30am. The findings revealed that late sleepers consumed 248 more calories a day, twice as much fast food and half as many fruits and veggies compared to those who went to bed earlier. In addition, late sleepers had a higher body mass index than normal sleepers.

"The extra daily calories can mean a significant amount of weight gain -- two pounds per month -- if they are not balanced by more physical activity," said co-lead author Kelly Glazer Baron, a health psychologist and a neurology instructor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "We don't know if late sleepers consume the extra calories because they prefer more high-calorie foods or because there are less healthful options at night," said co-lead author Kathryn Reid, research assistant professor in neurology at the Feinberg School. Researchers explained that not only are the number of calories you eat important, but also at what time during the day you eat. The research team plans to conduct a series of additional studies to test out their findings in a larger study group. They also hope to gain a better understanding of the biological mechanisms that are linked to the relationship between circadian rhythms, sleep timing, and metabolism. „

Write For Us! If you consider yourself a good writer and would like a chance to have your article published in an issue of PreMedLife Magazine, we’re looking for student writers to join our team. From your personal experiences as a pre-med student to living everyday life as a college student, we want to share your story with our readers. Or if you need an idea to write about - we’ve got tons of them. For more information about writing for PreMedLife Magazine, visit our Web site at or email us at

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>>> Helpful advice to manage and deal with life as a college student

How to make the best out of your summer classes Pre-med students can use summer classes to their advantage if they proceed with caution and make the most out of this extra semester For many college students, summer is a time to kick up your feet and take a break from all of the hard work you’ve accomoplished throughout the semester. But not all students are spending their days off sleeping in late or propped in front of the TV. Yes, it’s true! There are plenty of students who choose to spend their summers wisely by taking a course or two. There are many advantages to getting in some off-peak learning. For one, summer classes allow students to improve their GPA, if need be, take a class that is hard to get into during the regular semester, take a required class that will allow them to get a semester ahead, re-take a class you’ve received a bad grade in, or accumulate extra credits to decrease your time to graduation. Earning college credits through summer semesters not only saves time during your college years, it may even help you graduate a semester early if you plan accordingly. Make sure your attendance is 100% during the summer. In general, college summer classes are typically short and run for several hours per class. This is due to the fact that professors must

try to get the equivalent of a semesters worth of class time in a one moth time period. The time goes by rather quickly and the lessons are faster. And since this is the case, it is extremely important that you attend every single one of the classes that you take during the summer. While during the year your professor may use an entire week to cover a topic, but during the summer this will definately change and one topic may actually be taught in one class. Since course timelines are often compacted to accommodate for the short semester, some students may feel that summer courses are more challenging and time-consuming, and for the most part-they are! But the good thing is that since you’re only going to be taking one or two courses, you can focus solely on these courses. Tackle tough classes while you don't have a crazy course load. Many advisors sugguest taking a challenging course during the summer so you don’t have to worry about getting through such a difficult class along with the regular workload during the regular semester. Organic chem is no blast, but taking it over the summer means one less hassle during the regular semester.

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Find out if your school offers an summer courses online. What’s better than being able to earn college credit without ever having to leave your house? More and more colleges and universities are giving students the option of taking summer courses online. Since most schools have Summer I and Summer II terms, you don’t have to spend your entire summer in school. Yes, you can take a break. Every college student deserves a break from time-to-time in order to recuperate from the blows of the Spring semester and taking a college course, either in the first or second term, can still give you time off before the Fall semester begins. Another good thing about taking courses during the summer is that it will help “keep the juicies flowing” in your brain. During the backto-school season, many students find that their motivation to pursue schoolwork has dwindled which makes the transition back to “work-mode” a little more difficult. For students who opt to take one or two courses during the summer, getting into the acadmeic routine of things when the Fall semester rolls around isn’t quite as hard. „

PreMedLife Magazine - July-August 2011  
PreMedLife Magazine - July-August 2011  

PreMedLife is a magazine for premed students featuring articles, departments, information, resources, and anything and everything that has t...