Monday, January 24, 2011

1/20 Meeting-Dr. Peggy Davis and the Pathway to Medical School

A few important upcoming events:
  • If you attended the last stadium cleanup (on November 20th following the Arkansas game), please send us an e-mail and let us know! We will have drawings for prize money for attending stadium cleanups at the next meeting. Be sure to come for your chance to win!
  • Practice MCAT today, January 23rd, at 2 pm in Hand Lab.
  • We are thinking about trying to have MCAT workshops to help raise MCAT scores. If you would be interested in attending a workshop or if you have any suggestions for a workshop, please send us an e-mail.
  • Volunteer opportunity on February 11th - You can volunteer to plant trees for MSU’s Arbor Day Celebration! From 9:00 am – 12:00 p.m., volunteers will be needed to plant trees around the MSU campus. For more information and to sign up, visit .
  • If you ordered a t-shirt, you need to pick it up by our next AMSA meeting! If you do not pick up your shirt, we will sell it to someone else. The t-shirts are $10. You either can pick up your t-shirt at our February meeting or at the front desk of Griffis Hall on Wednesdays between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m.
  • Our next meeting will be February 17th at 7 p.m. in McCool. We will have a speaker from Bulldogs for Heart Health.

This past Thursday, Dr. Peggy Davis MD, MBA, spoke to us about the Pathway to Medical School, particularly as it related to the University of Mississippi School of Medicine. Dr. Davis serves on the medical school selection committee at UMC. The program on Thursday was the second of a three-part series about the application and admissions processes at UMC. This presentation contained useful information for everyone!
Dr. Davis’ PowerPoint presentation is available on the UMC website at under the “Pathway to Medical School” link.

Some additional information she told us:
  • The road to becoming a physician is long, and it is a big time commitment! Medical school classes will also be long and intense. Be prepared! Once you adjust to the rigorous schedule, you will be able to succeed.
  • Your first year of medical school consists of lots of science classes. Anatomy and Biochemistry are the two “big” classes your first year. If you can get through these, you can probably get through the rest of your first year of medical school. In your second year of medical school, you become more involved. You begin learning basic clinical practices. You begin clinical rotations in your third year of medical school. Everyone follows a schedule, but you are allowed an elective so you can try to find your passion. In your fourth year of medical school, you begin to look at residency programs so that you can get a match! This is your most flexible year of medical school, and it will likely be your most enjoyable one as well.
  • UMC works to help prepare their students for the tests that you must take in medical school to be able to continue on your path to becoming a physician. In fact, UMC students are beating the national average and the national pass rate on both Step 1 and Step 2 tests.
  • Step 3 happens during residency and functions to make sure you haven’t forgotten any of the knowledge you gained in medical school.
Some helpful MCAT prep advice:
  • Be sure to take practice exams (like the one coming up today)!
  • Study with other students. Studies have shown that the optimum number of students in a study group is 4.
  • Another study has also demonstrated a way of dealing with test anxiety. Before you take the exam, write down all of your worries on a piece of paper to help push them out of your mind. It will help you focus!
Some advice for students who want to attend UMC:
  • Exposure to medicine is an absolute requirement for admission into UMC – this includes shadowing physicians, volunteering/working in medical settings, and being involved in your wonderful MSU AMSA! Exposure to medicine helps ensure that it is the right career for you.
  • Service is another important preparatory step for admission into UMC. Time management skills are showcased by your activity involvement.
  • Be sure to get your AMCAS application in as early as possible and verify the receipt of each item in the application. Also, be sure to watch deadlines.
  • In Mississippi, a speeding ticket is a misdemeanor. Disclose everything on the AMCAS application prior to the Criminal Background Check! The admissions committee doesn’t know your criminal background, but failing to disclose something could hurt your chances of getting into a medical school.
  • Most alternates have been admitted to UMC by mid-May.
  • 1/3 of the freshman class every year has applied more than one time.
  • If you don’t get accepted, counseling is available to help you be successful when you re-apply. Take advantage of this if it applies to you. There aren’t many medical schools that do this!
And a final interesting statistic: The national average of applicants to seats in medical school is 3:1.

There will be an AMCAS application workshop later in the semester, also from UMC.