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Dr. Lisabetta Divita

Want to know what you learn in medical school? The following is a basic article revealing common conditions in the human body.

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  • High School Premedical Preparation
  • College Majors, Classes
  • MCAT
  • The Interview Tips and Advice
  • Timeline for Medical School Admissions
  • Medical Essay Writing Tips
and More!!
Above is a clip of Dr. Ben Carson, a top neurosurgeon and graduate of Johns Hopkins. As a child who grew up in an inner city, he pushed himself to be more than his social circumstances dictated.

Numerous premedical clients have contacted me with their MCAT scores and GPA asking me the fated question, "Do I have a chance of getting into medical school?"

The reality of medical school admission is that the GPA and MCATS ONLY serve as an initial screening tool.

It determines whether you receive a secondary application or not.

Unfortunately, there is no special formula to medical school admissions.
Premedical Student AGpa 3.8
Peacecorp volunteer 2 years, Africa: working on an AIDS projected

obtained medical school admission

Premedical Student B
Gpa 3.4
Hospital volunteer
Americorp volunteer post-grad
Medical Clinic volunteer
Obtained medical school admissions

Grades/MCATs are important but do not forget about the extracurriculars.

Medical School Admissions committees want to know you are well-rounded.

Want to watch a Medically-related Movie??

The following is a list:

Gross Anatomy



The Doctor

Doc Hollywood

MEDICAL-related books

Complications by Atul Gawande

If I get to Five

Tuesdays with Morrie
What is Medical School Like?

Many premedical students focus on getting into medical school. They shadow physicians and have an idea of what being a physician is like but typically, have different ideas of what medical school is like.

The following is a breakdown of medical school realities. As a physician, I have experienced the sleeplessness, the long ardous hours of studying, the multiple stops at Starbucks, etc. This is the reality of medical school. Medical school is not difficult, per se. It's the massive amounts of knowledge you need to learn in a short period of time that makes medical school one of the most challenging professional schools out there.


Many types of medical schools exist. The typical medical school focuses on the lecture format while new medical schools are focusing on problem-based learning modules.The problem based learning method consists of a group of med students working together to solve a patient case. A physican-moderator typically sits in to guide the group and create the dynamic of the group.


Life as an MS-1 (Medical Student 1) is the most difficult year of med school. Here, you are presented with one of the most challenging medical school classes known to humankind: GROSS ANATOMY For many of you who want to watch a good movie about medical school, check out the 90s movie "Gross Anatomy"--yep that's the title! :) It exactly depicts medical school gross anatomy.  Gross anatomy has 2 components: lecture and lab. Lecture is typically lasts for 1 hours while lab is about 4 to 5 hours. Some medical schools have gross anatomy everyday while some medical schools opt to break it down to 3 times a week. The course itself can last three months or one year. Again, it depends upon the medical school. Here, you will learn the wonders of the human body from the cranial nerves, brachial plexus and mediastinum to the femur, humerus and orbicularis oculi muscle in your eye. I'm not gonna lie, gross anatomy is a tough class. You have to keep up with the reading or else you will be behind. Study in groups if you like learning with a group of people.

Histology is the study of human cells in the body. This, too, consists of a lecture and lab component. Oftentimes, you will take histology and gross anatomy together especially if your medical school is systems-based. This means that all your classes are divided up by body system. For example: Month 1 may be about the cardiovascular system, Month 2 may be about the gastrointestinal system and Month 3 may be about the reproductive system and so on and on....

Lab consists of looking at slides in the microscope. I loved histology but didn't appreciate ross anatomy until I was done with it!

Ever watch Dr. G Medical Examiner? Yep, pathology class in medical school is sorta like pathology in medical school. You look at histology slides of say an infarcted heart (heart attack) and know by inspection that it is a damaged heart. This, like most medical school classes consists of lecture and lab.

Biochemistry is sorta like organic chemistry but better. Don't panic, you don't have to distill any liquids in lab or draw any funny structures... as this class is primarily lecture-based. You may have to memorize the Kreb's cycle and glycolysis cycle.

Year 1 of medical school consists of mostly basic sciences courses. I listed only the major classes of medical school most premeds think about...but medical school also consists of medical ethics courses, OSCEs in which you learn the physical exam and more

Year 2 of medical school is typically clinical-based. Here you will learn about most of the's a list of a few...

1. myocardial infarction (heart attack)
2. pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs)
3. DVT (deep vein thrombosis )--blood clot in the leg
4. rheumatoid arthritis
5. congestive heart failure

and the list goes on...

This is when medical school turns to real medicine.

Consists of clinical rotations. Here you will become part of the medical team.

A medical team typically consists of an attending (senior doctor), residents (doctors-in-training) and interns (1st yr residents). As a medical student, I'm not gonna lie, you're at the bottom of the totem pole. Some doctors will make that well-known while others are very nice.

You will rotate through the many clinical specialties such as Internal Medicine (adult medicine), pediatrics, ob/gyn, psychiatry, etc. Here, you will get a taste of what kind of doctor you will become. Your team will grade you on your performance during your rotation. Unfortunately, this can be a bit biased. However, national tests are administered at the end of your rotations to factor-into your grade.

Year 4
Year 4 of medical school is much like year 3---but a bit more specialized. You can delve into the specialties of medicine even more. For example, if you liked internal medicine---do a gastroenterology, cardiology or rheumatology rotation. Grading is the same as in year 4.

Do you want to work in the hospital and be a healer? Do you want to make medications, perform CPR, work in an ambulance, and be in the front lines healthcare drama? Consider working in the medical profession! There are many medical professions to consider such as doctor, dentist, nurse, and paramedic. The choice is up to you.


There are two types of licensed doctors in the United States, the Allopathic physician (M.D) and the Osteopathic Physician (D.O). Both are fully licensed to practice medicine and prescribe medication. What's the difference? Osteopathic Physicians have an extra tool and learn to use their hands to help diagnose and treat different diseases. Both doctors see patients and become investigators of the body as they try to find out why their patients are sick. Expect to work long hours. Being a doctor is demanding yet rewarding! Average Doctor's salary is greater than $100,000 depending on length of training and specialty. In order to become an MD or DO, take many science courses in college and take the MCAT. Medical school is four years long with the first two years being in the classroom and the last two years being in the hospital. After medical school, pursue residency training. Internal medicine, surgery, family medicine, and pediatrics are just a few of the fields that may be chosen.


Caring for teeth is not as simple as it sounds. Dentists fill cavities, pull teeth, perform root canals, teach healthy oral hygiene, and more! To become a dentist, the education is just as intensive as becoming a doctor. Do well in your science classes, take the DAT or Dental Admission Test, and apply to dental schools by your senior year in college. Residency is not required for dentists but options to train in orthodontics and surgery exist. Lifestyle is not as demanding as the hours are fixed while working in an office. Average dentist salary is also greater than $100,000 depending on training, specialty, and length of experience.


Ever dream of being the next Florence Nightingale? There are many types of nurses. Nurse Practioners, Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses, and Certified Nursing Assistants all care for patients in different capacities. Nurse Practioners work primarily in clinics, go to school for six years, can see patients on their own and write prescriptions. Registered and Licensed Practical Nurses go to school for two to four years, follow doctor's orders and cannot write prescriptions.

Other medical professions
  • Podiatrist
  • Optometrist
  • Audiologist
  • Psychologist

Getting into medical school is no easy task. The stress is high and so is the coffee consumption. The MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test) is a required five-and-a-half-hour standardized exam for students wishing to enter medical school. It tests your knowledge and analytical skills in biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, writing, reading and physics. Expect to study many hours for this difficult test. Although preparing for the MCAT can be a daunting task, taking the test requires a few simple steps.
Step 1
Plan to take the MCAT one year prior to entering medical school. The MCAT is valid for up to three years, so make your plans accordingly.
Step 2
After you decide when you want to apply to medical school, register for the MCAT. The AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) offers online registration for a small fee. The test is offered each month, so choose the best date for you.
Step 3
After registering for the MCAT, decide how to study for the test. Many options are available. Review college science notes and peruse the bookstore for MCAT preparation materials. Take a Kaplan or Princeton Review MCAT preparation course (See Resources for links). These courses are well-structured and provide practice MCATs that simulate real-test conditions. Take note, these standardized test courses are pricey. Decide what is best for you.
Step 4
After deciding how to study, develop a study plan. Make sure to study all subjects equally. Take many practice MCATs and learn from your mistakes.
Step 5
After developing a study plan, follow it. Study hard, but remember to take many breaks. The MCAT tests not only your knowledge, but also your stamina. Don't give up.
Step 6
After studying, take the MCAT. Congratulations, you successfully completed an important process in the admission process to medical schools.