Fall Timeline

September 24, 2012

September / October/ November Checklist



Congratulations! You survived your first month of college! Your goals for the next two to three months are:

  1. Work on developing consistent study habits.  This will serve you well in undergrad and in professional school. Figure out what works for you and keep doing it!   ( See list of study recommendations below)
  2. Focus on building a solid academic foundation.  Your job is to ace those first semester classes.
  3. Get involved in OBMA, SNMA, The dental club, and any other organizations that may be interest to you – Yearbook, newspaper, the quiz team, Spanish club, NAPS.  Just find something that you like!    This advice isn’t limited to campus based activities either, if there are community organizations ( Boys and Girls club, etc) that spark your attention, definitely look into getting involved there as well.  A word of caution: Be sure to balance your extra-curriculars with your school work however and try not to take on TOO much.   The volume of information you are responsible for in college if usually greater than what was expected in high school so you don’t want to overwhelm yourself with extra activities.

Study Tips

  1. Skim the information before each class, every night!  Look at major heading, read the summary at the end of the chapter if there is one available.  This makes  A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE!  I know, I know…how are you supposed to have time to do this, right?  Make the time!
  2. Be engaged in class!  Pay attention and take notes!
  3. Review after class, everyday.
  4. On the weekend, review all your notes from the week and make a concise typed weekly review sheet.
  5. Use index cards, or some other PORTABLE study tool.  Use them during your down time ( waiting around before class starts, or before chapel, or while in line in the cafeteria, while you’re sitting under the dryer in the beauty room…you get the idea 🙂
  6. Draw things out on an erasable board (or a glass sliding door or mirror…I’ve seen it done) – charts, diagrams, flowsheets.  The more times you write it out the easier things will stick.
  7. Find one or two likeminded people to study with.  Each of you has to be committed to studying, rather than socializing.   You can choose to come together and teach each other certain concepts after you have all read and had your own personal study time, or you could just be in the same room together but studying independently, then maybe at the end of your session, share and review as a group.
  8. Make up tests for yourself.  Consider doing your typed weekly review of your notes in question and answer format.


So you want to be a doctor https://www.aamc.org/students/aspiring/basics/280558/right-career.html

Aspiring Dentists http://www.aspiringdentist.com/

AAMC Timeline   https://www.aamc.org/students/download/175214/data/timeline.pdf



Freshman year has come and gone.  Your goals for the next two to three months are:

  1. In the event that last year did not turn out as you anticipated, START FRESH AND START STRONG. Last year’s short comings do not have to define your college experience or derail your plans for a career as a healthcare professional.
  2. Continue to solidify study methods that were successful for you last year.  Stamp out any methods that weren’t so successful.
  3. Look for volunteer opportunities, extra curricular activities you enjoy, meaningful leadership opportunities.  Now that you’ve had a good taste of  college life, you have a better idea of how much time you need to study and how much time you have for extra curriculars, so get involved.  Take leadership roles where the opportunities arise.
  4.  Start looking at potential summer programs and research opportunities and keeping deadlines in mind.  Summer programs begin to accept applications around Dec, Jan.  You want to know now what the requirements are and be familiar with the application process so that when the applications open up, you’re first in line. Also, keep an eye out around the department and at club meetings for available opportunities.




Summer Programs https://healthou.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/dont-let-your-christmas-break-go-to-waste/  (scroll to the middle of the post)



By now, you should have a fairly good idea of what your professional plans after graduation are.  (Its OK, if you don’t…) Here are your goals for the next few months:

  1. Check in with your advisor to make sure that you have adequate time to complete your remaining requirements over the next two years.  Knowing this early, will help you know if you have to CLEP a course or two; do correspondence, or go to summer school.  This becomes important because  you don’t want to “waste” a summer doing a class ( you found out about at the last minute) when you could be doing research or shadowing, or gaining exposure to the field or another experience to add to your AMCAS, AADSAS, or PharmCAS application.
  2. Start making a broad list of professional schools you want to apply to.
  3. If you’re NOT sure what your professional goals after graduation are, that’s OK too, but you need to start looking to figure that out.  Take some time and truly reflect on yourself and your life goals.  Take time to seek God’s face on what direction He would have you go in.  Talk with your academic advisor about your uncertainty.  If you are going back and forth between two or three career options, try and do some shadowing with someone from each field ( good places to look are your church, your advisor may have some guidance, and I’m always willing to help if able,  just leave a comment after this post)


AAMC Website  http://www.aamc.org

MCAT website  https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/mcat/

MSAR website https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/requirements/msar/


HealthOU post on starting your list: https://healthou.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/pick-a-school-any-school/



You are on your way!  Your hard work has paid off, but you’re not done yet.  Here are your goals for the next few months

  1. If your AMCAS /  AADSAS / Pharmcas application is not submitted yet, ( and you are planning to enter professional school in August 2013)  GET IT IN ASAP!
  2. If your secondary applications aren’t complete, GET THEM DONE NOW!
  3. If you’re planning to retake the MCAT, PCAT, or DAT and still hope to enter professional school in Fall 2013, then I hope your application is submitted (with plans to submit your new higher score once it becomes available) and I hope you’ve been studying like crazy to ensure you get that higher score you’re looking for.
  4. Start thinking about and planning for your interviews.

–          Find a nice suit.

–          Do interview prep questions

–          Research the schools you have interviews for thus far; both to find out the format of interviews they typically have and to gather information about the particular program so you can ask good questions when you’re there.

–          Schedule a mock interview with your academic advisor.

–          Bear in mind that most schools are now turning to the Multiple Mini Interview format, so try and familiarize and prepare yourself  for that style of interviewing.

5. Continue to work hard.  Yes your application may be in, and the schools won’t use these grades to determine your eligibility for professional school, but you still want to finish strong.


Pharmcas Application Deadlines for each school http://www.pharmcas.org/applicants/deadlines.htm

AMCAS Application deadlines for each school https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/amcas/deadlines/63142/amcas_deadlines.html

(A similar outline of deadlines by school for dental school was not readily available, but individual deadlines for each school you plan to apply to can be found at that particular institution’s website)

Interview Questions  (Just a sampling.  There are tons of others available on the internet)

1. http://www.futuredoctor.net/questions_and_answers1.shtml

2. http://gradschool.about.com/cs/medicalinterview/a/medquest.htm

Interview questions to ask https://www.aamc.org/students/applying/requirements/109762/35_questions.html

HealthOU post on interviewing  https://healthou.wordpress.com/2011/12/20/dont-let-your-christmas-break-go-to-waste/  (scroll to the bottom for some interviewing tips)