Episode 11: From MCAT to licensing – Overview of the entire medical education process. MCAT, First Year of Medical School, USMLE – and beyond…

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Podcast topic

The first teleclinic we did had a nice video slide that covered all the steps in the medical education process. The new website that will host the free teleclinics.

After you’ve mapped out when you’ll be finished with college and all of the prerequisites for medical school, the next available August would be your first potential entering month and year. Plan to take the Medical College Admissions Test the year before.

You can successfully back-schedule from this date all of the necessary preparations so that you have time to do everything you need.

The first year of medical school is perhaps the hardest of all. You will be forced to adopt different learning styles for different types of information on the fly. The focus is on how the body works normally.

FIRST YEAR CLASSES:
Biochemistry
Cell development and tissue biology
Community health
Epidemiology / biostatistics
Family medicine
Gross anatomy
Growth and development
Health care policy
Hematology
Histology
History of medicine
Immunology
Interviewing
Introduction to clinical skills
Medical ethics
Molecular biology
Physiology
Preclinical electives
Problem-based learning

The second year is when you learn what goes wrong with human physiology.

SECOND YEAR CLASSES:
Addiction medicine
General pathology


Infectious disease
Introduction to clinical medicine
Microbiology
Psychopathology
Psychiatry
Nutrition
Neuroscience
Pathophysiology
Pharmacology
Preclinical electives
Problem-based learning
Systemic pathology

At the end of the second year, you take the United States Medical Licensing Exam, Step 1. This is the weightiest of the 4 USMLE exams as it affects which residency specialty you get into.

The third year starts 2 years of clinical rotations. Often one month long, you spend time doing many of the specialties.

THIRD YEAR ROTATIONS:
Surgery
Internal medicine
Pediatrics
Obstetrics and gynecology
Psychiatry
Primary Care

The USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge is taken before the end of medical school, as well as Step 3 Clinical Skills. The former is a computerized exam, the latter is an in-person, all day patient care simulation.

The fourth year is the most relaxed of all. By this time, you already have the letters of recommendations you need for residency application and the 4th year elective grades don’t matter as much as the USMLE Step 1 and basic science years’ grades. Application for residency begins this year so some people have trouble choosing a specialty at this point because there isn’t much time between 3rd year and application time.

Internship is the same thing as the first year as residency. Depending on the residency tract, some people do take a separate intern or transitional year and then begin their second year of postdoctoral training.

After the first year of residency training, you are eligible to take the USMLE Step 3 – the last of them! My, what a good feeling it is to be done with them!!

The major goal comes after residency when you take your board specialization exam.

Fill out the Grill the Guru survey on medicalmastery.com to let me know if you are interested in a Medical Specialty Spotlight as an addition to future podcasts. I need 30 responses to proceed with that decision.

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QUICK TIP:

Map out the rest of your college classes needed for both graduation and medical school prerequisites. Use a physical calendar, printed out for the next couple of years if needed. Write on it by semester, journal on it, and check off your classes as you complete them.

This will help you even if you already know it by heart.

Be sure you have a signed degree plan by your department chair so there are no surprises when you’re ready to graduate.

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QUICK REFERENCE: CDC Internship Opportunities

http://cdc.gov/education/

Click on the College Student links for more information.

AMSA PreMed: Definitely check out the listserve option. You must be a member, though. Membership starts at $35.

http://amsa.org/premed/

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Charity of the Month for January 2009: Innerchange Freedom Initiative http://www.ifiprison.org/

The InnerChange Freedom Initiative (IFI) is a proven, voluntary and holistic values-based Reentry Program. It seeks the development of the whole person – spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, and physically. The spiritual formation aspect of the program is based on the life and teaching of Jesus Christ.

Charity Mission Statement:
This mission of IFI is to create and maintain an environment where change may take place and to foster respect for law and the rights of others.

Testimonial

“I had the chance to be mentored by people who really cared about me—Christian men who are a good example of how to treat their family and loved ones,” he describes. “I now have a desire to put other people first.”

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Mission Statement
“Medical Mastery seeks to podcast meaning into medical education by combining faith, high-quality lectures, and charity.”