Preparing for Premed Critics


Often applying to medical school brings out the critic in one’s friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances. Mention that you are premed and be prepared to hear how difficult it is to get through the premed classes, write the essays, undergo the scrutiny of the interview and of course, ultimately, get accepted. I’m not sure why this happens so frequently, but it can take one by surprise, especially when someone close seems to doubt your abilities and qualifications. This can prove even more upsetting if you are in the midst of a particularly challenging premed course like organic chemistry.

 The first step to dealing with this negativity is to try and take it in stride. These adverse remarks usually have more to do with the person espousing them than you. Don’t let these comments derail you or lead you to obsessing about their veracity.

Next, make sure you have done an in depth assessment of your overall candidacy. What are the strengths that you have and of course what weakness need to be addressed. Be realistic. How much time do you have before you apply? How strong are your grades and MCATs? Do you have a quality, experience or skill that will set you apart?

Address any major weaknesses and tweak those aspects of your application that can be taken to a higher level. Can you take a summer school class to boost the science GPA or get a published paper out of a research experience? Pushing yourself will not only elevate your application, but it will often lead to more confidence in yourself and your decision to become a physician.

Finally, if you do find yourself overwhelmed, and considering giving up on your aspirations for a career in medicine, take a breath, and seek out trusted counsel. There are many students who have overcome a poor science grade or mediocre MCAT score that have gone on to be accepted and succeed in medical school.

I know from my own career that the road to medicine can be demanding. If you are interested in learning more about what I experienced, check out a talk I gave celebrating 30 years of affirmative action at Harvard Medical School. It has been titled “A Qualified Success.“  You can always ask for mentorship and guidance along the way from myself or one of our highly qualified Ingenius Prep MD Counselors.


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