Moderator: Ron Robertson

Re: Pre-medicine

Postby drkolstad » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:29 pm


Congratulations on creating a resource page for students navigating through the murky premedical waters. The already stressful process can be even more cumbersome without the appropriate wisdom and guidance. I remember the Premed Guidance Counselor at my university was poorly informed, and consequently so was her advise. This has led me to chip in a few pearls of wisdom whenever I come across students looking for information.

I have never sat on an admissions board or reviewed prospective applicants, but I have spent a lot of time thinking about the process. My abridged advice to students endeavoring on medical school is as follows:

There are four vital elements of a medical school application, in order of decreasing importance: 1. MCAT, 2. University Name, 3. Research, 4. GPA. There are many other smaller factors such as major, extracuricular activities, skills, ect. But the focus of any aspiring medical student should be to focus on the MCAT.

Whether they admit it or not, most schools have a cutoff MCAT score. Meaning that if you do not reach a certain number all of the other important information contained within the application never gets properly reviewed. That being said, having a respectable MCAT will also erase an average GPA or an average university ranking.

I would not consider taking the MCAT without a prep class like Kaplan or the Princeton review. I would recommend taking half the usual amount of university credits the semester the MCAT is taken. Given the limited time, it is more importantly to do well on the MCAT then it is on a physics or any other university exam. Period. When preparing for the MCAT do as many practice questions and practice exams as possible. Get into the habit of reading through a question and quickly moving to the next one if you do not immediately know the answer. And remember that a good score is attainable to anyone who studies and prepares hard enough.

The second aspect that deserves attention is medical research. More important than any chemistry, psychology or undergraduate research projects is field-related research. In my opinion, work in a medical laboratory will far outweigh the same amount of time spent in a physics lab. I would also suggest that letters of recommendation written by an academic physician will outweigh letters written by physics professors. In my opinion, that is just the way it is. Research positions are easy to find at the local medical school. Everyone has use for volunteer labor. And letters of recommendation written by chairman and program directors carry weight.

Best of Luck,

Dr. Kolstad
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Re: Pre-medicine

Postby Ron Robertson » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:37 pm

The Gateway Volunteer Program application can be found as a link from ... sement.htm. This application form is due April 30, 2012 for the summer program. It is a great way to get those volunteer clinical experience hours.
Ron Robertson
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:49 am

Re: Pre-medicine

Postby jowell » Fri May 04, 2012 1:03 am

Good day,

I'm interested in the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. Is there a formal mechanism in place for students to evaluate their professors and attending physicians? What changes have been made recently as a result of this feedback?

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Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 12:57 am

Re: Pre-medicine

Postby Ron Robertson » Fri May 04, 2012 7:47 pm

I do not receive information about this type of evaluation at medical schools. Your best bet is to contact directly the Vanderbilt School of Medicine.

Please identify yourself with first and last name to continue posting on this board. Are you an APSU student or a prospective high school student? I would be glad to speak with you about medical school admission and preparation. To access info about the APSU pre-med program go to my webpage at ... sement.htm.
Ron Robertson
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:49 am

Re: Pre-medicine

Postby Ron Robertson » Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:34 pm

Upcoming events

Tues, Oct. 2 Career Night for CoSM 5:30 pm Sundquist

CoSM Career Night Agenda:

5:00 – 5:30 pm Registration & Information Tables
5:30 – 6:30 pm
Pre-Medicine Ron Robertson
Pre-Pharmacy Carrie Brennan
Medical Technology Perry Scanlan
Pre-Dentistry/Dental Hygiene Lisa Sullivan
Careers in Physics, Engineering, Astronomy, Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science Jaime Taylor
Careers in Chemistry, Biology, Geography, Geology, and Agriculture Meagan Mann
6:30 – 7:00 pm Break – Information Tables & Refreshments
7:00 – 8:00 pm
Forensics Carrie Brennan
Radiologic Technology Rex Ameigh
Chiropractic Medicine/Physician Assistant Don Dailey
Pre-Physical Therapy/Pre-Occupational Therapy Cindy Taylor
Pre-Veterinary Medicine Jim Goode

Wed., Oct. 10 Med School application workshop by Stephanie Cole, Quillen Medical School, 6-7:30 pm Sundquist E306
contact Ron Robertson, for more information
Ron Robertson
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:49 am

Re: Pre-medicine

Postby Ron Robertson » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:13 am

I received this announcement earlier and failed to post it to the board as I did last year. I know it has gone out by email to students of other advisors. Thanks to John Wilkinson for reminding me of this event. You can still late register. My apologies for not getting this on the board sooner. I'm sure it is an excellent event but I have not had any feedback from students attending in previous years.

Dear Pre-Med Advisor,

Greetings! Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in conjunction with Meharry Medical College is holding its fifth annual Levi Watkins, Jr. MD Premedical Conference on Saturday, October 20, 2012 from 8:00am – 5:00 pm in Light Hall at the Vanderbilt School of Medicine in Nashville, TN. We invite all undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career as a physician to attend our conference. Additionally, we especially encourage students from backgrounds underrepresented in medical careers, such as women, first generation physicians, racial and ethnic minorities, to attend our conference.

This conference is designed to help participants prepare for the rigorous medical school application and interview process. We are excited to offer an array of topics, including:
• AMCAS overview
• Personal Statement workshop
• 1-on-1 Mock Interviews, 30 min ea.
• Q&A with the Vanderbilt admissions committee representatives
• Introduction to MD/PhD
• Many opportunities to connect with medical students, residents and attending physicians
Students may register online at:

A registration fee of $26 is required for attendance, which will include the above workshops, breakfast and lunch, and a conference T-shirt. Conference participants will also be eligible to win a free KAPLAN MCAT prep course to be raffled at the end of the day. Attendees are encouraged to dress professionally and comfortably. Late registration begins October 4, 2012 at $36.

Attached is a flyer we hope you will forward to your students. Our website contains more information about the schedule, contact information, and our mission statement. We are eager to answer any questions that you or your students may have – please email us at:
Ron Robertson
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:49 am

Re: Pre-medicine

Postby Ron Robertson » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:31 pm

There will be a medical school application workshop on Wednesday, Oct. 10 in room E306 of Sundquist from 6 – 7:30 pm. Stephanie Cole from the Quillen College of Medicine at East TN State University will be the presenter. No registration is required and refreshments will be served.
Ron Robertson
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:49 am

Re: Pre-medicine

Postby klyehughes » Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:49 pm

Hi Mr. Ron,

When i read your article i become in interested to take a Pre-medicine. Thanks to you i got clear my mind to take a medicine course.

Thank you,
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Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 10:39 pm

Re: Pre-medicine

Postby Ron Robertson » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:06 pm

The Austin Peay State University Career Services has partnered with Kaplan to help you score better on the GRE, MCAT, DAT, OAT, or PCAT. With the help of a free Kaplan Practice Test on Saturday, February 23rd, you'll experience the exam under proctored conditions, receive a detailed score analysis, and learn exclusive strategies to improve your score. Click HERE to register!

(If you cannot participate on the 23rd but would still like to practice one of the tests for free, click here.) These online practice tests will last about 3 hours and will be proctored like an actual exam. After the test, one of Kaplan's amazing instructors will give a short workshop on test-taking strategies and answer your questions. The tests will be scored directly following the test, and the results will be accompanied with comprehensive feedback. Register now, space is limited!

Dr. Taylor and Kaplan Test Prep
Ron Robertson
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:49 am

Re: Pre-medicine

Postby Ron Robertson » Fri Feb 15, 2013 6:12 pm

STEM Career Fair

• Preparatory Workshop for the STEM Career Fair: Monday, February 18th from 9:00 – 10:00 am OR 2:30 – 3:00 pm in room E206 of SSC.
This will help students get read to attend the Career Fair. Career Services will be discussing resumes, interviewing, and appropriate attire for the fair.
Students do not need to attend both time frames.

• STEM Career Fair: Wednesday, February 27th from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm in the Morgan University Center Ballroom.
25 – 30 companies who routinely hire individuals with STEM-related degrees will be available to discuss potential employment opportunities.
Ron Robertson
Posts: 413
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:49 am


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