Advice on medical school admissions a must for hopefuls

By Mark Vitale

Arizona Daily Wildcat

This year there will be 40,000 people applying for 16,000 slots at medical schools across the country. Doing some quick math, the average person's chance of acceptance is about 40 percent. The odds could be better, but a new book, Medical School Admissions: The Insider's Guide, helps one get accepted to medical school by easing tensions created by the competitive application process with its straightforward, yet tongue-in-cheek approach.

Written by recent medical school graduates John A. Zebala, Daniel B. Jones and Stephanie B. Jones, the book takes its reader step by step through the medical school application process, starting from what prospective medical students can do to prepare themselves before undergraduate work, all the way up to receiving acceptance letters.

To the the book's credit, it tries very hard not to preach while presenting its information. The authors really just want to be a part of the gang with such passages as ". wasting an evening at the movies or the local tavern will put you in a much better mood to study . the next morning."

In addition to being funny, the book is also very positive. The authors rarely use the word "if" when referring to admission. They usually use the word "when." This approach helps ease the tensions that some students may encounter as they prepare to apply to schools.

The second half of the book is even more interesting than the first, and not just because of the essays included. The critical comments that follow each entry are informative because they allow prospective students to read examples of what medical schools may or may not be interested in.

Medical School Admissions: The Insider's Guide is not a book someone would want to read for entertainment, but for prospective medical students it is entertaining enough. Every household with a medical school hopeful should have this book.

Medical School Admissions: The Insider's Guide is available at bookstores, only in softcover edition, for the suggested retail price of $12.95.

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