Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience (BCN) (major)
Favorite class you took at Michigan:
Psych 111! This class made me major in BCN. I loved the broad topics of psychology that we explored in this seminar, and Dr. Shelly Schreier was an amazing professor and explained the content clearly with many examples, as opposed to definitions.
When/How did you study for the MCAT:
I studied for it May-August 2021 the summer after my junior year, and took it the first week of my senior year (September 2021). I initially thought about delaying it until January since I wasn’t feeling ready, but I am glad I went through with it anyways because having the summer to study without worrying about other academics was beneficial for me. The semester before I studied, I took classes that somewhat lined up with mcat content review (Biochem lab, tutored for Chem 130, Psych 449, Bio 225) so by the time I went to study for the mcat I was already well-versed with the content, and began practice exams/questions a month and a half after. I used Kaplan books and their practice exams, anki decks I found from reddit, and the AAMC prep material (the full package option). I also used Jack Westin to prep for CARS passages.
When did you take the MCAT: September 2021
What was your pre-med experience:
Coming into U of M I wasn’t actually premed – I was a nursing student. After the first semester in nursing I realized I like the diagnostic process of medicine in addition to the care-taking process, so I switched the premed the 2nd semester of freshman year. I was a bit lost at first but found my way eventually, by speaking with many counselors and pre-med friends who helped me on my journey. Personally, I had a lot of fun during my premed experience here at U of M, due to the variety of activities that I partook in, including research, being a CNA, Clinical Support Assistant (similar to medical assistant), tutoring, and volunteering. I will admit that premeds here make a competitive environment, but I just minded my own business and did my own thing, which turned out perfectly! I was definitely fortunate enough to have friends and family to support me on this enduring process.
Recommendations/advice for current students:
Pre-med classes are hard but remember to take care of yourself! AVOID BURNOUT! You are only in college once so make sure not to miss out on college experiences and doing fun things on campus with friends. Make sure to have that work life balance established, as it will be important to have this in your future career as a physician as well. As for academics, many of the classes are memorization heavy so it’s always a good idea to study content on a weekly basis, not just cramming before an exam. For extracurriculars, it’s important to try many different things to see what you like/what sticks with you. That way you aren’t just checking things off a list, but enjoying activities along the way. Personally, I found my clinical experiences to be the most fulfilling of my activities and I will be writing a lot about them in my application so definitely get started on this as soon as you can.