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Making Med School 101

Posted by on Thursday, November 14, 2013 in VSA Blog.

Med School 101 students form strong bonds.

Originally posted on November 14, 2013

Med School 101 is one of the hardest VSA courses to get into. Applicants jump at the chance to learn from med students and guest faculty at one of the top research hospitals in the country (Vanderbilt University Medical Center or VUMC for short). So we thought it would be a good idea to take some advice we gave about applying to VSA and tailor it for students interested in Med School 101.

Tip #1: Be Proactive –Med School 101 will fill during the first round of admissions. If you procrastinate, you will not get in, so gather your transcripts and teacher recommendations before school closes for winter break.

Yep! That's a heart!

Tip #2: Be Thorough – Make sure you have all your required documents ready to submit as soon as we start taking applications, including any materials you need if you plan to apply for financial aid. We cannot process applications in bits and pieces.

Tip #3: Be Informed – VUMC requires that minors involved in their program be 16 by the first day of class. We have no say in this policy. Lawyers are involved. Our hands are tied.

Tip #4: Be Amazing – VUMC wants Med School 101 students to be well prepared for this intense experience. That does not mean you have to have all A’s. Strong teacher recommendations and essays are important too. When you apply, be honest, but don’t be modest.

Tip #5: Be Realistic – There will be fifty qualified Med School 101 applicants during our first round of admissions – the only time we process applications in random order (click here to know why). So getting into the class is partly a matter of chance, no matter how much you want it or how qualified you are. That’s why our final tip is so important…

Diagnosing a "patient" (an actor who works for the med school).

Tip #6: Be Flexible – Students rank courses they want to take by order of interest, and a lot of Med School 101 applicants rank that as their only course choice. Don’t! We take many calls in late January and early February from applicants asking if they can enroll in another course and stay on the waiting list for Med School 101 (see our waiting list policy). The only problem is that the other courses they want to take are usually full by the time they call. So it’s a good idea to think about your alternatives before you submit your application.

Hopefully these six tips will shed a little light on our process and help you put your best foot forward. Make sure your application is strong, complete, and in our hands before the first round of admissions. Just remember that we get many highly qualified applicants for Med School 101, but that is not the only class we offer at Vanderbilt Summer Academy. We love your laser-like focus, but getting into this class is going to be a bit like a raffle. So keep your options open.  Chances are good that at least one of our other fine courses during Session III will also be a fantastic fit for you.

As always, feel free to send us an email or call us at 615-322-8261, or help answer other readers’ questions by leaving us a comment (using your Facebook account). Someone will respond ASAP.

We can’t wait to see you at #vsa2014!

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  • Julie Black Walls

    November 15th, 2013

    Why is there not more than one offering for this class since it is so popular?

  • Vanderbilt Summer Academy

    November 15th, 2013

    Good question, Julie! The short answer is that this course is a collaboration between VSA and Vanderbilt Med School. It is a huge logistical operation, especially when you consider the obligations med students and doctors already have, and the demand for space and resources at VUMC. Basically, Vanderbilt Med School is giving us as many faculty and facility resources as it can. They just can't take any more of our students than they already do. Hope that helps!

  • Allison Yan

    January 6th, 2014

    If we submit our application online but mail the teacher recommendations in separately, will our application not be processed until the teacher recommendations arrive?