Posted by: oldmedicine | July 2, 2010

Resource Number 1: The MSAR and the DO College Information Book

As the application season warms up, I would like to point everyone (everyone at this point being my 10 readers per day) to the best current resource you have for applying to medical school: the MSAR and the DO College Information Book.  These publications are the key to cutting through the bullshit that you hear from the grapevine, SDN, or whatever online resource you choose. That being said, they also cut through the bullshit you may or may not hear from doctors you shadow, your parents, or other health professionals that may act as your mentor.  The fact is, these people, not even the doctors, know the current competitiveness of medical school admissions.  The only people who do are recently matriculated students and the deans of admissions at the various medical schools.

In a couple of years, my and other medical student’s advice will be totally useless – the number of schools and the competitiveness of applying will be totally different.  Schools will have changed their curricula, their admissions requirements will change, the MCAT will be different, and the financial aid situation is a total unknown, even this year.  So, returning to my original point, stick to the pubs now and in the future.  If you are just starting your path towards medical school, then look over the information in these books with skepticism that the information will be correct when you apply.  If you are applying this (2010-2011 cycle) then the MSAR is a must have for applications – you need to know what schools you are competitive at and the schools that you don’t have a chance in hell of matriculating at, either because your stats are too low or because you are the wrong race, don’t speak the right language, or you live in the wrong state.

So, to put things bluntly: get these books!  Non-traditional students should spend the time and read through both the MSAR (MD) and the CIB (DO). DO IT!


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