Tag Archives: Allison Greco

C+ In Organic Chemistry – Should I Drop?

MCAT QuestionsAllison Greco is a medical student in the class of 2013 and has a great passion for medicine and social media. You can follow her on twitter @grecoa3.

I’m currently in my second semester of organic chemistry and I’m going to end up with a C+. Should I withdraw and retake the class next semester with hopes of getting at least a B? Or is it better to take the C+ instead of a W?

This question is a little beyond my scope, and I think you should talk to your pre-med advisor. You’re certainly not the only person who has ever found themselves in this situation, and advisors are great people to turn to with questions. However, if there is something particularly challenging going on in your personal life or otherwise that is preventing you from performing your best, you may be able to write about it in a personal statement one day.


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Conduct Offense While Entering Graduate School?

MCAT QuestionsAllison Greco is a medical student in the class of 2013 and has a great passion for medicine and social media. You can follow her on twitter @grecoa3.

I have a question about past conduct offenses. My freshman year I was charged with underage drinking. Since then, I’ve been a great pre-med with high grades and heavily involved in extracurriculars. Is this offense going to significantly hurt my chances? Should I wait a year after I graduate to expunge my record?

Hmm, it depends. Was the offense managed by campus security or was it the police? If it was campus security, you should look into your school’s policies. Some schools will not release information about certain offenses when you apply to graduate schools, but other institutions will. If this was an issue involving the police, you will have to disclose this on your application. However, you can write about the incident in your personal statement, and describe how you’ve grown and learned from your mistakes.


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What If I Don’t Get The Residency I Want?

MCAT QuestionsAllison Greco is a medical student in the class of 2013 and has a great passion for medicine and social media. You can follow her on twitter @grecoa3.

Hi Allison, I’m a current medical student and already worried about if I don’t get the residency I want and get stuck doing something I don’t enjoy. What are your plans if you don’t get matched with any of your preferences?

It’s actually pretty rare that someone doesn’t match, and when this happens it’s usually because they overestimated their competitiveness and applied to only super-prestigious programs. If this does happen, you enter what’s called “The Scramble.” In the beginning of Match week you get notified if you did or didn’t match. If you didn’t match, you can then ‘scramble’ to find an opening in a program that didn’t fill all their spots.

My school has a great program that sets us up with specialty-specific advisors. These advisors end up being highly involved in the residency selection processes in their respective subspecialties. When I met with my advisor she was able look at my CV, grades, and personal statement and tell me how competitive of an applicant I am, and listed some programs that I should look into (in the geographic locations that I’m interested in).

I would advise reaching out to someone in the field you’re interested in. Set the meeting up for the middle-end of third year so you’re sure you really know what you want to go into. This person will be able to help you identify programs that will best fit you.


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Pre-Med Extracurriculars & Admissions Committees

MCAT QuestionsAllison Greco is a medical student in the class of 2013 and has a great passion for medicine and social media. You can follow her on twitter @grecoa3.

I have a 3.5 GPA and decent MCAT score, but I’m really passionate about art, too. Is it OK to send admission committees a gallery or link to my website? Or should non-science activities be left out from my application?

Absolutely not! The AMCAS system has room for lots of extracurriculars, and medical schools DEFINITELY want to know about them – especially if you won any awards, are involved in leadership, or teaching others.

I’m currently going through a similar situation regarding my blog and freelance work when applying for residencies. Right now, my plan is to put a link to my blog (I even linked to my twitter) in my CV. When it comes down to it, Medical School admissions committees WANT people to have constructive hobbies and good personalities, not robots.


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Time Management Tips For Pre-Med Students

MCAT QuestionsAllison Greco is a medical student in the class of 2013 and has a great passion for medicine and social media. You can follow her on twitter @grecoa3.

Between school, volunteering, research, and my job, I feel I’m spreading myself too thin and it’s starting to burn me out. Do you have any advice on how to handle time management?

Wow, you sound like you’re super busy! While only you can decide what kind of lifestyle you want to have in the long run, if your grades are suffering or you are dealing with unmanageable stress levels, you may need to take something off your plate.

Personally, when it comes to time management, I always try and finish “busy work” sooner rather than later. For example, if I have a paper due late in the semester I try and do it early so that I can free up time for things that may pop up later on. Another suggestion is to always take one day every week for yourself. Don’t allow yourself to do any schoolwork, and take time to do all your “real person activities” like grocery shopping, errands, or just other fun things. This way, you won’t have to worry about them as your running around and doing everything else.

If you feel like you are spread too thin, you might consider checking to see if your college offers online courses, so that you can make your daily schedule more flexible. Many accredited colleges offer online versions of their best courses, for example there is SJU Online.


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Importance of an Interest in Research for Medical School?

MCAT QuestionsAllison Greco is a medical student in the class of 2013 and has a great passion for medicine and social media. You can follow her on twitter @grecoa3.

How important is an interest in research for medical school?

Research is one of those things that you notoriously hear “looks great” on medical school applications. I wasn’t particularly thrilled about it when I started looking in to medical school. As time moved on, several opportunities presented themselves throughout my other extra-curriculars and academic programs. I needed to do a thesis to graduate in my school’s honors program. In the end, I basically killed 2 birds with 1 stone in terms of my research involvement.

Different medical schools put more or less emphasis on research. This is something your pre-med advisor or the medical school itself can tell you more about.


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How To Study In Med School

MCAT QuestionsAllison Greco has kindly agreed to answer some of the top questions our community wants answered. Allison is a medical student in the class of 2013 and has a great passion for social media. You can follow her on twitter @grecoa3.

I’m a follower of your blog and twitter (@iPikl25), and I’ve been reading a few of your posts that I wanted to ask your advice on. You mentioned how you need frequent breaks to keep going. I’ll be starting medical school in the Fall and figuring out how to study is my biggest fear. So basically I wanted your advice on how you studied in med school. ~ Question from Sophia of Notes In My White Coat.

I have good news and bad news in regards to my answer for your question. The good news is that no, you don’t NEED to study the exact same way as everyone else and shouldn’t spend your time stressing over it. The bad news is that I definitely wouldn’t recommend being too lax when it comes to studying.

Bad news first: Medical school IS hard, and it’s probably not like anything you’ve ever done before. It’s probably the hardest you’ll ever work or study. It’s a lot easier to study TOO much in the beginning- it’s easier to start out with a strong grade in the event that you struggle later in the course on rather than struggle at the beginning and spend the rest of the course chasing a passing grade.

As a warning, you will probably NEVER feel prepared for a test. You’ll feel like you don’t know anything at all. All of this is normal, and it’s okay. Don’t let anyone make you inferior for that (chances are they feel the same way about something else). Most schools have pass-fail-honors grading systems, so if there is a class that just isn’t for you, its okay to save your sanity and get by with just a passing grade. With that said, you WILL need to take a the united states medical licensing exam (USMLE) sometime during or after your second year. The test encompasses everything you learn in those first two years (but please don’t stress about it yet!). It’s much easier to study for this test if you really, REALLY learned the material the first time over.

Finally, the good news: Don’t forget to take time for yourself. Most students took one day a week to do something fun. I liked to work out for about an hour a day, and unless there was some crazy circumstance or a huge exam. I also NEVER missed one of my prime-time TV shows. You’ll stress a lot in the beginning, but as time passes, you’ll become more comfortable with how much you need to study, and what your exam formats are like.

Want to read more? Click here to read more of Allison’s insightful answers to your Pre-Med and MCAT related questions.

Have a question about pre-med? Tweet your questions to us @MCATQoftheDay, or shoot us an email.


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Waiting To Apply To Med School

MCAT QuestionsAllison Greco has kindly agreed to answer some of the top questions our community wants answered. Allison is a medical student in the class of 2013 and has a great passion for social media. You can follow her on twitter @grecoa3.

What are your thoughts on waiting a year after undergrad to apply to med school?

When I was a pre-med, I thought my world would literally end if I didn’t get immediately accepted to medical school because it was all I ever wanted to do.

When I got to medical school, I was surprised to be in the MINORITY! It turns out most students DO take time off!

With all that said, my rule of thumb is that If you’re really not sure you want to be a doctor, then take time off. Do some clinical research or shadowing, then re-visit the decision. Medical school is hard, long, and expensive, and the last thing you want to do is enroll for a few years only to decide its not what you want to do!

I’m also learning now as I prepare my residency application, that you will need to address what you did on your time off, but that it in no way hurts your application. All your activities and real-life experiences make for great personal statements, and give you a unique perspective!

Want to read more? Click here to read more of Allison’s insightful answers to your Pre-Med and MCAT related questions.

Have a question about pre-med? Tweet your questions to us @MCATQoftheDay, or shoot us an email.


We will be posting more of Allison’s Q & A within the coming weeks! Subscribe to our email list to get the latest MCAT Question of the Day and Allison’s Q & A’s sent straight to your inbox.





Preparing For The MCAT

MCAT QuestionsAllison Greco has kindly agreed to answer some of the top questions our community wants answered. Allison is a medical student in the class of 2013 and has a great passion for social media. You can read her awesome blog here, and follow her on twitter @grecoa3.

How did you personally prepare for the MCAT? Which methods did you find worked the best?

My MCAT story is a little convoluted. I ended up taking the test twice (which I would not recommend if you can avoid it)!

The first time around, I used a Kaplan course. It was very helpful, and kept me on track since I tended to procrastinate. The problem was, I also studied on my own, and (as I mentioned before) studying all day and night just doesn’t work for me. By the time my test rolled around, I was burnt out and my nerves drove me crazy. Needless to say I was not happy with my score.

The second time around I used Examkrackers, which was a little more condensed. I was much more relaxed about studying and took more time off. My score was amazingly improved.

Again, realize that you have to do what works best for you.

Want to read more? Click here to read more of Allison’s insightful answers to your Pre-Med and MCAT related questions.

Have a question about pre-med? Tweet your questions to us @MCATQoftheDay, or shoot us an email.


We will be posting more of Allison’s Q & A within the coming weeks! Subscribe to our email list to get the latest MCAT Question of the Day and Allison’s Q & A’s sent straight to your inbox.





Managing Stress In Med School

MCAT QuestionsAllison Greco has kindly agreed to answer some of the top questions our community wants answered. Allison is a medical student in the class of 2013 and has a great passion for social media. You can follow her on twitter @grecoa3.

What methods have you used to manage your stress in medical school?

It’s important to remember to take time for yourself; what you do with that time is up to you. Some people take one day a week and just put the books down for 24 hours. Other people take some time off every day.

Personally, I needed to go to the gym for at least an hour every day, and I usually did something fun on the weekends as well. My school always gives exams on Friday’s, so we are always guaranteed at least one weekend that was totally stress-free! The workload seems overwhelming at first, but you’ll figure out how much you need to study and when you can afford to, have some fun!

Want to read more? Click here to read more of Allison’s insightful answers to your Pre-Med and MCAT related questions.

Have a question about pre-med? Tweet your questions to us @MCATQoftheDay, or shoot us an email.


We will be posting more of Allison’s Q & A within the coming weeks! Subscribe to our email list to get the latest MCAT Question of the Day and Allison’s Q & A’s sent straight to your inbox.

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