Caution, Care and Consideration for Your Career
Online discussion boards have increased in popularity over the years, as people from all over the world consult with each other on a wide range of topics. In the early 2000s, celebrity gossip and cooking recipes took center stage. And while those boards still exist today, they have evolved. Today, you can find a discussion board for just about anything. And while this can be celebrated, it must also be approached with caution. In the same way that you shouldn’t diagnose yourself on websites like Mayo Clinic or WebMD, you shouldn’t rely on discussion boards for free medical school resources. As tempting as it might be, it’s a really bad idea.
Today, we’re going to talk about Premed Reddit. Reddit has been around for ages with figures like former U.S. President Barack Obama using it as a platform to connect with his audience. Now, there is a Premed board for pre-med students who are googling a variety of topics. And while Reddit may be a good resource for some questions, some prospective medical students are using it as an authoritative source for information. In this article, we’re going to explain why you should not use Premed Reddit as an authoritative source as you prepare for medical school.
Reason #1: Citing Authoritative Sources
Everyone resorts to Google when they’re stressed out or panicking about serious life changes. Getting immediate answers helps relieve stress. But you need to be careful about what sources you rely on for information. Because, while getting an immediate answer is nice, it doesn’t help if you get inaccurate information that ultimately slows you down or messes you up.
In high school, you learned to only cite accurate sources. Just like Wikipedia didn’t count as a source on its own, neither does Premed Reddit. What does count are the sources that Wikipedia and Premed Reddit use if those sources are credible. The best way to know if a source is credible is to check the facts for accuracy.
So, how do I fact check? If you see a deadline listed for an exam, check the official exam website. The MCAT and CASPer websites will have deadlines listed. If someone on Premed Reddit lists the wrong deadline, you’ll know that they’re not an accurate source. It makes more sense to simply check the MCAT and CASPer websites instead of relying on a discussion board for information. Plus, if someone gives you the wrong deadline, you could miss an entire admissions cycle. It’s just not worth it.
What kind of information should I fact check?
- If you see a deadline for taking the MCAT, look on the official MCAT website to make sure this is accurate.
- If you see people ripping a school apart because of negative interview experiences, don’t withdraw your application over it. Premed Reddit will be similar to Rate Your Professor. While both are sources, they’re biased. Students who have an average or good experience don’t rate their professors. Only the students who loved or hated their experiences will take the time to rate their school or their professors. Look at websites like Niche to see school rankings. This will give you an idea of the overall experience you can expect.
- If you’re deciding whether to be an MD or a DO, don’t base your decision on what others are saying. Learn the differences between the two so you can make an informed decision.
Reason #2: Swaying Your Opinion
Just like your friends can sway your opinion, so can strangers with strong feelings. It’s dangerous to rely on other peoples’ experiences to make your own decisions because those people aren’t you. Just like we talked about with Rate My Professor, those people often have strong feelings that don’t adequately represent the school you’re considering.
If you want personalized advice, consider talking to an admissions counselor. While it can take time for them to get back to you (because they help a ton of students), you’ll be getting advice that’s specific to your situation. If you have general questions about medical school, chat with us. Here at International Medical Aid, we have experts who can provide solid advice based on decades of experience. And unlike Premed Reddit users who are biased, our experts have your best interest at heart.
Reason #3: Bad Vibes Only
Do we mean good vibes only? Nope. Premed Reddit is a major source of bad vibes, and that’s not something you need in your life at this time. You’re already overwhelmed with writing essays, researching schools and deadlines, and spending way too much time not doing other things you’d rather be doing.
Don’t dwell on other peoples’ experiences. That will psych you out or scare you. You’ll question if medical school is really for you. You’ll compare yourself to other students and wonder whether you’re good enough. Do I compare to this student? She just applied to Yale! The reality is, everyone is questioning themselves. So, by opening up a forum where everyone is expressing their thoughts on everything, you’ll be exposing yourself to bad vibes. We don’t recommend that!
What we recommend is finding a small circle of medical school applicants who are close to your age. You don’t want to be applying for medical school 24/7 and never sharing your experiences with other. We just don’t want you exposing yourself to toxic environments that could hold you back.
Reason #4: “But you said…”
So, what happens when someone’s advice fails you? What about the essay you tailored yours after because it got some random guy into his dream school? No one on Premed Reddit really cares. There’s no substitute for professional help from a medical school advisor who cares about you and your future.
Not only will medical school applicants give you wrong advice, but they won’t necessarily be honest. You could score perfectly on the MCAT and have a great GPA. But if you don’t follow the admissions process carefully, you can get rejected. Maybe you submitted your AMCAS the day before it was due, so there were very few spots open. Or maybe you didn’t submit all your transcripts. No matter how great your grades are, failure to follow the steps will result in a rejected application. If one of those reasons are why a student was rejected, they aren’t likely to divulge that information. They’ll likely say, “I had perfect grades, and I didn’t get in!” Please don’t tell yourself that you can’t get in, either! You are not them. Your journey is individually yours.
So, where do I go for help?
So, if Premed Reddit isn’t a good source, who can I trust? Great question! You can trust verified sources that have your best interest in mind. First and foremost, the official website for the American Medical College Application Servicewill always be a good resource. They keep their website updated, so you can trust them.
Second, you can trust the information provided by universities. Each individual school will have its own rules and requirements. They will also have professional advisors who help students like you. So, if you can’t find an answer to one of your questions, you can ask.
Finally, you can trust International Medical Aid for guidance. Our staff are experts in the medical field and will give you solid advice that won’t let you down. While we can’t guarantee that you’ll be accepted into medical school, we can help you be as prepared as possible. If you don’t get in, we’ll be there to help. Unlike Premed Reddit users who don’t care, we’ll go through your application with you and help you make it stronger. There’s no shame in being a second-year applicant if that happens.
So, what exactly is International Medical Aid, and how can we help?
International Medical Aid covers a lot.
- We offer global internship opportunities to pre-med students. During these trips, students shadow medical providers who treat people living in underserved communities. Those patients usually live in remote areas and lack the transportation and funds to get to the doctor. You’ll accompany these medical providers and gain firsthand experience. By shadowing in places like Haiti, Mombasa or Kigali, you’ll experience healthcare at an international level, providing you with valuable insights and experiences to bring back to the United States. Plus, you’ll have great experiences to write about in your secondary essays.
- We offer free resources on our blog. What sets us apart from Premed Reddit is the hours of research we put into every article we write. We don’t write based on our personal opinions or biases. We use facts and figures from AMCAS, AACOMAS, TMDSAS and individual college websites. The information we provide is accurate. You can trust it. Go ahead and fact check it!
- We offer consulting services. Instead of a Premed Reddit user who might scan your essay and say “Great job!”, we’ll comb through your essay line by line, providing feedback to improve your writing. We can help you pick out medical schools that are in your price range or schools that accept your grades/test scores. We can review both your primary and secondary applications and help you make them stronger. We can conduct a mock interview with you to prepare you for the real deal. And if you’re a non-traditional student, we can answer any questions you have and suggest how to move forward.
If any of these consultation services sound helpful, book an appointment with us. Our website is easy to navigate, and it only takes a minute to schedule.
Continuing Your Medical School Journey
Now, this article isn’t meant to persuade you to never, ever look at websites or forums like Premed Reddit. Rather, it’s a precaution. We don’t want you to miss out on valuable, life-changing experiences because some random dude had a terrible experience at one of the universities you’re looking into. We also don’t want you to miss an important deadline or rely on someone you don’t know to help you write the perfect medical school statement.
We’d love to help, no matter where you are on your medical school journey. Our blog is full of articles ranging from when to take the MCAT to a guide on how to become an anesthesiologist.
And if you’re currently deciding which medical schools to apply to, check out our series of definitive guides. We offer tips and tricks on how to get into a variety of schools–including some Ivy Leagues!
- George Washington University School of Medicine
- St. George’s University School of Medicine
- Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
- Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (PA)
- Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
- Wake Forest University School of Medicine
- Western University of Health Sciences (CA)
- Drexel University College of Medicine
- Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago
- Georgetown University School of Medicine
- Yale School of Medicine
- Perelman School of Medicine
- UCLA Medical School
- NYU Medical School
- Washington University School of Medicine
- Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
- Brown Medical School
- Harvard Medical School
- Mayo Medical School
We wish you the very best, wherever you are on your medical school journey. As you continue your journey with the right resources, you’ll be prepared for the entire application process–from filling out your AMCAS application, to interviewing for a coveted spot in a medical school program, and everything in between. Surround yourself with the right resources, and shoot for the stars!