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Tracy Carrascosa
Professor Megan Keaton
5 August 2016
Genre Research Paper: Medical Schools and Their Admission Processes
Medical school. Four years full of hard work, dedication, commitment, and persistence.
Admission into medical school is not something that is simply handed to you or something that
can be bought. Medical school is something that has to be worked for, you have to want it to be a
part of it and be a part of the community as a whole. A love for medicine is not required for
admission, but it is part of it. You have to love the human body, have a thirst for constant
knowledge, be courteous and kind, and love the field of medicine, all while having a relentless
want and desire to help others in need. This community is one I have chosen to become a part of
in the future, but before it comes to that point in my life where I admit acceptance to an allopathic
school of medicine, I must take the necessary steps to reach my goal.
The medical community itself is long and expansive. A community in which there are over
hundreds of thousands individuals from all kinds of races and all types of backgrounds. For
example, in the interview I conducted on a well-known established pediatric doctor, Pedro Lopez
M.D., he was able to share his experience with falling in love with the field medicine I always
had a passion and love for medicine. Even as a young boy in Cuba, I felt like medicine was my
calling (Lopez). The purpose of the medical community is to connect all these individuals that
share this common drive and love for medicine. The medical community is one that began in the
dark ages of western Europe but was mostly prominent in Persia during the Sasanian dynasty.
Persia can be praised for the birth of the hospital and for the medical records and charting system

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that is used on a daily basis today (Modanlou 236). Hippocrates, is a prominent figure in the world
of the medicine, is known as the father of medicine and for his writing of the Hippocratic Oath.
He is referenced as the father of medicine due to his recognition of the natural approach to the
diagnosis, prognosis, and the treatment of the patients disease. The Hippocratic Oath is one that
is still said today and has been said for centuries, it is a key text amongst the medical community.
It states the basic foundations and values a doctor must abide by during the duration of their
medical practice. The oath is taken before a medical students graduation from medical school. It
is the rightful duty of the student to uphold the values of the oath throughout their lifelong career
(Toledo-Pereyra 61-62).
The medical school community has a span of over one hundred allopathic schools in the
United States alone (Barzansky). In the medical community, there are many different genres
associated with it. This community is one that has formed over the course of many years in order
to stand where it does today. Genres that are associated with the admission process for medical
schools are items such as the application, the secondary application, resume, interviews, along
with many others. To be part of the medical community one must understand these genres and go
through them in order to be granted admission into medical school.
Throughout the medical community, the key terms are extremely important to know for its
effective use in the daily workspace. Therefore, medical terminology is used. The terminology
used can vary based on whom the doctor is speaking with or towards. Medical English and
terminology is used in the medical, nursing, and healthcare fields to accurately describe the human
body and its components in a science-based manner (Wang, Kao and Liao 47). For example,
towards the doctors fellow nurses and practitioners, the doctor would be more thorough and
provide detailed clarity, all while using the familiar lingo that doctors and nurses alike should

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know and be familiar with. On the contrary, if a doctor is explaining the medication that they are
going to prescribe along with the symptoms and the diagnoses to a patient, they would not use the
mind boggling jargon that the patient would not understand. Instead, a doctor would use the generic
name for the given medicines while explaining their purpose and simplifying the diagnoses into
easier to understand terms. For example, some people would be oblivious to the fact that Tylenol
is also referred to as acetaminophen, the pain and fever reducing ingredient in the medication
(Generic and Brand Name Drugs: Understanding the Basics). In addition to medical jargon and its
simplification being used in terms of medication, it is also used for explaining a persons diagnoses
and disease. In the case of a patient that has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or
ALS, they would not thoroughly understand what it is until they know it as its more common name,
Lou Gehrigs disease. For those who are still strangers to the disease, it is a nervous system disease
that deteriorates ones muscular function by weakening them, and therefore impairing their
physical function. This disease is a devastating one because it often times results in death due to a
respiratory system failure (Orsini, Oliveira and Nascimento 39). In these given examples, it proves
to show how the audience dictates the type of communication that takes place. A more
knowledgeable audience, such as doctors and nurses, would require the medical terminology and
jargon, whereas patients and their families require a simplification of the terms. The jargon used
throughout the field are important key terms, and without it interpersonal communication between
knowledgeable doctors and nurses would not be able to occur smoothly and effectively.
Becoming a physician starts during ones undergraduate years in college. The college years
are the most formative ones. These years are where an individual gets one step closer to becoming
a physician and realizing their dream. In these four years you have more of an opportunity to go
out and explore your world and surroundings. This also gives you a chance to build up your

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resume, explore the world, become an individual, and find out what your calling in life is and if
you are truly meant to become a physician. Although most college students who wish to pursue
medicine, major into a type of science and chose the premedical track their university has to offer,
this is not a requirement for acceptance into medical school. Because of this belief, biology is the
most popular major, along with chemistry and the other sciences. Although a major does not matter
to a medical schools admissions committee, the coursework and academic performance does.
Therefore, a student should choose a major that they will excel in versus one that they think would
look better on paper. Premedical students often times take the challenging and dreaded, weeder
courses, courses such as organic chemistry. Weeder courses allow for the medical schools
admissions committee to see if a student would be able to succeed in medical school and beyond
that in their future career. A premedical student with the intent of going to medical school not only
has to perform well on the Medical College Admission Test, acquire a high grade point average,
have a well-built resume, but also take these challenging classes to differentiate them from the rest.
A premedical student and future doctor must not only perform well in the classroom, but in the
real world as well (Lin, Parnami and Fuhrel-Forbis 26-37).
Once one decides to become a physician, the preparation for medical school begins. During
the undergraduate years of college, a students academic career must be centered around their
impending medical school application and future acceptance. Their grade point average must be
well above average and their course work must be rigorous and challenging in order to make
themselves a well-rounded and competitive applicant. Acceptance into any medical school
deserves high praise, especially with the fact that some schools have a less than 5% acceptance
rate, an acceptance rate that is as low as some of the ivy league universities throughout the United

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States. To be a graduate of any medical school is an honor, and to then go on and practice medicine
is a privilege (Prep).
The big first step to applying to medical school is done by taking the Medical College
Admission Test. The MCAT is an examination that allows for entrance into a medical school. The
MCAT can be compared to the entrance exams taken prior to college acceptance. The MCAT tests
a student on the material and knowledge they will need to succeed in medical school and in their
medical profession in the future. Because of this, medical schools will be able to define and
disseminate their views on the competencies needed by students entering their curriculum
(Hilborn, Lucey and Riegelman 6-7). This serves as one of the main functions of the examination,
the score one receives on the MCAT will provide them with admission or rejection into medical
school. This serves the purpose of seeing which individual is more qualified and capable of
handling the curriculum in medical school and the work that they will be doing beyond those four
years. Studies have shown that MCAT scores become useful for admission committees in the
prediction of the future performance of an applicant during their schooling years. MCAT scores
and GPA are the two heavyweight factors that are taken extremely into consideration when a
committee looks at an applicant. Although this test provides an accurate depiction of the applicant,
it cannot provide clarity on how well they will perform after their years in medical school, during
their post-graduate years (Saguil, Dong and Gingerich 4-6). The MCAT is an exam that is taken
from April to September of the year before in which an applicant is going to apply to medical
school. The test is composed of four sections: biological and biochemical foundations of living
systems, critical analysis and reasoning skills, chemical and physical foundations of biological
systems, and psychological, social and biological foundations of behavior. Each section is scored
from 1 to 15, with the highest composite score being a 45. The average score tends to be in the

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higher 20s and lower 30s range. The MCAT exam is a genre to the medical community, it
possesses various genre conventions within it. Style, design, and medium are all genre conventions
that the MCAT, along with the other genres associated with the medical school community,
possess. The style that the MCAT contains it that it is a standard, multiple choice examination;
therefore, its tone is formal and straightforward. The design of the Medical College Admission
Test is carefully thought out, its design is very organized and structured due to the fact that the
exam cannot be presented with an error in it. The examination booklet cannot have any errors in
design, style, and grammar because the medium in which it is presented to the examinees is in a
physical copy (About the MCAT Exam). This is a genre that is read by the examinee and written
by the examination service. Because of the length of time the MCAT has been in use, even after
its revision in 2015, it is safe to say that this method has been proven more effective than any other
genre that could be utilized to fulfill the same purpose.
The process of applying to medical school takes place during ones junior and senior year
of college. After taking the MCAT, the very next step is to fill out the medical school application
when it becomes available by using the American Medical College Application Service. The
AMCAS is a centralized online application service. It is an application that allows an applicant to
fill it out only once and then send it to as many medical schools that they desire to apply to. This
works out similar to the Common Application for private colleges and universities. The AMCAS
allows the student to attach their supporting documents easily and securely. When filling out the
application, various sections must be completed. In the application, one must include their basic
information, schools attended, academic course work, employment and extracurricular activities,
MCAT scores, essays, and letters of recommendation. To make yourself a standout applicant one
must have been a standout student throughout their undergraduate years both in and out of the

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classroom. Besides having an academic edge to them, the applicant must have also had prior work
experience, particularly in the medical field, and superb recommendation letters from their current
or former professors. An applicant must also have a stellar essay, free of imperfections. If these
steps are done correctly, then the applicant will stand out more. The application in itself is a genre.
The style of the application is easy to follow, its design is computer based and it is an application
in which you upload and submit your documents to the medical schools that one is applying to and
has listed on the application. It being computer based indicates that the tone is very formal and
straightforward much like the MCAT and the other genres associated with medical schools and
their admission processes. The medium used to deliver the application to the applicant is by online,
the applicant is the reader while the AMCAS service is the composer and designer of the
application service. The AMCAS application cannot be accessed elsewhere other than their official
website. This application facilitates the lengthy application process to medical schools for students
because it keeps it neat and organized, due to its design being computer based and detailed with
such precision, therefore this has been deemed very effective against any other method of
application that could be used for the same purpose of applying to medical school. A computerized
application service allows for less clutter when it comes to paper, and a smoother application
process with no doubt or worry that a document was not received or submitted on time.
After these two crucial steps are completed, a secondary application must be provided.
Although this might not be the case for all medical schools one applies to, it is highly thought to
be the case for each applicant that applies to either the Florida State University College of Medicine
or for the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. A secondary application is not always
required but it is only done when the medical school to which you are applying to requests it from
you. Secondary applications consist of essay writings based on the various topics assigned. The

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topics that can be covered are about your favorite piece of literature, leadership roles you have
taken on in your years, academic achievements earned, etc. The submission of a secondary
application allows for further knowledge and review of the individual as a whole and further
factors to better their chances at admission. The submission of a secondary application can also
mean that one will require an interview, a step that will further allow the applicant to paint a picture
for themselves. Once this application is reviewed, the medical school may choose to accept, deny,
or hold you until further notice. The secondary application proves to be another genre that takes
place during the steps of the application process into medical school. The application contains
various genre conventions throughout it, conventions such as its style, design, and medium. Style
is determined by the tone of the genre, and in this case the tone of the secondary application.
Because of the fact that the secondary mainly consists of the essays submitted, the tone throughout
the essays should be formal and build credibility to one as an applicant. In order to have stand out
essays, one must compose in a tone that portrays them as being assertive and knowledgeable.
Regardless of what school the applicant is applying to, they must have a formal tone throughout
their application. Due to its style being as such, the design for the secondary application, regardless
of which medical school one is applying to, will be similar as well. The design can be stated as
being clear cut and well structured. Essays used throughout the secondary application have to have
the correct formatting and appropriate font amongst other things. A main point that should be
addressed for the essays used for the application process, is that they should be properly laid out
by having an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Just like every other genre involved
in the application process to medical school, the medium of delivery is online by electronic
delivery. A secondary application is deemed effective because it allows for an applicant, the writer,

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to explain themselves more to the admissions committee, the readers (Guide to Your Medical
School Application).
A resume or curriculum vitae, is a document that encompasses all of ones schooling, work,
and achievements throughout their years in a summarized and well organized manner. A resume
is most appropriately defined as a brief summation of all your educational and professional
successes that enhance your academic transcript. A resume is comprised of your education, work
experience, professional goal, certifications, community service, honors and awards, etc. To have
a standout medical school application, one must have boast worthy achievements on their resume.
A resume can make all the difference when applying and it can make an application more stand
out than their fellow competitors (Rsum Writing Tips).
The resume portion of the application is one of many genres that are associated with the
application process. Building a resume should start early on, even before the undergraduate years.
An undergraduate student who wishes to pursue medicine should have a resume that highlights
their academic achievements in a positive light, as well as their achievements beyond the
classroom. Students should have work history that deals with the medical field, as well having
honors and awards, and community service or volunteer work. A resume allows the student to
define themselves to the admissions committee, it allows for a more in depth explanation of who
they are in a way that the AMCAS, MCAT score, or GPA simply cannot. Because of todays fast
paced technological society, attention spans have vastly diminished. Due to this instance, an
applicant must encapsulate themselves in a way that is not lengthy for the reviewer to exam. A
resume should highlight a student, therefore what is included on it should be what embosses the
student in the best light (Thompson). The genre conventions for a resume all vary depending on
where an applicant is applying to, whether its a job or a school. In the case of applying to medical

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school, the style of the resume should be extremely formal and casual, even to the point where it
feels cold and impersonal. An applicant should never present an interview that was typed in pink
font on blue printer paper. A resume has various sections in the layout such as the objective,
education, work and volunteer experience, and any honors or awards granted. For the design that
the resume should hold, it should be extremely organized and to the point, it is unnecessary to fill
a resume with useless information. The visual design and layout should be well structured and
formal, an applicant wants to come off as being serious and intelligent. The font should not be
colorful and the resume does not need to have a design to it. The medium of the resume in this
case would be electronic because of the fact that everything that comes with the process of
admission into a medical school is electronic and provides for easy upload with the use of the
AMCAS. The resume itself is deemed very effective because it allows for a further introduction
of the student to the admissions committee in both a holistic and academic way.
In order to insure ones success as a doctor, they must not only want it, but crave it as well.
One must have a calling to become a doctor, because not only is medical school a big commitment,
it is also a long and extensive one. Medicine should be ones vocation in life, not just a job. Aside
from the four years of schooling, there are the additional years of residency, internship, clinical
work, etc. before one can be an established physician. This process can take anywhere from four
to eight years, sometimes even more. This can all be very off putting for someone who aspires to
become a doctor. While others were born for this, some just decide to pursue this career path
because of their familys values and the pressure that they put upon them or for the financial
stability it provides for the future. Because of this, there are many doctors out there who are more
money hungry than anything and do not have the love and passion for medicine or the tender, love,
and care for the patients they tend to.

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In the medical and medical school community, each genre interconnects and relates with
each other. Although not evident at first, this can be evident later on in the application process.
The application service, American Medical College Application Service, is a genre in itself, along
with the Medical College Admission Test, the secondary application and the resume. In order to
have a complete application for medical school, an applicant must have gone through all the
necessary steps and genres in order to have a complete application that is ready for submission. To
utilize the American Medical College Application Service, a student must upload their Medical
College Admission Test scores, along with their resume, and supporting documentation. In
addition to this, a student must also submit a secondary application if requested of them. Therefore,
it is seen how all genres relate to each other. In the process of applying to medical school, one
genre functions by the submission of the other genres in the along the process, this shows how
they all are interrelated to each other. The application is convenient because it allows one
application to be filled and one set of documentation to be sent to the various universities listed on
the application. The AMCAS and its conventions portray the medical community in a highly
detached and in an all business, and no play light. This is also particular for all the other
conventions mentioned throughout the medical school application process. The Medical College
Admission Test is another genre that is also formal and yet impersonal, it is an exam that measures
your knowledge and how well you will perform throughout your medical schooling years. The
scores received on the MCAT will be a determining factor of admission or rejecting into the
medical schools listed on the application. The secondary application and resume portion of the
application process allow the medical community to know something more about the applicant
that academics could not. This shows how the community is also inviting and wants to get to know
someone on a deeper level than just academics. Each genre in the application process involves a

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highly formal wording with an extensive vocabulary. Because of this, the medical community can
also be interpreted to be cold and highly impersonal. Thus, what can be said of the communitys
identity is that it is one that is strictly about business. The medical community is on the other hand,
friendly and inviting. Every doctor you meet or get treated by in your life builds a strong
connection with you and with your family as well. Communication between patient and doctor and
the patients family is extremely important in this field, therefore, excellent bedside manners is
important to have. The medical community is very serious every day. The community is serious
about its prospective doctors, its current doctors, and its applicants. Anyone who is part of the
medical community is interrelated on a level that they can only understand. A medical school
cannot solely admit applicants because of word of mouth from someone else and because of their
credentials, therefore, one has to know how serious it is to be a member of this community as well
as to be a doctor in this community. Members of this community impact each and every aspect of
the medical community every day, as well as impacting and shaping themselves as individuals.
The makers of the MCAT can decide for a revision in the exam materials or in the way it is
administered, and even scored. The changing of this provides for a change in the way the MCAT
would be used in future admission decisions and in the weight and roll it plays for admission
committees. Those who decided that using the AMCAS was the best way of applying to medical
school can suddenly find another application software that would be deemed more effective than
what is in current use, therefore, this impacts greatly how applicants and future doctors would be
applying to medical school. The application, an electronic one, does demonstrate how electronics
have shaped our lives and are part of the daily life. Medicine is not only a science, but an art as
well. The medical community and medical field is constantly evolving. From one day to the next,
there is a new lifesaving medication or technological advancement for the treatment of patients.

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Medicine is a fascinating field in the world today, and by being a part of it you constantly save
lives. A person can go from borderline dead, to healthy and alive in a matter of minutes. There is
a strong beauty in the world of medicine, and in the daily hustle and bustle of a hospital.

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Works Cited
About the MCAT Exam. n.d. 26 July 2016. <https://students-residents.aamc.org/applyingmedical-school/taking-mcat-exam/about-mcat-exam/>.
Barzansky, Barbara. Medical Schools in the United States. 2015. 03 August 2016.
Generic and Brand Name Drugs: Understanding the Basics. Depression and Bipolar Support
Alliance. Illinois, n.d. PDF.
Guide to Your Medical School Application. n.d. 26 July 2016.
Hilborn, Robert C., Catherine R. Lucey and Richard K. Riegelman. "Undergraduate Preparation
for the Health Professions and the Revised Medical College Admissions Test."
Association of American Colleges & Universities (2012): 6-9.
Lin, Katherine Y., et al. "The undergraduate premedical experience in the United States: a
critical review." International Journal of Medical Education 4 (2013): 26-37.
Lopez, Dr. Pedro. Personal interview. 25 July 2016.
Modanlou, H. D. "Historical Evidence for the Origin of Teaching Hospital, Medical School and
the Rise of Academic Medicine." Journal of Perinatology 31.4 (2011): 236-239.
Orsini, Marco, et al. "Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: new perpectives and update." Neurology
International (2015): 39-47.
Prep, Veritas. Top 3 Reasons Medical School Applications Are Rejected. 2012. 03 August 2016.
"Rsum Writing Tips." Critical Care Nurse 27 (2007): 51-55.

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Saguil, Aaron, et al. "Does the MCAT Predict Medical School and PGY-1 Performance? ."
(2015): 4-11.
Thompson, Kimberly. "Student Rsums: Who Are You?" Phi Kappa Phi Forum 94 (2014): 23.
Toledo-Pereyra, Luis. "Hippocrates of Cos." (2013): 61-62.
Wang, Ya-Huei, Pan-Fu Kao and Hung-Chang Liao. " The Relationship of Vocabulary Learning
Strategies and Self-Efficacy with Medical English and Terminology." Perceptual and
Motor Skills 122.1 (2016): 47-66.

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