How to Get into Medical School (Hack)


Undergraduates who want to go to medical school must know what factors are important in getting in. The 126 medical schools in the U.S. and Puerto Rico admit 16,500 first-year students out of as many as 36,000 applicants. The number of applicants has been declining in recent years, but the competition is still stiff.
Since most students apply to 10 or more schools, a typical medical school is likely to receive 6,000 applications for a class of 180. About 600 applicants are selected for interviews. Here are the bases on which they are chosen. Don’t forget there are Canadian colleges you can bargain prices.

Dealing with rejection

If an applicant is not accepted, there is always next year. If your GPA or MCAT Scores are too low, spend the next year raising them. If your academic record is fine, but other applicants are given preference, spend the year working in a hospital or other helping profession to prove your commitment to serving people.

More Information

Medical School Admissions Requirements: U.S.A. and Canada, Assn. of American Medical Colleges, 1 Dupont Circle NW, Washington, DC 20036, and Getting into Medical School, by S.J. Brown, MD, Barron’s Educational Services, Inc., Woodbury, NY 11797.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

An admissions committee’s first question is whether an applicant can succeed academically. A student’s grade point average is the best measure of academic competence. Many schools compute an overall GPA and a science GPA separately. Both are important.

Medical College Admissions Test

Since no admissions committee can be familiar with all the colleges that applicants come from, the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), required by nearly all medical schools, is the equalizer. If an applicant’s GPA is a little low, a high MCAT can make a difference, especially if the undergraduate college’s recommendations are strong.


Letters from former professors are read very carefully. If they are strongly supportive and specific about the student’s competence and character, they can make a significant difference. Before asking for a recommendation, a student should ask whether the professor can give a clearly positive report.

The interview and essay

Medicine is a helping profession that requires commitment and compassion, as well as academic competence. The essay and interview are designed to reveal the kind of human being the applicant is. The admissions committee wants to know whether an applicant has the qualities that will make a good doctor.
Qualities: Commitment to the profession, ability to communicate, compassion for people, motivation to complete a demanding course of study. The more tangible evidence an applicant can offer from past activities in sports, social activities, jobs, and home life, the better.

Undergraduate schools

A degree from a top private college may give an applicant a slight edge, but not much. It is most likely to be helpful if an applicant’s GPA is a little low. A student’s course of study is examined for breadth, as well as for science courses. Doc tors don’t spend their lives in a laboratory.
Thus, a grounding in the humanities and social sciences is important. No matter how high a student’s GPA is, if there are too many easy courses on the record, the response will be negative.

It Really Pays to Ask Questions


Ask Questions

When investment bankers, stock analysts or portfolio managers want to know what’s happening inside a corporation, they have direct access to the corporate treasurer or the investor relations (IR) officer. When you are curious about an issue affecting your investment, you too can direct questions to the firm’s IR officer.
Don’t ask for information that is readily available elsewhere. Have before you a well-prepared written list of specific questions.
Before talking with the company representative, however, look at the annual report. It’s an important document. In addition to giving you the financial background, most good reports reveal the type of thinking going on in the company. They also reveal the differences between a company that just happens to be in the right place at the right time and a company that is making its own breaks. Look for a specific description of future plans-not just “We hope 1990 will be a good year.”
There is no law that says that public companies must answer all your questions. In fact, there’s much that they can’t tell you. They can’t divulge anything that is not already in the public domain. They can’t answer questions about mergers, acquisitions, or divestitures. And most companies, although they are allowed to estimate earnings, won’t do so.
An IR officer can only tell you what the company’s plans are or give you the financial figures that have already been released. He can also discuss news announcements interpretively-for example, the possible impact on the bottom line for Union Carbide after the Bhopal tragedy.

What exactly are clarifying questions?

Clarifying questions are those asked by the listener to the speaker in order to eliminate or prevent any misunderstanding, confusion, or ambiguity. By asking this type of question after receiving the message, the listener ensures that they fully comprehended the message and obtain critical additional information.

The speaker also benefits from knowing that their audience is paying attention and is genuinely interested in what they have to say.

Clarifying questions usually does not necessitate new information from the speaker. They are instead used by the listener to gain a more accurate understanding of what the speaker wishes to convey.

They can be used in any situation where someone is attempting to communicate with an audience, such as in interviews, presentations, and discussions.

Clarifying questions:

  • What do you mean by the best possible price?
  • How can I make sure of that?
  • What do you consider to be new technology?
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Bottom line

The tone of your voice can make the same sentence sound entirely different to someone else. You should express your gratitude to the person who provided the clarification by thanking them for taking the time to explain the concept further.

Outstanding Non-Ivy League Colleges


There are many high-quality institutions that are less well known nationally. They welcome students from other parts of the country. Worth looking into.
Let’s look at them one after another.
1. Bowdoin (Brunswick, ME, 25 miles northeast of Portland). A top-quality liberal arts college for men, now coed. More than half of its graduates go to graduate or professional school.
2. Carleton (Northfield, MN, 40 miles south of Minneapolis/St. Paul). A coed, liberal arts college notable for its outstanding faculty and scholars.
3. Claremont Men’s (Claremont, CA, 35 miles from Los Angeles). A coed liberal arts college. It places special emphasis on economics and political science to prepare students for careers in law, government, and business. Benefits: Cross-registration with five other colleges in the Claremont area.
4. Colgate (Hamilton, NY, 38 miles southeast of Syracuse). Prestigious liberal arts college for men, now coed. Traditionally has trained students in business and the professions.
5. Davidson (Davidson, NC, a small town 20 miles north of Charlotte). One of the most academically-oriented liberal arts colleges in the region, more than half of its graduates go to graduate or professional school. Church-related, two terms of religion are required.
6. Duke (Durham, NC). One of the top universities in the South. Two-thirds of its graduates go on to graduate or professional school.
7. Franklin and Marshall (Lancaster, PA, 60 miles west of Philadelphia). For many years a quality liberal arts college for men, now coed. Emphasis: Preparation for law, business, and the sciences.
8. Georgetown (Washington, DC). Founded as a Jesuit college for men, now coed. The School of Foreign Service and College of Arts and Sciences are of very high quality. A high proportion of graduates go into business or law. Religious studies are required.
9. Grinnell (Grinnell, IA, 55 miles east of Des Moines). A small, highly-respected, coed, liberal arts college. More than half of its graduates go into business, law, or medicine.
10. Hamilton (Clinton, NY, a small town 9 miles from Utica). For many years a small liberal arts college for men, now coed. Traditionally, it has prepared students for careers in law, business, and medicine.
11. Middlebury (Middlebury, VT, 40 miles south of Burlington). It has a high reputation for programs in languages and literature. The greatest number of students major in the social sciences. There is strong student interest in sports like skiing and mountain climbing.
12. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (25 miles northwest of Raleigh). The first state university in the country, its College of Arts and Sciences has a nationwide reputation.
13. Oberlin (Oberlin, OH, 35 miles southwest of Cleveland). A highly esteemed, coed, liberal arts college, which combines strong academic programs with an eminent conservatory of music.
14. Pomona (Claremont, CA, 35 miles from Los Angeles). The oldest of the Claremont-area colleges. Coed. One of the most eminent of West Coast colleges. Benefit: Cross-registration with other Claremont colleges.
15. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY). The oldest engineering school in the country. It now admits women to its high-quality student body but is still predominantly male.
16. Washington University (St. Louis, MO). A major midwestern institution. It includes five high-quality schools and colleges. It sends 75% of its graduates to graduate and professional schools.
I hope this list of outstanding Non-Ivy League of Colleges will help you as an alternative to popular colleges. Don’t just continue to wait when admission is not forthcoming from your preferred institution. Start learning now.

How Institutional Investors Think

How Institutional Investors Think


High priorities for institutional investors in selecting stocks for their investment portfolios: Price/earnings ratio, current and projected earnings, and management competence. Least important: Product quality, the state of the US economy, and the industry group. Middle ranking: Balance sheet, price per share, and long-term earnings record.
Please check out this post on: Big Opportunities in Small Companies.

The Cash-Flow System

My basic thesis: The stock market overvalues reported earnings…and discounts cash flow. But earnings are a function of past actions. What the investor should try to ascertain is earnings two years from now. That’s usually a function of current expenses. For that reason, I’d rather have cash flow than
earnings. When I buy a stock, I pretend that I’m buying the entire company at that price. And in analyzing cash flow, I focus on earnings, depreciation, and deferred taxes.
I like to buy stocks at less than three times the annual cash flow per share when the depreciation per share is bigger than the earnings per share. What if the company’s earnings go to zero? I want to know how much cash the company is generating and whether it can pay its obligations.
To find stocks, I go through Value Line and Standard & Poor’s every day. I look at a company’s price chart. Is it up or down? Then I look at its depreciation and the number of shares outstanding. If anything comes close to three times depreciation per share, I take a second look at it.
Every six months or so a stock group is really down…that’s when investors can get in. Two years ago, the airlines were undervalued. Almost half of that group was selling for at least three times annual depreciation.
In these cases I totally ignore earnings. All sorts of investment analysts are trying to figure out the next quarter’s earnings, and I don’t want to be following the herd. I plan to hold a stock for at least three years… .and know that. Virtue: It takes away the pressure on my clients of worrying about earnings for the next quarter.
We also wrote: How to Be Your Own Securities Analyst.

Price/Sales Ratios

The standard advice for investors: Buy into companies when they’re unpopular and relatively cheap. Problem: How do you really know when that’s the case?
As a guideline, investors have traditionally used the price/earnings (P/E) ratio (the market price per share divided by the net income per share). They compare that ratio with the average P/E ratio of the Dow Jones industrial average or another stock index.
Example 1:
A stock looks especially attractive when its P/E ratio is 10 and the P/E ratio of the Dow is 18. Trap: The P/E ratio is dramatically affected by a company’s earnings, which are subject to arbitrary and often outmoded accounting methods.
Better guideline: The price/sales (P/S) ratio, which is more stable, more current, and less susceptible to accounting manipulation. To get the P/S ratio, divide a stock’s price by its sales per share.
Example 2:
A company with $100 million in annual sales that sells for $15 a share and has 5 million shares outstanding has a price/sales ratio of .75 ($15 divided by $20 sales per share). Comparison: If the same company has earnings of $5 million a year, its price/earnings ratio is 15 ($15 divided by $1 per share earnings).
When dealing with P/S ratios, think of smaller numbers. Very unpopular companies have a P/S below .25. An average company has a P/S of .5, and a very popular company has a P/S ratio of 1 or above.

To get the highest growth on an intermediate to long-term basis, stick with stocks having P/S ratios of less than .25. Sell the stock if its P/S ratio approaches 1. We’ve found that low P/S stocks outperform low P/E stocks-and by a wide margin.
Based on random sampling, there’s also growing evidence that low P/S stocks outperform the market.
This isn’t to say that P/E ratios don’t have a place in stock analysis. Buying low P/E stocks is certainly a viable way to get the above-average reward at below-average risk. No matter which ratios you watch, it’s also necessary to use fundamental analysis to identify the quality companies among the low P/S or low P/E candidates.
Limits of use:
P/S ratios don’t apply to the stocks of companies such as banks, real estate investment trusts, and others in which ongoing sales aren’t the driving force. They’re often not helpful in analyzing very small (under $5 million in sales), rapidly growing companies. However, they’re especially valid for industrial companies, retailers, and insurance companies. 
Investopedia did a good job on How to Use Price-To-Sales Ratios to Value Stocks.
Dividend Yield As a Measure
Dividends are an excellent indication of the growth of a business-even more so than earnings. Earnings can be manipulated but dividends can’t. They are real money, not figures on a balance sheet. If the dividend is rising year after year, you know that the company is making good progress.
Although I feel strongly that a stockholder is entitled to some share of the profits, we don’t select stocks on the basis of dividend income. Instead, we use dividend yield as a technical measure to identify good buying and selling areas. Over a long period of time, stocks generally fluctuate between perimeters of high dividend yield (marking a valley of undervaluing) and plateaus of low dividend yield (marking peaks of overvaluing). These perimeters seem to be rather consistent.
Each stock must be reviewed individually. IBM is undervalued when it is yielding 4% and overvalued at 2%. Other stocks are undervalued when yielding 3% and overvalued at 1%
We follow 350 blue-chip stocks-mostly NYSE-selected according to specific characteristics. Dividend yield measures value in the stock market, but we measure the quality of an issue by six criteria:
1. We want the dividend to have been raised five times in the last 12 years.
2. The stock should carry an S&P quality ranking in the A category.
3. It should also have at least 5 million shares outstanding, to ensure liquidity.
4. At least 80 institutional investors should be holding it.
5. We look for 25 years of uninterrupted dividends.
6. Earnings should have shown improvement in at least seven of the last 12 years.
A computer figures out the various yield levels that in the past have indicated undervalue or overvalue. All the stocks are then grouped into one of four categories: Undervalued, overvalued, rising trend, or declining trend.
A rising-trend classification indicates that although the stock has been undervalued, it has risen at least 10% from this undervalued base. In the declining-trend group, the stock has been overvalued but has declined at least 10% from an overvalued peak.
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People who want to buy stocks would be interested in the undervalued or rising-trend categories. People who own stocks would be interested in the other two to map out a selling strategy. Please don’t forget that It Really Pays to Ask Questions.
You don’t have to do anything exotic or complicated to achieve superior investment results in the stock market. Simple formula: Buy stocks when they’re undervalued and sell them when they’re overvalued.