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Med School Confidential: A Complete Guide to the Medical School Experience: By Students, for Students Paperback – July 25, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Miller, author of Law School Confidential and Business School Confidential has teamed with Bissel, a doctor of emergency medicine, for the latest entry. A guide for readers thinking about attending medical school, or in the early stages of beginning an M.D., Miller and Bissell begin upbeat: "It's hard to argue with a career choice that allows you to save lives, or at least improve them every day." The arduous and complicated seven-to-ten year path they lay out, however, is another story. Reading the book straight through may do more to discourage readers than to help them on their way, but Miller and Bissell are clear and thorough, from undergraduate pre-med work to med school applications to grueling med school coursework to the various standardized tests, clinical duties and internships until, finally, the all-important career choice: where to spend your residency. Comments from several young practicing doctors ("Med School Confidential Mentors") don't illuminate much, and the authors can resort to banal generalizations that are little help: "The key is not knowing what you want to do, but what kind of person you want to become.". This book reveals very little of the personal, emotional journey of becoming a doctor, but as an overview of the academic rigors of the med student life, this guide is top-notch.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
“Miller and Bissell are clear and thorough.... As an overview of the academic rigors of the med student life, this guide is top-notch.” ―Publishers Weekly
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This book takes you through the whole process of medical school - from trying to decide whether being a doctor is something you REALLY want to do all the way through what to expect during residency and beyond. There is even a very helpful chapter written for family and friends of medical students to help them understand what to expect while their loved one is training to be a doctor.
I felt like this book gave a very good "insider" view that was realistic - it really helped me understand exactly what to expect from each stage of medical training. It includes lots of tips and advice for being as successful as possible in each stage along the way. There was also an excellent chapter on how to pay for medical school.
I think this book would be an excellent choice for anyone who is considering Medical School or who is still in the early stages of their training.
but I've benefited form the learning techniques and time management tips and overall medical student lifestyle
This text is definitely aimed more at the prospective med student; it suffices to say that the book considers in the early chapters whether one might be suited to a career in medicine, but in large part it discusses strategies for getting into med school and surviving the process through residency, including information for spouses/sig-others of prospective med students. The fact that the book includes a lot of information from recent med school graduates bolsters its credibility in my view, and gives a more authoritative perspective overall.
What leads me to award such a high rating however, is the compelling nature of the writing, which is informative and succinct. The authors convey a great deal of information without belaboring, and proffer practical advice without waxing condescendingly philosophical.
While I read this hoping to get more of a "pulse" (pardon the expression) on the med school decision making process (should I/shouldn't I), I found that the lowdown and descriptiveness of med school itself should arm me with information to make that call. I'd highly recommend this book not only for the prospective med student, but also for matriculated students who may be wondering what exactly to expect and how to plan their studies.
EDIT March 2010:
I am in my first year of medical school and I still fully endorse this book. I can finally say from the other side of the application, that it was very helpful in the application process. I have lent out this book to a number of friends interested in the idea of pursuing medicine and they seem to have appreciated the content as well.