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Med School Professor Authors Admissions Guide

Goldstein Draws Upon Experience as Physician, Undergraduate Adviser

By Halton A. Peters

Pre-meds hoping to snare one of the increasingly elusive spots in a top medical school now have a reason to put their minds at ease.

A Harvard Medical School professor's guide to medical-school admissions, published in April, has nearly sold out its first printing.

The Definitive Guide to Medical School Admission, written by Mark Allan Goldstein, assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and a pre-medical student adviser at MIT for the last 18 years, walks candidates through the sometimes grueling application process.

"I was browsing around and found no books on the practical aspects of getting into medical school," Goldstein said in an interview, explaining why he felt the need to write the guide.

Goldstein, who co-wrote the book with his wife, Myrna Chandler Goldstein, drew upon his experiences as a physician and an adviser to undergraduates in writing the guide, which details the intricate process of getting ready and applying to med school.

The guide reviews secrets of the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT), the major criteria that are used to judge applicants, financing medical school, and what to do if rejected from a medical school.

Distributed by Barnes and Noble, the book's first printing of 5,000 copies is almost all sold out, according to Goldstein.

Lee Ann Michelson, pre-med counselor at Harvard's Office of Career Services, said that because of Goldstein's unique dual role, "he's got a really good and interesting perspective."

But Michelson said she is not sure that it will really benefit Harvard students, given the quality of advising here.

Michelson says that Harvard's residential house-based pre-med advising is unique among colleges, and students have a host of resident and non-resident tutors as well as OCS counselors available for advice.

But Michelson still recommended the book, especially for non-Harvard students.

"This book is useful for students with out the advising that Harvard students have," she said.

--Nelson C. Hsu contributed to the reporting of this story.

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