Is pre-med consulting worth the money?
Why would anyone hire a pre-med consultant?
With all the MCAT prep options out there, all the pre-med instructional guides, the valuable advice available online and the resources available from your school counselor, not to mention from the admissions offices at the schools you want to attend, you’d think everyone has an equal shot at getting into medical school.
Theoretically that’s true. But in practice, it’s far from it. The application packet you put together, your strategic approach for where you send applications, your last minute efforts to top out your GPA, your personal statement, the quality of your extracurriculars….all these, together with your MCAT score, will define you to the adcoms who ultimately decide your fate. That’s why pre-med consulting is a growing area for pre-meds looking to increase their competitive edge.
Looking into a crystal ball
If the applications process seems overwhelming now, just wait! You’ll wonder whether to ditch your transcripts from the year you did at a community college to hide the C in Chemistry. Would it be better to just re-take it? You’ll be trying to evaluate whether a night job in a hospital emergency room will be more or less valuable than doing research with a professor on campus. Who can look into a crystal ball and know?
The answer is, no one. But a pre-med consultant promises to answer some of these questions, plus share some secrets about the med school application process, to save you time and money and improve your chances of getting accepted at the schools you want. (Of course there’s no guarantee that these things will actually happen, but that’s the sales pitch.)
Walking you through the process
So if you’re the type of person that learns best by having someone walk you through the process, and would prefer not having to spend loads of time online doing research yourself, you may be the perfect candidate for pre-med consulting. In some cases the consultants have served on admissions committees and can provide you with direct knowledge of the process.
The cost for a well-versed consultant ranges from $150 to $350 per hour, with hourly minimums. In other words, you could spend $1,000 to $1,800 to receive all the advice and help you need. If you decide to go this route, make sure to get a referral or two for the consultant you pick. There’s a wide range of both experience and effectiveness among pre-med consultants. Ask the consultant to refer you to one or more clients so you can find out what to expect.
Best $1,800 you’ve ever spent!? Maybe.
I’m not necessarily recommending you spend the bucks for a pre-med consultant. If you’re extremely resourceful, and have the time, you can put together your own “consulting team.” but for the right type of student (like those I mentioned above), it could be the best $1,800 you’ve ever spent.