Northstar MD is rebranding ourselves to MD Collective! All of the same resources and programs will still be available (and more!). Please head over to, as this website will soon be deprecated.

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This is Northstar MD.

Premed tutoring and consulting for students, by students.

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Getting into medical school is expensive.

We know this because we were once premeds as well. MCAT prep materials and AMCAS applications can easily cost upwards of thousands of dollars. Add student loans, gap year activities, and postbac programs into the mixture and the costs quickly skyrocket.

Our team doesn't think this is fair, and believes medical school admissions put students in minority groups and lower socioeconomic status at an unfair disadvantage.

We're keen on doing something about it. Northstar MD is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that aims to help first-generation and low-income students throughout the medical school admissions process all the way from planning coursework to MCAT prep to navigating the admissions process.

We'll connect you to student mentors that have gone through the same process you're going through.

The best part: all our services are completely free.


Our team's average MCAT score.


Total number of medical schools that at least 1 team member got accepted to.


Number of students that we've helped get into medical school.

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MCAT Preparation

The MCAT is a significant barrier to medical school for all applicants. Not only is it generally considered one of the most important factors for admissions, but it is difficult to properly prepare for, and currently available tutoring services can cost upwards of thousands of dollars. We strive to help make sure that all can have their best opportunity to succeed, regardless of background.

We offer FREE MCAT tutoring. You will be paired with a member of our team with extensive teaching experience and a top MCAT score (≥98th percentile). Your tutor will work closely with you and will personalize and execute a study plan, including weekly tutoring and advising.

Long-Term Advising

Everyone's path to medical school is unique. There are no checklists or rubrics. The most important aspect of your application is your ability to communicate your passion and capability to pursue a career in medicine and service through demonstrated action.

Beyond preparing for the MCAT, we recognize that finding, choosing, and prioritizing which extracurricular, shadowing, and research opportunities to pursue can be a major point of stress for pre-medical students. To help level the inequities of knowledge of the possible opportunities, characterized by information asymmetries and access across socioeconomic groups, we mentor students by sharing our knowledge of the available opportunities catered to your own interests and will help counsel you through any associated processes/applications. We will work with you early in the process to help you identify relevant gaps in experiences that can provide you with valuable perspectives to support your candidacy.

Interview Prep

Interviews are a major and the ultimate component of a student's candidacy for medical school, with most admissions committees weighing them considerably. Our team includes trained medical school admissions interviewers who can help you master the medical school interview for both MD and MD-PhD applications, including MMIs and traditional interviews. Through mock interviews with personalized feedback, we can help you perfect your skills.


Andrew Zhou Headshot

Andrew Zhou

Andrew is currently a Churchill Scholar and Master's Candidate at the University of Cambridge. He graduated from Caltech in 2021 with a major in Chemistry and a minor in Biology. Andrew has a passion for teaching and for making complex topics understandable for all. He has volunteered as a STEM tutor and worked as a TA for Organic Chemistry and Physiology at Caltech. For fun, Andrew enjoys playing tennis, running, and playing the cello. Andrew scored in the 100th percentile on the MCAT and is excited to guide students to achieve their MCAT goals.

Varun Shanker Headshot

Varun Shanker

Varun is currently a first year MD-PhD student at Stanford University, and will be pursuing his graduate studies in Biophysics. He graduated from Caltech in 2021 with a BS in Bioengineering. While at Caltech, Varun was president of the student body, played on the tennis team, and served as an advisor to the institute's Board of Trustees. Beyond the classroom and lab, Varun is a sports enthusiast who also enjoys spending his free time exploring all of the outdoor activities NorCal has to offer—from surfing to skiing.

Michael Yao Headshot

Michael Yao

Michael graduated from Caltech in 2021 with a BS in Applied Physics, and is a current MD-PhD candidate at the University of Pennsylvania in the department of Bioengineering. He is interested in healthcare entrepreneurship and helping translate clinically relevant technologies to bring them to market. While at Caltech, Michael served as a TA for various physics and engineering courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and also served as editor-in-chief of Caltech's undergraduate research journal. Outside of class, you can find him swimming and playing chess.