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MD Applicants

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  • phuynh94

  • Application cycles: 05/31/2015
  • Demographics: Female, 25, East Asian
  • Home state: California
  • Last Active: 12/09/2016
  • Brief Profile: 2014 MCAT: No writing score. My MCAT Study Plan + Tips
    AMCAS Submitted: June 2nd, 2015
    AMCAS Verified: June 4th, 2015

    1. Research Assistant, Psych Lab (3 years, no summers): 2nd author publication
    2. Research Assistant, Hospital Emergency Department (1.5 years, no summers): assisted in Pt enrollment, data collection, data analysis, shadowed residents and attendings while waiting to enroll patients, 3rd author manuscript in progress
    3. Resident Assistant, for both freshman and upperclassmen (2 years, no summers): won RA of the Year, duties included policy enforcement, value-based programming, crisis response, peer counseling, etc
    4. Student Worker/Peer Health Educator, Student Wellness Resource Room (2 years, no summers): administrative duties, peer counseling on issues related to sexual health and mindfulness
    5. Volunteer (2 years, no summers)>: lunch packing and distribution to the homeless & working poor. as well as miscellaneous service programs for my hall
    6. Owner/Designer, Online Business (3 years, on and off): started off as a hobby, then launched an Etsy shop because I didn't want a "typical" part time job in college; will most likely commit to this full time during my gap year and transition from Etsy to my own website
    6. Shadowing (~200-300 hrs, including some of the time spent during my clinical research shifts): EM, FM, pediatrics, OB/GYN, psychiatry (indirectly via ED consults)
    7. Grab bag of awards, scholarships, research fellowships
    8. Medical Scribe: Gap year job 30 hours/week
    9. Volunteer at Medical Non-Profit: Gap year volunteering 10 hours/week

    Super excited for this admissions cycle! MDApps was super useful for me when I was looking up schools, and I'd love to give back by sharing my journey!
  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 05/31/2015

    • Undergraduate college: University of Southern California
    • Undergraduate Area of study: Psychology/Social Sciences
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 523
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 132, C/P 130, CARS 130  
    • Overall GPA: 3.98
    • Science GPA: 3.98

    Summary of Application Experience


    Received my first batch of secondaries today! WUSL, UMich, UChicago, Duke, Columbia, URochester. I pre-wrote all of my essays based on last year's prompts. While this caused me to break out for the entire month of June due to all the stress, I am soooo glad I did. I received secondaries from 6 schools today, and out of the 15 prompts assigned/available, I already had 13 ready. It made submitting them that much easier!

    Secondary received and submitted to Baylor! Still waiting for payments/fee waivers and LORs to kick in for all my other schools. Columbia marked complete.

    Rochester marked complete. Happy Fourth of July, everyone!

    Hopkins and USC Keck secondaries received and submitted. Pretty much halfway done now! YUSSSS.

    NYU secondary received and submitted. UCLA "primary received" notification.

    Vandy secondary received and submitted! SUPER STOKED.

    Mayo LOR request received! I'm so happy and grateful!! Can't wait for the rest of the cycle!

    Case secondary received and submitted! The CCLCM tracks broke my heart a little ahaha, since I wasn't expecting the UT prompts to be included. Thank goodness the SDN community informed me of it last night! Although it probably would have been more cost-effective, I still decided not to apply to the UP; CCLCM's mission and set up just seemed to click with me more. It's a reach, but here's to hoping!

    HMS secondary received and submitted! Getting an II here would be an absolute dream.

    UCLA secondary received and submitted! Keeping my fingers crossed for this on! Mayo LORs received; app now complete! Baylor "has been reviewed" status seen today!

    UC Davis "primary received" email. UCI secondary received and submitted! Pritzker II *screaming*

    UCSD received AHHH *dances*. There was a glitch in the photo uploading section, so I'm not able to submit, unfortunately. ALSO, UCI INTERVIEW INVITE? WUT. The turnaround is crazy!

    UCSF secondary received and submitted! Keeping my fingers crossed! It seemed like UMichMedMondays were not a thing this week...what a tease, haha.

    Keck II! My alma mater loves me!

    Baylor status changed from "has been reviewed" to "is being reviewed!" Hopefully, rumor holds true and I'll hear some good news soon!



    Vandy II! Over the moon!


    CCLCM II!! Unreal!

    Decided to bite the bullet and submitted an app to Stanford. Relatively late, considering how I timed the rest of my application -______- but what the hell. It's $37, and I'll have no regrets.

    Columbia II! Beyond excited! Unfortunately, when I checked the portal, all the available September dates resulted in conflict -___- I emailed the admissions committee and was allowed to delay my interview until the first week of October. Frantically writing an ITA email to NYU and Rochester in hopes of garnering more interviews for that week and saving me a couple expensive flights!

    USCF and HMS INTERVIEW INVITE. WHAT IS HAPPENING. I found out during my layover on my way to Baltimore. Needless to say, a lot of screaming happened in Dallas.

    WashU II! Estatic!

    Duke II AHHHHHHH BEYOND STOKED. I really thought I was passed over or that they didn't like something in my secondary essays, but super surprised and thrilled to have this chance to visit! Unfortunately, they also use the MMI, so I guess it's just one interview style that I'll have to get used to... -_______-

    USC Waitlist (boooooooo). PRITZKER ACCEPTANCE *high pitch scream*

    Mayo hold email. I'll take it. I've been incredibly lucky just to have a chance to visit!

    10/27: Withdrew from UC Davis, USC, and URochester at this point. Still waiting for my Pritzker email, haha!

    10/30: Waitlisted at UCI. Am not upset at all, to be honest.

    11/4: Waitlisted at UCSD! It feels weird to be so relieved about this decision, but considering how I never felt at home at UCSD, I'm sure it's for the best. Best of luck to those waiting to hear back!

    11/5: Finally received my Pritzker letter! Still very much in love with this school.

    11/20: R-r-rejected from UCLA! Oh well, can't say I'm not bummed, but honestly still riding the Pritzker high.

    12/01: Boooooooo, Stanford, you heartbreaker. Not surprised though: my "late" app and less-than-steller essays don't paint me as the best applicant, haha. At least now my folks can stop nagging me about applying there!

    12/08: Awwwwwww, Hopkins, why don't you love me? Placed on the alternate list, and am completely honored for the chance to visit. Keeping my fingers crossed for this one!

    12/17: Aw, NYU rejection.

    12/18: UCSF waitlist! I'm keeping my hopes up for this one!

    01/15: Awwww, officially alternate-listed at Mayo. Not a huge surprised, and honestly, I don't know if I'm willing to stay on it. I have until March 1st to decide, so I guess I'll wait to hear back from other schools first? Also, Pritzker emailed me about sending in financial aid forms, but I still haven't received my tax documents... =___= On the flipside, with 2016 well underway, I'm itching (and dreading) to hear back from some of my dream schools. I'm not expecting anything, since the interviewees I've met are so stellar and competitive. I'm really just happy to have had the chance to visit, haha!

    02/10: Received my second NYC-based telemarketing call this month. With Columbia supposedly releasing admissions decisions soon, I think I'll have my first heart attack before February is over...

    02/11: AHHHHHHHHHHHHH COLUMBIA ACCEPTED. Third time's the charm; I received a phone call from my interviewer this morning!

    02/23: Vandy waitlist. :( I'm not devastated, since I'm still riding on my Columbia high, but I was a bit sad because I remember being so happy at my Vandy interview. I guess this was for the best.

    02/27: CCLCM alternate list. To be honest, I'm not even mad. CCLCM is a fantastic institution with a unique model, and I'm so incredibly proud and honored to have even made it this far! I'll keep my name on the alternate list for now, but we'll see how things go!

    02/29: DUKE ACCEPTANCE OMG. Honestly, truly unexpected. I'm not an outwardly social person, so even though I loved my interview day experience and all that Duke has to offer, an acceptance didn't even cross my mind because it was an MMI interview. Beyond thrilled, and I don't know how I could possibly decide among Pritzker, Columbia, and DukeMed. To be honest, at this point, I might even let financial aid decide for me, which is something I told myself i wouldn't do, but I just really do love all of my options.

    03/02 Aww, HMS rejected. Ah well, at least I can say I've tried!


    03/14 Pritzker FinAid letter arrived in the mail today! Apparently, Pritzker's aid methodology is COA - EFC - merit $$$ = need. Pritzker does not use the scholarship to reduce the loans first, as some other schools do. Regardless, this is still my cheapest option! Super happy and grateful.

    03/15 Duke FinAid offer received via email today! I received ~$34K in need-based grants for next year, which was more generous than expected. Duke is still more expensive than Pritzker, and one thing that concerns me is the fact that need based aid requires that I reapply for financial aid every year (it was difficult enough to obtain parental information for one year...). Duke is one of the few schools that would combine merit scholarships with need-based grants (reducing loans first), so I'm keeping my fingers crossed haha. That said, I don't expect anything, especially since I didn't expect to get in! The chance to attend is more than an honor already.

    Also, my folks and I had the talk today. They are still praying really, REALLY hard from a UCSF acceptance off the waitlist, and am already asking my hypotheticals on if I would choose Pritzker over California. Until I actually receive an acceptance offer, I don't think I can fully consider this scenario the way I should...

    4/29: After painfully drafting withdrawal emails to both Duke and Columbia (...especially to Columbia), I am thrilled to say that I'm matriciulating at Pritzker!!

    5/10: Received a call from Ms. Mazza while driving my mom to work this morning. De-waitlisted at Hopkins?! askjf;alsjf;al does not feel real right now.

    5/16: Painfully withdrew from Pritzker today. To by shock (but total delight), Hopkins was extremely generous with financial aid, and estimates show that the difference would be <$10K over for years, taking the finances out of my decision. I spent most of the week debating between Pritzker's community/love/support with Hopkins's opportunities. After consulting a few friends and fellow applicants who had the chance to attend SLW at both institutions, I decided to take a leap of faith, and will be heading to the East Coast coming July/August!

    NOTE: FAP recipient

    Primary (19 schools) $148.
    Secondaries (Baylor $50) $50
    Black Nordstrom (Halogen) pantsuit (Jacket + Pants) $145 Thank you, Anniversary sale!
    Navy JCPenney (Hollywould) junior pantsuit + tailoring (Jacket + Pants) $58 + $15 = $73 Used two $10 off coupons while items were on sale.
    Black LifeStride pumps (image) $4 Thrifted at Goodwill
    Black flats (image) $25 at TJ Maxx
    Black (Kenneth Cole) Tote (image) $30 at TJ Maxx
    Pritzker Flight + Shuttle $447 + $57 = $504This is what happens when you have an engineer father who's picky about his airplanes...
    Hopkins Flight + Shuttle + Uber $384 + $23 + $22 = $429
    Vanderbilt Flight + Uber $392 + $25 = $417 My wallet has started crying
    Mayo Flight $331
    Cleveland Flight $385
    UCSF Flight $79 My Southwest Rewards came to use! I was able to get the ticket there for free with my points
    Columbia Flight $163 one way flight
    NYC to Boston bus $13
    HMS Flight $183 Managed to find a cheaper flight the following day. Thank goodness for a 24 cancellation policy
    WashU Flight + MetroRail $324 + $6 = $330
    Duke Flight + Uber + Food $450 + $49 + $35 = $534
    Pritzker SLW Flight+Bus+Uber $548 + $2.50 + $13 = $563.50
    TOTAL: $4406

    Applied, Withdrew

    University of California, Davis

    Application Complete, Rejected

    University of Michigan
    Baylor College
    New York University
    University of California, Los Angeles
    Stanford University

    Application Complete, Withdrew

    University of Rochester

    Attended Interview, Rejected

    Harvard University

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted

    Vanderbilt University
    Mayo Medical School
    Cleveland Clinic Medical School
    University of California, Irvine
    University of California, San Diego
    University of California, San Francisco

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted, Withdrew

    Washington University in St. Louis
    University of Southern California

    Accepted off Waitlist

    Johns Hopkins University


    University of Chicago
    Duke University
    Columbia University

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