Primary apps for AMCAS, AACOMAS, TMDSAS- $1561
Secondary apps for 48 schools- $2700 (exactly!)
OMG.OMG.OMG. My MCAT scores came back yesterday and I got the score I was working hard for. 27! That's a 10 point increase since the time I took it in 2008. I'm very happy with this and hopefully this score will give me a better chance at getting multiple acceptances.
When I was at UNTHSC I had the opportunity to speak with many of the professors that are in charge of accepting students to TCOM. When I spoke with the guy that is at the top of the admissions committee there a few years ago and told him about how I had applied twice and didn't get in and what my MCAT and GPA were he told me that if I could get a 27 I would definitely get into TCOM. Back then I remember calling my husband crying because I never thought I could get a 27, it was just so much higher than what I had ever gotten on practice or on the real thing. I'm glad I didn't give up and set it as my goal, because it made the fact that I actually did get it even better. Yay me! :)
I have finally finished all three applications (AMCAS, TMDSAS and AACOMAS). Being a seasoned re-applicant it really didn't take me that long at all! I had all of my transcripts sent and I now just have to wait until June 1st to turn in the TMDSAS and AMCAS. I am also waiting for one more letter of recommendation that should be sent to my electronic submission service tomorrow. My advisor is supposed to be writing a committee letter for me also. I emailed her yesterday and she said she doesn't know if she will be done with it by June 1st! That scares me. I want to be complete ASAP! It's really hard putting your future in other people's hands. I don't like waiting for others to do things for me because they will never get it done as timely as I will.
I completed my list of schools this week. As you can see, I am applying to a lot of schools! About 45 to be exact. If I don't even get an interview this year, I will be shocked!
I finished my TMDSAS, proof read it and clicked the submit button this morning! My payment is in route (check by mail). All of my transcripts have been received, and all they are waiting on is my committee packet. Hopefully by June 1st this will be sent out to them by my advisor. They will still process my application without it however.
Truthfully, it was a bit risky sending it out this early in the cycle. I was worried that I was jumping the gun a little bit, but the obsessive behavior from reading every word over and over was starting to wear me down. I'm sure not very many people can even send it out now since they have not received their Spring grades yet. After I clicked submit I thought I was going to vomit all over myself! That's how stressful this process has been so far. I still have to submit my AACOMAS and AMCAS on June 1st, but they are also complete and have received all of my transcripts already.
So be it as it may, the journey begins today! Hopefully this really early start means an early acceptance will come my way... Relocating is going to be difficult, especially since my husband will need to find a school close by to finish up his 2nd bachelors degree in medical technology. My first year of med school he will be doing his year-long clinical for that, and it's not easy finding a program to apply to!
I turned in all the rest of my Texas secondary applications this week!!! Now it's just a serious waiting game. I still plan on turning in my AACOMAS and AMCAS on Tuesday. My committee letter is the only thing missing from all of this... Kind of makes me wish I had just done my letters myself since those are already collected by an online service. Oh well, I'm still mostly finished way early in this process.
Finally!!! The day to turn in the AMCAS and AACOMAS has arrived! I submitted my AMCAS right when it opened around 8am this morning, and I will be submitting my AACOMAS when it opens in 30 min. I already finished all of the Texas secondaries, so I really have nothing left to do. In the past they sent out the DO secondaries around July, but I have some of the questions from last year so I will be pre writing my responses while I wait. I hate waiting, this year's cycle has made me very jittery... I don't remember being so anxious during the last two cycles I applied...
I submitted my AMCAS and they processed and sent it out to the schools in 4 hours! Wow. My TMDSAS was also sent out to the schools today. Just waiting on AACOMAS, but its verified and ready to send tomorrow I think... Now just waiting on the committee packet. I have all of my LORs waiting to be sent, just need my advisor to write the committee letter. She said she would not have it ready by June 1st when I emailed her last month. But I am thinking she will have it sometime this week or next.
My advisor responded to my email about her committee letter, she is supposed to have it done by the end of the day! Yay! I have received and resubmitted several secondary essays in the last few weeks, 8 out of 20 DO secondaries down... Still no word from any of the Texas schools, but I haven't heard of anyone getting correspondence from the schools as of yet, so no worries. My AMCAS application goes out today since it's the release date now! Hopefully I will at least get some secondaries from these schools next week. So far, I am ahead of the game, no secondaries left to do as of yet. I am sending all of the schools (yes, all 45+ schools!) a letter today with my current CV (its 5 pages of awesomeness haha) and the "decline letter" that I received from AAMC after my MCAT computer froze. I figure this won't hurt my chances and I want them to understand partly why I had to take it so many times. Well, off to address *some* envelopes!!!
I GOT AN INTERVIEW INVITE!!! Woohoo! At LECOM-Bradenton! This is unbelievable. I didn't even think that they would be offering interviews this early in the cycle! Super excited, but its set for August 27th so I still have a long time to wait. But, it's still great to know that I have a real chance at getting in this year. Does it take the pressure off? No! Hopefully this is a good sign that many more schools will be interested in giving me a shot. :)
To update on how early and far along I am in this process, to date I have become complete at:
100% of the Texas schools I applied to (8 out of 8 schools, secondaries included)
50% of the AACOMAS schools I applied to (10 out of 20 schools, secondaries included)
32% of the AMCAS schools I applied to (6 out of 19 schools, secondaries included)
MY LETTERS WERE FINALLY SENT OUT! Yay! So far, I have just been waiting for the letters, and the secondaries have been really slow coming in the last few weeks. I think I have only received a few since my last post. I applied to one more AMCAS school yesterday, University of South Florida. I know they don't do many out of state residents, which is why I didn't apply to begin with. However, yesterday I was talking to one of the 4th year surgery residents and he told me that was where him and his wife went to med school, then he asked me if I applied there. When I told him I hadn't, he told me that if I would apply, he would call a few of the people he knew in admissions next week and tell them to look at my application! I know it won't guarantee me anything, and I am not expecting it to be a big deal, but it's really nice to see that someone is willing to put themselves out there for you because they know how hard you work. Makes me feel like people actually notice my deep desire to become a physician and understand that my dedication is real. :)
To update my percent done now:
100% of the Texas schools I applied to (8 out of 8 schools, secondaries included)
70% of the AACOMAS schools I applied to (14 out of 20 schools, secondaries included)
65% of the AMCAS schools I applied to (13 out of 20 schools, secondaries included)
I GOT ANOTHER INTERVIEW! This one is at AZCOM, and I have to say that I am much more excited for this interview than I was when I got the LECOM interview. AZCOM is a great school, and I have a friend that goes there, so I have a place to stay during my interview and I know she will give me some great insight into the school! Still waiting for some Texas love, but I think that soon enough I will get some. I just want at least 2 Texas interviews. That would be incredible! Looks like they have only started the first round, and it seems to be people with better stats than me... Another plus for me so far is that I have not received any rejections! That's amazing because there are people with much better stats that have received 1 or 2 rejections already... And I have applied to so many schools that statistically I should have some rejections by now!
To update my percent done now:
100% of the Texas schools I applied to (8 out of 8 schools, secondaries included)
85% of the AACOMAS schools I applied to (17 out of 20 schools, secondaries included)
80% of the AMCAS schools I applied to (16 out of 20 schools, secondaries included)
Figured I needed to update my status! I now have 4 interviews! 3 DO, and 1 MD: LECOM, Texas Tech, AZCOM and LMUDCOM. And it's only August! What!? Crazy.
I am now feeling that at some point I have to stop going to out of state DO interviews. It is quite expensive, and if I can get the AZCOM acceptance then I can stop interviewing for DO because I would be happy going to AZCOM. As for Texas interviews, I have one so far, and I was so shocked when I got it this early in the cycle! I am beyond excited for this interview! It's a 5 hour drive away from Fort Worth, but it will be close enough to be able to see my family! I am flying out for the interview, it's a 1 hour flight. And it still cost $150! Oh well, these expenses are going to be worth it in the end. :) I just never thought that this cycle would be so good to me, so I am truly feeling like the luckiest person ever right now.
A word of advice for those of you reading this and thinking that you will never make it. It's totally possible, just bringing up my MCAT score made a huge difference. I know it was worth all of the time and effort I put into studying now that I have so many interviews this early on. I think I may actually be able to get an acceptance by mid November, which will be huge since me and my husband have to move our whole lives over to where I attend school! Just wish time would pass a little faster! Every day is a painful wait for emails and calls!
To update my current percent done:
100% TMDSAS (8 out of 8 schools)
90% AACOMAS (18 out of 20 schools)--- I think I am done with secondaries for DO!
90% AMCAS (18 out of 20 schools)--- I am done with secondaries for OOS MD schools
I have been so busy the last month that I have had no time at all to update. So, I went to my first DO interview at LECOM-B a few weeks ago and was waitlisted a few days later. I was actually kind of happy because the big deposit would have been a nightmare. Then I went to my first MD interview at Texas Tech in Lubbock last week. IT WAS AMAZING! I love Tech, and one day I may actually get to go there! I have to wait 2 more months for the decision on that one due to the crazy Texas rules for acceptance. It's ok, it will be worth the wait!
Thus far, I have 7 interviews, 5 DO and 2 MD. I am super excited for the interviews to come in the next month. It seems that every week I will be going out of town for an interview. It's much crazier than I thought it would be! Travelling is really difficult with a full time job! I am very grateful to get the chance to have so many interviews, and hopefully this will lead to many options after I get a few acceptances. This is a great time in my life. That's what I have to keep telling myself when I have to shovel out the $500 it takes to get to each interview. Haha.
ACCEPTED TO AZCOM! Just looked at my status online and I received an acceptance! Only 12 days after my interview, wow, they are fast. I am going to withdraw all of my other out of state DO interviews and applications today since AZCOM is my top out of state DO school! It's a great feeling to know that no matter what happens from now on, I will be a doctor in the end. :) I have a Tech El Paso interview tomorrow, maybe this news will make me a little more relaxed...
Well, its still really slow on the email front... I have been getting maybe one email update from the medical schools each week, none of them are good news. This week I got an email from Touro Nevada saying that they wanted to put my file on hold for possible future review. From past experience, I know this is basically a kind rejection...
The best thing that has happened to me recently was my Tech El Paso interview last week. It was awesome! Hopefully I will get an acceptance to either Tech Lubbock or Tech El Paso. They are both really great schools and I would be happy at either of them. My boss called both schools a few days ago and spoke with each dean about my application. That was probably the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me. I am usually not good about allowing people to do things like this for me because I feel like I am being a burden or something, but he actually came to me and asked me to send him the contact information. At first I was a little worried about it, but after talking to a few SDNers and some residents at my work, I realized that this can only be a good thing. We will see if it made a difference come November 15th!
I wish I could say that time has been flying by. But it hasn't. I am anxiously waiting until November 15th for the Texas pre-match to start. I had a revelation the other day and decided to write some letters of interest to all of the Texas schools I have not interviewed with yet. I wrote 6 letters, to A&M, UTSW, UT Houston, UT Galveston, UT San Antonio and TCOM. Hopefully these letters will make a difference. I have just been complete so long, since mid July, that I feel like they are not still looking at my application. I think they already looked at it and tossed it aside. Also, interviews in Texas only last until December or January, so I really only have a few more months to hope for an interview. I want to be proactive in this process. In about a month I promise I will post a copy of one of the letters for everyone to see. I saw a copy of someone's letter of interest before I wrote mine, and it really helped me a lot! If you want to see it before I post it, just message me and I will send you a copy. I figure that the worse that can happen is they won't give me an interview. And all I really hope for is at least a pity interview. :P
Remember how I said I wrote some letters of interest last week? Well, IT WORKED! :) I got an interview invite from one of the schools, TCOM, and I would greatly attribute this to my letter of interest. I am super excited for this. I set the interview for November 9th, just a week before the Texas pre-match happens. Hopefully this will be the shortest wait ever between interview and acceptance. Also, TCOM is literally 15 minutes from my house, so I don't have to travel at all for this one!
The more interviews in Texas, the better. So far, I have interviews from three of the eight total schools in Texas (not including Baylor). That means that I have interviewed at almost 40% of the schools in Texas. Doesn't sound like much, but it is a big deal around here.
A few days ago, I made a life changing decision. Well, maybe not that drastic. Haha. I decided to apply to the MD/MBA program at Tech in Lubbock. Since I already did the MD interview all I have to do is have the MBA interview. They are allowing me to have a phone interview since I live about 5 hours away. It should be a 30 minute interview. I am unsure when it will be set up, they are working out the kinks and emailing me the details. Hopefully it will be this week!
This program sounds like an amazing opportunity and I really think it will greatly benefit my future career. The reason I waited so long to decide on applying for this program is complicated. I have felt very conflicted about it for a while now. The day of my MD interview at Tech, they asked us if we were interested in this program. If we were, we could tell them and they would set up the extra MBA interview for us after our regular interviews. I wanted to do this, but it seemed like such a sudden decision for me. I didn't know much about the program except it would start about 3 months before first year would begin (the MBA starts in May, MD starts in August). My student host at Tech is in this program, she is a first year now, and she told me a few things about it. Everything she said sounded great except for the early move to Lubbock and also taking a few MBA courses during the first two years of MD courses. Med school is hard enough without adding more classes to it! The biggest problems for me were knowing that I would have to stop working in May instead of July, also my lease is not up until mid July, and my husband may not be able to come out to Lubbock with me when I first move out there. In fact, he may be spending my whole first year in the DFW area for school. This makes me sad :( But I know it is all for the best in the end. After thinking about these minor issues, I realized that leaving my job two months early would not be the end of the world, they would totally understand and be proud of my decision to pursue this degree. My apartment not being up will just give me more time to move so I won't feel rushed. And being away from my husband for a few months would not be too bad, especially since I will be so busy. So I decided to go for it.
I am so excited for the possibility of getting into Tech now. It is an amazing place, and if I get into their MD program I feel like I will be going to a school that I am very proud to be a part of. The students are amazing, the facilities are top notch, and the program is perfect for me. I have been kind of bored at work lately, so I have been reading more and more about their curriculum. I even printed out the booklist the other day and started trying to find prices for all of them online! Haha. Yes, I may be setting myself up for a huge letdown. But I just can't hold back my excitement! Only 12 days until the pre-match! Wish me luck!
Well, the first day of prematch came and went. I received no pre matches on November 15th. I am hopeful that I will at least match into a Texas school in February. And who knows I may still get a prematch, since I applied for the MD/MBA at Tech, they may be waiting on all of this to go through. Also, I interviewed at TCOM just last week, so they may not have made a decision on this yet.
Still, I am very very very disappointed. Everyone keeps telling me that it is not a big deal since so many people end up getting in during the match. But it is really difficult watching others get their prematches and realizing that I am going to be in for the longest wait of my life just to know if I will even stay in Texas. I want to plan out the next four years already, and I can't just yet. It leaves me angry... Mainly because nothing has ever gone smoothly for me in this process. None of my plans have ever panned out for me in regards to getting into med school. Every second has been a test of patience, determination, motivation, and my willingness to go on when I know that I may have little chance at success with what I have to offer. I just have to keep telling myself that this is making me a better person, that I am learning from my mistakes and I will succeed no matter what happens. :) I don't think I have ever wanted anything as bad as I want an acceptance from Tech in Lubbock...
I have officially turned my prematch frown upside down. Haha. Looking at my previous post from two weeks ago makes me realize that I was being really hard on myself for not getting a prematch. This is a difficult process, nothing worth having comes easy, and I should know that by now! Many of the people that got prematches so far have much higher stats than me. I know that they rank you based on your MCAT, GPA, ECs and interview as an overall package sort of thing. I don't have the MCAT and GPA that most of the prematchers have. From Mdapps, I noticed that pretty much everyone that listed an acceptance this year (from prematch) has an MCAT above 30, with a few exceptions... I should not have gotten my hopes up when I knew in the back of my mind that I was always destined for the match. I feel like a weight has lifted off my shoulders after I realized this.
I need to just be thankful for the opportunities that I have been given and know that I am super lucky to even have interviews in Texas with a less than 3.0 GPA. Many current medical students have been messaging me trying to get me to realize that I already have a great acceptance and that I could be in a much worse position if I was only applying in Texas and had nothing at this point. A lot of them also ended up getting in during the match and felt the same way I do about not getting a prematch last year. Even though this wait is going to be very difficult. I know that I am going to end up where I am supposed to be.
Now on to what is new with me. :) I have an interview today for a biology adjunct teaching position at a local community college! I am super excited for this job! I will stay in my current full time clinical research coordinator position until this summer when I go to med school, but I want to teach a few night and weekend classes in the Spring (Spring 2010) so I can get some more experiences before medical school. I just love doing new things and gaining more experiences. I feel like it keeps me on my toes and I always find a new lesson in everything I do. The best part is that this community college is the same one that I went to at the beginning of my educational journey. It feels great to know that I will be able to give back to students that are in a similar position as I was when I first started out. I can't wait to teach!
Happy New Year, 2011 woohoo!!! Hopefully this year will be just as amazing to me as last year was. I have a lot to look forward to and many personal goals to strive towards. There are many important things that are quickly approaching now. First up, is the match on February 1st, this is only 26 days away! Seems like forever away right now though. I did not prematch to any Texas schools during the prematch period (Nov 15th-Dec 31st), so I went ahead and paid my deposit at AZCOM and I am currently a future student at this school! It's an awesome feeling to be able to tell people that I am going to be a medical student next year. I am confident that if things don't work out with any of the Texas schools, I will love living in Phoenix and I will be proud to go to AZCOM.
I am feeling somewhat at peace the last few weeks. Now that the prematch is over, I am much less anxious everyday about hearing something. I now know that the match is what will determine my fate. That day is going to be like ripping off a Band-Aid. At 8am that day I will officially know where I stand. I would love to go to any of the Texas schools I interviewed with, so no matter what, if I match to my first choice or my third choice, I will be extremely happy with the decision. I am making my match list as follows:
1. Tech Lubbock (MD/MBA, This is the main reason I have this school as my first choice)
2. Tech El Paso (MD, Love the Spanish emersion part of this program)
3. TCOM (DO, My husband wishes this was my first choice, :P Its so close to my house and in an area that we LOVE, I will definitely miss my friends and family if I go anywhere else)
As for the other schools I applied to, I have not had an interview since the end of September! I applied to about 20 MD schools through AMCAS and have been rejected from about 10 of them. The remaining schools have not sent me anything after the "you're complete" email that I got when I filled out my secondaries in July/August. That is very sad. I am small pooled at the University of Vermont, however I don't think anything will come out of this. This makes me think about people with stats like mine that decide to only apply through AMCAS because they are only going to be happy with an MD degree. It's just never a good idea to put all your eggs in one basket. Applying DO was a wonderful option for me, and if I hadn't done it, I would not have been successful at all this cycle. Luckily I know a lot about DO, I have family members that are practicing DOs, I went to a graduate school that was associated with a DO school, I conducted OMM basic science research, I have had OMM performed on me several times. The list goes on and on. If you had asked me years ago, I would have told you that I preferred DO. At this point in my life, I just don't even care. I just want to become a doctor. Period.
Well, I have been dreading this entry since I knew it would be somewhat depressing for all of us. Including me. But I feel like I have been hiding out and sulking enough. The Match occurred last week and I was not matched to any of the three Texas schools I interviewed with. It was difficult to realize that the match was really my last solid chance to get into a Texas school. However, I am not the type of person that gives up that easily. I did get waitlisted at TCOM and Tech El Paso. I am guessing that I will also be placed on the waitlist at Tech Lubbock when the list comes out next month.
Being on the waitlist is just about the most frustrating position to be in. From what I have seen in the past, out of the 50-60 people that are placed on a waitlist, only about 10-15 ever really get called with an acceptance. The odds are not good. The only thing that I can do right now is write letters of intent and try to plead my case. I'm definitely trying to use the fact that I have applied three times to persuade them.
I am still trying not to take my acceptance to AZCOM for granted. I am getting very excited about it actually. I recently received a letter about orientation with more details on what we will be doing that week before classes start. I know I have to get to point where I "give in" to this acceptance and start looking for housing in Phoenix, but I just have no idea when that will be now that I am on all of these waitlists. I can be pulled off at any time before orientation in August. I guess mid May is going to be my giving up point. Not really a "giving up" point, more like planning my move and letting "fate handle the rest" point. All I can do is hope for the best and ask/beg the admissions committees to give me a chance and pull me off the waitlist.
Well, I finished all of my letters of intent/update letters last week and sent them out to the schools in Texas I am currently waitlisted with. I was even motivated enough to write one to each MD school out of state I have not heard from. Less than 5 days after sending this letter to the University of Vermont, they sent me an INTERVIEW INVITE!!! I just received it via email yesterday. Needless to say, I was very shocked that I was invited. I have no ties to Vermont and they small pooled me back in September. But I poured my heart into that letter and tried to let them know that I would love to be part of their class and that I have a lot more than just numbers (GPA and MCAT) to offer.
This is the second time this cycle that writing a letter has given me a chance to interview. If anyone reading this learns something from my journey, it would be that persistence is the key to getting ahead. It really has nothing to do with being smart, but it has everything to do with being active in your life and overcoming any obstacles that come in your way. I think that these letters show the adcoms that you are interested, and writing one is the least you can do in order to plead your case. I never let fate decide what happens to me, I always try to stay on top of the things going on in my life and work to change my fate.
The letter I wrote to Tech in Lubbock was extra special. I am applying for the MD/MBA program, so I wanted to make sure they knew that this program would be perfect for me. I wrote letters to the dean of admissions, the director of admissions, and to the MBA program director. We will see what comes out of this in the next few months I guess. Not much else I can do here but wait. However, if I don't hear anything by the end of March, I will be writing another letter. I figure I will bug them every month until they give in and take me or until the bitter end! :) Not because I am annoying, just because I want to make sure they know that they are my top choice, and I don't want to regret not doing everything I can to get into my top school. Definitely no regrets during this cycle!
Geez, it has been way too long! I have been very busy with work and trying to figure out the things in my life lately to even notice though. Hmm, where to start. Well, I went to my interview at the University of Vermont, and it was amazing! I loved the school, the city, everything! My interviewer was a nice retired pediatrician, and he was really awesome. He encouraged me and told me that I was a great fit with the school and he really wanted me to go there. He even made me promise that I would attend if accepted, of course I said I would, and honestly, I meant it. Even though Texas Tech in Lubbock is my #1 choice (due to the MD/MBA program), I think that I loved the University of Vermont way way more. The tuition is a lot more expensive of course, so I hope I don't have to make that decision and it is made for me (by only getting into one of these schools).
I have written a letter of intent to the University of Vermont, I sent it last week about an hour after I found out I was waitlisted. As for Tech Lubbock, I am having an MD/MBA surgeon I work with write me a letter of recommendation and send it directly to their admissions office next week. I will also be writing a letter to them next week to further state my interest in this school. The admissions office told me that if I get accepted to this program, they will have to tell me by May 1st since classes start the last week of May. That gives me just about no time to move really. And my job is going to get the shaft because I won't be able to give more than 2 weeks notice (which I planned on doing) or train my replacement.
In the scheme of it all, I feel really crappy about how this cycle turned out for me this year. Even thinking this kind of makes me feel ungrateful, but I have really worked hard, and I wish I would know by now where I will be living and attending school. It makes me wish that I had received rejections instead of waitlists, because now I am in limbo. I can't find housing in Arizona yet (for the acceptance I did receive from AZCOM) because I am on 4 other waitlists to schools that are higher on my personal list than AZCOM. I am trying not to lose hope, but it is really difficult to stay positive and tell myself that everything will turn out right for me. Who knows, maybe moving to Phoenix is what I need. But I am just soooo frustrated with everything that I can't even be happy and proud of myself for my accomplishments... This process can really break you down to the point where you give up on your hopes and wants. You just let things happen and follow the path that it takes you without hesitance. If only it were that easy...
WaitingWaitingWaiting... The last few weeks have been filled with Letter of Intent writing in which I am pretty much begging for an acceptance to my waitlisted schools (Tech Lubbock, TCOM and University of Vermont, I did not write to Tech El Paso because they don't seem to accept these things). I am really at a loss for what to do now. I just keep writing letters stating my case, and that LOR that the MD/MBA surgeon I work for wrote was received by Tech Lubbock already. So what is the hold-up Tech! :P The MBA classes start in a few weeks, and I have a feeling that if I have not received an acceptance to this program by now, I will probably not be getting one. After calling them last week about this, they told me that they could tell me I'm accepted any time before classes start at the end of May (they told me before that they would give me a months notice), and they even have a few spots left in the program but they can't fill them until people that were accepted into the MD program drop their acceptance. I guess they overfilled their MD class so they couldn't pick all of the people they wanted for the MD/MBA program. That's a positive at least...
Right now I have just been working as much as I can to pass the time... My teaching position (community college professor, teaching biology) is coming to an end since finals are this week. And my Clinical Research Coordinator job at UT Southwestern has been picking up since we have several new studies going, plus since I work in trauma surgery, we are hitting our busiest season due to the beautiful weather and people doing stupid things outside. :D Ever heard of car surfing?? Yeah, well, apparently it's a trend... Hahaha.
This week it really hit me, I am accepted to medical school. I know that sounds silly, it has been over 9 months since my acceptance... But I have been barreling ahead and have not really had a chance to think about it. I am starting to get REALLY excited! I have decided to start looking into housing in Arizona. For now I will just start calling apartments around AZCOM and finding out the pricing of it all. The worst part of moving away to a medical school is the way the loans are done. I won't get my loan money for a few weeks after the first day of school, which means that I will have to bring at least 2 months of living expense money with me where ever I go. For me and my husband, we will need about $4000 to live comfortably for the two months before school. And really, we plan on moving July 15th, so we will only need a month and a half worth of money to live on (to be safe). Not to mention all of the expenses that are required to move our stuff... So, even though I am now almost at the end of the application cycle, there is so much more ahead of me. I can't wait to see what the next few months bring. Hopefully, I will look back in a month if/when I receive another acceptance and think that I was so ridiculous when I worried about not getting off of a waitlist. But if this doesn't happen, I will not have any regrets about what I have done or how everything turned out. I can only be grateful that I was even given a chance and that a school actually found me worthy of a medical education. :)
A month has passed since my last entry, and we are really now at the end of the last cycle and the beginning of a new one. I still have the one acceptance from AZCOM, and for what seems like forever, I am sitting on 4 waitlists (Tech Lubbock, Tech El Paso, TCOM and U of Vermont).
The Tech Lubbock MD/MBA program did not work out for me. I spoke with one of the admissions people a few weeks ago and he told me that they would not be accepting any more people into this program. This was very upsetting for me, I really wanted to get my MBA as soon as possible. However, it is not a total loss, I know I will definitely get it sometime after medical school. It has always been part of my long term plan. I was rolled over to the MD only admissions last week... And this is still my top choice!
For the last month, I have been absorbed with writing more letters of intent. There has really been no news from any of the schools. They tend to keep the waitlist a big secret, which is beyond frustrating. Tech El Paso starts school mid July, so if I don't hear from them by July 1st, I will give up on them. The director of admissions emailed me a few days ago to answer a few questions I had about the waitlist. Overall, he said that there would be little waitlist movement, which I expected since their class is only 60 people.
TCOM TCOM TCOM... For shame TCOM! Haha. This school is the most frustrating part of this year for me. I graduated from UNTHSC (home of TCOM), with high honors in research, and I was very involved in the school during the two years I went there... They have put me on the waitlist, and they are very slow at responding to any emails or even giving me feedback about my application. They have a form you can fill out for them to give your application a review and tell you what parts of your application needed more work. I put in this form the first week of February! And when I call them to ask about it, they say they have it and it will be sent to me soon. They have been saying that for months. Knowing that I will not be applying next year, I have given up on their response. I am sure it will be them saying "well your MCAT and undergraduate GPA suck"... which I know already. TCOM is very high on my list of schools I would like to attend. And they are breaking my heart with each passing day...
I went to Arizona last weekend to check out some housing options and see the school again. This time I took my husband... It was awesome. I love Arizona!!! The weather is great, everything is so pristine and beautiful and the school/campus is truly amazing. I am lucky to have received an acceptance to AZCOM. If it wasn't for the high tuition (my loans come out to a hefty $82000 for next year!), I would love this school more than anything! We did find an apartment. It is wonderful and spacious. The move is set for July 10th, unless I get off of any waitlists this month. After I move into the apartment, I have 30 days to back out of my lease, which I will be doing in a heartbeat if I get into a Texas school! Sounds crazy, but the thousands of dollars wasted on moving there and moving back a few weeks later is a drop in the bucket compared to the almost $350k in loans I will have to take out to go to AZCOM!
Tech Lubbock still has my heart... But the University of Vermont is a close second. Very close... I would move to the cold north within a seconds notice of an acceptance from UVM. I know they love letters of intent/interest, so I have been sending one every two weeks. Still nothing. I think a lot of people don't drop their UVM acceptance since it is such an amazing school. As for now, I will keep waiting, hoping and wishing for something to happen. If not, I am still content with AZCOM and moving to Arizona. I will miss my family and friends so much that I may cry for a month after moving. But it will all be worth it in the end. :) You never really realize what you will be giving up until you are at this stage of applying to medical school... It's a big price to pay, moving away from the life you have known for so long. However, it is also a great way to get out of your comfort zone a little bit... I am excited for the future right now. To see what happens, to find out where I end up... I really can't wait!
Well... Last week was pretty much the best week of my life. On 6/21, I got a call from the Dean of TCOM offering me a position in their 2015 class! :D :D :D Being accepted to one of my top choices, and getting to stay in Texas (right around the area where I already live) is something that I had given up on in the last few weeks, so this surprise was great! I had already found an apartment in Phoenix, and I had movers coming to get my stuff this week for my move in 2 weeks. The second I got that call, I cancelled the apartment and the movers and started looking for a place closer to TCOM. I found one in 2 days. I'll be renting a fancy condo that is about half a mile from the school, so I can walk if I want to! It is also very close to downtown Fort Worth, which is where I love to spend most of my time now.
I feel really fortunate right now, not only to be going to an amazing school like TCOM, but also because I don't have to leave my friends and family. The last month has been full of sadness for me. I have been seeing every last person I can think of to say goodbye since I thought I was going to be gone for 4 years. The day I found out I was accepted, a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I'm glad that I never gave up hope, even though it was hard not to with so many unknowns in my life due to the waitlisting process.
In retrospect (hindsight is definitely 20/20), I can see that getting this acceptance right now was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. If I had received it during the match in February, I would not have appreciated it as much as I do now. I would have been sad to not get off of the waitlist at Tech (since it was my top choice). I have a friend that got into TCOM during the match and was on the waitlist for Tech up until June 15th (when all Texas schools drop you off of the waitlist if you hold any Texas acceptances elsewhere). She was so sad that she didn't get into Tech in the end, and it kind of ruined her happiness of holding that TCOM acceptance. It had nothing to do with MD vs DO (honestly in Texas, MD vs DO doesn't really matter, anyone is happy to go to any Texas school). It was just that she had her heart set on Tech, it was a good place for her family, and she loved the school so much. I understood her sadness since I was going through the same thing with AZCOM. I am sure this happened to me for a reason, it strengthened my desire for medicine and made me grateful/humble for what I have received. Overall, this year was the best year of my life, and I wouldn't change it for the world. :)
So what's next? Well, I am still on the U of Vermont waitlist... But I think I will be withdrawing by the end of this week because I don't think I can bear the decision to move to Vermont if I get accepted there or stay in Texas and stick with TCOM. I was automatically dropped from the Tech Lubbock and Tech El Paso waitlists when I got that TCOM acceptance. I got the place near the school and I am moving in the next two weeks, so I will be packing in all of my spare time. I have TCOM orientation in exactly 3 weeks, and I have been trying to get transcripts and all of my paperwork in before that starts. My white coat ceremony is in less than a month! Plus I am still working full time at UT Southwestern as a Clinical Research Coordinator for the next 2 weeks! So much to do and so little time! But you won't hear me complaining!!! ;)
LETTERS SENT- NOTE: Most of these letters are similar. I took bits and pieces and integrated them into different letters for other schools. But each letter is unique and I tried to make it specific to the school, at least in some parts. Please use these as a reference only!
LETTER OF INTEREST- Sent prior to an interview, this one is from TCOM, and I believe it is what got me an interview in the first place...
Dear Mrs. Scott,
As the interview season is coming to an end, I realize that the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine has already interviewed several amazing candidates. Therefore, I am writing you with the hope that my application will be reconsidered for an interview at your school. TCOM is one of my top choices and I strongly feel that I am an excellent match for your school. If I am fortunate enough to be granted an interview, I believe your admissions committee will see how we will mutually benefit from my acceptance at your school.
While my grades and MCAT score are probably lower than most of your candidates, I feel that my application shows that I have many other unique aspects. What I lack in my undergraduate academics, I make up for in my graduate record and life experiences. I feel that my extensive work history has allowed me to gain many skills that will aid me in becoming an effective physician. For example, I have many years of management experience that has taught me to be a fair and effective leader. My ability to work as part of a team and still give guidance and direction to reaching goals will greatly aid me as a future physician. In addition, my broad research experiences allow me to see medicine as a multifaceted field. In graduate school, I excelled in research and was the first in my department to graduate with distinction for outstanding research. Due to my diligence, I have several publications in submission for my basic science and clinical research at both UNTHSC and UT Southwestern. I will unquestionably bring this same thirst for discovery to my medical studies and will strive for success as I have done in my past endeavors.
As a graduate student alumni at UNTHSC, I have had the opportunity to interact with many faculty members and medical students. This allowed me to become very familiar with osteopathic medicine and TCOM. I feel the unique curriculum that advocates problem based learning will create an environment where I can flourish academically. In addition, having taken similar core courses as the medical masters students during my first year of graduate school, I know that I can handle accelerated learning and do well. Through my former position as the Secretary of the Graduate Student Association, I became involved with the UNTHSC community and I was a leader and advocate for the graduate students. As a future medical student at TCOM, I will strive to be a leader for my class and I want to be part of the pushing force to get involved with the community. In addition, I feel that becoming a medical student at your school will provide me with ample opportunities to get hands on experience from the very beginning of my medical education. I know that this is one of the most important experiences I can have that will enable me to become a good physician. As an applicant that has taken the non traditional route to medical school, I am prepared to bring a fresh outlook on the many aspects of medicine and I know I will be an asset to your student body. Additionally, I will provide the diversity needed in my class and in the medical field.
On a more personal level, this school is very close to my roots and family in Texas. I know I will do better in medical school being close to my friends and family members who are an integral part of my support system. More importantly, I have lived in the DFW area since birth and I feel that attending TCOM will allow me to remain in this area. I look forward to ultimately starting my future practice with the community that I grew up in.
I feel that my application shows that I am dedicated, determined and persistent. These are all qualities that will allow me to become an outstanding physician to my future patients. I am confident that I will make an exceptional matriculant for the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine class of 2015. As a student at TCOM, I will strive to become a leader in my class and a role model for the community. In turn, I strongly believe that your school can help me become an excellent osteopathic physician.
Lastly, I want to thank you for meeting with me last year when I was desperately seeking advice on how to strengthen my application. That meeting greatly motivated and pushed me to reach my goals. During this meeting you encouraged me to retake a few undergraduate courses related to the MCAT sections. I took your advice and I excelled in these courses. As a result, I raised my MCAT score considerably. Hopefully, you will see that I have made great strides since last applying and that I am fully prepared for this journey of medical school and beyond.
Thank you for your time and consideration, I hope to have the chance to meet you again soon and show you that I have more to offer to your incoming class.
LETTER OF INTEREST- University of Vermont, I also strongly believe this got me an interview. Though it was a late one in the season (March), but I got the invite only a few days after I sent this letter.
To whom it may concern,
As the interview season is coming to an end, I realize that the University of Vermont College of Medicine has already interviewed several amazing candidates. Therefore, I am writing you with the hope that my application will be reconsidered for an interview at your school. UVMCOM is one of my top choices and I strongly feel that I am an excellent match for your school. If I am fortunate enough to be granted an interview, I believe your admissions committee will see how we will mutually benefit from my acceptance.
While my undergraduate grades and MCAT score are lower than most of your candidates, I feel that my application shows that I have other unique aspects to offer. My extensive work history and management experience has allowed me to gain skills that will aid me in becoming an effective physician. My ability to work as part of a team and still give guidance and direction to reaching goals will greatly benefit me as a future physician. In addition, my broad research and clinical experiences allow me to see medicine as a multifaceted field. Over the last 7 years, I have volunteered and worked in several significant positions in the medical field. Furthermore, I have shadowed various physicians for countless hours through other activities. I am confident that I fully understand what this field entails, and it has only further fueled my desire to become a doctor.
Since applying this past June, I have advanced my experiences in many ways. Working at UT Southwestern has allowed me to become involved in clinical research and has offered me several opportunities to gain patient contact experiences and shadow physicians. As a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Trauma Surgery department, I am responsible for several studies and work closely with the residents and attendings to ensure that these studies are successful. Through my research with UT Southwestern, my publication on intrathoracic packing after trauma thoracotomy was accepted to the Journal of Trauma. In addition, two other studies I contributed to, on blood transfusions and cricothyroidotomies, have been submitted to the Journal of Trauma.
I know that as an applicant my undergraduate work is heavily weighed, but it was the time I spent in graduate school that really prepared me for medical school. Attending the University of North Texas Health Science Center, I took all of my courses with students in the one year masters program designed to prepare them for medical school. Therefore, my graduate courses were taught at a similar pace and difficulty as medical school courses. I excelled academically in these courses and was the first in my department to graduate with distinction for outstanding research. In addition to my research and publications with UT Southwestern, my first author publication on HIV was recently accepted to the Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications journal. As a future student at UVMCOM, I will bring this same thirst for discovery to my medical studies and will strive for success as I have done in my past endeavors.
In addition to my full time job as a clinical researcher, I am an Adjunct Professor for Tarrant County College where I teach courses in General Biology. I am excited about this new experience because I realize that as a physician, I will be dedicating part of my career to teaching residents and medical students. Strengthening my ability to convey a topic and teach others will definitely allow me to add to the success of my class.
I feel the University of Vermont College of Medicine will be the perfect place to gain my medical education. As a researcher, my goals of advancing medical research fit into this school's mission and I look forward to working at any of your innovative research centers. The integrated curriculum offered at UVMCOM will create an environment where I can flourish academically. In addition, I feel that becoming a medical student at your school will provide me with ample opportunities to get hands on experience from the very beginning of my medical education. I know that this is one of the most important experiences I can have that will enable me to become a good physician. UVMCOM is a solid institution with an amazing reputation. I would be proud to attend and become part of its unique legacy in Vermont. As an applicant that has taken the non traditional route to medical school, I am prepared to bring a fresh outlook on aspects of medicine, and I know I will be an asset to your student body.
Lastly, I feel that my application shows that I am dedicated, determined and persistent. Through the last few years, I have finished my graduate degree, increased my patient contact experiences, gained more leadership positions, conducted basic science and clinical research, submitted several scientific publications, strengthened my teaching abilities and raised my MCAT score considerably. Hopefully, you will see that I have made great strides and that I am prepared for this journey of medical school and beyond. I am confident that I will make an exceptional matriculant for the University of Vermont College of Medicine class of 2015. I will strive to become a leader in my class and a role model for the community. In turn, I strongly believe that your school will help me become an excellent physician.
LETTER OF INTENT- TCOM, sent about a month before my acceptance
Dear Mrs. Scott,
As a DO applicant, I realize that the start of this program is rapidly approaching. Therefore, I am writing you with my specific interest in the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine.
TCOM is close to my heart in several ways. It is the school that I have always envisioned myself attending from the second I decided to pursue this path. Growing up, my uncle that graduated from TCOM almost two decades ago always spoke of the exceptional education he received from this school. When I applied for graduate school, I chose UNTHSC based on its first-rate osteopathic medical school. If admitted, I will be coming into TCOM with the ability to speak to the schools strengths. I will be an asset to your student body because of my extensive history with this school and my prior position as an officer in the graduate school. In addition, I will be able to stay in Fort Worth to be close to my family who have supported me in the past and can continue to sustain me on this journey.
As a third time reapplicant, I have overcome many obstacles throughout this process. Although my undergraduate GPA and MCAT score are not as competitive as many of the applicants you may accept into this program, you will find few people with the motivation and persistence that I possess. Several examples of this can be seen throughout my application, such as my MCAT increases, graduate work achievements and research accomplishments. During this application cycle in particular, I have strived to be a role model for other premedical students. I have spent a great deal of time giving advice on this process, editing personal statements and trying to instill hope in those who are in a similar position as I was years ago when I first applied. Being admitted to TCOM signifies much more to me than solidifying my future as an excellent osteopathic physician, it will mean that my perseverance was worth it. If you give me the chance to prove myself by accepting me into this program, I am certain that I am someone your school will be proud to claim as alumni.
I am hardworking, committed and persistent. It is these qualities that will make me a great addition to your incoming class. If accepted to TCOM, I know that I will be a strong advocate for how incredible this school is because I was gratefully given the chance to experience it firsthand. Allow me to grow with TCOM and prove that I am capable of amazing things with your training in medicine, and in turn I will strive to exceed your expectations as an example for your current and future students.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
LETTER OF INTENT- Texas Tech Lubbock... It didn't get me an acceptance, but I think it was one of my better letters because I really poured my heart into it.
Dear Mrs. Prado,
As an MD/MBA applicant, I realize that the start of this program is quickly approaching. Therefore, I am writing you with my specific interests in this program and in the Texas Tech University Health Science Center School of Medicine.
Prior to pursuing this path to becoming a doctor, I was a business major. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, I grew up with a strong motivation to become involved in the business world. I visualize my future career as an integration between my passion for patient service and my enthusiasm for management. I want to be more than a doctor, I want to become part of the infrastructure of any institution that I join and make an impact on their health policies. I am convinced that this program is essential to my future career because I need this training in Health Organization Management in order to reach my goals as a physician. If admitted to TTUHSC-SOM, I will use all that I have learned throughout my life experiences and I am confident that I will be a valuable member of your incoming class.
As a third time reapplicant, I have overcome many obstacles throughout this process. Although my undergraduate GPA and MCAT score are not as competitive as many of the applicants you may accept into this program, you will find few people with the motivation and persistence that I possess. Several examples of this can be seen throughout my application, such as my MCAT increases, graduate work achievements and research accomplishments. During this application cycle in particular, I have strived to be a role model for other premedical students. I have spent a great deal of time giving advice on this process, editing personal statements and trying to instill hope in those who are in a similar position as I was years ago when I first applied. Being admitted to TTUHSC-SOM signifies much more to me than solidifying my future as an excellent physician, it will mean that my perseverance was worth it. If you give me the chance to prove myself by accepting me into this program, I am certain that I am someone your school will be proud to claim as alumni.
I am hardworking, committed and persistent. It is these qualities that will make me a great addition to your incoming class. If accepted to TTUHSC-SOM, I know that I will be a strong advocate for how incredible TTUHSC-SOM is because I was gratefully given the chance to experience it firsthand. Allow me to grow with TTUHSC-SOM and prove that I am capable of amazing things with your training in medicine and business, and in turn I will strive to exceed your expectations as an example for your current and future students.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
LETTER OF INTENT- For the University of Vermont, this was sent a few weeks after my interview when I found out I was waitlisted... I loved this school, and I really wanted them to understand how I felt being there. I really felt like this school was the perfect place for me, though the only problem was the distance from my family and life in Texas...
After being placed on the alternate list recently, I am writing you with the hope that my application be reconsidered for an acceptance. The University of Vermont College of Medicine is definitely my top choice and I would be proud to gain my medical education at this exceptional institution.
When I visited UVM during my interview last month, I immediately knew that this is where I belong. Everything about the program was exciting, especially the faculty's commitment to the success of each student. I can tell that UVM is extremely student oriented, and in talking with current students, I heard of the many ways the faculty and staff take their comments into consideration. The Vermont Integrated Curriculum is the main reason I want to attend this school. My learning style lends itself well to integrated learning, and I know that this environment will enable me to become highly successful academically. On this path to becoming a physician, the thing I look forward to the most is interacting with patients. UVM's program will allow me to start my hands-on training earlier, which in turn will make me a better future resident and attending physician.
During my stay in Burlington, I was able to spend a few days exploring the city. Burlington is a humble, family centered city. I love the small town feel, especially the unique restaurants and shops around downtown. As an active town, I believe that my new healthy lifestyle will benefit from living here. If given the chance to attend, as a medical student I will become part of the fabric of this city and I will strive to become a role model for this community.
The rich history of UVM was apparent as I walked through the school. UVM is one of the oldest medical schools in the country. The legacy of this school is around every corner. From the plaques on the wall that were preserved during the recent renovation, to the pictures of over 100 years worth of graduating classes outside of the admissions office, the school's pride is uplifting. In addition, it is one of the most technologically advanced schools I have seen. The demonstration we received on the online tools that are provided by the COMET system was amazing. The school's commitment to keeping ahead of the curve speaks to your dedication to your students and their different learning styles. I frequently use different sources to learn, and I am positive that all of these tools will allow me to study effectively and succeed.
Being from Texas, I have been surrounded by various views and cultures. As a nontraditional student, I will bring diversity to my class. My work experience in customer service and management has made me a good communicator. I am able to express my views effectively and work as part of a cohesive team. My career in research and patient care has given me an extensive view of medicine. If admitted to UVM, I will promote the overall academic environment by bringing these views and experiences with me.
I am confident that I will make an outstanding addition to your incoming class. Your curriculum, technology and vision will nurture my success. I strongly believe that the University of Vermont College of Medicine will train me to become an excellent doctor. Being able to attend this school will allow me to reach my goals as a future physician, and my experiences will benefit your student body. Thank you for your time and consideration.