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MD Applicants

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  • User #10245

  • Application cycles: 2008
  • Demographics: Female, East Asian
  • Home state: Florida
  • Brief Profile: Extensive volunteering throughout college, including starting a college partnership for mentoring kids, fund-raising for a clinic, multiple leadership positions.

    Really into art, writing, music, etc.

  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 2008

    • Undergraduate college: Pacific Union College
    • Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
    • Institution: NIH Post-Baccalaurate Program
    • Area of Study: Mathematics
    • Degree Obtained: n/a
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 523
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 130, C/P 132, CARS 132  
    • Overall GPA: 4.00
    • Science GPA: 4.00

    Summary of Application Experience

    I was scared and applied to WAY too many schools. I finally figured out (after a disaster of an interview at NYU) that all I had to do was relax and not ruin the schools' impressions of me.

    I applied somewhat late and interviewed at the end of most school's seasons. Fortunately it worked out okay for me, but I would not recommend doing this. I basically did much better at non-rolling schools than rolling, and never had to wait very long to find out the results.

    I hadn't really made up my mind about what area of research I wanted, so this made the whole process more stressful than it should have been because I wasn't sure what school should be my top choice. As it turns out I ended up with everything I was looking for, but I was starting to get pretty scared that I would end up in a top school - but one that didn't have research I wanted to do!

    I actually got a pretty good sense of where I would get acceptances from the interview day and even prior; some schools sent out 'we really want you' vibes right from the start. I could sense that UW and Penn wanted me initially; at Wash U, I think my interview determined it; and I sent out 'I don't like this school' vibes at UCSD and NYU, which probably resulted in the rejections.

    The piece of advice I would give regarding this profile is: My application was pretty unusual for a variety of reasons, so please don't judge yourself by my 'stats' or extracurriculars. I think my essay and reasons for wanting to enter the MD/PhD were very strong and I had show extremely strong commitment to science.

    I did want to share this to say that sometimes - if you're struggling with time - you might as well write a good application even if you aren't early. People ARE accepted later in the application cycle, even if you wouldn't believe it from reading some of the application forums. I actually think that in some ways it wasn't necessarily bad to be in the last interview cycle because the admissions committees had then seen everyone and knew they didn't have to save spots for someone 'better' down the road; but I wouldn't recommend INTENTIONALLY doing this.

    If I did it again I would apply to fewer schools and spent more time on those applications, but that's not something I could have known from the start. Earlier was not possible for me, but if it was possible for you - DO IT. But even more important than being early is being good, having your mind made up, and writing a good application. The better your scores and research experience, the better schools you'll have a shot at, but there is a random element to the whole process simply because a ton of people are applying.

    Anyway, I'm happy how it worked out. It would have been nice to get an early acceptance so I wouldn't have had to go to all the interviews, but most of the schools I interviewed at were effectively non-rolling and I did not get my applications done early enough for early interviews and rolling schools.

    I could have done things better than I did as far as the mechanics of applying, and I would have liked to have a shot at Harvard/Hopkins/Stanford/Cornell (and may have been able to had I applied earlier), but I really can't complain about how things worked out. I know I'll be really happy in Seattle, and it's the place I'd want to live more than anywhere else (barring perhaps Palo Alto.)

    Life is good.


    I have to update this. Strange cycle of events: I got off the waitlist at Yale, and the administration changed at NYU and re-offered me admission. So I basically ended up with every acceptance at every school I interviewed barring Duke. After one school wanted me, everybody wanted me - and then I ended up interviewing them.

    I wanted to do mathematical biology so Courant Institute of Applied Mathematics is basically the best or in the top 2-3 places to do that. So... I couldn't believe I turned down Yale because I loved the medical school, but I accepted at NYU because it had the best and most exciting research.

    No regrets about that choice at all as NYU is hugely supportive of my research. And it turned out that the center I wanted to work with at UW was closed just a few months ago.

    So a strange but happy ending to all of it.

    Application Complete, Rejected

    University of Chicago
    Stanford University
    University of California, Davis
    University of California, Los Angeles
    Johns Hopkins University
    Cornell University
    University of Michigan
    Charles Drew University/UCLA
    Harvard University
    University of California, San Francisco

    Application Complete, Withdrew

    University of Miami
    University of Florida
    Mayo Medical School

    Attended Interview, Rejected

    New York University
    Duke University
    University of California, San Diego

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted

    Yale University


    University of Pittsburgh
    Washington University in St. Louis
    University of Pennsylvania
    University of Washington
    Case Western Reserve University
    University of North Carolina
    University of Colorado
    Columbia University
    Ohio State University
    University of California, Irvine

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