- Undergrad with distinction and PBK - Worked in Silicon Valley for a few years - Postbacc premed courses at random 4 yr schools - TA for undergrad class for a few yrs - Volunteer Sunday School teacher - Some physician shadowing - Part-time work in research lab (published, but not until well after interviews)
// Applications //
Application Cycle One: 2008
Undergraduate college: Stanford University
Undergraduate Area of study: Engineering/Technology
Institution: stanford university
Area of Study: Engineering/Technology
Degree Obtained: MS
Total MCAT SCORE: 523
MCAT Section Scores:
Overall GPA: 3.90
Science GPA: 3.90
Summary of Application Experience
Nontrad applying with some personal constraints, basically had to follow where my SO ended up next year, so applied broadly. Brief comments on schools, ordered by interview date:
1) UTMB: Admittedly my \'safety\' school. Not really interested in their heavy pbl focus and some uncertainty about post-hurricane situation.
2) Vanderbilt: Wow, very impressed with students, faculty, and facilities. Still working on kinks in new curriculum. Location is different, but I\'ve spent time in TX, so not a huge change. Was hoping for merit $.
3) Michigan: They really know how to recruit. 1st interview invite, 1st acceptance, nice acceptance video, etc. Beautiful in Sept, dreary on return in Feb. Great facilities/technology, interesting students, stellar match list; almost ended up coming here. Didn\'t quite match IS tuition. Your $ leverage goes way up if you get into a top 10 school.
4) Case Western: Wasn\'t a big fan of Cleveland. Nothing stood out, but seemed like solid place. Also very pbl heavy.
5) Pittsburgh: Like the pbl (25%) and lecture balance. WISER was sweet, but you really don\'t spend much time there as MS. City was alright.
6) UTSW: Parkland gives you lots of exposure but kind of run down, although new hospital in the works. Made some changes so 1st half of M1 is P/F. Awesome that OOS automatically get $1k scholarship, making them eligible for IS tuition (totaling ~$13k/yr for tuition).
7) UCSD: Entering last year of existing curriculum; new one for C/O 2014 has less lecture, more P/F, new buildings, elective during M3 year. CA is broke though, so building on hold. Was a bit wary of rep with lots of lecture time, but sat in on a class which seemed fine. Free clinic seemed impressive although I couldn\'t make a tour. Can\'t beat the weather.
8) Pritzker: Impressed by academic feel of the place, across info session, interviews, and overall atmosphere. Really liked the city, although it was in early Oct and already starting to get chilly. Supposedly generous with $ as well. Thought my interviews went really well, but apparently not as well as I thought.
9) Feinberg: Really bad experience with panel interview, only 1 faculty and 1 M4 instead of 2/1. Faculty member seemed antagonistic to all 3 of us. Turned me off to the school. Otherwise, great (but expensive) location, super nice facilities, but heavy pbl focus (but not much class time). Also expensive tuition and reputed to be unhelpful with $. Wasn\'t expecting a good result.
10) WashU: Nice interview experience, housing in dorm, night before pizza gathering, breakfast with student, nice lunch, laidback interview. Really hammer on why you want to go to St Louis / WashU. Lots of students I met came off WL. Get the impression that most applicants from coasts withdraw if they get into a school on the coast.
11) Baylor: TMC is pretty amazing, also easy to get into Texas Childrens for residency, if peds is your interest. Really, really liked the curriculum (1.5 yr basic science, lots of flexibility / elective time for clinical). Faculty interview was a bit awkward. Sent multiple letters of interest, but stayed in limbo. Biggest disappointment of non-acceptance schools.
12) UCLA: Lamest interview day ever. No info session, don\'t meet other applicants, other faculty, nor other students except the interviewers. Self-guided campus tour during down time with little bit of student tour. Does nothing to sell itself. Hospitals are spread throughout LA, which means getting home from the hospital can take over 1 hr. No thanks.
13) Penn: Really enjoyed this place. Very academic feel, sat in a small group, had a lively/interesting faculty interview. Efforts underway for technology/medicine interdisciplinary initiatives. Nice city with decent public transport. Non-rolling admissions schedule didn\'t really work with personal situation, which they knew, so waitlist was no surprise.
Cliff Notes version: - Schools I was most impressed with post-interview: Vanderbilt, Michigan, Pritzker, Baylor, Penn - Taking into account location/weather, tuition, and unofficial 2nd look reassurance, UCSD ended up my personal 1st choice among accepted options