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  • Shemarty

  • Application cycles: 06/03/2008
  • Demographics: Female, East Asian
  • Home state: California
  • Last Active: 03/19/2013   -   Latest Activity
  • Brief Profile: Leave me a message if you visit my MDApps profile! :)

    My "blog" contains advice for applicants & my overall application timeline. Check it out!


    I completed my undergrad requirements in 3 years and 1 quarter, so I spent my last 2 quarters on research, teaching, volunteering, etc, instead of enrolling in more classes. I graduated in June 2008 and took one 'year off' while applying.



    The duration of some activities was shorter on my AMCAS, since I continued some activities during my year off.

    MCAT instructor/tutor for The Princeton Review - 1 yr

    Outcomes research in vascular and cardiothoracic surgery - 2 yrs

    TA for vascular surgery elective for MS1/MS2's - 1.5 yrs

    Medical education research resulting from above TA-ship - 1.5 yrs

    TA, head TA & administrative coordinator for undergrad biology lab - 3 yrs

    Shadowing program coordinator - 1.5 yrs

    Premedical association - VP 1 yr, president 1 yr

    Volunteer & steering committee member at free clinic - 2 yrs

    Misc. volunteering at elementary schools - 1.5 yrs

    Neurobiology research - 2 yrs, undergrad honors thesis

    Study abroad in Australia - 1 quarter junior year

    Shadowing various physicians - ~500 hrs total

    Research lab scut monkey (summer job after freshman year)



    Our premed advisers do not write committee letters. We had a career center service which scanned the LORs and mail them as a packet. I wanted to include a LOR from each major EC that I held a leadership role in. I called schools' offices and was told that I could exceed the maximum if the letters all arrived in one packet, which they did. It was overkill in retrospect, but I felt that all my letters were strong and spoke to a different aspect of my application.

    I included some detail about each LOR so you can see which activities I chose to back up with a LOR and how I 'fulfilled' my science and non-science letter requirements.

    1. Surgical oncologist I shadowed for ~275 hrs. He focused on my performance in a clinical setting compared to the other med students / residents he works with. I wrote about this EC in my PS.

    2. Vascular surgeon I shadowed for ~50 hrs. Took his vascular surgery elective and subsequently TA'd the class for 1.5 yrs. He became my PI - conducted surgical education research & outcomes research. He focused on my leadership, TA-ship, and research. I wrote about this EC in my PS.

    3. Faculty adviser for premed shadowing program I coordinated. He focused on my role in rebuilding this program from scratch. I wrote about this EC in my PS.

    4. Prof from my Writing & Rhetoric course Sophomore year. My project was about medical residency. She focused on my written and oral communication skills and collaboration with my classmates. I didn't know her as well as my other LOR-writers, but this was my 'non-science professor letter.'

    5. Attending ophthalmologist at the free clinic where I volunteered several weekends per month. He wrote about my clinical skills, interaction with patients, and leadership roles at the clinic. I wrote about this EC in my PS.

    6. PI from my undergrad honors thesis research. Worked in his lab for 2 yrs and took an upper-div class with him. He probably focused on my research rather than my performance in his class. Nonetheless, this was one of my 'science professor letters.'

    7. Surgical fellow I met while shadowing and subsequently worked on a few cardiac surgery outcomes research projects with. I knew him better than the actual PI, so I asked him to write the letter.

    8. Course director for undergraduate biology lab. Took the class as a sophomore, subsequently TA'd it for 3 years, became a head TA, and administrative coordinator for the course. She probably focused on my leadership, teamwork, and commitment to education rather than my performance as a student. Nonetheless, this was my other 'science professor letter.'



    I took the MCAT the summer after my junior year. I studied from 6/26 - 9/6 (about 10 weeks) for a 9/7 test date. I did research and shadowed during the day, and studied most nights/weekends. I used The Princeton Review's books, which I borrowed from a friend who'd taken the course. I took all the full length online practice tests.
  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 06/03/2008

    • Undergraduate college: Stanford University
    • Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 522
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 132, C/P 132, CARS 126  
    • Overall GPA: 3.78
    • Science GPA: 3.80

    Summary of Application Experience

    Total Costs:
    $210: MCAT registration fee
    $530: AMCAS fees
    $1015: Secondary fees
    $1795: Interview costs
    $400: Revisit weekend costs
    Total: $3950


    Went to second look at UCSD, UCLA (unofficially), Yale and UCSF.
    Matriculating at UCSF!

    Application Complete, Rejected

    University of Pennsylvania

    Attended Interview, Rejected

    Harvard University
    Duke University

    Attended Interview, Withdrew

    Baylor College

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted, Withdrew

    Columbia University
    Johns Hopkins University
    Stanford University
    Vanderbilt University


    Yale University
    Washington University in St. Louis
    University of Michigan
    University of California, San Francisco
    University of California, San Diego
    University of California, Los Angeles

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