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MD Applicants

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  • User #10769

  • Application cycles: 2008
  • Demographics: Female, 39, South Asian
  • Home state: Texas
  • Last Active: 09/13/2009   -   Latest Activity
  • Brief Profile: Applied while living in New York, but as a permanent resident of Texas.
    Spent a year abroad post-ugrad on a fellowship to study. Then spent two years in post-bacc (applied for linkage during second year for E/C \\\'08 but was rejected, mostly for lack of clinical experience). Including linkage, I spent over 1.5 years in application hell. This process sucks nuts!!!!!

    GPA - post-bacc much better than ugrad, AMCAS did not include courses taken in my year abroad since they didn\\\'t transfer to an American institution
    MCAT - prepped over 4-6 weeks using Kaplan online
    ECs - mostly performing arts (music and dance) including some leadership positions, also volunteered in local ER and worked during post-bacc/gap year
    LORs - probably mostly mediocre (was never close with my science profs), used post-bacc committee letter (and I suspect it hurt me)
    Interviews - was consistently asked to reflect on my gap year job (medical assistant), I think my relative maturity helped.
  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 2008

    • Undergraduate college: Princeton
    • Undergraduate Area of study: Engineering/Technology
    • Institution: Columbia Post-baccalaureate
    • Area of Study: Premedical Studies
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 519
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 132, C/P 128, CARS 127  
    • Overall GPA: 3.45
    • Science GPA: 3.73

    Summary of Application Experience

    05/27 - Spoke with Dean Frantz at P&S.
    There\'s very little WL movement, and they\'re currently over-enrolled. He told me to go ahead and commit to Case, since movement probably will not happen before school starts at Case. So that\'s it!

    05/16 - I have officially heard from every school.
    Rejection from NYMC arrived in TX.

    05/08 - Called Columbia, spoke with Dean Frantz.
    He told me so far there hasn\'t been much movement, but it was still too early to tell. He said he would keep me very much in mind.

    04/30 - Well, that\'s it.
    I withdrew from Emory and am planning to matriculate at Case Western in July. *whew* It was a really tough decision. I really liked Emory, but I had a gut feeling about Case. That in addition to some conversations with current students, financial aid, and personal circumstances made the decision for me. I\'m still hoping to get off the Columbia WL, but I\'m really excited about Case!

    04/16 - Mailed another letter to P&S.
    Getting nervous because I have to choose between Emory and Case by May 1st, and I am feeling no closer to a decision! My gut is saying Case, but I don\'t really know why... Hopefully I\'ll receive fin aid packages soon (and hopefully they will help me make a decision).

    03/07 - Mailed acceptance of spot on Columbia alternate list with another LOIntent.

    02/24 - HOLY CRAP!
    My partner called me from home to say I received a package from Emory. I thought I was totally out of the running at this point. So YES, people, write those updates/letters of interest!
    ***Realized later that I\'d sent a letter to Emory with \'Case Western\' still in the body! Apparently it didn\'t matter to them!

    02/04 - OMG THAT UPDATE LETTER WORKED.
    I got a call from Christian at 2pm, called him back at 4pm --- ACCEPTED AT CASE!!!! I am so thrilled! (His voice message said \'I have a few questions for you...\' I was SOOOO NERVOUS when I called back!!!)

    02/01 - Finally sent LOI/updates by email.
    Will mail hard copy of LOIntent tomorrow. Gods, I hope this works.
    (Friday my boss not-so-subtly handed me an ad for a Caribbean school that he had cut out of the newspaper.)
    Am a bit frantic because I have begun neither to fill out FAFSA nor to rewrite PS for another cycle.

    01/25 - No.
    I decided not to add schools. I don\'t think DO schools will take me seriously this late in the process, especially as I don\'t have a letter from (nor have I a shadowed) a DO. Worse comes to worst, I\'ll start off with them on the list next cycle.
    Meanwhile, my partner, my boss, and I have all decided Columbia is my best bet, so here goes! My boss (the Dr I\'ve been helping with some research) has sent a letter of support to Columbia. The Dr I do some personal assistant stuff for has also agreed to send a letter. And I am currently drafting a LOI.

    01/22 - Add DO/foreign schools?
    My boss is concerned and encouraging me to add DO and foreign programs. I\'m not sure how I feel about the latter, but generally I have no problem with DO schools. But is it just too late? While some schools\' deadlines are February and March, how would it reflect on me to apply so late in the cycle? And why would it not be worth it to just strengthen my application (specifically experience, essays, and references) and reapply next year (besides the possible difference in cost)?

    01/08 - Only 3 interviews had, no news since.
    I\'m inclined to think this is it, and that\'s okay. I know what I need to do.

    11/06 - Case: On hold.
    Part of my fear realized. Must keep in mind that at least it\'s not a rejection.

    11/02 - Nervous.
    This process is so mysterious. I am very *very* grateful for the stellar interview invitations I have received so far--I never really expected them--but I\'m beginning to feel concerned. Why no invitations from schools that I feel are more within my reach? Why no word from Baylor, which accepts mostly IS? I know it\'s still kind of early in interview season, but my big fear has become that I will only get reach school interviews and not be accepted to any of them! It gives that much more weight to my interview performance (and adds that much more stress to each one).

    10/15 - Submitted AMCAS to BU, USC, and UNC.
    10/13 - First official rejection (Pritzker).
    10/09 - Complete at all 22 schools.
    09/22 - First interview invite - Case Western!
    09/15 - Letters uploaded to VirtualEvals! Finally!!

    09/12 - Still awaiting committee LOE.
    I\'m really frustrated and disappointed with them. I have been on top of things since the beginning, sending them everything they wanted in a timely manner... Then last week I got a call asking me to submit my letter request and a copy of my AMCAS. I sent it to them back in June! Why can\'t they keep track of things? I did my part! Why can\'t they do theirs? Isn\'t that their job? Where does all the money go?

    09/04 - Last secondary submitted!
    07/18 - added Rush

    07/14 - rcvd MCAT score: 36Q!
    I had a couple 38 AAMC practice tests, but I\'m pretty satisfied. (My diagnostic was a 27, and I was originally aiming for a 33.) Shocked about the 15! I would have liked a better VR (a more balanced score in general), but really, I have no reason to complain. Thank goodness I don\'t have to do that again!

    06/23 - AMCAS verified, made available to schools; awaiting committee LOE
    06/16 - began full-time Medical Assistant job
    06/13 - MCAT
    06/12 - last transcript received, in queue for review
    06/04 - submitted AMCAS 2009, waiting for final transcript

    03/29 - rejected for linkage, \'lack of experience\'
    03/07 - interview
    02/14 - submitted secondary
    01/25 - submitted AMCAS 2008 for linkage
    01/14 - nominated for linkage

    EXPENSES:
    $90 - USC
    $100 - BU
    $100 - Emory
    $75 - Stony Brook
    $70 - Loyola
    $75 - Rush
    $55 - Wake Forest
    $80 - Stanford
    $75 - Chicago
    $85 - CWRU
    $75 - NW
    $100 - Tulane
    $125 - GW
    $115 - AECOM
    $100 - NYU
    $75 - Cornell
    $105 - MSSM
    $105 - Tufts
    $75 - UPitt
    $100 - NYMC
    $95 - Brown
    $80 - Baylor
    $85 - Columbia
    $80 - JMC
    $820 - AMCAS fee (25 schools)
    $1729 - Kaplan online course
    $210 - MCAT registration

    $38 - transportation to and from airports (for Emory interview)
    $359 - flight to Atlanta, GA
    $82 - transportation to and from airport (for Case interview)
    $229 - flight to Cleveland, OH
    $50 - Gas (drive to linkage interview)
    $123 - Hotel, night before linkage interview
    $150 - Suit (guessing at the cost)
    $95 - Linkage app fee

    Total: ~$6005. Holy.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    Interview Impressions: I don\'t have a strong preference for any one of these. They were all impressive in different and very attractive ways.

    *Columbia*
    Not the most involved interview day - just a 30-min interview, Q&A session with M4s, and brief tour. I have to admit this gives the impression of disinterest on the part of the school. For a school reputed to be very \'traditional,\' it didn\'t actually seem that lecture-heavy (new curriculum starts next year), and they pair students up with practitioners in the first term. A variety of locations for rotations, which is very appealing, not only in the city, but also rural and away locations. Students pass around a transplant pager, which they were quite excited about. Somewhat dingy facilities, in that NY way, though the Children\'s hospital was gorgeous and shiney. Bard College sucks; a few students commute. Some students seemed very happy and excited, but most seemed to have a \'too cool for school\' attitude. Love the support for and interest in extra-curriculars (P&S Club). Long anatomy course.

    *Case Western*
    All-day event: two one-on-one interviews, tour, sat in a small group session (people in group change with each module), talks on curriculum/financial aid/etc. Down-to-earth, well-balanced students. A friendly and polite admissions staff who are looking for \'normalcy.\' My interview group was so large that I couldn\'t hear anything during the tour, but the weather was (uncharacteristically) beautiful that day so everything glowed. Beautiful hospitals and facilities. The only med school in Cleveland (if you don\'t separate CCLCM) = monopoly on resources = major attraction. Apparently very easy to approach residents, doctors, etc. regarding research or other interests. 4 societies, each with a mentor who will write your rec. One day a week with no class. 18 months pre-clinical with time built in for boards and 4 months specifically for research. Students all claimed to be pleasantly surprised by Cleveland. Housing is cheap.

    *Emory*
    All-day event: one one-on-one interview, one group (3 interviewers one of whom was an M4, 3 interviewees), one long tour, brief powerpoint about school, quick run through of curriculum and financial aid. Lots and lots of students who stopped by to chat and answer questions. Down-to-earth, well-balanced students with a distinctly \'Southern\' feel. Class five days a week, though schedule varies. Curriculum \'eases you into it,\' starting with \'The Healthy Human,\' no anatomy until mid-Nov. \'Week on the Wards\' in first month at school, outpatient experience every other week starting in November. 4 societies, each with 4 mentors (~8 students/mentor). I believe your mentoring group is also your small group. Grady was amazing and every student or physician we encountered attested to it. Everyone was so unbelievably friendly and they clearly strive for a \'family\' feeling. Big emphasis on community, not only with Emory, but also (and importantly) with Atlanta as a whole.
    Spoke with current M2: tests every Friday for the first 6 months, very little pharmacology covered in new curriculum (possibly more now), not too competitive or intense, administration emphasizes/encourages students to do other stuff, required research at beginning of second year.

    Applied, Rejected

    University of North Carolina

    Application Complete, Rejected

    University of Chicago
    Stanford University
    University of Pittsburgh
    Cornell University
    SUNY Stony Brook
    New York University
    Northwestern University
    Brown University
    Baylor College
    George Washington University
    Wake Forest University
    Jefferson Medical College
    Tufts University
    Mount Sinai School of Medicine
    New York Medical College
    Loyola University Chicago
    Albert Einstein of Yeshiva University
    Tulane University
    Rush Medical College
    Boston University
    University of Southern California

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted

    Columbia University

    Accepted

    Emory University
    Case Western Reserve University

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