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MD Applicants

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  • User #10818

  • Application cycles: 2008
  • Demographics: Male, Caucasian
  • Home state: Pennsylvania
  • Brief Profile: Summary of Extracurriculars:
    - 2 Publications in preparation (one first author)
    - 3 Conference abstracts
    - BMES Chapter president
    - Writing an undergraduate thesis in Bioengineering
    - Volunteer at Hershey Medical Center (over 100 hours)
    - Debate Team Captain
    - Eagle Scout
    - Teaching Assistant for senior bioengineering course
    - Evan Pugh Scholar (top 0.5% of class)
    - General Chemistry Supplemental Instruction Leader
    - Biomaterials and Bionanotechnology Summer Institute (BBSI) Fellow - 2 summers
    - 2 years in a cellular mechanobiology laboratory


    SS - Sent Secondary
    II - Interview Invite
    IH - Interview Hold
    I - Interview
    R - Rejection
    WL - Waitlist
    DF - Deferred to MD Only
    A - Acceptance to MD/PhD
    AX - Acceptance to MD Only
    W - Withdrawn
    M - Matriculation to MD/PhD
    MX - Matriculation to MD Only
  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 2008

    • Undergraduate college: Penn State
    • Undergraduate Area of study: Engineering/Technology
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 514
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 129, C/P 128, CARS 129  
    • Overall GPA: 3.97
    • Science GPA: 3.95

    Summary of Application Experience


    05/10/2008 - Began serious MCAT preparation
    05/23/2008 - Took MCATs
    06/09/2008 - Submitted AMCAS Application
    06/19/2008 - AMCAS application 'Verified'
    06/23/2008 - Received MCAT scores
    06/24/2008 - Starting secondaries
    07/03/2008 - Preprofessional committee interview

    *UPDATE* - Some schools require separate PhD and MD applications for MD/PhD. This process is new and can become very confusing... especially finding the right application. For example, some graduate schools have a special PhD application for MD/PhD applicants to replace the standard secondary. They don't really let you know about this when MD/PhD secondary emails are sent out.

    07/05/2008 - Forwarded my letter ID from AMCAS to my pre-professional health committee in order to have it sent from VirtualEvals
    07/18/2008 - Committee Packet sent to Virtual Evals
    07/31/2008 - Still taking awhile for some schools to receive letters

    *UPDATE* - FIRST INTERVIEW INVITES from the University of Nebraska and Texas A&M University!

    08/04/2008 - UCSF finally showed me some love and screened me for a secondary.
    08/05/2008 - Vanderbilt just screened me for an MSTP secondary!
    08/08/2008 - It seems Tufts forgot to send me a secondary back in July, but I received it today and quickly sent the application.
    08/12/2008 - Loyola screened me for a secondary :)

    *UPDATE* - INTERVIEW INVITE to University of Illinois Chicago!

    08/18/2008 - Finished my secondaries! I still need to pay the fee for Duke and apply for the NIH GPP, but the secondaries are complete nonetheless.



    08/18/2008 - With the completion of secondaries, the interview season officially begins.
    08/18/2008 - Paid Duke secondary application fee. Now all fee payments are complete.
    08/20/2008 - Interview invite from VCU!
    08/25/2008 - Interview invite from Loyola!
    08/27/2008 - Need to reschedule the UIC interview until an MSTP decision is finalized. Right now I have been invited by the COM and must wait until October when they convene.
    08/28/2008 - Screened out of the preliminary application at UW :(
    08/29/2008 - Beginning the writing of my personal statement for the NIH GPP:
    09/02/2008 - Began the NIH GPP application for Oxford-Cambridge and Karolinska Institutet.
    09/03/2008 - Drexel invited me for an interview on Oct. 22-23, but I requested a reschedule :) woohoo!
    09/04/2008 - Dartmouth invited me for an MD/PhD interview!!

    *UPDATE* - Trying to figure out my UT Houston application. It could have been lost in the mail or something, but the administrator is on the case!

    09/06/2008 - Can't believe it.. Interview from JHU!
    09/07/2008 - Submitted the NIH GPP application.
    09/08/2008 - Got an invite from my alma mater!! woohoo!
    09/08/2008 - Interview invite from Case Western!!!
    09/10/2008 - First interview (with Texas A&M).

    INTERVIEW: Texas A&M (09/10-09/11)
    This was a two-day interview across multiple campuses of TAMHSC. The first day was for the MD/PhD, followed by interviews with the medical school on the next day. The MD/PhD consisted of 3 interviews with members of the Steering Committee, a journal club, a tour of the campus, and dinner with MD/PhD students. I really liked College Station. It was hot, but everyone was very friendly. The second day was the MD-only interview day. I began in College Station, where I interviewed with the Chair of the Curriculum Committee. After a tour of the gross anatomy laboratory and the library, I then drove to the Temple campus. This is a large clinical campus whose hospital is run by Scott & White (top-15 teaching hospital). I interviewed with a pathologist there, and his interview was probably the most difficult on the trip. We then toured the facilities, and I learned about their new regenerative medicine laboratory and cancer center. Overall, my impression of the Temple campus was excellent, and I would prefer matriculation to this location over College Station. The trip ended with a visit from Hurricane Ike.

    09/11/2008 - Received interview invitations from UMass and UConn! Now I'm trying to rework my schedule to make these fit. If I end up receiving good news from a school early, it will be a good idea to try and withdraw from other universities.
    09/12/2008 - AECOM notified me that one of my letters was missing and my application for the MSTP will be put on hold until that letter is received.
    09/13/2008 - I had to withdraw from UNMC to make room for UMass, a school higher on my list of choices. This was difficult considering the competitiveness of these programs, and I hope that UNMC wasn't going to be only acceptance. :( Either way, I was going to do this eventually it seemed.
    09/15/2008 - My situation with the letter from AECOM has been rectified.
    09/16/2008 - Interview invitation to Loyola University's MD/PhD.
    09/17/2008 - Interview invitation to UVa!!
    09/19/2008 - Rescheduled VCU, even though this will conflict with UMass. When the time comes, I will have to withdraw from one of these programs.
    09/19/2008 - Interview invitations to UWisconsin and Boston University!

    INTERVIEW: Johns Hopkins (9/25-9/26)
    This was a wonderful interview experience. Hopkins set me up with a student host who was a current MD/PhD student. The first day consisted of a short meeting with the program director, followed by lunch with current MD/PhD students, and two interviews. The second day involved two interviews at the Homewood campus in biomedical engineering and another MD interview in the afternoon. I found that this program gives excellent flexibility, many opportunities in BME and the School of Public Health, strong collegiality among departments, and an amazing familial atmosphere. The greatest selling point of the program has to be the administration and the cooperation/friendliness of the students.

    09/29/2008 - Interview invites from Rochester and Temple!! *Time to start figuring out where I should withdraw*

    INTERVIEW: Dartmouth (10/7-10/8)
    I went into Dartmouth with a skeptical attitude. It is a distance from home, and I never thought I'd fit in at an Ivy League school. However, I was thoroughly impressed with the collegiality among students, collaborations between professors, quality of education, quality of research, and the beautiful environment of New Hampshire. Needless to say, there will never be a time when I will lack things to do. The first interview day was for the MD admissions process, consisting of two MD-only interviews. The second day, the MD/PhD day, was much more rigorous. It began with a Committee interview, where 8-9 bigwigs at Dartmouth simultaneously bombarded me with questions. Following this were 6 more 30-minute interviews. Though tired, I fell in love with this small school by the end. The small class size (3-4 MD/PhD students per year) was very attractive, as a lot of personal attention would be given.

    10/08/08 - Interview invite from Baylor MSTP! This conflicts with BU.. what to do..
    10/09/08 - Interview invite from Wake Forest! It conflicts with AECOM, so I'm trying to reschedule.
    10/10/08 - Withdrew from Boston University. This is a great school, but I needed to prioritize with Baylor. :( Hardest withdraw yet.
    10/14/08 - Withdrew from UMass Worcester. I needed to make room for the Wake Forest MD/PhD Program, one that is much higher on my list.
    10/14/08 - Interview invite from UCSD!! See you on the beach!
    10/14/08 - Declined an interview from the Duke MSTP. Darn it.
    10/15/08 - Received an interview invitation from the University of Vermont!

    INTERVIEW: Case (10/16-10/17)
    Case interviewed 15 students, and they do this 6 times per year. This results in 70-90 applicants being interviewed for about 12-13 spots. My interview was very enjoyable. On the plane ride to Cleveland, I sat next to a WWII veteran who obtained his BS/MS/PhD from Case Western Reserve University. He told me a lot about the city and the school. I then stayed on the Cleveland Clinic campus with two other students. The first day of interviews involved 3 PhD interviews, 1 SOM interview, and 1 student interview. My second day, a little more strenuous, involved a Director interview, 2 committee interviews, and 1 PhD interview (totaling to 9 over two days). The campus was great, and I was very impressed with the facilities and Case's focus on biomedical research. It is a true research institution, one where MSTP students will thrive.

    10/17/08 - Checked the Cornell status page, and it seems I have been invited for a Tri-I interview!
    10/21/08 - Interview invitation from the Vanderbilt MSTP!
    10/21/08 - Interview invitation from Mount Sinai MSTP!

    INTERVIEW: University of Virginia (10/23-10/24)
    UVa was a beautiful campus, and Charlottesville was very comfortable. The first day of interviews consisted mostly of tours, two medical school interviews, and two more MSTP interviews. The second day consisted of another MSTP interview and multiple chances to meet faculty. I found that the BME department had many of the resources I would like, and the curriculum at UVa was also unique. They allow MSTP students to take graduate courses in lieu of some of their first year medical school courses (e.g. biochemistry). Overall, it was a good experience.

    10/27/2008 - First acceptance!! Texas A&M!! Now it's time to start being more picky.

    INTERVIEW: Vanderbilt (10/30-10/31)
    I didn't know what to expect when entering Nashville, but I found Vandy to be one of my most enjoyable interviews. The greatest selling point of the school is its students. Vandy focuses on 'wellness' during the MSTP years, and there are numerous workshops, including ones focused on leadership in medicine! I was also impressed with the sheer size and number of hospitals in the area, and the atmosphere of Nashville was very welcoming. Furthermore, the director really likes to make sure his students are happy during their years at Vanderbilt, which is very important to me. The area is fairly safe, and the climate is a nice temperature. This was an excellent experience.

    INTERVIEW: Penn State (11/3-11/4)
    This is one of the few medical schools in a rural location. The negative aspect of such a location is the lack of things to do during the time there. However, the cost of living is very low; students were able to rent apartments for less than 500/month. Additionally, the area is the safest I've seen. I would compare Hershey to a flatter and warmer version of Dartmouth in its setting. The director was very laid back, and the students were also friendly. The interview day was fairly short, consisting of only 3 half-hour interviews. This was a laid back interview experience, but I didn't mind that at all.

    INTERVIEW: Baylor (11/6-11/7)
    They say everything is big in Texas. Baylor is in the heart of the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the nation. With new construction, the TMC will then be the fourth largest metropolitan location in the United States. Putting size aside, the curriculum at Baylor allows completion of preclinical coursework in 18 months, then 6 months of clinic before beginning laboratory rotations for the PhD. Additionally, Bioengineering is particularly popular since it is with Rice University, and Rice actually has a nice campus compared with the rest of the TMC. The student happiness level at Baylor was slightly lower than at other locations, but I was thoroughly impressed with the facilities. Rotations are performed at Ben Taub, St. Luke's, and the Texas Children's Hospital. Additionally, MD Anderson is an amazing location for cancer research, and Baylor students have been known to rotate here too.

    11/13/2008 - Accepted to Penn State! woohoo
    11/17/2008 - Accepted to Case MSTP!!!
    11/19/2008 - Best day of the best week of this process... acceptances from BOTH Dartmouth (mail) and Vanderbilt (call)! This is going to be such a difficult decision...

    INTERVIEW: Cornell Tri-I (11/20-11/21)
    It's difficult to say anything negative about New York City. The interview weekend consisted of one day of interviews with Cornell, Sloan-Kettering, and Rockefeller. There were 42 of us, so it was the largest MSTP interview I've been on thus far. Nonetheless, they treated each of us very well, and the administration was very organized. I was very impressed with the sheer size of the institutions, and the current students seemed to be in love with the city. The subsidized housing is a huge bonus, especially in a city like New York.

    11/23/2008 - With a few acceptances, it is now time to withdraw from many of the schools on my list.
    12/10/2008 - Acceptance to Cornell Tri-I!! So happy!!
    12/12/2008 - 'Happy holidays, you're rejected' from Hopkins - just kidding! I expected this, and I would have loved to have gone there. Hopkins is an amazing hospital, but it's not the only amazing hospital in the US. To be honest, I'm still on cloud nine from Tri-I anyway.

    Application Complete

    Columbia University
    Harvard University
    University of Pennsylvania
    Northwestern University
    Stanford University
    University of Chicago
    Mayo Medical School
    Tufts University

    Application Complete, Rejected

    University of Washington
    Yale University
    University of Michigan
    University of North Carolina

    Application Complete, Withdrew

    George Washington University
    Jefferson Medical College
    New York University
    Georgetown University
    Brown University
    University of Texas, Houston
    University of Pittsburgh

    Attended Interview

    University of Virginia
    Baylor College

    Attended Interview, Rejected

    Johns Hopkins University

    Attended Interview, Withdrew

    Temple University
    Wake Forest University
    Albert Einstein of Yeshiva University
    SUNY Stony Brook
    University of Illinois
    Duke University
    University of California, San Francisco
    University of Maryland
    Virginia Commonwealth University
    University of Connecticut
    University of Rochester
    Boston University
    Drexel University
    University of California, San Diego
    Loyola University Chicago
    Mount Sinai School of Medicine
    University of Nebraska
    University of Massachusetts
    University of Vermont
    University of Wisconsin


    Cornell University
    Texas A & M University
    Dartmouth College
    Case Western Reserve University
    Vanderbilt University
    Pennsylvania State University

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