2 research fellowships (2100hrs) tons of community service work/leadership 230hrs of clinical volunteering current doctor assistant (about 600hrs anticipated) MCAT instructor resident assistant orientation counselor significant awards/recognition in each activity paid for undergrad on my own (tuition and living)
// Applications //
Application Cycle One: 2008
Undergraduate college: UCLA
Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
Total MCAT SCORE: 519
MCAT Section Scores:
Overall GPA: 3.80
Science GPA: 3.78
Summary of Application Experience
7/1: MCAT scores...so grateful I don't have to retake it! 7/3: AMCAS submitted 7/23: AMCAS verified and tons of secondaries, so much writing! 10/30: Yay!!! I'm gonna be a doctor! Love SLU! A little scared of the area :) 12/2: The best day of this whole process! Got into my top choice school! Close to family, top 20 school on the beach, amazing free clinics, professional academic support = awesome combo!
Lessons Learned from this Process:
1. Submit the primary app ASAP, but July is still considered early.
2. DON'T stare at SDN all day and wonder why the schools haven't sent you an invite, everyone has different time tables and some people just get it earlier, it doesn't necessarily mean they'll get accepted.
3. Interviews: Get hosts and save money! Plus, they'll save a lot of the traveling anxiety.
4. The best interviews are ones that are sincere, which means that it should be conversational rather than reciting some pre-written answer. What does conversational mean? Ask them questions, listen to what the interviewer says and don't put an agenda in your mind like I have to be asked or bring up these and these points about myself.
5. If an interviewer makes you uncomfortable, please let the adcom know that afterward, I had one that treated me like I had psychiatric problems by asking really personal questions like 'did you have an estranged relationship with you mom?' That was Harvard. So don't let the school's name intimidate you, if the interviewer is being aggressive, rude, intimidating, or non-professional, please let the adcom know. I didn't and it's the only thing I would've changed.
6. Writing thank you notes is nice and polite, but really not that necessary.
7. If you're wait-listed and would really really like to go to med shool A, then please write them a letter of intent. Some schools only review the waitlist who wrote that letter...Georgetown for one.
8. If there is a school that you do NOT wanna go for sure, call them asap, so someone else can have the spot, remember how good it felt when you found out you're gonna be a doctor? Well, spread that joy!
9. SDN has it + and -. The interview section is a positive, but the paranoia it generates through the process is a negative.
10. AMCAS essay: have people read and revise it, also don't go in with the attitude that your essay is the most original piece of work in the world. I read 50 essays this cycle. There are 5 that were truly well-written, and 1 that was truly original. I also have someone who wrote one of the most unoriginal essays trying to convince me that it's original. Some essays are truly scary in terms of structure, word use, attitude, and message. So have your trusted friends, doctors you shadow, parents, and good writers you know read this...PLEASE!!!
11. Go to second looks, as many as you can, and truly see what the school is about and who your future classmates are.
12. Don't be afraid of saying no to a higher ranked school if it doesn't feel right, the quality of education between the top 20 really makes no difference. So what is important to you and your family personally?
*** If you don't succeed the first time, call the schools and ask them what you can improve on. Then try again. *** For those that did get in: I know some physicians like to act all elite like this profession is for like 'smart people' or whatever, but we all know that it just takes someone with persistence, work ethic, and compassion to do it. It is seriously no bigger than any other profession, and we are trained with a skill that just happens to save lives. It doesn't make us bigger or smaller, we're simply technicians on the human body. So admire and love those around you no matter what they do and listen to them no matter how much they may know. Never let this whole med thing get in your head and form a divide between you and your patients.