6/20/2009: I submitted my AMCAS last week and am waiting for verification. I\'ve taken what seems like a serpentine path to get here: beginning with my freshman year as a music major, through a several-year hiatus from college after my sophomore year, an awakening desire to become a physician, my return to school, a growing interest in research as an undergraduate and subsequent decision to pursue a master\'s degree in biology, and finally an MSTP applicant!
6/25/09: Received an email to complete Wash U secondary before AMCAS was verified. Their application seems fairly straightforward. I don\'t have much to say to the optional essay prompt that wasn\'t stated in my AMCAS PS, so I may leave it blank.
7/1/09: AMCAS under review.
7/2/09: AMCAS verified.
7/6/09: Began U Pitt secondary. 250-word limit is a challenge to meet for these prompts.
7/9/09: Received Duke secondary.
7/10/09: Submitted U Pitt secondary. First one! Will submit the (separate) MSTP application as soon as I find out whether it is appropriate to include an abstract of a paper that is still under review.
7/10/09: Submitted U Pitt MSTP application - abstract included.
7/11/09: Submitted Wash U application. I\'ll have to get my portrait taken soon, since they want us to upload our pictures.
7/15/09: Submitted Johns Hopkins application. Really have to get that portrait taken now - JHU application won\'t be reviewed until a hard copy (with picture attached) is received by mail.
7/21/09: Still missing one letter of recommendation... I\'m sitting on a couple of primaries (U Penn and U Michigan) since there\'s not much sense submitting early only to wait weeks for a \'complete\' when I get that last letter.. Mailed in JHU application and uploaded portrait to WashU website.
7/23/09: Submitted U Michigan application. Completed prompts for Wake Forest already; still waiting to get their secondary. Wake Forest sent me an email two days ago stating that they \'require documentation from your advisor that you will complete the (graduate)degree by July 01, 2010.\' I was wondering if schools would ask about that, given the variability in time-to-completion for grad students.
7/27/09: Last letter sent to AMCAS today, so completes should be rolling in soon! Technically, WashU listed me as \'complete\' after receiving my committee letter (weeks ago), but for this record, I\'m not counting any application as complete until all required materials have been received.
7/27/09: Complete for Pitt MSTP!
7/28/09: Complete for U Mich! They are quick - complete status up within a couple hours of AMCAS receiving my last letter.
7/30/09: Submitted U Penn and Harvard secondaries. Working on UNC-CH and Penn State now; will submit both early next week.
7/31/09: Sent Vanderbilt and U Iowa an email, something along the lines of \'I have not yet received an invitation to complete the secondary and just wanted to make sure you have received my verified AMCAS...\' Got responses back from both, saying that they had sent me invitations already, but would resend. This is odd... I have been checking my junk mailbox, and haven\'t seen anything there from them. Ah well, I\'m glad I checked! Now I have secondaries from every school except Drexel (they haven\'t sent them to anyone yet), Wake Forest (they just received the documentation today that I will finish my grad degree before medical school, so they can now finish processing my app) and UAB (they wrote on 7/20 to say that my app was under review and I should hear from them regarding the secondary within 2-3 wk).
8/3/09: Status update at Wake Forest, I will be receiving their secondary within 2 weeks. Yay!
8/6/09: Submitted Penn State. Will also submit UNC-CH today. Received invite to complete UAB\'s MSTP application yesterday. I\'m going to wait to send it in until I know what conferences I\'m attending next year, since they ask.
8/10/09: Submitted U Iowa. Feeling good!
8/12/09: Submitted Wake Forest. Will mail signature page and picture tomorrow. Added Case Western (really impressed by their program so far). Aiming to submit Case Western in the next week, then only 2 more secondaries with essays (Duke and Vandy)! Considering withdrawing from Vandy, as there isn\'t a master\'s program in Nashville for my husband... Will revisit their MSTP website and make my decision this week.
8/17/09: First rejection today: Wash U.
8/27/09: Have completed all secondaries but UAB\'s, since I wanted to finalize which conferences I\'ll be attending this coming year before submitting that app. Will submit tomorrow or Monday. Yay!
9/5/09: Submitted and complete at all schools. Rejected from Duke MSTP this morning.
9/7/09: Duke interview invite! First invite, MD-only. While I wouldn\'t get the same in-depth training in research methodologies offered by MD-PhD programs, Duke\'s curriculum incorporates a full year of protected research time for their medical students, and I\'m very excited to get an interview.
9/17/09: Two MD-PhD interview invites: Wake Forest and Penn State. Whew!
9/26/09: Email last night from Mayo - MSTP interview invite! I couldn\'t believe it - this is a dream school for me.
9/28/09: CCLCM invite today - haven\'t heard from Case Western\'s MSTP yet. Will check my status when I call to schedule the interview this week. The Cleveland Clinic (and Case Western, in general) also ranks quite high on my list - I feel very blessed to have an invitation from them.
10/1/09: Called the MSTP office at Case Western today - just said that I had been invited to interview at CCLCM, and wanted to check on the status of my application. As it turns out, I had been put in a \"hold\" pool, but they are going to review my file again. I was instructed to call back tomorrow, if I haven\'t heard from them yet... I sure hope they decide to invite me! In other news, I got an MD-PhD invitation from Drexel today, so that\'s exciting!
10/12/09: Flying out to my first interview tomorrow. I\'m terribly excited slash nervous. Received an MSTP invite from UAB this morning!
11/10/09: Received interview invite from U Iowa this afternoon - also rejection from U Michigan. Ah well. Very excited about U Iowa! This school has programs for both myself and my husband, so it\'s a plus on both counts. Not too many schools in the running can say that.
11/25/09: Received an MD/PhD acceptance letter (email) from Penn State on Tuesday. I\'m going to be a doctor!!! It\'s still sinking in.
12/8/09: Just got back from the U Iowa interview. I was very impressed by the program, the faculty, the students, and the research environment. I\'m hoping for good news!
12/18/09: Decided to withdraw from U Penn and UAB. Also declined UNC MD-only interview offer.
12/21/09: U Iowa acceptance!!!
12/31/09: Withdrew from Penn State. It\'s so tempting to withdraw my other applications, now that I have been accepted to a program that fits so well! But I really want to see Mayo before I make a final decision... It\'s so hard making a decision for two, but I am grateful to have at least one option on the table that works for both of us. It won\'t be long now.
2/4/10: It\'s been a while since I updated. It was impossible not to fall in love with Mayo. Such a great program, and a good fit for me personally. Not as great a fit for my husband though. The MSTP committee met two days ago, and acceptances are going out by phone. I\'ve kept my cell phone at my side 24-7, but nothing yet. I withdrew this morning from Harvard, Case Western, and CCLCM.
2/16/10: I\'m on the \"top alternate\" list at Mayo, which sounds very hopeful, but the letter said that the \"final sorting\" of the class does not typically occur until late April... I\'m staying on the waitlist for now (of course!!!) but doubt I can put everything on hold until the end of April. Second-look weekend at Iowa is in early April, and my husband and I will need to start finalizing our plans for next year at that point. I feel very lucky to have such great options. I was also accepted last week to Wake Forest\'s MD-PhD program. I\'m giving myself another week or two to decide, but will probably withdraw my application there. The temptation to leave open a viable option so close to my family is very strong, especially given my parents\' shaky health, but I don\'t want to hold onto an acceptance that could go to someone else, if I\'m not serious about the program.
3/15/2010: I have withdrawn my applications to all schools except Mayo and U Iowa. I\'m feeling pretty Hawkish at the moment, but can\'t bring myself to pull the plug on Mayo yet.
5/3/2010: Withdrew from Mayo this morning. U Iowa it is! My decision was really made a month ago, but I had a hard time letting that one go. With that said - I am REALLY EXCITED about U Iowa\'s program, and I can\'t wait to get started on my first research rotation there this summer!