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  • NickNaylor

  • Application cycles: 06/01/2010
  • Demographics: Male, 35, Caucasian
  • Home state: Texas
  • Last Active: 10/12/2020
  • Brief Profile:

    About Me

    Degree: B.S.
    Major: Biochemistry
    Minor: Great Texts of the Western Tradition

    Letters of Reference (LORs) Sent:

    -Committee letter

    Note: the committee letter our pre-health office prepares isn\'t just a letter; instead, it\'s a full evaluation that includes \"grades\" on several aspects of the applicant in addition to the typical letter written by the pre-health director. I\'m pretty certain that this evaluation was strong.

    -Letter from the professor I did SI for

    I\'m pretty certain this letter was very strong.

    -Letter from the PI I did research under at SURF

    I\'m pretty certain this letter was very strong.

    About This Profile

    I have included as much information as I possibly could about me and my application cycle in order to help out future applicants. The descriptions I\'ve provided in the activities section are the verbatim descriptions I used in my AMCAS. I\'ve also provided my personal statement below and, finally, some information on my MCAT study plan.


    -As this profile gets older, it will become more and more obsolete. Already it\'s slightly out of date because of the change in how AMCAS is dealing with activities (i.e., choosing important activities and allowing only shorter descriptions in other activities) and it will continue to become even more so with time. That said, make sure you\'re using strategies and tips that are pertinent for the year YOU\'RE applying in.

    -Absolutely under no circumstances should you copy any portion of my personal statement. This should go without saying, but nothing would surprise me at this point. The personal statement is just that: personal. I answered the question the best way that I could using the activities and experiences that were most important to me. The personal statement you create should reflect your own writing style, method of answering the question, and activities that are most important to you. If you need help with your PS, I\'d recommend using SDN\'s PS reader service that starts up each summer.

    -If you found this profile at all useful, do the SDN community a service and create a detailed, well-maintained MDApps when you get around to applying. As I\'m sure you\'ve noticed, there are many, many MDApps that are absolutely useless because people provide almost no information in them or stop updating them halfway through the cycle. If you don\'t want to keep it updated during the cycle, then at least create one after your cycle is finished. I found the rare fully-completed MDApps to be extremely helpful, and you can ensure that this resource is available to future applicants by creating your own profile.

    -A post that I made in the pre-allo forum discussing my thoughts and observations on the admissions process and tips for future applicants was ultimately turned into an article for SDN. That article best represents what is my advice for future applicants; most of the advice is general and will hopefully be helpful for many cycles to come. I seldom check the discussion section of my MDApps and because I receive a pretty large volume of PMs on SDN I rarely check those as well; as a result, I usually don\'t respond to requests for advice or questions on the cycle. That\'s what SDN is for, and I encourage you to utilize and contribute to that community. You can find the article here:

    -If you have a MDApps and want to make it cool with all of these additional sections and the activity boxes, visit paul411\'s MDApps here for a link to a tool to generate the code necessary for these add-ons.

    Best of luck!


    * Click here to show all activity descriptions or you can view activity descriptions one-by-one (click on activity title).

    Research Activities

    UTSW Summer Research Undergraduate Fellowship
    Summer 2008, Summer 2009

    During my two stints with the UTSW SURF program, I worked with Dr. David Farrar in the Department of Immunology researching the development and differentiation of CD8+ T cells. During the first summer, I investigated the differentiation pathways in human cells in vitro; the following summer I focused on those same pathways in murine cells in vitro. Each summer included a poster session for the UTSW students and faculty.

    Though I began working under a graduate student, I was eventually given the opportunity to work independently, including in some experimental design and data analysis. The work I helped with was included in a publication, and one figure was data from an experiment I designed, ran, and analyzed (see below for citation). The majority of my work during the second summer was done independently with guidance from a graduate student when needed. (included the citation for two pubs below).

    Clinical Activities

    Hospital Volunteering
    October 2009 - Time of Application

    ER volunteers at Providence Hospital are responsible for assisting medical staff when needed, transporting patients within the hospital, and helping the janitorial staff ensure that supply carts are stocked and rooms cleaned. Since October of 2009, I have accumulated approximately 60 hours and will continue to volunteer during the upcoming year.
    Children\'s Hospital JumpStart Program Intern
    Summer 2010

    The JumpStart program offers college students the opportunity to gain clinical experience at Children\'s Hospital of Dallas full-time for the duration of the summer. Interns are assigned to a specific department within which they work in addition to attending weekly academic lectures and participating in a program-wide service project. I was assigned to the Solid Organ Transplant department and worked with patients receiving heart, liver, and kidney transplants. By the end of the summer, I will have accrued approximately 400 hours of clinical experience at the hospital.
    Clinical Shadowing
    Fall 2008

    The Aesthetic Surgery Center of Waco is a private plastic surgery practice that accepts both cosmetic and reconstructive cases. As a shadow student, I was allowed to observe both surgical procedures and patient visits and minor procedures in the office. In the course of four half-day visits and two surgical observations I spent about 20 hours at the office.


    Seasonal 2008 Employment
    December 2008 - January 2009

    I was hired at Walmart as a lawn and garden sales associate for the 2008 holiday season. My responsibilities included assisting customers when needed, maintaining a clean and safe sales floor, and working a cash register.
    Seasonal 2007 Employment
    November 2007 - January 2008

    As an electronic sales associate for the 2007 holiday season, I was responsible for identifying customer needs, offering solutions based on the store\'s product line, and ensuring excellent customer service.
    Supplemental Instruction (SI) Leader
    Fall 2008 - Time of Application

    SI leaders serve as facilitators for group study sessions in classes that are traditionally difficult. Leaders must attend all class lectures, create original teaching materials, and lead at least two sessions per week; students who regularly attend my sessions complete the course with a course GPA 0.5-1.0 points higher than non-attendees despite lower standardized test scores. I also frequently meet with individuals outside of the scheduled sessions to answer more specific and individualized questions, a significant commitment beyond the stated responsibilities of the position. I am responsible for about 300 students in the fall and 100 in the spring.

    In addition to performing these functions, I also strive to be a mentor to younger students, especially freshmen, who are often anxious about finally embarking on their collegiate experience. Whether it be offering advice on professors, courses to take, or the pre-med process in general - a popular topic - I try to make myself as useful as possible to those I interact with, especially with respect to topics other than chemistry.

    I have led sessions primarily for the two introductory chemistry courses, but I also led sessions for an introductory biology course in the fall of 2008. I will continue working as a SI leader this upcoming year.

    Service Activities

    Alpha Phi Omega National Coed Service Fraternity
    Fall 2008 - Time of Application

    Active membership in APO requires completion of 35 hours of community service with the Fraternity, attendance at meetings and required Fraternity events, and fulfillment of committee requirements. I have completed approximately 155 service hours and plan to complete at least 100 more in the next year. Projects that I have been particularly involved with include World Hunger Relief, Inc.\'s Hunger Farm and Habitat for Humanity\'s Habitat Re-Store.

    I have also held several positions within the Fraternity. As Vice President of Service for the Fall 2008 pledge class, I was responsible for planning and executing a pledge service project for the Fraternity. In the spring of 2009, I was elected membership chaplain and reelected the following semester in addition to serving as a color group leader. This past spring I served as member-in-charge for our weekly Hunger Farm project and was elected Vice President of Fellowship, whose responsibilities include facilitating fellowship amongst the membership and planning the semester\'s formal. I was elected President and will be serving in that role for the upcoming semester.

    In the spring of 2009 I was named Outstanding New Member by the executive board, and this past semester I received the Distinguished Service Award for completing at least 50 service hours.
    Student Foundation Member
    Fall 2009 - Spring 2010

    Student Foundation is a student-run organization that works with the Department of University Development to recruit prospective students and raise scholarship funds for current students. Interested juniors and seniors apply for membership and 50 students from each class are chosen each year. Every member is then assigned to one of three committees with which they work for the remainder of the year.

    General membership requirements include attending weekly meetings, completing a weekly office hour, working at home football and basketball games, giving campus tours during Fall and Spring Premiere, and working Bear-a-Thon, an officially certified half-marathon and major source of scholarship funds. As a member of the Student Recruitment (SR) committee, I traveled across the state to attend college fairs and other recruiting events. SR members are required to go on two trips in the fall and have lunch with visiting prospective students and their families in the spring. Over the course of the year, I went on five recruiting trips to the Dallas/Ft. Worth, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio areas.

    In addition to these requirements, I served as a Football Co-Chair and was responsible for coordinating volunteers for home football games.
    Welcome Week Small Group Leader
    Summer 2009, Summer 2010

    Small group leaders are assigned a group of 15-20 incoming students and serve as full-time mentors during the week leading up to the start of classes. Each group is led by two co-leaders who are responsible for meeting students when they first move in, moving them to the various Welcome Week activities, facilitating relationship-building amongst the group, planning activities during down time, and generally being available to the group to make sure everyone is fully prepared - spiritually, mentally, and socially - to begin classes the following week. The position is a 24-hour-per-day commitment for the entirety of Welcome Week. Students are invited to become small group leaders based on an application and interview process.

    I served as a small group leader last summer and have been invited to be a leader for the upcoming summer.

    Miscellaneous Activities

    Student Government Senator
    Fall 2008 - Time of Application

    Student Senate is the legislative body of Student Government and performs two primary functions: to pass support resolutions to voice student concerns to the university administration and to pass allocations to fund events hosted by student organizations. Each class is represented by 13 senators who are voted on at the end of the previous year. All senators must attend weekly Senate meetings, serve on at least one committee which itself has weekly meetings, and complete monthly office hours (or serve on a second committee).

    I was appointed as Junior Class Senator for the 2008-2009 year and served as a member of the Community Affairs and Technology committees. The following year I was elected Senior Class Senator, served on the Campus Improvements and Operations and Procedures committees, and was internally elected Chaplain of the Senate. I authored several bills over the course of the year, including multiple support resolutions and two allocations that provided more than $6,000 to fund an on-campus Poverty Summit and a benefit concert for a medical missions trip to Kenya.

    I have been reelected to the Senate for the upcoming year as a Senior Senator.
    Fitness Training
    For most of my teenage and adult years, I have been overweight and continued to gain weight into college due to poor eating habits and lack of physical activity. After experiencing minor chest pains due to a respiratory infection, however, the eventual impact of carrying that extra weight on my health made me concerned. I began to take seriously the need to get in shape and developed a diet and exercise plan to do so. Over the next several months I lost over 50 pounds and developed a true appreciation for running and weightlifting. On Valentine\'s Day of this year, just shy of a year after I began my weight loss initiative, I completed the Austin Half-Marathon with a time in the top third of all finishers. Finishing the race was an incredible personal accomplishment and remains one of my proudest moments.

    This fall I plan to run the eight mile Dallas YMCA Turkey Trot, and in the spring I plan to run Baylor Student Foundation\'s Bear-a-Thon half-marathon and the Austin Marathon.
    Medical Ethics Discussion Society Member
    Fall 2007 - Spring 2009

    BU MEDS members are required to attend biweekly meetings and complete service requirements each semester to be considered active. Each set of monthly meetings consists of one speaker/lecture meeting, where a speaker lectures on a topic of interest in medical ethics, and a discussion meeting, where members discuss hypothetical situations based on the previous lecture. The service requirement can be fulfilled in a variety of ways; the Service Chair and his/her committee plan one or two large service projects and multiple smaller service projects throughout the semester for members to participate in.

    During the 2008-2009 year, I was a member of the service committee and placed in charge of coordinating three projects with Mission Waco, a local charity. We worked specifically with the King\'s Club program, which provides opportunities for children in at-risk neighborhoods to safely play outside and participate in activities in a structured and supervised environment.
    Honors Program Thesis
    Time of Application

    Every student in the Honors Program must write and defend a thesis on a topic of his or her choosing in order to graduate with the Honors College. The research is done under the guidance of a faculty mentor who also chairs the defense committee in the spring.

    My thesis explores the concept of privacy within the U.S. Constitution by surveying and analyzing relevant Supreme Court rulings and opinions. Beginning with the early Court\'s conception of \"fundamental rights\" and moving to the Reconstruction Era and ratification of the 14th amendment, I will develop a new constitutional construction of fundamental rights that will then be used to analyze the Court\'s rulings in more recent and controversial cases. I will also look at two issues the Court is likely to review in the near future - gay marriage and abortion law - and analyze how my new construction would deal with these cases. I expect the final thesis to consist of four chapters with an introduction and be 120-150 pages in length.
    Collegiate Awards and Honors
    NOTE: All pertinent awards/honors I have received since matriculating are listed here.

    Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Dr. Robert E. Graves Memorial Scholarship (awarded to three freshmen each year)

    International Business Machines Thomas J. Watson Memorial Scholarship

    UT Southwestern SURF Fellow

    Goldwater Scholarship Honorable Mention

    Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Outstanding B.S. Biochemistry Senior Graduate (two awarded each year; I was eligible for the award due to my classification by the Registrar\'s office)

    Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Dr. Thomas J. Bond Memorial Scholarship (awarded to one upper-classman by application)

    UT Southwestern SURF Fellow

    Excellence in Student Involvement Award (awarded to four juniors each year by application; award criteria are based solely on extracurricular involvement independent of academic performance)

    Personal Statement

    The sight of my father in pain, struggling to stand and walk without a grimace on his face, is an image I will never forget. I became familiar with the medical profession in a profoundly personal way when he was diagnosed with a double herniation of the spine that left him completely debilitated and immobilized and me heartbroken and helpless. He recovered within a few months after medical treatment, but the episode catalyzed a strong interest in the medical profession that has continued to grow since. In the course of my undergraduate experiences, this initial curiosity became an immutable desire to become a medical professional, and I eventually realized that serving as a physician would be personally gratifying and professionally fulfilling in a way no other profession could be.

    As a student, I have spent the majority of my time at Baylor comprehending, analyzing, and synthesizing the information from my courses. Spending time in lecture and studying for exams became more than a means to achieving a certain grade in a course: it satisfied that desire to understand and know a concept if only for the sake of knowing. My academic achievements are the result of an innate curiosity that stems from constantly seeking to discover how and why our world functions the way it does. The incredible complexity and elegance of living systems specifically form the heart of that intrigue. Moving from content mastery in the classroom to scientific discovery in the lab built an even greater personal appreciation for scholastic excellence, and the importance of choosing an intellectually challenging career grounded in the biomedical sciences immediately became evident.

    Working with others on campus and in the community to substantively improve the condition of those less fortunate has also played a definitive role in my decision to enter the medical profession. My service endeavors have provided the opportunity to experience not only the personal satisfaction of giving of myself but also the clear and visible impact my work makes on those it serves. There is an immediate sense of fulfillment that comes with doing a good deed that has perpetuated my desire to serve, but more important is the effect of enabling others to take advantage of opportunities in their lives they otherwise may be unable to. Spending two hours each week at Habitat Re-Store to make building Habitat houses possible, for example, is well worth the life-changing opportunity for a stranger to have a place to call home. On a larger scale, donating my time and skills to better the life of my fellow man and leading others to do the same has become a personal duty to my peers rather than something done solely for enjoyment. This realization made entering a profession that focuses on building relationships and genuinely improving the quality of life of others absolutely imperative.

    My medical experiences directly appealed to these personal insights and confirmed my decision to become a physician. I saw the center-stage roles those values -- a love for learning, an inclination to lead, and an obligation to serve -- held in a physician\'s daily work. The technical and intellectual ability involved in making sound clinical judgments despite a fast-paced and often chaotic environment highlighted the importance of knowledge-based decisions and lifelong learning in medicine. The role of the physician in leading a medical team and shouldering the responsibility for a patient\'s well-being throughout a case made clear the import of desiring and being capable of fulfilling leadership roles. Of paramount significance, though, was the effect of the physician\'s work on his patients and his obligation to serve them. Seeing the immediate relief on a teenage girl\'s face after having her bandages removed from a third-degree burn demonstrated the incredible power the physician has to comfort, reassure, and heal his patient through clinical ability and genuine compassion. Experiences like these revealed the extensive overlap between my personal goals and those of doctors, and rather than discovering that the medical profession required certain attributes and seeking to develop those skills and strengths, I realized that becoming a physician would allow me to incorporate the values and beliefs I already hold to be important into my future professional life.

    While my father did not require enduring medical supervision for his injury, I have seen and interacted with others who do require the constant attention of health professionals for their daily needs. Patients expect a physician whose biomedical knowledge is informed by a dedication to improving their immediate physical well-being and long-term quality of life rather than just an expert in clinical science. The call to care for these individuals in their most vulnerable moments has proven overpowering, and firsthand experience in healthcare settings along with my other activities has strengthened that calling. Though the road to becoming a practitioner of medicine is lengthy, difficult, and indisputably trying, my experiences have assured me of my choice, and I can imagine no greater achievement than dedicating my life to alleviating the suffering that accompanies human disease by becoming a physician.

    MCAT Information

    I\'ve attached the exact syllabus/schedule that I used for my MCAT studying to this post in the 30+ Study Tips thread:

    As I note in that post, I stopped using the Kaplan book pretty early on in the process (probably after the first week or two) and simply went over the EK lecture on the second day that was originally for Kaplan reviews.

    I found the combination of EK and Kaplan to be pretty great for self-study. EK is definitely NOT designed for people that need to be taught the material rather than simply review the material. It\'s too concise to serve as a primary teaching guide. If you think you might need a teaching guide, however, I\'d recommend Kaplan\'s Premier Program book, which provides a lot more detail and instruction than EK. I used it as an occasional reference for topics where EK fell short.

    If you\'re disciplined and/or strapped for cash, hopefully my story will demonstrate that you don\'t have to take a course costing thousands of dollars in order to do well. The key to succeeding with a self-study plan, however, is 1) creating a detailed, DAILY plan and 2) prioritizing your activities and other commitments such that you can stick to the schedule you come up with. If you don\'t think you can do #1 and #2, a more professionally structured course might be the way you want to go.

    Here are the EK materials that I used:

    And here\'s the Kaplan Premier Program: (note that Kaplan produces a new book each year; this links to the edition I used)

    Here\'s the chronology of my practice test scores during my studying with my actual score at the end:

    Date: 3/10/2009 (I took the test \"for fun\" before I did any studying)
    Test: AAMC #3
    Score: 13 PS/11 VR/10 BS (34)

    Date: 1/2/2010
    Test: EK #1H (paper exam)
    Score: 10 PS/9 VR/10 BS (29)

    Date: 1/18/2010
    Test: Kaplan Premier Paper Test
    Score: 11 PS/12 VR/12 BS (35)

    Date: 1/30/2010
    Test: Kaplan Online #1
    Score: 10 PS/9 VR/10 BS (29)

    Date: 3/6/2010
    Test: AAMC #4
    Score: 13 PS/12 VR/12 BS (37)

    Date: 3/13/2010
    Test: AAMC #5
    Score: 12 PS/11 VR/12 BS (35)

    Date: 4/3/2010
    Test: AAMC #7
    Score: 13 PS/11 VR/13 BS (37)

    Date: 4/17/2010
    Test: AAMC #9
    Score: 12 PS/13 VR/13 BS (38)

    Date: 4/24/2010
    Test: AAMC #10
    Score: 14 PS/10 VR/13 BS (37)

    Date: 5/1/2010
    Score: 13 PS/15 VR/13 BS (41)

    Cycle Timeline

    If you\'re looking for dates specific to each school, it\'d probably be easier to check out the school in the list below this timeline.

    6/1 - MCAT scores back... what a HUGE surprise!
    6/2 - TMDSAS submitted - waiting on payment, transcript, and committee letters to be complete; AMCAS submitted - waiting on transcript and committee letters to be complete
    6/3 - Baylor transcript received by AMCAS
    6/4 - Baylor transcript received by TMDSAS
    6/9 - AMCAS verified (cGPA calculated as 4.00 - more generous than my cursed institution); UTSW secondary submitted
    6/25 - Columbia secondary received; Michigan secondary received
    6/26 - Mayo \"request for payment\" received
    6/28 - WashU secondary received
    6/30 - Chicago Pritzker secondary received; Cornell secondary received; Penn secondary received
    7/1 - Hopkins secondary received
    7/3 - WashU secondary submitted; Michigan secondary submitted; Mayo payment submitted; Columbia secondary submitted
    7/4 - Hopkins secondary submitted; Baylor secondary submitted
    7/5 - Cornell secondary submitted
    7/7 - Yale secondary received
    7/14 - Mayo LOR request received; Maryland secondary received
    7/15 - Yale secondary submitted
    7/20 - Duke secondary received
    7/23 - Chicago secondary submitted (finally)
    7/29 - Harvard secondary received and submitted
    8/3 - Committee LOR received my TMDSAS and Duke
    8/4 - Committee LOR received by AMCAS; complete at Michigan; complete at Cornell; interview invite to UT San Antonio!
    8/5 - Stanford secondary received
    8/6 - Stanford secondary submitted; complete at WashU; complete at Baylor
    8/7 - Vandy secondary received; Vandy interview invite!
    8/8 - Withdrew from Maryland; realized that the $85 fee and cost to fly there if invited to interview wasn\'t worth it since I would almost certainly not attend
    8/9 - Complete at Yale; complete at Chicago; complete at Stanford; Chicago interview invite!
    8/10 - Complete/\"under review\" at UT Southwestern; Michigan interview invite!
    8/11 - UT Houston interview invite!; Penn secondary submitted
    8/13 - Vandy secondary submitted
    8/17 - Complete at Mayo; complete at Harvard
    8/18 - Complete at Hopkins; complete at Penn
    8/19 - UTSW interview invite!
    8/30 - UTSA interview attended; Baylor interview invite!
    9/2 - Complete at Columbia
    9/3 - UTH interview attended
    9/4 - Mayo interview invite!
    9/7 - Vandy interview attended; WashU interview invite!
    9/11 - UTSW interview attended
    9/22 - Hopkins interview invite!
    9/25 - Withdrew from Duke (couldn\'t motivate to write the secondary)
    9/28 - Chicago interview attended
    10/1 - Michigan interview attended
    10/12 - WashU interview attended
    10/15 - MICHIGAN ACCEPTANCE!; Baylor interview attended
    10/22 - Columbia interview invite!
    10/25 - Mayo interview attended; VANDY ACCEPTANCE!
    11/4 - Hopkins interview attended
    11/24 - Penn \"not chosen for interview at this time\" status
    11/26 - Received $10k/year scholarship to UTSW (notified in acceptance letter)
    11/28 - Withdrew from UTSA; wouldn\'t attend over UTSW, especially given the scholarship offer
    12/2 - Cornell interview invite!
    12/11 - Stanford rejection
    12/14 - Columbia interview attended
    12/15 - Cornell interview attended
    12/16 - UTH ACCEPTANCE!
    12/17 - Placed on Hopkins \"alternate list\"
    12/20 - CHICAGO ACCEPTANCE!; offered $45k/year scholarship
    12/23 - Withdrew from Hopkins; completely rubbed the wrong way by the school at the interview day and by the tone of the waitlist letter (\"cope\" with the decision?), so I withdrew since I wouldn\'t attend even if I got pulled off the waitlist
    1/1 - Withdrew from UT Houston
    1/6 - Yale interview invite!
    1/17 - Assuming Harvard and Penn rejections at this point
    1/26 - Penn rejection
    2/9 - Yale interview attended - LAST INTERVIEW!!!
    3/3 - Mayo rejection
    3/5 - Waitlisted at Columbia (declined position)
    3/8 - Harvard rejection
    3/9 - Waitlisted at Cornell (declined position)
    3/10 - Waitlisted at WashU (declined position)
    3/17 - Waitlisted at Yale (declined position) - finally no longer waiting on decisions!
    4/5 - Withdrew from Baylor and Vandy
    4/11 - Got bumped up to a full tuition scholarship at Pritzker after sending an e-mail -> MATRICULATING!
    4/18 - Withdrew from Michigan and UTSW; confirmed intent to matriculate at Pritzker
  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 06/01/2010

    • Undergraduate college: Baylor University
    • Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 524
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 130, C/P 130, CARS 132  
    • Overall GPA: 4.00
    • Science GPA: 3.99

    Summary of Application Experience


    SR = secondary received
    SS = secondary submitted
    C = complete (secondary received + LORs received)
    II = interview invite
    IA = interview attended
    WL = waitlisted
    A = accepted
    W = withdrew
    R = rejected


    Expecting nothing, shooting for the stars. We\'ll see what happens.



    UT San Antonio (interview date: 8/30/2010)
    PROS: faculty and students were extremely nice and appreciative of our presence, students seemed very happy and relaxed, every student that I talked to emphasized the camaraderie of the class and trying to work through the med school grindfest as a group rather than as a set of competitive individuals, and organ systems curriculum

    CONS: facilities (they\'re quite old) and San Antonio (not too excited about going to yet another city that \"grows on you\")

    Overall, the experience here was pretty enjoyable. My first interview ever was with the Dean of Admissions (yikes), so that was a pretty intimidating way to start off the cycle. The interviews were fairly straightforward and essentially consisted of asking about the stuff on my PS and supplemental essay(s).I was pleasantly surprised with UTSA and have moved it off the \"not even considering\" list to the \"a possibility\" list.


    UT Houston (interview date: 9/3/2010)
    PROS: Texas Medical Center (this is pretty much any health professional\'s version of a candy store), the area TCM is in and the Houston area in general, great faculty and students (got a fairly chill vibe here as well), great price, and the facilities are incredible

    CONS: No significant cons

    The whole process at UTH was incredible. The social the night before was a ton of fun, the tour was great and informative, albeit a bit long, and both interviews were enjoyable. Texas Medical Center alone is an incredible asset, not to mention that UTH has access to MD Anderson. What a great school. I can 100% see myself here and not have any problems with it.


    Vandy (interview date: 9/7/2010)
    PROS: Centralized facilities (no traveling for rotations!), students are EXTREMELY happy - you can tell they enjoy their time at Vandy, the Nashville area, stipend for summer research after M1, and the \"emphasis project\"

    CONS: None

    Surprisingly, I was a little disappointed in the interview day (not the school itself). The tours weren\'t very helpful; we never even went into University Hospital, the main teaching hospital, or any of their clinical facilities for that matter. Lunch was ok. The highlight of the day was the students and their enthusiasm for recruiting for the school. The administration clearly does everything it can to keep its students happy. I know I would be happy here if I went here and, judging by their match lists, get a pretty incredible education. Vandy definitely still remains in my top 3.


    UT Southwestern (interview date: 9/11/2010)
    PROS: Research-oriented institution, main teaching hospital is a county hospital, significant autonomy in MS3/MS4 years, familiar with the Dallas area

    CONS: Weird curriculum, students have a reputation for being gunners (though this seems to have changed with a change in their grading system)

    I thought the admissions staff did a great job on both the pre-interview information day and the interview day. Everything was well organized and very informative, if not a little lengthy. The clinical facilities aren\'t as extensive as UTH\'s, but all of the students seem to be impressed with their clinical experiences. I was surprised at the overall demeanor of the students; they have a reputation of being intense - and I definitely saw that in the MS3s and MS4s - but the younger students seem much happier and more personable. The choice between UTH and UTSW, if that choice exists, will be a difficult one.


    University of Chicago (interview date: 9/28/2010)
    PROS: Enthusiastic, relaxed students; the administration clearly values diversity in its class and the interdisciplinary approach of the university; really enjoyed the campus and what I saw of Chicago; small class size; great research opportunities for med students

    CONS: Cost ($300k+ for four years?!)

    I was EXTREMELY impressed with Chicago\'s interview day. The interviewers were extremely friendly and conversational, and all the students I talked to were pretty laid back. Pursuit of joint degrees is possible (including M. Ed.) and seems to be taken advantage of by a good chunk of the students. I\'m really hoping to get an acceptance and go back for a second look. I definitely didn\'t expect to be this impressed with the school. Based solely on what I\'ve seen thus far at interviews, this would be my top choice.


    University of Michigan (interview date: 10/1/2010)
    PROS: Loved the curriculum (one class at a time, flexible quiz/test times), Ann Arbor is a pretty cool city, great reputation amongst residency programs, fairly cheap housing prices

    CONS: None

    Overall, I was pretty impressed with Michigan. Students were fun, the admissions staff was fantastic, and the facilities (or what I saw of them) seemed great. Ann Arbor seems like an awesome city: very college town-like, and the entire downtown area seems to be catered to intellectual-type people (I\'m guessing that has something to do with all of the incredible programs Michigan has going for it). I got weird vibes while I was there, but I think that\'s more because I was tired than anything else. I hope I\'m invited to the Second Look weekend; I would love to see Michigan again when I\'m not as tired and run down.


    WashU (interview date: 10/12/2010)
    PROS: Great research opportunities, absolutely fantastic facilities, low cost of living (relatively)

    CONS: Didn\'t get a good vibe from the students, seems extremely research-focused

    I\'m not sure how I felt about WashU. It\'s clear that the opportunities here are truly unique, and the level of education and opportunities for research couldn\'t be better. But I got the feeling that the students were very research/career focused rather than focused on healing people, and even though the two are strongly related, I definitely think there\'s a difference that shapes an individual\'s philosophy of medicine. I hope that I get a chance to visit the campus again to get a batter idea of whether this was a fluke or not.


    Baylor (interview date: 10/15/2010)
    PROS: Systems-based curriculum, 1.5- vs. 2-year curriculum, TMC, plenty of research opportunities, great value (cost is comparable to the UT system)

    CONS: None

    I was much more impressed with Baylor than I thought I would be. The students seemed very happy, the resources available were incredible, and the more I learned, the more I liked. The curriculum is particularly unique and very desirable. As was mentioned with UTH, the clinical/research opportunities available at TMC are simply incomparable. No other institution is going to have a similar breadth of facilities available in such a small area. Combined with the relatively low price, Baylor becomes a pretty tempting option. If I was accepted to all of the Texas schools, this would very likely be my first in-state choice (even over UTSW).


    Mayo (interview date: 10/25/2010)
    PROS: Curriculum (block schedule, selectives, choice in vacation time, \"breaks\" of sorts after every block, true P/F for pre-clinical years), ability to seek second degrees from any institution in the nation (AWESOME), super small class size, students are awesome, faculty emphasis on teaching, Rochester is a gorgeous area, very low cost of living, generous living costs calculated by the financial aid office, half scholarship for all students, grants for students pursuing second degrees

    CONS: Rochester doesn\'t have much going on (but the Twin Cities are nearby, and the camaraderie of the class seems to more than make up for a slow city life), mandatory class attendance

    Wow - what an incredible place. The students were fantastic, the clinical facilities incredible... everything was fantastic. The only potential downside is Rochester, but it seems like a great place to be, and you can\'t complain about the low cost of living. This is my top choice by far, and I don\'t really see that changing. I would almost certainly matriculate here if accepted. This place seems to offer everything I\'m looking for in terms of educational opportunities and personal considerations.


    Hopkins (interview date: 11/4/2010)
    PROS: Other than it\'s THE Johns Hopkins school of medicine, I\'m not really sure, their brand new, $60 million education building is pretty incredible, fantastic opportunities to do research

    CONS: Expensive with no merit aid, the surrounding area is literally housing projects

    I was fairly underwhelmed with Hopkins. I didn\'t really see why it has such a fantastic reputation. That doesn\'t at all mean that the school is undeserving of its reputation, but the interview day certainly didn\'t attempt to convince anyone why they\'re awesome. I guess they feel like they don\'t have to. On the positive side, even though JHU is obviously research-focused, I didn\'t get the same feel that I did when I was at WashU. There\'s definitely a very strong clinical focus in addition to research. I think this would be a great place to train - I\'m sure the reputation is based on something - but I\'m not really sure why, other than that it \"is.\"


    Columbia (interview date: 12/14/2010)
    PROS: New York!, abbreviated curriculum (1.5 years pre-clinical), Step 1 is taken after the third year

    CONS: Cost (in all aspects - tuition, cost of living, etc.), when I asked the dean of admissions (my interviewer) about doing M.D./Ed.D., he seemed not very enthusiastic and indirectly discouraging

    Overall, I was impressed with Columbia and liked the feeling that I got here. The students seemed relaxed and normal, there\'s a big emphasis on extracurricular involvement and a holistic view of medical training, and New York is fantastic. For whatever reason, I didn\'t quite get the drop-dead-in-love feeling, but I did like it. The cost is a bit of a turn-off...


    Cornell (interview date: 12/15/2010)
    PROS: Love the area of NY the campus is in, fantastic housing for students, great facilities all around (you can tell this is an affluent area), like the importance of PBL in the curriculum, plenty of opportunities (and fully funded) for travel around the globe, somewhat generous financial aid, classes end every day at 1pm

    CONS: Especially high cost-of-living due to the Upper East Side community, internal rankings for grades (wtf?), high sticker price, virtually no multi-institutional training opportunities (i.e., M.Ed./Ed.D.)

    I actually enjoyed Cornell quite a bit; I would even say more than Columbia, though there are a couple of fairly large issues that would require some sacrifice. I loved the community Cornell is in, and I really like that all of the facilities are very close together. That would definitely make for less painful walks during the winter. The apparent lack of dual-degree programs is a little irritating, though, and I think would probably be a deal-breaker. That the school internally ranks students (albeit into quartiles) during the pre-clinical years is also pretty irritating. That said, I got the vibe that students really enjoy their time at Cornell: the curriculum and schedule afford them plenty of opportunities to be normal people, and the emphasis on self-directed learning means people choose to study as much as I want. I\'m just not sure if Cornell offers the opportunities that I\'m looking for.


    Yale (interview date: 2/9/2011)
    PROS: The Yale System (no grades, no rankings, no mandatory class attendance... awesome)

    CONS: Cost, didn\'t really like New Haven all that much (it\'s hard to see myself living there)

    I enjoyed Yale, but I\'m not sure if it quite made the jump up to the top for me like I expected. Like Columbia, I didn\'t necessarily DISLIKE anything, but I also didn\'t fall immediately in love either. We\'ll see - if I get accepted, it would likely be a serious contender. If I get rejected, I don\'t think I\'ll be losing any sleep over it. I think the main problem is seeing myself in New Haven; I don\'t feel like this is a place I would necessarily love to live in. But I LOVE the idea of the Yale system, and I definitely think I would flourish in that kind of environment.

    Applied, Withdrew

    University of Maryland
    Duke University

    Application Complete, Rejected

    Harvard University
    Stanford University
    University of Pennsylvania

    Attended Interview, Rejected

    Mayo Medical School

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted, Withdrew

    Washington University in St. Louis
    Columbia University
    Johns Hopkins University
    Cornell University
    Yale University


    Vanderbilt University
    Long School of Medicine - University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio
    University of Texas, Houston
    University of Texas, Southwestern
    University of Michigan
    Baylor College
    University of Chicago

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