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MD Applicants

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  • SXL

  • Application cycles: 2009
  • Demographics: Male, 36, East Asian
  • Home state: Illinois
  • Last Active: 05/20/2010
  • Brief Profile: University of Illinois College of Medicine Class of 2014 - Chicago Track!!!

    MPH - Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health
    Concentration: Molecular Epidemiology & Molecular Toxicology

    Started out as a Materials Science Engineer for 1 ½ years before realizing it wasn’t for me. That in combination with extenuating family circumstances dug me into a huge hole after the first 2 years of undergrad. Knew I had no chance of getting in directly after undergrad (was also not sure I actually wanted to do medicine but knew I wanted to stay in the health field) so I went to the MPH program at Columbia.

    I cannot overemphasize how amazing and life changing the past 2 years in NYC have been. My desire to be a physician was solidified and amplified after a spectrum of experiences and opportunities in healthcare and public health…so I decided to go for it. After a rollercoaster application cycle, I am indescribably thankful to be heading back to Chicago and starting class in the Fall. =)

    Undergraduate Experiences:
    • Cammy Lee Leukemia Foundation Donation Drive Coordinator
    • Neurotoxicology Research
    • Various Asian American oriented leadership activities
    • Alpha Epsilon Delta/Pre-Health Professional Society
    • Various volunteering activities
    • Fashion/Dance Show
    • Intramural Volleyball

    Graduate Experiences:
    • New York City Department of Health Internship
    • Environmental Microbiology Research
    • Asthma/Immunology Clinical Research
    • Unite for Sight Global Impact Fellow
    • Pediatric Oncology/Cardiology hospital volunteering
    • Columbia University Office of Disability Services job
    • A few TAing gigs

    Other Fun Stuff:
    • Amateur Photography
    • Cooking
    • Long walks on the beach

  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 2009

    • Undergraduate college: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    • Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
    • Institution: Columbia University
    • Area of Study: Other
    • Degree Obtained: MPH
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 514
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 130, C/P 127, CARS 129  
    • Overall GPA: 0.00
    • Science GPA: 0.00

    Summary of Application Experience

    I submitted my AMCAS to A LOT of schools...too many. I decided later on that my chances at some of the more top-tier schools were slim to none and did not fill out their secondaries. I also submitted my AMCAS to a lot of state schools in spite of their preferences to in-state students (I don\'t know what I was thinking with the UC\'s and U-Washington) and did not fill out a lot of those secondaries either.

    I also regretfully took my sweet time filling out secondaries... And while it has been said a million times...APPLY EARLY...especially if you have \"interesting\" stats like me. I look back on this cycle and wonder what might have happened if I just sat down and pumped out secondaries early like I should have.

    Five months of rejection and limbo later, I finally get invited to interview at Wisconsin and UIC. Interestingly, Wisconsin was one of those very in-state state schools that I was not going to submit a secondary for...but I got very interested after going through their website...and their secondary happened to be in front of me and fairly simple... so I just went ahead and filled it out. After a few months and seeing OOS rejections on their forum on SDN, I just assumed I had been rejected and forgot about the school until an invite popped up in my email (a case for taking things seen on SDN with a grain of salt?). Go figure.

    On 2/19/10 I got accepted to both schools = Happiest day of my life.

    My advice? The application process is...interesting, emotional, and yes, seemingly random sometimes. I truly do believe that each school places specific emphasis on different things when looking at their applicants. For some it’s GPA and MCAT, plain and simple, and that’s just the way it is. But others DO look at the whole applicant. I feel that applying to medical school is a very individual process and it’s incredibly important to always keep that in mind. Don’t compare yourself to others and don’t get discouraged when they get accepted/rejected. The only thing you can do is to present yourself as the best applicant you can be. Have someone for support…whether it be for talks, food, shoulder, hugs, or high fives…this process is too hard and too long to do it alone. And lastly, smile once in a while! It can do a lot more good than you think =)

    Good Luck!!!


    University of Wisconsin
    University of Illinois

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