MCAT results 6/22
Wrote personal statement 6/23
Secondaries finished 8/14
Applications complete 8/25
Good luck to you, fellow applicant!
Advice for Applicants
Here are some suggestions I have, based on what I have taken away from the past year:
1. When deciding where to apply, I used that SDN excel spreadsheet where you can plug in your stats and home state and it tells you what schools are \"long shot\" schools, \"go for it\" schools, and \"high chance\" schools. I applied to mostly schools around my stats range, but then I picked a few reach schools and some schools below my range. Also applied to out of state schools that have more than 35% out of state students. If you are from CA and you have mid-range stats like me, I\'d say apply to as many schools as you can afford because I never could have predicted where I ended up getting interviews from.
2. Personal statement – At a few of my interviews, my interviewers complimented me on my personal statement, so that must have been one of my strong points. I used this book http://www.amazon.com/Essays-That-Will-Medical-School/dp/0764142275/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1301566660&sr=1-1 as a starting point for my personal statement, and I had lots of people read it over and let me know if any parts of it were boring. The key is to use interesting sentence structures (add in quotations, vary the lengths of the sentences, even use incomplete sentences to make it conversational) and add in detail so that the reader can picture what is going on. Med schools choose to interview you based on how interesting you sound. I have a couple friends who got high 20s on their MCAT and who got interviews at top 10 med schools, and I really believe it was because their personal statements were so fun to read.
3. Interviews – I used the same method for every interview:
1) Went to the “Interview Feedback” section of SDN
2) Wrote down all the questions listed on there
3) Typed out responses to the questions
4) Researched the school online, came up with an answer to \"Why this school?\"
5) Practiced answers in front of a mirror while smiling (haha)
6) Practiced over the phone/on webcam the night before each interview with one of my friends who is a student interviewer for a medical school
7) Went through my AMCAS app and for each experience I identified: (a) What I did (b) The best part (c) A challenge (d) What I learned from the experience.
8) In each interview I showed a lot of enthusiasm and smiled.
***For UCLA\'s MMI, I read and took notes on this book: http://www.amazon.com/Clinical-Ethics-Practical-Approach-Decisions/dp/0071634142/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1301566573&sr=1-1, and then practiced timed scenarios with one of my friends and then with my parents. I found it to be immensely helpful during the MMI because I felt comfy talking about ethical scenarios and filling up 10 minutes with musings and such.
4. Update letters – In December I still hadn\'t heard from UC Irvine so I sent them a letter of interest. Shortly afterward I received an interview. After my UCLA interview I sent a letter saying that I would go there if I was accepted. I modeled the letters after the update letter example on the bottom of alwaysaangel\'s mdapplicants page. After both of the interviews I sent an additional letter of rec from a doctor at my work.