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  • User #2112

  • Application cycles: 2004
  • Demographics: Male, 40, East Asian
  • Home state: Pennsylvania
  • Last Active: 08/03/2011
  • Brief Profile: * Psychological research on medical diagnosis
    * 1 year of volunteering in a psychiatric hospital
    * Committed to a year\'s service at Rochester Americorps starting Sept 2004
    * Various non-health related work experience and activities like music and athletics

    I was a computer science student but basically came into CMU having not developed any kind of motivation or work-ethic in high school. I honestly can\'t tell you why I was a CS student. So it\'s no surprise that after 7 semesters of being a CS student at CMU (I\'m still amazed I lasted that long without getting tossed out) I had a ~2.4 GPA and no chance of graduating on time. I took a leave of absence, during which I spent a LOT of time figuring out what I wanted to do, and here I am today. In my last four semesters as a Cognitive Science student (and premed of course), I had 19 A\'s and 1 B, which came in Analytic Chem Lab, which I took having not had Chemistry for over 2 years.

    I\'m very comfortable about what I\'ve done in the last 2 years, but much less so about what I did the 4 years before that. Unfortunately there\'s nothing I can do about that; if my low GPA keeps me out of med schools this cycle I\'ll do a post-bac and reapply.
  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 2004

    • Undergraduate college: Carnegie Mellon University
    • Undergraduate Area of study: Psychology/Social Sciences
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 523
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 130, C/P 132, CARS 132  
    • Overall GPA: 2.92
    • Science GPA: 2.95

    Summary of Application Experience

    As you can see I applied to a lot of schools - I needed to with my academic background. I'm also planning on filling out AACOMAS (any day now!) and applying to LECOM and PCOM.

    So I guess we'll see how this goes; I hope I get in this year but if not I'll go post-bac and try again.

    9/20- Been complete for nearly a month at most schools, but I've only heard from 3: reject from Georgetown, 'continue to review' list at Penn St., and interview at Case. Still haven't filled out AACOMAS and don't have a ton of free time to do that anymore. I'm sort of glad that a research project I was going to be doing this summer lost its funding; I don't know how I would've filled out 20+ secondaries while doing that!

    10/8- Back from my first interview, it was a great experience. Case has quickly become one of my top choices; everything about the school is incredible. Except that it's in Cleveland (haha, I'm from Pittsburgh so I have to make fun of Cleveland, it's part of the contract). Meanwhile, in Rochester I'm at Strong Memorial Hospital, where I'm teaching in the Child and Adolescent Partial Psychiatric Hospitalization Service. I love the program and I love the kids - I'm very happy with my decision to come to Rochester.

    10/25 - On Hold at Case. Very annoying. Also I'm way burned out on doing secondaries and have been for weeks/months. And I can't get any D.O.'s to sit down and interview with me or let me shadow them. I might have to just get a recommendation from an M.D. and just apply to the schools that accept recommendations from either kind of doc, because at this point I'm already very very late for the D.O. schools. And I'm going to have to write update letters to the schools I haven't heard from. I really hate this process...

    11/4 - Interview at Pitt! First good news in over a month!

    11/23 - The Pitt interview day was excellent - the school seems to be very progressive and I guess you can view that as positive and negative. Positive in that they're constantly trying to improve the curriculum and negative in that our entering class would kind of still be guinea pigs. I personally don't mind since I'm pretty flexible, but I can definitely see how that would turn someone off from this school. At this point though Pitt is definitely one of my top choices if not my #1 choice - I knew that going into my interview and if anything today strengthened that in my mind and I feel like the program would be a great fit for me; I feel that in a lot of ways Pitt is similar to Case. But I guess I should hold off on stating my first choice and such until I actually get accepted anywhere! And more good news today, as I've been offered an interview at SUNY Buffalo. And the interview starts at 9:30 which means I can just drive over from Rochester without needing to shell out any cash for a hotel or frantically search for a student host. Or drive 4-5 hours the evening before. Bonus!

    11/29 - George Washington rejection today, been expecting that one for a while. I'm also getting more and more anxious about not having heard back from Jefferson, Temple, or Drexel. I know that those schools have booked interviews pretty far into the future and I came into the process expecting those schools to be my best chances since I'm a PA resident and all (and Penn State too, but I'm as good as rejected there). Meanwhile I completed the AACOMAS a couple weeks ago and am still waiting for them to finish processing my app. I'll be quite late for those schools and have only been able to get MD recommendation(s), no DOs, so I'll be limited in which secondaries I can actually complete, whenever they end up sending them to me. Can't really blame anyone but myself for that though. Oh, and if you've noticed that I haven't completed some secondaries, that's because I'm almost out of money and need to save some for DO secondaries and (hopefully) travel expenses.

    12/9 - I interviewed at Buffalo yesterday, and one of my Americorps buddies had an interview there on the same day so it was fun to go down there with someone I know. Overall I was very pleasantly surprised by Buffalo, it seems like a great program and a bargain at $17,000 a year for NY residents, which you can become after a year. They do a great job with the interview day and despite the stress questions they ask and the pop essay prompt they give the day was much more relaxed than I expected. Buffalo seems to have a very cooperative atmosphere; we saw students studying together for their exams!

    1/6 - #8f(h39*HFEIH9#*H(hfe. I'm on the hold list at Buffalo, and at this premature junction am ranked somewhere in the middle. Could move up, or could move down. Last year Buffalo accepted through somewhere into the middle of their waitlist (I think) but who knows what this year will bring? Well my DO secondaries finally came in so I'll be working on those for a while. And maybe I'll do a couple more MD ones now that I have some money again. And oh yeah, rejection from Stanford. No surprise there. Today was not a good day on the medical school application front.

    1/10 - Cornell rejection today. For better or worse, things are starting to happen now. If I have to go through this process again, I'll be much more intelligent about what schools I apply to. Starting with: no Ivies. I have a much better idea of what type of school I fit into and what type of schools are looking for applicants like me. I'm still hopeful that an acceptance is ultimately in my cards - I think I'll have a good idea one way or the other what my chances are by April but until then I'll be stuck in The Land of Uncertainty. Meanwhile I'm still hoping for an interview from any one of the Philadelphia schools. My sister is renting a new place next year and is saving a spot for me just in case. But so far there's no case to be just in. If that makes any sense. Heh.

    2/5 - Received an interview invitation from SLU on Thursday; it arrived in a thin envelope so I almost threw it away without reading it, good thing I didn't! I'm looking forward to my first interview in nearly 2 months, and I've been reading and hearing a lot of good things about the school. I've never been to Saint Louis before so I'm also looking forward to seeing the Gateway Arch and doing a little sightseeing hopefully. I've got 2.5 weeks to prepare and hope for maybe 1 or 2 more interview invites in the meantime. Interview season is starting to wind down I think; it looks like whatever interviews I have by the time March rolls around are probably THE interviews I'm going to get this year, MD-wise. Meanwhile I'll also be waiting (hoping) for DO invites. I'm still surprised about not having received a single invitation from a PA state school yet. I was hoping to be able to stay in PA, either in Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, because that's where my family is, and because I love both of those cities (for very different reasons). Maybe I didn't make that clear enough in my application essays...oh well, another lesson for next year if that becomes necessary.

    2/17 - Received my first Osteopathic interview, at UMDNJ. It's not quite in Philadelphia but it's close, so I'll probably just stay with my sister and drive over in the morning. Though I expect I'll have to leave pretty early because I know nothing about Philly's rush hour. So 5 interviews so far and crunch time is coming. Hoping for an interview at PCOM and maybe Drexel or Temple, I'll probably give them all a call to let them know I'll be in the general area then and see if they're interested in me. April 15 is pretty far away, and I'm thinking any other interviews I get will be similarly distant in the future; it looks like my March will be pretty clear of interviews. 'All' that'll happen is hearing back from Pitt and maybe St. Louis, and finding out a bit more about my waitlist position at Buffalo.

    2/18 - Called SOM and moved my interview up to 3/18, bonus!

    2/23 - I really, really loved SLU and Saint Louis. And I can't even really say why. I just feel like I would fit right into the school and enjoy living in the city. St. Louis seems to me like a cross between Philadelphia and Baltimore, but smaller. I'm not really sure how my interview went; it was pretty short, only 30 minutes. I didn't feel as confident leaving the school as I have at other schools...and at those schools I was waitlisted. But I guess all I can do is wait and hope.

    3/5 - I'm on the Pitt waitlist, it's really disappointing but at least it's not a rejection. Also got a couple rejections from schools that I knew I had already been rejected from. I hope I hope I hope and pray St Louis will give me good news in the next week or two.

    3/14 - Well, SLU rejected me. My first post-interview rejection. As bad as waitlists are, rejections still suck more.

    3/21 - I'm IN at UMDNJ-SOM!!!!!! Man I'm so happy. The interview day was spectacular, the school seems awesome, and all the students there just seem genuinely happy and there was a real sense of comraderie that I didn't really see at any other school besides maybe Buffalo. Now I can't wait for August :D.

    4/19 - I interviewed at PCOM last Thursday, I enjoyed the interview (very laid-back, even more so than UMDNJ I think) and liked the school (especially the people I interviewed with, very cool bunch, and the MSI who gave the tour, very cool girl), but I don't know if I like it $10,000+/year more than UMDNJ. I'll find out from them in a week or two, in the meantime I'll dig around to see if I can justify to myself spending $40,000+ extra. Location is pretty much a non-factor for this one since the schools are so close to each other - PA residencies may be one since I see myself probably staying in PA. We'll see, I'm not accepted there yet so this could be a moot point. Anyway I'm now 'officially' on both Case and Buffalo's alternate lists. Thinking back on where I was a year ago at this point in time I'm pretty happy with how things have gone. Last year, I had no idea if I'd be going to medical school this year or next year or ever, really. Now I know I will be. I had good experiences with each school so I'm pretty confident that wherever I end up going I'll be happy. Can't really ask for much more than that. So I'll probably update this page only a couple more times, once for the PCOM decision and more than that only if I get off any waitlists.

    6/2 - I was accepted off the SUNY Buffalo waitlist today, found out via the status page and called to confirm. I've kind of known that I'd be accepted sooner or later based to my position on the WL and the speed at which they were pulling people off, my estimate had been the second week of June so I wasn't too far off. So I've already been weighing Buffalo against SOM for a while and at this point I'm feeling that I'll probably choose Buffalo over UMDNJ. Right now there are two things keeping me from dropping UMDNJ - one is that my sister lives in Philadelphia and it would be great to go to school near her, and the other is the possibility that I could get a spectacular financial package from UMDNJ and a really horrible one from Buffalo. One of the big bonuses of Buffalo is that it starts a couple weeks later, which gives me more time to stick on the Pitt waitlist and a chance to take a vacation. If I choose UMDNJ I'd pretty much have to pack up, move, and get settled in the week before the White Coat ceremony.

    6/15 - I bit the bullet and withdrew from UMDNJ. I decided that a) it was unfair to someone on their waitlist waiting for a spot, and b) I wanted to feel some certainty in my life right now. So much happening right now that I wanted something to hold onto. This entry probably seems out of character, but that's probably because it's 1:30 am, I have to be at work at 7:15, and I've taken NyQuil so am drowsy but still can't sleep.

    8/13 - All finished! I'm at UB, love it here so far (after one week). Hope my experience this past year helps someone else out there ;).

    Application Complete, Rejected

    Ohio State University
    New York Medical College
    Mount Sinai School of Medicine
    Harvard University
    Emory University
    Drexel University
    Cornell University
    Columbia University
    Stanford University
    Temple University
    University of Chicago
    Washington University in St. Louis
    Jefferson Medical College
    Johns Hopkins University
    Yale University
    Pennsylvania State University
    Georgetown University
    University of Rochester
    Loyola University Chicago
    George Washington University
    SUNY Upstate
    New York University
    Vanderbilt University
    University of Pennsylvania
    Albert Einstein of Yeshiva University

    Application Complete, Withdrew

    Albany Medical College
    Rosalind Franklin University
    University of Maryland
    SUNY Downstate

    Attended Interview, Rejected

    Saint Louis University

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted

    Case Western Reserve University
    University of Pittsburgh

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted, Withdrew

    Philadelphia College - Philadelphia

    Accepted off Waitlist

    SUNY Buffalo

    Accepted

    UMDNJ - Osteopathic Medicine

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