Summary of Experience:
Overall, I have to say I am very impressed with the speed at which Carver College of Medicine dealt with my application and interview. I am sure it helped that I am an in-state student attending the University of Iowa for undergraduate study, but as you can see by the fact I was offered and interview before my secondary was even complete, they were very prompt. I was originally scheduled for an interview 11/22/10 (second earliest offered at the time), but I was offered the 11/8/10 date in late october after another applicant canceled their interview. The interview day itself was relaxed. The first 1 1/2 to 2 hours consisted of informational sessions on anything from tuition and student loans to housing to curriculum (you know, the standard stuff). Lunch was pretty simple (sub sandwiches, chips, fruit) and we ate it with several current medical students who did a great job of making me feel comfortable and relaxed. We then took a tour of MERF (Medical Education and Research Facility) which houses many of the classrooms and mock-clinical rooms as well as the unique \"communities\" which consist of 4 specialized study/eating/sleeping/hanging out spaces for medical students. I guess I would say it is most comparable to the 4 houses at Hogwarts in the Harry Potter books (seriously!) - each community can earn \"points\" all year long by doing community service projects, participating in various CCOM events, etc.. and at the end of the year, the community with the most points wins a trophy or award or something. But I digress... After the tour which also included a brief walk through part of the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, we came back to the meeting room to either participate in a case-based learning exercise (CBL) or do our interview. I had my interview first and despite the unavoidable butterflies in my stomach initially, my two interveiwers made me feel quite comfortable and they smiled a lot. The part of the interview I was most worried about - the 3 structured questions where the interviewers are not allowed to speak or respond - was actually quite enjoyable. I had made sure I was well prepared for some of the usual questions (e.g. \"why medicine?\") and being able to just express myself and my passion with my interviewers politely listening was quite nice. Beyond the 3 structured questions (which took around 10 minutes for me) there was about 15 minutes of just general discussion related to things I had brought up in my structure question responses (it is a closed file interview so the interviewers only know as much about you as you tell them!). After the interview I participated in the CBL exercise which was proctored by an M4. There really aren\'t any guidelines for how to do the CBL besides just making sure you participate, but don\'t dominate. The medical student that proctors the CBL is really just looking to make sure you work well with others. It was a mere 3 weeks after my interview that I received my acceptance email (they are always sent on Tuesdays up until late January around 2:30-3:30 central time). I was definitely lucky to hear back so soon. The admissions staff will tell you 4-6 weeks, but bizarrely stays pretty ambiguous about the order (or lack thereof) in which they decide to review applications after the interview. Overall, I am VERY pleased to be admitted and I am looking forward to beginning my medical education. CCOM class of 2015, here I come!