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  • Guero

  • Application cycles: 07/19/2012
  • Demographics: Male, 36, Caucasian
  • Home state: California
  • Last Active: 05/14/2013
  • Brief Profile: The above GPAs were calculated by AMCAS.

    AACOMAS GPAs (verified 8/30/12 ... released 9/6/12)
    cGPA: 3.78
    sGPA: 3.76

    ****Detailed stats & ECs are located below the school list.****
  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 07/19/2012

    • Undergraduate college: Belmont University & Vanderbilt University
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 507
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 127, C/P 126, CARS 127  
    • Overall GPA: 3.76
    • Science GPA: 3.66

    Summary of Application Experience

    SR: Secondary received
    SS: Secondary submitted
    C: Complete
    II: Interview invite
    IA: Interview attended
    WD: Withdrew
    WL: Waitlisted
    A: Accepted
    R: Rejected
    ------------------------
    Detailed Stats & ECs:

    Academics:
    BS in Neuroscience, Psychology, & Sociology
    High Honors
    Triple major with course emphases in Criminology & Social Theory
    Worked from sophomore year on

    New MCAT: posted Sept 5th

    TMDSAS - verified & transmitted 8/7/12
    Overall GPA: 3.78
    Overall Science GPA: 3.67
    Undergrad GPA: 3.78
    Undergrad Science GPA: 3.67
    Undergrad Non-Science GPA: 3.86

    AMCAS - verified & transmitted 8/28/12
    New cGPA: 3.76
    New sGPA: 3.66
    New post-bacc GPA: 3.70

    Honor Societies and Awards:
    Dean's List every semester sophomore year on
    Graduated Magna Cum Laude
    Alpha Chi - National Honor Society (Academic top 10% at my school)
    Psi Chi - National Psychology Honor Society
    Alpha Kappa Delta - National Sociological Honor Society
    Summer Scholars Participant 2006-2007

    Research Experience:
    Leading 2 projects as 1st author right now (disciplines: hospital medicine, neurosurgery)
    Led epidemiology/bioinformatic project as first author
    2.5 Years in Molecular Neuroscience Lab (Vandy): 1 coauthored pub pending; 1 coauthored national poster
    3.5 Years as a Clinical Research Coordinator (Vandy): 1 first author pub, 1 first author pub pending; 1 co-authored pub pending; 1 first author national oral presentation
    2.5 Years as a Clinical Research Assistant II (Vandy): 4 coauthored pubs and 4 coauthored national posters
    1 Year as a Psychology Research Assistant I (Vandy)
    Continuous undergrad research: 1 regional oral presentation; 6 local oral presentations; 2 regional posters

    Clinical Experience:
    EMT-FR nursing volunteer in a clinic for the uninsured: 500hrs
    EMT-FR rescue squad volunteer: 400hrs
    Neurosurgical shadowing: 10hrs OR, 8hrs Clinic, & 8hrs overnight trauma call
    Primary Care, Emergency Medicine, OBGYN, & Rheumatology Shadowing
    Clinical duties associated with clinical research

    Volunteer Experience:
    Clinical volunteer as above
    Service Learning volunteer for inner-city children attending a local YMCA
    Chess instructor at an inner city YMCA
    Food service volunteer at a mental health day program

    Teaching Experience:
    Social Theory teaching assistant
    Tutor for Sylvan Learning Center

    Extracurriculars:
    Vice President of Alpha Chi
    Graduate Assistant to Impulse – Vanderbilt’s Undergraduate Neuroscience Journal
    Psychology Club
    Vanderbilt Emergency Medical Society Board Member
    Member of Eastern Psychological Association
    Member of Southern Sociological Symposium

    Work History:
    Night Manager at Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches
    Tutor/Updater at Sylvan Learning Center
    Opinions writer for The Allstate at Austin Peay State University

    Other Interests/Hobbies:
    Avid chess player
    Cooking
    Billiards
    Poetry (published)
    Gonzo Journalism
    Spanish: Selected "good" on AMCAS
    German: Selected "basic" on AMCAS
    --------------------------------------------------
    c/o 2017 info:

    East Tennessee State University/Quillen College of Medicine

    The day starts off by arriving at the admissions department's suite where they give you a folder with information about the school (e.g., financial aid, unique aspects about the school, etc) and a name tag. You'll then sit in that room while you wait for the rest of the interviewees to arrive. There's a couch and a few comfy chairs surrounding a flat screen that plays a spiel about the medical school on repeat.

    Once everyone arrives, they take your picture before escorting you to a room where the admission's secretary, Stephanie Cole, gives a presentation on what sets Quillen apart from other schools. Then Joyce Underwood will give a presentation on financial aid. At the end of the financial aid presentation , two M1s or M2s will come grab you for the tour of the campus and med student center. You can ask them anything you want without fear that it'll trickle back to the committee; but be reminded that they have no idea about anything other than year one. You'll be greeted by an M3 and an M4 at the hospital for a tour and lunch, where you'll get a free ticket to eat as much as you like. This is your opportunity to really ask the questions that mean the most: How are clinicals? How prepared did you feel for the USMLE? Looking back on your experience, do you think you made a good school choice? If you ever interview at a school and never get to meet an M3 or M4, beware. The M1s are still star struck and have yet to delve into the meat of the curriculum (at least at this school, anyway, as the meat of classes begin at M2). They'll generally always be happy. The M3s and M4s on the other hand will give you their honest opinion about the entire process. Same goes for residency interviews.

    Anyway, after lunch, you're escorted back to the admissions suite for your two interviews, 60 minutes max. I had two of the best interviews ever. The first one was a conversation with a non-medical administrator on the undergrad side and was entirely chill. Even though she had my file minus grades and MCAT, she shoved it aside and just started asking me relaxed questions. The time flew by!

    My second interview was like sitting at a bar talking to some random, but superbly interesting dude. We actually "shot the s***" and ended up going 15 minutes over, but in a good way. I got to ask him as many questions as he asked me. Then, as I was walking to my car, one of the M1s that did the tour stopped me and started talking. He, the other M1 and I all just sat around and talked for about 30 or 45 minutes before I realized I needed to leave to avoid Knoxville traffic on the way back home. I simply cannot adequately convey how awesome my time here was.

    Anyway, on to the amazing changes that have been made. Guess what? When you're in anatomy, (1) you share a cadaver with 4 students, (2) you have an iPad suspended at the foot of the dissection table to assist in identifying difficult muscles, tendons, nerves, or insertions/origins, and (3) you have 5 MDs pacing the lab to help you during class.

    The student center is now finished, only accessible to med students, and complete with lounge, kitchen (that janitorial staff help keep clean), about 10 study rooms, including singles, doubles, quadruples, and two 10 seater group study rooms. They have two lecture halls, an M1 and an M2. The M2 is brand new. Each room has projector screens and such. All lectures are recorded and available online if you prefer learning on your own time. Attendance is not required (but as you probably know, don't skip labs or anatomy). Their simulation labs include a patient that can respond to injected drugs, one that allows pelvic surgery, etc.

    Last, but definitely not least, this is what happens after your interview: Your interviewers immediately type up their evaluations after you finish interviewing. Those, along with your entire file, then go to a committee of 4 people, 25% of which are med students. They each assign you a score from 1, woops we made a mistake in interviewing this tool, to 9, admit this gift to our campus immediately, for a score from 4 to 36. That score is then presented to a committee and either voted upon or put on hold. They meet on the fourth week of every month, usually Mondays. You'll receive notice via mail if you're accepted or rejected, or an email if you're on hold.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Meharry Medical College

    They day begins either at 8a or 10a, as they hold two groups each day: a morning interview group and an afternoon interview group, making for a rather large tour group (probably 25 people?). I was in the afternoon interview group.

    The map they send you is a bit confusing and caused one person to arrive late. I left very early and was glad, because I spent a good 20 minutes circling the campus trying to find the specific lot in which I was supposed to park. FYI, I chose the slender alleyway looking lot (says faculty) beside the lot identified on the map (apparently a pay lot). Even though the email says you need a decal/pass, one is never offered. This process was probably the most frustrating part of the interview day for me.

    Moving on, as you approach the LRC, you'll notice that someone has to buzz you in. All of the doors are locked. Once you enter, you'll sign in as a guest and the admissions coordinator will escort you up to a computer room where you'll wait with other interviewees for the day to begin. (Yes, you can use these computers; they're connected to a very slow but functioning network if you want to look up last minute info.) They'll give you a brief overview of the day followed by a video of Meharry's history from 10a to 10:15am. (Pay attention, as some interviewers ask you for a brief history during your interview.) From 10:15a to 10:25a you'll hear from the class president and another current student about student life. From 10:25a to 11am you'll hear from financial aid. The lady is super nice and quirky, but tends to go over a rather large amount of information you really don't need to know until you're accepted, detracting from time they could spend telling you about the school and whatnot.

    From 11a to 12p, the school historian will take you on a tour of the campus. You'll get to see a lecture hall and will hear about various buildings about the campus, but no anatomy lab. In fact, you really only get a view of the lobby of the main medical school, which I feel is rather unfortunate. I felt like I didn't really get to see much at all. :( You'll also very briefly walk through the hospital, as it's government owned and prohibits tours by the medical school. The historian did say that you could ask the hospital itself for a tour if interested.

    We ate lunch with current students from 12p to 1p, your usual boxed lunch. This was the most informative aspect of the tour. Here's what I learned during this hour:

    MAPS - This school starts classes in mid-June, perhaps the earliest of all med schools, for a 5 week transition into medical school where you'll do anatomy (prosected lower limb), biochem, and biostats, allowing students to equilibrate into medical school together as a cohesive class regardless of major. The grades don't show on your transcript; but you must pass to proceed. That said, don't worry if you fail. It also acts as an opportunity to identify weaknesses; you won't be dismissed.

    Dismissals - Meharry takes care of its own and believes in fostering students and identifying weaknesses before the student even realizes it. There's an office dedicated to monitoring students' grades and setting meetings to initiate tutoring and remediation services when students aren't performing well. Some students are offered an alternative 5 year program to remediate. I don't know that anyone has been dismissed here because of grades unless they changed their minds and withdrew themselves. Meharry will ensure you succeed, which is a huge plus.

    Research - An original research project is required during your MS1 summer. Yup. Be prepared for those of you that hate research; there's no getting out of this one. But it's a huge plus for those of you interested in research. People have gone all over the country to perform research, from the NIH to Mayo. An MD/PhD program exists. Students are able to apply after finishing Step 1. The program is funded during your graduate years as well as your MS3 and MS4 years. I believe you can petition to do your research at Vandy. If interested, please email someone at Maharry. I'd rather you be well informed than misinformed.

    Anatomy - The pinnacle of anatomy questions was answered: There are 4 to 5 students per cadaver, all of which are dissected by you, no prosections.

    Scholarships - This is one of the reasons I had to withdraw: Scholarships aren't awarded until October of the matriculating year and are applied directly to your bill or to the highest interest loans you have out. So if you're planning on waiting to see if you get a scholarship before deciding, you're out of luck. :( The good news is that the scholarships are hefty and both merit and need based.

    Rotations - Rotations are on a lottery system and include Metro General, Vandy, Baptist, Skyline, the Nashville VA, and the Murfreesboro VA.

    Construction - Several new buildings are being built over the next 2 years. I believe one of which is a new student center for med students.

    Housing - Student housing is available on campus. They have an apartment complex and a traditional (crap-happy) dorm style unit, as well. They're also building a newer apartment style complex. Off campus housing is cheap as heck, being in Nashville. I bought a house and have been paying less than $670 for a 3BR 1BA home less than a 10 minute drive from campus. Housing is cheap.

    Class Size - 105 students.

    Curriculum - Systems based in the 2nd year, block in the first.

    After lunch, the morning interview group filled out a feedback survey and left. Some of those in the afternoon interview group were interviewed immediately, while others (like myself) had to wait and mingle with everyone else waiting. It was awesome, actually. I always enjoy talking to fellow interviewees. You can really get a feel for the type of student for which the school is searching. **There is only ONE interview.** I found that rather weird, but liked it. I was done by about 2:15p, but could have gone until 2:45p.

    It's an awesome school, but too expensive to risk no scholarships. :( Feel free to PM me on SDN with any specific questions.
    --------------------------------------------------
    George Washington University

    The day begins at 9:15am. If you take the metro, the building is literally next door on your right-hand side as you step off the escalator/last step of the stairs. They're doing lots of construction, which we'll get to momentarily, which necessitates that you walk down to the end of the courtyard to enter the main medical school building. There's a guard there that signs you in and tells you to wait in the lobby. Unfortunately, they're very strict with security and policy, prohibiting you from leaving the lobby to wander the building until the tour guide arrives, which means *no bathrooms, drinks, or food* are available to you until the guide arrives or if you leave the building. The guard will tell you that you can walk over to the hospital if you need to use the restroom or grab a bite/drink; so be prepared! I got there an hour early because the metro had been having track issues. I wanted to ensure I wasn't late and ended up waiting an hour to use the restroom. LoL

    Once the tour guide arrives, she takes you to a room in the Himmelfarb med library and shows you to some seats with a folder and notebook of information on the school for every two seats. There's usually 15 to 20 interviewees at each interview. The tour guide then introduces you to someone else in admissions that asks the entire group to share things about themselves, clock-wise round table style. At first I was kind of upset about this, as I wanted to hear more about the school, not play some freshman introduction game, you know? I was also kind of surprised that the first set of questions included age. Only like three of 17 people answered that one, though. LoL Anyway, she asks you to share things that you'd typically be asked in an interview, like where did you grow up, what drew you to medicine, where did you go to school, what did you major in, what do you do to destress, et cetera. It took her entire hour of time; but in the end I really liked getting to know my fellow interviewees, especially if we end up classmates. It also really calmed you down and created a very collegial environment. I was pleasantly surprised.

    Then the director of the Office of Student Opportunities (OSO) comes to talk about the track program and its nine facets. She was awesome and very informative. There are curriculum changes in the 3rd year being discussed that she skirted when a student asked about them. She said she has only heard rumors and didn't want to misinform us. I know a current student and have no idea what that is about. Anyone else know?

    Then we had 30 minute, pretty standard and nothing new here presentation by financial aid.

    Moving on, we left for the tour of the medical school's lecture halls (very comfy seats with outlets at each seat; lectures available online and not required; labs required attendance), sim lab, and clinical excellence center where you interact with standardized patients, all quite nice and in the process of being moved to the 6th floor of the medical school just in time for the c/o 2017's third year. Those facilities are supposed to be wicked better than the last, which were totally sufficient anyway. We are not allowed to tour the anatomy lab, like several other schools--huge bummer for me. But I made sure to ask questions: 5 to 6 students to each cadaver, all dissections, with one prosected cadaver available for the class' reference, and no perks like iPads or anything. However, a huge plus is that the Histo course no longer utilizes microscopes (wasting time centering and focusing) and is instead presented on projector slides that *are available for download!* w00t. I was especially fond of this. Grading is HP/P/F and is NOT ranked. So I guess there's no AOA here.

    The most forgettable thing was the hospital tour. It's smaller than most in the area, but was built in 2002, has all new facilities, and is the busiest ER in DC due to its proximity to the metro, allowing thousands and thousands of people to stop in for treatment. I say the tour was forgettable because I literally only have a memory of sardine-ing ourselves in an elevator with 20 people and going up and down. I literally don't recall walking a ward. Weird, huh? I do remember several convos with my fellow interviewees, though.

    Then we returned for lunch (12:15p) with various second year students (like 9). Lunch was a sammich, chips, a prepackaged cookie, and a drink of your choice (diet options available including water). Sammiches included everything from veggie Margharita to tuna and cold cuts. I was satisfied. :)

    Students are awesome, candid, and remind me a lot of myself, lol. But that's a personal opinion. Anyway, after they left some of us were interviewed immediately, while others like myself had a 30 minute break before initiating interviews. I had a 4th year and an old school cardiothoracic surgeon that used to be GWU's dean of the medical school. Oddly, this is the SECOND time I've been interviewed by not only a cardiothoracic surgeo, but an old school one, too. wth? Anyway, both interviews were very pleasant and conversational, with the last one feeling a bit rushed at the end. Be prepared to discuss strengths, weaknesses, and the qualities that you'll bring to GWU. Even with my 30min delay, I was done by like 1:45 and decided to go down to financial aid to ask some questions with another student and request a tour of the health center (gym).

    The gym rocks, but is shared with undergrads and other students at the Foggy Bottom only campus. There are 7, yes 7! floors with aerobics rooms, weight room, pool, racquet ball and squash courts, etc. The pool is small but sufficient (25 yards? 3 lanes? not sure anymore). I highly recommend you ask your interview tour guide to show where the health center is. Then when you get there just hit the office or front desk and ask for a tour. They give a very thorough and friendly tour.

    Feel free to PM me on SDN and ask questions.
    --------------------------------------------------
    Western U (D.O.)

    Okay, let me start by saying that this was by far the most informative, thorough, and well prepared interview day I've attended. I'd also like to say that this school is also by far the most progressive and student-centered program at which I've had the pleasure to visit.

    Now on to the synopsis:

    If you're interviewing on a Saturday (which I highly recommend), listen to swtmoonlght: park in lot 27 on the side nearest Towne Ave. It is indeed free and closest to your check in point. Ignore your email instructions.

    The day begins with free coffee and breakfast bars as they prepare to check you in (receive nametag and interview packet). The packet is chock full of great info, but doesn't give you any info about your actual interviewers or MMI. You have no clue what you're getting into until right before you begin.

    Once you're checked in, you're escorted to the first years' lecture hall (very large, technologically well equipped, and comfy [soft swivel chairs with leaning capability that are spaced comfortably apart for those of you with bubbles like myself]). The first presentation is a welcome from the dean and an opportunity to ask him questions. It was awesome. He's very amicable with an interesting personality, soft spoken. He will ask you to STAND and introduce yourselves. The second presentation is by the financial aid office and goes a little beyond the usual spiel with school specific info, appropriately timed for both those that have already interviewed and those that are attending their first. The third and most informative presentation is by the assistant dean. My favorite aspect of his presentation was the fact that he actually showed exemplary schedules of each year, down to each lecture/lab's time slot. I loved that and wish more schools shared that info.

    After the AD's presentation, you're split into several groups (5 or 6) depending on a colored sticker on your nametag. One group goes directly to the MMIs, while the other groups are escorted to a waiting/staging area where you speak with your group leader who will have a little knowledge about the school and area and is willing to answer questions while each group waits their turn to do their MMI followed by your traditional interview. It's awesome (for me), because you get the most stressful part of the day out of the way at the beginning, allowing you to pay more attention to your tour.

    Again, as has already been stated, we've signed a confidentiality agreement concerning the interviews; so I'm sorry to say that I can divulge nothing further in that regard. But I can assure you that I enjoyed myself. It was my first exposure to such a format.

    Moving on, after your interviews you're taken to lunch with students, again based on your colors. I was only exposed to a first year, but believe there were some 4th years smattered around. Try to seek them out. I had exposure to a fourth year during an earlier part of the day and was able to ask my questions then and didn't really mind hanging with a first year.

    After lunch we went on a tour of the school. They did try to tour the anatomy lab; but it was locked. I was very disappointed. Out of 4 interviews, only two schools have allowed students to tour the labs, this being the second: allowed but unable to follow through. :(

    At the end of the tour you're escorted to the same lecture hall for a wrap-up. Our group leaders had a miscommunication and let us go before this; but a few of us were caught by another student before leaving and arrived just in time to hear 30 seconds of a farewell. LoL

    Okay, some great info for those of you contemplating this school:
    • You get 6 weeks of board study time and an 18-week Kaplan prep course integrated into the curriculum (huge, huge plus and covered in tuition) that begins during mid-first year. You'll have access to COMLEX *and* USMLE question banks, allowing you to study for your exams, shelves, and boards all in one. And who knows what we'll be taking now that the allo and osteo GMEs are supposedly merging.
    • 2 days per week of resident run clinic where you see patients beginning first year
    • Systems based curriculum during second year
    • PBL sessions of 8 students followed by faculty facilitated presentations of your findings
    • Lectures are all recorded and available online; attendance is NOT required.
    • Some lectures are piped in from the Lebanon campus with a huge screen displaying the prof and one displaying the PowerPoint.
    • You can post questions for these profs on an online discussion board with the ability to set Skype appointments for face time when they're at Lebanon and office hours if they're on campus.
    • Pod, Opto, and Vet students share biochem, histo, and cellular lectures (~500 students).
    • H&P and OMM classes are DO only. Most sharing occurs during first year and gradually declines as you progress.
    • Grading for MS1 & MS2: Honors ? 90, P 70-89, F <70
    • Grading for MS3 & MS4: Honors, High Pass, Pass, Low Pass, Fail (essentially ABCDF)
    • #1 board pass rate of all DO schools and consistently scoring in the top 25% of all DO schools (stated, but currently being debated; see the Western U school specific thread for more details: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?p=13436985)
    • And one of my favorite positives, the ISAC program. For those with high GPAs & MCATs that have taken A&P, you can apply to take an accelerated gross anatomy class from June to July. If you pass with an 80 or above, you're exempted from most of the gross class as a first year and are allowed to TA for $7.50 an hour, only needing to take the head and neck exam with everyone else. You must apply. They accept 30 students.

    Okay, in trying to keep this epistle manageable, here are my gripes:

    • Traffic (of course), which becomes more of an issue during rotations; cost of attendance (~75k per year, totally on par with other DOs, but still high for me; class size (220); no cafeteria; share cadavers with another group, thus sharing dissection times and relying on your other group to show you the structures they uncovered (two groups of 6); buildings close at 10p or 1a (I much prefer 24hr capable campuses); and cost of living.

    I learned so much more, but feel this pretty darn obsessively lengthy as it is. I hope this helps. As always, feel free to PM me on SDN if you have any questions.
    --------------------------------------------------
    GWU 2nd Look (unofficial return, allowed to sit in on classes w/an MS2)

    The following are answers to questions that went unanswered or unasked at my initial interview.

    • The anatomy lab is open 24/7 with the exception of an early close prior to exams (pretty much the same for most schools).
    • Your anatomy course is supplemented with online materials and software known as "Net Anatomy," which includes prosected slides identifying structures and such.
    • Lectures are indeed recorded and available for stream if you prefer to abstain from lecture. (Of course, labs and small groups are the only ones with required attendance.
    • The med student library and Ross are hall are open 24/7 with many late-night study areas available to you.
    • The curriculum involves a bunch of PBL with your group numbering about 6 and includes the same students from your anatomy lab group; so choose wisely.
    • GWU does not offer a free transit program, but does include this cost in your budget.
    • There is no dress code during lectures unless pts are present. Clearly, whenever you're amidst pts or guests, they expect business attire with your white coat.
    • For those interested in loving in Columbia Plaza and wondering what grocery is available and where, there's a Trader Joes within walking distance.
    • First semester of MS1 you test q1.5wks, the second semester q2wks, with practicals following the written test.
    • As usual, MS2 is the busiest of your pre-clinicals. You'll test q2wks during the first semester and qwk during the second semester.
    • For those interested in lobbying on Capitol Hill, there is a student group available that you can join to lobby fairly regularly.
    • Now for the most coveted information that was repeatedly eschewed during my interview: the new curriculum push.
    o They're trying to institute a systems based curriculum with 20 people groups that will off-shoot to discuss cases facilitated by an attending after the lecture.
    o They're trying to institute a more interactive, in-class participation style with clickers and text-in answers/questions.
    o This is all tentative with a vote scheduled for later this semester and a planned institution of 2014.
    o The c/o 2017 will be largely the same as previous years with a little bit of integration as the class progresses through the curriculum, the guinea pigs, if you will.

    And that's it folks. I'm here to answer your questions. Good luck!
    --------------------------------------------------
    UT Interview (reapplicant)

    Okay, so my second interview day was very different from my first one last year. It began the same, with small treats, juices, and coffee available while we waited for the other interviewees to show up and were regaled by Dean Strother's awesome sense of humor. Once everyone arrived (sans someone who failed to withdraw and just didn't show), he began with the usual introduction and sales pitch. Now, since I'm writing this so far after my interview, it gets a little fuzzy at this point as far as an accurate timeline; so please forgive me if someone posts to dispute the ensuing series of events.

    After Dean Strother's spiel, one person had her first interview while the rest of us went on a tour with Diane Harris. I think she just showed us where our interviews were taking place and escorted each of us to our interviews at different times. We were instructed to meet back up in the student center near the lecture halls. Dean Strother told us which lectures were scheduled that day and encouraged us to sit in. However, the last 3 of us that followed her all the way to the student center before being escorted to our respective interviews were instead kept by Diane Harris as she gave us copious amounts of interview advice/pointers and well wishes (good hearted as it was, I'd personally rather have sat in a class).

    After we all had our first interviews (new applicants) or one and only interview (reapplicants), we met up with current students for a brief tour as we headed back to the admissions office for lunch with M1-M4s. The lunch consisted of your choice of a turkey or veggie wrap, turkey chili, chips, a cookie, and a beverage. After we asked tons of questions with stuffed mouths, we went on another student-led tour, the most comprehensive and well informed tour I've been on. As we toured, other students had to leave for their second interviews. We toured pretty much everything relevant to being a med student: library, student center, lecture halls, gym, SAS (where you can check out books and schedule tutors), and, most importantly, the anatomy lab. Getting in was a bit funny. First, the two students that led the afternoon tour were surprised that the morning students told us that we weren't allowed in. So we went down there and pulled a weird speak-easy type-entrance: A student knocked on an, unmarked, industrious looking inconspicuous door down the hall. A few seconds later an overly-cautious lady poked her head out and exchanged a few brief words with the student before opening the lab for us. And it's pretty nice. There are a bunch of hand-washing stations at the entrance, exit, and interspersed between separated but open rooms with two cadaver tables each. There were many cadavers out, though respectfully covered; and the smell was more than tolerable. I was surprised. That baby is WELL ventilated! w00t. And you'll have 4 people to cadaver except one or two groups that will have 5 depending on how many people choose to matriculate and if they fill the class to capacity.

    I believe that was the last and final place we toured before returning to the admissions office to turn in our visitor badges before leaving.

    Now for some additional info (I'll post my impression from last year at the very bottom of my MDApps if you're curious).

    • The student exercise facility includes rock climbing wall, lap pool, Jacuzzi, racquet ball courses, exercise classes, and your gamut of workout machines. Its hours are 6a to 9p on weekdays.
    • There's a new curriculum with an integrative style (e.g., cover how the molecular concepts relate to the gross anatomy concepts), an organ systems approach in 2nd year, weekly PBL groups, and course material/exams presented in clinical vignettes to better prepare you for USMLE Step 1 (further info available on UT's website).
    • UT offers early senior, specialty rotations that take place before residency apps in an attempt to facilitate specialty choice among M3s.
    o 3rd year core rotations end in May, allowing you May to September 1st (when NRMP opens for residency applications), to pursue specialty rotations.
    • UT offers 24 NIH-funded summer research fellowships to UT M1 applicants applying with a research proposal to take place during the summer between M1 and M2. This research must be with a local PI at the medical school.
    • UT also offers a funded international opportunity via a Global Health perspective. More info is available on their website: COM Site > Student Affairs > Student Organizations > Council on International Health Outreach.
    • UT now offers a master's in health policy for those interested, but not an MPH at this point. They said they're trying to open a school of public health.
    • For those interested in the MD/PhD, you apply once your accepted, a separate process. But the program is NOT an MSTP: you will be responsible for the entirety of your pre-clinical and clinical cost of attendance. You WILL, however, be provided a tuition waiver and stipend during your graduate phase.
    • Last, but not least, UT says they require you to do an away rotation in Nashville (Baptist), UT Chattanooga (free housing provided), or UT Knoxville (free housing provided). But if you have a good enough excuse, the students tell me you can be excluded.

    I hope this helps. Feel free to send me any of your questions via SDN PM.

    --------------------------------------------------
    Final synopsis ever: OHSU.

    The day began in one of the older buildings (Emma Jones Hall) in which they currently house the simulation center with multiple pt rooms equipped with audio and visual recording equipment. There was coffee, juice, and small snacks available for applicants like cookies and brownies. We were greeted by Katy and picked up our information packets, non disclosure agreement, and tram pass before congregating in a conference room for introductions between applicants, presentations by the dean of admissions, financial aid, and the office of diversity. We were also given a small presentation of information about demystifying the MMI.

    Then our group split so that half went through the MMI while the other half went on a tour. My group had the MMI first, went to lunch afterward, and ended with the tour. The other group went on a tour, had lunch, and ended with the MMI. The tour was absolutely wonderful and comprehensive. We toured the campus, adult and children's hospital, the skybridge to the VA (not the VA itself), and the building down the hill via tram that houses clinics and the OHSU gym. (We did not see the anatomy lab.) The gym was amazing. It had a lap pool, spa, several saunas, many exercise rooms, and all of the usual equipment facing a view of the river, the new medical school building currently under construction, and downtown. The new building will open in 2014, allowing the current c/o 2017 to transition it during our MS2 year.

    Here's some info I gathered while interviewing:
    • There are plenty of medical student-only areas open 24hrs (e.g., med student lounge and upper level of the medical library and "the old" library according to dsoz).
    • The anatomy lab is open 24/7.
    • Cadavers are shared between 4 to 5 students (assigned groups by name).
    • Lectures are recorded with increased speed playback capabilities.
    • Attendance is not required (minus labs).
    • Campus wide wifi is available.
    • MS1s and MS2s test q2-3wks, rarely weekly.
    • Rotations are q10wks.
    • There are 20-25 slots for dedicated summer research fellowships (funded).
    • There are 14-15 rural scholar slots, of which 5 are awarded loan forgiveness/scholarships.
    • You get 5 weeks of protected USMLE study time at the end of MS2. You can schedule it however you want and don't need to take the full 5 weeks, leaving perhaps a week of downtime to recuperate.
    • OHSU does not offer sponsored USMLE prep courses. But they're available through private outlets and abound.
    • OHSU requires a practice USMLE exam in February.
    • M1s through M4s meet in groups according to specialty interest once each term to allow underclassmen to ask upperclassmen for advice on anything (regardless of specialty interest).
    • You begin seeing pts 2 weeks into your first year, seeing FM/IM pts for 4hrs or more every week and are allowed 10 weeks of specialty clinic time. -- According to dsoz, "Half of class has 1 year of primary care "continuity year" the other half has quarter long rotations through EM, surgery, and I don't remember the others. Second year the groups switch."
    --------------------------------------------------
    Letter Examples


    Withdrawal:
    To Whom It May Concern:

    I am reluctantly writing to officially withdraw my [acceptance or] position from the alternate list with the hopes that it might allow another deserving applicant to possibly attend your school. Due to X, I must accept one of the my other offers. I still believe that Y would have been the best match for me and hope to interview with Y for residency in the future.

    Many thanks,

    Your Dearest Guero
    -----------------

    Update Letter 2:

    Guero
    AMCAS ID# 00000001
    69 Fun Ave
    Cityville, CA 90001

    January 3, 2013

    X College of Medicine
    420 Smoke Avenue
    PO Box 245017
    Tipsyville Vegas, NV 85724


    To Whom It May Concern,


    ---------------------------
    Update Letter 2:

    Guero
    AMCAS ID# 00000001
    69 Fun Ave
    Cityville, CA 90001

    January 3, 2013

    X College of Medicine
    420 Smoke Avenue
    PO Box 245017
    Tipsyville Vegas, NV 85724


    To Whom It May Concern,

    I recently received grades from my final semester: X in my Y and Z courses. In addition to this update, I would like to take one last opportunity to briefly reiterate that X remains my top choice. After X interviews and X acceptances, I now firmly believe that no other school will better educationally and professionally prepare me for residency by providing me with the necessary exposure to choose between a career in either rural or inner city medicine in the West. I only hope that the committee sees in me what I see in this school and its unique opportunities. Regardless of the outcome, I would like to thank everyone involved in this grueling and emotional process for their time and effort in evaluating the thousands of well qualified students vying for admission.

    Sincerely,

    Your Dearest Guero
    --------------------------------------------------

    c/o 2016 stats (only applied MD via AMCAS):

    MCAT: 23O - (extenuating circumstances, explained to each school)
    cGPA: 3.82
    sGPA: 3.80
    post-bacc GPA: 3.90

    Applied to 12 schools: 10 outright rejections (read 20 b/c they were all intially MD/PhD and switched to MD after rejection)
    2 interviews
    1 waitlist that never came to fruition due to unprecedented WL standstill.

    -----------------------------------
    Original UT interview 3/2012

    Let's face it: This program graduates several students that land residencies at Mayo, Duke, Harvard, and plenty of other rather highly ranked institutions. It also graduates several students that match into specialties from Derm and Ortho to Neurosurgery and Urology. Not everyone can be a superstar; but they definitely do their best to churn out a few each year.

    But the most enticing and magnetic characteristic of this school is its clinical exposure, especially for those of us wanting to go into surgery, emergency medicine, and/or trauma. Students can volunteer and eventually work as suture techs starting at M1. Students are often allowed to mark and open for surgery and have even been known to amputate under the direct supervision of an attending. The Med is undeniably an awesome place to learn medicine. You'll arrive as an intern with so much more experience than most students, as so many other institutions have a "hands-off" approach to the med school phase of clinical learning.

    As for Memphis as a whole, being from Los Angeles, I'm not prone to falling for the "Oh, it's so dangerous" spiel. It has its bad parts, just as ANY city does. It was an awesome city with a very low cost of living, plenty to keep busy when you're not studying, and an amazing assortment of restaurants.

    However, as far as cons, the program is definitely far from formal and is rather disorganized as a whole. Many of the buildings are quite old (which I actually enjoy) and appear in various states of disrepair. But, again, let's face it: UT Memphis doesn't have the immense funding that higher tier or private schools enjoy. It also isn't a new school. It was opened in 1850 and renovates when and where it can as opportunities become available. Speaking of which, there are plenty of renovations underway with tons of expansion. The school is also undergoing vast curriculum changes that most students enjoy.

    Anyway, when it's all said and done, compared to ETSU, I think this school offers much in its opportunities and support for research and affords much more trauma/surgical/EM experience than ETSU. I don't think it's a better school per se, just some differences. Keep in mind you're taking classes with 165 other students compared to ETSU's 72 students.

    Applied, Withdrew

    Touro University - Henderson
    University of California, Los Angeles

    Application Complete, Rejected

    University of Southern California
    Charles Drew University/UCLA
    University of Arizona - Phoenix
    University of Arizona
    Louisiana State University, New Orleans
    Tulane University
    University of Utah
    University of Alabama
    Saint Louis University

    Application Complete, Withdrew

    Texas Tech University, El Paso
    University of Texas, Galveston
    University of Texas, Houston
    Long School of Medicine - University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio
    University of North Texas
    University of Texas, Southwestern
    Texas A & M University
    Texas Tech University
    Chicago College of Mid. University
    Loma Linda University
    Rosalind Franklin University
    Philadelphia College - Philadelphia
    Touro University - Harlem
    Touro University - Mare Island
    Drexel University

    Invited for Interview, Withdrew

    Arizona College of Mid. University
    A.T. Still University - Mesa

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted, Withdrew

    George Washington University

    Accepted

    East Tennessee State University
    University of Tennessee
    Western University of Health Sciences
    Meharry Medical College
    Oregon Health & Science University

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