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MD Applicants

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  • IamBatman

  • Application cycles: 06/03/2011
  • Demographics: Female, 9, Caucasian
  • Home state: Alabama
  • Last Active: 08/06/2012
  • Brief Profile: My 2011-2012 application season thus far:

    For ease of navigation, a hyperlinked Table of Contents:

    1. My AMCAS Extracurricular Activity Descriptions

    2. My Basic Stats

    3. What I did WRONG in the 2011-2012 Application Season

    4. What I did RIGHT in the 2011-2012 Application Season

    5. My Application Timeline

    6. Interviews
    Medical College of Georgia (MD)
    University of Alabama School of Medicine (MD)
    Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, GA Campus (DO)
    Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Carolinas Campus (DO
    Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Bradenton Campus (DO)

    7. Withdrawals - Post-Interview Invite
    University of Tennessee Health Science Center (MD)
    Lincoln Memorial University, DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)
    William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine (DO)

    8. Withdrawals - Pre-Interview Invite
    University of South Carolina (MD)
    Medical University of South Carolina (MD)
    Mercer University (MD)

    9. My Cost of Applying to Medical School

    10. Hotel Info



    Note: If a link doesn\'t work, let me know. MD Apps has a maddening habit of interjecting backslashes in front of quotation marks at random times for no apparent reason during updates. Doing so busts all of my links. Let me know and I\'ll fix it.

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    My AMCAS Extracurricular Activities


    Below is a condensed version of my AMCAS/AACOMAS application. Activities 1-3 were listed as my \\\"most meaningful\\\" activities as per the new AMCAS requirement. I use the narrative form for my actual application, but for space reasons I used bullet points here. I know how useful other people\'s complete MD apps were to me, so I thought I would return the favor. In-depth comments about each school I interviewed at can be found near the bottom of this page. Keep in mind, these are my opinions and may not be your opinion. Interview day is a single day. It\\\'s impossible to get a comprehensive (or even good, in some cases) view of a school in a single day.

    For the 2011-2012 Application Cycle:

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    1) Department of Defense (DOD) Predoctoral Breast Cancer Research Grant, 2008-2010
    -Awarded as the Principal Investigator
    -Composed of a research narrative, statement of work, public/technical abstract, and budget
    -Independent funding source
    -$60,000 over two years

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    2) Principal Investigator of a Clinical Research Project, 2008-2011
    -Managed and executed a clinical research project
    -Screened, recruited, and consented qualifying participants as part of the University\'s clinic
    -Attended surgeries to collect fresh breast tumor tissue
    -Supervised three technicians

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    3) Counselor-in-Training (CIT) Volunteer at a Camp for Children with Cancer, 2001
    -Camp for children (7-18) with cancer
    -Volunteered one week as a CIT in a cabin of 7-9 year old girls
    -Responsible for daily care, transporting to and from activities, etc.

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    4) Early College Enrollment/Dual Enrollment, 1999-2000
    -Minimum SAT score and GPA required
    -Took 31 credit hours as a senior in high school
    -Fulfilled both high school and college graduation requirements

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    5) Honors College, 2000-2004
    -Minimum GPA and SAT requirement
    -Maintain 3.2 GPA, take 10 honors courses, and complete an honors thesis.
    -Honors Thesis centered on the molecular characterization of a knock-out mouse model

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    6) Collegiate Scholarships, 2000-2004
    -Volunteer-related Scholarship (2000-2001)
    - Work-related Scholarship (2000-2001)
    -Local Foundation Scholarship (2000-2002)
    -State Educational Scholarship (2000-2004)
    -ACS Scholarship (2000-2004)
    -Biology Department Scholarship (2003-2004)

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    7) Undergraduate Research, 2002, 2003
    -Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) in Biology; Summer 2002
    -Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Breast Cancer Biology; Summer 2003

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    8) Graduate Awards, 2004-2010
    -Breast Cancer Training Predoctoral Fellowship (2004-2005)
    -Cancer Prevention and Control Predoctoral Fellowship (2006-2008)
    -American Association for Cancer Research, Scholar-in-Training (2007)
    -William C. Bailey Award for Excellence in Cancer Prevention and Control, 1st Place (2008)
    -Graduate Student Research Days Presentation, 3rd Place (2009)
    -Graduate Student Association Travel Grant (2009)
    -Susan G. Komen Student Travel Scholarship (2009)
    -Society of Toxicology Student Travel Award (2009)
    -Cancer Prevention and Control Postdoctoral Fellowship (2010)

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    9) Publications
    -5 x first-author, peer-reviewed publications
    -2 x co-author, peer-reviewed publications

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    10) Graduate Research
    -Dissertation
    -17 poster abstracts (14 National Meetings; 3 International Meetings)
    -Edward A. Smuckler Memorial Pathobiology of Cancer Workshop (2007)

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    11) Teaching Experience
    -Undergraduate Chemistry Workshop Leader
    -Served as a student workshop leader for introductory chemistry
    -Led small group (8-10 students) in problem solving, concept discussions, and administered quizzes

    -Graduate-Level Biomedical Sciences Lecture on \"Environmental Toxicology\"

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    12) Clinical Shadowing
    -General Surgery (20 hrs)
    -Interdisciplinary Breast Cancer Clinic (30 hrs)
    -Pediatric Hematology/Oncology (9 hrs)

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    13) Ronald McDonald House Children’s Charities
    -House Tours; introduction to RMH volunteering
    -Light housekeeping

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    14) Hobbies
    -Cooking
    -Dog Training
    -Travel

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    Letters of Recommendation:
    1) Pre-Health Committee (Mentor (PhD), Dept. Faculty Member (PharmD), and Undergrad Advisor/Professor (PhD))
    2) Physician (MD) who served on my dissertation committee, was part of my clinical work, and whom I shadowed.
    3) PhD who I rotated with and remained in close contact with during graduate school.
    4) PhD who headed one of the training grants which funded me during grad/postgrad.
    5) Physician (DO) in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology who I shadowed.

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    =========================================================================================

    AACOMAS Submitted: 6/20/2011

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    MY BASIC STATS


    MCAT: the lower 10th percentile to just above the lower 10th percentile of accepted matriculates for most medical schools.

    cGPA: the median to just below the median of accepted matriculates for most medical schools.

    sGPA: the median to just below the median of accepted matriculates for most medical schools.

    GPA Trends: I had a strange GPA trend. Through my dual enrollment freshman year, I had a 4.0. I had a rough true freshman year (3.3 GPA) and a rougher sophomore year (3.1 GPA) at a four-year college. I had much better junior (3.7 GPA) and senior (4.0) years. My GPA during graduate school held steady between 3.6-4.0.

    Did my ECs compensate for a sub par MCAT and a mediocre GPA? Probably.
    Was it a smart risk to take? NO.

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    WHAT I DID WRONG



    1. I underestimated the MCAT.
    Simply put, I failed to understand the true scope of the MCAT until it was too late. In the time I was studying for the MCAT, I was working 60+ hours per week as a postdoctoral fellow, I submitted two grants, and I transitioned to take over my mentor’s lab in his retirement. The MCAT was not my priority, and it was reflected in my score. I was thankful to get into my top choice. However, my MCAT score is one of my biggest regrets. Along with my average GPA, it undoubtedly shut many doors for me this application season. At least it keeps me humble, I suppose. Don’t make the same mistake.

    2. When I got my MCAT score, I didn’t retake.
    This was yet another stupid choice on my part. I just thought that the MCAT was only one part of my application. I failed to realize how BIG of a part the MCAT actually is. Others tried to tell me. I didn’t listen. That was a big mistake. I am absolutely aware of how lucky I am that the Admissions Committee decided to overlook my mediocre MCAT score as well as the fact that, in despite a year\'s gap between my test date and application date, I did not retake the test. It\'s a decision that could have very easily been the stamp of rejection on my application at my top-choice school.

    3. My study strategy for the MCAT was rushed and poorly organized.
    I completely and utterly failed at this. I needed a solid, slow, and manageable study schedule and the self-control to put aside time to do this. I failed at all of the above. I made the mistake of accumulating too much study material, which made my preparation fractured, scattered, and always mildly panicked. I hated the Kaplan course. It was a waste of $2k for me. I loved Exam Krackers. I didn\'t take enough practice tests. I didn\'t go over wrong answers. Basically, I attempted to cram way too much preparation into a limited time frame. It backfired. I lost. If there was anything I could do different, it would be this. I would, beyond a doubt, prepare much differently for the MCAT.

    4. I applied to way too many schools where I simply did not have a chance.
    Whether it was a major reach in terms of stats or a ridiculously low OOS admittance, I made some stupid selections. Some couldn’t have been avoided, such as the South Carolina schools. Thankfully, I did balance these choices out with plenty of schools where I had a good chance of admittance. Still, that was a lot of money lost. Baylor, Emory, Vanderbilt, and University of North Carolina… I am/was a hopeless case at those schools. I wasted money by applying.

    5. I didn’t get my state of residency settled until after submitting my AMCAS.
    If there is one thing I can pass on, it’s this: attending school in another state does not make you a resident of that state. Once more: ATTENDING SCHOOL IN ANOTHER STATE DOES NOT MAKE YOU A RESIDENT OF THAT STATE. It’s worth repeating. Do yourself a favor and if there is ANY question about your state of residency, get it clarified PRIOR to submitting your AMCAS. Get it clarified by EACH school you’re applying to. Otherwise it is a long and complicated process. My state of residency switched during the application process. Some schools have deadlines on when you can switch your state residency. Know these deadlines. I had to prove my state residency in another state. I used a letter of employment (nearly 2 years), a letter proving my address (nearly 4 years at the same address), and my income taxes.

    6. I panicked and applied to too many schools.
    After I was denied Georgia residency, and I assumed my numbers weren’t good enough to get into UAB, I panicked and added more schools to my list. It was a panic-driven mistake. A few deep breaths and I probably would have been fine, but I tacked on more schools instead.

    7. I did not clarify my AMCAS changed state of residency with my state medical schools.
    Apparently AMCAS did not transmit my change in state of residency to EITHER of my state medical schools. I had to clarify this with UAB (I was listed as a GA resident on the primary app they had and as an AL resident on my secondary). My rejection letter from University of South Alabama classified me as an OOS resident. This likely played a large role in my not getting an interview invitation. I should have checked after the incident at UAB was brought to my attention. I honestly didn\'t care once I got my UAB acceptance, but I just wanted to put this up there as a word of warning for future applicants. DO NOT TRUST AMCAS TO UPDATE SCHOOLS AS TO CHANGES IN YOUR APPLICATION. Things fall through the crack. Don\'t let that be your application.

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    WHAT I DID RIGHT


    1. I applied early: AMCAS submitted, 6/4. AMCAS verified, 6/9. AMCAS transmitted, 6/17.
    With a very mediocre MCAT score and a middle-to-fair GPA, it was important that I submit my application as early as possible. I could have applied during the 2010-2011 application season, but it would have been a September submission. That would have likely ended as a kiss of death for my application, a waste of time, effort, and money: rejections all the way around. And then I would have spent this application season having to overcome the stigma of being a re-applicant and the knock of confidence that comes as a consequence. No thanks. If there is any advice you take from this page, take this: APPLY EARLY. The longer you delay your AMCAS submission, the longer it will take for your application to be verified. It will, in turn, delay the transmission of your application, when you receive your secondary applications, when you can be complete at schools, and when you will receive interview invites. It can be the difference between an acceptance and a wait-list position. Sacrifice a year if you must. Submit early (June-July).

    2. I applied broadly to both MD and DO schools.
    Playing the numbers game, I was a borderline applicant for MD schools, but I was a good applicant for DO schools. It is what it is, for better or worse. I just wanted to be a physician, so I applied to both sets of schools. It helped. I had early acceptances that put me at ease. I also gained practice interviewing, which really helped by the time I made it to my top-choice school. I would have been just as happy to attend my number two school, which was PCOM-GA.

    3. I spent six months writing, polishing, and perfecting my personal statement.
    From start to finish, I went through over twenty drafts which were critically edited by over a dozen people. The finished product was the very personal story of why I want to by a physician and what experiences in my life have led me to that decision. It is a piece of writing that I am immensely proud of.

    4. I took great care in filling out a cohesive, well planned AMCAS application and Secondary essays.
    I approached my entire application as a whole rather than several different pieces. Each piece fit together to form a complete application rather than several fractured pieces. I took my time, and I think it paid off. My schedule was as follows:

    March 2011- I came up with a comprehensive list of all activities I’ve participated in since college. I’m a non-traditional applicant to an extreme degree, so this took quite a bit of time. Towards the end of March, I began to select the most important and cohesive of these activities.

    April 2011- I decided how best to group my extracurricular activities, under what AMCAS category to place each activity, and gathering contact information for each activity.

    May 2011- I wrote multiple drafts (10+) of my activity descriptions. Because I grouped a lot of activities, I mostly stuck to describing my activities without any reflecting. The only time I departed from this was in the activities I listed as my “most meaningful” where I did explain what I gained from each experience.

    I allowed myself a two week turn around time on secondaries. This gave me plenty of time to really turn out some quality essays. More importantly, I tried to use my secondary essays as a way to reinforce aspects of my primary application. It made writing secondary essays more difficult, absolutely, but it\'s something I wouldn\'t differently.

    5. I played politics with my AACOMAS application.
    This will likely be unpopular and earn me some flames, but it needs to be said. AACOMAS does little to control several schools not following normal traffic guidelines of acceptance deposits. These deposits are usually costly, upwards of $1k, and non-refundable. This becomes a little more deplorable when certain schools that fail to follow the AACOMAS traffic guidelines also extend interviews so early (late July) that the applicants who are lucky (unlucky?) enough to get them have absolutely no chance of getting an acceptance elsewhere within the 30 day window allowed. This basically means, if you decide to go elsewhere, you\'re out $1.5k. Should I remind you that, at this point, it\'s August. You either have to gamble that you will receive another acceptance elsewhere and let the deadline pass or put down the non-refundable $1k+ deposit. I wasn\'t impressed by these tactics.

    So, to avoid this, I purposely delayed the submission of my AACOMAS application, which delayed my secondary applications and interview invites. This set me up on a later time frame that the earliest applicants. In addition to getting an acceptance to the school who didn\'t follow AACOMAS traffic rules (it was my first interview; I couldn\'t refuse), I managed to get an overlapping acceptance with a school that followed AACOMAS trafffic rules of deposits. Though careful planning and a lot of luck, I didn\'t lose any money. It can be done. However, it\'s a big risk. It was also very stressful. I could have easily gotten burned in the process of delaying my application. My bank account is still glad I played.

    6. I mostly applied to schools that had screened secondary applications.
    My strategy was a little different than most people, as I was not willing to move from a very specific geographic region. I used the MSAR as a guide to pick schools. Be warned, however, that it doesn\'t always tell the full story. A school can have a great OOS acceptance rate but still limit those OOS students to those who have strong state ties. I applied to almost all schools in the south, excluding schools which have a reputation for raking in money on secondaries. I saved money by focusing on school which screen heavily prior to secondaries, even if it did mean I took a lot of my lumps earlier in the year as I was repeatedly screened out.

    7. I didn’t try to fit into the mold of what SDN told me to be.
    Don\'t get me wrong. The Student Doctor Network is an incredibly valuable asset. It absolutely helped me successfully navigate my application season. However, that doesn\'t mean that every piece of advice or information you receive at SDN is good or useful. In fact, there are some people out there who dispense of ridiculously horrible advice. Unfortunately, it can be hard to differentiate between the good and the bad at times. So, above all else, take all information and advice you get from SDN with a grain of salt and do your due diligence to fact check. That said, even the prevailing good advice does not apply to every applicant.

    I am a non-traditional applicant. According to SDN, I needed to find a primary care physician to shadow and do more volunteering. I probably needed to volunteer at a clinic, since all my clinical experience was through work. I needed to bleed primary care. I was told, by more than one person, to quit my job as a postdoctoral fellow and retake the MCAT. None of these things ever came up in my interviews. I stayed true to myself during all of my interviews. I answered questions honestly. When asked about what specialty I was considering, I made sure to emphasize that I wanted to explore all of my clinical options, but I was leaning towards oncology. It fits with my strong history of basic and clinical cancer research. I never abandoned my interest in research or downplayed my love for it. I think that attempting to be anyone other than myself, talking about anything other than my true passion, would not have worked out as well for me. Could I have benefited from fitting in the typical mold of a SDN applicant? Possibly. However, I think it would have also hurt my application in the process. It\'s a paradox. I\'m not sure there\'s any one right way to do anything in terms of applying to medical school.

    8. I was well prepared for interviews.
    I put a lot of time and effort into preparing for interviews. I spent a lot of time with my application, with my secondary application, and at the school’s website. I made use of SDN’s interview feedback. I also did a lot of introspective type of practice questions. I didn’t memorize answers, and I do not advocate doing so. However, I had a general idea of what I wanted to convey in most situations. The actual words were spontaneous. It was more to help me organize my thoughts so that sheer panic didn’t take over and I didn’t start rambling like an idiot.

    9. I requested my letters of recommendation early.
    I requested my letters of recommendation at the end of February 2011. I provided each writer with the following: 1) a draft of my personal statement, 2) my CV, and 3) a list of the schools to which I was applying. I emailed them an interfolio request. I received my letters from April 2011 through July 2011. Only two writers required gentle reminders.

    10. I selected my LOR writers carefully.
    I selected only people who knew me extremely well with no attention to position. I would rather have a well written letter by someone that no one knows than a mediocre letter from someone everyone knows. That’s my preference. It may not be the “correct” preference. I mixed basic science PhDs with clinical researchers and clinicians. One clinician knew me extremely well, having served as a member of my dissertation committee. The other clinician has known me for a much shorter period of time. I’m happy with who I selected. I wouldn’t have done anything differently.

    The things I did correctly weren\'t due to my own innate intelligence or grasp of the process. I had a friend who applied during the 2010-2011 application cycle. I simply learned from her. Those who have been through the process are your absolute best resource.

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  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 06/03/2011

    • Undergraduate college: Public School in the US
    • Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
    • Institution: [Not Telling]
    • Area of Study: Biological/Life Sciences
    • Degree Obtained: Ph.D.
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 472
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 118, C/P 118, CARS 118  
    • Overall GPA: 1.00
    • Science GPA: 1.00

    Summary of Application Experience

    William Carey University: SR: 7/21 (screened) | SS: 8/30 | II: 9/2 | Withdrew: 10/3

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    Updates:

    May
    5/31: AMCAS has received all transcripts

    June
    6/04: Submitted: AMCAS
    6/09: Verified: AMCAS
    6/17: AACOMAS received all transcripts.
    6/17: Secondary Received: MCG
    6/21: Submitted: AACOMAS
    6/27: Secondary Received: Baylor
    6/27: Secondary Submitted: MCG
    6/28: Secondary Received: Louisville

    July
    7/01: Secondary Received: MUSC
    7/05: Rejection: Wake Forest
    7/05: Secondary Received: Emory
    7/08: Secondary Received: University of South Carolina
    7/08: Complete: MCG
    7/11: Secondary Submitted: Baylor
    7/12: Secondary Submitted: University of Louisville
    7/13: Verified: AACOMAS
    7/14: Complete: Baylor
    7/15: Complete: University of Louisville
    7/19: Secondary Submitted: Emory
    7/20: Secondary Received: LECOM-Bradenton
    7/20: Submitted Secondary: LECOM-Bradenton
    7/20: Secondary Received: VCOM-Carolinas
    7/21: Secondary Received: WCU-COM
    7/22: Secondary Received: LMU-DCOM
    7/27: Secondary Received: Mercer University

    August
    8/01: Complete: Emory University
    8/02: Complete: LECOM-Bradenton
    8/05: Secondary Received: University of Alabama
    8/05: Secondary Sent: VCOM-Carolinas
    8/05: Secondary Sent: LMU-DCOM
    8/08: Rejected: East Tennessee State University
    8/12: Secondary Received: PCOM-Georgia
    8/16: Interview Invitation: LECOM-Bradenton
    8/17: Secondary Submitted: University of Alabama-Birmingham
    8/19: Complete: LMU-DCOM
    8/19: Secondary Received: University of South Alabama
    8/19: Complete: VCOM-Carolinas
    8/22: Secondary Submitted: University of South Alabama
    8/24: Secondary Submitted: GA-PCOM
    8/24: Complete: University of Alabama
    8/30: Secondary Submitted: WCU-COM

    September
    9/02: Interview Invitation: WCU-COM
    9/02: Rejected: Vanderbilt University
    9/06: Interview Invitation: VCOM-Carolinas Campus
    9/12: Received Secondary App Email: GA-PCOM
    9/23: Attended Interview: LECOM-Bradenton
    9/26: Attended Interview: VCOM-Carolinas Campus
    9/29: Accepted: VCOM-Carolinas Campus

    October
    10/01: Accepted: LECOM-Bradenton
    10/03: Withdrew: WCU-COM
    10/05: Interview Invitation: GA-PCOM
    10/07: Interview Invitation: LMU-DCOM
    10/07: Withdrew: LMU-DCOM
    10/17: Attended Interview: Ga-PCOM
    10/19: Interview Invitation: University of Alabama-Birmingham
    10/20: Secondary Received: University of Tennessee (Second Notice?)
    10/20: Submitted Secondary: University of Tennessee
    10/25: University of Alabama-Birmingham State Residency Flag (Application)
    10/26: Complete: Unitersity of Tennessee
    10/27: Withdrew: LECOM-Bradenton Acceptance
    10/27: Attended Interview: University of Alabama-Birmingham

    November
    11/4: Accepted: GA-PCOM
    11/4: Turned in University of Alabama-Birmingham\\\'s State Residency Application
    11/14: Classified as an Alabama State Resident for Tuition Purposes
    11/18: Accepted: University of Alabama-Birmingham

    December
    12/14: Withdrew: GA-PCOM Acceptance
    12/14: Withdrew: VCOM-CC Acceptance
    12/27: Rejected: University of North Carolina

    January
    1/24: Interview Invite: Medical College of Georgia
    1/25: Interview Invite: UTHSC
    1/30: Withdrew: UTHSC

    February
    2/3: Rejected: University of Kentucky
    2/7: Rejected: University of South Alabama
    2/15: Attended Interview: Medical College of Georgia

    March
    3/2: Rejected: Emory University
    3/2: Rejected: Baylor
    3/6: Rejected: University of Louisville
    3/14: Accepted: Medical College of Georgia

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    =========================================================================================

    ABBREVIATION KEY:
    SR: Secondary app received
    SS: Secondary app sent
    C: Complete application
    W: Withdrawal
    II: Interview Invite
    I: Interview Attended
    A: Accepted
    WL: Waitlist
    R: Rejected

    Applied, Rejected = Primary application submitted, but not screened into secondary applications. Rejected.

    Applied, Withdrew = Primary application submitted, screened into/received each schools\' secondary application. For various reasons, however, I did not submit the secondary app and withdrew my application from future consideration.

    Application Complete, Rejected = Primary application, secondary application, and letters of recommendation all submitted. Rejected anyway.

    Invited for Interview, Withdrew = Application complete and I was invited for an interview. For various reasons, I declined the interview and withdrew my application from future consideration.

    Accepted = Pretty self-explanatory.



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    School Interview Impressions



    Medical College of Georgia (Interview: 2/15; Accepted: 3/14)



    Interview Day: I was impressed with the organization and the amount of organization packed into the interview day. Top notch. Everyone seemed to know exactly what was going on, when it was supposed to happen, and (surprise!) things happened ON TIME. It was a large interview group that was split unevenly between those with morning interviews and those with afternoon interviews. I had an afternoon interview, which I’ll admit really sucked. It balanced out though because it also meant I got a late start (10:30 am check-in). That was a nice departure from the usual 7-8am check-in times at most interviews. Everything started with a brief one-on-one session where our application was checked for missing items and, we were given the name of our interviewer and the time. Next was a student-led tour (MS1s and MS2s). The tour was GREAT. You can tell that they really put effort into making sure the students who do the tours are trained well, and the tours are done in a very consistent manner. It may seem a little rehearsed to some people, but if you ever been on a spontaneous tour, you’ll really appreciate something as well put together as the MCG tours. The students were really knowledgeable and most were friendly. They gave us a lot of extra information to digest, both about the school and the surrounding area. Lunch was mediocre cafeteria-style food. Interviews were scheduled after lunch with one faculty member. From talking with other interviewees, the interviewers all seemed to be either MDs or med students (3rd/4th years). I was lucky enough to have one of the first scheduled interviews (2:45pm), but others had to wait around until 3:30-4:00pm.

    I have mixed emotions about my interview. It was, undoubtedly, my worst interview performance. I feel like I started off shaky and never really recovered. I also feel like I was asked some hard questions and asked to play into some difficult scenarios. It didn’t feel quite like the “conversational” description I keep hearing about MCG interviews. There were standard questions: Why do you want to be a doctor? Explain your research. Tell me about your shadowing experiences. But we also talked about the state of healthcare and the problems that exist. We debated whether healthcare should be a privilege or a right. We talked about how health insurance companies in the US are different from health insurance companies in other developed countries. As a part of the scenario situation my interviewer set up, we also talked about how to make impossible choices about the allocation of limited medical resources. I also had to deliver bad news to “patient families” and defend my choices of allocations. It was challenging. With an acceptance in hand, I wasn’t afraid to speak of my beliefs and true opinions. This may hurt me, and I come from a very liberal background where it concerns the allocation of healthcare given my health history (cancer survivor). I think it ended on a good note, but honestly this interview completely baffles me. I have no idea. As an OOS student, I’m fighting an uphill battle already. I won’t be surprised to see a rejection in March.

    Travel/Accommodations: MCG is nearly 340 miles from my current location. Thankfully my parents live at the halfway mark. I drove to my parents’ house one night, and then to Augusta the next day. I stayed at the EconoLodge hotel (on 15th street), which was literally right across the street from MCG. It wasn’t the greatest hotel in the world, but it was absolutely what my tight budget needed. For a little less than $50/night, it comes with a clean (though over perfumed) room and free wifi. There was also a free breakfast. Be warned, however, that the “breakfast” consisted of carbohydrate overload: toast, muffins, waffles, sugary kid’s cereal, yogurt, and coffee/juice. My room was located close to some particularly loud tenants who insisted on running around their room (which I could hear) and playing loud music until 3 am. I’m a light sleeper who probably wouldn’t have gotten much sleep at a much nicer hotel.

    Facilities: I was pleasantly surprised at the facilities at MCG. The major hospital systems (The Medical Center, The Children’s Hospital, and the VA) were all very nice, modern, and interconnected. There were also several other large hospitals nearby. The research buildings were also surrounding and in good shape (on the exterior at least). I have mixed feelings about the school’s plans to farm out students to the accessory clinical campuses. I don’t like how this will be done (through a lottery system), but I’m not sure there is a better or more fair way to accomplish it. I really worry about spending most of your time in a community hospital, as opposed to a teaching hospital, will impact residency readiness despite how much my interviewer seemed to think it would be fine. I think the Rome campus will be fine. The two south Georgia campuses, particularly the southeastern campus, worries me the most. But, at the same time, MCG is not the only school to do this, so it must work. It still makes me nervous, especially paired with MCG’s recent monstrous growth rate. On the pre-clinical side, the buildings and classrooms seemed fine. They’re new enough. I didn’t see a dedicated individual quiet study area, but maybe we didn’t hit that area on the tour. The buildings were secure for 24-h use. The library closes at midnight. Parking is expensive and crappy, which is par for the course. I think the prices were $700/year for a reserved spot and $300/year for an unreserved spot. Don’t quote me on the prices. The gym looked nice, but fairly small. There was mention of a dress code. Nothing too strict, but no flip flops?

    Students: Most everyone was friendly and informative.

    Curriculum: MCG also recently (4-5 years ago?) changed their curriculum over to the system-based curriculum. Same as UAB, they had a definite dip in board scores. It seems they’re also on the up-swing again. I believe they said this year’s class had a Step I pass rate of 98.5%, which is nice. No word on what the average is, but it was quoted as being “high” several times by my interviewer. As I understand it, the curriculum is set-up such that you learn anatomy, physiology, and biochem of each body system during the first year. Second year, you cover the pathology and pharm (probably other stuff?) of the same systems. Double exposure seems like a good system of review. Anatomy lasts the entire first year. Anatomy is set up in groups of eight people per body. Dissection days are done in two day shifts, each group of four taking alternating days. Lecture is 8/9-12 every day. Attendance is not mandatory, though encouraged. Lectures are voice recorded (not video recorded). My favorite part of the curriculum was the set-up of ECM (essentials of clinical medicine?). This course pairs a small group of students with a clinical mentor they’ll have throughout all of M1-2. This clinical mentor leads all standardized patient contacts the students have (which start early in MS1). It eventually leads to the students seeing patients in the ECM mentor’s practice. It seems like a great continuity of mentorship. Also, ECM mentors aren’t limited to primary care physicians. One of the girls I talked to had an ECM mentor who was in infectious disease, which I thought was really interesting. The curriculum is also fairly varies, and there is some problem-based learning (PBL) thrown in, via the ECM course, during MS2. Most of the ECM lectures during MS1 are based on current topics (death and dying, delivering bad news, etc) in practice.

    Cost: As an OOS student, MCG is an unfortunately expensive option for me. I’m not sure if they allow students to become state residents after one year. I’m not sure if there are financial incentives for OOS students.

    Location: I’ll admit that I had a negative image of August before attending the interview. After the interview, I’ve mostly changed my mind. I still think there are some areas I would not want to be in after dark. But this is true of essentially any city in America. Those places ALWAYS exist. Augusta is not Atlanta, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The cost of living is wonderfully low. Traffic is present, but it doesn’t seem to be a huge problem. The huge presence of the nearby military base makes me mildly uncomfortable, but I’ve never had any contact with the military. I’m sure it’s fine. I think there’s a Trader Joe’s within reasonable driving distance, which is the biggest plus ever. I\'m also a Georgia native. I can\'t deny that the thought of going home is appealing.

    Clinical Rotations: I’m split. I think rotations at the MCG clinical site are top notch. It’s difficult to criticize a hospital system as vast as it. They obviously have everything together. They have every single residency program I’m interested in, and they have almost every fellowship program I’m interested in as well (lacking only ped hem/onc). Rotating through the Augusta campus will allow you to be exposed to everything, and you should have no problem finding rotations in anything from primary care to most subspecialities. I also LOVED the student run clinics in Augusta, allowing students to give back to the community (and communities in NEED) and improve their patient contact skills. The other clinical sites, both planned and existing, make me nervous.

    Other: MCG was a very pleasant surprise. My interview, however, was a complete mess that I can’t really figure out. I’m fighting an uphill battle as an OOS applicant at an OOS-unfriendly school. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

    Update: Accepted! I really wasn\'t expecting that.

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    University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine (Interview Invite: 1/25; Withdrew: 1/30)


    I withdrew primarily because I was running low on time and money. I was also being realistic. I knew UTHSC was implementing a brand new curriculum this year. I saw what happened at UAB when a new curriculum was put into place: growing pains and drastically lower board scores. I didn\'t want to risk it. Plus, OOS tuition is way too high. I will definitely keep UTHSC in mind for residency or fellowship.

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    University of Alabama-Birmingham (Interviewed: 10/27, Accepted: 11/18)


    Interview Day: Being very familiar with the area, I was able to easily dodge construction and make my way to the interview with plenty of time to spare. It was a large group, 20-25 people. One thing that bugged me was the overwhelming white male representation in the group, but maybe it was just my interview group. After pictures and a quick orientation session with Dr. Smith, it was on to interviews. I can’t emphasize how stress-free my interviews were. Everyone I interviewed with was friendly, laid back, and let the interview flow very conversationally. I was asked normal things, like: tell me about yourself, why medicine, what characteristic do you think successful physicians should have, what characteristic do you think unsuccessful physicians share, what kind of patient interaction did you have, tell me more about X (activity from my primary app), tell me more about your shadowing experiences, what was the hardest lesson you’ve learned in a leadership position, how do you want to balance research and clinical care, etc. I also got asked a few “fun” questions (If you were a kitchen utensil, what kitchen utensil would you be? What would you say to someone who hated dogs? A wilderness survival scenario). They didn’t have a right or wrong answer, and the interviewer was a lot of fun to talk to, so it wasn’t really that stressful. After interviews, we watched a really outdated video about the other two locations for clinical rotations (Huntsville and Tuscaloosa). Lunch with students. There was a good representation there, M1-M4. We then split into groups of five to do campus tours. I’m pretty familiar with Volker Hall and the surrounding hospital systems, so that wasn’t so informative for me. Volker is hit or miss, depending on whether you’re in the basement (older) or in the medical towers (much newer). There were tables, microwaves, and refrigerators in common areas. There were lockers, small groups rooms, and quiet areas. The facilities are more than adequate and are actually quite nice. I don’t have any complaints.

    Travel/Accommodations: I’m local, so travel included me walking from my apartment to Volker like any other day. For those who are interested, the Marriott (on 20th?) is brand new, relatively close to campus, but pricey. The Double Tree (corner of 20th and University) is older but decent. It’s probably just as pricey though. There might be hotels closer on the other side (7th Ave), but I’m not as familiar with that side.

    Facilities: You won’t find me saying many bad things about UAB. It’s not perfect; no university, public or private, is. UAB is still a fantastic place. The facilities are great. There’s always construction going on around campus, so improvements are continuous. Lots of research labs, if that’s your thing. The Rec center is, by far, the best gym I’ve ever encountered: climbing wall, 1/8th mile track, cardio corridor, pool, lazy river, classes, etc. It’s awesome. Health insurance uses student health as primary care. I used it as a grad student. It’s fine. The docs who run it are good guys. The hospital system is HUGE and growing. I love this place.

    Students: Most everyone I encountered was friendly and readily answered any questions. Our tour guides seemed engaged and to know what they were talking about. Both seemed intelligent and represented the school well.

    Curriculum: About five years post-curriculum change, it seems like things are really starting to be ironed out at UAB. I like the small groups and systems set up. Looking through the calendar, the schedule looks as manageable as medical school can be. Long days, but that’s pretty much par for the course at this point. Anatomy runs for the entire pre-clinical years, which has its advantages and disadvantages. Grades are Pass/Fail, but students are ranked into \"quartiles\" (though P2-3 are combined): top 25%, middle 50%, and bottom 25%.

    Cost: Unbelievably LOW if you’re an in state residenent. Enough said.

    Location: I absolutely LOVE Birmingham. I’m a northwest Georgia native, so I spent most of my life thinking that being involved with a major medical center meant having to brave horrific, unmoving traffic (I hate Atlanta). This simply is not true. UAB is a top notch medical center, yet it doesn’t have near the level of maddening traffic you’ll see in Atlanta. Traffic on 280 doesn’t count because it actually moves and it’s easy to avoid. Also, I feel like Birmingham has enough to do without being overwhelming. But, then again, I’ve never been much of a big city fan. I know Birmingham has a bad reputation in terms of high crime rates, but I’ve lived here for nearly eight years and I’ve never had a problem. It’s all about not putting yourself in unsafe situations. The price of living is relatively low. My only complaints are the lack of turning signals and the complete lack of a Trader Joe’s.

    Clinical Rotations: I’ve heard the pros and cons of being assigned to UAB and the other locations. On one hand, it’s nice to stay put and you couldn’t ask for a better exposure to the an academic team or every single specialty that you get by staying in Birmingham. On the other hand, you get a long more hands on, one-on-one attention at the Huntsville and Tuscaloosa locations. I think I could be happy at either Birmingham or Huntsville. I do not want to go to Tuscaloosa. I have nothing against the city. I just don’t want to deal with the madness that will follow football season there.

    Other: I love UAB. You can’t beat the education received for a low tuition cost. Thus far, it is my top choice.

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    GA-PCOM (Interviewed: 10/17; Accepted 11/4)


    Interview Day: PCOM has a no frills approach to interviews. They aren’t there to woo you; They aren’t going to pander to you, go on for hours about how great their school is, or make you sit through PowerPoints to emphasize just how much debt you’re about to incur. Everything is quick and to the point. You arrive on campus late morning and take a tour of the campus with a couple of medical students (MSII). A lunch and question/answer session was followed by individual interviews where students were picked off one by one. Interviews were two-one-one panel interviews (mine were two PhDs). It wasn’t entirely laid back, but it wasn’t a stress interview either. It fell somewhere in between. Some questions were very standard: Why medicine? Why DO? Tell us about your research? How does your mouse model compare to the human condition. What medical specialties are you interested in? Other questions flustered me a bit: What other schools did you apply to? Are you applying to your grad alma mater? How do you intend on practicing patient-oriented medicine in an era of medicine which focuses on seeing more and more patients? None of the questions were malicious. They just caught me off-guard, and I’m not sure I clearly emphasized my interest in PCOM that extended beyond geographical concerns (i.e.: it’s really close to my family).

    Travel/Accommodations: The great thing about having family in the area and a scheduled afternoon interview: no hotel arrangements. I did have to tackle I-75, I-285, and I-85 in the morning. However, other than some minor congestion on 75 that my GPS routed me around, it wasn’t bad at all. For reference, I traveled from northwest Georgia (south of the Rome, GA area) to PCOM in about an hour and a half. I left around 8:30 AM due to paranoia of hitting a traffic jam. On my return trip, I made the same trip in about an hour (essentially no traffic). I left PCOM around 3 PM.

    Facilities: I really don’t get all the negative comments about the school. It looks like a really nice industrial building from the outside: big deal. You can see the high ceilings and exposed beams that scream warehouse: big deal. It’s well furnished, well decorated, incredibly cleaned, and well maintained. It could have a little more landscaping outside, but this is Georgia… where most of the sunshine months too unbearably hot to be outside anyway. There was a dining hall but no cafeteria. There are, however, different cart services that bring food every day. There are also refrigerators and microwaves for common use. I think I also remember seeing vending machines, but I’m not 100% certain. There’s a medium sized in-house gym, complete with men’s and women’s locker rooms and showers. I saw both M1 and M2 classrooms, and I’m not concerned about the increased class size fitting into the classrooms. The SIM robots were interesting, but I’m not too into the whole robotics thing. The standardized patient rooms were more than adequate. There were tons of study rooms distributed throughout the building. The library was small but adequate. They emphasized having lots of online resources but not tons of hard copy resources. Other schools have said the exact same thing. The OMM lab was impressive: large and equipped with loads of LCD TVs distributed throughout the room and two large projection pull down screens at the front of the classroom. The anatomy lab was impressive and disappointing at the same time. It was impressive in scope and technology. Again, there were several LCD tvs distributed throughout the room. There were also tons of cadavers (20-30). The dissection table, which was the old fashion slab table equipped with nothing more than a drain at the end. The smell was horrible. But, in all fairness, this was only a disappointment because the last tables I’d seen were those self-venting tables. Otherwise it would have just been the status quo. Though the building wasn’t locked down, security had a heavy presence on campus. There was a security dude stationed at the front desk when you walk in the door. I saw another patrolling the parking lot, and yet another patrolling the hallways later. It felt safe without being overbearing.

    Students: Our student ambassadors were incredibly helpful. I’d say, out of the three interviews I’ve been on thus far, these two seemed the most informed about life past MSII, which was nice. The student body fell between the other two extremes: they didn’t totally snub us like LECOM, but they weren’t quite as overwhelmingly friendly as VCOM.

    Curriculum: Solid, and a major selling point for me. Everything is arranged into thirteen week trimesters. The first year has anatomy, histology, embryology, cell, biochem, and neuro. Tons of cadavers for anatomy with student-run dissections. Second year is a systems format. There is also a primary care skills course and OMM which run throughout both first and second year. The last trimester is set up with about half the academic load of the previous five trimesters. I’m assuming this is so students can begin studying for boards. There is a month gap between the end of classes and the beginning of rotations for unstructured board study. A new program has been instituted for MSII which is a year-long case study course aimed at being an attempt at structured, long-term board prep. There is no other formal board prep course offered to my knowledge. No mandatory attendance policy (only have to go to labs). All lectures are recorded. No dress code. No food/drink rules to my knowledge.

    Cost: A bit pricey at ~$40k. The cost of living, while not cheap, isn’t too expensive either.

    Location: Great area. I LOVE the location. It’s situated far enough away from Atlanta to avoid too much traffic, but it’s not in the middle of nowhere. It appears to be in a very safe, albeit slightly bland, area. This is perfectly fine by me. The best part for me is that it’s very, very close to home. Without traffic, I can make the drive in about an hour.

    Clinical Rotations: This was another big selling point for me. Out of all the schools I applied to, PCOM has the most extensive list of affiliated hospitals. The options of places and methods to structure rotations were excellent. As explained by the student ambassadors, you can select a rotation track, an anchor rotation, or an out-of-state rotation. The first two put you into a lottery, which can be hit or miss depending on luck of the draw. It sucks that it’s not based more on grades, but I can’t fault PCOM on this because this is how it’s done everywhere else as well. Rotation tracks can put you all over the state of Georgia. If you’re more than 45 minutes away, PCOM provides housing. Anchor rotations are exactly what they sound like. You spend your entire third year at that location. Bonus for me is that there’s one at a large medical center practically in the backyard of my hometown. The third option, out-of-state rotation, opts one out of the lottery. The bonus for me here is that there’s an affiliate at the hospital system where I currently work. I’m sold.

    Other: This is absolutely my top pick for DO schools and my number two overall.

    Update: Withdrew on 12/14. PCOM couldn\\\'t beat the price and opportunities at UAB.

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    Lincoln Memorial University (Pre-Interview Withdrawal 10/7)

    With a strong focus on rural medicine and primary care, I didn\\\'t feel like LMU was a good fit for me and my career aspirations to be involved in clinical care and research. I withdrew my application after receiving an invitation to interview.

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    William Carey University (Pre-Interview Withdrawal 10/3)

    I have nothing against the school. However, attending an unaccredited school was too much of a risk when I had acceptances to accredited schools. It was also too far from home. It was a shame since I\\\'ve only heard good things about this school

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    VCOM-Carolinas (Interviewed 9/27; Accepted 9/29)

    Interview Day: This was a much smaller interview group than Bradenton, with only 7-8 applicants. Interviews were three one-on-one interviews. They were all very friendly and laid back. It was absolutely a low-stress environment. There were no strange questions at all. They asked about the details of my applications, why was I attracted to DO, and why did I apply to VCOM? These were, by far, my most stress-free interviews. Lots of good information was provided in the hour long presentation about the school. The tour was adequate, though I was totally disoriented. Lunch was great. The best part was that the response time to hear back about my application was ridiculously fast. I’m unclear if there is a food/drink policy. A dress code is imposed, but it’s much less militant than LECOM (no t-shirts?). Mandatory attendance (80% I think). Taped lectures. Overall, I left with a really great impression of the school.

    Travel/Accommodations: I drove from my parents’ residence in northwest Georgia to Spartanburg, SC. Once I got past the I-285/I-85 bypass, the drive was quiet and easy. Gas prices along the interstate floored me ($2.99/gallon?!?!?!). I stayed at the Marriott that’s only a mile or three from VCOM-CC. It was pricey (~$110), but I wanted to stay close to the school. If you’re a light sleeper like me, you might be in for a rough night because there are train tracks that cross very near by that are VERY active at night. I was woken up several times during the night and early morning to the sound of train whistles. But, let me emphasize that I am a very light sleeper. Stay out of the hotel restaurant; it’s way overpriced for mediocre food.

    Facilities: Brand-spanking-new! I’m a huge technology nerd, so I was in absolute heaven. There is a huge integration of technology into the curriculum. The building is great. Security looks really tight without being borderline prison style. The anatomy lab was just spectacular. As someone with chemical sensitivities, I fell in love with the self-venting dissection tables. Big screen TVs everywhere. The standardized patient suit was awesome. No cafeteria, but there was a lunch area and Woffords café is really close. No gym, but Wofford’s is really close.

    Students: These guys were INCREDIBLY welcoming. Everyone we went, students offered words of encouragement or answered questions. One or two went out of their way to talk to guy during their down time despite it being an exam day. Our tour guides and lunch hosts were very friendly, forthcoming, and answered anything we asked without hesitation. I really can’t emphasize how nice and welcoming these guys made our interview day.

    Curriculum: The curriculum seems nice and varied. Though, the students commented on the (unwanted) fluidity in the curriculum. Lots of cadavers for gross. Student-led dissections. Lectures were mostly 8am-3pm. All lectures are taped, but attendance is mandatory. I’ve heard rumors of group projects and “busy work”, which are body big thumbs downs for me. There were a few areas I didn’t like, but nothing was an absolute deal breaker. The COMLEX pass rate was 92%, which isn’t spectacular but isn’t troublesome either. It seemed like they screen for the ability to take the COMLEX, which I like. They said 95+% of their students matched into their first choice residency. The last block is dedicated to board prep. I’m unsure if a formal course is offered by external sources. I’m unsure how much time, if any, is given off for dedicated board prep.

    Cost: Middle of the road; not great but not horrible. They did, however, pass out a huge sheet of scholarships. However, it seems most are regional or dedicated to those intending to practice in rural communities.

    Location: The neighborhood is a little polarized. One second you’re in some unsavory neighborhoods, the next you’re passing nice hotels. It’s odd, but indicates a neighborhood in the middle of transition. Regardless, the campus is locked down (fences, some fencing with barbed wire, and secure access to the building). Most students live 5-15 minutes from campus but not in the immediate area. It’s only ~3-3.5 h from home.

    Clinical Rotations: This was a HUGE selling point for me. My first interviewer ended up being the guy in charge of setting up clinical rotations. I asked him some of the same questions I asked LECOM, only this time my questions were actually answered. Spartanburg Regional seems like a great hospital, but it can only hold about 1/3rd of the class. He mentioned several other sites currently in the works. The big focus was finding BIG HOSPITALS where students could complete all of their core rotations at. The only downside was the amount of control the school has during fourth year, insisting that two elective rotations must be at AOA approved medical schools. I’m not too hot on this since the DO residency slots in the south are few and far in between and limited mostly to family medicine. I’m also thinking I don’t know the complete story behind this, so I’m holding my judgment for now. I was impressed.

    Other: I really liked this place. Despite the huge emphasis on primary care, I think I could do well in this school.

    Update: Withdrew 12/14; VCOM-CC couldn\\\'t beat the price and opportunities at UAB.

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    LECOM-Bradenton (Interviewed 9/23, Accepted 10/2)


    Interview Day: Larger interview group (~24ish applicants). I felt like the one-on-one interviews were way too short. Mine lasted all of fifteen minutes. The interviewer was nice, and it was mostly conversational. There were no left-field type of questions. It was all fairly standard: Tell me about yourself. Why DO? Why LECOM? Why PBL? What can you bring to PBL? What will you get out of PBL? What areas of medicine are you interested in? It felt more like an audition for PBL than an interview. The group interview was low-stress, though somewhat odd. No difficult questions, but the questions bounced around from health care to time management strategies to talking about tech devices recently purchased. Sitting in on a PBL session was interesting. I was bored for the first half hour, as the group was finishing up a case. It felt really slow and painful. However, once a new case was started during the second half hour, it picked up pace. The process of the differential diagnosis got even the quiet, reserved people talking. Lunch was unimpressive cafeteria food. I thought the dress code was overkill. Professionalism comes from attitude, not dressing in business attire. Mandatory attendance, but it’s not much of an issue with so few classes. Also, the choice between the committee reviewing your application now or after Dec 14th, was odd. They claimed there would be no discrimination on the basis of choice, but I still find that hard to believe. It seemed like a hidden test. Are you sold on the school when you leave or are you lukewarm and uncommitted? I didn’t like the vibe I got from it.

    Travel/Accommodations: I drove from my parents’ residence in northwest Georgia down to Bradenton… which probably wasn’t the best idea. It was an incredibly long drive, though easy interstate and we ran into some severe weather on the tail end. I stayed at the Wingate. The hotel wasn’t anything special. It was definitely one of the crappier Wingate’s I’ve stayed at. But, on the plus side it was cheap, had free breakfast, and was incredibly close to the school. There’s essentially no traffic in the morning despite a school being in route.

    Facilities: The facilities were immaculate, but I assume that comes from the no food or drink policy. The architecture is gorgeous. The library takes complete advantage of the natural lighting. Adequate technology, but poo-pooing electronic textbooks rubbed me the wrong way. We didn’t get the see the gross lab as there was a class present, but I’m under the impression that there’s a large student-to-body ratio. Body’s are prosected, which I personally like. Building security was tough (maybe a little too gung-ho, actually). No in-house gym, but there was a cafeteria. Parking seemed cramped but adequate. As opposed to most people, I love the fact that the school is contained within a single building.

    Students: Our tour guides were two MSII students. They were forthcoming, but there’s only so much information you can get from new MSII students. The students in my PBL session were incredibly nice. Everyone else just basically ignored us. Not the most welcoming bunch, but maybe it was a test week. Also, watching students cart around books in suitcases was odd and seemed really antiquated. I don’t get how electronic texts aren’t implemented here.

    Curriculum: I liked PBL a lot. It seemed like a lot of fun. It’s kind of like the old “dangling a carrot in front of the horse” trick. It gets you into the required readings while still providing a medical context. You can see the WHY in “why do we have to know this?” Anatomy was only 10-weeks, which seems a little cramped. Cadavers are prosected, but students have the opportunity to dissect (for cash) in the summer before year two. Student-to-body ratio seemed a bit high. However, board scores don’t lie, so this system apparently works. 98-100% COMLEX pass rate. I’m unsure if a formal prep course is offered for the boards. I’m unsure how much, if any, time off students get for boards study.

    Cost: CHEAP. What else can you say?

    Location: Can you really poo-poo spending at least two years on the beach? My only complaint was that it was very, very far away from home. 10+ h on the interstate was a little much.

    Clinical Rotations: No one wanted to talk about clinicals. This is a big, glaring red flag for me. I was actually told by an interviewer that I shouldn’t worry about that right now. Huge disappointment there.

    Other: The interview didn’t completely rule out LECOM-Bradenton like I’d originally anticipated. I was impressed by the school. However, the biggest deal breakers were the lack of information about clinical rotations and the distance from home. Also, paying $30k to teach myself seems odd. While I think I could handle PBL, I think I am more comfortable with a traditional lecture based curriculum. I will likely be withdrawing my acceptance here.

    Update: As of 10/27, I\\\'ve officially withdrawn my seat from the C/O 2016. The fit just wasn\\\'t there. The location, while gorgeous, was too far from home. I didn\\\'t like the militant atmosphere and the eschewing of all things technology related. I disliked the complete lack of information regarding clinical rotations. I didn\\\'t like how anatomy was set-up, way too much information in too short of a time frame. It just wasn\\\'t for me.

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    University of South Carolina and Medical University of South Carolina (Pre-Secondary Withdrawals on 7/27)

    Though these two universities have decent OOS acceptance rates (as per the MSAR), the secondary application explicitly states that OOS applicants need significant in-state ties. Since I had no in-state ties, my MCAT was mediocre, and the secondary fees were on the high side, I decided to skip these applications. I don\\\'t regret this decision. To those applying next year, on either the USC or MUSC application, it also says that OOS applications won\\\'t be reviewed until November/December (at earliest)... so keep that in mind when deciding on whether to apply to these schools. If I had to do this over again, I would skip applying to the SC schools.

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    Mercer University (Pre-Secondary Withdrawal on 7/29)

    I was mistakenly screened into the Mercer University secondary application. This was because I mistakenly applied under Georgia state residency on my AMCAS because I wasn\\\'t sure whether a post-doc was considered under an educational position or not. Short answer, in Georgia and Alabama, it is not. So I had to quickly (!!) switch my residency to Alabama. Either way, for this reason, I wasn\\\'t eligible to submit the Mercer secondary despite being screened in. Oh well.

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    COSTS


    Kaplan Online MCAP Prep Course: $2000
    Exam Krackers MCAT Prep Books: $100
    MCAT Administration: $ 240
    MCAT Test Delay: $70
    Transcripts for AACOMAS: $ 30.88
    Transcripts for AMCAS: $ 30.44
    AMCAS Primary Applications: $ 622
    AACOMAS Primary Applications: $ 303
    Interfolio Subscription: $ 40
    Interfolio Deliveries: $ 12
    MGC Secondary Application Fee $0
    Baylor Secondary Application Fee $100
    University of Louisville Secondary Application Fee $75
    LECOM-Bradenton Secondary Application Fee $50
    LMU-DCOM Secondary Application Fee $50
    VCOM-Carolinas Secondary Application Fee $85
    Interfolio Delivery to LMU $6
    Interfolio Delivery to VCOM $6
    University of Alabama Secondary Application Fee $75
    Interfolio Delivery to LECOM $6
    University of South Alabama Secondary Application fee $75
    Suit $217
    Suit Tailoring/Alterations $50
    Interfolio Delivery to PCOM $6
    Interfolio Delivery to WCU-COM $6
    PCOM-Georgia Secondary Application Fee $50
    WCU-COM Secondary Application Fee $50
    LECOM Interview: (Hotel $159 x 2 nights = $318; Gas ~1000 miles / ~30 mi/gallon x $3.50/gallon = $116.66) $434.66
    VCOM-CC Interview: (Hotel + Food $148.74; Gas ~300 miles / 25 mi/gallon x $3.30/gallon = $39.60) $188.34
    PCOM Interview: (Gas ~100 miles / 25 mi/gallon x $3.30/gallon = $13.20
    University of Tennessee Secondary Application Fee $0
    Dry Cleaning Bills $100
    MCG Interview: (Gas $77 + Hotel $50 + Food $20) $147

    TOTAL: $5,238.52

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    HOTELS


    LECOM-Bradenton
    Wingate Hotel $159/night
    Free breakfast buffet, free wifi, clean hotel, within a 5-10 minute drive to LECOM

    VCOM-Carolinas
    Marriott Hotel $109/night
    Clean hotel, 5 min drive from VCOM campus, is also close to the train tracks (loud at night!)

    Medical College of Georgia
    EconoLodge $50/night
    Cheap, continental breakfast, free wifi, right across the street from MCG, can walk to the Kelly administration building (where interview starts), rooms have mini \'fridge and microwave

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    =========================================================================================

    Applied, Rejected

    Wake Forest University
    East Tennessee State University
    Vanderbilt University
    University of North Carolina
    University of Kentucky

    Applied, Withdrew

    Medical University of South Carolina
    University of South Carolina
    Mercer University

    Application Complete, Rejected

    University of Louisville
    Emory University
    University of South Alabama
    Baylor College

    Invited for Interview, Withdrew

    Lincoln Memorial University
    University of Tennessee

    Accepted

    Lake Erie College - Bradenton
    University of Alabama
    Edward Via Virginia College
    Medical College of Georgia
    Philadelphia College - Atlanta

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