• Primary Application Submitted on 06/05/2010 at 7:07 PM
• MCAT Test Date 06/17/2010 at 8:00 AM | Scores Received by Medical Schools on 07/20/2010
• 5 Letters of Recommendation + Committee Letter : 3 Science Professors - 1 knew me extremely well (in the context of a person, student, researcher, and TA), 1 very well (in the context of a person, student, and researcher), and 1 also very well (in the context of a student, a TA, and somewhat in the context of a person) : 1 Doctor & Volunteer Coordinator – the volunteer coordinator was extremely well aware of my skills, leadership, and initiative as a volunteer, care provider, and clinical researcher. The doctor was the PI for the research study and was very well aware of my writing, oral presentation, and analytical/critical skills : 1 Adjunct Faculty – this individual knew me most as a person/student, especially with regard to how I grew as a chemistry major throughout my years at NYU. : Outside of my committee interview (which took place a year prior to my application cycle), I was not very close with the members of the Preprofessional Office. : Because I was not “Pre-Med” until after my graduation, I submitted many Faculty Comment Forms in bulk during my first lag year—nearly 25. Of the 25, I would say that over 15-18 of these individuals would have definitely remembered me as a person and/or strictly as a student—some of them knew me very well. The other 7-10 might have not remembered me as well. Whether or not each of these individuals actually filled out the form on my behalf, I do not know. : Overall, I felt as if I had very strong letters of recommendation.
• Secondary Applications : Although my content obviously varied from school to school, I spoke in depth about my past and trials as a musician in many of my essays. I also, when applicable, discussed my experiences with writing graduate-level research proposals for some of my upper level courses. Several other essays also required me to mention my specific career interests within medicine, for which I described my desire to pursue a career specifically within academic medicine. ===========================================================
1. NYU Global Medical Brigades As a member of and a fundraising leader for New York University\'s Global Medical Brigades, I organized and participated in fundraisers as a means of acquiring medications for the organization\'s week-long trip to villages near Tegucigalpa, Honduras between 03/15 and 03/21. In addition to my role as a fundraising leader, I helped recruit health care professionals for the trip and also served on a small student-run subcommittee which hosted a live lecture and Q&A session given by Dr. Patch Adams. Our responsibilities included publicizing the event, obtaining sponsors, and securing/decorating the venue. During the week in Honduras, I worked alongside a group of volunteers and medical professionals to provide health care to over 2,300 patients. Although only a week long, the experience was remarkable--I was able to conduct patient interviews, assist in the triage process, and familiarize myself with a variety of prescription medications by working in our pharmacy and packing bags of medications each night. Furthermore, I was able to shadow physicians and dentists and spend time with the local villagers.
2. Patient Advocate and Hospital Volunteer at Bellevue Hospital Between 06/09-08/09, I participated in Project Healthcare, a competitive, hands-on medical shadowing and volunteer program. Through PHC, I experienced several sectors of the hospital\'s emergency department including: Adult and Pediatric Emergency Services, ICU/Trauma, Psychiatric Emergency Services, the Operating Room, the Cardiac Catheterization Lab, and the Recovery Room. As a patient advocate, I worked closely with patients to establish relationships and help them feel at ease while also facilitating communication between the patient and healthcare-provider. I assisted the medical staff with patient transports, EKGs, stretcher preparations, and various ED research projects/presentations. In addition, I was able to witness an autopsy and participate in a hospital-wide health fair in which I helped inform the public on household poison awareness and prevention. I was also personally recognized for my role in leading the analysis and presentation of ED patient satisfaction data. Between 09/09 and 04/10, I participated in Project PAVERs, a program similar to Project Healthcare that involved volunteering in the Adult ED and collecting data from patients for ED research projects.
3. Harold Seidenstein Award for special ability in chemistry.
4. Summa Cum Laude with Highest Departmental Honors
5. Graduate Level Biochemistry I Teaching Adjunct During the Fall 2008 semester, recitations generally consisted of Q&A sessions with the entire class of about 200 students. In addition to leading recitations, I spent my time coordinating with the other two TAs, attending the class lectures, designing practice questions and quizzes, holding office hours, and grading quizzes and exams. During the Fall 2009 semester, weekly recitations consisted of a lecture (2-3 hrs/wk) in which I reviewed content from the previous 2-3 class lectures. In addition to attending the class lectures, I designed between 30-60 PowerPoint slides per week, each containing newly formulated open-ended questions and extensive review content accompanied by original, high-quality graphics. I also created my own biweekly handouts (3-10 pgs) containing additional information regarding certain concepts, again supplemented with originally-designed diagrams and other visuals. I supplied students with online animations and held weekly office hours and additional review sessions prior to exams. Furthermore, I created new weekly quizzes and exam questions and administered/graded quizzes and exams as well.
6. Phi Beta Kappa
7. Phi Lambda Upsilon
8. Edward J. McNelis Award for excellence in organic chemistry.
9. George Granger Brown Scholarship for excellence and promise in chemistry and physics.
10. American Chemical Society\'s POLYED Award for outstanding performance in organic chemistry.
11. Laboratory Research My research experience in a protein biochemistry lab focused on elucidating the mechanisms of novel antimicrobial peptides that are less prone to the effects of drug resistance-conferring mutations. The peptides I primarily dealt with were indolicidin, linear (RW)4, and its dendrimer analog, (RW)4D. My first project involved analyzing peptide/Holliday Junction complexes via polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Such binding studies were an effort to determine whether or not these peptides (specifically (RW)4D) bound to tetrameric DNA junctions near their effective killing concentrations, thereby potentially interfering with genetic recombination events. In my second project, I studied peptide-membrane interactions using techniques such as liposome preparation, extrusion and freeze-drying (in order to prepare large unilamellar vesicles), and size-exclusion chromatography. I performed these studies in order to assess the effects of (RW4)D on a model bacterial plasma membrane. In addition to my labwork, I was presented with a competitive research grant and attended numerous department seminars given by scientists from across the nation.
12. Organic Chemistry I Teaching Assistant As a TA, I reviewed the course material with a class of 25 students during weekly recitation sessions. Furthermore, I designed weekly worksheets containing additional practice material, created and administered weekly quizzes, proctored and graded exams, and led additional problem sessions which were open to students from all sections.
13. Assistant Scientist - Summer Internship
As an assistant scientist in a quality-control laboratory, I performed routine and non-routine evaluations of various drug samples and substances (including EPO, OKT3, and Leustatin) using a variety of laboratory techniques including HPLC, light-scattering, and the determination of specific rotation. I also participated in writing, reviewing, and modifying the company\'s Standard Operating Procedures, laboratory documents, and reports. The experience was a great way for me to see and partake in an industrial application of my recent studies of organic chemistry. Furthermore, I was able to obtain insight into the role and functioning of a quality-control laboratory.
14. Asian American Christian Fellowship
Having been exposed to the beliefs and values of Hinduism for most of my life, I was not familiar with the teachings of other religions. After reading excerpts from the Bible for one of my classes during the Fall 2006 semester, I became eager to learn more about Christianity and other religions as well. My experiences as a member of AACF provided me with an opportunity to speak with, listen to, and establish relationships with individuals who possessed a variety of beliefs and spiritual experiences. I met many wonderful people and learned more about what Christianity, and more generally, what faith entails. The club\'s weekly meetings were very conducive to my growing interest in learning about religion and also served as a friendly respite from my schoolwork.
15. Summer Volunteer Researcher
As my first experience in a laboratory setting, I assisted lab employees with their research on tumor formation in the epidermis of hairless mice (specifically with respect to the preventative effects of topical applications of caffeine). I learned how to perform techniques such as DNA isolation, Slot Blots, and spectroscopic protein concentration analysis via the generation of standard curves. The experience also provided me with exposure to laboratory work with animals.
// Applications //
Application Cycle One: 06/04/2010
Undergraduate college: New York University
Total MCAT SCORE: 522
MCAT Section Scores:
Overall GPA: 3.98
Science GPA: 4.00
Summary of Application Experience
Summary of Abbreviations:
PS = Primary Submitted (on 06/05 unless indicated otherwise – I added two schools on 09/02/2010) SR = Secondary Received SS = Secondary Submitted C = Application Deemed “Complete” OH = On Hold R = Rejection (Pre-Interview) PIR = Post-Interview Rejection II = Interview Invite IA = Interview Attended WL = Waitlisted C* = Continued WD = Withdrew A = Accepted
1. New Jersey Medical School (Newark, NJ)
I had two interviews at NJMS—first with a clinician educator and later with a current medical student. Both interviews were very informal and actually very enjoyable. My first interviewer was very conversational, and rather than having me ask him about the programs at the school, he basically laid it all out for me. We actually talked quite a bit about music, and his one and only question to me was, “So why medicine?”
My second interviewer was also a very polite, and provided a very relaxed setting—it was just as if I were talking to a friend.
[More to come...]
2. Columbia University College of P&S (New York, NY)
[More to come...] ======================================================================================
Things I Would Have Changed:
Looking back on my cycle, there are definitely a number of things I would’ve done differently, mainly in the context of my secondary applications. For one, it’s obvious that I applied to way too many schools. I was very unfamiliar with the entire process (until I basically had to go through it myself), but I really think having so many schools on the list distracted me from completing and prioritizing my secondary applications. As you’ll see, some secondary applications were hardly submitted within the two week window (I’m a very, very slow writer when it comes to these essays). In retrospect, part of me thinks I could have sacrificed a bit of content for an earlier submission. Which of these factors is relatively more influential, however, I do not know. [More to come...]