03/26/11: Took MCAT 04/26/11: Received MCAT scores 06/15/11: Approved for FAP (Fee Assistance Program); Transcript 1 received 06/20/11: Transcript 2 received 06/21/11: Transcript 3 received 06/23/11: 3.42 sGPA, 3.53 cGPA 06/29/11 (6:32 PM EST): Submitted AMCAS (I know I broke rule #1 of applying early, but I wanted to ensure I put forth an excellent/ memorable first impression) 07/16/11: Read \"A Stolen Life\" by Jaycee Lee Dugard 07/25/11: Application verified 07/29/11: Finished \"Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother\" by Amy Chua 08/11/11: 3.44 sGPA, 3.54 cGPA 08/14/11: Finished \"Blink\" by Malcom Gladwell 08/25/11: Completed \"The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks\" by Rebecca Skloot 08/29/11: Finished \"Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything\" by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner 08/30/11-09/05/11- Vacation 10/12/11- Finished \"Outliers: The Story of Success\" by Malcolm Gladwell 10/27/11- Read four books today after finding out about UM waitlist 11/2/11- 3.46 sGPA, 3.55 cGPA 11/3/11: Reading the following books: \"Emperor of All Maladies\" by Siddhartha Mukherjee; \"The Code Book\" by Simon Singh; and \"Cleopatra\" by Stacy Schiff 12/15/11- 3.47 sGPA, 3.55 cGPA 1/3/11- Finished \"The Affair: A Reacher Novel\" by Lee Child 1/4/11- Finished \"True Believer\" by Nicholas Sparks [I normally don\'t comment on books I am reading, but all I can say about this author is, \"Never again!\" I have been reminded why I dislike fictional novels: 1. The plots are contrived and oh so predictable; 2. The characters are overbearing and utterly unbelievable (how many insecurities can one man or woman have?), and 3. The convoluted story lines are stretched as thin as possible, without regard to the reader\'s common sense, judgement, or time. /End of rant] 01/22/2012: \"Finished\" Before I Go to Sleep by SJ Watson. I say finished in quotation marks because I read the first 105 pages, and the last 60. The novel, though suspenseful, was also very repetitive because every morning this woman would wake up and not have any memory of herself (think of \"50 First Dates\" but much darker) and now that I know the ending, it seems right out of a soap opera! Interesting read, though I wouldn\'t say I highly recommend it. 03/29/12: Watched \"Hunger Games\" 03/30/12-03/31/12: Finished reading \"Catching Fire\" and \"Mockingjay;\" also read last two chapters of \"Hunger Games\" 04/?/12- Finished reading \"Hunger Games;\" \"The Vow;\" \"Twilight\" 04/30/12- Read first 60 pages of \"Destiny of the Republic\" 05/12/12: Finished reading \"Not god but God\" by Reza Aslan 06/02/12: Finished reading \"Graceling\" by Kristin Cashore 06/03/12: Finished reading \"Fire\" by Kristin Cashore; not as good as the first book in the trilogy :( 06/04/12: Finished reading \"Matched\" by Allie Condie
1. Keep the personal statement \"simple and straightforward\" 2. Make sure PS talks about YOU, not your extracurriculars--we have an activities section for that 3. Labeling with the activities section is very important. If you have a job but it can also fall under leadership, pick leadership because sometimes, if someone isn\'t taking the time to read your application thoroughly, all they will see is you have little leadership or none, and your activities score goes down 4. This is personal advice: make sure your activities section doesn\'t look like a resume. If I was an Adcom, I would like to see how the activity was meaningful to you rather than every mundane thing you did while you were doing the job/activity 5. This should really be #1: Submit your app on June 1st. It doesn\'t matter if you think you will get a new activity, or your grades won\'t be finalized by then. The earlier you submit, the greater the chances of you getting in! 6. Make sure all your residency paperwork is lined up, including voter registration number, 1040, driver\'s license copy, and date domicile was established. 7. DO NOT ASSUME your application is complete even if you have turned in all the paperwork. Call the admissions staff courteously, and ask them if your application is complete because even if paperwork is missing, they will not let you know. It is your responsibility to call them!
How\'d I make this MDApplicants profile look so cool?
Design by: paul411 (more info on that page about how you can generate the code for your own MDApplicants profile)
// Applications //
Application Cycle One: 06/28/2011
Undergraduate college: LAC
Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
Total MCAT SCORE: 516
MCAT Section Scores:
Overall GPA: 3.55
Science GPA: 3.47
Summary of Application Experience
Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
Set-up: The interview is 30 minutes (it is strictly timed, so if you see your interviews staring at the clock, don\'t be alarmed or think you\'re doing a bad job), blind (they only have your picture and AMCAS ID), and conducted by volunteers who are either physicians in the community, or members of the FIU faculty and staff. After presentations and interviews, we were sitting around and talking to each other, the faculty, staff, and medial school students. I enjoyed this time thoroughly and frankly, the time just flew by in all the conversations (I enjoyed learning about everyone\'s life experiences).
Food provided: Lunch only (sandwiches and drinks)
Questions you absolutely HAVE to know: Why FIU? Why South Florida? and Why Medicine? These will be asked regardless of who your interviewers are.
Questions of interest: * Is attendance mandatory? No, unless there\'s a guest speaker * Is the curriculum available online? Yes, every class you take in your four years will be recorded, and can be accessed at any time (This is a huge plus for me because I learn best independently) * Are students protected against scut work (asked by MalibuPreMD)? Yes, there is a formal complaint system to ensure third and fourth year medical students have meaningful experiences * How do students feel about USMLE being after third year? It seems they don\'t think of this as a disadvantage, and like they will have extensive preparation. Also, because of the highly integrated curriculum, it\'s possible wouldn\'t be prepared till the end of third year anyway. (I am in two minds how I feel about this. While more prep time is desirable, I think not having scores till the end of third year can put some students at a disadvantage since scores unfortunately can limit specialties one would be competitive for when time comes to applying for residency in the fourth year). * Is there a ranking system? Yes. The top 10% each year are awarded at a ceremony. * Is the NeighborhoodHelp program overwhelming since you are directly responsible for a family? No, it\'s not overwhelming. The team includes a medical student, law student, and nursing student. (I wasn\'t aware of this, but healthcare is not provided for these families. These families have just volunteered their time to help medical students understand how health manifests itself outside of hospital and clinic settings). * Is research required? Yes, research is a requirement, but students can wait to do it till their fourth year. Research can be biomedical, community oriented, or any project you are interested in executing from conception to completion. * Does it really benefit you to start in the ER and primary care preceptorship in your first two months of medical school when you have no idea what\'s going on? Yes, because you typically pair up with a second year, who will share his/her knowledge, and eventually, it cements the concepts learned in the classroom, even if you learn about the actual disease or mechanics later on. The student did mention metabolic disorders are taught in the first course students take, Biochemistry, so they have a better understanding of what\'s going on during the preceptorship since lifestyle diseases are the most common ones doctors encounter. * Are Panther communities fairly insular? No, everybody knows everybody, and panther communities have largely been set up for mentorship purposes.
Set-up: The day begins with an introductory presentation (includes focus on curriculum, clinical facilities, mission trips, and financial aid) from Dean Weisman, and then a student who explains the many dual degree programs that are offered through UM. The interview will be scheduled at 10:15 AM, 11:15 AM, or 1:15 PM (you will have a folder telling you when your interview is and who your interviewer will be), and it is approximately 1 hour. Because it is an open file interview, you will be asked specific questions about your file and should be prepared to answer them thoroughly. However, the interview itself is not intense, and in fact, every attempt is made to make it conversational and stress-free.
Food provided: Breakfast (danishes, muffins, orange juice, and coffee), and lunch (Chinese fried rice and chicken, salad, and drinks)
Questions you absolutely HAVE to know: Why Miller? Why Medicine? And Tell me about yourself.
Questions of interest: * Is attendance mandatory? No. * Is the curriculum available online? Yes, every class you take in your four years will be recorded, and can be accessed at any time. * How do academic societies work? Each society has 12 faculty-physicians, and 12 each of 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year students. Students are put into academic societies at random, and meet with their society every MWF. * What typed of curriculum? Block with PBL sessions in between each block. The best part of the curriculum are the sub-internships, which allow 4th year students to play the same role as a first year intern during residency (excellent practice). * Is it necessary to know Spanish? No, there are translators available. However, if you want to, the school provides lessons every Tuesday for free as well as access to the Rosetta Stone software. * How does the lottery system work? You are randomly assigned a number. Whoever is first in selecting third year clerkships is last in selecting fourth year clerkships; the order is reversed to maintain fairness. The medical student did emphasize that in the end, though, it doesn\'t matter because students get to do what they want anyway.
Set-up: The interview day starts at 9 AM. You are given a folder with the name of your interviewers and a short biography. The day begins with a presentation from the Associate Dean of Education, Frazier Stevenson, about the vision and direction of USF since Dean Klasko came on board seven years ago, and \"Why USF?\" This is followed by a visit with a standardized patient, interacting with Harvey (2 of these in total)/Stan (9 in total) (be prepared to answer questions about cardio-pulmonary problems), tour of the USF facilities (hospital tour only during second look), an information session with 3rd and 4th year medical students, a lunch, two interviews (anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the disposition of your interviewer), and closing remarks from the Offce of Student Affairs and Financial Aid.
Food provided: Breakfast (orange juice,coffee, yogurt, muffins, granola bars, and fruits), and lunch (from Jason\'s Deli; includes sandwich, drink, cookie or fruit cup, and chips)
Questions you absolutely HAVE to know: Nothing in particular. * Highlights of curriculum? An acting internship during fourth year similar to Miami Miller, intraprofessional learning (collaboration with the physical therapy and pharmacy students) similar to FIU, sheer volume of standardized patient encounters (36,000!), fully integrated curriculum (systems-based) with breaks in between each block (I think each break is a week and highly valued by all the students as time to re-charge), scholarly concentration (requires a capstone; not mandatory to enroll; 180 hours of commitment), testing (every two weeks; first you take the test individually, and then take the most-missed questions together as a group; the group portion constitutes 5% of your grade and can only increase your grade; the individual portion is 95%), and selective track during fourth year to gain experience in the speciality you are interested in
Questions of interest: * Is the gathering at Jason\'s Deli the night before recommended? I would not recommend it if your sole purpose is to gain additional knowledge about the school since EVERYTHING you need to know will be discussed prior to your interview. However, if you want to calm your nerves down, then maybe the gathering is for you. I didn\'t find if particularly useful, but it was great to see the enthusiasm of the students and that they\'re even willing to spend two hours with us, despite their busy schedule, talking about \"Why USF?\" * Is attendance mandatory? No. * Is the curriculum available online? Yes, all sessions are video archived, including the powerpoint presentation. * Is research required? No. * Is having a car required? Yes, you absolutely have to because TGH is 20 minutes away, and that\'s one of the primary teaching facilities.
I have to give a special shout-out to their anatomy lab which was recently renovated. It was simply amazing and I would definitely try to get a sneak peak for all the upcoming interviewees!
Set-up: The day starts off with a presentation from the Dean of Admissions, and then the Financial Aid representative, who is also in charge of the Service Distinction Track. Next, we split into two groups of 7-8. The first group includes students who are interviewing at 10:00 AM or 10:30 AM. The second group participates in the CBL session at this time. I would definitely look up some common ailments presented in the ER before going to the CBL session because it was surprising how much other interviewees knew about cardiovascular diseases (myocardial infarction was the diagnosis for Case #10). After the interview and CBL session, all interviewees were divided into groups of 3-4. Each group had lunch and toured the campus with a medical student. At the end of the day, there is a 3-4 min. closing remark from the Financial Aid representative.
Questions you absolutely HAVE to know (three of these will be part of the structured portion of the interview): Why Iowa? Why medicine/ doctor? What would you do if you had a patient who was refusing a life-saving blood transfusion? How would you resolve healthcare problem? How do you work with difficult people?
Questions of interest: * Is attendance mandatory? No. * Is the curriculum available online? Yes, every lecture is recorded, but it seems that this system still has kinks that they are trying to work out * Is there a ranking system? Yes. All classes are graded with Honors, Near Honors, Pass, and Fail. * Is research required? No. * Are Living Learning Communities fairly insular? No, everybody knows everybody, and LLCs have largely been set up for mentorship purposes. * How do students feel about the curriculum not being integrated? The student host said the school was looking into making some changes in the curriculum. * How do students feel about the CBL (Case-Based Learning) sessions, which are once a week? It seems that everyone enjoys these, and that moderators are present to ensure that each person’s voice is heard.
Set-up: The day starts off with a Welcoem from Dean Hinkley, the Associate Dean of Admissions. Then, Dean Marckowitz and Dean Servoss give an overview of the program. This is following by two 30-minute interviews. The first interview is an informal, more traditional interview where the interviewer asks questions about your application. The second interview a bit more formal, and the interviewer is more interested in reflection-type questions (i.e. what did you learn from a difficulty in your life, what activity are you most proud of, etc.). After the interviews, the students head over with Agnes, the Admissions Coordinator, to the Simulation Center, then a tour of Lynn Cancer Center, lunch with medical students, and finally, a tour oft he college of medicine. The day ends with a presentation from Marissa Smith, the Director for Financial Aid, and Dean Hinkley, who discusses the time frame applicants will hear by. Regardless of the decision (accepted, rejected, or waitlisted), each applicant will receive a call from the Dean.
Food provided: Breakfast (coffee and donuts from Dunkin\' Donuts) and Lunch (sandwich, chips, drink)
Questions you absolutely HAVE to know: Nothing in particular. Just know your application well, and be able to readily describe/ reflect on your activities and experiences
Questions of interest: * Is attendance mandatory? No, unless it\'s PBL or Foundations of Medicine * What type of curriculum? Integrated throughout the four years (meaning clerkships are also integrated) * How many hours of lectures? 10 hours of testable material. Dean Rose actually takes each exam, and if he cannot take the exam and answer every question based on the lectures the exam is based on, the question is thrown out! Also, you are not tested on talks by guest speakers. * Is the curriculum available online? Yes, every class you take in your four years will be recorded, and can be accessed at any time * Will the class size be upped in the future years? No, it is 64 for the foreseeable future. * Is there a ranking system? The grading system for the first two years is pass/fail. However, the top 25% of each class are rewarded honors in that subject. * Is research required? No, and students are discouraged from pursuing any until at least the first semester is over because medical school requires adjustment. Also, there is plenty of time between first and second year to pursue meaningful research since the summer break is 10 weeks. * Is there a medical library? No, each student has their own space (desk and chair) in the College of Medicine building, and all materials are accessible via the main library * How does Anatomy work? Anatomy course runs till March of the following semester, and there are no tests, just quizzes. As for dissection, students are split up in groups of eight. Four students within a group dissect one week while the other group is looking at Osteology and Clinical Images. So in total, no group of four is in lab more than two sessions per month. * How does PBL work? PBL is three times a week, and one week typically correlates with one case. Some students really love it, but most agree that the experience depends on the group you are in and the involvement of the facilitator. * How do the learning communities work? Each learning community has an advisor, and this advisor is responsible for ensuring the student is staying on track with grades. Each week, students have lunch with their advisor. * Do you need a car? Theoretically, you don\'t need one for the first two years, except for preceptorship, at which point you can just get a ride since it\'s only once a week. However, looking at Boca, I think it\'s a necessity. * Do you get to select you preceptor? No, this selection is random. However, it doesn\'t seem set in stone since we met a student who had her preceptor changed due to transportation difficulties. * How does rotations for third and fourth years work? There are three hospitals in three regions around Boca: Central, North, and South. You are placed in a site at random. Over the course of the third year, you will have the opportunity to rotate through two regions.