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MD Applicants

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  • IsmetKismet

  • Application cycles: 07/31/2011
  • Demographics: Female, 34
  • Home state: Pennsylvania
  • Last Active: 11/30/2017
  • Brief Profile: Final decision: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. HAIL TO PITT!

    Took Kaplan class from January-March 2011
    AAMC and Kaplan exam average: 33
    Actual MCAT on 5/20/11: 32O (12/10/10)

    Submitted: 8/1/2011
    Verified: 9/2/2011

    Committee Letter + 5 LORs sent to all schools
    2 science faculty, 1 research mentor, 1 music prof, 1 "boss"/director of a program I was involved in

    1. Publications
    Description: Listed the citations for 2 abstracts and where they were submitted
    2. Clinical Shadowing
    Time: 16 hours over 4 specialties
    Description: Listed the specialties shadowed, number of hours, dates, and contact info for each
    3. Neuroscience Research
    Time: 12 hours/week during the semester, 35 hours/week during the summer
    Description: Described responsibilities in lab
    4. Emergency Department Volunteer *Most Meaningful Experience*
    Time: 3-4 hours/week for 1 semester + 1 summer
    Description: Described volunteering and talked about an interaction with a patient that made it one of my most meaningful experiences and reconfirmed my desire to go into medicine.
    5. Neurology Department Volunteer
    Time: 4 hours/week for 1 semester
    Description: described responsibilities and what I learned from interacting with patients, nurses, and doctors
    6. School Ambassador for Study Abroad Program
    Time: over 1 year, variable hours
    Description: described responsibilities and leadership
    7. Study Abroad Program
    Time: 2 months
    Description: described the program and how it affected me
    8. Medical History Society Member
    Time: 2+ years, variable hours
    Description: described what the society does
    9. Poster Fairs
    Description: listed the poster fairs I have participated in, both at NIH and my home institution
    10. Research Summer Internship
    Time: 40 hours/week for 2 months
    Description: described the research I did
    11. Conferences Attended
    Description: listed the names, dates, and locations of the pre-medical conferences I attended with my pre-medical organization
    12. Leadership � Pre-med Organization *Most Meaningful Experience*
    Time: 3+ years, variable hours
    Description: described some of the functions and activities of the organization as well as my leadership positions over the last 3 years and some of my responsibilities
    13. Academic Honors and Awards
    Description: Listed scholarships, dean�s list, honor societies
    14. Artistic Endeavors *Most Meaningful Experience*
    Time: 13 years, variable hours
    Description: described my involvement in my university�s orchestra as well as how I have been very heavily involved in music since elementary school

    Personal Statement
    Not going to reproduce it here, but my overarching theme was how drug abuse has affected my life (cousin died from drug overdose at age 17, other cousin still does/deals drugs, first shadowing experience in high school included interacting with a heroin addict) and lead to my interest in neuroscience and medicine.
  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 07/31/2011

    • Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 513
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 127, C/P 129, CARS 127  
    • Overall GPA: 3.82
    • Science GPA: 3.81

    Summary of Application Experience

    SR: Secondary Received
    SS: Secondary Submitted
    C: Marked complete
    II: Interview Invite
    IA: Interview Attended
    WL: Wait listed/Alternate listed
    A: Accepted
    W: Withdrew

    Here are my school reviews in order of interview attendance:

    1. Temple University
    INTERVIEW: This was my first interview, so I had no idea what to expect and I thought it went horribly! My student interview went really well, but my faculty interviewer seemed uninterested and just asked me question after question with no conversation. The med students I talked to seemed really fun and easy to talk to. They really stressed the cooperative nature of the school. I love the fact that they have block scheduling and I like the curriculum in general. There are also so many opportunities for rotations around Philly and across the state as well. And you can't beat having two hospitals right across the street! The anatomy lab is brand new and has a state-of-the-art air filtration system, so it doesn�t smell at all! The figures from the anatomy textbook as well as course notes for anatomy are all on big screen computers at each station so you don't have to be dealing with books while in the lab. I know anatomy is only a few weeks out of the 4 years, but this seems like a nice little plus. The simulation lab is amazing as well. This is where all the Doctoring practice takes place, and the MS-2s who gave the tour spoke really highly of their experiences there.

    DECISION: Accepted, offered $10k/year Dean�s scholarship, but will not be attending. I can�t see myself moving to Philly over staying in Pittsburgh.

    2. University of Pittsburgh
    I attended Pitt for undergrad (just graduated) and through my pre-med organization, I was heavily involved with the med school and med students. Pitt has been my top choice for 4 years, and I am so excited to stay here for 4+ more!

    INTERVIEW: My student interview was great! She also went to Pitt for undergrad, although I had never met her before. My faculty interview was intense � I was put with a researcher in the same field as my lab is in, and she was asking me detailed questions about our results and findings at a time when we hadn�t done much analysis on our data. She then asked me a lot of questions about the statistics of our results, which we obviously didn�t know yet, so I responded a lot with �I�m not sure, but....� I thought that interview completely killed my shot at Pitt since they are so research-heavy and my interviewer probably thought I didn�t know anything about research. The rest of the interview day confirmed my love of Pitt!

    SECOND LOOK: Amazing. I met a lot of great people and I am so excited to start in the fall!! The only �problem� I foresee is that there are so many student groups that I want to be a part of and I will definitely not have enough time for all of them :( Is it August yet????

    DECISION: Accepted, offered small need-based scholarship, will be attending!!!

    3. West Virginia University
    INTERVIEW: My first and only two-on-one interview, and it was surprisingly really good!! My interviewers were very nice and having two people allowed it to be much more of a conversation rather than just question/answer. I wish all my interviews went like this! One thing that I really didn�t like about WVU is their lack of international opportunities. They do have a global health program, but I think only 2 people are accepted to that every year. One of my interviewers asked me �do you think you�d be able to control your wanderlust for the next 4 years?� Answer to that is absolutely not. They�re also not research-oriented at all, one student said about 8-10 students in every class do research.

    DECISION: Waitlist.
    I don�t think I�d be a good fit here anyway. I want to do something in global health/public health, and my other schools have those options.

    4. University of Michigan
    INTERVIEW: I fell in love with Michigan!! All of the students were really happy and enthusiastic, and you could tell it was genuine (not just "put on" for interview day). The facilities are amazing and the opportunities are endless. The administration really goes the extra mile to make sure students' voices are heard, and they try to accommodate the wants and needs of the students (i.e. working with students to create a unique dual degree program). The interviews (3, 30 minutes each) were very low stress and enjoyable. I interviewed with a 4th year medical student, an alum of the school, and a family medicine physician. I was impressed with how prepared they were. All 3 interviews were open file, and they had read everything and took detailed notes before the interview. Michigan was just�amazing!! *swoon*

    DECISION: Waitlist � Lower tier.
    I left with a great impression. I was really crushed when I was put on waitlist, and then on the lowest tier of the waitlist, especially because no one has come off the waitlist in the last 3 cycles. I�m kicking myself for not applying earlier. A lesson to all procrastinators out there� :(

    5. University of Cincinnati
    INTERVIEW: I was invited to the 2-day �Diversity Day� interview � day 1 consisted of a bunch of talks and panels from minority students, day 2 was the actual, regular interview day. I was really impressed with the building � very modern and refreshing, although I got lost several times. I don�t remember much about the school other than not really liking the curriculum setup and realizing just how expensive it is for OOS (although I would be able to get IS tuition after first year). I also remember that all of the students on the panel (6 or 7 students encompassing all 4 years) seemed really stressed and depressed. We asked them about extracurricular activities available, and they all said that we wouldn�t have time for that because all our time would be spent studying. So that was a little unnerving. I�m pretty sure I did horribly in the MMI � I feel like I was able to make a coherent statement for each of them, but I just really prefer the 30 minute, one-on-one, get-to-know-you kind of interview.

    DECISION: Alternate list � Lower tier.
    I�m fine with never getting off this waitlist. I�d like to be involved in activities in med school and still have a good time, and that doesn�t seem easy to do here based on what I heard from several students.

    6. New York Medical College
    INTERVIEW: The NYMC campus is gorgeous!!! Much more green than I�m used to :). I only remember one of my interviewers, and I thought it went really well. I loved the naturally-lit anatomy lab on the top floor of the med school building and the student housing seemed really nice as well. We got their match list from last year, which was also pretty impressive. While I�d like to stay in an urban setting for med school, I could really see myself enjoying NYMC. They have affiliated hospitals in Manhattan, so at least I could possibly do rotations in the city!

    DECISION: Waitlist. Not too bummed.

    7. Virginia Commonwealth University
    INTERVIEW: VCU only does 1 interview, and mine was with a 4th year med student. I definitely thought it went well, although it was a little weird that there was only 1 interview. The tour was great � the new medical school building sounds like it�s going to be amazing and the campus reminds me of Pitt. Plus that Egyptian building is AWESOME! I know Richmond has its crime and safety issues, but I really enjoyed the campus and what I saw of the city. I could definitely see myself here.

    DECISION: Waitlist.
    Kinda bummed, I really liked VCU. Was invited to Second Look but couldn�t go.

    8. Pennsylvania State University

    INTERVIEW: We ate lunch with M3s and M4s, and I really liked everything they had to say about the school. I thought I could definitely fit in with them. The tour was on the long side and had some pointless parts (examining the view out of different windows of the school/hospital) but very informative. The interviews (2, 45 minutes each) didn�t go so well. I actually thought my first interview went really well until the end, when he says, �I bet you didn�t identify yourself as a minority before you decided to apply to medical school.� Um, what?! I am a first-generation American; my parents immigrated to the US before I was born and worked extremely hard to provide for my siblings and myself. I did not identify myself as disadvantaged, because I admit I am in no way disadvantaged even though I come from a rural/medically underserved area. I did mark that I am Hispanic on my AMCAS because that is who I am and where I came from. I�m not one of the URM Hispanic ethnicities, but as I grew up in a town that is 95% White Caucasian, yes I have always felt like a minority. I politely explained to him that being Hispanic does not equal being disadvantaged. Just because I grew up in a good neighborhood and got a good education thanks completely to my parents does not make me Caucasian/majority. He seemed to accept that response, and maybe it was just an interview tactic to see how I would react, but I still felt a little insulted that he thought I was gaming the URM system. My second interviewer got caught up with a patient and was 45 minutes late to my 45 minute interview. He rushed in and I got a 20-ish minute interview and missed the presentation by the admissions office on the school. He had not read anything in my file before the interview, so much of that 20 minutes was him half reading/half listening to me talk. He asked me some random questions about why I didn�t participate in sports and we talked about my dog before his secretary whisked me away to the admissions office. Somehow I still got accepted even with these horrible interviews!

    SECOND LOOK: Second look left me unimpressed. I went in with an open mind, thinking I could definitely see myself attending PSU, but talking to the students changed my mind. An M1 said their class is about 50% gunners who all try for Honors or High Pass, and that�s not an environment I want to go into. There was also a huge emphasis on drinking and going out. I�m definitely all for going out to celebrate and having a good time, but this was a bit much. Most of the hour-long lunch consisted of the M1s telling us of their drinking adventures and their $200 post-exam bar tabs. A bunch of prospective students from my lunch group then left with the M1s for pre-pregame happy hour. I avoided that emphasis on drinking culture by not going to Penn State for undergrad, and I thought the med school would be different.

    DECISION: Accepted, but will not be attending. I don�t want to return to a rural setting just yet and I think the opportunities at Pitt outweigh those at Penn State.

    Application Complete, Rejected

    Cornell University

    Invited for Interview, Withdrew

    Jefferson Medical College
    Drexel University

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted

    University of Cincinnati
    New York Medical College
    Virginia Commonwealth University
    West Virginia University
    University of Michigan

    Accepted off Waitlist

    University of Pittsburgh


    Temple University
    Pennsylvania State University

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