Looking at MDApps profiles helped and encouraged me a lot before the application process, so I\'ll try to make this relatively complete/detailed.
BACKGROUND (UNBALANCED STATS) - I\'m a somewhat nontraditional applicant, as I didn\'t decide to pursue medicine until my senior year in undergrad. I delayed graduation and completed the premed prereqs and some upper-level courses, then took a year off (took the MCAT, worked, volunteered, travelled) before applying. - My GPA had a fairly steep upward trend, with a 4.0 for the last summer and 3 semesters of undergrad (including recent science coursework). As a result of my earlier coursework (during which I was less mature/motivated/dedicated, among other problems), my GPA remained below average. - I studied for the MCAT over the summer while working full-time (although an unexpected eye surgery+recovery disrupted this significantly). I used my textbooks, the AAMC practice tests, and a Princeton Review book (no prep course). Taking the AAMC practice tests under simulated test conditions was incredibly useful. My practice test scores averaged 35-36, with the final practice test matching my actual score of 34.
MAJOR: Psychology, also had a Religious Studies certificate (comparable to a minor).
VOLUNTEERING: - Hospice Inpatient Unit (Ongoing): 3 hrs/wk. 14 months at time of application and continued through application cycle & beyond. - Humane Society (Ongoing): 2 hrs/wk. (This activity did not appear on all of my applications as I started it after submitting my AMCAS.) - Thrift Store (Ongoing): 4 hrs/wk. (This activity did not appear on all of my applications as I started it after submitting my AMCAS.) - Boys & Girls Club Science Club: 1-2 hrs/wk for 1 semester. - Art teacher at a community mental health center: 1-2 hrs/wk for 1 summer.
SHADOWING - Inpatient child/adolescent psychiatrist (~30 hours) - Rural-area family practice physician (~15 hours)
EMPLOYMENT - Cashier/customer service for 3 years during college - Telephone captionist for hearing-impaired individuals (During college and ongoing): 3 years at time of application, continued through application cycle and beyond.
HOBBIES - Creative writing (won an award in undergrad), reading, art
// Applications //
Application Cycle One: 05/31/2011
Undergraduate college: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Undergraduate Area of study: Psychology/Social Sciences
Total MCAT SCORE: 516
MCAT Section Scores:
Overall GPA: 3.45
Science GPA: 3.46
Summary of Application Experience
ABBREVIATIONS: SR = Secondary Received | SS = Secondary Submitted | C = Complete | II = Interview Invite | IA = Interview Attended | WL = Waitlisted | A = Accepted | W = Withdrew | R = Rejected
I\'ve been very happily surprised by the outcome of the application season, and incredibly grateful to have acceptances so early.
Things I believe were helpful to my application: - I was honest about my past academic/personal history and my current motivation for medicine. My personal statement told the story of how I went from a focus in the social sciences/humanities to considering and ultimately pursuing a career in medicine (and how my background is compatible with my future goals). I tried to illustrate how much I have changed/matured since beginning college and to demonstrate my academic ability, which is not accurately reflected by my overall GPA. - I was passionate about my schoolwork and extracurriculars. I see people ask on SDN a lot about majors and coursework: major in what you love! I took a lot of psych, religious studies, comm arts, english, art history, and art. Do well in your science courses, and have an interest in what you do, including coursework and ECs. I\'ve thoroughly enjoyed and learned a lot from my volunteering, which has included a lot of non-medical activities. - I applied early. I submitted my AMCAS on June 1 and was verified later that day. I submitted all of my secondaries soon after receiving them by setting aside time to finish them as quickly as possible while still writing thoughtful essays.
COSTS: MCAT Registration and AAMC Practice Tests ~$500 Interfolio Account/Deliveries and Transcript Deliveries $112 AMCAS (21 schools) $820 Secondaries (20 schools) $1581 Interview expenses $1969
Iowa City\'s vibe was similar to Madison\'s. The facilities are beautiful, and the school has a lot of unique opportunities in medical humanities, writing, etc. The Learning Communities seem to really bring the class together. The 2-on-1 semi-structured interview was fairly low-stress.
Summary of Experience:
SR: 8/20 | SS: 8/22 | C: 9/7 | On hold: 10/27 | II: 1/23 | IA 2/17 | R: 3/8
I loved UW\'s interview day and obviously the school is close to my heart. Everyone was incredibly friendly and my interview was really laid-back and conversational. The group discussion session with students was not at all stressful, either.
MCW is in a nice area with access to Milwaukee and neighboring rural areas. The new curriculum and Pathways seem well-supported/implemented, and the STAR center is just awesome. These were my most laid-back, conversational interviews.
Phoenix exemplified a \"good fit\" for me in terms of general feel, curriculum, grading, class size, philosophy, location, etc. The staff and students have been extremely helpful and friendly, and the new building is going to be amazing. Their MMI was well-run and actually kind of fun! Loved this school, \"feels right\" for me.