6/3 Submitted my primary on the first day possible. I probably spent 3 weeks working on my PS. I had as many people as I could edit it for me. I asked my friends, my Biology professor, premed advisor, and a couple of people on SDN for their feedback. Writing the PS was torture!
7/9 My premed committee sent their letter to AMCAS. I’m glad they’re so efficient! On another note, I’ve received 20 out of 25 secondaries and submitted most of them. Still procrastinating on a few though, most notably Vanderbilt’s “autobiography” essay, Yale’s “why us” essay, and UChicago’s combined “diversity + why us” essay. Still waiting on 5 more schools. I began pre-writing in early May after graduation, and boy does pre-writing help; there is no other way to slog through the torture of secondaries otherwise.
7/22 First II ever from UVA! This is the neurotic premed in me talking, but I was starting to get worried since people on SDN were getting IIs from some schools left and right.
7/23 Bleh...Rejected from UChicago. Kind of disappointed, especially since it’s so early in the cycle.
7/24 II from Rochester! Really made my day, especially with the UChicago rejection from yesterday.
7/29 Secondary from UCSF! Was starting to lose hope since it’s been almost 2 months of silence from them.
8/4 Check my mailbox to find IIs from Albert Einstein and Vanderbilt. Great way to start the week!
8/7 II from NYU! Woohoo! Pretty productive week if I say so myself.
8/13 II from Robert Wood Johnson. Finally, some instate love!
8/14 Shocked to see an II from Stanford. Almost peed my pants...
8/21 II from Weill Cornell after a relatively quiet week. More instate love from NJMS as well.
8/22 II from Mount Sinai. Just waiting on one more NYC school. Gotta collect them all, right? (please please please Columbia, love me!!!) Later that day, I received an II from Northwestern. Guess I will be able to visit Chicago after all.
8/25 My day started off with an II from Mayo. You could say I was pretty ecstatic. A few hours later, I glimpse an email from Harvard after refreshing my mailbox for the 900th time. It was an II...from freaking Harvard. My heart stopped. If that wasn’t enough, I find an innocent email from Yale in my spam box (that’s right, my spam box). It was an II. Time to stop checking email for today.
8/30 II from Columbia!! Alskjfalkjlwjet!! Columbia has always held a special place in my heart. I’ve been imagining what this moment would be like ever since I was a starry-eyed freshman.
9/6 II from Case UT. No news from the College track, though. Fingers crossed!!
9/8 II from Emory today. Excited to visit Atlanta!
9/15 Attended my first interview at Einstein. Glad to get the first one over with.
9/16 Attended NJMS interview. Decided to check my Case Western portal to see if there was any news from the College Track. Turns out I was rejected on September 5th. Thanks for letting me know of the status update, Case...
9/19 Attended RWJMS interview. Was pleasantly surprised by the school!
9/22 Attended UVA interview. I think I actually like Charlottesville.
9/23 Rejected from UPitt. I just don't understand this process sometimes....
9/25 Mayo interview. Mayo was simply amazing!!
9/29 Attended Rochester interview.
10/1 Cornell interview attended.
10/2 NYU Interview. NYC was awesome!
10/4 It's been quiet on the interview front, so I sent WashU, UPenn, and UMich substantial updates regarding my application. I was going to send letters to Hopkins and UCSF, but they apparently do not accept them pre-interview.
10/7 Rejected from UMDNJ - Newark. Kind of shocked, to tell you the truth.
10/8 Mount Sinai interview attended!
10/10 Attended Emory interview!
10/16 Accepted to UVA!!!
10/20 Attended Stanford interview. I just have to say, Stanford was AMAZING. Withdrew from Case Western.
10/23 Acceptance call from URochester! Two acceptances? Hopefully this is some indication that I don't completely suck at interviews.
10/28 Attended Northwestern interview.
10/29 Screening complete at UMich. Taking this as a rejection.
11/3 Attended Yale interview.
11/4 Harvard interview. Harvard did not disappoint!
11/5 Withdrew from Baylor. Nothing but silence since July, so probably a silent rejection.
11/6 Columbia interview!
11/12 Deferred by Mt. Sinai. Will probably be a waitlist come March. Kind of upset, but at least it wasn't a downright rejection.
11/24 II from Hopkins. Totally unexpected after 5+ months of silence.
11/26 Withdrew from WUSTL. Probably can't afford any more days off from work.
12/16 After a long period of silence from schools, I was accepted to Vandy today. I am so incredibly grateful!
1/4 Received WL letter in the mail from RWJ. Guess I'm not meant to stay in Jersey for med school.
3) Materials Used TBR Bio, GChem, Physics, Orgo, TPRH Verbal, EK 101, TPR SW Also had access to Kaplan Online course
4) What was your undergraduate major? Molecular Biology and Japanese
5) How did you study for each section? I basically followed the S2Ned schedule. It was a bit tough to follow the schedule at first, but I eventually got into the swing of things. I did 3-4 verbal passages a day. I did less studying on Sundays, but I never took a full break. I also made Anki flashcards for every problem I got wrong. I would cycle through the flashcards every few days. Eventually I got tired of the flashcards, so I did them less and less.
During the last month of studying, I incorporated the Kaplan online materials and TPRH SW into my studying. I substituted the EK1001 series for these two sources instead because I found them tons more helpful. The TPRH SW is a great resource for doing experimental style bio problems and great review overall. The Kaplan materials were also great for practicing challenging passages.
6) How long did you study for the exam? Around 90 days, averaging 9 hours a day, with 2-3 hours of break interspersed throughout the day.
7) Any other tips you may have for those of us who still have this test lurking over us? Take the test like it's the only time you are taking it. None of the retake BS!
I took the MCAT during the summer to give my self 3 months of uninterrupted prep. For those of you who are ambivalent about whether or not you should dedicate a summer to the MCAT, I would say to go for it. I know many people on these boards have scored better than I on the MCAT while juggling multiple activities/jobs, but I am definitely not one of those people, and I knew that from the start. There is nothing wrong with taking a summer to study for a major standardized test. I was aiming for a 36 initially and as you can see my average was a bit lower than that. I got a 38 on the real deal, so I was really ecstatic. For me, my score will open more doors than the extra summer of volunteering or research I could have done were it not for the MCAT.
I think LORs are probably one of the most difficult components of the med school application to get right. You want to ask people who can vouch for your all-around awesomeness. And doing so requires careful planning. You have to plant seeds early in your college career so that come application time, the fruits of your labor will be ripe. I think getting good letters has much less to do with brown-nosing and sucking up, but more so requires you to foster professional relationships with your professors and mentors.
Coming from a small liberal arts college, I was fortunate that I was able to get to know my writers very well. One was my supervisor from a summer internship I did after sophomore year. I expect the letter from my supervisor was adequate, but probably nothing especially stellar, since I did not get to know her as well as my other letter writers. Two letters were from professors who I did extensive research with for three years. One letter was from a biology professor who mentored me for my high honor’s thesis. The last letter was from my pre-medical advisor and lab instructor, who I met with regularly for two years as a TA for said lab.
I used my premedical committee’s letter service, which was surprisingly good about getting the letter out on time. My school’s committee letter is a composite letter, taking bits and pieces from the LORs I gathered to make paint a coherent picture of the applicant. On top of that, they include the individual letters along with the committee packet.
Summary of Experience:
SR = 6/27 | SS = 6/30 | SC = 7/8 | II = 9/8 | IA = 10/10
The interview day began quite early; we had to be at the school at 7:45am. While waiting, current students milled in and out and chatted with us before their classes started. At around 8:00, we were greeted by an admissions dean. I can honestly say, she was one of the most enthusiastic and animated people I’ve ever met. It’s hard to match her level of enthusiasm, especially so early in the morning, but it’s amazing how she manages to maintain the same level of excitement throughout the whole interview season. 30 minutes later, we were greeted by another admissions dean and they escorted us to another room to proceed with self introductions. There were 18 interviewers, so introductions took a bit of time. The admissions deans emphasized that today was not a day to be shy. They really tried to create a comfortable and casual atmosphere where we can feel at ease, which reflects positively upon the school in my book.
Afterwards, we broke off into 2 groups of 9. One group had interviews in the morning while the other group had interviews in the afternoon. I was fortunate enough to have morning interviews, so I can enjoy the tour later on.
Onto the interviews themselves. There are 2 interviews at Emory: one traditional interview and a group interview. The traditional interview was surprisingly short, lasting only 25 minutes. I don’t think I really connected well with my interviewer, but only time will tell. The group interview lasted approximately 35 minutes. There were 3 interviewers and 3 interviewees for the group interview. For the group interview, each interviewee was asked the same question by each interviewer. To be honest, the group interview was not that stressful, but it was an odd experience having to basically bare your soul in front of other applicants.
After the interviews was lunch and an admissions presentation. It was a bit odd that we didn’t have lunch with current students. After the lunch was a pretty lengthy tour of Grady Hospital and the med school campus. The tour of Grady was definitely the highlight of the day and is really one of the biggest draws of Emory. Grady is so intertwined into the fabric of life in Atlanta and clinical training there is top notch, or so I heard. The day ended at about 4pm. It was pretty tiring overall.
There were some things I didn’t like about Emory, though. For one, they do acceptances the old fashion way: only through snail mail, which is a nuisance, really. A bigger issue for me, though, is that I got the impression that Emory tends to attract a very insular applicant pool. I don’t know if that’s the correct way to describe it, but somehow, a majority of the interviewers either knew someone currently attending Emory or knew another interviewer from college of high school. I don’t if that’s indicative of Emory, but it left a negative impression on me.
Pros: 1.5-year condensed preclinical curriculum; P/F preclinicals; awesome clinical training at Grady; the med school is contiguous with the undergrad campus
Cons: car is necessary bc no on campus housing for med students; housing in the area immediately surrounding the med school is quite pricey; relatively large class size
Summary of Experience:
SR = 6/27 | SS = 6/30 | SC = 7/9 | II = 8/21 | IA = 10/1
Weill Cornell was my first Manhattan school. In terms of location, Manhattan is my first choice since it’s close to home and because no other city can beat NYC in my opinion. I arrived at Weill Cornell the night before and stayed with an MD/PhD student. Upon arrival, my host and I made our way over to the med school library where he preceded to study and I half browsed the internet and prepped for my interview.
Now I just want to talk about student housing at Weill Cornell. Olin Hall, where most of the first years live, is conveniently located right across the street from the medical school. Besides its proximity from the med school, another positive includes subsidized rent (students pay $750 a month for rent and utilities; definitely a steal for being in the Upper East Side). On the downside, housing is dorm style, with two single rooms being connected by a bathroom.
Now, onto the actual interview day. I had morning interviews, so I was finished pretty early. Both of my interviews were with MDs on the faculty. My first interview was on the longer side, about 1 hour. It was conversational, but very probing. My interviewer really asked some personal questions and really wanted to know what made me tick. My second interview was extremely short, about 15 minutes! Prior to this interview, the receptionist warned me that the interviewer was extremely notorious for short interviews. The interview felt kind of rushed. He asked me if I had any questions for him 10 minutes into the interview. The experience was jarring. Overall, I felt my performance was less than ideal on these interviews, but only time will tell.
After the interview was lunch with current students. I definitely felt that the students seemed more stressed here than at other schools I’ve visited. One reason could be because this is the first year that Weill Cornell is transitioning to a 1.5 year condensed preclinical curriculum. I’ve heard from current students that there are some logistical hiccups that are a bit frustrating. Besides that, the students still seemed very happy.
One apprehension that some students had about Weill Cornell is the relatively homogenous patient population on the Upper East Side. However, to remedy that, Cornell has training sites all over NYC and even in rural upstate NY. The patient population is there, but I guess you have to be proactive about seeking it out.
Pros: 1.5 condensed curriculum; P/F without internal rankings; unusual breadth of research opportunities due to presence of WCMC, NY Presb, Sloan Kettering, Hospital for Special Surgery, and Rockefeller University on one campus; subsidized housing in Upper East Side; NYC!
Cons: may not have kinks of new curriculum worked out by matriculation; homogenous patient population
Summary of Experience:
SR = 7/10 | SS = 7/10 | SC = 7/15 | II = 8/25 | IA = 11/4
Prior to Harvard, I’ve been on 14 interviews, so a 15th one should be no big deal, right? Or so I thought. I found myself to be pretty nervous the night before my interview. What exactly did I do to deserve the opportunity to interview at Harvard? I mean, I’m just an unassuming, meek man-child...The prospect of meeting Harvard med students was especially intimidating.
Fortunately, that anxiety began to dissipate once I met my student host. My student host resided in Vanderbilt Hall, where a majority of the MS1s chose to live. I could honestly say that he was one of the warmest and most welcoming students I’ve ever met. He was genuine, humble, and down to earth. During my stay, several of his friends milled in and out just to chat giving me the opportunity to really gain insight into Harvard. It was a very collegial and relaxed night. One complaint that some students had was that HMS and its teaching hospitals are not always on the same wavelength (this is not unique to HMS, though). According to the students, this is because each hospital has its own administration, so implementation of clinical teaching initiatives from Harvard does not always go so smoothly. One example is that for the MS1’s doctoring class, they actually ran out of patients to practice their interviewing skills on.
Another important insight I gleaned is that, while Harvard definitely cares about the wellness of their students, they do not coddle their students as much as other schools ( ie. Stanford, where my tour guide explicitly said they are definitely coddled). My host admitted that he does not feel coddled, but that is just the Harvard way of doing things. I understood his sentiments during the interview day. Harvard’s interview day was very, very hands off. We were told to meet at a conference room in the med school at 8:15am, but there was no one to greet us. 30 minutes later, an admissions dean and a staff member gave us a short introduction to the school and passed out our interview packets.
Interviews were held in the morning and in the afternoon. Some interviewers had 2 morning interviews, 2 afternoon interviews, or one of each. The interviews took place at the med school or at some of the teaching hospitals, some of which could be a bit far away. Other than the interviews, there was a short tour of the medical school, lunch with some current students, and an option to audit a lecture. However, nothing was mandatory except the interviews. Definitely a very self-directed day.
The most informative part of the day was definitely the lunch with two current students. I learned that housing is pretty much a bust, in my opinion. You can either live in Vanderbilt Hall, which are dorm-style, single occupancy rooms, or find apartments near the area. However, the apartment housing in the Longwood area is not only expensive, but competitive due to the large number of students surrounding the area (BU, HMS, Simmons College, etc). Also, the students admitted that clinical training at Harvard may be a bit lacking. Yea, Harvard’s teaching hospitals are some of the best in the world and as a result of that, they see some very very rare and complex cases. Consequently, students are not really exposed to bread and butter cases.
Now, onto the interviews. My first interview was in the morning and the second one in the afternoon. Both were with faculty and were pretty conversational. I was intimidated at first, but eased up a little after I realized that my interviewers really just wanted to get to know me as a person. Other than that, both interviews were standard fare.
Overall, Harvard was spectacular. I could not believe that I had the privilege to interview at a place with such rich history and amazing students and faculty. However, I was upset that we were not told more about the upcoming curriculum change. What I do know is that Harvard is condensing the preclinicals to one year and that clerkships will happen during the 2nd year. After the 2nd year, students will take more advanced classes in conjunction with more rotations during the 3rd year. Lastly, I presume that the 4th year will be elective time.
Pros: new curriculum; Boston is great city; research opportunities; amazing students; collaborative; societies system; unparalleled exposure to complex cases;
Cons: Boston is cold; expensive off campus housing; dorm living for the first year; inadequate exposure to bread and butter
Summary of Experience:
SR = 7/7 | SS = 7/21 | SC = 7/21 | II = 8/25 | IA = 11/3
I stayed with a student host at Harkness hall the night before my interview. Harkness Hall is the student housing for Yale’s graduate students. Harkness hall has dorm style, single occupancy rooms, with each floor having a co-ed bathroom. According to my host, most of the MS1s live here. Rent is around $800 per month including utilities. If you’re not a fan of dorm living, there are the University Towers which offer apartments 2 blocks away from the med school.
The interview day began early, but luckily, the admissions office is housed in Harkness Hall, so I didn’t have to go far. First on the agenda was a brief overview of the day followed by the dean of admissions passing out each interviewers’ interview schedule. Interviews were held in the morning and in the afternoon. Some interviewers had 2 morning interviews, 2 afternoon interviews, or one of each. Unfortunately, I ended up having 2 afternoon interviews. Personally, I prefer having morning interviews because I am completely drained by the end of the day.
On a positive note, having 2 morning interviews meant that I had time in the morning to sit in on a lecture. Several of the other interviewers and I made our way to the auditorium to audit an anatomy lecture. The lecture was fun enough for a lecture. The professor even had us interviewers participate in his lecture.
After the lecture was a pretty standard financial aid talk. The highlight of the day, in my opinion was the faculty meet and greet. The meet and greet gives an opportunity for students to hear about a faculty member work and their experience as a Yale SOM med student. We had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Richard Edelson, who developed and implemented the first FDA approved selective immunotherapy cure for any cancer. It was truly inspiring to hear about Dr. Edelson’s experiences and motivations. Above all, despite being such an accomplished scientist and clinician, he was a genuine and down to earth person.
After the meet and greet with Dr. Edelson, we had a meet and greet with several current students. By speaking with them, I really got the feeling that the class was a tight knit community of collaborative and accomplished individuals. After the meet and greets was a student led tour. The tour was pretty standard. The most informative part was when the tour guide spoke to us about the Yale system. Prior to my interview day, I did not really understand what the Yale system was, and admittedly, according to our tour guide, most students don’t truly understand the Yale system until they get to Yale.
In practical terms, the Yale system means that there are absolutely no grades for the preclinical years. There are optional midterms, known as assessments, and mandatory finals, known as qualifiers. There is a certain percent you have to achieve on qualifiers, but other than that, your progression is pretty much self-directed. However, this is not to say that there are no lectures. Lectures are usually from 8-12pm on most days, with some lab and doctoring classes interspersed in the afternoons. Attendance is no mandatory and all lectures are recorded. Unlike the preclinical years, the clerkship years do have grades. However, Yale does not do shelf exams, but rather each clerkship creates its own exam for students, which are not used at all in factoring the grades. They function more to ensure that each student synthesizes the knowledge they’ve learned from each rotation. No shelf exams can be seen as a negative because that means clerkship grades are more subjective.
Also, next year, Yale is undergoing a curriculum change. Unfortunately, they did not really say much about this during the interview day. What I do know is that Yale is condensing their preclinical years to 1.5 years, similar to what many schools are doing. This means more time in the hospital and more time for research for the thesis requirement. Also, Step 1 is taken after the clerkship phase.
Now onto the interviews themselves. My interviews were pretty laid back and conversational. Both were with faculty and lasted for 30-45 minutes. I don’t think I did badly, but I don’t think I did phenomenally either.
After my interview day, Yale quickly rose up to the top of my list. I really got the sense that Yale is just as much concerned with the wellbeing of their students. Here’s hoping that Yale will be in the cards come March.
Pros: 1.5-year preclinicals; step 1 is after clerkships; relatively low cost of living; awesome student body; small class size; Yale’s main campus is relatively close; New Haven is surprisingly diverse
Cons: dorm living; New Haven is cold; may need a car later; dorm living for the first year
Summary of Experience:
SR = 7/8 | SS = 7/13 | SC = 7/28 | II = 8/22 | IA = 10/8
Update: Application under continuing review as of 11/15. Will not be surprised if this becomes a WL...sigh.
I arrived at my host’s apartment the night before my interview. Most of the students live in Aron hall, which has 4-person or 6-person apartments. Each apartment contains two bathrooms, a kitchen and living room area, and a room for each occupant. Out of all NYC schools thus far, Mount Sinai has hands down the best housing. It is much more spacious than the dorms in Cornell’s Olin hall and much more affordable than the apartments in NYU’s Vilcek Hall (Sinai students pay $550-$600 vs ~$950 for NYU students).
The interview day at Sinai begins at 8am in the morning. They provide a pretty nice breakfast, with bagels and fruit parfaits (a first out of the schools I’ve visited!). Once all the interviewers arrived, we were shown an introduction to Sinai video and then greeted by a dean of admissions. After the dean gave his talk, the admissions coordinator handed out the itineraries for the day. Today’s agenda included two 30-minute interviews, a financial aid talk, lunch with current students, and a hospital tour.
The interviews took place between 9:30-11:30, and were either with a faculty member or MS4. Both of my interviews were very relaxed and ended promptly after 30 minutes. Current students would mill in and out of the waiting room to greet current students and nab some free food. Everyone who came in was very enthusiastic about Sinai and seemed genuinely happy to be there.
Something of note about Sinai is that they have a very flexible curriculum. They do not start class until 10 am and always end by 12pm on short days or 4pm on the longer days (3 days of the week are long days, while 2 are short days). Also, according to the dean of admissions, starting next year, Sinai will condense the clerkships in order to free up 8 weeks of elective time during the 3rd year. All of these changes to the curriculum were made as a result of student feedback from the last 5 or so years. I think this is a testament to how much Sinai values student input.
Overall, I really liked the atmosphere at Sinai. The students seemed pretty laid back and the administration is pretty receptive to the needs of students.
Pros: awesome housing; NYC; flexible curriculum; P/F preclinicals; systems-based; elective time during 3rd year; laid-back students; receptive administration
Cons: traditional 2 year preclinicals; class size a bit on the larger size (~140)
Summary of Experience:
SR = 7/8 | SS = 7/8 | SC = 7/8 | II = 8/4 | IA = 9/15 | R = 2/2/2105
This was my first interview of the season, so I was pretty nervous. I arrived at Albert Einstein the night before my interview and stayed with a student host. I met a few current students and they all seemed really nice and down to earth. That night, we just hung out, talked, and I learned how to play poker for the first time. Apparently, med students play a lot of poker, so yay life lessons!
First, I just want to talk about the Bronx. I have never been to the Bronx before. From what I saw, it’s kind of sketchy area, but the area surrounding the medical campus is extremely nice. That being said, housing for students is extremely cheap, being around $500 per month including utilities. What a steal!
Now, onto my interview day. I arrived at the admissions office and was greeted by an extremely helpful woman. Just from how I was greeted, I could tell they really care about their students. They even have a changing room for people who want to change out of their interview attire at the end of the day.
Prior to the interview was a tour led by some MS1’s and MS2’s. Overall, the main academic building was nice, but I don’t really have much to compare it to. One thing of note, though, is that all of the students raved about how collaborative Einstein students are due to the grading being true P/F without internal rankings. That’s definitely a plus. Another thing is that Einstein is very proud of its global health program. It seems approximately half of the students go abroad at some point.
My actual interview was pretty chill and lasted for approximately an hour. For your reference, the interview was open file, so the interviewer was somewhat familiar with my application. It was a very laidback conversation, and I definitely felt that my interviewer was there to get to know me rather than trip me up.
Pros: tuition free 5th year; lots of global health opportunities; good research opportunities; true P/F preclinicals; cheap housing; very laidback and collaborative student body
Cons: the Bronx is a bit removed from Manhattan; cafeteria food was meh, but that’s true most anywhere I guess; traditional classes-based 2 year curriculum (personally, I’d prefer a 1.5 year condensed curriculum)
Summary of Experience:
Fee request = 6/27 | LOR request = 7/8 | SC = 7/9 | II = 8/25 | IA = 9/25 | R = 1/27
For my Mayo interview, I flew into Minneapolis and then took a shuttle to Rochester. For those travelling to Mayo, I suggest doing this as flying into Rochester directly could be expensive. The shuttle only cost $44 roundtrip and takes 1.5 hours each way, depending on traffic.
In a word Mayo was amazing. Everyone on SDN is always raving about Mayo, but after visiting, I think I understand what the fuss is all about. The facilities are top-notch. The hospital seems too beautiful to be a hospital. Pottery from around the country is displayed behind glass at the elevator hubs on each floor of the Gonda building. So many paintings dot the hospital that it’s easy to mistake the place for a museum. Indeed, while on my tour, we stumbled upon more than a few art tours. But besides the beauty of the facilities, what makes Mayo unique is the philosophy on which it’s foundation was built.
“The needs of the patient comes first.” Yeah, it’s easy to throw that phrase around like some convenient slogan, but this was the idea around which the Mayo brothers built the bastion of healthcare that is now Mayo. Mayo does things differently. For example, doctors do not wear lab coats, they wear Mayo wear, which is a suit and tie for males and similarly formal clothing for females. The purpose of Mayo wear is to make the patients more comfortable. Everything that Mayo does is for the patients, and the point of the interview is to find applicants who will carry on Mayo’s philosophy.
The interview day began with a presentation introducing us to Mayo. There were 9 interviewers in total, and 3 of them have already met each other at other interviews. What a small world! Anyway, Mayo has a traditional preclinical curriculum. The unique thing about the curriculum is that they have these things called selectives, which are 1-2 week spans of free time after each major block (read: class). During these selectives, students are allowed to explore whatever they feel will enhance their careers. Interested in surgery? Well, why not shadow a surgeon for a week. Interested in global health? Mayo will give you funding to go abroad to carry out a project for 2 weeks. It is extremely flexible. In the first year, there are approximately 24 weeks of selective time, 12 of which can be used for vacation. The only downside to electives is that it kind of cuts into summer break after MS1. Mayo only has 4 weeks of break during the summer after MS1.
Now onto the interviews themselves. I had two ~30 minute interviews. One was with an MS4 and the other was with a faculty member. Both were on the adcom. Both were pretty conversational and low stress.
Another thing to note. Mayo used to be very generous with financial aid, often giving full tuition or at least half-tuition scholarships to everyone in the incoming class, but that has been changing recently. Their financial aid is now need-based. This will probably mean that the average debt will go up, but probably not by much. Only time will tell.
Pros: It’s Mayo clinic; P/F without internal rankings; selectives = flexibility; collaborative student body; tight knit community; small class size (~2100 faculty vs ~200 students = faculty are clamoring to have them work with you)
Cons: Rochester’s cold winters; subject-based as opposed to organ-based; no recorded lectures, but they are working on that; attendance is pretty much mandatory due to small class size
Summary of Experience:
SR = 6/29 | SS = 6/29 | SC = 7/16 | II = 8/21 | IA = 9/16 | R = 10/7 Update: Rejected. Pretty upset about the rejection, since I thought I had a pretty good shot. This just shows how unpredictable this process is.
I decided to drive to my interview today. Not only was it pouring rain, but it was also my first time driving on the high way alone. Definitely a great way to start the day. 1 hour later, I arrived at NJMS and drove around the medical school complex several times looking for the parking lot. After locating the parking lot, I proceeded to look for an open spot. There were no spots until I reached the top floor of the parking garage. The parking garage was a 10 minute walk from the main medical school building. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, but I struggled to keep my suit dry under my tiny umbrella.
Now, onto the actual interview day. Upon entering the admissions office, I was given a folder with some information about NJMS and was asked to wait in a tiny waiting room with some other interviewees. I patiently waited until my student interviewer came to pick me up. Prior to my interview day, I requested a student interview so I could learn more about the school. Since it was optional, I thought the student interview would be relatively laid back. Oh boy, was I wrong. Towards the end of the interview, the student interviewer started relentlessly grilling me about why I wanted to go to NJMS and would not let up. Geez.
Half an hour after my student interview was my faculty interview. The faculty interview was relatively laid back and conversational. He definitely asked some probing questions, but nothing too challenging. The only slightly challenging question was something pertaining to ObamaCare, but luckily, I read up on that prior to the interview. My faculty interview was definitely much more pleasant than the student interview. From now on, I will not underestimate the student interview.
After the interview was a brief lunch with some MS2s and a tour. Both the lunch and tour were very short. The school didn’t really make much of an attempt to sell the school. Not really a negative, but just an observation. My overall impression was that it is definitely a solid school, but nothing that really wowed me.
Pros: curriculum is changing to a 1.5 year condensed curriculum; location is close to home; super diverse patient population; since Rutgers became a Big 10 school, some funding is trickling to the med schools; according to current students, clerkships are extremely hands-on and med students are given a lot of responsibility
Cons: Newark (need I say more?); car is probably necessary since on campus housing is relatively far
Summary of Experience:
SR = 7/7| SS = 7/7 | SC = 7/9 | II = 8/14 | IA = 10/20 | WL = 1/12
Update: Received WL via snail mail. I'm glad that its not an outright rejection. There is yet a sliver of hope!
The night before the interview day was a reception for interviewees. Since I was going to stay with a host, I decided I might as well attend the reception since I was going to be there anyway. Coming into the reception, I was quite intimidated because, well, this was Stanford where everyone is a genius. I was pleasantly surprised to find that all of the current students and interviewers who attended the reception seemed like genuine and down-to-earth people.
The interview day began at 8:30am. At Stanford, there are 3 groups of 10 interviewers. 2 of the groups arrives in the morning and the 3rd group arrives just before lunch. Of the 2 morning groups, one group does the MMIs first and the other does the tour and presentations first. I was fortunate enough to do my MMIs in the morning so I can thoroughly enjoy the tour and presentations. The morning began with an introduction to MMI and why Stanford decided to switch to the MMI format. They also went through 2 practice MMI questions, which I thought was a nice gesture.
Now onto the MMIs. The MMI session at Stanford is relatively long. 2 hours are allotted to complete 10 stations. At each station, you are given 2 minutes to read the prompt and 8 minutes to discuss the prompt with the interviewer. Since I signed a non-disclosure form, I can’t dive into specifics, but I’ve always found MMI to be more stressful than traditional interviews, and Stanford was no different. Thankfully, Stanford was my last MMI. However, having done MMI’s at 2 other schools prior to this, I found that I’ve answered some iteration of the prompts in some shape, way, or form at a previous MMI experience.
At 12pm, all three groups had lunch with current students. Speaking to current students just made me love Stanford even more. The students seemed to really be enjoying their experience thus far. They emphasized how much Stanford wants their students to explore their interests outside of medicine. I’ve been to a few med schools where the under grad campus is contiguous with the med school campus and highlight the benefits of that, but I feel that Stanford really takes that to a whole new level. So many students pursue second degrees or take electives at the other schools. Also, they emphasized how flexible the curriculum is, especially with Wednesdays being completely free or required classes, during which time many students choose to take electives. Stanford is just rich with opportunities to personalize your education and really pursue interests outside of medicine.
After the lunch was a tour of the med school campus. The tour guide was especially enthusiastic about the school, which made the tour that much more enjoyable. At the start of the tour, the tour guide apologized for the awful weather, which was funny I thought the weather was gorgeous (cool and slightly cloudy). One of my most favorite quotes from the tour guide: “Snow does not have to be a reality of your life. If you want snow, you can go to the snow. It does not have to come to you.” The tour definitely made me love the school even more. Not only was the weather gorgeous, I learned that not only does Stanford have a gym for the med students, but that the gym is staffed with two personal trainers. How awesome is that!?
Stanford was, in a word, amazing. The school did not fail to impress. The students were great, the facilities were great, and the opportunities are endless. If there’s something you’re passionate about, I feel that Stanford will do anything in their power to support you.
Pros: option to take step 1 after clerkships; very personalized and flexible curriculum; scholarly concentrations; abundance of funding and research opportunities (they literally throw money at you, it seems); small class size; Stanford is super bike friendly; collaborative students; awesome weather
Cons: the towns of Stanford and Palo Alto are relatively affluent and homogenous; car is necessary for rotations; relatively expensive housing ($850-1000 per month, and it’s not even a major city)
Summary of Experience:
SR = 7/1 | SS = 7/4 | SC = 7/9 | II = 8/30 | IA = 11/6 | WL = 2/12/2015
If I were interviewing at any other school, I would probably be feeling burned out from all the interviewing, but I have been dreaming of interviewing at Columbia since I was a wee freshman premed.
I arrived at the admissions office promptly at 8am and was greeted by an admissions staff member who gave me my itinerary for the day. After a string of afternoon interviews at Harvard and Yale, I lucked out at Columbia with a morning interview scheduled for 10:30. This means I would be able to enjoy lunch with the current students and the tour of the med school.
Although there were no formal events planned until the dean’s welcome at 11:15, several current students milled in and out of the rooms throughout the morning to chat with the interviewers. Additionally, I noticed that students from all years decided to stop by, not just MS1s and MS2s, which did not really happen at the other schools. At most of the schools I’ve interviewed at, the current students were very welcoming, but I can honestly say that the current students Columbia were probably the most enthusiastic about their school. They seemed sincerely happy with their experiences thus far.
Although my interview was scheduled for 10:30, my interviewer did not pick me up from the waiting area until 10:45. The interview itself was laid back and conversational and lasted for around 30 minutes. I was kind of disappointed that it was so short, especially since Columbia only conducts one open file interview. This leads me to question just how important are interviews at Columbia, since not much can be gleaned from one short 30-minute encounter. Anyway, I’m hoping for the best.
At 11:15, Dean Nicholas spoke to all of the interviewers and really tried to make us feel welcome. At the end of his welcome, all of the interviewers introduced themselves, and I must say, all of the interviewers were very interesting individuals. After the dean’s welcome, two MS2s took us to the roof of Bard Hall for lunch. Bard Hall is the on campus housing option where most MS1s choose to live. Bard is a 3-minute walk from the med school. It offers single occupancy dorm style housing for ~$900 per month (not cheap, but definitely a steal for NYC). Bard also has a two-story gym, which includes free weights, cardio equipment, a pool, a squash court, a basketball court, and a stretching studio. Of course, if you are not fond of dorm living, you can live in an apartment near the school, but that will probably cost a bit more. After the lunch was a tour of the medical school, which was pretty standard.
Suffice it to say, I was thoroughly impressed by Columbia. What makes Columbia unique, in my opinion, is how supportive they are of their students pursuing hobbies and interests outside of medicine. The P&S Club offers unparalleled administrative support for these extracurricular endeavors. Also, I feel that while Columbia is very strong in research, it is also very strong clinically due to its location and wide array of clinical sites.
Pros: P/F; 1.5-year preclinicals; step 1 taken after clerkships; awesome students; NYC!; strong research and strong clinical experience; close to home; abundant funding
Cons: dorm living in Bard; relatively large class size
Summary of Experience:
SR = 7/1 | SS = 7/1 | SC = 7/12 | II = 8/7 | IA = 10/2 | WL = 2/14/2015
Compared to Weill Cornell, which was on the Upper East Side, NYU’s location seems like it has more going for it. It’s equidistant from some very exciting places: K-Town and Saint Mark’s Place for example. In terms of location, NYU wins out over Weill Cornell in my book.
So I arrived at my host’s apartment at around 6pm. My host took me to a dinner talk hosted by the PMR society of NY. Free food was nice and the talk was interesting enough. The talk was open to non-NYU affiliates so it was nice to see people from other med NY med schools. It really gives you a good sense of a community despite the intimidating size of the city.
The next day, I went to a class with my host. Out of the 160 or so students per class year, around 50 students attended the lecture. At NYU, lectures are not mandatory and a lot of people choose to watch the lectures recorded. Lecture was pretty standard. Personally, I think I would prefer watching recorded lectures because I caught myself dozing off during the hour-long class.
After the class, I made my way to the office of admissions and waited with the other interviewers for the interview day to get rolling. First on the agenda was a presentation by a dean of admissions. The presentation was pretty standard and generic. To be honest, after visiting my 8th school, all the interview days are starting to blend together, so I will skip the generic stuff. What’s important NYU has a 1.5 year condensed systems-based curriculum. They are true P/F for the preclinical years. They have some form of internal rankings, which are used solely for AOA. Also, the dean really played up the fact that on NYU has a diverse patient population and the hospital systems on its campus really run the gamut: you have Tisch (a private hospital), Bellevue (NYC’s flagship public hospital), and the VA Hospital all within a few blocks of one another.
After the presentation was lunch with some medical students. They all seemed very happy with their experience thus far and really like what NYU has to offer. They emphasized the awesome clinical training due to the diverse patient population and how great the curriculum is. Despite the workload, they still manage to explore the city and pursue hobbies outside of school.
After the lunch were the MMIs. They had 8 stations, 7 of which had prompts and one that was more like a traditional interview. At the 7 regular stations, interviewees had 2 minutes to read the prompt and 6 minutes to discuss their answer. At the traditional station, interviewees had 2 minutes to gather their thoughts and 14 minutes to speak with the interviewer. I enjoyed MMIs at NYU more so than at Rutgers. At NYU, interviewers were encouraged to ask follow-up questions and have a real conversation, as opposed to Rutgers, where the interviewers were stone-faced the entire time. Overall it was a pleasant experience as there were some interesting questions.
Following the MMIs was a tour of the med school. Our tour guide was very bubbly and really seemed to love NYU. When I asked her what she disliked about the school, she was at a loss for an answer. After seeing the medical school, she took us to Bellevue Hospital. Bellevue was amazing. After seeing Bellevue, NYU jumped up 10 spots in my personal ranking of schools. Last on the tour was Vilcek Hall, where most med students lived. Housing at NYU is apartment style, which I prefer over Weill Cornell’s dorm style housing. Housing at NYU, though is a bit more expensive, but still subsidized. Rent and utilities are about $930 a month. Definitely a steal for NYC housing!
Pros: 1.5 condensed systems-based preclinicals; steps taking after or during clerkships; awesome global health opportunities; ample research resources; P/F preclinicals; laid back student body; diverse patient population; prime NYC location; subsidized housing
Cons: housing on the more expensive side compared to other NYC schools I’ve visited; class size on the larger side
Summary of Experience:
SR = 6/30 | SS = 6/30 | SC = 7/8 | II = 8/13 | IA = 9/19 | WD = 1/4
Update: Notified of waitlist via snail mail. Decided to withdraw as I would not attend RWJ over my current acceptances.
The interview day at RWJMS began with a brief presentation by the director of admissions and some current students. The director of admissions spoke a bit about the MMI format and how decisions are made following the interview. The presentation by the students was your basic overview of any medical school. RWJ has a traditional 2-year, systems-based preclinical curriculum. The best part of the curriculum is that the first 2 years are true P/F without internal rankings. I’ve heard how much a true P/F curriculum really helps make med school a much more enjoyable experience from previous users on SDN and from several current students at my previous interviews. Another thing of note is that since the merger with Rutgers, RWJ has acquired several new research facilities. Also with Rutgers’ admission into the Big 10, RWJ has received substantially more research funding. All great news if you’re into research like me!
After the presentation, the current students took us on a quick tour of the medical school. I didn't really absorb much, but I they did take us to the anatomy lab. I distinctly remember the eerie sight of a dozen covered cadavers casually laid out on dissection tables. It kind of gave me the chills, and I did not discount the possibility that a current med student was hiding among the bodies, ready to pounce on the already anxious interviewees. Luckily, no such shenanigans occurred.
After the tour were the MMIs. At RWJ, there are 7 stations, with one station being a rest station where you can ask the interviewer any questions. Interviewers spent a total of 8 minutes at each station: 2 minutes to read the prompt and 6 minutes to discuss the prompt with the interviewer. Although MMI wasn’t as bad as I thought, I think I still prefer the traditional interview format. MMI is really draining. The interviewee is doing the talking for a huge majority of the time because the interviewers are instructed not to interact with you. My mouth was so dry by the time I arrived at station 7.
At the conclusion of the interviews, we broke off into groups and were given a tour of RWJ University Hospital by a current student. I must say that I was impressed by the hospital. RWJ has a huge health network and they have clinical sites all over NJ. Definitely a plus!
Pros: True P/F preclinicals; substantially more resources after merger with Rutgers; close to home; laidback and collaborative student body; clinical sites all over NJ; New Brunswick is an up and coming city; reasonable proximity to NYC and Philly
Cons: car is required (more of an annoyance for me since I hate driving); suburban location so patient population may not be the most diverse; traditional 2 year curriculum
Summary of Experience:
SR = 7/1 | SS = 7/1 | SC = 7/9 | II = 7/24 | IA = 9/29 | A = 10/23 Update: Accepted!! I felt that I really clicked with my student interviewer here. I am glad my interviewing skills don't completely suck.
The Rochester interview day began with a presentation from the dean of admissions. It was your generic presentation, so I won’t go much into it. Of note though, is Rochester’s biopsychosocial model of education, which espouses that a patient’s illness is influenced by psychological, social, and environmental conditions. I don’t think this approach towards healthcare is unique to Rochester, but they really do play it up. During my interviews, I asked how the biopsychosocial approach is embodied in the education and delivery of care, I received some pretty generic answers about how care is “patient-centered.” No concrete examples though, so I wasn’t completely sold.
After the presentation was my first interview. At Rochester, interviews are scattered throughout the hospital, which is like a maze. My first interview was in a room tucked away in an indiscreet corridor by the elevators. While searching for my room, I bumped into my interviewer (an MS4) and we looked for the room together. The interview itself was a very pleasant conversation, and we seemed to click really well. The interview ended after 45 minutes. After that was lunch with some MS1s and MS2s and a tour of the school. The hospital was very nice and everything is connected, which is nice for those cold upstate NY winters.
Following the tour was the group discussion. At Rochester, they have a group discussion as part of the interview process. The discussion often centers around some ethical issue. I’ve heard it doesn’t have much weight in admissions decisions, but you definitely want to show that you can contribute to discussion. Overall, it wasn’t that bad.
The group discussion ran a bit over time, my second interview was immediately after the discussion. As soon as the discussion ended, I jetted to my next interview. Unfortunately for me, the hospital is one huge maze and I got lost along the way. Luckily, my interviewer was busy when I arrived, so no harm done. The actual interview was very laid back and conversational. No surprises really.
Pros: laid back students; supportive faculty; low cost of living; primary care clerkship begins latter part of first year (pretty unique, I think)
Cons: cold winters; traditional curriculum; mandatory lecture; no recorded lectures
Summary of Experience:
SR = 7/1 | SS = 7/14 | SC = 7/29 | II = 8/4 | IA = 10/6 | A = 12/16
Update: Accepted via phone call! So incredibly happy!!
I arrived in Nashville pretty early in the morning. From the airport, I took the bus downtown and unfortunately, being Sunday, that meant that there wasn’t much to do downtown. So, I just decided to walk around for a bit. My first impression of Nashville was that it’s pretty small. The main tourist attractions are contained in an area of probably 8 city blocks, so it was easy to navigate. To kill time, I decided to visit the Nashville farmer’s market, which is held from Friday-Saturday. I also visited the bicentennial park, which is a green space dedicated Tennessee’s 200th anniversary.
Around lunchtime, I decided to take the bus to my host’s apartment. My host’s apartment is located approximately 1 mile away from the school, and although Vanderbilt is pretty close to downtown Nashville, it has a very suburban feel. Still, I enjoyed Nashville since it isn’t too busy of a city, while still offering ample recreation. Plus, the cost of living in Nashville is relatively cheap compared to other large cities.
Now onto the interview day. The interview day began pretty early at 8 am. There were 7 other interviewers, all coming from a mix of geographic locations. There were people from the Northeast, West Coast, Midwest, and even an international student. It’s nice to see that Vanderbilt attracts students from all over the country and not just the Midwest. Once everyone arrived, we were shown a presentation introducing us to Vanderbilt, which was followed by the interviews.
At Vanderbilt, there are two interviews: a long, open file interview and a short, closed file interview, both with MDs. My long interview was very conversational. Half the interview was spent talking about me and the other half, I felt, was spent with the interviewer trying to sell me the school (on a side note, I was already sold on the school before the interview...). The short interview was a behavioral interview and consisted of questions such as “tell me about a time you [insert situation here]”
After the interviews, we had another dean talk to us about curriculum 2.0. To be honest, I was apprehensive about curriculum 2.0 coming into the interview, but after speaking to my host and several other students, I was sold. Compressing the preclinicals into 1 year requires hard work, but I think Vanderbilt may be onto something. That being said, curriculum 2.0 is a big reason why Vanderbilt has become one of my top choices. Curriculum 2.0 allows for an unprecedented level of flexibility and it allows you to start clerkships during second year. So, by the time you take Step 1, you will have been on the wards for a whole year!
Also, I just want to comment on the academic culture at Vanderbilt. I feel that Vanderbilt is an institution that doesn’t take itself too seriously. They are a top notch institution, and they know that, but they are still extremely collaborative and nurturing. According to my host, that is the biggest reason why she chose to attend Vanderbilt over her other choices. I also got a good sense of how great the culture is at Vanderbilt after speaking with my interviewers.
Pros: curriculum 2.0; low cost of living; awesome academic culture; attached to undergrad campus; small class size; collaborative and laid-back students; great weather
Cons: Nashville is no NYC (but Vanderbilt more than makes up for it)
Summary of Experience:
SR = 7/28 | SS = 7/28 | SC = 7/29 | II = 8/22 | IA = 10/28 | A = 2/19/2015
I arrived in Chicago the day before my interview and stayed with a student host who lived in the Lincoln Park area. After doing a quick google maps check, I realized that the med school was a subway away. I have to admit, I was surprised that my host lived relatively far from the school (up until now, all of the student hosts I’ve stayed with have lived within walking distance of the school). My student host informed me that ~25% of the MS1s live around his area, so I guess it wasn’t all that uncommon. I wouldn’t blame them because apparently, the rent in Streeterville, the neighborhood in which Feinberg is located, is pretty expensive (upwards of $1,200/month). I guess that comes with the territory of attending a med school in the city. In any case, Lincoln Park seemed like a nice neighborhood, and the fall foliage during this time of year was beautiful.
One thing that I did not enjoy about the interview day at Feinberg was that it started so early. We had to be at the admissions office by 7:30am. Though I consider myself an early bird, I was not looking forward to getting up at 6am to shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, and stumble onto the subway to make it to the med school in time.
I arrived at the admissions office around 10 minutes late. Thankfully, the admissions presentation did not start until 7:45. At 7:45, we were escorted to a building on the other side of the street by an admissions dean. Feinberg does their admissions pitch a bit differently from the other schools I’ve interviewed at, which I appreciate. Rather than go into what makes them awesome and similar to other top schools (ie research opportunities, clinical experience, etc), they focus on what makes them different. And for Feinberg, that is their PBL heavy curriculum. As part of the presentation, the admissions dean facilitated a practice PBL session with us interviewees, which was pretty interesting in my opinion.
After the admissions presentation were the interviews. Each interviewee has three interviews, 2 one on one interviews and one group interview (2 interviewees with one interviewer). The one on one interviews were pretty standard. They were both open file and very conversational. My first one on one interview was approximately 45 minutes and the second was 30 minutes. I was really dreading the two on one interview because I think it would be awkward to basically bare your soul to your interviewer in front of another interviewee. It was awkward at first, at this point of the interview season, I’ve gotten really tired of talking about myself, so it was definitely interesting to hear other people talk about themselves for a change.
After the interviews were lunch with current students and a student led tour of the medical school and medical center. Also, I’d like to point out that many of the medical building are connected either via sky bridges or underground tunnels. Definitely a boon for those Chicago winters!
Overall, I enjoyed my visit to Feinberg. The students seemed pretty collaborative and down to earth, and they all seemed to be enjoying their experience so far. I would love to attend the school if given the opportunity. Here’s hoping for some good news in a couple of weeks.
Pros: Chicago is an awesome city; 1.5 year preclinicals; research opportunities; P/F preclinicals; chill students; early patient exposure; students get monthly passes for public transit
Cons: weather; expensive cost of living; large class size (160+)
Summary of Experience:
SR = 7/17 | SS = 7/18 | SC = 7/18 | II = 7/22 | IA = 9/22 | A = 10/16 Update: First acceptance!! I will be a doctor!
Charlottesville is an interesting town. For a town of its size, there’s surprisingly a lot going on. It’s not as rural as everyone thinks it is. I went to a college located in a town of 1,000 or so people, so I know rural. The surrounding area may be rural, but Charlottesville is not. While it’s not a bustling metropolis, there is no shortage of things to do. The pedestrian street located downtown, known as the mall, has plenty of restaurants and shopping to keep one busy. For the outdoorsy type, great hiking and camping is not more than half an hour’s drive away, or so I heard. Another draw of Charlottesville is the weather, for me anyway. According to current students and faculty, Charlottesville receives plenty of sun and has long falls with short winters. One weird thing about Charlottesville is that it is very pedestrian friendly. Cars WILL stop for pedestrians, even on busy crosswalks without traffic lights. Unaware of this strange custom, I received many dirty looks from pedestrians as I drove straight down the main avenues.
Now, onto the interview day. UVA does this weird thing where they play bird noises in the waiting room to keep the stress levels low for the interviewees. If anything, it was a great way to break the ice among the interviewees. One thing I noticed was that this was the first interview I had where most of the interviewees came from some very elite schools. It was intimidating at first, but everyone was extremely nice. The interview day began at 10 am with a presentation by the dean. They really tried to sell the school. They emphasized the flexibility of the curriculum, talked about the new Children’s Hospital and Cancer center, and even gave a pitch about Charlottesville. I was sold. After the presentation was lunch and a short tour of the campus.
UVA has a beautiful campus. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of brick buildings and doric columns. After seeing the undergrad campus, they showed us the med school campus. One thing I liked about UVA was that the med school campus is not too far removed from the undergrad campus. I think this allows for the med school community to really be a part of the greater UVA community. At a lot of schools, it is not rare for the med school campus to be miles away from everyone else.
Interviews began promptly at 1:30pm. There were two 30-minute interviews. While waiting to be interviewed, current students shuffled in and out at random times to wish us luck and assure us that there was nothing to be worried about. Interviews as UVA are open-file. They have access to your application for a week prior to the interview. I had an interview with an MS4 and faculty member. Both were very low stress and conversational.
Pros: 1.5 condensed preclinicals; Charlottesville weather; very supportive and collaborative student body; administration really values input form students; beautiful campus; simulation center dedicated to teaching MS1 and MS2; shiny new Children’s Hospital and Cancer Center
Con: no major airports near Charlottesville, but there is an Amtrak station at least; Step 1 taken before clerkships (other condensed preclinical schools take it during the clerkship period)