*As a visitor to my page, feel free to ask any specific questions or make comments. Just keep them positive please. I'll add impressions and dates much later.
Science GPA by year: Freshman 2.98, Sophomore 3.5, Junior 3.45 Total: 3.34 All other GPA by year: Freshman 3.91, Sophomore 3.94, Junior 3.7 Total: 3.91 Cum GPA by year: Freshman 3.57, Sophomore 3.71, Junior 3.48 Total: 3.61
Experiences: Award -GPA award for Black students receiving GPAs greater than 3.5 Community Service -volunteer for a mobile health van working with teens in low income communities, 1.5 years, 2 hrs/wk -volunteer at facility for women recovering from depression and other mental health issues, 2 summers, 9 hrs/wk -self-esteem advocate: led workshops for teen girls and organized school wide self-love initiatives annually -Summer camp volunteer for low-income students, 1 summer, 5 hrs/wk -Medical missionary and educational advocate in Mexico and South Africa, 2 trips during college with 12 hr workdays Research (no publication) -assistant on projects about violence prevention and health care opportunities for homeless youth, 2 summers, 2o hrs/wk -Research assistant for Emergency Med studies of chest pain markers, 1 summer, 8 hrs/wk Paid Employment -Reviewer of screening interviews for psychiatric study of eating disorder prevention, 2 semesters, 5 hrs/wk Other -Aspiring author: was in the process of self-publishing a book about encouraging children to take care of the environment Teaching/Tutoring -Helped direct a mentoring program for high school students from low-income backgrounds who were applying to college, 2.5 years, 10 hrs/wk Extracurricular/Hobbies/Avocations -Treasurer for dance group, 4 years, 2 hrs/wk Leadership -Dorm representative to student government and historian, 1 year, 2 hrs/wk
// Applications //
Application Cycle One: 06/30/2011
Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
Total MCAT SCORE: 514
MCAT Section Scores:
Overall GPA: 3.60
Science GPA: 3.40
Summary of Application Experience
July 1st: Just submitted today! I am trusting God through this entire process because I know He has it taken care of.
July 28th: My application was processed. The science GPA was calculated to be less than I expected.
August 18th: I received my first interview invitation from UPitt.
September 4th: I submitted my final secondaries by this date (worked on most during the month of August). Now, I wait and give God thanks.
November 21: I received my first acceptance from Temple.
January 7th: Received my last interview invitation! This process has been surprising. I look forward to finishing up interviews in the next two months.
February 24th: I attended my last interview. All the best to other applicants!
Summary of Experience:
Withdrew because of Michigan acceptance
Why I applied: I did not know the school very well, except that it was comparable to UC Davis. It is even called the \"sister\" school. When I was offered an interview, the dates were either conflicting or too far. I couldn\'t get an interview until February and I knew I wouldn\'t be interested by then.
Summary of Experience:
Besides my first interview invitation, this is the only invite that I literally squealed with excitement at. Interviewing at Harvard was certainly an application process event that I didn\'t see happening.
I was still in shock during my actual interview day. I had a much better than normal interview experience because I interviewed on a SATURDAY and stayed with a student host. I had ample time the day before my interview to socialize with 1st year students in Vandy. The interview day was both comprehensive and shorter because we were not working around physician schedules. All events were held in TMEC including the interviews. I only had one free hour, during which an applicant showed some of us in the group his research lab.
Summary of Experience:
By far my least favorite interview day. First, I had never been to the city of Georgetown and was sorely disappointed by its affluence. Then, the interview day was conducted quite awkwardly. There were no female students involved at the breakfast, tours, or lunch. The only female student I talked to was my host. The presentations seemed non-emotive and the Dean gave me a smart answer for why Georgetown was not Pass/Fail.
I didn\'t particularly care about being waitlisted and I was happy to withdraw.
Summary of Experience:
Withdrew because I want to avoid making decisions post-May 15
Why I applied: Its Columbia. Seriously though, I was interested in living in an urban area for med school and thought it would be cool to live in the Big Apple. When I was writing my secondary app, While writing my secondary, I was impressed with the curriculum\'s focus on Psychiatric Medicine and Dermatology.
What I learned from the interview: Bard Hall: The outside had security and a courtyard leading into the building. I heard from the students that rooms ending in \"22\" are big and 830 was beautiful. I loved the lighting. The bathrooms are old and don\'t have toilet seat covers. The showers are old as well and offer little privacy. They\'re coed on the coed floors. There are sinks in the bathroom and…get this…only one kitchen for however many floors there are of students, I think they said about 120 first years live there. They said its possible to live in an apt in the area but you just have to find one. I\'m thankful that there\'s an out but then you\'re forever out of options to live with friends because you have to live in Bard your first year to be entered into the draw for the Towers, which apparently are condo apts. I was pretty disappointed by the BALSO breakfast. It was just a BALSO student sitting and talking to us, like the rest of the students did. I was very interested to hear that the 4th year who came in to talk to us chose Columbia over Harvard (which was pushed by family pressure). She said that she loved the patient diversity more, she felt like she would get a stronger clinical education (she kept mentioning that students elsewhere don\'t necessarily learn how to do EKG and labs because the hospital they work in are so well funded). The Washington Heights area, which I didn\'t know much about is a little rough and actually had a long history of crack dealings in the 80s. Anyway, the population is primarily Dominican so knowing Spanish is a huge plus. She seems very content with her decision. She described the students as desiring a work-life balance. There is a lot of support and push to do other things. They mentioned the P and S club a bajillion times. Clearly, they are proud of the opportunities within it. They didn\'t mention their community service opportunities generally, perhaps because there are so many, but they talked about individual projects they\'re involved in. For example, Adam coaches basketball for kids in the Heights and he found out about the opportunity from an advisory dean who knew that he liked/played basketball. My interview was late and mentioned at the start of my interview that he didn\'t read my application (double disappointment). Columbia provides connection to the community through service opportunities but also the socioeconomic diversity of patients seen in the hospital. One of the 4th year students was very nice and continued to talk about the school. She\'s very happy and chilling in the 4th year matching in internal medicine. The Dean of Admissions was probably the most impressive dean I\'ve met so far for knowing all of our applications and highlighting particular aspects. Then we went to lunch in Bard Hall which is even worse of a set up than Vandy Hall at Harvard because it only has one kitchen. They have a decent, not good, 3 meal plan and then you just eat leftovers in your mini fridge. Then they showed us the library, which is fancy and new (apparently there are long term plans to make a new medical education building but thats far in the future). They no longer use actual slides for histology so they showed us the computer room they work in. Their lounge is nothing fancy but it sounds like everyone hangs out in Bard as first year. All of the hospitals are right there, which is super convenient and they\'re even connected. One random thing to mention is that even though the medical school is separate from the undergrad campus (although there is a shuttle), it is surrounded by health professional schools so that\'s a bonus. On the tour, they didn\'t show us anatomy out of respect for cadavers but its apparently on the 10th floor. They showed us this beautiful sky bridge. Then the official day was complete. One 4th year stopped me just to say hi and she said that the kind of person that wouldn\'t like Columbia is the one who isn\'t driven enough to seek the help that they need. Yet, it sounds like the administration are a talented group of individuals and whats awesome is that they dedicate their time to students by choice. One last note: the second years run the student success network to help the first years in their classes.
Summary of Experience:
because I interviewed so late, I won\'t hear back for a few weeks. This may be one of the last decisions I receive
I liked the diversity of hospital experiences that don\'t require you to move to other areas. One 4th year admitted that preclincal training was weak but the hospital system made the clinical years one of the best in the country. I didn\'t realize how much the school emphasizes extra endeavors such that few students graduate in four years.
Summary of Experience:
Merit scholarship: $35,000/yr. I\'m honored!
Why I applied: I knew they had a reputation for accepting students from my college and seeking qualified minority school applicants so I thought it was a win-win.
What I learned from the interview: I didn\'t get to see much of Ann Arbor, but it definitely felt like a college town. Students are clustered in one of two areas: the white coat ghetto, which I really don\'t like the name of, or in homes in another neighborhood on the other end of campus. It\'s about 500 to 800 for rent.
On Thursday dinner, I went to The Pizza House so I could meet with BMA students. Most were in their second year and they were talking about how the year was manageable but more difficult than the first. One thing I don\'t like is that you need a car, especially for the 3rd and 4th year to get around. It was great to hear that the BMA, along with many other organizations, participate in service activities. They serve both in Ypsilanti and Detroit. They kept referring to how difficult the 3rd year is while the 4th year is fun. To me, this suggests that the years are not as balanced as they could be. In fact, the third year is quite structured with no choice except the order of rotations. You can\'t start electives until May, the start of the fourth year.
The interview group had 50 people which made it hard to talk to many of the other applicants, but the couple I talked to were nice and I found things in common with them, like being from California. The day began with a welcome video from Dean Gay, who couldn\'t be there because of a conference. Then the Admissions Director Robert Ruiz followed. He talked about how the interview should be two way communication. I appreciated his dating analogy and it really makes sense to stick to my interests and not compromise for the sake of a particular school. He even gave out football tickets to applicants by asking them to text him. One thing Ruiz said that I resonated with was their search for future leaders in medicine. They want to invest in that which is cool. They\'re also really proud of their alumni and are the only school that mentioned specific alums. During my alumni interview, I learned about the supportive alumni network and the community-based research. During my student interview, I had one troubling response: there\'s no formal advising or mentoring. Robert Ruiz is the most transparent Assistant Director in the med school business. He explained that by 5pm, my interviewers will write up their comments. They\'ll focus on me as an applicant instead of how the interview went. Then, I\'ll get assigned to one of 15 members on the executive committee. This upcoming Wednesday, they\'ll meet to discuss my application with my file on everyone\'s screen and they\'ll make a decision between 30 sec and 15 min max. That decision is a determination of what number I am in their wide range of applicants: 1-670. I will hear back on Tuesday by noon. Since he was so transparent, I decided to use the opportunity to ask about how interview invites are given. I learned that they divide applicants into 5 groups, one set for residents and one for non-residents. They give special consideration, almost immediate interviews to Peace Corps and TFA volunteers. They also give special consideration to people from Michigan or those attending Michigan colleges. They\'re only 11% URM compared to some schools that are 8% Black alone.
Summary of Experience:
This school appears to be dripping money. I really don\'t get where it comes from. All of the facilities, both med school and hospital, are brand spanking new. The hospital cafeteria is shiny and delicious. They\'re building a new children\'s hospital, which is currently under construction. The area where the medical school is gorgeous, near the water.
My only concern was not knowing how much an \"adult learning style\" suits me. I think I\'ve learned best when all of the material is readily available through packets or lectures and I just have to spend time on my own learning it.
Summary of Experience:
Why I applied: This is one of few schools that I got a feel for before I applied. I had the pleasure of meeting a student at a conference and I was really impressed with the student community she described, particularly its emphasis on diversity. Although I didn\'t know much about other schools, I was intrigued. (My dad was convinced that I wouldn\'t actually move to the South, but I heard that Nashville would not give me a big culture shock.
What I Learned from the Interview: This was my very first interview so I was really thrown off by how small the school is, especially compared to my undergrad. There are 100 students per class and the med school building literally felt like a high school with hallways lined with lockers. I felt a little claustrophobic, but I did not have a chance to see the undergrad campus.
I learned that Vanderbilt is very proud of its happy student environment, its Wellness Program, Shade Tree Clinic, the match list, and high board schools. The other major negative for me is that my dream med school setting would be a big city that wouldn\'t require me to get a car. I quickly realized that is that Nashville can\'t offer that.
Vanderbilt is making curricular changes that I am actually excited about. Students at other schools were pleased with shorter curricula. The faculty even mentioned that the students were jealous of current students who get to experience it. From my interview, I learned that some curricular weaknesses are exposure to geriatric and chronic care for all students, which they are trying to improve. The emphasis program, a required research project, will also remain but be moved back so students have more time to refine their interests and tailor their research to contributing to residency applications.
What Now: I plan to revisit in April, but at this point, I would significant financial aid to convince me to attend.
I got a weird vibe here. I think when I have options, the best thing to do is trust my gut. I didn\'t stay with a host so maybe that hurt my ability to get to know the students, but I felt like I didn\'t click with anyone I met. I didn\'t find myself excited about any of the school\'s attributes that they were proud of.
I withdrew because I knew I shouldn\'t convince myself to like something I didn\'t like. Its too bad because the faculty and administrators I met were quite nice and Cornell had a lot of innovative community service projects, like Camp Phoenix, that I could have seen myself involved in.
Summary of Experience:
I didn\'t know much about the school, but the new curriculum sounded solid and the diversity of hospital experiences were exceptional. I wonder if there is any deficiency in research related to my interests compared to other schools. I also was disappointed by the very low percentage of ethnic/racial diversity amongst the class
Summary of Experience:
Withdrew after dismal financial aid offer. Only 2,000 in grants and Stafford loans for remainder of tuition. (I guess I would have to take out private loans for the rest.) I thankfully have been offered much better packages.
Why I applied: I know of an alum who is here and loves it. I didn\'t know much except that I was interested in living in an urban environment.
What I learned at the interview: I was presently surprised that Emory had a lot to offer. My host actually chose Emory over Cornell. She loved the feel of the people (which I can\'t say is really doing any discriminating for me because the people have been great almost everywhere). I think Grady was a big draw for her and I can see why. I can imagine how cool it is as a Black doctor to be able to give back in such a needy community. The Dean of Admissions Ira Schwartz was very entertaining. He flipped through some of the school and city\'s distinguishing traits. I was struck by what the Dean said about students\' response to Grady. While sitting in the room where we had our introduction, he said that they show us Grady because its a part of who they are and it shows who they serve. \"If you don\'t like it,\" he said. \"don\'t come here.\" I thought that was quite profound and really shows an institution wide support for serving the community. I hadn\'t really thought much about the patient population I\'d have the opportunity to serve until Grady. I was most impressed with the focus on public health as an institution. That may be due to the Methodist roots or the fact that the Dean of Admissions and Dean of Students both hold public health degrees, but it was exciting to hear that its incorporated into the curriculum and seen as helpful for all medical students to know, regardless of their interests. The Dean of Admissions is a pediatrician who treats kids living with HIV. That, I feel, sets a tone for the institution. Then the groups split.There were 18 of us so they split us into two groups. The first went off to interviews and I sat back with the second group for a tour. They showed us non-traditional stuff, which was a nice change of pace. Instead of the usual simulation center and anatomy lab stops, we walked around the school to see the lecture halls, lobby, went to Grady Hospital and Emory University Hospital, then ended by walking through the undergrad campus to see the gym, school of public health, eateries, and athletic field. Grady hospital is huge; they may have said over 1000 beds. The elevators are slow but I was impressed that the hospital wasn\'t completely run down. The med student lounge facilities were kind of shabby but the money is clearly being put where it should be. There was a new stroke center and trauma section (which looked a lot like Davis\' renovations). I especially loved hearing about the Grady teen clinic, which I guess generally serves OB/GYN cases. The tour guide took us to a little market down the way that had fresh produce and eateries. When we got back, we saw the lecture hall. I just have to say that the building is beautiful! Its spacious and brand spanking new. We had a long n explanation of the curriculum, highlighting the importance of orientation for safety training, the final week shadowing patients, the start of involvement in continuity clinics (or OPex as the students call it), their four societies and four small groups within that. They are of course proud of the now quite common 18 mo curriculum, discovery phase, strength of the public health school and I can\'t really remember what else. One thing I don\'t like is that lecture is pretty much mandatory because its only audio recorded (I thought EVERY school had lecture capture, but apparently not) and transcribed by students for money.) I also don\'t know how I feel about the fact that anatomy is taught to the other students and some groups get screwed for having to dissect on the week of the exam. I do, however, like the length of the class and its integration into the rest of the material. The faculty seemed to say that they came to Emory for similar reasons because of patient population diversity. I met with the Assistant Dean of Diversity, Dr. Lee, and he said he actually came here from his first home WashU because of the family atmosphere. He loved the relationships between students and faculty and that students went out of their way to say hello. He profoundly mentioned that minority students at Emory were equal members in the institution and held leadership roles. Then, at the end of the day, I walked to the public health school to meet with Dr. McGowan. There are some cool opportunities there such as funded projects in global health that MD students have a history of not being rejected from, opportunities to work at the CDC next door.