My med school application season was pretty quick and painless. I applied to AMCAS and AACOMAS the day they opened. I had previously decided to apply to the Early Decision Program at WVU after a lot of thinking. I thought with my low MCAT, I wasn\'t all that likely to get much love anywhere else. In addition, I have a serious boyfriend who is from WV and I think collectively me and him would have picked WVU over pretty much any other school/location. I know the WVU website said EDP isn\'t a way to double you\'re chances, but I was encouraged by the dean and one of the ADCOMs to go for it. I thought being in a pool of ~20 applicants would help me stand out versus a pool of thousands. I went to WVU for undergrad, am spending my year off here, and have two sisters who have worked here for awhile so I felt like my ties were pretty good. I was still pretty nervous about being OOS.
I decided to simultaneously apply to DO schools because it\'s not against the \"rules\" and I just want to be a doctor, I don\'t care about the letter after my name much. So DO was kind of like my security blanket. Turns out I really loved the two DO schools I interviewed at (WVSOM and CCOM). In the end though, I can potentially get in state tuition at WVU and it\'s close to home so I\'m going with the MD and choose to cancel my other already postponed interviews at DO schools.
Please DO NOT have bias against DO schools until you see them. The two I saw were fantastic and really enjoyed my interview days--probably even more than WVU. So don\'t count DO out! Anyway, here is some info on my application and such--good luck everyone!! :)
-Roughly 100 hours volunteering in local ED (continued throughout application season)
-25 hours shadowing FM MD, 20 hours shadowing FM DO, 25 hours shadowing team of psychiatrists/PAs/NPs
-50 hours non-clinical volunteering writing for an online science journal
-Three research experiences--one long term for four semesters+thesis, two summer programs
-Worked at WVU\'s writing center for a year a half as a tutor
-Wrote for the WVU school newspaper\'s news section for over a year
-Member of WVU Russian Club (this + my minor in Foreign Literature in Translation got attention in interviews, FYI)
-Phi Beta Kappa
-Named one of WVU\'s Outstanding Seniors (top 1% of the graduating class)
I love to write (despite my slightly below average MCAT writing score) so I think my PS was pretty strong. I worked with a fellow tutor at the writing center for about 6 weeks for a half and hour each week on my PS. The tutoring sessions were extremely helpful. I would DEFINITELY recommend taking advantage of your school\'s writing center (if they have one) while writing your PS.
My PS was probably unconventional as I don\'t a story about when me or a family were ill and I suddenly realized I wanted to be a doctor. I\'ve been on a crazy path to get to medicine where I looked in to numerous other careers. My PS mostly focused on that path and how I came to realize medicine was for me. I\'m honest in saying helping people isn\'t the number one reason I want to be a doctor--it\'s the challenge and the science. I was straightforward with that in my PS and I think it came across successfully. So no need to make up or exaggerate a story about someone being ill and how you want to help people so badly. If you don\'t then don\'t put it in your PS.
I had 7 LORs for a few reasons:
-Biology professor I did research for for four semesters in undergrad
-Biology professor I took a grad level class with and have a tight relationship with
-Microbiology professor I had a class with and did really well in (only asked him bc WVU requires a science letter from outside of your major, only sent to WVU)
-Foreign Literature in Translation teacher I took 5 classes with and have a great relationship with (probably my strongest letter)
-Professor who runs the WVU writing center
-MD I shadowed (only sent to WVU)
-DO I shadowed (only sent to DO schools)
My advice on LORs--ask for them early and get Interfolio!
Again, I feel like I\'m a pretty strong writer so I think this played to my strengths. Don\'t be afraid to reuse some answers and just be honest. Try to get them done quickly, but don\'t sacrifice quality.
To prepare for interviews, a few weeks before my first one I found a website that listed lots of potential med school interview questions. I then typed out answers to these questions and would go through them again and again. I didn\'t memorize what I typed, instead I used the answers as a guideline if I forgot what I wanted to say in response to a certain question. I started to see a lot of patterns in questions that were the same but asked differently. I felt really prepared after doing this.
On interview day of course I was nervous, but most of the questions I was asked came directly from the list I had practiced with so I had an outline of an answer ready to go and felt pretty confident. The CCOM ethics question threw me off guard a bit, but I guess I did better than I thought. Over all, I had a great experience at my interviews and I didn\'t over prepare. Just know what you want to get across and own it.
I think that\'s it folks. Good luck!!