I am writing this to hopefully help those people like me. It took me five times, but I was finally accepted to a medical school. I graduated in 2012 and foolishly kept applying, but eventually was accepted in 2017. I did not take any sMSP or graduate school courses or grade replacements. This is my story.
Also if anyone has the code generator to simply this mess, please send it my way :)
Freshman: Total: 3.69 ; BCPM: 3.43 ; Non-BCPM: 3.76 Community College Sophomore: Total: 3.33; BCPM: 3.27; Non-BCPM: 4.00 Transferred to State University Junior: Total: 3.68; BCPM: 3.58; Non-BCPM: 4.00 Senior: Total: 3.67; BCPM: 3.40; Non-BCPM: 4.00
I had a single W, two Câ€™s and a lot of AP credits. I think my GPA might have been higher if I did not take so many course in high school.
Barring one bad year, I skirted around 3.6. That one bad year had all my medical prerequisites, hence my low BCPM GPA. However, I had all Aâ€™s for upper-division biology courses. I worked all throughout these years, but not through â€œdocumented means.â€ As when I was younger, I worked to help my parents with their work. I stupidly never wrote it as work because these applications always specify â€œpaidâ€ employment. I was never paid; my parent was paid for my work. If you are in a situation like this, squeeze every bit of juice out of this. I did not realize how important this kind of experience is, and in a holistic evaluation it is very, VERY IMPORTANT.
Recommendation letters 1. PI/Biology Professor wrote my two pages, I imagine it was amazing 2. Foreign Language Professor wrote at least one solid letter 3. Biology Professor who prided herself on a having a tough class. I image it was decent as I earned an A 4. Manager at work, I only asked for it as some schools required four letters since I did not have a committee packet.
Fifth time reapplicant to TMDSAS Reapplicant to a few AMCAS schools First time applicant to the majority of schools that I applied to this cycle in AMCAS
Moved to Texas, started in a community college and transferred to a public university. On the AMCAs I am E01 in socioeconomic level. I grew up in a â€˜ghettoâ€™, first-generation immigrant, first to graduate and attend college and my family, family did not speak English as primary language and I had to work to help my father growing up. Spent time helping the poor, a lot of it.
TMDSAS Submitted 10/01/2012 with MCAT 1 Interviewed: UTMB on last interview date-waitlisted. In hindsight, I now know how bad my application was. It had no direction, and I only wrote a personal statement and no disadvantage essay. My medical experience was virtually nil, and I did not fill out my ECs. This was a mess, but it showed me that I could do this. I did not decide to try out for medicine until my final year of college, and this made me believe that I stood a chance.
Those five long years:
TMDSAS Submitted 9/26/2013 with MCAT 2 Interviewed: UTMB around early November-waitlisted UNTCOM late December-rejected
TMDSAS Submitted 9/29/2014 with MCAT 3 Nothing, I said once more and thatâ€™s it.
TMDSAS Submitted 10/1/2015 with MCAT 4 Interviewed: UTHSCSA around January-waitlisted TT Paul L. Forster 12/14/2015-rejected, this one hurt UT Dell last interview date-rejected
AMCAS Submitted late, embarrassingly late. I did not finish my secondary applications until after the new year. Interviewed: U of Minn Twin Cities around February-rejected Drexel around March-rejected
I told myself that I was done, but after seeing myself get that many interviews rather quickly after submitting my secondary applications, I knew I could do it. I got on SDN and read how important it was to have a narrative, thankfully I did have that. I also had a good story, and ECâ€™s to back up my story.
This is my personal statement, please don't steal it, it's on the web and any basic tracker will be able to show yours as a facsimile if you do plagiarize. Use it as an example of what could work. I don't know if it is common, but every single interviewer that read it gave me compliments and said that it stood out from the typical essay. Maybe they lied, who knows. I don't think it is anything special.
When college began, I studied biology and pursued research. Those four years of studying the interplay between the macroscopic and microscopic were amazing. I was transforming bacteria, performing in situ hybridization on Xenopus embryos and spent time managing a lab. Ultimately though, my time in the lab proved lonely. While I love research, I cannot see myself only performing experiments. Instead, I want to be around people actively making a substantial difference in their health with science. Due to that fact, at my friendsâ€™ suggestion, I looked to medicine.
In order to better understand the practice of medicine, I shadowed [Physician name and place] which focused on the Hispanic population. There I saw the profession's more negative aspects: the constant calling required to manage a patient through our islanded system; the hurdles encountered with uncooperative patients and stingy insurance companies. All of these factors should have scared me away. However, I learned that medicine is where I want to be, and it was because of the patients.
While assisting nurses, I rarely did more than hold an elderly woman's hand during a blood sample or start a small discussion with another. Yet, the smiles and thanks given by patients were more gratifying than any successful lab experiment. With [Physician], I saw scientifically derived procedures used to treat patientsâ€™ ailments. I witnessed how medicine combines science and a type of humanitarian stewardship together in an amazing way. A good physician treats the whole patient-mind and body-and most patients would agree.
Through my conversations with patients at the clinic, I learned that many patients and I had come from similar working class backgrounds. Like my family, many had also spent their lives working hard, but remained in precarious fiscal positions. Due to cultural and linguistic differences, many also shared my parentsâ€™ experience of feeling isolated and misunderstood with healthcare professionals. From both personal and professional encounters, I have witnessed how this can manifest into many years of neglecting health care which results in diseases that can only be managed not cured.
These chronic diseases were the root of many of the ED visits during my time as an ED scribe. The physicians I worked for as a scribe always treated their patients with compassion, trying their best to empathize with their plight. Even though the visits were short, the doctors always made sure that the patients understood the cause of their ailments. Together, they taught me that a doctor treats people, teaches people, listens to people. While medicineâ€™s basic components may be scientific in nature, its practice requires an empathetic and compassionate touch. Often, when asked why patients did not listen to their doctorâ€™s orders; they reasoned that other matters were on their minds. They worried more about their financial situations, than their health and therefore ended up feeling that their health was out of their control. This was a reasoning that I could never scoff at, and it was because my parents had mirrored many patientsâ€™ attitudes.
This attitude toward health while initially surprising was a trend that I have seen throughout my years of growing up and working with the underprivileged, and I have always fought to change it. At the [Foodbank], I volunteered during our nutrition seminars and taught many families about the importance of a healthy diet in mitigating and preventing chronic diseases. Knowing that many families came from parts of the world where soft drinks were more affordable than water, I always stressed the importance of cutting back on sugary drinks. Then at [outreach], I advocated for better sexual health practices and HIV awareness among the minority LGBT community. I dealt with teenagers and adults who were misinformed about various diseases and risk factors pertaining to sexual health and worked to curtail those risks. My time with these groups increased my understanding of the vulnerabilities the disenfranchised face whether this be the lack of awareness between health and nutrition, the lack of access to proper healthcare or the lack of health education. I understand that doctors cannot only treat diseasesâ€™ presenting symptoms. They must also educate their patients to ensure that further complications do not arise.
From my experience, I know medicine offers the best avenue to accomplish my goal of using science to directly improve peopleâ€™s health. I will be able to combine my personal understanding of socioeconomic factors with medicine to cater my patientsâ€™ treatments to best fit their lives. More importantly, I will stress the importance of collaboration between doctor and patient by educating my patients about their health and making them feel included in the preventative and treatment processes. Thereby, empowering them with an internal locus of control over their health.
The TMDSAS has two optional essays. Use them! I foolishly did not until my last cycle. This first one is the diversity essay. Again, don't steal. I'm not a good writer and theft is a disservice to yourself. Instead use it to see what makes you unique, because this is all about what makes me unique and what I can bring to a class.
As a child, my community was a diverse one. While predominantly black, Hispanic and Hmong, there were also sprinklings of Indian and Eastern European. Given this backdrop, I am not too surprised that I developed a keen interest in other languages and cultures. My first foray into language learning occurred with English. This second language opened the world for me. It was due to this fact that in high school, I learned [Foreign language], and come college I studied [Foreign language].
Since childhood, I had known that languages were the ticket to a whole new world, but I never grasped how they opened me up to a whole new mindset. This was most apparent with [Foreign language]; the difficulty came with how the way the language was structured. Honorifics and relationships are important in the language, and casual speech is far more removed from proper etiquette than Western tongues. When I speak a different language, it requires me to rearrange my thoughts considering what is the culturally appropriate word or phrase. This ability has served me well at work. As a medical scribe, I would often translate for the physician when dealing with Spanish speaking patients. By understanding not only the language, but the culture of patientsâ€™ I was always able to relay information between the patient and doctor.
These languages have also provided me with viewpoints that would otherwise have been closed off to me. With [Foreign language], I have experience the immigrant culture of inner city life. Whereas, English brought me exposure to the mainstream culture of America. Although its contribution is small, even [Foreign language] has helped me experience a culture which values harmony and cooperation above all else. It is not only this understanding of a few cultures that I bring, but more importantly an open-mindedness born from these experiences.
From my language learning experiences, I have seen how language and culture affects the prism with which people view their world. This fact always causes me to view situations from different perspectives. It has given me an understanding that everyone has an original point of view and they all have merit.
Lastly is the hardship essay. Again, i foolishly never used this because every time I would write, it sort of felt melodramatic. Like, woe is me my life is hard. I never realized how important it was until my Dell interview. I am pretty sure I was invited because their final secondary essay matches this one.
My parents immigrated to the United States without any English speaking ability and as unskilled workers. My mother worked as a janitor and my father as a landscaper. Given their low earnings, I had to work with my father on any sick days and holidays from school since the age of eight. Even with my help, my familyâ€™s fiscal situation was never the best.
Due to our poverty, the community that I grew up in was poor, had a high crime rate, gang violence, drug abuse and the rest of povertyâ€™s trappings. My first experience with the gang violence that plagued my neighborhood of Del Paso Heights occurred when I was five. On that day, a few friends and I were out playing in the front yard. From that day, I can recall the vehicles coming to a screeching halt. Then shooting. I did as I had been taught at school. I ducked for cover and then waited for the gunfire to peter out before running inside to safety. Despite my proximity to the shooters, I was thankfully relatively unscathed.
The kinds of schools born from this environment are never the best, my schooling certainly reflected as much. We spent more time on drug prevention and safety than on other scholastic endeavors. Because of this, I feel that my educational foundation was rocky from the beginning.
Upon transferring to a university as a sophomore, the educational disadvantage was reflected in my grades. This was furthered exacerbated by me assisting my father at his second job as a self-employed janitor. While not legally employed, I was picked up after classes and would travel with him to the offices he cleaned. Having to commute to the university by buss and work in the evenings hampered my study time. Initially, it felt almost impossible, but I never gave up. I would study whatever I could during the commutes and sought help whenever I could. Eventually, I found a way balance out work and school in a way that made the hurdle more manageable.
The trouble I had in my sophomore year made itself apparent in my MCAT. My multiple MCAT examinations were always the result of my problems with physics. Despite how hard the educational hurdle was, I studied hard and always tried my best. While I may not have the highest GPA or the best MCAT score, I am proud of what I accomplished. From these challenges, I have learned that I can endure any arduous experience with perseverance and determination.
// Applications //
Application Cycle One: 08/15/2016
Undergraduate college: Public University
Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
Total MCAT SCORE: 509
MCAT Section Scores:
Overall GPA: 3.58
Science GPA: 3.40
Summary of Application Experience
I did not retake the MCAT so this was the same 506 score. Overall is was long and arduous, but rewarding and I made sure to savor every moment. I relished my time during my interviews. I still canâ€™t believe it. I did not have an easy life, Iâ€™ve had to struggle, but it finally feels worth it. This is not to say that anyone can do it. It took me five years and I was only ever able to pay for it due to FAP.
I applied to over thirty schools on AMCAS a few were re applicant, but the majority were first applications at those schools. I will only list the ones where I was interviewed or declined.
Like before with Dell, there is not any listing for UT Rio Grande Valley. It was also very intimate. I really liked the school and honesty it fit what my career goals are. However, my interviewer at UTHSCSA told me to not attend a new school unless it was my only option, hence why I ranked them third.
Invited for Interview, Withdrew
New York Medical College
Combined PhD/MSTP: No
Secondary Completed: 09/24/2016
Interview Invite: 11/20/2015
Interview Attended: No
Summary of Experience:
Withdrew from my 2/9/2016 interview after being accepted in Texas. Hopefully, someone else got that one.
Summary of Experience:
I got the interview call after my UTMB invite. That whole day was a wonderful high. The interview day was rather intimate. The MMI dealt with subjects that I cared about and only reinforced this as my number one choice.