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MD Applicants

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  • Application cycles: 06/12/2012
  • Demographics: Male, 30, Caucasian
  • Home state: Oregon
  • Last Active: 10/13/2013
  • Brief Profile:

    Academics

    **Please forgive all spelling errors. I have written most of this in Dreamweaver and there is no auto spellcheck.**

    Major: Biology
    Minor: Chemistry
    AMCAS cGPA: 3.77
    AMCAS BCPM: 3.82
    TMDSAS cGPA: 3.80
    TMDSAS BCPM: 3.84

    Letters of Recommendation (LORs):
    Standard Three Letters
    - Academic Advisor, Upper Division Science Professor, and Principle Investigator
    - Upper Division Science Professor and Teaching Assistant Supervisor
    - Religions Professor (had freshman and senior year)
    Additional Letters
    - Lower and Upper Division Science Professor (had freshman and senior year)
    - BCM SMART Program Principle Investigator
    - Personal Physician, Mentor, and Principle Investigator

    **My school does not use a committee letter**

    Diversity Factor:
    I was diagnosed with leukemia when I was 12, had chemotherapy for 18 months and then relapsed. I had a sibling matched bone marrow transplant and had four years of subsequent treatment for graft vs host disease. During those four years I had numerous life threatening (if cancer wasn't enough) and debilitating complications that allowed me to see many aspects of medicine that most people never see. Recovery was long and hard, but if you saw me today, you would never suspect I went through cancer treatment.

    General Advice

    This section may fill up slowly, but this is where I will be posting advice specific to the application cycle that I wish would have known/though of before applying.

    Submit early!!
    My number one piece of advice is to submit as early as possible. It takes increasingly longer for AMCAS to verify your application the later you submit. Even though I submitted on the 8th day possible this year I still felt a little behind as others were getting secondaries before me and were complete with those secondaries before me. A lot of school review applications based on when the secondary is marked complete so getting those in as soon as possible should be your number one priority while applying.
    Image Error
    The graph does not show this all that well because its a 2 period average, but for those who submitted on the first day in 2012 it took up to eight days to be verified and by the third day was a two week delay. Data was compiled from the SDN Official AMCAS Verification Thread for their respective years.

    Choosing an email address:
    Make a new email address that is specifically for your medical school application. Use gmail, yahoo, icloud, or whatever you want (not aol) and make it as professional as possible - [email protected] or [email protected] or something similar. This way all of your medical school emails go into a specific account and do not get mixed up with your personal/undergraduate email. This email has to be used on your AMCAS application because that is what individual schools will use to create your secondary logins etc.

    Put everything on a credit card to earn airline miles:
    Sign up for a credit card that earns you miles and put everything on it and use those miles for travel. I mean, you are either paying for your application costs with 'cash' and getting nothing for it or you could be putting it all on a credit card and earning miles. Just be sure to pay off the bill when you get it and cancel it after the application cycle if you get it cause most have an annual fee of $60 - $100. Try this as Southwest is considered one of the better airlines to fly on.

    Renting a car:
    If you need to rent a car look around and see if companies are waiving their dues for a gold membership or whatever they are calling it. I signed up for Hertz cause they were waiving the dues and through their Gold Club Card the under 25 fee was waived for me when renting a car. If you know you will have to rent a car several times, it may be worth paying the membership fee as the under 25 fee is also very expensive. Again, remember to cancel this when done because there is an annual fee.

    Withdrawing from schools:
    If you apply to a school and no longer wish to submit the secondary for whatever reason or wish to withdraw at anytime during the application cycle, send a quick email informing them of that. Its professional and courteous and keeps them from reviewing your application any further allowing other applicants that are genuinely interested in the school to be processed faster. It can be as simple as:

    To Whom It May Concern, (Or if you got an email from someone specific use their name)

    I am writing this email to inform you that I will not be submitting the supplemental application and would like to withdraw my application from consideration for the entering class of 2013.

    Sincerely,

    Name
    AMCAS ID: ########

    MCAT Preparation and Performance

    Date: 1/4/12
    Test: Kaplan Diagnostic
    Score: PS 9 | VR 5 | BS 8 | (22)

    Date: 5/24/12
    Test: The Real Deal
    Score: PS 10 | VR 10 | BS 10 | (30 O)

    I'm a little disappointed with my score because my practice exams were consistently a few points higher in PS and BS, but I'm going to apply anyways w/o a retake. I figure I would rather apply early with this score than later with a potentially higher score. I am thankful though that my score is balanced with no section at or under 8, as at that point I would have retaken.

    My Preparation:
    I used Kaplan's Online On Demand Course and EK 101 Verbal.
    For Kaplan I spent four days on each block of material given to me.
    Day 1: First 1/2 of the chapters and their respective end of chapter quizzes.
    Day 2: Second 1/2 of the chapters and their respective end of chapter quizzes.
    Day 3: "Required Quizzes," online lecture, and additional review of the chapters as needed.
    Day 4: "Strongly Recommended Tests" which were normally two passages w/ questions and ~10 discrete questions.

    I would do one or two days of Kaplan Verbal/Writing when it came up in their schedule and one day for MSCT when it came up.

    I took every Sunday off from studying MCAT material.

    I followed this general four day format very well, but got behind often as I was going to school full time and would just get side tracked some weeks and not do anything. I also registered late for my MCAT which gave me an later test date than I wanted, so my 3.5 month study plan turned into a 5 month study plan.

    I recommend Breaking Down the MCAT: A 3 Month MCAT Study Schedule by SN2ed if you do not have the money for a prep course, which was probably not necessary looking back. My best advice would be to make a schedule and stick to it.

    Personal Statement

    **I will post this after the majority of the application cycle has passed.**

    Personal Statement Tips:
    Get started on this early in the year you plan on applying - I would say to at least start thinking about it in November so you can have a good draft to give to your LOR writers when you request those on May 1st.

    If you are having problems with what to write for your personal statement, I recommend Essays That Will Get You into Medical School for ideas and how to structure your essay. I would also recommend checking out Depakote's Personal Statement Guide/Tips and The Official Personal Statement Guide.

    Once you have a nice rough draft I would recommend tracking down the current Official Personal Statement Guide and Reader List thread on SDN and carefully selecting one or two readers based on their listed credentials for what you want and their post history to make sure they are not a troll or someone that is likely to copy your statement.

    Activities

    Activity titles and descriptions are as they appear in AMCAS.
    Most meaningful experiences are denoated by a dagger (†).
    Brackets denote changes to names and information for anonymity.

    To understand some of the references, you should read my Diversity Factor statement. Adcom members will have to reference my personal statement for this information.

    Research

    † Student Researcher at [University] (Academic Year Only)
    Summer Medical and Research Training Program - Baylor COM
    Student Researcher at Oregon Health and Science University

    Clinical

    † Texas Children's Hospital Volunteer
    Oregon Cord Blood Program Intern
    † Clinical Shadowing

    Teaching/Tutoring

    Organic Chemistry Teaching Assistant
    General Chemistry Small Group Tutor

    Employment

    Integrated Technology Support - Student Technician

    Miscellaneous

    Pre-Health Society President
    [University] Biology Club Co-Founder & Vice President
    Peer Conduct Board
    Saxophonist
    Photographer for [University Newspaper] (Academic Year Only)
    Collegiate Honors and Awards

    Activities Since Submitting AMCAS

    Research Assistant II in a prostate cancer lab at the Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU.

    Volunteering in the Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Ward at Randall Children's Hospital

    Application Timeline

    May
    June
    July
    August
    September
    October
    November
    December
    January
    February
    March
    April
    May
  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 06/12/2012

    • Undergraduate college: Small Liberal Arts College
    • Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 509
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 127, C/P 127, CARS 127  
    • Overall GPA: 3.77
    • Science GPA: 3.82

    Summary of Application Experience

    Application Map

    Image Error
    Last Updated: 6/9/13 | All flights start in Oregon | See larger version here.
    Because I am a visual person and made this for myself, I thought I would share. I will try and keep this as up to date as possible throughout the cycle, but because it takes a little extra work, it may not always be as accurate as the timeline data or application data. Also, its not as detailed with "Secondary Received" and "Complete" status because Google Maps does not have that many color options and I did not want to constantly update this for little things like that. There is now an explaination as to how I did this. Please see Additional Notes.

    Key For Abbreviations

    SR = secondary received
    SS = secondary submitted
    C = complete (secondary & LORs received by school)
    II = interview invite
    IA = interview attended
    H = hold
    WL = waitlisted
    A = accepted
    W = withdrew
    R = rejected

    Application Costs

    Essays That Will Get You into Medical School: $9 - I highly recommend along with this and this.
    The MedEdits Guide to Medical School Admissions: $9 - I do not recommend, see Additional Notes.
    The Med School Interview: $26 - Provided for a good starting point
    MCAT review materials: ~$1,700
    MCAT registration: $240
    Interfolio: $25
    2011-2012 MSAR: $33
    2013-2014 MSAR: $20
    US News Compass Access: $30
    Transcripts: $45
    Primary AMCAS fee: $738
    Primary TMDSAS fee: $150
    Total secondary application fees: $1,090 (Yikes!)
    Current traveling/lodging/food costs: $417
    Interview Clothing: ~$600 (This includes suit, shirt, tie, shoes, belt, tailoring, etc.)
    A suitcase: $280

    Running Total : $5,412 - Praying I get accepted this cycle!

    Additional Notes

    MedEdits
    Why I only added one school at verification
    Application Map

    Applied, Rejected

    University of Washington
    University of California, San Diego

    Applied, Withdrew

    Ohio State University
    University of Arizona
    Texas A & M University

    Application Complete

    Medical College of Wisconsin

    Application Complete, Rejected

    Baylor College
    Mayo Medical School
    University of Cincinnati
    Saint Louis University
    University of Wisconsin
    Cleveland Clinic Medical School
    Case Western Reserve University
    University of Iowa
    University of Colorado
    Long School of Medicine - University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio
    University of Texas, Houston
    University of Texas, Southwestern
    Columbia University

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted

    Oregon Health & Science University
    Wake Forest University
    University of Arizona - Phoenix

    Accepted off Waitlist

    University of Central Florida

    // Share //

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