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MD Applicants

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  • Application cycles: 06/28/2011
  • Demographics: Female, 39, Caucasian
  • Home state: California
  • Last Active: 01/04/2013
  • Brief Profile: On my way to college my journalism teacher wrote in my graduation card: \"Be a doctor . . . or don\'t\" -- it made me stop and ask why do I want to do this? and is this the right path for me?

    Well, I hated the pre-med scene at my undergrad and also the competitive behaviors so I leaned towards the advice to not be a doctor. I sucked at Gen Chem but aced Ochem so that was confusing. My roommates were poli sci majors who only studied occasionally and I liked that lifestyle vs 24/7 problem sets and reviewing. I felt like every class I was in was intended to weed out potential doctors vs educate and inspire. I was in the UC machine, the degree generator. I did not seek mentors or research opportunities and immersed myself in sport, work, friends and academics when I connected with the professor. Problem was that as 1/300 per class with instructors who were usually there out of obligation not interest, I didn\'t connect with many professors. Feeling generally confused over what I was supposed to do and convinced \"research\" and medicine were not right I graduated with no plan. . . So I traveled to New Zealand to study rafting, ropes courses, scuba in a leadership facilitators course.

    After several years in NZ getting married and gaining permanent residency, I started feeling the tug to look at that medicine thing again. . . .
  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 06/28/2011

    • Undergraduate college: UCSD
    • Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 522
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 131, C/P 129, CARS 130  
    • Overall GPA: 3.61
    • Science GPA: 3.56

    Summary of Application Experience

    Strong MCAT made me confident. Felt my app showed weakness with lack of research experience, mediocre personal statement and criminal record. Had many great letters of recommendation (all on Interfolio) and better GPA thanks to many new challenging science courses. \"Felt\" like it was going to happen vs \"Hoped\" that it would happen.

    Delayed submission to late June to add final transcript with Spring grades (every A counts!).

    During secondary days had a current med student critique one and accidently gave her my personal statement which she \"pitied\" with several comments. Stomach ached after this and I freaked about my PS. Quickly applied to several more schools in September (silly waste of money). Promptly received first interview invite a week later. . . Murphy\'s Law.

    PS:
    Becoming a doctor was an option after graduation, now it is my resolution. I have worked diligently to comprehend the expectations and responsibilities that accompany medicine and I am motivated to meet them. My hope is to continue efforts to improve the patient-physician connection through trusted communication and comprehensible education. My initiative is to succeed with my patient care and to persist through difficult diagnoses, long hours, competitiveness and failure. From my work experience, my continuing education and my travels abroad I have gained the patience, aptitude and determination to be an effective physician.
    After working with health professionals and members of the community I have reignited my undergraduate hope to pursue a medical career. Because I had turned away from this path for many years I needed to reconnect with the field. I found work as a home care aide and started volunteering at the public hospital to help elucidate which direction in medicine to pursue. I observed the complexity of the patient experience when I accompanied patients to appointments and assisted with their daily tasks. Though I provided critical daily living services for my patients I knew I wasn’t capitalizing on my abilities. My interest in greater challenges was accelerated while volunteering. After moving up to the surgical ward I observed many levels of health professionals. I respected each of their roles and critical contributions, but I wanted to go beyond alleviating a patient’s discomfort and administering prescriptions. I wanted to be the doctor investigating the patient’s symptoms and coordinating their care and recovery.
    During the past year I have discovered that I am an educator and I intend to continue this role with my patients. After developing a passion for human anatomy as a student I was asked to become a supplemental instructor. This has allowed me to share my enthusiasm for the material while assisting students with comprehension and study strategies. My students thrived when I listened to their struggles and approached topics with them from different angles. During my second semester of instructing I have helped to lower the drop rate in the anatomy course, which regularly dwindles to 12 or less students from an original group of 30. This has confirmed to me the importance of personal connections between teacher and student. I believe that my contributions have helped students connect with the material and with each other. My students emphasized that having an advocate supporting them was essential to their success. I intend to maintain this advocacy in medicine, complementing treatment with education and enthusiasm.
    Living abroad gave me insight into the subtle but important differences between cultures. After graduation I sought discovery outside my existing boundaries and decided to travel. There were many promising career paths, but none I could commit to with conviction. Through a series of unexpected events and opportunities I immigrated to New Zealand where I worked and gained permanent residency. Despite the similarity in the language and the culture I encountered distinct differences in beliefs and perceptions. Americans are respected by New Zealanders, but I was tagged with a distinct stereotype. It was unpleasant to be blanketed with negative stereotypes such as arrogance and international ignorance, but I gained insight into my own prejudices toward other cultural groups and nationalities. From this self-examination I learned to tolerate the behavioral differences of other cultures and to be more aware of my own. The benefits I gained from my cultural immersion were incredibly beneficial when I left New Zealand to travel through Southeast Asia, India, Egypt and Europe. Cultural disparities were challenging when it came to communication. Patience and tolerance were critical in every encounter. My husband and I were constantly adapting our behaviors to avoid causing insult. This helped us to observe the amazing social differences at every destination and connect with individuals and families. We humored a multi-generational Indonesian family with our tourist mistakes and became close with a South African Muslim family in Malaysia. After many months of culture shock and unfamiliar territory we were enthralled and exhausted. I returned to the US full of gratitude and motivated to pursue a rewarding and meaningful career.
    Although I am making this decision later in life than most I have sought experiences in medicine from several different angles and am confident that this is the correct decision. I am eager to develop more knowledge of the health systems so that I can contribute to their progress. I hope to connect with my patients just as I have connected with my students. In addition, I am certain that I will also discover opportunities to share my medical knowledge in a formal education setting and to continue sharing my enthusiasm in the classroom.

    LOR:
    5xScience Academic
    1xNonScience Academic
    2xVolunteer Coordinator
    1xPatient Care Employer

    Experiences:
    Shadow Pediatric OR on 6 occasions
    Volunteer at County Hospital 2.5 years in Info Desk then on Surgical Ward
    Supplemental Instructor at Community College that served 55% hispanic population
    Research: Statistical evaluation of Academic Support Program at same Community College, published on campus
    Home Care Aid for 2 years with 15 year old girl with cerebral palsy, plus other elderly and autistic patients
    International travel for 18 months RTW (USA to Tahiti to NZ to Aus to Bali to Malaysia to Thailand to India to Egypt to Greece to Italy to England/France to USA)
    Retail Sales Manager in New Zealand for 2 years
    Random work here and there
    Research: Observed Bonobo Chimpanzees for 6months for CogSci project

    Applied, Rejected

    University of Washington

    Application Complete, Rejected

    University of California, San Diego
    Stanford University
    University of California, Irvine
    University of Arizona - Phoenix
    Oregon Health & Science University
    University of California, San Francisco
    Boston University
    Harvard University
    Pennsylvania State University
    New York University
    Cornell University
    Northwestern University

    Invited for Interview, Withdrew

    Rosalind Franklin University

    Attended Interview, Rejected

    University of Colorado

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted, Withdrew

    University of California, Davis

    Accepted

    University of Arizona

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