Double major in humanities and social sciences.
Decided to go for medical school in my junior year of college based on an incredible experience I had at the end of my sophomore year. Started volunteering in clinical and non-clinical settings, worked at a hospital, did research in public health and wrote a thesis. Wish me luck!
// Applications //
Application Cycle One: 07/31/2012
Undergraduate college: Top Ten
Undergraduate Area of study: History/Humanities
Total MCAT SCORE: 514
MCAT Section Scores:
Overall GPA: 3.65
Science GPA: 3.50
Summary of Application Experience
I'm going to be a doctor! It's a huge relief to have an acceptance (and from my awesome state school!) in my pocket :)
Still on two waitlists but they're more a formality than anything and I don't expect to hear back good news from either of them. It's about 99% official--I am U of I bound!
Rejected! Never fun, but what can you do? I'm planning on calling to see what went wrong for me, cause I felt like this school was a good fit.
I am so thrilled to get this particular II, since so many people advised me against applying out of state. But I really loved their mission and commitment to public health so I figured it was worth the money to give it a shot.
Great interview day! Drove up the night before for the optional student gathering--wish I'd skipped it. It was an awkward question and answer session and I thought it was more of a mixer for the students/interviewees. Only good part was that after 20 minutes of being lost trying to find the room, I found it--and it was the same place we needed to be in the morning!
Our day started bright and early with a couple of hours of info sessions and tours. I would advise coffee, as I didn't have time to get any beforehand and the sessions made me a little sleepy :( There was a lot of good information there and I was really glad we were able to have it before our interviews. Also be prepared as an out of state student--nearly everyone is from WI so say nothing bad about the Packers or cheese. I was convinced by the end of the session that UW was the school for me.
Then we had our first interview, the faculty one. It ended up being my favorite part of the entire day, cause we spent all of it talking about my experiences and hers as a physician (she was not a Wisconsin resident either!). Totally low stress and great. Then we did our tour which was mostly useful in that we were able to talk to a student and see what she liked or didn't like about her school. Lunch, then group interviews! I had never had a group interview before, so it was a little weird trying to say what I needed to without monopolizing the conversation. Not a huge fan of the format, though I really liked my interviewers. Finally we went for another info session which was 100% not necessary. My least favorite part of the day for sure--the "hard sell" of the school made me wonder why, after the convincing presentation in the morning, they felt like they needed to keep selling us on it.
There was also an optional tour of the hospital led by an M3 which was awesome. The tour itself was not that interesting, but it was nice to see all of the new parts of the building and, more importantly, the skills lab. They have this incredible section where you can practice techniques on lifelike mannequins that breathe and have heart rates. Students are put through simulations of emergencies, taped, and their performance is reviewed by their instructors--so cool.
Tl;dr--awesome day, awesome school. Keeping my fingers crossed for good news!
Summary of Experience:
FOURTH INTERVIEW INVITE! Ummmm what did I seriously just get an interview invite from Pritzker? I don't have words.
Got placed on the "pre-interview hold," which is frankly better than the auto-reject I was expecting. Hopefully they'll like me enough upon re-review to II me!
This interview day was as incredible as promised. I was incredibly nervous, given how badly I want to matriculate here, and the staff was so helpful and set me at easse. There is a breakfast in the morning run by the multicultural association, and it's not mandatory but pretty much everyone went. After that, you sign in on iPads (so hip, Pritzker!) and chat with the other students. There's a brief presentation of staff and info session on what the day's going to be like, but other than that you're kind of ushered off to your interviews. Since it was so late in the season (second to last interview day of the cycle!), pretty much everyone had all of their interviews in the morning cause we had a small group (~10).
My first interview was in one of the medical buildings and required some quick maneuvering. The admissions secretary drew me an excellent map and as long as I followed it, I had no trouble getting to my interview on time. My physician interview was so relaxed and so enjoyable, I was really sorry to have it cut short by our time requirements. My student interview was very conversational and mostly focused on chatting. We kind of went off from one question and had a very natural conversation. My final interview was with an admissions officer and was iinitially a little stressful just based on his position but ended up being my favorite overall. I think I did pretty well, but then again I have no sense of these things.
This was my first interview day where all of the interviews were complete before lunch/tour, and I was suprised just how much the rest of the day felt really relaxed. Lunch was personal deep dish pizza--of course it was awesome--and cookies and salad. Way too much food, guys! We shared our meal with some medical students (one of my favorite parts of the day!) and were able to learn a lot about how the school works and what kind of opportunities are available. We took a group picture which we were able to collect at the end of the day. We also took individual pictures (before lunch!) which were used to give the admissions committee a visual of us when they were discussing us.
After lunch, we went on our tour. It was a very long tour and went through the quad, the hospital, and the med school building. It was less informative than the lunch had been, so we used the time to get to know the other applicants. I would be happy to be classmates with any of my fellow interviewees--very social and fun bunch!
After our tour, we were offered ice cream (!), Halloween candy, cookies, hot chocolate, tea, etc....Pritzker really wants to feed everyone :) Unfortunately, you are usually able to go visit a class but our day there were exams and small group meetings so we couldn't really sit in on anything. All in all, an incredible day!
This was by far my favorite interview and an incredible day overall. I am completely sold on this school and keeping my fingers crossed for good news :)
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand continued. Well, I can't say I'm surprised although I'm not giving up on Pritzker!
Summary of Experience:
THIRD INTERVIEW INVITE! Have much more time to prepare for this one than I did for others, so that will be great! Also looking forward to spending time in Miami in January--will be much warmer than Chicago ;)
Quite an interesting day! Arrived way too early, so sat and enjoyed the lovely weather at the Starbucks I stumbled upon. When you arrive at the med school building (yes, only one building but a lot of stories!), they ask for two forms of ID (one of which must be proof of citizenship, like a passport!). There were about 20 kids, mostly out of state in my group. We listened to a few presentations on the school and the opportunities available. We had lunch and managed to lure in a bunch of medical students with Panera lunch. It was really interesting to talk to them and to get their perspective on the new school and the curriculum.
Then we split into groups and either did tours or went to do interviews. My group went on the tour first, which was not super exciting but pretty informative. The entire medical school, as I said above, is contained within one building on campus. There is no hospital associated with the university, so the tour mostly focused on the library, the med building, and the student union. I learned a lot from the student who was leading our tour, definitely more than I learned from the tour itself. Also, BRING SUNGLASSES. After a whole day indoors, you cannot believe how bright it is outside.
After the tour, we came back for our interviews. They are incredibly organized, almost to a militant degree, so don't be surprised. You line up by your applicant number and are marched down a hallway and deposited into a room. Someone walks by with a sign to let the interviewer know when there are 5 minutes left and when you have to get kicked out. Then you return to home base and wait for everyone else to return so that the next interview can begin.
My two interviews were pretty standard, both with faculty members (no student interviews are offered!). The first doctor was a little older and very reserved--hard to get a read on how I did and if I managed to make a connection. He asked a lot of questions you would expect, including one very difficult ethics question he pulled from his own experience as an intern. The second interview went significantly better and ended with her commenting that she thought a comment I had made was brilliant and caused her to reevaluate how she had been practicing medicine (!!!!!!!!!!).
After the interviews, we sat and listened to two more presentations on Panther communities (think houses in HP) and financial aid. Up until this point, I loved mostly everything about this school with only minor reservations. I had been aware of the pricetag for out of staters coming in and was interested in seeing how they would address it. The finaid person completely put me off--instead of reassuring us that it was a manageable amount, she scoffed at the idea that paying $75K/year in tuition and fees was even a high price. She said that (paraphrased) "you'll be making so much money as a physician that this will seem like a pittance." That really pissed me off, to put it lightly--that is a huge sum of money and it makes FIU one of the most expensive schools I applied to, if not the most. Since I've been accepted to my significantly cheaper state school, I don't see the point of taking a chance on a new medical school that can't seem to understand how crippling debt can be. Honestly, it left a bad taste in my mouth and kind of ruined the whole day.
tl;dr--Wish they had skipped the financial aid presentation or made someone more sympathetic give it. Ruined an otherwise excellent day!
I was pretty sold on my state school before the interview and after it....I'm super excited! The day started strong with an info session and a tour of the Chicago campus. I would definitely recommend doing the afternoon interview instead of the morning, cause it gave me time to get my questions in order and to learn about what the school thought were their best assets before my interview. We ate lunch and then it was time for interviews! There were three--one faculty (which I didn't get) and one-two students or admissions committee members. My interviews were pretty standard and I mostly got asked questions straight from the interview forum on SDN (including word for word one of the ethics questions). Wished I could have spent longer talking to the interviewers--half an hour goes quick! The talks were mostly low stress and conversational (except for one student who legit just read questions off of a sheet in order, no conversation at all). I actually had the most fun talking to the other applicants and learning about them. All in all, a good day. Fingers crossed for an acceptance :)
HOLY %@#& I GOT IN! My first acceptance--I'm going to be a doctor! And Chicago campus too! Best Christmas present given to a Jew?