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MD Applicants

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  • freshbagels

  • Application cycles: 06/09/2013
  • Demographics: Male, 30, Caucasian
  • Home state: Washington
  • Last Active: 04/13/2016
  • Brief Profile: Academic turnaround: 2.68 uGPA -> 4.0 SMP (M.S. Pharmacology)
    4 year rower in undergrad
    AmeriCorps (City Year) 2013-2014

    Cast as wide a net as I could afford, hoping to get past the autoscreens and make a case for admission.

    If I can do it, so can you!
  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 06/09/2013

    • Undergraduate college: State School
    • Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
    • Institution: SMP
    • Area of Study: Other
    • Degree Obtained: Pharmacology
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 523
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 131, C/P 129, CARS 132  
    • Overall GPA: 2.67
    • Science GPA: 2.51

    Summary of Application Experience

    Primary submitted and verified 6/10/2013. Application transmitted to schools 6/28/2013.

    UPDATE 7/24/2013: Surprisingly, no pre-secondary rejections yet! I made it past the relatively stringent screens at UC-SF and Mayo,which I am very happy about - although I don't realistically expect to receive interviews at either school. They are my absolute dream schools, so I figured I might as well apply. Some schools (Albany, UA-Tucson, VTech) have sent out secondaries to at least some people, but I haven't gotten them yet. They might have silently screened my app out, unfortunately. I've also decided not to complete the OHSO app - they have a strict uGPA cut-off and it would be a waste of money for me to send in the secondary. My realistic top choice, UW, is still processing my residency verification, and I hope that I took enough steps to maintain my WA domicile while out of state!

    UPDATE 8/1/2013: First II! From Cooper Medical School at Rowan University. I was just getting to that uneasy point where I had been complete for 3 or more weeks at the majority of my schools and I hadn't heard anything. This was especially concerning when several schools on my list (Hofstra, VCU, Mayo, Cooper) had started sending out invites! The II is a big confidence booster - it lets me know that, hopefully, schools are actually reading my app and not just trashing it automatically because of my uGPA. Very excited to interview at Cooper, they have an innovative clinical curriculum and a heavy underserved focus, which are both quite appealing.

    UPDATE 9/15/2013: Attended interview at Cooper - very, very impressed. The facilities are incredible, the faculty and administration are all vibrant, excited, experienced, and dedicated to creating a successful learning environment, and the focus of the school on the underresourced in the area is very appealing. I'm also really excited by the prospect of early and extensive clinical education and a primarily group-based learning approach. Really, the only cons are the cost (~78k COA for OOS), and the fact that it is a new school. They have made some changes to their pre-clinical curriculum to adapt to the feedback from the first two classes, but the latter 2 years remain untested and how exactly the students will achieve in the match won't be determined until my second year. I am interested in research, and although the medical school proper has a bit of a dearth of on-staff research faculty (they are doing those hirings now), Cooper Hospital has an excellent relationship with several research institutions in the area and apparently nearly 2/3rds of 1st year students had some sort of research activity -- so it's certainly available.

    We unfortunately will not here back until October 15th, but I feel like my interview day went really well! The patient OSCEs were decidedly not stressful -- they're just a way to confirm that you're not, in fact, a robot. My interview proper was very congenial and conversational. It was a 2 on 1, with 1 blinded and 1 open, and it lasted roughly 30 minutes. Fingers crossed!

    To update on the rest of my application: I have gotten several more rejections, and set up admissions appointments to discuss my application at VCU and Wayne State. Radio silence from the schools in the area, although I won't really start to worry until after Thanksgiving.

    UPDATE 10/16/2013: Accepted at Cooper! I'm just so unbelievably thankful. I would be ecstatic to be a part of the up and coming program in Camden, and as of now it's where I'll be next fall :-) As you can see by my GPAs, my application was certainly not without flaws -- frankly, just making it past the autoscreens was an achievement in and of itself, but an acceptance? Unreal. Redemption in the medical school application process is rare, but it happens. Particularly with low uGPA applicants, a stellar graduate record, high MCAT, and powerful ECs are enough for some adcoms to overlook your deficits.

    Notice that I didn't say ALL adcoms! I've gotten a few more rejections, but from most of my schools I just haven't heard anything. At this point, I'm assuming I've been skipped over and silently rejected (given that I was complete with literally the first batch of applications AMCAS sent out), but I guess you never know until the cycle is over. I'm planning on adding another LoR from the executive coordinator of City Year and calling the various schools on my list and seeing if they accept pre-interview letters of update. Funnily enough, I was actually un-rejected at Wayne State after calling the admissions office and appealing the classification of my M.S. coursework, so such a thing does happen!

    Really, though, this update is about being accepted to Cooper - I'm going to be a doctor! I hope my story serves to inspire others who are in the position I was in, to illustrate that, if you put your mind to it, you can overcome your past mistakes as well.

    UPDATE 11/4/2013: Interview Invite! My second, at Wayne State. I actually was rejected here, pre-secondary, because I didn't meet the uGPA screen. After appealing the classification of my graduate coursework (I made an appointment to speak to an admissions counselor, who told me the reviewers initially considered my pharmacology graduate work as "health sciences") I had to provide justification for their rigor, and then they re-reviewed my application with my gGPA in place. Anyways, Wayne is another school with a heavy urban focus, particularly with underserved populations -- right up my alley! It's also got a robust hospital network, relatively strong research, and is a more established name than Cooper. The downside is, of course, cost - $10K/yr higher COA than Cooper, and I'm already going to be carrying a tough debt burden when I graduate. I was on the fence attending the interview because of some difficulty taking work off and the expense, but the school interests me so much that I figured I would regret not going.

    In other news, I plan on sending out a solid update letter to the other schools (10) that I haven't heard from. I called around and 5 of them (Creighton, Hofstra-LIJ, Wake Forest, Commonwealth, LSU-Nola) accept pre-interview updates, so they'll be getting them soon. I'm going to include more details about my full-time City Year service, which I only started after submitting my primary, and an additional LoR from the Executive Director of City Year in Louisiana.

    UPDATE 12/18/13: Accepted at Wayne State! Interestingly, I was actually rejected pre-secondary from Wayne, and received a secondary (and later, an interview and an acceptance) after calling their admissions office and appealing the classification of my graduate coursework. Just go to show, the squeaky wheel gets the oil! Now I'm faced with the dilemma: the expensive, established school vs. the newer, slightly cheaper one. Wayne has excellent clinical training, many opportunities for research, and is a known force in medicine, while Cooper had a responsive and vibrant administration, culture, and student body, sparkling facilities, and a truly early clinical education experience with the longitudinal clerkship and the various "week on the wards" opportunities. Decisions, decisions!

    In other application news, I got an interview invite at Wake Forest! They are certainly the highest-ranked program to show me interest so far, and I'm definitely excited by their research reputation and clinical curriculum. Also got a few more rejections, Albany and Hofstra. Such is life!

    Applied, Rejected

    Virginia Tech Carilion

    Applied, Withdrew

    Oregon Health & Science University
    University of Arizona

    Application Complete, Rejected

    University of Toledo
    Virginia Commonwealth University
    Creighton University
    University of Cincinnati
    Hofstra University
    The Commonwealth Medical College
    University of California, San Francisco
    Boston University
    Mayo Medical School
    University of South Florida
    Albany Medical College
    University of Washington

    Attended Interview

    Louisiana State University, New Orleans

    Accepted off Waitlist

    Wake Forest University

    Accepted

    Tulane University
    Cooper School of Rowan University
    Wayne State University

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