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I am non-trad, multilingual, first generation minority student and first to attend college in my family. I am 27 years old and didn't plan to go college after high school. I eventually was a business major for 2 years at a city college and as a result of many reasons, I had a very, very poor academic record for my first two years of college. I later found my appreciation for science and medicine and switched to studying science at another junior college. I transferred to UC Berkeley and graduated in 2010 with departmental honors and completed my optional honors thesis doing research at UCSF. Since graduation I choose to take 3 years off from school to pursue my endeavors in biomedical research, clinical activities, extracurriculars, traveling and other miscellaneous activities.
MCAT: Due to financial limitations, I chose to study for the MCAT on my own with older material. I would advise against this approach.
Lets see here is my list of experiences.
Research Experience: 1) 2 years undergraduate work at UCSF for my honors thesis at UC Berkeley. This is a translational based type of research with some basic science involved in researching an alternative therapy for Muscular dystrophy. The researcher is an MD, an associate clinical professor at UCSF (this is still an ongoing involvement and I am an author on the manuscript). Not yet published. I presented in a poster session at UC Berkeley.
2)2.5 years at UCSF full time as an SRA, collaborating on a few projects in my lab and with other labs, which has led to 3 other authorships on manuscripts, not yet published (this is ongoing). The PI is well established and well known in the field of cell trafficking. I have given lab meeting and journal club regularly in this lab and am a very involved and counted on lab member.
3) 3 month summer internship at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, in an immunology lab that involved basic science type of research. I gave an oral talk and presented in a poster session about my research during the 3 months. (No pubs)
Clinical Experience: 1) 3 years as a Muscular Dystrophy camp counselor. Its about 250 hours from the three years. The MD that I do research with is the camp doctor here.
2) 3 years shadowing at UCSF in pediatric neurology clinic with the MD from #1 research experience and the same MD as the camp doc. I got to see the clinical side of the research that we were working on and the patients that came to camp. This was a great experience and more than just shadowing, because of my relationship with the MD he was teaching me a lot and would ask me all sorts of questions and really got me involved. I felt like part of the team of other med students and fellows that he was also teaching.
Teaching Experience 1) 6 months as an educator at San Quentin State Penitentiary 2) 2.5 years tutor at a Junior college-15hrs a week.
Other Experiences: 1) 6 months- car salesman at a dealership-full time 2) 4 years- grocery clerk at a supermarket-full time 3) 3 years 5K runner for race for the cure-part time 4) 2 years Attended AACR conference 5) UCSF Diabetes Retreat Conference 6) Typical awards and distinctions
// Applications //
Application Cycle One: 07/01/2012
Undergraduate college: University of California, Berkeley
Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
Total MCAT SCORE: 514
MCAT Section Scores:
Overall GPA: 3.50
Science GPA: 3.80
University of California, San Francisco
Applying for combined PhD/MSTP? No
Secondary Completed: No
Interview Invite: No
Interview Attended: No
Summary of Experience:
Ouch, my first rejection. I didn't even get a secondary. I thought that I had a decent chance at getting at least a secondary from here. Having done research here for over four years, LORs from UCSF faculty and familiarity with the campus I thought that I would have been in a good spot.
Oh well, it was probably for the best to go out and try something new.
Summary of Experience:
WashU medical center is amazing. STL is not. Having grades your second is not. Having what was described as an overloaded curriculum... is concerning. Dont get me wrong, it is an impressive place, it just wasn't the right fit this applicant.
Summary of Experience:
NYC and Cornell. Well this school seemed like the students were stressed out, really stressed out. They mentioned an outdated curriculum and the housing situation though cheap for Manhattan is your only realistic option. But you get a "free" iPad.