NOTE: Personal demographic information anonymized.
While I'm usually pretty private, if you can identify me from the information below, I probably know you well enough in real life that I wouldn't mind sharing this information with you anyway. I've found MDApps to be helpful in my application preparation, so I hope this will be of use to you as well! :) Best of luck!
AMCAS Activities *s = most meaningful Research* 1) 2.5 years in one lab - Summer undergraduate research grant - Shorter stints at other labs (summer or 1 semester) 2) 2 secondary author publications, 1 primary author submitted, 3 intra-university posters, honors thesis
Clinical Exposure 3) Playroom Coordinator at a children's hospital (1 year)* 4) Volunteer advocate for ProjectHEALTH (1 year) 5) Shadowing, 5 physicians (~75 hours)
Leadership 6) Within-school peer mentoring (2 years) 7) Church college group leadership board (1 year; member 4 years)
Volunteer, non-clinical 8) Sunday school instructor (4 years) 9) Other, short-term volunteering - Short-term volunteering for various school events (3 years) - City Volunteer while abroad(1 semester)
Other 10) Orchestra/chamber music program/other musical organizations (4 years)* 11) Study abroad (1 semester)
Employment 12) Tutor - Private (4 years) - Volunteer tutor while abroad (1 semester) - Academic support tutor for school courses, GenChem, Orgo I, Calculus I, II and III (1 year) 13) Foodservice (1/2 year)
14) Honors/Awards - Phi Beta Kappa, 2012 - Sigma Xi, 2013 - Honors in concentration - Magna Cum Laude - University music department award - Undergraduate research grant - Scholarship to study abroad
15) Hobbies - Crosswords/KenKen, etc - Baking
Update, 10/14 - 1 accepted publication - General update on post-graduation job - New volunteer position - 2 to-be submitted abstracts
I sent this update to the schools I hadn't heard back from at the point (7 schools) and received an interview invite from 3 of them within the next three days :) I'll be sending this update to my other schools at various points throughout the season depending on my interview timeline.
// Applications //
Application Cycle One: 06/09/2013
Undergraduate college: Non-HYP Ivy
Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
Total MCAT SCORE: 523
MCAT Section Scores:
Overall GPA: 3.94
Science GPA: 3.89
Summary of Application Experience
Overview 20 Applications 20 Secondaries 18 Interview invitations 16 Interviews attended 9 Acceptances >>Final Four: Stanford vs UCSF vs UChicago (+180k) vs NYU (+full tuition/room&board/books/etc) >>Final Decision: Matriculating at Stanford after a 1-year deferral!
Timeline 06/10/13 Primary submitted 06/24/13 Primary verified 07/26/13 First interview invitation! 08/11/13 Last secondary submitted 08/19/13 Committee letter sent! :) 09/13/13 First interview attended 10/15/13 First acceptance!! :D 12/06/13 Last interview attended 05/05/14 Decision made, withdrawals sent, and finally done with this process!
==================================================================================================== School Impressions These are written in the order that I attended the interviews. I've definitely fallen off the wagon on keeping up with this, but I did take detailed notes for each school, so hopefully I'll be able to put something together sooner or later. Let me know if you have any questions about specific schools. ====================================================================================================
University of Michigan I knew I liked the University of Michigan even before arriving in Ann Arbor. I left in love with it. There were two things that were emphasized during both the interview day and the day before. One of these was immediately evident even from my first meeting with my student host: the family-like community not only in the Medical School but throughout the entire University. Everyone -- students, faculty, staff and alumni -- are 100% committed to each other and the university. At a certain level of excellence, I think medical schools provide essentially the same education, so this sense of family is a huge draw for me. The other aspect that struck me was something many applicants already know and appreciate: Michigan is incredibly open, both in transparency and receptiveness to feedback. During the information session by Dean Ruiz, however, this was made even more apparent. Michigan's receptiveness to feedback is phenomenal and has real results. They don't hesitate to make changes to curricula halfway through a sequence given luke-warm feedback from its students. They also have some exciting plans with its recent AMA grant to make medical education more personalized. While our class of applicants might not see all of the changes, some coming improvements include more leadership training, non-standardized required rotations (i.e. if you know you're not going into surgery, why spend 2 months in a surgery rotation?), flexible length of education. The to-be renovated student center also promises to be conducive for more collaborative and small group work as well.
Cornell University Weill has some great things going for it. The interview experience itself was markedly different from Michigan's where their pitch is a well-oiled (and convincing) machine; Cornell presented its strengths and future plans in a rather matter-of-fact manner. Even so, it's easy to tell that this is a fantastic school. First, the location is nigh unbeatable. With all the perks of living in NYC come the perks of training in NYC, with its well-respected hospitals and diverse populations. Affordable housing in the upper East side of NYC? Sign me up! On that note, though Cornell is in the upper East side of NYC, you get the chance to interact with several populations through their longitudinal clinical experiences and clinical sites throughout the city. Cornell's other obvious strength is its research. It's hard to beat its Tri-I of Cornell, Rockefeller and Sloan. While my own research interests would fall closer to the Sackler Institute and the phenomenal researchers there, I do appreciate Cornell's resources. They are also in the midst of some curricular changes, where they hope to bring more early patient contact into the picture as well as a 1.5 year pre-clinical curriculum that may start as early as 2014, which students seem to appreciate. The administration also seems extremely supportive of student interests and initiatives. For example, the Music and Medicine program (of particular interest for me), which started organically with a group of interested parties who started taking advantage of the city's active music scene, has now developed into a more organized, integrated -- and funded -- entity of Cornell. Overall, Cornell seems to really care about its students and will support you in whatever endeavors you choose to engage in. It'd be an awesome choice to have.
Application Complete, Rejected
Johns Hopkins University
Combined PhD/MSTP: No
Secondary Completed: 07/23/2013
Interview Invite: No
Interview Attended: No
Summary of Experience:
Meepmeep. Probably didn't help that I sent an update addressing a different school..