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  • Application cycles: 06/09/2013
  • Demographics: Male, 47, East Asian
  • Home state: New York
  • Last Active: 08/20/2014
  • Brief Profile: I am a very non-traditional applicant (check my age) who wants to change careers and pursue medicine after almost 20 years of working in finance and almost 10 years concurrently of being a chaplain. I want to be in a profession that is as emotionally rewarding as chaplaincy and as intellectually challenging as finance. I have a wealth of real-world experiences that I hope at least a few schools will regard positively. My two big concerns about my application are my age and the fact that I have had no research experiences since undergrad. We'll see how much they affect me.

    The writing score Q in my MCAT is a dummy entry. I took the MCAT in 2013 after the writing section had been removed, but this website wouldn't let me enter my MCAT score without a writing score.

    I want to stay in the Northeast for a number of reasons, which limits the range of schools I am considering applying to.

    Update: I have chosen to apply to 18 MD schools. It's a broad list, but all in the NE. I hope I've covered all my bases.

    SUMMARY (8/20/14):
    I'm writing this for the next person who's in a position similar to the one I was in who wants to go to medical school: an older applicant with a successful career (or two!) under his/her belt. What I feared going into this process would be my application's biggest negatives--my age and my lack of recent research experience--turned out not to have been that big a deal. What hurt my application the most was something I hadn't even considered could be a big deal: my lack of sufficient recent healthcare experience.

    I thought that having fantastic numbers (MCAT and GPA) and great letters of recommendation from professionals from my career would be enough. I did volunteer at a hospital for several years several years ago. But pretty much every interviewer asked me: given how little recent clinical experience I showed on my application, how could I convince them that I was committed to spending the rest of my working life as a doctor? If the schools that interviewed me were very concerned about this, then the schools that didn't interview me probably were too.

    So my advice from my experience to anyone else wanting to change careers, especially in today's environment of incredibly competitive applications, is: make sure you can demonstrate that you've done your homework and know what you're getting into in your new career. Don't just rest on your previous career's laurels. In the end, I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to pursue what I know I really am called to do, and I am especially grateful that I have this opportunity at 40. Good luck to you!
  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 06/09/2013

    • Undergraduate college: Cornell University
    • Undergraduate Area of study: Mathematics
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 524
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 131, C/P 132, CARS 130  
    • Overall GPA: 3.80
    • Science GPA: 3.97

    Summary of Application Experience

    ------ Key ------
    SR: Secondary Received
    SS: Secondary Submitted
    C: Complete
    II: Interview Invite
    IA: Interview Attended
    WL: Waitlisted
    A: Accepted
    R: Rejected

    ------ Timeline ------
    4/26/13 - Took the MCAT.
    5/29/13 - Got my MCAT scores back. Woohoo!! A 41 makes me feel a *lot* more comfortable about my chances.
    6/10/13 - Submitted AMCAS at 9:30 AM, almost as soon as it opened.
    6/21/13 - Last transcript received at 10 AM. Entered verification queue.
    7/25/13 - Verified at 3 PM! Let the flood of secondaries begin!
    8/5/13 - Last (of 18) secondaries submitted. Now it's all about the waiting...and resisting the urge to add more schools.
    8/14/13 - First II! SUNY Buffalo. Second II on the same day! SUNY Downstate.
    8/15/13 - Third II! SUNY Upstate. I'm now feeling good about my chances this application cycle.
    8/21/13 - NYU II! Woohoo!
    8/26/13 - Hofstra II!
    8/28/13 - SUNY Buffalo interview.
    9/10/13 - SUNY Stony Brook II! SUNY Downstate interview.
    9/17/13 - NYU interview. First MMI format. I actually really enjoyed the MMI format.
    9/22/13 - Sent update letters with my summer grades and recent activities to the schools I have not yet heard from.
    9/24/13 - First rejection. BU.
    10/1/13 - SUNY Stony Brook interview.
    10/7/13 - SUNY Upstate interview. Also MMI. Low stress and very enjoyable.
    10/8/13 - Brown rejection.
    10/14/13 - SUNY Buffalo waitlist. It's what I was expecting, but it's still disappointing.
    10/17/13 - SUNY Downstate hold for spring consideration. Really bummed about this one.
    10/21/13 - Rochester rejection.
    10/25/13 - SUNY Stony Brook waitlist. Starting to panic now.
    11/12/13 - SUNY Upstate acceptance!!! I'm going to medical school!!!
    12/20/13 - Hofstra interview.
    1/7/14 - NYMC rejection. Sent update letters/letters of interest to the schools where I'm waitlisted.
    1/15/14 - Einstein rejection.
    1/17/14 - Cornell rejection. Really bummed to have made it so far and get rejected so late.
    1/29/14 - Penn rejection.
    1/31/14 - NYU waitlist. I'm still in the running!
    2/7/14 - Mount Sinai rejection.
    2/27/14 - Columbia rejection. Submitted NYU tertiary for their 3-year MD program.
    3/4/14 - Yale rejection. Harvard rejection.
    3/10/14 - Hofstra waitlist.
    3/26/14 - Tufts rejection.
    4/16/14 - Sent update letters/letters of interest to the schools where I'm waitlisted. This is it until May 15.
    5/31/14 - Sent update letters/letters of interest with my spring grades.
    6/3/14 - SUNY Downstate Alternate List.
    8/7/14 - White Coat Ceremony at SUNY Upstate. I'm going to be a doctor!!!!!

    Application Complete, Rejected

    Columbia University
    New York Medical College
    Yale University
    Boston University
    University of Rochester
    Cornell University
    University of Pennsylvania
    Tufts University
    Albert Einstein of Yeshiva University
    Harvard University
    Brown University
    Mount Sinai School of Medicine

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted

    Hofstra University
    SUNY Stony Brook
    SUNY Buffalo
    New York University
    SUNY Downstate

    Accepted

    SUNY Upstate

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