Welcome! While I decided to use mdapps mostly to have a place to keep track of all my application related things, I hope that my journey will be helpful to you. This is my second time applying. I cannot emphasize what I learned from last year enough - If your stats are average, submit your secondaries before mid-August!! While I applied to many schools, I actually took the time to research each of the schools and only applied when I decided I had enough interest in them.
6/19/13: AMCAS verified
7/1/13: Tulane secondary received
7/1/13: MCG secondary received
7/1/13: Received VCU screen email
7/1/13: Tulane secondary submitted
7/3/13: Loyola secondary received
7/3/13: VCU secondary received
7/8/13: USC secondary received
7/8/13: USC secondary submitted
7/9/13: MCG and Loyola secondaries submitted
7/11/13: VCU secondary submitted
7/11/13: Emory secondary received
7/12/13: Mercer secondary received
7/12/13: Emory and Mercer secondaries submitted
7/15/13: UCI secondary received
7/16/13: Michigan St. secondary received
7/16/13: Michigan St. and UCI secondaries submitted
7/23/13: Application complete email from Emory
7/24/13: Vermont secondary received
7/24/13: Vermont secondary submitted
7/24/13: VCU status changed to "further review"
7/31/13: WesternU secondary received
8/1/13: WesternU secondary submitted
8/2/13: PCOM-GA secondary received
8/3/13: PCOM-GA secondary submitted
8/6/13: Penn St. secondary received
8/6/13: Penn St. secondary submitted
8/8/13: Received Wake Forest screen email
8/8/13: Application complete email from Michigan St.
8/8/13: Application complete email from Tulane
8/9/13: Application complete email from USC-Keck
8/10/13: Application complete at Penn St. No email notification.
8/12/13: Submitted Mercer proof of residency form
8/13/13: LORs emailed via Interfolio to PCOM-GA, Nova, and WesternU
8/16/13: Application complete email from Mercer
8/17/13: Application complete email from PCOM-GA
8/19/13: Wake Forest secondary received
8/19/13: Wake Forest secondary completed
8/19/13: Rejected from USC-Keck
8/20/13: Contacted Loyola due to lack of status change. Status was immediately changed to complete afterwards.
8/26/13: Application complete email from Wake Forest
8/26/13: Application complete email from WesternU
8/29/13: UAB secondary received
8/29/13: Rejected from Tulane
8/30/13: UAB secondary submitted
9/x/13: Attended interview at Nova. Date remains hidden to preserve anonymity. Comments below.
9/12/13: Submitted application updates to Loyola and MCG
9/12/13: Application complete at UAB. No email notification.
9/14/13: Status at Vermont changed to "small-pooled"
9/16/13: Placed on hold at WesternU.
9/27/13: Interview Invite received from PCOM
10/x/13: Attended interview at PCOM. Date remains hidden to preserve anonymity. Comments below.
10/25/13: Accepted by PCOM! I'm going to be a doctor!!
11/5/13: Accepted by Nova! Very tough decision. The expensive deposit means I will either withdraw from here or PCOM within the next month.
11/6/13: Sent letter of interest/activities update to UCI
11/20/13: Rejected from Penn St.
12/1/13: Withdrew from Nova
12/10/13: Interview invite received from Mercer
1/X/14: Attended Mercer interview
1/16/14: Rejected from MSU
Comments on Schools I Attended Interview at:
Interview Day: The interview day definitely blew me away. We started out with the usual intro. Next, another person, the former secretary of health of I think Florida, came in and talked about the curriculum and his experiences. He definitely lightened the mood and made a positive impact. Next, I was a part of the later interview group and thus spent the first few hours on a tour given by some of the first years. The first years were amazing. You could definitely see their enthusiasm and love for their school. I can honestly say everyone left with no questions unanswered. Despite having a test the following day, the guides sat with us and constantly spoke about the school, gave us advice on the admissions process, and told us why they chose Nova. I was slightly disappointed with the interview. Though my interviewer was very nice, the interview seemed to be too short (10-15 mins) and less conversational than my past interviews. The pauses following the end of my answers led me to get nervous and start rambling about things I didn't need to say. Nova could definitely improve by having 2 interviews. I don't think I made much of an impression. We'll see in a few weeks! Following the interview, both groups went into the simulation lab. There, we were split into groups of 5. At the first station, we were each given a stethoscope, taught how to check the blood pressure on a person, and took turns reading it on a person who has been hired to act like a patient. Next, we listened to the different breathing of a mechanical patient as the instructors changed the settings to mimic conditions such as a heart murmur, asthma, fluid in the lungs/stomach, etc. I was extremely impressed that there was some hands-on activities at an interview. Finally, the day ended with lunch, and a talk with the dean's assistant (the dean was off campus on business that day) and the admissions coordinator. Nova definitely shot to one of the top schools on my list.
Travel Advice: I stayed at the Courtyard Mariott Plantation and took the free airport and school shuttle. 3 other interviewees also stayed at the same hotel that day. The Hampton, which is across the street, is another great option though a little more expensive. 3 interviewees stayed there. I do not regret my decision at all. The staff at the Mariott was extremely professional and welcoming. There is a small 24/7 exercise room, a pool, a computer area, and a kiosk to print your plane boarding pass for free and to check in. What my fellow interviewees loved was the presence of a small cafe in the hotel with a nice selection of food. It's great for a morning snack before going off to the interview. Henry, the shuttle driver, was very nice and gave me advice about some places to eat at and places to visit. Unfortunately, since I used the hotel shuttle, I did not have a need for a car and thus only walked around the city. Both the Mariott and Hampton are located in very convenient areas though. The mall is right next to the Hampton. You can eat at typical food court places such as Chik-fil-a, Panda Express, Taco Bell, etc. I walked around the basic shopping center right next to the Mariott. This area had a Dick's Sporting Goods, an Olive Garden, a Red Lobster, and a Dollar Tree. I'm not entirely sure, but I think the hotel is located about 20 mins from the airport and 15 mins from the school. Closing comments on travel- I HIGHLY recommend the Mariott.
Facilities: I was pleasantly surprised. The facilities were more impressive than some medical schools I've seen. We saw the library, the student lounge (which actually seemed quite nice), the simulation lab, the histology lab, etc. We also sat in the biochem lecture for a few minutes. The 1st year tour guides were great and definitely pointed out all of the best things Nova had to offer. We were also given a tour of the undergrad campus by the enthusiastic undergrads. While I doubt that I would spend much time there, it's nice to have non-health related people in the surroundings.
Closing Comments: So, so impressed with the students. They seemed very happy and did all they could to convince us that Nova is the best school. The staff was the most welcoming of any admissions staff I've seen. They gave us advice whenever they could and genuinely seemed to care about alleviating our nerves. I do have to admit that I'm concerned about the costs. Tuition and fees do seem to be expensive and the cost of living in Fort Lauderdale really stands out. Some advice I have for future Nova interviewees - Don't worry! Honestly, I shouldn't have prepared so much for the interview. Just know your file and how you got to where you are today. Do not freak out and obsess over preparation and Student Doctor Network. Enjoy your time there.
Interview Day: The interview day jumped straight to the action. There was none of the typical 30 minute intro on the school. Instead, we were given a surprise. I won't ruin the surprise for you guys. I'll just say it was a very nice one that definitely relaxes you and makes your interview go more smoothly. You'll have your picture taken and get a chance to eat before you head off to your interview. Each person will have an interview that is a 2 on 1 and no more than 20 mins long. That was honestly the fastest and smoothest interview I've ever sat through. If you're interviewing here, my best advice is to not worry at all. The entire interview day is designed to calm you down. You won't be given any ridiculous questions. Yes, some questions will force you to think a bit before answering, but they're very reasonable. The staff and students did a VERY nice job at preparing us for our interview. I was impressed.
Travel Advice: A very large amount of us were cautious about traffic and arrived extremely early. I traveled from Atlanta, and a few people came down 316 from Athens. Traffic really wasn't that bad though. If you have the morning interview like I did, I'd recommend you leave at 6:30 just to be safe. You'll have plenty of time to chat with your fellow interviewees.
Facilities: The building doesn't look like much from the outside, but it looks very nice inside. You wouldn't think that they could fit all of the things that they have inside. The labs are huge. Additionally, they said the campus has been adding on additional parts every year since they opened. I actually like the layout and size of the campus. Parking is right next to the building, so it would take less than 5 minutes to get to class. Getting to wherever you need to go in the building takes less than a minute of walking. It's simple, yet nice at the same time. You will see every important spot during your student led tour. The students did an excellent job of showing us and explaining everything.
Closing Comments: I really would love to go here. My opinion of the school, while already positive pre-interview, has gotten even better. I love the diversity at this school. There are people from so many backgrounds. Yes, you can say this about any medical school, but it especially stands out at PCOM. The staff is amazing. You can really tell that they wanted you to do well on their interview. The friendly and welcoming atmosphere also definitely stands out. Many students and applicants have PCOM as their top choice, and I can definitely see why.
3) Mercer University
Interview Day: The interview format is a typical one: an intro on the school and video, a tour of the school, interviews, and lunch. Interviews here are two 1 on 1 and usually open file. One of my interviews was actually closed file, and I actually really enjoyed it. One of the interviewers will be your adcom member (they will tell you who this is). This was such a relaxing interview experience. Questions were kept simple. Most of the interview felt like a regular conversation. The interviewers do have a list of questions they have to cover, though some may choose not to use it. I wouldn't spend too much time preparing. Just ask yourself "why Mercer" and "why medicine." If you can answer both, you'll be fine.
Travel Advice: Be sure to bring along some good music. It's going to be a long, boring drive no matter where you come from. I can't comment on the hotels since I didn't stay in one, but there are plenty around the city. Be sure to check out the food before you leave. Savannah has some very unique places.
Facilities: Though Savannah is the smaller of the two campuses, I actually liked the facilities here more than the one in Macon. They're planning on expanding, which should be complete by Fall 2015. A plus is the hospital is right there next to the school.
Closing Comments: Mercer instantly rose up my list to among my top 2 schools. I usually have nice things to say about admissions staffs, but Mercer-Savannah has to have the nicest staff in the country. It's amazing how much they tried to make your day more comfortable. One interviewer even introduced himself and spent time with me despite him not being my interviewer. I received a call from their staff a few days later to make sure my drive home was alright. The campus only has 40 students (this will go up as expansion completes), and so everyone (students and staff) know each other. Though Savannah is twice the distance from home compared to Macon, I think I am favoring Savannah right now.