Gorgeous city, gorgeous campus, gorgeous people. It was my first interview, so I'm slightly apprehensive going in. However, once I saw the nervousness in many other applicants I realized how similarly we all felt towards this process, and that calmed me down quite a bit. I was one of the first to arrive, and when we got to the admissions office, they guided us to a conference room. It took a while before everyone else filtered in. Then one of the admissions dean or someone came to us and discussed logistics, as well as showing us some videos of the school. We were then divided into two groups. Group 1 will interview first, then group 2. And then we will all reconvene back at the conference room for lunch. Like many people have expressed, I think the school didn't logistically plan it out well, because during that awkward gap while the first group is interviewing there aren't anything planned for group 2, so you literally just have 2 hours left to wander aimlessly around. I sat down and talked with a few other interviewees at a cafe, so it was chill, but nonetheless, I felt that time was not properly taken advantaged of. UCSD conducts its interviews in the MMI format, so you have to rotate through multiple stations within a set time, each in a small room with an interviewer. They could be anyone from the school, faculty, staff, students. I was nervous before the interview thinking it would be very intense, but the interviewers were relaxed and the questions weren't too difficult. Best piece of advice is to brush up on your knowledge medical ethics and be confident in your answers, most are pretty open ended.
After lunch, we were given student guided-tours. TBH the outside of the school were much more impressive than the inside, and it turns out that their admissions office were the most beautiful part of campus (since it was newly built). Nevertheless, the equipments and such weren't too shabby, just a slight let down from the beautiful exterior.
UCSD is a great school nonetheless, and has many opportunities for free clinics and such. It is also situated in the nicest area of all the place I've interviewed: great food, big enough to have lots of things to do, small enough to drive around easily, safe, beautiful, and right next to the beaches!
Ahh, UCLA, one of the most beautiful places on earth. At least inside the campus. I've done a winter externship here and fell in love with the hospital at first sight. But when I pulled over the morning of my interview, I had some trouble orienting myself to the admissions office. The inside of the medical center was apparently under construction, and amidst the buzz of the jack hammers and the sea of dust inside the corridor I noticed a small white door with a paper taped on it that said "David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Admissions Office". The room I entered was rather small, but it was clean and quiet, an oasis from the battlefield raged just outside its door. Again, being local, I got there half an hour prior to the scheduled time, and was literally the first there. So I waited and munched on some delicious muffins before the rest of the interviewees started filtering in. As opposed to a large group of 20 or so interviewers at UCSD, this group was small, and literally were all males. I believed that they separated us by gender for the interviews, presumably to spur on the feeling of brotherhood....? But my suspicion was dispelled when we came across another group during our campus tour that actually contained both sexes (*gasp).
The tour happened before the interview this time, and it was student led. We didn't have any other presentations or meet any faculties/teaching staff til our interview. Unfortunately I could not describe to you in detail my impression of the tour, as I, quite deabilited by a nasty cold that day, drank a lot water to stay hydrated, but ended up spending most of the tour understanding the intricacy and convenience of DGSOM's various restrooms.
After the tour we were taken to a cafe next to the hospital to have lunch. We were given vouchers to purchase our own meals. Not much to say here. Food was good.
We were then shuttled to a separate building in order to have our interviews. The building is a simulation building I believe where students can practice their bedside manners with patient actors and such. The format is once again MMI.
IDK if it's just because I was super sick that day or was the MMI here more exacting, but most of the questions felt much harder than UCSD, the interviewers also felt much less reassuring. There were some interesting stations that went beyond what I had expected, so overall I came out feeling much less confident about my performance here than at UCSD.
One other note: LA traffic is terrible. Truly horrendous. Probably the biggest downside to the school is the traffic. I literally got lost on my way home and spent 3 hours trying to get back. My place is actually only 40 mins away without traffic. It takes about 30 mins just to get from the campus to the highway (0.5mi )during rush hours. But you need a car here to survive. Definitely.
UPitts: To come!
UCI: To come!