I plan on updating this page as much as possible Casting a wide net and hoping for the best
6/16/2014 Submitted primary 7/1/2014 Verified!! but still waiting on committee letter packet to be sent 7/1/2014 Baylor secondary received & submitted 7/1/2014 Duke secondary invite received 7/2/2014 BU, Penn, UVA secondaries received...It's getting real 7/3/2014 Penn secondary submitted 7/7/2014 Pitt secondary received 7/8/2014 Pitt secondary submitted, BU secondary submitted 7/8/2014 Geisel, Jefferson secondaries received 7/9/2014 Received notice that virtualevals has received my letter packet! Just need amcas to get it and schools to download them 7/9/2014 VCU secondary received 7/10/2014 AMCAS has received my committee letter!! Now I just need the schools to download them to be marked complete Emory secondary received 7/11/2014 Complete at BU, Baylor, Penn, Pitt 7/12/2014 Jeff submitted, Duke submitted (FINALLY) 7/15/2014 OSU secondary received 7/16/2014 UVA secondary submitted, complete at UVA 7/17/2014 Emory secondary submitted, Geisel secondary submitted, complete at Duke, Emory 7/18/2014 OSU submitted, Penn state secondary received 7/19/2014 VCU submitted 7/20/2014 PSU submitted, marked complete at PSU 7/21/2014 UVM secondary received, UVM secondary submitted, added USC to school list for kicks and giggles, USC secondary received 7/23/2014 USC secondary completed, marked complete at USC 7/25/2014 Wake forest secondary received 7/29/2014 Wake forest secondary submitted, Temple received 7/30/2014 Temple submitted 8/5/2014 No interviews, status changes, anything. Starting to worry there is a red flag in my app that I overlooked 8/7/2014 Gah just found the case secondary in my spam folder. Been there since 7/17/2014 8/8/2014 Case secondary submitted. Better late than never 8/11/2014Small pooled at UVM 8/18/2014 II at TEMPLE!! Added 10 more schools, I don't wanna do this again. Drexel received 8/19/2014 Drexel, Tufts, Einstein, Hofstra, Quinnipiac submitted 8/20/2014 Rejected from VCU, didn't think this would be my first rejection. 8/30/2014 II at DREXEL!! 9/2/2014 II at HOFSTRA!! 10/9/2014 II at TCMC!! 10/15/14 ACCEPTED TO TEMPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 10/30/14 II at JEFFERSON!! 11/5/14 ACCEPTED TO DREXEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Summary of Experience:
I opted to stay with a student host at Hofstra and I’m really glad I did. Getting there wasn’t too difficult but navigating around manhattan for the first time was overwhelming. Seems like too many people for me and I’m happy with my decision to not apply to NYC schools. Anyway, I met up with my host and he showed me his dorm. He lived with a few other students in a 3 bed 1.5 bath dorm on Hofstra’s main campus a 10 minute walk from the school. For this I was told he paid a whopping 1300 a month. I guess that’s the price of convenience. We went out to dinner the night before and all the guys I was staying with seemed real chill and down to earth. So far so good… Hofstra’s campus during the day looked great to me, there was plenty of trees to make it feel truly suburban. One of the guys drove me over to the medical school as they set out to start their day. All night last night they had been hyping up the new building and commenting that my interview group was one of the first to get a tour of the new facilities. They didn’t disappoint. I entered into an open atrium with marble floors and white walls. The entire front of the building was glass and it felt very modern. The ‘old’ building (5 years old) still felt pretty new to me and this is where the majority of the interview day took place I arrived around 7:40 to meet a few other interviewees and eat a small breakfast. They had fresh fruit, coffee, yogurt, and a few pastries. After 15 minutes of talking with the other interviewees, Dr. Woldenburg made her entrance and gave us a brief overview of the day and the curriculum. It seems so different than anything else I’ve encountered. Here’s how I would describe it: In each block you have three components: Mechanisms of disease, Structure, Patient, physician & Society. For the mechanisms of disease, learning is accomplished through small group sessions called Pearls and 2 lectures per week. In Pearls, 9 students are presented with 2 cases per week relating to the current material being covered in the lectures under the supervision of a faculty mentor. The first pearls session of the week is where the cases are presented. The students then go home and do research outside of class using books/ the web to evaluate and prepare to discuss the case. Wednesday, the first case is discussed and Friday for the second case. This amounts to three 2 hour sessions per week. After every block the pearls groups are mixed up. Some of the guys I stayed with definitely alluded to the fact that there were certain people they dreaded having in their Pearls group which I found disheartening. Patient, physician & society is covered by ICE which stands for initial clinical experience. This is where students are paired one on one with a preceptor from the North shore health system and work with them (I don’t wanna call it shadowing but I can’t think of how else to describe it). The student I ate lunch with said he assisted in delivering two babies during the reproductive block which seems pretty damn intense. Structure is best described as Hofstra’s take on anatomy. There is no dissection which is nice but the course encompasses imaging as well so you come full circle. To me, the coolest part is the integration of everything. The testing for each block is short answer and the grading is pass/fail for the first 2 years. The curricula for 3td and 4th year seemed awesome. In 3rd year, they go out of their way to expose you to a wide variety of specialties. For example, during the neurology block you might also do some work with a neurosurgeon and rotate with a physiatrist. You get time for 3 selectives as well (2 weeks each) which I liked. One thing I’m unsure of is the idea that you have 2 blocks of 6 weeks each, a reading week, and then take two shelf exams consecutively. I think I would rather have one exam after each block personally. Plenty of flexibility is offered in 4th year with time for 5 electives and 2 blocks for ‘career development’ during which students go for residency interviews. After that, the interviews took place. There were 2 faculty interviews and they began promptly at 9am. My first was with an orthopedic surgeon who was part of the North Shore health system and my second was with an administrator/physician of one of the health system’s 21 hospitals. Both went pretty smoothly but throughout both there were more thought-provoking questions than I had anticipated. A few I can remember are “What is the best decision you’ve ever made, have you ever sought advice from anyone when you faced a difficult problem” and a few others that were similar. I even got an ethical one but it was more “Timmy lied, should you tell on him” than medicine related. Overall I was pleased with how they went but I found myself running out of questions to ask for both so word to the wise, BRING QUESTIONS! The rest of the day consisted of student affairs talks, financial aid talks, and the like. Some things that stood out were Hofstra’s institutional loan which can be up to 10k per year. It includes a 48 month grace period with no interest accrued and is forgiven if you decide to work for the health system. The tuition itself is quite cheap compared to Jefferson even although needing a car evens things out I think. Lunch with students was enjoyable and they had nothing but positive things to say about the school. One thing these students and those I stayed with reiterated constantly was how receptive the faculty are to student feedback and I think the flexibility that provides is one of the biggest advantages of attending a new school. I asked several students how concerned they were with going to a newer school and none seemed overly worried about how that would affect their residency placement. Hofstra’s inaugural class has yet to match but I think one of their students already matched opthalmology so hey, that’s pretty sweet. I’ll definitely be taking a look at that list come march. After lunch we were treated to a tour of the school. The new building is really an addition to the original bulding which was repurposed from a NY Jets training facility. There was even a signed Joe Namath jersey hanging in the lobby which was pretty cool.
Coming away from the interview day, my biggest concerns are: Everything is mandatory except for one review session during the week and you’ll start at 8am every day. Some of the guys I stayed with alluded to a ‘dress code’ for PEARLS which I didn’t like. They said basically, you need to dress business casual to be taken seriously. Other students I talked to dispelled this so I’m not sure how accurate it is. Long Island seemed boring to me, as of now I think I would definitely be more comfortable in Philly. Definitely need a car Off campus housing is expensive from what I’ve briefly looked at on trulia
Things I liked: The clinical experience and the resources that come with the North shore system Step 1 prep questions during the first 2 years with 10 weeks off to study. Structure prosection The new building High Step 1 averages (taking this with a grain of salt though because I think they attracted some really high caliber students with full ride scholarships and whatnot)
Summary of Experience:
Interview Day: Because I live about an hour outside the city, I opted to take the regional rail to Temple’s main campus and take the subway to the health science campus (I thought driving into the city during rush hour would be too stressful). Having seen the medical school before, I was still in awe as I strolled up to the building. The lobby was incredibly modern with glass windows from floor to ceiling, ample seating, huge biologically relevant origami hanging from the ceiling.
I made my way to the admissions office and greeted 3 fellow interviewees. Seeing as it took me about an hour and twenty minutes to get to Temple, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for them after learning they were from California, Arizona and the midwest. For my faculty interview, I was instructed to go to the pharmacy school. I was given a map, but having spent a lot of time in Philadelphia before I didn’t really need it. The pharmacy school is simply a few blocks south across the street from the med school. My faculty interviewer was a biochemistry professor and researcher. I waited patiently outside his lab as he was finishing up with his first interview of the day, trying to rehearse in my head how cool and confident I needed to be. I made my way into his office and took a seat. He had clearly read my application ahead of time and addressed a few questions of his own about some of my experiences. He really wanted to know about my research. When I tried to explain it, he said he had never heard of it and didn’t understand what the point of it was. This shook my confidence as I thought I had explained it articulately. There’s a tip though, if you know you’re interviewing with a researcher be prepared to thoroughly discuss your research. I thought I was but knowing the current literature is always beneficial. At the time of my interview, it had been almost a year and a half since I finished doing research so I was a little rusty. Other than this, the interview was very conversational and relaxed. I left feeling pretty good, only doubting myself about my answers on research related questions.
As I entered the admissions office again, I was greeted by almost 20 interviewees. It was good talking to them, they seemed like a great group of people although it was odd there was only 3 girls there. We were given a presentation by a few members of the admissions office which I found generally informative. 3 current students came in and took us for a tour. The lecture hall was very nice, class capture seems awesome. The sim labs seem cool but I’m not sure how much I’ll use them. They showed us the amazing library with views of broad street and ample study space. One nice thing is the library is shared between dental, pharmacy, med, and pt students so it gives temple a more communal feel. The anatomy lab was awesome, with bright windows, a computer on a swing arm at every station so no books are needed, and no smell of formaldehyde. There were a few PT students in there so I’m not sure if cadavers are shared between all students or med students get their own. We ate lunch in a conference room and it consisted of club sandwiches and chips which was fine by me. We were given the option to request gluten free or vegetarian options before the interview day but I did neither. Talking over lunch, one of the most asked questions was what do you like the least about Temple? Surprisingly, the answers were things that were inherent to medical school in general rather than Temple specifically like ‘waking up early’,’having tests’ etc. We got to learn more about the block scheduling as well which I think would suit my learning style although I’m not sure how often tests occur. The grading is H/P/F but it’s not curved meaning everyone in the class can get honors.
After lunch, I had my student interview with a second year. He was a really down-to-earth guy and seemed genuinely interested in my background. He asked more typical questions (because they don’t know anything about you before hand) like ‘tell me about yourself’, ‘why medicine’ etc. We shared a few hobbies and were interested in the same specialty as well so I think that really helped the flow of the conversation. Make sure to get the email of your student interviewer. After this was over, the interview day came to an end and I left feeling genuinely excited about Temple. The clinical opportunities presented by it’s location are unmatched. My only doubt is seeing myself living in the city for 4 years but the nice thing is that some Philadelphia neighborhoods have a suburban feel like Manayunk.
Summary of Experience:
The school is set in a nice location. It feels suburban but the city and all it’s resources are nearby. The building itself leaves a bit to be desired. It feels like it is from the 70’s and while there is ample technology, it doesn't feel modern. There were about 15 interviewees, mostly women. They were all friendly although I thought it was inappropriate to discuss other schools at the length that they did. The day started off with an essay. I didn’t write that much because I thought it was a silly scenario. The admissions presentation was informative. Some people had to get up and leave in the middle to catch the shuttle to hahnemann for their faculty interviews. Fortunately mine was at the med school. My interviewer was a PIL faculty facilitator and the interview consisted of him going through a list of questions and writing down my responses (I think). Occasionally something I said would spark a few sentences worth of conversation but other than that it was pretty much all business. When asked how Drexel could better engage the Philly community, he didn’t have much to offer. He simply said the office of so and so does a pretty good job already from my understanding. His responses to my questions seemed brief, like I was keeping him from going about his day. I walked back to the admissions room where we started the day and found noone was there. Apparently the other interviewees went on a tour. Eventually my student interviewer picked me up from the admissions room and we went to get lunch from the cafeteria. The lunch itself was by no means gourmet. My interviewer was the most down to earth guy and I loved his perspectives on medical school. He asked me much more fun questions like ‘what is one song you’re embarassed to play on your ipod’, ‘what makes a bad doctor’, ‘what is your dream job’, etc. After showing me around and me bombarding him with questions, he left me with 2 pieces of advice. 1. If you get into medical school, you belong there. He told me about people that were already burned out in his class because they were questioning themselves and their motives. 2. Don’t listen to anyone else. There will always be cocky people that act like they’re smarter than you. From his demeanor, I could tell he will make a great doc. The day ended oddly wth the last 2 portions being optional. Some interviewees left but I chose to stay for the q&a about the 2 curricula and another tour. Overall I left Drexel with a positive feeling and I could see myself there but as of now, Temple remains my top choice.