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  • rhinosneedtoeat

  • Application cycles: 09/13/2013
  • Demographics: Male, 32, South Asian
  • Home state: Texas
  • Last Active: 05/29/2014
  • Brief Profile: My story isn't unique. I was a slacker(maybe still kind of am), but my mom's cancer made me realize that I needed to man up. She died before I was accepted, but I definitely know she would be proud of me!

    Accepted into Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. I want to give people an idea of my successes and mistakes as I got there. I used MDapplicants(especially Noshie's) to help me out so I want to help others in the future.

    I was really dumb with this cycle, I am so lucky and blessed to get accepted somewhere. I turned in my application late and submitted my secondaries hours before it was due. This definitely hurt me in the amount of interviews I recieved, but it all worked out in the end! HERE WE GO...

    Undergraduate GPA attime of application submission: 3.51
    TMDSAS Undergradate GPA: 3.56
    TMDSAS Science and Math GPA: 3.59

    I made 1 F in an engineering class (Not trying + new apartment = BAD grades). So this shold show everybody its far from impossible to get into medical school with a few bad grades. Of course, I had a strong upward trend after that F.

    Test Date: 07/26/2013--> VOIDED
    Test Date: 08/28/2013--> 30(10VR 10PS 10BS)

    I started stdying for the MCAT after the year finished. I had initially set it for May, but changed that to June. I eventually changed the June date to July! In July, I came in there knowing that I would void the test, since I was nowhere close to being ready. Duing the test, the fact that I didn't finish any section proved that. I took it again at the end of August. Although I still felt bad about it, I at least was finishing the sections(barely). I had already made the decision not to void it and to not take it again. I was very pleased with my 30! I honestly thought I would make a maximum grade of 26.

    University of Houston(Go Coogs!)
    B.S in Mathematical Biology
    --Came into school as a Mechanical Engineer, but switched to Mathematical Biology after my sophomore year.
    --Graduated in 5 years(Applied after my 4th year)

    Letters of Recomendation
    1 from my orgo professor
    1 from my volunteer coordinator
    1 from a nonscience proffessor(She knew me very well)

    Research Activitities

    -I held multiple positions in a cancer organizaion on campus which I was very involved in
    -I help a position for one semester in a volunteering orginization on campus
    -I also held a few positions at my church(Mentor, Chatechism Instrctor) in my first couple years of college.

    Healthcare Activities
    -EMT-Basic Liscence: Never worked as one

    -As an officer of the Cancer organization, I helped run 3 health fairs for the communities living around the school. We had about 1 per year.

    -My shadowing experience was all connected to my EMT rotations at an ER and Labor and Delivery Wing. At the time of application submission, I didn't have the type of formal shadowing experience(One on One) which people think of when they think of shadowing. It was just me seeing doctors going into different rooms, and I was able to watch how they interact and treat the patients. Of course, it was educational, but not the shadowing we all think of where a doctor specifically shows you around.

    -1 year volunteering at a hospital my first year(2009-2010)of college. I had about 100 hour. This was a carryover from high school. I still enjoyed doing it, but as an engineering major, I didn't need to do it.

    -Volunteering at Ronald McDonald House for about two years at the time of submission, and I was still volunteering at the time. I had 200+ hours at the time of application.

    -Sporadically volunteered at the Children's Hospital since it was the same hospital that RMH was located. I had 20 hours logged when I submitted.

    Work Experience
    -None relating to Medicine
    I was a cashier at Wal-Mart for a seester and worked at the bookstore another semester.

  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 09/13/2013

    • Undergraduate college: University of Houston
    • Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 509
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 127, C/P 127, CARS 127  
    • Overall GPA: 3.56
    • Science GPA: 3.59

    Summary of Application Experience

    Like I said above, I came in as a mechanical engineering major. I did well my first year, but made a C+ in Physics 1 in my second semester. 2nd year I got an apartment with my friends and worked as a cashier. This(especially the fact that my friends and I were not the best role models for each other), made me get an F in one of my engineering classes in the fall semester. The next semester, I retook the class and made an A. The second year was full of B's, C's, and that damn F.

    At the end of the spring semester of my sophomore year, my mom's cancer spread to her lungs which made me realize I needed to stop being an idiot. I also decided that I wanted to be a physician. I switched to Mathematical Biology and my grades dramatically improved raising my gpa. I knew that I needed to bump my gpa to at least 3.5 to have a good shot. Thankfully, I was able to get it to 3.51 after my 4th year which was when I was going to apply.

    I only received two interviews. This was definitely due to how late I submitted my primary and the secondaries.

    I think I sent in my primary so late because I wasn't confident in my MCAT preparation. I wasn't progressing in my studying, so I started thinking that I shouldn't even apply. I also told myself that I could improve my application so that it can offset my MCAT score if its too low. Unsurprisingly, my application stayed exactly the same because (also unsurprisingly), MCAT studying takes up all your time. I should have just submitted it in June.

    After voiding my MCAT in July, I finally took it in late August. By this time, I had resolved to apply this cycle, no matter how late I am. I decided I was too late to apply out of state(MD or DO), so I only applied in Texas where as a resident I knew I had a good shot. I finished and submitted my application in mid September.

    I sent in my secondaries hours before they were due. October 1st was the due date for 4 of the schools, and October 16th was the due date for TCOM. Why didn't I do TCOM's secondary along with the others? Because I'm an idiot. It's not like I had to wait for them or I didn't know they were there-I just procrastinated. That’s dumb. Don't be me. I think I was able to pound out the 4 secondaries in one day because I received my MCAT grade of 30 that day, so my excitement and happiness helped me finish them easily.


    In early November, I received the interview invite call for TCOM while driving into school. A week later, I saw the email invite from TT-El Paso while volunteering at RMH. Those were great days!

    Both interview days were great. The schools were awesome. My TCOM interview was first. My nervousness definitely made my interviews not as great as I would have hoped, but I did my best. I should have practiced more. El Paso's interviews went a lot better, because I had a little experience from the TCOM interview. EL Paso was so high tech!

    People were so nice and welcoming at both. I could definitely see myself fitting in and thriving at both. Picking between the two for the match was going to be tough. DO vs MD didn't matter to me, so that wasn't gonna be the deciding factor. El Paso was very far, but TCOM was only 4 hours from Houston. I ended up ranking El Paso #1 and TCOM #2 because El Paso's Pass-Fail system and short class times. TCOM's 8-5 schedule was a definite negative. Either way, I knew I would be happy.

    Match Day was on Feb 3rd this cycle, and I didn't match anywhere. That was definitely disappointing. I was bummed the whole day, but I knew I needed to get over it. Just because I didn't match doesn't mean, I'm not getting in this cycle! I received a letter from TCOM saying I was on the waitlist, but nothing from TT-El Paso. After calling, I found out I wasn't on the alternate list. Bummer. Mr. Snelling was nice enough to say where I can improve in my application. He essentially told me that my stats were good enough, but my late application completely hurt me. He also said that although his school doesn't care much about research, he knows other schools in Texas do. He also told me that my picture was unprofessional. I was so embarrassed. How could I not have realized that taking a picture in a random button down in the school library was not gonna be a good look? Sometimes I don't think enough...

    And then there was one...
    TCOM was now my sole focus. I called them and asked if they accept updates. The person at the admission office said that they do and to send them by email or mail them to him. I knew I needed to stay active.

    I also knew there was a chance I wasn't going to get accepted this cycle, so I needed to improve my application. I shadowed a M.D pediatrician and a D.O internist. I also did a semester long research project with the chemical engineering department. I was also going to do the HPAC committee letter for the upcoming cycle. Remember, your application needs to improve if you're a reapplicant.

    March 1st: I sent in a request to get my file reviewed by TCOM. This is a formal process they offer for re-applicants.

    Late March: Called and asked how my file review request was coming along. The person whp I talked to said he was the person in charge of my file review and it would be emailed shortly(~1 week)

    Early April: Called and talked to someone else about my file review request, since the person I spoke to was not gonna be in for a couple days. This person said that since I was still on the wait list, they do not do the file review. It's only for people who have been denied. Now this didn't make any sense, because a person could be on the waitlist well into July. He did however, check over my file and gave me some of the positives and things I need to improve. He also told me movement begins around May 15th. I decided to call in a few weeks so that I could talk to the person I spoke to in late March about my file review.

    April 14th: Sent my Update Letter/Letter of Intent(SEE BELOW) and updated transcript with fall semester grades.

    April 22nd: I called again and was able to talk to the person I had originally spoken to. He said that he had forgotten to send it. I got it later that day. It mostly said that my GPA and MCAT are good enough. Keep volunteering and try to shadow a physician if possible.

    May 21st: Sent my Letter of Intent(SEE BELOW) and updated transcript with spring semester grades.

    MAY 27TH: I'm visiting India with the family. I woke up to a new voicemail. I figured out how to check my voicemail internationally. "We have an opening in our class, and we're wondering if you're still interested in joining our school." YEAH I AM. A humongous weight was lifted off my shoulders. I'm gonna be a medical student!
    If I didn't receive that call, I was going to send a letter of recommendation a D.O was writing for me on June 1st. That would've been my last communication with the school, except to call them and make sure they received that letter.

    I have no idea if the letter of intent and letter of interest made a difference. All I know is that they were willing to take them, so I sent them. I also tried to speak to the same person in the admission and outreach office( Patrick Middleton) and would mail my letters to him. I THINK that he recognized my name when I called and that's a good thing right? I was very conservative in how much I called. I don’t want to be the crazy pre-med that they get tired of. Everything you see above is all the contacting I did with the school.

    My Letters:

    I think these kind of suck. As I read them again, they seem like I'm trying too hard, which I guess I was doing...
    I don't know. These are what I sent, and I hope they'll help you.


    Update Letter/Letter of Interest--> I think this was really REALLY long, but I don't know. I'm positive they didn't read it all. I just went all out. Go big or go home.

    To Whom It May Concern,
    As a waitlisted student, I understand that the beginning of classes are quickly approaching. I am writing to you to update you with my activities as well as to explain why Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine is one of my top choices.
    Since my interview, I have taken part in many activities that have reaffirmed my decision to pursue medicine. This past semester I received A’s in my Elementary Microbiology, Statistics for the Sciences, Biostatistics, and Readings in Medicine and Society and an A- in Honors introduction to Sociology. In the current semester, I was a recipient of the Provost Undergraduate Research Scholarship. In this program, I research with one of the faculty members and his research on immunotherapy. Specifically, I am working to create a program with can segment cell images automatically. It has been an extremely challenging, yet rewarding experience. Although I am in no ways a computer programmer, learning a skill so abstract and different from what I am used to in my undergraduate career has given me the confidence to believe that I can conquer any subject that is put before me. I believe this mindset will help me excel in medical school because the amount of new material presented requires an organized and confident student.
    As well as continuing my volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House, I have also begun shadowing two physicians. Dr. BLANK, M.D is a general pediatrician practicing in a family clinic, while Dr. BLANK, D.O is a traditional internal medicine physician who follows her patients in both the clinic and hospital. While I knew that shadowing would be a fulfilling experience, I underestimated its ability to cement my choice to become a doctor. I had believed that my experiences I had while taking my mother to her chemotherapy treatments and doctor appointments were enough to help me understand the role of a physician, but I realized in my first day of shadowing how mistaken I was. While I theoretically understood the role of the physician in the doctor-patient relationship, and my minor in Medicine in Society also explained many of the nuances of this relationship, shadowing allowed me to view this relationship from the side of the physician. What truly stood out to me during these experiences was the duty and care they felt for their patients. From a simple X-Ray called in for a suspected broken bone, to a CT scan ordered for suspected tumor growth, each of the physicians would make sure these orders were carried out. This was done not only so that they would know how to help their patients, but because they understood that their patients counted on them for this information. Small and easily overlooked actions such as keeping the patient’s file next to them or making sure their office manager had set up a reminder showed me the importance they place on making sure they obtain this information. Having the ability to view the doctor-patient relationship from the viewpoint as a volunteer to the patient’s family, the family of the patient, the patient myself, and a shadow to the physician has shown me the importance of communication, the burden placed on the physician by the patient, and the multiple ways a physician carries this burden. As I continue shadowing, I hope to learn more about the roles the physician plays in their relationship with their patient so that I will be able to truly connect with my patients as a physician.
    TCOM has a well-deserved reputation as a great school. Most of the primary care physicians in Texas graduated from TCOM and the Cook Children’s Hospital is a luxury many medical schools do not have. Another top paediatric hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, also employs a large number of TCOM graduates. Although TCOM has a very modern campus with many advanced technologies which will allow students to receive a great education, I believe TCOM’s greatest attribute is its ability to choose students who embody the attitude of the physicians they strive to create. The cooperative nature of the school creates a student body which doesn’t hesitate to help each other and genuinely wants each other to succeed. On interview day, one of the student ambassador took a small group of us to see the lecture hall before class began. While there, she introduced us to a few of her fellow students. With no hesitation, they talked to us, not as interviewees, but on a more personal level. This reflects TCOM’s ability to produce physicians that can connect with their patients. Those few minutes were the highlight of my interview day. If I have the opportunity to go this school, I know those students won’t remember me. To them, I was just one of many interviewers they see throughout the school year. Yet, they still took the time to make me feel welcomed. I hope that one day I will be able to do the same for an incoming student.
    Being one of the students to be selected to interview at Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine was a tremendous experience. During the tour of the school on interview day, the student ambassador showed the applicants the view from the simulation lab. As they were pointing out places they loved about Fort Worth, they told us that we shouldn’t attend a school we don’t want to attend. This won’t help you become the best physician you can be and it takes a spot from a student that would love to go the school. I’m writing this letter to tell you that I am a student that would love to go to the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. I believe I am a great fit for your school and I have the will and ability to succeed.



    Enclosures: Updated Official Transcript

    Letter of Intent

    To Whom It May Concern,

    My family physician is a D.O. The first doctor I had the pleasure of shadowing, Dr. BLANK, is a D.O. The physician who diagnosed my mother with ovarian cancer, Dr. BLANK, is a D.O. Osteopathic Medicine has been an important part of my life for many years, so my decision to apply to the only osteopathic school in Texas was an easy one.
    During my interview, I spoke about the importance of creating a strong doctor-patient relationship and how that affects patient care. I saw this first hand with my mother’s physician. Although she was no longer under his care, he would routinely ask about my mother’s condition when a family member needed to see him. His compassion while giving the diagnosis and his willingness to spend time with us to make sure we understood exactly what was happening and what needed to be done has made us extremely loyal to him. This loyalty was also seen in Dr. BLANK’s patients. Her patients would tell me over and over again how wonderful of a doctor she is, and how grateful they are that she spends as much time as needed for them to understand her diagnosis and treatment. I enjoyed seeing the dynamic she had with her patients. In one room she would receive advice on how to deal with her teenage daughter, while in another she would admonish a patient for eating too many fried foods after she had told him to cut down. Just as these patients are proud to have Dr. BLANK as their physician, I want to be proud of the medical school I attend.
    I hope that my educational successes, such as graduating summa cum laude, and my shadowing of pediatric and internal medicine physicians show my continued commitment to pursue medicine and to the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. I am writing this letter to confirm that the Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine is my top choice and if I have the privilege of being accepted off the alternate list, I will be proud to attend.



    Enclosures: Updated Official Transcript


    This is what I want y'all to get from this.


    I am so happy that I was able to interview and blessed to get accepted. However, lots of stress was unneedingly added because I turned in my things so late. Also, I'm positive I would have received more interviews if I turned my stuff in early. Thank god it worked out for me, but I know too many people who got screwed because they turned their stuff in late.

    Good Luck! Now to find an apartment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Application Complete, Rejected

    Long School of Medicine - University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio
    University of Texas, Houston
    University of Texas, Galveston
    Texas A & M University
    University of Texas, Southwestern
    Texas Tech University

    Attended Interview, Rejected

    Texas Tech University, El Paso

    Accepted off Waitlist

    University of North Texas

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