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MD Applicants

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  • dumbpanda

  • Application cycles: 06/28/2014
  • Demographics: Male, 27, East Asian
  • Home state: California
  • Last Active: 11/03/2016
  • Brief Profile: Read this for general application tips, followed by information for those in a similar situation to me to help gauge their chances.

    General Information
    Most important thing I learned from this----fit is very important (what makes you suitable for the schools curriculum, location, patient population) Deans and some of my interviewers all mentioned this. This also seems like the best way to answer the (why should we choose you over other qualified applicant questions, by answering why you are the right fit for the school. I only got this question once btw) For example, Dean of Northwestern emphasized how they want people who are right for their distinct curriculum, how they want team players, active learners who ask a lot of questions, because those are the type of people that would thrive in their PBL heavy curriculum) Top schools want the world beaters, those heavy on research... This is why an acquaintance who got in HMS and a bunch of other top 10s either didn't interview or was waitlisted at UC Davis (focused more on the community), and why Tulane loves TFA and Peace
    Corps kids (big emphasis on serving community of New Orleans.)
    I think that's why I got so much love from NYC (4 interviews), because I wrote a lot about my passion of learning languages and how I like to learn from new cultures, and New York is one of the most diverse places in the world.
    Show how you fit in your secondaries and during interviews.

    2nd-Its a long cycle. In October and November I started getting worried about lack of II, felt like so much time had passed, it was so late. And a lot of time had passed, but what's important is that there is still a lot of time to go. They're still handing out II in February.

    3rd I learned that its hard out here in California...

    Also, save your secondary essays somewhere on your computer, some of the schools don't allow you to see what you wrote after you submitted. I think its helpful to read the secondaries to prepare for interviews.

    See below to see some tips on interview prep.

    plane flights--I've found that and skyscanner give really good prices. is very convenient to use, its really helpful to plan your trip I think, and also to see what interview date to choose that will have the cheapest plane flight.

    I thought the book by Suzanne Miller ""guide to medical admission" was very helpful. Gives you a timeline in preparing your secondary all the way to the end of this crappy journey, I think it clears up the process a alot. She also includes Personal statements and sample secondary essays from people she has guided before and her comments on them. Makes this process less sucky.

    My Application situation and how it turned out
    Asian male, applying summer after junior year, good stats, poor EC's (got the cookie cutter ones checked off though). Pretty late interviews, not by my choice. Studying abroad during tail end of interview season (program starts in beginning of February)
    Primary submitted 6/29/2014
    Primary processing complete 7/22/14
    Secondaries submitted early August
    Assume I was rejected at all the schools pre Interview invite where I haven't listed that I interviewed at.
    Added 4 schools in October (was worried because I was holding only one II in early October). Got one interview out of these 4(SUNY Downstate and my only acceptance so far 4/25/14)
    11/03/14 Updated most of my schools about a publication where I was a contributing author. (attached pdf in email or through secondary app portal,) I also asked them to interview me before February if they chose to do so because i was going to study abroad. There is a list of schools receptive to updates on the SDN forum

    Interview Invite dates
    8/26/14 NYU
    10/14/14 UCSD
    11/05/14 Wash U St. Louis
    11/14/14 SUNY Downstate
    11/24/14 Cornell
    12/03/14 Mt. Sinai
    12/11/14 Northwestern

    Work/activities-weak (basically research, shadowing, community service, thats it)
    No leadership, little commitment
    I wrote alot about my community service though. had some good experiences. The hours weren't anything impressive. I'd grade it a D

    Letters of Rec
    I'm pretty sure they were very strong. I got multiple comments about my letters. I had 1 letter from my PI, 2 biology professor letters, one spanish TA letter (cosigned by professor. The TA was the one we saw every day). Grade: B to A depending on the letter. . A+ would be this guy's letter,_Jr.#Education

    Personal statement
    Maybe I'll upload it someday. I think I did a good job on it.
    UCSD UNDERGRAD STUDENTS READ THIS----> ucsd career services center will give a professional critique of your personal statement (this is a one time critique, so give them an almost finished draft) in the following link, in the get critiqued section
    Maybe a B+ PS

    Interview prep (also helps for the why this school secondary question)
    From my 5 traditional interviews, I answered the following questions the most:
    Why this school, why medicine, talk about research. Also spent alot of time talking about my community service stuff, plus other questions (pretty much all that are mentioned in the "medical school interview question" websites. Nothing too wacky. Didn't ever touch Obamacare. Maybe did in MMI.
    I prepared by reviewing primary, secondary, read about the curriculum, mission statement. Read Sdn looking for comments that current students have about the schools. So annoying to go through all the posts, but sometimes you get some golden nuggets from the students about pros and cons about the school. Then figure out how I fit into all of this stuff. <--a goldmine where you can see what questions schools ask the students. Usually pretty accurate. too see, click the school, then click "view results"in the interview feedback section.
    Some people say preparing for MMI's didn't help them, I found that it helped me quite a bit. I read up about medical ethics, how medicine is changing (see patient centered medical homes), plus other stuff. I think the readings helped prepare me to answer some of the questions during the MMI.
    I don't think I interview too well. Maybe average at best. Depends on the interviewer too. Grade-C+ to B.
    Edit: after rejections and waitlists at 6/7 interviews, maybe my interview skills are lower than I estimated. Maybe a D or C

  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 06/28/2014

    • Undergraduate college: University of California
    • Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 523
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 131, C/P 132, CARS 127  
    • Overall GPA: 3.90
    • Science GPA: 4.00

    Application Complete

    Baylor College
    Columbia University
    University of California, Davis
    University of Chicago
    University of Michigan
    Yale University
    Albert Einstein of Yeshiva University
    University of California, Los Angeles
    Georgetown University
    Medical College of Wisconsin

    Application Complete, Rejected

    University of California, San Francisco
    Vanderbilt University
    University of Rochester
    University of California, Irvine
    University of Pennsylvania
    University of Southern California

    Attended Interview, Rejected

    University of California, San Diego
    Cornell University

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted

    New York University
    Washington University in St. Louis
    Mount Sinai School of Medicine

    Accepted off Waitlist

    Northwestern University


    SUNY Downstate

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