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MD Applicants

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  • BKRandy

  • Application cycles: 06/02/2014
  • Demographics: Male, 27, East Asian
  • Home state: Maryland
  • Last Active: 05/29/2015
  • Brief Profile: MCAT did not have writing section so the above score is a placeholder.
  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 06/02/2014

    • Undergraduate college: Carnegie Mellon University
    • Undergraduate Area of study: Engineering/Technology
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 520
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 129, C/P 132, CARS 130  
    • Overall GPA: 3.90
    • Science GPA: 3.92

    Summary of Application Experience

    Originally planned to apply in the 2013-2014 application cycle. However, due to insufficient preparation, I chose to reschedule my MCAT and postpone my application. I think that having the gap year was extremely important to my success. I did not make the decision to pursue a career in medicine until the end of my sophomore year. Following the traditional model, as an engineer with little overlap in curriculum, I felt rushed to take the necessary prerequisites. The gap year allowed me to obtain some clinical experience as well as to refine my motivation for attending medical school.

    The personal statement is probably the most difficult piece of writing I have ever done. Before even choosing a topic, I had long conversations with family and friends to determine what unique qualities I wanted to get across. After writing it, I refined it with the help of my English professor and the writing center at my school. Everytime someone finished reading it, I would ask them to describe the person that came across in the personal statement, and make changes in an effort to match the image of myself seen by family and friends. I know this is said quite a bit, but have as many people as you can read it!

    One of my biggest mistakes during the cycle was not pre-writing any secondaries. I wouldn't say it is useful to write out every single secondary from the year before, but it would be helpful to find the common theme essays (contributions to community, obstacle, tough feedback, working with others, etc.) and pre-write those to create a strong foundation. When they all came in one wave, I was overwhelmed. Another thing I would change is that I tackled the secondaries in the order I received them. Personally I suggest looking at any secondaries you receive immediately. There were some secondaries that sat in my mailbox that were relatively low effort such as UCSF, which did not require any additional essays.

    I was a little too ambituous with selection of schools. I had the MSAR, but I didn't use it properly (looking at OOS acceptance %). However, personally I would rather reapply than go somewhere that I wouldn't be happy with.

    After my committee interview, I felt well prepared for my traditional interviews. The interview provided me with common questions, and allowed me to see what aspects of medicine I had not properly considered. The session was also videotaped, which allowed me to see any issues with my interviewing skills. In fact, I may have been a little overprepared, realizing in some interviews that I sounded a little rehearsed. On the other hand, I was nervous for my first MMI. I felt like I often deviated from the topic and talked circles around myself. However, over the course of my interviews, I developed a model (below) for answering MMI questions, helping me to focus my thoughts.

    MMI Answer:
    - Restate the question/scenario in your own understanding
    - Provide your answer/select your side in the scenario
    - Provide supporting details
    - If there is another side to the scenario, explain their point of view
    - Provide supporting details why these views are not valid
    - Refocus on your answer/selection

    I generally scheduled my interviews on Monday, so I would have the benefit of traveling for a few days. I really enjoyed seeing the surrounding community and their interaction with the different medical centers. It was also nice to get an impression of the school from people not associated with the school and to get a different perspective in the case of a negative interview experience. In that regard, I am lucky that I am taking a gap year and have friends spread out all across the country.

    EXTRACURRICULARS:
    Work:
    - 700 Hours School Job (2 Years as Manager)
    - 3600 Hours VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (2 Years as Intern, 1 Year as Fulltime Employee)
    Research:
    - 600 Hours School Laboratory
    - 500 Hours J. Craig Venter Institute (1 Publication)
    Shadowing:
    - 60 Hours Orthopaedic Surgery
    - 60 Hours Primary Care
    Sigma Chi Fraternity:
    - 2 Year Philanthropy Chair
    - Founding Father
    Rugby Club:
    - 4 Year Starter
    - 2 Year President
    - 3 Year Webmaster
    - Fall 2011 Defensive MVP
    Awards:
    - University Honors
    - College Honors
    - Outstanding Senior Pittsburgh Golden Triangle ASM International
    - Dean's List
    - Society of Women Engineers' Mr. Engineer

    TIMELINE:
    August 22, 2013 - Took the MCAT
    April 28, 2014 - Committee Interview
    May 23, 2014 - AMCAS Transcript Received
    June 3, 2014 - AMCAS Application Submitted
    June 5, 2014 - AMCAS Application Processed
    June 27, 2014 - AMCAS Application Sent
    July 11, 2014 - AMCAS Letters of Recommendation Received
    July 25, 2014 - First Rejection (University of Washington)
    August 4, 2014 - First Interview Invite (Vanderbilt University)
    September 15, 2014 - First Interview (Vanderbilt University)
    October 20, 2014 - First Acceptance (University of Maryland)

    Application Complete, Rejected

    Duke University
    Stanford University
    University of California, San Diego
    University of California, San Francisco
    Harvard University
    University of Washington
    University of Pittsburgh
    University of North Carolina
    Wake Forest University
    Washington University in St. Louis
    Oregon Health & Science University
    Emory University
    Virginia Tech Carilion
    Mount Sinai School of Medicine
    Tulane University

    Attended Interview

    University of California, Los Angeles

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted, Withdrew

    University of Virginia
    New York University

    Accepted

    Vanderbilt University
    University of Maryland

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