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MD Applicants

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  • Armin Tamzarian

  • Application cycles: 06/08/2014
  • Demographics: Male, 28, Caucasian
  • Home state: Minnesota
  • Last Active: 08/20/2015
  • Brief Profile: I was a relative late bloomer in terms of maturity and figuring out what I wanted to do with my life, so I had a number of shortcomings going into the cycle. In a nutshell, I was a pretty terrible student with a huge chip on my shoulder coming out of high school, and that ultimately left me with some large gaps in my resume and lacking grades in key courses. Some schools bought my evolution out of that stuff and attempts to remediate over the following 2 years, others didn't.

    LGBT applicant.
  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 06/08/2014

    • Undergraduate college: Mid-size private school
    • Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 523
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 130, C/P 129, CARS 132  
    • Overall GPA: 3.70
    • Science GPA: 3.65

    Summary of Application Experience

    My application year was a long year made even longer by an embarrassing mistake I made with my matriculation in the spring that resulted in an extremely stressful few weeks in May. Miraculously that still worked out, and I am living the dream in New York at Mount Sinai!

    Highlight Reel

    Best interview day pitch: Duke

    Most supportive institutional culture from the interview day: Tie between Michigan and Mount Sinai.

    Best interview day food: Tight race between UVA and Pitt, slight edge to UVA

    Best pens: Pitt

    Nicest rejection letter: Harvard, which was somewhat unexpected.

    Strangest interview topic: Discussing UVA alum Tina Fey's stories about her less than successful love life at the school.

    Most awkward interview moment: Talking about my relative disinterest in the laboratory setting with a student interviewer, perhaps forgetting that this was an important interview, not a vent session, and getting a little carried away...only to later discover my interviewer was doing a lab science-heavy PhD.

    Worst application decision: The picture I submitted to Michigan. Oh god that was horrible.

    Things I Would Change

    - Shorten the school list. Do research, pick an appropriate stable of schools to send applications to, and be confident in your decision and application.

    - Write the harder secondaries first. The monster that is the Duke secondary helped me organize a lot of my thoughts. Many of my other secondaries would have been better had I done the hardest first rather than last.

    - Take more opportunities to experience places and not just schools. Interviewing is an excuse to travel I wish I had taken more advantage of, even if the opportunity cost can be high.

    - Practice interviewing more at the outset. Looking back, there's a pretty clear difference in outcome comparing the places where I interviewed earlier versus the places I interviewed later.

    - That damn picture.


    Case Western Reserve University

    Applied, Rejected

    Mayo Medical School

    Application Complete, Rejected

    Harvard University
    Emory University
    Stanford University
    Wake Forest University
    Yale University
    Saint Louis University
    University of California, San Francisco
    Dartmouth College
    Northwestern University

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted

    University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
    University of Pennsylvania
    Washington University in St. Louis
    University of Michigan

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted, Withdrew

    New York University


    Mount Sinai School of Medicine
    University of Iowa
    University of Virginia
    Duke University
    University of Pittsburgh

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