3/10/2013 - Hello everyone! I thought I'd start out this profile by saying a bit about me. I am a very non-traditional applicant; I graduated in 2009 and decided to pursue a career in the finance/banking industry. After going through the turmoil and frustration of the finance world for 2 years, I found inspiration in becoming a doctor when my younger brother was diagnosed with lung cancer. Since then I have devoted my life to medicine and have been strengthening my skills and experiences to ensure that I am able to become a physician. Sadly my brother passed away this year; he would have been very happy to see me as a a physician. Perhaps the most important lesson I have learned is that death waits for no one, and though everyone will eventually die, I aim to achieve my dream of becoming a doctor and improve the lives of as many as I can.
This whole journey is for you, Ethan.
5/24/2013 - Just finished my 2 year post-bacc coursework. Since I was a finance major in college I didn't really get a chance to take many science classes, so I needed to enroll in a post-bacc program to get the courses finished. Man, I never gave you science majors enough credit; biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, calculus, biochemistry - fitting in 2 semesters of each course in 2 years is one of the biggest challenges I have faced. Glad the 2 years of hell are over though. Finished with a 3.65 GPA, which I am really proud of honestly. Average GPA for those that get into medical school is 3.6-3.7, so I think I hit it right on the money! Too bad my GPA from my undergraduate years is like a 3.4...oh well.
6/10/2013 - Just got back from my MCAT date. That was hell. Back when I took the GMATs they said that it was one of the hardest exams you could take; they were wrong, the MCAT is definitely the kingpin (this is from someone who is a very good standardized test taker and got 2300+ on the SAT). The good part was that since I concentrated all of my science courses into the last 2 years, so the material is pretty fresh in my mind. Now to look forward to a month of nervous nail biting until my score comes back.
6/20/2014 - I have been filling out my application to keep myself busy from thinking about my MCAT score (and also because I really need to submit it ASAP). They say submitting early is crucial; with 50,000 applicants yearly and only 40% of them getting accepted into at least 1 school, I need to take any advantage I can get. There is no way I am going to let some laziness get in the way of my goal. Though I'll be honest, I am having a bit of impostor syndrome. Talking to some of my friends from Cornell who got into medical school a few years back, all of their applications were amazing. I feel like I have tried my best to show my dedication to medicine, but it has been tough working low-level clinical jobs, especially since I needed to help with the cost of my brother's cancer treatment. As of now, my activities are listed below...I don't know how so many people are able to fill out all 15 slots for their activities, I can barely fill 8!
1.) Medical Assistant at Cardiology Practice - 2 years and ongoing 2.) Research Assistant at NYU School of Medicine - 1 year 3.) Volunteer at NYU Langone Hospital - 1 year 4.) Volunteer at my local homeless shelter - 2 years and ongoing 5.) Club Volleyball - 3 years (back in undergrad) 6.) Healthcare Business Internship - 1 summer (back in undergrad...didn't think it would be applicable in the future, but I was wrong!) 7.) Investment Banking Analyst - 2 years; my job after I graduated from college. Just terrible. Boring scut-work, filled with people who have no idea about the issues of the real world and are more worried about how well their suit was dry-cleaned. Honestly this may be one of the more important experiences I have had because it taught me what I DON'T want in a career. So many in the ivy league are gunning for these jobs; too bad they don't stop and think what they actually are like. 8.) Hobby: building and flying model airplanes - been doing it my whole life!
7/10/2013 - JUST GOT MY MCAT SCORE BACK! GOT A 35! AAAHHHHHH!!!! I can't believe it, never thought I'd perform as high as a 95 percentile score. I can't believe it. The years of hard work and studying finally paid off. I wish my brother was here to see it; I'm not gonna lie I teared up a bit when I saw my score and thought about him. Well, with this score I submitting my application today. Now the waiting game begins. You can see which schools I applied to below!
// Applications //
Application Cycle One: 06/19/2013
Undergraduate college: Cornell University
Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
Total MCAT SCORE: 517
MCAT Section Scores:
Overall GPA: 3.45
Science GPA: 3.65
Summary of Application Experience
8/10/2013 - All of my applications have been submitted. Now to sit back and hope for some good luck! Hopefully the interview invites start rolling my way soon.
10/15/2013 - Wow, no interview invites at all yet, but I've been rejected at like 3 schools already. This is really disappointing. I know someone who has already been accepted to medical school this year!
11/25/2013 - FIRST INTERVIEW INVITE! THANK GOD! I'm sorry for every calling you a safety SUNY Downstate; as of now, you are the love of my life.
12/10/2013 - Second interview invite! And at such a great school such as Mt. Sinai! Super excited about this one as they have an amazing outreach program for medical students to help out those in need in NYC!
12/20/2013 - Attended my Downstate interview. Wow! What an awesome school! I can picture myself very happy here and the students seem great. Going down the halls during the tour I couldn't help but think of my brother again; I WILL become a doctor, and attending the interview at Downstate today has just strengthened my desire!
1/10/2014 - Attended my interview at Mt. Sinai! What an amazing institution. And in Manhattan too, what's not to like? Thought my interviews could have gone better though; but I am hopeful either way, fingers crossed.
1/20/2014 - Rejected from SUNY Downstate after attending the interview last month. Crushed right now. Thought I had the best chance here. Oh well, just gotta stay positive.
1/25/2014 - INTERVIEW FROM HARVARD! IS THIS REAL LIFE?
2/13/2014 - Attended my Harvard interview today. Completely blown away. They don't call them #1 for nothing.
3/15/2014 - This is such a sad day. Rejected from Harvard, and waitlisted at Mt. Sinai. At this point I don't even know if medicine will be possible for me. Mt. Sinai is my lifeline and I hope that in the upcoming months they take me off of the waitlist. For now I am disappointed in myself. I think I got a bit too cocky after getting my MCAT scores and didn't really think how much of a privilege it was to be a physician. I think this attitude showed in my interviews and this is why I have had no luck so far. Have been rejected at all the remaining schools as well. Sad day.
4/15/2014 - Still no news from Mt. Sinai. I think I'll need to start preparing my application to reapply again...ugh.
5/15/2014 - JUST GOT THE CALL FROM SINAI THAT I HAVE BEEN PULLED OFF OF THE WAITLIST! ACCEPTED! I'M GOING TO BE A DOCTOR! During the call I couldn't say anything other than repeat "thank you" a million times. This means so much to me, I finally did it.
Lessons learned: Don't get cocky. I thought that I was hot sh** after I got my MCAT score and thought that I would be guaranteed admission to at least one school. I never expected the year to be so stressful. Its ironic I talked down on my investment banking colleagues being cocky while I started acting the same way during this application cycle. I forgot the real reason I was doing this; I wanted to become a doctor to make an impactful change in peoples' lives, and to help treat the pain suffered by patients and family alike. This wasn't about trying to get into the best or most highly ranked school, but unfortunately I lost sight of myself throughout the process. I can't thank Mt. Sinai enough for giving me a chance.
Ethan, if you're watching from above, I can't thank you enough either; I wish I could have done something to save you, and there isn't a day that goes by where I don't think of you. I hope I am able to prevent the pain and suffering you went through for others all throughout my life. I'll see you eventually, man.
Combined PhD/MSTP: No
Secondary Completed: No
Interview Invite: No
Interview Attended: No
Summary of Experience:
As if they will give me a shot, this is Columbia after all. But I gotta apply no matter what.
Summary of Experience:
Everyone needs a safety school.
11/25/2013 - FIRST INTERVIEW INVITE! Man I sound so arrogant claiming this as my safety school. Sure it may not be ranked that high but man has this cycle been humbling. I can only thank the stars that Downstate saw something they liked in me.
12/30/2014 - Rejected. I'm crushed, I really thought my interview went well here. At this point I don't even know if I will get in to medical school this cycle...