Summary of Experience:
Upon receiving my rejection, I cried myself to sleep and collected my teardrops in a bottle. Hopefully it will serve as a reminder to me and the future generations I intend to pass this heirloom onto, to never wait until tomorrow for what I can accomplish today. Oh, the unfortunate procrastinator.
Summary of Experience:
Overall, a relatively pleasant but uneventful interview visit. I was with an interview group of 7. Student guides were well-informed and friendly. We stopped by the anatomy lab, which was well-ventilated and most importantly, is accessible 24 hours a day. During lunch, the tour guides offered a more in-depth commentary of the school and they seemed satisfied with their decision to enroll in Downstate. They spoke of a supportive, non-cut throat environment, accessible and friendly faculty members, and the abundance of research opportunities. I was told that the class is split into cohorts that last for the entire year. They become your family, study buddies, shoulder to cry on...you get the idea. They were also very complimentary of their new integrated, organ-based curriculum and the way exams are structured, which allowed them to attain balance between work and their hobbies. Most people have the misconception that their lives will be over when they enroll in medical school, but at downstate, the students stressed that this wasn't the case, thanks to their curriculum structure.
During the interview, I met with an assistant professor of the program. He informed me that he had a list of questions required by the admissions committee and methodically ran down that list during the interview. The questions were very standard and entirely focused on the details of my application. I was asked what a typical day in my college education was like, how I studied for my classes and the MCAT, my MCAT score, what my study habits are like, a stressful incident, a time where I displayed leadership during a conflict, why downstate, how I plan to survive in Brooklyn (ha!), and if I have any further questions. There were some questions which caught me by surprise, especially when I was asked how a certain medical condition of mine would affect medical school and when my MCAT biology score was put into question. It was, however, by no means a stress interview. I was also given an opportunity at the end to further clarify my application, if needed. The overall interview lasted about 45-50 minutes. My interviewer praised the clinical exposure of the school, downplayed the safety concerns of the neighborhood, and mentioned that most physicians in NYC have some sort of connection to Downstate. Although the interview wasn't as engaging as Buffalo's due to the nature of the questions, I still felt like my interviewer was genuinely interested in me, so with a firm handshake good-bye, I left in good spirits.
We weren't able to visit many facilities in the school, so the tour ended with much to be desired. However, we were offered an opportunity to shadow a student, if accepted, so that is something I will take advantage of, if the decision falls in my favor in the coming weeks. Overall, I arrived with a neutral impression of Downstate and left with a positive opinion. The students were friendly, but I had questions about the camaraderie of the students. Compared to Buffalo, I didn't get the sense that the community was as tight-knit and the faculties as supportive. However, the cohesiveness of the community I sensed at Buffalo was top-notch, so to say that Downstate's wasn't as amazing, but still decent, is not necessarily a fatal criticism. In addition, Downstate, with its proximity to family and friends, clinical exposure, and curriculum, can also be quite attractive. If accepted, it would be a hard decision to choose between Downstate and Buffalo. I hope I am given the luxury of this dilemma.
I wrote a passionate, heart-warming, detailed love letter to Buffalo but MDAPPS failed me and the contents are forever lost into cyberspace abyss. I am too heartbroken to rewrite it but if there is one thing you need to take away from my experience it is this: I love you Buffalo, please accept me!