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MD Applicants

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  • Application cycles: 06/14/2015
  • Demographics: Male, 33, East Asian
  • Home state: District of Columbia
  • Last Active: 04/29/2016   -   Latest Activity
  • Brief Profile: Non-traditional -- Ph.D. Made this to be of help to other Ph.D.s who might ever aspire to medical school!
    Ph.D. is from a school generally regarded to be the best in my field, and lots of other technical fields.

    My story is a bit complicated -- basically I'm making a somewhat drastic switch from basic science research to global health work (which may still involve lab research -- too early to say) -- and so admittedly it's been a little bit difficult to explain. Do have a somewhat interesting "story" behind the switch though.

    Applied extremely top heavy in retrospect -- really could have prepared a bit more for the application cycle in terms of finding more "target" schools and brushing up secondaries and such -- but grateful to have at least been accepted somewhere!

    Grad: medical advocacy volunteer, volunteer/endowed internship for renowned health non-profit with grant, local tutoring, volunteer elder visitor/helper, some hospital shadowing, TA (required in my program), NSF Graduate Research Fellow, Master's (no thesis, more technical practicum), five papers (all first author, general mainstream journals)
    Undergrad: variety of STEM-related volunteer activities (tutoring, mentor to high school students, that sort of thing), full ride scholarship, Phi Beta Kappa and other various honors from university, TA, undergrad research, seven papers (four first author, general mainstream journals)

    Things I might have done differently:
    1. Not put off interviews (currently working abroad)
    2. Not worked abroad (this is a tough one -- I've loved my work but it's definitely made the application process more difficult)
    3. Waited a year to gain more clinical exposure and perhaps work in the States with a potentially more lucrative salary to save up
    4. Spent more time on certain secondaries (definitely do not rush these!)
    5. Spent more time studying for the MCAT (Ph.D. work still took precedence during the couple of months that I studied, though I think my score is probably good "enough" for any school)
    6. Pursued actual passion in undergrad (re: probably NOT majored in what I majored in) and spent time exploring medicine instead of ignoring the field entirely (this is arguably the biggest one)

    Please feel free to ask questions!
  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 06/14/2015

    • Undergraduate college: Flagship state school
    • Undergraduate Area of study: Engineering/Technology
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 520
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 127, C/P 132, CARS 132  
    • Overall GPA: 3.95
    • Science GPA: 3.91

    Summary of Application Experience

    Notes on interviews:
    Always focus on telling STORIES in both your primary and your secondaries, and take the time you need to really craft them. I probably would have benefitted from prewriting secondaries. I also probably would have benefitted from taking a little extra time to tailor each secondary to the formatting requirements of each school.
    Rolling admissions is a thing. I didn't pay attention to this at the outset. Personally would advise interviewing as early as you can if possible.
    Student hosts have been generally awesome and generous. I'm grateful to them and will likely pay it forward in this fashion in the future.
    I feel like I could have better prepared for MMIs. I do think one can actually practice for these.
    Interviews may surprise you -- I came in assuming I would like certain schools over others and definitely have changed my mind after interviews. I would advise just going in with at least some ideas as to why you applied to that school and what questions you may have, but without any other expectations. Just talk to interviewees and students, and enjoy the day!

    Application Complete, Rejected

    Harvard University
    Cornell University
    Duke University
    University of Michigan
    University of Pennsylvania
    Emory University
    Johns Hopkins University
    Northwestern University
    University of California, San Francisco

    Invited for Interview, Withdrew

    University of Maryland

    Attended Interview, Withdrew

    University of California, Los Angeles

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted

    Stanford University
    Columbia University

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted, Withdrew

    University of Pittsburgh
    New York University
    Washington University in St. Louis


    Yale University
    Mount Sinai School of Medicine
    University of Chicago
    University of Virginia

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