In a nutshell:
Interview Invites: 5
Acceptances: 1 (Attending UIUC)
1) You CAN get in even with a crappy science GPA (I had a few Cs and even C-s on my record, from way back freshman year).
2) Waitlists are not my friend (I've become very cynical about waitlists, since I was not accepted off one for undergrad too)
3) Be prepared to be in for the long financial haul - the school I got into is extremely expensive out of state, and I initially panicked, but realized, this is med school, and I'm frugal in my habits, so it can work in the end. Still looking at NHSC, military loan repayment, etc.
SR: Secondary Received
SS: Secondary Submitted
II: Interview Invite
ID: Interview Date
RJ: Rejection (based on snail mail date, though I knew about most prior)
6/11/2008 - Primary submitted
6/13/2008 - Transcript 1 received
6/17/2008 - Transcript 2 received
7/7/2008 - Primary Verified - ready to begin an arduous and expensive journey into the unknown...I'm a compulsive updater, so you can follow my apps through the individual schools
Status Update 7/23:
I have a deluge of secondaries (as of this writing, 20 received, 7 sent) - plan to do 3-4 secondaries per week, and have all files complete by the end of August
Status Update 8/6:
Decided to drop some schools that I had no real shot at - I didn't realize how bogged down I would become with the secondaries (halfway through - 11/22 right now) - Also waiting on a reticent LOR writer, which is delaying my very important schools (UMich and Pitt) *sigh*
Status Update 8/14:
So, two schools share the dubious honor of being my first rejections: Vandy and IU, where the thin letters came simultaneously to my mailbox...not surprising for either, but still sucks...meanwhile, I'm continuing on the course of 3 secondaries per week - currently at 15/22
Status Update 8/16:
This will be my last update for a while - I've got 17 secondaries out and am taking a hiatus from med school apps; I'm starting a new job on Monday; still waiting on a (non-science) LOR; I'll hope that comes in soon and then see the invites (or more likely, hold/rejection letters) roll in...and I found this ridiculously awesome spreadsheet somewhere on SDN, and have marked where the schools I've applied to lie based on my numbers
Status Update 8/22:
My last LOR came in! It should be a good one too, so I'm crossing my fingers - I had completed with a few schools (GWU, Wayne State, UPitt, Chicago) with an old LOR from 2004, but I'm hoping this one will be accepted as well - I'll be complete at the 17 schools I applied to so far by the end of August, or after Labor Day at the lastest, so now it's just the waiting game...
Status Update 9/9:
So I've applied to 20 schools, which seems reasonable to me (I am NOT doing what most South Asians with mediocre numbers are doing and applying to every school in the country; can neither afford it nor am I interested) - I will probably put in a few more apps this month, when I feel like it, but (except for Duke, which I'm putting off due to the six essays, but will do soon) I feel like I've applied to all the schools that I would like to attend.
Status Update 10/17:
After over a month of nothing (except a couple of rejections), I finally got an interview offer at MSU - I'm really happy to be getting a chance with my GPA and 'colorful' background (haha) - kinda nervous about the interview, but I'm generally a good public speaker and feel I know the issues I'll be getting asked about (policy, ethics, etc), so hoping for the best
Status Update 11/5:
Waitlisted at MSU - I'm kinda disappointed, especially since I thought the interview went really well, and I would have liked an early acceptance from a state school, but oh well - on bright side, Tufts interview came as well, but that's not for several months; and the waiting continues...
Status Update 1/28:
I'm sitting in the Detroit airport waiting for a delayed flight for my Tufts interview, which I will be getting minimal sleep for (aka not hopeful). I finally heard back about Wayne, which was again a good interview that landed me 'under review', which I now know is not a waitlist, it's just complicated...
Status Update 2/10:
I decided to withdraw from consideration at MCW, for two reasons 1) it is very difficult for me to take time off at work these days, and I feel I've done too many as it is - can't take having a job right now too lightly, and Milwaukee is FAR for me; and 2) I would be 'competing for a spot on the waitlist', as was (thankfully) noted on the invite e-mail. I know it seems like a stupid idea since I have no acceptances yet, but with things as they are right now, I just don't forsee me attending when getting off a waitlist for an expensive private school.
Status Update 2/26:
My mom just called, and there's an acceptance package for the University of Illionis awaiting me at home :) Very excited - I felt the interview went really well, and it bore fruit. I hope now that this profile is heartening to those applying with strange backgrounds and low GPAs - it's a torturous process, but worth it!
Status Update 3/2:
So after the initial elation, I looked at the OOS costs for UIC and was like 'Holy Sh**' - I'm requesting a deferral due to financial/work circumstances, and in the interim year look at a possible MD/PhD in Political Science - also waiting on Wayne State, which, if I get in, would be significantly cheaper - either way, I need the deferral, so the stress continues.
Status Update 4/3:
Deferral request at UIC rejected - I'm going this year, whether my boss and my remaining significant loans like it or not. Still waiting on Wayne. Oh, and UIC assigned me to Peoria, my last choice - applied for Urban Medicine program, should have some news on that by next month.
Status Update 4/8:
Invited to interview for UMed (urban medicine) program at UIC, attending on 4/24 (getting Chicago campus is very important to me) - still waiting on Wayne State (top choice) and Tufts (which, realizing it's significantly cheaper than UIC would be, has moved to second) - This process is hell.
Status Update 5/1:
I was rejected from UMed (with my background, I was a bit surprised), so looks like I'm stuck on Urbana/Peoria track...praying for Wayne State and/or Tufts to come through now
Status Update 5/12:
5/15 is creeping ever closer...I decided my plan is if I get into Wayne or Tufts I'll go (if I get in both, I will be very happy and make a decision later, haha), and if I'm going to UIC I'm applying to MSP (Medical Scholars) for MD/PhD in Political Science - app comes up June 1, kinda nervous, cuz I really want it! I want to be in academic medicine, and no tuition (for 3 years of med at least) is a bonus
Status Update 8/12:
So as you can tell, neither of the waitlists worked out. I also had a long conversation with my boss (who's the coolest person ever) and she said PhD is not necessary for me to make a research career/go into academic medicine. This, combined with the fact the political science dept seems to know nothing or care nothing about joint degree candidates, dissuaded me from going through with the PhD app. I'll just go straight MD and hope my masters and research background (I'll have at least two pubs, in major journals, out of my research year) will help me down the road to snag an academic post (because that is really the only place I want to be).
Headed to the University of Illinois - Urbana/Peoria track!