2018-2019 Duke University School of Medicine

Discussion in '2018-2019 Allopathic School Specific Discussions' started by Lucca, Apr 21, 2018.

  1. Lucca

    Lucca Will Walk Rope for Sandwich
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    Please post the secondary questions once you receive them. Check last year's thread in the 2017-2018 SSD forum for last year's questions, they tend to not change very much from year to year.

    Good luck to everyone applying!

    Interview Feedback: Duke University School of Medicine
     
    #1 Lucca, Apr 21, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 1, 2018
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  3. anaminmasar

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    Hey all - I am a student who was accepted to Duke this past cycle and will be matriculating in fall of 2019 after deferring for a year. Therefore, some of us might be classmates one day!

    Obviously, my experience with Duke is a bit limited as I am not a student yet, but I would be happy to answer questions about the application process, "why Duke," etc. I'm super fired up about this place and hope I can be of some small help to you as you apply to DukeMed.

    I wish each of you the best as you move forward through this application cycle. Do your best to not lose yourself in this process - it can be really soul-sucking. Exercise, stay connected with people, maintain hobbies...do whatever you can to stay healthy and positive.

    And, enjoy the essays ;) Someone (on this forum, I believe) said, "Duke's secondary will either kill you or make you a better person." There is a reason they are so in-depth, for admissions really wants to see the kind of person that you are. So, have fun writing and see them as an opportunity to perhaps learn something new about yourself!
     
    #2 anaminmasar, May 20, 2018
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
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  4. MC_Infarction

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    ^^ 2nding everything above. I’m a rising MS2 and am happy to answer questions either via this thread or PM.
     
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  5. Laix

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    I thought the research prompt had the same 600 words limit... Spent four days writing and polishing it, then found out it's only 250 words...:bang::bang::bang:
     
  6. dodolol21

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    Please share what you loved about Duke and why you chose to go there! Also, what is their financial aid like? merit aid? Would love to hear more about your experience this past cycle Thanks :)
     
  7. anaminmasar

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    Big questions! I could go on and on but I'l give you a few thinks that tipped me towards Duke as opposed to other places. But, first of all, I'll say this - there are so many fantastic institutions. One can flourish in many ways in countless places. The decision process (like the application process) is tough.

    When it comes down to it, if you have the fortune of making choices, I'd say go where you find "your people," are proud - not prideful, there is a difference - to say you attend (due to its mission, values, work, opportunities, etc.), are most fired up about the opportunities there, and sense like you can make a home in its community (this is an intangible thing rooted in a "heart feeling" that is hard to quantify) for your med school years.

    So, "why Duke?" First of all, I met some of the most accomplished, yet humble and down to earth people there. Current students bent over backwards to answer my questions, make me feel welcome, and help me get a picture of the DukeMed family. They celebrated with me when I decided to come, and are willing to give me a place to sleep when I pass through the area. Now, I will say that this is not a feature utterly unique to Duke - all over the country in many institutions I met kind and driven people. So, I just know that Duke accept/retains amazing people and fosters an environment where kindness/collegiality is central - just like other stellar places. This was HUGE for me. In fact, a Duke undergrad (who is actually not going to attend Duke for med school due to specific research opportunities at another institution) told me at Second Look , "I don't know how admissions did it, but all the Duke undergrads here at second look are the BEST people - the ones who were fun, hard working, humble, and not cut-throat whatsoever." So, Duke is comprised of some fantastic people who I know will push be to become a fantastic doctor and, frankly, a better person.

    On the more practical end, I am drawn to the forward-thinking nature of the curriculum, and the "story" that it tells about Duke as an overall institution. In many ways, Duke University is a "new kid on the block" when looking at its peer institutions - it was only endowed in 1924. As such, it has established itself as a world-leading academic and medical institution in a relatively short amount of time with a tenacity that is really remarkable. This is reflected in the fact that it seeks to push boundaries in areas like the curriculum. A one-year preclinical was unprecedented when Duke first implemented it, and I think that its success is pointed to in the fact that a growing number of institutions (Vandy, Harvard, UMich, etc.) have copied it. I like the fact that they seek to get students into the wards earlier. I am drawn to the research year given my variable interests. So, the curriculum/nature of the institution as a whole is a draw.

    Further, I love the fact that the med school is on the undergrad/grad campus (this is rather uncommon in my experience). That means that the divinity school (where I anticipate spending a lot of time when I'm there) is a 10 minute walk from the wards. Further, if you are interested in the sociopolitical determinants of health, you not only have medical faculty/facilities to draw from - you can wander into the Sanford School of Public Policy, School of Law, etc. to explore those realities. In short, you not only have access to a stellar medical facility/training/research - you have the resources of Duke University (and its beautiful campus - great for runs/just getting outside) at your fingertips.

    Additionally, I like the "mix" of clinical experiences that Duke provides. For example, Duke University Hospital is a leading referral center where you will be able to treat the most complex of cases from all over the place. The VA in Durham will give you a view into treatment of veterans of all stripes. Its level one trauma center provides an opportunity to engage with a "safety-net" type of environment where the social determinants of health are so often most clear. And, there is a (surprisingly for some) diverse local population that ranges from urban to rural underserved, international, uninsured, and more. There is a tremendously strong emphasis on patient care, and the kind of people I will treat while working in the Duke Health system are the kind of people I know I stand to learn much from - for, the doctor-patient relationship is profoundly reciprocal. I believe spending one's formative years of medicine learning from both complex referrals and a diverse (and often under-resourced) local population is important. This is something that factored heavily in my decision, as I aim to work with underserved populations in the future.

    I'll end with this (in case you can't tell, I could continue going!) - I cannot leave out Dean Armstrong. She is a living force. If/when you have the chance to visit Duke, I hope you have the privilege to hear her speak. The fact that someone like her has made Duke her career home speaks volumes about the place, in my opinion. It's not perfect (and they are frank about that), but they are actively seeking to positively contribute to the wellbeing of the local community and the world at large. In short, it's a really remarkable institution.

    Regarding financial aid - as far as I know they do a really great job. They did for me (I don't qualify for financial aid from anywhere, but did receive merit aid that made Duke very affordable for me), and I have heard many stories of people who have been very happy with how Duke took care of them! So, I think they're very strong on this end.

    I hope that something in this long chunk of text might be useful to you - I am writing it when I'm pretty tired, so many apologies if there is anything unclear. If you have any follow up questions let me know!
     
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  8. anaminmasar

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    Ahhhh not cool! I hope that you were able to narrow it down well :/
     
  9. dodolol21

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    Wow, thank you for this extremely awesome and detailed respnse! I feel more motivated for my Duke secondary and hoping for a chance this cycle!
     
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  10. br2pi5

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    Just added Duke to my list of schools and I am getting so excited about this upcoming cycle!
     
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  11. wesleysnipes

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    This secondary is a monster!
     
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  12. #thriving

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    I do have a question, or concern I guess. It seems like I would really enjoy the atmosphere at Duke and I also have a lot of interests (public health, global health, etc.) that I think I could use the extra time given by the one-year pre-clinical curriculum to explore. However, I'm nervous that the one-year curriculum is too much too fast, what has your experience been like? Also, if I would apply to Duke this cycle I would be doing so as a re-applicant, as I applied there last cycle, but my application has changed a lot and I have changed a lot as a person. Any insight you could give me would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.
     
  13. MC_Infarction

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    I have been really happy with the one-year pre-clinical curriculum. It's not without its hiccups, but overall, at this point in the year, it's tough to imagine being in a two-year curriculum. An example of a hiccup: The curriculum can feel slightly rushed at times, such as learning most of the heart pathology in one week. But, I would argue that even in a traditional curriculum, it's going to feel overwhelming/rushed at times, and that a majority of your consolidation and application of your learning is going to come during your clinical years.

    It should also be noted that our MS1 year is a little bit longer than most other schools - we're in school through the end of June, and a lot of my friends at other medical schools have been done since the beginning of May. So, we're just shaving like 8 months off of the curriculum. ;)

    I would say that, on average, I spend about 40-60 hours a week between mandatory class time, and studying on my own. Of course, the weekends before exams (every two weeks) involve a lot of cramming (this is where I hit the 60 hour mark), but I still find plenty of time to pursue a bunch of extracurriculars that I enjoy.

    With regards to your other question, I'm sorry that I can't help out with more specific knowledge about being a reapplicant. I know a couple of people who were reapplicants, and they were obviously accepted, but I don't know their specifics and how they altered their applications. If you feel passionate about Duke and its mission, by all means, go for it!
     
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  14. Detective SnowBucket

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    How were you able to defer a year?
     
  15. anaminmasar

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    After I was accepted and committed to coming to Duke, I just sent an email requesting the deferral and my reasons why I was seeking it. As far as I know, as long as you have a decent reason (not just wanting to chill for a year or something), they are very accommodating. This was something I had on my mind for some time, but I did not decide on a school based on who would grant me the deferral - I chose the best school for me and then requested.
     
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  17. MC_Infarction

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    Yeah, there are multiple people in the current MS1 class who had deferred for a year. Really not a big deal.
     
  18. Detective SnowBucket

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    Can current students tell me, what is something you don't like about Duke?
     
  19. MC_Infarction

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    This time of year, I’m not digging the humidity.

    But for real, I don’t have any strong dislikes (more like things about the curriculum that I would personally do differently) or things I wish I had known before coming here.
     
  20. altblue

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    My LizzyM is only 73 but I'm throwing my hat in the ring! Let's see how this goes.
     
  21. Unlimited Apps

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    In a similar boat! But am a NC resident and have connections to the university (though I doubt that helps!)
     
  22. Detective SnowBucket

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    Lol I’m currently further south than the Carolinas, so it would still be better.

    I’m also 73 but I think we got a shot!
     
    #20 Detective SnowBucket, Jun 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
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  23. Unlimited Apps

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    The connections to the university or being a NC resident?

    I don't know if you guys remember the MSAR breakdown but there is a HUGE difference between IS and OOS numbers for accepted students (I'm talking like 514 IS median and a lower IS GPA median as well). Not to mention the IS vs OOS interview % rate is also drastically different.

    Anyone know why this is? As a NC resident, I am hopeful for a slight advantage but am skeptical that it is anything significant. For a moment I thought it was because Duke might prefer Duke undergrad students and many of these might be NC residents but then I realized that Duke undergrad isn't majority NC residents.
     
  24. wesleysnipes

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    both are factored in.
     
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  25. medschoolzombie

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    Considering applying here but I don't know if I'd even have a decent shot. LizzyM 71.5 OOS. MSAR says I'm closer to the 10th percentile as an OOS. Anyone know if Duke is more focused on stats or experiences? Can great ECs make up for lower stats?
     
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  26. Laix

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    For people who are pre-writing the 2°, I have a question about the advocate essay. If I have never fight for or advocate for a specific person, but rather for a group of people, is that an ok thing to write? The question asked for "Describe a situation where you have chosen to advocate for someone who is different from yourself. " though.
     
  27. Unlimited Apps

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    Another applicant but I'd imagine that would be ok! Assuming you interacted with people in that group or what not. Or do you mean you advocated for them in more of an absent way (like policy advocacy or something similar)?
     
  28. Detective SnowBucket

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    Do we have a secondary reader list, like we had for PS's? That'd be really useful.
     
  29. Lucca

    Lucca Will Walk Rope for Sandwich
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    Probably not as useful as you’d think. Too time consuming and variable between school to school for people to generically read over secondaries and also return them in a timely manner. If you’re worried about it, give your secondaries to a few trusted people you know irl
     
  30. Detective SnowBucket

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    You're actually totally right @Lucca . Accounting for your points I guess something like a
    "~~~~2018 - 2019 Official Guide To Writing Secondaries ~~~~~" is more what I'm looking for.
     
  31. WIMNFamilyMed

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    Also FYI to all of you that it has one question specifically about research... having not done research that was the question that made my decide not to submit a secondary here last year.
     
  32. Unlimited Apps

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    Does anyone know how Duke views their secondary compared to other schools? Obviously they have all of these 600 word prompts for a reason so I am assuming that they value the responses more so than most other schools do with their secondary.
     
  33. medschoolzombie

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    Duke supppsedly uses a point system to score applicants. From hearing what others have said it doesn’t seem like they’re as important compared to stats or the like
     
  34. Laix

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    It's advocating for a specific group of students back when I was in student government.
     
  35. anaminmasar

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    In my experience, they actually spent a fair amount of time explaining the "why" behind their (fairly uniquely) extensive secondaries on the interview day and beyond. They want to get at the heart of your experiences and background to see you are a self reflective person who does things not just to do them, but interrogates your own personal values in the midst/pursuit of them. As such, I think that DukeMed admissions places a high value on your secondary essays, and as such I would put as much thought and care into them as you can. Yes, they are just one aspect of your application (primary, MMI, stats, gpa, etc.), but don't skimp on or undervalue them.

    In regards to the whole application process, I would advise everyone (when applying anywhere) to spend less time speculating on what schools value and more time doing everything possible to put your absolute best foot forward. Of course, this does not mean be irresponsible where you apply - some schools (per MSAR) do have more competitive stats, etc. Also, it does not mean you should not personalize your essays/interview responses based on particular missions/opportunities each school offers - you should ABSOLUTELY do this, as I think this is so essential. But, control what you can control, and accept the unfortunate fact that a lot of this process is a bit of a crap shoot. Even those of us who are successful can only, in many ways, speculate as to how that came to be.

    Work hard, be honest and clear about your intentions/heart behind why you are pursuing this path, and have hope that it will work out one way or another - sometimes in a way that you might never have anticipated.
     
    #33 anaminmasar, Jun 13, 2018 at 10:07 AM
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018 at 10:14 AM
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  36. anaminmasar

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    N=1, my "advocate" essay was focused around my work alongside a particular group (a religious minority in the U.S.). Therefore, I think your idea that is a very reasonable way to approach this question.
     
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  37. buckoh24

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    How much does Duke value personal characteristics compared to stats? I am very low for their stats (3.6/511) but have heard that they really value reinvention
     
  38. anaminmasar

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    Good question - my short answer is this: they (and I think many institutions) value the entirety of the application, and in particular the story that went into making that application.

    They look at everything: stats, personal background, journey, people touched along the way, MMI, and more. They all matter. I don't have any particular insight into what goes into some people being accepted and some not - obviously some folks have a 525 MCAT and 3.98 gpa, and others have a 3.6 and 511. And, many people with 525s and 3.9s get rejected.

    I think Duke really does place a LOT of value on the ways each person will contribute to the medical school/Duke/Durham community. For example, on MSAR their median stats (as I recall) are not as astronomical as some other schools like NYU, Wash U, etc. They could be, but they are not. Therefore, I think this points in some way to their commitment to see beyond raw numbers. But, that doesn't mean the numbers mean nothing, either.

    The only way that I can 100% guarantee you won't be accepted is if you don't apply. If you have the money to do so, send your app!
     
  39. Detective SnowBucket

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    To any former/current students, would you call the atmosphere more competitive or collaborative?
     
  40. PostMed2018

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    Hello blue devil hopefuls! I am incoming MS1, but also a Duke Undergrad, so hopefully I can help some of y'all out. Let me know if I can answer any questions about the school so nice, I just had to go there twice. I also know a good bit about Durham as well so please don't be shy!
     

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