Emailing Schools

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by Atlas, Mar 13, 2002.

  1. Atlas

    Atlas Senior Member

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    I'm not applying until next year, but do you think it is wise to email schools NOW to see how competitive I am and to see what would make me a better applicant? I figured, this way, I can follow up on their recommendations by the time I apply. What do you think? Is this a good idea? Why or why not?

    Atlas
     
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  3. Fenrez

    Fenrez AT Stills worst nightmare

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    Well after going through the application process myself for the first time I think you might get better information from students who have gone through the application process themselves. Find out what they did to prepare, which schools they applied to, and which ones gave them interviews/rejections with the MCAT/GPA they have.

    The schools themselves can give you the average scores of the students they accepted last year, but keep in mind that those averages don't necessarily mean that's what you need to get in. Certain minority students are accepted with lower qualification because they are under-represented in medicine, and out of state students usually get accepted with higher qualifications. So if the school average is 30 and you scored a 30 on the MCAT, being an out of state applicant might mean you could get rejected outright. Plus, the next year's applicants might be better or worse than the year before which also makes the "averages" less reliable.

    However, with that said, I do think its always good to know where you stand compared to what the average MCAT scores and GPA that the school accepted the year before. If anything, it will help you eliminate schools whose averages are much higher than what you may have.

    This message board gives you a wonderful opportunity to find out what kind of scores got interviews from which school. I wish I would have known about it when I sent in my primaries to MD and DO schools.

    Best to get the information from the actual students on this message board who went through the process as opposed to a classmate who "heard" about someone getting into Harvard with a MCAT of 21 and a 2.5 GPA.

    Anyway, just thought I'd throw in my two cents. Hope if helps ya.
     
  4. Atlas

    Atlas Senior Member

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    Thank you for yor reply. Basically, I feel that my "stats" are competitive for medical school. Let's say my GPA is "above average" and I'm taking the MCAT this April. So, for the sake of discussion, let's say I'm academically qualified. I really want to ask the medical schools what else they would recommend that I do as far as extra-curriculars are concerned. Or, which activities they consider to be helpful and make applicants more appealing. I mean, I guess I could spill my guys and entire college career out on this forum for you all to read, but what will that accomplish? I thought getting advice from the horse's mouth would be best. Anyone else agree?
     
  5. Atlas

    Atlas Senior Member

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    What the hell...here it goes:

    OGPA: 3.6
    SGPA: 3.4
    MCAT: To be determined

    Activities:

    Ballroom Dancing (May 99-present)
    Ballroom Dancing Asst. Instructor (May 99-present)
    Tutor: Physics/Chemistry/Organic Chemistry
    Pre-med club member @ my school

    Work Experience: (97-00)

    1. Chuck E Cheese Pizza Place (Yeah..go ahead and laugh! I worked at Chucky's, but I'll tell you...I had the time of my life doing it!)

    *Positions held: cook, game room attendant

    2. St. Elizabeth's Hospital (00-present)

    *Position held: Nutrition Care Assistant

    Awards:

    1.) Dick Bond Award - leadership
    2.) St. Clair County Medical Society Alliance Scholar
    3.)Phi Theta Kappa- honors
    4.) Dean's and VP's honors

    Volunteer activities:

    1.) Physician Shadowing (1.5 years)
    2.) WYSE exam proctor

    Plus, I've had what I like to call an "unusual" upbringing. My mom was in and out of hospitals with renal failure since I was 10. She nearly died from analgesic abuse and an abusive ex-husband. It was a sad situation. I initially became interested in medicine through her misfortunes, however. I literally stayed by her bedside (and still do to this day) when she was admitted to the hospital. I drive her to all of her doctor visits. While I am there, I try to learn as much as possible about medicine and how it pertains to her care. I have become extremely interested in medicine over the years. It's hard not to become interested when you've spent most of your childhood in a hospital, talking to doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel. Through these experiences early in my life, I've grown a passion for medicine. I realize that I have an opportunity to take care of people like my mother and I hold this opportunity close to my heart. She raised my sister and I all by herself working as a lowly secretary. We didn't have much money, so I had to work to help support the family while attending school fulltime. Regardless, I'm not feeling sorry for myself. I actually feel blessed and thankful for our hardships because they've made us stronger. I plan on mentioning these "experiences" - the ones you can't get through volunteering or working in a medical setting - in my personal statement essay because I feel they are appropriate to why I'm pursing medicine. The problem is...it's hard to quantify, on paper, the magnitude of these experiences and how they affected our lives on a daily basis.

    So, as you can see, I've basically had 11 years of medical experience if you want to go way back-in-the-day and count my childhood. If there is anything else you think I should do as far as extra-curriculars are concerned, please let me know. I appreciate you taking the time to read this. It means alot to me.

    Thank you

    Atlas
     
  6. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned
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    If you are in the high 20's or better on the MCAT you will probably be OK as far as getting into medical school. Above a 30 and you will be in an even better spot.

    This, of course, is dependant on your interview abilities.

    Good luck.
     
  7. Atlas

    Atlas Senior Member

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    Thanks JP. Anyone else have suggestions/input?
     
  8. algae

    algae Senior Member

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    Atlas - The summer before I applied for the first time I made an appointment with the admissions people at my first choice school. I gave them a copy of my transcript and CV, and asked what more I could do to increase my chances of getting in. It was very helpful - I took their advice and did get accepted this year. I don't know if I would do it through email (that seems so much less personal), but if visiting isn't an option, I'd call some schools and ask to speak with an admissions counselor. Just browsing over what you will be putting on your application, the only thing that seems missing is medically related experience (work in a clinical setting). On some applications, there are separate sections for medical experience/community experience/extracurric. activities, and if you've just shadowed for medical experience, that section might seem too sparse. Other than that, you look like a competitive candidate stats-wise. Good luck!
     
  9. Claymore

    Claymore Yankees Suck

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    Especially for DO schools, make sure there's something in your background that shows experience with osteopathic medicine. Shadow a doc, work in an osteopathic hospital, whatever. It's important to know your stuff come essay and interview time. This seems to make or break many people and certainly made a difference with me.
     
  10. Doc AdamK in 2006

    Doc AdamK in 2006 Now 2 year UB Med Doc

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    I agree with JPHazelton and Claymore

    I have a low verbal score that is keeping me on the waiting list at some allopathic schools but accepted to 4 osteopathic schools. However, I believe that it interview skills that will push you over the hump.

    Plus you should do what Claymore said to do.

    If you call schools asking if you are competitive they will say yes. They want your money!!!!!!! They want it bad. Some school will accept you just so that you put down a huge deposit. That sucks about osteopathic schools. I have spent $1500 on just holding my spot. Not to mention the other $5500 to travel to the interviews.

    So really research your schools!!! Unless you feel that you won't be competitive, only apply to about 3 or 4

    Good Luck

    AK
     
  11. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned
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    I would suggest setting up a meeting with an admissions counselor a the schools you are interested in. This can get your name in the door and also help you learn more about the school, their requirements, and the application process.

    It never hurts to know someone at a medical school you are applying to.
     
  12. Atlas

    Atlas Senior Member

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    I have almost two years of shadowing, although it's not with a DO. Rather, my time was divided up amongst two MD's who both, coincidentally, have offered to write me great letters of rec. Does that not count as medical experience? What about my life experiences? Do those not count for medically related experiences? I've been meaning to ask a DO if I can get in to shadow, but I haven't gotten around to it. I will do that probably after the MCAT. Plus, I'd like to add another volunteer activity (i.e. Red Cross). Also, in my essay, I plan to mention that my mom's Nephrologist was a DO. He graduated from UHS in 1978. Do you think that may add a little weight to my essay? I mean, for 11 years I've known about osteopathy and have developed a sincere appreciation for it. I think I'll take algae and JP's idea and run with it. I like the idea of contacting schools and meeting them one-on-one to get a perspective of my competitiveness. I know it's hard to assess where I stand because I haven't taken the MCAT and it's damn near impossible to predict what I'll get on it. In my practice tests, one day, I'll get a 4 in Bio and the next day, score a 10! The same goes for the other subject areas. I know I should strive for the highest score possible, but what score do you think wouldn't keep me out of med school? I'm just curious. Granted, I'll try my hardest to get a good score, but I have no idea what I'm gonna score on the damn thing! Assuming I score near the average for osteopathic schools, what else would I need besides DO experience? Anything? I really appreciate your feedback. I'm sure glad I asked you folks first about what I should do. I didn't want to email schools and piss them off with questions about my chances.

    Thanks

    Atlas
     
  13. algae

    algae Senior Member

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    I think your experience with your mom and her nephrologist will really give you alot to talk about in your personal statements, and this will be a real plus. Shadowing is definitely a benefit too, and you are smart for seeking out a DO in addition. Many schools require a letter or rec from a DO (not an MD). Your gpa is really solid, and hopefully your MCAT will be as well. Adding more volunteer experience will only help you out.
     
  14. Atlas

    Atlas Senior Member

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    How about this to add to my DO experience!? Today, I got accepted into Ohio University's COM Summer research fellowship! This is the same program where you are guaranteed an interview at the med school during the summer, well before everyone else! By the way, does anyone know what the acceptance chances are once in this program. They said in the letter I was one of a few selected from "a large number of exceptional applicants". This fellowship will not only add research credit to my application, but Osteopathic experience as well. Plus, I get like 8 hours of Biology credit, room and board, a stipend, and that all-so-important medical school interview!

    Atlas
    P.S. Oh...by the way, I'm an Illinois resident, which makes me feel really good because I know I'm getting an interview as an out-of-state applicant!
     
  15. Atlas

    Atlas Senior Member

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    Does anyone care to elaborate on my prospects regarding the summer undergraduate research fellowship at Ohio University COM?
     
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  17. jhug

    jhug 1K Member

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    your app looks great! Just a bit more clinical experience might help-- volunteering (like you mentioned) but overall i think your fine. A research experience is important as well-- fills out the application nicely. I'd look at the schools application/web site and try and fill all that they ask/mention. Some will say they really like volunteer work, others may say working with a DO is important. But as i said, i think you are on the right track! I contacted a bunch of schools and to be honest-- it probably wasn't worth it just because it was stuff i already knew- everything you've done.
     
  18. Atlas

    Atlas Senior Member

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    Thanks jhug. I appreciate your reply. It makes me feel much better about my chances. Does anyone have an idea about my chances of admission from this summer program at Ohio U? I mean, it sounds like a sweet deal. I'm guaranteed an interview this summer, well before the "normal" applications roll in. I'm pretty sure Ohio U uses a rolling admissions, so I'd be one of the first to interview for a spot in the next year's class. Obviously, I think this would be advantageous, but I'm also an Illinois resident. This is not advantageous. I have no idea what to expect as far as what my chances of admission are through my summer research fellowship. My guess is pretty good. They have my current transcripts, letters of recommendation, my essays, etc. They don't have a MCAT score, but they will by the time I start the program. Assuming I do half-way decently on the MCAT, do you think I'm a solid candidate? After all, I will have done work through their institution and they will know what kind of student/person I am well BEFORE I interview. Don't I have to take classes and tests as a part of this program? I'd imagine my performance in this program is critical to whether or not I get accepted into the medical school. Anybody have any thoughts on this matter? please?

    Thanks

    Atlas
     
  19. jhug

    jhug 1K Member

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    atlas-- the sooner the better!!! That is the case in every situation when it comes to the application process. Make a name for yourself doing the research this summer and i'd venture to say you have a super good chance--assuming that is where you want to go.
     

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