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Everyone applying next year, read this

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Jalby, Feb 4, 2002.

  1. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.

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    Hi all, I wrote this in a post lower down and I thaught I would post it where everybody can read it. Take whatever ideas you think are usefull while applying this year:

    As a second time applicant, I have learned the right and the wrong way to apply. First off, start working on your personal statement around february or march. Finish it a LONG time before you need to turn in the app. Secondly, start working on the online app the second the online application is active. At least put in all of your classes and activities. At this time, not many applicants have started entering the data, so the app shouldn't be slow. Also mail off your transcripts to AMCAS in early may and call to be sure that they have them. Preferably, call before the online app is able to be turned in so you won't be on hold for an hour.
    I definatly would turn in the app on June 1st. It should be done about a week before that. If you procrastinate a long time, you could be SOL because everybody will be online at that time. Your goal is to only have one thing to do on June 1st. Maybe cut and Paste in your essays. BUT DON"T LEAVE THE THINGS THAT TAKE MANY BUTTON CLICKS UNTIL THE END!!!!! Also, if you are invovled in many activities, be sure to be very descriptive in the place provided. For example, your research. This is the only place that some schools could get an idea about your research before they ask you for an interview.

    I turned in my letters of rec to all the schools a week after I turned in my primary application. I thaught it would take our Pre-professional office three weeks to mail them, it took 2 days. Not a single school threw away the letters of rec. I didn't send the letters to the UC's or university of Mich, because I knew that they ask for them later.

    I then found a friend who applied the year before. I took all of the secondaries that he had on him from last year from schools I was applying to and started working on all of the questions. If you apply a little later, you probably can find some of the current questions here on SDN. I finished about 80% of the questions when I started getting secondaries. I was able to have the questions read by someone else and send out the secondaries within a day. Only Duke and Northwestern changed their apps significantly. Then I called the schools a month later if I recieved no indication my apps were complete. Use Excel to keep track of everything. I think that's everything. Hope this helps.
     
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  3. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.

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    Anothing thing to talk about, where to apply to schools.
    Some people know exactly where they want to go, so pick those schools. Also your should look on MSAR to find out what schools take a lot of out of state students. For example, it's almost pointless to apply to florida schools, Umass, UCI or UCD if your an out of stater. If your applying MD/PHD, ignore that advice.
    Also try and see if you can find out the reps of some schools to see if you would fit in there. For example, Case and Tulane is known for selecting students that have extremely diverse activities and not your normal pre-med stuff.
    The application fee could be a determining factor. Baylor is free and Ohio state is only 30$, so definately apply to these schools. Schools like Georgetown and BU charge 100$.
    If your a very high level student and want a good back up school that will let you in early (trust me, it will save you a lot of money), look to Tulane, St.Luois, the SUNY schools, and MCW. They are very quick with thier interviews and acceptances come within about two weeks. It will save you money by not having to fly everywhere for a school you most likely won't go to.
    Also, you should try to figure out some things about the curriculum. For example, do you like being graded, or pass/fail. Or more importantly, do you like PBL or lecture based curriculum. I realized I could never go to Cornel because it is 100% PBL. Basically, most schools have a mix of both, but a handfull are almost all PBL. If you can't take PBL, don't apply to those schools.

    Lastly, be realistic. Be sure to have a wide range of schools. Don't just apply to reach schools and then one backup. You'll notice there are some people on here with 24 MCATS and only applied to top 15 schools. That's fine if your willing to try again next year. I made that decision two years ago. I said if I didn't get into these top schools I applied to, I'll get a masters, apply again, but also include average schools that time and go to the best school.

    Hope any of thise helps. Good luck.

    (This post is probably two months early, but I started writing and I might forget to do it a while from now.)
     
  4. Mutterkuchen

    Mutterkuchen Senior Member

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    Thanks for the useful posts. They are appreciated.

    Are you stating that we can put our courses and ECs in now, even though the official 2003 application is not ready? Or do we have to wait until it says "2003 Application" on AMCAS?
     
  5. Doctora Foxy

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    prepare everything now, and type it in when it says ready (april)
     
  6. Trek

    Trek Grand Uranium Member

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    Great info, j, especially about choice of schools. I'm kicking myself about sending in MANY $75 and $100 secondaries for schools I declined the interview at after I got into my state school. PLEASE be more selective than I was! --Trek
     
  7. Assassin

    Assassin Assassin

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> I'm kicking myself about sending in MANY $75 and $100 secondaries for schools I declined the interview at after I got into my state school. PLEASE be more selective than I was! --Trek </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I hate giving conflicting advice, but the alternative would be to miss out on the big picture...
    fact: there is NO such thing as "safety med school": you can be a "perfect" applicant with the right mix of numbers and experience, apply early and get a fabulous early interview followed by great feedback...followed by a rejection letter two weeks later <img border="0" title="" alt="[Eek!]" src="eek.gif" />
    been there, done that...nothing you can do about it, except apply to many (I advise at least 15, but that's just me) schools to compensate for this "coinflip factor" in the admissions process.
    Not once have I regretted shelling out those $75, $100 secondaries - what's the alternative, reapply next year and pay 10x as much??
     
  8. Trek

    Trek Grand Uranium Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by player:
    <strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I hate giving conflicting advice, but the alternative would be to miss out on the big picture...
    fact: there is NO such thing as "safety med school": you can be a "perfect" applicant with the right mix of numbers and experience, apply early and get a fabulous early interview followed by great feedback...followed by a rejection letter two weeks later <img border="0" title="" alt="[Eek!]" src="eek.gif" />
    been there, done that...nothing you can do about it, except apply to many (I advise at least 15, but that's just me) schools to compensate for this "coinflip factor" in the admissions process.
    Not once have I regretted shelling out those $75, $100 secondaries - what's the alternative, reapply next year and pay 10x as much??</strong>[/QUOTE]

    Player- you're absolutely right, i guess i was viewing the process with my 20/20 hindsight. Granted, this whole thing is about "hedging your bets" to get an acceptance, but I'm from a state with 7 great med schools (texas), and in my case, i think it was too ambitious to apply to so many schools that i knew i wouldn't have gone to over my state schools. I guess the moral of the story is apply to as many as you can afford!! Thanks for setting the record straight, player. --Trek
     
  9. Assassin

    Assassin Assassin

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> I guess the moral of the story is apply to as many as you can afford!! </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">this can be a good advice in itself: applying to med schools is an EXTREMELY costly process, both time-wise and $$ of course.
    Here's my $0.02 to that extent: take a damn year (or two) off after school, clear your head of all the undergrad bull, and earn some money to apply later. I can't imagine going through this ordeal had I still been at school.
     
  10. CoffeeCat

    CoffeeCat SDN Angel

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    Thanks Jalbrekt...things like this really help applicants (like me!) down the line. :)
     
  11. mdhopeful

    mdhopeful Senior Member

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    Jalbrekt has given great advice. From my experience, the best thing you can do is to have everything written before it comes. I did the same thing with the secondaries and had them all done so by the time they actually came I could turn it around in a day or two. Some of my friends sat on their's for a few weeks. If your application is there early, you will surely do well. Good luck.
     
  12. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    Hopefully things with AMCAS will be better this year but I'll explain what happened to lots of folks last year including myself when we tried to submit the application early.

    As Jalbrekt suggested I had my application entirely complete including transcripts in long before the first day of possible submission (which was delayed at least twice in 2001 and didn't come until the end of June). When the first day to submit came by I tried to submit and pay with my credit card but received an error. Over the next 10 days or so I tried on multiple occasions to submit but was consistently given the same error telling me to submit later. I finally go it to work on July 6. By that time of course my credit card had been charged several thousand dollars. Even though the submittal was giving me an error and telling me to submit later, it still charged the card.

    Unofortunately, it seemed that first week in July was the kiss of death when it came to having the application processed and verified by AMCAS. Most people that submitted at this timer were not verified until late October or later (October 17 for me) meanwhile people that applied in late July, August, and September were processed and verified before that. I did not get some secondaries until November. The moral of the story is, the early birds were not as lucky as some this year. By the way, some people that submitted early did get verified early...it was sort of the luck of the draw.

    Even though that sort of sucked as I have only been given 4 interviews this year (three at very competitive schools whereas only one of my "safety" schools granted an interview) and they are all late (after the New Year), if I have to apply again this year I will still try and do it early. I was just giving an honest and not uncommon story to realize that you can't always bet on having everything work out just because you are early.
     
  13. Scooby Doo

    Scooby Doo IEatShavedPussyCats

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    Jalbrekt doing a good job again...how's the process working you lately?

    I think the process depends A LOT on your personality. People told me to do secondaries in a 24 to 48 hour period...damn...I just don't work that way.

    I let them pile up to about 5 or so and then I sat down one day and did them all. Didn't proofread them or anything the next day. Just got them all ready and sent them off. Do that every Saturday or Sunday instead of drinking beer and watching football....actually, drink beer and do your apps...that's what me and racergirl did :)

    I personally can't stand to work on something for a long time and have to look at it every day and wonder if it's good enough. That's why even though I got a hold of the questions for most of the secondaries, I did not complete them until the day or week that I got them. So work within tight limits....but don't bend too far over backwards..if I had done all those secondary questions early I would have driven myself crazy by looking at those answers every day
    <img border="0" alt="[Pissy]" title="" src="graemlins/pissy.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="[Pissy]" title="" src="graemlins/pissy.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="[Pissy]" title="" src="graemlins/pissy.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="[Pissy]" title="" src="graemlins/pissy.gif" />
     
  14. DarkChild

    DarkChild Senior Member

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    i'm with player:
    take a year or two off, relax and enjoy life.
    the whole premed thing gets pretty nuts and pretty intense - the best thing to do is get away from it for a little while.
    also I think it just makes you a better interviewer (might also spice up your personal statement too) because you can really articulate your reasons for wanting to do medicine. a year of self-reflection away from the school will probably help you codify exactly why you want to be in medicine.
     
  15. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
    Physician

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    FYI: I believe you can begin to send off your transcripts around mid-March. It would be best to do it asap. Every time I've applied there's been a loss of a transcript that delayed my application a couple weeks. Getting them in really early can (hopefully) guarantee that they'll file them before June 1st. In June, not only will they have transcripts to deal with, but also application glitches and whatnot. And we know they only hire a handful of people to do all this work.

    Andrew
     
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  17. megkudos

    megkudos Senior Member

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    Here's a couple of things I'd like to add:

    If you choose carefully you only need to apply to 10-15 schools. If you have a good pre-med advisor take advantage of this, they can usually give you good suggestions.

    I kept record of everything I sent to each of my schools in a separate file folder. I made copies of everything just in case including checks and secondaries and dates that I sent everything and communicated with schools.

    I applyed early (July for us, will be June 1st for you) and was able to finish mostly all my secondaries before school started in September. If you can do this I would suggest it. Not only is your stuff in early but you don't have classes taking up you time. (If you are still in school)
     
  18. Doctora Foxy

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by kutastha:
    <strong>FYI: I believe you can begin to send off your transcripts around mid-March. It would be best to do it asap. Every time I've applied there's been a loss of a transcript that delayed my application a couple weeks. Getting them in really early can (hopefully) guarantee that they'll file them before June 1st. In June, not only will they have transcripts to deal with, but also application glitches and whatnot. And we know they only hire a handful of people to do all this work.

    Andrew</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">But you might want to wait until your spring semester grades are in. Med schools want your grades from first three years in college.

    I completely agree with megkudos :cool:
     
  19. rajneel1

    rajneel1 Senior Member

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    i would photocopy secondary application materials and get a certificate of mailing for everything you send (in case they lose it). i made seperate folders for every school.
    and i would suggest against applying during your junior year because your senior year can be your strongest and you want that stuff on your application. and you want not to have to miss alot of school as your interview. and most of all, you want to only apply once so give it your best shot the first time! that means, include your senior year, do MCATs early enough, apply early enough, ask good people for letters, and apply to enough schools. hope that helps!
     
  20. mpp

    mpp SDN Moderator
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by rajneel1:
    <strong>i would photocopy secondary application materials and get a certificate of mailing for everything you send (in case they lose it).</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">A certificate of mailing won't really help much. If the school doesn't have your check/transcript/letter of rec/secondary application or whatever it is they need, showing them a certificate of mailing won't make the missing item appear. Be warned that things will go missing so keep track of who has what. Kudos to the schools that have up-to-date on-line status checks (Yale, U of Washington, Stanford are three that seemed to work well) that show what they have received and when they have received it. I just found out today that one school of mine did not receive a letter of recommendation even though the rest of the letters were received in September. When I called them in November to check the status they told me that I would be receiving an application complete card soon. I sort of forgot about that until yesterday when I realized I didn't have it and called them and they say a letter is missing. I know the letter was mailed but somewhere it got misplaced. They won't review the application until they get that letter. It's probably tough luck for me to get an interview there now...
     
  21. Mystique

    Mystique The Procrastinator

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    Make SURE you call and check on the status of your applications and make a note of the name of the person that you talk to!!!!!!!! Some of these admission office people are horrible at what they do. One time they'll tell you your app is complete, and then next time they'll say they're missing a letter of rec. Don't let them confuse you! I've had this happen to me more than once this year.
     
  22. marleybfour

    marleybfour Senior Member

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    This is great advice guys! Several questions though....

    The personal statement. Is this just writing about "Why I want to be a doctor?" or something more specific? Is there a page/word limit?

    Do I send in the transcript from my first bachelor's degree?? It was over twenty years ago. Do these grades count?

    Do I send the same things for a DO school?

    What kinds of questions are asked on a secondary?

    Thanks for helping out an old woman!!
     
  23. Jameson

    Jameson Member

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    Marleybfour -
    Hey, I am a fellow 2003 applicant so I can't answer all of your questions, however I can tell you that the personal statement is limited to 5300 characters (which includes spaces,periods,etc). As of now I have mine done because I just applied to this summer program that was interested in who I am and why I am interested in medicine...so yea mine is on why I want to be a physician + some info about what has been unique in my journey thus far. Sorry I can't answer the rest of your Q's - Newton
     
  24. Doctora Foxy

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> What kinds of questions are asked on a secondary?
    </font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Usually they ask why you want to go to that school. Some ask about leadership experience(ie (Mt. Sinai), others may want a short description of activities (ie U Miami)

    About old transcripts, you may have to look at each individual school to see what they want. Consult the MSAR (med school admissions guide), available from AAMC, or you might be able to call the schools for this info.

    I heard that some schools void it after 10 years, but if you had a high gpa it may be worthwhile to include grades if you can.
     
  25. marleybfour

    marleybfour Senior Member

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    Thanks guys.
     
  26. Doctora Foxy

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    I posted this on another thread, so I'll put it here too:

    For personal statements:

    In addition to the good advice posted above me, make sure your statement is NOT a reiteration of your resume / ECs. Choose a few that come together to form a theme...I think most good statements have some type of theme to them. Schools read like 10,000 of these, so make it a good read. Some examples of friends' themes/topics:

    *taking growth hormones throughout life
    *being a music major and its connection to medicine
    *relationship with little brother (big brother program, not a biological brother)
    *being a Spanish major and communicating w/ patients (that was mine)
    *Discuss a significant experience travelling

    Your statement should make you stand out. If there was an event/person in your life that inspired you, that would also be good.

    Don't sound too cocky when you write, but you should sound confident about your life experiences and your potential to become a doctor

    Then have a ton of people read and critique your statement, especially your premed advisor if still in school. My school also has a writing center that was very helpful.

    Got that? Now get to work! Good luck!
     
  27. Mylaina

    Mylaina Senior Member

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    Fantastic Post! I don't have anything to really add...
     
  28. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.

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    gdsadsggdsa
     
  29. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.

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    I forgot about this guy. Bump.
     
  30. Trek

    Trek Grand Uranium Member

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    Damn josh, way to find this pup from 2 weeks ago (forever in pre-allo land)...where was it, like page 219? --Trek
     
  31. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Trek:
    <strong>Damn josh, way to find this pup from 2 weeks ago (forever in pre-allo land)...where was it, like page 219? --Trek</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Umm, no comment.
    Arn't you supposed to be asleep.
     
  32. Papa Smurf

    Papa Smurf Thug 4 Life

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Jalbrekt:
    <strong> </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Trek:
    <strong>Damn josh, way to find this pup from 2 weeks ago (forever in pre-allo land)...where was it, like page 219? --Trek</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Umm, no comment.
    Arn't you supposed to be asleep.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Isn't he supposed to be asleep?!? I'm on the East Coast baby! And I gotta be fully functioning in an academic setting in less than 3 hrs. Not happening my friends!
     
  33. racergirl

    racergirl Senior Member

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Scooby Doo:
    <strong> People told me to do secondaries in a 24 to 48 hour period...damn...I just don't work that way.

    I let them pile up to about 5 or so and then I sat down one day and did them all. Didn't proofread them or anything the next day. Just got them all ready and sent them off. Do that every Saturday or Sunday instead of drinking beer and watching football....actually, drink beer and do your apps...that's what me and racergirl did :)

    </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I did not! Oh wait--yes I did :)
     
  34. Hi everyone
    I ahve the list of secondary qustions from the schools I applied to. A little long but might be helpful for someone:

    Case Western

    1. Write a brief essay in your own words on some subject outside of medicine, which has held your interest. Limited to two pages.

    North Western University-

    1 Special Personal Characteristics. Develop a profile of a ?good? physician. Choose descriptive attitudes and behaviors you think a physician should possess. How closely do you fit the profile? (400 words).
    2 Career influences. What processes have you used to explore your commitment to a career in medicine? Describe in detail your evolution of thought and discovery experiences that led your decision. Be specific. (400 words).
    3 Your interest in NUMS. Why do you want to attend NUMS? What contributions will you make to NUMS? (300 words).

    Medical College of Ohio

    1. The MCO is committed to excellence in education, which prepares graduates to deliver quality health care. Developing cultural competence is an important goal in our curriculum. Cultural competence is defined as an awareness, understanding and ability to use specific methods to deal effectively with cultural issues and its role in health care. Please discuss a life experience in which you feel you demonstrated cultural competence.

    Baylor School of Medicine

    1. If you have been out of school for a year or more please, describe all activities or employment from graduation until planned entry into medical school. (If not applicable use N/A). 2000 character limit.
    2. Describe your most significant non-scientific extracurricular activities and how you use your leisure time. 2000 characters limit
    3. Describe your most significant research and medically-related experiences and list any awards and accomplishments of which you are especially proud. 2000 character limit.
    4. Indicate any special experiences, unusual factors or other information which you feel would be helpful in evaluating you. 2000 character limit.

    Dartmouth Medical School

    1. Please indicate what you are doing during the 2001-02 academic year. If in school list courses. If working, let us know something about the nature of you job.
    2. Please share something about yourself that is not addressed elsewhere in your application and which could be helpful to the Admissions Committee as we review your file.

    Michigan Medical School

    1. Select an experience from your list (non academic activities) and describe in a brief essay how it impacted on your decision to go to medicine. 400 words

    University of Virginia

    1. Why are you interested in attending the UVSM? 20 lines
    2. Briefly discuss what special qualities, skills, talents, or cultural experiences you would bring to the class that would enhance the educational environment and the practice of medicine?

    Vanderbilt University

    1. Write a brief autobiography. Give as complete and precise as possible, a picture of yourself, your family and events you consider important in your background. In doing so identify the values that are of greatest importance to you.
    2. In addition to preparing you to be an excellent physician, Vanderbilt is committed to educating leaders and scholars in clinical practice, basic research, clinical research, education, and health policy. Describe any skills or experiences that have prepared you for one or more of these broader missions.
    3. What research or scholarly activity would you be interested in pursuing as a medical student?

    Keck School of Medicine- 250 words each

    1. Are you reapplying to the Keck School of Medicine?
    If yes, please describe your activities since you last applied.
    2. From the time that you entered college until now, were there any periods of time that you were not enrolled in school (excluding vacations) ?
    If yes please describe your activities during this time.
    3. Briefly describe any unique qualities and abilities you posses which you would contribute to the diversity of our entering class.
    4. Please provide a summary of your most relevant leadership experiences.
    5. Please describe your participation in any activities that have benefited a disadvantaged and/or underserved population.
    6. The new curriculum, first implemented in 2001, is designed to enhance the understanding and clinical relevance of the basic sciences and to improve student's problem-solving and independent study skills. The curriculum will be based upon the use of cases and will increasingly incorporate small group learning, directed self-study and newer instructional technologies.
    Do you see yourself thriving in this type of educational environment? Please give examples of why you think you would be well suited for this type of curriculum.
    7. In addition to providing first class clinical training with our unique public/private hospital partnership, the Keck School of Medicine is providing leadership in biomedical research as we acknowledge that the future lies in molecular medicine. The four primary research initiatives are Cancer, Genetics, Neuroscience and Transplantation. A number of other multidisciplinary and interdepartmental research programs are emerging from our laboratories, classrooms and hospitals. At USC we feel it is vital to have both excellent clinical training as well as opportunities for a career in academic medicine.

    Please express your level of interest in a career as a full-time faculty member in a medical school and provide examples of your research experience, if any.
    Ohio State University
    1. Please describe your interest in attending The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health and the unique qualities that you would bring to the entering class. (600 words or less)
    2. Please describe your motivation for a career in medicine and experiences you have had that helped confirm this desire. (600 words or less)
     
  35. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

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    Jalbrekt, nice work!!! :) The only thing I have to add is definitely get the MSAR (Medical School Admissions Requirements, available from AAMC). I used it and the USNews rankings to help me decide what schools to apply to (with input from my school's premed advisor). And I discovered at the last minute (as I was filling out my FAFSA), that it has an invaluable section on financial aid in it. So read that section while you're sitting around worrying about getting interviews and/or acceptances. I got my MSAR in June, and it is now in tatters. I ripped out the pages on each school and took them to interviews to remind myself of why I'd applied there.
     
  36. Elysium

    Elysium Not Really An Old Beaver

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    Thanks Kaitlin, for that list. That's really helpful. Anyone else have any secondaries questions they would like to share?

    Tiff
     
  37. THE instiGATOR

    THE instiGATOR Cow Tipper

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    Here's some of my "successful second-timer" advice (perhaps redundant...I didn't read everything so far):

    1) Type when possible (avoid handwritten secondaries).

    2) Use a digital camera and touch up the pic. Last year I sent in a low-quality homemade pic (stupid me). This year, the pic was homemade. Instead of using a usual camera, though, I got my hands on a high-quality digital. I took the pic to a photo program and did all kinds of wonderful things to it (removed crazy hairs on the top of my head, adjusted the lighting, cropped, etc...).

    3) Don't just dump your secondary material into an envelope. Neatly organize the papers and clip them at the top. You don't want the secretaries to have to do this when they open your material.

    4) Have as many people as possible read your personal statement and BE RECEPTIVE TO CRITICISM! I work as a writer and think I do a damned good job, but I still received a ton of great advice from my friends & coworkers.

    5) Being creative is good...overexaggerating is rediculous. You aren't preparing a "story", you are eloquently answering their questions.

    ...that's enough for now...

    Remember: BE PROFESSIONAL! Pay attention to every detail, even if you think it is minor.
     
  38. 8deuce

    8deuce Senior Member

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    All of you have given us premeds some fantastic advice. I know it will help me immensely.

    on a side note......Papasmurf has to have the funniest sigs ever...

    I am still cracking up <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" />

    All 3 of the statements had me crying, literally

    take care all!

    miami hurricanes rule college football!
     
  39. trout

    trout Senior Member

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    My 2 cents are from my experiences teaching and applying this year...I taught at princeton review and read probably abou 50 essays and honestly 3 or 4 got the point the essay is PERSONAL!!!!!!! (hence the name personal statement) what I would recommend to them (and to myself) was to read each line and ask yourself can 50,000 other premeds write the same line? What I mean by this for example is "For the last two years I understood the meaning of being a patient when I worked in the ER...."ok just imagine read 100 of those a day...(Make it personal, add some names, some feelings, even put in a perspective from the patient you helped--don't write the same dribble everyone else is) Just based off my student's success and non-success this essay is just as important as GPA and mcat (My other advice is if you honestly don't mind passing it to 100 of your best buddies it probably doesn't really tell them enough about you!)
     
  40. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

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    hey, guys, let's keep this bumped up for the newcomers.
     
  41. Amy B

    Amy B I miss my son so much
    Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved

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    I will add my 2 cents about how many schools you should apply to. Do NOT apply to more schools than you need to. Seriously folks, have you all noticed how many people on the list have withdrawn from most of their schools after they get multiple acceptances.

    If you are a qualified applicant you will get in and should only apply to schools that you really are interested in going to. What is the point in applying to 20 schools if you are just going to turn around and withdraw your application from most of those schools?

    If you are not a strong applicant, whether you apply to 10 or 40 schools, really doesn't add to your chances. People may disagree with me, but I feel like it wil save you from months of waiting, or the sting of the rejection letters as they start pouring in. Be realistic about your chances to get accepted to the schools you apply to. If the school only accepts a few out-of-staters (such as UNC), then don't apply unless you have strong ties to the state or have great stats.

    And PLEASE read the MSAR guide to make sure you are qualified to apply to the school. Some schools don't accept any out-of -staters, and yet each year people waste their money and apply there anyway. If you haven't had a year of calculus, then for gosh sake don't apply at the schools that have that as a requirment, unless of course you are going to take it later.

    LEARN PATIENCE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your going to need it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    GOOD LUCK TO ALL

    Amy Beth <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  42. lady bug

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    Will all this applying early really help if I am taking the August MCAT?
     
  43. Doctora Foxy

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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by puddin:
    <strong>Will all this applying early really help if I am taking the August MCAT?</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">yes! Otherwise it will hurt you! Get your stuff in ASAP so the second that schools get your mcat scores your file will be complete.
     
  44. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

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    Definitely apply early. Get everything done as early as possible -- personal statement, LOR's, transcripts. The latter two are notorious for holding up AMCAS processing. I took the August MCAT, and I can tell you that it was a full time job completing secondaries, bird-dogging my AMCAS app (hopefully next year there won't be all the screw-ups and delays of this year, but I wouldn't count on it), and continuing to study for the MCAT. Don't plan on having time for much else.

    And hey, welcome to SDN!! :D You're gonna love all the help you get with the whole process from this site!! I am absolutely 100% sure I would not have been as successful with my applications as I have been were it not for all the incredible help, knowledgeable advice, and support I've received from the all the wonderful SDNers!!! <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
     

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