-- Live AMA on Medical School Admissions -- Monday, 9/25 4pm ET

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Humdinger

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SDN will be doing a Live Ask Me Anything on Medical School Admissions in partnership with the Admissions Office at Case Western School of Medicine. We are happy to have Dr. Henry Ng, Assistant Dean for Admissions, (username @Dr.NgCWRU), Tom McKenzie, Assistant Director of Admissions, (username @txm342) and Mr. Christian Essman, Director of Admissions, (username @CWRU.Sman), answering your questions on Medical School Admissions.

Feel free to ask any medical school admissions questions. These do not have to be specific to Case Western. Also please refrain from asking "What are my chances" questions, and instead, feel free to ask those in the WAMC forum or in our Experts Section.

--- This Live AMA is now Closed for questions. --
 
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Humdinger

Humdinger

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Question from Social Media:
MCAT, Extracurriculuars, volunteering, grades. What do you look at first when deciding to keep a candidate?
 
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Humdinger

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Question from Social Media: If I have lots of shadowing hours and other clinic experience. How essential is it for me to do research during undergrad?
 
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Question from Social Media: If I have lots of shadowing hours and other clinic experience. How essential is it for me to do research during undergrad?
Research is a great experience to have as an undergraduate, but it is not necessary to have research experience when applying to our CWRU University track. Research experience is needed to apply to our more research-intensive tracks: the Medical Scientist Training Program (MD/PhD program) or the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine track.
 

CaffeinatedSquirrel

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Anonymous submission: "I was suspended for a week my senior year of high school (nothing illegal, I was just stupid). Will I even need to mention that on my med school application? Will it hurt my chances?"
 

1203xx

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Is submitting my 5-6 secondaries in the last week of September TOO late to be considered, granted that my stats fit in range of the school's median and my ECs are also up to par?
 

scifit

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Would a secondary submitted to Case Western in late September/early October be considered "late"?
 

1203xx

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In addition, how many complete apps does CWRU already have at this time?
 
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Is submitting my 5-6 secondaries in the last week of September TOO late to be considered, granted that my stats fit in range of the school's median and my ECs are also up to par?
The clock's ticking! If your application is ready, then you can certainly submit your secondary application. The sooner the better! Good luck!
 

YCP Pre-Med

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Thanks for doing this! Can you give us a snapshot of what happens when an application is completed? What does that review process look like?
 
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Social Media Question: How does it REALLY look to the Admissions committee when you take a gap year to travel and do very little to improve your application?
 
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Thanks for doing this! Can you give us a snapshot of what happens when an application is completed? What does that review process look like?
That is a great question. When we receive a completed secondary application we assign a screener to review that application. We review the metrics (GPA, MCAT score) as well as your extracurricular activities, essay responses, and letters of recommendation. We try to review each application in a holistic manner. Each application is screened at least twice before deciding to offer an applicant an interview.
 

SnowyMoon

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What information do you use from social media, and what social media sites do you look at to learn more about your upper-tier applicants, if any is used? And do you know if any of your colleagues at CW or other schools do this?
 
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If an applicant is very interested in a specific MD program should he reach out to the admissions committee before receiving an interview invite? Might this come across as overly enthusiastic? Does CWRU ever receive these types of emails? Thank you.
 
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Social Media Question: How many schools is too many to apply to?
 
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How bad of a disadvantage does each of the following aspects factor into the overall application: re-applicant, MCAT retakes (multiple), international citizenship, ORM? Thank you.
 

ScreenName23

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What are you looking for particularly at Case Western at the interview? How are students evaluated after the interview to determine their acceptance or rejection?
 
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Humdinger

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While not expected per se, keep in mind that many interviewers volunteer their time to do this for the admissions office and as a service to the school. It doesn't hurt to send note of thanks for their time and conversation that you had together. Have a genuine message. It can't hurt. In fact, I just got an email today from one of our interviewers who shared the thank you note that he received from a recent applicant that he interview and he was thrilled with her note. It kind of sealed the deal for him that he wants to recommend her highly to the admissions committee.
So is an emailed Thank You note acceptable? Is that what you mostly receive or would a handwritten note be better?
 

Dox4lyfe

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Do you have a preference for students from certain undergrad institutions due to the reputation of the students that come from there (not including cwu undergrad)? There are a few schools I know of that do.
 
Sep 25, 2017
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If an applicant is very interested in a specific MD program should he reach out to the admissions committee before receiving an interview invite? Might this come across as overly enthusiastic? Does CWRU ever receive these types of emails? Thank you.
So is an emailed Thank You note acceptable? Is that what you mostly receive or would a handwritten note be better?
Yes, an email thank you note is certainly acceptable. We receive both handwritten and email thank you notes in our office from applicants.
 
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Humdinger

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Social Media Question: Do I need to have shadowing/clinical experience from multiple types of specialties or is just one okay?
 
Sep 25, 2017
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Do you have a preference for students from certain undergrad institutions due to the reputation of the students that come from there (not including cwu undergrad)? There are a few schools I know of that do.
We don't have a preference on certain undergraduate institutions. We are evaluating you as an applicant, and how you performed at your undergraduate institution.
 
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Social Media Question: Do I need to have shadowing/clinical experience from multiple types of specialties or is just one okay?
We look at both the quality and quantity of contact hours that applicants report with their shadowing experiences. No specialty is considered better than another, but having more exposures does help an applicant see medicine from more perspectives. We like to hear about what the applicant has learned as a result of the shadowing exposures and how they are better prepared for a career in medicine.
 
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Anonymous Question: What interview question do people seem to have the hardest time with?
 
Sep 22, 2017
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In regards to volunteering, is certain experienced valued more? For example, is direct contact at a soup kitchen valued more than fundraising for clinical sites?
 
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Humdinger

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Social Media Question: It seems that "medical mission trips" for premeds have gotten a bad wrap lately. Should you leave them off your application? now?
 
Sep 25, 2017
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In regards to volunteering, is certain experienced valued more? For example, is direct contact at a soup kitchen valued more than fundraising for clinical sites?
As far as clinical and non-clinical volunteering, the experiences would probably be equivalent. We look for each applicant to be involved in meaningful experiences.
 
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If you could be an animal.... JUST KIDDING.

Sometimes questions like:
require self reflection
talking about their accomplishments with humility
just the basic "why do you want to be in medicine?" sometimes people don't provide a direct, clear response. Sometimes they get tripped up.
what people do for fun surprisingly throws people off sometimes.

With any challenging question the applicant should take moment before responding to formulate a response.

We have had some colorful and cringeworthy responses to "tell us one thing interesting about yourself." Remember that just because you CAN share something, doesn't meet you SHOULD share it!
 
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Biological

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Do your interviewers tend to view interviews more as a platform to evaluate the professionalism of potential students, or more as a platform to evaluate if the potential student is someone they would like to work with and could see in their class for the next 4 years?
 
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