gitooboy

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Hey y?all,

I?ve been a lurker here for a while and I think its time I shared my story, cuz I see some questions running around in the forums that I think I could address, especially ones about how to do a LOI (Letter of Intent/Interest). One year ago today I was the most depressed guy in the world and was sure that I was never going to make it, but here I am, in the middle of my 1st year at medical school, and I feel it?s something that I may have helped to push. But let?s back up a bit. I first applied 2 years ago, with overall GPA of 3.4 and a science GPA that was much, much lower, MCAT of 30N, so not bad, but not too great either. I applied uber-late, circa deadline time, and ended up with one interview in mid-March, that led to one waitlist, that led to nowhere. I reapplied the next year, but having been unprepared to apply again, not much of my application had improved, in fact very little at all had changed. Yet I procrastinated again and sent it in late, once again, about mid-September-ish this time. I waited for interviews and eventually scrapped out two, luckily. The first one went pretty bad. The interviewer was interested in medical ethics and I had no idea what he was talking about.

Interviewer: So what would you do if your neighbor brought his kid in because he hurt himself playing but couldn?t pay?
Me: I?d still treat him because it?s the right thing to do.
Interviewer: Okay, but what if it happened again the next week and the next?
Me: I still would treat him because I don?t think I can turn my back on a hurt little kid and do nothing, that?s not why I want to go into medicine.
(Few minutes of similar questioning later)
Interviewer: You know, I keep trying to lead you somewhere and you?re just not getting it. I?m talking about suspected child abuse here, but never mind.
Me: (Thinking ?Oh, [email protected]&$!)

Next interview? My interviewer tells me I?m a nice guy, but probably not gonna make it at his school, just not competitive enough. End result? Wait listed at both, luckily. So, I sent the standard LOI?s to both and waited, as I had done before. Feb, Mar, and Apr rolled around with no change and no new interviews and things were looking grim for me, my friends. In mid-April I called both of my schools to ask for my current position. In both, I was in the lower 1/3 of the wait list pile, and in both I asked about my chances. Both replied that there was abnormally little movement on the WL this year, so I probably just wasn?t going to get in. The low point in my entire life. I sat on a bench on campus for an hour, thinking, ?That?s it, I?m just not gonna make it.?

The next day things changed for me. I knew if I wanted to make it, it was now or never. I proceeded to write LOI?s once again, but these were different. You see, here?s my new theory on LOI?s, based on talking to my other pre-med friends and my experience?many do them, but not everyone does it right, me in the past included. No one?s gonna care about a two paragraph generic letter about how you are still interested in the school, blah blah blah. What?s the real purpose of an LOI??to tell them you want it. You want it bad. Real bad. Real f**in? bad. So there?s no point in writing one if it?s gonna be like one that everyone else writes. I was determined to show them I wanted it REAL bad. My new LOI?s were 2-3 pages typed, single spaced, and addressed directly to the Dean of admissions of the schools, BOTH by snail mail and by email. I proceeded to send one in April, one in May, one in June, one in July, each one with its own theme, like a whole new Personal Statement. One set was about exactly what I like about the school, what I thought about it, my overall experience, and why I would fit in, plus an update on what I was doing. Another was about how much I had learned about medical school this past year and through my application failures, and how I was more determined than ever for medical school, plus an update. Another about what might not be apparent about me in the interviews and my application that I think they should know, plus an update. And for my school of choice, always a definitive ?If accepted, I will definitely commit to attending.? No more time to dilly-dally or beating around the bush. Time to let them know that I wanted it bad. Plus I proceeded to call, and call, and call to ask them if anything's changed. Then after that I called. Like I said, I wanted it BAD.

At this point, some readers may think to themselves, ?That?s too much.? Bull. Worse case scenario, they just won?t read it, you lose nothing. No one?s gonna count this AGAINST you and give you a bad mark on your file, you?re just showing them that, unlike the next guy on the list, you want it BAD, and you want it MORE. Best case scenario, someone will listen.

And someone did. A week before August, I received my first acceptance. Two days later, I received my second acceptance. You guys still waiting around have no idea how it feels to go from complete loser to stressing out about which school to choose (Of course I ended up going to the one that I firmly committed to?its bad form to tell a school you will accept if offered, and then not. But still, the option to choose was GREAT).

So, the lesson of the day? It may be too late to dramatically improve you GPA and may be mentally impossible to retake the MCAT and score an extra 5-6 points, but one thing you can do is show them that you?re serious about this Med school thing, and that you want it much more than the next guy. I was in a position of just about 0 chance of getting in before it turned around for me. Never give up, never surrender, and pray.

BTW, lesson #2: fill out your FAFSA when they tell you. I tell ya, these FinAid people get pretty mad when you inform them that its August and you haven?t done it yet b/c you didn?t think you were gonna get in. Trust me.

So, its a lot of work (remember how long it took to write a PS the first time?), but when it all comes down to it, just how bad to you want it?
 
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Megalofyia

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So.. um.. what does happen in August and you don't have FAFSA?


and BTW .. GREAT POST!!! This was really really insiring and helpful!!!!!!!!!:clap: :clap:
 

ecranda

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I am so glad you made it! You will be a wonderful doctor and an excellent addition to the profession! You truly showed the go out and get it additude. I'm proud of you. No matter how hard it got, you were not willing to give up!

Keep up the great spirit!

ecranda
 
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Yosh

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Excellent and inspirational....we can all learn the power of determination!!!!
 

LizS

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THANK YOU for that story. I am in the same position now of wondering what I can do to change my status. I am from Louisiana and have pm'd you for some advice. I was a late applicant with a great GPA and low MCAT. I have had no interviews. Please Respond.
 

gitooboy

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Megalofyia, well, in Aug without a FAFSA, you get an akward silence with the Financial Aid advisor, followed by a stern lecture, then (after submitting a late FAFSA) end up with the loans you were gonna get originally, plus if you have a stellar advisor like I did, private scholarships to replace the school grants you would have received if you turned in your FAFSA on time. If you don't have a stellar advisor, I imagine probably more loans to replace the school grants.

LizS, check your PM.

To all the others-- thanks for all your support!
 

spankyMD

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I broke my own rule and actually signed up for a username just to thank you for your post! I really found a lot of encouragement in it...not only to keep trying but also that there will be some really great people as classmates when I get there!!

Best wishes in med school...you're going to make a great doctor!
 

turtlepower

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I appreciate you sharing your story. I think that your determination in gaining admission will translate into how you care for patients. I certainly want a doctor who will go above and beyond the standard of care for me when I really need them.

How is your first year going? If you don't mind sharing some of your experiences that would be great.
 

2bkiddoc

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Gitooboy,

Thanks so much for stepping off the sidelines of a silent reader to express that story with the sdn team. It speaks great words to your determination - a noble trait that was properly recognized. If I find myself in a position of writing letters of intent, I will remember your experience and keep it strong as my motivation.

Everyone hang in there... :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
 

exigente chica

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Thank you sooo much for your story it was very inspiring...and had a great message...never give up..

I won't either...

:clap:
 

jrl4a

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Congratulations!

I think I'm currently in the same boat you were.

How did you make your LOIs sound sincere and not like you were pleading/begging?
 
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taylor92107

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Hey guys...I have a question...there are two people that have say in who gets in to the school. Should I send them both the same letter, or separate letters? :eek: :confused:
 

Yobot

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Inspirational as hell man. Damn near shed a tear. You're absolutely right about wanting it bad. Let it be known and put it all on the line. Congrats and thanks for sharing your story. :thumbup:
 

premeddo

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what a great story! Im glad you stuck to your goal! :thumbup:

Im a int'l business major and trying to finish it up as well as taking my prereq. for med. well since I've worked all this time...my gpa has not been the greatest! At times I get depressed...thinking that I will not make it in...but then I read posts like these and gets me going again...and thinking, it never hurts to try!! :) thanks for sharing!
 

vernal equinox

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That was an awesome story!!! Congratulations!

I think people should post more stories like this to show people that if you really want something, you can achieve it with a a lot of hard work and perseverance.
 

Captain Fantastic

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You sent LOI's to both waitlisted schools saying you would attend if accepted? So now that you've matriculated did you talk to the dean and ask what about your LOI's turned the tide? Just curious.
 
C

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You sent LOI's to both waitlisted schools saying you would attend if accepted? So now that you've matriculated did you talk to the dean and ask what about your LOI's turned the tide? Just curious.

I doubt you'll get a response from the OP. Checking the date of the original post, it looks like he is about ready to graduate from medical school.
 

sehnsucht

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an inspirational story! I am in the process of applying to medical school right now and even though I haven't even gotten secondaries yet, I've set aside some resources to help me write a compelling Letter of Intent. thanks for bolstering my motivation:)
 

jacob

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Though this post was written about 3 years ago I found it very inspirational. I also find myself in a dead-end but this story determined me to go on and give it all I've got to accomplish my dream of entering medicine school.
 

Green6936

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How do you write a really good LOI eloquently? I seem to have trouble expressing myself.
 

Goober153

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For all of you looking up letter of intent/interest info, this persons story was inspiring to me, and I ended up doing the exact same thing. I was wait listed and eventually not accepted my first application cycle. My second application cycle June rolled around and i was Wait listed once again, the difference was this thread that i read. I emailed AND mailed 2-3 page single space letters of intent to my first choice school monthly, always calling to check on my application status and if they received them. About 10 days before school started I received my acceptance letter. My MCAT was very average, and my GPA to be honest you won't believe how low it was. Now i'm weeks away from finishing up my first year and couldnt be more happy to be here. Dunno if the person who started this still reads it, but thank you for the inspiration it has definately affected another persons life. For you who are sitting on that wait list, get on those letters, and remember to put some meaning behind them.
 
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byurazorhog

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Big Congrats to you Goober! You're testament to the fact that no matter how competitive it might've gotten over the last few years, perseverance and originality still make the difference in the admission game. I'm an aspiring med student and I will certainly take your lession to heart.

I also have some questions for you. When you say you mailed 2-3 page LOI's once a month, were they sort of like progress updates on what you were doing? Also, who do you address your letters to? To the Dean of admissions like the OP? If so, who did you actually call to confirm if the school had received them? The dean himself?
 

fahimaz7

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I wonder if it even mattered. At most schools, the waitlist positions are finalized by the second week in April. The ADCOM's don't even meet after that, and it would be a major LCME violation for a single member (Dean of Admission) to over-ride the committee, and bump you ahead of an entire list of students.
 

Goober153

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I think I found out head of admissions and addressed it to them. My letters were basically the same as gitooboy, why i liked the school, why i'd fit in, how i would affect the school socially through events and clubs etc. second one was what i've been doing the past year and how it has made me a better applicant (i didn't do much besides EMT certifcation and working at best buy) You really just need to word everything you can to your benefit. 3rd one just reiterated everything with some new stuff and updates. As for making a difference I'm pretty sure it made a huge difference because I know with a few schools theres alot of movement weeks before school starts. IE students getting off a wait list to the school they really want to go to, but have a seat saved at another. Schools need to fill seats, and its those consistent letters i think thats show them how commited you are to their school. Its better then just sitting all summer on the wait list.
 

Countercurrent

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Hey y?all,

...Plus I proceeded to call, and call, and call to ask them if anything's changed. Then after that I called. Like I said, I wanted it BAD.

At this point, some readers may think to themselves, ?That?s too much.? Bull. Worse case scenario, they just won?t read it, you lose nothing. No one?s gonna count this AGAINST you and give you a bad mark on your file, you?re just showing them that, unlike the next guy on the list, you want it BAD, and you want it MORE. Best case scenario, someone will listen.

And someone did. A week before August, I received my first acceptance. Two days later, I received my second acceptance. You guys still waiting around have no idea how it feels to go from complete loser to stressing out about which school to choose (Of course I ended up going to the one that I firmly committed to?its bad form to tell a school you will accept if offered, and then not. But still, the option to choose was GREAT).

So, the lesson of the day? It may be too late to dramatically improve you GPA and may be mentally impossible to retake the MCAT and score an extra 5-6 points, but one thing you can do is show them that you?re serious about this Med school thing, and that you want it much more than the next guy. I was in a position of just about 0 chance of getting in before it turned around for me. Never give up, never surrender, and pray.

BTW, lesson #2: fill out your FAFSA when they tell you. I tell ya, these FinAid people get pretty mad when you inform them that its August and you haven?t done it yet b/c you didn?t think you were gonna get in. Trust me.

So, its a lot of work (remember how long it took to write a PS the first time?), but when it all comes down to it, just how bad to you want it?

Just to shed some reality on this, I was in a similar scenario and did pretty much the same thing. I wanted it SO bad. I wrote my heart out, long, narrative letters pouring out my inents and updates.

Unfortunately, no one listened. I was on the waitlist, then rejected.

So yeah, if you want it bad, do it, but it CAN backfire.
 
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BroPasta

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Just to shed some reality on this, I was in a similar scenario and did pretty much the same thing. I wanted it SO bad. I wrote my heart out, long, narrative letters pouring out my inents and updates.

Unfortunately, no one listened. I was on the waitlist, then rejected.

So yeah, if you want it bad, do it, but it CAN backfire.

I'm shocked no one discussed the possibility of offending or annoying the admissions department/dean of admissions with multiple calls and letters.

I am a re-applicant with a non-traditional story that would require a long post to explain, but I currently work in research at my top choice of medical schools. The opportunity for face-to-face contact with the admissions department is limitless, yet I've only been in once to drop off my secondary application fee.

What do people think is the most appropriate frequency & timing to contact admissions departments in this way? Monthly basis after already wait listed? Do people think it hurts to have contact or write LOI's earlier (like before even invited for an interview)?

Quick stat profile: 3.64 cum GPA (top 5%), 3.45 science GPA, 36P MCAT, 15 months part-time clinical volunteer experience, 8 months & counting full-time volunteer research experience. Hoping that getting my applications in much earlier this year will help :)
 
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