Official Guide to applying to Med School. (Now includes Waitlist info)

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Jalby, Mar 23, 2002.

  1. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.

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    I added some more stuff and also redid some of this. It now includes waitlist information.

    First off, the MCAT. Take the April one. No ifs, ands, butts about it. The reasoning why will be explained later with regards to timing of your application. Or even better, if possible take the August MCAT the year before you are going to apply. But above all else, DO NOT TAKE THE AUGUST MCAT THE YEAR YOU ARE APPLYING. (The only exception to this rule would be the very best candidates. If you have a 3.8-3.9 from a top 25 school and can score above a 34 on the MCAT, the august MCAT won?t hurt you)

    The day you finish the MCAT, you should start working on your personal statement. Finish it a LONG time before you need to turn in the app. Get it proofread about three or four times from people who are knowledgeable about what medical schools want. An example of this would be someone who applied last June and also reads SDN daily. The goal is to have your final version of your personal statement and vision done and proofread the first day the web-based application can be turned in. Be sure that this essay is the absolute best you can do. I think that the personal statement is probably as important or more important than the MCAT.
    You might also want to call any Non-AMCAS schools at this time and ask for their application (notably, Columbia and NYU)

    Next, start working on the online app the second the online application is (NOW!!!). 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. Realize AMCAS tends to lose your transcripts, and could hold up your application for up to a month or 5. So about two weeks after you mail them off, call AMCAS to be sure they have them (preferably you call before the Web primary can be turned in so your not on hold for an hour) Also be sure that you do a good job describing your activities in the activities section. Realize for some schools this is the only time you will be able to talk about your research in depth, or you most important volunteer activity. Treat the descriptions as secondary questions. I would recommend spending about 30 minutes on each activity and get this proofread, too.

    Once you completed everything, definitely turn in the app on June 1st. You should have finished it about a week before that. If you procrastinate a long time in entering your data, you could be SOL because everybody will be online at that time. Last year people would spend three strait days trying to enter their classes. Your goal is to only have one thing to do on June 1st. That would to cut and Paste in your essays, then hit the certify key, type in your credit card and hopefully be done. That alone could take an hour or 2.

    Some people recommend waiting until you get your MCAT scores before submitting. I would say to wait if the reason your waiting for your MCAT scores is to decide weather to apply this year or next. But if you are waiting to figure out what schools to apply to based on your MCAT, I would say go ahead and submit June 1st. I would apply to the schools that I know I?m going to apply to regardless of scores, and then once you get your scores, wait until your certified and add more schools. I felt that one of the main reasons I did so well so early is because I applied as soon as possible.

    Why, might you ask is it important to take the April MCAT and turn in your AMCAS right away? The biggest reason why is because you want you application to be complete at the different schools before the tidal wave of everybody else?s application gets there. Contrary to popular belief, medical school applications are a crapshoot. As the year gets later on, the schools have less time to choose qualified applicants and will be more likely to choose interviews strictly on numbers so that they can get through all of the applications sitting on their desk. So if you want more personalized attention, turn it in early. I feel that is one of the main reasons I got interviews at some of the schools I did, that people like Jessica didn?t get.

    I turned in my letters of recommendation to all the schools two weeks after I turned in my primary application. The reasoning behind this is that you want you application to be complete as soon as possible. Most schools would just file them away until they get your secondary application, then look at them. Not a single school threw my letters away and not once did I have to send the letters again. Two notable exceptions to this are the UC?s and Umich who ask you to send the letters after you get the secondary. I would actually wait three weeks or so before sending your letters of rec. I only sent it in so soon because I thought it would take a lot longer for my school to process the letters.

    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. I also looked online at the schools websites to see if I could find the secondaries on their website. I was able to for a lot of the schools such as Baylor, Mount Sinai, and Albert Einstien. You could also start a thread for secondary questions here on SDN for when people receive them (I?ll probably set that up before I leave for Med school) I finished about 80% of the questions when I started getting secondaries. I was able to have the questions proofread and sent out within a day of me receiving the secondary for the majority of the schools. Only Duke and Northwestern changed their apps significantly. About a month after completing the secondaries and mailing them out, I called all the schools that I hadn?t received a postcard or e-mail saying my app was complete. Use Excel to keep track of everything. I think that's everything (i.e. date letters sent, secondary sent, app received, etc, etc)
    Now, as to where to apply to schools.

    Some people know exactly where they want to go, so pick those schools. Be sure to apply to your state school (duh). 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 you?re applying MD/PHD, ignore that advice, because schools don?t really care where you?re from then.
    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$, so definitely apply to these schools. Schools like Georgetown and BU charge 100$, which are almost a complete rip off.

    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 their 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 realize that private schools favor local applicants. People who live in New York are more likely to get into the Columbia?s, Cornels, NYU?s and Mount Sinai than an Californian with equal stats because the New York schools know the New Yorker is more likely to go to their school over others. So if you lived in San Francisco, and was deciding weather to apply to USC or Mount Sinai, you should pick USC every time. The exception would be if you have family in the area. I know schools like Michigan look favorably on this.

    Another factor in deciding what schools to apply to could be 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 handful 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 you?re 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. But as I said earlier about the April vs. August MCAT, people with a 3.8 and at least a 34 MCAT probably should ignore a lot of advice. I would advise those people to only pick their top 12 schools, plus two back-up schools and you should be fine.

    Once you start getting interviews, your most of the way there. The first thing to do when planning interviews is check the scheduling. Also see if you can get another school to give you an interview if your traveling a long distance to visit a different school that granted you an interview. This wouldn?t work to well early on in the application, but if you have to go to Chicago for one school and you applied to two others, you should write them and tell them you are going to be in the area. I wouldn?t ask them to speed up the decision on your app, just say, "I?ll be in Chicago The week of ?.. and it would be great if I could interview (if possible) at XXX school. If not, I understand and hope to get an interview at a later date."

    Also, buy your plane tickets in advance. Southwest is 90% of the time the cheapest way to go. If not there, go check out Orbitz. And buy you plane tickets at least 3 weeks in advance. That is when they are at their cheapest. If you wait a week, it would be almost impossible to find cheap flights. If you want to plan to have a tour of different cities in one trip, good luck. That almost never works, but I would say try Southwest. Most airlines make one-ways extremely expensive, almost as much as the round trip would have cost. And sign up for frequent flier miles. With Southwest, if you book four round trip flights online, you get one free.

    As for finding a place to stay, there are two main streams of taught. You could see if the school has a student host program. The good things about this is that they can give you advice on the interview and it is almost always free. The bad news is that you could (most likely) be sleeping on a couch the day before the interview, which can affect you interview adversely.
    Or, you could look for a hotel. One thing that I think everybody should definitely use when looking for a hotel is priceline.com. This is far and away the easiest and cheapest way to get a hotel. I?ve done this with all of my trips, and only for Ohio state did it not work. You normally get a 2-3 star hotel within walking distance of the school for about 40$. I?m not going to explain how priceline works, you go ahead and figure it out from the website on your own. Some examples of rooms I got was a 25$ room in Ann Arbor, a 40$ room in the Houston Mariotte, and a 45$ Crowne Plaza room in Philadelphia.

    For your interview, come prepared. The most important question you will be asked is "Why did you apply here?" or "Why do you want to come to our school?" I think this question is the most important one you will be asked as to weather you get into that school or not.

    If you have a good interview, ask for you interviewers E-mail address. Realize at a lot of the schools they present you to the committee and maybe even are a voting member. It is very useful if you end up on the waitlist to have a way to contact you interviewer. Also, most schools have a Q and A session. At this time you should ask the dean of admissions if they recommend sending updates if you get on the waitlist. Record this information.

    Once you get home, you should send your interviewer a thank you note. You should basically say you had a great time at the school, could totally see yourself going there, and thanks for making my trip a pleasurable experience.

    Next, you get to wait. Some people will be lucky enough to get into your dream school by march 15th. But most likely, you will end up on the waitlist of a place that you want to go. What should you do then?

    The first thing you should is write your interviewer and ask him (her) what you can do to improve your status at the school.

    One of the most important things to help your status is grades. You should never stop trying to get good grades. If you get put on the waitlist, send a letter telling them you new grades.

    Another thing you can do is send a letter of intent. If you know what your number one school is and are put on the waitlist, you should tell them they are you number one school. Send in a letter detailing all the reasons you like the school and why you?re a good fit for it and say that if your accepted, you will go there and drop all other schools. But realize, admissions people talk to each other, and you could get your admission revoked if you send an LOI, get in, but hold on to another acceptance or waitlist.

    You can also retake the April MCAT. If you feel you can do better on it, go ahead and take it in April. You can then tell the school, hey I had a 29, but I retook it and scored a 33. I think that and grades are two of the easiest and most important things you can do.

    You can also send in another letter of req. If you have done something that happened after you turned in your primary and that wasn?t mentioned in your secondary, it?s a good idea to see if you can get someone to write a LOR for you about it.

    Basically, after you turned everything in and have you interview, it is not time to relax. I personally ran a marathon in part because I wanted to send a letter out about running it. I?m sure there are plenty of people here now on the waitlist wishing they had done more between December and now so they can send it in to the schools.

    Ok, I?m spent. Hope this helps.

    Also, I recommend reading me's reply further down this page and michelys reply on the second page.

    One thing michelys posted that I would like to second, is to point out that a lot of the August MCATer's from this year lucked out because AMCAS screwed everything up, so the wern't as far behind the April MCATer's as they should have been.
     
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  3. Tan Son Nhat

    Tan Son Nhat Member

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    Thanks Jalbrekt,

    Your tips are very useful. Hopefully, I don't have to use them thou. I am on a waitlist at one school.

    I will be waiting for your tips on waitlist later.

    TSN
     
  4. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.

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    Oh yeah, one last thing. Most important. Don't PM me with questions that can be asked on the board. About 5 people last time PMed me asking me for the secondary questions. I was like, "I don't know you. Quit bothering me. "
     
  5. Doctora Foxy

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    Jalbrekt, I'll echo the PM I just sent you---you are awesome for doing this, thanks!!

    All I have to add is that U Miami is one of those schools that only want the recomendations with the secondaries, and not before. However, I sent mine way before i got the secondary and they didn't throw them away.

    And the post above changed my mind about taking the August mcat and applying nex year :( . I'll just reapply for 2004 if I have to. :( (hopefully won't!)
     
  6. KelliJelliBeans

    KelliJelliBeans Senior Member

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    Thanks Jalbrekt!
    Good "lookin' out"
    I am going to print it and use it for reference!
    But what's up with that whole PM thing, touchy touchy!
    (j/k)
    Nothing but love, Thanks again! :D
     
  7. brandonite

    Moderator Emeritus

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    SMW wrote the August MCAT and she did just fine. And I don't think it seriously hurt me, either.

    I agree, taking the April MCAT is great. But, I don't think the August MCAT is quite the kiss of death that you make it out to be...
     
  8. 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 brandonite:
    <strong>SMW wrote the August MCAT and she did just fine. And I don't think it seriously hurt me, either.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Ahem, correction Brandonite. SMW "took" the August MCAT. You "wrote" the August MCAT. &lt;---- no wonder you got a 38-40!!!! :p :D
     
  9. brandonite

    Moderator Emeritus

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    Smurf - you're just upset because you're not Canadian and can't use cool phrases like 'writing a test'. :p

    Ahh, life as a Canadian is pretty sweet... :)
     
  10. qwert

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    You don't need to mail transcripts that early. This will only increase chances that AMCAS will loose them. Mail them 2 weeks before submitting.
     
  11. 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 qwert:
    <strong>You don't need to mail transcripts that early. This will only increase chances that AMCAS will loose them. Mail them 2 weeks before submitting.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">And why does this increase the chance of them losing it?
     
  12. pwrpfgrl

    pwrpfgrl Senior Member

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    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! I think all of us applying in June are sending this post straight to the printer! And i thought the first one was good... You are so cool Jalbrekt!!

    <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
     
  13. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.

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    Might I say I love your screen name. My gf makes me watch them, and Mojojo absolutely cracks me up.
     
  14. Yogi Bear

    Yogi Bear 2K Member

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    Jalbrekt:

    thanks for the suggestions!

    funny thing, i'm beginning to feel that this is turning into ucla2000's sdn history w/ timed updates....hehehe. you've got like 30 more pages of suggestions to go. <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
     
  15. Street Philosopher

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    thanks for the advice, i agree with all that i've read.
    i have a question though, when do you ask people for letters of rec? I ask this because people expect a personal statement and other stuff ready when you ask them, isn't that right? so I really want to ask as soon as possible (in case they go on vacation during the summer). any advice with the letters of lec (timing-wise)
     
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  17. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.

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    I woudl say get it as soon as you can. Every one that I got asked for my personal statement, so you might want to do a rough draft. Or better yet, if there is something that you think this person knows about you and you want them to write about in the letter, write a quick paragraph that can be deleted later about this subject and give it to th eprofessor. But definately sooner than later. I've even told a professor 2/3rds of the way through the quarter that I'll be asking for a letter of rec so that she is better prepared to write one.
     
  18. Doctora Foxy

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    Last year I had my premed board interview on April 2, so my personal statement was due like 2 weeks before that (ahem, get to work!). I completely rewrote it over the summer though. Just get a rough draft done ASAP.

    Now, some people ask for LORs over winter break. This is good. I would definitely recommened asking ASAP. You don't really need a personal statement to ask. We had to type up a list of activities and descriptions (which came in handy for the amcas app!), so I gave that to my recommendors, as well as my PS rough draft. I also gave them a printout of my grades (an unofficial one).

    Two of my recommendors forgot to do it and handed it in in August after I reminded them. So ask asap and then check up on them.

    Good luck :D
     
  19. pwrpfgrl

    pwrpfgrl 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 Jalbrekt:
    <strong>Might I say I love your screen name. My gf makes me watch them, and Mojojo absolutely cracks me up.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">awwww, thanks! Most people have no idea what I'm talking about. I was thinking of using Bubbles, but then I thought it was too ditsy/ stripper-esque <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> and I didn't want to give the wrong impression. It's nice to know I'm not the only cartoon network junkie! :)
     
  20. 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 pwrpfgrl:
    <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 Jalbrekt:
    <strong>Might I say I love your screen name. My gf makes me watch them, and Mojojo absolutely cracks me up.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">awwww, thanks! Most people have no idea what I'm talking about. I was thinking of using Bubbles, but then I thought it was too ditsy/ stripper-esque <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" /> and I didn't want to give the wrong impression. It's nice to know I'm not the only cartoon network junkie! :) </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">hey! Bubbles is my favorite! I always watch it with my 8 year old brother <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  21. Nogpa

    Nogpa Member

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    Jalbrekt, yer a peach. thanks for taking the trouble to write that up for all of us newbies. :)
     
  22. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.

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    Aww, shucks. If anybody feels so inspired writing a letter to Baylor, Northwestern, or Umich about what a good person I am, don't hesitate. :)
    <a href="http://www.aamc.org/meded/medschls/admissions.htm" target="_blank">http://www.aamc.org/meded/medschls/admissions.htm</a>
     
  23. none

    none 1K Member

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    That's all wonderful advice. Don't get freaked out if you don't follow it very closely though. I was quite late and still did quite well in the end. Perhaps I could have done better if I had started earlier, but don't let a late app deter you from trying.
     
  24. 8deuce

    8deuce Senior Member

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    Power Puff girls are cool but...

    DEXTER'S LABORATORY RULES!!!!!!!

    My son has me watch it with him everyday and now he wants to be Dexter on Halloween

    DEE-DEE YOU ARE SOOO STUUUUUUPID (Dexter voice) :D
     
  25. 90250

    90250 New Member

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    I will add another one. If you feel you are disadvantaged in any way, mention it. My numbers are waaaay below the average. Yet, I had 10 interview invites, 7 attended and 3 accepted. Like I say, it is how hard you work towards your goal. And yes, life is not always fair. BTW I am an URM. However, I still believe in socioeconomic status as the determining factor.
     
  26. 90250

    90250 New Member

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    Let me add another item. If you feel you are disadvantaged, let them know. I did just that and received 10 interviews, 7 attended, 3 accepted. Like I say, hard work pays off. BTW I am an URM and life is not fair. I forgot to mention, I also believe socioeconomic status is the way to go. I would hate to compete against a latino who came from very well off parents who lived in Beverly Hills.
     
  27. PelicanMan

    PelicanMan Senior Member

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    thanks for the advice.

    I actually took the August MCAT before the year I applied. It was awsome I had my score and everyone was studying for the MCAT. But it hasn't helped that much because I have no acceptances.
     
  28. Smurfette

    Smurfette Antagonized by Azrael
    Administrator Physician

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    Well, Jalbrekt is a bit dramatic about this in my opinion as well. Many people do believe this, but a major part of this is the fact that taking the August MCATs means that you may have to wait longer for scores and interview a little later than the April counterparts and think that they won't get in b/c they are interviewed slightly later. Most schools have rolling admissions, but keep in mind that schools know that good applicants may interview late, and accommodate their admissions numbers to compensate for this.

    I took the August MCAT, not the April, the same year I applied to med school. I did not go to a top 25 school for undergrad. (My GPA was 3.9+ though) I never did any doctor shadowing or hospital volunteering (my hospital experience was w/ill family members). And I got into 50% of the schools I applied to. I was granted interviews at all schools I sent in secondaries to, and that number was considerably less than the twelve Jalbrekt recommends.

    If you are a fairly strong applicant, the August MCAT is not going to make a difference as to whether or not you get in. If you are an average applicant, it may give you a bit of a disadvantage, but not such a big disadvantage that you shouldn't consider taking the MCAT in August.

    IMO, if you think that you'd study most effectively and thus score better on the August MCAT than the April, take it in August! Interview committees DO NOT sit around and look up MCAT test dates...they have too much else to sort through. Some schools will tell you they will 'hold' your application pending your MCAT score release (and you'll hear from them VERY SOON after scores are released in mid-October...just after schools start interviewing for regular admissions), while others will still send you secondaries and move the process along (meaning the admissions committee has probably already gone over your app and decided if you make xx minimum MCAT cutoff, you'll be interviewed after they receive your scores).

    In general, take the MCAT when you can get the best score. Since the initial decision on whether or not to interview an applicant is based on minimum cutoffs regarding GPA, MCATs, etc. (a few schools may actually interview before the score release if your other stats are good) After that point, it's all based on your secondary and your interviewing skills! <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  29. I agree with most of the stuff mentioned.

    It is funny that the ONLY two sites that I used to book flights were Southwest and Orbitz too(after you find the lowest fare on Orbitz... you should go to the actual airline website for $5 cheaper and bonus freq flyer miles for booking through THEIR site). I am not sure if this was mentioned... but when you are renting a car (AND ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE UNDER 25).... if you dont use Priceline..... you are throwing money away. You can find dirt cheap deals with the underage fee included (my recommendation for Priceline is put $1 at first and see their site say that $1 is a little low but they will gladly check it for you but recommend higher prices that will give you a 40%/50%/60% chance of success... and pick something close to 40%.) Priceline hotels also if you dont stay with students.

    After applying to med school... I think I can become a full time travel agent.

    I am not sure about sending letters of recommendations early. It sounds like a good idea but I feel like some medical school will get pissed off that you sent your letters before you even were asked to send out a secondary. Who knows.... that is just my feeling....but it seemed to work out for Jalbrekt. I do suggest sending letters as soon as you receive the secondary for a particular school because by the time you finish the essays and mail it.... your letters should get there on time.

    I accidently send my letters to UMich with the secondary because I thought it was just the same as other med schools and they didnt care.... actually... I got an interview there.

    By the way..... there are people who think that getting applications in early is the key to success and there are people who think that getting them done is all that matters. I got my apps in very early at almost all stages of the process and I know many people who did not stress about the urgency of completing the apps as soon as they got them. After this year and many other years of knowing applicants and their success rates.... I think it is HIGHLY overrated to finish apps in less than a week. I think it does hurt you if you get them in close to the deadlines but the stress of completing applications on the first day is really really really unnecessary. This whole process is not all GPA and MCAT.... but the missing variable is not quickness of application completion. I have learned alot this year and that is something I am very confident about. So... if you want to go to Europe for a month or so in summer and feel that it will hurt your chances of getting into medical school because you "late".... do yourself a favor and GO!!!!!!! I think it will HELP your chances because med schools will see that you have had an extra experience in life!!!!!!! I know that this comment will step on some people's toes that are adament believers in the "1 day secondary completion theory = better chance of getting in" but I just dont think it matters. I apologize for disagreeing.

    Good luck to all and Jalbrekt... this was a very nice gesture.

    One more thing....nobody will listen... but here it goes: this process definitely sucks major a$$ but it can be 100 times worse by reading every single thread on this site and calling every med school to find out why three people on SDN got interviews and you turned in your app about the same time and why you havent heard a thing. It will RUIN your year. Dont call schools unless you havent heard that your app was complete for like 2 months.... then email them. Schools RARELY tell you anything crucial or important and I think it is one of those things that can easily annoy the wrong person. By making a call.... your acceptance/waitlist/rejection letter wont come any quicker by US mail. Again... stepping on toes but I this is my belief. I think I did perfectly fine in this process and basically took a very very passive role once secondaries were complete (but before interviews). If you have a question that you want to ask a med school.... post it on SDN and I guarantee you somebody will have the answer within 24 hours. Almost no doubt. This website is extremely informative.
     
  30. UCLA2000

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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 meddude:
    <strong>Jalbrekt:

    thanks for the suggestions!

    funny thing, i'm beginning to feel that this is turning into ucla2000's sdn history w/ timed updates....hehehe. you've got like 30 more pages of suggestions to go. <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> </strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">That's funny I thought the same thing when I saw the timed updates!
     
  31. praying4MD

    praying4MD 2K Member

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    Come on now... no matter how hard you try, not everyone can be as genius as UCLA. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  32. brandonite

    Moderator Emeritus

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    me - Wow, I didn't know that you could price rental cars through Priceline with the young driver fee included! I've wanted to rent a car before, but it just costs way too much through the car rental agencies...

    Thanks!
     
  33. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

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    Damn, wish I'd known that too, brandonite!!
     
  34. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.

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    I cut and pasted in the Priceline car thin that me suggested. Back to to top you go.
     
  35. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

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    Thanks, Jalbrekt! :D
     
  36. pwrpfgrl

    pwrpfgrl Senior Member

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    why the name change Jalbrekt?
     
  37. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.

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    I donno. I figured it might be time for a new one. This was the nickname my Nueroscience TA gave me because I was the only white guy in a class of 150
     
  38. 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 Hero:
    <strong>Down with AMCAS for losing my transcript June and notifying me in October!! OCTOBER!!!!!!!!!!!

    :mad: <img src="http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/images/smilies/mad.gif" alt="" /> :mad: <img src="http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/images/smilies/mad.gif" alt="" /> :mad: <img src="http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/images/smilies/mad.gif" alt="" /> :mad:

    Gimme my money back usless AMCAS!!! <img src="http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/images/smilies/johnwoo.gif" alt="" /> AMCAS</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Stole this from another thread.
     
  39. Epi

    Epi Fuzzy Tiger

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    A lot of people are soon going to get a lot of help from this advice! Good luck everybody who is going to apply this summer!
     
  40. Michelys

    Michelys Senior Member

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    I just wanted to help out a bit 'fo I hit the sack! :D I went through all this crap this time of year last year so I sympathize with all you guys applying now! The MCAT, the stuuuuupid stupid STOOOPPIIIIIIIIID :mad: online AMCAS and your personal statement can all be overwhelming. Not to mention the whole application process in itself. :rolleyes: So here are just a few last brain lapses from me before my contacts start blurring:

    1. I agree with the whole 'have your personal statement done way in advance' thing. There's nothing worse than staring at that *stuuupid* online AMCAS at a blank screen with no blasted ideas to put down! :mad: In addition to that, make everyone read it. Your assistant dean, a few teachers if they don't mind, your mom, your deliquint cousin :) , etcetera. I made everyone give me their input as to what kind of person I was portraying myself to be and if they would let me in their pretend medical school upon reading it. By the way, look at EssayEdge! I looked at some stuff AFTER I submitted my application (derr!) and they were right on point! But other actual books, like Premed Advisor by Kaplan and the Princeton Review guide to Med Schools help too. I used 'em.

    2. Make your Extracurriculars correspond in some way with some theme you want portrayed. You might notice that throughout the past years you've been focused on like, let's say neonatal research and volunteering with underserved inner city kids for example. I myself tied in research and community service with underserved populations (Panamanian Indians and Miami inner city homeless women and children) with the public health research on HIV/AIDS I did in Cape Town for three months last summer. It really helped unify my application instead of having random volunteer and research activities all over the place. I guess it showed a progression in my advancements instead of random experimenting and volunteering.

    3. I was extremely lucky in that my transcripts all came in on time to AMCAS and weren't lost. I'm sooooooo sorry that happened to you Jalbrekt. I would have died. Anyways, just make sure you have them in on time and call to check up on them! I don't know about the whole 'turn them in way early' thing either--my friend the year before last turned her whole application in (in the old paper days) on the first day (June 1st? I don't remember!) and she said they lost it. Just make sure you track down your stuff and make sure they've processed everything!

    Anyways, as the contacts are hungering for their saline case my last tidbit would be to make sure your letters of reccommendation reflect you. An easy way to hope for this is to give your recommender peeps a sheet/brief resume of your academic career and things you'd like them to know.

    For those of you applying waaaaay in the near future, as in not this year, try finding some different kinds of mentors to write your recommendation letters. Everyone harrasses their old Physics teacher. A research mentor or clinical preceptor would help you stand out as well.

    Oh oooooooops ooooooops OOPS...I forgot...with that whole personal statment...the key adjective is PERSONAL. Some of my friends turned in the most blase and Nytol-inducing-Zzzzz's essays I've ever read. You don't have to describe yourself as Shera or Heman (I loved Shera! <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" /> ) but add some life into that thing!

    OK good night all! Put some more questions up here too! :D And good luck!!! :
     
  41. Michelys

    Michelys Senior Member

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    ...bump for all you newbies <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  42. swtchelle

    swtchelle Junior Member

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    bumping this up for the newbies! I wish had access to this guide & SDN when I started applying.
     
  43. El Jefe

    El Jefe The Jefe

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    lol I basically did the exact opposite of everything in this guide except taking the April MCAT. I can tell you from the almost complete failure of my application this year that you should follow this as best you can. I really was extremely lucky to get the one acceptance I have. I'm sure if I could turn back the clock having known about SDN and this kind of stuff before applying, I would be a much happier person right now. So if you are about to apply, consider yourself lucky for reading this thread now, before you've started down that dark road.

    Kudos Jalbrekt.
     
  44. 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 Jefe:
    <strong>lol I basically did the exact opposite of everything in this guide except taking the April MCAT. I can tell you from the almost complete failure of my application this year that you should follow this as best you can. I really was extremely lucky to get the one acceptance I have. I'm sure if I could turn back the clock having known about SDN and this kind of stuff before applying, I would be a much happier person right now. So if you are about to apply, consider yourself lucky for reading this thread now, before you've started down that dark road.

    Kudos Jalbrekt.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I agree completely with every single word above. It's like I could have written the same post. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Eek!]" src="eek.gif" /> PLEASE follow jalbrekt's advice.
     
  45. El Jefe

    El Jefe The Jefe

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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 Dra. Foxy MichELLE Woods:
    <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 Jefe:
    <strong>lol I basically did the exact opposite of everything in this guide except taking the April MCAT. I can tell you from the almost complete failure of my application this year that you should follow this as best you can. I really was extremely lucky to get the one acceptance I have. I'm sure if I could turn back the clock having known about SDN and this kind of stuff before applying, I would be a much happier person right now. So if you are about to apply, consider yourself lucky for reading this thread now, before you've started down that dark road.

    Kudos Jalbrekt.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">I agree completely with every single word above. It's like I could have wrote the same post. <img border="0" title="" alt="[Eek!]" src="eek.gif" /> PLEASE follow jalbrekt's advice.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">And it was doubly stupid of us coming from the first and second hardest states to be applying out of :oops:
     
  46. swtchelle

    swtchelle Junior Member

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    yup, no kidding....hehee, I took the August MCAT, submitted my AMCAS application late (it got processed extremely late in the cycle), & I received a secondary (from UCLA) as far down the road as January in the entire admissions process. I turned in my UCLA 2ndary on Valentine's day, which was rejected pre-interview. :( so the whole point of my story is to take everyone's advice w/ a grain of salt yet be thankful for reading this thread early on. :)
     
  47. RLMD

    RLMD blah

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  48. whoanelly

    whoanelly Member

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    Don't do a regional interview, even if the admissions office swears it won't put your application at a disadvantage and even if you are broke. Find a way to get to the school for your interview. This advice is confirmed by Gower who adds that, if you have a regional inteviewer, you don't have a physical presence to represent you and advocate for you at ADCOM meetings.

    If you haven't already done it, join every possible frequent flyer program and work those miles. Many programs give "student" bonuses. United awards 10,000 miles when you graduate. US Airways give a 5,000 bonus for signing up, etc...Even if you don't have enough miles to cover any interview trips, you should have enough for Europe by the time you're finished. :)
     
  49. GATORade

    GATORade Retired

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    ~BUMP~ So I don't go crazy looking for it when I finally find the time to read it. :p
     
  50. Doctora Foxy

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    Everyone bookmark this thread ahora (now!)

    I'll do it too :p
     
  51. SMW

    SMW Grand Member

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    Great idea, bookmarking this, but not everyone who needs it will do it (remembering Drako's great website/lists of schools taking paper AMCAS and with on-line secondaries during last year's grand fiasco) so bumping this up for the newbies. Do you suppose the SDN search function is ever going to reappear?
     
  52. Jalby

    Jalby I fight crime at day when Batman are sleeping.

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    bizzump
     

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