amakhosidlo

Accepted
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Feb 13, 2008
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Secondary gripes/annoyances.

Let's hear 'em.


#1. Secondaries that ask you for information explicitly listed on your AMCAS. "Please list your activities", "Why medicine?"
You'd think for a $150 they'd be willing to leaf through a few pieces of paper.
 
Jul 26, 2009
142
0
Status
Pre-Medical
#2 Why do you want to attend X school of medicine?

Honest Answer: Because I want to be a doctor, and your school has an MD program to which my stats closely match.
 

partinerns

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Jan 8, 2009
139
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#3: Re-entering course information.

I spent hours entering my classes on my primary, so look at my AMCAS if you want to see if I took intro to biology!
 

dbrokut

Removed
Jul 24, 2009
75
0
Status
Pre-Medical
#4: Having to write additional three to seven essays depending on the school.
 

Myuu

例えば、貴方の名前を忘れてしまうとか。 。。
Moderator Emeritus
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Hanging with Darmok and Jalad. In Lothlorien.
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zerial

10+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2009
486
2
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#5: Suddenly, you have to take extra classes next year because of ridiculous requirements.
 

Exalya

10+ Year Member
Dec 21, 2007
447
0
Dallas, TX
Status
Pre-Medical
#6 - Before I started doing secondaries I was going to do some creative writing this summer. Now I just hate writing. ^.^
 

PanicAttack

gomers gonna gome
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Honolulu HI
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7. Please write a bunch of essays in this PDF, which you are not allowed to save any changes to for no apparent reason.

8. You are responsible for confirming the completeness of your file, yet we do not offer status checks of any sort.
 

SteinUmStein

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9. $$$$$$$$$ :wtf:

Mad props to those applying to 30+ schools who are responsible for their own costs. :eek:
 
OP
amakhosidlo

amakhosidlo

Accepted
10+ Year Member
Feb 13, 2008
946
10
Status
Medical Student
9. $$$$$$$$$ :wtf:

Mad props to those applying to 30+ schools who are responsible for their own costs. :eek:
On a related note,

#10: Schools that charge literally SIX TIMES more than others that are arguably more desirable... (Cinci: $25:D:D, Creighton: $150. Really Creighton? Is your time REALLY worth THAT much more??? :bullcrap:)


7. Please write a bunch of essays in this PDF, which you are not allowed to save any changes to for no apparent reason.

8. You are responsible for confirming the completeness of your file, yet we do not offer status checks of any sort.
Yeah, GW = Most rage-inducing secondary to date, w/ Jefferson a close second. "Don't copy and paste"? I'm sorry, is that too much for your rinky-dink little web app to handle?
 
Last edited:
May 29, 2009
822
2
CO
Status
Pre-Medical
#11: Just to screw with you, after you submit we're going to show you a pdf version of your essays WITHOUT the spacing/punctuation/formatting that you put. it's ok though, because we get the essays the way you intended. We're just not gonna tell you.


#12: We're going to make our app intentionally vague so that you call and inquire about them. Don't blame us; we're lonely and we need someone to talk to.


#13: Columbia's character limits (3475, 760, 345..... need I say more?)
 

dw2158

10+ Year Member
Dec 28, 2008
5,268
2
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Pre-Medical
these are all so good!

#14: we have a deadline of january 15th. but if you want any shot at this school, do this secondary immediately.
 

not so calm now

10+ Year Member
Oct 8, 2007
602
1
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Attending Physician
#15 Be sure to give us an error screen after payment, still deduct the money from our bank account, and be sure to answer emails with a "we'll answer this later" email.
 

MegaProjectile

10+ Year Member
Feb 10, 2009
912
1
Status
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#16: Please get LOR from your Committee.If not, from your Premed advisor including TWO science prof plus one non-science prof! Oh and if you're out of school get one from your work too!!
 

not so calm now

10+ Year Member
Oct 8, 2007
602
1
Status
Attending Physician
#17 Please include any additional info in this blank (250 - 1000 characters.)

If we had something to say, how can we say it in such a short space?!
 

rockaction

casemed'14
May 3, 2009
1,909
2
Status
Medical Student
18. AMCAS letter service? Nah, we prefer you to get your letter writers to send an additional letter directly to us because we're too good to use the letter service.

19. Send us a photo. We like a name to a face when we dish out a rejection.
 

Rach83

10+ Year Member
Dec 5, 2008
533
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Status
Pre-Medical
18. AMCAS letter service? Nah, we prefer you to get your letter writers to send an additional letter directly to us because we're too good to use the letter service.

Sorry to interrupt but which schools do this? That's v. annoying!:mad:
 
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red10

7+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2009
1,429
23
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as for the photos, the ones i know of that ask are:
BU
columbia
einstein
sinai
hopkins
tufts
GWU
add SIU and Rosalind Franklin.
Sometimes I wonder if somewhere there is a box with rejected applicants pictures. Or maybe they use the photos for coasters for their coffee cups while they accept other people
 

SteinUmStein

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The 10,000 different LOR requirement combination possibilities have been the most frustrating and the least expected for me... my adviser told me to get 2 science letters lined up and a third letter of my choice, and boy has that haunted me. If I could go back in time, I'd ask literally the maximum 10 people for LOR's, and go back later and figure out which ones I'll actually use, rather than this bs of hunting down continually more LOR writers... :mad:
 

housefish26

5+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2009
215
5
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The 10,000 different LOR requirement combination possibilities have been the most frustrating and the least expected for me... my adviser told me to get 2 science letters lined up and a third letter of my choice, and boy has that haunted me. If I could go back in time, I'd ask literally the maximum 10 people for LOR's, and go back later and figure out which ones I'll actually use, rather than this bs of hunting down continually more LOR writers... :mad:

Amen brother!! Specifically graduate program department head (wtf?) and a non-science faculty who I took a course from! Future applicants, you've been warned...
 

redrower

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Jun 5, 2009
1,350
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The 10,000 different LOR requirement combination possibilities have been the most frustrating and the least expected for me... my adviser told me to get 2 science letters lined up and a third letter of my choice, and boy has that haunted me. If I could go back in time, I'd ask literally the maximum 10 people for LOR's, and go back later and figure out which ones I'll actually use, rather than this bs of hunting down continually more LOR writers... :mad:
your school doesnt offer a committee letter??
 

SteinUmStein

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Amen brother!! Specifically graduate program department head (wtf?) and a non-science faculty who I took a course from! Future applicants, you've been warned...
At this point I'm ditching all the schools with a concrete requirement for a non-science faculty LOR... it's just bs, if you want to know non-science stuff about me it does not have to come from a professor...
 

Meat

The Redder, the better.
Jun 25, 2009
239
2
Status
Medical Student
Schools that require four letters of rec (looking at you Penn state).
 

flip26

10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2007
4,795
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My chief complaint is that each secondary app is unique - not so much unique info requested - but you have to figure out the quirks and the "do's and don'ts" for each online site.

Some of the sites have tables where you fill in class work, and the course titles don't fit, or it is impossible to repeat or copy repetitive stuff (like where you took the classes, which for most people is one school).

And the schools that have apps you can't save and return to later should be ashamed. I lost several mostly filled in apps to certain schools where this was not clear. WTF? Why would you have sign ons and passwords but NOT have a file that can be saved and retrieved???

You also have to keep painstaking details about the different requests, how to follow up, how to check status, etc.

I have done 15 secondaries, and I am waiting on a few more, but I am sick of this stuff and don't know how anybody can retain their sanity doing 30+ of these bastards.
 

LiveUninhibited

MS-2
10+ Year Member
Feb 27, 2009
830
2
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The school that makes you pay before you even get to see the secondary with weird length requirements (25 lines, what?!). Bad Loyola!
 

alibai3ah

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Aug 24, 2008
1,422
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Pre-Medical
The school that makes you pay before you even get to see the secondary with weird length requirements (25 lines, what?!). Bad Loyola!
Or the schools that make you pay for the secondary and then pre-screen you out? I hate you University of Nebraska, you took my 80 bucks! If I can convince enough people to not apply here, my job is done....
 

student1799

"Señora” to you, hombre
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Jul 8, 2008
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I hate schools with paper secondaries. Get computerized and shut the hell up.
 

Aggro

Metaparaorthopedic
10+ Year Member
Jun 24, 2008
461
1
30
San Jose, CA (Home); Miami, FL (School)
www.facebook.com
Status
Medical Student
#2 Why do you want to attend X school of medicine?

Honest Answer: Because I want to be a doctor, and your school has an MD program to which my stats closely match.
This. I have no idea how I'm going to answer this in interviews, either. The real answer is that the school is in the right location and has an excellent reputation.
 

teddy bear doc

Expert plush toy surgeon
5+ Year Member
Apr 18, 2009
356
0
Status
Medical Student
My personal top complaints, most of which have been voiced before:

1) Money, money, money. Guess they just want us to get a jump on the massive debt situation.
2) Character/word limits in general. Tell us all about yourself and why you are unique and why you want to go here and where you see yourself in 10 years... in 100 words maximum. REALLY????
3) Repeating AMCAS info. Seriously, just look at my primary. It's all there. I promise.
4) The "why do you want to go here" question. Truthfully, it is in the right location. I am really not too picky. I don't have the stats for a top 10 or anything, so anywhere remotely close that isn't super crappy is okay with me. But you can't say that, of course, so I google the school and what they are known for or pride themselves on, then write this ridiculous BS about how great they are and how I have always wanted to go here, blah blah blah. It cheapens the application for everyone involved and I can only hope that I can write it convincingly enough that they don't see straight through me...
 
May 29, 2009
822
2
CO
Status
Pre-Medical
dudes, we lost the numbering system somewhere...


#19: we're going to make our website unorganized and put all the important information different pages so that you can't find it all. that way you'll likely miss some small detail and we'll have a good reason to reject you without having to read your whole app.


#20: The link in our secondary invite email takes you to a "Page Not Found" page (NYU...:smack:)
 

SteinUmStein

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Yes. It's like, really Rosalind Franklin?? Do you really need another reason why I shouldn't apply to your school?
The funny thing is it's probably even worse on their end, I bet it makes their admissions department a living hell to deal with thousands of physical, paper applications. Probably why they have to charge $100.

Tell you what, I'll make it easier on all of us and just not do their secondary, mkay? :idea:
 

xcrunner01

10+ Year Member
Jun 7, 2008
204
2
USA
Status
Medical Student
21. Schools that not only want you to send in your LORs separately (too good for AMCAS, apparently), but they also have their own form that each prof must fill out and send in with the secondary. *Really, why is this necessary?!? My undergrad career center already has a nice form/rating sheet that are submitted with all recommendations. :rolleyes:

22. Schools that make you mail them a copy of your secondary application even though you also submitted it online. *cough*Hopkins

All in all, what an annoying/obnoxious/expensive process. Filling out all these secondaries has given me a whole new level of respect for reapplicants for suffering through this process more than once.
 

red10

7+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2009
1,429
23
Status
Medical Student
Is anyone else getting sick of their own voice/writing. Most of my applications have either the diversity question or the challenging situation question. Even though I'm tweaking things for each school, I'm just sick of my own stories at this point. The first time I wrote about it I was like "wow this is good stuff if I do say so myself", but by the 4th time reading and tweaking it I'm bored with myself. lol
 
Jun 25, 2009
248
1
Status
Pre-Medical
i would vent, but...

i'm all finished. :)
I'm jealous, though I only have three left assuming Vandy doesn't screen me.

As for secondary complaints, they have already been said above but I hate the additional comments essays, listing my classes again, and schools asking me why I want to be a doctor again.
 

scattun

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Sep 23, 2007
225
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Pre-Medical
23. Here's a link to your status page. It may or may not work. If it doesn't, don't contact us, just give it a couple weeks.
 
Jul 15, 2009
159
1
Status
Medical Student
24. When you submit an essay for a secondary, then write about the same topic for the second school, but realize your second essay is considerably better and wish you'd included some of those ideas in the first secondary.
 

osumc2014

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Jun 27, 2007
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24. When you submit an essay for a secondary, then write about the same topic for the second school, but realize your second essay is considerably better and wish you'd included some of those ideas in the first secondary.
especially your when your first secondary is from a much more desirable school :smack:
 
May 29, 2009
822
2
CO
Status
Pre-Medical
25. When application statuses change back and forth. We're already stressed; do they still need to screw with us?!?
 

Compass

Squishy
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Apr 15, 2006
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26. Essays which, when left blank, make you wonder why you haven't discovered the cure for cancer, received a Nobel Peace Prize, and why you haven't played frisbee with the President.
 

danimjo

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2007
344
1
Austin, TX
Status
Pre-Medical
26. We're not going to send you a confirmation that your application is complete, and we're not allowed to discuss you're application status over the phone. Please email us, but know that on each page of the admissions website there will be a new "contact us" email, giving you dozens of options... but only one of which will work on any given day. It's sort of like a lottery... good luck to you...
 

shiftingmirage

10+ Year Member
Sep 2, 2007
1,027
61
Status
Medical Student
#2 Why do you want to attend X school of medicine?

Honest Answer: Because I want to be a doctor, and your school has an MD program to which my stats closely match.
Georgetown wanted a page of this. And they don't give bonus points for efficiency (ie, you + me = MD).
 
Jul 25, 2009
180
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Rush, we are fighting. Your secondary is horrifying. Ditto Rosalind Franklin. Maybe I don't like Chicago so much anymore.
 
Jun 5, 2009
167
0
Status
Pre-Medical
27. I got 20 more secondaries left, some of which have been sitting in my inbox for a month. :scared: