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Personal Statements, etc.

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - DO' started by OsteoMed02, Jun 19, 2002.

  1. OsteoMed02

    OsteoMed02 Senior Member
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    Hi everyone,

    I'm willing to help anyone out that may be in need of a proofreader for their personal statement or is just in need of some admissions advice. You can email me any comments or questions or simply post them here. I will be starting school at MSUCOM in August and would just like to give back to everyone who helped me out when I was applying. I will try to get back to everyone if there are a lot of posts. Thanks!

    Julia
    <img border="0" alt="[Clappy]" title="" src="graemlins/clappy.gif" />
     
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  3. Flintstone

    Flintstone Member
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    Hello Osteomed02!

    Thank you for your generousity :) . And Congratulations for your MSU acceptance:clap: I sent in my application a few days ago. Just hope eveything goes smooth. I live in Michigan and MSU is one of my top choices. I also want to move to the west coast and therefore TUCOM and Western are my other choices. Well, I am applying to a whole bunch as I think that, at this point, they are choosing me not the other way round. :( The most important thing I need to focus on now is to find a DO to shadow. Yes, I believe I am a bit late in this process. But I am trying hard, so far, I was only able to talk to some but nobody showed interest in letting me shadow him/her. Do you know any specific D.O. around southeastern MI that is open to the idea of shadowing?

    So, how did you get in MSU? Did you apply very early? Do you live in MI too? I want to go to MSU campus and talk to people there and understand more about their program. Do you think I should go to the admin office first and ask around; are they helpful? Is there something you did not do but wished you had done for the whole application process?

    I am still at the beginning of the application process and it seems that knowing which questions to ask is as difficult/or important. I have taken some credits from a foreign institution about 10 years ago. I wrote a letter to the AACOMAS office to obtain a transcript waiver. Do you know anything about the success rate in getting your transcript exempted?

    I am so grateful that somebody like you are here for us. Thanks to other SDNers too!
     
  4. Flintstone

    Flintstone Member
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    Hi Julia!

    Sorry that I didn't notice your name the first time I read the post.....

    Corina :D
     
  5. OsteoMed02

    OsteoMed02 Senior Member
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    Hi Corina-

    Thanks for responding. Congrats on getting your primary application sent out. That's a huge step and is often the most difficult step of the entire process! Now you'll just have to wait (as hard as it may be) until your secondaries arrive...and that doesn't usually happen until quite a bit later in the summer! In the meantime, I'll try to answer all of your questions the best I can.
    As to shadowing a D.O. in Southeastern MI, I don't know of one in particular. You may want to check with one of the base hospitals that some of the MSU students go to for their 3rd/4th years. The hospitals should be available on the MSUCOM webpage. I know there are sites in Mt. Clemens, Pontiac, and Farmington Hills. There may be a couple more. Being a MI native and a grad of MSU, I did the majority of my shadowing in E. Lansing and in the Bay City/Saginaw area. Don't worry about shadowing a D.O. this summer. It's not too late. I got most of my shadowing time in during that period!
    As far as the application process goes, I applied early (my primary app was sent by this time), and MSU was the ONLY school I applied to (yes, I was taking a huge risk). I got my secondary sometime in August and I was interviewed/accepted by late fall of last year. The secondary for MSU was the most thorough app I have ever filled out. They are supposedly decreasing the amount of info you have to supply to them this year, but still be prepared to write a lot! To get more info, I would definitely check out the website (www.com.msu.edu). There is so much to read and to look at. If you have further questions, don't hesitate to contact someone and perhaps they can give you some tour information. Also, there is a open house in the fall and in the spring at MSUCOM so if you're able to, take advantage of that and visit. There are demos and all types of literature that you can collect while you're there. You can also meet with faculty, staff and students.
    There really wasn't anything complicated with my app process. I was very lucky that things got completed correctly and that there were no mix-ups between MSU, AACOMAS, and myself. I would've stressed less on the personal statement, though. The secondaries are where "who you are" really counts! I don't know anything about transcript exemptions, but I'm sure someone at AACOMAS may know something. Sorry I can't help you with that one!
    You're going to have lots of questions, so don't hesitate to post them. Someone out there will have an answer for them. :D Just make sure to know a lot about osteopathy and its philosophy. Make sure to distinguish yourself from the other applicants in your essays and tell the committee members why you should be given a seat in their D.O. school. I know this was long-winded, but I didn't want to leave anything out. Just let me know if you have any other questions.

    Good luck!
    Julia
     
  6. dnetko

    dnetko Member
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    Julia,

    I was reading your message and I just had a few questions about the whole application process. I am taking the MCAT for the first time in August and am almost ready to send in my primary application. Here's my concern though...I am worried about even sending in my application without knowing my MCAT score. I don't want to spend a large amount of money to have AACOMAS send my application out to the osteopathic schools when I don't know what my score will be and whether or not I will have a decent chance of gaining admission. I guess my real question is whether or not you think I should just wait to apply until next summer so that if I don't do as well as I had hoped on the MCAT I will be able to take it again in April. I've been thinking a lot about this and I just can't seem to reach an answer. Any advice would be great! Thanks!
     
  7. Flintstone

    Flintstone Member
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    Thanks Julia :) !

    I hope I can catch their open house. In the mean time, I think I should start preparing for my secondaries. I heard that MSU only use specific forms for letter of recommendation, is it true? Will there be exceptions? It is because my school has a centralized service that sends letters out. Do you think you learn much when you shadowed? East Lansing area is kind of convenient for me and I will look into the osteopathic teaching hospitals there. However, my next stop is the Pontiac Osteopathic Hospital (POH). I wrote letters to other physicians in private practice and got no positive reply. The big problem is they won't let you talk to the physician directly and all I can do is leave no. and name, etc. When I go to POH next week, what approach should I take? Should I bring my resume and talk to people randomly? I emailed some people at POH but I got no reply from them. I really hope going to the hospital and actually talking to people will get more productive results.

    Thanks Julia again for your advice. <img border="0" alt="[Laughy]" title="" src="graemlins/laughy.gif" /> I think I should stop rambling....

    To dentko: Just want to contribute my 2 cents....if I were you, I would apply. I will perhaps look at my GPA and healthcare experience. If those are quite sufficient to distinguish myself, then, I would definitely apply, at least to state schools. I am thinking that there really is no big harm applying. If you apply next year, your old MCAT is going to appear on your record anyway. If you do well on MCAT, you may regret you waste a year. Plus applying will get you acquainted with the whole process. I am also thinking if you really cannot afford the money, maybe just apply to one school, that is better than doing nothing. However, I have the tendency to speak from my heart; and I am desperate in getting into DO school. It would be torturing me not to apply when I have the slightest chance....Perhaps others can offer advice from a different point of view. Good luck!
     
  8. OsteoMed02

    OsteoMed02 Senior Member
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    Hi Denise-

    I guess there is no correct answer to your question re: April or August MCAT. I would say that it all depends on how you feel going into the exam. If you have studied up and feel adequately prepared, then go for it. If you still feel uneasy or like you have not had enough time to do the type of prep that you would like to do, I'd hold off until April. It's not an exam that anyone would like to take twice, but many people do and that's not necessarily a bad thing. In addition, I would say to take a look at your overall application. If you have a strong G.P.A. and significant clinical/community experience and feel confident in your writing skills (a necessity for your apps), you don't need to score all double digits on the exam. While that would be wonderful, it's not a necessity and osteopathic schools focus so much more on the entire individual. A test score can not predict your compassion for or desire to practice medicine. I know people who did not do all that well on the MCAT and are doing very well in school! I did very average on the exam, myself and have a seat for fall at a school that I feel so honored to be at! Go with what you feel inside. Take the exam seriously, but know that it's not only thing that will be looked at as you go through the application process. If you have any other questions or concerns, do not hesitate to email me. I'll help you out with whatever I can.

    Good luck!!!!

    Julia
    <img border="0" title="" alt="[Wink]" src="wink.gif" />
     
  9. OsteoMed02

    OsteoMed02 Senior Member
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    Hi Corina-

    Best of luck to you as you go to find a D.O. to shadow this week. Please let me know how it turns out for you!

    As to the letters of recommendation, it's true that MSU does have a specific form that they require your "writers" to fill out. You can attach your letter of recommendation to that. This form that they require asks a few key questions about their relationship with you and if they are able to assess how well you'd practice as an osteopath. Do not worry about this. Both of my writers were more than happy to accommodate me. Just make sure to give it to them ASAP so they're not struggling to complete it at the last minute. MSU had a centralized service as well, but it was still required. Depending upon the school, you may want to contact someone at the service or the admissions office at MSUCOM, however, I do believe that it will be mandatory no matter what the circumstance.

    I believe that I learned so much from my shadowing experiences. I got to "rotate" through so many different fields and got to truly understand how the osteopathic approach is distinct and refreshing. I was very lucky to shadow good physicians and good teachers. This is what ultimately helped me to decide on osteopathy. Bring your resume, ask for some good information at the hospital. If they don't have anyone there, ask if they can refer you to anyone in the area who may help students out. If you contact MSUCOM, they may be able to give you a listing of docs in the area (and their email addresses) so that you can contact them personally. Don't give up. You will find someone. It may just take some searching :) Best of luck to you! Post any more questions you may have!

    Julia :p
     

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