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Please help me choose schools to apply to

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Ziggy08, Apr 14, 2007.

  1. Ziggy08

    Ziggy08 Junior Member
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    Hi,

    I'm applying in the 2008 admissions cycle and need some help in choosing schools. hmmm, I have good MCATs and GPA, founded a global health organization at my university, participate on a board with faculty in planning our new global health minor, work a job as a writing tutor, did both clinical and cardiac lab research, am a Goldwater scholar (so I'll be applying MD/PhD). I think my clinical experiences are likely a little low, but I think I really learned a lot from shadowing and the clinical research I did, and I'm really excited to be volunteering in Ghana this summer in eye health services.

    So, I'm considering these schools so far. (I'm also a Texas resident).

    UT Southwestern
    UT Houston
    UTMB
    Baylor (not sure... am not really a Houston fan :) Wanna convince me otherwise? :cool: )

    Harvard
    Johns Hopkins
    UPenn
    Washu
    UCSF
    Stanford
    Duke
    Columbia
    Univ. of Chicago
    Mount Sinai
    NYU

    Do you think this is too many? Too few? I'd be overjoyed to get into any of the top schools, but my sentimental wish is to get into UT Southwestern. (working there in a lab after high school, it was my first exposure to medical research, and I had a wonderful experience)

    Although I want to apply MD/PhD (preferably MSTP) to these schools, I'd like to apply straight-MD as well. What do you guys think about doing that? Does applying this way limit your acceptance chances? Also, do you have to specify the PhD program you're applying to?
     
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  3. moomix906

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    what are your stats? Can't give you any useful advice without them

    Your list does seem too top heavy though, unless you've got amazing stats and aren't worried.

    MD-PhD is considered first, and if you are rejected, then considered for straight up MD. Shouldn't have any affect on each other, although adcoms are looking for some different things in either case. I don't think you have to declare what PhD you want to do when applying.
     
  4. Ziggy08

    Ziggy08 Junior Member
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    I'm not sure what my AMCAS GPA is (my school GPA is over 4.0 out of a 4.3), so I'm going to guess it's 3.8-3.9ish, and my MCAT is 41.

    That said, I'd still like to apply broadly, because I know some really amazing people (much better than me) who got rejected at the top schools.
     
  5. BigRedPremed

    BigRedPremed Senior Member
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    Looks good. Your list is top heavy but I expect that you'll get into at least one out of the 5 or so safeties that you have. The rest is a crapshoot anyway. Obviously, you're an upper end applicant :thumbup:
     
  6. sejin8642

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    Very solid numbers you have (no need any further accomplishment). Just make sure that you apply to low-tier schools too.
     
  7. pennybridge

    pennybridge Membership Revoked
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    to be honest, that's perfectly ridiculous advice.

    simply the GPA and MCAT score of the OP means they're more than competitive at ALL of those schools. In addition the OP's research background + Goldwater is basically what MSTP/joint degree programs are looking for (hint: they don't care about extensive clinical experience, they want researchers).


    Unless your definition of "lower tier" are the schools that rank anything less than 20 on US News nefarious list, you're just being unrealistic.

    The OP seems to want to go to a top research institution so they can go on to doing research at a top university as faculty. You just can't do that by going to a "lower tier" school. OP clearly has the chops for admission to a tip top program, why would he/she/it even bother applying to "lower tier" schools when it won't help her (going with female) accomplish her career goals.

    OP: don't apply to any school that you wouldn't be happy attending. It's that simple. With your stats/app you don't have to grovel or beg. Just do the damn thing.
     
  8. SupergreenMnM

    SupergreenMnM Peanut, not chocolate
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    Exactly what type of cardiac lab research did you do? Just curious...
     
  9. Ziggy08

    Ziggy08 Junior Member
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    Hi,

    Thanks for your advice. I think I'll still apply to the "lower-tiered" schools as a safety net though. One thing is that I don't know too much about the Texas schools (except UTSW and Baylor). Can anyone enlighten me on UTH and UTMB, or some other ones that you would prefer?

    I'm going to be in Ghana until July 1st. I'd rather not submit my application while I'm there. Or, at least not the Texas ones, because it's going to be really hard to access my spring grades to put on the application. Does the AMCAS require you to list spring classes and grades? My school doesn't release spring grades until mid-June, so does AMCAS and the Texas system wait until then for the application to be processed?

    SupergreenMnM, I work in a cardiac electrophysiology lab. Currently, I use computer models to simulate the global behavior of ventricular fibrillation. I compare the results I get from the modeling studies to the results from real-life optical imaging of the fibrillating heart (using voltage-sensitive dyes).
     
  10. Laviorein

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    Academically, what are the important subjects that I should master in order for me to be less stressed on taking Med? because I'm thinking I might not have the enough knowledge before taking up Med. By the way, I'm taking BS Biology right now. Would appreciate your help, really.
    Thanks!
     
  11. EBI831

    EBI831 legend in the making
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    you might wanna add vanderbilt they have some new global health initiative center built that you might be interested in. other than that, i was gonna say UChicago with your background in outreach and your interests but you already beat me to it. apply early and if your personality is not atrocious, you'll have a great chance at all of those schools.
     
  12. GoinBack2Cali?

    GoinBack2Cali? it used to be so cool
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    I think that you may have too many schools, you will see that as the application process goes on. Most places that you apply MSTP to will consider you for MD only if you are denied for the PhD. Its not automatic everywhere, but that seems to be standard. If you are considering MSTP then you are probably a pretty good applicant on paper. That wont make you stand out, they all are good on paper. Your research is what is going to have to do the selling. The harderst part about the MSTP application cycle will have to be getting the interview. If you can get face time with the adcom and convince them that your research is going to save mankind, you are in. As funny as that sounds, they want to see that you are excited about what you are doing. And be prepated to defend your work. I applied to 12 programs, recieved 11 interviews, went to 7 , got into 5 MSTPs and 2 MDs.

    good luck
     
  13. Tired

    Tired Fading away
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    I'm guessing "taking Med" means "going to medical school"?

    Don't pick your courses based on what you think you'll be learning in med school. Focus on getting in, they'll teach you what you need to know when you actually start.
     
  14. Ziggy08

    Ziggy08 Junior Member
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    I think that's where I might run into some problems. I'm doing computer modeling in cardiac electrophysiology research, which has given me a lot of great experiences. I'm double majoring in math and biology, and I definitely want to tie those two disciplines together in my future research (like I'm doing now). However, I'm more interested in molecular biology and in solving the biological basis behind a "neglected disease."

    So, in short, most of my previous research doesn't really reflect the research that i want to do. I do have some background in molecular bio research (worked for a summer in a molecular bio lab; am currently doing one of my math final projects on differential geometry in protein folding; am currently taking cell physiology class and cell physiology lab).

    Should I highlight my desire to do more experimental, molecular bio research? Do I have to have a clear idea of the type of research and the type of disease/biological phenomenom that I want to investigate?

    Also, will applying in July hurt my chances? I'm talking about July 4, 5th. Or should I really try to apply when I'm in Ghana?
     
  15. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search
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    Just be careful with your Texas choices. Many people with great stats didn't get into SW this year, for one reason or another, so grades are in no way a guarantee to get into a top school.

    I see you are not applying to UTSA, and I'd consider doing so, again, for the sake of an extra chance. I know not many people choose TT because of the location, or TCOM because it's a DO school, so I am not mentioning those.
     
  16. enigma85

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    You should have no problems getting interviews at most of these schools. If you are set on what kind of research you want to do (Immunology, Biochem, Neuroscience, etc.) you may want to select the top programs in these areas, a few of which may not be on your list. For example, if you're set on biomedical engineering, I would add Case Western. You seem to like the NY area institutions...any reason Cornell is not included? They've got Weill Medical College, Rockefeller University, and MSK--very tempting.
     
  17. SupergreenMnM

    SupergreenMnM Peanut, not chocolate
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    Cool, thanks, sorry for off topic. I spend the time while I'm not in my lab in a cardiac ion channel lab. Oh, add MAYO to your list. Great school, some of the best clinical education in the world, full scholarships. You can use all the money you save to buy a big warm coat :)

    I would not recommend applying from Ghana, I did that while I was in Kashmir b/c I had no choice of the matter and wouldn't recommend it.
     
  18. Ziggy08

    Ziggy08 Junior Member
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    Because I go to Cornell. :D

    Of course I wouldn't mind going there for medical school, but I don't want to be stuck at Cornell forever. :cool:

    Why would you not recommend applying from Ghana? If I didn't, I'd have to apply in July for both AMCAS and Texas schools becuase my transcript will only be ready in mid-June.
     
  19. enigma85

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    I know they are out-of-state institutions for you, but since you seem to be interested in applying molecular bio to infectious diseases, I would strongly consider adding UAlabama-Birmingham and UWisconsin-Madison.

    They are two of the best microbiology/immunology/virology programs in the nation. Both are top 10 in NIH-research funding in these areas (2005) and top 20 internationally in microbiology citations (1994-2004). And they're top 30 medical schools, to boot. Duke, Columbia and JHU are not in the top 40 in NIH funding in this area.
     
  20. SupergreenMnM

    SupergreenMnM Peanut, not chocolate
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    Hmmm...can't speak as much to your specific situation, but mine it just made it a pain in the butt. Then one school did a phone interview as their secondary, which meant being on a sat phone in the middle of nowhere hoping I wouldn't lose the connection and have to drive half a day to get in range of a cell tower. If you can pull it with all the things you have here at your disposal go ahead.
    *Cough* Mayo *Cough* :D
     
  21. GoinBack2Cali?

    GoinBack2Cali? it used to be so cool
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    I sent in my primary on July 4th, and wasn't complete at most schools until the start of November. It shouldn't horrible, but I would apply as soon as you can without rushing things which increases the chances of mistakes. Take that for what its worth. :thumbup:
     
  22. Ziggy08

    Ziggy08 Junior Member
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    Ok, I see.

    If I don't have to send in anything by mail (AMCAS is like this, right?) then I'm fine. For TMDSAS, I'm not.

    I guess I'll apply AMCAS in June and wait until I come back for TMDSAS. Hope this won't mess interviews up.
     
  23. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search
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    The only things that you have to send in by mail are your transcripts and your LORs or your evaluation package (done by pre-med committee). Be aware that if your school has a pre-med committee, some schools will require that package (I believe Baylor is one of them).

    You can order your transcripts now, to be sent at the end of the semester, and if you already have your LORs or ev. package, make sure they get sent out early to avoid any delays.

    Good luck!
     
  24. HumbleMD

    HumbleMD hmmmm...
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    I'd throw in Pitt if you really want MSTP. It's a good mid-level school (no means a safety, but a little more easy than the top tens, just in case). I'd keep Baylor in yor list - I'm from Michigan so has every intention of disliking Texas, let alone Houston, and found I could really see myself there. Typically people apply to 12 schools on average and it usually takes some breadth to have choices among the top 10, so I think your list with Pitt would make 16 which would be perfect (I applied to 15). Apply early and you will be golden.
     
  25. Ziggy08

    Ziggy08 Junior Member
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    Thanks.

    My school sends their ev. package out mid-June, so I think I'll be ok.
     
  26. BigRedPremed

    BigRedPremed Senior Member
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    Just wondering, alisa, where are you going to be in Ghana?

    Props for the 4.0+ GPA at Cornell haha The only people with 4.0+ GPAs I know are AEM majors.
     
  27. chickenlittle84

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    FYI, Cornell has a Universal Release date so the LOR packet does not go out until Mid-August...this gives you a bit more flexibility in terms of getting secondaries done because the file will not be complete until Cornell gets that packet out.
     

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