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WAMC? 1st Time Applicant & 1st Gen

Doctah2727

Full Member
Dec 29, 2019
13
2
26
Hello! I’m a first time applicant majoring in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology and on track to graduate a year early as well as applying this upcoming cycle. I am a male from Southern California and I am also a first generation college student. I am interested in applying for DVM/PhD programs at Davis, Cornell, UPenn, Illinois, CSU and Michigan state. I will hopefully have a paper at least submitted for review for publication as the first author before applications are due. I’m interested in possibly being a professor at a vet school one day and doing research while clinical work on the side. Also, I am interested in pursuing a residency after vet school.

Cumulative GPA: 3.8 (aiming to be a 3.88 once applications are submitted!)
science GPA: 3.9
last 45: 4.0

Any degrees achieved: N/A

GRE results: Q/V/W

Taking the GRE June 19th, will retake again this summer if my results aren’t as good as I would hope them to be!

LOR for DVM application: 2 strong letters from doctors at the same SA clinic I’ve worked at the last 2 years, 1 decent letter from my organic chemistry professor (he says he only writes them for students who get an A in his class)

LOR for dual degree app: 1 from my PI, one from another professor at another university who I collaborate with, and one from a researcher I’ve worked with for the last two years


Veterinary Experience:
-600 small animal hours as a hospital assistant (around 800 by the time i submit my application)
-will have about 80 hours shadowing a large animal vet by the time I submit my application
-looking to add some more hours at a specialty hospital or zoo or shelter some time this summer
-4 hours shadowing a vet doing a procedure on an elephant seal
-20 hours assisting with necropsies on stranded marine mammals. (Sea otter, California sea lion)

Animal Experience:
-200 dog/cat handling hours
-50 hours dog sitting

Research Experience:
-1000+ hours as an undergraduate research assistant in a marine mammal physiology lab focusing on reproductive physiology and endocrinology in Northern Elephant seals. Currently doing my own research project on using hormone concentrations to assess pregnancy status in hopes to determine the timing of embryonic diapause in northern elephant seals.
-will be submitting a paper for publication on the aforementioned project as the first author
-Assisted with 20+ procedures on northern elephant seals for sampling of blubber, blood, whiskers, muscle.
-Assisted with 10+ satellite tagging procedures on northern elephant seals that help to assess population numbers and behavior.
-Restrained and tagged over 100 elephant seals/elephant seal pups to help assess population.
-Lab experience includes blood spinning/pipetting/hematocrit assessment, basic centrifuging, chemical washes, hormone extraction from blubber tissue, running enzyme immunoassays.
-70 hours surveying beaches for stranded marine mammals.

Awards/scholarships:
-Multiple Deans Honors awards
-$1000 research grant for research project
-$1000 student research award for proposal of marine related research project
-$3000 ThanksUSA award for maintaining high academic standing as a dependent of a military veteran
-$1250 scholarship for being selected as my home towns “citizen of the month” for academic standing and extracurricular activities.

Extracurriculars:
-President of Pre-Vet Club
-Surf Team member
-Chemistry Club member
-Member of the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Employment:
-Parking lot attendant for local MLB/NHL games: cashier, lot cleaner, parking management, flagger/laborer
-Commercial Building services: window washing, pressure washing, construction clean up, bird net installation
-Residential Window cleaning
 
Last edited:

Doctah2727

Full Member
Dec 29, 2019
13
2
26
I think your stats look really good. Be prepared for interview questions about why you need to do both degrees at the same time in order to achieve your career goals.

Thank you for your response! I know you have posted about being a dual degree student before, so I had a couple questions If you would be kind enough to answer them:

Regarding the dual degree, how does it work for demonstrating what specific field you’d want to pursue your PhD in? I am interested in physiology, but also interested in pathology, immunology & infectious diseases. I have little research experience in the latter fields but would definitely find doing that research interesting. I’m worried that since I’ve only worked in a marine mammal physiology lab, that I don’t have the “proof” of interest in other research fields.

Or, is it mainly about demonstrating an interest and commitment to research in general, then what you specifically study comes later, after acceptance?
 
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supershorty

still not a wolf
7+ Year Member
Jan 14, 2013
4,718
12,583
226
  1. Veterinary Student
You certainly don’t have to pigeonhole yourself this early in your career! Goodness no - even after you finish your PhD studies, you don’t have to stick with that area (many people don’t). Previous research experience gives you technical skills and teaches you how to critically think, which is what’s most important.

I don’t know how other programs do it, but I know at mine, dual students have to do the summer research program and use it as an opportunity to rotate in different labs. It’s a chance to see what various PIs are working on and broaden your skill base. Please don’t think you have to work on the same thing your whole life! Just find what interests you (and what funding is available for) and do that.
 

Doctah2727

Full Member
Dec 29, 2019
13
2
26
You certainly don’t have to pigeonhole yourself this early in your career! Goodness no - even after you finish your PhD studies, you don’t have to stick with that area (many people don’t). Previous research experience gives you technical skills and teaches you how to critically think, which is what’s most important.

I don’t know how other programs do it, but I know at mine, dual students have to do the summer research program and use it as an opportunity to rotate in different labs. It’s a chance to see what various PIs are working on and broaden your skill base. Please don’t think you have to work on the same thing your whole life! Just find what interests you (and what funding is available for) and do that.

Awesome, thank you. Just wanted to get your insight on that. I feel as though there is little information regarding the dual degree programs and what criteria need to be met in terms of research experience.
 
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