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Application Cycles: 10/8/2010 | 7/17/2011
Demographics: Male, 27, East Asian
Home State: California
Last Activity Date: 3/30/2016
SDN Handle: iamahippo

Undergraduate College: University of California
Undergraduate Area of Study: Psychology/Social Sciences

MCAT: BS 12, PS 11, VR 11, Q
Overall GPA: 3.64
Science GPA: 3.54

Brief Profile:
I ended up going to SUNY Downstate. I ended up not getting into anywhere else, which was perhaps a result of overconfidence in my later interviews? I don't know. In any case, I'm happy with my result. Med school's kind of hard and almost makes me wonder why I wanted to do this in the first place (I wrote this statement in the first month while I was still adjusting. It gets way better). But when I look back at this mdapps page, I remember that version of me so eager to get in and become a physician. And that helps drive my motivation as I look to the future.

I was a re-applicant that got killed at 4 interviews his first time applying, learned his lesson, and improved his interpersonal skills the second time around. Acknowledge your weaknesses, turn them into strengths, and you will succeed... well, at least, succeed at getting into med school. =P

In my first cycle (2010), I applied to 28 schools which were pretty top-heavy; in my second cycle (2011), I applied to 53 schools and replaced top schools with safer schools (before adding 6 more later for fun in December, which resulted in additional interview invites from Indiana and Florida) to improve my odds and make sure I would not have to apply a third time. I firmly believe that applying to more schools will get you more interviews, and more interviews means higher chance of getting accepted to at least one school. Still, you can't just wing the interview process; if you suck at interviews, it doesn't matter how many you get: they will all hate you. Treat every interview as if it's the only one, and make sure you prepare for each one very well.

Post-College Graduation Experiences:

� 10 months working as an ER Scribe.
� 4 months working as a research assistant in biomedical research.
� 8 weeks of Dale Carnegie training in human relations and communication. I believe this experience was the most valuable to me, so I will explain it in detail:

If you had to ask me what helped me get the most out of my interviews, I would definitely say that it was following my experience taking the Dale Carnegie course. I highly recommend this course for any pre-meds who wish to improve their interview performance.

The Dale Carnegie course consists of 8 weekly sessions (which took place at night, 3.5 hours each) during which I participated in group activities with adults ranging from 30 to 65 years of age (I was the youngest member) with the primary goal of "breaking out of our comfort zone."

We also gave 2 to 3 weekly presentations in front of the whole class with different goals each time, like inspiring people to do something or telling a story of an impactful moment using personal examples. They gave us weekly reading assignments from the Dale Carnegie books they gave us to learn principles on how to promote goodwill and efficiency at work by becoming more understanding and genuinely interested in our co-workers lives. We would then return to class the following week and give a speech on what principle we used at work and how it promoted positive change.

Even though I did write some secondary responses about my Dale Carnegie training, I literally just wrote the above explanation right now for the benefit of other pre-meds who are looking at my profile. It was my own personal decision to enroll in the Dale Carnegie course, as I hoped it would help me perform better in my interviews and in life as well. I have to say that over the gradual 8 weeks, the course changed me, but I didn't notice the change until towards the end when people started noticing that I am more articulate and comfortable in my speech.

Actually, I recommend this course for everyone who wants to improve how they interact with people or deal with stresses in life; I gained more out of this course than I did out of my entire undergraduate career, so the $1650 price tag was well worth it for me. (most of the people in my class took it for free because their companies paid for them to take it)

Experiences During College:

� 3 years as an officer at a free clinic.
� 3 years as a dispatcher and escort for the campus escort service.
� 3 years volunteering at an underprivileged inner city youth development program.
� 2 years volunteering at a high school mentoring program for aspiring pre-health students.
� 1 year of leading meditations for the Buddhist organization on campus.
� 1 year as an officer of a new anti-malaria club.
� 1 year of sociology research on relationships and gender dynamics.
� Traveled to Panama for a medical mission to hold clinics for the underserved population.
� 1 summer of physician shadowing.
� 7 years of training in the art of Aikido.
� 8 years of experience in independent filmmaking, which includes 4 years of experience in the professional film industry.
� 15 year background in musical training, including guitar (lessons in classical, acoustic, electric, flamenco), piano (self-taught in the past 2 years), singing (with vocal training), and musical theatre.
� Recipient of an academic scholarship, several Honors fellowship awards, and my school's Alumni Commencement Award which is given to only one graduating student per year.
� 2 activities that I listed in my first year applying that I did not include this time due to the 15 activity limit were Tennis and Fluent Vietnamese Speaker.

AMCAS submitted: 7/17/2011

Applied, Rejected

Wayne State University - "Didn't even pass the screen."
University of California, San Francisco - "UCSF, wai u no give secondary for the second time in a row."
Charles Drew University/UCLA - "Secondary not received yet. (or at all)"

Applied, Withdrew

Universidad Central del Caribe - "Realized I don't meet the Spanish language requirement. lol."
Ponce School of Medicine - "Spanish requirement fail. There goes $66 on these 2 schools."
Meharry Medical College - "Not completing secondary s/p SUNY Downstate acceptance, lol."

Application Complete, Rejected

Boston University - "Should have put more effort into the reapplicant comment."
University of Wisconsin - "I accidentally put that I was female. Maybe that's why."
Georgetown University - "It was a mistake to re-apply here. There goes $130 secondary fee."
University of Rochester - "Short secondary."
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities - "I wasn't meant to go to Minnesota."
New York Medical College - "Looks like schools that didn't want to interview me the first time don't want to do it the second ti..."
University of California, Irvine - "My hometown school, so unkind even though I extensively rewrote every essay compared to last year. T..."
Brown University - "There goes the dream of living near Boston. Formidable essay, but it turned out pretty well."
Texas A & M University - "My top choice in Texas. Their med school online system is called BAMF. This one's definitely at t..."
Wake Forest University - "Accepted at Downstate but no interview at Wake Forest? Makes me think, wtf goes into these decisions..."
Michigan State University - "This is one of those schools that even if they did give me an interview, I would have declined it ri..."
University of California, San Diego - "On "hold" for interview... and rejected."
Virginia Tech Carilion - "Well, I wouldn't have felt safe here..."
Albany Medical College - "I wanted them to invite me so I could reject them, but they didn't give me the chance. lol. On ho..."
University of California, Los Angeles - "Geffen submitted 9/15. PRIME submitted 10/7. Haider secondary not received yet. Rejected from Gef..."
Wright State University - "They did it on leap year day. Paid the fee. Man, I kind of wish they had a section for parents gr..."
Baylor College - "Goodbye Texas. Actually, this is probably my top school in Texas. But TA&M has the Hiep and Sandr..."
Harvard University - "Harvard spared no mercy. Please Harvard, have mercy."
University of Cincinnati - "Short secondary."
Loma Linda University - "They didn't care that I scribe at Loma Linda and do research at Loma Linda."
University of Vermont - "Short secondary."
Drexel University - "Rejection by status page. Short secondary. Submitted as soon as I received it."
SUNY Stony Brook - "Would have turned down an interview anyway: Downstate > Stony Brook (to me)"
University of Miami - "Rejected, lame. For some reason, I stayed up until 6AM for this one. I'm not sure if it was becau..."
Eastern Virginia Medical School - "Goodbye place that Brian might go to."
Rush Medical College - "It was longer than I expected when I started it."
SUNY Buffalo - "Unexpectedly super short secondary."
Pennsylvania State University - "Goodbye place that Brian is waitlisted at."
Rosalind Franklin University - "Identical to last year's, except it was online instead of mail-in."
Medical College of Wisconsin - "Took long enough."

Application Complete, Withdrew

George Washington University - "Didn't want to spend time writing to them about why I wanted to stay in consideration for "slim" cha..."

Invited for Interview, Withdrew

Indiana University - "Withdrew after being accepted to SUNY Downstate."

Attended Interview, Rejected

Hofstra University - "VERY impressed with the curriculum. But rejected post-interview. This happened to lots of people b/c..."

Attended Interview, Waitlisted, Rejected

Saint Louis University - "Alternate listed. They seemed to make a point that this is something to be proud of because I was "p..."
Florida Atlantic University - "Made the alternate list. Now the question is, where on the alternate list? So, attended interview..."
The Commonwealth Medical College - "Waitlisted, and they didn't even send an email. I found out via status page. On hold for April re..."
Jefferson Medical College - "I was placed in the Alternate Category, a flexible and unranked waitlist. This means I didn't make i..."
Temple University - "My faculty interviewer knew I interviewed there before, so we talked for over an hour."
Tufts University - "Waitlisted. Deferred. Will receive final decision (acceptance, waitlist, or rejection) before end..."

Attended Interview, Waitlisted, Withdrew

University of Southern California - "Decided to withdraw. Needed to make housing plans for Downstate. Alternate listed! I am so reliev..."


SUNY Downstate - "First acceptance, second year applying to med school! Feels good man. Matriculating here!"

Summary of Application Experience

TMDSAS calculated my GPAs as: 3.68 cumulative, 3.53 science.

Let us hope things go better this time around. Re-applicant ftw.


7/17 - AMCAS finally submitted. Only applying to UCR/UCLA until the primary gets verified.. then I'll add the rest. Now to finish my TMDSAS.. Also submitted all letters of rec from Interfolio to both services.
7/19 - TMDSAS submitted. Going to mail the check today too.
7/20 - TMDSAS received my check and started processing my application already. Submitted UT Southwestern's secondary.
8/3 - TMDSAS transmitted to schools! I've been slacking on secondaries, as you can see.
8/17 - AMCAS finally verified! Added 44 AMCAS schools; grand total comes out to 51. UCLA PRIME, UCR/UCLA, and normal UCLA are all in one entry.
8/18 - St. Louis + URochester + MCW + Wright State secondaries submitted. UCincinnati's payment service is down so I couldn't submit it yet. Also added Loma Linda because I can write about what I'm doing this year, which is all at Loma Linda. Finished UWisconsin but can't submit until 8/20. Finished BU but need to wait on receipt of LoR.
8/19 - GW + Georgetown + UCincinnati + BU secondaries submitted.
8/20 - UWisconsin secondary submitted.
8/24 - Jefferson finished but not yet submitted; waiting on contact info change.
8/26 - NYMC secondary submitted. Visited Baylor today and decided to add it.
8/27 - Finally submitted Texas A&M's secondary (while in Texas). It was a beast. Jefferson is still having a lame system error. Albert Einstein secondary submitted.
8/29 - Baylor secondary submitted. Jefferson secondary finally submitted. (talked to Rita on the phone a lot)
9/1 - Penn State secondary submitted.
9/2 - Vermont & Buffalo secondaries submitted.
9/6 - Created Secondary Application Completion Schedule. Placed on interview hold at MCW.
9/7 - Drexel + Rosalind Franklin + Wake Forest secondaries submitted.
9/10 - BU rejection. First one. Lame.
9/12 - Hofstra secondary submitted.
9/13 - Michigan State secondary submitted.
9/14 - UC Irvine secondary submitted.
9/15 - UC Davis + UCLA Geffen secondaries submitted.
9/16 - Wayne State pre-secondary rejection & University of Wisconsin pre-interview rejection.
9/17 - Loyola secondary submitted.
9/18 - Colorado secondary submitted. Howard finished, but need to mail.
9/19 - EVMS + Rush secondaries submitted. Still need to mail Howard + a form for Rush. What was the point of having an online application but making me mail stuff in anyway?
9/20 - Howard and Rush mailed.
9/22 - SUNY Downstate secondary submitted. Did part of Brown's, then realized how much I like Brown, so I put it on the backburner so that I could take it more seriously later.
9/23 - University of Miami secondary submitted. Snail mail rejections from University of Wisconsin and Wayne State. However, the fact that I passed the screen for UCLA PRIME this year (I didn't get the secondary last year) makes up for it. I also received my new letter of recommendation and submitted UCSD's secondary but still need to send in new letter packet. I also finished Albany and Temple but need to wait for new letter to show up on AMCAS before submitting both.
9/24 - Submitted Tufts but still need to send in letters.
9/25 - Submitted University of Minnesota and USC but still need to send in letters.
9/26 - Virginia Tech secondary submitted. Loma Linda secondary finished but their website has been down all day. Still need to send in letters for both. Also, City of Riverside volunteer application submitted, LOL.
9/27 - All secondaries that still needed to be submitted have been submitted, and all letters I needed to send have been sent.
9/28 - The Commonwealth Medical College secondary submitted.
9/30 - Brown secondary submitted.
10/4 - Temple wants to interview me again! :D That was a really quick turnaround! Only 7 days!
10/5 - Sent "In the Area Request" to all Pennsylvania schools.
10/6 - OMG! Got a Jefferson interview, automatically scheduled the day after my Temple interview! That "In the Area" email worked!
10/7 - FINALLY submitted UCLA PRIME's secondary, staying up all night to meet the deadline.
10/11 - Hofstra interview invite! Scheduled for 1/26...
10/12 - Hofstra wants to accommodate me for 10/31! Also, placed on pre-secondary hold for UCR/UCLA... ????
10/13 - Harvard secondary submitted.
10/18 - Mock interview with Gwen.
10/19 - Pre-interview hold at Drexel.
10/20 - Georgetown pre-interview rejection. Also finalized all flight, car, and hotel bookings for trip in 2 weeks.
10/24 - SUNY Downstate interview invite! They scheduled for November 21; I'm trying to reschedule to Nov 3 or 4. Can only schedule a later date. There goes the 4-in-a-row dream. Haha.
10/25 - Rescheduled Downstate to November 28.
10/26 - Mock interview with Aunt Beth.
10/28 - Mock interview with Viet.
10/31 - Attended Hofstra interview.
11/1 - Rejected pre-interview from Rochester, "continue to review" status at Penn State, and attended Temple/St. Luke's interview.
11/2 - Attended Jefferson interview.
11/6 - Primary screening complete at Rosalind Franklin, entered "possible interview" pool.
11/7 - Pre-interview rejection from Minnesota.
11/9 - Pre-interview rejection from NYMC.
11/16 - Waitlisted at Jefferson. =/
11/21 - TCMC interview invite! They wouldn't let me schedule it for next week. Scheduled for January 20.
11/28 - Attended Downstate interview. UCI pre-interview rejection, which sucks.
11/29 - USC interview invite! Amazing! Scheduled for January 17.
11/30 - Placed on "hold" for interview at UCSD. That's better than last year, I guess.
12/1 - UCSF pre-secondary rejection.
12/7 - Brown pre-interview rejection and pre-interview "hold" at Albany, where I interviewed last year. Noooo. For fun, sent my AMCAS to Indiana University, Florida Atlantic, Stony Brook, Meharry, Ponce, and Universidad Central Del Caribe because their deadlines are 12/15.
12/8 - Submitted Stony Brook's secondary.
12/21 - Texas A&M pre-interview rejection. Submitted Florida Atlantic's secondary, while in Vietnam.
12/22 - Indiana University supplemental materials invitation, which is equivalent to an interview invite.
12/25 - Merry Christmas! Submitted Indiana University's secondary application. Still have to mail some forms though.


1/9 - Formally received Indiana University's interview invitation, scheduled for January 25.
1/10 - Pre-interview hold at UCLA PRIME and interview invite from Saint Louis University, scheduled for February 7.
1/11 - ACCEPTED to SUNY Downstate!! The letter was actually dated 12/27, and I just came back from Vietnam to check the mail today! Also in the mail was a waitlist letter from Temple for the second year in a row.
1/12 - Withdrew from Indiana University's interview s/p Downstate acceptance. Mock interview with Gwen to prepare for USC.
1/17 - Attended USC interview which I was 45 minutes late for.
1/20 - Attended TCMC interview which was better than expected.
1/24 - Rejected pre-interview from Wake Forest. At least I was in the interview pile. I wouldn't have gone to it anyway.
1/25 - Tufts wants to interview me again! I'm shocked, considering they didn't even waitlist me last year. Scheduled for March 6. Also, pre-interview rejection from Michigan State.
2/1 - UCSD says that I will either get an interview or a rejection by 2/15.
2/2 - Rejected from UT Southwestern. Didn't receive a formal rejection from the other Texas schools yet but I'm going to mark them as rejections too because Texas match day has passed and I had no interviews.. lol.
2/7 - Attended St. Louis interview, and much thanks to Pranay for letting me stay at his place and borrow his car. SLU impressed me and exceeded my expectations.
2/9 - Waitlisted at USC; at least I wasn't rejected for being late! Haha.
2/13 - Withdrew from GW b/c they sent me an email asking me if I wanted to stay in consideration, and I didn't want to write a paragraph about why I wanted to stay.
2/14 - Submitted 2012 FAFSA, and rejected pre-interview from Colorado.
2/15 - FAFSA processed.
2/21 - Finally rejected pre-interview from UCSD. I was hoping this was my best shot at a UC too b/c I had been on hold. I are delusional. Also rejected pre-interview from Virginia Tech.
2/22 - Interview invitation from Florida Atlantic!! Outside of any Cali schools, Harvard, Baylor, and University of Miami, this was the only school that I still wanted to go to the interview if invited. Yay. Scheduled for March 20.
2/24 - On hold for April reconsideration at TCMC. This is not a waitlist.
2/28 - Rejected pre-interview from Albany.
2/29 - Rejected pre-interview from Wright State and UCLA.
3/2 - Rejected pre-interview from Baylor.
3/6 - Attended Tufts interview and was rejected pre-interview from Harvard.
3/8 - Alternate listed at Saint Louis and received SUNY Downstate's financial award letter.
3/9 - Rejected pre-interview from University of Cincinnati.
3/12 - Finally rejected post-interview from Hofstra. Naaeeiioooooouu!
3/15 - Rejected pre-interview from Loma Linda.
3/20 - Attended Florida Atlantic interview.
3/21 - Rejected pre-interview from Albert Einstein.
3/26 - Rejected pre-interview from UC Davis.
3/27 - Pre-interview rejection from University of Vermont. I found out by randomly logging into the status page.
3/28 - Made the alternate list at FAU! Interview was for a place on the waitlist anyway.
3/29 - Drexel has completed its interview season; rejected pre-interview. Also rejected pre-interview from Stony Brook by snail mail.
3/30 - Rejected pre-interview from UT Houston and UM (University of Miami). The latter is more sad; the first was just a delayed email, really.
4/2 - Rejected pre-secondary (finally) from Charles Drew/UCLA.
4/5 - Rejected pre-interview from EVMS and received Tufts email which said a decision would come next week.
4/6 - Rejected pre-interview from Rush Medical College.
4/13 - Deferred decision at Tufts, which is much nicer than a rejection last year.
4/14 - Logged into Buffalo's status page. My status today is "non-accept." No letter or email.
4/16 - Pre-interview rejection from Penn State.
4/18 - Pre-interview rejection from Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University.
4/20 - Waitlisted at TCMC. There we have it; Downstate was the only school that accepted me right away.
4/30 - Submitted $100 Acceptance Deposit to SUNY Downstate.
5/2 - Pre-interview rejection from Loyola Stritch.
5/14 - Submitted Letter of Interest to USC in person.
5/25 - Rejected pre-interview from UCLA PRIME.
5/30 - Rejected pre-interview from Medical College of Wisconsin.
6/5 - Finally placed on waitlist at Tufts off of deferred list.
6/22 - Withdrew from USC's alternate list, which was a very difficult decision.
7/11 - Rejected pre-interview from Howard University. lol.
7/27 - Rejected post-waitlist from Saint Louis University.
8/6 - TCMC and FAU both told me they matriculated today. In other words, a double post-waitlist rejection. lol.
8/7 - Rejected post-waitlist from Jefferson Medical College.
8/13 - Matriculated at SUNY Downstate, and was rejected post-waitlist from Temple University.
8/21 - Rejected post-waitlist from Tufts University.