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  • iamahippo

  • Application cycles: 07/17/2011
  • Demographics: Male, 28, East Asian
  • Home state: California
  • Last Active: 03/30/2016
  • 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.
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