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MD Applicants

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  • User #8397

  • Application cycles: 2007
  • Demographics: Female, East Asian
  • Home state: Massachusetts
  • Brief Profile: About me: I'm a first year grad student who just finished a BS in biology this past year. I'm in a 1 year masters program in bme, so I am applying now and will matriculate in fall of 2008. Unfortunately I did not decide to go premed until the end of junior year, so I have had only one year's time to work on my clinical/volunteerism ECs. I hope that medical schools will understand this and not use it against me, as I do truly want to become a physician.

    -Lab research all throughout undergrad and currently for a Masters thesis (4 labs total).
    -Publications: 2nd author paper published, 5th author paper accepted. Submitting my thesis for a 1st author publication in a high profile journal in May (fingers crossed!).
    -Research award $1000 prize, won two years in a row for two projects.
    -Volunteered 1 year at after-school program
    -Volunteered 1 year at disease-awareness organization (at free clinic)
    -Paid employment as bilingual webmaster for a language school for 7 years now.
    -Played piano since age 4, passed a bunch of piano exams
    -Social chair of pre-health club
    -Shadowing dermatologist for one week (24 hrs), and a nephrologist on and off for half a year.
    -Volunteered 300 hours in high school at a hospital (yes I did put this in my AMCAS).
  • // Applications //

    Application Cycle One: 2007

    • Undergraduate college: MIT
    • Undergraduate Area of study: Biological/Life Sciences
    • Institution: MIT
    • Area of Study: Engineering/Technology
    • Degree Obtained: M. Eng
    • Total MCAT SCORE: 524
    • MCAT Section Scores: B/B 131, C/P 130, CARS 132  
    • Overall GPA: 3.85
    • Science GPA: 3.88

    Summary of Application Experience

    5/29/08 - After a whole long week of thinking, asking others for advice, and lots of waiting for my financial aid package, I finally decided to attend WashU on the half-scholarship, and will be withdrawing from Pitt on Monday. A part of me feels sad and really quite terrible for having to withdraw from Pitt, because they were so great to me and were SO generous to offer me the full ride. But the general consensus amongst the people I spoke to was not to take money into consideration in the decision. I didn't have a real preference for WashU or Pitt as a school, aside from the fact that WashU has a slightly bigger reputation and sparkling new facilities that are amazing. I also have relatives living in the St. Louis area that would be always there to lend a hand for anything I need, which is nice. In the end, I chose WashU for a higher price tag, but I am content with my decision. The one thing holding me back from making the decision before was always the money (I would have gone to WashU over Pitt if I hadn't gotten any merit scholarships from either school). When I realized that money was the one factor I should stop considering, then the choice became clear to me. I had no idea that the application cycle would turn out to be so crazy, and I've certainly had my share of surprises. Now I'm finally ready and very excited to attend medical school in the fall!!! :)

    5/27/08 - Wow, I'm so confused right now. Ever since I got off the WashU waitlist and got the merit scholarship, I've been thinking day and night about whether to pick WashU or Pitt. Everyone I've spoken to seems to lean one way or the others - it's either that the difference isn't worth it... or that the money shouldn't dictate where I go because I can always earn it back. Well I guess both are true to some degree. So what do I do? It's too difficult for me to say definitively that I'd prefer one school over the other... the only real difference I see between them is the name and the money. But I'm not experienced enough to decide which one is more important right now. I need to figure this out... and fast!

    5/14/08 - Well, that's it, I officially withdrew from all my other acceptances and will be attending Pitt this fall... very excited :) I am so glad that this whole application process is finally coming to a close. I have never felt so much of my future hang in the air for so long, and I've never had my hopes get so high yet so squashed in the period of time that was March haha. Thanks to everyone for their supportive comments through all this, it's been an experience I've enjoyed sharing with all of you.

    5/12/08 - I withdrew today from every school except Pitt and UMich. I'm not really expecting anything from UMich, but I'm just sort of holding onto it just in case... it's illogical I know lol, but the idea of suddenly being locked in to going to one school is kind of terrifying really. And it kind of broke my heart when I was writing my withdrawal emails - it brought back all the memories of the application ordeal and how excited I was to be interviewing at each school. They were all so kind to me, I wish I didn't have to turn them down. But, I guess we all have to move on at some point!

    5/06/08 - You know, I understand people are antsy about waitlist movement and acceptance withdrawals, but like everyone else, I am told not to anticipate much movement until after May 15th. I'm on a handful of waitlists myself, but I wasn't going to except any news until after the 15th. There's a reason for this... most people don't withdraw until close to the 15th. Would you ever want to withdraw from a spot and then realize later that you've made a mistake - that you're not a perfect fit for a school as you thought you'd be? Or that you need to be in a certain location due to personal or financial unforeseen circumstances? There's so much uncertainty in life, I personally would rather be safe than sorry. If that means someone else must wait until (god forbid) the May 15th date to get off a waitlist, I'm sorry, but it's no later than everyone else gets to hear back.

    4/29/08 - Withdrew from Case today, after seeing my financial aid information - no need-based money at all! 45k of loans a year? I don't think so. I did genuinely like the people at Case though, they all seemed really down to earth, I just didn't like Cleveland very much.

    4/24/08 - Lol that was fast, I got a response from UMich saying that they will not be offering me any scholarship money. Oh well, it was worth a shot. That's one thing I did like a lot about Michigan, the fact that their admissions team is so candid about everything and never leaves you hanging onto false hope.

    4/23/08 - I got a nice little birthday email from UMich today. Which reminded me to write an update letter to them to ask if maybe they could offer me any scholarship money in light of the other scholarships I've gotten. There's very little chance it will amount to anything, since they didn't offer me anything to begin with, but I figure it really doesn't hurt to ask.

    4/8/08 - Wow, two scholarships in a row... 21k/yr from Case! I'm fairly certain I'd still choose Pitt over Case though. Man...

    4/7/08 - I am so incredibly incredibly overwhelmed about getting this full-tuition scholarship from UPitt! After this entire stupid month of March, there's finally good news for me! I can't describe how happy I feel right now... and unless someone wants to top this offer, I'm pretty positive I'll be going to Pitt this fall (recruitment scholarships work after all!) I wish I had gone to the second look and met my future classmates. I'm so excited right now... never had I ever thought I'd be able to get a full tuition scholarship anywhere, just a partial one at best, and that hope was dashed when UMich snubbed me. I am just speechless right now!

    3/31/08 - So I called the UMich admissions office today because apparently others have been getting emails about merit scholarships since this past Friday. The lady told me all the emails had gone out over the weekend, so if I didn't get one then I didn't get a scholarship (but that as people turn them down more money could come in and be given out). Sigh. I wonder why I didn't qualify for one... I thought they were based on merit and the other acceptances you have. I've got the numbers and the acceptances, but they don't seem to want me badly enough to even offer me even a little bit of money. I give up, this cycle is getting pretty depressing for me now. I was really really hoping for a scholarship UMich, as cost is really important to me... Now I can't even say for sure that I'd be able to go there.

    3/21/08 - Well, the rejection letter came in the mail today. I hadn't realized how selective even the Harvard waitlist was. I feel like some part of me was snuffed out today... Sigh. I just wish it could have ended differently. Now all the decisions are done. I don't know why all the top schools chose not to accept me, but it's clear that there is something lacking in my application, and that would be most likely my extracurricular activities / clinical experience. There's nothing I can do now, but I honestly regret not having decided on medicine sooner. I never knew until last year how competitive it was going to be, how much you needed to 'show' on your application. For someone coming into the game so late, it really put me at a disadvantage, and I know my application must have paled in comparison to those who have had four years of college to build their experiences. Still, I know I'm lucky to have the acceptances I do have, so I will work hard towards my future goals no matter where I go. But for now, grant me the moment to be hugely disappointed, as I have put in a lot of money, effort, and time into this application cycle and had hoped for a different outcome.

    3/20/08 - Just waiting for the Harvard decision to come out this weekend. I will probably get the letter on Saturday or Monday. I'm hoping so much for an acceptance, it is my only school left without a decision. I guess in many ways, I wouldn't be surprised to be either waitlisted or rejected, considering the decisions from all the other top tier schools thus far. But it would really really really lift a huge weight off my back if I could get in. Honestly, at this point, I am willing to take on a brickload of loans just to go here, if only they'd accept me. I started thinking about possibly going to UMich out of the schools that have already accepted me, and I felt a wave of sadness thinking about how far away I'd be from my family. Truly, all my life I've never been far from them, and they are a major part of my support and decision making system. I would love to go to a great school and still stay nearby. I'm trying my best not to get my hopes up too high only to have them dashed in the next few days, but it really is my last chance. Please Harvard... please...

    3/14/08 - Another waitlist (WashU). Apparently them being number whores wasn't enough to accept me, I wonder what was wrong with my application. Still, I sort of saw this coming considering how I interviewed in October and they've been accepting others month after month. Oh, I came home to get the mail and received my Cornell waitlist letter today. Better than a rejection, but it kind of rubs salt in the wound all over again. Sigh, March REALLY sucks.

    3/7/08 - Wow, my luck has completely run out. Ever since my rejection from Stanford... now I've also been not accepted (don't know whether it's waitlist or rejection) from Cornell, just days after Columbia's waitlist. This is a great week... Rejections from UPenn and Yale are just waiting to come in after they release decisions, and I'm honestly not holding my breath for Harvard at this point. It looks like I'm really not cut for the top tier schools, and it stings that having worked so hard to get through this application cycle, and in the end I can't reach my personal goals, my top choices. Cornell was really my tippity top choice after I interviewed there. Sigh. I don't even want to tell my friends and family about this news, because they will just try to make me feel better about it and I don't want to pretend that I'm happy when I'm clearly disappointed.

    3/5/08 - Yup, it's a waitlist from Columbia. Blah. I had a really good interview there too... you just really can't predict anything with these top schools. Now the rest of March is going to be a miserable wait for schools that have the same caliber of applicants...

    3/4/08 - It's funny how you get kind of desensitized after being anxious for too long. I've been waiting for my Columbia decision since they were mailed last Friday... and it's been a long grueling wait. And god only knows when it's going to end! I was super hyped up on Monday, and really bummed out when I got nothing. Today went by a bit smoother, but with still no decision in my hands, I have a feeling tomorrow is going to be dull again. Heck, maybe when I get that waitlist letter I'll be so desensitized that I won't care haha. But really, I'm not expecting much at this point. There is pretty much no way that priority mail wouldn't have reached Boston from NYC by now... I checked my invite letter from Columbia and it was sent on a Friday, received on the following Wednesday/Thursday. Priority mail couldn't possibly be slower than snail mail right? Blah... I wish I wasn't getting myself down about this, but at some point you just realize it's no longer just mail being slow... Well, however this ends, here's to one more day of hoping and praying and crossing all my fingers and toes I guess!

    2/7/08 - I just got back from my Cornell interview earlier this week and I totally fell in love with the place! What an amazing school, with wonderful facilities, guaranteed subsidized housing in a great part of Manhattan, a nice mixture of PBL/lecture, lots of clinical exposure, and great students. I think it could be my new favorite! Unfortunately neither of my interviews there felt great... one was not particularly exciting, and the other was really short. But I can only hope!!! I also canceled my Pritzker interview today, even though I had been waiting for it forever and finally got off the hold list. I just can't afford to pay another $200-300 to fly out there, miss classes and work, for a school that I probably wouldn't choose over some of the ones I've already been accepted to (based on some comparisons between schools and Pritzker, it looks like they have a lecture-heavy curriculum, which I'm not that interested in. Plus, I really don't want a high cost of living or to be in a sketchy part of town if at all possible). I think falling in love with Cornell also helped me decide that I wouldn't be interested in Pritzker... they're practically polar opposites.

    2/2/08 - Well, I got the thin envelope rejection letter from Stanford today. I was really scared at first, then I read it and was really upset and sad at the same time, and then angry. It just hurts so much, and I liked Stanford so much. Out of all the schools I've interviewed at thus far, I could have honestly said Stanford was my favorite of them all. Sigh. I just got such a great vibe from that school, and for the most part, I thought my interviews were fine. I knew I had a lot of what Stanford looks for, but clearly, I wasn't good enough compared to everyone else they saw... and so... not even a waitlist offer. Just straight to rejection. Sigh.

    1/24/08 - As I watch as another wave of female students get expedited acceptances to WashU so that they can apply for the Olin scholarship, I can't help feel sad that I've been passed over time and time and time again at each adcom meeting. I really liked the school, but I honestly feel that one of my two interviews really screwed me over. The sad part is, my other interview was incredible. I was under the impression that being given 2 interviews is part of their quality control process to make sure that newer interviewers are giving accurate reports (my better interview was with the control person, which I had hoped would carry more weight than my shitty interview). But clearly, even being the number whore that it tends to be, WashU has decided that I'm just not good enough for them. I just feel so annoyed that one lukewarm interview, even with a control interview process, could tank me like this. I know I have nothing to complain about regarding my application cycle, but that doesn't mean that I don't take each school's decision personally (how could you not?) And it also scares me because I worry that if I'm not good enough for WashU, then I won't be good enough to get the invite that I'm still waiting for from UPenn or Yale.

    1/22/08 - Wow, a whole 5 months after I first submitted my secondary to Cornell, followed by 2 different emails mentioning that I would be in the area on a certain day, followed by a phone call to verify they had gotten said emails, followed by a freak-out day today when my online status became blank (including a phone call to make sure everything was okay)... I finally finally got an interview invite in the email! I'm so ecstatic! Unfortunately, the dates I was offered (2nd and 3rd weeks of Feb) make traveling and scheduling very difficult for me, since my NYU and AECOM interviews are just prior to it and span over the course of a whole week. I really don't want to take a week-long trip to NYC, as fun as it would be. So I may have to sadly decline my NYU interview and just go for AECOM and Cornell back to back in one trip. I really wanted to interview at NYU... I wish their interview season wasn't so short (1/31 is their very last interview date)!

    1/17/08 - Gah, the dreaded hold from UPenn. I really really wanted to interview there... with a hold so late in the game, there's probably zero chance I will get an invite there. I've been waiting so patiently for them too... Honestly, their secondary doesn't even have extra essays, why did it take them this long to review their apps?

    1/11/08 - After the long lull over winter break (it was, admittedly, very relaxing to not have to worry about the application process for a few weeks), I finally got an invite from U Chicago... after their pre-interview hold status set in during November. I was already pretty sure I wouldn't hear back from them, so I had withdrawn from Northwestern (didn't want to fly out to Chicago if I couldn't interview at both places). So now U Chicago invites me... and the same problem arises haha. I'm not sure yet if I'll take it, the interviews are for early-mid February, and I worry that I will be interviewing for a waitlist spot.

    12/21/07 - Ahhh UPitt acceptance!! One last pleasant surprise before the holidays! I totally thought I bombed the student interview too. Wow, I'm so excited! Now I gotta figure out if I want to apply to their PSTP/CSTP programs at all...

    12/17/07 - Haha NYU just sent me an invite to interview in January, what a surprise! I was sure they had forgotten about me and/or was getting ready to reject me. Apparently I am allowed to pick any date throughout the entire month of January. Choices choices! I'm still trying to see if Cornell will invite me, but the admissions office seems keen on sending out invites closer to the date (I requested 2/04), so I won't really be hearing back anytime soon. Oh I just got back from my Stanford interview this week. I'm in love!!! :D

    11/29/07 - So excited to get an interview invite from Harvard HST! I was offered 1/08, but that conflicted with my Northwestern interview, so I asked for a different date and the admissions lady responded within 10 minutes with alternate dates, so fast! I ended up picking 1/29, and then the lady told me to make sure I check my status with NP admissions so that I could coordinate the interviews. I happen to live in Boston, so it's not an issue for me, but I asked for a status check anyway and got offered a NP interview within an hour of asking! I'm ecstatic! I guess my venting in the previous update really helped haha.

    11/27/07 - Things are good, I finally got my act together and completed myself at UMass (state school!) and got an invite very quickly thereafter. I guess everyone else already submitted way before me haha. I'm getting a little antsy about the big hitters... Harvard, UPenn, Cornell, and Yale. I mean, they're all non-rolling, but if I still don't hear from them in a month I'm sure the interview spots will be filled through March, and then that's the end of that. I definitely shouldn't have submitted so late to them...

    11/21/07 - Dartmouth!!! I never thought I'd get two acceptances in two days, this totally just made my Thanksgiving break! All great schools, all very different, all very exciting!! :)

    11/20/07 - So excited about UMich!!! They have the funniest little video acceptance, I love the admissions committee sense of humor at this school :) And they're pretty candid about their admissions process, which is so nice.

    11/01/07 - I just got my very first acceptance, from Rochester! I'm so excited I can barely focus on anything else! :) It really eased my stress levels because really this whole process has been just awfully stressful. Now I can go on with the rest of my application process with a little bit of weight lifted off my shoulders, and Rochester is a great school!

    Since my last update I interviewed at WashU and Dartmouth, both of which were awesome, though both quite different. WashU had a fantastic new medical school building for the 1st and 2nd years, and the hospitals were great, but the city is a little bit blah despite its size. Dartmouth on the other hand is in the most beautiful place, with some amazing laid-back people, but like many Ivy schools the deceptive exterior of the school and the beauty of the campus hides the lacking interior... the old classrooms, small spaces & windows, just general old-ness. The hospital there is pretty unique, it looks a lot like a shopping mall and has a lot of bright light coming in from windows. However, it's a more quiet hospital than one you'd expect to see in a big city, and there is a complete lack of ethnic diversity in the area and the hospital.

    10/24/07 - It's been a pretty hectic month... I got 7 total interviews scheduled right now, and just got my first rejection yesterday, from BU. The first one always kind of stings, but what can you do? At least I'm getting back on top of my secondaries again, only 2 left to submit! I also had my first interview last week at Rochester, and I loved it there! The interviews were very relaxed, and the people were great. The town is a little bit dull, but I'm used to that kind of environment.

    10/05/07 - Yay I got an invite from Washington University today! It's a long flight out there, but I'm excited! :)

    10/04/07 - More than halfway through the secondaries now! Only 6 left to send in... Four interview invites so far. I just have to be patient I guess, but it's so hard!

    8/28/07 - My school's careers office sent out my LORs electronically probably today or so. So any of my applications will be complete today or later (for clarification, dates above are dates of submission and not completion).

    8/24/07 - Took a photo and got it printed out at Walgreens for the snail mail secondaries that require photographs. Today I'm sending off the secondaries for AECOM, Dartmouth, and the photo for Columbia. Currently done with submitting 7 secondaries. Almost halfway there!

    8/14/07 - Yay finally verified by AMCAS! They raised my GPAs also b/c my high school college courses were counted as part of my undergraduate GPA. Got only one secondary today though, from Case Western. 2 week deadline, yuck.

    8/10/07 - Finished Columbia's secondary and will be submitting it online today. LORs and photos are still going to take a little while, especially since I'm getting an update LOR from my PI.

    8/07/07 - Got Dartmouth's snail mail secondary, and an email invite to the BU online secondary. Still not verified yet *sigh*. Hope to be soon though. I changed my BCPM after actually calculating it out again it turns out that it's a little bit higher than my cumulative GPA.

    8/01/07 - Received secondary invitation from WashU via snail mail, telling us to access the secondary online (isn't that silly). There are no required essays, just an optional essay that I haven't decided if I can fill out yet. WashU requires a Dean's certification though, so I have to go through some paperwork to get that. Still working on Columbia's secondary... will try to get it done this weekend.

    7/25/07 - Got an email invitation to Columbia's secondary. All of the schools I applied to have unscreened secondaries, so I just have to wait for them to roll in.

    7/24/07 - Submitted my primary, finally! I can't believe that I waited 3 days for my school's careers office staff to critique the PS and turns out they had poor advice. Yeah, no thanks. I also removed Brown from my list and replaced it with University of Rochester, after realizing that Brown takes most of its class from its BS/MD program and other special programs affiliated with surrounding colleges. I'm not competing with other people for only 40 spots. I guess now it's time to relax a little before starting secondaries :/

    7/21/07 - Got my PS to fit the 5300 char limit! Finally! It's been such a grueling process. I can't wait to get my AMCAS out for review, I feel so behind hearing about how people have already gotten their secondaries and sent them in, and even gotten interview invites. I have to get this primary app out of my hands if I want to get moving!

    7/20/07 - Personal statement is almost done. It's only 700 characters over the limit now. I'm a bit stuck on it though, I really don't know how to cut out that many more characters without losing content. I decided to remove UCSD from my list. My careers office told me that my weakness in ECs will not get me a spot in any of the UCs. Still considering going with the rest for now.

    7/10/07 - Mostly finished with AMCAS, I just need to finish my personal statement which is currently twice as long as it's allowed to be... yikes. I also need to finalize my list of schools (above), if anyone can give suggestions that would be great. I want to limit myself to 20 schools and I would prefer to stay on the east coast or the west coast as a second choice. I feel like my list right now is a bit top-heavy, but I also don't want to waste too much money on safer schools either. Please help!

    7/6/07 - Just got my MCAT retake score back. I absolutely can't believe my eyes! I went from a 31 (April 7th, 2007) to a 41 (May 31st, 2007)!!

    Applied, Withdrew

    Duke University

    Application Complete, Rejected

    Boston University
    University of Pennsylvania
    Yale University

    Attended Interview, Rejected

    Harvard University
    Stanford University

    Attended Interview, Withdrew

    New York University
    Albert Einstein of Yeshiva University
    Northwestern University
    University of Chicago

    Attended Interview, Waitlisted

    Columbia University
    Cornell University
    Mount Sinai School of Medicine

    Accepted off Waitlist

    Washington University in St. Louis


    Case Western Reserve University
    University of Michigan
    University of Pittsburgh
    University of Massachusetts
    University of Rochester
    Dartmouth College

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