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Posts Tagged ‘SDN’

My First Interview Invite!!!

In applying to med school, interviews on August 29, 2009 at 11:06 pm

I’ve been meaning to post prior to this, but I’ve been uber busy with my new job and getting acclimated to my new routine.  However, I do have some great news!  This past Thursday, I received my first interview invite!! I actually received two that day, but found out about the second one much later.  Guess which school, of all the schools I’ve applied to, heard my cry?  Tulane! Waaaay down in New Orleans.  Ha.  If you all knew how much of a Northern girl I am, you’d probably chuckle at the thought of me applying to Tulane.  But, as I previously stated (or did I?), I thoroughly researched the programs at every single US accredited medical school and selected the programs I felt were most aligned with my personality, learning style, and career goals.  As it just so happens, Tulane aligned rather well with those items.  Plus, I know it’s the South, but New Orleans is such a unique city.  I’ve never been, but at least in my mind, I picture it a culturally rich town full or character…lol  This coming in the wake of the 4th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina (shame how devastated some of the area still is…thank you, George Dubbya and FEMA)  Granted, as a friend put it, I’ll need some intense A/C and a tazzer, but I think I could handle it.  So begins the intense preparation for the interview…

To all the anxious pre-meds that might ever read this, either now or in the future – nothing will decrease your anxiety during this process like the receipt of an interview invite.  I was such a wreck before this invite: compulsively checking my e-mail and med school status pages.  After I got the first invite (which I got while doing work in Barnes & Noble, causing me to silently wig-out for a good 30sec…lol), I immediately stopped checking my inbox.  In fact, had I not been on SDN that day, and been tipped off that my second invite school (Drexel) was posting invites on-line, I probably still wouldn’t know I had an interview there!  It’s like an enormous weight has been lifted from my shoulders.  I know this isn’t it, and that I must put a lot of work into these interviews, but it feels nice to know I actually have a shot.  I’m not naive.  I know that right after the interviews, the anxiety is probably going to shoot right back up until I hear whether I got hit with the acceptance, waitlist, or rejection.  But, for now, I’m sitting on Cloud 9!  Shoot, I even got rejected from Georgetown the next day (imo, their loss, not mine – it’s expensive too!) and hardly batted an eye.  I’m not going to lie, the first rejection stings a little, but having an interview invite or two to soften the blow is rather nice 🙂

Next up: finding a summer skirt suit for interviews and prepping for the multitude of potential interview questions!  I’m pumped.

Stay blessed everyone!

Noticing a Mistake too Late…

In applying to med school on August 18, 2009 at 8:24 pm

…can lead to panic!

But before that, a little more about myself.  I am a slightly non-traditional student.  I completed my undergraduate studies in 2007 and took some time off out of shear exhaustion.  I had overextended myself in undergrad with numerous activities, ridiculous schedules, partying, and no sleeping.  Before I continued on my path to the M.D., I wanted to take a breathe, re-evaluate my life, make sure this was the calling God has on my life (I had other interests I was considering), and just rest.  Some might look down upon my decision, but wouldn’t you prefer a doctor who thoroughly thinks out their decisions rather than rushing headlong into whatever is before them? I think so.

Anywho, when you add in trips, various employment, and full-time enrollment in a post-bacc and such, it is easy to forget everything you did in undergrad.  Today, I finally received my Drexel secondary and was in a rush to hurry up and submit it.  I quickly sped through it until I got to the various activities section.  After making a side list of all my activities, and filling in the different sections (i.e. medical volunteering, employment, and other volunteering) I realized that more than one of these I neglected to put on my AMCAS primary application. Ut-oh…oh no! No no no no noooooooo!

Am I subconsciously sabotaging myself?!?  I compared my Drexel list to my AMCAS list and then felt like an idiot.  I hope Drexel does not doubt the legitimacy of my involvement in these other activities.  So, you might be asking why I neglected to put these activities on AMCAS.  I think it was a combination of reasons.  First, some were from freshman year (’03), which was all of an eternity ago.  Since then, more important info has been stuffed into my brain. Secondly, I only put the activities down on AMCAS that were substantial to me.  While I might have a shorter list than some, most of my activities are 3+ years of involvement with leadership positions, I am hoping that will speak to my dedication and not to a lack of interest.

As I look around on SDN – such a love-hate relationship, I swear – and MDapplicants I see similar applicants with comparable marks getting interviews already.  You already know what thoughts are racing through my mind… What differentiates us?  Why are the AdComs un-responsive to my application?  Should I have been less honest and open in my secondary responses?  Was I not personable enough? And lastly, especially for applications with few-to-no essays,  Are they not even giving my secondary a real look because my primary isn’t interesting enough to them??? Ahhhhhhhhhhhh!  While I try to stay as positive as possible through it all, I’m not even going to lie; among the first emotional flashes I get is jealousy.  But, that’s just man’s flesh and sin nature lashing out.  I try as best I can to quickly squash that and go back to being happy for those who’ve received their invites.  I just have to hold on to my promises from God and know that in due time, which is in His time, I too will reap the fruits of my labor.  After all, all I need is just one door to open, just one interview, and just one acceptance.  God knows the school He has for me, and who’s to say He’s not going to make the final decision simpler for me by just opening up one school for me?  Only time will tell…

The Idle Mind

In applying to med school on August 12, 2009 at 2:01 pm

I should be doing work right now.  But, since my boss has yet to send us our next project to work on, I’m sitting here in front of my Mac, shiftlessly searching through the internet for entertainment – and you know how that always ends…right back on MDapplicants and StudentDoctorNetwork (SDN).  I have successfully worked myself into a miniature nervous panic.

I submitted early, which is supposedly good – but will this backfire? Should I have waited until I secured a full-time job before I submitted secondaries?  Should I not have discussed my job leads on my secondaries?  At the time, the job leads seemed like guarantees, but both fell through (through no fault of my own).  My thought process was that I’d rather write about my potential leads (discussing them as so), than have nothing to put down in the “what are your plans for the upcoming application cycle if you are no longer in school,” which might have made me come across as a slacker.  Are the update letters I am drafting good enough to compensate for that change in information?  Am I panicking for nothing? Probably.  Should I have waited until mid-late summer to verify my AMCAS so that I could add certain activities to the application (like clinic volunteering, more doctor shadowing, etc.)?? Will my applying early and having to send update letters back fire and simply extend my application process by months instead of making it less stressful?  Will I have been complete to most schools by July, only to be put on hold for re-review in December??  Ahhhhh!

While the “hold” category is the equivalent of being in purgatory, it is certainly much better than a flat-out rejection (blessed to say I haven’t received one of those yet this application cycle).  However, I am highly uncomfortable in this limbo.  It’s like, I’m not quite good or interesting enough for the school to want to take the next step in getting to know me by inviting me to interview, but they don’t dislike me.  Having applied earlier than most, my hold category is more along the lines of, “we want to wait and see the caliber of other applicants that are applying and see how you stack up against them.”  If our economy wasn’t so horrible and I know people who might have normally taken time off are now applying directly because they know finding a job is tough, competition is tight!  How do I guarantee I get out of this sticky hold category? How do I ensure the AdComs are going to really re-read my application and my desire to attend their school?  I suppose the answer lies in update letters.  I just need to keep letting them know things I am doing that will increase my exposure, and remember to throw in a line or two about how the experience relates to my desire to attend their institution.  Dammit, early holds!  I have this unjustified feeling that they are going to set my file away and then accidentally forget to ever pick it up again 😦

In other news…I wanted to pull a Ghost Dad and reach through the internet and punch this kid in the throat last night on SDN.  Someone had posted a topic asking for advice on how to answer the “how would you bring diversity to our school?” essay question. The first answer was by this fool who said – let me just quote him:

Because I am a white male and really the only thing I can contribute to diversity is that I speak German, I added a funny bit at the end about how my town holds a record for something that is stupid.  I mentioned things about sports and volunteering and blah stuff, but I felt that its nothing that is actually diverse so I thought it would be funny and a change of pace for the adcoms. I havent received an interview yet though so i wouldnt really recommend it. But what do they really expect from a white male, the most discriminated group in the US now?

I absolutely detest the bitter.  In what world is the white male, the perpetuator and initiator of racism and prejudice throughout the world, throughout history, the most discriminated group?!?  Don’t even get me started on the silliness entitled “reverse racism.”