In this series of articles, I will be sharing excerpts of case studies on several of my former students (with their permission, of course). Names and other identifying information have been changed, but the material facts — MCAT score, GPA, etc. — are unchanged. The full case studies are published in my book, Pre-Med Success Stories.
I’ll present each case study in three parts — an introduction of the student, followed by an in-depth assessment of the student’s profile and chances for admission to medical school, and then finally I’ll explain what happened to the student once s/he applied.
In this article, I will finish up a three-part series on a student of mine named Sara.
Part III — So, How’d Sara Do?
Sara’s MCAT score undoubtedly held her back. She applied to 14 schools, but I was happy to know she was accepted to at least two of them: the University of Illinois College of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at UMDNJ. She was also waitlisted at the University of California, Davis, School of Medicine and the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.
Sara had a lot going for her. She is hard-working and open to the influences of those around her. Because she was one of the first in her family to attend college, she was under tremendous pressure — and she dealt with this by surrounding herself with mentors she could understand. These were usually people from her minority advancement programs. In the end, Sara, although happy, received fewer acceptances than she anticipated. And this was not because she didn’t have many interviews — instead, Sara was too single-minded during them. She watched closely and laughed whenever I did; she groomed herself to know her story flawlessly, but overdoing this might have made her seem stiff to interviewers.
Even after working with Sara for several weeks, I still was not sure if I knew the authentic personality behind her achievements. Her interviewers might have seen this as well and this likely accounted for some schools turning her down. Regardless, Sara was happy with her acceptances and I’m, too, happy she can continue on to pursue medicine.
Want to Read More about Sara’s Story?
There is plenty more about Sara and case-studies like hers in my book, Pre-Med Success Stories. You might find it useful in making your own application to medical school.