2005 Johns Hopkins Med School Admissions Chat with Paul White

2005 Johns Hopkins Med School Admissions Chat with Paul White

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 5:09:39 PM)
First I want to welcome you all to Accepted.com's Johns Hopkins Medical School Admissions Chat.

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 5:09:46 PM)
I also want to welcome Paul White, Director of Admissions; Kimi Kobayashi, Hopkins student; Sangini Shah, Hopkins student; and Roberto Villegas, Hopkins medical student.

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 5:10:03 PM)
As I continue my little intro, could each of the Hopkins students tell us a little about yourself: What year of medical school are you in? Where are you from? What is your particular focus/goal in medical school?

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:11:11 PM)
I am a first year medical student. I grew up in LA, went to school in SF, came back to LA for five years, and am now in Baltimore.

SanginiShahHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:11:49 PM)
I'm also a first year and I grew up in North Stonington, CT. I went to college in CT and was in NYC last year doing a public affairs fellowship.

cbare (May 25, 2005 5:12:25 PM)
What qualifies as "disadvantaged?" My family got food stamps after my parents were divorced. I worked from age 16 with some of the money going to college costs. I got Stafford loans and Pell Grants for college. Should I designate myself as "disadvantaged" on AMCAS?

jonsir (May 25, 2005 5:13:18 PM)
What do you think is the main thing(s) that got you into JH med school?

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 5:13:34 PM)
For the students: Why did you choose Hopkins? Is it meeting your expectations?

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:13:36 PM)
AMCAS leave it up to the individual as to whether he/she is disadvantaged. If you check yes, you then have the opportunity to explain how you see yourself as disadvantaged.

venus (May 25, 2005 5:14:03 PM)
How do you view reapplicants? Do you keep the past applications and compare how they have changed?

cbare (May 25, 2005 5:14:17 PM)
Thank you Paul. The difficulty is that I really don't feel disadvantaged, since most everybody in the 70's got food stamps in upstate NY.

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:14:19 PM)
Jonsir - I don't think that there was anything in particular that helped me get accepted. I would say that it was kind of the whole package really. Kind of a broad answer, but I also think that I had specific goals and direction to what I wanted to accomplish. I was kind of non-traditional, so I think my experiences really helped shape that.

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:15:00 PM)
To answer Venus: we do see re-applicants all the time. If the student applied in the previous year, we compare applications to see what has changed.

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 5:15:22 PM)
Which is more important in the admissions process: the MCAT or the GPA?

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:15:25 PM)
Cbare: that is your call.

venus (May 25, 2005 5:15:52 PM)
Paul: How about if I applied in 2002. Do you still have my application and will you compare the two? Do you suggest a completely new personal statement and letters of recommendation?

mindless (May 25, 2005 5:16:10 PM)
Paul: How do you view applicants younger than 19?

SanginiShahHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:16:21 PM)
Jonsir- I'm not sure what the main thing(s) were either. I have a strong interest in public health and how that intersects with medicine and a lot of my application reflected that. I think that is maybe received well at Hopkins. I also had a really good time with one of my interviewers.

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:16:42 PM)
Venus: It would be off-site. It is possible to retrieve it, but not quite as easily done as one would think.

jonsir (May 25, 2005 5:16:43 PM)
Students: Are there many nontraditionals in JH?

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:16:58 PM)
Jonsir - What do you mean by non-traditional?

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 5:17:22 PM)
Roberto, I believe you used the term above.

jonsir (May 25, 2005 5:18:06 PM)
Nontraditional applicant.

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:18:07 PM)
Mindless: We do not formally track age, so it depends on how one would define non-traditional. For instance, if you mean how many have done something else before attending Hopkins Med, the answer is about 45-49% were out for at least one year before coming to JHU.

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:18:13 PM)
Linda, I guess I would define it as people who had careers before going into medicine, but that is definitely not the only definition used.

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 5:18:27 PM)
Very true.

cbare (May 25, 2005 5:18:38 PM)
General med school curriculum question: What sort of time off is there? Should I spend summers in lab rotations or volunteering?

SanginiShahHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:19:25 PM)
About the MCAT vs GPA question. I think even that depends. If you were a science major then I'd always been told that strong grades could counter not as strong scores. Also, I think the more time you have out of school, the more your experiences matter in addition to your grades. Roberto might have more to say on that though.

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:20:27 PM)
cabre: Hopkins students have the first summer off after the first year of study. Once they are second year students, they go right through the summer (or take time to study for the boards). Our second year formally begins around April 1, so it is possible to finish in March of your Fourth Year.

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 5:20:50 PM)
Roberto and Sangini: What are Johns Hopkins strengths, and what needs to be improved?

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:21:29 PM)
Linda - good question. I could go on for pages about each of those...

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:21:35 PM)
Sangini is correct that strong grades AND strong course selection can offset less than stellar MCATs.

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 5:21:37 PM)
We have time. :-)

James (May 25, 2005 5:21:48 PM)
Paul: Do you consider the grading system of different undergraduate institutions separately? If so, what factors do you use to determine this?

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 5:22:21 PM)
Welcome Kimi. I'm glad you can join us.

KimiKobayashiHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:22:37 PM)
Thanks, I'll be putting in my comments soon, I'm still trying to catch up.

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5 :22:42 PM)
Strength - I like the flexibility in the curriculum. There are very few schools that can match that, with the only exception perhaps being Yale with regard to time and how it is spent. Weakness - I don't know if this is a weakness per se, but I think you have to be proactive here. That applies to meeting people, setting up infrastructure for programs, etc. It really is about what you want to achieve and how badly you want to do it.

SanginiShahHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:23:21 PM)
Linda - in terms of strengths, I've thoroughly enjoyed my fellow classmates. That might be because I was worried about being in a competitive environment...but it's been the complete opposite. Between the collaborative and sharing environment created by my class and the flexible curriculum Roberto mentioned, I've found it easy to be involved in a lot of other things that interest me and not feel the pressure to only study.

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:23:25 PM)
James: we become familiar with grading systems from schools where we tend to get lots of applicants. However, it is impossible for us to try and second guess each and every school out there. That is why we use the MCAT, which is standardized.

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 5:23:51 PM)
Paul, do you prefer applicants with a background in research?

jonsir (May 25, 2005 5:24:30 PM)
Paul, this question is related to my last question.: How important is knowledge of lab techniques/bench-work once one is in med school? (e.g. knowledge of how to run Northern Blots, PCR, etc...)

KimiKobayashiHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:24:45 PM)
Strengths - The faculty are all really welcoming. No matter what your ideas are you can usually find a faculty member to take you on, whether it be research, or doing a community project. Weakness - The lack of more clinical experience during first year. It would be nice to learn more clinical skills that could be used either in the community or when working (shadowing) faculty members.

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:24:46 PM)
Jonsir, no- only if you are applying for the MD/PhD. Otherwise, research is not a requirement for admission to the MD program.

venus (May 25, 2005 5:25:12 PM)
Paul: What do you look for in a personal statement?

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:25:32 PM)
Roberto: I like to think our students are fairly entrepreneurial.

brian (May 25, 2005 5:25:39 PM)
Sangini: Where are you doing your MPH at?

SanginiShahHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:26:02 PM)
I would also completely echo what Roberto and Kimi are saying.

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:26:04 PM)
Venus: It should be well-written and it give us a sense of why you are interested in medicine.

SanginiShahHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:26:16 PM)
I'm actually not doing my MPH right now. I hope to at some point to do it. Hopkins would be a great place to do it but I'm still trying to figure out when I want to do it.

venus (May 25, 2005 5:26:18 PM)
Paul, do I need a new personal statement and LOR's if I'm reapplying? (This is from Venus who applied in 2002.)

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 5:27:00 PM)
Paul, I have never thought of doctors as "Entrepreneurial."

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:27:03 PM)
Actually, I would slightly counter the clinical aspect that Kimi alluded to. I feel like I have gotten a lot of clinical experience, but that is mainly due to the preceptor that I have rather than a structural/institutional thing.

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:27:18 PM)
Venus: Absolutely. If you were not admitted with the previous essays, etc,. then definitely consider writing new ones.

venus (May 25, 2005 5:27:28 PM)
Can you elaborate on how students would be entrepreneurial?

KimiKobayashiHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:27:41 PM)
Well, I was more referring to the fact that our clinical skills education is dependent on individual experiences. So I'm similar to Roberto; I have gotten a lot of useful skills with my preceptor, but I know some of our classmates have not had similar experiences.

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:28:19 PM)
Kimi - exactly what I was trying to say, only not as concise as you.

jasS (May 25, 2005 5:28:20 PM)
Kimi, Roberto, and Sangini: Are students given mentors/clinicians to shadow in their first year?

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:28:25 PM)
Linda: I mean this in the broadest sense: our students are extremely motivated to make things happen. That is how they were as undergrads, and why they succeed as medical students and ultimately MDs.

KimiKobayashiHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:28:43 PM)
jasS: Yes and mine was awesome.

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 5:29:04 PM)
Paul: Frequently applicants are told that they should include in their personal comments section the typical elements of personal interest/unique quality, volunteer experience, and research. I have also heard admissions people say they're sick of the formulaic approach to the personal comments section. These adcom members encourage applicants to focus on what's really important to them and not feel compelled to include what others consider standard. In essence they encourage the applicants to take a risk and be distinctive by insuring that the rest of the AMCAS application contains the standard fare, but that the AMCAS essay is different. What do you recommend?

SanginiShahHOPKINS ( May 25, 2005 5:29:08 PM)
One other weakness that has affected our class is that we haven't had an advising system this year, however that is significantly changing since they are about to put a new system in place.

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 5:29:12 PM)
Excuse the length of that question.

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:29:18 PM)
jasS - we are assigned preceptors to shadow. You can choose the area that you are interested in. For instance, mine works in the ER.

jasS (May 25, 2005 5:29:24 PM)
Were you able to choose a field?

SanginiShahHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:29:57 PM)
My preceptor experience was slightly different from Kimi and Roberto's. There is a small program called Intro to Community Medicine. There were about 10 of us in that and our preceptorships were in nontraditional sights and many of us did not have physicians as preceptors. For example, my site was at a free clinic run by nursing students. I did not get much clinical exposure but did do a lot of patient education. As we've mentioned before, it's all about what you are willing to seek out, so a lot of people have simply emailed various physicians and been able to shadow them, separate from their preceptors.

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:30:02 PM)
jasS - Yes, I specified ER since I felt it would be a great way to see different types of medicine (OB/GYN, IM, Surgery, etc.)

KimiKobayashiHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:30:05 PM)
jasS: I think the faculty that tend to decide to come back to work the Introduction to Clinical Medicine course (the preceptorship course) are good teachers.

cbare (May 25, 2005 5:30:12 PM)
Students: How about work during med school? Do students get part time jobs?

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:30:27 PM)
Linda: I recommend that students write about why they want medicine. Do not cram in all of your research, volunteer, experiences, etc . They need to save something for the interview.

jasS (May 25, 2005 5:30:48 PM)
Paul: I'm sure you have many applicants with high GPA and MCAT. What are the most important attributes you look for other than that?

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:31:01 PM)
cbare - Yes. I do work now and then, but scheduling is the main issue.

KimiKobayashiHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:31:05 PM)
cbare - for me, I've decided to spend my time doing stuff around school and in the community instead of working. One of my roommates is really actively involved with teaching for Kaplan and I would say that it's a major time commitment for him.

jasS (May 25, 2005 5:31:13 PM)
Paul: What kind of clinical and life experiences help to set an applicant apart from the rest of the pool? Could you give an example?

KimiKobayashiHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:31:39 PM)
I've heard very good things about the program that Sangini is talking about from my roommate, who was in the program.

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:31:54 PM)
jasS: Commitment to medicine, leadership, motivation, personality, etc are all key to being invited to interview. Recommendations are very important, as well.

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:32:08 PM)
I also participated in the program that Sangini was talking about, and I recommend it completely. It's not perfect but definitely a good one.

LadyBulldog (May 25, 2005 5:32:27 PM)
Students: Are there any international opportunities at JHU?

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:33:40 PM)
Lady - Yes. With Bloomberg, there are tons. It's just a matter of finding an area and professor that you are interested in working with.

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:33:41 PM)
jasS: Most prospective students have had similar experiences, which is okay. However, occasionally we see students who have had long-term commitments where they have made a difference.

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 5:34:00 PM)
Roberto, Sangini, and Kimi: What do you wish you had done to make your transition to medical school easier? Did you do anything especially effective that helped you?

KimiKobayashiHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:34:40 PM)
lady - I know that there are about 8 of our classmates who are going to countries this summer like Tanzania, China, Guatemala just for a single program that is international. There are a ton of other people going other places on various other programs.

SanginiShahHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:35:07 PM)
lady--I'm actually going to South Africa for the summer. It's through a professor at the school of public health and I'll be working on a research project there for 9 weeks.

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:35:14 PM)
In terms of international experiences, we have exchanges with numerous schools/hospitals abroad. A good number do their rotations internationally.

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:35:39 PM)
Linda - I wish I would have taken more time to make the transition. I was coming from LA and teaching all summer and then got here. I wish I would have taken more time to bring out my car, explore the city more, etc.

KimiKobayashiHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:36:40 PM)
In terms of transition - what really helped was the fact that I took my summer before med school off which allowed me to spend a lot of time with my friends back home before coming out to school. It also helped that i had some time to clear my head.

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:36:44 PM)
I also was set up to go to South Africa with a professor from the SPH. However, family considerations didn't make it too feasible.

cbare (May 25, 2005 5:37:10 PM)
Students: What is the stress level on student's families?

KimiKobayashiHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:38:00 PM)
One of the things that I liked the most about the first year is that they start you off really nice (course load wise) so that you don't feel overwhelmed at the beginning, then they ramped up the work gradually over the year. I think the stress level in general is really not too bad among our class, although I do understand that this is an individual thing.

SanginiShahHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:38:13 PM)
Linda - honestly, I would suggest that if you have free time before coming to med school, to use it to see people or do things you might not be able to take time to do later. I spent a good amount of the summer visiting my family in India and then with my family and friends here.

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:38:28 PM)
cbare - This is kind of what I was alluding to earlier. The curriculum in the first year is very flexible, which helps with the stress level. As for the rotations, I can speak directly, but there will most likely be times when time becomes scarce. I mean, it is medical school to some degree.

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 5:39:42 PM)
Roberto, you've mentioned flexibility a number of times. Johns Hopkins emphasizes the flexibility in its program. What has that flexibility meant for you?

brian (May 25, 2005 5:40:32 PM)
Paul: Does an English and Bio-science double major have an advantage in the admissions process?

KimiKobayashiHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:41:12 PM)
Flexibility for me means that there is freedom for me to pursue my interests and ideas as much as I can. It also means that I am free to learn in whatever format I want. Also, if you are the type of person who likes everything printed out, you are free to do so, and if you like textbooks you can also use those instead of simply relying on the provided notes. There is no "one textbook" or "one way to learn" it's very individual, and it also varies from class to class. During anatomy I worked in groups a lot and lately, I've been using textbooks a lot more than I used to.

SanginiShahHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:41:25 PM)
The flexibility has allowed me to have time to get involved in a lot of community service. It's allowed me to learn how to study in med school and try out different things. It also allows you to be flexible with your personal schedule. I think it's probably a lot easier to leave for a weekend here if you have to and still do perfectly fine.

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:41:29 PM)
Linda - Well... The online posting of your lectures makes it very easy to do things during normal business hours. You can "skip" class, do work at a center or whatever, and then come back that night and watch the lectures.

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:41:53 PM)
Brian: Why would this student have an advantage? It will come down to what he/she has done with the curriculum and all of the other good things we look for (see above). Put another way, this student isn't at an advantage or disadvantage.

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 5:41:54 PM)
That's making it clearer.

Bubba (May 25, 2005 5:42:17 PM)
Paul: If I'm a reapplicant and my MCAT's were my only problem, should I redo my personal statement and maybe mention my improvement in there?

venus (May 25, 2005 5:43:19 PM)
So the curriculum is systems based, correct?

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:43:50 PM)
Bubba: Its your call. But how do you know it was only your MCATs? I mean that respectfully, since it is never just one thing.

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 5:44:21 PM)
What is the adcom looking for in an MD/PHD essay?

KimiKobayashiHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:44:43 PM)
venus - the curriculum is a "block schedule" which means that we take a class (epidemiology, anatomy, neuroscience) sequentially, but ONE AT A TIME. We don't have histology on top of anatomy on top of physiology.

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:44:51 PM)
Venus - sort of. If you are talking about organ systems, then that is more seen in the second year. I would say for first year, it is more "block"

rrp (May 25, 2005 5:45:05 PM)
Students: How feasible is it for students to do research during the 1st and 2nd years? Is it something most people do over the summer in between, rather than during the school years themselves?

SanginiShahHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:45:44 PM)
There are a few people in our class that have been doing research all year, which is another benefit of the flexible curriculum.

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:45:59 PM)
rrp - During the first year, it is very feasible. In fact, depending on your background, it may be the best time to do it. Second year, from what we hear, is a bit more intense and outside activities tend to fall.

KimiKobayashiHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:46:07 PM)
rrp - I actually had to start my summer research project early and am in the middle of trying to balance both. I have to say that it's not that bad, but you have to be good at time management.

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:46:26 PM)
The MD/PhD Committees look for strong backgrounds in research and the essay should clearly state what your role has been with a lab, etc. You need to explain success and failures, as succinctly as possible.

mindless (May 25, 2005 5:46:46 PM)
Paul: how do you view younger applicants, applicants younger then 19?

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:47:29 PM)
mindless: we do not discriminate based on age. The bar is the same, no higher, and no lower.

James (May 25, 2005 5:47:31 PM)
This question hits some various points: I'm currently in the position where I can work at the hospital as a trained staff member or work towards research at my university. My great dilemma is that I love working in the hospital but I also am considering the M.D./PhD track so do you have any recommendations in terms of what I should pursue? Secondly, for the students, what would you recommend based on you medical education far?

mindless (May 25, 2005 5:48:02 PM)
Paul: what would make you overlook a low MCAT subsection score, say an 8 on verbal?

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:48:30 PM)
James: if you truly want an MD/PhD, then you must have research experience.

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:50:03 PM)
Mindless: t estaments from your recommenders that you write and communicate exceptionally well (and excellent grades in English and other Humanities).

KimiKobayashiHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:50:22 PM)
James - I guess my question to you would be why do you want to pursue an MD/PhD? Is it the love of research or something else? Could you clarify?

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:50:33 PM)
James - I think that is a common problem for many students, although not always clinical vs. research. A lot of us have a lot of interest, and it basically comes down to making decisions based on your priorities and interests.

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 5:50:34 PM)
Paul, how can applicants compensate for low grades or a low MCAT? At what point do they need to start compensating? Can a student compensate for a low score in one section of the MCAT?

venus (May 25, 2005 5:51:21 PM)
Paul: For the MD/PhD program, are you looking more for basic science research experience or is clinical and translational ok?

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:52:07 PM)
Linda: it is very difficult to compensate for low grades: they are what they are. But high grades can compensate for low MCATs, as long as they aren't ridiculously low.

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 5:52:31 PM)
What is ridiculously low?

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:53:08 PM)
Venus: typically, basic research, but we do see (and admit) students with excellent clinical research experiences.

James (May 25, 2005 5:53:24 PM)
I've had about a semester of experience with research and enjoy it thoroughly. However, it is quite apparent that the feeling I get from research is quite different from how I feel while working in the hospital. I guess to a certain extent I don't feel the great satisfaction but inevitably I feel excited for the field of research and its potent ial.

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:54:55 PM)
Linda: Lets just say it would be safe to say a D average is ridiculously low, though I do see students who apply with such averages. Or more like C minus. These students are just being unrealistic.

KimiKobayashiHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:55:25 PM)
James - well I think one thing you have to consider is that you can do a lot of research without being in the full MD/PhD program so I guess, like Roberto said, it just comes down to whether your interest is strong enough that you would want to spend the time to go through the program.

cbare (May 25, 2005 5:55:38 PM)
Paul: What about recommendation letters from non-science professors? It seems that I can no longer contact my history professors from 14 years ago. Is a package of only science and composite letters viewed with suspicion?

KimiKobayashiHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:56:16 PM)
James - just like you I really like research, but I decided not to do an MD/PhD because I wanted to get my MD degree quickly and figured that I would pursue research later if I felt like it.I knew that for me, patient care was slightly more gratifying so that's the main reason why I went for my MD.

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:57:02 PM)
James - I'd echo Kimi on that.

James (May 25, 2005 5:57:05 PM)
What do you mean by pursue research later?

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:57:43 PM)
cbare: if you have been out for 14 years, I daresay anyone will remember you. My guess is that some of your letters are probably on file. But we will also want to see letters from your employer(s), at least from the last two or three years. We certainly don't think you are the same person you were then as you are now, so we really need to hear why they feel you would be a great fit for Hopkins and for medicine.

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:57:49 PM)
James - There are plenty of good researchers who do research 80/20 who have an MD only. Just depends on where you want your career to go. It's one of the benefits of being in medicine.

KimiKobayashiHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 5:57:51 PM)
James - There are a lot of MD's who actively hold research labs. For example, my journal club leader is a clinician who spends a significant amount of time in the lab doing basic research. If you consider clinical research, then there's a ton of doctors who are very active in research.

venus (May 25, 2005 5:58:41 PM)
Paul: who do you suggest we speak with at JH to get more specific advice on our applications, especially for reapplicants? Do you have a reapplicant support program or programs for minority reapplicants?

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 6:00:10 PM)
Kimi, Roberto, and Sangini: What has been your favorite class? Professor? Program?

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 6:00:36 PM)
Venus: unfortunately, we do not have a specific advisor for reapplicants or minority reapplicants. I suggest you contact your pre-med advisor from your college. If that is not realistic, feel free to write our admissions e-mail account, which is somadmiss@jhmi.edu.

SanginiShahHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 6:01:09 PM)
So I really enjoyed anatomy. I had an awesome anatomy group and I liked the style of learning where it was active and visual.

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 6:01:12 PM)
Linda - Favorite class: tied between neuro and organ systems.

mindless (May 25, 2005 6:01:12 PM)
Paul: Is there a GPA/MCAT cutoff in applications?

KimiKobayashiHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 6:01:17 PM)
Linda - my favorite class has been organ systems.

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 6:01:20 PM)
mindless: no.

KimiKobayashiHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 6:01:48 PM)
Linda - for me, it's been great to learn anatomy earlier, and then to now see how everything works and fits together.

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 6:01:51 PM)
Paul: What is the role of secondary essays in the application process?

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 6:02:04 PM)
It's interesting the diversity of your answers. Are you all first year?

SanginiShahHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 6:02:23 PM)
I have also enjoyed organ systems since it is finally what I expected to learn in med school and is interesting. I also really liked epidemiology. As for professors--it's hard to say because we have so many cycle through for the various classes. There have been some great lecturers but the only ones I feel I've developed a substantial relationship with simply from classes would be some of the anatomy professors and some of the small group discussion leaders we've had.

KimiKobayashiHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 6:02:31 PM)
yes, i'm a first year.

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 6:02:40 PM)
Linda - first year.

SanginiShahHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 6:02:54 PM)
Yes, first year as well.

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 6:03:10 PM)
Linda: We don't have secondary essays. If you mean a secondary application (in addition to the required AMCAS), we ask a few additional questions not asked by AMCAS. Takes minutes to complete, really. The answers are all short-answer style in format.

KimiKobayashiHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 6:03:14 PM)
Sangini, I agree, I realized after epi that I didn't know how to read a journal paper correctly before.

venus (May 25, 2005 6:03:31 PM)
Paul: Is it more important to be creative or is it more important to display deep emotions in a personal statement?

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 6:04:17 PM)
Venus: just be your self.

James (May 25, 2005 6:04:47 PM)
Paul: I'm an undergraduate pursuing a double major in Classics and Biochemistry--I understand that admissions somewhat deals with what field of study you were coming from. Statistically speaking, the admissions rate of science majors is lower than that of non-science majors. As a degree seeker in two different fields, how will my application be affected?

mindless (May 25, 2005 6:04:57 PM)
Students: What are the students like? laidback? workaholics?

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 6:06:01 PM)
Mindless - I think the best word is intense. Not intense in the traditional sense...I mean it in the sense that people are focused. Some people are focused on having fun and enjoying life. Others are focused on community work.

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 6:06:37 PM)
James: the admission rate is probably lower for science majors because so many apply. But don't believe that your chances are any easier as a non-science major: they aren't. It matters little to the committee as to whether you are a single, double or triple major: it's what you have done with the program.

mindless (May 25, 2005 6:07:00 PM)
From what I've been told, your major(s) doesn't matter.

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 6:07:35 PM)
mindless: I would agree. Just do well in whatever it is you choose to major.

DON (May 25, 2005 6:07:49 PM)
What's the acceptance rate in the MD/PhD program for international applicants?

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 6:08:19 PM)
Paul: What is the most common mistake applicants make?

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 6:09:25 PM)
Don: MD/PhD programs that come with MSTP funding from NIH can, by law, not admit non-US citizens (Perm. Res. are okay). The few MD/PhD programs that have corporate money may choose to allot these students funds.

venus (May 25, 2005 6:09:49 PM)
Paul: what do you consider an outstanding letter of recommendation?

KimiKobayashiHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 6:11:38 PM)
mindless - I think the students here are all very sociable people. Honestly, coming in, I thought that everyone would be workaholics here but instead everyone is really fun.

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 6:11:42 PM)
Linda: exaggerating their contributions. They forget we have recommendations to corroborate their statements.

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 6:11:58 PM)
Thank you again all for participating today. Special thanks to Paul, Roberto, Gina, Kimi, and Sangini for taking the time to participate.

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 6:12:07 PM)
We look forward to seeing you at future chats. Right now, we have a chat scheduled with the University of Michigan Medical School on June 8 at 5:00 PM, and there are other medical school admissions chats on the drawing board, but not yet confirmed. If you would like to be added to our pre-med announcement list, please send a blank email to medevent@accepted.com .

robertovillegasHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 6:12:32 PM)
Good luck all...

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 6:12:33 PM)
Please check the Web site (http://www.accepted.com/chat/schedule.aspx#premed ) for details and exact time.

PaulWhiteHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 6:12:55 PM)
One that speaks to the writers knowledge of the student especially well. Thanks and good night.

venus (May 25, 2005 6:13:01 PM)
Thank you.

Linda Abraham (May 25, 2005 6:13:37 PM)
Good luck with your applications!

SanginiShahHOPKINS (May 25, 2005 6:13:45 PM)
Good luck everyone!

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