2007 Michigan Medical School Admissions Chat with Dean Daniel Remick and Robert Ruiz

2007 Michigan Medical School Admissions Chat with Dean Daniel Remick and Robert Ruiz

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 4:51:53 PM)
First I want to welcome you all to Accepted.com's Michigan Medical School Admissions Chat.

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 4:52:02 PM)
I also want to welcome Dr. Daniel Remick, Dean of Admissions at Michigan Medical School and Robert Ruiz, Director of Admissions at Michigan Medical School who have taken time from their busy schedules to join us today.

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 4:52:08 PM)
Thanks to everyone for participating.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 4:52:35 PM)
To clarify, it is the University of Michigan, since there is also Michigan State University. While MSU is an excellent university, it is not the University of Michigan.

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 4:52:36 PM)
We would like to avoid the brief summary of qualifications (or even the long laundry list) followed by "What are my chances" or "Can I get accepted to Michigan?"

stooges287 (May 30, 2006 4:52:55 PM)
Yeah, UofM rocks :)

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 4:53:02 PM)
Dean Dan--what are my chances?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 4:53:07 PM)
And that is U of Michigan, not U of Miami.

Steve Driver (May 30, 2006 4:53:38 PM)
I’m e-mailing from enemy country here at Ohio State. I’m a first year medical student here and am interested in earning a combined MD/MPH. We are free to pursue the one year of MPH training at any school between years two and three of medical school. I’d be very interested in doing this at U of M where I’d find a strong policy program. Any suggestions on maximizing my chances of admission; is there anyone you might refer me to, to point me in the right direction on this?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 4:53:41 PM)
Just kidding...rule number one: Know the name of the school where you are applying! :) Rule number two: Apply EARLY!

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 4:54:13 PM)
The best method to get accepted is to be outstanding.

Claudia Lechuga (May 30, 2006 4:54:26 PM)
Well, speaking of the "apply early" suggestion, I'd met with Mrs. Beland earlier this spring to discuss my application for 2007.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 4:54:32 PM)
Steve Driver: E-mail me tomorrow--I 'm eating dinner now and I'll hook you up with the Director of Admission at our MPH - rfruiz@umich.edu.

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 4:54:38 PM)
Outstanding academically? In research? In clinical background?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 4:54:44 PM)
Not outstanding in every category, but demonstrate a real passion for a particular area. Show leadership, initiative and creativity.

hello101 (May 30, 2006 4:54:59 PM)
Could Dean Remick and Director Ruiz offer us some insight into the waitlist situation for this year? How many students have confirmed their admission?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 4:55:05 PM)
Claudia--is that your real name: Lechuga? you know that means lettuce in Spanish---just a random thought.

Claudia Lechuga (May 30, 2006 4:55:29 PM)
Yes - I am familiar with that. I've gotten that my whole life and I've learned to embrace it.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 4:55:37 PM)
I like lettuce!!

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 4:55:41 PM)
We have defined criteria for who can excel academically, and basically if you have a science GPA >3.2 AND 7 or greater in the scored MCAT sections you will do fine at U of Michigan.

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 4:55:58 PM)
Then how do you choose once the candidates have those numbers?

Claudia Lechuga (May 30, 2006 4:56:10 PM)
Are those stats geared for "doing well" in the admissions process or in med school?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 4:56:12 PM)
We have several hundred people on the waitlist. We anticipate some waitlist movement sometime next week.

kyle (May 30, 2006 4:56:15 PM)
Don't the current students have stats way higher than that? I don't think I would get in too many places with a 21 MCAT and 3.2 GPA.

Claudia Lechuga (May 30, 2006 4:56:30 PM)
From what I've read, the average GPA is 3.7 and average MCAT score is 11.

Steve Driver (May 30, 2006 4:57:00 PM)
Don't mean to be a party pooper but 7 or greater on the scored MCAT sections doesn't sound so realistic.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 4:57:02 PM)
Those stats are for doing well in medical school. Once you cross that threshold we look to see what else you bring to the class, such as outstanding community service, research, athletics etc.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 4:57:05 PM)
Kyle--yes, most do---but not all! Big numbers help but won't do it by themselves--on the other hand we have 11 people in our class with a GPA less than 3.0 and all are doing well in medical school.

hello101 (May 30, 2006 4:57:08 PM)
Any idea on how many students may be taken off the waitlist?

stooges287 (May 30, 2006 4:57:30 PM)
I have a question here regarding majors...I'm currently a chemical engineering major at UofM, and was wondering whether admissions take into account our curriculum (which I consider to be tougher than non-engineers curriculums), and whether or not there is a preference for engineers at all beyond the standard "diverse majors" argument?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 4:57:39 PM)
The number off the waitlist depends on how many decline.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 4:57:47 PM)
hello101--not sure yet--we are still waiting on all the dust to settle.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 4:58:28 PM)
Majors do matter but we expect that you will do well in the major you choose since this is the discipline of passion you have self-selected!

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 4:58:52 PM)
We look at every applicant individually and holistically. With regards to majors, we understand that several majors are academically more rigorous, and as a result the GPA will not be as high. Taking a rigorous major does help your application, since we know that you can handle hard work!

TennisFan (May 30, 2006 4:59:13 PM)
What is the maximum amount of time given to accepted an offer from UofM?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 4:59:26 PM)
You have until May 15th to accept our offer. If you are accepted on October 15th, the earliest that you can be accepted, you will have 7 months.

Claudia Lechuga (May 30, 2006 4:59:53 PM)
I'm considering delaying my application submission for 2008, since my August MCAT scores wouldn't be submitted until mid-October. While I'd rather not wait an additional year, is the disadvantage that great for a late application to justify waiting till next year?

JMB123 (May 30, 2006 5:00:06 PM)
Robert: Does UofM accept CLEP credits for English requirements?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:00:14 PM)
JMB: Yes.

TennisFan (May 30, 2006 5:00:14 PM)
Dean Dan: Many schools have only 2 or 3 weeks for accepting, is this not the case for UofM?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:00:28 PM)
Tennis fan: We aren't like other schools :)

badave (May 30, 2006 5:00:38 PM)
Robert Ruiz: I suppose this is a somewhat picky question, but does applying in June give you a significantly higher chance of acceptance than applying in July or August even? I know it does compared to applying in October or November, but what about earlier than that?

kyle (May 30, 2006 5:00:55 PM)
Ccould you tell us some ways that Michigan differs from other top schools perhaps in curriculum, diversity, clinical experience, student activities, etc.?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:01:15 PM)
Tennis Fan, the traffic rules say that you can get your deposit back up until May 15th. We don't ask for a deposit, because all it does is make money change hands if you are going to turn us down later. Why you would turn us down later is beyond me.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:01:29 PM)
I haven't run the numbers but earlier is better but I would not guess that July or August is necessarily statistically more advantageous than June.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:02:08 PM)
Kyle, Michigan has a very diverse student population from a number of perspectives including race, backgrounds, geography and life experiences. We have an outstanding third year, it is a lot of work but that which does not kill you only serves to make you stronger.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:02:10 PM)
Kyle: Flex time, First 2 years P/F, Family Centered Experience, high emphasis on technology (Dr. Ipod), and a very diverse student body!

kenneth (May 30, 2006 5:02:36 PM)
Dan: Do you look at quantity or quality of extracurriculars? Specifically I mean if I have one quarter of intense shadowing versus the other applicant who has two years of filing papers and an occasional chat with the doctor, which will be looked on more favorably?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:02:45 PM)
baddave: A superstar is a superstar in June or January :)

kenneth (May 30, 2006 5:02:46 PM)
Robert: Is there a big difference between turning in my application June 5th when its first allowed as opposed to late June when MCAT scores come out?

kyle (May 30, 2006 5:03:16 PM)
What is flex time?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:03:27 PM)
Kenneth--not for anyone other than over the top, ocd, pre-meds. Just kidding (sort of) --- no, no difference at all.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:03:39 PM)
Kenneth, a quarter is not that much time. Many of our students have more than a year of intense experience in an area that they care about.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:04:22 PM)
Kyle--It means our students take a weekly quiz-but they pick the time from Friday afternoon to Monday morning--they set their weekly schedule based on what else is gong on in life-- I also recommend you visit our website.

hello101 (May 30, 2006 5:04:26 PM)
Robert: If one is on the upper tier waitlist at U-M and were to reapply for the 2007 application cycle within the next couple weeks would there be a negative bias against moving that person off the waitlist if a spot were to open up?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:04:40 PM)
Flextime, is a wonderful thing. Michigan has weekly quizzes in the first and second year. Flextime means that you can take that quiz anytime between 5 PM on Friday until 8 AM on Monday. You decide how you want to study and spend your time. Med students are adult learners.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:04:48 PM)
Hello101, no, of course not. If we want you now we'll take you...

hello101 (May 30, 2006 5:04:50 PM)
Dan: How many people have so far sent in their confirmations by the May 15th deadline? Also, could you offer some insight into how individuals are selected from each tier of the waitlist?

PhilV (May 30, 2006 5:05:24 PM)
Dr. Remick and Dr. Ruiz - are there any opportunities, through the medical school, that a student could gain clinical experience the summer before their M1 year through media such as free clinics or volunteer abroad programs? If so, can a student who's waitlisted participate? : )

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:06:08 PM)
Hello, we have 166 paid deposits so far, still waiting to hear from 7 more people. Until we drop below 170 paid deposits we will not take someone from the waitlist.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:06:33 PM)
The clinical opportunities are not available to our waitlist applicants through the admissions office.

JMB123 (May 30, 2006 5:06:39 PM)
Dan and Robert: Could you share any extracurriculars that have stood out to you (if you can remember any off the top of your head)?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:07:28 PM)
JMB, Americorps, Peace Corp, Teach for American, First author publication in either Nature or New England Journal of Medicine, 4 months of research in Antarctica, just to name a few.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:07:51 PM)
JMB-professional ice hockey player, National Champion football player, editor of campus newspapers, peace corp., teach for America, opening free clinic in Baghdad, former lawyer, Ph.D's, etc.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:07:56 PM)
Also biking across America to raise money for charity. Donating a kidney to a relative also comes to mind.

Claudia Lechuga (May 30, 2006 5:08:09 PM)
Something I've admired about UofM is the pass/fail system for the first years. How has this helped overall learning and morale since it was put into place?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:08:22 PM)
Actors, professional (touring) musicians...oh, and I loved the guy who did origami in his interview--made a cool T-Rex.

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 5:08:43 PM)
Note the diversity of impressive experience. I will make a bet that these people were not trying to impress someone; they were pursuing their passions and interests.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:09:30 PM)
Linda: That is the key. DO NOT do what you think we want to see--do what you love and we will be impressed with what we see!

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 5:09:45 PM)
Well put.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:09:53 PM)
Claudia, we have been watching this like a hawk, because we were concerned that without the competition the students would not study. The new third years just took their boards (they were the first group of second years to be p/f). They had an average score of 234, the highest in our history and only 2 students failed.

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 5:10:17 PM)
I guess they really are self motivated and not grade motivated.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:10:24 PM)
Dan: How many standard deviations above the national mean is 234?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:10:28 PM)
From the faculty perspective, there has been significantly less focus on getting 1 or 2 extra points, and more apparent interest in understanding the concepts. 234 is about 2 standard deviations above the national average.

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 5:10:50 PM)

badave (May 30, 2006 5:11:00 PM)
I always thought that working for grades versus working towards learning hurt the learning part...

bozo (May 30, 2006 5:11:05 PM)
Have lecture and lab attendance suffered from being pass/fail?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:11:26 PM)
baddave: your hypothesis appears to be true in this instance.

stooges287 (May 30, 2006 5:11:41 PM)
I don't have any community service (non-med related) on my resume as of yet but I do have medical research/shadowing experience. I was wondering if lack of this type of volunteering would be viewed as a major negative on an application?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:12:04 PM)
Streaming video has caused a decline in attendance, but an increase in student performance! As said before, the med students are adult learners and develop their own methods to study and learn. While not every seat is filled, the students learn the material.

badave (May 30, 2006 5:12:33 PM)
So why do grades matter so much for getting into medical school? :-p

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:12:38 PM)
stooges287-not necessarily, but we will look closely at what you chose to do, why, and what you accomplished. If you spent all your time as a varsity athlete that simply doesn't leave much time for other stuff.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:12:52 PM)
Stooges, it is important to be passionate and dedicated to something rather than trying to tick off every line on the worksheet, 'how to get accepted to medical school.'

kyle (May 30, 2006 5:13:06 PM)
I went to a not-very-prestigious school in Chicago but did okay there grades wise. Do you think that that would hurt my chances compared to someone who went to a more well known school?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:13:07 PM)
baddave: The best predictor of (anything) future success is past performance.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:13:26 PM)
Badave, grades matter as a significant predictor of being able to master the volume of academic material in medical school.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:13:42 PM)
kyle; not necessarily if you did really well and were among the top students -- we are looking for the top students from any school!

stooges287 (May 30, 2006 5:13:55 PM)
Dan and Robert: Is the use of AP credits (such as AP Biology credit) to satisfy requirements viewed negatively on an application?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:14:14 PM)
Kyle, it depends on what else you have done. We have accepted students this year from schools all across the nation, some of which I needed to look up on the internet.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:14:57 PM)
stooges287-no but you will want to challenge yourself with courses beyond the minimum.

bozo (May 30, 2006 5:15:01 PM)
How do you honestly make decisions on similar applicants - as in, what are the most common "tiebreakers?"

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:15:04 PM)
Stooges, as long as you are taking tough science classes the use of AP credits will not have much of an impact. We want to make sure you can handle the load.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:15:13 PM)
bozo: the mystery 8 ball.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:15:19 PM)
Bozo, screen names help us make decisions. Bozo, you might want to rethink yours.

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 5:15:34 PM)
Do you want to be a little more specific? ;)

bozo (May 30, 2006 5:15:54 PM)
How do you go about judging applicants who may not have the best "tangibles" application (i.e. loads of volunteer work, etc.) but studies well and is a personable person? How do you weed out people who are just doing extracurriculars to get them in?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:16:43 PM)
Each applicant is viewed individually and holistically, so there isn't any tiebreaker that defines a successful applicant. However, if you cured cancer, or diabetes, it would be viewed very favorably.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:16:47 PM)
bozo- this isn't a "scoring" process, so we read files looking for the most complete package of excellence! People who do the extras just to do them are easily identified because they lack passion and accomplishment and usually do very poorly in our process.

PhilV (May 30, 2006 5:16:56 PM)
Could you speak a little bit about the third and fourth years of medical school at Michigan, in terms of locations of rotations and how/where students develop their clinical skills? (Thank you!)

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:17:35 PM)
Phil, the majority of the rotations are done at the U of Michigan hospital. We have some formal teaching arrangements with other hospitals in the area, but most are done on site.

Claudia Lechuga (May 30, 2006 5:18:05 PM)
In speaking with other UofM medical students, they've explained some programs during the holidays that you offer, such as the trip to Cuba with medical supplies. I've searched for other programs but haven't been able to find any other listings. What other programs do you offer like these, i.e. outreach programs that could help with clinical experience while a med student?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:18:54 PM)
Claudia: Go the the UofM website and look up Global Reach to see a full range of international opportunities!

hello101 (May 30, 2006 5:19:11 PM)
If a reapplicant were to take the August MCAT to improve his score (the previous score was 33 for an instate student), would UofM wait until the MCAT results are released in October before considering the applicant for an interview or would UofM look at the previous MCAT score and decide about the interview? Would it be advantageous to submit the application in June vs. July or August if the reapplicant is retaking the MCAT?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:19:27 PM)
Phil, in the fourth year up to 3 rotations may be done off site, such as China, Ghana, or the Ukraine where we also have formal teaching arrangements with hospitals in those countries. These rotations are partially supported, financially, by the medical school through Global Reach.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:19:34 PM)
hello---yes, all to the above.

kenneth (May 30, 2006 5:20:07 PM)
Robert: I have been taking a very light load recently due to my research (40 hours a week). Do you think it would be wise to take 16 units next quarter to prove I can handle the work load?

badave (May 30, 2006 5:20:18 PM)
Dan: In the work/activities section, is it encouraged to go into depth about topics by describing what they mean for me?

PhilV (May 30, 2006 5:20:42 PM)
Great, thank you!

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:20:48 PM)
kenneth: your call--but know that those you are competing with are doing heavy loads (both in and out of school.)

avi (May 30, 2006 5:21:03 PM)
Robert: Do those three off site rotations include externships at other US hospitals?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:21:16 PM)
Badave, yes you should BRIEFLY describe your role in the activity. Do not go into great depth, it drives us nuts to read long winded descriptions detailing every wastebasket that you emptied!

DibbleRibble (May 30, 2006 5:21:27 PM)
Dan: Sorry if this has been asked earlier; what are the automatic interview invite MCAT/GPA for OOS applicants?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:21:29 PM)
baddave: NO, NO, NO---I read every application and it drives me crazy when applicants embellish what they did--my rule of thumb--2-3 sentences period!!!

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:21:41 PM)

avi (May 30, 2006 5:22:01 PM)
Robert: The MSAR prints the number of applicants interviewed and the number of matriculants, but not the number of students accepted. About what percentage, would you say, of students interviewed are offered a spot?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:22:07 PM)
dibble: Not sure as we are setting them but they will probably be around 38 and 3.8.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:22:08 PM)
Can't remember them off the top of my head, basically the automatic interviews are for those who score at the 98th percentile on the MCAT.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:22:16 PM)
avi- we made 350 offers this year. We interviewed 800 applicants this year.

hello101 (May 30, 2006 5:22:30 PM)
Dan: Historically, is it in June or July when the most waitlist movement is expected to happen?

bozo (May 30, 2006 5:22:39 PM)
Both: What makes an applicant a good interviewer?

TennisFan (May 30, 2006 5:22:57 PM)
For the work/activities section would you recommend a bulleted list or a paragraph format? I want to make sure that the most important info gets read and not skipped over.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:23:02 PM)
Last year, there was no waitlist movement. The year before activity started in late May. We expect some movement next week.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:23:20 PM)
tennis fan---2-3 sentences, short sentences.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:23:26 PM)
Tennis, to paraphrase Gandalf, keep it simple, keep it safe.

hello101 (May 30, 2006 5:23:38 PM)
Is August 1 the last possible day one could be accepted from the waitlist?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:23:49 PM)
bozo-a student who is relaxed, personable and enjoys telling his/her story.

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 5:24:11 PM)
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. What do you recommend?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:24:28 PM)
hello101--August 4.

hello101 (May 30, 2006 5:24:43 PM)
Robert: How many students in the top tier waitlist are instaters this year?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:24:52 PM)
All of them.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:25:04 PM)
Oops---wrong answer. I mean that in the top tier we have very, many Michigan residents--a ton--but there are also non-residents in the top tier. I'd tell you the exact number but I'd have to go upstairs and get my briefcase and that's not happening :)

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:25:52 PM)
Linda, for the personal comments section, it is good to tell your personal story in a manner that is compelling and interesting.

kenneth (May 30, 2006 5:26:26 PM)
What makes a personal statement interesting to read? Does UofM prefer unique ones with interesting beginnings (i.e.: non medical tie ins) or is it preferred that the applicant keep it safe?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:26:55 PM)
kenneth--I like to read interesting personal stories, sometimes they are medical, sometimes not.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:26:58 PM)
Kenneth, no set answer to that. Everyone is unique, make your statement tell your story.

avi (May 30, 2006 5:27:05 PM)
Both: How do you view two MCAT scores, especially if one section went from great to good and the other sections went from poor to good? Do you average the two scores, count only the second test, or take the best score in each section? I have heard each of the three possibilities from different people.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:27:28 PM)
avi- the highest set of scores are used-no mixing/averages.

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 5:27:56 PM)
So it's the highest total score, right?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:28:01 PM)

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:28:05 PM)
avi, each applicant individually and holistically. We look at the overall MCAT scores and attempt to determine why there is a discrepancy. If everything else looks good, we'll bring you in for an interview and let you explain.

bozo (May 30, 2006 5:28:19 PM)
I have always wondered about this - how does a candidate's physical appearance impact their ranking at interview? I see lots of candidates wearing wrinkled suits, with large mops of untidy hair, etc., but are otherwise personable. Does this matter?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:29:34 PM)
bozo--as long as you don't wear a clown suit you'll be fine.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:29:37 PM)
Personal appearance has little to do with the interview process. Remember that the people interviewing you are mostly doctors who understand that outward appearance may be deceiving. However, the vast, vast, majority of interviewers will look highly presentable.

kenneth (May 30, 2006 5:29:44 PM)
How would age affect an applicant, especially if he/she are younger than the typical applicant? Does that person have a harder time in the application process?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:30:29 PM)
Kenneth, we have your birthday so we know how old you are. Your experiences and demeanor will indicate how mature you are.

badave (May 30, 2006 5:30:49 PM)
Do you think that the current application process and medical school system makes for excellent doctors? Perhaps that's too deep for a chat and if so, feel free to disregard.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:31:16 PM)
We believe that it makes for outstanding physicians, as judged by our final graduating class.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:31:34 PM)
badave: Like many of our processes in our society--it's not perfect, and easy to criticize, but I personally believe it is the best available.

kenneth (May 30, 2006 5:31:35 PM)
So age is over looked; rather maturity is regarded?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:31:58 PM)
We have matriculated 17 year olds, who did fine.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:32:05 PM)
Kenneth-age doesn't matter. Maturity, experiences, manner in which the experiences were handled, matter.

kenneth (May 30, 2006 5:32:18 PM)
Awesome! Thank you.

hello101 (May 30, 2006 5:32:58 PM)
Do you still have automatic interview invitations this year also? If so, what would be the instate MCAT/GPA cutoffs?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:33:19 PM)
hello--yes, not sure exactly but about a 3.8/38.

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 5:33:31 PM)
Does starting at a community college hurt one's chances at Michigan? Is post-bac. work at a community college less competitive than at a 4-year institution?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:33:32 PM)
Hello, yes, there will be automatic interviews, mostly for those with ridiculous numbers.

avi (May 30, 2006 5:33:43 PM)
Do you prefer clinical or lab research, if either, in an applicant, particularly an applicant with an expressed interest in a career in academic medicine?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:34:18 PM)
Linda--CC work can be fine--doesn't necessarily hurt one--however, we do like rigorous work at rigorous institutions.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:34:28 PM)
Community college work is not as academically challenging as a 4 year university. As such, it makes it more difficult to judge the applicants ability to handle a tough course load such as encountered in medical school.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:34:41 PM)
avi, we prefer excellence.

PhilV (May 30, 2006 5:34:47 PM)
My apologies, I have one (hopefully) final international question. For the clinical/basic science research programs offered through Global REACH, would that entail conducting research in certain summers between medical school years?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:35:23 PM)
phil--yes it could--but that would be up to you.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:35:25 PM)
Phil, the global reach are away rotations taken as electives. There are a wide range available, and you can frequently set up your own.

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 5:35:37 PM)
What are the three most important qualities you want to see in an application?

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 5:35:57 PM)
I don't mean MCAT and GPA.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:36:15 PM)
Linda--Academic ability is a must! Non-negotiable--Clinical experience is highly recommended--all else is up to the applicant.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:36:39 PM)
Since each applicant is unique it is difficult to say what are the top three. For one it will be their varsity athletics, for another it will be their research and for another it will be the community service.

PhilV (May 30, 2006 5:36:55 PM)
Ok, so the student-program dynamic sounds somewhat autonomous - thank you!

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 5:37:13 PM)
What is the most common mistake applicants make on their application?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:37:14 PM)
Robert and I are in 2 different locations and our postings are not co-ordinated. It is surprising how much we agree.

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 5:37:28 PM)
I didn't realize that. It is!

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:37:40 PM)
Linda: The most common mistake: Applying too late!!

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:37:43 PM)
Linda, applying late is probably the most common mistake. Whining is always a mistake

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 5:37:50 PM)
It is also impressive how holistic the process is.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:37:54 PM)
Second most common mistake: Not applying to Michigan.

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 5:38:00 PM)

kenneth (May 30, 2006 5:38:08 PM)
How late is too late for applying?

brad (May 30, 2006 5:38:28 PM)
How do you look on past transgressions - i.e. legal problems, a bad year academically in college, etc, when it comes to applications?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:38:29 PM)
There is only one absolutely fool proof method to be denied admission to Michigan, never applying.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:38:32 PM)
kenneth--I think the "fall" is too late--we prefer early summer applicants.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:38:57 PM)
brad, it depends on the transgression. Typically it won't disqualify you--we may want to talk about it with you.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:38:59 PM)
brad, we look at each applicant individually and holistically.

hello101 (May 30, 2006 5:39:15 PM)
Will taking additional science classes after graduation at (say) Oakland U, vs. UofM make a difference in how an applicant is viewed by UM?

Claudia Lechuga (May 30, 2006 5:39:21 PM)
What if the MCAT scores would not be received until the fall but the application was submitted in early summer?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:39:46 PM)
Claudia---we will wait for scores to review your application in the fall.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:39:56 PM)
Hello, we think that the class work at Michigan will better prepare you, because it is academically more challenging.

kenneth (May 30, 2006 5:40:24 PM)
Robert: Does UofM weigh research heavily or does it prefer more clinical experience than research?

badave (May 30, 2006 5:40:31 PM)
Dan: Do you prefer people who apply in the early summer as compared to late summer?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:40:54 PM)
We prefer applicants do what they are passionate about-we don't emphasize one over the over in our review.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:41:18 PM)
Badave, we prefer early applications. If you wait, you will literally have thousands of people in line ahead of you.

brad (May 30, 2006 5:41:33 PM)
What makes a good reference letter? What kinds of people do you want to see them from?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:41:34 PM)
holy $%@! Derek Jeter just made an error!

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:41:48 PM)
Focus Robert.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:42:09 PM)
A letter is good when it is personal - detailed and from someone who knows you well.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:42:32 PM)
Dean Dan-very focused--was actually my son who said that--remind me to speak to him about his language :)

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:42:34 PM)
Brad, we like to see a letter that talks about the person. We have your grades, coursework, etc. We want to know how you interact with others

DibbleRibble (May 30, 2006 5:42:58 PM)
You receive many qualified applications; what are some reasons you reject good applicants?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:43:03 PM)
Pudge hits a triple--Tigers now trail 6-3.

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 5:43:11 PM)
So much for focus.

stooges287 (May 30, 2006 5:43:27 PM)
Dan: In addition to what hello asked- does it matter if a course or two were taken over summer at a university other than one's own, and do those grades have to be submitted also?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:43:27 PM)
All grades need to be submitted. There should be a strong rationale why you did not take those courses at your home institution. Otherwise, it looks like padding.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:43:28 PM)
Dibble-applying late--applying with no clear passion/interest in medicine.

Claudia Lechuga (May 30, 2006 5:43:42 PM)
Do you consider personal conditions in the applications? Such as full-time work that limits recent volunteer work or can interfere with current school work?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:43:45 PM)
I can be focused on two things at once.

brad (May 30, 2006 5:43:45 PM)
Go red sox!

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:44:00 PM)
Claudia--yes--absolutely--we understand there are only 24 hours in a day.

avi (May 30, 2006 5:44:17 PM)
Dan: You wrote earlier that fourth year students are allowed 3 international rotations. Does this limit apply to rotations at other US hospitals as well? If so, how does this compare to the number of outside rotations allowed by other medical schools? Is this limit standard?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:44:18 PM)
Claudia, we look at the total application, but many of our top students are doing several things at once, and doing them well.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:44:18 PM)
Reminder to pull Brad's application to the "special review" pile :)

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 5:44:24 PM)

TennisFan (May 30, 2006 5:45:00 PM)
Robert: Is the 2-3 sentence for the work/activities section a guideline which most med schools would like to see?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:45:04 PM)
You can have 3 away rotations, meaning not at U of Michigan. This is fairly standard at most top schools.

kenneth (May 30, 2006 5:45:06 PM)
Dan: What is the date that primary applications are first downloaded? I hear most schools download them July 1st.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:45:27 PM)
Tennis Fan--I don't know--check with them--but I suspect they will appreciate brevity.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:45:30 PM)
Around that time, first of July or somewhere close.

hello101 (May 30, 2006 5:45:39 PM)
Dan: What is the rationale behind selecting 300 students for the waitlist if the waitlist movement may not be more than just a handful of students?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:45:50 PM)
Kenneth--we won't get our first batch until around July 4--give or take a week.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:46:09 PM)
We do not know how much waitlist movement there will be. In previous years up to 70 people have come off the waitlist.

hello101 (May 30, 2006 5:46:16 PM)
What is the criteria you would use in selecting students from the waitlist - especially when only a few students are taken off from the waitlist?

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:46:34 PM)
Same criteria, each applicant individually and holistically.

kenneth (May 30, 2006 5:46:35 PM)
So it would make no difference if I submitted my application June 5th as opposed to June 20th? :)

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:46:49 PM)
Hello101--we would probably take those who express interest but are not overly aggressive :)

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:46:54 PM)

brad (May 30, 2006 5:47:08 PM)
Does it make a difference in acceptance if we tell you you are our first choice?

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 5:47:21 PM)
It would only make a difference if your favorite team is the right one. ;-)

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:47:34 PM)
Not really, we look at the quality of the applicant and not their desire to come to Michigan.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:47:43 PM)
Linda: Exactly! Play it safe with Michigan and Detroit squads!

hello101 (May 30, 2006 5:48:14 PM)
Mr. Ruiz, what actions of students would be considered as expressing interest verses overly aggressive interest?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:48:44 PM)
Speaking of sports---this weekend over 150 med students, faculty and staff will compete in the Dexter/Ann Arbor run as part of our med school wellness program!

brad (May 30, 2006 5:49:03 PM)
I noticed that you mentioned good athletes when listing people with good extracurriculars - why do athletes get preferential treatment? What about people who are just good students?

avi (May 30, 2006 5:49:07 PM)
How much weight do you place on the writing section of the MCAT?

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:49:12 PM)
hello101, a letter of interest is interested--daily (or hourly) calls are too much.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:49:12 PM)
Apply to Michigan and you could be one of those students at the run.

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 5:49:56 PM)
Thank you again all for participating today. Special thanks to Dan and Robert for taking the time to participate.

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:49:58 PM)
Brad, athletes understand hard work and teamwork. They tend to be outstanding students, and perform far better than a simple look at their grades. They also understand commitment.

RobertRuizMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:50:04 PM)
brad--athletes don't get preferential treatment -- outstanding, world class athletes get preference, just as outstanding researchers, community servants, musicians, artists, etc. do!

badave (May 30, 2006 5:50:06 PM)
Thanks for chatting with us.

Claudia Lechuga (May 30, 2006 5:50:08 PM)
No more questions - I do appreciate the time!

stooges287 (May 30, 2006 5:50:54 PM)
Thanks Dan and Robert!

DeanDanielRemickMichigan (May 30, 2006 5:53:59 PM)
I'm out of here also, thanks for chatting

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 5:54:03 PM)
Have a good evening. Thanks again.

Linda Abraham (May 30, 2006 5:54:05 PM)
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