2009 SUNY Upstate Med Admissions Chat with Jennifer Welch

2009 SUNY Upstate Med Admissions Chat with Jennifer Welch

Please feel free to let us know if you would like to be informed of future chats by sending e-mail to chat@accepted.com. We would also be interested in knowing if you would prefer a different format or different topics.

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:03:14 PM)
First I want to welcome you all to Accepted.com’s SUNY Upstate Medical School Admissions Chat for 2009 applicants. I also want to welcome Jennifer Welch, Director of Admissions and Isabelle Rhoades, Admissions Advisor to our chat this evening.
Thanks to everyone for joining.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:03:34 PM)

thomas1 (Jul 1, 2008 8:03:49 PM)

HoboCommander (Jul 1, 2008 8:03:57 PM)
Can out of state residents apply?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:04:07 PM)

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:04:29 PM)
Hobo, there is a slight preference given to in-state students.

pAgmaa (Jul 1, 2008 8:05:16 PM)
Jennifer, What is the class size?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:05:21 PM)

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:05:54 PM)
Jennifer and Isabelle: When should an applicant apply Early Admissions to SUNY?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:06:21 PM)
Linda, The deadline is July 1 following the sophomore year for EAP.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:06:52 PM)
We have 25 seats available for EAP students.

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:06:52 PM)
What kind of GPA should an EAP applicant have? MCAT score?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:07:02 PM)
Linda, minimum GPA of 3.50. No MCATs required for EAP.

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:07:22 PM)
Is not having research experience fatal to one's application at SUNY Upstate? (regular admissions)?

thomas1 (Jul 1, 2008 8:07:37 PM)
Jennifer, how do admissions weigh more difficult majors, such as biomedical engineering? Concerning the GPA.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:08:06 PM)
Linda, not at Upstate - it is encouraged if a student is interested in it...

HoboCommander (Jul 1, 2008 8:08:39 PM)
Isabelle, do you guys require a minimum number of hours for clinical experience to be significant?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:08:40 PM)
Thomas, it is certainly taken into consideration - we do look at the whole package.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:09:03 PM)
Hobo, no, but it should ideally be on-going and it needs to be relevant.

premed8855 (Jul 1, 2008 8:09:20 PM)
Jennifer, what do AdComs want to see in the activities description? I have heard some prefer bullets and short descriptions vs. explanations why you did the activity and what you got out of it.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:09:32 PM)
Premed- bullets drive me crazy. I would prefer the narrative and what you got out of it....

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:09:55 PM)
Premed, I like short descriptions, but detailed. Elaborate a bit.

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:10:08 PM)
Numbers do wonders in showing impact.

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:10:39 PM)
Isabelle/Jennifer -How do you choose among qualified applicants?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:10:59 PM)
Linda, there are many factors considered.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:11:04 PM)
Academics are first and then we look at everything else - personal statement, activities, clinical, letters.

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:11:40 PM)
I realize there is no formula, but what makes some qualified applications end up in one pile and others, end up in the other?

thomas1 (Jul 1, 2008 8:11:54 PM)
What are your best suggestions for someone who is applying to medical school? Anything out of the ordinary that you could share?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:12:01 PM)
Linda, how you perform in your interviews is also critical.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:12:10 PM)
Thomas, that there is something special that sets them apart from other applicants.

thomas1 (Jul 1, 2008 8:12:27 PM)
Jennifer, what would be an example?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:12:33 PM)
A story in the personal statement, different activities, different majors, etc…

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:12:44 PM)
Thomas, be proactive. Stay on top of things. Monitor the status of your application. Apply in a timely manner. Do not procrastinate!  Don’t assume application materials have been received. Log in and confirm what, if anything, is still missing. Follow up.

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:14:18 PM)
We sometimes talk to applicants. They are desperate to submit their application "early" or "ASAP." Maybe they procrastinated, maybe they’re just compulsive. They frequently will not take the 3-10 days necessary to really polish their essay because they are in such a rush to submit. What do you think about those non-procrastinators?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:14:54 PM)
Linda, to be too eager to submit is not good either.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:15:09 PM)
I would rather it be perfect, if it is early and is not the best, it will show.

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:15:25 PM)
What is the role of secondary essays in the application process?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:16:45 PM)
You have access to your AMCAS app in May. Plenty of time to work on it before submitting. Take advantage and start early!

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:16:47 PM)
For the experiences, should applicants include everything? If not, how should they select what to include?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:16:50 PM)
Linda, we use it strictly for more information.

HoboCommander (Jul 1, 2008 8:17:20 PM)
Isabelle, would grammatical errors in our Personal Statement hurt us severely? Sometimes our proofreaders don't catch them.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:17:40 PM)
Hobo, we definitely catch typos and errors and it does not look good. We can also easily pick up on whether or not time was spent writing a good personal statement, describing experiences etc.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:17:43 PM)
Linda, leave off things like the 8 street hockey leagues you play in. Or your multiple roles as a bridesmaid in weddings.

thomas1 (Jul 1, 2008 8:17:52 PM)
Jennifer, regarding EAP, by when do students get notified?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:18:06 PM)
Linda, I think it is important to include as much as possible - you may not think some things are important, but being a waiter at a local restaurant tells us something about you - you can deal with different people, difficult people perhaps.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:18:26 PM)
Keep it relevant but also know that we want to know how you spend your time when you aren't in class. Part time jobs are relevant etc.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:18:35 PM)
Thomas, we are reviewing EAP now - we will select for interviews in the next couple of weeks. Interviews will be August 25 and 27.

HoboCommander (Jul 1, 2008 8:18:53 PM)
What about my experience living homeless and interacting with other homeless? Should I include that as an activity?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:19:40 PM)
Hobo, perhaps your personal statement is the best place for that.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:19:45 PM)
Hobo, if you choose to include that, I'd probably include it in your statement.

premed8855 (Jul 1, 2008 8:20:07 PM)
Jennifer, I have heard some people say to not list things like study abroad because it’s already on your transcripts and it will give you something to talk about in the interview. What do you think?

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:20:07 PM)
How can applicants compensate for low grades or a low MCAT? At what point do they need to start compensating?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:20:33 PM)
Linda, it's tough to do.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:20:46 PM)
Linda, Grad programs or post bachelor programs are great options.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:20:57 PM)
Certainly making sure that all other aspects are strong is going to be critical.

thomas1 (Jul 1, 2008 8:21:11 PM)
Jennifer, what percentage of the class is out of state?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:21:53 PM)
Thomas, last year it was 50%, it has traditionally been about 20%.

thomas1 (Jul 1, 2008 8:22:10 PM)
Jennifer, why so much this past year??

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:22:13 PM)
Can a student compensate for a low score in one section of the MCAT? If so, how for example?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:23:08 PM)
Premed, I would absolutely list study abroad - what if you don't get to the interview? You want to get to the interview - that paper needs to initially sell you.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:24:09 PM)
Thomas, we were not giving any preference and our applications were up.

HoboCommander (Jul 1, 2008 8:24:15 PM)
Isabelle, is the depth and difficulty of the courses we've taken considered when you look at the applicant's GPA?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:24:24 PM)
Hobo, yes!

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:24:25 PM)
Thomas, this year we are giving a slight preference.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:24:45 PM)
Hobo, we look at the difficulty of courses taken, how they are staggered etc.....

HoboCommander (Jul 1, 2008 8:25:02 PM)
What do you mean by staggered?

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:25:13 PM)
Premed, regarding the study abroad experience, you can do far more even in the short experience descriptions than merely list "Study Abroad in Country X." Ultimately what you say about the study abroad experience is going to be more important than just listing it.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:25:26 PM)
Hobo, are you taking one tough course surrounded by fluff courses or are you taking several rigorous science courses at once and doing well. These are things we consider.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:25:50 PM)
Linda - I would agree.

thomas1 (Jul 1, 2008 8:25:54 PM)
Do also take into account that you have to work part time?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:26:02 PM)
Thomas, you bet!

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:26:04 PM)
We do.

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:26:10 PM)
How important is the undergrad institution that applicants attend? Does someone from less prestigious schools who has good grades, a 30+ MCAT, and volunteer experiences have a chance?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:26:28 PM)
Linda, they certainly have a chance.

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:26:44 PM)
Does starting at a community college hurt one's chances at SUNY Upstate?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:26:58 PM)
But we do look at the competitiveness of the college attended. It is important that the GPA does not go down.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:27:24 PM)
We prefer not to see CC course work but we have accepted students that began at a CC before transferring to a 4 year university.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:27:34 PM)
I would recommend the pre-requisites be taken at the 4-year college.

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:27:41 PM)
What are the three most important qualities you want to see in an application?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:27:47 PM)
We discourage attending Community Colleges however. It can/does affect the competitiveness of your app.

premed8855 (Jul 1, 2008 8:28:24 PM)
What about taking extra courses that are not required, such as endocrinology? Does this help or does it not carry much weight?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:29:14 PM)
Linda, we are looking for a motivated applicant who is prepared and knows what they are getting into

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:29:19 PM)
Premed, if you're interested in endocrinology then take it.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:29:46 PM)
Premed, I think if it is a course that will help you and you are interested in it - take it.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:30:14 PM)
I can't say it would make a dramatic improvement to your app but if you enjoy it and do well in it, great!

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:30:25 PM)
Cell Biology, Genetics, Physiology, biochemistry, etc are all great courses to take...

thomas1 (Jul 1, 2008 8:30:31 PM)
You said that your looking for something unique in the application, is biomedical engineering itself unique?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:30:49 PM)
Thomas, I see this major more and more.

thomas1 (Jul 1, 2008 8:31:01 PM)
Isabelle, is that good or bad??

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:31:08 PM)
Thomas, it is certainly different than bio or chemistry.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:31:32 PM)
Not a bad thing at all, just more common than it used to be.

thomas1 (Jul 1, 2008 8:31:37 PM)
Are there many at SUNY?

neal (Jul 1, 2008 8:31:40 PM)
Hi Isabelle, I had a few questions about the EA Program.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:31:42 PM)
Thomas, there are a few.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:31:58 PM)
Sure Neal. ?

neal (Jul 1, 2008 8:32:21 PM)
I just sent in my application today, it was postmarked as July 1st...I will still be considered right?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:32:29 PM)
Neal, yes.

HoboCommander (Jul 1, 2008 8:32:40 PM)
Regarding the MCAT, which score is taken? Is it the average of all scores or the best MCAT?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:32:56 PM)
Hobo, the latest.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:32:57 PM)
Hobo,most recent score is considered. We do not average or take highest sections from multiple attempts.

premed8855 (Jul 1, 2008 8:33:26 PM)
Jennifer, if it is taken more than twice, do you look badly upon that?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:33:48 PM)
Premed, I would strongly recommend no more than 2 times...

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:33:52 PM)
Premed, it's not a good thing. Try to avoid having to do this.

neal (Jul 1, 2008 8:33:52 PM)
Also, my health profession office said that they would be sending in my recommendations  this past Friday...is there anyway you might be able to check if you received them?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:34:30 PM)
Neal, you can call our office and ask for Jim. He can let you know if your letters arrived. 800-736-2171.

thomas1 (Jul 1, 2008 8:34:33 PM)
I just finished up my sophomore year, and I am considering taking the MCAT at the end of summer, and again next year with my peers. Do you have any suggestions on this?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:35:05 PM)
Thomas, that's not something I would encourage doing.

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:35:18 PM)
What is the most common mistake applicants make?

thomas1 (Jul 1, 2008 8:35:31 PM)
Isabelle, should I wait?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:35:35 PM)
Thomas, I would.

thomas1 (Jul 1, 2008 8:35:48 PM)

neal (Jul 1, 2008 8:36:03 PM)
Thomas, did you also apply to the EA program?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:36:13 PM)
Linda, applying when they are not ready or not taking the time to put together a great application.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:36:16 PM)
Thomas, I would wait. Take them early after your spring semester of Junior year. You can always re-take that summer if you absolutely need to.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:36:43 PM)
Thomas, now that they are offered so many times, you are not bound by the April and August time frames.

thomas1 (Jul 1, 2008 8:36:45 PM)
Neal, no, I was not aware of it.

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:37:18 PM)
What are SUNY Upstate’s strengths?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:37:44 PM)
Linda, I think our student's and faculty are happy to be here doing what they do.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:37:58 PM)
Linda, supportive and caring faculty and staff.

neal (Jul 1, 2008 8:38:12 PM)
Jennifer, isn’t it a disadvantage to take the MCAT in august of the year you are applying? Especially if the schools have rolling admission?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:38:16 PM)
Linda, once you're in, everyone wants to see you succeed & accomplish your goals. Faculty and peers alike.

premed8855 (Jul 1, 2008 8:39:04 PM)
Do you consider listing that you made the deans list fluff, because you already know the applicant's GPA for each semester?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:39:07 PM)
Neal, it's probably better to take a little earlier, but not too late. Just submit everything else early to avoid any further delays.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:39:14 PM)
Neal, it is not the best time - September is worse, but with the 30 day turn around time, it isn't as bad as it used to be. I would encourage May or June.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:39:36 PM)
Premed, many applicants list Dean's list. It's up to you.

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:40:04 PM)
Do you have advice for reapplicants? Are reapplicants at a disadvantage?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:40:19 PM)
Premed, don't list it separately for each time you made the Dean's list...

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:40:21 PM)
Linda, they are if they submit the same app as the year before.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:40:34 PM)
Do not use the same application as before!!!!!

premed8855 (Jul 1, 2008 8:40:45 PM)
Do you check on it & compare?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:40:47 PM)
Premed, if it didn't work the first time, why would you think it would work the 2nd, 3rd time....?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:40:49 PM)
Premed, we do.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:41:01 PM)
Take time to address weaknesses!

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:41:14 PM)
Same inputs. Same outputs. Right?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:41:19 PM)
Linda, also add what you have done over the past year to strengthen your application.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:41:20 PM)
Improving your GPA cannot usually be done in a matter of months.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:41:28 PM)
You bet!

neal (Jul 1, 2008 8:41:29 PM)
How much does the Admissions Committee at SUNY value research?Most people tell me that it is not necessary but others tell me the exact opposite.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:41:51 PM)
Neal, it depends on the school.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:41:55 PM)
Linda, reapplicants should take a year off. Focus on courses, MCATs, more experiences etc if that’s what their weaknesses are.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:42:19 PM)
Neal, it is not required at Upstate, but it is encouraged. If you like it, do it.

HoboCommander (Jul 1, 2008 8:42:38 PM)
Who makes up the admissions committee at SUNY Upstate, in terms of kinds of people? Are they MDs?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:43:08 PM)
Also, reapplicants should talk to their HPA, contact the schools to see if they advise rejected applicants. Don't assume you know what the problem is. It's often a combination of things that you might not be aware of.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:43:20 PM)
Hobo, MDs, PhDs, Director of Admissions, Director of Multicultural Affairs and students.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:43:54 PM)
Hobo, it's a good representation of different backgrounds, experiences etc.

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:44:12 PM)
Do you have tips for non-traditional applicants?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:44:28 PM)
We are all looking for different things and I think that is important to keep in mind.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:44:30 PM)
Linda, we are seeing more and more non-traditional applicants.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:44:59 PM)
Linda, more and more students (about 50% or more) are taking time off between undergrad and med school.

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:46:25 PM)
How can they demonstrate their fit with medical school if they have been out of school and perhaps working in a non-medical field?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:46:58 PM)
Linda, I am always interested in the path that led them to medicine - there has to be something along the way that led them here - they need to be very specific about that.

neal (Jul 1, 2008 8:47:25 PM)
When will the interviews for the EAP take place?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:47:36 PM)
Neal, 8/25 and 8/27.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:48:04 PM)
Linda, I agree. Why did they work as a stock broker/lawyer/chiropractor before deciding on medicine? What changed their minds? How do you know this is a better fit than your original career choice?

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:48:31 PM)
Let's look down the road to next summer. Do you have any suggestions for applicants that would make the transition to med school easier?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:48:56 PM)
Linda, your experiences should also reflect that you've taken the time to get exposure to this field.

neal (Jul 1, 2008 8:49:11 PM)
Would you be able to tell me how many applications you have received this year?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:49:19 PM)
Linda, have excellent time management skills - the volume of material will be something you have probably never experienced before.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:49:28 PM)
Neal, they are still being processed and arriving....

neal (Jul 1, 2008 8:50:06 PM)
Just roughly, what is the average GPA of those who are accepted?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:50:07 PM)
Linda, I agree. Time management is critical!

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:50:20 PM)
Neal, 25 became complete today - somewhere around 80-90 so far.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:50:27 PM)
Neal, 3.6 GPA.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:50:38 PM)
For EAP?

neal (Jul 1, 2008 8:50:41 PM)

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:50:43 PM)
Is that overall GPA or science GPA?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:50:47 PM)
Neal, it is 3.8.

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:51:01 PM)

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:51:04 PM)
Linda, overall is 3.6, science is a 3.54 for regular admission.

HoboCommander (Jul 1, 2008 8:51:22 PM)
Jennifer, what's more important? Science GPA or overall?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:51:26 PM)
Hobo, Science

thomas1 (Jul 1, 2008 8:51:29 PM)
I would be  applying next year as I am just finishing my sophomore year - do you have any suggestions for me, for this up coming year?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:52:02 PM)
Thomas, get clinical experience/exposure. Contact your HPA and meet with him/her.

Jonathan (Jul 1, 2008 8:52:18 PM)
Hi, I have heard differing opinions on how much of the AMCAS character limit to use for the work/activities section. The max is 1325, I am assuming no admissions officer wants to read that much per activity. Most of mine are 3-400, with one about 700, is this okay? Also, to what degree should I describe the activity, and to what degree should I describe what it meant to me? Thank you.

neal (Jul 1, 2008 8:52:22 PM)
From your past experiences, have many students from Rutgers applied to the EAP?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:53:02 PM)
Neal, I am not sure. We do have applicants every year from Rutgers for regular admission.

PreMed45 (Jul 1, 2008 8:53:02 PM)
Does it matter where you go to undergrad?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:53:15 PM)
Premed, it is taken into consideration.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:53:29 PM)
Jonathan, I can only encourage you to use enough characters to adequately describe the experience and what you got out of it.

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 8:53:58 PM)
Jonathan, perhaps also what you contributed to it, if I may add that.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:54:28 PM)
Yes - concise is best

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:54:49 PM)
Jonathan, some activities will take more while others less. If you life guard part-time, I wouldn't go on and on about it. If you've volunteered or had some very relevant experience (leadership role) spend more space describing it but be to the point.

PreMed45 (Jul 1, 2008 8:54:50 PM)
Does it help to have a strong upward trend in your grades?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:55:03 PM)
Premed, you bet!!!

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:55:09 PM)
Yes! We look for an upward trend!

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:55:20 PM)
The opposite is not good!

premed8855 (Jul 1, 2008 8:55:37 PM)
Will you ask the applicant to explain that upward trend?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:56:09 PM)
Premed, you might get asked what happened during the semester(s) you did poorly. And why the improvement?

HoboCommander (Jul 1, 2008 8:56:25 PM)
What about a U-shaped trend, like you do well freshman year, badly sophomore year, but improve in your last two years. Is that considered "upward trend"?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:56:40 PM)
Hobo- Yes.

guesa (Jul 1, 2008 8:56:55 PM)
What sort of role does a master's degree play in an applicant's appeal (science or non-science degree)?

PreMed45 (Jul 1, 2008 8:56:58 PM)
In terms of MCAT, what is a very competitive score for SUNY Upstate?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:57:08 PM)
Hobo, we would wonder what happened in your sophomore year and you would want to explain that.

neal (Jul 1, 2008 8:57:18 PM)
What are the most important undergrad classes that you consider as an indication for how a student will perform in medical school?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:58:01 PM)
PreMed45, we are looking for 10's or higher across the board.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:58:29 PM)
Guesa, a graduate degree can help, especially if it had a heavy emphasis on science but it won't necessarily put you over the top when comparing you with a strong applicant who has a 4 yr degree only.

thomas1 (Jul 1, 2008 8:58:39 PM)
How important is the writing section?

PreMed45 (Jul 1, 2008 8:58:59 PM)
Speaking of upward trend, how do you define it? I mean...if a student did poorly freshman year (below 3.0) then did a little better sophomore year and then a little dip junior year and little better senior year but then he/she had last 50 POST BACC credits very close to 4.0 -- is that a good upward trend?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:59:23 PM)
Premed 45, not ideal, but yes, certainly an upward trend.

Jonathan (Jul 1, 2008 8:59:51 PM)
To what degree can a good MCAT compensate for a mediocre GPA? I just finished my junior year, and my cumulative GPA is 3.41. I realize you cannot really answer this question accurately without tons more knowledge about me, but in general to be considered by SUNY Upstate, assuming I have good extra-curricular activities (etc.), would a 33 be high enough considering my GPA? 35? If you can't answer this question I'll understand. Thanks

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 8:59:54 PM)
Thomas, we look at the writing section - for consistency in English courses, personal statement, etc, but it really won't break an application.

PreMed45 (Jul 1, 2008 8:59:57 PM)
Are difficulties of courses taken in a semester taken into consideration also?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 9:00:42 PM)
Jonathan, yes. Difficult to answer without evaluating entire application. I would encourage you to apply though. Not that far off....

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 9:01:05 PM)
Premed, yes. Difficulty of courses is considered.

neal (Jul 1, 2008 9:01:18 PM)
Considering that only 160 spots are open each year, how many qualified 3.5, 30 applicants are rejected from SUNY?

premed8855 (Jul 1, 2008 9:01:19 PM)
Regarding explaining the upward trend, do adcoms look at ADD as a poor explanation? Do they take it seriously? I've heard that it should not be mentioned because many people think of it as an over-diagnosed condition.

PreMed45 (Jul 1, 2008 9:01:24 PM)

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 9:01:53 PM)
Neal, many.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 9:02:19 PM)
Neal, I can't give specifics, but we select about 740 applicants to interview out of an applicant pool of 5300 - we offer acceptance to about 380-400.

neal (Jul 1, 2008 9:02:32 PM)
So what is the most important means that you guys use to separate these students? Interviews, personal statement, etc?

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 9:02:32 PM)
Just a couple of additional questions and then we'll bring this to a close.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 9:02:32 PM)
Neal, It depends on the applicant pool though, which by the way is growing each year.

PreMed45 (Jul 1, 2008 9:02:38 PM)
Is it common for some otherwise qualified applicants on paper (high MCAT and GPA) to be rejected due to lack of clinical experience?

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 9:02:52 PM)
Neal-all of the above.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 9:03:02 PM)
PreMed 45, absolutely!!!

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 9:03:04 PM)
Lack of clinical experience and/or a poor interview.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 9:03:39 PM)
PreMed 45, without clinical, you might make it to the interview (might) but it's usually an automatic rejection afterwards!

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 9:03:42 PM)
PreMed45, my newsletter tip this month focuses exactly on such a candidate.

pAgmaatms (Jul 1, 2008 9:03:48 PM)
Do you initially accept 380-400 or does that figure also include waitlist acceptances?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 9:04:02 PM)
PAgmaatms, includes waitlist acceptances.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 9:04:18 PM)
PreMed45, we have too many other strong, motivated applicants to accept someone who hasn't taken the time to learn about this profession.

PreMed45 (Jul 1, 2008 9:04:23 PM)
What about research experience?

neal (Jul 1, 2008 9:04:29 PM)
When do you think we will know if we have gotten an interview for the EAP?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 9:04:38 PM)
Neal, in the next few weeks.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 9:04:46 PM)
PreMed 45, again, research is good if you enjoy it but it's not a requirement.

thomas1 (Jul 1, 2008 9:05:02 PM)
What do you consider clinical experience? Shadowing a doctor?

neal (Jul 1, 2008 9:05:21 PM)
Do either of you conduct interviews?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 9:05:28 PM)
Thomas, patient contact, shadowing, working closely with health professionals.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 9:05:31 PM)
Neal, both of us.

Jonathan (Jul 1, 2008 9:05:38 PM)
Is it going to be very detrimental to my application if I do not have a letter of recommendation from a physician? I have all the relevant experiences, and other great letters of recommendations, from supervisors, professors, and PhD’s. Should I have gotten a letter from a physician?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 9:05:49 PM)
Jonathan, no.

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 9:05:53 PM)
Thomas, volunteering or working in a setting that allows you to interact with patients while also allowing you to observe the physician interacting w/patients, day to day responsibilities etc....

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 9:06:09 PM)
Thank you all for participating today. Special thanks to Jennifer and Isabelle for taking the time this evening to chat with us.

PreMed45 (Jul 1, 2008 9:06:11 PM)
How much is an LOR taken into consideration from someone like a volunteer coordinator?

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 9:06:14 PM)
If you would like to be added to our pre-med event announcement list, please visit http://www.accepted.com/chat/subscribe.aspx#Medical_School_Admissions .Good luck with your applications!

Jonathan (Jul 1, 2008 9:06:34 PM)
Thank you!

thomas1 (Jul 1, 2008 9:06:35 PM)
Thank you!

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 9:06:40 PM)
You're welcome.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 9:06:42 PM)
Thank you all!

IsabelleRhoadesSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 9:06:45 PM)
Good luck!

neal (Jul 1, 2008 9:06:48 PM)
Isabelle or Jennifer, is there another way I might be able to contact you? Thank you very much for your help.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 9:06:59 PM)

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 9:07:26 PM)
We will post the transcript probably next week.

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 9:07:37 PM)
Thank you Linda!

Jonathan (Jul 1, 2008 9:07:44 PM)
I'm so sorry I know it officially ended, but: If I apply now, do very well first semester and send my updated GPA, would this be taken into account?

JenniferWelchSUNY (Jul 1, 2008 9:08:09 PM)
Jonathan, yes.

Linda Abraham (Jul 1, 2008 9:08:44 PM)
Thanks again for coming.


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