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Announcements du jour Saturday, September 29th: Dr. Eliav Barr, PSU Alum (PMM Program) VP, Infectious Disease Project and Pipeline Lead at MERCK Res.

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Presentation on theme: "Announcements du jour Saturday, September 29th: Dr. Eliav Barr, PSU Alum (PMM Program) VP, Infectious Disease Project and Pipeline Lead at MERCK Res."— Presentation transcript:

1 Announcements du jour Saturday, September 29th: Dr. Eliav Barr, PSU Alum (PMM Program) VP, Infectious Disease Project and Pipeline Lead at MERCK Res. Lab. Informal meet –up with students interested in medical school &/or clinical research. Where / Time: ROOM 9 Life Science Bldg., 1:30 – 2:30 Wednesday, November 7th, Open House/ Medical program at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Registration 4:00 – 5:30 p.m.; Program 5:30 – 8:00. Where? Evans Hall at the PCOM campus, 4170 City Avenue, Philly! Saturday, November 10th – the annual “Primary Care Day” at Hershey, 8:30 – 3:30 at the medical school – contact in the Dept. of Family and Community Medicine, Ms. D. Ferron: This happens every fall in case you miss out this year. MCAT 2105 – heads up first year students! Begins in January 2015 – go to to see the four sections/ topics/ etc. In 2013, new section piloting as an option at the end of the current MCAT.

2 General Considerations on Applying to Professional Schools
Things worth your attention and some observations on the 2013 Entering Class application cycle. And planning for 2014 cycle. Medical School as the example this evening.

3 Where we are now in the application cycle for the 2013 entering class.
Again this year, more candidates. In 2011 entering class, acceptance rates nationally were 43.8% of just <44K allopathic applicants and 36.6% of just >14K osteopathic applicants. You can review data at amcas and aacomas websites. There were ~24,400 seats combined. To date, our office has prepared, processed and forwarded over 200 applicant letter sets for medical and dental schools so far! Still conducting PSU Committee Interviews. (fyi, Jefferson sometimes interviews candidates into April!) In mid-August, 2012, we received from last year applicants matriculating off a “wait lists”! Last year, of ~260 PSU applicants through 213 Whitmore 212 matriculated to a D.O. or M.D. school. That’s >80% acceptance rate for 2011! BUT you say: “Its getting late and I’ve heard little or nothing!” Relax! As of 9/17/12 Jefferson has only extended ~ 25% of their planned interview invitations. Hershey has extended ~18% of their planned Schools want to see their whole pool of applicants! They could fill the class before the end of July, if they wished! So ... Bottomline: It is NOT too late for a good candidacy to be seen and pursued by the schools!

4 What to be doing this year if applying for the entering professional class of 2014 (current applicants, sit tight). Fall semester 2012: Get the Committee Interview Packet, on-line at OR hard copy at 213 Whitmore. Solicit faculty letters of recommendation! What you should strive for is a set of letters that can provide a broad perspective of you as a candidate by writers who know you. MCAT preparations and plan to sign up. Calendar is on Continue gaining relevant experience in healthcare settings, etc.! Attend “Open House” events at schools; meet with representatives from professional schools as opportunities come up! (e.g. Hershey Primary Care Day on 11/10/12) Spring semester 2013: Take MCAT (when truly ready- NOT prematurely) and … FOLLOW-UP with your letter writers on LORs! Do have an alternate letter writer in mind, too! As best you can, continue gaining related experience in healthcare settings, etc.! Spring/Summer 2013: Primary application to AAMCA and/or AACOMAS in June/July ideally. NOTE: the Penn State Committee letter is NOT submitted as part of the primary application. Do NOT delay your primary application waiting for your Committee interview. You make the call to Schedule Committee Interview (mostly in the summer) when your Biographical sketch, draft personal statement and at least 3 letters are received at our office. We anticipate scheduling will begin around mid-April. You prep and send out Secondary Applications. LORs become part of the secondary applications Fall 2013: Monitor status of applications. Caution: Do not confuse deadlines of primary vs. secondary applications! See Schools’ websites or MSAR. Pay attention to current events, news, etc. pertaining to your career goals. These are predictable topics for interviews at professional schools!

5 First time candidates: “to do” in AY 2012-2013
Optimize your MCAT prep by whatever study modes work best for you, such as Kaplan, Examkrackers, Berkeley Review, Princeton Review or whatever else! Many preparation aides; e.g. the low cost Official Guide to the MCAT Exam. Review content areas of the test and plan your remaining elective courses so you’re not taking MCAT prematurely. Strive for best outcome the first time! It is not a test to take lightly or to “see how I’ll do, then really prepare right for the second time.” All scores are reported & some schools average! E.g., Jefferson averages.

6 Letters of Recommendation (LOR) We strive to mirror what schools expect to receive: two core science/ one non-science faculty letters. Q: But my core science classes are so large? A: yes, but you can still talk to the professor and if she/he is willing, make a short appt. for a conversation regarding your preparations for post-graduate school; provide a resume. Your upper division science courses tend to be smaller with more interaction. Q: But she/he really doesn’t know me… A: plan to round out your letter set with other faculty who know you from smaller classes, e.g. upper division specialty courses such as Medical Microbiology; Histology; Advanced Immunology; Physical Chemistry as examples. A research mentor’s LOR is helpful as a 4th or 5th letter. Family member = conflict of interest! Q: What about non-science classes…they are so large, too? A: Your ENGL 15 (30 or 137H or 138T) or 202; CAS 100 are examples of smaller classes to consider. Suggestion: Avoid getting letters solely by a “graduate assistant”. A letter co-written with the professor in charge of a course inherently has more credibility. Suggestion: Since you are applying from Penn State, the Admissions Committees are expecting most (if not all) of the faculty inputs to be PSU faculty. Beyond the minimum of 3 letters, do consider “other writers” for letters #4 to #6 for the PSU Committee Letter set.

7 But wait, there’s more on letters…
Q: My professor in xyz is not in the Science College, is that okay? A: My best advice is to try for at least 2 from core science subjects or other ECoS faculty AND solicit writers from other colleges (if you wish) up to max of six LORs for the Committee Letter set going from Penn State. Use our Request Form for all solicited letters. Fill out your portions/ date and sign! We ask two simple things for your letter writers: 1) do their letter on “letterhead”; 2) date & sign their letter! Unsigned letters may cause needless delays. This will make prep of letter sets faster for our staff and helps to legitimize the letter sets being forwarded on your behalf! At this time we prefer that letters be sent to our office – not ed or faxed. Waive/ do not waive right of access to letters?? We will always urge you to solicit confidential letters of recommendation. Do give the request form to your letter writer, to be returned to us with their letter. For now, electronic transmission of letters to our office is not desired. It is suboptimal at this time and creates a layer of prep, processing and follow-ups, i.e. delays! We plan to continue using VirtualEvals for PSU Committee Letter transmittal next year. We do not use Interfolio and we can not do on-line, fill-in forms!

8 Even more on LOR and apps…
NOTE on osteopathic schools – They typically require or strongly recommend a LOR from a D.O. Get to know a D.O. and spend some time with her/him discussing the profession and shadowing! There are three D.O.s on staff at UHS. - If you are applying ONLY to osteopathic schools, we like to include this notation in the letter set going from the Premed office. - However, if applying to both D.O. and M.D. schools, we encourage you to provide your D.O. letter writer with addressed, stamped envelopes for direct mailing to the osteopathic schools. Special Forms: You need to also provide any special “letter request form” that some schools have, e.g., Michigan State University Osteopathic School has this in their secondary application and they are very particular about the LOR process! ** THIS IS IMPORTANT: PSU “Committee letter” is identified on your primary AMCAS application, but is NOT submitted to AMCAS as part of the primary application. Don’t delay your Primary App awaiting a PSU Committee Interview and letter! Per AMCAS definitions, p. 59, “2013 Instructions”, our office facilitates a “Committee Letter”, including the set of additional letters. It is not a “Letter Packet.” Again, do NOT delay submitting your primary application by waiting for your Committee Interview. Get the primary application (and ALL college transcripts) submitted to AMCAS and AACOMAS as soon as you commit to the application cycle!

9 Biographical Sketch Mania!
We have hundreds of candidates to track. Attach a recent small photo! Biosketch prepared neatly and readable!! This reflects on your professionalism. It stays at our local office. Waive/ not waive access: we recommend “waive”/ sign and date! This tells schools that your materials will be prepared as “confidential”, which is their strong preference! Draft Personal Statement. It’s your chance to tell a reader who you are and why this is the right career track for you. Get objective readers! This draft stays local. The Tentative List of schools is just that – tentative and intended to assist advising at the time of our interview. Q: Must I have my MCAT results before the PSU Committee Interview? A: It helps to have MCAT scores for our office to prepare the most informed letter of evaluation on your behalf. IF you plan to retake the MCAT, that is important to state at the interview, too. If you indicate plans to retake the MCAT when corresponding to schools, let them know if you change your mind. Creating MCAT confusion can delay your application’s review. Be realistic about how your MCAT and GPA fit the profile of previous entering classes at the schools of greatest interest.

10 After everything is in their hands … (attn: 2013 cycle candidates!)
Updates of germane information are important! E.g., fall grades (Official vs. unofficial set via depends on the school/ ask them if this is okay). Some welcome updates, some will not add them to a file. E.g. Any awards (Grammy, Nobel, Oscar, Emmy, Peabody Award, Pulitzer Prize, Heisman Trophy, Nissen-Emery Award, etc.)?? Research publications and/or presentations. Noteworthy activities not previously reported. Plans to retake MCAT? Do follow through. It is important to continue to show interest with the school(s) of greatest interest to you. General Questions?

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