Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Premed Tips: Secondary Applications

I whipped up this list a while ago after talking to a coworker who was applying to medical schools.  If you sent in your primary application (general application sent to all schools) early, you're probably receiving secondaries (applications for specific schools with additional essays and questions) right about now.  Here's a few tips to help you with the process:
  • Stay Organized.  One of my coworkers started a spreadsheet with all of the usernames, passwords, and websites for all the schools to which she applied.  I didn't do this, but I think it's a great idea to keep yourself organized especially if you've applied to a lot of schools.  It will save you time from having to search through all those emails.  You can even include submission dates and application statuses.  While you're at it, keep an organized email account with separate tags and folders for all this correspondence as well.
  • Do them as you get them.  The more you procrastinate, the further behind you'll put yourself in the candidate pool.  This will be a pain especially if you still have school work to do or you work all day.  If you've applied to a lot of schools (applying to upwards of a dozen is not uncommon) they'll pile up before you know it, so don't wait.  
  • Write something memorable.  Of course, don't make things up or exaggerate.  Depending on the additional questions/essays write about something unique to you if you have the opportunity to do so.  I bet admissions committees get tons of generic statements about how great the school is with things pulled from the school's website and empty platitudes.  You want to write about something that will make them want to take a second look.  Everyone does community service and gets involved in student leadership, but you want to find a way to write about a unique or specific instance from that experience.  How did it influence you?  Did it make you look at something different?...all this being said, some secondary applications just have questions that only require a short response without much room or need for details and elaboration.  If that's the case, great.  Keep it simple and move on.  But, if you've applied to a school that's asking for a little bit more, don't cheat yourself by skimping.  Put some thought and effort into it; it'll make a difference.  
  • This time may be stressful but continue to enjoy your life.  What are your creative outlets, your hobbies?  Tap into those things.  Continue old hobbies or start a new one.  Trust me, once you start school you'll need an outlet.  This could also be a great conversation piece during interviews.  My interviewers asked me what I like to do in my downtime and for stress relief.  They want to know that you weren't so focused on building the ideal student profile that you don't know what you enjoy outside of school and eventually your career in medicine.  They want to see that you're a real person, so get out and enjoy your life while you wait!
Feel free to contact me with any questions you have, and leave any additional tips you found useful for others!  Good luck!

Accepted?  Waiting?  Working towards all of this?  
Check out my "bucket list" of things to do before starting medical school.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Life & Liberty

Even when you grow up in a city full of history, sometimes you still lose sight of it's significance until you see it through someone else's eyes.  A few weekends ago I was out with a friend from the West Coast who'd never seen much of historic Philadelphia. Surrounded by dozens of visitors and tourists full of intrigue, I saw the city in a different light.

I always find it amazing how one symbol can simultaneously mean both the same thing and so many different things to so many different people.  Just think of what would draw millions of people a year to this ancient form.  History.  Identity.  Hope.  Freedom.  Independence.  Even with the injustice that persists, to live in this country you are blessed.  Even with the inequality that prevails, to live in this country you are fortunate.  At heart we are much more alike than different; looking beyond our differences, therein the solution lies.  At the end of the day, we all want the same things.  Life and liberty.

And of course a rare full frontal photo of me in my "summer uniform," you know just for Mom and Dad, because I haven't seen the Liberty Bell in almost 20 years.
If you're ever in the city checking out the historical sights, be sure to swoop by South Street to visit Philadelphia's Magic Gardens and try Percy Street Barbecue.

What are some of the "must-see" attractions in your city?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Dinner with Friends

Most nights I prefer to stay in and cook at home, but it's always nice to get out every now and then for date or to catch up with a good friend.  With class starting in less than a week, I appreciate the time off to do more of these things.  A few weeks ago I went out with a good friend I've known since high school.  Between grad school and now a career and marriage, we don't see each other as often as we once did; however, we've always had the kind of friendship that picks up right where it left off.

I don't know about you, but my appetite tends to be a bit decreased during the warmer months.  Luckily for me, after a bit of wandering, we ended up at Parc, a local French bistro and restaurant.  With such great weather, we were hoping to take in the views with outdoor seating; however, a few dozen other people had the same idea.  While we ended up dining inside, the restaurant is so cozy that it was perfect for the mood of the evening, a time for catching up.  

Overall we both enjoyed the meal, ordering lighter entrees, nothing too filling. Neither of us have much experience with French food, so we weren't too adventurous in our selections.  In all honesty the bread was my favorite part of the meal (though it usually is), but I'd go back to Parc at a different time of day to try a few other things.

Get more info on Parc menu and location here.


Sunday, August 2, 2015

So Broken In broken in.  That's exactly how I feel about this denim shirt.  One of the few things I've ever purchased full retail and completely worth it considering how much I've worn it over the years.  Versatility and durability.  Really it seems like I haven't stopped wearing any of these pieces since I've purchased them; that's what I like so much about this look.  A little bit of old, a little bit of new, worn in a way I've never worn them before.  A look that holds a memory.  A look that tells a story.  A new day, new places, and adventure with the ones I love.

Shirt // American Eagle (similar)
Tee // Old Navy (similar)
Shorts // Ann Taylor Loft (exact on crazy sale)
Sandals // Sam Edelman (exact)

Watch // Fossil (exact)
Tote // J.Crew (exact // save)
Necklace // Ann Taylor Loft (similar here and here)

What are some of your favorite pieces?  The new, the old, the broken in?
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