We sat down with Dr. John, MedSchoolCoach advisor, former adviser for the Honors College at Rutgers University, and former faculty interviewer at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, to learn a little bit more about her background and her experience throughout the application process.
Tell us a little bit more about your background.
I was a member of the 6-year accelerated BA/MD program at Rutgers University to which I was accepted during my senior year of high school. I subsequently went to medical school at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, where I served as President of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society to which I was inducted during my third year. I served as an adviser for the Honors College at Rutgers University and on the interview committee at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, where I interviewed candidates for admission. I’m actively involved in mentoring and am interested in helping students pursuing accelerated programs as well as more traditional routes.
What was it that got you interested in advising students?
I was lucky because I had an older sister who went through the process of applying to medical school. She was an extremely helpful resource and was able to provide me with advice and tips that someone may not have without experiencing it first hand. Your school guidance counselor or pre medical counselor may be able to provide you with basic information on the application, but it’s a confusing process. As someone who went through the process myself, I felt I could serve as a platform for application do’s and don’ts.
What is one piece of advice that you wish you had going through the process?
The admissions committee isn’t looking for someone who can “save the world”. They are looking for someone who portrays maturity, dedication and sophistication. Touch upon these qualities, both in your personal statement and in your interview. Some applicants try to throw jokes into their personal statements, but this can derail your aim and may bring up the question of how serious and dedicated you are to this process. Also, it’s never too early to start preparing for medical school. Once I knew I wanted to be a physician, I started building up my CV. I got my EMT license in high school, which was brought up a lot during interviews and was a way for me to demonstrate my dedication to the field.
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