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Profile and Perspective for J Chang                  Viewed 34608 times

General Information
Name:J Chang
School:Medical College of Wisconsin
Graduating:2007, MD degree
Gender:Male
Marital Status:Married, 2 children
Scholarship:None
Nontraditional:Yes
Second career:No
Posted:7/28/2005
Contact prefs:I am unable to respond to questions at this time.

Pre-Med Info
Pre-med:Neuroscience, BYU
GPA:3.79
MCAT:31
Number med schools applied to:21


Read questions I have been asked
by readers and my responses.

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Schools applied, interviews, offers
This list only includes schools interviewed at and beyond, and may not include all schools applied to.
Med School Invitation? Interviewed? Offer?

Profile Questions and Answers
Question Answer  
Why medicine? What is your story?I went into medicine for the same reason everyone else goes into medicine: fame, fortune, and fun. But you can't say that during the medical school interview so most applicants take the cookie cutter approach and say they want to be a doc cause they enjoy the sciences and, most importantly, because they want to help people. I probably went into medicine for the same reasons. read other replies on this topic
Are you in any special circumstances? Anything unique?Went on a 2 year church mission to a foreign land after my freshman year at UCLA. Came back and transfered to BYU because it was a lot cheaper. Got Married, graduated in Neuroscience, moved to Wisconsin, deferred med school for a year while doing research in Pulmonary Hypertension, had a kid, then started school.read other replies on this topic
What was the hardest part in preparing for med school?The toughest part was coming to grips with the fact that this application process is all a game... a very expensive game if you pay for all those blasted secondary applications. It's a big scam if you ask me. But I think all the hoop jumping prepares a person to become a physician because now that I'm 3 years into medical school, I am realizing that the hoop jumping never ends.read other replies on this topic
How much did you work while going through pre-med?Taught a physiology lab my sophomore, junior, and senior year of college (~10 hours/wk). Did some research so I could put it on my app. But it was all so long ago, I can't remember much more than that. Whatever you do, don't spread yourself out too thin with extracurriculars. Do several things that you like and devote yourself to it. Then when you interview, you can really talk about it. Get good grades, but don't kill yourself for a 4.0 because there is more to life than the inside of a library. And trust me, when you get to med school, you'll be spending plenty of time inside a library.read other replies on this topic
What did you do for MCAT preparation?Took a BYU class that was on Saturdays for several weeks. It got me to study, but the April score yielded a 28, little lower than what I was shooting for. The testing conditions also involved some extenuating circumstances such as a water leak over my head dripping onto my test during the verbal reasoning portion which I attribute to my 8 score the verbal. Studied on my own for a few months, took it in August, made sure to sit in a dry area, and scored a 31. I had friends spend to cash for the Kaplan course. But in my honest opinion the only reason Kaplan MIGHT work is because you spend so much money on it, you feel motivated/obligated to study. Save yourself the grand or however absurd amount of money it is these days, buy the books for a lot less( Kaplan does have good review materials), and use the left over money for a vacation to some exotic location. We did a cruise to Alaska. A much better use of the money.read other replies on this topic
How much did you shadow physicians?Since my little brother is going through the whole hoop jumping premed thing right now, I have a lot to say about getting in to medical school (if you have not already noticed). I believe that shadowing is extremely important. How else can you know what a doctor does all day. I feel that several full days of shadowing is far more beneficial for the applicant than is months and months of volunteering at a hospital being a nurses slave/ phone answerer/ greeter/ or hospital information provider. I've been there. Volunteering gives you little contact with the MD's and the contact you do have is but a slice in time. Shadow docs in different fields for full days. You'll have a blast, it takes less of your time, and you'll have plenty of sweet experiences to talk about on the interviewing trail.read other replies on this topic
How much did you volunteer?I find volunteer work great for the philanthropist, but the goal here is Physician, not Mother Theresa. Do it if you enjoy it and it makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. Do NOT do it to pad the resume. Your time is better spent shadowing doctors.read other replies on this topic
What clinical exposure did you have?Refer to the shadowing question.read other replies on this topic
What did you do for research?Refer to the previous questions, but I will add this. I deferred a year before starting medical school but used the time to travel, help out with our new son, and do research at the medical college to get experience, make some money, publish some papers, get some connections, and become a WI resident with lower tuition. I was already accepted to med school at the time, so this research was for the hoop jumping game called THE MATCH which happens at the end of medical school. Like I said, the hoop jumping never ends. But in undergrad, do research if you like it. If it does not float your boat, teach fly fishing, it's cool and sets you apart from the rest of the applicants.read other replies on this topic
Do you have any leadership experience?By way of leadership experience, I mentioned somed church missionary positions that I held. That was all.read other replies on this topic
What suggestions do you have for the personal statement?I actually just finished my personal statement for my radiology residency. Comparing it to the personal statement I had for medical school makes me laugh. For medical school, I tried to be creative give it flare so as to stand out. For radiology, they look more for short and straight forward personal statements. The personal statement is important, so don't brush it off. Have a bunch of people who know you read it. Give it to premed professors and MD's to read and critique. The best personal statement is one that DOES NOT stand out for better or for worse. You don't want your application flagged for being too strange. Rarely has a personal statement gotten someone into med school. Conversly, many great candidates have lost opportunities because of personal statements that were just too off the wall. Remember your audience, they are doctors, not actors.read other replies on this topic
What suggestions do you have for the secondary applications?Secondary apps are a scam and a way for some schools to get your money in exchange for a rejection letter. They are tedious and some require more essays. Just put grin and bear it as you jump through more hoops.read other replies on this topic
What suggestions do you have for the interview?Be yourself. Remember, the interview is for you to see if you will be a good fit at their institution so be prepared to ask good questions about the school. Most of my interviews were low stress and they just wanted to know if I had personality. You'd be amazed at the number of premeds out there who are just social misfits.read other replies on this topic
Describe your pre-med schedule, typical day and weekToo long ago to remember. My best advice though is to enjoy you undergrad years and the time you have to play.read other replies on this topic
Did you do any other extracurricular activities?Worked as a physiology lab instructor, did research, volunteered at church, had by own band called the Sea Monkeys.read other replies on this topic
How did you choose your med school?My undergrad had a file of all the places premeds applied to and where graduates actually ended up. I applied based on location and then based on where kids from my school got accepted. That's how I ended up in Milwaukee. Love it here too!read other replies on this topic
Did you take any extra coursework in preparation for med school?Nothing more than what was required of my major (Neuroscience). You'll learn the stuff when you get there. Undergrad is a time to get a broad education of stuff you are interested in and stuff you won't get to see in medical school. You can learn all the biochem you want in first year of med school only to forget 99% of it because all of it except the pathologies related to certain metabolic disorders do not apply to medicine. So forget that undergrad pharmacology class and take a guitar class or something.read other replies on this topic
Any open-ended advice?If your whole academic career is focus on the light on the end of the tunnel you might be in for a long and tiring journey only to find that the light was a train. Enjoy the journey, not just because its a long one, but because its a fun process. Hoop jumping can be fun! So enjoy the journey and that will make the destination that much more satisfying.read other replies on this topic


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