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Profile and Perspective for Zack Gangwer                  Viewed 26972 times

General Information
Name:Zack Gangwer
School:Arizona Podiatric Medicine Program (AZPod) at Midwestern University
Graduating:2011, DPM (Podiatry)
Gender:Male
Marital Status:Married, 2 children
Scholarship:None
Nontraditional:Yes
Second career:No
Posted:12/29/2006
Contact prefs:You may contact me.

Pre-Med Info
Pre-med:Microbiology/Clinical Laboratory Science, Weber State University
GPA:3.67
MCAT:27
Number med schools applied to:5


Read my med school diary.
Currently 1 entries.
Most recent entry: 12/29/2006
Read questions I have been asked
by readers and my responses.

Currently 7 questions and responses.

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?
Arizona Podiatric Medicine Program (AZPod) at Midwestern UniversityYesYesYes
Temple University School of Podiatric MedicineYesYesYes
Scholl College of Podiatric MedicineYesNoNo
California School of Podiatric MedicineYesNoNo

Profile Questions and Answers
Question Answer  
Why medicine? What is your story?I started out studying a non-medical major. I worked in youth corrections with delinquent youth. I had always wanted to be a doctor (if the NFL did not work out) but had been turned off to it by some doctors. I decided it is what I wanted to do, so began taking science classes. By the time I was ready to apply, I wanted to be a surgeon but also was married with a child and a second on the way. After much research and soul searching, Podiatry emerged as the only choice that would allow me to be a surgeon, but also give me the time I wanted with my family.read other replies on this topic
Are you in any special circumstances? Anything unique?Maybe not unique to people who get into med school, but I definetly have worked hard. I have always attended school full time while also working full time. I have 170 credits at my school, with a 3.67 gpa. So I am pretty proud of that.read other replies on this topic
What was the hardest part in preparing for med school?Juggling work, school, and social life, at the same time volunteering and maintaing all that is expected of a pre-med student.read other replies on this topic
How much did you work while going through pre-med?I have always worked full time and taken classes full time (including most summers). I first worked in youth corrections. For almost 3 years, I have worked in health care. I first worked in an acute adult psychiatric unit. I next worked in a post anesthesia recovery unit (recovery room for post op patients). I now work in a sleep laboratory doing sleep studies. All of this(until the sleep lab) was within 15 miles of my school. Again, I have worked a minimum of 36 hours a week, and usually do not have less then 15 credit hours per semesterread other replies on this topic
What did you do for MCAT preparation?Got a hold of some Kaplan books. Read them. Tons of practice tests. Used them to focus where to study more. I think practice tests and focused study are the key.read other replies on this topic
How much did you shadow physicians?I shadowed 3 sleep doctors for about 40 hours. I also shadowed a podiatrist for a day, just to make sure it is what I wanted to do.read other replies on this topic
How much did you volunteer?I have been constantly volunteering, not so much because it is expected but it is the reason behind all I am doing. I really enjoy working with youth, so that is what I have centered my volunteer work around. I have been a representative for a college at my university and travelled to high schools to teach kids about health careers. For 4 years, I have also been involved with Northern Utah Area Health Education center. During the year, I also visit high schools for them, mostly to do dissections with kids. During the summer, we have summer camps to introduce (mostly disadvantaged) kids to health careers and give them some practical experiences. My advice on volunteering is to find something you enjoy so it is not work so much as using something you like to benefit others.read other replies on this topic
What clinical exposure did you have?In youth corrections, I personally was responsible for a youth and held counseling sessions with him as well as did group work with his family. This was on top of being part of a team that supervised a group of boys. In psychiatry, I worked with acutely sick adults. This included some informal counseling work, as well as watching patients in the infamous "padded room". In the PACU, I was very fortunate. I was able to d/c art lines, maintain airways, and do many other clinical tasks. My greatest clinical experience has been in my current job as a sleep technician. I have a great deal of autonomy working with patients.read other replies on this topic
What did you do for research?Psychology research. Presented at our University symposium, as well as an annual conference of the Rocky Mountain Psychological Association, 2005.read other replies on this topic
Do you have any leadership experience?I was vice president of an hounor society for a year. I have served as a class officer. I have been a peer mentor for various groups. I also have represented my college in various capacities.read other replies on this topic
What suggestions do you have for the personal statement?Make it unique. First impressions are everything, and along with your grades, mcat scores etc. your personal statement is the first thing a school will see. If it is well written and organized, you will stand out and have greater success in getting interviews. Also, having a couple people read it and give you feedback helps.read other replies on this topic
What suggestions do you have for the secondary applications?As with all else, be honest. Tell them who you are. Answer what they ask, not what you think they want to hear. It is like they read your personal statement, and are allowing you to elaborate a little more.read other replies on this topic
What suggestions do you have for the interview?Relax. If you made it this far, you have a great shot. Go in prepared. Know about the specific school you are going to. Have questions to ask your panel. Be yourself. DONT LIE.read other replies on this topic
Describe your pre-med schedule, typical day and weekOH boy. Wake up at 6 am, and run. First class from 8 till 9. Hour break. 10 till 11 is another class. Monday and tuesday I serve in the non traditional student center. I go to the gym after that, then study for the mcat. On tuesdays, I have 2 labs, totalling 6 hours. Wednesdays, I hang out with my wife and son for a couple hours, before working a 12 hour graveyard shift. I work 4 12's a week, wed. thru sat. Sunday morning is church, sleep all day, and get ready to do it again. (I also run or go the gym tue, wed, thur, sat). I study when I can (at work is good since I work in a sleep lab).read other replies on this topic
Did you do any other extracurricular activities?I am married and have a son. That, along with running, weight lifting, basketball and school robs me of my sleep. Before, I did all of those things except have a family. I also volunteer with youth a lot. I am active in my church. I work full time. I enjoy drinking Kava occasionally. I play the guitar.read other replies on this topic
How did you choose your med school?Once I decided on podiatry, I was down to 3 of the 8 schools. Temple was my number one choice, because they seem to focus on trauma, surgery and have a childrens hospital (I want to focus on surgery but also want to perform medical missions to third world countries for children with diseases like club foot). I also was considering Des Moines and Arizona, because their curriculum was said to be far superior and you learn together with the d.o. students (so you know the classes are the best you can get). I first interviewed at Arizona, and was impressed with everything. THe interview went awesome, and I was excited to possibly have the chance to help establish the program (it is in its 3rd year). But I still had Temple. It was horrible (I won't go into details, but will just say my experience turned me off). I am a huge history buff, and loved the idea of being in philly, but I was not impressed with the school. So, Arizona said come and I was very excited to do so. (Oh, I cancelled 2 other interviews I had. I did not get an interview at Des Moines, because I had not yet taken the MCAT).read other replies on this topic
Did you take any extra coursework in preparation for med school?I have jumped to a lot of majors, so I have had a lot of extra classes that are beneficial, but I would not recommend anyone do as I did. Immunology was good (anything on the molecular level is great). That was junior year. Also, many CLS classes (i.e. hematology, clinical micro and chem, blood bank). Also, I took a pharm class for fun. Biochemistry my senior year.read other replies on this topic
Any open-ended advice?Pay attention in your core science classes. MCAT prep is so much easier if you know that material (i.e. gen chem, ochem, phsx, math). The one thing I would have done differently is taken a LOT of math, and taken it early. It is the language for all science. Also, balance your life. You are probably thinking, yeah yeah, you can say that. You are in! But if you don't have a good mix, you won't be happy and you won't do as well. (Trust me)read other replies on this topic


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