Saturday, July 22, 2006

FAQ #1: What Kind of Student is CCLCM Looking For?

I didn't do much of anything exciting today besides studying, so I thought I would respond to one of the questions that a few readers have asked me. Namely, they wanted to know what the CCLCM admissions committee is looking for from applicants.

Here is my answer to this question:

"I think that the biggest thing the school is looking for is people who are intellectually curious. You don't have to have an extensive background in research necessarily, although many of us do, like I said earlier. This program does tend to attract people who are really into research. There aren't any people with PhDs in the entire first-year class of the Case UP out of 132 UP students, but we have two PhDs in our little group of 32! But we also have some people who are straight out of college and who didn't really do much research at all in school. Most of us are somewhere in between; we did a little research in college and maybe took a year or two off afterward and worked in a lab. So I guess the best advice I can give to you is to show that you're interested in learning and passionate about scholarship, even if it's not in a lab. There isn't one single thing that the 32 of us have in common besides that intellectual curiosity; it's an amazingly diverse group for there just being 32 of us."

I also asked Dean Franco, the CCLCM Associate Dean for Admissions & Student Affairs, for her opinion. Here is what she said on this subject:

"I am only one voice on the committee, but hopefully this would be our consensus opinion. Yes, intellectual curiosity is a big one. All students interviewed have some research experience, not always in science, but for the majority , it is in some scientific endeavor. We look for people who enjoy other people and have successfully worked in groups. We look for students who want to make a contribution to the world and have shown they will make a time sacrifice to do that. We like letters from references who really know the applicant's passion for whatever is important to them. Students have to manage under the work load, so academic success is required, but we do not have a specific MCAT or GPA cut off. If a student demonstrated they could recover from a rough start, we consider the circumstances. Our interviewers look for authenticity, sincere caring, and a desire to do one's best. When the same people are on the Admissions Committee and do the teaching, we know we are responsible to find those that will fit into this program and thrive. [CCLCM] isn't for everyone, and that is ok....We are looking for those who share our mission and want to be part of the family. That makes it all worthwhile."

I hope this information is helpful for those of you who are applying to CCLCM this year. I will answer other questions from readers in future posts.


johnny pollen said...

Hey there -- found your blog off of your SDN sig. I wanted to thank you: this sort of thing is an amazing service to those of us still trying to figure out what we want in a med school!

And, by the way, CCLCM looks like a fantastic choice. What made you choose this school? What were your other options?

CCLCM Student said...

Thanks; I'm so glad to see that people are reading it!

I'll write a longer post about why I chose CCLCM when I have some time, but the main reasons in general were the curriculum and the financial aid. Like Dean Franco said, this school is not for everyone, but I think that it was definitely the best choice for me. Not that I wouldn't have gotten a good education at another school, or that I wouldn't have liked it at another school. I'm a firm believer that we each make our own happiness in life. But if I could have created a med school program from scratch, it would be a lot like CCLCM.