OPN meeting in Seattle?

Hi, I am new to this site. I am in Seattle. Is anyone up for getting together in person and exchanging info/tips that way?



Hello! There is an info-session at UW on the 2nd of April from 3-4pm!! Have you considered going? I’m RSVPing for a friend and I to attend. I think it would be helpful to see a more in-person insight on the process entering Med school,especially for UW’s school of Medicine!!

If you go to the info session at Washington, could you report back with a posting on your impressions, useful information, etc so it can be shared with other members of OPM. Thanks

I’ll be there on Fri, 4/2, 3pm at UW and I’ll talk to any old person I’ll see!


Will do.



I would like to attend this. Can you point me to a website that gives info on this?

You bet. I can’t find the exact page any more but there are two links that give a lot of info:


And here’s a site that gives general info on applying to the UW med school and the MD program:

http://www.washington.edu/students/gencat/acade mic…

You can also call the admissions office and get the ifo that way. Sorry I don’t recall the exact page any more… if you need more please let me know.



They offer these every other month

Volkmarr, nice to meet you at the session. Good luck (to both of us)!

What did they cover in the session? I wanted to go, but was busy. I’m going to try and go to the next one (in June I think)

More or less what is covered on the web site. I’ll try to write up my notes later this week.


Nice to meet you, too! See you in med school!


I’ll write up my notes, too.

The gist of the info is written up at:


On the left hand site is a navigation bar with different topics. Click around there. There is also a link to a PDF with more tips that sound similar to what Stella has been presenting:


Another comment: UW is one of the top med schools in the nation and they only take 7% of all applicants. Considering that fact, everything was presented in a very much down to earth and non-threatening manner. Maybe that’s because most Seattleites are generally nice. I mean they almost made it sound EASY to get in. Even gave tips on what to avoid etc.

Lastly, is anyone interested in getting together every few months, or just once, to compare notes?


Here are my notes. I got there almost a half hour late (a meeting at work ran an hour over and traffic was horrible), so there was probably stuff earlier that I missed.


Info: Contact stellay@uw.edu (206.543.7212)

Primary app (AMCAS): start June, due 1 Nov 2010, considered starting in November if app is complete

Secondary app: Due 17 Jan 2011


4 sem (6 quarters) social science or humanities (lit, philosophy; language classes to teach you how to speak DO NOT COUNT)

6 sem (9 quarters) chem & bio: gen cham, gen bio, biochem, mol. genetics, cell bio, cell physiology

2 sem (3 quarters) physics

Recommended: ethics, anatomy, physiology, embryology


What is important to the committee in admitting students to the program? How are things weighted?

  • 25% MCAT scores
  • 25% GPA
  • 50% everything else (LOR, interview, experience, insight into health care)


For comparison purposes, figured in the following manner:

[ (F x 1) + (S x 2) + (J x 3) ] / 6

F = freshman GPA

S = sophomore GPA

J = junior GPA

What might mitigate a poor GPA?

  • Time to adjust to college
  • Inadequate high school preparation
  • Personal or family reasons (to explain a "bump in the road")
  • They are looking for an UPWARD TRAJECTORY or other reason for lower-than-average grades
  • Broad-based education is good, but ability to succeed in science courses is important


  • Average is 32 or 33
  • Most recent MCAT score is used
  • Verbal < 7 is a concern, because it's hard to pass the USMLE with such a low score

**Letters of Recommendation**

  • 3 from faculty members*
  • Up to 3 from others

    *If you have not been to school in 5+ years, request a waiver from UW and get your LORs from employers instead
  • The LORs should address these topics:

    -- How well do you know the applicant?

    -- Strengths, unique characteristics

    -- Weaknesses

    -- Other stuff that I wasn't fast enough to write down


  • At least 40 hours
  • If doc you want to shadow is concerned about HIPAA regulations, get a form from UW School of Medicine. Often they will accept this as sufficient.

**Personal essay**

I was too slow to write anything down.

**Additional essays on secondary app**

  • Shadowing experience: How did these help you to prepare to be a physician?
  • How are you now prepared (and preparing) to be a physician?

**Winning characteristics**

  • Motivation
  • Passion
  • Truthfulness

WWAMI applications are reviewed ONLY AFTER THEY ARE COMPLETE (i.e. all pieces are there) by two members of the executive committee. Each recommends to interview or not. If they disagree, a third exec. comm. member is the tiebreaker.


  • One has all your info
  • Two are blinded to your grades and MCAT scores


  • Know what you are getting into
  • Have you observed doctor/patient interactions?


  • Have limited or no patient interaction
  • Have limited life experience
  • Be naive to medical realities

Check out web site for Dept of Bioethics (there is a separate department for bioethics?!), linked from the UW Medicine web site.

From WA: 733 applied, 147 offered positions, 126 accepted

GPAs and MCAT scores for interviewees and accepted students (std dev in parens)


GPA 3.64 (0.21)


V 10.2 (1.8)

PS 10.3 (1.8)

BS 10.8 (1.5)

Writing P-Q

Accepted students:

V 10.3 (1.5)

PS 10.0 (1.8)

BS 10.7 (1.5)

Writing Q

Hi! I’m from Seattle too, it’s so nice to see older pre-meds in the Seattle area!

How far along in pre-reqs are you all at? I still have a bit to go (still working on my undergrad!).

There’s a Health Fair coming up at UW soon as well: http://careers.washington.edu/Health-Fair

It’s really so nice to see such a supportive environment for older students.

Hello there! Were you there at the info session on 04/02 @ UW? I was there in the last row with my best friend. I introduced myself and mentioned that my seven year old was recently diagnosed with A.L.L! It was a wonderful meeting and it gives me hope…I have met many wonderful Med students @ Madigan Army Medical Center (my boys are legally adopted and have military benefits from my dad) and they give me wonderful insight about their experience w/UW’s med school!!!

Hi! I am in Seattle and just starting my med school quest hopefully for 2012 admission! I am 34 and have been working in biotech for 10 years with a BS. My college GPA is 3.5 with many low grades freshman year and then 3.7 to 4.0 for the rest of school except for Biochemistry! At the time I felt it was a pre-med weedout class at UW. Funny thing is that my degree was in Biochem but the series was my lowest science grades at 3.1, 3.4 and 3.3. I hope this will not look bad on my application.

I have joined this forum with some purpose I am looking for answers…

  1. Does work history in science help your application? I have been in gene therapy or oncology research since leaving UW in 2001.

  2. I am an emergency medical responder at work would this count towards “volunteering” I am trained in emergency response, CPR and AED use and have been for 5+ years.

    My other question only I can answer but any advice is welcome!

    I was just offered a new job in San Fransisco but I am hesitant to take it if applying to med school in two years and moving again. I have a family (12yo boy and husband) so I don’t want to disrupt their lives every year!?

    Any advice? I have to give my answer next week.

    Also, if there is a get together in Seattle I would love to meet other “older” pre-meds…

Hello there! Did anyone agree to form a support group in Seattle? Motivation is the best thing…if there is can anyone let me know? My son is scheduled to have his Bone Marrow Transplant on the 25th,…so we’re going to reside in Seattle from this month until Sept…I can’t believe Im taking summer quarter off…but I’m still determined to apply to Med School…if anyone out there is having meetings or get togethers I’d be glad to join! Everyone have a blessed day!!