July 21, 2017

FAQs for Graduate Studies (e.g. Premed, Prelaw)

3. How are you qualified to be a consultant? How long have you been doing this?

My admittance into NYU for both medical and law schools   provides a unique perspective into the graduate admissions process.  I offer candid,   firsthand insight into doctoring, healthcare, risk management, alternative career   options, and much more.  

A score ago, I served as a student interviewer on the medical school admissions   panel.  During this time, I first edited an essay for residency admission for an   upperclassman.  That first personal favor opened a deluge of similar requests by   schoolmates and friends for assistance with applications to residencies, MBA programs,  and scholarships for medical students and practicing physicians.    

I have been a clinical preceptor to premedical students for a decade.    Because of increasing requests for my input on medical school applications, I have   decided to formalize my tutelage and make it available to all students.

4. Why does my child even need a consultant? Why can’t she “do it herself?”

If you’re training for the Olympics or any competitive sport, you can do it yourself or you can hire a coach. The application to medical school has now become so complicated and competitive that professional help might determine success.  An experienced guide prevents costly mistakes and trials, saving the agony and the cost ($6,000+) of reapplying.  (1)

In 2015, there were a total of 781,602 applications to medical schools. (2) Only 2.63% actually matriculated!  (3) That means your child has better odds of being diagnosed with cancer in her   lifetime than setting foot in a medical school.  

We don’t just save you from intensive research and potential misdirection by spoon-feeding information, we assist in packaging and presenting your child’s application to maximize success.    

Paying for MCAT preparation addresses only 12% of the application, leaving a bulk of the   process unassisted!  The student who isn’t updated with the continuous evolution of the process, e.g. multiple mini interviews, climbs Mt. Everest without a guide.    

Mentorship is especially invaluable for:  

  1. students with weak MCAT or GPA scores
  2. weak writers
  3. those lacking trustworthy, knowledgeable friends/family to counsel on interview techniques
  4. those who know little of the latest changes in the admissions process
  5. international students
  6. those with weaknesses in extra-curricular activities
  7. those applying to competitive programs
  8. repeat applicants.

5. Besides, her college advisor is supposed to help her with medical school admissions.

That’s great that your child has a college advisor!  Some schools don’t provide any. Some advisors might refuse to write a supporting letter of recommendation for your child. Ultimately, there are several reasons why you don’t want to rely solely   on the college advisor:  

  1. The average advisor to student ratio is 1:296!  Your child faces 1:296 competition   for advisor attention coupled with 2.63% medical school matriculation rate.   Boost your chances with customized, 1:1 guidance!  (1) 
  2. It is not the advisor’s job to hold hands through the admissions process!  He has so many   responsibilities that he doesn’t have time for any individual graduate application. Advisors counsel on course selection, ensure students complete all the requisite credits for  graduation, teach first year seminars, hold workshops, perform committee work, organize   institutional events, and undertake many other administrative duties that detract from   direct student advising!  
  3. We provide everything that the advisor does not. (2) 
  4. Our experience as working professionals provides unique perspective from the other end of the tunnel.  
  5. Our mentorship encompasses more than on a cookbook recipe.  It comprehensively  considers the before and after of the process, e.g. assess whether medical school  is the suitable path, locate funds for tuition, evaluate possible career options and  alternatives after medical school, etc.

6. My brother is a doctor. He will help my child with the process.

Is your brother up-to-date with the recent changes in the admissions process, e.g. multiple mini interviews being adopted by more than 30 allopathic schools? We are perpetually updated through research, conversations with admissions staff at different institutions, and with our growing network of premedical students in different application cycles. Does your brother have the time to truly hold your child’s hand through the entire process and provide all that our mentorship packages guarantee? (1)

7. How is your team unique from other admissions consultants?

Dr. Kuo has firsthand experience in being an admissions panel interviewer as well as a graduate school applicant to both medical and law schools.  She is a practicing physician and a licensed lawyer so her practical experience is particularly relevant to students who aspire to achieve professional career goals.  She was a mature, non-traditional law student so her perspective is especially useful for the post-baccalaureate student.

              Furthermore, our growing network of working professionals from elite academic backgrounds is unparalleled.  We have the capability of connecting students to research, bench-work, clinical preceptorships, and paid medically-related opportunities. If a student happens to work directly with us, our letters of recommendation will display an intimate knowledge of that student as an individual and highlight his/her strengths in a more personalized manner, an invaluable asset in any application.

              Because our network of premedical students, medical students, residents in training, and attending physicians is growing, our mentees have access to priceless advice about specific medical schools.

              No other commercial consultation services provide post-acceptance advice, e.g. scholarship opportunities, first year anxiety, acing medical school, exam strategies, etc. If reapplication becomes necessary, we won’t charge those enrolled in the comprehensive mentorship package.

              We always provide personalized, individual attention throughout the entire process, including the before and after. Other services provide no frills, cut-and-dry, cookbook recipes that end when the clock strikes five.  We offer the kind of limitless support and advice that any parent gives to his/her child, except ours derive from a wealth of professional experience and knowledge, supported by a network of working professionals from varied industries who provide big sister/brother insight into the rigors and demands of active, successful careers.

8. I already spend enough for her MCAT prep. Why should I spend anymore on consultation?

This question illustrates the very reason why you need a consultant!  MCAT is only   12% of the entire application.  This isn’t an “either-or” spending. With greater than   90% chance of failure in a competition against 781,590+ other applications, padding   only 12% of the application isn’t enough.        

With medical school tuition debts reaching $169,901, an investment of a few thousand dollars for your child to gain entry into medical school is a drop   in the bucket.  Compare this small investment to the earning potential of a  physician.  

Our past and current students attest to the effectiveness of our mentorship programs. (1)

9. How do I know you’re effective? Maybe if I didn’t use you, I would still get into the schools?

The national statistic for medical school matriculation rate is 2.63%.  Our pool of premedical students has consistently surpassed the norm in astounding measures. In the last year alone, 90% of our students gained admittance into a school in their top three choices! Over the years, we have collected hundreds of students who have been taking advantage of our mentorship. You can read some of their testimonials on FB (1)

10. Can I pay in installments?

The advertised pricing is designed for a one-time, upfront, pre-payment.  The advertised pricing is designed for a one-time, upfront, pre-payment. However, we are happy to negotiate a customized installment plan, with interest rate attached to remaining balance.

11. My child is only a college freshman. It’s way too early to start spending money on preparing for medical school application.

Some students prepare since the first day of college.  If your child doesn’t plan ahead, he might lose to the 781,590+ other applications!  There is no better time than right now to start preparing!  You benefit from lead-time.  Start on the right foot with proper course selections.  Create the perfect setup for a stellar GPA.  Acquire the research and clinical volunteer experience now so that the resume isn’t an obvious last-ditch effort to pad.

12. Is it too late to employ your services for my nephew who’s already started his medical school application process?

Better late than never.  Your nephew can utilize the services to identify weaknesses  in his application that can be polished and to put finishing touches on the packaging, personal statements, and interview preparation.

13. Why don’t you have “a la carte” or itemized pricing?

We do have a la carte pricing.  Please inquire with us about the pricing menu for a la carte services, e.g. essay edits, mock interviews. 

              However, we forewarn that disappointing admissions outcome does not reflect on the quality of our service since we were only employed for a single piece of the puzzle.  Lacking access to your entire application and the permission to coordinate all its moving pieces severely handicaps our ability to orchestrate your application and maximize its chances of success.

14. Can I downgrade or upgrade packages, once my child has enrolled in your mentorship?

Upgrades are possible but downgrades are not.  Downgrades require us to log hours, which is not our custom with the all-inclusive packages.  

15. Why do I have to prepay for services not yet rendered?

Prepayments are collected for the same reason lawyers ask for retainers and travel agencies ask for full payments before the actual vacation.  There is the possibility of non-collections. It is easier for a client to find us if we were to break promises than the other way around.  We are working professionals with reputations, professional licenses, and much at stake.

16. Can I get a complete or partial refund if my child doesn’t get in or if my child doesn’t use all of your services within the package?

Unfortunately, there will be no partial or complete refunds once services have begun upon the initial consultation. First, we don’t log the time spent on the all-inclusive packages so it would not be feasible to accurately calculate how much refund would be reasonable.  Secondly, other than the “introduction sessions” and “mock interviews,” we don’t limit your consultation by time so there is unlimited use of our time as we are functionally “on call” 24-7.  As such, the “on call” clock starts to run from the moment of agreed enrollment, even during the hiatuses when you don’t actually call.  This “on call” service is an invaluable and immeasurable asset found nowhere else on the current market.  While hourly rates for similar consultants charge anywhere from $200 to $500/hour, our fixed price packages offer buffet-style service.

17. Can I get a free trial period, or at least a free consultation?

We cannot provide a free trial for a few reasons:

  1. It is unfair to those who have subscribed that someone else is getting the same services for free.
  2. It is difficult to draw boundaries on where the free trial ends and where compensation begins.
  3. It becomes too messy for accounting and time-keeping.

Questions about the mentorship are welcome at anytime. Limited, free consultation about your child’s particular admission odds is feasible, depending on time demands and how in-depth the questions are. If your child wants to get a feel of what mentorship is like, she can speak with our current and past students, volunteer on clinical rounds with us (barring availability), or contact us with questions specific to the mentorship program.

18. Is your pricing negotiable?

No.  It is unfair to those who subscribed at the full price that someone else receives the same services for less. 

19. Medical school application is supposed to show independent thinking, a quality required of physicians. If my child gains entry because of your assistance, then is he at risk for failing medical school? Isn’t rejection on an application completed on solo effort a better gauge of merit and aptitude in medical school than acceptance through team effort?

By your logic, MCAT is also an independent effort.  Does this mean that students By your logic, MCAT is also an independent effort.  Does this mean that students   who utilized Kaplan or Princeton Review are less qualified to become physicians?   Of course not!  

A student who submits an application with counsel   isn’t any less qualified or capable of independent thinking than one who has. Real life medicine is team-work, whether in code resuscitations or advanced diagnosis   that requires specialty input.  A student who admits weakness and asks for consultations  is more likely to succeed than one who’s too proud and relies on trial and error.  

Besides, almost every applicant receives some   sort of assistance from a friend or family, whether it is essay review or   mock interviews.  Does that mean that nobody is truly qualified to be a physician? 

20. Will you guarantee acceptance?

No.  There are factors that are simply out of any consultant’s control, e.g.  GPA and MCAT.  Regardless of the utmost polishing, the admissions process might ultimately be handicapped by these fixed statistics because no amount of   consultation changes immutable characteristics.

21. The admissions process is based on stats like GPA and MCAT. How can you possibly improve those fixed numbers?

While we cannot change these numbers, we offer to negotiate discounts with private tutors for MCAT prep and basic science courses to improve these numbers.

              Furthermore, it is exactly because GPA and MCAT scores are immutable that our mentorship becomes even more valuable.  We assist in weaving a compelling narrative, incorporating extra-curricular activities (research and clinical experience), selecting recommenders judiciously, and making a lasting positive impression on the interviews.  Your child will need to stand out as a compassionate individual with a well-rounded personality who is capable of managing demanding work.

22. Will you write the essays, resume, and other parts of the application?

No. Medical school is a personal choice so we cannot produce a generic template for your child. Not only is such a product ineffective but also unethical. This represents your child’s future work as a physician.  We believe in fostering a future generation of intelligent, competent physicians with a strong sense of ethics.

23. What is your turnaround time?

Responses to emails, texts, and phone calls will be within 24 hours. Responses to emails, texts, and phone calls will be within 24 hours.   For each round of essay editing, please allow for two weeks.    Mock interviews are conducted by appointments only.

24. Can parents attend consultation sessions with the student?

Sure.

25. During such sessions, would you answer parent’s questions as well?

Sure.

26. Do the consultations and services have to be provided in person? A nephew who is applying to medical school is on the West Coast.

No.  Internet webcams, emails, texts, phone calls are all good substitutes.  The only mandatory in-person service is the mock interview.  However,   we can try to work around that as well, if absolutely necessary.

27. Can I talk to your former student to see if you’re any good?

Sure, we will connect you to a former or current student who is willing to share.  Please feel free to review some student testimonials. (1)

28. Can my child just call the medical school where she got rejected for advice?

Your child is certainly welcome to call anyone for help.  Your child is certainly welcome to call anyone for help.    Most schools will not advise.  Others will give generic advice, not personalized to her particular rejection.  One school’s   reason for rejection might not be the same as another’s.

29. Do you practice medicine?

Dr. Kuo still practices medicine.  The experts on her team as well as those who graciously agreed to be part of her network are also all working professionals who are academically minded and believe in nurturing the next generation of successful professionals.

30. If I have more questions about your services, how do I contact you?

Email is best for pre-enrollment questions.  We will either email or call you back if a phone number is listed in your initial email.

              Once the student is enrolled under our mentorship, she has unlimited access to us through emails, texts, and phone calls.

31. Why are you even doing this, if you are a doctor and going to be a lawyer soon?

There is a growing need for such mentors beyond her own pool of premedical students who shadow her on clinical rounds.  We want to make this available to all students.

            For general societal welfare, we want to ensure that the next generation of physicians is passionate about medicine.  Our mentorship provides candid, firsthand insight into the actual practice and rigors of doctoring so that students are making an educated choice when they embark on this career path.

32. You seem to have other obligations. Will you be passing your mentorship duties to someone else?

Will my mentor assignment be changed randomly throughout the entire application process?

            We match each part of your application to a corresponding expert so you may very well have an entire team working with you on your application or just one expert.  As we customize our services towards your specific profile, it is difficult to tell you in advance whether there will be one or many who will work with you.  However, please be assured that the service will always be individualized, customized, and consistent to suit your needs and goals.

33. How do I know that this isn’t an internet scam?

Physician licensing is public information.  Search NYS physician license verification,Physician licensing is public information.  Search NYS physician license verification,  http://www.op.nysed.gov/opsearches.htm, for Mu-I Kuo and google physician names to verify their educational and professional credentials.  Licensed physicians risk  more than their reputation when they conduct themselves in an unethical or illegal manner so your fear of internet scam should be allayed.