Hi. My name is Mario Nawaz and I received my biology major from CSUF in 2010. I consider myself very lucky to have been given my opportunity to attend medical school and pursue my dream of becoming a physician. I would not be where I am today if it wasn't for my family, friends, and professors.
I wasn't involved in very many activities. The quality is much more important than the quantity. I have been involved with music since elementary school. I also enjoy training in martial arts. It's a great way to stay active and allows me to focus on the present.
I highly recommend shadowing. It can be an interesting way to see what a physician's day is like. Additionally, volunteering at the emergency room of Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center helped show me how all the different health care providers work together to treat patients. On another note, I also enjoyed being a tutor at my local library for elementary students.
I was in Dr. Miyamoto's lab for about a year. I started out stocking the lab with supplies and helped ensure the lab ran smoothly. I then became involved in independent research using primarily RNA in-situ hybridization to study ovarian cancer.
Applying early in the cycle can be a huge advantage. AMCAS typically opens early June. Having the letters of recommendation, MCAT scores, and personal statement done before the first day AMCAS was open allowed me to be one of the first applicants schools reviewed. This lead to early interview invites and even an October 15 acceptance (this is the earliest date any Allopathic school can begin to accept students).
I highly recommend getting involved with SHPA and visiting the Health Professions Office. SHPA is a great club that allows you to gain insight into the different health professions fields (doctor/dentist/pharmacist/optometrist/etc). I found the Health Professions Office to be very instrumental for my application process. I can't count how many times Dr. Goode helped me when I was revising my personal statement.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me.