Congrats to Niklas on his acceptance into the University of Minnesota’s Medical School! If you’re an ACR employee who recently got accepted into their graduate, nursing, medical school or other program please email email@example.com to be featured here!
Name: Niklas Damberg
Accepted to: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Medical School
Major: Biology B.S., Minors: Nutrition & Chemistry
Undergrad University: University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Work at ACR: May 2016 – February 2020. I worked as an ACR mentor and took part in the ACR Internship Program. Working at ACR was one of my preliminary reinforcers pushing me to pursue medicine. I cherish my time spent working at ACR, the connections and impact I made on the residents I served, and the friendships I made with my coworkers. Some of my current best friends are people I got to know and work with at ACR.
Total HCE hours: 5,050 hours. Combination of working at ACR, Aris Psychiatry Clinic, and medical volunteering experiences.
Shadowing hours: 28 hours. From my understanding, shadowing is less important for medical school applications if one is active in other patient care capacities.
Other volunteer hours: 280 hours of medical volunteering hours. I took part in volunteering at Hennepin County Medical Center, Twin Cities Reading Partners, and Global Medical Brigades.
Research hours: I was involved in approximately 1,495 hours of research between two different laboratories throughout college.
How many programs did you apply to? I applied to 11 medical school programs.
How many programs did you interview with? I interviewed at 3 medical school programs.
Anything you found surprising about interviews? There is quite a lot of format/substance variability in interviews. Knowing yourself, why you want to pursue the program you are interviewing for, and what you are passionate about is helpful for giving strong, truthful answers during interviews.
Were there any helpful resources (books, websites, apps) you used to get through the application and interview process? My mock interview opportunity at ACR with Dr. Kedl was my most helpful interviewing contributor. There are many small intricacies highlighted only while interviewing, such that practicing a mock interview before your real one is an invaluable experience. I also looked through example interview questions put out by my University’s Health Careers Center. It was helpful to see a broad spectrum of questions targeting everything from personality to experiences to ethical considerations. Reviewing questions over a longer period of time was helpful for contemplating/synthesizing the answers I wanted to give in my interviews.
Any other advice for other pre-MD students? I strongly recommend continuing to pursue personal passions in college. I remained active in ski racing and lacrosse, two commitments I was often challenged on as, “Not having much to do with medicine and distracting from time I could be spending studying/researching/working/volunteering.” Time away from studying and working is integral to academic/job success, and I urge students to keep their experiences rounded and unique. You never know how one of these “fun” activities could impact you down the road!
Current employees and ACR alumni can join our Pre-Med Facebook Group to network with Niklas and others and learn about other opportunities for application boosting opportunities.