The University Medical School’s admissions office took to Twitter on Monday night, answering questions during an hour-long live chat with prospective students who had questions about the admissions process.

Students interested in applying to the M.D. program tweeted questions and concerns to @UMichMedAdmiss and including #GoBlueMed in their 140-character posts.

Eight current Medical School students helped run the Twitter account, providing first-person stories to help answer questions.

A prevalent concern among the prospective students was the availability of research and extracurricular opportunities at Michigan. In addition, many applicants asked about student life in Ann Arbor, as well as study abroad and volunteering opportunities.

“The faculty/staff here are incredibly responsive to your interests in clinical and basic science research,” the Medical School Admissions Twitter replied. “Students are happy, mentorship and support are amazing, (and there are) many strong research programs.”

According to U.S. News, the University Medical School currently ranks 10th nationally in research and fifth nationally in primary care. For the class of 2014, 10.1 percent of 5,776 applicants were interviewed, and 177 were eventually admitted.

The Twitter chat also revealed an interest among prospective students in patient care in underrepresented or underserved populations.

“How does learning to practice medicine in Ann Arbor contribute to one’s preparedness for serving the underserved?” one Twitter user, Meghan Schmitt, asked.

“Our Doctoring and Patient Centered Care parts of the curriculum prepare us to work with the underserved,” the admissions profile wrote. “And there are opportunities to volunteer with homeless/uninsured populations in Detroit and around (Ann Arbor).”

Many students, including Nicole Elmblad, Michigan Women’s Basketball guard, inquired about the student culture and sense of cooperation among M.D. candidates.

“How’s the student culture?” Elmblad asked. “Is there more of a sense of working together (versus) competing among students?”

“There’s definitely a sense of huge collaboration among classmates,” the profile replied. “I’ve yet to see real competition among my classmates.”

In response to a prospective student, a second-year Medical student answering questions from the account who identified herself by the hashtag “#MeghanM2” echoed the sentiment of collaboration.

“My classmates are definitely the best part,” she wrote. “They bring so many different perspectives and ideas.”

Medical School Admissions, in addition to pointing out the diversity of student culture and extracurricular opportunities available, noted that the Medical School offers about $10 million in aid to students each year.

The next Twitter chat will be hosted on Oct. 7. 

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