Thursday, March 26, 2009


Got into UCSF. Found out on Saturday.

I'm still shocked, even though it's been a few days already. I literally found out the day after getting into Touro, and I had resigned myself to the fact that I would go there. I had even begun scoping out pharmacies in Napa/Sonoma to check out and when I came back, I saw the letter.

I opened it up and as soon as I read the words, "I am pleased to inform you...", I didn't need to read anymore, and screamed. I was in disbelief because I felt I had done so badly in my interview that I was going to get waitlisted or rejected. I think I still am.

Anyway, it's just nice to see that everything's panning out for me for the next 4 years.

The funny part is--now that I've made it, I can stop obsessing over it--though it's now weird that the one thing that I've been worrying about since something I don't have to think about.

Now I can focus on enjoying the next few months before I go back to school full time, preparing for what I've been wanting to do for literally decades.

I'm so excited. :)


Darkmoon said...

Congrats. Boob.

I dunno why I wanted to call you that. But it just came to me, and I really did. So there. Boob. In the most affectionate way possible. :)

I still want my dime bags! hahaha.. nah.. just playing.

Mags said...

Congratulations, Efren!

Trav said...


I was browsing online about UCSF and ran across this blog.

Could you give me some advice, I just recently passed the PharmTech exam (yay) and am planning to pursue DPharm immediately. The problem is, I am a 2nd year computer science major. Should I shift to a med degree, finish this course instead, or what?

Also, what do you think UCSF saw in you that made them decide to enter you in the program? Do you got years of pharm experience, etc? What was your undergrad degree?

I was dreaming of getting in there without a bachelor's degree but I think it's impossible :\

Efren said...


To respond to your question, I'm a very, um, nontraditional candidate. I have a bachelor's in chemistry and Asian American studies from UCR in 1995, a master's in sociology from UCSB and did PhD studies in medical sociology at UCSF when I left in 2005.

My undergrad science GPA was pretty bad--2.6, since I was dealing with a lot of crap: coming out, family pressures, etc., and honestly I didn't feel that I could get into UCSF. I ended up doing health-related stuff since graduating, predominantly in HIV advocacy and improving health outcomes in queer Asian men in LA and SF, ultimately becoming executive director of a nonprofit called Filipino Task Force on AIDS from 2004-2005. I've also done research in health disparities in the queer community, such as HIV advocacy, smoking among LGBTQ youth, and relationship agreements in gay male relationships in regards to HIV.

I did my post-bac from 2005-07, and ended up getting a 3.7, which was one of the things that UCSF probably first noted. Another big plus is my 10+ years of volunteering in HIV and other forms of health care advocacy. I also did volunteer at UCSF's Nuclear Medicine for a year as well.

It IS possible to get into UCSF with only two years of school, since I have a friend who came in straight from community college, but you have to have absolutely stellar grades, a very strong history of volunteering in health care/pharmacy, and amazing letters of recommendation from pharmacists and professors. If you have only 2 years in computer sci, and not a lot of experience in health care either as a volunteer or employee, you have to build all of that up.

UCSF definitely looks for people who have strong leadership experience as well as strong academic ability, so if you want to get into UCSF, you'll have to prove yourself in both those ways. Good luck.

Lead Dr. said...

Congrats Efren!

UCSF is a great place.

You See Sushi is a great budget place.

jennette said...

Congratulations!! I "knew" you'd get into UCSF, they would be crazy not to accept such an excellent candidate in YOU.