Documentation and Proof
Unlike the author of the famously discredited A Million Little Pieces, James Frey, I can prove my lies. This page has extensive documentation that supports my story that I applied to medical schools in 1998/1999 as a black man and that I likely gained admission because of it. You will find official letterhead from more than 20 American medical schools, such as Washington University, University of Pennsylvania, Case Western Reserve, and Harvard. The documents include:
- Admissions correspondence
- Invitations to apply
- Interview invites
- Letters of acceptance and rejection
“Let me clear about one thing. I never lied about anything on my application, except my race. Everything else on my application can be verified as correct. I didn’t even claim that I was ‘disadvantaged.'” — Vijay Chokal-Ingam
Information on the attached documents has been blotted out to protect the innocent and to hide irrelevant information.
In 1998, Jojo Chokalingam, with a 31 MCAT Score and 3.1 GPA at the University of Chicago, applied to medical school as “black” but NOT “disadvantaged.”
I sent the AMCAS application to a total of 26 schools and subsequently dropped four schools including Vermont, University of Missouri, Columbia, University of Nebraska, Omaha and Harvard (for reasons you will find in the book…). You will probably wow at the sheer number of schools I applied to, but let me tell you — this experience is typical of average medical school applicants who usually apply to 15 medical schools, according to the American Association of Medical Colleges.
- This page includes my educational background, school activities (membership in the Organization of Black Students at University of Chicago), work experiences, etc.
- It also includes my family information, including Mindy Kaling (Vera Chokalingam) who listed as my 18-year-old sibling at the time.
- This page is my application personal statement, which emphasized how my background as an economics major would help me in the age of managed care in medicine.
- This is the biographical information page of my application, with self-decription as “BLACK.”
- My acceptance letter, received on March 25, 1999. Victory at last!
- My interview on March 5th, 1999 with “The Cat Lady,” who you will get to know in the book 🙂
- My first year medical school transcript
- My invite to interview
- An invite to stay with a minority student during my visit at SLU. How did that go? Find out in my book.
- A letter from Harvard, confirming my decision to pull my application. Thanks to my sister Mindy Kaling! 😉
- A letter from Harvard confirming that I had applied.
I also received an invitation letter to apply from Harvard written by Alvin F. Poussaint, MD, the famous professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and friend of Bill Cosby. Poussaint also happens to be the father of one of my sister’s closest friends — IN OTHER WORDS, HE KNEW THAT I WAS NOT BLACK.
- My invite to interview at Yale University School of Medicine on February 26th, 1999.
- An offer to stay with a minority student during my stay at Yale.
- My supplemental application to Yale declaring that I am “Black” and “African American”
- The first draft of my thank you letter to Curtis Patton, Ph.D., who interviewed me.
- My interview schedule with Curtis Patton and Marc Keller.
- A letter from Gerald E. Thomson, M.D. of the Office of Minority Affairs, who invited me to apply to Columbia based on my MCAT scores.
- A letter from Andrew G. Frantz, M.D., inviting me to interview at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons on Thursday December 3, 1998.
- A letter from Emiliano R. Chavira, President of the BALSO (Black and Latin Student Association) inviting me to stay with a minority student during my stay.
- My letter to Dr. Lefkowitch, thanking him for interviewing me.
- A letter from Andrew G. Frantz, M.D informing me I was rejected from Columbia. 😭
- Business card of Michael Harris, who interviewed me.
- Columbia’s ethnic codes for applicants. I said I was B, but really I was A.
- Details of my flight on ATA to New York JFK from Midway Airport in Chicago.
- My invite to interview at Washington University based on my allegedly strong MCAT score, which warranted “Congratulations.”
- The cards of Lisa Hammonds (Associate Director of Diversity Programs), a Halli Berry clone who interviewed me and Charles H Nicolai, an elderly Urologist as well as my interview schedule.
- My invite to interview.
- Acknowledgement of my decision to remain on the waitlist.
- My letter saying that Wash U is my first choice of medical school. Funny, I told the same thing to EVERY other school.
- My supplemental application to Wash U.
- Confirmation of complete application.
- My RSVP to apply to Wash U.
- My interview schedule.
- My invitation to the wait list at Wash U. Hooray! Again, not bad for a kid with a 3.1 GPA.
- Acknowledgement of my decision to remain on the waitlist at Wash U.
- Receipt of application and request for additional materials.
- My flight to Philly. Was cancelled or delayed, twice.
- My supplemental application to UPenn.
- Interview schedule.
- My invite to interview at UPenn.
- Offer to stay with a host student.
- List of hotels, picked the Best Western. Had to cancel to stay with my friend, “Predator” in Baltimore.
- Interview schedule.
- Interview with Dr. Paul Dabrowski and Ken Solt, the dorky medical student.
- Dr. Paul cancelled, so I had to interview with Gaye W. Sheffler (Director of Admissions and Financial Aid) instead.
- Rejection letter received on July, 15, 1999. Took me off the wait list.
- My thank you letter to Gaye.
- My invite to have lunch with Karen E. Hamilton, Ph.D. and Hilda Luiggi of the Minority Affairs Office.
- A letter from me, begging UPenn to accept me.
- My invitation to join the UPenn Waitlist, second tier. Not bad for a kid with a 3.14 GPA.
- My invite to the waitlist at Case Western Reserve University and my eventual rejection letter.
- A letter from Bruce L. Ballard, MD and Lissette Lugo inviting me to apply to Cornell, based on my allegedly outstanding MCAT score.
- A letter from Students for Equal Opportunity in Medicine (SEOM), thanking me for my application to Cornell.
- My letter, informing Cornell, that I had already applied.
- My supplemental application, containing spelling and grammar errors (no wonder they didn’t accept me!).
- My invitation to interview on Feb 4, 1999 at GWU.
- The letter where I learned that Dr. Bibartola and “Farrah” (name changed) would interview me. I confused Farrah with another GW medical student with the same first name, that I had dated years earlier. I was afraid she would expose me. Apparently there were 2 students at GWU with the same uncommon first name! Dodged a bullet there.😉
- My supplemental application for admission. I love it when I said “honesty is fundamental to education,” in response to a question about the Honor Code. If they only knew!
- My flight to BWI Airport via Southwest.
- Confirmation that GWU got my application.
- The hotel I stayed at the St. James.
- They said I needed to complete English in order to complete the graduation requirements. David Owen, MD, the premedical advisor at the University of Chicago said that my humanities class would cover the requirement.
- Interview Day Schedule.
- The card of Leessa M. DiBartola, Ed.D. CHES, who interviewed me.
- Interview invite from Edward I Curtiss, MD. Confirmed for January 11, 1999.
- My reservation at the Best Western, University Center Hotel.
- My interview schedule.
- My interview survey (as if they cared what I thought!)
- My invitation to be hosted by a student during my stay.
- My flight by Vanguard Airlines, which I never flew on before or since.
- My receipt from the Best Western.
- My invitation to interview from Pat Samuelson, the Director of Admissions.
- My interview schedule at Rochester with James Manning, MD, and Brenda Lee, M.Ed. on Jan. 25, 1999.
- The cards of James Manning, MD, Brenda Lee, M.Ed., and Pat Samuelson, the Director of Admissions.
- My invitation to interview.
- My supplemental application.
- My reservation at the EconoLodge.
- My invite to stay with a host student.
- My invite to stay with a minority host student. Declined for obvious reasons! 😳
- Invitation to interview on January, 14, 1999.
- My thank you letter to Michael Diaz, MD, who interviewed me.
- My thank you letter to Robert Waterhouse, MD, who interviewed me.
- My supplemental application to Mount Sinai, which includes some interesting stories about me and my political activities at the University of Chicago.
- My interview day schedule.
Per the admissions office, my application to Nebraska lacks verification of residency. Unfortunately, Nebraska is not willing to waive residency requirements for minority students like the University of Wisconsin does.
My flight to Omaha by Southwest.
- Letter from Gloria Hawkins, of the Multicultural Affairs office at the University of Wisconsin, Madison Medical School inviting me to apply based on my allegedly strong MCAT score.
- Wisconsin’s rigorous state residency requirements for admission to the medical school.
- An admissions policy statement saying how the school will waive those state requirements for students with “differing ethnic or racial backgrounds.” At least that is my interpretation of why they were trying so hard to recruit me despite the fact that I had never been to Wisconsin, let alone calling myself a state resident.
- A follow up letter from Joan K. Brooks, inviting me to apply to University of Wisconsin, Madison.
- Some additional info in my supplemental application.
After my highly successful MCAT score of 31 (ya right!) Vanderbilt University invited me to apply to their medical school. They even offered to waive the application for a qualified black applicant like me. Never applied, mainly because of what happened to Rommel Nobay when he applied there.
- A request for me to apply based on my allegedly strong MCAT score and minority status.
If you have read this far you are probably crazy, but at least you know for sure that I got into medical school by posing as black.
A group of letters from Dartmouth Medical School, Allegheny University of the Health Sciences, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, inviting me to apply based on my allegedly high MCAT score and minority status.
My undergraduate transcript at the University of Chicago with my 3.2 GPA – just in case anyone thought if I got into medical school based on my exceptional academic record. My GPA increased from 3.1 to 3.2 my senior year after I applied to medical school.