View Full Version : Am I crazy?
02-06-1999, 05:15 PM
I think I have applied too late to get any serious consideration for getting in to any school. I have at best an average academic record (2.9, 7-8-8), but I feel I have much more to offer than just a few numbers. I applied to 14 schools and have gotten rejected at 5 and gotten 6 requests for secondary applications. Those will go out on Monday. This is my fear: As I stated earlier, my academic record is average at best. It is late in the application process. Soooo, basically I am wondering if I am crazy thinking i have any chance of getting in? I was also wondering, if i should call the deans of the schools that wanted a secondary application and try to explain a few things, as well as, giving them a better idea about the person behind the application? Again, thank you for your help...
02-06-1999, 05:47 PM
No you are not crazy to apply. However, it is pretty late in the application cycle to just be sending out secondaries. I would guess that your chances aren't very good for this year; apply June 1st next year. Make sure to stress your good points, and possibly try to take some more upper level classes to bring up your GPA in the meantime. You might want to consider retaking the MCAT again, also. If you can get at least one of the two (GPA or MCAT) up a little bit, that will help. Good luck.
02-06-1999, 07:55 PM
I suggest you do not waste any money for applying this year because it is very very late now.
As ReneeWB has mentioned, if you can improved either one of the 2 (GPA or MCAT). It will look better on your profile.
02-06-1999, 08:51 PM
I thank you for your replies, but I guess I am a fool because I still think there is a shot that I might get in. Altough, this is a shot in the dark, I might hit the target. I have this streak of stubbornness that I cannot break for some reason, it might be my downfall. I realize that I have do not have a great chance of getting in, but I feel if there is a chance i can get an interview somewhere, i can get in. As you can probably tell, I am very confident in my interpersonal skills and I think it will help me a great deal. Do not get me wrong, I am not trying to sound arrogant by any means, but I feel I can represent myself much better in person than i can on an aplication. But again, I thank you for your responses, even tough they are more depressing than helpful. Thank you...
02-06-1999, 09:21 PM
It's great that you have such self confidence in your interpersonal skills. The question is whether or not your stats are good enough to get to that stage. Don't take this the wrong way but stubborness can come back to haunt you. I admit that I too can be stubborn, but not to the degree that I'm not willing to listen to advice. I agree with everyone else that it is not a good idea to apply this late. Do you know whether or not the schools that sent you secondaries mail them out to all applicants, regardless of their stats? Most schools do that so don't get overconfident. I'm not trying to put you down or anything. I'm just making sure you're aware of the facts. The problem with applying now is that the vast majority of seats for the fall class are already filled. Second, your stats are not stellar. If you want to have any chance at this stage, you really have to shine on paper. Otherwise, you won't get to the interview stage. However, don't be discouraged. You should definately retake the MCAT. Check this message board out carefully because somewhere, there are stats for the 1997 entering class at all osteopathic schools. If you can, take some advanced courses and raise your GPA. Definately do one of the two and if you can, do both. Good luck with whatever you decide.
02-06-1999, 10:36 PM
Well, there have been a lot of painful doses of realism and I'm afraid my opinion is as equally depressing. While I do appreciate your interest in osteopathic medicine, I don't think you stand much of a chance this year for a couple of reasons.
First, as it has already been stated, your stats need improvement. You need these bring these numbers up even if you intend on applying early next year -- they'll prove to be your biggest hurdle. While osteopathic medical schools do tend to look past the numbers, GPAs and MCATs still open the door for you to impress them with your interpersonal skills. Only at that point would you stand a chance of gaining admission over someone with a 3.3-3.4 GPA (roughly the average GPA).
Second, many of the schools have over 4,000 applications for 100-200 slots and the chance of being overlooked EVEN with excellent stats and an early application is high. I thought my application was rather strong (good numbers, graduate education, a lot of osteopathic experience, etc.), but I still haven't heard from 4 of the 13 osteopathic medical schools I applied to. And I had my primary application at AACOMAS on June 1, 1998 (the first day they started taking the applications) and my secondaries were all returned within 24 hours. I'm convinced that my application was overlooked at the other schools because there are just TOO many applications. So, there is an element of luck that cannot be removed. To tilt the scales in your favor you need good timing and good stats, and both of these are working against you right now.
I'm also afraid that JustWannaBeADoc is right in that most of the schools are already filled. For example, At AZCOM (where I first interviewed in September), they had already received 1,200 applications when I arrived. They were interviewing 60 students that week and an additional 60 the following week. Their class size is roughly 120 students so they easily filled their class and build a sizely waiting list before the new year. It is the same at many other schools.
Finally, I wouldn't recommend contacting the deans of the schools. If I was a dean I would be immediately skeptical of anyone who waited this long to apply. This could also hurt your chances for admission next year.
Again, sorry for another depressing opinion.
Good luck. Maybe you can prove us all wrong.
02-07-1999, 08:59 AM
OK, grad school....then i will try this again. Depression can only last so long, then it is time to move on, I think I will move on. But again, thank you all for your advise.
02-07-1999, 09:16 AM
I hope you you don't get depressed over this. Is this your first time applying? Unless you're 60 years old, then you still got plenty of time. My undergrad grades weren't stellar (science GPA jsut below a 3.0 and a cumulutaive GPA of around 3.3). I figured I didn't have much of a chance so I went and got an MA in biology. I'm finishing up an MHS (though I did this more for self improvement than for applying) so by the time I start this fall, I'll have 2 Master's degrees. Not too bad, and I'll only be 25. SO DON'T GET DEPRESSED! Feeling that way is only going to serve as an obstacle in your pursuit of a medical degree. Focus your attention on improving your MCAT, go take some graduate courses (if not get a degree) and if your interpersonal skills are as great as you say they are, then you'll be happy soon enough. Oh yeag, send your applications out early! Send out your AACOMAS on May 30, and get your secondaries back ASAP. Not necesarrily within 24 hours like Gregory (which I applaud you for since I could never do that unless it was a fill in the lines) but no later than a week later. Best wishes.
02-07-1999, 04:01 PM
I just thought I would add my 2-cents. I can already tell you have the single most important factor that will get you into med school...determination. First you must realize that you need to improve your qualifications. It?s a sad fact, but yes DO schools are also interested in the numbers. Once you get their attention and get that interview, then you can impress them with how you will make a great physician. Two years ago, I was in your exact situation. I had a sub 3.0 GPA and average MCATs. I had two choices... settle for second best, or do what I what I always dreamed of. I developed a long term strategy for getting into medical school. I knew that I was the only person who could stop me from making my dreams come true. I knew I would be a physician....I just didn?t know when that would be. First I acknowledged that both my MCAT scores and especially my grades needed to be improved. I realized that to optimize my performance in both my classwork and MCATS I needed to combine the two. I took a solid year of difficult senior of grad level science courses (conveniently related to the science in the MCAT) and tried my best to get nothing but A?s. What this did was not only boost my overall GPA, but give me a very high post bac GPA (the post bac GPA will appear on your AACOMAS profile and look very impressive) After I rectified the GPA problem I concentrated on the MCAT. I devoted 4 months to studying the MCAT (while taking two very easy classes). It really paid off. My MCATs went up 8 points. I was now prepared to go through the VERY EXPENSIVE and time consuming application process. So far, I?ve been put on the wait list at two schools and accepted at two. If I were to suggest a course of action, apply to your number one school this year (unless you have unlimited funds). You will then be able to say you at least gave it a shot. Save your money for the next years applications making certain to apply as early as possible and to as many schools as you can afford. Be realistic about your chances of getting in this year. In the mean time, take some classes, improve your MCAT scores and relax. You will get in, just maybe not this year. Med schools are looking for the entire package. It sounds as if you have the personal qualities needed to get in, you just need to tweak up the numbers.
02-07-1999, 05:06 PM
It is great to hear that someone made it through my situation with flying colors. I also know someday that I will be a physician but it is a different stroy trying to relate that to the parents. I am 21 and do have a few years to improve my stats. I got 6 secondaries and I am going to mail them all out on Monday, the money is not a problem. But next year I will apply to each and every school.
"I've lived to bury my desires,
And see my dreams corrode with rust;
Now all that's left are fruitless fires
That burn my empty heart to dust."
02-07-1999, 07:35 PM
Be careful about which schools you apply to. You will want to maximize your chances but not waste time and money unnecessarily. Make absolutely sure that you meet their prerequisite requirements. For example, most schools will require at least 8 hours of biology while others may require 12 or even 16. Applying to a school without "reading the fine print" can be avoidably expensive. Furthermore, make sure that you check all the state residency preferences for each school. Somehow I got the impression that West Virginia SOM would consider students from out of the appalachian region. I errantly applied and was rejected before they had even received my MCAT scores. Also, be prepared to field questions about why you applied to certain schools as opposed to others in your interviews. (I was asked.) Lastly, be sure the stated goals of the particular school meet your own. While they will all confer the D.O. degree, some may lean toward applicants they believe will better "fit" the school's programs.
02-07-1999, 07:59 PM
Hi DO Dude,
What state are you in? In my class this year, there are people from TN, MD, VA, GA, MS, AL. And some of the people interviewing for fall 99 were from PA and SC. So the school is starting to open up to other states, though at one time they did have reciprocity with only a few regional states.
02-07-1999, 11:57 PM
You amaze me with your persistence and dedication. You will get into osteopathic medical school if you try your hardest. Many of my friends/future classmates on this website are very smart people, but I do not consider myself one of them. The one thing I am sure helped me get into DO school was precisely my determination to reach my goal. I graduated from college with a BA in Biology with a GPA around 3.1-3.2. For the next two years I worked in an ortho clinic and in a biotech/pharmaceutical research firm. It was at that time that I decided to go back to school for an M.S. to improve my GPA and do some research (I've always wanted to do medical research). About a month before I started grad school, my father fell head first from the scaffolding surrounding my house and fractured his skull in 3 places. His neurosurgeon gave him a 50-50 chance of surviving. Amazingly he awoke from his coma in only 3 days and began an amazing recovery. He came home to us about a month later.
During this time my mother, sister, and I were in a state of shock. Many times I had to give my Mom hugs and words of support because she would break down and cry for my father. My test was to be able to support my mother emotionally, go to class during the day, and be by my father's bedside at the hospital from afternoon to evening.
I started my grad program a quarter behind schedule, and so had to take the most demanding courses of the M.S. program during our family crisis. Honestly, I didn't have time to worry about the classes, I studied as much as I could find the time, and promised myself I would try my best. You see, my father's determination and strength that led to his quick recovery inspired me to work my butt off at school. I lacked this drive in college to be honest.
To make a long story short, I did very well that quarter (about 3.6-3.7 GPA) and was happy to share my success with my dad and family. I figured if I could survive this kind of pressure, nothing could stop me from going to medical school. And my father's dealings with his many doctors also gave me a desire to go to medical school, not only for the intellectual challenge, but also to become a doctor who could understand his/her patient's emotional fears and uncertainties when their family members are sick. That was the only thing I thought my father lacked from his excellent medical care, that his doctors were unable to comfort my family through our terrible situation.
The MCAT was a struggle for me also. I took it 3 times before I was accepted to med school. I worked very hard to do well, and again I used my previous success and my father's lesson in determination to get the best scores I could.
The bottom line is that I am not that smart. If you get to know most medical students, they are a little brighter or just as bright as average people but they know how to work their butt off when they need to. Sparhawk, if you put your mind to your goal, I know you can acheive your dream of becoming a doctor. If you can, try to find a mentor (doesn't have to be a doctor) who will inspire you to your best. My mentor was a doctor, and he had more faith in me then I sometimes had for myself. When I called him recently about my acceptance, I was overjoyed with emotion giving him the good news. He was very calm, and told me that it wasn't anything he had done, but that it was all me. And he was right, he supported my efforts but I was the one who stayed up those late nights studying for my grad classes/studying for the MCAT.
In closing, don't fear adversity Sparhawk. Human beings are remarkable in how well they are able to adapt to difficult situations. Throughout the medical school application process, I thought of the sweet joy of victory that I would feel when I could convince the admissions committee that I had what it takes to be a doctor and still stay a nice person. I wish you the best of luck with your application to medical school and I will be honored to call you a colleague when you become a doctor!
02-08-1999, 08:14 PM
It sucks. It is hard to hear. It really sucks. Take the MCAT again. This is the honest answer.
I took the damned thing twice. It seems more normal than unusual have to battled this beast twice. If you do get in, you will have wasted some time studying. If you do not, you are a few months ahead of where you would have been.
DO NOT GIVE UP...
Even if you do fall on your face,you fall forward.