M&L

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Full slate of ECs with all your boxes checked from volunteer/paid clinical work, volunteer non-clinical, research, and work in healthcare policy. Also some distinct elements in my app in the area of global health and volunteering for a successful congressional campaign pertinent to the ACA.

I applied to a large number of schools between the beginning of September and end of October. Just about all of them were outside of two week period because I got swamped with secondaries due to late-June MCAT timing/score release considerations. I realize plenty of questions like t his have been asked in past years, but with the pandemic, I feel as though I have no frame of reference.

So far, I have only 2 IIs, both from schools with in-state preference. In the first interview, which I thought went very well, I was waitlisted.

I can provide additional information if this would be relevant, but is my cycle a dud or am I just impatient?
id say it is still early. By now i had only 3 interviews, and ended up with 6 total.

Now, if you dont get anything more by february, i might start thinking about your options. Definitely submitting secondaries early might be a factor (even though ppl disagree on that). But if you want to cover all your bases, definitely a good idea if you dont get accepted next year.

I think you will be fine though. i know that waiting is really really hard, but try to distract yourself with a new hobby, or something else.
 
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- white male
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Full slate of ECs with all your boxes checked from volunteer/paid clinical work, volunteer non-clinical, research, and work in healthcare policy. Also some distinct elements in my app in the area of global health and volunteering for a successful congressional campaign pertinent to the ACA.

I applied to a large number of schools between the beginning of September and end of October. Just about all of them were outside of two week period because I got swamped with secondaries due to late-June MCAT timing/score release considerations. I realize plenty of questions like t his have been asked in past years, but with the pandemic, I feel as though I have no frame of reference.

So far, I have only 2 IIs, both from schools with in-state preference. In the first interview, which I thought went very well, I was waitlisted.

I can provide additional information if this would be relevant, but is my cycle a dud or am I just impatient?
I would say 2 IIs already for applications submitted Sep and Oct is good. This cycle is likely to see many late IIs and also lot of WL movement Mar - July 2021
 
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LizzyM

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You got two interview invites before Thanksgiving. So far you are at benchmark for someone who will eventually have an offer of admission. This is admirable given that you were not complete by Labor Day which is my measure of "on time" vs. "late".

The next holiday to look forward to is Mardi Gras (Feb 16th). You should have one offer by then. If not, start thinking about how you'll improve for a reapplication cycle.
 
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Thanks for both of your input.

Yeah, I've been telling myself it's earlier with the pandemic-related changes and all, I just don't know to what extent. It's just hard for it not to begin feeling late when the year is nearing its end.

I'll give a bit more specifics. I got an interview at UCLA, which is considered top tier if I'm not mistaken. Thought that might indicate a few additional top tier interviews forthcoming, but nothing has materialized.
II from UCLA is awesome. Now, if you are looking for IIs from other top schools, SDN gurus will tell you that you are showing signs of entitlement. I don't side with them because I am on the same boat as you, looking for IIs from top-tier schools. Good luck.
 
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Lifeblood_20

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I see. 12 seems low no matter what your stats are, but maybe I'm just risk-averse.

I'm just trying to get some sense that things are going alright in the context of this cycle and feel as though there is no point of reference.
Half the time I hear that the typical notion of what is "late" don't apply this year, half the time it's discussed as though this were a normal cycle timing-wise.

So yes just a bit of compounding stress there got to me a bit after first WL yesterday.
I submitted 13 in August and got 3 IIs and 1 A so far from those, so I think the timing of your submission definitely matters. 2 of my 5 IIs are from "top-tiers" fwiw
 

gonnif

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Full slate of ECs with all your boxes checked from volunteer/paid clinical work, volunteer non-clinical, research, and work in healthcare policy. Also some distinct elements in my app in the area of global health and volunteering for a successful congressional campaign pertinent to the ACA.

I applied to a large number of schools between the beginning of September and end of October. Just about all of them were outside of two week period because I got swamped with secondaries due to late-June MCAT timing/score release considerations. I realize plenty of questions like t his have been asked in past years, but with the pandemic, I feel as though I have no frame of reference.

So far, I have only 2 IIs, both from schools with in-state preference. In the first interview, which I thought went very well, I was waitlisted.

I can provide additional information if this would be relevant, but is my cycle a dud or am I just impatient?
1 Interview is good
2 interviews are great

WL this early simply means they are seeing who else accepts who maybe ranked higher than you
and for WL candidates, this cycle may go on thru next July
 
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I'm a similar applicant (3.96, 520, avg+ ECs, a few standout things on my app: Designed invention, failed start-up, stand-up comedy), submitted August for 22 schools and I've got 1 II (w/3 pre-II rejections). At my one interview, I noticed that I was 1/15 that hadn't taken any gaps years and then they brought in students and 1/16 had no gap years. So, if you have no gap years, that could lead to later/more difficult IIs. I also think so many of us applying think our applications are really incredible/stand-out because of the time and effort we put in over years. And for so many people that's true, but often it's so challenging to get that down onto paper in the right words and convince adcoms. Either way, COVID pushes things back and pre-Thanksgiving is a lot of those tippy-top stats people. Hoping for the best in the next half of the cycle. Best of luck to you.
 
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fogo

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With a 516 MCAT, you are below the median of accepted students for many of the top medical schools. This year is especially competitive since so many more students are applying. You still have a good application though and time will tell how it goes.
 

Goro

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Full slate of ECs with all your boxes checked from volunteer/paid clinical work, volunteer non-clinical, research, and work in healthcare policy. Also some distinct elements in my app in the area of global health and volunteering for a successful congressional campaign pertinent to the ACA.

I applied to a large number of schools between the beginning of September and end of October. Just about all of them were outside of two week period because I got swamped with secondaries due to late-June MCAT timing/score release considerations. I realize plenty of questions like t his have been asked in past years, but with the pandemic, I feel as though I have no frame of reference.

So far, I have only 2 IIs, both from schools with in-state preference. In the first interview, which I thought went very well, I was waitlisted.

I can provide additional information if this would be relevant, but is my cycle a dud or am I just impatient?
Yes to both questions. And be thankful that you have two IIs.

It's a very competitive cycle.
 
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2.9GPA

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I was complete late-September to October and 2 of my 3 interviews came this past week, within minutes of each other. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the end of November, just give them a chance to come in. Your 2 II show that you have no red flags so, as said above, find another hobby! I hear bird-watching is nice this time of year.
 
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KnightDoc

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With a 516 MCAT, you are below the median of accepted students for many of the top medical schools. This year is especially competitive since so many more students are applying. You still have a good application though and time will tell how it goes.
????? Who said anything about TOP schools???

516 is 5 points above the median for ALL matriculants, is 93%-ile, and half of all matriculants at ALL schools, even the top ones, have MCATs below their median. I'm afraid that we will all be screwed if admissions ever gets to the point that scoring 93%-ile on the entrance exam is a reason to not be admitted, somewhere. :cool:
 
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You got two interview invites before Thanksgiving. So far you are at benchmark for someone who will eventually have an offer of admission. This is admirable given that you were not complete by Labor Day which is my measure of "on time" vs. "late".

The next holiday to look forward to is Mardi Gras (Feb 16th). You should have one offer by then. If not, start thinking about how you'll improve for a reapplication cycle.
For the thanksgiving rule, is to have just one interview by then or more than one interview by then? I understand that’s the ideal situation but I never fully understood this rule.
 

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For the thanksgiving rule, is to have just one interview by then or more than one interview by then? I understand that’s the ideal situation but I never fully understood this rule.
Because it's not a "rule," it's a rule of thumb. It basically means that if your application hasn't received any traction by then (as evidenced by a lack of ANY IIs), it might be a good time to start thinking about why that might be, and to think about what you can do to improve for a possible reapplication.

This date might or might not be pushed back this year due to COVID, but it's not a hard and fast rule in any event. Some people will have nothing by Thanksgiving and have better luck in December and January, while others might have several interviews by then and subsequently find themselves WL or R everywhere.
 
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Because it's not a "rule," it's a rule of thumb. It basically means that if your application hasn't received any traction by then (as evidenced by a lack of ANY IIs), it might be a good time to start thinking about why that might be, and to think about what you can do to improve for a possible reapplication.

This date might or might not be pushed back this year due to COVID, but it's not a hard and fast rule in any event. Some people will have nothing by Thanksgiving and have better luck in December and January, while others might have several interviews by then and subsequently find themselves WL or R everywhere.
This makes a lot of sense. thank you!
 
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gonnif

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Just to note, I noticed the past few cycles a fraction of II handed out after Thanksgiving and New Years which my guesstimate is 10-15%. I would speculate that this is happening as the average number of applications per applicant is increasing which in turn increases the number of application an individual school must evaluate and review. That takes more time for a school to get thru all its applications and extends its interview invite timeline. I would guess (I said guess) that with the large increase in individual apps this year, there will be even more later cycle invites.
 
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Just to note, I noticed the past few cycles a fraction of II handed out after Thanksgiving and New Years which my guesstimate is 10-15%. I would speculate that this is happening as the average number of applications per applicant is increasing which in turn increases the number of application an individual school must evaluate and review. That takes more time for a school to get thru all its applications and extends its interview invite timeline. I would guess (I said guess) that with the large increase in individual apps this year, there will be even more later cycle invites.
Yup. Vandy sent out an e-mail last week explicitly stating as much. Any thoughts as to why the number of applications per applicant is suddenly spiking this year? I think it's because people don't have to worry about the time and expense involved in attending interviews.

If I am correct, this will inevitably lead to the most attractive candidates having more IIs. If they don't turn some down, because it costs nothing in time and money to accept them, then yields will decrease across the board this cycle. I asked last spring if experts like you thought schools would make adjustments for this by doing more yield protecting on the front end, or offering more IIs in order to build a deeper WL. Nobody thought anything would change.

Well, here we are, and, at least at Vandy, they are extending their review period and interview season, implying in their e-mail that they will be interviewing more people. I think schools could have simply screened more applications out earlier in the process if it was just about getting through the applications.

I think they are starting to see what I was speculating about in the spring, and are realizing they need to see more people. Maybe not schools like Harvard and NYU, that have sky high yields and already interview 4, 5, 6, or 7 people for every person they accept. But other schools that invite fewer people in, and extend As to a majority of them, will have a problem if they don't make adjustments in a cycle in which applications/applicant are spiking. JMHO, but it looks like you are right, and this might be a reason why.
 
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I'm a similar applicant (3.96, 520, avg+ ECs, a few standout things on my app: Designed invention, failed start-up, stand-up comedy), submitted August for 22 schools and I've got 1 II (w/3 pre-II rejections). At my one interview, I noticed that I was 1/15 that hadn't taken any gaps years and then they brought in students and 1/16 had no gap years. So, if you have no gap years, that could lead to later/more difficult IIs. I also think so many of us applying think our applications are really incredible/stand-out because of the time and effort we put in over years. And for so many people that's true, but often it's so challenging to get that down onto paper in the right words and convince adcoms. Either way, COVID pushes things back and pre-Thanksgiving is a lot of those tippy-top stats people. Hoping for the best in the next half of the cycle. Best of luck to you.

Having a gap year in itself does not make you more competitive. However, the simple fact is that taking a gap year grants you more time to become more competitive. More time = More EC hours and more time to prepare for the MCAT. That is the only reason a student with a gap year would be more competitive than a student without a gap year. If you took two identical students in every category except taking a gap year versus not taking a gap year, they would have equal success at the vast majority of schools.

I hope your cycle continues to go well. There are plenty of IIs still to be handed out.
 
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candbgirl

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@blinkblink2 you have had 2 interviews with a WL already. Thousands of applicants have had no interviews or have interviewed and been rejected. And you still haven’t heard from one of your schools. Waiting is hard, but wait you must. You seem to have cast a pretty wide net so things will probably work out. Calm down , find something to do and wait. Good luck.
 
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gonnif

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Yup. Vandy sent out an e-mail last week explicitly stating as much. Any thoughts as to why the number of applications per applicant is suddenly spiking this year? I think it's because people don't have to worry about the time and expense involved in attending interviews.

If I am correct, this will inevitably lead to the most attractive candidates having more IIs. If they don't turn some down, because it costs nothing in time and money to accept them, then yields will decrease across the board this cycle. I asked last spring if experts like you thought schools would make adjustments for this by doing more yield protecting on the front end, or offering more IIs in order to build a deeper WL. Nobody thought anything would change.

Well, here we are, and, at least at Vandy, they are extending their review period and interview season, implying in their e-mail that they will be interviewing more people. I think schools could have simply screened more applications out earlier in the process if it was just about getting through the applications.

I think they are starting to see what I was speculating about in the spring, and are realizing they need to see more people. Maybe not schools like Harvard and NYU, that have sky high yields and already interview 4, 5, 6, or 7 people for every person they accept. But other schools that invite fewer people in, and extend As to a majority of them, will have a problem if they don't make adjustments in a cycle in which applications/applicant are spiking. JMHO, but it looks like you are right, and this might be a reason why.

While I have no evidence, my impression/gut feeling is that most premeds dont think that far ahead about costs of interviews. Rather, I think, is that with MCAT delayed/suspended at many schools, P/NP classes were acceptable, and at home with time to fill out applications early therefore adding more schools, is likely why so many more apps were submitted this cycle. My gut says that not a big increase in the aggregate number of applicants, likely just a little than expected growth, but a large increase in number of applications each one filed. I also think schools got swamped early, took a while to get the overall remote processing running smooth and so they are running behind.
 
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I actually did a reddit survey about this. Even though the survey may be biased, it still has some pretty interesting results. Seems like it was mostly a combination of people thinking it would be easier this cycle, gap year plans getting cancelled, and cheaper interview costs due to being virtual.

 
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KnightDoc

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While I have no evidence, my impression/gut feeling is that most premeds dont think that far ahead about costs of interviews. Rather, I think, is that with MCAT delayed/suspended at many schools, P/NP classes were acceptable, and at home with time to fill out applications early therefore adding more schools, is likely why so many more apps were submitted this cycle. My gut says that not a big increase in the aggregate number of applicants, likely just a little than expected growth, but a large increase in number of applications each one filed. I also think schools got swamped early, took a while to get the overall remote processing running smooth and so they are running behind.
Either way, here we are!! Now that we are here, with slightly more applicants submitting a lot more applications, do you not agree that schools face a very real risk of declining yields if they all go after the same applicants, and that if they don't make adjustments (like interviewing more people, as Vandy seems to be doing, or avoiding candidates peers are chasing by employing more aggressive yield protection), they run the risk of going far deeper into their WLs than they would like? Worst case, they exhaust their WL. Then what? IIs in May? :laugh:
 

candbgirl

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I actually did a reddit survey about this. Even though the survey may be biased, it still has some pretty interesting results. Seems like it was mostly a combination of people thinking it would be easier this cycle, gap year plans getting cancelled, and cheaper interview costs due to being virtual.


Those results don’t surprise me. Lots of people on here(SDN) stated repeatedly to go ahead and apply because it would be easier this year. Of course the majority of these people were premeds themselves with absolutely no inside information just the gut feelings of their roommate or the person they had lunch with that day. So it’s not surprising there are so many applications. I hope that @gonnif can prove his theory because it does make sense to me. Applying anyway , why not throw in a few more; no real interview costs , why not throw in a few more schools.
 
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KnightDoc

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Those results don’t surprise me. Lots of people on here(SDN) stated repeatedly to go ahead and apply because it would be easier this year. Of course the majority of these people were premeds themselves with absolutely no inside information just the gut feelings of their roommate or the person they had lunch with that day. So it’s not surprising there are so many applications. I hope that @gonnif can prove his theory because it does make sense to me. Applying anyway , why not throw in a few more; no real interview costs , why not throw in a few more schools.
All of the theories make sense, and don't conflict with each other at all.

@gonnif and @Goro both predicted that more people would apply. Some did so because they incorrectly assumed it would be easier. Others because they are trying to avoid the economic downturn, or because gap year plans were canceled. This explains more applicants, but not more applications per applicant. Not having to pay for or take time to travel to potential interviews perfectly explains that.

And here we are!!! If schools don't make adjustments, the same people are going to be holding more As than usual in April. Unless they figure out a way to clone themselves, schools are going to experience more attrition than they are used to. The smart ones, like Vandy, seem to be getting ahead of this by interviewing more people in anticipation of needing a deeper WL.
 
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LizzyM

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The Thanksgiving Rule (of thumb) is not to get worried about not having any interviews until after Thanksgiving.... Maybe that's why they call it Black Friday (the day of reckoning when you realize that you don't have any interviews yet).

I would wager that most applicants who end up matriculating somewhere had at least one interview by Thanksgiving and many had two. That's what I meant by benchmark... that it is average performance. We use "benchmark" quite a bit in grading med students... that they are where they should be in acquiring competency; not yet perfect but as well as might be expected given their grade level.
 
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gonnif

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Those results don’t surprise me. Lots of people on here(SDN) stated repeatedly to go ahead and apply because it would be easier this year. Of course the majority of these people were premeds themselves with absolutely no inside information just the gut feelings of their roommate or the person they had lunch with that day. So it’s not surprising there are so many applications. I hope that @gonnif can prove his theory because it does make sense to me. Applying anyway , why not throw in a few more; no real interview costs , why not throw in a few more schools.
We will get the data of what happened in how many People applied and how many individual applications were submitted. However as to why it happened will unlikely to be investigated
 
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Maimonides1

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OP,

I wrote about this cycle back in spring and again on September 27, 2020
Real numbers will come out in the end of cycle reports!

 

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Woof, now I'm in even more pain, haha.

White female/first time/2017 grad/4.0 GPA/517 MCAT
>1000 clinical, >5000 research w/ pubs (incl 1st author), ~500 volunteering

Applied early Sept/late Oct... COVID cycle is draining, especially working full-time. No IIs.

You got 2 - that's awesome! Here's to hoping the entire cycle is delayed & later applications are given true consideration.
 
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LindaAccepted

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Full slate of ECs with all your boxes checked from volunteer/paid clinical work, volunteer non-clinical, research, and work in healthcare policy. Also some distinct elements in my app in the area of global health and volunteering for a successful congressional campaign pertinent to the ACA.

I applied to a large number of schools between the beginning of September and end of October. Just about all of them were outside of two week period because I got swamped with secondaries due to late-June MCAT timing/score release considerations. I realize plenty of questions like t his have been asked in past years, but with the pandemic, I feel as though I have no frame of reference.

So far, I have only 2 IIs, both from schools with in-state preference. In the first interview, which I thought went very well, I was waitlisted.

I can provide additional information if this would be relevant, but is my cycle a dud or am I just impatient?
You're being impatient. Celebrate the 2 IIs. It's not even Thanksgiving yet. More IIs are definitely forthcoming through January.

Take a few deep breaths and have patience. The waiting is hard.
 
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wait so did you mean both IIs and WL movement mar-july?
I am not an adcom, just another applicant. But I do believe there will be IIs much later this year and there will likely be more WL movement this year.
 

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I actually did a reddit survey about this. Even though the survey may be biased, it still has some pretty interesting results. Seems like it was mostly a combination of people thinking it would be easier this cycle, gap year plans getting cancelled, and cheaper interview costs due to being virtual.

Don’t forget that FAP requirements were loosened this year so more applicants had free/reduce cost application costs than previously.
 
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Woof, now I'm in even more pain, haha.

White female/first time/2017 grad/4.0 GPA/517 MCAT
>1000 clinical, >5000 research w/ pubs (incl 1st author), ~500 volunteering

Applied early Sept/late Oct... COVID cycle is draining, especially working full-time. No IIs.

You got 2 - that's awesome! Here's to hoping the entire cycle is delayed & later applications are given true consideration.
Wow, did you apply broadly or are you shooting only for say T20 ?
 
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Full slate of ECs with all your boxes checked from volunteer/paid clinical work, volunteer non-clinical, research, and work in healthcare policy. Also some distinct elements in my app in the area of global health and volunteering for a successful congressional campaign pertinent to the ACA.

I applied to a large number of schools between the beginning of September and end of October. Just about all of them were outside of two week period because I got swamped with secondaries due to late-June MCAT timing/score release considerations. I realize plenty of questions like t his have been asked in past years, but with the pandemic, I feel as though I have no frame of reference.

So far, I have only 2 IIs, both from schools with in-state preference. In the first interview, which I thought went very well, I was waitlisted.

I can provide additional information if this would be relevant, but is my cycle a dud or am I just impatient?
Wow Impressive!!!!!
 

LifeofPi16

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Full slate of ECs with all your boxes checked from volunteer/paid clinical work, volunteer non-clinical, research, and work in healthcare policy. Also some distinct elements in my app in the area of global health and volunteering for a successful congressional campaign pertinent to the ACA.

I applied to a large number of schools between the beginning of September and end of October. Just about all of them were outside of two week period because I got swamped with secondaries due to late-June MCAT timing/score release considerations. I realize plenty of questions like t his have been asked in past years, but with the pandemic, I feel as though I have no frame of reference.

So far, I have only 2 IIs, both from schools with in-state preference. In the first interview, which I thought went very well, I was waitlisted.

I can provide additional information if this would be relevant, but is my cycle a dud or am I just impatient?

Any update on how it’s going?

I’m in the same boat
 
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  1. Medical Student
2 more interviews from Mayo AZ and Rochester


UCLA I"m still waiting on, but the interviewer feedback at the time was about as explicitly encouraging as it could be hoped to be.
You had separate invites and interviews to AZ and MN?
 
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