**2017-2018 URM Medical School Application Thread**

Discussion in 'Underrepresented in Healthcare' started by azolesoul, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. TheVisionary

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    There was another thread about this, but the three best predictors of Step 1 score were MCAT Bio, MCAT Phys/Chem, and the average Verbal of your undergraduate institution. The correlations were decently strong (0.44-0.55). It's weird, but the former two at least make sense since Step is also a sit-down science exam. As an aside, I hope the latter doesn't encourage more inbreeding of top institutions.
    Undergraduate Institutional MCAT Scores as Predictors of... : Academic Medicine
    upload_2018-3-5_21-46-3.png

    I don't have the other papers available, but there was data that MCAT verbal scores predicted success of honoring rotations. I don't have direct numbers on this either, but I keep hearing 25-26 (499-500) as the minimum score you should aim for on the MCAT. Adcoms here have said that scoring below that amount puts you at risk of failing boards---though obviously your mcat can't predict your Step 10 times out of 10.

    I think having 500 as a rough cutoff actually shows how the MCAT is not the end-all-be-all, and that you should not always pick students with the highest scores when designing a class. Someone's potential and capabilities cannot be summarized in a LizzyM score. I don't think other posters were contesting this. Still, while the MCAT isn't everything, it is pretty darn important.
     
    #1701 TheVisionary, Mar 5, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
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  3. azolesoul

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    My PI mentioned a post-bacc that basically equates to me being a paid research associate for a year. During this time, I could beef up my ECs, retake the MCAT and network at my state school(where I’d love to attend medical school).

    What do you guys think? The stipend from the post-bacc would let me live comfortably and I could just really work on myself.
     
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  4. TheVisionary

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    This sounds really great! I am down with this plan 1000%. Love how this post bac would let you raise your stats while also not making you worry about finances. We are rooting for you.
     
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  5. xochitl

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    yeah that sounds dope!! would you be taking undergrad classes? just make sure you put your grades over your research in terms of importance.
     
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  6. azolesoul

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    Thank you! I’ve found some much needed peace.
     
  7. azolesoul

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    I haven’t worked out all the particulars but, from what I hear, it’s a good avenue.
     
  8. Nathan17182

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    As long as you’re taking classes to raise your uGPA, this sounds great! Good luck with it!
     
  9. BlackInChicago

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    so I retook the MCAT and went from low 490s to a 501. Would you all suggest applying next cycle. I have a 3.5 GPA with strong activities and volunteering. I want to attend an allopathic school. Do you think I have a chance of getting in somewhere.
     
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  10. Nathan17182

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    I'm not sure if you should apply or not, but if you do you'll have to apply very broadly and have a strong PS and LOR's. You'll have to be prepared to get screened out at a lot of MD schools too.
     
  11. drgweeds

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    If you're AA, then around 67% of people who had similar numbers as you were accepted into at least one medical school, according to historic AAMC data (full disclosure, using the Lizzy M calc). Really, it would depend on what your trends look like. If I were you, I would go back to school and take some upper level bio classes, making sure to keep a 4.0. At least 8 courses over 4 semesters would give people a good idea that you will be able to handle difficult coursework. So if you did well senior year, then just take a year to beef up your GPA. But definitely will need a compelling story and great references.
     
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  12. MindyLahiriWannabee

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    "Why was your first MCAT so low. Why after a second retake is it still so low"
    That's what adcom members are going to be thinking and asking, so do you have a compelling and sincere for this?

    There are people on this thread who have applied with stats similar to your and I think some of them have had success. Just remember it's all a checks and balances game. So if your weakness is your mcat/gpa then your strengths (LORs, ECs, PS etc) better be super strong to get your foot in the door for an interview. They want to make sure can actually pass all the licensing tests and your mcat is not convincing them you can so you need to convince them in person and with your commitment to medicine

    For what it's worth, I'm rooting for ya!
     
  13. hopefuldoctor93

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    Also, beggars can't be choosers. If you want to be a doctor, DO is your best shot. Apply broadly to both DO and MD and you will have a shot.
     
  14. carterjt47

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    Out of all the race/gender demographic, African-American men have the best chance at an acceptance since they are severely under represented in medicine. No other race/gender demographic will gain acceptances with a low 3.0 gpa low 500 MCAT
     
  15. Nathan17182

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    What’s your point? Lol
     
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  16. azolesoul

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    I think he's saying African Americans (esp. men) are being given handouts. I can, with firsthand experience, say this is wholly false.

    Please don't tell me your this naive carter.
     
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  17. BlackInChicago

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    Thanks for the advice. I'm a first gen. student so it has taken a lot of learning by trial and error. I wish you all the best in your pursuits on becoming doctors.
     
  18. BlackInChicago

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    Thank you! I appreciate the advice. It really means a lot.
     
  19. VillageSweetie

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    I think you have a real shot at an acceptance. I agree with applying broadly and having strong ECs and LORs. Good luck! And good job on bringing your MCAT up.
     
  20. SugaMama21

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    Another factor that will play a major role is the type of MD schools you apply to. I have similar stats as you (check my signature) and they are pretty average/below average for the standard applicant but average/above average for an AA applicant. My personal statement, AMCAS experiences, secondaries, etc. all centered around my passion for working with underserved populations. Therefore, ~80% of the schools I applied to had missions similar to mine. I truly believe that's why I was offered 5 interviews having been out of school for FOUR years with no Master's/additional graduate-level courses/post-bacc. The schools who are ranked high for "social mission " (HBCUs) are very serious about picking applicants who they believe will fulfill their mission and are more receptive to well-rounded applicants who don't have super high GPAs and MCATs (like myself). I was accepted to my state school whose MCAT average was well above mine but I also fit their mission VERY well. So...apply SMART.
     
    #1719 SugaMama21, Mar 9, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  21. carterjt47

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    No. I meant that with those stats it will be tough for anyone to get in. You will have slight chance if you're AA male.
     
  22. SugaMama21

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    Please PM me for advice if you want. I also retook my MCAT and increased it 10+ points so I know exactly what you're going through.
     
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  23. azolesoul

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    So, if I'm able to do the post-bacc, what classes should I focus on? I know I need to take science courses but what should I focus on? I'm interested in neurosciences, anatomy, physiology, etc. In addition, I'll be on a campus with a HUGE associated hospital/medical school- should I do more shadowing and volunteering? My program involves research so that should be fun. I'm going to retake the MCAT and shoot for a score in the teens (I only studied for one month to get a 500).

    I'm basically doing another 1-1.5 years of beefing up my application. What other things should I do in this time?

    I'd also like to apologize for lashing out and throwing a tantrum on this thread. Life came at me fast.
     
  24. PursuingHappy

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    Can't speak about classes you should be taking but I increased my MCAT by 18 points, so if u need any pointers, let me know. Good luck with the postbacc!

    Sent from my SM-N950U using SDN mobile
     
  25. Nathan17182

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    Really happy for you! We all understand that you were going through a tough time, but I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say you're making some great choices!

    From what I've read, it seems like you should just focus on upper level sciences courses, if they relate to classes you'd take in medical school even better. So, all those classes you're interested in would be fine. Just make sure you pace yourself. You need to get all A's in these classes, so keep that in mind when picking your course load. If you think you need some more volunteering hours it can never hurt and shadowing will show a continued interest in medicine. Above all else, make sure you study hard for the MCAT and ace your classes. I wish the best of luck to you and let us know if you have anymore questions along the way!
     
  26. FlyMissMD93

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    For those of you starting school in July/August, when do you plan on leaving your jobs?
     
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  27. lenspx

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    Quitting my job on the last week of June, and moving to my new appartment on the first or second week of July, so I can get acquainted to the area before I start school.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using SDN mobile
     
  28. ADSigMel

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    My dad got sick and moved in with me last fall, so I quit my job then to take care of him. He has since died, but I didn’t see any point in going back to work just for a few months. If he hadn’t gotten sick, I probably would have worked until the end of May or early June.
     
  29. Wow Man, my condolences.
     
  30. Aspiring4MD

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    I got 3 MD interviews and, as on right now, one MD acceptance, one waitlist, and still waiting to hear from the other. I have a 498 MCAT, 3.92c and 3.89sci GPA. First time applying, AA female, and first gen, if you care about any of that.

    I think you have a chance, if not this cycle, then next cycle. Maybe the rejections are coming from other weak parts of your app? I just feel like it is not all about the numbers, considering my 498.
     
    #1729 Aspiring4MD, Mar 12, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  31. drogbamed

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    How is it possible to have 3.9 sGPA but a 498 MCAT score? Did you not study for it?
     
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  32. Ari77

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    MCAT is a different kind of test than normal school exams. Not everyone can afford to spend months not working to study, or thousands of dollars on prep programs. Even with lots of study, many still don't do particularly well. Standardized test taking is a skill all in of itself.
     
  33. lenspx

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    I can attest to that. MCAT has kicked my ass 5 times in a row (18, 487, 492, 500, 499). Even with my 3.7+ cGPA and sGPA, I still struggled badly with it while I thought it was going to be a piece of cake on my first attempt. To my defense English is my second language (been in the U.S. for 7 years), I worked night shift while trying to balance school studying and research, and MCAT is the first Standardized Test I've ever taken. Well, luckily I got into a DO school this cycle before I made the mistake of going Caribbean because I was pretty determined on going to medical school wherever offered me the opportunity.

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  34. Aspiring4MD

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    Exactly what @Ari77 said!

    Yes, I work my butt off to keep a stellar GPA. I took my MCAT in June 2017, and planned to study that spring semester. I had 16 credits, including biochem, so I didn't have time to study a lot like I had planned. I also could not afford to take a course, so I had to rely on the kaplan books and practice exams. Also, I am not very good at standardized tests, which I plan to work on for step and stuff. I really did most of my studying the 5 weeks in between my last final and my test date. Yes, my score is sh*tty, but I also got in, so it doesn't matter.
     
    #1733 Aspiring4MD, Mar 12, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  35. drogbamed

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    I wasn't coming at you or anything like that I was just being curios lol. I am sort of the polar opposite I have 3.0 GPA but a 522 MCAT I was wondering how Med School Admissions would like at my app
     
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  36. CandH23

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    Damn son, you goin all the way up
     
  37. drgweeds

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    Unless you're down with Howard and their mission, then I wouldn't go to a school just because you got in. Actually, I would never apply to a school that I couldn't, at the very least, imagine myself at. If you applied, then maybe you might be fine going there. Just dont go to a school an end up hating yourself because of your decision.

    Now, I don't think we can really give you any advice until we know what your bringing to the table. If you are doing a career change, then I think the master's program is a good idea. But it doesn't sound like this, so I will assume you need to do some GPA or MCAT improvement. I think there are better ways of doing this than spending a ton of money on a Master's degree that wont really help you out anywhere else. Also. is the Kansas program well known to Med Schools. I would make sure the juice is worth the squeeze before going to grad school. If I were you/when I was you, I would just take classes at my undergrad and really rock the MCAT on my retake.
     
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  38. TheVisionary

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    Do NOT withdraw from a school you've been accepted at (if it’s your only acceptance). Med schools can see where you've been accepted, even in future application cycles. You could in theory withdraw from Howard pre-decision and go as a re-applicant in the next few years, but it will be tough. I'd strongly consider you wait and see what Howard does. It's a great school, US MD, and many of their grads are in amazing places now. I'd only withdraw if you would find yourself miserable there.

    Nevertheless, I'd echo what was said before on the MS program. Don't do the masters if it is both expensive and not well known to local med schools. DIY post bac + MCAT retake may be cheaper and less stressful.
     
    #1737 TheVisionary, Mar 13, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  39. Aspiring4MD

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    I honestly think if you have one bad side, either MCAT or GPA, you need to have one that’s very strong. We both have one bad side and one good side. The 3 interviews I had were for schools who are invested into primary care in underserved areas. I think since I have so many volunteer hours and ECs in underserved areas, and I state my goals clearly throughout all parts of my app, the low MCAT wasn’t that big of a deal, cause my Gpa shows that I am very competent. If you have certain goals, and you apply to school with those goals, I think having that one bad side is overlooked a bit. From my experience, at least!
     
  40. Ari77

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    My entire application is one bad side ;)

    But in all seriousness, being smart about your school list will get you a long way. Call schools and find out what they value most. I know a few people that have gotten into top medical schools with subpar GPAs because of stellar MCAT and letters of recommendation.
     
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  41. iqe2010

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    Congrats on the 522. That's amazing!

    IMO, you should get in somewhere with a 522. If I were you, I wouldn't worry too much.

    I have a sub-3.0 GPA overall but I haven't taken my MCAT yet so I'm hoping to really knock it out the park to compensate for my low GPA.
     
  42. FlyMissMD93

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    Agreed. @cmb123 I can attest to how difficult it is for people who re-apply after having gotten an acceptance during one cycle. I knew someone who got into a school (not sure which) but then he decided not to go to that school and instead reapplied. He had an incredibly difficult time the second time around. Luckily he ended up at a good school, but it was off the waitlist and like in June or whatever that he got in so it was so incredibly stressful. Though Howard may not be #1, #50, or #100 in the rankings, I would definitely attend if it was my only acceptance because it could be much worse and you could end up in the Caribbean. Plus DC is an amazing city! So many opportunities for service and connecting with vulnerable populations!
     
  43. FlyMissMD93

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    I have said this in previous posts though and will continue to say it again --- medical school admissions is only getting more and more competitive. If anyone is like at or below a 499 MCAT, I would strongly urge you to retake the MCAT and get at least a 502/503. I rounded out my cycle with 10 interview invites (#blessedAF) with a low MCAT, and I have one acceptance and it’s to a school I reeaally loved and was actually my favorite interview day. With the exception of the first school that I interviewed at, I thought I beasted all of my interviews. I’m sitting on four waitlists right now (one of the schools I’m on the waitlist for is the interview day I bombed :laugh:) and got rejected from one school post-interview. That school that rejected me post-interview was actually really nice and I was able to talk with someone on admissions as to why I was rejected. He basically told me my MCAT was too low, although I had amazing recommendations from my interviewers and they enjoyed me as a person. I think a lot of schools were afraid to take a chance on me probably because of my low MCAT. I am blessed that the school that accepted me has given me the opportunity to succeed because I know what I am capable of. Your MCAT is probably the most important part of your application. ECs/LORs, essays, etc. will definitely get you in the door, but your MCAT is very important y’all.
     
  44. QPOC1231

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    I just want to echo these sentiments. I was fortunate enough to get 7 interviews from a good range of schools with one acceptance so far with a sub 3.0 ugpa and a second mcat retake of a 517. If you know one part of your app will really hurt you I'd be really strategic and broad in your school list. I'm still kind of shocked at the kinds of schools I got interviewed at. It definitely wasn't what I was expecting (no instate love in a good state? what?)
     
  45. OchemOficionado

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    I agree with your sentiments of a retake for sure!!

    I also don’t think the blame, in your case, is your MCAT. At least not in 80%. They all saw your score and it got you through the door. At that point the seat was yours to lose (in my Goro voice). 10 II and 1 accept points to interview skills. I’m sure you did better in some than others.

    I just say this to say that we have to remember that EVERY aspect of this process counts and that applicant should spend a serious amount time sharpening interview skills.
     
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  46. Ari77

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    I agree with you about this to a point. 10 II are quite a lot so I imagine there may be something about your interviewing that isn't coming across quite the way you think... On the other hand, I feel as if schools are interviewing applicants for different purposes. For instance, from one of my interview days I know of a few people who received immediate acceptances that had stellar MCAT and uGPAs and I know of quite a few more that received waitlists with subpar MCAT or uGPA (I don't know of any with these imbalanced stats that received immediate acceptances). I think schools interview to see if you are absolutely outstanding or dreadful in person, but in general, if you fall in between, they already have it in their minds who they plan to accept.

    I received 2 II, but I don't believe I was ever really considered for immediate acceptance given my low uGPA. Receiving a waitlist position is their way of saying, I'm acceptable but was never their first choice. I believe it would be very difficult for me to improve my interview skills to the point where it will tip my application to the acceptance range for most of the schools I applied to, therefore I will need to improve my stats if I hope to be successful in a future cycle.
     
  47. FlyMissMD93

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    Wait, why do you think this? You can definitely improve, you just really have to sell the hell out of yourself!
     
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  48. Aspiring4MD

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    Please don’t do that. You need a physical support system. We can only say so much, but do you have people that you can talk to in person about you worries and thoughts?
     
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  49. azolesoul

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    I have no one. I just go through the motions everyday. I just feel numb and nothing feels good. If I can’t even get into a Caribbean school, how will anything ever work out?
     
    #1748 azolesoul, Mar 14, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  50. Aspiring4MD

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    I am so sorry to hear that you feel this way. I have no idea what goes on in your mind, but I am sure you have people who care about you and want you to be here on this earth, even if you do not realize it. Please, do not let this med school thing dictate your whole life. I am saying this in the nicest way possible: Not getting into med school is not the end of the world. It has taken some people 3 and 4 tries before they got in. If i remember correctly, this is your first cycle? If you are letting the stress of not getting in, on your first try, get to you this much, It will VERY hard for you to handle the stress of actually getting through med school. Please, get off this site and go talk to someone. Reading everyone's posts will only make things harder for you.
     
  51. TheVisionary

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    From your posts it seems like you do have an immediate family, which is a real life support system. While I think you are speaking somewhat in hyperbole, I do think your thoughts and emotions are valid. And if that is really the case, then you need to schedule a therapist visit right now. There is a limit to something people behind computer screens and phone lines can do.

    As @Aspiring4MD said, there's a long road ahead. Step 1, rotations, and residency are extremely stressful, and that's all within 5-8 years of getting into med school. I think that in order for you to get ready for med school, you need to talk to someone in person, preferably a professional.
     
    #1750 TheVisionary, Mar 14, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018

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