2+ Year Member
May 29, 2015
Medical Student (Accepted)
You should buy MSAR and look further into the schools you are applying to. Places like UW Madison and University of Washington take barely any applicants out of state that don't have connections to the state. Minnesota also functions like this, but to a slightly lesser extent. Also, if you can afford it, adding some more schools to your list so you apply more broadly would help.


Gold Donor
7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
Somewhere west of St. Louis
I always get nervous when I see people with more shadowing hrs than actual clinical volunteering. You don't have enough of the latter to be very competitive. the mission trips will be viewed as "medical tourism"

Here's the deal: You need to show AdComs that you know what you're getting into, and show off your altruistic, humanism side. We need to know that you're going to like being around sick or injured people for the next 40 years.

Here's another way of looking at it: would you buy a new car without test driving it? Buy a new suit or dress without trying it on??

We're also not looking for merely for good medical students, we're looking for people who will make good doctors, and 4.0 GPA robots are a dime-a-dozen.

I've seen plenty of posts here from high GPA/high MCAT candidates who were rejected because they had little patient contact experience.

Not all volunteering needs to be in a hospital. Think hospice, Planned Parenthood, Ronald McDonald House, nursing homes, rehab facilities, crisis hotlines, camps for sick children, or clinics.

Service need not be "unique". If you can alleviate suffering in your community through service to the poor, homeless, illiterate, fatherless, etc, you are meeting an otherwise unmet need and learning more about the lives of the people (or types of people) who will someday be your patients. Check out your local houses of worship for volunteer opportunities.

Examples include: Habitat for Humanity, Humane Society, crisis hotlines, soup kitchen, food pantry, homeless or women’s shelter, after-school tutoring for students or coaching a sport in a poor school district, teaching ESL to adults at a community center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, or Meals on Wheels.

Some types of volunteer activities are more appealing than others. Volunteering in a nice suburban hospital is all very well and good and all, but doesn't show that you're willing to dig in and get your hands dirty in the same way that working with the developmentally disabled (or homeless, the dying, or Alzheimers or mentally ill or elderly or ESL or domestic, rural impoverished) does. The uncomfortable situations are the ones that really demonstrate your altruism and get you 'brownie points'. Plus, they frankly teach you more -- they develop your compassion and humanity in ways comfortable situations can't.

I recommend the following:

St. Louis
Albert Einstein
Rosy Franklin
Wake Forest
George Washington
Any new MD school. Skip Central MI and the three new FL schools. I can't recommend CNU.
Any DO program, starting with CCOM and DMU

BTW, U WA only accepts people from the WWAMI states.

I am a resident of Nebraska.

I am a little confused about everything right now. I am a reapplicant (I applied to UNMC and got waitlisted and did not get in).

So now I am trying to cast a wider net for schools to make sure I get in next year. Most of the schools I will be applying to will be first time I am applying but I am still having a hard time deciding where to apply to give myself the best shot/not reach too high or too low. Here is my current list:

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine
Missouri School of Medicine
Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine
University of Minnesota Medical School Twin Cities
Vermont College of Medicine
Univeristy of Nebraska Medical Center
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
University of Washington School of Medicine
Tufts University School of Medicine
William Beaumont School of Medicine
Viginia Commonwealth School of Medicine
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
Rush Medical College
West Virginia School of Medicine

My other areas are:

Biological Systems Engineering Major
80 hours of volunteering in Hospitals
160 hours of Shadowing Physicians
2 years of work in a research lab
Numerous leadership roles in college
Two trips to Madagascar for Engineers Without Borders to install community service projects
Numerous awards and recommendations in college
I have been working at Bosch for the last year with engineering

I feel like I have strong ECs and a strong application but I am still afraid of applying anywhere with a higher than 33 average MCAT because I took it a second time. Granted I did way better but I am just a little confused still. My number one would still be UNMC but I want to make sure I get in.

Can anyone give me a little advice on my schools and if I am missing any obvious ones? Looking at the thousands of applicants is making me question my application since I got denied this last year.
Aug 21, 2015
Medical Student (Accepted)
Thank you for the reply Goro. I am currently volunteering at the three hospitals in the area but I can pick up some other volunteering at some of the places that you mentioned above. I am looking to send in my application soon so would I be able to do that volunteering and then just talk about it later in a secondary or interview? Or will they look down on it since I just started doing it before I applied?
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