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31 yo, third time non-trad applicant with great grades and MCAT - questions about PS and interviews

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effervescent_elephant

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Hi guys,

So I'm finding myself applying to med school for the third time. My main question has to do with the personal statement, but any additional advice people could offer would be greatly appreciated. In regards to the PS, should I acknowledge/account for the fact I'm applying for the third time? How much time should I spend on this relative to the main stuff around why I want to be a doctor/experiences/etc? I'm also wondering how I should address this in interviews.

Some more background info: two previous attempts were spaced several years apart. I was not sure after the first time whether I'd reapply, and did not try again for four years or so. I then skipped a cycle before applying again, this time, for the third time. I am fairly confident, given my scores (3.73 GPA, 99th percentile MCAT) and ample experiences, that the main reason I did not get an acceptance was that both times my secondaries were submitted relatively late into the cycle. Despite that I did get on the waiting list for my top school the the previous cycle. The guy who interviewed me there was very surprised that I hadn't been accepted anywhere the first time around and was sure I'd get an acceptance that cycle.

One other consideration is that I'm now 31 years old. I think ideally I would've stayed in the med school track after my initial attempt and just reapplied and got everything in on time, but I've pursued a variety of other interests in that time as I was so discouraged and bewildered by my rejections. I'm wondering if this is something I should address in my personal statement. I should also mention that each attempt has also included new relevant experiences, (volunteer, professional, and taking classes after being away from school for so long).

This time I will have no problem getting everything in on time (the thing holding me back last two times was getting the LORs, which are already taken care of for this cycle), and I want to make sure I do everything right this time, so any guidance is greatly appreciated!

Thank you all so much.
 

Faha

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Where is your state of residence ? What is your MCAT score ? What are your EC's ? Any shadowing or clinical volunteering hours or employment ?
 

Dr. Meliodas

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To add to Faha's questions what schools did you apply to in your previous cycle? And which ones did you interview at? When did you submit your secondaries?
 

effervescent_elephant

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Where is your state of residence ? What is your MCAT score ? What are your EC's ? Any shadowing or clinical volunteering hours or employment ?

I live in Washington. My MCAT last time was a 39. Just retook it for this cycle and don't have the score yet, feel confident it will be good. I worked in research for a while, so plenty of clinical experience there, and a whole lot of shadowing on top of that. A lot of volunteering in non-medical fields, though some of them are public health type things.
 

effervescent_elephant

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To add to Faha's questions what schools did you apply to in your previous cycle? And which ones did you interview at? When did you submit your secondaries?

Secondaries were submitted in October. I submitted secondaries for maybe 8 or 9 schools, hoping I can afford to do more this time. I interviewed at Mt Sinai and WSU last cycle and was waitlisted at Mt Sinai.
 

Dr. Meliodas

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If you interviewed at Mt Sinai then there is nothing wrong in your app. You have a strong app and my guess would be that many of the schools you did apply to might have been state schools for states you are not a resident off and which have a strong in-state bias when selecting their class or were strictly to higher ranked schools where even with a strong app it is a gamble. Also submitting secondaries in October is very late in the cycle - many schools by that time have already scheduled interviews into December. When you reapply submit your secondaries by July/first week of August latest.

Faha will be able to give you a more appropriate list

Definitely reapply to the schools where you have interviewed before.
 

Faha

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I suggest these schools assuming that your new MCAT is at least 516:
U Washington
Washington State
Boston University
Dartmouth
Brown
Tufts
Einstein
Mount Sinai
Hofstra
NYU
Rochester
Jefferson
Pittsburgh
Case Western
Washington University
Georgetown
Duke
Cincinnati
Miami
Tulane
St. Louis
Loyola
This list may need to be adjusted depending on your MCAT score so post your score here when available.
 

Naruhodo

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Hi there,
I can relate to parts of what you're going through, and all I can say is that to try to cross all your t's and dot your i's this time and keep your spirits up. Looking back on my own application experience, I think there probably was some sort of red flag but I was lucky that at least a few schools were willing to look past it and grant me interviews. I did not write about being a reapplicant in my PS, but obviously addressed it if there was a question on the secondary. Interestingly, even though I tried to change up my school list (so that I was a "new" applicant some places) the places I was ultimately offered interviews were schools where I had applied previously.

In my interviews, at one school in response to the reapplicant question in the secondary I had written about a difficult personal experience around the time of my first application cycle and the interviewer asked me about this. I was not as emotionally composed in my response as I'd hoped to be, and wonder if it cost me an acceptance to that school. In none of my other interviews did I mention the reapplication, but instead focused on my goals/hopes for the future.

Feel free to PM me with questions or if you'd like any more specifics.
 
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