4.0cGPA 32 MCAT Unique Applicant

RaverMD

Full Member
May 19, 2013
31
18
  1. Medical Student (Accepted)
    I spent some extra time studying for the MCAT and not filling out my AMCAS and did not submit my primary application until July 31. I have quite a few unique experiences and issues and I'm getting nervous regarding my chances.

    Overview of my application
    - 4.0 overall GPA
    - 32 MCAT (12PS 10V 10BS)
    - Was inspired to pursue medicine after years of living with disabling health conditions
    - Started a local community organization called Project Hope that provides a support system for ~150 young adults living with chronic illness in Colorado.
    - I've devoted over 1000 hours to this endeavor
    - ~200 hours of tutoring experience in all sciences
    - Learning Assistant for General Genetics
    - ~50 hours (over summer) of ecological research analyzing the effects of Dog Of Leash Areas on avian and ungulate populations
    -400+ hours as a CNA at a senior living facility (working primarily one-on-one with hospice patients)
    -LOR from two science professors, one from tutoring supervisor, and two from Project Hope (one from the co-president and one from a member)
    -Awards:
    Highlighted in local documentary about community programs for the chronically ill, Phi Theta Kappa member, Dean's list for several semesters.
    -~300 hours volunteering for local foodbank throughout high school and early college years.
    - TA for organic chemistry lab (this is not highlighted on my AMCAS because I started this fall)

    Issues with my application (what I worry about)
    -One semester of full withdrawal for medical reasons
    -Withdrawal from Orgo 1 lecture and lab (again for medical reasons)
    -I hope the fact that I took honors and received an A and now TA for orgo lab will help this
    -Mistakenly did not add CNA position to work/activities section but did discuss it in personal statement
    -Submitted late: July 31
    -Non academic LORs from my organizations co-president and a member (I am not sure how this will be perceived)
    -Took 8 years to finish undergrad due to medical difficulties

    **Just a note I have several years of good health, full-time school and job/community service experience.


    Schools I applied to:
    Albert Einstein
    University of Illinois
    University of Hawaii
    Indiana University School of Medicine
    University of Toledo College of Medicine
    Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin
    University of Vermont College of Medicine
    University of Arizona College of Medicine
    Drexel University College of Medicine
    New York Medical College
    Temple University School of Medicine
    East Virginia Medical School
    Rush Medical College
    Tufts University School of Medicine
    University of Colorado School of Medicine

    I receive an interview invite from the University of Hawaii and have been rejected from Rosalind Franklin and UCSF.

    I sincerely appreciate everyone's time and thoughts on my application. I have several unique experiences which I am concerned how they may be perceived or whether they'll look as good on my application as I hope (e.g. Project Hope).

    Thankies!
     

    Catalystik

    The Gimlet Eye
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    15+ Year Member
    Sep 4, 2006
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    1. Attending Physician
      I spent some extra time studying for the MCAT and not filling out my AMCAS and did not submit my primary application until July 31. I have quite a few unique experiences and issues and I'm getting nervous regarding my chances.

      Overview of my application
      - 4.0 overall GPA
      - 32 MCAT (12PS 10V 10BS)
      - Was inspired to pursue medicine after years of living with disabling health conditions
      - Started a local community organization called Project Hope that provides a support system for ~150 young adults living with chronic illness in Colorado.
      - I've devoted over 1000 hours to this endeavor
      - ~200 hours of tutoring experience in all sciences
      - Learning Assistant for General Genetics
      - ~50 hours (over summer) of ecological research analyzing the effects of Dog Of Leash Areas on avian and ungulate populations
      -400+ hours as a CNA at a senior living facility (working primarily one-on-one with hospice patients)
      -LOR from two science professors, one from tutoring supervisor, and two from Project Hope (one from the co-president and one from a member)
      -Awards:
      Highlighted in local documentary about community programs for the chronically ill, Phi Theta Kappa member, Dean's list for several semesters.
      -~300 hours volunteering for local foodbank throughout high school and early college years.
      - TA for organic chemistry lab (this is not highlighted on my AMCAS because I started this fall)

      Issues with my application (what I worry about)
      -One semester of full withdrawal for medical reasons
      -Withdrawal from Orgo 1 lecture and lab (again for medical reasons)
      -I hope the fact that I took honors and received an A and now TA for orgo lab will help this
      -Mistakenly did not add CNA position to work/activities section but did discuss it in personal statement
      -Submitted late: July 31
      -Non academic LORs from my organizations co-president and a member (I am not sure how this will be perceived)
      -Took 8 years to finish undergrad due to medical difficulties

      **Just a note I have several years of good health, full-time school and job/community service experience.


      Schools I applied to:
      Albert Einstein
      University of Illinois
      University of Hawaii
      Indiana University School of Medicine
      University of Toledo College of Medicine
      Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin
      University of Vermont College of Medicine
      University of Arizona College of Medicine
      Drexel University College of Medicine
      New York Medical College
      Temple University School of Medicine
      East Virginia Medical School
      Rush Medical College
      Tufts University School of Medicine
      University of Colorado School of Medicine

      I receive an interview invite from the University of Hawaii and have been rejected from Rosalind Franklin and UCSF.

      I sincerely appreciate everyone's time and thoughts on my application. I have several unique experiences which I am concerned how they may be perceived or whether they'll look as good on my application as I hope (e.g. Project Hope).
      Did you list some physician shadowing?
      Did you email each school about the omission of the CNA position, which appears to be your only form of active clinical experience (since the same person doesn't necessarily screen both the PS and the Experiences section)?
      Did one of your essays discuss the reason for your drawn-out undergrad experience, and also, has the full-time academic involvement been for the most recent years?

      I would hope that the Project Hope involvement will be a big plus to your application, due to the leadership and apparent humanistic focus but of course I am not clear on its mission. Why were you worried that it might not be viewed positively?

      I'd agree that the list is good for your stats (except for UCSF). I'm surprised at the Rosalind Franklin rejection as they are reputed to look at the whole application with human eyeballs and not reject based on computer screening.
       
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      occams_razor

      Full Member
      Aug 6, 2011
      885
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      1. Medical Student (Accepted)
        You probably got rejected from Rosalind Franklin because your stats are so high, with the 4.0 GPA. They are known to reject applicants with high stats who will probably get into and attend higher ranked schools

        The project hope organization is very impressive! you are a competitive applicant. Just try to relax and be patient and wait it out (I know that's easier said than done). Good luck!
         

        RaverMD

        Full Member
        May 19, 2013
        31
        18
        1. Medical Student (Accepted)
          Thank you for your replies. I'm. Not sure how to quote from my phone but ill address the inquiries.

          I do not have physician shadowing yet. I realized this is an issue and something I should have experience in before interviewing, so I'm trying to set it up now. Pretty much procrastinated on this one so it's not on my AMCAS.

          My pre-health advisor mentioned that the fact that I discussed my CNA experience in my PS is good enough and the omission in the work/activities won't kill me so I have not emailed any adcoms. I updated my résumé for some schools that offered it on secondaries or their application portals, but only a few.

          I did discuss my experiences as a patient and the fact that I medically withdrew is my PS.

          Full time school is the most recent years. Spring of 2012-Fall of 2012 (including summer) are full time semesters. Spring of 2013 I took 6 credits, worked, and studied for the MCAT. 7 credits in summer of 2013 and now in 7 credits this fall (I'm very close to graduating) I did work during all these semesters and my health was not an issue.

          I am proud of starting Project Hope and think it's a wonderful thing. I'm actually trying to make it a legit 501c3 and assists the low-income population in this demographic receive quality psychological care. Unfortunately this is quite am endeavor I have yet to fully engage in because of the time commitment.

          The only thing about Project Hope I'm concerned about is it is a peer support and social group. I started it because I noticed a lack of this type of resource when I was sick and searching for support. It is not a professional or recognizable organization...hence why I call it a community organization. I have had lots of experiences with patients from PH, but because of the 'peer' aspect of it do not really know how to discuss these interactions properly or how it may be perceived.

          I may be over analyzing things...it is nerve racking just waiting for interviews.

          I really appreciate all of your insight. Any further thoughts?

          Thanks again :)
           

          shopsteward

          Full Member
          7+ Year Member
          Jun 25, 2010
          597
          231
          Walking the dog
          1. Non-Student
            You obviously have all the bones of a very good application. A couple of thoughts -

            1. Project Hope should be on your application as a leadership position. The fact that you are part of the peer group it was set up to help explains your interest but does not detract from the good work you have done.

            2. No physician shadowing and no CNA position in work/activities could make it look at first glance as though you don't have clinical experience. Sadly, with so many applications, many places will be looking for reasons not to interview people and a first glance at your application might give them two reasons (lack of clinical experience, time taken to complete undergrad).

            3. I wonder a bit about your personal statement. Being a doctor is about being interested in other people's health, not your own. If your personal statement was too inwardly-focused on your own experiences as a patient that might go against you. Plus, I am sorry to say, there is discrimination against people with disabilities/the chronically ill in the medical profession as well as in society. To counter this, I would suggest that your application merely provides the facts of your illness where necessary (eg to explain your extended college education) and makes it clear that since spring 2012 your health no longer impacts on your work schedule.

            If you don't get in this time, get your physician shadowing in, work on ensuring that Project Hope is set up so that it will carry on if you go away to medical school, and reapply in June. Good luck.
             

            Catalystik

            The Gimlet Eye
            Verified Expert
            15+ Year Member
            Sep 4, 2006
            35,013
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            The Other Side of the Portal
            1. Attending Physician
              I do not have physician shadowing yet. I realized this is an issue and something I should have experience in before interviewing, so I'm trying to set it up now. Pretty much procrastinated on this one so it's not on my AMCAS.

              My pre-health advisor mentioned that the fact that I discussed my CNA experience in my PS is good enough and the omission in the work/activities won't kill me so I have not emailed any adcoms. I updated my résumé for some schools that offered it on secondaries or their application portals, but only a few.

              Any further thoughts?
              I suggest that your fall update letter (commonly sent after fall grades are in, to institutions that accept them) highlight your ongoing active clinical experience (and a summary of total time span, average hours per week, as well as the fact that you omitted to include it in the Primary application), and ideally some shadowing, as well as focus on the leadership component of what you've recently accomplished with Project Hope.
               
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