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A very important decision....I really need your opinions

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ocwaveoc, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. ocwaveoc

    ocwaveoc Banned Banned

    Jan 15, 2007
    Hi everyone,
    It's finally coming down to the wire....I hope you had luck with a school you were interested in.
    I wanted to seek your opinion on a dilemma I have.
    After my August 9, 2007 MCAT (I'm applying this upcoming summer), I have two options of where I can live and what I can do:

    Option 1- Move back to California ( I live in Hawaii) after MCAT to work as a physical therapist (I'm a non trad) while I fill out my secondaries and go on interviews.
    Pros: Good salary....I've depleted my savings in the past 2 years. So
    financially, this is a good option in that regard.
    Also, it's much easier/cheaper to travel to interviews from California
    than fromHawaii (airfare would range from $500-$1000 if I travel from Hawaii, depending on where I'm going)
    Con: I'm not really improving my med school application in case I don't get into a school this time around.

    Option 2-Some really good opportunities have been offered from the Chemistry department here at University of Hawaii. One is to teach a couple of lab sections for one of the Organic chemistry courses for science majors. The second opportunity is to do some research for a professor in the chemistry department. If I live here in Hawaii after my August MCAT, I'll be able to do both.

    Pro: Excellent for my application...especially if I dont' get in to a med school this time around.
    Con: In order to travel to interviews from Hawaii, I may have conflicting schedule between teaching/research and interviews. Much less money to be made...which is a bit of a concern since my funds are depleting...and interview travels will cost a lot.

    My questions for you are:
    1) If I am offered interviews from schools, what is the earliest you suspect those offers will be made if I take the MCAT in August 9th (scores will be available in 30 days)?
    2) What would you do?
    I'm thinking that IF interview offers won't even be made until December due to my late MCAT date, I can teach the lab sections and do research from Aug 07 - Dec 07. THEN move back to California in December as I begin interviews. But I don't know when I'll begin to interview.

    In terms of my stats:
    Overall 3.42
    BCPM 3.82
    Physical therapist for 10+ yrs
    Lilkely 3 exceptional LORs from my professors and an MD
    So, my chances of admission really depend on my MCAT.

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  3. Re3iRtH

    Re3iRtH Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 27, 2006
    You need to take a practice MCAT,
    if you can be confident that you will score ~32+ then just
    move out to Cali. Trust me, you don't want to apply more than
    once, I hear it really sucks.
    And your interviewing skills are likely better than a 21 year olds
    so you have that going for you.
    At least you didnt post your "anticipated 38 MCAT" ;)
    Best of luck.
  4. Wanna_B_Scutty

    Wanna_B_Scutty MS1 2+ Year Member

    Mar 30, 2006
    What is your residency status? Can you apply legally as a CA resident or as a Hawaii resident? As both? As neither?

    My gut says you should go for Option #1, since I believe you should then be able to apply as a CA resident and get in-state consideration and tuition. But I need more information...
  5. NN11

    NN11 7+ Year Member

    Mar 9, 2006
    To give you better advice, we need to know what you're currently scoring on your practice MCAT...
  6. Gut Shot

    Gut Shot 10+ Year Member

    Sep 7, 2003
    I wouldn't take the August MCAT, that's for sure. These roads are littered with the bodies of otherwise decent applicants who applied late.
  7. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection Physician Faculty SDN Advisor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Sep 4, 2006
    Inside the tesseract
    Pick option 2 only if you have no research experience and really, really want to go to a research-oriented school. Making better money is good. Traveling to interviews will be expensive enough if you are already on the mainland. Working as a PT is 'patient contact' and is good for your application also.
  8. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    That's a bit of an overstatement. There are lots of people who have taken August and gotten in. But with additional test offerings, it may pay to shoot for an earlier one (you arent stuck with the April/August tandem anymore).
  9. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Oct 12, 2004
    Another option is to take one of the August or September exams and then sit out until the following application cycle. I did that, and it worked out very well. I took the test in Aug. 2004, and I submitted my AMCAS on June 1 the following year.

    OP, if you feel like you need some time to shore up your app, take the time you need and do it all right the first time. Don't take the MCAT before you're ready, and don't apply until your app is as strong as you can possibly make it. If that means taking the test in August and applying one year later, so be it. You're not going to be 22 years old as an M1 no matter what you do, and I agree with the poster who said that you only want to have to go through this godawful process once. I say this as someone who will shortly be a 32-year-old M2.

    Best of :luck: with everything. :)
  10. Gut Shot

    Gut Shot 10+ Year Member

    Sep 7, 2003
    You're a towel.
  11. ptdoctor

    ptdoctor 2+ Year Member

    Sep 24, 2006
    I am a PT who applied this year. I would think that option 2 would be better for you because your clinical experience is already there, and more research/experience would look good on your app. Keep in mind, after 5 years of practice and working independently with patients, I was still asked about my clinical experience (lack of shadowing MDs directly) at interviews. Another problem I experienced during interviews is that I have a strong GPA and decent MCAT, so all my interviewers out of state doubted my intentions to leave CA to go to their school. Problem was, I got ZERO CA interviews, so I really didn't have any choice in the question of leaving the state. It may serve to your advantage to not be applying from CA.
  12. ocwaveoc

    ocwaveoc Banned Banned

    Jan 15, 2007
    Hey, thanks for all your inputs.
    Looks like it comes down to a few things.....
    Taking practice MCATs during the summer to see how I do. If I get over 30 consistently, move back to California.
    If I get under 30 consistently, stay in Hawaii and teach the labs and do research to improve my application in case I don't get in.
    OR, take the Aug MCAT, but not apply this year as QofQuimica suggested and teach the lab sections/do research.
    Taking one of the earlier MCAT isn't an option for me. So, that idea goes out the window.
    Thanks for all your opinions.
    QofQuimica, I downloaded your "I'm diene" cartoon and emailed it to my OChem professor. She loved it. I hope you don't it copy righted??? :laugh:

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