Adding to regrettably top-heavy school list: ORM, IN resident 520/3.85+

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skylinechili

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Looking for more suitable mid-tier schools to add! Finished 31 secondaries so far, 7 more to go, would like a handful of more feasible schools to add late
  1. cGPA and sGPA as calculated by AMCAS or AACOMAS: 3.87 and 3.83
  2. MCAT score(s) and breakdown: 520: 131/128/129/132
  3. State of residence or country of citizenship (if non-US): Indiana, Chicagoland suburbs
  4. Ethnicity and/or race: ORM
  5. Undergraduate institution or category: UC school
  6. Clinical experience (volunteer and non-volunteer): 1500+ hours ED scribe, 50 hours as scribe for a free clinic serving the houseless, 500+ hours scribing for primary care clinic serving elderly/Medicaid patients (gap year) 150+ hours as a PCT at a surgery center
  7. Research experience and productivity: zero. i feel like this making my app DOA at a lot of schools
  8. Shadowing experience and specialties represented: 20 (nephro/surgery)
  9. Non-clinical volunteering: + 250 hours leadership (director position) (with 150+ hours as a volunteer) of nutrition focused nonprofit, 100 hours tutoring for disadvantaged students, 100 hrs food bank (including nutrition education), 100 hrs VP of healthcare org focused on free BLS classes and access to healthcare training, 75 hrs food not bombs volunteer serving houseless community, 100 hours TEDx conference organizer
  10. Other extracurricular activities (including athletics, military service, gap year activities, leadership, teaching, etc): 400 hours gen chem tutor/TA, 300 hours AmeriCorps service focused on food access, 350+ hours as MCAT tutor. Gap year/currently: scribing for primary care clinic focusing on medically underserved community + MCAT tutor for prep company. Would like to add more shadowing and research.
  11. Relevant honors or awards: nothing besides dean's honors :(
  12. Anything else not listed you think might be important: Service narrative esp with food access/nutrition (I think) and I'm passionate about improving social determinants of health and education access. PS is currently centered around forming connections with the community I serve and I'm very set on primary care as of now. Biggest problem I think for me right now is decent but not mind-blowing stats and mediocre profile otherwise w/ no research and a very top-heavy school list.
Pending finishing secondaries: Emory, Vanderbilt, UCSF, UIC Yale, Loyola
Will definitely finishing UIC and Loyola, thinking the other unfinished ones are donations either way. Considering adding Rush and Tulane?
Currently completed:
1. UMich
2. UA Phoenix
3. NYU-LI
4. SLU
5. USF Morsani
6. Weill Cornell
7. Mount Sinai
8. Johns Hopkins
9. UChicago-rejected post-secondary
10. Georgetown
11. Rochester
12. WUSTL
13. Hofstra
14. UVA
15. UPitt
16. Columbia
17. Wisconsin
18. Mayo
19. Iowa
20. Tufts
21. USC
22. UCSD
23. UCLA
24. Harvard
25. Einstein
26. Northwestern
27. Brown
28. Indiana
29. Dartmouth
30. Cincinnati
31. Boston

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I don't see the connection with your narrative on food access/nutrition and your clinical experience. Only 20 hours of shadowing and nothing related there. You have the primary care scribing but 3x the hours in the ED. Maybe we don't have a chronology to know how this became something that interests you. Why not nutrition? Family Medicine?

Have you looked up the 33 schools that have a Food as Medicine curriculum? You don't need to add schools. At some point you have to trust your work and prepare for interviews.
 
OP

The T20 schools are powerhouses b/c of their research prowess and they want students who fit that mission. Your absence of research hurts you there.

You might be getting yield protected by the lower ranking schools who think you wouldn’t actually matriculate there.

Has Indiana extended an interview?

I agree that you could use more shadowing. The average for MD applicants is 50.

Can you get a research position in case you have to reapply?
 
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I don't see the connection with your narrative on food access/nutrition and your clinical experience. Only 20 hours of shadowing and nothing related there. You have the primary care scribing but 3x the hours in the ED. Maybe we don't have a chronology to know how this became something that interests you. Why not nutrition? Family Medicine?

Have you looked up the 33 schools that have a Food as Medicine curriculum? You don't need to add schools. At some point you have to trust your work and prepare for interviews.
How exactly do you connect clinical experience and nutrition/food access? I think my activities are taking shape in a similar way (1k+ food pantry hours) so I'd like to know how to take that interest a step further.
 
How exactly do you connect clinical experience and nutrition/food access? I think my activities are taking shape in a similar way (1k+ food pantry hours) so I'd like to know how to take that interest a step further.
Please read the rest of my comment. See how the schools are making that connection. Use that information to guide you on your school list.
 
Please read the rest of my comment. See how the schools are making that connection. Use that information to guide you on your school list.
I'm not going to lie, I'm still really confused how clinical experience can be connected to an interest in food access. Also, going through the 33 schools who implement the food in medicine curriculum, a lot of them just have it as a 4th year elective, so would it really be wise to push an interest in culinary medicine for the sake of one elective class? In other words, I'm unsure how you'd leverage that food insecurity interest/narrative because for most of these schools it isn't a primary focus, just something on the side.
 
I'm not going to lie, I'm still really confused how clinical experience can be connected to an interest in food access. Also, going through the 33 schools who implement the food in medicine curriculum, a lot of them just have it as a 4th year elective, so would it really be wise to push an interest in culinary medicine for the sake of one elective class? In other words, I'm unsure how you'd leverage that food insecurity interest/narrative because for most of these schools it isn't a primary focus, just something on the side.
Find out who takes these classes. If it's an elective, great. I have seen some of these schools realize it's too late to get people interested in this topic so it is introduced earlier.

I cannot tie it together for you since I don't know your own experiences and motivations. (This isn't your application, and I think you want to keep anonymity.) Every one will have a different answer based on their own clinical experience, community service, and the basic facts on social determinants of health that establish your advocacy.

For example, you have multiple scribing experiences. Were there any situations where you saw physicians connecting patients with resources or shelters similar to food banks or pantries? I am sure they discuss this in M1 at many schools.
 
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OP

The T20 schools are powerhouses b/c of their research prowess and they want students who fit that mission. Your absence of research hurts you there.

You might be getting yield protected by the lower ranking schools who think you wouldn’t actually matriculate there.

Has Indiana extended an interview?

I agree that you could use more shadowing. The average for MD applicants is 50.

Can you get a research position in case you have to reapply?
Hi! I agree, I am trying to finish secondaries currently and will be applying/looking for research opportunities (ideally aligned with my previous work) asap after. I had a hard time making a school list because of this exact issue that you stated-most of the "target schools" generated by online prediction tools like WARS/medical school predictor have all these research-heavy institutions on the list due to my stats and I don't think my application profile fits any of those schools aside from numbers.
Thank you for the feedback! I've heard that if you have extensive clinical experience, extensive shadowing isn't as necessary? But I agree, those hours are rather weak.
Indiana has extended an interview thankfully! I am super grateful, and really hope it works out. Let me know if you have other comments on my application! I appreciate your insight
 
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I'm not going to lie, I'm still really confused how clinical experience can be connected to an interest in food access. Also, going through the 33 schools who implement the food in medicine curriculum, a lot of them just have it as a 4th year elective, so would it really be wise to push an interest in culinary medicine for the sake of one elective class? In other words, I'm unsure how you'd leverage that food insecurity interest/narrative because for most of these schools it isn't a primary focus, just something on the side.
im not sure if you can PM on here, but if you can, PM me and we can discuss nutrition/food access and medicine, at least how I tied my personal motivations in for these two aspects. I could be totally off the rail here and not hitting the crux of a good connection though, so take it with a grain of salt
 
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Hi! I agree, I am trying to finish secondaries currently and will be applying/looking for research opportunities (ideally aligned with my previous work) asap after. I had a hard time making a school list because of this exact issue that you stated-most of the "target schools" generated by online prediction tools like WARS/medical school predictor have all these research-heavy institutions on the list due to my stats and I don't think my application profile fits any of those schools aside from numbers.
Thank you for the feedback! I've heard that if you have extensive clinical experience, extensive shadowing isn't as necessary? But I agree, those hours are rather weak.
Indiana has extended an interview thankfully! I am super grateful, and really hope it works out. Let me know if you have other comments on my application! I appreciate your insight
Shadowing (esp with a primary care doc) is meant to show that you’re familiar with the daily grind of being a doctor. Your clinical work may or may not involve much interaction with doctors or their daily routines. My clinical experiences for example involved interactions with nurses and patients mostly.

I suggest NIH post baccalaureate program, medical school professor lab websites (many have “join us) tabs, Broad Institute, among other places to look for a research gig.

MIT/Stanford/Harvard online also put their genomics/computational biology courses online in case you want to do quantitative research. Your biggest problem in finding a 1-2 year gig will be your lack of previous research experience.

Given your interest in nutrition issues, you might want to consider labs studying the microbiome. That area of research is drawing a lot of interest given its connection to human health & disease.
 
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Congrats on the II from IUSM. Read up and go for the A:
 
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Shadowing (esp with a primary care doc) is meant to show that you’re familiar with the daily grind of being a doctor. Your clinical work may or may not involve much interaction with doctors or their daily routines. My clinical experiences for example involved interactions with nurses and patients mostly.

I suggest NIH post baccalaureate program, medical school professor lab websites (many have “join us) tabs, Broad Institute, among other places to look for a research gig.

MIT/Stanford/Harvard online also put their genomics/computational biology courses online in case you want to do quantitative research. Your biggest problem in finding a 1-2 year gig will be your lack of previous research experience.

Given your interest in nutrition issues, you might want to consider labs studying the microbiome. That area of research is drawing a lot of interest given its connection to human health & disease.
omg thank you! this is so helpful, I appreciate it so much!
As for shadowing, I've been working 1 on 1 with primary care doctors since June for my gap year job. I've put this in my secondaries and highlighted how influential this experience has been to my journey in medicine and my motivations for primary care, and it's been really insightful as to how foundational nutrition is as a form of control for chronic illnesses, and how physicians can connect pts to food resources and provide education on nutrition to manage their disease! Hopefully, this clarifies my dedication to food advocacy + primary care and kinda rounds out my profile/personal mission.
I agree the research is, unfortunately, a big deficiency in my application, I am going to pursue these resources and learn some hard skills to help with obtaining a research position. Thank you for the microbiome suggestion, I've always been interested in the gut-brain axis as well. Thanks again for your time!
 
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From Northwestern:

“Research has implicated the microbiome in most chronic diseases, and we know that there are disparities in most chronic diseases in which higher morbidity is observed in minoritized populations,” Amato said.”

“Among its many roles, the gut microbiome contributes to protection from pathogens, nutrition and metabolism, immune function, brain development and behavior. An altered gut microbiome can also have an impact on the gestational environment and the resulting health of the next generation.”

Might be a way of connecting your interests to this area of research if you’re interested.

 
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im not sure if you can PM on here, but if you can, PM me and we can discuss nutrition/food access and medicine, at least how I tied my personal motivations in for these two aspects. I could be totally off the rail here and not hitting the crux of a good connection though, so take it with a grain of salt
PMed you!
 
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