apole97

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Jul 30, 2017
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Hi everyone,

I applied MD this current cycle (2020-2021), received one II (which ended up a R) but so far haven't gotten any great news. With the cycle reaching its last leg, I want to be ready for reapplication and seeing how I can excel the next year so I can do much better. One improvement I noticed could be my school list and maximizing my chances with more best-fit schools and cleaning up the list more. Another flaw is my hours seem small, but I did log my hours throughout my four years for all my activities (especially since I was a commuter student living an hour away from campus).

ORM from CA, first-generation student who has proficiency in English, Armenian, and Spanish (gained better proficiency in Spanish by taking two classes on medical Spanish post-grad at LMU)

Class of 2020 from UCLA, psychobiology graduate
cGPA: 3.87
sGPA: 3.83
MCAT: 509 (126/124/128/131) (2nd attempt after a 504)
WARS score: 80
LizzyM: 68.6

Clinical Experience: 105 hours volunteering at a neurology clinic. 200 hours working as a volunteer in creating concerts for UCLA Health staff and patients to promote mindfulness and stress health.

Paid Clinical Experience: (Currently in my gap year as of today) 750 hours as Scribe and Ophthalmic Technician Full-Time where I use EHR at an ophthalmology clinic and surgical center to document cases and help discuss with patients about treatments, procedures, and proper medications. I also translate for Armenian patients who come to the office (as that is a primary demographic of that clinic’s patient population)

Shadowing: 400 hours Shadowing an ENT specialist in his clinic and OR setting.

Other Employment: 480 hours as a Customer Service Associate in my first year in college

Research: 380 hours in Neuroscience research about hippocampal function in VR tests

(Currently in my gap year as of today) 150 hours as a Clinical Research Assistant about glaucoma and cataract surgical devices. This research will be used in 2 presentations at a conference in July 2021 as well as we will be writing multiple papers (around 3-5 total papers will be submitted for publication if I continue for another year) about this research. I am a co-author of all these presentations and publications.

Non-Medical Volunteering: 200 hours as volunteer at an Armenian Saturday School affiliated with the community’s church.

Leadership: 800 hours as leadership in 2 organizations on campus. This includes jumpstarting a fundraising campaign and leading a college student team to raise upwards of $55k towards blood cancer relief for patients during the pandemic.

Teaching: 160 hours as a Course Facilitator in a course that I designed and taught based on topics in music and medicine to 30 undergraduate students.

160 hours as a Teaching Assistant for a Life Science-based math class.

Additional: Musician and Songwriter (800 hours) with my own music published on streaming services as well as working with professional musicians in jazz and pop. I was also Phi Betta Kappa and was on a merit-based scholarship at UCLA. I also put a hobby of strength and conditioning and I will be pursuing becoming a Certified Personal Trainer for my own personal benefit as well as to show adcoms my love for teaching intersecting with my hobby of bodybuilding using a medical POV.

Applied to 45 schools total: Albany, Cal Northstate, Cal Uni, Central Michigan, FAU, Rosalind Franklin, Drexel, Quinnipiac, GW, Georgetown, Kaiser, Keck, Temple, Loma Linda, Loyola Stritch, Mayo Clinic, Wisconsin, Michigan State, NYMC, NYU, NYU Long Island, Oakland, Oregon, Penn State, Rush, Sidney Kimmel, TCU, Uni of Arizona Phoenix, Uni of Arizona Tucson, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UCSF, Uni Connecticut, University of Illinois, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Rochester, Washington, Wayne State, Wright State

While there is some time still left, I want to be prepared and apply on the first day of application opening and secondaries opening as well. I have not heard back from 50% of the schools yet but I would rather be prepared for a reapp possibility than scramble to start once they start answering. I am open to any school list changes including applying DO in the next cycle.
 

Dral

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Jan 8, 2009
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I don't see any glaring red flags on your app. Your MCAT score could be a bit better, but it's not bad. I would have expected more than one II out of all of those schools.

How are your LoRs (as much as you can tell)?
 
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celtic6643

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May 14, 2019
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your list is a bit all over the place, considering you applied to a lot of schools that heavily prioritize their in state students, so even tho their mcat and gpa may look like you are on track for a II, they may filter you out only based on residence. I wouldn’t take the MCAT again unless you are testing above a 515 with FRESH practice tests (many people use old ones they’ve already seen and get inflated FL scores). I would also keep going with the research since it seems like you have a good deal of clinical already.
 
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apole97

2+ Year Member
Jul 30, 2017
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  1. Pre-Medical
I don't see any glaring red flags on your app. Your MCAT score could be a bit better, but it's not bad. I would have expected more than one II out of all of those schools.

How are your LoRs (as much as you can tell)?
All my LoRs were pretty strong. I had the professor who helped guide me in teaching my course write me a letter and the other writers were pretty enthusiastic about writing a letter for me. My thinking is If my LoRs had a red flag, I probably would not have gotten an II at all.
 
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apole97

2+ Year Member
Jul 30, 2017
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your list is a bit all over the place, considering you applied to a lot of schools that heavily prioritize their in state students, so even tho their mcat and gpa may look like you are on track for a II, they may filter you out only based on residence. I wouldn’t take the MCAT again unless you are testing above a 515 with FRESH practice tests (many people use old ones they’ve already seen and get inflated FL scores). I would also keep going with the research since it seems like you have a good deal of clinical already.
Can you specify which schools on my list were heavy in state so I can take them off my list for the next cycle?
 

celtic6643

2+ Year Member
May 14, 2019
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Can you specify which schools on my list were heavy in state so I can take them off my list for the next cycle?
Just look at MSAR, and see how many in state students matriculate each year and if high percentage in state then that’s a pretty good sign that you should avoid that school.
 

Vivid_Quail

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I am shocked you didn't get an A with a high 3.8 from UCLA, even though your MCAT is below average for MD schools. Especially since you applied to FORTY-FIVE schools. One glaring yellow flag of your app is that it appears you only have shadowed ENT (for 400 hours???) and then have clinical experience in ophtho. That looks like you only know about two of the most competitive specialties in medicine.

Also your hours in general don't seem low at all, you have plenty of diverse EC's and a number of them have a lot of hours. Keep your chin up.
 
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