Thanking in advance for reading this monster of a background. So far I have applied twice now so I will break up my cycles into 2 sections.
CA white student graduated 2017 with science and humanities double major at a top 30 school not in CA (according to US News) with a cGPA of 3.388 and sGPA of 3.31. AMCAS cGPA 3.4 (due to community college class). MCAT from 2016 was a 510 (127, 127, 128, 128). Did a SMP last year and got a 3.79 with a 4.0 second semester.
1st application 2017-2018 cycle (summer before starting SMP). Sent primary early June, processed early July. Applied to 19 schools, with a few reach, but most were mid/low tier. All secondaries sent within 1 week of receiving.
No interviews until March 2018: 2 schools, 1 rejection post interview the other waitlist. Withdrew from waitlist school due to it not having full accreditation. School gives me acceptance few months after post-withdrawal. Have to make sure that it was a mistake and they ensure me that this will not be seen upcoming cycles on my record.
- 3 consecutive summers worked as a Clinical Research Assistant for a total of 1100 hours with a total of 60 hours shadowing at inpatient/outpatient psych clinic
- 200 hours meal distribution volunteering
- 100 hours health educator for teens in underrepresented schools, teaching sex ed/healthy choices curriculum
- intramural athletics for 3 semesters eventually becoming co-captain
- 300 hours research assistant in GI lab that allowed 20 hours surgery observation
- 800 hours undergrad neuro lab that led to me writing and receiving 2 grants and poster presentation
- member -> secretary -> president of cultural club for all of undergrad
- member -> chair of recruitment -> VP of recruitment of premed fraternity for all of undergrad
- 250 hours of hospital volunteering/hospital research
- 80 hours of office assistant in undergrad residential hall
- psychology honors society
- like to garden
- created and taught a 10 week science curriculum for middle schoolers in an underrepresented school
2nd application 2018-2019 cycle (after SMP final grades). Sent primary early June, processed early July. Applied to 35 schools.
Same extracurriculars as above but worked as Medical Assistant during the cycle; currently have 1800 direct patient interaction hours and updated schools with info. Additionally worked for food-rescue organization for around 20 hours.
Had one interview early in the cycle and one after the new year. I am on 2 waitlists currently, one of which is the school I was rejected from the first round.
Advisors told me that the SMP would have helped a ton and I should be fine this cycle (one of my interviewers also told me this).
What should I do to improve my application? I was thinking of improving the MCAT (been studying since March with a tutor) but I am not scoring significantly higher than my previous score and am worried that I will do worse.
Greatly appreciate any input and advice!
If you engaged in a true SMP, where you took classes along with medical students, I agree with your advisor that you should have gotten a better response to your application. So let's look further.
Did you challenge yourself with a rigorous course load and challenging classes?
Any unexplained gaps in your education?
Any possible red flags on LORS? Did you use a committee letter if it was available?
Any past institutional action or legal issues?
Did multiple in-the-know readers approve your Personal Statement?
Does the PS have undertones of entitlement?
Did Secondary essay quality match the PS?
Did you consistently interview well?
Did you apply to multiple med schools that sponsor an SMP (and tend to give the greatest weight to masters-level grades)?
Did you fail to include DO med schools on your application list?