foodcoma

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it seems like most applicants have decent gpa/mcat, some volunteering, and maybe some research experience. so what distinguishes applicants from the next person? What can someone do to stand out? there's gotta be something out there that just makes the admission's committee stand up and take notice.
i'm lacking in gpa and mcats and that's why i ask...
 

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foodcoma said:
it seems like most applicants have decent gpa/mcat, some volunteering, and maybe some research experience. so what distinguishes applicants from the next person? What can someone do to stand out? there's gotta be something out there that just makes the admission's committee stand up and take notice.
i'm lacking in gpa and mcats and that's why i ask...

it depends how much your lacking.......sometimes nothing will help.........if your under 34 P and 3.86 then you should consider a different career.. :sleep:
 

mommy2three

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i have no clue and i wish i did. i have done everything right...i am according to my advisor a "perfect" applicant.....except i made a stupid mistake 10 yrs ago in a completely unrelated major and therefore my cum gpa is low.
i have had more than one dean of admission tell me i am fighting an "uphill battle" to get into an allopathic school...why?? i'll tell you why...because all they care about is numbers. at the end of the day you can have it in experience over an applicant just ike you but if that other applicant has better numbers than you somewhere guess who is getting in?? (let me tell you it will NOT be you)
i am sorry if i sound bitter and cynical but this whole process is very frustrating for me (and i am assuming someone like you) who has the potential to run circles around someone with "better" numbers but has to fight and kick and scream because we lack thos numbers.
and if someone could explain to me how an f in radio-television law will possibly affect my future as a doctor then i will gladly llisten...or why you are not considering the fact that that f cam in radio-television law.

unfortunately they only care about numbers...at the end of the day it is numbers...they want to say they have the best class...does not matter how many excellent students they keep out in the process.
 
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Dr.CRAB

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mommy2three said:
i have no clue and i wish i did. i have done everything right...i am according to my advisor a "perfect" applicant.....except i made a stupid mistake 10 yrs ago in a completely unrelated major and therefore my cum gpa is low.
i have had more than one dean of admission tell me i am fighting an "uphill battle" to get into an allopathic school...why?? i'll tell you why...because all they care about is numbers. at the end of the day you can have it in experience over an applicant just ike you but if that other applicant has better numbers than you somewhere guess who is getting in?? (let me tell you it will NOT be you)
i am sorry if i sound bitter and cynical but this whole process is very frustrating for me (and i am assuming someone like you) who has the potential to run circles around someone with "better" numbers but has to fight and kick and scream because we lack thos numbers.
and if someone could explain to me how an f in radio-television law will possibly affect my future as a doctor then i will gladly llisten...or why you are not considering the fact that that f cam in radio-television law.

unfortunately they only care about numbers...at the end of the day it is numbers...they want to say they have the best class...does not matter how many excellent students they keep out in the process.
the reason they rejected you (and hopefully will continue to do so)..is that fact that you got an f in one of the easiest classes that are offered......translation if you cant even do well in an easy [email protected]@ class then how do you think youll hack tyhe harder med school classes....you wont....

ps. you should get married and bake a cake.. :sleep:
 

relentless11

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Thats pretty much an unanswerable question given so many variables involved, and if there was a set answer, then a lot of people would do it, thereby nullifying the uniqueness you would gain from doing it. I will have a PhD when applying to med school, relatively speaking, more unique, but how far will that take me? Beats the hell out of me.

But I can tell you this, although the entire applicant as a package is important, extracurriculars rarely make up for low GPA and a low MCAT. The better question would be how low is your GPA and MCAT. EC's and academics are apples and oranges.

For instance at the UC med schools, if you don't meet the GPA/MCAT cutoff, you don't even get a secondary application despite what kinds of EC's you have. Which means the med schools won't see your letters of rec, and there is no chance for even an interview. So yea, at least initially, GPA/MCAT are important, and uniqueness probably plays a bigger role during the post-secondary application phase.
 

sscooterguy

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foodcoma said:
it seems like most applicants have decent gpa/mcat, some volunteering, and maybe some research experience. so what distinguishes applicants from the next person? What can someone do to stand out? there's gotta be something out there that just makes the admission's committee stand up and take notice.
i'm lacking in gpa and mcats and that's why i ask...
An exceptional applicant has the high GPA and MCAT. There are of course other things that make applicants exceptional, as I don't think GPA is standardized enough to use as a measure, nor do I believe a standardized, and argueably defeatable MCAT is either.

Outside of those things, its you who decides what is exceptional about yourself. If you are going to apply or are applying right now, you have to present whatever it is about you that is unique. Your run of the mill volunteer experience may not be unique, but how it affected you may be. If you indeed cannot find something about yourself that makes you stick out, then you need to do some extra work, whether that means retaking the MCAT, joining teach for america, or joining the peace corps (and only because you really want to, not just to get into medical school as you will regret it if thats your only motivating factor), etc.

Good luck.

sscooterguy
 

breck

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mommy2three said:
i have no clue and i wish i did. i have done everything right...i am according to my advisor a "perfect" applicant.....except i made a stupid mistake 10 yrs ago in a completely unrelated major and therefore my cum gpa is low.

i am sorry if i sound bitter and cynical but this whole process is very frustrating for me (and i am assuming someone like you) who has the potential to run circles around someone with "better" numbers but has to fight and kick and scream because we lack thos numbers.
and if someone could explain to me how an f in radio-television law will possibly affect my future as a doctor then i will gladly llisten...or why you are not considering the fact that that f cam in radio-television law.

unfortunately they only care about numbers...at the end of the day it is numbers...they want to say they have the best class...does not matter how many excellent students they keep out in the process.
Yes, you do sound a little bitter and cynical. I seriously doubt one F in some radio television course is that you took 10 years ago is going to be the determining factor as to whether or not you are admitted to medical school. I'm not a huge fan of schools that are number whores, but logic dictates that there is some truth behind GPA's and MCAT scores. Great numbers don't necessitate great med-students or doctors but there is certainly a lower limit to what is acceptable. I think it's odd that you have an advisor telling you that you are the perfect applicant while at the same time you have adcom members telling you that you are fighting an uphill battle. Did those adcom members offer constructive criticism on what you could do to make yourself a more competitive applicant?? Have you considered a post-bacc program or graduate school?? How well did you perform in your med-school pre-reqs?? What kind of life experiences do you have that make you think you could "run circles around younger students with better numbers than you?? Do you have significant clinical experiences that solidify your decision to mak a career switch (I'm making an assumption here)?? What's wrong with applying to DO schools??
 

MasonPrehealth

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foodcoma said:
it seems like most applicants have decent gpa/mcat, some volunteering, and maybe some research experience. so what distinguishes applicants from the next person? What can someone do to stand out? there's gotta be something out there that just makes the admission's committee stand up and take notice.
Write a great PS, with evidence of your seriousness and interest in pursuing a career in medicine. One should also have a semblance of being professional.
 

breck

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mommy2three said:
i have no clue and i wish i did. i have done everything right...i am according to my advisor a "perfect" applicant.....except i made a stupid mistake 10 yrs ago in a completely unrelated major and therefore my cum gpa is low.
i have had more than one dean of admission tell me i am fighting an "uphill battle" to get into an allopathic school...why?? i'll tell you why...because all they care about is numbers. at the end of the day you can have it in experience over an applicant just ike you but if that other applicant has better numbers than you somewhere guess who is getting in?? (let me tell you it will NOT be you)
i am sorry if i sound bitter and cynical but this whole process is very frustrating for me (and i am assuming someone like you) who has the potential to run circles around someone with "better" numbers but has to fight and kick and scream because we lack thos numbers.
and if someone could explain to me how an f in radio-television law will possibly affect my future as a doctor then i will gladly llisten...or why you are not considering the fact that that f cam in radio-television law.

unfortunately they only care about numbers...at the end of the day it is numbers...they want to say they have the best class...does not matter how many excellent students they keep out in the process.
Now I am really confused. Your profile says you are a medical student and in graduate school :confused:
 

CaramelDlite

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foodcoma said:
it seems like most applicants have decent gpa/mcat, some volunteering, and maybe some research experience. so what distinguishes applicants from the next person? What can someone do to stand out? there's gotta be something out there that just makes the admission's committee stand up and take notice.
i'm lacking in gpa and mcats and that's why i ask...
I think the term exceptional would be different for each medical school. For instance, Harvard has been known to favor students interested in international health, and so would probably sacrifice some MCAT points if your experience there is amazing. Some schools rarely accept those without research experience, and some really dont care. Other schools are more numbers based and usually that is because they want to know you will be able to handle the difficulty of their courses. At some schools a 28 may mean an exceptional applicant, at others its a 38. In short, thats why its important that you research each school and see where their focuses lie, and make sure you are a good fit for their school, though the final decision will be up to the adcoms....
 

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I agree that numbers are the highlight of the admissions process.

But rather than simply reiterating the other OPs posts about the "different strokes for different folks" mentality, I'll simply say that almost anything international will contribute.

I don't think that it should be a major EC, but from what I've seen and heard, it seems that doing something internationally (volunteering, working in a clinic etc) grabs adcom's attention a bit.

Nevertheless, I don't encourage you to pursue this EC if you are doing it only to get into medical school as it would be much better to work on your GPA and MCAT, med school wise.

Seriously, just take an activity you enjoy and run with it. Go to the next level: if you like the yo-yo, start a yo-yo club, do tricks and raise money for the school or try and compete. You get the point.

So I recommend just taking an activity and running with it, but gun to my head, I would say volunteering or working internationally will put you on the map.
-Dr. P.
 

Law2Doc

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CaramelDlite said:
At some schools a 28 may mean an exceptional applicant, at others its a 38.
28 is acceptable at many schools but at no school does that in and of itself make you "exceptional". Exceptional is what stands you apart from all the average 3.5/30-ish with some minor volunteering/research credentials all the other competitive applicants have.
 

blackle

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having well-developed interests (not just "hobbies," things you're really serious about) outside of medicine that you won't possibly have time to pursue as a med student/resident/etc. lol that's how I see it.
 

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The things that make one person with a high GPA/MCAT more exceptional than someone with similar stats are things that most other applicants with good scores do not have. For example if you have professors who write in their LOR's "this is one of the best students I have seen in my 30+ years of teaching" might help them. Being a Rhodes Scholar or something similar couldn't hurt either. But honestly a lot of this is random once you hit a good level in terms of GPA and MCAT.

That being said, I am currently running a little experiment to see how schools deal with broadway playwright's as applicants. I am really hoping for some positive results.
 

Law2Doc

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Caristra said:
That being said, I am currently running a little experiment to see how schools deal with broadway playwright's as applicants. I am really hoping for some positive results.
I think you will be pleasantly surprised with how something like that will be regarded, on top of your high stats.
 
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