May 22, 2009
56
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey all,

I will be reapplying this cycle and have some questions about my application. I applied in the last cycle and got my secondaries in very late. I was simply unfocused. I had somewhat serious surgery over the summer and after recovering I put my apps on the back burner as I looked for a job. Anyway, I graduated in spring 2009 with a 3.6 gpa and scored a 31 on the mcat. I was fairly involved with volunteerism in uni and did a summer program in which I took part in a human cadaver lab and shadowed in an OR at a fairly prestigious uni. I submitted six secondaries and did not receive one interview. I was quite surprised because the schools I applied to were low/mid-tier and I thought I would at least get an interview.

Now I am thinking about doing a one year master's in medical sciences program while also applying to medical school in the upcoming cycle. I am thinking about getting a master's degree because it would give me research exp and I feel it would prove to the med schools that I am able to handle the curriculum. So I would (assuming I gain entrance to the master's program) begin the program in Fall having already put my AMCAS in. My question is would the program be beneficial to my application given the timing of my application? Also, would the program be beneficial given my GPA is already fairly good? Does anyone have any alternative suggestions?

Thank you for reading through this post, I know it's long!
 
Feb 10, 2010
26
0
0
MD
Status
Pre-Medical
First, some questions:
What was the breakdown for your GPA--Science and cumulative?
What about your MCAT breakdown?

I think your volunteer experience and clinical exposure sounds good...about how many hours in the OR? Did any of the physicians you shadowed write a LOR for you?
What about your other LORs?

I was in a similar boat as you, in terms of stats, however, I applied a little late, both primary and secondaries and when I asked for post application review, most adcoms responded by saying that applying late really hurt my chances because the process is already so competetive...My second application cycle was more successful and I applied much earlier than my first attempt. Even so, I was a little late in submitting my secondaries however I had supplemented my application with more clinical experience and an additional LOR from the physician I shadowed under.

All that said...I think the master's program would be beneficial if you are interested in it and if it will help you in your back up career choice (not to be pessimistic...but I always thought about what I would do if I still didn't make it my second try). The extra experience will definitely help your application because school's will definitely ask what you did during your year off...and if you're reapplying to the ssame schools they will want to know what you have done to improve your application. Try to keep up a good GPA in the master's program, and apply as early as you can to med schools.
Also, are you only applying to MD programs or are you applying to DO? or both?
 
May 22, 2009
56
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Both my science and and regular GPA was about a 3.6 (I believe one was a 3.6 and the other a 3.61). My MCAT was an 11 PS 10 BS and 10 WS. My time in the OR was not that much, perhaps only eight hours. In the program I took part in I shadowed in the OR as well as with rotating internal med docs. It was pretty cool but the highlight was some neurosurgeons that I shadowed. Seeing them work on the brain for a tumor debulking procedure was really cool. I did not get any of those physicians to write a letter as my time with them was too short. My other LORs were good. I had one from my Spanish teacher and she wrote great things about me, one from my ecology teacher who I also worked for in his lab and I'm sure he gave me a good rec, and my last one was from my histology teacher. I got an A in his class but he wasn’t really impressed with me, though he did get to know me because the class size was small I was just another student in his eyes.

I am only applying to MD schools, I never gave DO any thought.

When you say you applied late the second time, how late was it?

The more I think about it the more I think that an SMP may not be worth doing, I’m still on the fence about it and cannot make up my mind.

Sorry about the late response...really busy at work lately.
 

MiniMoo

5+ Year Member
Jan 20, 2010
1,235
4
91
California
Status
Medical Student
Your problem is that you 1) applied extremely late and 2) applied to only 6 schools. Get your primary submitted in June and apply broadly. Since your stats are average, I would aim for at least 15-20 schools. Get secondary prompts ahead of time in the School Specific forum on work on them while your primary is being processed. That way you can pretty much submit secondaries within a few days of receiving them or at least try to get them in within a week or so.

Also I'm assuming you have all the usual EC's? Hospital volunteering (150+ hours)? Shadowing? Community service? As well as (ideally) leadership, teaching, and research?
 

dragonfly99

10+ Year Member
May 15, 2008
5,092
49
261
Status
Attending Physician
I'm not on any admissions committees, but I think that applying to only 6 schools and applying late was a big problem. It may be a waste of money to do a master's degree. You can probably get more mileage out of increasing your volunteer and shadowing hours, and maybe take 1 course/semester on your own (make sure to ace them!). I would think applying to 15-20 schools or more would be a better strategy. It is not like applying to undergrad - you can't look at a school's average stats, and think that you match and then assume you'll get in. These don't show you how many people w/the exact same stats applied there and DIDN'T get in.

MCAT retake could be considered, but might be risky if your score went down - if you are typically an awesome standardized test taker, then you may be able to improve your score, but as you know it's a hard test with a stiff grading curve due to the other people taking the test. I don't think anyone on here will have as much insight as you into how you'd do if you retake.