lemmonhead

Your ego is not your amigo
7+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2011
67
14
Colorado
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
So I am reapplying to DO & MD programs. My stats are ok 3.85PB GPA, 3.37 cGPA, 10/10/10. Decent extracurriculars. Interviewed MD late last cycle and was waitlisted.
I'm trying to get a sense of whether or not the approach I am taking to improve my application is a good one. I waited tables for the past year and when it looked like I was not going to get in this spring I started to look for medically related jobs and started scribing 2-3 days per week in July. I am also continuing to volunteer. I would like to do more but cannot afford to from a financial perspective. Scribing pays dirt and I'm on my own financially. To supplement my income I'm also working at a restaurant. I've been told that as a reapplicant I need to be working 40 hours per week on something that improves my app but that doesn't seem to be a realistic option for me financially. Additionally, I was told by an admissions director that scribing would benefit my application more than accepting a job in clinical research.

So I guess my question is, in the event I have to apply again, will it be an issue that I am only scribing 2-3 days per week while continuing to wait tables? If not, what would be a better path? Would appreciate your input @gyngyn @DrMidlife

All MD apps were complete by mid-August. All DO apps were complete as of this week.

MD
NYMC
Oakland University
University of Vermont
Virginia Commonwealth
SLU
Jefferson
Creighton
Albany Medical College
Colorado
Western Michigan
Drexel University
Loyola
Temple
Penn State
Rosalind Franklin
Rush
California Northstate
(MCW, is it too late?)
(Tulane, is it too late?)

DO
Nova Southeastern
PCOM
Rocky Mountain Vista
Touro-California
Touro-Nevada
Touro-New York
Western Pomona
KCU
Western PNW
DMU
 

DrMidlife

has an opinion
10+ Year Member
Oct 30, 2006
7,506
2,604
Status
Resident [Any Field]
will it be an issue that I am only scribing 2-3 days per week while continuing to wait tables?
I have a very strong personal bias in favor of:
1. real work experience that includes regular suckage, because all jobs include regular suckage
2. paying your own rent
3. customer service jobs requiring heavy interaction with the general public, particularly waiting tables
4. not pretending that scribe work is a real job, and having a sense of proportion about its importance

So basically I'm completely on board with your plan.

I suggest making a big fat decision by the end of the year to retake the MCAT in April, if your apps aren't going anywhere. You will most likely want to desperately nickel and dime this, hoping you don't have to retake. But your MCAT score is not going to hold up for a 3rd app cycle, and you need to invest months before you retake. Thus decide by the end of the year.

Get yourself emotionally prepared to get a DO acceptance. That's very likely to happen. You'll have your DO acceptance on a nice letter and you'll have a list of MD schools you haven't heard from yet. Take a moment. Feel that. If you don't really want that DO acceptance, then close your DO app. If you will be completely happy with that DO acceptance and be relieved that you don't have to retake the MCAT and reapply, fabulous. Enjoy. But don't go through the motions of applying DO unless you want a DO acceptance.

Best of luck to you.
 
OP
L

lemmonhead

Your ego is not your amigo
7+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2011
67
14
Colorado
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I have a very strong personal bias in favor of:
1. real work experience that includes regular suckage, because all jobs include regular suckage
2. paying your own rent
3. customer service jobs requiring heavy interaction with the general public, particularly waiting tables
4. not pretending that scribe work is a real job, and having a sense of proportion about its importance

So basically I'm completely on board with your plan.

I suggest making a big fat decision by the end of the year to retake the MCAT in April, if your apps aren't going anywhere. You will most likely want to desperately nickel and dime this, hoping you don't have to retake. But your MCAT score is not going to hold up for a 3rd app cycle, and you need to invest months before you retake. Thus decide by the end of the year.

Get yourself emotionally prepared to get a DO acceptance. That's very likely to happen. You'll have your DO acceptance on a nice letter and you'll have a list of MD schools you haven't heard from yet. Take a moment. Feel that. If you don't really want that DO acceptance, then close your DO app. If you will be completely happy with that DO acceptance and be relieved that you don't have to retake the MCAT and reapply, fabulous. Enjoy. But don't go through the motions of applying DO unless you want a DO acceptance.

Best of luck to you.


Thanks for the feedback. That makes me feel much better about my plan.
 
Last edited:

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,636
78,885
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
I suggest the following:


Rush

NYMC

Creighton

Rosy Franklin

Drexel

Loma Linda (but read their list of don'ts)

WVU

Oakland-B

Western MI

Any DO program

Your state school(s).


So I am reapplying to DO & MD programs. My stats are ok 3.85PB GPA, 3.37 cGPA, 10/10/10. Decent extracurriculars. Interviewed MD late last cycle and was waitlisted.
I'm trying to get a sense of whether or not the approach I am taking to improve my application is a good one. I waited tables for the past year and when it looked like I was not going to get in this spring I started to look for medically related jobs and started scribing 2-3 days per week in July. I am also continuing to volunteer. I would like to do more but cannot afford to from a financial perspective. Scribing pays dirt and I'm on my own financially. To supplement my income I'm also working at a restaurant. I've been told that as a reapplicant I need to be working 40 hours per week on something that improves my app but that doesn't seem to be a realistic option for me financially. Additionally, I was told by an admissions director that scribing would benefit my application more than accepting a job in clinical research.

So I guess my question is, in the event I have to apply again, will it be an issue that I am only scribing 2-3 days per week while continuing to wait tables? If not, what would be a better path? Would appreciate your input @gyngyn @DrMidlife

All MD apps were complete by mid-August. All DO apps were complete as of this week.

MD
NYMC
Oakland University
University of Vermont
Virginia Commonwealth
SLU
Jefferson
Creighton
Albany Medical College
Colorado
Western Michigan
Drexel University
Loyola
Temple
Penn State
Rosalind Franklin
Rush
California Northstate
(MCW, is it too late?)
(Tulane, is it too late?)

DO
Nova Southeastern
PCOM
Rocky Mountain Vista
Touro-California
Touro-Nevada
Touro-New York
Western Pomona
KCU
Western PNW
DMU
 

GrapesofRath

2+ Year Member
May 5, 2015
5,320
3,803
Status
Non-Student
I have a very strong personal bias in favor of:
1. real work experience that includes regular suckage, because all jobs include regular suckage
2. paying your own rent
3. customer service jobs requiring heavy interaction with the general public, particularly waiting tables
4. not pretending that scribe work is a real job, and having a sense of proportion about its importance

So basically I'm completely on board with your plan.

I suggest making a big fat decision by the end of the year to retake the MCAT in April, if your apps aren't going anywhere. You will most likely want to desperately nickel and dime this, hoping you don't have to retake. But your MCAT score is not going to hold up for a 3rd app cycle, and you need to invest months before you retake. Thus decide by the end of the year.

Get yourself emotionally prepared to get a DO acceptance. That's very likely to happen. You'll have your DO acceptance on a nice letter and you'll have a list of MD schools you haven't heard from yet. Take a moment. Feel that. If you don't really want that DO acceptance, then close your DO app. If you will be completely happy with that DO acceptance and be relieved that you don't have to retake the MCAT and reapply, fabulous. Enjoy. But don't go through the motions of applying DO unless you want a DO acceptance.

Best of luck to you.
The bolded is so important and perhaps the most important thing to take away. Do not under any circumstances apply to a DO school if you aren't willing to take their acceptance if they give it.

Do not use the following strategy or mindset: This cycle I'll apply to MDs and DO programs. If I don't get into an MD and get into a DO I'll decline the DO and give the MD one final try and then just apply to DO again and if I don't get into an MD for the 3rd time just take the DO again.

Live under the assumption that if you decline a DO acceptance you will not get another one(and it's a pretty safe assumption). So if you want to give MD's 3 tries, do not apply to a DO until that 3rd and final try. Because if you do MD and DO this 2nd time around and get a DO but not an MD and go for a 3rd and final try for MD and get nothing again, you have really really screwed yourself because you will not have the option of a DO then or in the future.

As is, the other important question is where did you apply last cycle? If you didn't apply to many schools last cycle and will be a first time applicant at many lower tiers that will help you out. If you did apply to many lower tiers last cycle, you will want to have a significantly improved application when you choose to re-apply there. If you really are boning for the MD I would give consideration to re-taking the MCAT if this cycle doesn't turn out favorable. I'm not saying I would absolutely do it, I'm saying I would consider it. Because if 9 months from now when you are preparing for your second app cycle you have a 514-515 type score on your record, that will be a real boost to your application and probably the biggest possible boost you could have. Keep in mind many schools also don't really consider 3rd time applicants; so if you end up applying 3 times a) keep a tab of how many schools you are applying to that you applied to all 3 cycles b) Even for those you are a re-applicant, the best thing you can do is to improve your stats to improve your chances. Getting 3+ better on an MCAT retake will do that.

https://www.aamc.org/students/download/271680/data/retestertotalscorechange.pdf

Any retake decision NEEDS to consider the following data on re-takes. In your case, 37% of people that re-took your score did 3+ points better(which is the type of improvement that you need and would help your app). That's not a high number but its not low enough to disregard the possibility either. You gotta ask yourself a) how much did you study last time around b) how much time do you have to study this time around c) where are your strengths and weaknesses. If you feel like you maxed out your abilities last time, don't retake as it will only hurt you. But if you didnt put in as much time as you could have and feel like you can score higher and have the time to study for a re-take, then if you do study and find your practice test scores significantly higher than they were the first time around, I think you have to strongly consider retaking.

Like others have said you'll be fine for DO's. The key question you have to consider is just how badly you are aiming for the MD, how willing are you to accept a DO and what you are willing to do to boost your odds.
 
Last edited:
OP
L

lemmonhead

Your ego is not your amigo
7+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2011
67
14
Colorado
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
The bolded is so important and perhaps the most important thing to take away. Do not under any circumstances apply to a DO school if you aren't willing to take their acceptance if they give it.

Do not use the following strategy or mindset: This cycle I'll apply to MDs and DO programs. If I don't get into an MD and get into a DO I'll decline the DO and give the MD one final try and then just apply to DO again and if I don't get into an MD for the 3rd time just take the DO again.

Live under the assumption that if you decline a DO acceptance you will not get another one(and it's a pretty safe assumption). So if you want to give MD's 3 tries, do not apply to a DO until that 3rd and final try. Because if you do MD and DO this 2nd time around and get a DO but not an MD and go for a 3rd and final try for MD and get nothing again, you have really really screwed yourself because you will not have the option of a DO then or in the future.

As is, the other important question is where did you apply last cycle? If you didn't apply to many schools last cycle and will be a first time applicant at many lower tiers that will help you out. If you did apply to many lower tiers last cycle, you will want to have a significantly improved application when you choose to re-apply there. If you really are boning for the MD I would give consideration to re-taking the MCAT if this cycle doesn't turn out favorable. I'm not saying I would absolutely do it, I'm saying I would consider it. Because if 9 months from now when you are preparing for your second app cycle you have a 514-515 type score on your record, that will be a real boost to your application and probably the biggest possible boost you could have. Keep in mind many schools also don't really consider 3rd time applicants; so if you end up applying 3 times a) keep a tab of how many schools you are applying to that you applied to all 3 cycles b) Even for those you are a re-applicant, the best thing you can do is to improve your stats to improve your chances. Getting 3+ better on an MCAT retake will do that.

https://www.aamc.org/students/download/271680/data/retestertotalscorechange.pdf

Any retake decision NEEDS to consider the following data on re-takes. In your case, 37% of people that re-took your score did 3+ points better(which is the type of improvement that you need and would help your app). That's not a high number but its not low enough to disregard the possibility either. You gotta ask yourself a) how much did you study last time around b) how much time do you have to study this time around c) where are your strengths and weaknesses. If you feel like you maxed out your abilities last time, don't retake as it will only hurt you. But if you didnt put in as much time as you could have and feel like you can score higher and have the time to study for a re-take, then if you do study and find your practice test scores significantly higher than they were the first time around, I think you have to strongly consider retaking.

Like others have said you'll be fine for DO's. The key question you have to consider is just how badly you are aiming for the MD, how willing are you to accept a DO and what you are willing to do to boost your odds.

Thank you for your input. There are a few DO programs I would be interested in attending and did apply to. Will give it some more consideration this week since ALL my apps are in for this cycle and I just spent several thousand dollars applying again.
 
OP
L

lemmonhead

Your ego is not your amigo
7+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2011
67
14
Colorado
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I suggest the following:


Rush

NYMC

Creighton

Rosy Franklin

Drexel

Loma Linda (but read their list of don'ts)

WVU

Oakland-B

Western MI

Any DO program

Your state school(s).
You would recommend still applying to WVU this late and as an OOS resident? I'd love to go there but according to MSAR they have a preference for IS students, no?
 

Crayola227

The Oncoming Storm
5+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2013
15,942
17,765
All of Time & Space
You gotta work, but if you push your activities to around 60-80 hrs per week, that's optimal. So wait tables, scribe, and see if you can get some other exracurrixulars on board.

Crap, you have kids.

Tutoring, volunteering, chart review clinical research or reasearch you can do from home, what ever is going to pack it more on, because I wouldn't say you have to spend 40 hrs a week just medical related when you need to put food on that table, but every hour past 40 per week on any mix of activities is better than sticking to 40 total.

Does that make sense? Diversify, and show you can do family and at least what looks like adds up to 60-80 hrs per week work, because family or not that will be the pace expected of a matriculant and they are looking for evidence of you doing that and doing it well on your app.
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,636
78,885
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
Primary app? no.
Secondary? Worth a shot.

You would recommend still applying to WVU this late and as an OOS resident? I'd love to go there but according to MSAR they have a preference for IS students, no?
 
OP
L

lemmonhead

Your ego is not your amigo
7+ Year Member
Apr 17, 2011
67
14
Colorado
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I completely agree with @DrMidlife.
I also think you are going to get in DO.
Great! Thank you! One other quick question...Would it be beneficial to have a family member who attended a school I applied to reach out to the Dead of Admissions on my behalf pre-interview? If so, would an email or phone call be better? He is a very accomplished radiologist and graduated #1 in his class a number of years ago. Thanks.
 

gyngyn

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Nov 4, 2011
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Great! Thank you! One other quick question...Would it be beneficial to have a family member who attended a school I applied to reach out to the Dead of Admissions on my behalf pre-interview? If so, would an email or phone call be better? He is a very accomplished radiologist and graduated #1 in his class a number of years ago. Thanks.
If he has a personal connection to the admissions dean, a call is not unreasonable. An email is also acceptable. Just don't count on it making much difference unless you were already a good candidate for the school.
 
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