Apply or not to Apply that is the question!

mrmilad

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Hey Everyone,

hope you guys are all doing well and everything is going as planned. I was active on the forums last summer before and after taking the MCAT, but haven't been on for a long time. It has come to my attention that I am in a special situation regarding applying.

To make a long story short I am not a permanent resident of the US, and I am currently in the process of becoming one. From what the lawyer tells me there is a chance that it may take up to another year, but it may happen anytime sooner. So basically it's a crap chute and nothing is certain.

Currently I am beginning my last year at UCLA and time for applications is in the horizon. I took the MCAT last summer and got a 33R: (PS:12 / BS:11 / VR:10) and currently I have a cum GPA of 3.97 at UCLA. I have been involved in neurosci research for the last year, and Volunteer at UCLA med. I'm involved with Redcross and some on-campus clubs that help educate inner city kids.

My main question is should I apply this year although I am not a permanent resident? I have heard that many schools don't even consider non permanent resident application. Furthermore, if I should take a year off should I retake the MCAT and try to improve a couple of points? I would really like to get into somewhere in California, a good respectable school ideally. I would really appreciate any comments and solutions, thanks in advance and good luck to all.
 
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iatrogenic7

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Apply to mid/lower tier schools that accept int'l applicants. Don't waste time/$ on top tier schools, because you really need to be stellar to be considered as an int'l applicant. If this is okay with you, you should def. go for it. Gluck.
 

bozz

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I'm in the same situation... You have an insane GPA with a pretty good MCAT. I don't think you have anything to lose by applying. I'm applying to a crap load of schools just to be safe. Since you will be considered "international," you won't be eligible for fin. aid/scholarships anytime soon. I don't know how big of an issue money is, but for now, you won't qualify for aid/scholarships. Since you'll be in debt anyways, what's dropping a few grand on apps?

If you don't get in, you don't get in.. right? The only thing wasted would be "a few grand"
 

mrmilad

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unfortunately money is an issue, and more over I really don't want to go to a low tier school. So I guess what I have heard was right, I best take a year off and work on my app in the process.
 

butiwuvu

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and more over I really don't want to go to a low tier school

:laugh:

I'm sensing that you don't want to be a doctor. You want to be a name-brand doctor and let your school rather than your qualifications and experience carry you through life. :rolleyes: Yeah, you'd best avoid those awful low-tier medical schools. They're useless and you'll end up with a subscript to your MD degree that looks like:

MRMILAD, MD (Surgeon General's Warning - your MD has a degree from a low-tier school and could be damaging to your health.)

I can understand not wanting to go Caribbean or DO, but your stats don't seem to be great enough for you to have a really good shot at the best schools. There are countless applicants at the top schools with high GPAs and much higher MCATs than you have.

I would suggest a year off while you gain permanent resident status, then apply to the top schools just like you want to. Then after taking another year off for an ego adjustment, you should apply to a typical range of schools just like everyone else with your stats.
 

Luxian

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So basically it's a crap chute and nothing is certain.

I'm afraid I don't have anything to add to your decision, but I did want to make a little linguistic correction. While I appreciate the imagery of "crap chute", the term is actually "crap shoot" and it comes from the gambling game of Craps. The player is called a "shooter" and the "shoot" is a roll of the dice. So basically, it is about a game where the odds of winning are low.

See http://www.fastodds.com/game_rules/craps.htm

Hehe, but sometimes it does feel like a crap chute too!
 

Luxian

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To be serious though, you are quite right. It is difficult for international students to get a spot. You have excellent stats right now, but many schools may use your international status as a chance to toss out your application. There's a lot of simple weeding out that schools do before they even get to the meat of the application.

If I were you, I would get a job in research or at a hospital for your gap year and wait until the permanent residency is through before you apply. Take this from a reapplicant. Applying twice is a pain.
 

patiencebites

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I like the crap chute turn of phrase as well. In fact, it is probably an extremely accurate portrayal of the process.

I would say, though, that the phrase "crap shoot" doen't mean a low probability of success, but that it is completely up to chance whether you are successful or not.
 
I'm not a re-applicant, but I agree with this response the most. Moreover, I've heard that when you do reapply, you need to show significant improvement on your app--which would mean you would REALLY have to haul *** to make your already-good app outstanding.

I also think you need to adjust your attitude however. Any graduate of a U.S. medical school is going to be a good doctor if (s)he works hard. Residency and work ethic, more than medical school, determine the quality of your work. Even the "worst" medical school here is by no means a trailer with a couple of microscopes :p So even if you think that, I'd keep your opinions to yourself ;)

To summarize: don't retake MCAT, work on becoming a perm resident asap and get some clinical experience while you're waiting. You'll be fine.

To be serious though, you are quite right. It is difficult for international students to get a spot. You have excellent stats right now, but many schools may use your international status as a chance to toss out your application. There's a lot of simple weeding out that schools do before they even get to the meat of the application.

If I were you, I would get a job in research or at a hospital for your gap year and wait until the permanent residency is through before you apply. Take this from a reapplicant. Applying twice is a pain.
 

bozz

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unfortunately money is an issue, and more over I really don't want to go to a low tier school. So I guess what I have heard was right, I best take a year off and work on my app in the process.

Low tier schools are the worst schools to bank on as an international applicant. The majority of them accept none/interview at most 5 a year. They are not friendly at all... only the top and some mid tier schools are int'l friendly.

I don't know how competitive your scores are at top 20 - 40 schools that accept int'ls. But if you feel that they are, I'd apply.
 
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