Mar 29, 2010
5
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Pre-Medical
Hi, I am applying this cycle and I am trying to get my school list together. I have a preliminary list already but I think I might be applying to too many schools. I was hoping you guys could tell me what you think of what I have so far and if my list is realistic/broad enough.

My stats: 38 MCAT and my GPA is above a 3.9.
ECs include:
1) About 250 hours clinical volunteering between two hospitals and a free clinic. Also, I have about 30 hours of shadowing several different specialties but some of my volunteer work also allowed me to shadow quite a bit.
2) A long term non-clinical volunteer experience that I've been doing during my summers
3) Research including three semesters at my home institution on an independent project (no pubs) and a summer internship (40 hrs/week).
4) Peer tutoring (several semesters)
5) Other random stuff like an alternative spring break trip, a field biology trip, a job in food service, etc...

So, with that in mind, my school list so far is:
Harvard, Penn, WashU, Stanford, Yale, Columbia, UMich, Pitt, Vanderbilt, University of Virginia, Case Western, Mayo, Boston University, Dartmouth, Wake Forest, Temple, Jefferson, University of Vermont, TCMC, Drexel, Penn State, & NYMC

I would appreciate any and all feedback! Thank you for your help!
 

bravofleet4

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Jan 17, 2009
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nice stats. however, i think when you aim for top-tier schools, they're looking for special qualities in addition to academic excellence. i don't see anything you've listed in your EC's as particularly noteworthy. Most of the schools you've listed on the other hand are pretty high up there. I would still include more middle-tier schools. there are definitely plenty to choose from on the east coast. applicants sometimes make the mistake of making their list too top-heavy and are surprised they didn't get in somewhere when their friends who had lower stats got in other schools. the difference is really just asking yourself if these schools are the only ones you'd be willing to go to to get a medical education or if you'd go anywhere.
 
Mar 29, 2010
5
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Pre-Medical
My title for one of my tutoring positions is "instructional leader" where I basically tutor a large group weekly. This is the closest to leadership I've got.
 
Sep 4, 2006
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Inside the tesseract
Top schools aim to train future leaders in medicine. Your chances of an acceptance by one of them lies with whether your application supports this potential, backed up by your LOR writers. Ways in which you can show this capability for making a difference might be with substantive research (possibly with publications), with strong community service, or with above-and-beyond leadership.

You haven't revealed all the details of your past Experiences, so I 'd have to ask if you think your application will show that you are a desirable candidate for the most selective schools? Your stats say yes, but what about your activities?

BTW, IMO, it depends on the way you tutor your peers as to whether it would be a leadership experience. If you are a resource available to answer questions you are asked, or stand in front of a group and regurgitate information, then that is not really leadership. If you inspire to go beyond the text, motivate to excel, cause to go in a direction that might not have been considered, teach critical thinking skills, demand better than what is provided, organize, take responsibility to bring about change, etc. then that is more like leadership. The narrative you provide in describing the experience should make clear in what way you led.
 
Mar 29, 2010
5
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Pre-Medical
Thanks for the replies. I generally think my activities are solid but not necessarily extraordinary and for this reason I think I'm going to take some of the most selective schools of my list (Harvard, Stanford, etc...) and add a few more mid-to-lower tier schools (~3). I really am just trying to give myself a chance at the top tier schools which is why I originally included so many because I know how hard it is to get in to one of them. Any suggestions for some schools that would be a good addition to the list where I would have a high chance of acceptance?
 

deaninja

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Jan 31, 2009
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Your numbers are great and it is true that the top schools do really try to look for something unique among their applicants. However, I wouldn't take out those top schools because you never know what's going to happen. You could get in and you certainly have the numbers for it. What I would do is maybe add a few more mid-tier or mid-to-upper-tier schools just so that you have all your bases covered. I certainly would not give up on the chance to possibly go to one of the top medical schools.
 

bravofleet4

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Jan 17, 2009
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you have good chances at most schools all i'm recommending is to not be to top heavy :), the only schools you wouldn't want to apply are those that barely accept any OOS. Also there's no need in your case to include any schools that are considered "safeties" or carribean schools.
 
Jan 14, 2010
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Pre-Medical
Honestly, you have some really good stats but so does nearly everybody else who applies to "top" schools and while I agree with nearly all that's been said above I think it's important to consider your interest level in the schools on your list. Are you only applying to these schools because of their status? If so, it'll be apparent and, from everything I've read, heard and seen, adcoms don't like that and they will grill you on what you like about the school, why you picked it, what you like about the area, why you would choose to live in Charlottesville vs NY city and so on and so forth and if you can't show genuine interest in them, they will not be interested in no matter what your stats. Your PS, your LORs and your ECs should show that you're a good match to the schools you pick and if they don't and they're on your list just because, save your time and your money. That's my two cents!:D Good luck with the crazy roller coaster ride of applying!
 

tlaloc87

Young Money Democrat
Mar 14, 2010
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Are you only applying to these schools because of their status? If so, it'll be apparent...
You beat me to it, Faye.

Personally, I really am not paying much attention to avg. GPA, median MCAT scores, or rankings when considering to which schools I will apply. I feel that I will have a better chance of acceptance if the school's mission and values line up well with my goals and interests, regardless of the stats. Perhaps it helps that my objective stats don't put me in the lowest quartile of applicants, but things become a lot less stressful when you consider where you are the best "fit" as opposed to where your numbers are or are not competitive.
 

bannie22

Hero
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Apr 6, 2009
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I dont think that there is anything wrong with applying to a school because of their status.

And I didnt get into the school with the same mission as in my heart.

So there you go.

And the school I'm going to. I dont even know the mission, in fact, I dont know most schools mission. LOL.
I have my own mission and I'm going to set about achieving it wherever I end up
 
Mar 29, 2010
5
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Pre-Medical
Hey thanks again for the comments so far. I have taken them into consideration and tried to change some things around. I think I have my final list of 20 schools together. Please let me know if this is a good selection! Thanks. I am a PA resident btw.

1. Penn
2. WashU
3. Columbia
4. University of Michigan
5. University of Pittsburgh
6. Vanderbilt
7. Northwestern
8. Emory (Second Choice)
9. Case Western
10. University of Rochester
11. Dartmouth (Top Choice)
12. Albert Einstein College of Medicine
13. Wake Forest
14. Temple
15. Jefferson
16. University of Vermont
17. Drexel
18. Penn State
19. NYMC
20. Virginia Commonwealth University
 

fatty19

10+ Year Member
Feb 19, 2009
65
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41
Status
Pre-Medical
Hey thanks again for the comments so far. I have taken them into consideration and tried to change some things around. I think I have my final list of 20 schools together. Please let me know if this is a good selection! Thanks. I am a PA resident btw.

1. Penn
2. WashU
3. Columbia
4. University of Michigan
5. University of Pittsburgh
6. Vanderbilt
7. Northwestern
8. Emory (Second Choice)
9. Case Western
10. University of Rochester
11. Dartmouth (Top Choice)
12. Albert Einstein College of Medicine
13. Wake Forest
14. Temple
15. Jefferson
16. University of Vermont
17. Drexel
18. Penn State
19. NYMC
20. Virginia Commonwealth University
I would drop NYMC and while I agree with all the previous comments about top schools looking for something extraordinary, that doesn't necessarily disqualify you. You may be an excellent interviewer who knows....