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Applying to a single school?

Mar 24, 2020
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  1. Pre-Medical
Hi all,

I'm a non-traditional student with a family, and I'm applying this cycle (submitted AMCAS, waiting for verification). Since my partner has a professional license in this state, it would be difficult to uproot the family (she would have to take the study/take/pass the bar exam in another state).

My only choice in-state is one school (which is a great school, and I'd love to go there) and the closest out-of-state school is a 3 hour drive with little interest in OOS applicants. However, I keep hearing and reading advice to apply broadly; that if for nothing else, the interview experience will be valuable (knock on wood). I'm not sure how I feel about applying places that realistically, would be very difficult choice for the family (though perhaps not impossible?).

Initially, I had planned to just apply to our state school, do my best with that application, and reapply next year with a broader set of schools if needed. However, I'm also reading several places about "bad" mark of being a reapplicant.

I'm 36 and planning to go to med school one way or another, however long it takes. I like to think I'm a competitive applicant (don't we all), but I am having trouble determining what the best path forward is for this cycle.

If anyone has any perspective, I'd greatly appreciate it!
 

lanzhou_lamian

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Feb 3, 2020
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Applying to just one schooo is not a great idea. Simply put, admissions are unpredictable. Of course, MSAR can give you a rough idea of what a school is looking for, but even then, I got rejected pre-II at places where my stats were well within or even above their matriculant averages. I got into places where I was well below these averages. If you want to get in this cycle and avoid the headache and stigma of being a reapplicant, I would recommend applying more broadly. As a non-trad with an established life, “broadly” for you may not be as broad as the trad students who apply to 20+ schools, but I would at least apply to 5...I think you’d be potentially putting your med school goals in jeopardy otherwise.
 
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Jun 11, 2010
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  1. Non-Student
Hi all,

I'm a non-traditional student with a family, and I'm applying this cycle (submitted AMCAS, waiting for verification). Since my partner has a professional license in this state, it would be difficult to uproot the family (she would have to take the study/take/pass the bar exam in another state).

My only choice in-state is one school (which is a great school, and I'd love to go there) and the closest out-of-state school is a 3 hour drive with little interest in OOS applicants. However, I keep hearing and reading advice to apply broadly; that if for nothing else, the interview experience will be valuable (knock on wood). I'm not sure how I feel about applying places that realistically, would be very difficult choice for the family (though perhaps not impossible?).

Initially, I had planned to just apply to our state school, do my best with that application, and reapply next year with a broader set of schools if needed. However, I'm also reading several places about "bad" mark of being a reapplicant.

I'm 36 and planning to go to med school one way or another, however long it takes. I like to think I'm a competitive applicant (don't we all), but I am having trouble determining what the best path forward is for this cycle.

If anyone has any perspective, I'd greatly appreciate it!
And if you get rejected form this school, your medical career is over.

The reapplicant stigma is mostly an SDN delusion.

If you wish to be a doctor, then you're going to have to make some sacrifices and most likely relocate. Acceptance rates at individual med schools are int he very low single digits. They tend to be higher for residents of states what have public schools with a mandate to educate state residents only, like, say, KS, AS, MS, MO, SD etc.

Are there any DO schools in your state?
 
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Mar 24, 2020
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And if you get rejected form this school, your medical career is over.

The reapplicant stigma is mostly an SDN delusion.

If you wish to be a doctor, then you're going to have to make some sacrifices and most likely relocate. Acceptance rates at individual med schools are int he very low single digits. They tend to be higher for residents of states what have public schools with a mandate to educate state residents only, like, say, KS, AS, MS, MO, SD etc.

Are there any DO schools in your state?

Yes, there is one DO school in my state, a couple hours away. I've decided to apply there as well. I'm in Oregon - OHSU prefers in-state residents (84% of their class) but do accept OOS.

Sounds like it's time to broaden my search and figure out a way.

Thanks again.
 
Jun 11, 2010
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Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
Yes, there is one DO school in my state, a couple hours away. I've decided to apply there as well. I'm in Oregon - OHSU prefers in-state residents (84% of their class) but do accept OOS.

Sounds like it's time to broaden my search and figure out a way.

Thanks again.
You have PacNW, Both Westerns, Touro-CA, for starters. I can't recommend BCOM
 
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FrkyBgStok

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OP, I feel you. When I was applying, I applied broadly but in retrospect, I was only applying to one school and if I am honest with myself, had I been rejected and accepted elsewhere, I may have tried again.

It may be a little late for this but one thing that really helped me is sitting down with admissions prior to applying and saying “Here is my base of an app, what can I do to be competitive for this school” was incredibly helpful for me. Because in the end, my app was fairly tailored and they knew how bad I wanted to attend. If you do get rejected, maybe consider doing that prior to another application style.

But as others have said, the ultimate question is how bad you want to be a doctor. Because with residency, you aren’t going to have an option. When you match, that’s where you are going. You can try to apply based on location but the match can send you across the nation with no recourse. And that is a question only you can answer.
 
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GreenDuck12

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Hi all,

I'm a non-traditional student with a family, and I'm applying this cycle (submitted AMCAS, waiting for verification). Since my partner has a professional license in this state, it would be difficult to uproot the family (she would have to take the study/take/pass the bar exam in another state).

My only choice in-state is one school (which is a great school, and I'd love to go there) and the closest out-of-state school is a 3 hour drive with little interest in OOS applicants. However, I keep hearing and reading advice to apply broadly; that if for nothing else, the interview experience will be valuable (knock on wood). I'm not sure how I feel about applying places that realistically, would be very difficult choice for the family (though perhaps not impossible?).

Initially, I had planned to just apply to our state school, do my best with that application, and reapply next year with a broader set of schools if needed. However, I'm also reading several places about "bad" mark of being a reapplicant.

I'm 36 and planning to go to med school one way or another, however long it takes. I like to think I'm a competitive applicant (don't we all), but I am having trouble determining what the best path forward is for this cycle.

If anyone has any perspective, I'd greatly appreciate it!

I was in a similar position last cycle. My state had one MD program that I applied to. I decided that I would rather take the risk of needing a second application cycle, during which I would apply very broadly, instead of applying broadly the first time. In short, two chances at my state school was worth it to me. That being said, I knew my odds weren’t great. While my program skews older, it admits few applicants that are 30+, and accepts 40% of those it interviews. I knew there was a high likelihood I would need to reapply.

One thing you should keep in mind is that you will only be considered a reapplication at schools that you have previously sent a primary application to. If you apply to one school this year, you would only be a reapplicant at that school should you need to reapply next year.

One other thing is OHSU has a heritage program which allows them to classify OOS applicants as IS for admissions purposes but charge OOS tuition. This makes it hard to gauge how many seats go to true IS candidates (unless their data reporting practices have changed since I last looked).
 
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stayathomemom

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Dec 30, 2017
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Hi all,

I'm a non-traditional student with a family, and I'm applying this cycle (submitted AMCAS, waiting for verification). Since my partner has a professional license in this state, it would be difficult to uproot the family (she would have to take the study/take/pass the bar exam in another state).

My only choice in-state is one school (which is a great school, and I'd love to go there) and the closest out-of-state school is a 3 hour drive with little interest in OOS applicants. However, I keep hearing and reading advice to apply broadly; that if for nothing else, the interview experience will be valuable (knock on wood). I'm not sure how I feel about applying places that realistically, would be very difficult choice for the family (though perhaps not impossible?).

Initially, I had planned to just apply to our state school, do my best with that application, and reapply next year with a broader set of schools if needed. However, I'm also reading several places about "bad" mark of being a reapplicant.

I'm 36 and planning to go to med school one way or another, however long it takes. I like to think I'm a competitive applicant (don't we all), but I am having trouble determining what the best path forward is for this cycle.

If anyone has any perspective, I'd greatly appreciate it!
I could have written this word-for-word last year. Are you from Portland, by chance? (Edit: read your reply, haha, are you my twin?)
I applied only to OHSU last year and I did not get an interview. (I had a good shot too, pretty good application.) This year, our life circumstances have changed and I can apply much more broadly.
I guess I wouldn't recommend it but I would understand why you would do it. For me anyway, if I had to pick between medical school and my marriage, I would pick my marriage, and that's why I did it. I would caution that you should not apply to a school that you wouldn't matriculate to if it was your only acceptance, because turning down an acceptance comes with severe repercussions for future application cycles.
At any rate, good luck.
 
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jhmmd

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Apr 28, 2020
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stayathomemom said:
I could have written this word-for-word last year. Are you from Portland, by chance? (Edit: read your reply, haha, are you my twin?)
I applied only to OHSU last year and I did not get an interview. (I had a good shot too, pretty good application.) This year, our life circumstances have changed and I can apply much more broadly.
I guess I wouldn't recommend it but I would understand why you would do it. For me anyway, if I had to pick between medical school and my marriage, I would pick my marriage, and that's why I did it. I would caution that you should not apply to a school that you wouldn't matriculate to if it was your only acceptance, because turning down an acceptance comes with severe repercussions for future application cycles.
At any rate, good luck.
Bottom line here is that beggars can't be choosers. With the stats being as they are, you can't expect to matriculate anywhere until that acceptance is in your hand. It's not official until you have an acceptance letter.

Medicine is a pretty serious commitment and if you can't even commit to moving out of state then I'm not sure that it's for you. Plenty of people travel around the world--to the Carribean, Australia, England, etc., in search of a seat, hoping that they'll land a U.S. residency.
Why are you saying "if I had to choose between med school and my marriage?" This is coming out of left field.
 
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GreenDuck12

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Bottom line here is that beggars can't be choosers. With the stats being as they are, you can't expect to matriculate anywhere until that acceptance is in your hand. It's not official until you have an acceptance letter.

Medicine is a pretty serious commitment and if you can't even commit to moving out of state then I'm not sure that it's for you. Plenty of people travel around the world--to the Carribean, Australia, England, etc., in search of a seat, hoping that they'll land a U.S. residency.
Why are you saying "if I had to choose between med school and my marriage?" This is coming out of left field.
There wasn’t anything in the poster’s response that indicates they expected to matriculate anywhere. I don’t think it’s fair to say someone is not committed to becoming a doctor because they only applied to one school. Instead it reflects that there are other considerations that have to be made with regards to how to progress down that path. There are definitely risks with applying to a single program but if someone is willing to accept those risks, I don’t think we need to be overly critical.
 
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jhmmd

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GreenDuck12 said:
There wasn’t anything in the poster’s response that indicates they expected to matriculate anywhere. I don’t think it’s fair to say someone is not committed to becoming a doctor because they only applied to one school. Instead it reflects that there are other considerations that have to be made with regards to how to progress down that path. There are definitely risks with applying to a single program but if someone is willing to accept those risks, I don’t think we need to be overly critical.
Ok, no worries. I'm just speaking my mind :hardy:
 
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OP, Oregon has reciprocity agreements for the bar with Alaska, Washington, Idaho and Utah, if that helps widen your search.

Also, if your wife works as in-house counsel she won’t have to retake the bar in any state. PM me if you’d like more information on this...my spouse recently went through this exact scenario when I was accepted to medical school.
 
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Itisnottoolate

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I was in a similar situation when I applied last cycle. I am close to your age as well. I ended up applying to one DO school and 2 MD schools. I had below average stats but great clinical experience as I already work in the health care field. I received an interview at the DO school which I had to decline for medical reasons and I received a MD interview. I was waitlisted at the MD school and finally accepted. I start in a couple weeks! Now, I know I am so lucky and fortunate that I was accepted. I know it was not smart to apply to so few schools but I could not move due to a custody agreement. My family is always the most important. The one school that I applied to that was the furthest from my house (about 1.5 hours), I was rejected pre secondary. It is funny I received two interviews and a pre secondary rejection. My point is, you just never know until you apply! Good luck!
 
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Mar 24, 2020
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  1. Pre-Medical
Thanks for all the helpful replies!

OP, I feel you. When I was applying, I applied broadly but in retrospect, I was only applying to one school and if I am honest with myself, had I been rejected and accepted elsewhere, I may have tried again.

It may be a little late for this but one thing that really helped me is sitting down with admissions prior to applying and saying “Here is my base of an app, what can I do to be competitive for this school” was incredibly helpful for me. Because in the end, my app was fairly tailored and they knew how bad I wanted to attend. If you do get rejected, maybe consider doing that prior to another application style.

But as others have said, the ultimate question is how bad you want to be a doctor. Because with residency, you aren’t going to have an option. When you match, that’s where you are going. You can try to apply based on location but the match can send you across the nation with no recourse. And that is a question only you can answer.

That's smart advice, thank you. I hadn't realized med schools would be open to that. Do you suppose since I have already submitted my primary it would be too late to try that approach this year (pre-secondary)? Of course new experiences etc. wouldn't be possible in that time frame, but might be helpful to know sooner rather than later? You make a very good point about residency, and it would definitely have to be something we plan for as a possibility.

I was in a similar position last cycle. My state had one MD program that I applied to. I decided that I would rather take the risk of needing a second application cycle, during which I would apply very broadly, instead of applying broadly the first time. In short, two chances at my state school was worth it to me. That being said, I knew my odds weren’t great. While my program skews older, it admits few applicants that are 30+, and accepts 40% of those it interviews. I knew there was a high likelihood I would need to reapply.

One thing you should keep in mind is that you will only be considered a reapplication at schools that you have previously sent a primary application to. If you apply to one school this year, you would only be a reapplicant at that school should you need to reapply next year.

One other thing is OHSU has a heritage program which allows them to classify OOS applicants as IS for admissions purposes but charge OOS tuition. This makes it hard to gauge how many seats go to true IS candidates (unless their data reporting practices have changed since I last looked).

Congrats on your acceptance! I hadn't realized that the heritage students might be counted as IS. It's definitely helpful to realize that I would only be a reapplicant for specific schools, not for all.

I could have written this word-for-word last year. Are you from Portland, by chance? (Edit: read your reply, haha, are you my twin?)
I applied only to OHSU last year and I did not get an interview. (I had a good shot too, pretty good application.) This year, our life circumstances have changed and I can apply much more broadly.
I guess I wouldn't recommend it but I would understand why you would do it. For me anyway, if I had to pick between medical school and my marriage, I would pick my marriage, and that's why I did it. I would caution that you should not apply to a school that you wouldn't matriculate to if it was your only acceptance, because turning down an acceptance comes with severe repercussions for future application cycles.
At any rate, good luck.

I am from Portland! Well, for the past 20 years, anyway. So sorry to hear about OHSU last year. Hopefully this will be the cycle for you. What are your top picks now that you've broadened your search?

Bottom line here is that beggars can't be choosers. With the stats being as they are, you can't expect to matriculate anywhere until that acceptance is in your hand. It's not official until you have an acceptance letter.

Medicine is a pretty serious commitment and if you can't even commit to moving out of state then I'm not sure that it's for you. Plenty of people travel around the world--to the Carribean, Australia, England, etc., in search of a seat, hoping that they'll land a U.S. residency.
Why are you saying "if I had to choose between med school and my marriage?" This is coming out of left field.

I didn't say anything about med school and marriage, or that I can't commit to moving out of state. My question was more pertaining to the question of broadening my applications on first vs. subsequent cycles. For those who can't commit to moving out of state at the time of application, I would be cautious to assume that medicine isn't for them, though. Future doctors can come from many walks of life, and some have commitments to an area or region for a diversity of reasons. Their paths may be harder, less likely, or take longer, but those same experiences may enrich their practice of medicine when they do get there, don't you think?


OP, Oregon has reciprocity agreements for the bar with Alaska, Washington, Idaho and Utah, if that helps widen your search.

Also, if your wife works as in-house counsel she won’t have to retake the bar in any state. PM me if you’d like more information on this...my spouse recently went through this exact scenario when I was accepted to medical school.

Hey, thanks so much for that info. Unfortunately she isn't in-house, but the bar reciprocity with those states does help! She actually works for the gov't now (after many years in private practice and making partner, she left for the feds). So, at least she wouldn't have to worry about losing clients.

I was in a similar situation when I applied last cycle. I am close to your age as well. I ended up applying to one DO school and 2 MD schools. I had below average stats but great clinical experience as I already work in the health care field. I received an interview at the DO school which I had to decline for medical reasons and I received a MD interview. I was waitlisted at the MD school and finally accepted. I start in a couple weeks! Now, I know I am so lucky and fortunate that I was accepted. I know it was not smart to apply to so few schools but I could not move due to a custody agreement. My family is always the most important. The one school that I applied to that was the furthest from my house (about 1.5 hours), I was rejected pre secondary. It is funny I received two interviews and a pre secondary rejection. My point is, you just never know until you apply! Good luck!

Congrats on your acceptance! I wouldn't say it wasn't smart to apply to few schools -- there's no shame in being realistic, I think, and you can't really argue with a custody agreement. It's clearly risky, though, I'll give you that. Glad it worked out for you!
 
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pdl2015

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OP, Oregon has reciprocity agreements for the bar with Alaska, Washington, Idaho and Utah, if that helps widen your search.

I was just about to bring this up.

Idaho has a DO school in Boise, although I don't know much about it.
Apply to University of Utah

For what it's worth, I think OHSU likes non-trads. Obviously that's the ideal situation for OP, but luckily there are a few other schools that will allow for OP's spouse to practice law.
 
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