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*ATTN: Accepted People* -> help/advise please

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by WashMe, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. WashMe

    10+ Year Member

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    I might still get in somewhere this year, but maybe not... If I need to re-app, I need to start building credentials now though :scared:

    My MDapps has info, and here's some other stuff:

    Research
    - 3 academic yrs + 2 summers (4 different labs)
    - 2nd author on pub, several poster presentations
    - Some cranial CT visualization work I did was on National Geographic
    - Wrapping up data collection on a thesis project

    Shadowing/Volunteering
    - Briefly shadowed anesthesiologist w/ pain management specialty (~20hrs)
    - Volunteer in local emergency department (~35 hrs, recently started)
    - Private (free) tutor to intro biology students around exam weeks (?hrs)

    Paid MCAT instructor (16hr/wk commitment for 6 weeks) for 22 people

    And... some other stuff I can't think of.

    Ultimately I think my weakness may be shadowing, although I thought all the research would make up for it to some degree.

    Does anyone have any helpful suggestions as to what I should do now to gear for a re-app if necessary? I could try to rack up a bunch of volunteering and shadowing hours, but is there something else I'm not thinking of? SMP or something like that sounds like it doesn't really fit my needs.

    Thanks everyone :)

    And if you've been recently accepted, congrats!
     
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  3. JackInTheBox

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    The things that came to mind first when I read your brief description and your MDApps:

    - Apply to a few more lower to mid-tier schools.

    - Get some more non-medical extracurriculars. Anything that you enjoy that makes you seem less one-dimensional. All of your activities are academic in nature, so you risk coming off as just playing the game instead of an interesting person. Travel, take up a hobby, learn an instrument, anything that interests you. There's a separate section for things like artistic endeavors on AMCAS for a reason.

    - I wouldn't say shadowing is your biggest weakness, but research and shadowing do not offset each other. Don't be intimidated by the SDN people who have 500+ hours of shadowing. I'm sitting on a handful of acceptances, and I have zero shadowing. That doesn't mean I don't have clinical experience, I just never followed a doctor around during his/her workday in any official capacity that I could call shadowing without being a total liar. You just have to be able to take away something meaningful from what you've done. What you have done so far is a little on the low side, but it shouldn't preclude you from getting any acceptances if the rest of your app is strong.

    - The fact that you've interviewed at a few places and gotten nothing but waitlists could mean you need to work on your interviewing skills.

    - An SMP or post-bacc wouldn't really be that useful for you since your numbers are already good.


    You've got plenty of time to beef up your app, but you'll have to get moving since it takes time to arrange things (jobs, volunteer work, etc). If, at the end of this cycle, you still don't have an acceptance, you can try contacting the admissions offices of some of the schools and asking them what you can do to improve your application. You'll also need to sit down and do an honest assessment of what your biggest holes are and which of them you can do a reasonable job of strengthening in the time you have. Things like re-reading and re-evaluating your essays (sometimes what you thought sounded good is actually pretty cheesy) or getting new letters of rec if you think your current ones weren't that strong. It's a lot of work, but it can be done. Best of luck to you, but hopefully you won't need to worry about those things =)
     
    #2 JackInTheBox, Dec 19, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2008
  4. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy
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    You applied to really competative schools, you probably should have applied to a few more "safeties".

    It couldn't hurt to do more shadowing/medical volunteering. But really,as long as you can talk about what you did and learned you don't need to rack up hundreds of hours.

    Still plenty of time for you to get in though, good luck.
     
  5. otterpop

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    Man I am so glad you posted this, I too don't have an acceptance yet and am getting a little worried. I'm interested in what people have to say here.
     
  6. halekulani

    halekulani Member
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    the only thing you need to do is add more schools.

    you don't need to strengthen your app unless you're unwilling to go to any other school
     
  7. majahops

    majahops YOU are great.
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    Apply more broadly. If you don't get in, take the time to have fun. Your app is more than strong enough. Apply more broadly. Apply more broadly. Apply more broadly.
     
  8. xrevision

    xrevision Senior Procrastinator
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    You definitely forgot to factor in how much of a crapshoot this process is. You should have more midrange schools.
     
  9. Lukkie

    Lukkie Membership Revoked
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    he has a 3.9+ and a 39. the reason he is not doing so hot is everything else - his subpar ECs (clinical exp mostly, his research is excellent) and possibly interview skills, secondary essays, and personal statement. look at shemartys MDapps for instance- her numbers are slightly lower yet she has interviews to almost all those schools.
     
  10. ar2388

    ar2388 rads resident
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    he def has more clinical EC's than i do.....
    you have a really strong app (I mean your work being on natgeo is really cool).. unless its the essays and interviews.. have you had people read your essays?

    MDapps seems to be down right now so i cant look at it.. :( but from what people said looks like you need to apply to more schools..
     
  11. chiz2kul

    chiz2kul t.roll.ed for Banning
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    Could not check your Mdapps, but idk with all those stellar apps, I think what cld be suspect is your PS. Was it really good n did it stand out?
    Apart from that, like everyone said maybe you can do more clinical stuff n write update letters to those schools w that in mind. And maybe add more lower tier schools.
    Even if you dont get it this yr, u'll def get in somewhere prestigious next yr if u brush up on stuff. I think I hav just a lil less clinical stuff than you..
    And oh ya, your essays in sec. apps...how were they? Did you get a ton of pple to review it?
    All the best this cycle, dont give up hope..
     
  12. WashMe

    10+ Year Member

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    Thanks for all the advice everyone, I really appreciate it. I didn't have many people read my essays, but I thought they were pretty good. My pre-med advisor really liked my PS. That said, I did get an "N" on MCAT writing, so perhaps my writing style is not what aamc/adcoms are looking for.

    Since MDapps is down:

    3.95; 3.94 BCPM; 39N MCAT (13, 13, N, 13); 21yo caucasian male

    Withdrew Pre-secondary:
    Duke
    North Carolina
    Columbia
    Johns Hopkins (forgot to put on MDapps)

    Complete:
    Michigan - hold
    Case Western
    Cleveland Clinic
    Harvard
    Penn - interview deferred
    Yale

    Rejected Post-secondary:
    Mayo

    Interviewed, no news:
    WashU

    Interviewed, waitlisted:
    Pittsburgh - waitlisted
    Ohio State - deferred
    Cincinnati - alternate list

    Not that they were "fallbacks" or anything, but I guess I sort of expected to get into OSU or Cincinnati (OH resident).
     
  13. shemarty

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    Lol, Lukkie, why do you reference me for everything?
     
  14. dynezxice

    dynezxice Senior Member
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    hahah. bc you're shemarty --> schmarty --> smarty. who else would we reference?:laugh:
     
  15. shemarty

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    Yay, I'm glad you're pronouncing it right! It's intended to be pronounced "schmarty" and not she-marty :)

    Its origins? Long story...
     
  16. dynezxice

    dynezxice Senior Member
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    no worries, i have the whole christmas break. I'm not going anywhere. ;)

    :: pulls up chair :: lol
     
  17. cbrons

    cbrons Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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    How did you not get in with those stats? (MCAT + GPA)? Are you absolutely TERRIBLE at interviewing? Did you just apply a month or 2 ago? Man.. if you can't get in, what the hell am I gunna do?

    btw (his stats):
    MCAT Score: PS 13, VR 13, BS 13, N
    BCPM GPA: 3.94
    Overall GPA: 3.95
     
  18. JackInTheBox

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    Don't give up hope yet. I know a number of people who got into Cincinnati off the waitlist. They said it moves quite a bit.
     
  19. justdoit31

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    you have great stats but if I was an adcom there would be 2 things holding me back-

    1- volunteering: I think you need to continue volunteering because it shows the ADCOM you have at least some appreciation and love for humanity. I would continue shadowing (if you can on a weekly basis) at least until you get accepted or reapply. At one of my interviews the med students told me that what you do in UG goes on your residency application so if you can get hours I don't see it hurting you.

    2- shadowing: I agree with you that you could do a little more- I don't think you are that far behind on this one though- if you could add even 3-5 days of shadowing time with a physician you would be fine on this one.
     
  20. Mobius1985

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    I agree with Lukkie, that your lack of clinical experience is a huge flaw in your application. If you only have 35 hours of clinical experience in the ER, you likely started it after you applied. And a shadowing experience is not an interaction with sick people, rather, it's observational and does not serve the patient. You also have no additional altruistic activities other than some unspecified hours of private, free tutoring. Both of these areas are "unwritten" requirements for a successful application.

    You are completely correct that you will help yourself by racking up more clinical volunteering and shadowing hours. You can help your application now with update letters detailing any additions you've made in these areas.
     
  21. Doctura

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    Yeah, I agree with much of what has been posted. I kinda had the same problem as you - I had high stats and ok research, but not a lot of volunteering or clinical experience. Actually, most of my clinical experience was from high school, so I couldn't put that on my AMCAS as an activity.

    Instead, make sure you talk up your clinical experience in your PS (this was good for my HS experience) - include anecdotes and lessons learned. Write up a couple anecdotes and only use some of these in your essays. Save the others for interview (at most of my interviews, they would ask about an experience, then immediately follow it by asking about a second or even a third experience...). On the volunteering front, they are really looking to make sure you care about people. Here, you can talk up your teaching experience (tutoring, teaching).
     
  22. shemarty

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    I completely agree with this. You talk about the time spent volunteering/shadowing as hours that you need to "rack up." I hope you're actually gaining something from it, getting perspective, meeting people in the field, finding mentors, etc.

    You have to be able to talk about your experiences in a meaningful way, rather than just checking things off a list.

    Be really really passionate about what you have done and what you want to do, and hopefully that will come across.
     
  23. shemarty

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    There was a thread on the front page that reminded me to remind you to make sure that your LORs are strong.

    Two people might have relatively similar experiences, but one might have stronger letters supporting his application.
     
  24. ar2388

    ar2388 rads resident
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    when were you complete?
    maybe your problem is a late application and nothing else.
     
  25. WashMe

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    My applications were all marked complete in mid to late July with the exception of CWRU, Cleveland Clinic, and Michigan, which were added in the last few weeks. Perhaps LORs are part of the problem too; my science ones were surely strong, but my non-science letter may have been a bit weak. I don't think I'm terrible at interviewing; I certainly couldn't be worse than the average applicant.
     
  26. MsKrispyKreme

    MsKrispyKreme The "Hot" sign is on...
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    MDApps is down so I can't see if u were granted interviews or not, but I think the problem is either your interviewing skills/personality or your essays (your "N" writing score) if you were rejected/waitlisted pre-interview.

    I've found that many pre-meds overestimate their interviewing abilities as well as their writing abilities.

    I would also suggest more clinical experience with a greater variety of physicians in non-competitive as well as competitive specialties. Your application suggests that you would be a good scientist and academic, but there is nothing to suggest you are prepared to deal with patients.
     
  27. p30doc

    p30doc Ever true and unwavering
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    I'd kill for your stats (not really, well maybe). Like others have said it is likely your essays/interviewing skills. Although something very well may come of your waitlists. :luck:
     
  28. ar2388

    ar2388 rads resident
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    hm.. maybe it is the LOR's.. did you have a premed committee? if so maybe speak to them?
     
  29. Lukkie

    Lukkie Membership Revoked
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    you're americas #1 applicant for this cycle
     
  30. shemarty

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    I really doubt it was his "N" that made the difference...
     
  31. shemarty

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    .
     
    #30 shemarty, Dec 20, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2008
  32. Myuu

    Myuu 例えば、貴方の名前を忘れてしまうとか。 。。
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    I've had no issues with an N... granted I have a pre-N S to back it up, but still...


    ...well, no issues aside from that pesky not-accepted-yet problem...

    ...that and the excessive use of ellipses...
     
  33. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . .
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    I really don't think a "N" is an issue either, especially if the application essays are well written.
     
  34. shiftingmirage

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    There isn't a problem with your stats if you've had 4 interviews. Something is missing at the interview. Perhaps one of the schools is willing to give you interview feedback and you can fix the problem.
     
  35. bluesmd

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    maybe you should write LOInterest with updates to your waitlisted schools asap. you only need to have one in your hand. good luck
     
  36. jult24er

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    sorry, i dont have an acceptance or constructive advice (i agree with other posters, finding out if there's something negative in an LOR or getting feedback from a school that turned you down would probably be helpful) but ... your's is a fascinating case, good luck!
     
  37. WaterBird

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    It looks very possible that you'll end up an acceptance this cycle. But if you end up reapplying, if I were you I would work on doing something (prob clinical) for a sustained period of time. Your research is impressive, but there too you moved around a bunch, which might make your short stints of clinical stuff stick out more.
     
  38. scarletgirl777

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    My best guess is that you started your clinical experience too close to when you submitted the AMCAS. If you keep on gaining clinical experience all this year, I would think there will be sufficient time between when you started and your application for 2010 application to show strong commitment to medicine, rather than just medical research. In the meantime, I would keep on gaining clinical experience (as personally meaningful as possible) and send updates to the waitlists next semester stressing you are continuing your work, learning from it, and are even more sure that you want to be a doctor.
     
  39. MsKrispyKreme

    MsKrispyKreme The "Hot" sign is on...
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    I wasn't saying that his "N" was the reason for his waitlists. I was stating that the "N" made me question the quality of his essays given that I did not know whether or not he was rejected pre-interview.

    Given the post that shiftingmirage quoted, I will definitely say that all things point to his interview abilities. If his clinical experiences were so bad, he'd be rejected pre-interview.
     
  40. ar2388

    ar2388 rads resident
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    good point.. maybe do a mock interview with your premed adviser or someone?
     

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