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Big Decision, A Bad One? Need Advice.

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by JGreg09, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. JGreg09

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    #1 JGreg09, Dec 23, 2008
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  3. savant

    savant XIII
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    I think Texas will blacklist you if you don't go to UTMB. So, you can only apply to AMCAS next year.

    I think UTMB is still a good school. Some things will be permanently broken (no more level 1 trauma center), but some things will be improved. I have a friend who goes there, and he seems alright.
     
  4. savant

    savant XIII
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    Actually, I can't find the source where I read about the blacklist. So, maybe I'm wrong?
     
  5. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    Did you only apply TMDSAS?
     
  6. rama kandra

    rama kandra Actual Psychiatrist jk
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    The blacklist thing is iffy - they don't know whether he is going elsewhere...

    However, I do feel your pain in that I can imagine this happening to myself. Now, with that said, I cannot offer advice b/c I don't know much about your situation, perhaps MDapp could help us.

    BUT, I think you have to ask yourself and hopefully answer what you will do between this and the next cycle. I think you will study and do well on the MCAT you take again, and the state residency thing will do you well - but how else will you pass your time? I think you would not do any favors to yourself by taking more classes (assuming your GPA and academics are okay). This leads me to my next thing - you do not have any red flags except for the fact that you got a lower than expected MCAT and you only applied to a few schools. Not to bust your chops but you should have applied broadly and seen what could happen. I know you can reach for your goals with another cycle but it is another year. A year where you can rack up experience, shadowing, whatever whatever, and get the score/resident spot you want.

    Its still a year and you would have to do all the application stuff again, interviews and fees. Youve been accepted to a US MD school, something that most people do not even get the chance to see over several cycles. Ask yourself if you will be happy knowing that fact and is it enough to be in a place that you arnt crazy about?

    I cannot answer the school specific issues since I am certain that the basic medical education will be good enough and the rotations will work out fine - but I am going to just say TAKE THE ACCEPTANCE. Who knows, you may end up having a great group in your class and love the school by this time next year. Or worse comes to worse, you can try to transfer. But saving yourself the heartache of going to a school you dont care about, vs a year of working is not much different than going through a transfer route. Pick your poison, but I hope you think it through enough. Keep us posted and congrats on an acceptance, for what its worth.
     
  7. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . .
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    Take the acceptance. There is no guarantee that you will do better next cycle.
     
  8. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    In medical school acceptances, a bird in the hand is worth 30 in the bush. You don't know what's going to happen in the future. Even with a retake on the MCAT, you might get a lower score and really "tank" yourself. There are no guarantees that you would even be accepted next year and you have an acceptance already.

    Take your acceptance and don't look back. Unless you are wanted for murder in Galveston, you can hunker down, study and do all of your fourth-year electives in another city or state if need be. That will cut your time in Galveston down to around 3 years instead of 4.
     
  9. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . .
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    I've also heard that Galveston has a program where you can complete your rotations in Austin, so really the OP would only be there for 2 years if he/she chose that route.

    Currently, most of the UTMB students are doing rotations in Houston and elsewhere anyways. Their main teaching hospital is not back up to capacity yet.
     
  10. aznb0y129

    aznb0y129 Oh hamburgers!
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    +1. Med school admissions is never a sure thing, so seize the opportunity while it's there. The blacklist thing is a little different since Texas operates on a different system than AMCAS, but there's still a chance schools could find out if you decide to re-apply.
     
  11. Greonis

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    It is very hard for others to give you advice on this topic. There are some who will argue for taking the acceptance, and there are some who will suggest reapplying due to the importance of a "good fit." You will find that both sides of the argument are convincing and correct, yet ultimately useless to you since they will be largely dependent on the backgrounds of those giving the advice. For example, someone who tells you to take the acceptance and not look back might be basing their opinion on a lack of acceptances of their own (that is, envy). Moreover, I would guess that this is not a very common occurrence, so you might find that not many people can relate to your situation.

    My advice to you is two-fold (take it however you wish):

    • Wait as long as possible before rescinding the acceptance, if possible not until after you receive your new MCAT scores. Reason being, any number of events could cause you to change your mind, and it would not be enjoyable to decide that Galveston is for you yet no longer have the acceptance in hand. To confirm your ultimate feelings, learn as much about the school as you can. Ask yourself if the flaws of the city are truly going to degrade your educational experience (you can, after all, select where you life and which parts you visit - and you might travel to other cities anyway for clerkships/rotations). Also, visit the school itself once again and quiz the students for their opinions. You may find that many of them share some of your concerns, yet found novel ways of overcoming/adapting to them. That could make all the difference!
    • Start finding ways (other than by retaking the MCAT) to further strengthen your application. While I do not know anything about your background, it is certainly possible that other components of your application (such as your EC's) are responsible for your rejections. Whatever you choose to do, you'll want it to be a meaningful experience that can bolster your application for the next cycle. That way, if you do reapply, you'll be in an even better position to land acceptances. Moreover, if your MCAT retake doesn't turn out as well as you would like, you'll still have some improvements that could mean the difference between another rejection and landing an interview.
    Best of luck! And by the way, this is definitely not a "stupid" question, since it pertains to the next 4+ years of your life! You have every right to question your own decisions that pertain to your future profession.
     
  12. rama kandra

    rama kandra Actual Psychiatrist jk
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    As part of what Greonis said...

    Try to find out (if possible) what parts of the application got you rejected at the other schools. If it is all MCAT related, than you know that you have to do well next round. But if it seems like GPA or prior EC's are doing you in, than you perhaps should consider taking the acceptance b/c those things will require taking classes or starting anew at long term committments for EC's or experience.

    If the MCAT is all you need to do well next round, than by all means, just do that and try again next round. But if its a bigger committment beyond the single score, take the acceptance.
     
  13. Jolie South

    Jolie South is invoking Domo. . .
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    I think that's easier said than done.
     
  14. chemolupusMD

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    I noticed that a lot of med schools ask if you have been accepted to med school before or if you have attended med school. If some of the schools you apply to ask this questions what would you plan to answer? How would you explain it? I agree with a lot of the people here, remember that the MCAT is like a box of chocolate, you dont know what evil thing it can bring. I know many people who has done worst the second time or that have improve by 1 point or nothing at all. Retaking is a risk. I think taking the offer is your best shot, at the end of the day you will be a doc.
     
  15. Doctura

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    I would take it and run with it. I don't know if there is a blacklist about reapplying after being accepted, but it certainly will not look good for your future applications. Think about how you will explain this to an admissions officer - If you really want to be a doctor, is it wise to turn down admissions to a medical school? At the very least (like Greonis said), don't decline UTMB until you have your new, shiney MCAT scores in hand and a greatly improved application.

    I'm sure the M3 and M4 years at UTMB will be fine. They will be different than they were pre-Ike, but UTMB isn't going to let its medical school suffer tremendously. You might want to check out the UTMB c/o 2013 thread in the Allopathic forum. There has been much discussion about the status of UTMB and also comments from students who go there now. It might help you clarify any concerns you have.

    Also, Galveston really isn't all that bad. I lived there for a summer doing research, and, no, it is not the most exciting city in the world, but it also isn't the worst. It is only a 70 minute drive from Houston (an awesome city) and you have easy access to a beach. The city of Galveston is slowly coming back itself.
     
  16. grassisgreener

    grassisgreener Pre-Med
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    If I were you, I would take it!!
     
  17. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy
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    I'd take it, you'll walk out a doctor. And I'm sure you'll find something you like in Galveston.

    I go to an undergrad in a city I don't like; it's not the end of the world, you make your own fun.
     
  18. Goober

    Goober Senior Member
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    Personally I would take the acceptance as well. If you were an exceptionally strong candidate you could consider applying again. But given your low MCAT score you probably are not. Med school is 4 years and you are going to be completely wrapped up in your studies. City location is not that big of deal in the overall scheme of things. I went to a frigid part of the country in a city I found boring for a "name" school. Basically I got my diploma and never have been back since. Gavleston would have been an upgrade as far as a place to live.
     
  19. ar2388

    ar2388 rads resident
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    definitely take it! i could never forgive myself for giving up an acceptance and then not getting in.. too much of a risk to take on my career.
     
  20. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member
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    It would be epic fail to not go.
     
  21. Kaydubz

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    If that's really "simply" the only reason you'd turn down the school, then yes it would be a bad decision to turn it down. That said, you only applied to 6 schools and still got an acceptance, so that seems to point to a good shot of getting in elsewhere if you reapplied. I'd only turn the offer down if I had something awesome to do during the year(s) waiting and reapplying. But unless you know for certain you'll be miserable with your decision to attend, and go into med school with that mindset, take the position!
     
  22. airplanes

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    I was pretty sure med schools would know through AMCAS if you were accepted in the past and turned down an offer. They definitely know where you hold other accepts by March. Unless the Texas system is completely on its own?

    Seriously. Do they have a second look weekend at Galveston? I would try talking to some of the med students there to see what they are worried about and making sure you really are informed about where they are heading. How well do you adapt? Galveston could grow on you...Think this through, you could be making a huge mistake by turning down an acceptance. A lot of people will flame you on here, because many have not been as lucky as you. People are never satisfied...There are people on here with no interviews just hoping and praying for one shot. There are people with many interviews hoping for an just one Yes. if you give someone three accepts to good schools, they'll be stressing about a big fin. aid package. If you give someone 5 accepts to top schools, they'll complain about not interviewing at their top choice (true story, last weeks lame thread of the week). I know you are having a hard time making this decision, but don't take anything for granted. Just my two cents, feel free to disregard.
     
  23. Bartelby

    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    If that's how you feel it's really too bad that you applied, interviewed, and then waited around until you got an acceptance before acting on it. You shouldn't have interviewed somewhere you didn't want to go. Personally I imagine it would hurt your chances to turn it down and reapply, so you should probably go for Texas! Good luck with your decision.
     
  24. JGreg09

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    #23 JGreg09, May 31, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2009
  25. Pinkertinkle

    Pinkertinkle 2003 Member
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    So wait r u reapplying or not? Or are you still trying to decide?
    Your reason of missing out on sports, missing your girlfriend, and not liking the city and think it and the school will go underwater in the near future aren't "better reasons than most."

    If you want SDN to tell you what you want to hear, that is you should reapply and will get into somewhere better, we can certainly tell you that, but it would be against the consensus here.
     
  26. DeadliestSnatch

    DeadliestSnatch ready, able
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    Yeah, dude, pretty much everyone here is going to tell you the same thing: take the acceptance. Just take it. This could very well be your only shot.
     
  27. JGreg09

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    #26 JGreg09, May 31, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2009
  28. chiz2kul

    chiz2kul t.roll.ed for Banning
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    Pretty much everyone's advice is prob gonna be the same.

    1. There is no guarantee that you'll get in next year.
    2. There is no guarantee that you'll do better on your mcat, even tho u've been studying like crazy for it.
    3. There is no guarantee that being a nurses assistant would make a whole lotta difference in your application.
    4. There is no guarantee that your girlfriend would be with you 2 months from now.


    Basically, the only guarantee you have now is that you got accepted into medical school. Are you willing to risk that, just cause you dont like the area? Seriously?
     
  29. FrickenhugeMD

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    Would it be a mistake to give up what you have for the unknown? probably

    I don't think the reasons you listed would be strong enough to really grant you any leniency in why you didn't accept what you had. Some people have to move across coasts away from husbands and wives and some times kids. 1.5 hrs isn't that far in the grand scheme of things any way, visit every weekend. I call weak sauce on that

    Also, the way you describe it you haven't retaken the MCAT yet and you might not get you application till late or at all this year if you are waiting on a new score. A 28 is not great, and you were fortunate to get an acceptance this round, congrats.

    I see a bunch of "what ifs", a lackluster excuse and few good improvements to your application. Is it enough? maybe.

    Best of luck
     
  30. scarletgirl777

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    If that girlfriend was a wife, it might be more understandable. I agree with everyone that you should just go, but please do NOT mention the sports if you go through with this.
     
  31. GoSpursGo

    GoSpursGo Allons-y!
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    There are no flaws in the logic of applying to every in-state school; your thinking that it would be better to take another year of applying rather than go to a school SOMEWHERE is flawed. My first acceptance was UTMB--and honestly, I was kinda bummed, because it wasn't really a place I wanted to live either. But that didn't mean I was prepared to throw away a year of my life to MAYBE get the opportunity to do the same thing with my life in a slightly "nicer" locale.

    Furthermore, I've got a girlfriend of 4 years who is still in undergrad who wouldn't have been able to follow me to Galveston (and still won't be able to follow me to where I'm going to med school). But that's just the life of a medical student--you make lots of sacrifices for your career and bend over backwards to make things like relationships work anyways. Many people have had to do the long-distance thing before and have either found a way to make it work--some of them even being married, and most more than 1.5 hours away; so no, having a significant other living far away will not be a legitimate excuse for reapplying in adcom's eyes. Furthermore, there's no guarantee that if you got into another school that your gf would be able to move their either, and in fact you could find yourselves much further than 1.5 hours apart.

    As you can probably tell, I think reapplying would be a very bad idea. No, Galveston is not the ideal place for you to go to med school, but you can't always get everything to work out exactly how you want.
     
  32. JGreg09

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    #31 JGreg09, May 31, 2009
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  33. jamesrick80

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    Take your acceptance and run with it because the opportunity might not come back.
     
  34. witness23

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    wouldn't it save you a lot of money to go there? buy your self something nice with that money
     
  35. BigRedBeta

    BigRedBeta Why am I in a handbasket?
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    My question is this: Do you want to be a doctor or do you want to be a graduate of _________ School of Medicine?

    I think it's ABSOLUTE LUNACY to turn down the acceptance.

    1) No one cares about your clinical experience. Great clinical experience does not get you into medical school. It's the one EC that's really a box to be checked off, it just so happens that unlike taking the MCAT, you can talk about it, you can write about it, you can make it sound good. But at the end of the day, however amazing your experience was, it's not going to stand out in the minds of anyone.

    2) Look at the MCAT Retesters data -
    http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/admissionsadvisors/examstatistics/retester/start.htm
    Kindly notice that if you scored an 8 or higher on either Verbal or Physical Sciences, more than 50% of retesters saw their score stay the same or go down. With Biological Sciences, a score of 9 gets you to that 50% level of no improvement. I know everyone thinks that they're going to be the exception, but seriously, for something this important, those aren't odds you want to play.

    3) If you do reapply to schools that you like better, and then get rejected, how dumb are you going to look then? Seriously, expect the best, prepare for the worst. It's great to be an optimist and believe in yourself and all, but holy schnikes, that's a MASSIVE negative if things don't work out.

    4) Go back and look at the acceptance rates for all the schools you're interested in, the acceptance rates for applicants getting in anywhere. You have the golden ticket in your hand. Getting accepted is the hardest part of becoming a doctor, once you're in, it's nearly impossible NOT to graduate. Why tempt fate a second time?

    5) One of the things that many medical schools try to get a grasp on during the interview process is the applicant's judgement, do they make sound decisions, do they have an appropriate assessment of given situations...and I'm starting to question yours.
     
    #34 BigRedBeta, May 31, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2009
  36. pietachok

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    I think you should take the acceptance.
    I think that pre-meds often waaay overestimate the importance of what school they attend. You will have a bunch of people in the same boat as you, and you will find camaraderie. You will be so busy, you probably won't be bothered by many of the things you expect will bother you.

    IF you attend and you REALLY hate it, you can apply to transfer schools. Transfering is easier than the initial application into med school. You will have better grounds for answering the question of "why do you want to transfer from Galveston" than you will for answering "why did you turn down an acceptance to Galveston" in any interviews, b/c at least in the transfer situation, your decision will be based on experience rather than hypothetical "issues."
     
  37. sindadel

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    What will you regret more?

    1. Spending a few years in Galveston.
    2. Giving up your acceptance and not getting in anywhere next year.

    Chances are good that you WILL get accepted next year. OTOH, chances are also good that you will like UTMB just fine. Or at least if you hate it, it'll be for structural med school reasons which have nothing to do with location.

    But seriously - listening to advice is what got you into this situation in the first place. Only you can make this decision. And like virtually every other serious decision you will make in your adult life, there is no right answer. Both paths have merit. And there's no way to live both sides and make the "best" choice. You've just learned an important life lesson: don't apply where you don't want to go. Keep this in mind when ranking programs for the match.
     
  38. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    OK, I'll bite.

    If you can get yourself a 36+ MCAT and present the strongest case you can for turning down the acceptance, go ahead and reapply. :)eek: shocking advice?) If you're thinking of reapplying you need to have some pretty gosh-darned impressive updates on your application (and it seems like your MCAT may be what's causing you some of your problems -- which is why you have to be all the stronger this year).

    I agree with scarlet that "girlfriend" is somewhat unofficial. Unfortunately, medical schools only seem to care about the needs of immediate family members. Try to come up with something better is all I can say...

    You may have to disclose the previous acceptance on AMCAS, but people on SDN have gotten accepted in the past from situations with prior acceptances. So, it's not impossible.

    But don't shoot yourself in the foot and reapply unless you are 100% sure you know what you are doing and are very confident in your own abilities.

    You're the only one who can figure out if you're gonna be able to make it.
     
  39. sarahl86

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    To answer the question in your title, it would be a bad decision to turn down your acceptance IMO. Especially if you have the option of doing your clinical years in some place other than Galveston, you wouldn't be there for 4 years.

    I don't think you'd be able to make a hugely significant change in your application, because as mentioned before, the odds of largely improving your MCAT are not in your favor (esp. to a 36!!) and working as a CNA isn't that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things: this comes from someone who is already a CNA and boosted my MCAT score 6 points. I barely pulled an acceptance at my top choice, and that was with awesome grades, ECs, and unique work experiences.

    Go to UTMB, save money, hope your girlfriend can find a job in the area, just do the thing and get it over with.
     
  40. switcheroo

    switcheroo Me: 1; Grad school: 0
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    Seems to me like the OP has already made his decision. If you're fighting this hard to excuse turning down an acceptance, then in your mind it's already been rescinded. Just make it official and move on.
     
  41. pseudoknot

    Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    If you don't want to go to medical school badly enough to live someplace undesirable for four years, you don't want it enough to deal with the many other sacrifices and adversities you'll have to contend with in the course of training.

    Also, you can find good in almost any living situation if you have the right attitude.
     
  42. sarahl86

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    Very good point.
     
  43. pietachok

    5+ Year Member

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    Well, the OP may not have an accurate sense of what a bone s/he was thrown. The OP's app was cobbled together and presumed to be futile, and then it turned into an acceptance.

    If my application process went that way instead of lasting 3 years w/ two straight years of rejection, I too wouldn't feel like it was that much of a gamble.
     
  44. Gut Shot

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    Oh boo-frickin'-hoo. Live on the mainland and commute.

    On second thought, just toss your acceptance in the trash and try again. What the Hell, it's only a year of your life on a sucker's bet. Maybe you'll pull it off, and then you can go to med school in Happyland, and live in a gum-drop house on Lollipop Lane, and never have to experience any discomfort for the remainder of your life.

    Speaking of comfort, I think it's time for a beer.
     
  45. JGreg09

    2+ Year Member

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    Haha, Ok.
     
  46. BennieBlanco

    Removed

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    lol, the post above was funny.

    I would just go.

    You also get to make money 1 year sooner. There are a lot of benefits, and the sure bet is best.

    BUT if you really want to go somewhere else (like a 12 on a 1-10 scale) then wait.
     
  47. LilHouse

    LilHouse Failed Premed
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    :)
     
    #46 LilHouse, Jun 1, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2009
  48. Helen Wheels

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    Even with in state residence at your top choice school next year there is no guarantee of admission there next cycle. And MCAT scores are tricky things to predict. There are no guarantees in life except the one acceptance that you have this year. I would go. It is only for four years, not a lifetime. Go, make the best of it, get your MD, then get into a residency in an area you like better and leave.
     

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