mcat1shot1opportunity

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So, here is my story: Thank you for reading this. I will make it as short as possible:

During my second year in college, I was diagnosed with stage II testicular cancer. I underwent chemotherapy and surgery. My whole experience was both traumatic and eye opening. Before cancer, I was a real estate agent and student, but was focusing on my career more so than academics. The hospital opened my world and allowed me to value life deeply. After finishing chemo, I went to back to school to embark on a journey to become a physician. I worked hard to bring a 3.1 GPA to a 3.6cGPA and a 3.0sGPA to a 3.69sGPA. Aside from the stats, I was compelled to be there for those suffering. I devoted my time to becoming a mentor for those with cancer and hospital volunteer. I was out to do anything I could to give the fellow a patient (and their families) a better and more comfortable life. I graduated in a degree completely foreign to me before (biochemistry) with a 3.72 GPA. I worked in the labs and did my time for the purpose giving anything I could to the research community. I was a terrible student in high school with a 2.3 gpa. I got a 2.7 in my first year in college. My past has seem to bit me hard.

Now I am here, at the age of 25 without much advising. I need help.

After graduating I took time off to solely study for the MCAT. I worked my butt off. I spend 2 years of my life trying to beat this test and feel like I have failed so far. I worked as an SAT/ACT prep tutor at a company, so that I could understand how test prep worked.

I have taken the MCAT 3 times

1st in june 2015 (125 physical science, 123 cars, 126 bio, 126 psych)

2nd in january 2016 (126 physical science, 126 cars, 126 bio, 124 psych)

3rd in july 2016 (127 physical science, 123 cars, 124 bio, 126 psych)

I have a 3.6 Overall GPA (with my 5 years of college) and a 3.69 sGPA)

Currently, I work at an inner city high school as a physics teacher. I have 2 classes with 50 students total. Many of my students come from low income families.

I don't want to give up on the MCAT 0r my dream to become a physician. I teach my students to never give up. When the last chemo IV was removed from my veins, I looked out the hospital window and promised myself that I would do anything it took to become a physician. I needed to give my life to helping patients and their families.

So I ask, what are my chances?

I applied to DO schools and 3 MD schools. My MCAT is pretty low? I still want to go the MD route. I feel that it will ultimately open more doors for me. If I do better on the MCAT do you think I have a shot? Do you think the differences between DO and MD matter so much? I want to do something related to oncology. Whether it is actually being an oncologist or specializing in pain management. I prefer more of the pain management side.

I would love to hear everyone's input.

Thank you
 
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futuremdforme

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What do you think is holding your MCAT back? You're a physics teacher so I would have expected your PS section to be much higher. That leads me to think that it's something with your test preparation style (despite having tutored SAT). Do not retake the MCAT until you consistently perform better than previous tests - taking it 3 times with the same score shows lack of judgement and that your studying did not result in any improvement so something needs to change.
 

gyngyn

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Your DO chances are far better than MD.
3 tries ending in 500 are much worse than a single 500.
 
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Goro

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Apply broadly to DO schools, especially targeting the newest schools. I can't recommend LUCOM. Skip the coastal Touros, CCOM, AZCOM, KCU, and PCOM.


I don't believe that you're competitive for MD schools unless you live in a lucky state.


So, here is my story: Thank you for reading this. I will make it as short as possible:
 
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mcat1shot1opportunity

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Apply broadly to DO schools, especially targeting the newest schools. I can't recommend LUCOM. Skip the coastal Touros, CCOM, AZCOM, KCU, and PCOM.


I don't believe that you're competitive for MD schools unless you live in a lucky state.
 

Goro

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Goro

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A 3x test taker is always on shaker ground. The poor Bio score concerns me.

You do have a compelling story, but you'll need to try the app cycle to see how things shake out.


Wow, what about NOVA, western, Lake Erie and NYIT is my mcat okay for that?
 
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mcat1shot1opportunity

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A 3x test taker is always on shaker ground. The poor Bio score concerns me.

You do have a compelling story, but you'll need to try the app cycle to see how things shake out.
If I do very well on the mcat next time. 510+ do you think I can apply MD and get in? A lot of schools seem to just look at most recent, based their website. What do you think?
 

gyngyn

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If I do very well on the mcat next time. 510+ do you think I can apply MD and get in? A lot of schools seem to just look at most recent, based their website. What do you think?
No one can "just look at the most recent."
All scores are visible.
AMCAS recommends that we average. Even if we try to employ best practices, no one can un-see the string of scores.
 
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AnatomyGrey12

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If I do very well on the mcat next time. 510+ do you think I can apply MD and get in? A lot of schools seem to just look at most recent, based their website. What do you think?
Quite frankly, no. At this point forget about MD because a 4 times retaker is a severe red flag. You can think about MD if you get over 520 on your next try. They may say they only take recent score but they will still see all 4 of your takes. You need to apply much more broadly to DO including all of the newer schools. If you are unsuccessful with all the newer DO schools then think about another MCAT retake.
 
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Goro

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One of the roadblocks you're facing is that the average MCAT score from multiple exams is the better predictor than any one of the single exams.


If I do very well on the mcat next time. 510+ do you think I can apply MD and get in? A lot of schools seem to just look at most recent, based their website. What do you think?
 
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mcat1shot1opportunity

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No one can "just look at the most recent."
All scores are visible.
AMCAS recommends that we average. Even if we try to employ best practices, no one can un-see the string of scores.
Then why would the schools write that they just look at the most recent? What purpose does this serve? Why do students who have taken over 3 MCATs and improve still get interviews and acceptances? Please let me know.

Thanks
 
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mcat1shot1opportunity

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I spoke to my uncle who is on ADCOMS for a US medical school. He indicated that mutiple MCATS were okay. The main thing is to do well...he has been on adcoms for 20 years
 

gyngyn

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Then why would the schools write that they just look at the most recent? What purpose does this serve? Why do students who have taken over 3 MCATs and improve still get interviews and acceptances? Please let me know.

Thanks
Schools like to report the highest (or the last) score when they have decided to accept a candidate and that candidate matriculates.
What is harder to capture is the effect of multiple attempts on the decision to offer an interview and the subsequent discussion regarding risk (during a meeting).
There is only one (passing) attempt at USMLE. Many observers actually view the first attempt as the most relevant. Other schools don't have that luxury. Finding those schools will be your challenge. Perhaps your uncle can help, especially if he screens.
 
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AnatomyGrey12

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Then why would the schools write that they just look at the most recent? What purpose does this serve? Why do students who have taken over 3 MCATs and improve still get interviews and acceptances? Please let me know.

Thanks
Because they took time in between to retake and did significantly better on the retake. Also because schools like to report their averages and the highest score is usually the most recent so they get to report that one. I can almost guarantee that no adcom will completely ignore 3 sub-par attempts, no matter what they say.

I spoke to my uncle who is on ADCOMS for a US medical school. He indicated that mutiple MCATS were okay. The main thing is to do well...he has been on adcoms for 20 years
Well yeah if you go from 500-->520 with only two attempts then yeah you'll be ok but 3 straight subpar scores, with bad scores in bio that are usually the most indicative of med school performance, even with a 520 on the 4th attempt will not be as fruitful as you are hoping. And you can't just go from 3 500s to a 506. You need to make significant changes.
 
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Faha

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Add more DO schools to your application such as:
ACOM
ARCOM (new school)
BCOM
WCU-COM
LMU-DCOM
UP-KYCOM
WVSOM
VCOM (all 3 schools)
UIWSOM (new school-Texas)
RVU-Utah (new school)
NYIT-Arkansas (new school)
You should receive several interviews from these schools as your MCAT scores are near the medians for these schools.
 
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mcat1shot1opportunity

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Because they took time in between to retake and did significantly better on the retake. Also because schools like to report their averages and the highest score is usually the most recent so they get to report that one. I can almost guarantee that no adcom will completely ignore 3 sub-par attempts, no matter what they say.



Well yeah if you go from 500-->520 with only two attempts then yeah you'll be ok but 3 straight subpar scores, with bad scores in bio that are usually the most indicative of med school performance, even with a 520 on the 4th attempt will not be as fruitful as you are hoping. And you can't just go from 3 500s to a 506. You need to make significant changes.
My uncle is on adcoms for a US med school. That is completely contradictory to what he said....it maybe true at Harvard or some ivy. I'm just trying to get into any school...
 

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My uncle is on adcoms for a US med school. That is completely contradictory to what he said....it maybe true at Harvard or some ivy. I'm just trying to get into any school...
He could be saying that to console you and give you hope. Nonetheless, we wish you the best!
 
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mcat1shot1opportunity

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My friend also took the MCAT 4 times with similar on his 1,2 and 3rd as mine and got a 32 on his last try. He had an interview at Albany... And got in CCOM so...what is your reply to that?
 

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My friend also took the MCAT 4 times with similar on his 1,2 and 3rd as mine and got a 32 on his last try. He had an interview at Albany... And got in CCOM so...what is your reply to that?
It appears that you have come to your own conclusions.
Let us know how it goes.
It will help us counsel others.
 
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el_duderino

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What makes you think you'll be more successful on your fourth MCAT?
 
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gyngyn

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It just seems as though SDN is filled with many contradictions and strong statements.
I am not SDN. I am one admissions officer, trying to provide clarity when requested.
Let us know where you get MD interviews.
 
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DNC127

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I was really rooting for you until your comments lol...

and FYI I know plenty of D.O. oncologists... not saying its a shoe in to get as a DO, but its not exactly derm either haha.

Take these people's advice and run with it. I have a similar (insert health tragedy/ overcoming it story), had extremely meaningful EC's, research, ect, a near perfect GPA, a 29 MCAT (a few points higher than what you have) and had tough sledding with the MD schools, and am now at a DO school. Point is, schools care a lot more about scores than you think. Your story and EC's can only carry you so far.
 

el_duderino

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To me, three straight ~500 MCAT results tells me that this is your performance ceiling. One retake with the same score... maybe you thought you were just nervous the first time. But you got the same score. A second retake with the same result.... that's twice now that you've done a retake without adequately addressing whatever your problem is. That doesn't make me think you can be honest with yourself and assess and correct your weaknesses, and the result you keep getting isn't overly consistent with great success in medical school.

Two years studying for the MCAT, which resulted in 3 poor performances? You might just not be cut out for this. Step 1 will eviscerate you.

If a switch clicks in your head and you start seeing a 10-point improvement on full-length practice tests, go ahead and retake and see how you do. Apply to a lot of DO schools in the meantime. You might get lucky. Thinking MD right now is a total waste of time and money, I think.
 

Goro

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He's what's known as an anecdote. They don't make Medicine and they don't make for good med school admissions advice. Your friend would likely be waitlisted at my school. But likely not at, say ACOM or KYCOM.


My friend also took the MCAT 4 times with similar on his 1,2 and 3rd as mine and got a 32 on his last try. He had an interview at Albany... And got in CCOM so...what is your reply to that?
 

AnatomyGrey12

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My uncle is on adcoms for a US med school. That is completely contradictory to what he said....it maybe true at Harvard or some ivy. I'm just trying to get into any school...
It's true for almost any MD school. But retake it and apply if you really feel like you need to waste money. The numbers don't lie, anyone who gets in with that many MCAT takes is going to be an outlier and the exception. You are really going to take advice from a family member at face value? It's like me getting emails encouraging me to apply to MD/PhD programs... I have no chance, regardless of what the emails say.

I also got this answer from a BU med school adcoms member ...
Of course they did...

My friend also took the MCAT 4 times with similar on his 1,2 and 3rd as mine and got a 32 on his last try. He had an interview at Albany... And got in CCOM so...what is your reply to that?
So he got an interview and an acceptance to a DO school that likes 30+ MCATs.. What is your point? Like Goro said, he is an outlier. If he had 3 MD interviews and 3 acceptances then maybe I would consider that I was wrong.

It just seems as though SDN is filled with many contradictions and strong statements.
SDN gives realistic advice based on the facts. The reality is that in your situation many more people are completely discarded than actually get an II let alone an acceptance. It would be poor advice if we started basing advice on the one outlier among thousands of applicants.
 
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CCOM'S median is around 510, among the highest of all the COMs.
Oh wow. That's about a 31 on the old scale. Loyola's average MCAT was a 506 last cycle, so it's crazy how scores are now!
I agree that 3 times with a 500 doesn't bode well. Although someone who got into UTSW a few years back took it 5 times :eek: very n=1 though.
So happy you beat cancer. After that, you can rock med school for sure.
 
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mcat1shot1opportunity

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Alright, moving forward what DO schools do i have a realistic chance at? Thank you

I was really rooting for you until your comments lol...

and FYI I know plenty of D.O. oncologists... not saying its a shoe in to get as a DO, but its not exactly derm either haha.

Take these people's advice and run with it. I have a similar (insert health tragedy/ overcoming it story), had extremely meaningful EC's, research, ect, a near perfect GPA, a 29 MCAT (a few points higher than what you have) and had tough sledding with the MD schools, and am now at a DO school. Point is, schools care a lot more about scores than you think. Your story and EC's can only carry you so far.
 

Goro

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Asked and answered already.
I looked on CCCOM website and it said their average was a 29.4, which would translate to a 506ish. Did the MCAT go up 4 points in one year? I know with the new MCAT all the comparisons to old scores are wacky, but that seems like a lot!
 

Goro

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My mistake...I was relying on my faulty memory and didn't have my MCAT conversion tables. I will go edit my post. The coastals Touros now seem to be the tops for mCATs among the COMs (around 508)

I looked on CCCOM website and it said their average was a 29.4, which would translate to a 506ish. Did the MCAT go up 4 points in one year? I know with the new MCAT all the comparisons to old scores are wacky, but that seems like a lot!