Concerned about my D.O. Application. Need some insight and maybe a bit of hope..?

Jul 25, 2020
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Hey guys... so I’ve been a long time lurker here and now I think I’m brave enough to post and ask questions.

I’m applying to D.O. this year. I applied to one school once the application opened to get verified and then applied to the rest of the schools when I got my new MCAT Score July 21.

I re-took the MCAT total of 3 (yikes.. I know.. scores are even more yikes honestly...)

First: 489

Second: 486

Third: 497

Breakdown:
C/P: 121
CARS: 125
B/B: 124
P/S: 127
The scores are due to test anxiety and not knowing how to study since my university sucks and so do their exams.
I honestly thought I’d get at least 500 on the last one, but it is what it is.
A lot of my friends told me to apply with this score because it’s not *bad*. Def not competitive, but they told me to give it a shot anyway.

Overall GPA: is 3.38
sGPA: 3.08
non-science: 3.6
I’ve been a scribe for 2 years, did EMT, shadowed both MD and DO, shadowed abroad and have a couple of clubs and a couple of non-medical volunteering as well.

I’ve been saving money and applied to 25 D.O. Schools.

So far, I got back 6 secondaries and was automatically rejected to 1 cuz of their cutoff.
What do you guys think? Do you think I have *some* chances?
 

Goro

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You may have chances at the newest of the new schools. Unfortunately you are a high-risk applicant at high-risk schools.

This means that they may accept but you are more likely to be in the risk pool of dropping out or having to delay a year after failing one, and/or fail Boards.

Your MCAT scores are all a red flag for such risk factors.

I can't recommend applying. I recommend a special master's program at the medical school and aceing it.

Just out of curiosity, did you knowingly apply to schools where your scores were below their stated minimum?
 
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Jul 25, 2020
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You may have chances at the newest of the new schools. Unfortunately you are a high-risk applicant at high-risk schools.

This means that they may accept but you are more likely to be in the risk pool of dropping out or having to delay a year after failing one, and/or fail Boards.

Your MCAT scores are all a red flag for such risk factors.

I can't recommend applying. I recommend a special master's program at the medical school and aceing it.

Just out of curiosity, did you knowingly apply to schools where your scores were below their stated minimum?
Yes, I figured I should just apply broadly and maybe they might give me a chance and maybe look at my application..?
My plan B is getting my masters at a medical school but I still want to try applying this year..
thank you for replying!
 
Jul 25, 2020
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Don't even think about medical school until you get your test anxiety taken care of. Seek out your schools counseling center for Student Services office. This is not giving medical advice!
I already graduated so I don’t think my school would allow me to use their service..
 

dial1010usa

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Don't waste money on apps. Your mcat and gpa both are below avg. Work on your anxiety, consult DR before you re-take MCAT. Take a gap year and work on your MCAT and bring it up >500, you can do that. All you need to bring 1 or 2 points up from each section and you will be good. At the same time take some science classes even at the community college and bring your sGPA >3.2
All the best!!!
 
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GreenDuck12

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Yes, I figured I should just apply broadly and maybe they might give me a chance and maybe look at my application..?
My plan B is getting my masters at a medical school but I still want to try applying this year..
thank you for replying!

The score minimum is a way for schools to weed out weak applications (determined by admissions trends in previous years) prior to investing the time and resources of an in person reviewer. With medical admissions being as competitive as it is, almost all schools have some stated minimums that they do not bend.

Right now, you are a high risk candidate with two incredibly consistent mcat scores in the bottom 10th percentile. This, unfortunately, calls into question the validity of your significantly improved, but still below the 50th percentile 3rd mcat score.

I agree with Goro. First step is getting anxiety under control. Medical school is a high pressure, high stakes environment. Could you imagine what it would be like to try to manage the level of anxiety associated with medical school without having developed strategies? It’s a recipe for disaster. Next step is an SMP. You need to prove that you can handle medical school classes and ace them. Perhaps a 4th try on the mcat may be warranted but certainly not in the near term.
 
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I was in your position before, and I would take Goro's advice. Test anxiety is not something to ignore. Medical school is a different beast from undergrad. Think of the hardest you ever worked in college, times that by 10-20x, and that would be an average day in med school. My undergrad was still not a walk in the park (graduated cum laude in engineering), and I still think just surviving in med school is difficult. If you had anxiety from taking the MCAT or from undergrad exams, the exams here are unfortunately not any better...
 

Faha

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These are DO schools where you could receive interviews with a MCAT of 497 :
ACOM
ARCOM
NYIT-AR
UIWSOM
UP-KYCOM
WVSOM
WCU-COM
LECOM (Erie, Seton Hill, Elmira)
PCOM Georgia and South Georgia
Noorda-COM (new school)
ICOM
BCOM
LMU-DCOM
LUCOM
Many of these schools have MCAT medians in the 498 to 502 range so you could receive interviews.
Where is your state of residence ?
 
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May 10, 2020
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The problem I see here isn't necessarily your overall score...

The problem I see here is scoring 13th percentile on your 3rd MCAT attempt coupled with a sGPA of 3.08... This suggest a large gap in knowledge. As previously stated by @Goro, a special masters program is in your best interest. You have to prove to Adcom that you can handle rigorous science classes.

Before any of that again, as already stated, get your test anxiety under control. There are many different options whether it is through your primary care doctor or even looking at online resources (telehealth). Test anxiety wont magically disappear after matriculating medical school, in fact it will likely get worse without treatment. Take care of yourself so you can take care of your future patients.
 
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Angus Avagadro

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Agree with the above. I believe a 4th mcat, even at 500 wont give you much of a boost. An SMP is your best bet for success IMO. Our basic scientists for pre clinical LOVE grads from our SMP. They hit the ground running and are well prepared for 1st year. An SMP is med school lite, so its a real challenge. Get your health issues stabilized and work like you have never worked before. It can happen if you are willing to put the time in. Good luck and best wishes!
 
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Dr Tapatio

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I'm not saying this to hate on you, but your scores and GPA both reflect a poor caliber student. I wouldn't be able to accept someone with your CV and have any faith that you'd be able to survive the curriculum or boards.

If you have real test anxiety, you need to address that first. Once addressed, you need to make a real attempt at the MCAT. If then you can get at least a 501/502, then consider going forward. If you once again score below that, I would recommend another profession such as podiatry. Unlike my colleagues, I cannot recommend an SMP. With your issues, that will only add debt and you'll crash and burn.
 

Goro

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I'm not saying this to hate on you, but your scores and GPA both reflect a poor caliber student. I wouldn't be able to accept someone with your CV and have any faith that you'd be able to survive the curriculum or boards.

If you have real test anxiety, you need to address that first. Once addressed, you need to make a real attempt at the MCAT. If then you can get at least a 501/502, then consider going forward. If you once again score below that, I would recommend another profession such as podiatry. Unlike my colleagues, I cannot recommend an SMP. With your issues, that will only add debt and you'll crash and burn.
IF OP can get the test anxiety issues under control, then an SMP is the best chance to get into a DO school.

As for the bolded, try to say these things a bit nicer. Everything else you said (except the SMP part) is spot on. Leave the salty to me.
 

vanillawafer

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You should evaluate your situation more closely. Seek medical advice - visit a psychiatrist or your family doctor. Let them know what is going on with anxiety, and explain it to them. Someone I know very close struggles with panic disorder, and thankfully she didn't have a panic attack during her exam - but she ended up getting a 515. This goes to say that she has been scoring around there for the last few AAMC practice tests.

That begs the question - what were you scoring on your AAMC practice exams? Were they below 500 as well, or significantly higher? You would need to address this to understand if there are any other variables due to your low MCAT score. I would not take it again until I seek medical help and evaluate everything going on. This can hurt your application severely, but you can do it. I believe in you!
 
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Ho0v-man

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I agree with other posters in this thread. But to inject some positivity, it is still possible. But you have to rock an smp and possibly retake the mcat. This is a lot of work and you’ll have to decide if that’s worth it to you. If it’s not, that’s okay.

Given your past performance and anxiety, I think you should go smp. I have a friend who was in a very similar situation. He enrolled in an smp and realized he could barely tolerate the smp (med school lite) and learned it just wasn’t for him. Had he got into a new DO school instead, he’d have wasted a ton more money on something he hated and might not have been able to handle.

As far as anxiety, I can sympathize. But keep in mind that the anxiety you feel when you’re about to take the mcat; that’s every single second of the first two years.

Good luck!
 
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futureapppsy2

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You have to be able to take extremely high stakes, timed, standardized tests in med school. If you can't pass the board exams after three tries, you will be kicked out and have very little but six figures in debt to show for it.
 
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Dr Tapatio

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You have to be able to take extremely high stakes, timed, standardized tests in med school. If you can't pass the board exams after three tries, you will be kicked out and have very little but six figures in debt to show for it.
This is very true. My friend got kicked out after failing step 2 three times. He only had 2 rotations left. These exams are no joke. My other friend also failed step 2 three times but was given a fourth try because he got a letter from a psychiatrist. He was able to pass on his fourth attempt and graduate, but he did not match and received two pity audition interviews out of 100 applications. He is now unable to get license in many states even if he manages to score a residency and pass his step 3 and boards without a problem
 
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Angus Avagadro

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This! This is why folks with marginal stats should seriously consider a do it yourself post bac or smp rather than applying to newer school and maybe getting pulled off their wait list. If the school doesnt provide the resources for the student to be successful, this is what happens. Massive debt and a degree with very few options.
 
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futureapppsy2

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This! This is why folks with marginal stats should seriously consider a do it yourself post bac or smp rather than applying to newer school and maybe getting pulled off their wait list. If the school doesnt provide the resources for the student to be successful, this is what happens. Massive debt and a degree with very few options.
Or even no degree at all but massive debt.
 
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