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Hello all. It has been a wild ride, and I am officially calling this application cycle. I went from all R's/silence and preparing to reapply to receiving my first II to my top choice on 2/1. I interviewed 2/17, and just got hit with the R yesterday. To say I'm heartbroken would be an understatement. The school is in state, near my family, and has a specific mission that I thought I aligned with perfectly. To recap:

  • 3.53/512 W Male
  • Primary: 12 schools (All MD 8/6 submission, 9/15 verified)
  • Secondary: Submitted to 7 schools, did not submit 5 (between 9/20 and 11/15ish?)
  • Complete: 6 schools (Somehow I neglected to send my damn CA$PER to Penn State:/)
  • 4 R's, 1 II - R, 1 silence
The last school I have yet to hear anything from is Colorado, and at this point I don't expect to hear anything.

I allowed myself one day to be sad. I am diving right back in to reapplication prep, and excited to see what this upcoming cycle holds for me.

Going forward - the two biggest changes I know I need are applying much earlier, and applying much more broadly (including DO schools).

QUESTIONS I HAVE:
  1. How the heck do I go about writing an entirely new PS? Submitting so late meant I really polished mine up nicely. The idea of starting from scratch is a bit daunting.
  2. What other general changes should I make to my applications? All new secondary essays I'm guessing? New LORs?? Can/should I keep the rest of my work/activities?
  3. Any other general REAPPLICANT advice is appreciated.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate all the advice I have gotten from this forum over the past year.

**Edit: clarified secondary numbers
 
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candbgirl

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Well ADCOMS will want to see significant improvement in your application. You didn’t share any of your ECs that you listed on your current application so we can’t tell you if you had any holes on your application that need to be filled. Are you confident in your LORs? What have you done this year to bolster your application.
Sorry about the R but as you know the whole process is so difficult.
 
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viralhiker

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Also want to add you should be constructing a much broader school list for next cycle, especially considering your average/slightly below average stats. Complete at 6 schools between late Sept and November? Thats not exactly setting yourself up for the best possible application cycle.
 
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CricB4Tube

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Did only 7 schools send you secondaries? Or did you just not complete 5 of the secondaries?
 
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Well ADCOMS will want to see significant improvement in your application. You didn’t share any of your ECs that you listed on your current application so we can’t tell you if you had any holes on your application that need to be filled. Are you confident in your LORs? What have you done this year to bolster your application.
Sorry about the R but as you know the whole process is so difficult.
Here is a quick rundown from when I applied last year:

Research: MINIMAL. Spring 2017 ~100hrs assisting in microbiology lab Spring 2017. Credited in presentation. Fall 2017 ~40hrs researching and writing a literature review paper for PI. No publications.
Clinical Volunteering: 55hrs Hospital ED 2-4hrs/week Spring-Summer 2019
Shadowing: 87hrs across IM, ENT, Psych (34+hrs), Gastroenterology, Family med, Sports med, Neurology, Radiology/interventional Radiology, Ophthalmology.
Non-Clinical Volunteering: MINIMAL. Mexico Mission trip Summer 2014 - 4 work days, Sporadic volunteering through Football and SAAC - approx. 50hrs (football camps, boys and girls club, elementary school reading, Hope Starts here run/walk, Salvation Army meal serving, bell ringing) throughout undergrad.
Extracurricular Activities: SAAC Co-President 2018, Volunteer Coordinator 2017-2018, WIAC SAAC 2017-2018, D2 Football team – freshman year, D3 football team sophomore-graduation (Leadership council and captain), other various hobbies. Plus various notable honors awarded throughout undergrad.
Employment history: Mover(~100hr), Deli Counter Associate (~600hrs), TMS Therapy Technician (~1300hrs), Tutor in Math and Science (~400hrs), Honors Intern – Sociology Dept (~500hrs), Bartender/Server/Bar Back at two different restaurants (~800hrs).
Immediate family in Medicine: Nope (Great uncle on mom’s side was an EM doc for many years since retired)
Specialty of Interest: Many - Favorites are Psychiatry, Family Medicine, Radiology/IR, Ortho/sports medicine, and Gastroenterology
Graduate degrees: post-bacc EMT cert lol
Rural Health Interest: Definitely yes

In my opinion, my biggest EC weakness is a lack of sustained volunteer experience. I am looking at starting something ASAP (and yes I should have been working on this a year ago). I have continued to work as a TMS tech with daily patient interactions, so I now have about 2500+hrs of clinical work. (+1000 since submission of application).


I am 99% confident in 4 of my 5 LORs, and like 75% on the 5th just because I didn't have as close of a relationship with this professor.

I appreciate your reply. Definitely a difficult process, but damn if this doesn't make me even more determined.
 
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Also want to add you should be constructing a much broader school list for next cycle, especially considering your average/slightly below average stats. Complete at 6 schools between late Sept and November? Thats not exactly setting yourself up for the best possible application cycle.
Yes you're absolutely right. I failed to put myself in the best possible position especially considering my below average/average stats. I would say my timing and numbers are most likely the biggest drawbacks to my application last year and something that I am changing this year.
 
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Did only 7 schools send you secondaries? Or did you just not complete 5 of the secondaries?
Sorry - I edited my original post for clarity. All 12 sent me secondaries, I only completed 7. Between squeezing in this application work before and after my work hours, and a severe lack of preparation, I ended up not completing 5. In hindsight, I think I should have just submitted these even if they were late and poorly constructed. Worst that can happen is I pay $100 for a no thanks.
 
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Biggest issue is applying late and not applying to enough schools! Honestly you ECs aren't bad, just average so I don't think that was a major issue. Just apply more strategically next cycle
 
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CricB4Tube

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Sorry - I edited my original post for clarity. All 12 sent me secondaries, I only completed 7. Between squeezing in this application work before and after my work hours, and a severe lack of preparation, I ended up not completing 5. In hindsight, I think I should have just submitted these even if they were late and poorly constructed. Worst that can happen is I pay $100 for a no thanks.
I think between your average-below average app and only applying to 7 schools, some very late, is what ruined you. By the time you were finishing your secondaries, many applications had already completed multiple interviews and even had acceptances mid-Nov.
Next time you really have to grind through the secondary essays, and even strategically copy/paste (I know everyone says that's bad but I was accepted at a few schools I did this to). You basically burned 5 potential acceptances just by not writing a few paragraphs. For next cycle, look up secondary questions and have them written out beforehand.
I was able to send back some secondaries the day I received them which resulted in early interviews and multiple mid-Nov acceptances. Timing is sooooo important because adcoms get to just be more and more selective as time goes on.
Also, did you apply to any DO schools?
 
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Biggest issue is applying late and not applying to enough schools! Honestly you ECs aren't bad, just average so I don't think that was a major issue. Just apply more strategically next cycle
Thanks for your insight! My timing was all jacked up. Adding more schools is a relatively simple thing to do also. Those are both main focuses of mine in this upcoming cycle.
 
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What is your math science GPA?
cGPA: 3.53
sGPA: 3.47

Context:
I attended a small, academically rigorous private school my freshman year (2 semesters). In hindsight, I was NOT ready for college, i.e. finished with a 2.63 GPA including 8.0cr of C-'s in Calc I and II. Summer after freshman year, I transferred to a smaller public school in the University of Wisconsin system, and averaged a 3.76 GPA in my remaining 7 semesters (dean's list every semester and highest honors 3 semesters including an A- in a Calc I retake).
 
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Vivid_Quail

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cGPA: 3.53
sGPA: 3.47

Context:
I attended a small, academically rigorous private school my freshman year (2 semesters). In hindsight, I was NOT ready for college, i.e. finished with a 2.63 GPA including 8.0cr of C-'s in Calc I and II. Summer after freshman year, I transferred to a smaller public school in the University of Wisconsin system, and averaged a 3.76 GPA in my remaining 7 semesters (dean's list every semester and highest honors 3 semesters including an A- in a Calc I retake).
Gotcha. Your sGPA will have you dead in the water for the vast majority of MD schools, especially with your MCAT (it is average). Your upward trend of 3.76 is okay but not slap you in the face strong which you need to offset a 3.47. I would personally do a post-bacc, or SMP if you retake the MCAT and get 515+. Otherwise, go DO, which you are already over qualified for.
 
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I think between your average-below average app and only applying to 7 schools, some very late, is what ruined you. By the time you were finishing your secondaries, many applications had already completed multiple interviews and even had acceptances mid-Nov.
Next time you really have to grind through the secondary essays, and even strategically copy/paste (I know everyone says that's bad but I was accepted at a few schools I did this to). You basically burned 5 potential acceptances just by not writing a few paragraphs. For next cycle, look up secondary questions and have them written out beforehand.
I was able to send back some secondaries the day I received them which resulted in early interviews and multiple mid-Nov acceptances. Timing is sooooo important because adcoms get to just be more and more selective as time goes on.
Also, did you apply to any DO schools?
Thank you for the reply! Adding that sort of context really shows how poorly I planned last year. Especially with an average-below average app, applying early and applying broadly are absolutely crucial if I am to have any kind of success. This year, in addition to prewriting more, I plan to take time off when the secondaries start coming in as to really focus on quick turnaround times.

I did not apply to any DO, but plan to this year.
 
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Gotcha. Your sGPA will have you dead in the water for the vast majority of MD schools, especially with your MCAT (it is average). Your upward trend of 3.76 is okay but not slap you in the face strong which you need to offset a 3.47. I would personally do a post-bacc, or SMP if you retake the MCAT and get 515+. Otherwise, go DO, which you are already over qualified for.
Dang do you really think so? Are you aware of any schools that screen out for science GPAs? Without the 8cr of freshman year calc C-'s my cGPA and sGPA would be 3.65 and 3.64 respectively. Do you think ADCOMs would take that into account?

I'd rather not do an SMP unless absolutely necessary. Would taking a few upper-level post-bacc science courses throughout this year/app cycle make any kind of difference assuming I do well in them?

I have wondered about an MCAT retake. I'm confident I could score higher than a 512.
 
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Don't retake the MCAT unless you are absolutely certain you will have a significant improvement.
A's in upper-level postbacc courses never hurt!
Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer.
Be very clear about your reasons for applying to medical school, and communicate those reasons in your PS.
As others have said, apply broadly, include DO schools, and be prompt with submitting your application and secondaries.
 
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gonnif

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Many medical schools offer specific pages of advice for reapplicants, something I find few students look into. This would be true whether or not you are a specific reapplicant to that school. Below are links to a few and please note most say the most common mistake among reapplicants is applying again too soon (reapplicant guide from Ohio Med school attached)

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Reapplicants - Miller School of Medicine Admissions
Roughly 20% of the students who apply to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in any given year are reapplicants. Data that we have collected indicate they have a lower acceptance rate than do first time applicants

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Heath
http://www.med.wisc.edu/education/md/admissions/reapplying/31716
(emphasis in the original)
There should be significant improvements in your application before reapplying. This might mean not reapplying the very next year. The most common error made by reapplicants is that they submit their next application too soon.

The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Interview Tips | Ohio State College of Medicine
To maximize the chances of giving off this perception, you must allow enough time before reapplying. This will undoubtedly be the hardest part of the process, but be patient; if you rush it, you may join the ranks of those who are applying for a third time.

University of Minnesota Medical School
Re-Applicant
Though you can submit a second application immediately after your first application, you may want to consider waiting a year if you feel you need more experiences that help you demonstrate the essential and desired qualities of an ideal medical student.

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Reapplicants | Office of Admissions
Our Ideal Candidate | Office of Admissions

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
http://medicine.vtc.vt.edu/admissions/re-applicants/

LSU Health Shreveport
http://www.lsuhscshreveport.edu/Education/som/admissions/reapplicants/index

University of Missouri
http://medicine.missouri.edu/admissions/nontraditional.html

East Carolina University, Brody School of Medicine
https://www.ecu.edu/cs-dhs/bsomadmissions/whatif.cfm

Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNTHSC)
https://www.unthsc.edu/texas-colleg...ants-home/common-mistakes-made-by-applicants/

Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
http://www.com.msu.edu/Admissions/Guidelines_For_Success/Reapplication.htm
 

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HouseJC

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Yes, while I appreciate that OP is taking initiative, I'd be wary about immediately jumping back into the next round. Unfortunately, OP is considered to be "damaged goods" at some schools and will need to show that he/she/they improved on their application. This involves reflection, planning and, critical thinking; which are key traits as a future physician. OP already took a good first step in seeking for help, but be prudent about your next step!

In regards to the question about writing an entirely new PS and general changes:

1. How the heck do I go about writing an entirely new PS? Submitting so late meant I really polished mine up nicely. The idea of starting from scratch is a bit daunting.

I disagree that submitting late and suggesting that it is really polished nicely are not together. Rather, if OP is applying again in the upcoming around, starting early is key. As I'm not sure (and not privileged) to knowing OP's personal situations, I'm not saying this to chide him/her/them. Rather, I just want to alter the mindset if needed. Starting from scratch is daunting, but take it as a growth opportunity for your reflection and critical thinking skills. From looking at the experiences, I don't really see a unifying story as to why OP wants to be a doctor. Having a unifying story is critical, as OPs experiences seem rather "cookie-cutter" like to me. He/she/they don't stand out from the numerous other applicants.

2. What other general changes should I make to my applications? All new secondary essays I'm guessing? New LORs?? Can/should I keep the rest of my work/activities?
Again, I'm not saying OP needs to revamp his/her/their application, but if this move is warranted, I'd try to create a narrative and pick out work/activities/MMEs that reflect and substantiate that narrative. Assuming OP applies to the same schools, I think new secondaries are needed, as schools often ask if you are a re-applicant. If they keep your previous application, compare the essays and see they are the same, this might raise eyebrows in a negative way. I'd also suggest new LORs. Assuming OP is doing ongoing activities, having new experiences and growing as an individual, I think it is best for the references to reflect the growth next time he/she/they apply.

Furthermore, how did you write your descriptions and personal statements? When I applied, I was a big proponent of stories (rather than a generic resume-like description of my activity); especially for MME. Even with 700 characters, I strived to do both a brief description and a story, so the Adcoms can have a better idea of who I was. What were your MMEs? Do these experiences show individual growth and demonstrate why a career a medicine is right for you? I'm not asking for OP to tell us these answers, but rather as points for consideration in case he/she/they decide to revamp their application.

Last but not least, depending on OPs preferences, I'd even suggest watching the YouTube series "Application Renovation", where the moderator takes a deep dive into unsuccessful applications. While the moderator's point of view does not reflect all admissions committee members, when I was applying, I still watched those videos to learn about potential mistakes and perspectives that I had not considered before.

Sorry for my long response. Just my .02 and good luck!
 
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Goro

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Hello all. It has been a wild ride, and I am officially calling this application cycle. I went from all R's/silence and preparing to reapply to receiving my first II to my top choice on 2/1. I interviewed 2/17, and just got hit with the R yesterday. To say I'm heartbroken would be an understatement. The school is in state, near my family, and has a specific mission that I thought I aligned with perfectly. To recap:

  • 3.53/512 W Male
  • Primary: 12 schools (All MD 8/6 submission, 9/15 verified)
  • Secondary: Submitted to 7 schools, did not submit 5 (between 9/20 and 11/15ish?)
  • Complete: 6 schools (Somehow I neglected to send my damn CA$PER to Penn State:/)
  • 4 R's, 1 II - R, 1 silence
The last school I have yet to hear anything from is Colorado, and at this point I don't expect to hear anything.

I allowed myself one day to be sad. I am diving right back in to reapplication prep, and excited to see what this upcoming cycle holds for me.

Going forward - the two biggest changes I know I need are applying much earlier, and applying much more broadly (including DO schools).

QUESTIONS I HAVE:
  1. How the heck do I go about writing an entirely new PS? Submitting so late meant I really polished mine up nicely. The idea of starting from scratch is a bit daunting.
  2. What other general changes should I make to my applications? All new secondary essays I'm guessing? New LORs?? Can/should I keep the rest of my work/activities?
  3. Any other general REAPPLICANT advice is appreciated.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate all the advice I have gotten from this forum over the past year.

**Edit: clarified secondary numbers
You may not have to do a total rewrite so much as tweak it for the next cycle. Surely, something in your life will have changed that you can work into the essay.

Your essays didn't keep you out of med school. You have a 3.5 GPA which is 0.2 basis points below the national median for MD acceptees. You had too few schools and should had some DO schools on the list (beggars can't be choosy). Most importantly, the immediate rejection tells of very poor interview skills.

Have multiple eyeballs vet your essays.

Take a gap year and bulk up your ECs, especially service to others less fortunate than yourself.

What was your school list? You may have been aiming too high, or too unrealstically.
 
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Don't retake the MCAT unless you are absolutely certain you will have a significant improvement.
A's in upper-level postbacc courses never hurt!
Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer.
Be very clear about your reasons for applying to medical school, and communicate those reasons in your PS.
As others have said, apply broadly, include DO schools, and be prompt with submitting your application and secondaries.
Thanks for your response!
I won't retake it unless I absolutely need to. I am confident I could do better, but I'd rather not until my current one "expires."
Would an informal DIY post-bacc of 1 or two upper level science courses per summer/semester be okay? Should these be graduate level courses? Or would advanced undergrad courses be of the same value?
Yes - I'm really searching for a meaningful volunteer experience to align with my story/journey/goals.
Expanding on this point, in addition to reviewing my PS, I'm thinking I need to reflect on and clearly define WHAT my story is exactly. As others have posted, I agree that my app feels a little "cookie cutter" with no real unifying theme throughout.
Applying broadly, early, and including DO - absolutely. There's really no excuse for not doing these - it is what puts me in the best absolute position, given my average-below average app.
 
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Many medical schools offer specific pages of advice for reapplicants, something I find few students look into. This would be true whether or not you are a specific reapplicant to that school. Below are links to a few and please note most say the most common mistake among reapplicants is applying again too soon (reapplicant guide from Ohio Med school attached)

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Reapplicants - Miller School of Medicine Admissions
Roughly 20% of the students who apply to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in any given year are reapplicants. Data that we have collected indicate they have a lower acceptance rate than do first time applicants

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Heath
http://www.med.wisc.edu/education/md/admissions/reapplying/31716
(emphasis in the original)
There should be significant improvements in your application before reapplying. This might mean not reapplying the very next year. The most common error made by reapplicants is that they submit their next application too soon.

The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Interview Tips | Ohio State College of Medicine
To maximize the chances of giving off this perception, you must allow enough time before reapplying. This will undoubtedly be the hardest part of the process, but be patient; if you rush it, you may join the ranks of those who are applying for a third time.

University of Minnesota Medical School
Re-Applicant
Though you can submit a second application immediately after your first application, you may want to consider waiting a year if you feel you need more experiences that help you demonstrate the essential and desired qualities of an ideal medical student.

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Reapplicants | Office of Admissions
Our Ideal Candidate | Office of Admissions

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
http://medicine.vtc.vt.edu/admissions/re-applicants/

LSU Health Shreveport
http://www.lsuhscshreveport.edu/Education/som/admissions/reapplicants/index

University of Missouri
http://medicine.missouri.edu/admissions/nontraditional.html

East Carolina University, Brody School of Medicine
https://www.ecu.edu/cs-dhs/bsomadmissions/whatif.cfm

Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNTHSC)
https://www.unthsc.edu/texas-colleg...ants-home/common-mistakes-made-by-applicants/

Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
http://www.com.msu.edu/Admissions/Guidelines_For_Success/Reapplication.htm
Thank you for sharing this! This is tough for me. I graduated in December of 2018, planned on taking a gap year anyway to study/take the MCAT and prep for applications. I truly am kicking myself for screwing up this first cycle. I am anxious to get started with school again, and I don't like the thought of taking an additional year before reapplying. Having said that, given my situation and everyone's advice, this does look like something I really need to consider. Thank you.
 
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Yes, while I appreciate that OP is taking initiative, I'd be wary about immediately jumping back into the next round. Unfortunately, OP is considered to be "damaged goods" at some schools and will need to show that he/she/they improved on their application. This involves reflection, planning and, critical thinking; which are key traits as a future physician. OP already took a good first step in seeking for help, but be prudent about your next step!

In regards to the question about writing an entirely new PS and general changes:

1. How the heck do I go about writing an entirely new PS? Submitting so late meant I really polished mine up nicely. The idea of starting from scratch is a bit daunting.

I disagree that submitting late and suggesting that it is really polished nicely are not together. Rather, if OP is applying again in the upcoming around, starting early is key. As I'm not sure (and not privileged) to knowing OP's personal situations, I'm not saying this to chide him/her/them. Rather, I just want to alter the mindset if needed. Starting from scratch is daunting, but take it as a growth opportunity for your reflection and critical thinking skills. From looking at the experiences, I don't really see a unifying story as to why OP wants to be a doctor. Having a unifying story is critical, as OPs experiences seem rather "cookie-cutter" like to me. He/she/they don't stand out from the numerous other applicants.

2. What other general changes should I make to my applications? All new secondary essays I'm guessing? New LORs?? Can/should I keep the rest of my work/activities?
Again, I'm not saying OP needs to revamp his/her/their application, but if this move is warranted, I'd try to create a narrative and pick out work/activities/MMEs that reflect and substantiate that narrative. Assuming OP applies to the same schools, I think new secondaries are needed, as schools often ask if you are a re-applicant. If they keep your previous application, compare the essays and see they are the same, this might raise eyebrows in a negative way. I'd also suggest new LORs. Assuming OP is doing ongoing activities, having new experiences and growing as an individual, I think it is best for the references to reflect the growth next time he/she/they apply.

Furthermore, how did you write your descriptions and personal statements? When I applied, I was a big proponent of stories (rather than a generic resume-like description of my activity); especially for MME. Even with 700 characters, I strived to do both a brief description and a story, so the Adcoms can have a better idea of who I was. What were your MMEs? Do these experiences show individual growth and demonstrate why a career a medicine is right for you? I'm not asking for OP to tell us these answers, but rather as points for consideration in case he/she/they decide to revamp their application.

Last but not least, depending on OPs preferences, I'd even suggest watching the YouTube series "Application Renovation", where the moderator takes a deep dive into unsuccessful applications. While the moderator's point of view does not reflect all admissions committee members, when I was applying, I still watched those videos to learn about potential mistakes and perspectives that I had not considered before.

Sorry for my long response. Just my .02 and good luck!
Thanks for responding! You, gonnif, and others are giving me tough options to consider (i.e. additional time before my reapplication), which is good!

How do you think ADCOMS would look at continuing to work my psych tech job (+1000hrs roughly since submitting app last year), and boosting my volunteer hours (assuming I find a quality volunteer experience that fits my narrative)? As far as ECs go, my volunteer experiences are the weakest.

My PS went through a couple iterations before applying last year, and I was really happy with the end result. Having said that, your point about a "unifying story" is spot on. Reworking my PS presents the opportunity to unify my experiences and reflect on a common narrative throughout.

That is about what I figured with secondaries. I wouldn't want to apply again with the exact same essays - not a good look with getting the R with the same essays from a year ago.

For the most part, I gave a description of the activities within the context of a specific story. My "physician shadowing" and "all other non clinical work" was listed in a "resume" format.

You've given me a lot more to consider. I appreciate your .02!
 
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You may not have to do a total rewrite so much as tweak it for the next cycle. Surely, something in your life will have changed that you can work into the essay.

Your essays didn't keep you out of med school. You have a 3.5 GPA which is 0.2 basis points below the national median for MD acceptees. You had too few schools and should had some DO schools on the list (beggars can't be choosy). Most importantly, the immediate rejection tells of very poor interview skills.

Have multiple eyeballs vet your essays.

Take a gap year and bulk up your ECs, especially service to others less fortunate than yourself.

What was your school list? You may have been aiming too high, or too unrealstically.
Right - it goes without saying that my GPA is a significant limiting factor. I am curious about taking some additional post-bacc classes (not only for boosting my GPA, but also because I legitimately miss these classes).

As far as the interview, I do not think it went THAT poorly, however I absolutely know I could have performed much, much better. It was my first ever med school interview, my first ever Zoom interview, as well as the last or second to last interview day for a class of 20ish students. I am very familiar with the school (especially this particular regional campus), and I prepared for many questions they ended up not asking. At the end of the day, however, clearly my showing was not good enough, so I will make a point to schedule more formal practice (zoom) interviews before my next cycle.

More essay readers (especially my secondaries) will be key this year as well.

As mentioned elsewhere, I've continued my psych tech job (and will continue at least for the near future), and am working on locking down some volunteer work ASAP. I reaaally would like to avoid any additional time before applying, but the information gonnif provided is making think hard about what my best option is.

My list:
1. Albany
2. Vermont
3. W. Michigan
4. Michigan State
5. Creighton
6. Penn State
7. TCU
8. UW - Madison
9. MCW
10. Colorado
11. Utah
12. Rosalind Franklin

Received secondaries from all, but only returned secondaries to 6-12. Aside from the number I completed, and the lack of DO schools, I think this list was pretty decent. Even with my low GPA, it was above the 10th percentile (according to the MSAR) for all schools except maybe Colorado and/or Utah I believe.
 
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OP, this cycle saw the largest number of applicants in history and things were very competitive this year. You have a good MCAT score of 512 and 3.5 GPA with an upward trend, those stats are not bad by any means. I think the problem here is more than likely due to subpar essays and interview skills and submitting your application late. On top of that, your volunteering is on the low end and you don't have much research experience either.

If you have the money and time, maybe do a postbacc or 1 year master's and reapply. I don't think you need to retake MCAT, you run the risk of getting a lower score second time around. Make a better school list and add some DO schools. And beef up that volunteering if possible. You got this
 
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chemdoctor

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OP, this cycle saw the largest number of applicants in history and things were very competitive this year. You have a good MCAT score of 512 and 3.5 GPA with an upward trend, those stats are not bad by any means. I think the problem here is more than likely due to subpar essays and interview skills and submitting your application late. On top of that, your volunteering is on the low end and you don't have much research experience either.

If you have the money and time, maybe do a postbacc or 1 year master's and reapply. I don't think you need to retake MCAT, you run the risk of getting a lower score second time around. Make a better school list and add some DO schools. And beef up that volunteering if possible. You got this

Side note. Completely agree w everything you said here btw. You ALWAYS give encouraging advice on this site man! Thanks for always being positive w it all!
 
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HouseJC

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Thanks for responding! You, gonnif, and others are giving me tough options to consider (i.e. additional time before my reapplication), which is good!

How do you think ADCOMS would look at continuing to work my psych tech job (+1000hrs roughly since submitting app last year), and boosting my volunteer hours (assuming I find a quality volunteer experience that fits my narrative)? As far as ECs go, my volunteer experiences are the weakest.

My PS went through a couple iterations before applying last year, and I was really happy with the end result. Having said that, your point about a "unifying story" is spot on. Reworking my PS presents the opportunity to unify my experiences and reflect on a common narrative throughout.

That is about what I figured with secondaries. I wouldn't want to apply again with the exact same essays - not a good look with getting the R with the same essays from a year ago.

For the most part, I gave a description of the activities within the context of a specific story. My "physician shadowing" and "all other non clinical work" was listed in a "resume" format.

You've given me a lot more to consider. I appreciate your .02!

I'm not on Admissions, but privileged enough to be accepted this cycle, so take my advice with a grain of salt. I copied and pasted your questions; my answers are in blue. Feel free to disagree and others can jump in too.

How do you think ADCOMS would look at continuing to work my psych tech job (+1000hrs roughly since submitting app last year), and boosting my volunteer hours (assuming I find a quality volunteer experience that fits my narrative)? As far as ECs go, my volunteer experiences are the weakest.

I am not sure what a psych tech job does, but it could relate to and support your psych shadowing? (I'm trying to focus on a narrative here). As for your volunteer hours, I think it will help if it fits your narrative. You could pick up other volunteer experiences as well, but I'd be selective as to which to put on your AMCAS application. You don't have to be as selective for AACOMAS since they don't limit the # of your experiences (assuming no rule change).

That is about what I figured with secondaries. I wouldn't want to apply again with the exact same essays - not a good look with getting the R with the same essays from a year ago.

Yes, please do not write the exact same essays. It indicates numerous negative attributes not desired in an applicant. Some schools have a strategic plan that they make available online, so perhaps see if one is available for your schools of interest. The plans tell you where the school is going, helps you "picture" yourself and how you can your attributes effectively.

For the most part, I gave a description of the activities within the context of a specific story. My "physician shadowing" and "all other non clinical work" was listed in a "resume" format.

Physician shadowing is mostly passive, so I think a resume form is fine. , For your non-clinical work, I'm guessing this is "Mexico Mission trip Summer 2014 - 4 work days, Sporadic volunteering through Football and SAAC - approx. 50hrs (football camps, boys and girls club, elementary school reading, Hope Starts here run/walk, Salvation Army meal serving, bell ringing) throughout undergrad"? You might be able to remember specific stores when you were helping elementary kids read or helping out at the boys/girls club. Did you make an impact in someone's life? Put a smile on someone's face? How did you grow? I'm shying from the mission trip, as I've heard some schools from upon those (especially if they let students participate in medical procedures)
 
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Side note. Completely agree w everything you said here btw. You ALWAYS give encouraging advice on this site man! Thanks for always being positive w it all!
Thanks man, we all gotta stay positive and support each other to get through this process. A little realistic optimism never hurts
 
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OP, this cycle saw the largest number of applicants in history and things were very competitive this year. You have a good MCAT score of 512 and 3.5 GPA with an upward trend, those stats are not bad by any means. I think the problem here is more than likely due to subpar essays and interview skills and submitting your application late. On top of that, your volunteering is on the low end and you don't have much research experience either.

If you have the money and time, maybe do a postbacc or 1 year master's and reapply. I don't think you need to retake MCAT, you run the risk of getting a lower score second time around. Make a better school list and add some DO schools. And beef up that volunteering if possible. You got this
Thanks for the words of encouragement. As much as I would prefer not to, I am strongly considering additional time off for a postbacc. I took my MCAT on 9/14/2019, so I also don't want to risk that getting too old. Thanks for your response!
 
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I'm not on Admissions, but privileged enough to be accepted this cycle, so take my advice with a grain of salt. I copied and pasted your questions; my answers are in blue. Feel free to disagree and others can jump in too.

How do you think ADCOMS would look at continuing to work my psych tech job (+1000hrs roughly since submitting app last year), and boosting my volunteer hours (assuming I find a quality volunteer experience that fits my narrative)? As far as ECs go, my volunteer experiences are the weakest.

I am not sure what a psych tech job does, but it could relate to and support your psych shadowing? (I'm trying to focus on a narrative here). As for your volunteer hours, I think it will help if it fits your narrative. You could pick up other volunteer experiences as well, but I'd be selective as to which to put on your AMCAS application. You don't have to be as selective for AACOMAS since they don't limit the # of your experiences (assuming no rule change).

That is about what I figured with secondaries. I wouldn't want to apply again with the exact same essays - not a good look with getting the R with the same essays from a year ago.

Yes, please do not write the exact same essays. It indicates numerous negative attributes not desired in an applicant. Some schools have a strategic plan that they make available online, so perhaps see if one is available for your schools of interest. The plans tell you where the school is going, helps you "picture" yourself and how you can your attributes effectively.

For the most part, I gave a description of the activities within the context of a specific story. My "physician shadowing" and "all other non clinical work" was listed in a "resume" format.

Physician shadowing is mostly passive, so I think a resume form is fine. , For your non-clinical work, I'm guessing this is "Mexico Mission trip Summer 2014 - 4 work days, Sporadic volunteering through Football and SAAC - approx. 50hrs (football camps, boys and girls club, elementary school reading, Hope Starts here run/walk, Salvation Army meal serving, bell ringing) throughout undergrad"? You might be able to remember specific stores when you were helping elementary kids read or helping out at the boys/girls club. Did you make an impact in someone's life? Put a smile on someone's face? How did you grow? I'm shying from the mission trip, as I've heard some schools from upon those (especially if they let students participate in medical procedures)
Thanks for your response! Volunteer work is my #1 priority in terms of additional experiences for my app. My psych tech job is kind of a niche position in a private practice. I am incredibly fortunate to have worked here (especially during COVID), but I'm considering moving back to rural central Wisconsin (where I did undergrad) and looking for different paid employment and volunteer work both focused on rural/underserved Wisconsin populations. My lease is up at the end of May, so I'm afraid it may not make that much of a difference before applying.

That's a good thought! I wasn't aware of any "strategic plans" offered by schools. I will check these out.

When I referred to my "non-clinical work" I was talking about bartending/serving, working as a mover, and working in a deli. Essentially summer jobs not related to the positions I held on campus (tutor, honors internship). The mission trip was purely a service trip where we built houses for a 3 different families living outside Tijuana. Not a "medical mission trip" by any means. I am considering diving into this experience a bit more, as it had a big impact on my life perspective.

Thank you for taking the time to read, and best of luck!
 
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