Sep 23, 2017
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Hi all,

I was told by my friend who just started his first year of med school to post a thread here to share my background and gain a little insight/advice. I graduated from a top 25 University this past year with a 3.83 GPA and completed all pre-med courses. However, I ended up taking the MCAT during this gap year while working, starting my own business and had a disastrous MCAT day where my alarm did not go off. I ended up scoring a 507, lower than what I was expecting, after rushing to the test center incredibly stressed. I decided not to apply this cycle and have been debating whether or not to retake the test.

My dream schools would be to attend UCLA, USC, UCI, or UCSD since I live in the California area and love Los Angeles specifically (UCLA/USC would likely be my first choices at this time). Unfortunately it seems that my MCAT is below average for all at this time. Other schools I am considering would be in New York, but I am also seeing in the MSAR that the MCAT is quite high for most of them.

I have been told that I have a very unique story and background and have my own business at this time in the health and fitness arena which I have been growing and plan to continue building even while in school through developing presence - as health & fitness is a huge passion of mine that changed my life on a very deep level. I have been working as a research assistant in sports medicine and orthopedics on board with a great hospital, and have research experience in other realms like biomechanics and physical therapy since I have interests in bettering my understanding of movement as well. I also was honored Phi Beta Kappa as a Junior and have quite a bit of shadowing experience in many specialties and work experience as well, so I feel my main issue/concern at this time is my MCAT.

I would appreciate any feedback and suggestions/thoughts. I do not particularly desire to go through the process of re-taking the MCAT, but if that is the only way to give myself a great chance at my desired schools, I will put in the work and do better this next time around. Thank you for your time in reading this.
 

gyngyn

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The combination of a 507 and an interest in ortho will not be an alluring combo for any Student Affairs Deans on the committee. Is there anything else in your ap that might help us overlook the 507?
 
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MareNostrummm

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The combination of a 507 and an interest in ortho will not be an alluring combo for any Student Affairs Deans on the committee. Is there anything else in your ap that might help us overlook the 507?
What if it were a 507 and interest in Neurology?
 
OP
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Sep 23, 2017
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The combination of a 507 and an interest in ortho will not be an alluring combo for any Student Affairs Deans on the committee. Is there anything else in your ap that might help us overlook the 507?
Thank you for your honest reply gyngyn. In that case, it may be best for me to retake and obtain a better score. Are you on a medical committee board?

I am not sure whether this would constitute much meaning or whether my background is truly unique compared to most other applicants, but I have been told by physicians and other med students that it is and that most applicants are very similar, so I will share briefly with you. When I was younger, fitness changed my life on a deep level so I wanted to help others through it. During my time in college, I worked towards being a certified trainer and worked up to being the leading trainer at my University, mentoring other trainers during my undergraduate years. I've independently worked with many people of all ages and helped change lives through my passion for fitness and advocating for healthy living. I worked towards obtaining multiple specializations as well to better my knowledge in my passion for fitness. I also became a recognized strength and physique athlete, landing job opportunities at an Elite powerlifting facility and as a fitness model with a top fitness agency. After graduating, I was offered a partial scholarship to a great DPT program, but due to growing interest in medicine after shadowing various fields like the CTICU, PM & R, derm, etc. and pre-ceptoring in those fields, I chose to decline and focus on trying to establish a fitness related business post-grad and take the MCAT since fitness changed my life when I was younger and I dreamt of being able to combine medicine alongside it since medicine also changed my life on a personal level during my college years. I also felt medicine would be a better stepping stone for me to become a leader in the health realm and advocate for health on a greater level. This summer, I was recognized as a Master Trainer through a special sports medicine organization and was asked to interview on big platforms, etc. to share with others about my passion for health & fitness, future goals, etc. Since branching out independently, building my website, and starting my own fitness entrepreneurial business as an independent trainer, I have been continuing to try and gain more experience in the medical realm through venues like research, shadowing, etc. I am not solely interested in ortho/sports medicine and am very open to other specialties since I have much experience shadowing many different fields - I just feel it may connect most with my interests at this time. I guess I am just sharing all of this because I have heard entrepreneurial and leadership qualities are highly valued and unique backgrounds are also looked at as well. I sincerely appreciate your thoughts and feedback.
 
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Sep 23, 2017
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What were your AAMC FL practice exam scores? If you were getting 514+ on those, retake may be indicated.
Thanks for your reply rabbott1971. I actually didn't get over a 514 on the AAMC FL - I scored a 510 on one the week prior, but did not take it under proper testing conditions. I do feel that I could have certainly structured my studying better as I self-studied for the exam.
 

MDhopeful324

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Thanks for your reply rabbott1971. I actually didn't get over a 514 on the AAMC FL - I scored a 510 on one the week prior, but did not take it under proper testing conditions. I do feel that I could have certainly structured my studying better as I self-studied for the exam.
The AAMC FLs are usually representative of the score you will get on test day. Of course, you have to take them under the right testing conditions.
Studying really hard does not always yield a high score on the actual thing. Make sure you are scoring in your desired range before retaking.
That being said, I would only retake if I were absolutely sure I could do better. Retaking and scoring the same or worse will not do you any favors.

I've been there. It is not an easy decision to make. Hope everything works out for you!
 

gyngyn

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Thank you for your honest reply gyngyn. In that case, it may be best for me to retake and obtain a better score. Are you on a medical committee board?

I am not sure whether this would constitute much meaning or whether my background is truly unique compared to most other applicants, but I have been told by physicians and other med students that it is and that most applicants are very similar, so I will share briefly with you. When I was younger, fitness changed my life on a deep level so I wanted to help others through it. During my time in college, I worked towards being a certified trainer and worked up to being the leading trainer at my University, mentoring other trainers during my undergraduate years. I've independently worked with many people of all ages and helped change lives through my passion for fitness and advocating for healthy living. I worked towards obtaining multiple specializations as well to better my knowledge in my passion for fitness. I also became a recognized strength and physique athlete, landing job opportunities at an Elite powerlifting facility and as a fitness model with a top fitness agency. After graduating, I was offered a partial scholarship to a great DPT program, but due to growing interest in medicine after shadowing various fields like the CTICU, PM & R, derm, etc. and pre-ceptoring in those fields, I chose to decline and focus on trying to establish a fitness related business post-grad and take the MCAT since fitness changed my life when I was younger and I dreamt of being able to combine medicine alongside it since medicine also changed my life on a personal level during my college years. I also felt medicine would be a better stepping stone for me to become a leader in the health realm and advocate for health on a greater level. This summer, I was recognized as a Master Trainer through a special sports medicine organization and was asked to interview on big platforms, etc. to share with others about my passion for health & fitness, future goals, etc. Since branching out independently, building my website, and starting my own fitness entrepreneurial business as an independent trainer, I have been continuing to try and gain more experience in the medical realm through venues like research, shadowing, etc. I am not solely interested in ortho/sports medicine and am very open to other specialties since I have much experience shadowing many different fields - I just feel it may connect most with my interests at this time. I guess I am just sharing all of this because I have heard entrepreneurial and leadership qualities are highly valued and unique backgrounds are also looked at as well. I sincerely appreciate your thoughts and feedback.
507 is a very modest MCAT even for interesting CA applicants.
 

AnatomyGrey12

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Thanks for your reply rabbott1971. I actually didn't get over a 514 on the AAMC FL - I scored a 510 on one the week prior, but did not take it under proper testing conditions. I do feel that I could have certainly structured my studying better as I self-studied for the exam.
Unfortunately it appears the 507 is within the normal variation in the translation of practice scores to a real score. I would only suggest a retake if you are willing to roll the dice and are willing to go all out (living and breathing MCAT prep) for a higher score. If you do so and score about the same then I would say to heavily consider Western or Touro-CA. As is (depending on how you feel about everything and if you don't want to retake) then you could potentially roll the dice and apply very brodly to MD only this coming cycle, and if you don't garner an acceptance then retake. You have a few paths available to you and it depends on how much risk you want to take.
 
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