Medical Did I already ruin my chances at a top-10, received II for January, please help?

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I am an URM with a disadvantaged background. First generation 4-year college attendance and graduation.
I have a prestigious graduate degree from a top-10 school, merit scholarship.
Sept 2020 MCAT: 514 127, 127, 131, 129
Jan 2015 MCAT: 29 9, 11, 9 I was not fully prepared, but this was the last date the 3-section MCAT was offered.

4,000 clinical hours, paid
1,600 volunteer + clinical research
2 publications
participated in college sports

3 strong LORs:
1. Clinical research PI, paid work
2. Volunteer coordinator, relationship through 7 years
3. M science professor for self-made post-bacc (up to 20 units a semester 3.97 GPA for 2 years).

I have been meaning to apply to medical school for some time. My friends and family finally said this was the year I better do it. I am likely in the top 99% for age of applicants.

1. Would schools accept late LORs?
I only requested 3 LORs and have the chance to get 2 more strong LORs (I did not want to burden the letter writers. One is an ED physician in a pandemic.) In a nutshell, I was raised to be small and not burden others when the task is not necessary (e.g., only a favor to me) and I have imposter syndrome despite succeeding at most everything.

2. Can I submit late LORs to schools? I assume the letters are still transmitted to schools, but the school can ignore them? Can this be considered part of an update letter or later, a letter of interest/intent?
Also, I inadvertently submitted a draft copy of a response to an essay question in the secondary application (only 90 words and limit is 500). Other advice said to ask if I can submit my finalized version and some schools would allow a replacement.

3. School does not know the following, should I update them on new job in COVID-19 research and pandemic challenges?
More background (pandemic related):

I have had to care for 2 family members during the pandemic. I took 10-week unpaid leave of absence for one elderly family member as eldercare options were/are scarce.
I left my clinical research job for a promotion working on COVID-19 therapeutic studies. However, the research pace is fast and furious. It is not uncommon to work 60 hours a week. I have already been offered a retention bonus if I stay another month and another bonus if I stay a few months after that. My colleagues are quitting because of the workload. See explanation for hurried secondary completion.

I am concerned being a caregiver for my family members may be looked down upon, even during the pandemic as schools may question my commitment to medical school and would I take a leave of absence then too.

Thank you.
If you only end up going to Drexel, will you turn that down because it's not a Top 10?

Your job is to get into A medical school, and not merely focus on Top schools.

More LORs are not better. Have mercy of those of us who have to read the things. They also do not have magical properties, because most of them gel over time.

Updating because you have a new job isn't worth your time or theirs.

Save LOI for after any waitlisting.

Hello Goro,
Yikes. I did not mean to imply I would only attend a top-10.
I realize it would be a privilege to be accepted anywhere, especially because I am an unusual applicant, I applied on the deadlines, and so many premeds are applying this year. I am just shocked that I have a shot at being accepted at such a school.
(Yes, I must have somewhat thought there was a chance because I applied there, but not really.)

I was thinking of the update because the new job requires immense hours *possibly* excuse and permit #2 (which I retitled).

Thank you for your guidance.


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May 10, 2013
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1. Many schools will not review your app until all requirements are in. If that means you submit late LORs and they’ve already completed sending II then you will need to wait for second or third waves if they come to fruition.

2. The school can ignore them if you already have a completed application with the correct number for LORs. You can ask the school if they will allow a repeat submission of secondary answers, if they don’t you must let it be.

3. Life happens, and in the wake of a covid pandemic it is understood that you may need to switch jobs for specific scenarios. As long as you can turn your experiences into life lessons learned and skills obtained that make you a stronger candidate to become a physician, it will not be looked down upon. But if you poo poo your current job for the prestigious research job, it may be looked at in an odd manner.


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Mar 12, 2013
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Do not send in letters just to send in letters. Choose the few letters that you think are the strongest and which letter writers you have the best relationships with. Also, I wouldn't send in late letters. Send in the ones you have. The only times that I MAY do that is if you absolutely can't get the required letters for a school by the time you apply, then you could send in the letter late.

Don't update for new jobs.
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