Nov 16, 2020
79
174
Status
  1. Pre-Medical
Hey ya'll, first-time applicant here. I decided that I wanted to pursue medicine relatively later on during undergrad and my school has limited pre-health resources. I'm a genetics major and my advisor knew absolutely nothing about the medical school application process, so I was basically on my own for figuring everything out. I took my MCAT on 6/27 and submitted my AMCAS on 7/25. It was verified around 9/4 and I received secondary invites very shortly after that. I'm getting worried reading through forums for the schools that I applied to because people who applied in August are just now starting to get interview invites and acceptances. I submitted my first secondary on 9/22 and submitted my most recent one on 11/16. Did I screw myself over submitting this late? Could COVID be on my side here?

  • White Female
  • State/Country of Residence: NC
  • Ties to other States/Regions: SC
  • Year in School: Senior
  • Undergraduate Major(s)/Minor(s): Genetics Major, Psychology and Music Performance Minors
  • Graduate Degrees (if applicable): None
  • Cumulative GPA: 3.84
  • Science GPA: 3.75
  • MCAT Score(s): 512 (126/129/130/127)
  • Research Experience: About 150 hours of independent molecular genetics research on fruit flies that culminated in a final paper and a presentation to faculty as part of a required lab course for genetics majors. I also had a research internship with a physician at the Cincinnati Children's Hospital lined up where I would have been helping out with genome-wide association studies on autoimmune disorders, cancelled due to COVID.
  • Publications/Abstracts/Posters (include how you were credited e.g. first author, second author, etc.): None
  • Clinical Experience (paid or volunteer): About 400 hours working as a full-time endoscopy scheduler at a large multi-specialty medical practice in my college town this past summer in place of the cancelled internship. That number is more like 650 now because I continued there part-time during the semester, and it will probably be close to 1000 by the time I graduate because I plan to work over winter break and remain part-time in the spring semester. About 20 hours volunteering in the labor and delivery unit and NICU of a hospital in my city.
  • Physician Shadowing: 40 hours shadowing the chief of cardiology and his colleagues at a hospital in my city. I was able to shadow in both the hospital and clinic and observed four surgeries from inside the OR. The chief of cardiology graciously wrote one of my recommendation letters and is an alumnus of one of the schools I’m applying to.
  • Non-Clinical Volunteering: About 30 hours volunteering as a substitute organic chemistry teaching assistant. I filled in for full-time TAs who needed coverage over three semesters. I became a full time TA this semester which easily adds 50 hours onto that. All TAs for this class are unpaid and therefore volunteer.
  • Other Extracurricular Activities: About 75 hours dedicated to Genetics Club, 300 hours dedicated to wind ensemble where I was principal trombone for the majority of my semesters, about 100 hours dedicated to basketball pep band and 750 hours dedicated to marching band where I was a trombone section leader for three years.
  • Other Employment History: Roughly 400 hours as a paid genetics teaching assistant where I instructed a weekly problem session and held weekly office hours for four semesters and one summer session. About 50 hours across two semesters as a tutor for student athletes at my school in subjects like biology, genetics, and organic chemistry.
  • Scholarships: A genetics scholarship dedicated to a senior studying genetics who "demonstrates leadership and future potential through participation in the Genetics Club, promising efforts in research, and outstanding academic performance", and the most prestigious music scholarship offered at my university awarded to a student who displays “exceptional leadership skills and a commitment to excellence through family, friends, academics, and music”.
  • Immediate family members in medicine? (Y/N): N
  • Specialty of Interest (if applicable): Medical Genetics!
  • Interest in Primary Care (Y/N): N
  • Interest in Rural Health (Y/N): N
  • Misc: My heavy involvement in music is central to who I am as a person, soI have tried to highlight my musical experiences as something that makes me stand out and gives me a unique perspective in my secondary essays so that my schools can see this side of me too!
  • Medical School List: UNC, ECU, Duke, Wake Forest, Emory, Baylor, Georgetown, NYU
 
Last edited:

Mr.Smile12

Admissions advisor
7+ Year Member
Oct 13, 2011
6,737
3,335
Status
  1. Academic Administration
Hey ya'll, first-time applicant here. I decided that I wanted to pursue medicine relatively later on during undergrad and my school has limited pre-health resources. I'm a genetics major and my advisor knew absolutely nothing about the medical school application process, so I was basically on my own for figuring everything out. I took my MCAT on 6/27 and submitted my AMCAS on 7/25. It was verified around 9/4 and I recieved secondary invites very shortly after that. I'm getting worried reading through forums for the schools that I applied to because people who applied in August are just now starting to get interview invites and acceptances. I submitted my first secondary on 9/22 and submitted my most recent one on 11/16. I still have one more to go. Did I screw myself over submitting this late? My MCAT is a 512 and I have a 3.84 cumulative GPA.
Could you fill out a WAMC template, please?
 
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Nov 16, 2020
79
174
Status
  1. Pre-Medical
What took you so long in filling out the secondaries?
This might end up being a long tangent because I think a few factors built up to put me so behind. Long story short, I decided to pursue medicine pretty late in undergrad and had little to no pre-med guidance at school. Left to my own devices, I ended up taking my MCAT at the end of June this year. I studied while finishing up the spring semester and starting a full-time clinical job, so between working and studying I decided to wait until the test was over to start the AMCAS. I completed the AMCAS at the end of July, but it was not certified until early September when I was already a month into a fully online semester where I was taking 19 credit hours and working 20 hours a week between two jobs. It was definitely my mistake by not pre-writing some secondary applications in the free week I had between my completed AMCAS and the start of the fall semester, but otherwise I did about the best I could while keeping my GPA intact.
 
Last edited:
Jun 28, 2019
504
556
Status
  1. Medical Student
You applied late, your stats are below average at most of your schools, you didn’t have enough volunteering, your school list is far too short, and it only includes 2-3 realistic schools. You may still have a shot at ECU, but considering the fact that this is an extremely competitive cycle, you should either apply DO or prep for reapplication. In general, applicants should prepare for reapplication from the start anyways. All applicants should assume they are rejected until they get an email saying otherwise.

If you find yourself reapplying next year, you need to apply to 25+ schools (I would do 30). Include schools like MCW, VCU, EVMS, Temple, Drexel, Tulane, Albany MC, NYMC, etc.
 
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Nov 16, 2020
79
174
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  1. Pre-Medical
you applied to too few schools, and yes i would say that you submitted your applications too late. getting into UNC is tricky even as an IS or alum or both, let alone Duke. NYU students have stats in the stratosphere, Emory has a major public health focus, Baylor is IS driven, and Georgetown is low yield and not as research focused. i don't know where your app would fit the mold for any of these programs.

why medicine and not an MS as a genetics counselor or PhD? if you truly want to pursue medicine or even an MD/PhD, i think you need to spend more time building up your application. this would include things like sharpening your PS and secondary essays as well as more research experience, direct patient experience, & volunteer experience. you are competing with people that not only have high stats, but have thousands of hours in research, clinical work, or volunteer work (and likely its some combo of the 3)

you didn't meet the thanksgiving rule, which basically states that applicants should have at least 1 II before thanksgiving. otherwise, to start thinking about reapplication.

i do wish the best for you, and hope this advice is helpful
I actually went into college wanting to go into genetic counseling, but shadowed in the field and wasn't a fan. I absolutely hated the research that I did in molecular genetics, so I ruled out a PhD too. I do have an interest in academia so maybe I should reconsider, but I honestly couldn't justify 4+ years of hating what I was doing just to get there. Maybe I should reconsider. Appreciate the advice!
 
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Naruhodo

2+ Year Member
Sep 5, 2016
370
436
Someone after my own heart with a love of medical genetics! I know you're probably feeling discouraged and beating yourself up right now for all the things you didn't do (I too have been there, done that), but take a breath and recognize that medical school isn't going anywhere and you have time to get all you ducks in a row in case you do end up re-applying. I know it's not fun, it's expensive, and it can be hard on one's ego, but it is far from the end of the world, and when I look at a paragraph like the one above what I see is someone with passion and a ton of potential :)

I had a whole paragraph about the GC route (I don't think most people know that it has moved to match system, which makes it really hard to use as a back-up because after you put in a rank list you're committed to going wherever you match) and about the PhD route (what I opted for after an initially unsuccessful MSTP cycle). However, it seems that you've explored both and are making informed decisions for yourself, so no need to beat that dead horse.

In terms of gearing up for re-applying in case you have to I think there's a lot of good advice above. Keep on hustling like you have (hopefully in a sustainable manner) and especially engaging in the kinds of things that excite you/ bring you joy that you could talk about in depth and with enthusiasm on the interview trail. When you're ready apply early and more broadly (I'd say 20 well-chosen programs, as I guess I'm a little bit more conservative/ stingy than the above). I think you'd be a great fit for many of the programs you did already apply to (fingers especially crossed for Wake Forest, which if you do go message me and I'll connect you with a fantastic medical geneticist who is an alumn), but it's a tough cycle and none of this is personal (sometimes it's just a numbers game). Wishing you luck!
 
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Nov 16, 2020
79
174
Status
  1. Pre-Medical
Someone after my own heart with a love of medical genetics! I know you're probably feeling discouraged and beating yourself up right now for all the things you didn't do (I too have been there, done that), but take a breath and recognize that medical school isn't going anywhere and you have time to get all you ducks in a row in case you do end up re-applying. I know it's not fun, it's expensive, and it can be hard on one's ego, but it is far from the end of the world, and when I look at a paragraph like the one above what I see is someone with passion and a ton of potential :)

I had a whole paragraph about the GC route (I don't think most people know that it has moved to match system, which makes it really hard to use as a back-up because after you put in a rank list you're committed to going wherever you match) and about the PhD route (what I opted for after an initially unsuccessful MSTP cycle). However, it seems that you've explored both and are making informed decisions for yourself, so no need to beat that dead horse.

In terms of gearing up for re-applying in case you have to I think there's a lot of good advice above. Keep on hustling like you have (hopefully in a sustainable manner) and especially engaging in the kinds of things that excite you/ bring you joy that you could talk about in depth and with enthusiasm on the interview trail. When you're ready apply early and more broadly (I'd say 20 well-chosen programs, as I guess I'm a little bit more conservative/ stingy than the above). I think you'd be a great fit for many of the programs you did already apply to (fingers especially crossed for Wake Forest, which if you do go message me and I'll connect you with a fantastic medical geneticist who is an alumn), but it's a touch cycle and none of this is personal (sometimes it's just a numbers game). Wishing you luck!
This was SUCH an uplifting comment, thank you so much for all the advice and encouragement. And yes, fingers definitely crossed for Wake Forest! I have some connections to the area and think I wrote some strong essays, so maybe I can catch their eye in the late pile LOL. If I hear from them this cycle or in a future one I will definitely be in touch!
 
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