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Getting so discouraged...

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by noonday, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. noonday

    noonday Attending
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    Just discovered this site...I am a much older career change applicant, and I thought that I'd at least be getting an interview or two by now...but I've only heard rejections (5) so far, and no word from the other 15 MD nor 5 DO programs. I am currently a research scientist in a non-medical field, got 97 percentile on the MCAT last spring, did well in grad school, a little poorly in undergrad (but it was over 10 years ago for the premed equivalent classes, and it was a top school), and I've been doing 20-30 hours of medical volunteer work for the past 3.5 years. I guess that I didn't expect this level of stress and rejection in the process. My applications have been in since the summer, so there's nothing I can really do at this point, right? Is it just my age? Do those ancient bad grades really matter that much in light of the years since? Any advice?

    Thanks for reading. I hope your process is going well.

    :(
     
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  2. rpkall

    rpkall Darwin Award Winner
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    How old ARE you? 82?

    Did you do a post bacc program? Some schools won't "accept" old bachelor's science classes as prerequisites. I think, like the MCAT, there might be an expiration date, though this varies from school to school....

    That's the only thing I can think of--a bookkeeping issue. Sounds like you're a great applicant, and schools would be lucky to get you. Unless you're 82. ;)

    Seriously, though, best of luck to you. You might want to try calling the admissions offices and asking them what the deal is.
     
  3. noonday

    noonday Attending
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    post-bac? like grad school? I have a master's in a science...

    classes can expire? sheesh. this is what I get for never having been a premed and not having any counseling on this process... it's like some elaborate mating ritual that I somehow don't know the steps to.

    I'm 30, btw. and thanks, I'd been really afraid of calling any admissions offices because I don't want a mark in my file for being a pest, but it might be a good thing to check.
     
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  4. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    definitely call, but i don't think expired credits are the big issue, especially not at the do schools. i'm 29 and have some prereqs that date back to my freshman year in college, and it's been a non-issue. however, i do have recent coursework. since you're only 30 and has a science masters, i'm guessing you have recent coursework, too. i guess the big question is where did you apply and when? if you applied to a lot of top schools just recently that might explain both the string of rejections and the silence from other schools.

    don't get discouraged yet because it sounds like you have a solid app and will get in somewhere. call, though, definitely call. g'luck!
     
  5. Non-TradTulsa

    Non-TradTulsa Senior Member - Resident
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    Sorry, noonday - man, I know it feels terrible. But you're right about the "elaborate mating ritual" part... I think everyone who has had success in this process is ready to write a book called, "The Unwritten Rules of Medical School Applications." I'm certainly ready to write that book for the over-40 applicant.

    You know, having an extremely high MCAT score as you do, you would think that your coursework wouldn't matter at all - you've shown that not only do you have the capacity to think, but you also have a current knowledge of the science. But, your lack of current classwork on your transcript may indeed be the problem. I think you need to be back in school, even if it's at night. AdComs want to see that you're doing current classwork and that you're back up-to-speed on the discipline of going to class. Also, do you have a great personal statement? We tend to overlook personal statements, but I think the P.S. is critical for the non-trad - it's your chance to explain how you are coming to medicine later in life (although, to be honest, since I'm 44, I barely consider you to be a non-trad - the hill gets a lot steeper sometime around age 35, I think).

    I can certainly understand your hesitancy to call schools where you have a pending application - although in another couple of weeks, it will be getting pretty late in the allopathic interview invitation season. (Don't be surprised if you hear from the osteopathic schools, though, they run much later.) Why not call the schools where you were rejected and ask the Director of Admissions if you can please have some feedback on how to improve your application? With 5 schools, you may see a pattern in what they had a problem with. The schools are probably pretty busy right now, but most are quite willing to give constructive feedback (and you have nothing to lose at the places where you were rejected).

    Now, I don't want to be negative, so I'll just tell you what happened to me. I had a 4.00 in science and an MCAT in the 90th percentile and what I thought was a great personal story. So, I applied to a lot of top-tier schools and the silence has been incredible (no matter, I'm sooo proud of the school that took me!). I could have saved myself a lot of time, money, and heartache if I'd done some checking to see if those top-tier schools where I applied took very many of us from the 30+ crowd. Some top-tier and second-tier schools are quite open to the non-traditional.... but some aren't - that's just how it is.

    If the lack of current coursework is the problem with your app, get enrolled in a night course or two and you can re-apply next year (if you have to!) with this year's MCAT score - no need to re-take. You're still quite young, ya know. Good luck!
     
  6. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    If you are a research scientist with a masters in science and a high MCAT, I can't imagine the old date of your coursework is the most likely issue, although it's a possibility. How poorly is "a little poorly" in undergrad? Were your essays error free and provide a well thought out reason why you are making a career change? Are your LORs strong (and are you sure?). Do your ECs show an interest in health care? (20 hours per year over a couple of years might not be considered enough to ensure adcoms that you are serious about medicine and know what you are getting into -- that's really only a couple of weekends). There are probably a dozen things in the application that could make adcoms take a pass on your application besides grades. If you can find a way to talk to one of the schools that rejected you, and try and get some feedback (tell them "in hopes of improving your application for next year"), that could narrow down the mystery for you.
     
  7. queenbee

    queenbee Junior Member
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    first, breathe! you still have so many schools to hear from and i'm sure your impatience is getting the best of you. you sound like you have a great application (good MCATs, a master's degree, good experience in life). i would only hope to have as half as good of an application as you - so keep your faith up!! and don't give up.

    please report back when you get in, so we can all collectively say to you, "i told you so."
     
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  8. Sundarban1

    Sundarban1 Devil in disguise
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    Yeh, there is somthing to this picture that we are missing. What were your GPA's in undergrad/grad and your MCAT? Where did your LOR's come from? Did you do anything extracurricular in the medical field patient related? The story does not jive with the results.
     
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  9. ShyRem

    ShyRem I need more coffee.
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    dang.. 30 is "much older"?!? What the heck am I?? Half-dead?! ANCIENT?! OMG, I'm a walking fossil...... I better go buy my coffin and grave plot ASAP.

    :laugh: :laugh:
     
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  10. noonday

    noonday Attending
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    ok, in answer: undergrad: 3.0, grad 3.9, MCAT 36 S, LOR's: undergraduate thesis advisor (head of bio department at an ivy), master's advisor, boss (scientist) for past 6 years, and doctor who runs a free clinic where i've volunteered for 3 years. in terms of "extracurricular"..not in college, but i didn't even list college things on my amcas -- i listed my current job, volunteer work since grad school, teaching/tutoring jobs, published papers, conference presentations, awards in my field, etc. i've worked at an all volunteer run free clinic for three years outside of my job for about 15 hours a week where i both saw patients (hepatitis testing, phlebotomy, hep vaccination, hiv counseling, harm reduction) and ran the managerial side of a section for 2 years. i also have coordinated and provided basic medical services at a needle exchange (I'm a registered EMT even though i'm not employed as one) for a little over 3 years.

    so, it could be: undergrad grades, controversial nature of volunteer experiences (not all docs are down with harm reduction work), or, upon checking it, i had three typos in total on my whole amcas primary application.
     
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  11. kimmcauliffe

    kimmcauliffe Surfer Chum
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    Noonday- give the schools a call and don't stress it. Sounds like everything is strong except for some of your undergrad courses, and there are many applicants out there with the same scenario faring just fine. Don't sweat it- and remember to try and enjoy your holidays!
     
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  12. MoosePilot

    MoosePilot Y Bombardier
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    97% MCAT... what is the breakdown? Were you balanced on all three numerically scored sections?

    Did you make a real effort with your application? The things I think helped me were putting real effort into my PS with good help from an MS1 who had a lot of talent as an editor. I also sent it to my pre-med advisor from my alma mater (I'm 31) and got her inputs. I had family and friends edit it, too. I submitted my application early, in June, and submitted my transcripts in May.

    Don't give up! Call schools you're really interested in. Write letters. Let them know how interested you are and how focused you are on attending their school next fall. Be courteous, but aggressive. What do you have to lose?
     
  13. Sundarban1

    Sundarban1 Devil in disguise
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    Thats odd, because you would think, at least for allopathic schools that your MCAT would offset your GPA to some degree, that is of course you applied to upper tiered schools or public schools in other states.

    I'm most suppried regarding your not so good luck with osteopathic schools. If you applied late there is still time, dont give up. Keep us updated. :luck:
     
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  14. noonday

    noonday Attending
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    in relation to being "much older:"


    oh now, you know that's not what i meant...i just keep running into people who claim to be "nontraditional/older applicants" and they took a year off after college to do medical research and are now the ripe old 23. i guess i'm just reacting to that.
     
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  15. Scottish Chap

    Physician PhD Moderator Emeritus 15+ Year Member

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    The 'age' of your premed classes is most probably not an issue. Same goes for your age. A guy in my class is 50, with a graduate degree - earned in 1980. Good luck! :thumbup:
     
  16. MSgtLou

    MSgtLou Junior Member
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    I read that you feared that they would make a mark by your name to identify you as a pest if you called them, however, Moosepilot suggests that you give them a call. At what point does making a call to the school determine if someone is a pest?
     
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  17. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    here are my thoughts based on my customer service related job. a person with a pleasant attitude who calls me after a reasonable time is not a pest. a rude person or a person who calls me one day after something is received and wants to know if it's been reviewed is a pest. usually, calling me every day would get you on the pest list, but once a week wouldn't. basically, as long as you show that you understand you're not my only customer, you're probably not going to be a pest. be nice, don't make unreasonable demands, and you'll be okay.
     
  18. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    OP, what reason did you give in your PS for wanting to make a career change? I think that is a very important facet of your application, especially for a non-trad. You need to make sure that your rationale and your goals are well thought out. Where do you see yourself in 10 or 20 years? Also, how did you choose your schools? It is important to apply to a broad range of schools, no matter what your age. (Sorry, Law2Doc, for stealing your line. :p ) I agree with the previous posters that your age and the age of your courses is not the problem. One more suggestion for you: call the schools that have already rejected you, and ask them how you can improve your app. They've already rejected you, so who cares if they think you're a pest. ;)
     
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  19. cfdavid

    cfdavid Membership Revoked
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    Do you know for sure if you've been designated complete by all the other schools. I've had some problems with LOR packages "disappearing" out of thin air. So, you may wish to ask them if indeed you are complete when you call. But, like others have said, it wouldn't hurt to call.

    I mean, take me for an example! I call, and they tell me to wait!! :laugh:
     
  20. .edu-MD

    .edu-MD Senior Member
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  21. bubbleyum

    bubbleyum Senior Member
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    well i don't have any constructive advice to give, but just wanted to add that i totally sympathize. i am in a very similar boat in this application cycle, from being *30* to not hearing much from schools so far... it really is a hard game to play because you feel like you don't know all the rules while trying to dodge the penalties.
     
  22. UCLA2000

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    You're not that old. Don't stress. It only takes one acceptance.
     
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  23. efex101

    efex101 attending
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    There are way too many possibilites of why you might not have gotten any love yet...such as did you apply early? this means everything early from amcas to lors, did you apply broadly? from top to low tier schools, did you write a good PS and have a variety of folks read it? from professors to family members, did you have enough clinical exposure? did you have recent science coursework? although a grad degree is excellent some schools prefer undergrad courses because the competition is more fierce and pushes you, sorry if this is posted somewhere but I did not see a lot of these questions answered. Call the schools after this cycle is over sometime in March or April and ask them what happened. If you only applied to ten schools there might lie your problem if OTOH you did apply to a lot then there is something going on with your PS or LOR. BTW LORs *can* make you or break you so fyi. Unless you have seen them with your own two eyes there is no telling what someone wrote...
     
  24. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    Hi there,
    Efex has given you some good advice. I will add another thought. If all of the things that you state above are true, I would advise you to look into getting a professional medical school admissions advisor. You can do a Google search and find a couple of companies. Do some comparision shopping, ask some tough questions and pick one.

    This person can help you in making the most of your application and steering you to schools where you might be successful. The advice may be expensive but compared to the cost of tuition and re-taking coursework (that you might not have to do), they are a bargin. This is something that you can do right now and not wait until next year.

    Medical school and education is all about being pro-active. Sometimes you have to be a "pest" to get what you need. This is an expensive and long-term goal. Find out what you need and get it done.

    njbmd :)
     
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  25. bubbleyum

    bubbleyum Senior Member
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    do a lot of people actually use those type of services? and how much does it cost?
    i don't get much help from my advisor. (she thinks columbia is a rolling school, hmph.)
     
  26. efex101

    efex101 attending
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    I am not sure about the cost but Judy Colwell (sp? ) is one I have heard of and she frequently posts on oldpremeds...used to be an adcom (not sure which school). You can google her and see some prices...good luck!
     
  27. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    You can also get some of this kind of advice from your state schools for free. I met with a few admissions directors before applying and got a lot of good tips to improve my application. Plus, I made contacts at my state schools and they knew that I was interested in going there. I've never used a paid consultant, so I don't know how much more helpful they would be compared to your state school's admissions director. You could always do both.
     
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  28. UCLA2000

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    Problem with those is that schools completely ignore any letters written by them. Schools know that you're paying for the letters.

    Those professional admissions officers generally only take people whom they're positive that will get into medical school. The reason why is that they're trying to raise their statistical average. If their average is low..say 25% of all their clients get into med school, then they wouldn't get any more clients!

    Besides, how much help can they really give you? You've done your research, grad school, mcat etc. What are they going to tell you that you haven't figured out on your own by now?

    At this point I'd be wondering about those letters of rec that you have. Could one of them be less than stellar? Did your personal statement suck? If you came off like a jerk then it could sink your application.

    Sure you had a 3.0 in undergrad. But you also got a 3.9 in grad. Did your grad school suck? What was your grad degree in?

    With your stats and experience you should be raking in the interviews.
    Something feels wrong...we just gotta figure out what it is.
     
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  29. the brown note

    the brown note wading through sh!t
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    This is probably true, but you're not supposed to get a LOR from the admissions consultant! I talked with my post-bacc's pre-med advisor, my alma mater's pre-med advising office, and a paid consultant (I *really* wanted to try to maximize my chances of getting in the first time ;) ).

    This might be true for some, but not all. After our initial consultation, my paid consultant said that she had worked with many applicants over the years, but since my background was pretty unusual, she couldn't predict how I would do. However, she said that we could work together to package myself in order to present a coherent story. I can't say my results were completely due to my consultant's advice by any means (I applied to ~20 schools, and have 4 acceptances so far), but I know she definitely helped me. This is just my experience, but one of the things she helped me with was school selection (I did study the MSAR, websites, and talked to people, but she helped by providing advice based upon her knowledge of schools' reputations and her prior experience with clients). Again, this is just my 2 cents, but I would never have applied to 3 of these schools on my own after reading the MSAR and the schools' websites, because I was below their average GPA & MCAT scores. However, my consultant suggested that I might be a good fit for those schools. I applied, and got interviews at all 3 of them (and got into 1)! She was also a good sounding board throughout this process (she read through my primary and secondary essays and made suggestions on focus based on her knowledge of the schools). I know that many other people don't need such services, though!

    I've found that different schools place different weights on undergrad grades (even if they're 10+ years old!). Unfortunately, this information is usually difficult to come by (I often learned this information while attending the school's interview day). Perhaps we could start a list of helpful specifics about schools, if one doesn't already exist? Some schools look at your overall undergrad GPA (including undergrad post-bacc courses), but don't really consider trends that much. Some schools don't really consider graduate work that heavily, either, since they suspect some grade inflation (whether it actually existed or not), or they really want to compare apples to apples and look at all their applicants based on undergrad record. However, some schools (like SIU) will look at the last 60 hours of undergraduate work, so if you had a rough first year (or have extensive post-bacc work), it won't have a negative impact.

    To the OP, I don't think you'd be a pest by politely contacting the schools at this point. In fact, some schools see such contact as a plus--I was told by a current M4 that one of the schools to which I applied actually sees this as a sign of interest.

    Feel free to PM me with any questions! Good luck to everyone! :luck:
     
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  30. noonday

    noonday Attending
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    first, thank you everyone for the information and advice.

    in answer to some questions: i have read one of my four LOR's, and it was amazing (from the doctor who "lends" me his license to do the volunteer work i do independently with wound care/abscess drainings/etc.). haven't read the other three or the composite from my undergrad premedical committee, but i trust they are fine.

    my master's is in geology, with focus in geochemistry, from a top 30 school (it's top 5 in geology grad programs).

    my personal statement talks about why i've been a geologist ("caretaker" ethic in terms of environment), how i got into my volunteer work with medical things, and how over the years i have seen how much my hobby needs to be my job and why, etc....i didn't start volunteering for "volunteer experience," i did it because i wanted to help my community.

    i applied to 21 MD programs and 6 DO programs. granted, most MD programs were pretty top tier, but not all of them. and it's not the best ones that i've been rejected from, it's the ones in the middle, and my own instate schools. i called/checked the remaing MD programs, and all are complete, and have been since early september. is that late? i had my aamc in at the end of june, but it took my premed undergrad committee a while to get my LOR packets out.

    anyway, something interesting happened, i think. i applied to UW as an out of state, and it took them 3 months to get back to me at all, and then i got a letter saying i'd been on a hold list for out of region applicants that they were interested in, but due to large application rates this year, they doubt that anyone off that list will make it and i didn't get a secondary, but they highly encouraged me to apply to the MSTP program multiple times in the letter. is it possible that since i've applied MD only to schools, and i have research career, that i'd be having better luck with the md/phd programs, even though they're harder to get into?

    also, the more i read these different forums, the more i think that perhaps my problem is ideological. not all schools will likely appreciate my volunteer experience nor the political and healthcare theories it indicates. i run a division of an all volunteer socialist/anarchist free clinic (our clients pay nothing, and no one who works there gets paid), where we have dispensation from the local health department to have purely inhouse trainings (which, at my level, i've be running) and to practice basic protocol medicine without licensed medical personnel overseeing it at all. we have an MD who lends his license for our ability to buy controlled meds, but other than that, we're all "lay health workers." and i work as medical director for the local needle exchange program. and i do street health outreach with sex workers. i'm very very harm reduction oriented, and i don't believe in paternalistic healthcare. i'm starting to think my hold up is ideological, though i tried to pick schools with similar bent.

    anyway. thanks again, happy holidays.
     
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  31. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    I think you've hit the nail on the head. Medicine is a very conservative profession. Writing about these kinds of experiences is going to raise red flags with your app. I went to a hippie undergrad with no grades and have several not so conventional ECs, but I didn't put any political or religious ECs on my AMCAS. There are still things on there that are unusual for a pre-med, but nothing that could possibly offend anyone. I dress conservatively and feminine for interviews, even though they'll never see me wear a suit or makeup ever again once I start school. :laugh: The best advice I received before I applied was that it's fine to be a maverick, but wait to let it all hang out until AFTER you've been accepted. As it is, several schools have had a shrink interview me. ;)
     
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  32. noonday

    noonday Attending
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    wow. i'd thought i'd toned it down because i didn't mention the actual political leanings, nor did i ever go off on any rants about the things that anger me in the state of medicine today. i tried to keep it positive and all that jazz, but i think the facts themselves are just, well, obvious even without a diatribe about the need for socialized medicine spelled out. i had a number of people read my major essays (anything more than a paragraph) and they all said tone was positive and inviting, in addition to compelling content. but then, these are all people i know and respect, so that's a biased sample. i was planning on buying a suit if i ever get an interview (haven't owned one ever all these years, and had no need) and all that, but makeup? wow.

    they had a shrink interview you? why? may i ask what they asked?

    you know, so much about this process is so discriminatory. i smell class action eventually.
     
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  33. njbmd

    njbmd Guest
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    Hi there,
    There are plenty of mistakes in the above post:

    A professional admissions counselor DOES NOT write letters for a candidate. They perform in an advisory capacity on behalf of the candidate. The good ones have inside information on how one can best present themselves to medical schools and maximize the competitiveness of one's medical school application.

    A GOOD medical school admissions counselor will not take your money without offering you some solid advice. If you are a poor candidate, applying and wishing is not going to get you into school. Most people who apply to medical school DO NOT get in. If you feel you have done everything that you can possibly do, then you need to seek out a professional who might be able to figure out what isn't not working for you.

    Like any professional service, you need to do some research to get the best for your money. The forums at SDN are NOT a subsitute for a professional advisor. Many times people on SDN may be well-intentioned but way off and just plain wrong. At best they may offer you support and alternative ideas but your career is in your hands. You can potentially invest thousands in tuition, admissions testing and application fees and end up not getting into medical school because of some small things that you just do not know about. If things are not working and you feel you have maximized your grades, MCAT, LORs, extracurriculars, you probably need to move to a professional why might be able to figure out why things are not working.

    Finally, take all advice on SDN (including mine) with a grain of salt and a huge amount of skepticism. If you have a goal, which is to practice medicine, then you need to maximize and take advantage of anything and everything that can get you to your goal.

    njbmd :)
     
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  34. 1Path

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    I'm 39 and interested on MD/PhD and I'm a little curious (I haven't read the entire thread) as to why you aren't interested in combining your research interests with your medical interests.

    As to being a better MD/PhD than an MD candidate, even with an uncompetitive MCAT for MD/PhD, overall my app literally screams MD/PhD as well. While I do have a ton of volunteer/paid health experiences, it's my research background that really stands out and it sounds like it's the same with you, so back to my original question, why not MD/PhD? :confused:
     
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  35. 1Path

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    I think in general this is probably where a BUNCH of folks mess up. My understanding is that once you get the interview, every applicant is pretty much on the "same page" so if you get to this stage repeatedly and can't get in, I think it's probably safe to assume that this is where the problem is.

    I could be wrong about this but aren't the chances of being admitted AFTER interviewing pretty decent? In other words, aren't you more likely to get admitted than not if you make it to this stage at most schools?

    About idealism, I think it's tough to take a religious or political stance in an interview without potentially offending someone, so in general, I avoid these types of subjects with my favorite line "you know I haven't researched the subject enough to have a well informed opinion about that" speech. :thumbup:
     
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  36. noonday

    noonday Attending
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    why not? because i've been doing it and it was a mistake. research bores me to tears. literally, sometimes. and the whole publish or perish rat race drives me completely crazy. i don't want to go through the process to publish another paper ever in my life...nor do i desire to repeat the process of writing a thesis/dissertation. ugh. i want to be a doctor because i want to teach and learn and take care of people and help heal, one person as an individual at a time. that's what i feel my calling is. and i don't want to be in school any longer than i have to.

    i'm beginning to think i should go be an NP or a PA, actually. these boards...i don't fit in with most people posting...i mean, there are threads about worrying about people making less money if there's universal healthcare. and discussions about what specialty to go into to make more pay. and i can't equate wanting to be in medicine with focusing on wanting money.

    sigh. i just want to be a GP in an ER in an underserved inner city, and start a free clinic on the side. why is this so hard??

    sorry, grumpy day of DO secondaries.
     
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  37. 1Path

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    I COMPLETELY know where you're coming from with this sentiment. But I can assure you that poeple are people and perhaps there are more premed/med jerks because that's your in "crowd" at this time. You must be a guy because no woman in the world would choose to go into a field full of women!!! :thumbup:

    Seriously, I do tend to think of this things a lot especially living in an area of the country where the people have NO manners (Metro DC). And I think DO school would probably be a good fit for you based on this fact alone. But they way I see it, is that there will be fewer people for me to stand in line behind at the "Pearly gates"! :laugh:


    PS- I hear you on the research environment (as I was pretty burned out after finishing my Master's ) but one thing for sure is that the MD/PhD buys you a LOT of choices from industry to academia to the federal gov't. It's easily time well spent, IMHO.

    Good luck!!
     
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  38. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    Talking about topics like unhierarchical medicine and doctors lending you their license is not going to make you come across as someone who will fit in with the current establishment. It doesn't matter how positive you make that. It's going to raise some eyebrows. (I have to confess that it raises mine, and I consider myself to be a fairly open-minded, civil libertarian sort of person.) I think that paying attention to the impression that you give is very important. It's fine to want to change things from the inside, but first you have to get to the point where you have the credentials and respect to be in a position to do that. You can't come in spouting some ideology of your vision of medicine, and you DEFINITELY should sound positive, which you said you do, so that part at least is good.

    I'd recommend getting your essays read by someone who will be highly critical of them and you. Ask a mean, hard professor or boss. Seriously. My first PS was really unconventional and awesome. My parents and friends thought it was great, like nothing they'd ever seen before. My professors flat-out told me to rip it up and start over. They told me to write an essay that was conventional, serious, and mature, just like everyone else's. In hindsight, I have to say that they were right. My first PS was totally better, more original, and more fun to read than the one I ended up using. But it just wasn't appropriate for the task at hand. If I had used it, I think I would be wondering what went wrong with my app instead of making plans to start med school in the fall.

    As for the shrink interviewers, maybe it's just a coincidence. But there have been enough of them at different schools that I'm suspicious. I've been told that schools will ask psychiatrists to interview candidates who sound a bit unusual. So that's my speculation as to why I've been interviewed by so many of them, but of course I have no way of proving it. They don't ask anything unusual compared to other interviewers. I think they're just seeing where I'm coming from.
     
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  39. efex101

    efex101 attending
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    Also to many folks the mantra of socialized medicine is not an option because we have lived under it and "seen" with our own two eyes and experienced how even that system is quite imperfect...anyhow this is off topic but be very careful like Q said about how you go about this business...not everything is how *you* see it...
     
  40. medworm

    medworm Senior Member
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    Ohmigod. And all this time, I thought Q was a dude. You go girl! :laugh:
     
  41. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    to the op, i don't think you should silence your opinions about medicine. be articulate, well researched and respectful, and most people should be okay with the fact that your opinions differ from theirs. admittedly, you might strike out at some schools, but you probably wouldn't be happy in that environment anyway. i've stated in interviews that i support socialized medicine and that access to care is one of the biggest problems with healthcare in the us, and it hasn't been a door-shutting experience for me. maybe do schools are different, i don't know, but i would hate to see you tone down your passions just to suit some conservative, bitter old doctors.
     
  42. psychedoc2b

    psychedoc2b Senior Member
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    Hi,

    Which med schools did you apply for? Did you apply to only the top tier? I encourage you to apply to med schools in all tiers. I believe you will get in. Your game plan should be to apply to schools all over the USA and be persistent. Which state are you from? If nothing else works, I urge you to move to another state, such as Illinois or Texas, or wherever there are many med schools and more chances for you to get in. I know you might have to work a year or two before you can apply as a in-stater. But, again, your first plan is to apply all over and if you just want to make sure in the meantime: MOVE to IL or Texas and work somewhere. (Texas and IL have less number of in-state applicants vs. CA or NY which have many schools and many in-state applicants) You seem to have all of the right numbers and EC's. I believe you aren't having any luck because of where you applied and the state you are in. I remember distinctly that CA applicants have a harder time than the other applicants from other states because of the sheer number of applicants from CA.

    Med schools do look at what state you represent. So don't let anybody fool you into believing otherwise.

    I encourage you to ask for advice from your pre-med advisor also.

    If it is your dream to become a physician, then be persistent. I remember someone in a similar situation to yours with high numbers and GPA who could not get in. He was from Oregon and did not want to move anywhere else. He ended up giving up his dream to become a physician.

    Moral: If you have to move to another state and work for awhile, then do it. It is better to know you tried everything possible to get into medical school than knowing that there were other possibilities about getting in.

    You might have to look into in-state resident criteria before you move to another state. If I remember correctly, UICCOM requires one to work a year or two before claiming Illlinois residence. I don't know much about Texas but assume it is something similar.

    I wish you well and good luck!
    psychedoc2b
     
  43. UCLA2000

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    Actually, SOME professional counselors DO write letters for candidates. One gave a presentation during my career as an undergraduate student at UCLA.
     
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  44. UCLA2000

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    As I stated in my previous post. With your stats etc IN MY OPINION you should have no problem getting interviews.

    Please take my advice with a grain of salt and feel free to dismiss it as the ramblings of a well-intentioned fool.

    I've volunteered as a pre-med advisor to undergrads for several years now and you really get a sense of the response that people should get in the whole admissions process. All of the words in bold above are things which could potentially be viewed as threatening or red flags to the conservative medical profession.

    During my undergrad I volunteered as an EMT in a free clinic with a physician. We were all "trained" health care workers. The volunteer experience was warmly received by med schools.

    From a conservative medicine standpoint:

    to practice basic protocol medicine without licensed medical personnel overseeing it at all
    Isn't practicing medicine without a license illegal? (you speak of draining abscesses that is essentially a surgical procedure). Did you happen to mention any of these things in your personal statement? Have you seen the movie Patch Adams? Did you see the reception he got from the medical profession?

    lends his license for our ability to buy controlled meds Does this mean that you're prescribing meds without any supervision? Or are you running every single case where drugs need to be prescribed past the doc with the license?

    volunteer socialist/anarchist free clinic WTF does that mean? both words are red flags. Couldn't you just say free clinic? Did you mention any of your political views or anything like that in your personal statement?

    Lastly, in your prior post you stated that your essays had "compelling content". What do you mean by that? The admissions essays should be all hugs n kisses. Nothing controversial.

    It is entirely possible that perhaps something that you innocently mentioned was taken out of context or phrased in such a way as to convey an entirely different meaning. If so, then it could explain the lukewarm reception that you have received.

    Remember, medicine is extremely conservative. The last thing that the profession wants to do is bring someone into it that is going to rock to boat, or destroy its very foundation.
     
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  45. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    lol, I get that a lot. Hence why I've added "definitely not a dude" above my avatar. ;)
     
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  46. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Agree with these points. A doctor "lending you his license" is not going to come across so much as a testament as to how well you can do the job as it is that the doctor writing the letter is flagrantly breaching law and protocol, with the upshot that his own credibility is suspect. It's a bad thing, not an accolade.
    Also anarchy tends not to be a positive trait to a group (medicine) interviewing potential new members, and shouldn't be mentioned (if you did). It also doesn't fly at most academic places. There was a good NY Times article this weekend about an anthropology professor being asked to leave Yale purportedly due to his vocal anarchy and participation of protests at recent economic summits. And that's a pretty liberal place -- most medical colleges are more conservative.
     
  47. UCLA2000

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    :laugh: Those "conservative, bitter old doctors" have the power to open or close the door to your medical career. If you ever hope of being accepted, then you better tone it down.
     
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  48. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    I have to agree with UCLA. *You're* trying to join *their* club, not the other way around. You don't get to dictate to them how it's going to be. They make the rules. You can choose to accept or not accept them, but you don't get to make them.
     
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  49. 1Path

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    Yeah, gotta admit I was one of those "rebel" types too in my 20's. So I've now learned to kiss A$$ better yet, identy whose A$$ should be kissed. But it seems the "game" has stepped up and notch and now the "powers that be" want their a$$e$ SUCKED. I haven't quite yet mastered that one yet and I imagine it too may take some time to learn. :laugh:

    As an old friend used to say, talk sh!T AFTER you finish med school! :thumbup:
     
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  50. noonday

    noonday Attending
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    actually, i'm a woman who's been suffering the slings and arrows of pretty awful misogyny in a field that's about 90% male for over 7 years....

    anyway, thanks, and good luck to you, too.
     
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