Have I done enough to justify re-applying immediately for next cycle?

May 1, 2020
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Hey everyone. This cycle, I had 5 interviews (one in september, the other 4 spread across mid-February to late April) that resulted in 3 waitlists and given that the last 2 interviews were in late March and April, I'm also expecting waitlists from those. Here is my app from this current cycle

Misc: VA resident, ORM, went to a top 15 non-ivy
GPA/MCAT: 3.73 overall, 3.65 sGPA, 518 (129 130 130 129)
nonclinical: 500-600 hours tutoring students at prisons, rehab clinics, community centers, etc.
clinical: 80 hours of hospice, 200 hours shadowing
leadership: VP and treasurer of a biology honor society on campus, treasurer of that tutoring volunteering club, worked as a resident adviser for 2.5 years
research: 2.5 years in anatomy and immunology labs, 2 posters (1 from each lab), no pubs
other: was in a biology honor society for 2.5 years, was a varsity athlete for 3 years

What I added this year:
  • 150 hours volunteering as a medical translator/tester at COVID-19 vaccine and testing sites (planning on calling this clinical)
  • 200 hours working as a NICU cuddler (400 hours projected, planning on calling this clinical)
  • 200 hours doing free online MCAT tutoring
  • My school list from last year was as follows: Georgetown (WL), UVA (WL), Hofstra (WL), USF Morsani (likely WL), Einstein (likely WL), VCU, GW, emory, EVMS, tufts, wake forest, thomas jefferson, Miami, Colorado, Iowa, rochester, brown, dartmouth, Cincinnati, UMich, UMinnesota, Ohio State, Indian
My questions is, do you think the increase in clinical hours that I'll have (especially if COVID-19 volunteering is counted as clinical) will be enough considering the rest of my app? For me, it seems like my main weakness was clinical hours and perhaps my school list but I really do think I've improved in both areas.
My plan this year is to mostly keep the school list the same but take off Colorado and Minnesota. I feel like for the 2020-21 cycle, I was too afraid of applying to schools where my GPA/MCAT would've gotten past their screening because my clinical hours honestly sucked. I'd like to add the following schools: UMD, Case, Pitt, Sinai, Vermont, Temple, SLU, BU, Maryland, MCW, Cornell, Vanderbilt, NYU long island (I'm interested in primary care), Keck.
 

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Why do you think you've received 3 (or 5) waitlists? While I would be comfortable reapplying with what you've added, I think the absolute best thing you can do next app is to try and pinpoint what you did wrong in your interviews so it doesn't happen next time around. I say this because I have seen that reapplicants who were waitlisted at a school post interview tend to get a 2nd interview at that school the next time around.

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May 1, 2020
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  1. Pre-Medical
Why do you think you've received 3 (or 5) waitlists? While I would be comfortable reapplying with what you've added, I think the absolute best thing you can do next app is to try and pinpoint what you did wrong in your interviews so it doesn't happen next time around. I say this because I have seen that reapplicants who were waitlisted at a school post interview tend to get a 2nd interview at that school the next time around.

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
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I think my MCAT and GPA combined with the narrative I am able to build because of my ECs, especially towards community health/public health, got me interviews (albeit late interviews). However, I think that regardless of how polished my interview prep was, the fact of the matter was that the narrative in my app fell apart in the context of my limited clinical hours. For example, when asked why I wanted to be a doctor, I could easily talk about seeing the effects of health disparities in a nonclinical setting. However, I was unable to fully flesh out the health disparities example into how it translated into my medical journey because of my limited clinical hours.

Regarding the actual waitlists, one thing is that 4 out of my 5 interviews were very late and my early interview was at Georgetown, a relatively low yield school. Additionally, I definitely could have worked on my writing (feel like some of the secondaries were not great). And finally, I was legitimately dumb and made a lot of mistakes. For example, I submitted the secondary and was complete at USF morsani in late July but did not realize that my application was not able to be reviewed until I submitted a residency form, which meant I was formally "under review" in January 2021. Another example would be my interview at Hofstra - I actually added that school in early september, which meant that even though the interview invite came in November, I was unable to schedule an interview until February.
 
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xffan624

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Jan 6, 2013
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Hey everyone. This cycle, I had 5 interviews (one in september, the other 4 spread across mid-February to late April) that resulted in 3 waitlists and given that the last 2 interviews were in late March and April, I'm also expecting waitlists from those. Here is my app from this current cycle

Misc: VA resident, ORM, went to a top 15 non-ivy
GPA/MCAT: 3.73 overall, 3.65 sGPA, 518 (129 130 130 129)
nonclinical: 500-600 hours tutoring students at prisons, rehab clinics, community centers, etc.
clinical: 80 hours of hospice, 200 hours shadowing
leadership: VP and treasurer of a biology honor society on campus, treasurer of that tutoring volunteering club, worked as a resident adviser for 2.5 years
research: 2.5 years in anatomy and immunology labs, 2 posters (1 from each lab), no pubs
other: was in a biology honor society for 2.5 years, was a varsity athlete for 3 years

What I added this year:
  • 150 hours volunteering as a medical translator/tester at COVID-19 vaccine and testing sites (planning on calling this clinical)
  • 200 hours working as a NICU cuddler (400 hours projected, planning on calling this clinical)
  • 200 hours doing free online MCAT tutoring
  • My school list from last year was as follows: Georgetown (WL), UVA (WL), Hofstra (WL), USF Morsani (likely WL), Einstein (likely WL), VCU, GW, emory, EVMS, tufts, wake forest, thomas jefferson, Miami, Colorado, Iowa, rochester, brown, dartmouth, Cincinnati, UMich, UMinnesota, Ohio State, Indian
My questions is, do you think the increase in clinical hours that I'll have (especially if COVID-19 volunteering is counted as clinical) will be enough considering the rest of my app? For me, it seems like my main weakness was clinical hours and perhaps my school list but I really do think I've improved in both areas.
My plan this year is to mostly keep the school list the same but take off Colorado and Minnesota. I feel like for the 2020-21 cycle, I was too afraid of applying to schools where my GPA/MCAT would've gotten past their screening because my clinical hours honestly sucked. I'd like to add the following schools: UMD, Case, Pitt, Sinai, Vermont, Temple, SLU, BU, Maryland, MCW, Cornell, Vanderbilt, NYU long island (I'm interested in primary care), Keck.
Is there a reason VA Tech Carrillon is not on your list for next year? Granted, I don't know how much preference you get as a VA resident there as it's not quite a state school, but it couldn't hurt to have it as a VA resident. Also you have Maryland written down twice.
 
May 1, 2020
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Is there a reason VA Tech Carrillon is not on your list for next year? Granted, I don't know how much preference you get as a VA resident there as it's not quite a state school, but it couldn't hurt to have it as a VA resident. Also you have Maryland written down twice.
Hmm, I'll probably apply to them but I haven't heard amazing things about the school and the way its rotations are setup. I do think that with my clinical hours improvements (especially during COVID) that I'll be able to improve my app significantly to get into more schools but let me know what you think
 

xffan624

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Hmm, I'll probably apply to them but I haven't heard amazing things about the school and the way its rotations are setup. I do think that with my clinical hours improvements (especially during COVID) that I'll be able to improve my app significantly to get into more schools but let me know what you think
COVID stuff while IMO is great is of limited value as a clinical experience (there's a thread regarding that in pre-allo and I was a bit surprised by the ADCOM's responses to putting it as a clinical). NICU cuddling is good, but is a very specific clinical environment. Adding a more general clinical experience would be ideal, but I sympathize that opportunities are limited.

I think regardless of your improvements, you're a reapplicant, and can't take any chances by being too picky. And of course, you need to be on the ball on quickly getting your application and secondaries completed as soon as possible to maximize your opportunities.
 
May 1, 2020
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COVID stuff while IMO is great is of limited value as a clinical experience (there's a thread regarding that in pre-allo and I was a bit surprised by the ADCOM's responses to putting it as a clinical). NICU cuddling is good, but is a very specific clinical environment. Adding a more general clinical experience would be ideal, but I sympathize that opportunities are limited.

I think regardless of your improvements, you're a reapplicant, and can't take any chances by being too picky. And of course, you need to be on the ball on quickly getting your application and secondaries completed as soon as possible to maximize your opportunities.
Yeah, I’m really working with what I’ve got in terms of clinical hours during COVID-19. I agree that the NICU cuddling is pretty niche but I also think that it will be helpful in making me a bit more unique as an applicant and help me further develop a narrative in my application based around community health since most of the parents of the patients are low-income/marginalized.



As for the COVID-19 volunteering, my experience looking at this question on SDN/reddit is that this kind of volunteering does provide some clinical value, especially during the pandemic. For example, this post with LizzyM and Goro (linked here: Is this Clinical Volunteering Experience?) does seem to support the idea that this kind of volunteering can be clinical provided there are other clinical experiences on my app. Additionally, I think that the fact that 95% of my volunteering at these events was doing translating services at instead of just testing or vaccine card writing like most other people who have asked this question does lend more to its value as a clinical activity since I’m literally helping patients talk about their medical conditions, vaccine contraindications, and their questions about the vaccine.



Finally, I know that beggars really can’t be choosers, especially as a re-applicant, and I plan on really expanding my school list to 50+ schools and removing some low-yield schools or non-OOS friendly schools. I will say that I am planning on adding VT to my list, but my dad does practice in the area and his colleagues and acquaintances in that area speak very poorly about the school in general.
 
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