atisha

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I've been waitlisted at 2 schools USC and UCSD and no acceptances. I need to make plans in case. I never expected to be in this position. I have a 4.0 GPA, 35 MCAT, 2 years of research, 1.5 years clinical experience, volunteered in Honduras etc etc...what am I supposed to do to improve my application??
 

EpiPEN

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I've been waitlisted at 2 schools USC and UCSD and no acceptances. I need to make plans in case. I never expected to be in this position. I have a 4.0 GPA, 35 MCAT, 2 years of research, 1.5 years clinical experience, volunteered in Honduras etc etc...what am I supposed to do to improve my application??
don't tell me you only applied to CA schools? Maybe applying earlier and a broader range of schools?
 

ShyRem

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I suggest you contact the schools and ask them. Perhaps your interview skills need a little buffing.
 

Ariodant

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Make plans, but also make the most out of your waitlists. Update them whenever possible, send them letters of interest or a letter of intent to one of them if you have a preference, and just be persistent in expressing your interest. If you can avoid waiting another year, why not?
 
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Blade28

I've been waitlisted at 2 schools USC and UCSD and no acceptances. I need to make plans in case. I never expected to be in this position. I have a 4.0 GPA, 35 MCAT, 2 years of research, 1.5 years clinical experience, volunteered in Honduras etc etc...what am I supposed to do to improve my application??
Did you apply broadly and early? Good letters of recommendation?
 
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atisha

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Did you apply broadly and early? Good letters of recommendation?
Great letters of rec- sending in more. Could have applied earlier and did not apply to many schools- I got some bad advice from a faculty member i trusted but now I'm trying to figure out how to maximize my chances for this cycle and prepare in case for next
 
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Blade28

Definitely gotta apply widely, no matter what anyone says. There are no "safety" med schools, especially if you're coming from California.

I came from California, went to a UC school for undergrad, had an average GPA but similar MCAT, good extra-curriculars, and applied to around 30 schools.
 

ekydrd

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With numbers like yours one would assume you should easily have gotten in to a school, and thus were told you were a shoe-in. However, I have seen people with 4.0+ GPAs (it is possible to have higher than 4.0 in some schools), 40+ on the MCAT, super awesome shadowing and letters, and still fail to get in to school simply because of the interview (I could give graphic details of one case in particular, but will spare you).

It's easy to blow off the interview as not that important, but I can tell you it is just as important as your MCAT score, your undergrad GPA, and your letters of rec. After you have contacted the schools to ask how to improve your application for next cycle, ask a couple of trusted faculty members to do moc interviews with you to help your interview skills. It's not as easy as some think. Coming across as arrogant, inflexible, or unapproachable is a killer to an aspiring applicants package, even when everything else is stellar.
 

arlingtondoc

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you need to apply broadly. your numbers should get you plenty of interviews across the country. i would recommend a blend of schools, not all UCs, or ivy league, but a mix. and apply to a lot 15 to 20. public and private.

step two would be to do some mock interviews to gauge your performance. i wish i could of had this instead of bombing my real interview. even use a family member and made up questions if you need to. your numbers will get you the interview but if you interview sucks, is arrogant, you were tongue-tied etc that can kill your application.

your application looks pretty good from what you posted. keep the faith, maybe you just didn't apply to the right school yet.
 
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atisha

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Yeah I think not applying to a lot of schools is where I went wrong I only applied to 5 (4 UCs and USC) and that obviously wasn't enough. My interviewing skills are really good, in fact my interviews went great which is one of the reasons I am surprised- most of the interviewers I had were selling me on the school in the end and telling me they thought i would be a good fit. hopefully I won't have to do this all over again but if I do I'm applying EVERYWHERE (or something like that)
 

medisforme

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Yeah I think not applying to a lot of schools is where I went wrong I only applied to 5 (4 UCs and USC) and that obviously wasn't enough. My interviewing skills are really good, in fact my interviews went great which is one of the reasons I am surprised- most of the interviewers I had were selling me on the school in the end and telling me they thought i would be a good fit. hopefully I won't have to do this all over again but if I do I'm applying EVERYWHERE (or something like that)
From my experience with pre-meds. A lot of people think they did great on their interview only to receive a below (or way below) average interview score. In canada you usually get a score for your interview that the school gives you if you are not accepted. not sure if it is the same with california.
 

RoadRunner17

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However, I have seen people with 4.0+ GPAs (it is possible to have higher than 4.0 in some schools), 40+ on the MCAT, super awesome shadowing and letters, and still fail to get in to school simply because of the interview (I could give graphic details of one case in particular, but will spare you).
Maybe you could indulge us in that story later on, because I'd be interested in hearing about that, just out of curiosity.
 

ekydrd

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Maybe you could indulge us in that story later on, because I'd be interested in hearing about that, just out of curiosity.
OK. I'll indulge (I'm on call and nothing to do right this minute). One of my fellow undergrads applying at the same time as I had a 4.15 GPA and a 45 on the MCAT, letters from the head of the neurosurg department, the anesthesiology department, and the one and only thoracic surgeon on staff (was an aspiring CT surgeon per his telling). Had immaculate record, lots of extracurricular activities (that were all either research or surgery related), and the desire to work hard. The only thing that kept him out was that he came across during his interviews as arrogant and cold. He also told one of his interviewers that he would put the school on the map with his board scores because he was sure he would be able to get perfect scores, even without going to medical school. The interviewer he said this to was the Dean of Student Affairs. Needless to say the Dean was not impressed and felt he would not fit in well with the other students, so he did not get in that year. I think he wound up getting in somewhere else the following year.

I did have several classes with him, and he always got the top score on exams and quizzes. He was a little aloof, but seemed aware that people didn't like him that much. He did try hard to socialize more, but just couldn't seem to do it well. I'm sure he will be an awesome CT surgeon, but as a person? Not so much.
 

SamusLives

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Atisha, you have excellent stats. Unfortunately, until you get your acceptance letter, all the praise from a school is meaningless. I really hope you get in this year; in case you don't, definitely apply to more schools.

I just got done interviewing for residency. Its the exact same game. I got great feedback from almost every residency I applied to. I got pulled aside several times by residents who said "we really like you, we think you'd be a good fit here." I got follow up letters from Program directors saying "We are ranking you highly. We hope to see you here in July." Now what does this all mean? According to my Med School, it means absolutely nothing. They warned all of us that schools say stuff like that, then they might not even rank you. Fortunately, I got in where I wanted; but until I had my match results in my hand...nothing was certain.

Honestly, I think med school applicants should get the same advice. Apply broadly, to a range of schools, go to every interview, and rank every program (ranking may not apply to med schools applications).

Anyway, good luck; hope you get in.
 

RxnMan

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I've been waitlisted at 2 schools USC and UCSD and no acceptances. I need to make plans in case. I never expected to be in this position. I have a 4.0 GPA, 35 MCAT, 2 years of research, 1.5 years clinical experience, volunteered in Honduras etc etc...what am I supposed to do to improve my application??
Ug. 1st, it's shoo-in. It has nothing to do with getting a shoe in the door, it's like shoo-ing in the cat.

Apply more broadly. #1 thing you can do. It is a pain, but if you're willing to go outside of CA, you'll see that there's a whole country filled with schools that'll take someone with your stats.

Assuming you aren't a total jerk in interviews. Read the FAQ for tips on that (or go to your local self-help section).

EDIT: also, I would take the admin's word for what you paid for it - nothing. I was told by the dean of admissions at my state school that I would get in, and 3 application seasons later, I moved across the country to go to med school.
 
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Blade28

Yeah I think not applying to a lot of schools is where I went wrong I only applied to 5 (4 UCs and USC) and that obviously wasn't enough.
DEFINITELY need to apply much more widely.

With your numbers I would be applying to at least 12+ schools, minimum, if you can afford it.

The med school admissions process can be such a crapshoot now, simply because of the sheer numbers of applications.