Of your last cycle list, UCR was a donation unless you're from the Inland Empire.CA ORM here with a 3.9/513 (125 in C/P) from UC Berkeley. I applied in the 2018-2019 cycle to MD schools only and received 2 late IIs -> 2 WLs (1 top 50, 1 unranked) that were not fruitful. This year I applied to a much broader set of schools, including DOs, and received 4 MD IIs -> 3 WLs (1 top 10 II -> R // 2 top 50s and 1 unranked II -> 3 WLs). For context, this cycle I rewrote my PS and secondaries and had them vetted heavily. I also added 2 LORs and a new meaningful volunteer opportunity that supported my secondary responses of wanting to help the vulnerable community I am a part of. I practiced a lot and did mock interviews before each II and was even told by my interviewer at the top 10 -> R that she gave me the highest score and that my LORs were strong.
My ECs are below, with the bolded being new additions for my next application cycle. I was originally planning on retaking the MCAT because I was breaking 520's in the past and 130+ in C/P. But now that my test date of 7/7 will likely be canceled from my area's extended stay at home orders, I am lost as to whether I should reapply now or not. I would really appreciate any advice for where I can improve and when I should reapply again.
Scribe - 3500 hours over 2 years
Shadowing - 20 hours over 1 week
Clinical Research Coordinator at a pharma company - 800 hours over 6 months (will have LOR from sub-I I worked closest with)
Research Assistant - 300 hours over 6 months during undergrad
Tutored underserved students, president of org - 400 hours over 4 years
LGBT community volunteering - 200 hours over 1 year
Hospital volunteer - 300 hours over 1 year
Paid non-clinical experience:
Manager - 2000 hours over 3 years
Technology assistant - 100 hours over 6 months
Private tutor - 200 hours over 2 years
2019-2020 Cycle (complete mid to late July): UCSF, UCLA, UCR, UCI, UCSD, UCD, Jefferson, Rosalind Franklin, Albany, EVMS, VCU, CUSM, Nova MD, Seton Hall, Tulane, Albert Einstein, U of A Tucson, U of A Phoenix, Georgetown, George Washington, NYMC, NYU-LI, Penn State, Rutgers NJMS, Loyola, Rush, Temple, Colorado, Vermont, St Louis, Indiana, Hofstra, USC, Wayne State, Tufts, PCOM, KCU
2018-2019 Cycle (complete mid to late August): USCF, UCLA, UCR, UCI, UCSD, UD, Jefferson, Rosalind Franklin, CUSM, Albert Einstein, U of A Tucson, U of A Phoenix, Georgetown, George Washington, NYMC, Colorado, Loyola, Rush, Hofstra, USC, Tufts, Mt. Sinai, Yale, Rochester, Michigan, Miami, Pittsburgh, SUNY Downstate, Drexel, Ohio State
Ditto donations for U of A Tucson, U of A Phoenix, Mt. Sinai, Yale, Michigan, SUNY Downstate, Drexel,
No love from DO schools?
I'm surprised by your lack of success. You may have a number of weak LORs as opposed to having one bad one. No IAs that you're not mentioning?
Your essays may be suspect, and you should also work on interview skills.
IF you haven't shadowed a DO, do so when possible, and get LOR from same.
Thank you so much for the response! I actually received an II from U of A Phoenix my first year so that was my reasoning for keeping both Arizona schools on my list this past cycle; otherwise, I removed Mt. Sinai, Yale, Michigan, Drexel and SUNY Downstate.
I got nothing from DO schools but absolutely intend to apply to more next cycle. My brother is attending a DO school and my 20 hours of shadowing are with an osteopathic physician. Also no IAs. I definitely have 3 very strong LORs from my LGBT volunteer, MA doctor, and manager experiences but my professor ones are probably not the strongest. However, one of my interviewers did comment that my LORs were strong. Would I need to take additional classes to improve my professor LORs and would a school ever tell me my LORs were weak during an application feedback session?
My first cycle, my essays were definitely not up to par; but this cycle I had medical students, friends, family, and tons of sdn users review them. For interviews, I've done 4 mock interviews the past two cycles (all with positive feedback) along with practice interviews with friends. I also had a T10 interviewer tell me she gave me the highest score.