How do adcoms view last minute activities?

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deleted1012097

I am a reapplicant applying during the 2020~2021 cycle and I just started some volunteer activities such as mentoring underprivileged youth, hospital volunteering, and packing food at a food bank this month. I am accumulating many hours because I volunteer almost everyday. I really enjoy the work and am learning a lot so I'm pretty sure I can write a good short essay about my experience and talk about it in a meaningful way.

I was advised by an adcom that I did not get in during the 2019~2020 cycle due to not having enough volunteering activities. I would like to submit my primary app next month and secondaries sometime in the summer.

Would these last minute activities be considered legitimate by adcoms? Is it possible that they might think that I am rushing things just to make things work this cycle? or am I overthinking it?
 

gonnif

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I am a reapplicant applying during the 2020~2021 cycle and I just started some volunteer activities such as mentoring underprivileged youth, hospital volunteering, and packing food at a food bank this month. I am accumulating many hours because I volunteer almost everyday. I really enjoy the work and am learning a lot so I'm pretty sure I can write a good short essay about my experience and talk about it in a meaningful way.

I was advised by an adcom that I did not get in during the 2019~2020 cycle due to not having enough volunteering activities. I would like to submit my primary app next month and secondaries sometime in the summer.

Would these last minute activities be considered legitimate by adcoms? Is it possible that they might think that I am rushing things just to make things work this cycle? or am I overthinking it?
1) You are rushing things. last minute activities will be seen just as that, last minute. They do not show commitment and may simply indicate this is a reapplicant who didnt do anything in glide year.
2) I advise all applicants that the moment they submit AMCAS, they should assume rejection as 60% of applicants are. Therefore, they should be continuing to enhance their record from that moment
3) If you were applicant in the cycle that is currently ending (for matriculation 2020), many medical schools advise against an immediate reapplication (see below). If you were a reapplicant from a previous cycle, then the question arises why did you wait so long to start fixing your weakness.

********************
Many medical schools offer specific pages of advice for reapplicants, something I find few students look into. This would be true whether or not you are a specific reapplicant to that school. Below are links to a few and please note most say the most common mistake among reapplicants is applying again too soon

Should I do a Masters in my gap year / WAMC / advice please


University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Reapplicants - Miller School of Medicine Admissions
Roughly 20% of the students who apply to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in any given year are reapplicants. Data that we have collected indicate they have a lower acceptance rate than do first time applicants

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Heath
http://www.med.wisc.edu/education/md/admissions/reapplying/31716
(emphasis in the original)
There should be significant improvements in your application before reapplying. This might mean not reapplying the very next year. The most common error made by reapplicants is that they submit their next application too soon.

The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Interview Tips | Ohio State College of Medicine
To maximize the chances of giving off this perception, you must allow enough time before reapplying. This will undoubtedly be the hardest part of the process, but be patient; if you rush it, you may join the ranks of those who are applying for a third time.

University of Minnesota Medical School
Re-Applicant
Though you can submit a second application immediately after your first application, you may want to consider waiting a year if you feel you need more experiences that help you demonstrate the essential and desired qualities of an ideal medical student.

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Reapplicants | Office of Admissions
Our Ideal Candidate | Office of Admissions

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
http://medicine.vtc.vt.edu/admissions/re-applicants/

LSU Health Shreveport
http://www.lsuhscshreveport.edu/Education/som/admissions/reapplicants/index

University of Missouri
http://medicine.missouri.edu/admissions/nontraditional.html

East Carolina University, Brody School of Medicine
Admissions

Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNTHSC)
Common Mistakes Made by Applicants - Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine

Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
http://www.com.msu.edu/Admissions/Guidelines_For_Success/Reapplication.htm
 
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D

deleted1012097

1) You are rushing things. last minute activities will be seen just as that, last minute. They do not show commitment and may simply indicate this is a reapplicant who didnt do anything in glide year.
2) I advise all applicants that the moment they submit AMCAS, they should assume rejection as 60% of applicants are. Therefore, they should be continuing to enhance their record from that moment
3) If you were applicant in the cycle that is currently ending (for matriculation 2020), many medical schools advise against an immediate reapplication (see below). If you were a reapplicant from a previous cycle, then the question arises why did you wait so long to start fixing your weakness.

********************
Many medical schools offer specific pages of advice for reapplicants, something I find few students look into. This would be true whether or not you are a specific reapplicant to that school. Below are links to a few and please note most say the most common mistake among reapplicants is applying again too soon

Should I do a Masters in my gap year / WAMC / advice please


University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Reapplicants - Miller School of Medicine Admissions
Roughly 20% of the students who apply to the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in any given year are reapplicants. Data that we have collected indicate they have a lower acceptance rate than do first time applicants

University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Heath
http://www.med.wisc.edu/education/md/admissions/reapplying/31716
(emphasis in the original)
There should be significant improvements in your application before reapplying. This might mean not reapplying the very next year. The most common error made by reapplicants is that they submit their next application too soon.

The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Interview Tips | Ohio State College of Medicine
To maximize the chances of giving off this perception, you must allow enough time before reapplying. This will undoubtedly be the hardest part of the process, but be patient; if you rush it, you may join the ranks of those who are applying for a third time.

University of Minnesota Medical School
Re-Applicant
Though you can submit a second application immediately after your first application, you may want to consider waiting a year if you feel you need more experiences that help you demonstrate the essential and desired qualities of an ideal medical student.

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Reapplicants | Office of Admissions
Our Ideal Candidate | Office of Admissions

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
http://medicine.vtc.vt.edu/admissions/re-applicants/

LSU Health Shreveport
http://www.lsuhscshreveport.edu/Education/som/admissions/reapplicants/index

University of Missouri
http://medicine.missouri.edu/admissions/nontraditional.html

East Carolina University, Brody School of Medicine
Admissions

Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine (UNTHSC)
Common Mistakes Made by Applicants - Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine

Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
http://www.com.msu.edu/Admissions/Guidelines_For_Success/Reapplication.htm

So even if I will be accumulating a lot of hours during the application year like hundreds, adcoms will not see the new activities as improvement or see it in a positive light?
 
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jhmmd

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givemetheball said:
So even if I will be accumulating a lot of hours during the application year like hundreds, adcoms will not see the new activities as improvement or see it in a positive light?
You're right, this will be seen in a positive light. Keep working hard and improve your activities and your odds can only increase.
 

gonnif

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So even if I will be accumulating a lot of hours during the application year like hundreds, adcoms will not see the new activities as improvement or see it in a positive light?
You're right, this will be seen in a positive light. Keep working hard and improve your activities and your odds can only increase.
The issue is you have only so many actual hours under your belt with projected future hours that
1) may or may not accumulate to the extent you project
2) show you havent yet met 2 of the 3 "pillars" (in my view) of commitment and achievement
3) you only SAY you are going to prove yourself but until you have completed them you havent SHOWN you can prove yourself in this area

So, if you goal is to simply apply to medical school, by all means apply. However, if your goal is to actually be accepted and become a physician, where the general advice from multiple medical school is not to reapply immediately and the specific advice to you was fill in the lack of community service, something you have just started in the last minute with projected hours, I say you are not ready yet. What you risk in doing so is becoming a 2x reapplicant.
 
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EdgeTrimmer

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I am a reapplicant applying during the 2020~2021 cycle and I just started some volunteer activities such as mentoring underprivileged youth, hospital volunteering, and packing food at a food bank this month. I am accumulating many hours because I volunteer almost everyday. I really enjoy the work and am learning a lot so I'm pretty sure I can write a good short essay about my experience and talk about it in a meaningful way.

I was advised by an adcom that I did not get in during the 2019~2020 cycle due to not having enough volunteering activities. I would like to submit my primary app next month and secondaries sometime in the summer.

Would these last minute activities be considered legitimate by adcoms? Is it possible that they might think that I am rushing things just to make things work this cycle? or am I overthinking it?
Why didn't you start volunteering earlier i.e. since submitting the application for last cycle?
 
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candbgirl

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So even if I will be accumulating a lot of hours during the application year like hundreds, adcoms will not see the new activities as improvement or see it in a positive light?


Projected hours are just that-projected. We all know that the road is paved with great intentions but life frequently intervenes. ADCOMS will look at your completed hours and they will look at your projected hours. The completed hours will be positive , the projected who knows. So don’t plan on getting the benefit of your projection of hundreds of hours before you actually complete them.
Why did you wait so long? Did you do anything during this past year that could fluff up your application?

You are better off waiting unless you don’t mind applying again next June when you’ll have the activities.
 
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jhmmd

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Med school is a crapshoot. That said, you want your app to be perfect when you apply, so you can apply 1x and do it right. If you're applying again, be sure you have all your ducks in a row. GL
 
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la flame

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Med school is a crapshoot. That said, you want your app to be perfect when you apply, so you can apply 1x and do it right. If you're applying again, be sure you have all your ducks in a row. GL

I mean hypothetically, why should any student apply to medical school at all when they can spend another year perfecting their application even more; it becomes a paradox.
But OP, did you not do any sort of volunteering from last summer when you first applied until now (May 2020)? I mean you mentioned an Adcom told you what you were weak in...
 
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If they ask you what you did differently from last cycle and you say you started volunteering recently, how do you think they’ll react?
 
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KnightDoc

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Why didn't you start volunteering earlier i.e. since submitting the application for last cycle?
I'll take a stab at this :) -- it looks like he applied without it last cycle because, for whatever reason, he didn't realize it was going to be a problem. Now that he knows it's a problem (he apparently just received feedback on his 2019-20 cycle) he's trying to fix it in a very rushed manner.

@gonnif has hit it right on the head -- OP is rushing it and is worried it will look like he is rushing it. :) Even though he says he now really enjoys community service, the rush to check the box looks exactly like what it is, and the only way to address that is to do it for an extended period of time. OP hasn't done that to date, and doesn't want to take to time to do it now because he doesn't want to lose another year.

The unfortunate problem is, by not following @gonnif's very harsh but very consistent advice of assuming failure from the moment an application is submitted, and immediately taking steps to improve for a reapplication, OP has already lost another year in addition to the obvious one. He just doesn't realize it yet.
 
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EdgeTrimmer

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I'll take a stab at this :) -- it looks like he applied without it last cycle because, for whatever reason, he didn't realize it was going to be a problem. Now that he knows it's a problem (he apparently just received feedback on his 2019-20 cycle) he's trying to fix it in a very rushed manner.

@gonnif has hit it right on the head -- OP is rushing it and is worried it will look like he is rushing it. :) Even though he says he now really enjoys community service, the rush to check the box looks exactly like what it is, and the only way to address that is to do it for an extended period of time. OP hasn't done that to date, and doesn't want to take to time to do it now because he doesn't want to lose another year.

The unfortunate problem is, by not following @gonnif's very harsh but very consistent advice of assuming failure from the moment an application is submitted, and immediately taking steps to improve for a reapplication, OP has already lost another year in addition to the obvious one. He just doesn't realize it yet.
Nice job :)
 
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EdgeTrimmer

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Med school is a crapshoot. That said, you want your app to be perfect when you apply, so you can apply 1x and do it right. If you're applying again, be sure you have all your ducks in a row. GL
I thought only getting into T20 medical school is crapshoot. By saying it's crapshoot aren't we encouraging more to apply without having all the checkboxes?
 

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I thought only getting into T20 medical school is crapshoot. By saying it's crapshoot aren't we encouraging more to apply without having all the checkboxes?

Well most schools have acceptance rates in the low-mid single digits. It's a crapshoot for qualified applicants. Unqualified applicants are instantly rejected.
 
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KnightDoc

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I thought only getting into T20 medical school is crapshoot. By saying it's crapshoot aren't we encouraging more to apply without having all the checkboxes?
Not really. Maybe for super-highly qualified candidates, but even they could find themselves shut out of top schools and yield protected out of other schools. It happens! I am pretty sure that what @Archemia and @jhkmd mean by "crapshoot" is not that admission is totally random, but rather, that it is not guaranteed for anyone, no matter how well qualified.
 

EdgeTrimmer

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Not really. Maybe for super-highly qualified candidates, but even they could find themselves shut out of top schools and yield protected out of other schools. It happens! I am pretty sure that what @Archemia and @jhkmd mean by "crapshoot" is not that admission is totally random, but rather, that it is not guaranteed for anyone, no matter how well qualified.
T20s are crapshoot because of "holistic" process which to me sounds like a code word for quotas. Even then it appears most super-highly qualified candidates will end up with at least one or two T20s.
 
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jhmmd

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KnightDoc said:
Not really. Maybe for super-highly qualified candidates, but even they could find themselves shut out of top schools and yield protected out of other schools. It happens! I am pretty sure that what @Archemia and @jhkmd mean by "crapshoot" is not that admission is totally random, but rather, that it is not guaranteed for anyone, no matter how well qualified.
No, I meant that it's a game of odds--to an extreme. Everyone applying to med school is so highly qualified that it becomes almost a coin flip when it comes to who gets in.
 
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KnightDoc

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No, I meant that it's a game of odds--to an extreme. Everyone applying to med school is so highly qualified that it becomes almost a coin flip when it comes to who gets in.
Okay, my bad! :) But that's just not true. A significant number of people applying are not "so highly qualified," and the only coin flips are really just between those at the bottom of the A list and top of the WL list. In fact, difficult as it is to believe because many unsuccessful people do not frequent sites like SDN, a not insignificant number of unsuccessful candidates are objectively not qualified at all, let alone "so highly qualified." Don't believe me, ask the adcoms who read and reject their applications each year!!

Realizing that there is a lot more to an application than GPA and MCAT, GPAs and MCATs are objective measures that are reported by AAMC, so they are a decent place to start. For the three years ended 2020, 66,400 applicants out of 148,000 (45%) had GPAs under 3.6. How many of them were really "so highly qualified"? At the same time, 94,300 out of 148,000 (64%) had MCATs under 510. Again, not all terrible scores, but "so highly qualified"? Not really!

Given the level of competition, there are real, objective, discernible reasons for most people's outcomes. Not all, especially at the margins, but the process is not nearly as random as you apparently believe. As I said in a previous post, admission is not guaranteed for anyone, no matter how good they are, but who gets in is far from a coin flip, as you can see from AAMC statistics that show how dramatically the odds of success increase as GPA and MCAT score increase. Now, if you want to say GPA and MCAT are invalid as metrics (along with whatever holistic review adcoms perform) to award a precious MD seat, I guess that's a different conversation altogether.
 
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jhmmd

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KnightDoc said:
Okay, my bad! :) But that's just not true. A significant number of people applying are not "so highly qualified," and the only coin flips are really just between those at the bottom of the A list and top of the WL list. In fact, difficult as it is to believe because many unsuccessful people do not frequent sites like SDN, a not insignificant number of unsuccessful candidates are objectively not qualified at all, let alone "so highly qualified." Don't believe me, ask the adcoms who read and reject their applications each year!!

Realizing that there is a lot more to an application than GPA and MCAT, GPAs and MCATs are objective measures that are reported by AAMC, so they are a decent place to start. For the three years ended 2020, 66,400 applicants out of 148,000 (45%) had GPAs under 3.6. How many of them were really "so highly qualified"? At the same time, 94,300 out of 148,000 (64%) had MCATs under 510. Again, not all terrible scores, but "so highly qualified"? Not really!
Given the level of competition, there are real, objective, discernible reasons for most people's outcomes. Not all, especially at the margins, but the process is not nearly as random as you apparently believe. As I said in a previous post, admission is not guaranteed for anyone, no matter how good they are, but who gets in is far from a coin flip, as you can see from AAMC statistics that show how dramatically the odds of success increase as GPA and MCAT score increase.
Again, these are applicants, not matriculants
 

KnightDoc

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T20s are crapshoot because of "holistic" process which to me sounds like a code word for quotas. Even then it appears most super-highly qualified candidates will end up with at least one or two T20s.
I certainly do not fit the profile of someone who will benefit from the so-called holistic review, but I honestly don't think it's to meet quotas. I understand and respect it's to place a value on attributes and skills other than GPA and MCAT (humanism, leadership, ethnic and racial diversity, etc.) that make a valuable contribution to the profession.

Again, not really a crapshoot just because it makes it more difficult for a random high stat applicant to succeed, and because it is difficult for an adcom to quantify and for a random gunner to check boxes. Like the old Supreme Court definition of pornography, the holistic review does not lend itself to something anyone can game, but adcoms typically know what they are looking for when they see it. :) There is still plenty of room for your basic, everyday high stat applicant, as evidenced by their very high success rate.
 

CorgiLoaf

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Again, these are applicants, not matriculants
Google "AAMC" statistics. You can then calculate the percentile of applicants and matriculants for each GPA/MCAT using the Z-score and 1-sided distribution.

For example, 15.866% (3470 people) of matriculants for 2019-2020 had an MCAT of 505 or below.
 

jhmmd

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Archemia said:
Google "AAMC" statistics. You can then calculate the percentile of applicants and matriculants for each GPA/MCAT using the Z-score and 1-sided distribution.

For example, 15.866% (3470 people) of matriculants for 2019-2020 had an MCAT of 505 or below.
True dat
 
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