How do med schools view reapplicants?

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doc.Junior

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Basic question: Do reapplicants face more scrutiny than first time ones? How hard is it to overcome that, if so?

Details:

Work/family have presented certain challenges to med school prep as a nontraditional applicant. My sciGPA was 3.67 and my MCAT was a 506. (I was in 95th and 92nd percentiles for CARS/psych, 60th for bio, but I never had time to properly drill for chem and bio questions, beyond knowing the material.)

I'm considering taking time off work and just studying MCAT to really nail it and then reapply. I think I'm capable of being a top MCAT scorer, but I'm wondering if just improving MCAT will be enough and whether it's worth the huge amount of effort, time, money, and relationships sacrifices.

(My extracurriculars, letters, and statements have been praised by top program interviewers. I think my stats are what holds me back. Also, I wasn't premed as an undergrad, so I went back to school and took some of the prereqs later while working. Thus, I don't think postbac is a realistic option to try to improve at this point.)

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While it's not always true, I would be concerned that you got interviews but think it's your stats holding you back. While that could be the case, my experience has been that schools generally don't interview students if they wouldn't accept them based on stats.
 
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You had an answer before from @LindaAccepted
Thanks for the tag @Mr.Smile12 .

@doc.Junior Med school admissions is a competitive process. Accepted applicants are chosen from the applicants who apply each cycle. They have to be competitive in that cycle. Now, if aspects of your application were not competitive last cycle and you apply to the same schools next cycle, those schools will be looking for improvement in addition to overall competitiveness. However, if if the schools are not comparing this year's app to last year's app, and some won't, realize that unless the pool becomes significantly less competitive a very similar application is likely to have similar results.

And as I indicated in the post that Mr.Smile12 referred you to, it is risky not to show growth since your previous application and to assume that everything was as good as it could be in them.
 
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At my school, when we re-interview someone, we expect to see Improvement in their application from the last application cycle. In fact we frequently ask such people, "How have you improved?."

Let that be your guide
 
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I'm not sure how true this is of other places but you can call my school's admissions office and ask how you can do better next time, and they'll give you the actual answer.

Now again, I'm not sure how many admissions offices are actually this friendly.
 
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I'm not sure how true this is of other places but you can call my school's admissions office and ask how you can do better next time, and they'll give you the actual answer.
I have heard that public schools in smaller states may be willing to give more than a generic answer, but I haven't seen this myself!
 
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OP: So how many times have you applied? You don't have a WAMC, but it appears you have had interviews before over the last 3 cycles. You ask very generic questions and don't give us more information so we can advise you more precisely.

At any rate you have had at least 3 times to improve your application, so to your question, there may be a bit more scrutiny at some schools that will start to shy away from you because you have a record of incremental improvements... satisfied with close but no significant improvements addressing real issues. It's also possible that schools just don't view your candidacy as aligning with their mission.

So that said, I'm not sure just posting a fantastic score is going to help you. Something is not clicking with your application or your story with the mission these schools have.

If this past cycle was your third, you should have included DO Schools from the start so you avoid being a 4x reapplicant. If you apply again, you must include DO schools from the beginning.
 
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Thank you all for the support and feedback!

OP: So how many times have you applied? You don't have a WAMC, but it appears you have had interviews before over the last 3 cycles. You ask very generic questions and don't give us more information so we can advise you more precisely.
At any rate you have had at least 3 times to improve your application, so to your question, there may be a bit more scrutiny at some schools that will start to shy away from you because you have a record of incremental improvements... satisfied with close but no significant improvements addressing real issues. It's also possible that schools just don't view your candidacy as aligning with their mission.

So that said, I'm not sure just posting a fantastic score is going to help you. Something is not clicking with your application or your story with the mission these schools have.

If this past cycle was your third, you should have included DO Schools from the start so you avoid being a 4x reapplicant. If you apply again, you must include DO schools from the beginning.

@Mr.Smile12 Thanks this was the sort of feedback I was looking for. I will PM you, if you'd be so kind as to take a glance, please.

@Hollow Knight That's great to hear, very stand-up of them. I would think most would just tell you to "swing for the fences" again (and I guess I can't blame them, it'd be a potentially sticky situation if someone who wasn't likely to meet your standards was clinging on).
 
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Basic question: Do reapplicants face more scrutiny than first time ones? How hard is it to overcome that, if so?

Details:

Work/family have presented certain challenges to med school prep as a nontraditional applicant. My sciGPA was 3.67 and my MCAT was a 506. (I was in 95th and 92nd percentiles for CARS/psych, 60th for bio, but I never had time to properly drill for chem and bio questions, beyond knowing the material.)

I'm considering taking time off work and just studying MCAT to really nail it and then reapply. I think I'm capable of being a top MCAT scorer, but I'm wondering if just improving MCAT will be enough and whether it's worth the huge amount of effort, time, money, and relationships sacrifices.

(My extracurriculars, letters, and statements have been praised by top program interviewers. I think my stats are what holds me back. Also, I wasn't premed as an undergrad, so I went back to school and took some of the prereqs later while working. Thus, I don't think postbac is a realistic option to try to improve at this point.)
For what it's worth, I applied this cycle with a low MCAT (for MD schools) and average sciGPA and have been very fortunate with getting multiple II (MD and DO) and so far 1 MD A and 2 DO As. I would definitely try to look at your writing and how you are explaining your motivations/story.

My MCAT definitely held me back at some places, but it must likely won't be your biggest hurdle (at least if you apply DO next time).
 
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For what it's worth, I applied this cycle with a 506 and 3.58 sciGPA and have been very fortunate with getting multiple II (MD and DO) and so far 1 MD A and 2 DO As. I would definitely try to look at your writing and how you are explaining your motivations/story.

My MCAT definitely held me back at some places, but it must likely won't be your biggest hurdle (at least if you apply DO next time).
Hey, a big congrats to you, panda! 🥳

Mind sharing what MD school (either here or in PM)?
 
Hey, a big congrats to you, panda! 🥳

Mind sharing what MD school (either here or in PM)?
I got into my state MD school, but am still waiting to hear back from a couple other interviews. For my MD IIs, I've gotten them from a range of schools -- T20, state school in the Northeast, "lower tier" schools etc. I also want to reiterate that I was happy about my DO As and do not have a problem with being a DO. I think we have to remember that MD/DO doesn't matter in the end when we become physicians either way.
 
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