kdirnfueu

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So I had a quick question regarding the order in which interviews come along.
I submitted all of my schools early. Prewrote everything, revised over the two weeks, submitted within two weeks. All 18 schools I submitted by late July. But my friends who submitted later got II's earlier than I did. I realize that were super early in the cycle but still - doesnt this mean either 1) they haven't gotten to mine yet or 2) my app has been reviewed but put to the side for later? What exactly does it mean for someone to get a II earlier than someone else? I.e. I submitted umich secondary a week after receiving the secondary and still every Monday I never get any news, while my friends have interviews to Stanford, chicago, hopkins, etc.
Sorry if this comes across as too neurotic but I am curious as to how this process works...
 

To be MD

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So I had a quick question regarding the order in which interviews come along.
I submitted all of my schools early. Prewrote everything, revised over the two weeks, submitted within two weeks. All 18 schools I submitted by late July. But my friends who submitted later got II's earlier than I did. I realize that were super early in the cycle but still - doesnt this mean either 1) they haven't gotten to mine yet or 2) my app has been reviewed but put to the side for later? What exactly does it mean for someone to get a II earlier than someone else? I.e. I submitted umich secondary a week after receiving the secondary and still every Monday I never get any news, while my friends have interviews to Stanford, chicago, hopkins, etc.
Sorry if this comes across as too neurotic but I am curious as to how this process works...
I'm interested in the answer to this question too.
 

LizzyM

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Some applicants may be higher priority than others. The high priorities can include URM and high stats. The courtesy interviews for people who are only getting an interview because of who they know don't get interviewed until the end.

In addition to "high priority" there are some "luck of the draw" things that can move things along quickly or slowly. If you are going to be reviewed by two readers sequentially and every reader has 2 weeks to review your application it could take 4 weeks to passed along as recommended for interview or it could take 2 days. It has nothing to do with you and depends solely on the idiosyncratic method each adcom member has for reviewing applications.

Relax. Worry if you don't have any interviews by Thanksgiving (and even then there is some hope) but in the meantime, enjoy these last day of summer!
 

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I think the process is a lot more random than we think. they try to interview the higher stat guys first....and the rest is probably luck or some kind of EC hours/activities screen or something.

I know someone who applied to 30 med schools, his ONLY interview invite was his reach school, UCLA and he got denied. So he reapplied the next cycle on the very first day with a considerably higher MCAT score and more ECs, and got only got 2 interview invites at target OOS schools in January, and made it off the waitlist like a few months ago from one of them lol
 
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LizzyM

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I think the process is a lot more random than we think. they try to interview the higher stat guys first....and the rest is probably luck or some kind of EC hours/activities screen or something.

I know someone who applied to 30 med schools, his ONLY interview invite was his reach school, UCLA and he got denied. So he reapplied the next cycle on the very first day with a considerably higher MCAT score and more ECs, and got only got 2 interview invites at target OOS schools in January, and made it off the waitlist like a few months ago from one of them lol
In those cases, I usually figure that something about the written application or a LOR was holding him back.
 

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It only seems random when you're an applicant.

And to quote the wise gonnif:

Review of apps is not simply done in a linear chronological order. High achievers, URM, family of alumni, grads of feeder schools, associated UG programs, people who meet the school’s mission, in-state residents for state schools, linked post-bac programs like SMPs, and other factors may push an app forward in the process.


I think the process is a lot more random than we think. they try to interview the higher stat guys first....and the rest is probably luck or some kind of EC hours/activities screen or something.

I know someone who applied to 30 med schools, his ONLY interview invite was his reach school, UCLA and he got denied. So he reapplied the next cycle on the very first day with a considerably higher MCAT score and more ECs, and got only got 2 interview invites at target OOS schools in January, and made it off the waitlist like a few months ago from one of them lol
 

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It only seems random when you're an applicant.

And to quote the wise gonnif:

Review of apps is not simply done in a linear chronological order. High achievers, URM, family of alumni, grads of feeder schools, associated UG programs, people who meet the school’s mission, in-state residents for state schools, linked post-bac programs like SMPs, and other factors may push an app forward in the process.
One of these days I will finally write up how an application is processed, the actual workflow and points where review and evaluations are done with both the mechanics and some of the small group dynamics that influences decisions. That is something between "War and Peace" and "Remembrance of Things Past"
 

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Goro

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@Goro @gonnif @LizzyM

Could you talk a bit more about what goes into it because I am getting a bit too worked up about it when people I know are getting IIs and I'm not

Patience is a virtue, the need for instant gratification is not.
 

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Patience is a virtue, the need for instant gratification is not.
Not prayer or alternative therapies, we need scientific evidence and medication....oh sorry wrong thread (btw that last carribean thread went south quick)

Xanax Vending Machine.jpg
 
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Patience is a virtue, the need for instant gratification is not.
I'm all about patience. It's not the wait that bothers me. It's the uncertainty. I have a family to take care of. I have finances planned for if I get accepted, but nothing set in stone for if I'm forced to take a gap year. I'm sure I'll figure something out if it comes to it, buts it's difficult to plan for what I don't know.....
 
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LizzyM

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@Goro @gonnif @LizzyM

Could you talk a bit more about what goes into it because I am getting a bit too worked up about it when people I know are getting IIs and I'm not
Bad luck... sometimes an applicant gets assigned to someone who sits on their applications until the last possible moment, or beyond, and then cranks them out. The applicants who had the bad luck of being assigned to that reader are now 2 weeks behind in the queue compared to the lucky ones who were assigned to a speedy reader. There is nothing you can know or do from this side. It is rather like watching women approaching their due dates.... some are going to pop those babies out without a fuss on the due date but the other 95% will be a bit off schedule. There is really no way of knowing what is going on.
 

LizzyM

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I'm all about patience. It's not the wait that bothers me. It's the uncertainty. I have a family to take care of. I have finances planned for if I get accepted, but nothing set in stone for if I'm forced to take a gap year. I'm sure I'll figure something out if it comes to it, buts it's difficult to plan for what I don't know.....
So plan on the gap year while you are sitting around waiting. You can always cancel that plan if things work out but if they don't work out, you are ready.
 

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One should always have a Plan B.

I'm all about patience. It's not the wait that bothers me. It's the uncertainty. I have a family to take care of. I have finances planned for if I get accepted, but nothing set in stone for if I'm forced to take a gap year. I'm sure I'll figure something out if it comes to it, buts it's difficult to plan for what I don't know.....
 

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LizzyM has written elegantly about the staircase model of what it takes to get accepted.


@Goro @gonnif @LizzyM

Could you talk a bit more about what goes into it because I am getting a bit too worked up about it when people I know are getting IIs and I'm not
 
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gonnif

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So plan on the gap year while you are sitting around waiting. You can always cancel that plan if things work out but if they don't work out, you are ready.
Since less only about 40% of applicants will matriculate in a given cycle, all applicants should assume/plan for that they will be reapplicants. As such, I always suggest to students that they should continue strengthening their application during the glide year (application cycle year) so that way they are in a position to reapply in the next cycle. Several medical schools speak to reapplicants applying again too without enhancing their applications. So keep enhancing and you will ready to reapply, See post below to links directly to medical schools on this topic

http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/should-i-do-a-masters-in-my-gap-year-wamc-advice-please.1191695/#post-17595427
 
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Bad luck... sometimes an applicant gets assigned to someone who sits on their applications until the last possible moment, or beyond, and then cranks them out. The applicants who had the bad luck of being assigned to that reader are now 2 weeks behind in the queue compared to the lucky ones who were assigned to a speedy reader. There is nothing you can know or do from this side. It is rather like watching women approaching their due dates.... some are going to pop those babies out without a fuss on the due date but the other 95% will be a bit off schedule. There is really no way of knowing what is going on.
I experienced this last cycle when an MD school that prides itself on a holistic screening process pre-secondary didn't review my primary until January. They kept reassuring me up through December that no, I wasn't on hold; the primary reviewer was just backed up.
 
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Lawper

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It only seems random when you're an applicant.

And to quote the wise gonnif:

Review of apps is not simply done in a linear chronological order. High achievers, URM, family of alumni, grads of feeder schools, associated UG programs, people who meet the school’s mission, in-state residents for state schools, linked post-bac programs like SMPs, and other factors may push an app forward in the process.
One of these days I will finally write up how an application is processed, the actual workflow and points where review and evaluations are done with both the mechanics and some of the small group dynamics that influences decisions. That is something between "War and Peace" and "Remembrance of Things Past"
I'm interested to read more about it. I always feel there's a significant information asymmetry where adcoms/schools benefit from more information (which is necessary in order to match an applicant to a field + mission statements). Since applicants inherently have less access to such information, even with referring to SDN SSD Forums and past threads, the application process seems random, mysterious and anxiety-inducing.
 
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Since less only about 40% of applicants will matriculate in a given cycle, all applicants should assume/plan for that they will be reapplicants. As such, I always suggest to students that they should continue strengthening their application during the glide year (application cycle year) so that way they are in a position to reapply in the next cycle. Several medical schools speak to reapplicants applying again too without enhancing their applications. So keep enhancing and you will ready to reapply, See post below to links directly to medical schools on this topic
Is it really that low? I always thought it was closer to 50%.
 

MDProspect

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Since all of the wise adcoms are in this thread, can someone please comment on what is considered a significant update? I just finished a summer course and got the grade for it. One course grade does not seem significant enough, should I wait until I finish my full-time fall semester before sending update letters?
 

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Even with MSAR, something I suspect tons of applicants ignore is that each med school receive anywhere from 5000-15000 apps. Even if you toss half of them, that's still tons of applicants to go through.

Imagine you're the Admissions dean at XSOM. You have a staff of maybe ten people, and an Adcom of perhaps 50. There are 100 seats in the MS1 class.

How long will it take you to go through 7000 apps that meet your floor stats for GPA/MCAT?

That's physically reading them to see who looks good for interview (which) might end up being some 700. Now, how many meetings of all those faculty and students (who are all volunteers, mind you) will it take to cull 7000 -> 700?????

Now you have to interview those 700, at about 10-30/week.

Then meet on who to accept?

Now on top of that, with rolling admissions, let's say that 5000 apps come in by Labor Day.

You don't want to fill your class by end of Sept...for the same reason you don't gorge yourself on the first plate of a 7 course meal. You want to pick up those stars who happen to apply later in the cycle.

So sorry, all you special snowflakes out there, but this IS a time consuming process, and there are only about 300 accepts you get for the ~100 seats at XSOM.


I'm interested to read more about it. I always feel there's a significant information asymmetry where adcoms/schools benefit from more information (which is necessary in order to match an applicant to a field + mission statements). Since applicants inherently have less access to such information, even with referring to SDN SSD Forums and past threads, the application process seems random, mysterious and anxiety-inducing.




You thought wrong.

Is it really that low? I always thought it was closer to 50%.
 
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Lawper

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Is it really that low? I always thought it was closer to 50%.
https://www.aamc.org/download/321470/data/factstablea7.pdf

2015-2016 cycle
100% 52536 Applicants
41.2 % 21643 Acceptees
39.3% 20627 Matriculants
You thought wrong.
But isn't the matriculation rate lower than expected since a large fraction of applicants have no business applying (i.e. bad stats, no clinical/volunteering experience, bad IAs etc.)? So by taking into account of this, the matriculation rate would probably be >50%
 
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Goro

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I suggest waiting until the end of fall. Do you really think an Admissions dean is going to scream out to his/her assistant "We have to invite this kid! MDProspect just got an A in summer Physical Chemistry!"


???


Since all of the wise adcoms are in this thread, can someone please comment on what is considered a significant update? I just finished a summer course and got the grade for it. One course grade does not seem significant enough, should I wait until I finish my full-time fall semester before sending update letters?
 

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If you look at it that way, yes. But apps still have to be read. The wise gyngyn has written about an applicant who had a single digit MCAT score. No, not in one category, but for the entire exam!!!! Her app still had to be read.

But isn't the matriculation rate lower than expected since a large fraction of applicants have no business applying (i.e. bad stats, no clinical/volunteering experience, bad IAs etc.)? So by taking into account of this, the matriculation rate would probably be >50%
 
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Lawper

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If you look at it that way, yes. But apps still have to be read. The wise gyngyn has written about an applicant who had a single digit MCAT score. No, not in one category, but for the entire exam!!!! Her app still had to be read.
Aren't these applications automatically screened out by a computer? Or is this school-specific?
 

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School specific. Gyngyn's school is up in the stratosphere, yet he still had to read that app!!!!


Aren't these applications automatically screened out by a computer? Or is this school-specific?
 
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Lawper

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School specific. Gyngyn's school is up in the stratosphere, yet he still had to read that app!!!!
Alright thanks. And appreciate the workflow. It's understandably a time-consuming process on the schools' end (too much information to sort out and filter is overwhelming), and it's only August, which is still way too early to worry. This is why metrics to understand application timeline are really useful.

I think it's safe to say that submitting a strong, prepared application early (say June) is the most optimal path for success. Still can be anxiety-inducing, but having workflows mapped out and putting things into perspective are helpful
 
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MDProspect

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I suggest waiting until the end of fall. Do you really think an Admissions dean is going to scream out to his/her assistant "We have to invite this kid! MDProspect just got an A in summer Physical Chemistry!"


???
Lol, as much as I wish that would happen, I know that I am just another brick in the wall. I should've clarified, I have other updates to include as well (i.e new research).
 

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But isn't the matriculation rate lower than expected since a large fraction of applicants have no business applying (i.e. bad stats, no clinical/volunteering experience, bad IAs etc.)? So by taking into account of this, the matriculation rate would probably be >50%
While you and I would say that is true, the fact remains that they have applied and are part of the overall data. And from my very, very quick eyeballing of the below AAMC chart (which covers 3 cycles), there are roughly 400 acceptees per year out of 7,000 applicants per year with GPA 3.2 and lower and MCAT 26 or lower.
https://www.aamc.org/download/321508/data/factstablea23.pdf

Making a very rough recalculation of the original below then

100% 45,536 applicants (minus 7,000 from original)
46% 21,243 acceptees (minus 400 from original)

Only about 44% likely to matriculate
***********************************
2015-2016 cycle
100% 52536 Applicants
41.2 % 21643 Acceptees
39.3% 20627 Matriculants
 
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MDProspect

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While you and I would say that is true, the fact remains that they have applied and are part of the overall data. And from my very, very quick eyeballing of the below AAMC chart (which covers 3 cycles), there are roughly 400 acceptees per year out of 7,000 applicants per year with GPA 3.2 and lower and MCAT 26 or lower.
https://www.aamc.org/download/321508/data/factstablea23.pdf

Making a very rough recalculation of the original below then

100% 45,536 applicants (minus 7,000 from original)
46% 21,243 acceptees (minus 400 from original)

Only about 44% likely to matriculate
***********************************
2015-2016 cycle
100% 52536 Applicants
41.2 % 21643 Acceptees
39.3% 20627 Matriculants
Can you explain why over a thousand applicants who were accepted did not matriculate?
 

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They defer, or decide that this really isn't for them.
Can you explain why over a thousand applicants who were accepted did not matriculate?
 
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MDProspect

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They defer, or decide that this really isn't for them.
I can't imagine going through this nerve-wracking process and spending thousands upon thousands of dollars just to decide that medicine isn't really for me.
 

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You'd be surprised how many people are forced into this by their parents.


I can't imagine going through this nerve-wracking process and spending thousands upon thousands of dollars just to decide that medicine isn't really for me.
 
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MDProspect

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You'd be surprised how many people are forced into this by their parents.
I am not. Coming from a background of scientists and physicians, I felt the pressure as an adolescent, but at the end of the day, it was my decision to go into medicine. I'd imagine some lightbulbs lighting up during shadowing and volunteering for those applicants.
 
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gonnif

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there are basically a few different acceptee types for non-matriculants. some percentage turn down all acceptances but most defer. The question is, of course, motivation/reason. a few thoughts in no particular order
1) better/different opportunity (ie other graduate or professional school) small percentage do this. decline acceptance.
2) temporary educational opportunity (ie fellowship). self deferred -- not imposed.
3) issues with financial aid. large percentage of forced deferral
4) issues with academic during post admission (missing prereq, graduation issue). small to moderate percentage of forced deferral.
5) health/family issues. small percentage of self deferral (mostly self)
6) unknown. part of these are the family imposed med school route. also a few who simply "freak out" before med school and cant do it (yes this happens the most extreme premed psychological isssue.

I would say that financial aid, academic issues, temporary educational opportunity, and family/health issues account for the bulk of deferrals with those choosing another field and unknowns being a very small percentage of the total.