Jul 5, 2015
20
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hello Everybody,

I posted last month in the ‘What are my chances?’ forum for advice on whether I stood a chance at DO schools this cycle. I received a list of schools that I would stand the best chance at this cycle (newer programs). My main question is how many schools should I apply to? I know my stats are mediocre so I’m not sure if I should just stick with the list provided or apply to a larger quantity. I don’t want to apply to more schools if I don’t stand any chance at all. I always hear “cast a wide net” but does this apply to applicants like me with a poor aspect of their application. I’m just trying to maximize my chances for the amount of money I’m going to spend. Specific schools I’m referring to as possible programs to apply to would be: KCOM, ATSU-SOMA, KCUMB (huge reach), DMU (huge reach) and the LECOMs. Are these programs out of reach? My application is verified and ready to submit to any schools. ANY advice is appreciated.

And to recap my application:

Non-traditional applicant

B.S. in Biology (Overall gpa 3.5, sgpa 3.3)

M.S. in Cellular Biology (Thesis/research based) (3.89 gpa)

Total Non-science GPA= 3.93

Total Science GPA= 3.53

Total cumulative GPA= 3.63

MCAT scores:

1st attempt (2010)- PS 4, VR 8, BS 9, Overall 27%ile

2nd attempt (2010)- PS 7, VR 8, BS 7, Overall 33%ile

3rd attempt (July 2015)- C/P 125 (54%ile), CARS 123 (33%ile), B/BS 125 (55%ile), P/S 124 (43%ile), Overall 497, 40%ile

Over 500 hours volunteering with direct patient interaction (pediatrics), over 500 hours non-clinical volunteer experience in the community working with under-privileged populations, greater than 10,000 hours basic scientific research experience investigating a potential chemotherapy target enzyme, 30 hours physician shadowing (20 hours DO with DO LOR), 3 years as a graduate teaching assistant, 3 years as an undergraduate resident assistant, and am presently a full-time Scientist at an industry-leading bio-pharmaceutical company. My LORs are very strong and are from individuals who I've known for a long time and have played important roles in shaping me. I applied to medical school 5 years ago and decided to return to the idea of becoming a physician after much consideration and being lost for several years.

The schools I’ve already been recommended to apply to are:

LMU-DCOM, CUSOM, Wm CAREY, KYCOM, ACOM, BCOM, PCOM-GA, VCOM (x3)

Thank you again for any advice. I am hoping to get some more applicable advice on the pre-osteopathic forums.
 

IslandStyle808

Akuma residency or bust!
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Aug 5, 2012
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If you could delay your application another year and take the MCAT again, I would highly suggest this route. It gets a lot harder once your MCAT is at a 23 and below (you percentage is slightly above this score).

If you really are ready for this application cycle, then the list you have is good so far. You should also add WVSOM to it (VCOM-virginia and PCOM are the schools that seem to leave one hanging so be prepared). This will be tough and the wait for interviews will be long (I have done it before with a non-competitive application and I waited 2-3 times as long for an interview). However, it is still possible to get in. Just be prepared for a really rocky road ahead of you.
 
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ortnakas

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Hello Everybody,

My main question is how many schools should I apply to? I know my stats are mediocre so I’m not sure if I should just stick with the list provided or apply to a larger quantity. I don’t want to apply to more schools if I don’t stand any chance at all. I always hear “cast a wide net” but does this apply to applicants like me with a poor aspect of their application.
Yes it does. Adding the LECOMs is a good idea; so is adding ATSU-SOMA if you're okay with their curriculum. You might consider PNWU as well-- I think they're somewhat regionally selective but they do have a lower MCAT average. I don't know much about the admission statistics these days, or the new MCAT, so I'll let others chime in. I do concur that an MCAT retake would probably be the best decision.
 

IslandStyle808

Akuma residency or bust!
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Aug 5, 2012
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I wouldn't suggest adding LECOM-bradenton, the other ones might be okay. Unless you are from the region, don't put PNWU (one of the fastest rejections I got and my MCAT was very close to their average). I think ATSU-SOMA as a reach is okay. Again if you can delay your application and retake the MCAT, it would the best move.
 
Last edited:
OP
K
Jul 5, 2015
20
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I didn't add WVSOM due to the super high OOS tuition. I am not URM either. I REALLY appreciate all of the commentary. I could retake the MCAT but it wouldn't be possible until next Fall. That is when I would be able to quit my job and dedicate full time to the test. So I won't be applying next cycle if I don't get in this cycle. I should add that my personal statement is rock solid and believe strongly in my ability to "sell myself" in an interview. I just need a chance. Thanks again for ALL of the comments/help.


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OP
K
Jul 5, 2015
20
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Well! I think OP still has a shot...
Thanks for the encouragement! How do you think schools will view an in between 23 and 24?

Thanks again for all the help everybody.


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W19

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@kbomber Well, schools will view it as a low MCAT score, but it is not an horrendous score. I think your strong MS GPA will work on your favor. I understand why you don't want to add WVSOM, but the difference in tuition b/t WVSOM and most DO schools amount to 10k/year (40k total for 4 years), but WV has very low cost of living, so the difference won't be that bad after all. I understand that WVSOM is a school that put much more emphasis on 'fit' rather than stats as evidenced by their 'school specific threads' in SDN in the past few years... Regardless, I think you probably will have some interview invites and it will be up to you to seal the deal so to speak...
 
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TheoryOfEverything

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OOS tuition for WVSOM is 50k, average tuition for private DO Schools is 46.5k. Many schools are over 50k. Just thought Id clear that up, I see a lot of people saying how expensive WVSOM is but they don't seem to actually look at the numbers.

There's no reason for the OP not to add it.
 

IslandStyle808

Akuma residency or bust!
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Aug 5, 2012
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OOS tuition for WVSOM is 50k, average tuition for private DO Schools is 46.5k. Many schools are over 50k. Just thought Id clear that up, I see a lot of people saying how expensive WVSOM is but they don't seem to actually look at the numbers.

There's no reason for the OP not to add it.
A lot of people on this forum don't realize the cost of WVSOM. There was one person I recall who stated it was expensive, and when I told him/her it was 50K, he/she was surprised and thought it was a lot higher (i.e. 58K). In the past, the discrepancy was greater, but now it is well within reason. Some schools have even upped their tuition to 48K a year just recently.
 
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OP
K
Jul 5, 2015
20
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
@kbomber Well, schools will view it as a low MCAT score, but it is not an horrendous score. I think your strong MS GPA will work on your favor. I understand why you don't want to add WVSOM, but the difference in tuition b/t WVSOM and most DO schools amount to 10k/year (40k total for 4 years), but WV has very low cost of living, so the difference won't be that bad after all. I understand that WVSOM is a school that put much more emphasis on 'fit' rather than stats as evidenced by their 'school specific threads' in SDN in the past few years... Regardless, I think you probably will have some interview invites and it will be up to you to seal the deal so to speak...
I thought I remembered reading it was 80k a year OOS. You are correct I just checked to make sure. Thanks for the information I will definitely be throwing my app into their pile. Does a school list of ~15 sound like a good number? Composed of the lower tiers and a few reach.


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W19

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I thought I remembered reading it was 80k a year OOS. You are correct I just checked to make sure. Thanks for the information I will definitely be throwing my app into their pile. Does a school list of ~15 sound like a good number? Composed of the lower tiers and a few reach.


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I think you probably read about Michigan State University tuition, which is 80k/year for OOS... 15 is definitely a good number. Good Luck!
 

Faha

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You could add MU-COM to your application. If you do not have success this year reapply next year. There will be several new DO schools opening in 2017, most likely in Texas, Utah and Arkansas.
 
OP
K
Jul 5, 2015
20
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
You could add MU-COM to your application. If you do not have success this year reapply next year. There will be several new DO schools opening in 2017, most likely in Texas, Utah and Arkansas.
I will add MUCOM but thought they're mcat avg would be out of my league. Doesn't hurt to try, right?


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el_duderino

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Honestly, I think that MCAT is going to be lethal, especially as it's a third attempt. Your GPA is mediocre. Your ECs might make up for it, so I suppose it's worth a shot. I would be concerned about your ability to handle the testing.
 
OP
K
Jul 5, 2015
20
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Honestly, I think that MCAT is going to be lethal, especially as it's a third attempt. Your GPA is mediocre. Your ECs might make up for it, so I suppose it's worth a shot. I would be concerned about your ability to handle the testing.
Lethal meaning I won't even be considered? I appreciate your insight, if I nailed a 4th MCAT retake would that be looked on favorably or as an outlier? Due to being nontraditional I haven't been able to solely dedicate my time to studying for the MCAT. I have an opportunity to quit my job next Fall and study full time if this cycle doesn't pan out. Thanks again for the comment.
 

el_duderino

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I think a 4th MCAT that you did much better on would only help. I don't want to poop on your dreams or anything (people did that to mine, and I hated it, and got here anyway) but it really doesn't look good IMO. Three MCATs with low scores indicates either a low ceiling of performance, or poor decision making (retaking without proper preparation), neither of which is good. A 4th MCAT that you blow away would address one of those issues but not the other.
 

Goro

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Pay careful attention to jonnythan's posts. I can't recommend another MCAT retake, and I strongly suggest that you consider another career. Your scores put you at risk for failing out of med school and/or failing boards.


If you insist, you might have a smidgeon of luck with ACOM, BCOM, Wm Carey and the other brand new schools. I can't recommend LUCOM.



Hello Everybody,

I posted last month in the ‘What are my chances?’ forum for advice on whether I stood a chance at DO schools this cycle. I received a list of schools that I would stand the best chance at this cycle (newer programs). My main question is how many schools should I apply to? I know my stats are mediocre so I’m not sure if I should just stick with the list provided or apply to a larger quantity. I don’t want to apply to more schools if I don’t stand any chance at all. I always hear “cast a wide net” but does this apply to applicants like me with a poor aspect of their application. I’m just trying to maximize my chances for the amount of money I’m going to spend. Specific schools I’m referring to as possible programs to apply to would be: KCOM, ATSU-SOMA, KCUMB (huge reach), DMU (huge reach) and the LECOMs. Are these programs out of reach? My application is verified and ready to submit to any schools. ANY advice is appreciated.

And to recap my application:

Non-traditional applicant

B.S. in Biology (Overall gpa 3.5, sgpa 3.3)

M.S. in Cellular Biology (Thesis/research based) (3.89 gpa)

Total Non-science GPA= 3.93

Total Science GPA= 3.53

Total cumulative GPA= 3.63

MCAT scores:

1st attempt (2010)- PS 4, VR 8, BS 9, Overall 27%ile

2nd attempt (2010)- PS 7, VR 8, BS 7, Overall 33%ile

3rd attempt (July 2015)- C/P 125 (54%ile), CARS 123 (33%ile), B/BS 125 (55%ile), P/S 124 (43%ile), Overall 497, 40%ile

Over 500 hours volunteering with direct patient interaction (pediatrics), over 500 hours non-clinical volunteer experience in the community working with under-privileged populations, greater than 10,000 hours basic scientific research experience investigating a potential chemotherapy target enzyme, 30 hours physician shadowing (20 hours DO with DO LOR), 3 years as a graduate teaching assistant, 3 years as an undergraduate resident assistant, and am presently a full-time Scientist at an industry-leading bio-pharmaceutical company. My LORs are very strong and are from individuals who I've known for a long time and have played important roles in shaping me. I applied to medical school 5 years ago and decided to return to the idea of becoming a physician after much consideration and being lost for several years.

The schools I’ve already been recommended to apply to are:

LMU-DCOM, CUSOM, Wm CAREY, KYCOM, ACOM, BCOM, PCOM-GA, VCOM (x3)

Thank you again for any advice. I am hoping to get some more applicable advice on the pre-osteopathic forums.
 

GrapesofRath

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May 5, 2015
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If you really want to give this a go stick with Goro's suggestions. If you don't have any luck this cycle maybe try one last crack at the MCAT and if you don't see real improvement maybe it's then officially time to move onto Plan B.