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Medical How should I improve my app for the next cycle?

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Oct 14, 2011
  1. Academic Administration
I graduated last summer with a double major with a GPA of 3.59 and sGPA of 3.35. MCAT of 513. Two years of research experience with one publication and plenty of volunteer work/leadership with on campus organizations. I was a little lacking on clinical experience itself but have spent this last year as a full time medical scribe at a rural ER. I was offered interviews from two schools, University of Wisconsin and USF Morsani (in-state), out of the 24 I applied to, and am currently waitlisted at both.

My current plan is to reapply in the 2021/2022 cycle. I am leaning towards a MSMS from USF with an anatomy concentration for this upcoming year (and do well in it) to show my academic competence and so I can do/learn something I am actually interested in. Also heavily considering to retake the MCAT because I am confident I can boost my score with proper studying. Will also join an on campus research lab once I’m settled to get more experience and will look for clinical/shadowing opportunities as well.

My question is whether or not the masters is a good idea to show admissions committees that I am capable of Med school academics. The gpa seems to be my limiting factor but will a masters help me overcome that or is there something else I should do to make me stand out?
Your GPA is more likely your limiting factor, but also your choice of schools. You already have two WL's but with more clinical experience in hand in a reapp (scribing hours done), you might be able to do better. Add some DO schools in the mix, and you might have a good shot at an acceptance. You don't need to retake the MCAT if you choose schools wisely. You could probably be okay with postbac DIY coursework but a Master's would definitely help you if you can perform well in those courses.
Jun 11, 2010
Somewhere west of St. Louis
  1. Non-Student
You're fine right now for DO. If you're gunning for the MD, you're doing to lose two years of clinical salary.

But yes, there are MD schools that reward reinvention, and your MCAT score is one data point in your favor of that.

FYI: beware of the mindset if of "I know I can do better"...most people actually don't, and we Adcoms are leery of perfectionists, especially when your score is excellent...like yours.
Oct 14, 2011
  1. Academic Administration
Thanks for your feedback. The thing is, I planned on studying the entire summer before my MCAT in August of 2018, but the studying time was drastically cut short to about a month after I tore my ACL at the start of that summer. Will my chances to get into a higher-tier medical school not be improved if I can score significantly better? Especially since it can possibly make up for my lower GPA
High MCAT will not compensate for low GPA. If anything the disparities are highlighted.

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Full Member
Volunteer Staff
7+ Year Member
Mar 12, 2013
  1. Resident [Any Field]
You should be worrying about getting into ANY medical school before worrying about top-tier. Your sGPA is likely way too low for top tier schools at this point and I don't think it's really possible to get it high enough to be considered for top-tier. Don’t retake your MCAT. I think it shows bad judgment retaking a 513. Put your energy into raising your sGPA by doing DIY postbac or the masters but make absolutely sure you do well. If you don’t do well, you are going to decrease your chances because this shows that even when your back is up against the wall you didn’t perform.

Also, I would apply to WAY more schools next time and include DO schools as well.
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