Status
Not open for further replies.

Goro

SDN Gold Donor
10+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2010
64,913
99,738
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status (Visible)
  1. Non-Student
Hi - i am the parent of an applicant in this year's cycle trying to sort through some conflicting advice that she's been given about what to change for reapplication next year. She's given me her info to ask (and permission - she tries to stay off boards because she says it stresses her out) so if i don't get all the terminology right, apologize ahead of time. Context/background:

-Graduated with BS in Neuroscience in 2017, stayed extra year to get 2nd major in Spanish and minor in Latin American studies from quite a good school on east coast (not Ivy or anything). Final UG graduation 2018
-Undergrad cGPA 3.55, sGPA 3.49 - strong upward trend (started at a 3.1 and was above 3.75 most of last two years). First year she had a sick parent and flew home once a month (didn't talk about that on app)
-Did an SMP at one of the better programs (East coast) in 2018/2019. Graduated with 3.79
-MCAT: 504 first take, 509 second (127/126 for Cars/127/129). Didn't study first time, tried to study at end of SMP the second time while still finishing research project, moving, starting new job (sigh). That said, practice tests weren't higher than 512, so not sure what a retake potential is
-Research/lab: 750 hours during SMP in MS, 1800 hours in undergrad in neuroendocrinology lab over multiple years- multiple posters/presentations
-Paid internship - gene therapy - 600 hours; paid internship endocrinology practice (admin work + shadowing) 480 hours
-Volunteer non-clinical: 270 hours hispanic senior center during undergrad, 420 hours tutoring at elementary school in disadvantaged, mostly hispanic, area - also undergrad, more hours with ALS walks, raising money for ALS
-Clinical (paid): ER scribe last two years undergrad 1280 hours; full time job now managing clinical trial at Ivy league medical center in neurology area - ALS (plus two other centers one in the south, one in the midwest) where has 'own patients' she works with and about 65-70% of time is clinical, rest is the management of the trial. Started this job July 2019 so was NOT on current AMCAS.
-Clinical other (shadowing, volunteer): 6 weeks in Africa 150 hours, volunteer (work and shadowing) medical clinic in Spain for 3 months 480 hours; clinical shadowing plastic and reconstructive surgery 240 hours; clinical rotations honors program in high school (so not college) for 2 years - 1000 hours across many specialties including ER, surgery, primary care, ob/gyn, etc.
-Other: Leadership - orientation leader all last 3 years undergrad; Competitive Irish dance - late high school, most of the way through college - multiple medals, made it to regional champs her sophomore year of college - championship level dancer since age 8 - danced about 12 - 15 hours a week in college
-PS - so she has a lot of adversity despite coming from upper middle class anglo background. Her father had terminal illness (ALS) for most of her life, on home care, breathing support last 5 years. Died when she was 14. Was brutal for her and siblings. watching this was a big push for her into medicine. Also, was a nationally competitive athlete in an (non team) Olympic sport. Made it to junior nationals 3 times. Online schooled, trained 5-6 hours a day from age about 8 to 15. Career ending injury (and almost other things ending injury) at 15. She went back to dance after as she couldn't do her sport. Basically had to reinvent her whole life.
-Applied to 18 schools this cycle (received 23 secondaries but didn't finish) including Drexel, Temple, Cooper, Jefferson, RWJMS, Rutgers, Seton Hall, Loyola, Rush, Ros Franklin, Vermont, GWU, Tulane - don't remember the rest. No DO as wasn't interested because wants to specialize. Changing her mind on that too. Applied late because MCAT last summer delayed 1 month because her computer on test day failed. She had to wait a month to take again - end of July. Verified early september, secondaries done between september and end october. Got 3 interviews only - Cooper, Drexel, and one still to go with her SMP. Waitlisted at the first two

So...questions:
1. Should she take the MCAT a 3rd time? She has received conflicting advice here. She might do better, might not. Likelihood of scoring 515 - not great
2. Is she missing something in the ECs, etc. that is a red flag? Will she have enough update for this next cycle with job and PALS stuff? She has been now part of PALS (helping ALS patients and families in the home) so that's new. She believes there are no issues with her LORs. Has strong UG prof recs, good SMP recs, and new rec from a doctor in her current job that wasn't in this year's amcas. Will also have program director for next cycle. has just been promoted to handle all of the regulatory for clinical trials the centre runs (not just hers). Relevant/important? Not?
3. Where to apply/reapply: she was a texas state resident last year but didn't apply to texas schools (sigh) because she felt she was too late. Not a texas resident this year unfortunately as i can't put her on my taxes because she's past 23. Is applying to texas schools this year in addition to others mostly because we do have some important general school alumni connections at UNT in Fort Worth and several schools in Houston, plus Kansas (lots in Kansas). So not a texas resident but born, grew up, high school, parents live, grandmother lives, etc. Texas. Current residency is PA. Should she reapply to schools where she didn't get interview this year? Would she have enough change in app to warrant it?
4. GPAs - i feel like she's done what she can with the really good SMP performance but open to suggestions. Will the SMP just get tossed because UG grades more important?
5. She didn't have much of a strategy this cycle and didn't think she needed much help. Has definitely changed her mind on the help now. She wrote her essays, i edited them. I've since read here that parents doing that = not good idea. i was a professional editor earlier in my career so feel like flow, grammar and all that got taken care of well. Content was up to her. I feel like she needs help and an organised strategy. Right now she's focused on prepping for her SMP interview which is MMI (first one). Any help would be welcome. Please could you take a lot of the identifying info off in any reply to the board. Many thanks!
1. Should she take the MCAT a 3rd time? She has received conflicting advice here. She might do better, might not. Likelihood of scoring 515 - not great

With your daughter's weak MCAT history, I'm worried that she's hit a plateau. Most people either stay the same, go down in score, or only go up a point or two. A 509 is a good score. The fact that your daughter scored II at her state schools and her SMP parent, but still couldn't seal the deal, says that there are non-academic issues hindering her. First and foremost would be interview skills.



2. Is she missing something in the ECs, etc. that is a red flag? Will she have enough update for this next cycle with job and PALS stuff? She has been now part of PALS (helping ALS patients and families in the home) so that's new. She believes there are no issues with her LORs. Has strong UG prof recs, good SMP recs, and new rec from a doctor in her current job that wasn't in this year's amcas. Will also have program director for next cycle. has just been promoted to handle all of the regulatory for clinical trials the centre runs (not just hers). Relevant/important? Not?

The fact that she got IIs says that the application is good. She may have some weak but not lethal LORs that when combined with poor intervie performance, make for a weak ability for her to seal the deal



3. Where to apply/reapply: she was a texas state resident last year but didn't apply to texas schools (sigh) because she felt she was too late. Not a texas resident this year unfortunately as i can't put her on my taxes because she's past 23. Is applying to texas schools this year in addition to others mostly because we do have some important general school alumn connections at UNT in Fort Worth and several schools in Houston, plus Kansas (lots in Kansas). So not a texas resident but born, grew up, high school, parents live, grandmother lives, etc. Texas. Current residency is PA. Should she reapply to schools where she didn't get interview this year? Would she have enough change in app to warrant it?

Texas is too quirky for me to comment on. Do NOT overestimate what strength ties have.


4. GPAs - i feel like she's done what she can with the really good SMP performance but open to suggestions. Will the SMP just get tossed because UG grades more important?


No, the SMp showed that she has reinvented herself and can handle med school courses. For MD, one has to have a strong MCAT to go with that (513 for MD, 510+ for one's state schools, and 505+ for DO)


5. She didn't have much of a strategy this cycle and didn't think she needed much help. Has definitely changed her mind on the help now. She wrote her essays, i edited them. I've since read here that parents doing that = not good idea. i was a professional editor earlier in my career so feel like flow, grammar and all that got taken care of well. Content was up to her. I feel like she needs help and an organised strategy. Right now she's focused on prepping for her SMP interview which is MMI (first one). Any help would be welcome. Please could you take a lot of the identifying info off in any reply to the board. Many thanks!


Here's the deal: beggars can't be choosy. Your daughter wasted an app cycle and a year of clinician salary by not having DO schools on her list. And DOs can specialize, I've sent graduates into Derm, Uro, Opthal, Gen Surg. It's just lot harder.

Have your daughter read these:
Thanks so much for the reply. So 2 clarifying questions:

She didn't apply to her in state schools which this cycle would have been Texas - just NJ state schools and i'm not sure Drexel or Cooper is state - are they? Is there any way for her to know if she's got an average LOR in there? She went through the list of them with me for both undergrad and SMP and the only on she could think would be ok vs.great was her SMP research who said she did a good job, but also didn't know her well i don't think as she's head of a department and super busy. The rest were from profs who she said loved her and her undergrad research who gave her a stellar recommendation for her current job so she knows that one's good. She's also got a terrific new one now from a doc in the clinic and will have a very good one from the director of the trial for this next cycle, but i don't think she can take the research prof off. Thoughts?

Can she reapply to schools that she applied to this cycle and didn't get an interview? her new info would be all of the current clinical trial and patient work, new doc recommendations, maybe better PS - so a lot of update from work but not mcat or volunteer or anything because of the job. Do you have any thoughts on a good list for her, i'm assuming including DOs?

Many many thanks for the insights.
 

Mr.Smile12

Admissions advisor
7+ Year Member
Oct 14, 2011
7,002
3,497
Status (Visible)
  1. Academic Administration
If she is in a SMP, there is likely a couple of faculty members who advise students about their applications, including discussing the personal challenges one has had to face in traveling on the road to medicine. Has the applicant been in contact with current students or admissions recruiters at the schools she desires to attend? Usually these professors provide solid LOR's that should be very strong and supportive. She should know who it is in her program and where successful students from her program have gone for medical school.

To me, I don't really care if you read her personal statement. With a full throat, I ask all my applicants to get it read by all their references and as many people as possible. I never read a personal statement as being the sole voice of the writer, but it should be the result of a lot of mentoring and support the applicant has available.

Yes, DO schools should be on the radar. Beggars can't be choosers now.
 
About the Ads
Status
Not open for further replies.