galbijjim

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Nov 3, 2017
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Hi everyone,

I wasn't sure where to post this but I am looking for some advice and areas on where and how to improve my application. I am an ORM Texas resident who went to a good instate public state school that graduated in 2019. My cGPA is 3.8X and my sGPA is 3.8X. My MCAT is a 505 -> 510 with no subsection lower than a 126.

In lieu of not hearing back from any schools with the 505, I started studying for the MCAT again at the end of 2019 and was scheduled to take it in March but COVID-19 ended up pushing it back numerous times and I was not able to take it until June -- ended up getting a 510. I was complete at Texas Schools between the last week of August and first week of September. All OOS schools complete in September.

Summary since graduating: improved MCAT, held 3 part time jobs (currently a math & science tutor), added 100 clinical hours

Other stuff:

Started a Clinical Service Org and served as President for 2 years
2 Cancer Summer Research internships and 2 years as a research assistant at my school (~2000 hours with no pubs)
50 Hours of primary care physician shadowing
400 hours of clinical volunteering (psych hospital and regular hospital)
150 hours of nonclinical volunteering (split equally between food fundraisers and disadvantaged elementary school volunteering)
Other ECs include a business club and a food club

I'm wondering what might be the cause for no responses? I realize that I applied late for Texas and that is very important but perhaps there is something else? I'm worried that because of COVID I was unable to add anything super meaningful to my application. I'm in the midst of applying to go back to my alma mater as a research assistant in the time being but am worried that I won't be able to get any service hours due to what's going on right now.

Someone suggested to me that it could be my LOR writers and my essays. My LORs came from a PI, a PI who I classified as a professor, and a math professor. Perhaps they are too science heavy? I am of course going to apply extremely early next cycle and going to revamp my essays as much as possible again. What do you guys think?
 
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I'm not sure if this applies to Texas schools, but many schools require 2 science/1 non-science LOR.

Other than that, I'm pretty shocked you're on your third app as a Texas resident. Did you receive any interviews?

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galbijjim

2+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2017
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I'm not sure if this applies to Texas schools, but many schools require 2 science/1 non-science LOR.

Other than that, I'm pretty shocked you're on your third app as a Texas resident. Did you receive any interviews?

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
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I haven't received any interviews. The only response that I have heard is that that I was waitlisted for an interview from an out of state school.

I called a few Texas schools a few months ago suspecting that they may have required a non-science LOR but they actually said it was not explicitly required. I also can't seem to find it mentioned anywhere for Texas schools. Should I get one just in case?

edit: I was unclear in that this is my second reapplication. I am preparing for a third-reapplication this upcoming year because I feel like my chances are quite slim right now.
 
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galbijjim

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Nov 3, 2017
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List the schools you applied to. We might see the problem there
Thanks for the reply! Here are the schools I applied to. I want to reemphasize again that I was complete at Texas schools between the last week of August and the first week of September. All other schools were complete during the month of September. Would my application timing be detrimental to me? I know that schools said they would be more lenient and understanding, but with the assumption that many people got affected I keep thinking that no leniency was realistically given.

All Texas MD and DO

DO
: Des Moines & Western University

MD:
Albany Medical College
Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University
Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine & Science
Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
Creighton University School of Medicine
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Florida International University Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine
Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University
Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Georgetown University School of Medicine
Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine
Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine
Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
Medical College of Wisconsin
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
New York Medical College
Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Saint Louis University School of Medicine
State University of New York Upstate Medical University
TCU and UNTHSC SOM
The University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences
Tufts University School of Medicine
Tulane University School of Medicine
University of Colorado School of Medicine
University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine
University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
Wake Forest School of Medicine of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Wayne State University School of Medicine
West Virginia University School of Medicine
Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine
 

Damson

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Two things
- Can you get a non-science letter? You very likely need it. Schools may have just ignored your application when they saw your app was missing that letter.
- Apply to more than 8 DO schools. Add in your texan school UIWSOM. Suggest KCU AZCOM OUHCOM OSUCOM UP-KYCOM NSU-KPCOM LECOM(all campuses) VCOM (all campuses) etc etc. If you want safety schools add ICOM BCOM WCUCOM

Research all DO schools, apply to the ones that match your applicant profile
 

Osteosaur

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I'm sorry you're in this situation. Your ECs look well-rounded, and while you have a week MCAT you have a pretty strong GPA. Your school list looks pretty decent too: lots of mid-tier schools that give interviews to OOS applicants.

1) What are the actual LORs? You have two science? Try to get a non-science and if you're truly questioning you're relationship with any of your writers maybe try another?

2) When did you apply? For a reapplicant September might be a bit late (for a reapplicant, you need to be early/perfect).

3) Did you re-write your essays? Who looked at them? Get a fresh pair of eyes and definitely re-write.

4) Did you get any interviews the first time?

5) Definitely try to do more DO schools if you mean to apply a third time. You need to apply to them like its your last hope. Shadow a DO (Hard I know right now), or at least get a letter from one to show you tried.

Its just so weird you haven't gotten ANY interviews I am wondering if something wasn't transmitted. Can you get feedback from any of your state schools? It strikes me as some glaring omission rather than actually a poor app.
 

galbijjim

2+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2017
13
1
Two things
- Can you get a non-science letter? You very likely need it. Schools may have just ignored your application when they saw your app was missing that letter.
- Apply to more than 8 DO schools. Add in your texan school UIWSOM. Suggest KCU AZCOM OUHCOM OSUCOM UP-KYCOM NSU-KPCOM LECOM(all campuses) VCOM (all campuses) etc etc. If you want safety schools add ICOM BCOM WCUCOM

Research all DO schools, apply to the ones that match your applicant profile
Thank you for the help and responses so far Damson, I really appreciate it.

1. I can get a non-science LOR. I could easily get one from my recent clinical volunteering -- she would be the manager of volunteer services. What do you think of that? Or should I try and get a letter from my university faculty? (would be more difficult, but willing to try if that's better)

2. Definitely going to apply to more DO schools. I was unable to get my MD physician letter of recommendation this cycle but I am definitely going to try and get it this round. Would you suggest trying to get a DO letter? I'm really unsure of how to get that in the current state of things.
 

galbijjim

2+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2017
13
1
I'm sorry you're in this situation. Your ECs look well-rounded, and while you have a week MCAT you have a pretty strong GPA. Your school list looks pretty decent too: lots of mid-tier schools that give interviews to OOS applicants.

1) What are the actual LORs? You have two science? Try to get a non-science and if you're truly questioning you're relationship with any of your writers maybe try another?

2) When did you apply? For a reapplicant September might be a bit late (for a reapplicant, you need to be early/perfect).

3) Did you re-write your essays? Who looked at them? Get a fresh pair of eyes and definitely re-write.

4) Did you get any interviews the first time?

5) Definitely try to do more DO schools if you mean to apply a third time. You need to apply to them like its your last hope. Shadow a DO (Hard I know right now), or at least get a letter from one to show you tried.

Its just so weird you haven't gotten ANY interviews I am wondering if something wasn't transmitted. Can you get feedback from any of your state schools? It strikes me as some glaring omission rather than actually a poor app.
Thanks for the help Osteosaur. It means a lot.

1. 1 PI from my research internship classified as a supervisor, my school PI classified as a teacher, and my physics professor. Now I know math is in the gray area but I consider these three to be all science letters. I do not question my relationship with any of them as our relationships span at least 1 year or more. However, my math professor uploaded the letter extremely quickly which leads me to believe that it may not have been the most tailored letter.

2. I was complete at Texas schools between the last week of August and the first week of September. For all OOS schools, I was complete during the month of September. My completion would be considered late during a normal year, but I was hoping for some leniency because of the current state of things. However, I believe that since that many if not most people got "shuffled" back a bit, that nothing really changed in the grand scheme of things.

3. I rewrote my 2 supplementary Texas essays and heavily revised my personal statement (main content was rewritten except for 1 body paragraph). The 2 Texas supplementary essays were 1) personal characteristics 2) something unique/challenging that I've experienced.

4. I did not get interviews during my first cycle (2019-2020) nor this cycle (2020-2021).

5. I am definitely going to try that and reach out in my area. Do you have any particular tips in mind?

I believe that I did transmit everything and checked the portals of many schools. I believe I look good to go in that regard. If there are any other tips or words of advice you can give me, I would really appreciate it. Thank you so much for your help so far.
 
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I feel like it was either your LORs or your essays, submission date (my bet is your essays and timing of application). Its not impossible to get an interview when you submitted, but it makes it harder. For example, around the time you submitted ur TX secondaries, UTMB had already filled close to November for interview spots and basically had December and 4 January spots left. Since you're a TX resident, you have an advtage over OOS. I would suggest applying very early next cycle (plan on submitting all secondaries by end of June and your primary by early may or mid may to get processed) if needed (who knows you may get an interview invite still. Some schools like Long UT Health still has like two spots open for interviews). Statistically, most of the interview spots get taken up by people who submit their TMDSAS app thru May, June, July. I think you have solid ECs and your MCAT is good enough to get a few interviews (If you want to retake it, you can but I think you would be fine). Personally, I would retake it only because it shows dedication and wanting to make yourself more competitive. If you could score around 515<, you would be even more competitive. Regardless, if you cant retake it or don't want to, I believe you should still be fine.

I seriously think its your essays or LORs. Probably your essays? Unless one of your LORs wrote something horrible about you? Or maybe just didnt hype you up and didnt talk about you well? Do you have a good relationship with them?

For essays, they go a long way believe it or not. I've heard many adcomms say they throw out apps when they dont like a PS, or secondaries (not saying thats you just making a point). Im assuming thats where the biggest concern is? If not, this then im not too sure what else it could be. Personally, you seem like a strong applicant. If needed, I think you should send your essays to current med students (if they have time) or accepted students to see their perspective on it.

I know this is a hard time. As a current reapplicant from the last cycle, I know how it feels. But, you will persevere! You've got this; it is very possible to get accepted still and since this is your dream career, it will work out. Texas Tech (both schools) and A&M have workshops you can attend as a reapp where they go over your app and see what happened. Highly suggest it if you have to reapply!!

In the meantime, continue with your ECs and work on non-clinical and clinical activities! Maybe even try more research if you can.
 

Osteosaur

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I'm really baffled you did not even get an interview! When you say 'Complete' do you mean the computer said you were complete, or someone at the admissions office said 'you're good'? I really don't know how it works internally. I always remember that when I applied to Drexel I got a complete, heard nothing, emailed them in feburary, it turned out my payment wasn't processed, and I got an interview the next day...

My assessment is this:

1. I did not catch this the first time, but it seems your ECs are old and not maintained? They were in college and not continued through graduation, yes? The you in school has some great organizations. The current you has 100 clinic hours (which is good!) but has not really been keeping up with shadowing/nonclinical volunteering. Its very hard with COVID but maybe add some kind of activity? I know its very hard especially in this environment and it sucks. I worked a job as a full time lab manager and I think that helped me a lot.

2. Maybe 510 on a retake just is not enough? I would really expect some love here from a state school based on your GPA and ECs but what do I know? I was in the boat of weak shadowing/GPA.

3. Possibly some kind of red flag?

Moving forward:

1. Try and add a new EC. All your ECs are in college and this might be making you look complacent. The guy doing all this shadowing/volunteering/research is awesome, but it does not seem you've kept that up so much. I realize its hard with COVID.

2. Try to reach out to schools. Go through your app and see if they think anything is missing. I gave you my Drexel story. Just try to get a real person to take a look.

3. I had to use a connection to get a DO. If you don't know any maybe try through friends or physicians you do know. Or try an academic center where any kid on rounds is not out of place. Cold-calling at offices is awful and secretaries screen. Doctors personal contact info is well guarded.

4. Who looked at your app? Premed advisor? Get someone new to review it.

@Goro or some adcom might have better insights...
 

Goro

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Hi everyone,

I wasn't sure where to post this but I am looking for some advice and areas on where and how to improve my application. I am an ORM Texas resident who went to a good instate public state school that graduated in 2019. My cGPA is 3.87 and my sGPA is 3.83. My MCAT is a 505 -> 510 with no subsection lower than a 126.

In lieu of not hearing back from any schools with the 505, I started studying for the MCAT again at the end of 2019 and was scheduled to take it in March but COVID-19 ended up pushing it back numerous times and I was not able to take it until June -- ended up getting a 510. I was complete at Texas Schools between the last week of August and first week of September. All OOS schools complete in September.

Summary since graduating: improved MCAT, held 3 part time jobs (currently a math & science tutor), added 100 clinical hours

Other stuff:

Started a Clinical Service Org and served as President for 2 years
2 Cancer Summer Research internships and 2 years as a research assistant at my school (~2000 hours with no pubs)
50 Hours of primary care physician shadowing
400 hours of clinical volunteering (psych hospital and regular hospital)
150 hours of nonclinical volunteering (split equally between food fundraisers and disadvantaged elementary school volunteering)
Other ECs include a business club and a food club

I'm wondering what might be the cause for no responses? I realize that I applied late for Texas and that is very important but perhaps there is something else? I'm worried that because of COVID I was unable to add anything super meaningful to my application. I'm in the midst of applying to go back to my alma mater as a research assistant in the time being but am worried that I won't be able to get any service hours due to what's going on right now.

Someone suggested to me that it could be my LOR writers and my essays. My LORs came from a PI, a PI who I classified as a professor, and a math professor. Perhaps they are too science heavy? I am of course going to apply extremely early next cycle and going to revamp my essays as much as possible again. What do you guys think?
I'm surprised that you haven't had any love.

1) Rewrite all essays and have multiple eyballs vet them

2) You may have a bad LOR

3) You need DO schools on your list. Beggars can't be choosy.

4) I can't recommend an MCAT repeat.
 

Damson

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Thank you for the help and responses so far Damson, I really appreciate it.

1. I can get a non-science LOR. I could easily get one from my recent clinical volunteering -- she would be the manager of volunteer services. What do you think of that? Or should I try and get a letter from my university faculty? (would be more difficult, but willing to try if that's better)

2. Definitely going to apply to more DO schools. I was unable to get my MD physician letter of recommendation this cycle but I am definitely going to try and get it this round. Would you suggest trying to get a DO letter? I'm really unsure of how to get that in the current state of things.

Sorry, I meant non-science professor LOR. This LOR will have to come from faculty/professors who have taught you.

If you're able to get a DO letter by shadowing a DO nearby, go for it. Otherwise an MD letter will suffice.
 
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Thank you for the help and responses so far Damson, I really appreciate it.

1. I can get a non-science LOR. I could easily get one from my recent clinical volunteering -- she would be the manager of volunteer services. What do you think of that? Or should I try and get a letter from my university faculty? (would be more difficult, but willing to try if that's better)

2. Definitely going to apply to more DO schools. I was unable to get my MD physician letter of recommendation this cycle but I am definitely going to try and get it this round. Would you suggest trying to get a DO letter? I'm really unsure of how to get that in the current state of things.
Did anyone catch this part???? OP, please tell me what I think isn't true... that you forgot this as part of the application.......
 
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galbijjim

2+ Year Member
Nov 3, 2017
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I'm really baffled you did not even get an interview! When you say 'Complete' do you mean the computer said you were complete, or someone at the admissions office said 'you're good'? I really don't know how it works internally. I always remember that when I applied to Drexel I got a complete, heard nothing, emailed them in feburary, it turned out my payment wasn't processed, and I got an interview the next day...

My assessment is this:

1. I did not catch this the first time, but it seems your ECs are old and not maintained? They were in college and not continued through graduation, yes? The you in school has some great organizations. The current you has 100 clinic hours (which is good!) but has not really been keeping up with shadowing/nonclinical volunteering. Its very hard with COVID but maybe add some kind of activity? I know its very hard especially in this environment and it sucks. I worked a job as a full time lab manager and I think that helped me a lot.

2. Maybe 510 on a retake just is not enough? I would really expect some love here from a state school based on your GPA and ECs but what do I know? I was in the boat of weak shadowing/GPA.

3. Possibly some kind of red flag?

Moving forward:

1. Try and add a new EC. All your ECs are in college and this might be making you look complacent. The guy doing all this shadowing/volunteering/research is awesome, but it does not seem you've kept that up so much. I realize its hard with COVID.

2. Try to reach out to schools. Go through your app and see if they think anything is missing. I gave you my Drexel story. Just try to get a real person to take a look.

3. I had to use a connection to get a DO. If you don't know any maybe try through friends or physicians you do know. Or try an academic center where any kid on rounds is not out of place. Cold-calling at offices is awful and secretaries screen. Doctors personal contact info is well guarded.

4. Who looked at your app? Premed advisor? Get someone new to review it.

@Goro or some adcom might have better insights...

Thank you for the advice and feedback. You're very correct that I have not had anything nearly as substantial compared to my time in college. I am in the process of starting all of that again during these next 6 or so months. In regards to how I was complete, I checked via computer and even called a few of my state schools. I don't believe I was missing anything!

In your opinion, what do you think I should be doing as my "main job"? I'm not necessarily sure if there's a right answer for me. I may have the potential ability to scribe soon near my hometown or return to my university for research. So I'd either be researching + paid tutoring + nonclinical volunteering OR scribing + volunteer tutoring + nonclinical volunteering. I'm not really sure how I could add clinical hours if I'm not getting paid to be there or if I need to be adding more clinical hours.
 

galbijjim

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Nov 3, 2017
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@Damson @MaxCycle42 -- Yes, I was unable to get it in time and only applied to schools that did not explicitly require them. This limited my ability to apply to many DO schools, and I now believe that it is a soft requirement despite it being "optional" at the ones that I did apply to. Thank you guys for the advice, and I'm going to make sure that I get it this year.
 

galbijjim

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Nov 3, 2017
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I'm surprised that you haven't had any love.

1) Rewrite all essays and have multiple eyballs vet them

2) You may have a bad LOR

3) You need DO schools on your list. Beggars can't be choosy.

4) I can't recommend an MCAT repeat.
Thanks for the advice and tips Goro. If you have the chance to see this, what would you recommend for me in terms of what I'd be doing as my main job until the next cycle?

I have the potential upcoming opportunities to scribe near my hometown or return to university for research. I'd be scribing + paid tutoring + nonclinical volunteering at home. Or I would be researching + volunteer tutoring + nonclinical volunteering back at university.

I would prefer to back to do research but I would not be adding any additional clinical experience -- not sure if that would be considered "necessary" or "better".
 

Goro

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Thanks for the advice and tips Goro. If you have the chance to see this, what would you recommend for me in terms of what I'd be doing as my main job until the next cycle?

I have the potential upcoming opportunities to scribe near my hometown or return to university for research. I'd be scribing + paid tutoring + nonclinical volunteering at home. Or I would be researching + volunteer tutoring + nonclinical volunteering back at university.

I would prefer to back to do research but I would not be adding any additional clinical experience -- not sure if that would be considered "necessary" or "better".
Any employment is good....but avoid working for naturopaths!
 
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Faha

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You should be aware that OOS MD schools, especially state public schools, interview few Texas residents with your stats since they know from years of experience that Texas residents will attend a Texas school. DO schools do not have this bias so you should apply broadly to DO schools and I suggest these:
TCOM
SAM HOUSTON STATE
UIWSOM
KCU-COM
ATSU-KCOM
DMU-COM
AZCOM
TUNCOM
ACOM
MU-COM
CUSOM
VCOM (all schools)
LECOM (all schools)
PCOM (all schools)
WVSOM
WCU-COM
ARCOM
NYIT-AR
UP-KYCOM
 
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galbijjim

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Nov 3, 2017
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You should be aware that OOS MD schools, especially state public schools, interview few Texas residents with your stats since they know from years of experience that Texas residents will attend a Texas school. DO schools do not have this bias so you should apply broadly to DO schools and I suggest these:
TCOM
SAM HOUSTON STATE
UIWSOM
KCU-COM
ATSU-KCOM
DMU-COM
AZCOM
TUNCOM
ACOM
MU-COM
CUSOM
VCOM (all schools)
LECOM (all schools)
PCOM (all schools)
WVSOM
WCU-COM
ARCOM
NYIT-AR
UP-KYCOM
I am aware of that but still tried anyway! Thank you very much for the reminder, I will be more cognizant of that and will take a closer look at my list going forward.
 

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