I don't know what I'm doing wrong

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Hi everyone,

I received 10 IIs this cycle which have turned into 4 WLs so far (UVA [in-state], UCSD, Cornell, Yale [with a letter of intent btw]) and I'm expecting 2 more shortly as I've missed all their A waves (VCU [in-state], Mt. Sinai). I have a few more decisions coming out but based on these results I'm expecting just R's and WL's (especially with 2/4 of them being T5s; one other is a T20 and the last is a mid-tier).

I don't get what I'm doing wrong - I think I had a strong application on paper (applied to 29 schools in total, broad school list reviewed by multiple current med students). Many people I've done mock interviews with, and even my faculty/student interviewers at most of these schools, gave me strong, positive feedback on my interview skills/application. I'm so demoralized and I don't know what I'm doing wrong. I don't want to have to reapply.

Any advice or insight from successful applicants, students on adcoms, or faculty/physician adcom members is greatly appreciated (@LizzyM I'm a longtime fan).

Stats: 524, 3.97 cGPA/3.99 sGPA
Applied to 29 MD schools including 3/4 in-state schools (skipped EVMS due to significant lack of mission fit) - got very little attention from the mid-tiers on my list though, and 8 T30 IIs

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What were your stats?

Did you apply to basic MD schools and DO?

It's possible you just weren't competitive enough/drew the short straw. There are way more qualified applicants these days than spots. But if you interviewed at Yale for example you should have gotten into your in state MD and any DO school you applied to. Some people just get cocky and don't apply to those.
 
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Just a fellow applicant here so not an expert. However it’s clear that there is no problem in your actual application.

It could be just the nature of the beast with schools heavily utilizing waitlists. I’ve found that direct acceptances tend to be a combination of super stellar applicants and applicants who satisfy geographical/demographical interests. It could also just be that you are going against the top 1% of applicants at the schools you mentioned and aren’t quite moving the needle enough.

I think you will certainly get off at least 1WL and may even get a direct acceptance from your incoming decisions. I’m sure the experts will give you better info but these are just my 2 cents.

UVA should have accepted you. They’re your in-state school and like high stats so that’s the only one that’s concerning to me.
 
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Well your stats are awesome.

Look, there are no guarantees. I had better stats than you, and I go to a basic mid-tier MD. My point is, you may not have done anything "wrong," you just may have not been as flashy/competitive as other people. Or luck was just against you. There are more competitive applicants than spots.

You should at least get into a mid-tier MD or DO though
 
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Well your stats are awesome.

Look, there are no guarantees. I had better stats than you, and I go to a basic mid-tier MD. My point is, you may not have done anything "wrong," you just may have not been as flashy/competitive as other people. Or luck was just against you. There are more competitive applicants than spots.

You should at least get into a mid-tier MD or DO though
Thank you! I guess this process is just really unpredictable :\ Hopefully my mid-tier at least works out (it has a ~60% OOS post-II acceptance rate), or one of my WLs if I end up with 6-8 of em

I didn't think I needed to apply DO with my stats but I'll consider making my school list much, much broader if I have to reapply.
 
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Just a fellow applicant here so not an expert. However it’s clear that there is no problem in your actual application.

It could be just the nature of the beast with schools heavily utilizing waitlists. I’ve found that direct acceptances tend to be a combination of super stellar applicants and applicants who satisfy geographical/demographical interests. It could also just be that you are going against the top 1% of applicants at the schools you mentioned and aren’t quite moving the needle enough.

I think you will certainly get off at least 1WL and may even get a direct acceptance from your incoming decisions. I’m sure the experts will give you better info but these are just my 2 cents.

UVA should have accepted you. They’re your in-state school and like high stats so that’s the only one that’s concerning to me.
The UVA WL was a huge shock to me. However, looking back, I don't think my application vibed with my interviewers well. I have a very research, leadership, and teaching-heavy application with limited non-clinical volunteering and clinical experience (maybe 200-250 hours of both, although I projected 2k clinical hours due to my gap year job), but I think my interviewers were looking for much more of a service/clinical-focused app
 
My good friend interviewed at 14 of the T20 schools, got WL by I think 10-14 I can't remember the exact number and had 0 acceptances. He got off the WL at Sinai sometime in the summer.
I assume you're an ORM and as an ORM it's insanely hard to stand out and provide diversity - I bet you'll get in!! whether it's off the WL or directly - ur stats are insane - I'd bet you get into Penn or NW, esp Penn bc they're stat lovers
 
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Your WAMC from September 2022

I don't know how you addressed my comments since this was posted.
Thanks for your response. I ended up adding about 100-150 hours of non-clinical volunteering. I also had a strong narrative throughout my writing which I connected with my experiences to paint a clearer picture of my specific passion within medicine. I also made my school list broader by adding mid-tiers as was suggested, but got very little attention from most of them unfortunately

Clearly though I don't have the experiences/extra-curriculars for those top schools, and I guess don't have the right type of experiences or the stats for the mid-tiers I applied to, so I feel kind of caught in the middle.
 
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You were good to get the IIs, so I suspect that despite what happened in your mock interviews, when it came to game day, you couldn't seal the deal.
Still, being on the WL means you're not rejected.
 
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You were good to get the IIs, so I suspect that despite what happened in your mock interviews, when it came to game day, you couldn't seal the deal.
Still, being on the WL means you're not rejected.
Thanks for the honest feedback. I was under the impression that these schools put most of their non-accepted interviewees on the waitlist so it doesn't mean much, but I would love to be wrong. Is there a good chance I'll get off one of them if I end up with 0 A's and 6-7+ WLs?
 
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Thanks for the honest feedback. I was under the impression that these schools put most of their non-accepted interviewees on the waitlist so it doesn't mean much, but I would love to be wrong. Is there a good chance I'll get off one of them if I end up with 0 A's and 6-7+ WLs?
Impossible to answer.

You should be working on Plan B.
 
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Hey! I have seen you around the forums, and as a fellow applicant just want to say to keep your head up. I know uncertain, demoralizing, all consuming and totally unpredictable this process is, and I will be crossing my fingers for you to get off those WLs. I had a similar school list I would imagine (but as an international applicant did not have an in-state school), and also did not receive any love from mid-tier schools. I have had 13 interviews and currently have 3 A's, 1 WL, a post II R and a few like you where I have not heard back in prior waves so not expecting much (Sinai, UCLA, UMass, Vanderbilt). I am still waiting to hear from 3 T10's but am not expecting much given how much of a crap shoot it is.

I think it is so hard when you feel like your application is strong enough to get the interview and then after a decent interview, you are left hanging for months or given a WL. That being said, there are things I can point to in all of my interviews that passed me over in prior waves, or got a WL from that could have made me a less desirable choice - things I said/didn't say, the interviewers attitude/vibe not jibing with mine. Further, all of my A's I have connected to at least one interviewer on a specific hobby I have. This is all to say, a lot of this is luck of the draw, and while it sounds like you have everything you need to get in, you maybe got a bit unlucky (as ****ty as that is to hear) and might have some improvement to make in your interviewing skills. Did you practice with people you don't know? Something I found helpful was paying someone 30 bucks on facebook who doesn't know me to do a mock with. I felt like after I did that, I improved alot bc they were harder on me. For example, I can come across as a little blunt, but my friends and family don't even notice it anymore. A stranger can immediately pick that out and be like....soften up a bit.

With so many WL and 10-30% chance of getting off each individual waitlist, it is likely you will get in, but I get the waiting SUCKS. Think of it a bit like getting an interview invite were you might have a 20-30% of being accepted post-interview. You weren't eliminated and there is a shot with all of those WL. Crossing my fingers for you and sending u the best vibes too!!!!
 
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Hey @sillychemistry !! I've seen you around too and big congrats on your As. Thanks for the advice - I really thought my interviewing was a strong point before applying but it's clear that's not the case. I definitely get what you mean about your successful vs not successful interviews.

Thank u for your support and I'll definitely keep your advice in mind for the future if I end up needing to reapply down the road
 
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ORMs with high stats are usually in a tricky place because they can collect tons of T20 interviews, but the issue always comes down to converting interviews into acceptances. Generally, for applicants without any narrative or those who don't add diversity to the class, schools are hesitant to give a spot and prefer leaving them on the WL just in case they need a high-stat applicant to round out the medians. We also don't know what your essays, ECs, and interview performance looked like, which probably played a major role in these WLs.

It sucks but that's just how the process goes - others can leave their advice on this, but I wonder what would happen if you sent LOIs to every school and withdrew after receiving any acceptance. In theory, this is fair for schools granted you don't try to collect more than one acceptance, but some may see this as unethical regardless. Perhaps also mentioning that you haven't received any acceptances may help (for the non-T20 schools)? Just an idea, but I have no experience with this side of admissions so take the idea with a heavy grain of salt.
 
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ORMs with high stats are usually in a tricky place because they can collect tons of T20 interviews, but the issue always comes down to converting interviews into acceptances. Generally, for applicants without any narrative or those who don't add diversity to the class, schools are hesitant to give a spot and prefer leaving them on the WL just in case they need a high-stat applicant to round out the medians. We also don't know what your essays, ECs, and interview performance looked like, which probably played a major role in these WLs.

It sucks but that's just how the process goes - others can leave their advice on this, but I wonder what would happen if you sent LOIs to every school and withdrew after receiving any acceptance. In theory, this is fair for schools granted you don't try to collect more than one acceptance, but some may see this as unethical regardless. Perhaps also mentioning that you haven't received any acceptances may help (for the non-T20 schools)? Just an idea, but I have no experience with this side of admissions so take the idea with a heavy grain of salt.
I see what you mean, I tried to construct a compelling narrative but I fear I may fall into the box you described of just filling out the class near the end. I'm not comfortable sending letters of intent to all my schools from an ethics standpoint but I will likely send one to UVA (after rescinding the one at Yale) as I think I'm most likely to see movement from them out of all my schools, if it comes to it
 
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I see what you mean, I tried to construct a compelling narrative but I fear I may fall into the box you described of just filling out the class near the end. I'm not comfortable sending letters of intent to all my schools from an ethics standpoint but I will likely send one to UVA (after rescinding the one at Yale) as I think I'm most likely to see movement from them out of all my schools, if it comes to it
Agreed, good luck - hope it works out for you, definitely deserve a spot.
 
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Nothing to add but wanted to say I'm also in a similar position, with 3 WL and 1 R (and waiting on 3 others). Thought my interview skills were mostly fine too. Wishing the best for the both of us this week...
 
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Just wanted to chime in as someone in a similar boat. While I'm super fortunate to have an A, it's for an unranked school extremely far from home. I was a high-stat CA applicant with 7 IIs --> 1 A, 1 R, and 5 WLs, including 2 from UCs. I'd like to think that my interviewing skills were at least average (and I practiced quite a bit), but it's difficult to judge yourself objectively. I plan on sending a letter of intent to my top choice highlighting the school's mission and how my application complements it (obviously check beforehand which schools are receptive to such letters). I think it wouldn't hurt to send letters of interest to the other schools that waitlisted you to hopefully maximize your chances.

Good luck with the upcoming decisions!
 
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Just wanted to chime in as someone in a similar boat. While I'm super fortunate to have an A, it's for an unranked school extremely far from home. I was a high-stat CA applicant with 7 IIs --> 1 A, 1 R, and 5 WLs, including 2 from UCs. I'd like to think that my interviewing skills were at least average (and I practiced quite a bit), but it's difficult to judge yourself objectively. I plan on sending a letter of intent to my top choice highlighting the school's mission and how my application complements it (obviously check beforehand which schools are receptive to such letters). I think it wouldn't hurt to send letters of interest to the other schools that waitlisted you to hopefully maximize your chances.

Good luck with the upcoming decisions!
Thank you - I will plan to do this after my remaining decisions. Best of luck to you too!!
 
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If it’s any assurance, I’ve heard very unofficially that UVA pulls a lot from WL because of how many applicants they lose to higher ranked institutions!
 
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If it’s any assurance, I’ve heard very unofficially that UVA pulls a lot from WL because of how many applicants they lose to higher ranked institutions!
Thank you for the reassurance. I got the interview invite from them pretty early (first week of August) so I hope I'm at the top of the pile to snag the A off the waitlist, especially after sending some updates
 
MSAR (AAMC) has the stats on how many candidates were accepted off the WL at each school, so you can get an idea of which schools (e.g., UVA) are more likely than others to give you the A as the winter and spring proceed. I'm optimistic for you. Good luck!
 
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