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I got accepted...should I take it or reapply?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Liz10185, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. Liz10185

    Liz10185 Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    new york
    I know it sounds like a ridiculous question and I'll probably get responses that go "Are you serious? It's a US med. school...don't turn it down!"
    But I don't know... I got into Albany, which I'm sure is a great school, but it doesn't seem to be a very research-focused institution, and my ambition is to get involved in neurology research (I plan on doing a fellowship after med school... not an MD-PhD program though- too long)

    Should I reapply? I think the main reasons that I didn't have much success this cycle are:
    a. I applied late... I was stupid enough to wait until the deadline for all the schools, not realizing that it would make a big difference!
    b. Orgo- bad grades on Orgo really dragged down my gpa
    I could take Orgo I and II this summer... I'm sure that I can get an A or at least an A- in both (I did badly in the classes before because I was spending too much time on extracurriculars). I can submit my apps ASAP and for the rest of the year I can work at a lab and do some volunteering.

    But as a reapplicant with a not-so-good gpa who turned down a medical school (which my advisor says other med schools would look down on), would I have a chance at all next year, especially as the number of applicants is growing each year?

    Whew... sorry for the long message but I'd really appreciate any feedback!
    edit 4/26:
    I'm still getting people responding to my question, so I just want to make it clear that I already put in my deposit for Albany. thanks for all the advice!
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  3. triangles

    triangles Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    May 31, 2006
    shut up, ho!
  4. RowaH

    RowaH 2+ Year Member

    Apr 13, 2007
    Hi Liz!

    As I can deduce from your application specs, assuming they are true, you have very nice EC's and a decent MCAT score. What has brought you down was your GPA (I guess you already knew that).

    I suggest you grab this opportunity and never let go! There is no certainty in whether you'll get another opportunity in the future.
  5. moomix906

    moomix906 2+ Year Member

    Mar 24, 2007
    why did you apply to albany if its not a program you wanted?

    All the med schools that you reapply to next year are going to wonder that
  6. OncoCaP

    OncoCaP 2+ Year Member

    Aug 28, 2006
    Houston, Texas
    Take it.
  7. gotmeds?

    gotmeds? 5+ Year Member

    Oct 9, 2006

    God, I love these new smileys.
  8. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student 7+ Year Member

    There have been other threads on this and the majority of the suggestions have been to take it. It's kind of a risk you're taking when you decide to reapply with an acceptance already in hand. And there's no guarantee that you'll get into a better program than the one you're currently in and you'd have wasted a year waiting.
  9. Dr JPH

    Dr JPH Banned Banned 10+ Year Member

    Feb 4, 2000

    Do Albany a favor and stay home. :)
  10. crazy_cavalier

    crazy_cavalier T3-Weighted 7+ Year Member

    Your assumption in turning down Albany is that, upon reapplying, you will get into another school. Keep in mind there are no guarantees and it is possible that you will be sitting in your chair next year with nothing in your hands. That is the biggest risk to your decision making tree.

    It is also possible that you could get into another school that you would favor above Albany. The alleged benefit here is that you would have a better avenue to conduct neuroscience research.

    Regarding the risk - this is a real risk. You have an impressive MCAT and some of the other areas of your application look quite strong. However, your GPA is indeed weak, and the decision to reapply would be frowned on immensely. Personally, I would view this as an incredible sign of poor decision making and if it came up in an interview with me, I would not be convinced by the reasoning you outlined in reapplying.

    Why is that? Because the benefit you cite - wanting to be enabled to do neurology research - is not a true benefit of reapplying and getting into another school with "stronger research focus". The truth of the matter is this: you can do the things you want to do, "even" if you are at Albany.

    You obviously know that it is highly unlikely you will be doing research during the year while also taking on the academic load of a med school curriculum. For this reason, most medical students who do research will do so during either the summer between year 1 and year 2, or during a whole additional year that comes either between year 2 and year 3 or after year 4 (such as the fellowship you mentioned). That said, you can do this research anywhere through various programs and fellowships that exist all across the country - your med school will not limit your ability to do research!

    There's really a lesson to be learned here, and it's one that pops up time and time again on SDN when people like you creep up with these "I want to reapply, even though I have an acceptance..." scenarios. That lesson is this: DO NOT apply to a school that you wouldnt want to attend if offered an acceptance!! Why did you even apply to Albany if you view their research opportunities as such a weakness? Oh brother!
  11. coral

    coral Member 5+ Year Member

    Jun 9, 2005
    San Diego
    In all seriousness, while your MCAT score is great and you have good ec's, I think it's pretty well established that at worse you will have the mark that you turned down an acceptance, and at best, you are a reapplicant that may not have enough time to truly improve your application significantly. Concerning the orgo, I myself had two C's in orgo and got acceptances, although I don't think it's those that are solely bringing down your gpa.

    During an interview the question of schools "blacklisting" students that turned down prior acceptances came up--while my interviewer didn't say she would automatically discount them, she said the applicant should be able to articulate why they did so, with very good reasons.

    As an applicant that will be saddened to leave my family in cali, I took that chance and decided that going to med school was more important when I applied to out of state schools. I think you should weigh all of this very carefully and determine what is more important to you. Best of luck with your decision.
  12. jojocola

    jojocola Senior Member 2+ Year Member

    May 19, 2006
    Take it.
  13. boulux

    boulux Member 7+ Year Member

    Aug 17, 2005
    :laugh: well said!
  14. Re3iRtH

    Re3iRtH Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 27, 2006

    I didn't know a 39 was just considered to be a "decent" score.
    *slaps head* whooops i forgot... I am on SDN.
  15. BigRedPremed

    BigRedPremed Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 20, 2005
    Why do all of these kinds of posts begin with "I applied late..."? :rolleyes:
  16. neuroneurd

    neuroneurd 10+ Year Member

    Jan 10, 2007
    Hey Liz. I want to go into clinical neurosci research too after med school, and was thinking the same thing as you a while ago with my acceptance to NYMC. Everyone is researching neuroscience, though, so I'm confident you can find something at Albany. Here's a place to start, though I'm sure you've already looked at it.

    While Albany is definitely no researching powerhouse like the top 10 or anything, I'm sure you could still find a lab with resources that will allow you to end up doing what you want. Like everyone else said, I say take the acceptance and use what Albany has to excel.
  17. beauregard

    beauregard 2+ Year Member

    Mar 2, 2007
    While you're reapplying, you should go ahead and go on Deal or No Deal or something, since you seem to like to take stupid risks.

  18. Mr. Belding

    Mr. Belding The Dude abides 7+ Year Member

    Dec 18, 2006
    Bat country
    ...your GPA didn't hold you back that much. You got interviews at Case and the clinic...

    retaking a pre-med pre-req that you have already taken twice is not going to improve your application.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011
  19. PlayMeSomeMusic

    PlayMeSomeMusic Always waiting... Moderator Emeritus 2+ Year Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    From those of us who have yet to get an acceptance.. I'll gladly take yours and you go reapply.. maybe you'll get in .. maybe you won't.. but at least i'd have your acceptance lol :D
  20. TheGreatHunt

    TheGreatHunt High Performance 7+ Year Member

    Jan 5, 2007
    Not to be a jerk, but your stats aren't really THAT impressive...

    I'd take this opportunity.
  21. SanDiegoSOD

    SanDiegoSOD Milk was a bad choice 7+ Year Member

    Jul 5, 2004
    Sunny California
    You know it sounds ridiculous, and yet you ask anyway. Let me tell you this - the "research focus" that you crave isn't really relevant. Other than between first and second year, and possibly a year-off research year, you won't have the time for a significant project (perhaps you can fit in a few hours a week of research as an MSI-2). You can always go down state during the summer and do research at Colombia or Cornell during your summer, so don't worry so much about that.
    Take the spot. As a reapplicant, you have to know how crappy this process is, and the reward to risk ratio for this gamble doesn't sound like a winning proposition.
  22. moomix906

    moomix906 2+ Year Member

    Mar 24, 2007
    I don't totally agree with this - plenty of students get at least a little involved in some form of research or another, although of course its nothing close to full time work.

    On the other hand...OP, you said yourself your EC's ruined your should probably reconsider doing med school and research at the same time

    I think you should evaluate what kind of neurology research you want to do -then compare it against current neuro work at Albany. If it really just totally doesn't match, only then you should consider reapplying. Just because a school doesn't have a research focus doesn't mean you won't find a great lab.

    Even if you do consider reapplying though, you have a couple major problems to consider

    1) you already retook Orgo II - med schools won't care how busy your EC's were. The fact is you chose to retake Orgo II and did poorly both times - that reflects badly on your judgement

    2)you were hurt a lot by applying at the last minute. Reapplying won't make up for it since you have one acceptance, so you need something meaningful to do for a year - and you need it like right now.

    3) your gpa is really low - as much as your MCAT and EC's are great, I personally think GPA is still the big deal(I know theres raging debate on this)...and the your choices for this cycle were too top heavy

    4)your reasons for not taking Albany make you look bad, no matter what angle you look at it from.

    I think you are better off taking Albany and pursuing Cleveland with every last breath...goodluck to you and I hope it works out
  23. FenderHM

    FenderHM Where there's a will... 7+ Year Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    i know a girl DYING to get a spot at Albany, so if you dont want it give it up!
  24. Steve203

    Steve203 5+ Year Member

    Jan 26, 2006
    not to be a jerk either, but your GPA isn't all that much do you really think you can raise it? Probably not very much, and most of the top tier schools have cutoffs for GPA and MCAT, so re-applying isn't really going to help you that much unless you have some significant change. I would just take it...talking to most doctors they will tell you that it doesn't matter what medical school you went to.
  25. gsmithers68

    gsmithers68 2+ Year Member

    Nov 29, 2006
    :banana: :lol: Thats all I have to say. Take it.
  26. degoo_

    degoo_ 2+ Year Member

    Oct 15, 2006
    It seems to me your app is very strong with only your GPA hindering you. If you do decline, you better be ready to justify yourself next cycle.
    Also, I'm not sure how much research you'd be doing during the year, but couldn't you just find some hardcore summer research positions? This will allow you to maintain research, and not have the blemish of refusing an acceptance.
  27. Daydreamer2008

    Daydreamer2008 7+ Year Member

    Jan 19, 2007'd be crazy to reapply!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  28. KeepTheHopeUp


    Apr 9, 2007
    Do schools really know if you have previously turned down an acceptance at another school? How would they know this kind of information? The AMCAS only asks if you have previously matriculated at a US medical school -- doesn't really say anything about previous acceptances that were turned down.
  29. beegeforty4

    beegeforty4 Water is hydrophilic. 10+ Year Member

    Dec 23, 2006
    1) Yes
    2) After May 15, each year all schools know where you've been accepted via the AAMC, and they keep record of all the student who have an acceptance/acceptances but didn't matriculate.

    If you do turn down all medical schools after receiving an acceptance -- even if it's just one -- there's a strong possibility that you'll be blacklisted (and when I say strong I mean ~95% chance). Because schools don't want to go through that whole process with you if you aren't going to medical school anyway. You're just doing it for fun and wasting people's time...

    So my advice is to take it (it's only four years anyway).
  30. neopentanol

    neopentanol Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Do they know even if you didn't apply to the school you turned down using AMCAS?
  31. beegeforty4

    beegeforty4 Water is hydrophilic. 10+ Year Member

    Dec 23, 2006
    Now you've stumped me...and you win Ben Stein's Money!!!!

    Seriously though, I'm not sure. That's a great question.
  32. FoughtFyr

    FoughtFyr SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Mar 19, 2003
    Yes, unless the school is not accrediated by the AAMC.

    - H
  33. KeepTheHopeUp


    Apr 9, 2007
    My understanding is that AMCAS schools only know where you've been accepted if they themselves have accepted you. They can't go and 'look up' applicants unless they have extended an offer too. Around the May 15 deadline the database is dynamic, so as acceptees drop other acceptances - they 'disappear' from the database as having an acceptance at a particular school. Is this correct? From what I understand from other postings etc. is that there is no 'permanent' record of acceptances etc. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I think that is the case.
  34. FoughtFyr

    FoughtFyr SDN Lifetime Donor Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Mar 19, 2003
    You are wrong. There is a list, published after the start of the school year and available to all AAMC schools that lists two things. First, the students who have entered school and which schools they entered, second the students who have been extended offers but are not enrolled. For those students all acceptences are listed. What would "work" is if you were accepted to a DO school, declined, and then lied to hide that acceptence when applying to allopathic schools the next year. But allo to allo - no.

    But don't take my word for it. From:

    "For all AAMC-member institutions, AMCAS provides a passwordprotected
    Web site ( with a
    variety of resources, including online reports on school-specific and
    national medical school applicant pools. Rosters and statistical reports
    regarding the national and individual medical school applicant pools are
    also available. Information on the multiple acceptance status of applicants
    is an important tool for most admissions offices as the application cycle

    BTW - that handbook can answer alot of your questions.

    - H
  35. docmode

    docmode Member 5+ Year Member

    Jan 18, 2006
    I don't think it was the late application that did you in but rather your low GPA which will be hard to raise. A stellar MCAT with a low GPA is a red flag to med schools concerning your work ethic, etc. since much of the work is similar to Orgo. I would most definitely take the admission offer since it is very tough at this point to raise your GPA. There is much time and opportunity ahead for the research you want. Albany I bet will work out fine.
  36. sunny1

    sunny1 2+ Year Member

    Jan 13, 2007
    I think you should go to Albany. You seem to be enough of a self-starter with your leadership in extracurriculars and prior research experience that I think you would be able to do meaningful research there if you found a willing mentor and lab space, or better yet, an ongoing funded research project. If not, then as another poster mentioned, you can take your summers and do research elsewhere.

    By the way, it looks to me like Albany does have ongoing neurosciences research?
  37. GujuMD

    GujuMD 1K member 5+ Year Member

    Feb 28, 2006
    IF I were you, I would take the acceptance...b/c you never know what could happen next year.
  38. HumbleMD

    HumbleMD hmmmm... 7+ Year Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    East Coast

    Yeah, it's always the late application, isn't it? Not a lackluster GPA, bad essays, or massive character flaw. Tardiness, of course.

    OP: take the acceptance. Even with the stellar MCAT your low GPA (unless it's coming from Cal Tech or MIT, then I'll shut up), kind of tells the schools that you are intelligent, but too lazy and unfocused to do well in coursework. I'm suprised you were as ambitious as you were in your application, and should have included more realistic, middle of the road schools. Frankly, I think you may have been lucky this time around, and a second shot might not even produce any acceptance barring a massive GPA overhaul.
  39. TerdFerguson

    TerdFerguson Member 7+ Year Member

    Dec 19, 2005
    I was accepted last year, but it was from the waitlist and was my only acceptance. I declined, reapplied, and I'll be a first year this August. It's not impossible to do, but you're really rolling the dice big time, and the next app. cycle will be twice as stressful knowing you may have shot yourself in the foot.
  40. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Agreed. Everybody likes the "I applied late" defense because it lets them believe that otherwise their application was great, and basically abdicates personal responsibility -- it was the calendar's fault. That, or how the process is so random. I know folks who applied really late and got in. I also know a TON of people who took the August MCAT and got in. Honestly, OP, the most likely reason you ended up with the option you did is because your BCPM is lower than average for med school and you did poorly in two prereqs. And as Humble suggests, essays, LORs, interview skills will have impact as well, so we don't know what else may have sidetracked you. In a competitive process, there were probably 7 schools on your list that didn't give you much scrutiny on the GPA point alone - you focused on many of the biggies. Too many of the top school applicants have high MCAT AND high GPA, making you too one dimensional for them -- you would need to really wow them with something else in your app to get past this, and apparently you didn't.

    Lots of the top schools reportedly aren't quite as reapplicant friendly as to first time applicants, and having turned down an acceptance to another allo school is arguably another black mark - creating question as to your committment to medicine. Truth of the matter is med school is med school -- they all have lecture halls, libraries and wards. You will find adequate research opportunities at most med schools, and if not, there are plenty of places you can do research over the summer away from your home school (NIH, etc). Just make the most of your opportunity and good luck.
  41. Green Pirate

    Green Pirate Neurotic Neuro Enthusiast 5+ Year Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    wow you guys have to admit that, aside from her gpa, she has a killer CV. If she had ~3.6 without sacraficing any other aspect of her app, she'd be getting acceptances from all over the place. Your MCAT and extracurrics are really impressive. I guess everyone's right though--you never know what will happen next year. Just go to Albany and rise to the top of the class--you'll still prove your worth to residency directors. You can worry about research later.
  42. Liz10185

    Liz10185 Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    new york
    I just want to point out that I did note my lackluster GPA (and the fact that if I reapplied it still wouldn't be that good). I had people read my essay and they liked it, and one of my interviewers remarked that my lor's looked great.

    But thank you everyone for the responses- they were helpful and actually turned out to be not as harsh as I had imagined :)

    So I guess I will go ahead and take it. As for research, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get good fellowship or summer research positions because Albany doesn't have a great reputation, but I guess I'll just have to try my best. And, as you mentioned, I can always try doing research at Albany.

    It also worries me a bit that I wouldn't really get patient exposure until the third year and that the curriculum is organ-based, but that's something I should have looked into before.
    Before last week, when I didn't have any acceptances, I had been looking forward to starting afresh with applying (try to improve my stats as much as I can, pick the right schools, apply early) and using the year to do all the things I've wanted to do. But since it seems that blacklisting is an important factor, I guess this is out of the question. I wish I'd put some more thought into the list of schools I applied to!
  43. etf

    etf Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2005
    yeah i was about to say that YOU WILL NOT GET IN NEXT TIME! only to scare you though, because no one really knows that except the adcoms. take the money and run.
  44. Old ortho

    Old ortho 2+ Year Member

    Mar 11, 2007
    My suggestion:

    1. Accept Albany
    2. Write LOI to the waitlists school hoping you can get in a better school
    3. Do your best at Albany and either apply to transfer in two years or apply for a good residency program.
  45. Topspin82

    Topspin82 Shaken *and* Stirred 5+ Year Member

    Aug 21, 2004
    Take the acceptance and go with it. I can't believe anyone would want to go through the application process again. I'm a reapplicant, so I know what it feels like. :mad:

  46. Waiting4Drexel

    Waiting4Drexel Member 2+ Year Member

    Jun 7, 2006
    first of all, i'll start by saying that im on the waitlist at albany, so obviously i want you to drop your acceptance.

    after interviewing at albany, i can see where you are coming from. albany is not great for research, is in a cold dreary place, the facilities are not great, and is very very expensive. i think that with your stats you should have no problem getting into school next round. honestly, with your stats i would think you'd get off your other waitlists this round as well.

    all that being said, i would probably take the acceptance, i just wanted to let you know that its not a ridiculous question!
  47. foofish

    foofish 7+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Well, if it's a Texas school, from another thread they take reapplicants who have turned down spots even more seriously (some kid was actually told point blank by several deans of admissions that he had been blacklisted in Texas).

    If it's not an accredited allo school, then you have bigger fish to fry.
  48. HumbleMD

    HumbleMD hmmmm... 7+ Year Member

    Sep 22, 2006
    East Coast
    What's so bad about an organ based curriculum? I almost feel like science is science.

    Also, VERY few programs wrap up the curriculum in less than 2 years to allow patient exposure before year 3, so don't let that stop you. A 2+2 curriculum is the norm, not the exception.
  49. foofish

    foofish 7+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    Also, those top research schools are getting more stringent about how many times you can even reapply...some like Harvard have cut it down to 2 cycles, so if you applied to some of those same schools in your first cycle, you might not even be eligible next year.
  50. soonerfan77

    soonerfan77 Rather be golfin' 5+ Year Member

    Is this thread for real or a [email protected] joke? Take your acceptance!!!! You always hear about those book-smart people who have no common sense. Well..................
  51. CCLCMer

    CCLCMer CCLCM Alum c/o 2011 7+ Year Member

    Jul 10, 2006
    Cleveland expatriate
    Hi Liz,

    I saw you're on hold at CCLCM. Dean Franco should be sending out some more acceptances soon, so hopefully you'll get one (assuming you're still interested in coming here). If I were you, I'd hold on to your waitlists here and at Rochester for a couple more months and see if anything happens. But seriously, whatever happens, don't give up your acceptance to Albany if you don't get off the waitlist anywhere else!

    Getting into med school is the hardest part, and you're already there. Once you're in med school, you can do research if you want to. If you don't want to do research at Albany, then after your first year of med school, go to another institution, anywhere you want that will take you. We have students coming to Cleveland Clinic from other schools all the time. It's pretty common. There are fellowships for med students that you can apply for. If you want earlier clinical exposure, then shadow physicians during your first two years. It's really different shadowing as a med student versus as a premed, because now the doctors will let you do more. Or volunteer in a free clinic. They'll teach you tons, even if it's just how to do an H & P.

    You have such a great opportunity, and it only takes that one single acceptance to make your dream a reality. Don't let a small blow to your ego ruin the chance of a lifetime. You can do this. Good luck!

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