I hate how this past year has treated me as a person and as an applicant

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arabelias

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This is more of a vent rather than seeking guidance, but I hate how this past year has treated me, as a person and as an applicant.

Going into the application cycle last summer, I was very optimistic about my reapplication chances, I was a month into a new medical assistant job and felt I had done solid work in addressing deficiencies in my previous application too with other involvements. I had moved back home with my parents, and was working to get into a balanced mindset of being more social and active outside of work to keep me energized through this process.

However, right around the time I was getting my secondary applications from schools, I ruptured my Achilles tendon and needed surgery for it. I was suddenly on bedrest for 6 weeks because of my lack of mobility, and having to submit my secondary applications after quickly weaning off the painkillers from surgery. Instead of looking forward to being able to make new connections and involve myself in the community, I felt utterly helpless and isolated. By the time I was cleared to partially return to work 2 months later in a boot, I could only work on administrative duties, as I wasn't able to be on my feet for an extended period of time. By December/January, I could finally do limited clinical duties, but now I was about to be the most experienced person on the team due to significant turnover and had to cover for 4 people.

By late January, I thought I was turning a corner as new hires were coming in and I was wrapping up my 6th interview of the cycle. I thought I could weather the next couple of months in which I would be training the newer staff, while focusing on rehabbing my ankle in my spare time. However, those 6 interviews turned to 4 wait-lists and 2 rejections, and I wanted to hold onto that hope that I would be get off a wait-list sooner rather than later, and that I would be on the back end of my recovery.

But it's now June, I am just now at the point where I no longer have any restrictions due to my injury at the 10 month mark, but I can't say that I've improved myself as an applicant on paper over the last year as a result of this setback. And given that I'm still sitting on 4 wait-lists, I feel empty now with regards to this cycle, with regards to the effort that I've put in and the years of drive and motivation I've committed towards this process, to just get "in the door" and begin my medical school education.

I also want to add that it's not that I'm not falling out of love with medicine as a result of this year; in fact, coming from a research background to working in the clinical outpatient setting has made me appreciate it more. Everytime there's been a hurdle in the clinic or a complex access issue for the patient's, I found myself defaulting into communicating the situation to the patient in a calm and transparent manner, + looping in the relevant providers and staff in resolving the issue. But I often felt invigorated in being able to work on pushing a solution forward within my scope while learning about the clinical implications along the way from the providers I work with.

So it's not that I'm falling out of love of medicine, it's that I'm becoming disillusioned from this admissions process not loving me back.

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It's sounds as if you've achieved a great deal of personal and professional growth in light of your injury and rehabilitation, your employment, and your experiences with the admission process.

It is disappointing to come up empty a second time while holding out a slim hope that you might get a spot off of a waitlist.

This is a second unsuccessful cycle and perhaps these were two back-to-back cycles without sufficient time to improve from rising senior to newly graduated senior at the time of the application submissions. It may be time to step back, reassess every aspect of your application, determine where the weaknesses may be that have kept you from the top step in LizzyM's admissions staircase, and rectify those deficiencies before applying/interviewing again. Six interviews suggests that you had a good application on paper. Two post-interview rejections and four waitlists suggests that your interview performance wasn't enough to get you to the top -- either it was not as good as most or it was very good but you started on a lower stair (good application but weaker than other interviewed candidates). I don't know which category you may have fallen into but it is up to you to figure out what needs to improve and do that to find success in a subsequent cycle.
 
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It's sounds as if you've achieved a great deal of personal and professional growth in light of your injury and rehabilitation, your employment, and your experiences with the admission process.

It is disappointing to come up empty a second time while holding out a slim hope that you might get a spot off of a waitlist.

This is a second unsuccessful cycle and perhaps these were two back-to-back cycles without sufficient time to improve from rising senior to newly graduated senior at the time of the application submissions. It may be time to step back, reassess every aspect of your application, determine where the weaknesses may be that have kept you from the top step in LizzyM's admissions staircase, and rectify those deficiencies before applying/interviewing again. Six interviews suggests that you had a good application on paper. Two post-interview rejections and four waitlists suggests that your interview performance wasn't enough to get you to the top -- either it was not as good as most or it was very good but you started on a lower stair (good application but weaker than other interviewed candidates). I don't know which category you may have fallen into but it is up to you to figure out what needs to improve and do that to find success in a subsequent cycle.

Thanks for the support LizzyM, I think I'm just particularly exhausted with this process as I'm now 4 years out of college, I want to feel some stability about my future rather than having my plans being so mercurial. I don't know if I now appear weaker as a candidate now that it would be approaching a point where I'll be 5 years removed from having taken my pre-req classes as well.

I had felt optimistic earlier on this year as I went from 1 interview the previous year to 6 interviews this cycle, which made me believe I had done the work in addressing the deficiencies from my first cycle. But now, I don't know if it's worth a third application given that I'll be entering a 5th year removed from undergrad.
 
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The unfortunate truth is that there are far more qualified applicants than spots.

I only say that to say please don’t take this as a reflection of you as a human being. Lots of very talented and smart people don’t get into a single medical school.

It still sucks to not get in anywhere though. And being premed sucks regardless. Medical school sucks too, but even on the bad days at least you’re working towards being a physician rather than the chance to become one…..
 
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I'm 10 years out from undergrad and got in this year. Take a few upper level bio classes then apply MD/DO next year with a new MCAT. You got this, dude.
 
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I know it doesn't feel like it, but multiple waitlists mean you're a good candidate. Schools don't waitlist students that they don't think would succeed / that they wouldn't be happy to take. It just means you were a bit less competitive in some area than other students that were accepted, not that they don't think you would be a good doctor.

I want to echo LizzyM's point about back-to-back cycles, since that's what it seems like you were doing. In my experience, it's really, really hard to have a major increase in competitiveness because the things you're doing in that year aren't going to be reflected in your new application.

Your next application will be able to showcase all of the amazing growth and opportunities from this year. It wasn't the year you wanted, and it was a hard year, but now you can talk about moving into a leadership position, into better understanding of the struggles of patients going into rehab, etc.

And, you won't have a major surgery + recovery while you're writing secondaries!
 
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OP: just wondering, did you follow through with any suggestions made on your WAMC?

I'm sorry about your bad luck. One could believe that you work to get your (good) luck, but there are no guarantees in medical school admisssions.
 
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OP: just wondering, did you follow through with any suggestions made on your WAMC?

I'm sorry about your bad luck. One could believe that you work to get your (good) luck, but there are no guarantees in medical school admisssions.

Based on the suggestions provided in that thread, and what opportunities were available to me at the time, here's what I worked on:

Beginning in Feb/March 2023, I was able to start volunteering with a local church to help prepare and work a Middle Eastern festival + began getting volunteering on a committee for Boston Pride. Off the top of my head, that was ~200 hours non-clinical volunteering combined.

Also in spring 2023, I picked up a couple of per-diem shifts as a PCA working in a Geri-psych unit, which I appreciated, until I found a full-time position as a Medical Assistant in June 2023 for a women's multispecialty clinic that allowed me to move back in with my parents. Also left my full-time research coordinator position of 2.5 years to begin this job.

I was also able to get some shadowing (~20 hours) this spring from some of the GI and Endocrine providers that I worked with, as they offered to let me observe procedures and outpatient visits when I wasn't on shift.

As of this month, I am now being floated to help assist a primary care clinic at another site.

But I would say looking back, I had been incorporating the feedback that was provided to me, with the drawback being that I took some time to get it all in motion.
 
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Based on the suggestions provided in that thread, and what opportunities were available to me at the time, here's what I worked on:

Beginning in Feb/March 2023, I was able to start volunteering with a local church to help prepare and work a Middle Eastern festival + began getting volunteering on a committee for Boston Pride. Off the top of my head, that was ~200 hours non-clinical volunteering combined.

Also in spring 2023, I picked up a couple of per-diem shifts as a PCA working in a Geri-psych unit, which I appreciated, until I found a full-time position as a Medical Assistant in June 2023 for a women's multispecialty clinic that allowed me to move back in with my parents. Also left my full-time research coordinator position of 2.5 years to begin this job.

I was also able to get some shadowing (~20 hours) this spring from some of the GI and Endocrine providers that I worked with, as they offered to let me observe procedures and outpatient visits when I wasn't on shift.

As of this month, I am now being floated to help assist a primary care clinic at another site.

But I would say looking back, I had been incorporating the feedback that was provided to me, with the drawback being that I took some time to get it all in motion.
Did you have any DO schools on your list?
 
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Beginning in Feb/March 2023, I was able to start volunteering with a local church to help prepare and work a Middle Eastern festival + began getting volunteering on a committee for Boston Pride. Off the top of my head, that was ~200 hours non-clinical volunteering combined.
Festival planning and committee service are low quality experiences. For a better one think soup kitchen, homeless shelter, Big Brothers & Sisters, etc. Since you identify as LGBTQ+ I'm sure you can find opportunities in that space. Homeless LGBTQ+ youths in particular are subject to extra layers of risk and violence.

Looking at your overall application, your GPAs are reasonable (3.7 c and 3.6 s) but just on the lower edge of average. Your MCAT is likewise reasonable (512), but you did have a lower first take (504). Your other two big highlights (CRC and MA) are both employment. Obviously you need to feed yourself, but these are both fairly common jobs for applicants in gap years.

I suspect that schools interview you because your application is intriguing and you have decent metrics, but your somewhat disappointing experiences are causing you to lose the "tiebreaker" votes on the back end, thus relegating you to unfortunate positions on waitlists.
 
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Did you have any DO schools on your list?

I applied to 3 DO programs, interviewed with 1 that I'm on the waitlist on.

Because I was eligible for FAP for AMCAS but not AACOMAS, applying to those 3 DO programs cost the same as my application to 34 MD, which was the reason I didn't apply to more at the time.
 
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Sooo in a wild turn of events, I got off two of my waitlists this week!! 🥹

Thanks all for the encouraging words on this post. The relief I feel after this week and these 4 gap years, knowing that I’ll be starting med school in a couple of weeks, cannot be described in words.
 
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