DrBrizzle

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 24, 2008
102
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Thanks everyone for all the help given so far- truly appreciate it-

New question though-

To date, ive had 1 interview, which turned into 1 waitlist. My stats are 3.54 BCPM, 3.64 AO, 3.58 overall, balanced 31P. lots of clinical/research/awards/EC stuff. I feel good with my MCAT, but i feel like my GPA isnt doing me any favors. Should I start applying to SMPs (georgetown, U Cinci), or is there something else that I shoould to improve my chances? Im very thankful for the one interview Ive had, and I realize that there is a chance ill be taken off the waitlist, but I just want to cover my bases. What would be the best thing for me to do if come May, I have no acceptances? Thanks a lot!
 
2

213965

I think your numbers are fine. I wouldn't recommend SMP for anyone with GPA over 3.5, and yours is well above that.

I mistakenly enrolled in one this year and am regretting it. I hope you make the right decision.
 

bluesmd

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Aug 18, 2008
2,206
4
is in countdown mode
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
i agree with rennykim, i think one people with a gpa below a 3.5 should consider smp. other than that, strengthen your ECs. could you tell us some of your ECs?
 
About the Ads

magikdoc

Full Member
10+ Year Member
May 17, 2008
104
2
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I agree. I think you are going to get some more love come post-holiday. Haaaaang in there man!
 

DrBrizzle

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 24, 2008
102
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
thanks all! SDN is the only place where I can simultaneously freak my self out and calm myself down at the same time, haha. My EC's are as folows- 60 hours shadowing ortho surg, 2 JBC and JVC papers (acknowledgemtn for assitance, no authourship), research award, 6 months voluntering in two diff hospital wings, science tutor, volunteer for breast cancer recovery group, honors degree, plus a few more. Honestly, i fell EC's are the best part of my app. I just feel stuck in "mediocre candidate" land right now, haha. Thanks for encouragement. But worst comes to worst, what would be my best option for a limbo year? Thanks again everyone!!
 

airplanes

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2008
7,444
337
Miramar
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
How long have you been complete? Your stats look like those of a competitive applicant. Do you have a lot of clinical experience? How good do you think your LOR's and Personal Statement were? If you don't get in this year, find out why from some of the schools you applied to, they can probably tell you the weakest part of your app. Good luck with the rest of this cycle!!
 

beachblonde

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Aug 30, 2007
1,256
5
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
thanks all! SDN is the only place where I can simultaneously freak my self out and calm myself down at the same time, haha. My EC's are as folows- 60 hours shadowing ortho surg, 2 JBC and JVC papers (acknowledgemtn for assitance, no authourship), research award, 6 months voluntering in two diff hospital wings, science tutor, volunteer for breast cancer recovery group, honors degree, plus a few more. Honestly, i fell EC's are the best part of my app. I just feel stuck in "mediocre candidate" land right now, haha. Thanks for encouragement. But worst comes to worst, what would be my best option for a limbo year? Thanks again everyone!!

Ok, I'm going to be honest here because people patting you on the back saying "it'll all work out" really isn't going to help you all that much.

Your GPA is ok-a little low to be super competitive, but definitely fine for many schools, and your MCAT is fine as well. Your ECs: I see the weaknesses as such:
-You don't have a ton of clinical exposure; 60 hrs shadowing + 6 months volunteering is not a ton. More shadowing would be an easy way to help you out.
-I'm sorry, but those papers don't count for much of anything if you don't have authorship. Having research experience is great, but by only having a short thank you in the end-notes shows that you were not necessarily an integral member of the research team. I don't know what your research award is, but it looks odd to have an award for research yet the PI wouldn't give you authorship? Just something to think about.
-The other volunteering experience is nice, but how much of a time commitment was this? You don't say.
-You don't appear to have any leadership experience-this may be holding you back.

I glanced at your mdapps but you didn't say when you were complete. Not being complete early when you're stuck in the land of the "just folks" candidates (as in, not super competitive) can be the kiss of death. Also, what kind of feedback did you get on your essays? If your PS is not up to snuff, that may be killing your app straight out.

And I concur with everybody else, absolutely do not go to an SMP. Save your money.

Good luck-this process sucks and I understand how trying it can be! :luck:
 

DrBrizzle

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 24, 2008
102
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Thanks all for the help! So the general consensus is that an SMP would be a waste of money. So... IF things dont work out this year, what would be my best bet the for following year? Science classes? Clinical experiences? Thanks for the input!
 

magikdoc

Full Member
10+ Year Member
May 17, 2008
104
2
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
nice post beachblonde.

Why not try to do everything humanly possible to improve your app. next year, IF (knock on wood) you don't get in. Clinical experience, shadowing, classes, volunteering, etc. At least that is what I would do if I didn't get in.

BTW, I think you are a very competitive applicant, at least for low/middle tier schools, so I really can't see why you won't get some more love in the future. Don't spaz yet man and enjoy the holidays!
 

DrJD

Junior Member
10+ Year Member
Oct 24, 2005
1,581
4
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
First off I agree that you should not do an SMP, in that you don't need one.

But here is more info assuming your parents are rich:

I have classmates in my SMP who have stats similar to yours that didn't get in last year. This year, the only difference being their enrollment in the SMP they are already sitting on acceptances. These acceptances aren't based on grades (since they haven't been sent out yet) but just because they are in the program.

There are way cheaper ways to improve your app and get into medical school, but again if your parents are footing the bill or if you just really want to do an SMP they do work.
 

XCountry Runner

New Member
10+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2007
4
0
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I was in the similar situation as you were when I applied the first time and I had/still have similar stats as you do. When I didn't get in the first time, I was also considering an SMP because one of the admissions people that I talked to said that my GPA was on the bit of the low side but I was broke so I decided not to enroll in a SMP and to work instead as a lab technician and keep up on my clinical experiences by volunteering for an ems/first responder squad. On the interviews that I went on so far this application cycle, most of the interviewers who asked me what I did during my inbetween years wanted to see that I did something productive and that I matured and learned from my experiences.
When I applied the first time, I got two interviews, one at Mayo and one at Harvard, so I was really confused and frustrated during that application cycle. When I didn't get accepted and was looking for ways to improve, the advice that I got was to apply early, especially with secondaries because I didn't submit those for a few months, to change my personal statement so that it said more about me as a person and my motivation to go into medicine, and to talk more about my activities and what I got out of them. After changing those things on my application, this time around it is going much better and I had several interviews and a few acceptances and my stats didn't change because I couldn't really improve on my GPA with just taking a couple classes and my MCAT score, I had to take it over again because my score expired, was the same as when I applied the first time.
I hope this helps and I hope that you get off the wait-list.
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,876
10,044
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Thanks for great help everyone!

If you don't get in this cycle, I would make an appointment with a dean at one of the schools that rejected you and see what you can do "to strengthen your app for their school for a subsequent cycle". They may tip their hand and give you a hint as to why you didn't make the cut, which should help you next time around. Your numbers and ECs look adequate for admission somewhere. The choice of schools looks reasonable (although a slightly wider net may have been advisable), and it looks like you applied early enough. So you've got to worry about things like your essays, LORs. If either of those weren't impressive, that could knock you out of contention.
 

BarefootinDC

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Nov 20, 2008
28
0
Washington, DC
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
I was in a similar situation you are in last year. I, too, had a decent numbers, but I knew that I was taking a year off and wanted to do something in that year that would boost my competitiveness as much as possible. Instead of just looking at SMP programs, I also looked at other 1-2 year Masters programs, as well as full-time research opportunities.

Now I am at the NIH and I couldn't be happier with that decision. In addition to gaining incredible research experience, you can also take graduate-level courses through the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences.

If you decide to go into an SMP, i.e. Georgetown, they will not send your letter of recommendation until relatively late in the application process (the end of the first quarter, I believe). They say it doesn't hurt you (and they should know, considering that's their job), but with rolling admissions, you never know. Additionally, the people I know who have completed a post-baccalaureate at the NIH have gone on to incredible medical/veterinary schools afterwards (i.e. UCSD, Einstein, Cornell, etc.). Not to say that this will be the result for everyone, but SMP's also don't guarantee admission to medical schools, and at the NIH you will get paid (albeit not a lot) instead of having to pay someone else 45+ grand.

Hope that helps! Good luck!
 

beachblonde

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Aug 30, 2007
1,256
5
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
BarefootinDC, you make an excellent point about the NIH IRTA program. OP, the program will give you tons more research experience and will pay you for it. You could volunteer at a hospital on the weekend and perhaps take a class or two; altogether it's a great option for helping out your app if you have a lag year.

I also second L2D's recommendation of speaking to a dean about how to improve your app; the only issue with this is that most of the time the won't meet with you until later on in the cycle (say, May) and by then, how much can you really do to improve things by the time you reapply in June? That being said, meeting with admissions staff shows your level of interest in the school, and may help you out in getting your app noticed.
 

scarletgirl777

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Mar 25, 2008
2,367
160
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Ok, I'm going to be honest here because people patting you on the back saying "it'll all work out" really isn't going to help you all that much.

Your GPA is ok-a little low to be super competitive, but definitely fine for many schools, and your MCAT is fine as well. Your ECs: I see the weaknesses as such:
-You don't have a ton of clinical exposure; 60 hrs shadowing + 6 months volunteering is not a ton. More shadowing would be an easy way to help you out.
-I'm sorry, but those papers don't count for much of anything if you don't have authorship. Having research experience is great, but by only having a short thank you in the end-notes shows that you were not necessarily an integral member of the research team. I don't know what your research award is, but it looks odd to have an award for research yet the PI wouldn't give you authorship? Just something to think about.
-The other volunteering experience is nice, but how much of a time commitment was this? You don't say.
-You don't appear to have any leadership experience-this may be holding you back.

I glanced at your mdapps but you didn't say when you were complete. Not being complete early when you're stuck in the land of the "just folks" candidates (as in, not super competitive) can be the kiss of death. Also, what kind of feedback did you get on your essays? If your PS is not up to snuff, that may be killing your app straight out.

And I concur with everybody else, absolutely do not go to an SMP. Save your money.

Good luck-this process sucks and I understand how trying it can be! :luck:

My thoughts exactly. You ECs are ok, not great.
 

Law2Doc

5K+ Member
Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Dec 20, 2004
30,876
10,044
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
...the only issue with this is that most of the time the won't meet with you until later on in the cycle (say, May) and by then, how much can you really do to improve things by the time you reapply in June?

Fair point, but there's no rule that says you have to apply for the immediate next cycle. It may be that you have some areas that may take time to improve, in which case spending another year getting it right wouldn't be the end of the world.
 

beachblonde

Full Member
10+ Year Member
Aug 30, 2007
1,256
5
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
Fair point, but there's no rule that says you have to apply for the immediate next cycle. It may be that you have some areas that may take time to improve, in which case spending another year getting it right wouldn't be the end of the world.

True. The issue I cited was the very one I had; the dean told me I needed to do x, y, and z but there was no feasible way I could accomplish all of that within a few months. Or years, really, but that's another point entirely. I didn't want to wait several more years to possibly be accepted to that school, so I went ahead and reapplied. That specific school rejected me outright (thanks guys!) but hey, I've got some acceptances now so I guess I win.
 
About the Ads
This thread is more than 12 years old.

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.