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zmhs95

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2016
15
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Hello! So basically I am hoping to apply to both M.D. and D.O. schools this summer, but I was just wondering if I could get some advice/insight on the timeline of my application.

So some background:

I just recently graduated this May with a degree in cell biology and neuroscience and a minor in psychology. My cumulative GPA is a 3.6 and my science GPA is a 3.4 (I got two C's in orgo 1 and 2, but everything else is in the A- B range). I was planning to take the MCAT in June, but I didn't feel ready, so I pushed it to August 11.

So my plan was to submit my primary app and letters of rec, but only to one school, by mid-July. Therefore, my app can get verified before my MCAT score is released (I already sent in my transcripts). Then after taking the MCAT on August 11, I would pre-write my secondaries during the month I have to wait before my scores are released, and have them ready to submit by the time my MCAT score is released, which should be on September 12. Then, if I am happy with my MCAT score I would add the rest of my schools to my app and hopefully have everything complete around September 12.

In regards to other aspects of my app, I will be applying without a committee letter, since my school won't write one since I'm taking the MCAT past their deadline. I also have a good amount of research, clinical, shadowing, and leadership experience and I do have 6 letters of rec from professors and doctors I have shadowed. However, I don't really have much volunteering experience.

I was just wondering if anyone had any experience or insight if my plan would work, or am I basically screwing myself over for this application cycle? I really want to avoid taking two gaps years, which is why I really want to try and apply this summer. However, I do want to give myself a good chance at gaining an acceptance, so if anyone has any advice or feedback on whether I should apply this summer or wait until next summer, it would be greatly appreciated !!

Thank you !
 
Last edited:

efle

not an elf
5+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2014
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Hows your AAMC official practice exam score(s) looking?

Looks to me like you should wait though. Waiting lets you get a committee letter, be an early applicant, take your time with the MCAT which it sounds like is giving you some issues, add some volunteerism.
 

zmhs95

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2016
15
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Hows your AAMC official practice exam score(s) looking?

Looks to me like you should wait though. Waiting lets you get a committee letter, be an early applicant, take your time with the MCAT which it sounds like is giving you some issues, add some volunteerism.

I haven't taken a practice test yet, but I'm planning to take my first one by the end of the week
 
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efle

not an elf
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Apr 6, 2014
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I'd come back and bump the thread when you have an AAMC official practice score. If it comes back on the low side, then plan to apply next summer, when you can make your app as strong as possible in the areas I listed above.
 
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zmhs95

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2016
15
1
Status
Pre-Medical
I'd come back and bump the thread when you have an AAMC official practice score. If it comes back on the low side, then plan to apply next summer, when you can make your app as strong as possible in the areas I listed above.
Ok will do. I just haven't made the time to fully commit to the MCAT, but that's going to be my priority for the rest of the summer. If I hypothetically end up scoring around 509 when it comes to August, do you think I should finish applying this cycle?
 

efle

not an elf
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Apr 6, 2014
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Ok will do. I just haven't made the time to fully commit to the MCAT, but that's going to be my priority for the rest of the summer. If I hypothetically end up scoring around 509 when it comes to August, do you think I should finish applying this cycle?
I'd actually still say wait for next summer. A 3.4 sGPA / 3.6 cGPA / 509 is a little bit below average as far as stats, and with no volunteering, lack of school prehealth letter, and being complete late, it is a lot of risk to take just to hopefully start sooner. What state are you from? That can also play a big role in your chances.
 

zmhs95

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2016
15
1
Status
Pre-Medical
I'd actually still say wait for next summer. A 3.4 sGPA / 3.6 cGPA / 509 is a little bit below average as far as stats, and with no volunteering, lack of school prehealth letter, and being complete late, it is a lot of risk to take just to hopefully start sooner. What state are you from? That can also play a big role in your chances.
I'm from New Jersey. So how do you think my chances would stand if I decided to apply now vs. next year? My main problem is that I don't want to wait until I'm 24 to start medical school, which I know doesn't sound like a big deal, but I just feel like I will be wasting two years of my life away.
 

efle

not an elf
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Apr 6, 2014
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I'm from New Jersey. So how do you think my chances would stand if I decided to apply now vs. next year? My main problem is that I don't want to wait until I'm 24 to start medical school, which I know doesn't sound like a big deal, but I just feel like I will be wasting two years of my life away.
Not the worst state to be from, since you have three public schools there. However they aren't great for you to bank on, since the two Rutgers only interview about 1/3rd or less of instate applicants and have MCAT medians of 511-512, and Cooper has a lower median but only interviews about 1/6th of instate applicants.

You have a lot to lose, in terms of time and money and becoming a hurting your future odds by becoming a reapplicant out of impatience. The gain of one year isn't a great way to justify that risk. Having at least one gap year is just as common a route as going straight from college these days!
 

MCATISEZ

2+ Year Member
May 31, 2016
638
537
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From my experience as an current applicant for this cycle, medical school admissions go much beyond academic metrics. A late application puts you at a disadvantage but is not deadly. Many schools look at a lack of a committee letter (if your school provides one... mine does not) as what they on SDN claim as a "red flag" (although I am not sure how much this is true since I never had to deal with it).

As an applicant, I'd find it difficult to put together a solid school list without an MCAT; however, it is a common situation and I know many have been successful doing it. But, your cGPA sounds like it is slightly below the average matriculant for allopathic medical schools and you do not have an MCAT score. I was in your situation about a year ago and decided to delay my MCAT for September. For me, I wanted to solidify my activities and experiences for another year (not only for the purposes of admissions, but for myself).

Best of luck!
 

candbgirl

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Jul 14, 2005
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Ok will do. I just haven't made the time to fully commit to the MCAT, but that's going to be my priority for the rest of the summer. If I hypothetically end up scoring around 509 when it comes to August, do you think I should finish applying this cycle?
There is your answer. What makes you think you'll commit in the next few weeks when you haven't done that yet. Do what efle says and wait a year. You only want to apply once with the best application possible. If you use your Year wisely you'll have a much stronger application next June.


Sent from my iPad using SDN mobile app
 

zmhs95

2+ Year Member
May 29, 2016
15
1
Status
Pre-Medical
There is your answer. What makes you think you'll commit in the next few weeks when you haven't done that yet. Do what efle says and wait a year. You only want to apply once with the best application possible. If you use your Year wisely you'll have a much stronger application next June.


Sent from my iPad using SDN mobile app
I will be temporarily leaving my full-time research position and starting MCAT classes so I can commit to studying for the MCAT. But yeah, I'm going to focus on the MCAT for now and see how I do.
 

futuredpt-prof

2+ Year Member
Sep 17, 2016
27
6
Status
Pre-Physical Therapy
Hi! Just a little background about me: I'm a healthcare education specialist, so I know quite a bit about the various education paths in the health professions, and I've dealt with a lot of pre-meds, but I've never been to med school myself, so take my advice with a grain of salt. I say apply now. Your stats look fine, and if you can get a rec letter from a professor instead of your school's committee, I would advise to do so. Even if your MCAT scores don't come back as high as you would like them to, there is no harm in trying. The results may surprise you. There is a serious demand for physicians that schools are finding hard to ignore. I've seen many applicants with low GPAs and average MCAT scores get into great DO schools even late in the cycle simply because of their personalities, clinical experience, and the high demand. Good luck!

Hello! So basically I am hoping to apply to both M.D. and D.O. schools this summer, but I was just wondering if I could get some advice/insight on the timeline of my application.

So some background:

I just recently graduated this May with a degree in cell biology and neuroscience and a minor in psychology. My cumulative GPA is a 3.6 and my science GPA is a 3.4 (I got two C's in orgo 1 and 2, but everything else is in the A- B range). I was planning to take the MCAT in June, but I didn't feel ready, so I pushed it to August 11.

So my plan was to submit my primary app and letters of rec, but only to one school, by mid-July. Therefore, my app can get verified before my MCAT score is released (I already sent in my transcripts). Then after taking the MCAT on August 11, I would pre-write my secondaries during the month I have to wait before my scores are released, and have them ready to submit by the time my MCAT score is released, which should be on September 12. Then, if I am happy with my MCAT score I would add the rest of my schools to my app and hopefully have everything complete around September 12.

In regards to other aspects of my app, I will be applying without a committee letter, since my school won't write one since I'm taking the MCAT past their deadline. I also have a good amount of research, clinical, shadowing, and leadership experience and I do have 6 letters of rec from professors and doctors I have shadowed. However, I don't really have much volunteering experience.

I was just wondering if anyone had any experience or insight if my plan would work, or am I basically screwing myself over for this application cycle? I really want to avoid taking two gaps years, which is why I really want to try and apply this summer. However, I do want to give myself a good chance at gaining an acceptance, so if anyone has any advice or feedback on whether I should apply this summer or wait until next summer, it would be greatly appreciated !!

Thank you !
H
 

gonnif

Only 88 Days Until Next Presidential Election
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
22,611
35,936
The Big Bad Apple
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Non-Student
Hi! Just a little background about me: I'm a healthcare education specialist, so I know quite a bit about the various education paths in the health professions, and I've dealt with a lot of pre-meds, but I've never been to med school myself, so take my advice with a grain of salt. I say apply now. Your stats look fine, and if you can get a rec letter from a professor instead of your school's committee, I would advise to do so. Even if your MCAT scores don't come back as high as you would like them to, there is no harm in trying. The results may surprise you. There is a serious demand for physicians that schools are finding hard to ignore. I've seen many applicants with low GPAs and average MCAT scores get into great DO schools even late in the cycle simply because of their personalities, clinical experience, and the high demand. Good luck!
"First, do no harm"
--Hippocratic Oath

Actually there is. Schools report that reapplicants get accepted at a lower rate than first time applicants. Therefore you do not want to needlessly apply under the idea it can do no harm for the next application cycle
 
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futuredpt-prof

2+ Year Member
Sep 17, 2016
27
6
Status
Pre-Physical Therapy
I would say it probably depends on the school. I've seen many that see re-applicants as more persistent and determined. Re-applicants who have done nothing to improve their situation, however, are another story...

"First, do no harm"
--Hippocratic Oath

Actually there is. Schools report that reapplicants get accepted at a lower rate than first time applicants. Therefore you do not want to needlessly apply under the idea it can do no harm for the next application cycle
 

rolliespring

Gin no Samurai
7+ Year Member
Jul 6, 2012
545
554
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Status
Medical Student
If you push your application cycle another year you will have more time to study for your MCAT and beef up your ECs. You'll likely do much better on your MCAT and have more options and flexibility when it comes to applying. Studying the MCAT w/o having to worry about other aspects of the application IMO makes a pretty big difference.
 

mfscproject

2+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2017
5
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I suggest you do a few full-length practice tests and assess how you do and how you feel. Remember that the AAMC recommends about 350 hours of preparation. It looks like you will be rushing your application, i.e. on top of your studying, you have to write polished and impressive entries on the AMCAS (essays and experience section). It is okay to lose a year (25 is the median age for applicants), and if you do plan on applying next cycle, make sure you spend that wisely. Working as a scribe is not as impressive as getting a publication, but do something else in addition to research.
 

ciestar

All grown up!
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Sep 18, 2013
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Reading through this, OP, I'd study your butt off and apply next year! Give yourself the best chance possible
 

Kingsmen2018

2+ Year Member
Feb 8, 2017
834
1,162
Apply once like you mean it. Also, if you do go against most peoples advice on here and apply anyways PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not submit you primary application until you get an MCAT score.
 

MCATISEZ

2+ Year Member
May 31, 2016
638
537
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Medical Student
Apply once like you mean it. Also, if you do go against most peoples advice on here and apply anyways PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do not submit you primary application until you get an MCAT score.
Huh? If he decides to apply he ought to submit his primary to a throw-away ASAP for verification purposes right?
 

efle

not an elf
5+ Year Member
Apr 6, 2014
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Yeah, waiting until Sept 12 to submit primary would mean hitting complete waaaaaay late. Like, middle to late October. His plan would need to be submitting to a throwaway ASAP, and then prewriting all secondaries while waiting for his score back.

Really what we need to know is his AAMC official practice exam scores in a few weeks.
 

Goro

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Jun 10, 2010
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Hi! Just a little background about me: I'm a healthcare education specialist, so I know quite a bit about the various education paths in the health professions, and I've dealt with a lot of pre-meds, but I've never been to med school myself, so take my advice with a grain of salt. I say apply now. Your stats look fine, and if you can get a rec letter from a professor instead of your school's committee, I would advise to do so. Even if your MCAT scores don't come back as high as you would like them to, there is no harm in trying. The results may surprise you. There is a serious demand for physicians that schools are finding hard to ignore. I've seen many applicants with low GPAs and average MCAT scores get into great DO schools even late in the cycle simply because of their personalities, clinical experience, and the high demand. Good luck!
Actually, the US has plenty of clinicians. They're just not all where people need them.
 

candbgirl

Junior Member
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Jul 14, 2005
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OP so you are saying there are empty seats at Med. Schools each year? Really? Who knew? And all of this time I thought you had to have a near perfect application.


Sent from my iPhone using SDN mobile app
 
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LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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Mar 7, 2005
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Do it right, do it once.

Don't rush into the MCAT.
Don't apply without a committee letter if at all possible.
Don't apply without volunteer service on your application.
Don't make a half-ass application and have to repeat it again the following year.
 
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