Medical I've been accepted to multiple schools, but why do I still feel like something's missing?

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Oct 14, 2011
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I wanted to make a post in the general premed-MD forum, but decided against it. This may be a bit long, a little personal, and somewhat venting, but I feel as though this is tough to bring up in real life because I don't want to sound ungrateful. A big thank you in advance if you read the whole thing. I understand if it's too different from what is usually posted around here.

After graduating from UVA's engineering program in May with a 3.88, I applied to medical schools. Engineering just wasn't for me – seeing my direct impact on others was a lot more fulfilling. I scored lower on the MCAT than I would have hoped – 510 (130/125/128/127), and chose schools based on two things. Proximity to long-time girlfriend (Northern Virginia) and close to MCAT score. I then crafted my school list with several target schools in the area, with just two reaches – UVA and Pitt. URM, by the way.

To say the least, I had a great cycle. 16 interviews. Attended 10 that I thought I had a realistic chance of attending. So far, have been accepted into five schools (VCU, EVMS, USUHS – withdrew, Louisville, Howard). I have been put on the waitlist at Temple and deferred at Geisinger, and have yet to hear from Penn State, Drexel, and G.W.

VCU offered me a $20k scholarship, which brings down in-state tuition to $15k a year + cost of living, which my family graciously has offered to pay the rest. The other school that is on the top of my radar currently is G.W., which I recently interviewed last Friday. This would be significantly closer to my S.O. should we move in together at some point in the future. As it stands, VCU is only 2 hours away as opposed to G.W. being 40 minutes away.

The reason why I'm making this post, I suppose, is that I feel as though I did not aim high enough. I set out with two goals that I mentioned earlier, and I've pretty much accomplished that with VCU. G.W. may complicate things if I get accepted, but that would be a good position to be in. I'm in a good spot. Seeing my good friends get into great schools like University of Michigan, and get accepted in UVA... it's a little hard to not compare myself. I used to care a lot more about status. But objectively, I don't want to match into the most competitive specialty, I just want to be the best physician I can be. There's still this part of me that feels as though I could have gotten into "a bit better" school. Maybe I just wanted to return to Charlottesville, but given my MCAT, that seems unlikely.

And as I said, I feel as though I am coming across as ungrateful. I'm very fortunate and glad that I had a great cycle – I'm going to be a physician with no debt! Do you have any personal experience with "status" of schools? Does it matter in the long run? I've been reading countless SDN threads with mixed reviews.

Thanks for taking the time to read this during a thoughtful, slightly anxious moment.
VCU also has a campus at Inova Fairfax. I presume you have some chance to choose to go there when appropriate.

How much networking did you do before applying? What feedback did they give you?

Status and reputation only matter when it is important for academia but mean nothing much when it comes to clinical or patient care IMO. Buyer's remorse happens, but I suggest focusing on your final choice. No need to go to hypotheticals.

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From my understanding, VCU's contract with INOVA Fairfax has expired. UVA has that now.

I did not network too much, and learned more about the cycle (info about schools, etc.) via SDN/reddit by myself after applying. I just wanna be a good clinician for my patients.
Ok. Thanks for updating me on Inova. In any case, most medical students will rotate around the state in Virginia so it's not that big a deal for proximity to DC.

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I recommend going to the cheapest school you get into (with few exceptions, and based on the list you mention, no exceptions would truly apply). Also, a 40 min drive versus a 2 hour drive isn't so significant that that should sway your decision. Take VCU unless/until a cheaper option presents itself.
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