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Just in case... Why the Lackluster Performance?

Discussion in 'Re-Applicants [ MD / DO ]' started by Dr. C. Troy, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. Dr. C. Troy

    Dr. C. Troy Member 2+ Year Member

    May 5, 2006
    To anyone who is/was an adcom member at some point, could you please look at my MDApplicant profile (in my signature), and tell me why, with a 3.96 GPA in a rigorous science major in the honors program at a Research 1 University, member of the AAU(, a 34-S on my MCAT (never took any formal physics prior -- I'd have gotten a 36 or so if I had... I teach for Kaplan, I got a 38 on the practice test they gave me recently), I have been snubbed by so many schools.

    UofA interviews everyone, I am technically a legacy at SUNY Upstate, as my mother received a PhD from Syracuse (yes, Upstate and SU are technically different, but they still take it into consideration apparently, despite my being out of state), and Mayo is the only real unconnected school that was interested in me.

    I'd be happy to send my personal statement/activities listing to any verified adcom people, but it was extensively reviewed by a fourth year medical student, the Dean of the honors college, and a former Adcom member of WashU, so I think it's probably pretty good since all of them gave their thumbs up on it.

    If nothing else, I suppose this thread could ultimately serve as a warning/help to everyone else that will help people who have spent so much of their time "making the grade" so-to-speak, only to get cut down by something stupid.

    I am already becoming completely disenchanted by the notion that if you work hard, regardless of socioeconomic background, you can achieve anything in America, and starting to get really anxious and sort of depresssed by this whole process, especially as I get more and more counselers and advisors telling me to get a back-up plan or go into business/politics, things none of the so-called "experts" told me that I would even need to think about when I submitted my application.

    Anyway, I mean honestly, what can I do to improve my app next year if it comes down to that? Try to get an extra 4-6 points on the MCAT? Go to Africa? I know so many people with lower stats, less extra curriculars, no research, etc. that are already accepted to multiple places. I mean honestly, I just don't get it at all, I've demonstrated a life-long commitment to my interest in medicine, and this is where it gets me. Unbelievable, I am just so miserable right now, I don't even know what to do/say, and don't even want to go to my classes, because all this physiology is really just med-school-lite, and utterly insulting and useless if it doesn't lead anywhere.
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  3. chintu

    chintu Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Oct 6, 2002
    Doesn't sound like you can do much more. You have some exceptional EC's and ample exposure to healthcare with solid research. If things don't turn out right for you this time around, this is the most important thing you can do: APPLY EARLY AND APPLY TO A WIDE RANGE OF SCHOOLS. This process is so unpredictable that you never know what schools will like you and which ones wouldn't. Definitely apply to some top 25 but also apply to lots of middle range schools and then some low tiers. Also remember just because a school is ranked low by usnews doesn't mean they don't provide good medical education. Sometimes a strong applicant like yourself (and I am not implying that you do) have a superiority complex and think they deserve to get accepted into better school. Low to mid tier schools don't like such arrogance and often don't like applicants/interviewees who think they are 'too good' to be attending their school and they only applied there as a backup. So in summary if you end up reapplying, realize that you are a good applicant to medschools, apply very early, and apply to various schools (some highly ranked and some not so high).

  4. merlin17

    merlin17 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Nov 27, 2002
    I PM'd you something that sounded pretty similar :)
  5. Nasrudin

    Nasrudin Apropos of Nothing 10+ Year Member

    Jun 8, 2006
    There's really only a couple of things that could go wrong for you because your resume is clearly superb.

    1) You didn't apply to that many schools. No matter how good your application is you could get unlucky with only a few interviews from a smaller number of secondaries turned in. (if I understood your md applicant page correctly)

    2) and I hope this isn't you but its always an outside chance that a letter writer has said something particularly distasteful.

    3) how do you come across in person. With your application I would think being a nice enough person would suffice without any particularly strange interview habits.

    I don't know man. Good luck in any case!
  6. ph8

    ph8 the game is afoot... Physician 10+ Year Member

    Apr 27, 2006
    I'll second chintu's bolded advice above.

    As a side note, your mdapps shows you are 21. If you end up reapplying this coming summer, starting med school a year later at 22 isn't a bad thing. A little time away from the school grind may show you something in life that you may not have seen otherwise. Age is a wonderful teacher...
  7. Dr. C. Troy

    Dr. C. Troy Member 2+ Year Member

    May 5, 2006
    Thanks for the input!

    One thing: some comments discussed how I come off during interviews, but I haven't been rejected post-interview yet; it's all been post-secondary rejection, many of which lacked essay components, so the Adcoms never really even got a chance to gauge my personality.

    Currently, I'm thinking if I don't get in, I may retake the MCAT and get upper 30s/low 40s on it. A 34 is at the cusp of the upper schools, and perhaps demonstrating an increased competance and ability to really nail the test would impress adcoms on reapplication? I know that 99% of the time when someone says they anticipate such a high score, it's BS, but currently, as a teacher, I am pretty much completely on top of this stuff right now... with a month of studying I am positive I could really kick the test's butt, especially since I didn't have much time to study for it the first time, and never had even taken physics before. Although the difference between 36 - 45 is often determined by just a few questions, so luck is obviously a factor at some point. After this, I'm not quite sure what I would do with the rest of my year off.

    I was thinking of maybe:

    1) Becoming an EMT for a year (dunno how realistic this is, given training time, etc)
    2) Spending a year abroad in France working in either research or shadowing a physician
    3) Shadowing another physician here, and continuing my current research in the meantime
    4) Entering an MBA program, and continuing research.

    Personally, I would prefer option 2 if it came down to it, but money would be the issue.

    Any suggestions on this? Thanks again!
  8. Tired Pigeon

    Tired Pigeon 7+ Year Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Definitely be SURE your LORs don't have something in them that's raising a red flag. Not quite sure how you could find this out, but with your stats/profile it's kind of weird you're in this situation -- just an intuition, but I think something might be up.
  9. pillowhead

    pillowhead Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 25, 2002
    When did you apply? If you got your application in late, that's enough to prevent you from getting in.

    You have a solid application but nothing really amazing--that's okay, most people don't. However, given that info, I think you should have applied to a broader range of schools. Most of those schools are quite competitve (Harvard, Yale, Mayo, Michigan) and/or are located in highly desirable locations (Tufts, UCSD) and/or favor in-state applicants (Univ of Washington, Univ of Miami, UCSD, Michigan). If there is a next time (and hopefully you'll get in this time and won't need a next time!), I would look in the South, in less urban areas, at less state schools, and at more unranked schools.

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