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Likely Reapplicant, Strategy Appreciated

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by captain_apollo, 01.14.14.

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  1. captain_apollo

    captain_apollo

    Joined:
    01.14.14
    Messages:
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    Hey SDN! Hoping I could get some advice on my best strategy for improving my application before this coming May, as I haven't had any luck in garnering interviews this cycle and am expecting to reapply. I've been lurking the forums the past few months and realize that I made several mistakes with my application, the greatest of which may have been submitting my primaries and secondaries very late (not complete almost anywhere until late October).

    uGPA: 3.61c, 3.50s
    gGPA: 4.0 (MPH to be completed in May 2014)
    MCAT: 11 PS 11 VR 12 BS

    Activities on recent App:

    Research - 1 lab for 2 years (low author publication), 1 lab for 1 year (poster presentation)

    Volunteer Experience - 999+ hours with several organizations, especially involved with fundraising, environmental advocacy, public health projects

    Clinical Experience - Lots of shadowing, nursing home volunteering, clinic volunteering in Pakistan in my birth village

    Teaching Experience - Been a TA for a few classes, paid tutor

    Leadership - Started an organization on campus, several positions of leadership in other organizations

    My next application will include more grades from my Master's program, and I think will also feature an improved personal statement that will better articulate my interest in public health practice/research. I'll also have some more clinical experience, and obviously a June submission date.

    Would re-taking the MCAT for a 36+ seriously improve my application? The first time I took it I only finished the VR section and I believe I could improve in each section. In terms of my gap year, should I try to raise my uGPA? While I have no issues in taking more classes, monetarily an SMP/post-bacc would mean a huge loan. Currently, I am applying to public health fellowships/jobs I'm interested in, but I am afraid that this doesn't address the weaknesses of my application. Most of all, I'm afraid of submitting an application that isn't drastically different than the one a year earlier that didn't get a long look from any school. Appreciate all advice.
     
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  3. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

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    Retaking a 34 MCAT would only be an excersize in hubris.

    Would re-taking the MCAT for a 36+ seriously improve my application?

    No, and I'm surprised you took the MPH and your GPAs are competitive for all DO and most MD schools
    In terms of my gap year, should I try to raise my uGPA?

    Did you contact the schools you were rejected from and get feedback as to why you were arrejected? Did you apply only to top tiers, to which you'd be at a disadvantage?

    Suggest you invest in MSAR and apply to schools whose median scores are close to your own. I suggest low-medium tiers, like Miami, Loma Linda, GWU, MCW, Loyola, etc.

    Also look into DO programs, because you'd be fine for any of them (including mine).

    While I have no issues in taking more classes, monetarily an SMP/post-bacc would mean a huge loan. Currently, I am applying to public health fellowships/jobs I'm interested in, but I am afraid that this doesn't address the weaknesses of my application. Most of all, I'm afraid of submitting an application that isn't drastically different than the one a year earlier that didn't get a long look from any school. Appreciate all advice.[/quote]
     
    gyngyn likes this.
  4. captain_apollo

    captain_apollo

    Joined:
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    Thanks Goro! I'll definitely look into DO programs this upcoming cycle, I admit I haven't researched them heavily. I do have family near MSU and VCOM.

    I haven't contacted the schools I was rejected from, is general etiquette to send an email/snail mail to the admissions office? Most of the 14 schools I applied to had median GPAs just above mine (Keck, GW, NYMC, Jefferson), as it was hard finding schools that had median GPAs a low as mine (perhaps this is another reason to look more heavily into DO). I think 3 were definite reaches (Emory, Michigan, Dartmouth).

    As for the weird path, I actually was originally planning on going into academics - the idea was to get my MPH, work for a while in DC/NY/Boston, then pursue a PhD in Health Policy/Economics. I was really inspired to look more into and eventually pursue clinical medicine after my junior year following an interview with a pediatrician for our school newspaper. Haven't looked back, but perhaps paying my dues for not having it all figured out earlier. Thanks so much for the insights.
     
  5. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Gold Donor 5+ Year Member

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    Your stats are good. I have to believe that a combination of a late ap and non-strategic list are the fault.

    This time go a level lower if you get no nibbles.
     
    Last edited: 01.14.14
    Catalystik likes this.
  6. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

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    Especially the late app part! SO, apps out June 1 this year

     
  7. alpinism

    alpinism Give Em' the Jet Fuel 5+ Year Member

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    Apply broadly (20+ schools) and early (June) and you should be fine.
     
  8. boomshaketheroom

    boomshaketheroom 2+ Year Member

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    You should be able to find some schools with lower GPA statistics. Rosalind Franklin and Albany come to mind. I managed to sneak in (not to either of those) with a lower GPA than you and likely worse ECs. I was a re-applicant and I called and met with all of the schools that I interviewed with the first time around and that really helped.

    With your stats you should really get in somewhere unless you come across as a psychopath or something in an interview (which I doubt)
     
  9. kilpty

    kilpty 2+ Year Member

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    I made the mistake last year of not being complete until Oct-Nov... this year applied as early as possible and it has made all the difference.
     

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