Lost all confidence in myself.. 2 months, no interview invites

Jul 22, 2014
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Pre-Medical
I have lost virtually all confidence in myself as I see so many others get invite to state schools. I completed AMCAS early July and submitted secondaries same day I got them. I still have not received a single interview invitation.
For background: Applying in under-served state, 28 MCAT, 4.0 sGPA, 3.9 total GPA, first author publication, long term medical volunteer, strong leadership roles, one LOR I have seen and it was good, assume others are at the very least average. While I understand my MCAT is 2 points lower, my GPA hopefully makes up for that..
What in the world have I done wrong??
I am at the point where I want to call my state schools and ask if there are any discrepancies with my application that I should work..
 
May 1, 2014
331
229
New Hampshire
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Medical Student
How many schools did you apply to? MD/DO? What schools? When were you complete?

A lot of schools are either still stuck on July apps or just getting into the early August ones. Also, many schools are interviewing their superstars now and will extend interview invites to people sitting more around the median/below later. It's still early.
 

feeling-dizzy

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Aug 12, 2014
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MD interviews are very different; it is very hard to come by these day. My MCAT is 30, uGPA=3.77. It has been more than 2 months, and I only receive 1 interview from my resident state (there is only 1 school in that state). I apply to 21 MD schools and receive no ii (4 rejections so far) despite I have strong ties (not just having relatives there) to 2 other states. Even then I was not so surprise (sad but not surprise). So to answer your question, 2 months waiting is still normal. I would recommend you to apply DO schools, their turn-around time is much faster.
 
OP
Q
Jul 22, 2014
17
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Pre-Medical
How many schools did you apply to? MD/DO? What schools? When were you complete?

A lot of schools are either still stuck on July apps or just getting into the early August ones. Also, many schools are interviewing their superstars now and will extend interview invites to people sitting more around the median/below later. It's still early.
I applied to 5 schools, all of them in states bordering mine. There is no excuse for me to get an interview out of state before in state. I am not in Cali or North East, there is a massive favoritism toward instate residents to the schools in the my location. There are 4 medical schools within a stones throw away from me that don't even accept oos applicants because of their favoritism toward in-state.
I would like to think that schools are still interviewing superstars, but I personally know 2 people that have been given interviews. Both have 29 mcat and 3.5-3.8 GPA. The only difference is that they are female.
I am re-evaluating my application and am looking for every flaw I can now. I have 1 poorly chosen experience on my AMCAS, but it was only talked about for like 5 sentences. (It was about my old job and how I learned from it).
 

giraffesuptop

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Oct 5, 2013
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I applied to 5 schools, all of them in states bordering mine. There is no excuse for me to get an interview out of state before in state. I am not in Cali or North East, there is a massive favoritism toward instate residents to the schools in the my location. There are 4 medical schools within a stones throw away from me that don't even accept oos applicants because of their favoritism toward in-state.
I would like to think that schools are still interviewing superstars, but I personally know 2 people that have been given interviews. Both have 29 mcat and 3.5-3.8 GPA. The only difference is that they are female.
I am re-evaluating my application and am looking for every flaw I can now. I have 1 poorly chosen experience on my AMCAS, but it was only talked about for like 5 sentences. (It was about my old job and how I learned from it).
Why only 5? Did you check if your MCAT was within their ranges?

I think the tiny number of schools you applied to is a big contributor to the problem
 
OP
Q
Jul 22, 2014
17
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Why only 5? Did you check if your MCAT was within their ranges?

I think the tiny number of schools you applied to is a big contributor to the problem
My Mcat is within their ranges. But like I said, my state schools have a significant bias toward in-state residents. There is just not statistical way that I would get an interview out of state before I did in-state.
I have strong ties to my current state, so strong that I don't think I could attend out of state even if i were accepted. Its a strange situation I know, but I am somewhat forced to stay near home. I cannot explain why without possibly revealing my identity, but I guarantee that you would understand and do the same thing in this situation.

I know the SDN style is to apply to 30+ schools with only a 42 MCAT or greater, but I don't think this is the real world scenario. This only applies to 1) people competing for top 25 schools, 2) people with 1 or more major flaws in their app somewhere.
I am friends with about 6 people currently in medical school here, 4 of them only applied in state and the other 2 applied to 1 or 2 schools out of state. All with average stats..
 
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MrLogan13

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I also think applying to only 5 schools is a huge problem as well. You need to cast a wide net to improve your chances.
 

MrLogan13

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My Mcat is within their ranges. But like I said, my state schools have a significant bias toward in-state residents. There is just not statistical way that I would get an interview out of state before I did in-state.
Are you saying you've received II for an out-of-state school?
 
OP
Q
Jul 22, 2014
17
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Are you saying you've received II for an out-of-state school?
No I have not received any II at all.
If I were to receive an II, statistically it would be much more likely form one of my in-state schools than out of state.
 
OP
Q
Jul 22, 2014
17
0
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Pre-Medical
I also think applying to only 5 schools is a huge problem as well. You need to cast a wide net to improve your chances.
It very well may have, but I am still trying to figure out how others with similar or lower stats have been offered interviews..
Like I said, I know its a strange situation that I have to stay somewhere so close. Image a scenario like this, you have to live near your home state to inherit your parents self-created massive medical practice or something along the lines of that. My situation isn't similar at all, but the incentive is just as compelling.
 

claduva94

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It very well may have, but I am still trying to figure out how others with similar or lower stats have been offered interviews..
Like I said, I know its a strange situation that I have to stay somewhere so close. Image a scenario like this, you have to live near your home state to inherit your parents self-created massive medical practice or something along the lines of that. My situation isn't similar at all, but the incentive is just as compelling.
Far too many additional factors to consider why others have interviews.
 

Toastayy

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The med school application process is a crap-shoot. Noone can really say "This is way I didn't get in" based on their stats, ECs, besides the ADCOMs. The largest reason here it seems is that you only applied to 5 schools. 5?!! This is ludicrous to me. Not saying that you should apply to 30+, but 15 would be a decent number. Even 10 would be better than 5, regardless of your school's instate bias. If your number 1 priority is getting into med school, then apply to more schools.
 
Sep 9, 2014
138
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The med school application process is a crap-shoot. Noone can really say "This is way I didn't get in" based on their stats, ECs, besides the ADCOMs. The largest reason here it seems is that you only applied to 5 schools. 5?!! This is ludicrous to me. Not saying that you should apply to 30+, but 15 would be a decent number. Even 10 would be better than 5, regardless of your school's instate bias. If your number 1 priority is getting into med school, then apply to more schools.
I don't know this person's situation, but sometimes it's easy to forget that not everyone is in the same situation as yourself. I live in the Midwest, for example. Things are more spread out around here. Despite living in a mid to large size city (Minneapolis/St. Paul), there are exactly five medical schools in a five hour radius of where I live. If I needed to stay near my family, because I needed their help to take care of my kid, or because my parent has a chronic illness, then I would be limited to those five schools.

Not everyone can just drop $2000 on applications, then pack up and move across the country. I don't know questona's situation, but cut him/her some slack for goodness' sake.
 
Mar 29, 2012
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Should have applied to more schools. If money was the issue, take a loan out for more apps. If you really want to be a doctor, it's worth it in the long run.
 

johnnytest

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Aug 20, 2013
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How many schools did you apply to? MD/DO? What schools? When were you complete?

A lot of schools are either still stuck on July apps or just getting into the early August ones. Also, many schools are interviewing their superstars now and will extend interview invites to people sitting more around the median/below later. It's still early.
If med schools send IIs to superstars first then what's the advantage of being complete early. If you're an average joe then it seems you'll be placed on "review again/later" pile. By the time you are reviewed again II slots are provably scarce. Just looking through the MD apps of those accepted this cycle so far they have great stats (LizzyM >75) and ECs. I don't see many average/below average with acceptants. Someone correct me if my speculation is way off from reality.
 
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May 10, 2012
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If med schools send IIs to superstars first then what's the advantage of being complete early. If you're an average joe then it seems you'll be placed on "review again/later" pile. By the time you are reviewed again II slots are provably scarce. Just looking through the MD apps of those accepted this cycle so far they have great stats (LizzyM >75) and ECs. I don't see many average/below average with acceptants. Someone correct me if my speculation is way off from reality.
I think there is a bias to the MDapps because the people who use MDapps are probably a little bit more on the neurotic side and have 4.0/40 stats because they want everything perfect Vs the people that don't use MDapps probably just have a note in their iphone somewhere about the dates they applied and dates they have an interview..
 
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mimelim

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I have lost virtually all confidence in myself as I see so many others get invite to state schools. I completed AMCAS early July and submitted secondaries same day I got them. I still have not received a single interview invitation.
For background: Applying in under-served state, 28 MCAT, 4.0 sGPA, 3.9 total GPA, first author publication, long term medical volunteer, strong leadership roles, one LOR I have seen and it was good, assume others are at the very least average. While I understand my MCAT is 2 points lower, my GPA hopefully makes up for that..
What in the world have I done wrong??
I am at the point where I want to call my state schools and ask if there are any discrepancies with my application that I should work..
Potential issues:

#1 28 MCAT, not potential, this is an issue. Regardless of which US MD schools we are talking about, this will hold you back from interviews unless everything, or close to everything else is pretty darn good.
#2 "Strong leadership roles", would need to know what you mean by this, but people drastically overestimate their 'leadership' activities. Do not misinterpret, leadership is important and CAN make a difference, but most people do not understand this, much less have a significant experience
#3 "good" LOR - http://forums.studentdoctor.net/threads/letters-of-recommendation.985472/ everyone has 'good' LOR, what makes you think that it was a strong letter that will matter?
#4 GPAs do not "make up for" low MCATs. Low MCAT + good GPA taking a light course load + non-rigorous curriculum = eye brow raise

You don't stand out as a stellar academic. It is really difficult to gauge based on the information that you provided if you stand out from an EC perspective. You applied to only 5 schools with at best a marginal application. Not hearing from schools is the expected outcome at this point, not an anomaly.
 

mariambaby3

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Without reading your application and without being a member of the Adcom of the 5 schools you applied to, the biggest reason that we can tease out as to why you haven't received an II yet is most likely because of the small number of schools you applied to.

I understand that you're in-state, but even then, like many posters have already mentioned, admissions is a crapshoot - especially with a low MCAT.
 

Toastayy

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I don't know this person's situation, but sometimes it's easy to forget that not everyone is in the same situation as yourself. I live in the Midwest, for example. Things are more spread out around here. Despite living in a mid to large size city (Minneapolis/St. Paul), there are exactly five medical schools in a five hour radius of where I live. If I needed to stay near my family, because I needed their help to take care of my kid, or because my parent has a chronic illness, then I would be limited to those five schools.

Not everyone can just drop $2000 on applications, then pack up and move across the country. I don't know questona's situation, but cut him/her some slack for goodness' sake.
I didn't mean to be hard on them at all. But the point of their thread was that they haven't received IIs and applying to 5 med schools is the most glaringly obvious reasons. Not to mention they specifically denounced sdn's advice to apply to more schools because they didn't think "that was reality", it is.
Unfortunately no one is a shoo-in for med schools whether they are above average in stats compared to their schools, at average, or below.
All we can do in this case is to speculate, and hope that it turns out okay.
To OP: A lack of rejections is also a good sign so keep your head up, but we still have to be realists.
 

soccerusa

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Isn't it pretty clear that your MCAT is holding you back? Maybe retake?
 
Sep 9, 2014
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I didn't mean to be hard on them at all. But the point of their thread was that they haven't received IIs and applying to 5 med schools is the most glaringly obvious reasons. Not to mention they specifically denounced sdn's advice to apply to more schools because they didn't think "that was reality", it is.
Unfortunately no one is a shoo-in for med schools whether they are above average in stats compared to their schools, at average, or below.
All we can do in this case is to speculate, and hope that it turns out okay.
To OP: A lack of rejections is also a good sign so keep your head up, but we still have to be realists.
I was just objecting to the idea that applying to five schools for personal reasons was "ludicrous". Certainly, applying to five schools makes it hard to play the numbers game, and it allows random factors to have more of an influence. We're in agreement on your central point: No IIs just means OP isn't in the upper half of the applicant pool, but OP probably knew that. No rejections is also very good, and while OP might have to interview in January, he/she could still get into a program.
 
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mimelim

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I was just objecting to the idea that applying to five schools for personal reasons was "ludicrous". Certainly, applying to five schools makes it hard to play the numbers game, and it allows random factors to have more of an influence. We're in agreement on your central point: No rejections just means OP isn't in the upper half of the applicant pool, but OP probably knew that. No rejections is also very good, and while OP might have to interview in January, he/she could still get into a program.
The issue is that the OP is surprised by this result, which is completely expected.
 

Toastayy

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I was just objecting to the idea that applying to five schools for personal reasons was "ludicrous". Certainly, applying to five schools makes it hard to play the numbers game, and it allows random factors to have more of an influence. We're in agreement on your central point: No IIs just means OP isn't in the upper half of the applicant pool, but OP probably knew that. No rejections is also very good, and while OP might have to interview in January, he/she could still get into a program.
I thought it was ludicrous because they thought that applying to only 5 schools wasn't reality and that they have 2 friends who did it..which really isn't a large enough pop. Sample to be drawing conclusions..
 
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Goro

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Patience is a virtue, the need for instant gratification is not.

I have lost virtually all confidence in myself as I see so many others get invite to state schools. I completed AMCAS early July and submitted secondaries same day I got them. I still have not received a single interview invitation.
For background: Applying in under-served state, 28 MCAT, 4.0 sGPA, 3.9 total GPA, first author publication, long term medical volunteer, strong leadership roles, one LOR I have seen and it was good, assume others are at the very least average. While I understand my MCAT is 2 points lower, my GPA hopefully makes up for that..
What in the world have I done wrong??
I am at the point where I want to call my state schools and ask if there are any discrepancies with my application that I should work..
 
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Conflagration

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I would like to think that schools are still interviewing superstars, but I personally know 2 people that have been given interviews. Both have 29 mcat and 3.5-3.8 GPA. The only difference is that they are female.
I am re-evaluating my application and am looking for every flaw I can now. I have 1 poorly chosen experience on my AMCAS, but it was only talked about for like 5 sentences. (It was about my old job and how I learned from it).
That just seems like a rather jaded statement to me, to be honest. :eyebrow:

Well, the 28 is not helping you. But what are your EC's? Have you shadowed at all? Do you have clinical experience?

The latter three questions may be your anchor right now, if you don't end up getting something back this cycle. Which, by the way, it seems like conventional wisdom is dictating that there are invites as late as December and January and that there's no need to be so blue.

Are you doing things now that could supplement your application, like more volunteer work? In case you do have to reapply, at least you can have some new things on there for next year.
 
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darklabel

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I don't know this person's situation, but sometimes it's easy to forget that not everyone is in the same situation as yourself. I live in the Midwest, for example. Things are more spread out around here. Despite living in a mid to large size city (Minneapolis/St. Paul), there are exactly five medical schools in a five hour radius of where I live. If I needed to stay near my family, because I needed their help to take care of my kid, or because my parent has a chronic illness, then I would be limited to those five schools.

Not everyone can just drop $2000 on applications, then pack up and move across the country. I don't know questona's situation, but cut him/her some slack for goodness' sake.
True, but then you have to accept that you're giving yourself less opportunities as opposed to someone who is willing to apply to 15+ schools all over the place. It's not that you're wrong, it's just that people here want to help Op and to apply to more schools if his ultimate goal is medical school. Even people from Texas, FL and NY (with a lot of medical schools) should still apply broadly for the best chance of potential interviews and acceptances. If all you can afford to apply to is the schools nearby, then I wish you luck there, but people here are just saying that applying broadly gives you the best chance. The average applicant applies to 15 schools and I'm sure that's increasing each year.

As for money, I also didn't have 2k+ for interviews so I took out credit cards, loans from family etc to get there. It sucked and still sucks but it helped me a lot. Also schools are willing to give you an advance loan to move to the area of the school if you need it.
 
OP
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Jul 22, 2014
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Pre-Medical
That just seems like a rather jaded statement to me, to be honest. :eyebrow:

Well, the 28 is not helping you. But what are your EC's? Have you shadowed at all? Do you have clinical experience?

The latter three questions may be your anchor right now, if you don't end up getting something back this cycle. Which, by the way, it seems like conventional wisdom is dictating that there are invites as late as December and January and that there's no need to be so blue.

Are you doing things now that could supplement your application, like more volunteer work? In case you do have to reapply, at least you can have some new things on there for next year.
First, thank you all for the responses and help!

To answer your question, I have about 300 hours shadowing 8 different docs (mainly just 2 long term), 2 long term medically related volunteering experiences, and lots of miscellaneous stuff. I am still volunteering with all of the organizations, not because I have to but because I actually really enjoy them.
Regarding the 28 MCAT, I am screwed. I was scoring average of 32 on practice from AAMC for all exams before I sat for the test. I cannot retake the MCAT. The first time I signed up to take it in May, I was scoring 30 and didn't feel ready so I postponed it (too late to cancel). The second time I took the exam my computer crashed half way through and I was forced to void the test (recently got a refund). The third time I took the test my mind was all over the place and I ended up with a 28. You are only allowed to take the MCAT 3 times per year, so I would be forced to re-take it during the new 2015 MCAT, which I really don't want to do because I haven't prepared for any of the new material at all..
 
OP
Q
Jul 22, 2014
17
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Pre-Medical
Also I feel I should mention that my Lizzy M is 67.8, schools I applied to have avg Lizzy M 68-70.
 

Snoopy2006

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I face-palmed when I saw the 5 schools bit. You just flat-out underapplied with a so-so application.

This happens every single year. A borderline applicant misjudges their application, or applies to the wrong schools, or applies to a small number of schools, or geographically limits themselves. You hit the last 2 of those.

Look, you have to learn from your mistakes. You most definitely under-applied. I have no idea what your reasons are for limiting yourself geographically, but you have to weigh that against your desire to get into medical school. Some people have very compelling reasons, and make the call that they'd rather stay close to family and not be a medical student. And that's fine. But if your desire to become a physician outweighs all else, then there's no reason not to apply as broadly as possible.

I'd tell someone with a 35/3.9 that applying to 5 schools is an error in judgment. With your MCAT, you're a borderline applicant. You have to maximize your chances and play the odds and apply intelligently.
 

Snoopy2006

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I wouldn't spend time comparing yourself to other applicants. You only know their numbers (or what they say their numbers are), and don't get to see the full picture that adcoms get. And there is definitely a degree of randomness involved, which is why you have to maximize your odds.

Also, saying you "cannot" take the MCAT again and saying you don't want to take the new 2015 MCAT are two different things.

Keep your head up. Invites may still come in, it's October. Worst-case scenario, if you do have to re-apply, I'd work on studying for the new MCAT and retaking.
 
OP
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Jul 22, 2014
17
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Pre-Medical
I wouldn't spend time comparing yourself to other applicants. You only know their numbers (or what they say their numbers are), and don't get to see the full picture that adcoms get. And there is definitely a degree of randomness involved, which is why you have to maximize your odds.

Also, saying you "cannot" take the MCAT again and saying you don't want to take the new 2015 MCAT are two different things.

Keep your head up. Invites may still come in, it's October.
Thank you very much! I mean that I cannot take the current MCAT again. I can take the 2015, but would need lots more time to prepare for the new material.

Would it be a bad idea for me to send a short update letter with my new grades/experiences 2-3 weeks from now if I still don't have an interview?
Seems that some people say it has a chance to help, others say useless.
 

Snoopy2006

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Thank you very much! I mean that I cannot take the current MCAT again. I can take the 2015, but would need lots more time to prepare for the new material.

Would it be a bad idea for me to send a short update letter with my new grades/experiences 2-3 weeks from now if I still don't have an interview?
Seems that some people say it has a chance to help, others say useless.
I'll defer to those here that sit on admission committees. My impression is that it would be pretty useless. The very-optimistic hope is that just by showing interest and sending a quick update, someone in a busy office swamped with many applications may take another quick glance at your application and see something they like. My feeling is it won't make a difference either way if nothing has significantly changed in your application.
 

blueharbor

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Thank you very much! I mean that I cannot take the current MCAT again. I can take the 2015, but would need lots more time to prepare for the new material.

Would it be a bad idea for me to send a short update letter with my new grades/experiences 2-3 weeks from now if I still don't have an interview?
Seems that some people say it has a chance to help, others say useless.
Why can't you take the January MCAT? 3 months to study, same material
 
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ciestar

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Why can't you take the January MCAT? 3 months to study, same material
Pretty sure it's 3 attempts per testing cycle which the January tests count for.
 

LizzyM

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You applied to 5 schools with LizzyM scores greater than yours. You applied to no schools with LizzyM scores less than or equal to yours. You have no interview invitations as of October. You are surprised. I am not. This is why I came up with the formula; you need to target toward schools that are "in the ball park" for you and you didn't do that.

Furthermore, a MCAT 28 with a 4.0 does look like someone who 1) a smart person who is not very good at taking high stakes exams which is not an attribute that med schools are seeking or 2) someone whose 4.0 was obtained in a school/major/courses that had rampant grade inflation and/or a very weak student body (so that you were always at the top despite mediocre academic chops). Neither of those is going to be attractive to most med schools, IMHO.