Aug 20, 2018
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I applied only-MD in 2017-18 as a Texas resident, which I no longer am. I applied to 10 in-state and 20 out-of-state, all of which would be considered "Top 20". It was a disappointing cycle: 3 interviews at Texas school, 3 waitlists, no acceptances. Since last cycle, I have continued full-time research, with the goal of re-applying to MD-PhD programs. The reason I now want to be a physician scientist is that in time since I submitted my previous applications to TMDSAS/AMCAS in May-June 2017, I gained a far more involved, immersive role in lab. I believe that now have a much better understanding of (and desire for) a career as a physician scientist. In the last 2 years of full-time research, I have published twice as a first-author (including a review) and twice as a co-author; I applied last cycle with two co-authorships. I have also added ~100 clinical volunteering hours, which I’d admit is less than ideal.

Personal Info:

Age: 24
Sex: Male
Ethnicity: Asian, ORM
Undergrad: Private, Liberal Arts, not anything of note (USNWR T50-60)

MCAT (2019): 522 (129, 129, 132, 132)
MCAT (2015, expired): 518 (131, 128, 129, 130)
Cumulative GPA: 3.91
Science GPA: 3.86

Non-clinical Volunteering: 250 hours (2 experiences)
Clinical Volunteering: 300 hours (2 experiences)
Shadowing: 100 hours (Endocrinology, Family Medicine, Radiology)
Leadership: Club officer (not president/VP, 4 semesters)

Research: >10,000 hours, same basic science lab (3 years during undergrad and 3 gap years)
First-Author Publication: 1 (Impact Factor ~9)
First-Author Review: 1 (Impact Factor ~3)
Co-Authorships: 4 (Impact Factor 7-20)
Undergraduate Research Fellowships: 2 (AHA, SURF at USNWR-T25 medical school)
Oral Presentations: 1 (national-level conference, received award)
Poster Presentations: 3

LORs: 5 total, 2 science professors, 1 non-science professor, and 2 PIs that I know will provide excellent letters.

School List:

Baylor
Case Western
Columbia
Duke
Emory
Harvard
Icahn-Mt. Sinai
Johns Hopkins
Mayo
Northwestern
NYU
Ohio-State
OHSU
Stanford
UCLA
UCSD
UCSF
U-Chicago
U-Cincinnati
U-Colorado
U-Michigan
UNC-Chapel Hill
U-Pennsylvania
U-Pittsburgh
UT-Southwestern
U-Virginia
U-Wisconsin
U-Washington
Vanderbilt
Weill Cornell/Tri-I
WUSTL
Yale

1) Is my school list appropriate? Basically WAMC. I understand that research/stats are good, but after my experiences last cycle, I am not super optimistic or certain about any aspect of medical school admissions. The obvious worry is that my list is very top-heavy.

2) I have heard conflicting information about this concern; does being a reapplicant, generally speaking, act as a “weed-out”? I assume the idea here is that you have already been assessed and rejected by an entire set of adcoms from the previous cycle. Also, are there biases that I might face as a MD-to-MD/PhD re-applicant? Would really appreciate an insight from @Fencer.

Edit: Having done a bit more research, it seems that there very obviously is a significant disadvantage with being a re-applicant. Fairly disheartening. I guess in that case for question 2), I simply would like to know if applying for MD/PhD programs this time around would open myself up for more consideration than I would normally get from MD adcoms as a re-applicant?
 
Last edited:
Sep 28, 2018
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Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I’m not an adcom so take everything I say with plenty of salt.

You sound like a rockstar on paper; certainly you are a lot more competitive than me or most other applicants I’ve met. 10k hours of basic research will do you a lot of favors in this process especially since you were independent enough to get a first author publication.

I don’t think reapplicants are penalized for reapplying. Rather there is a reason they did not get in the first time that they may not have resolved. If someone comes across as arrogant or insincere or had a bad letter and doesn’t realize it, they are likely to make the same mistakes on round 2.

I’d take a hard look at the intangibles of your application. Is your narrative cohesive? Do your essays illustrate your strengths well? Your numbers are perfect and you applied to plenty of schools that fit your stats the first time, so I suspect the issue is there. Putting some work in to improve this area + this improved school list should help a lot. Your school list seems fine to me but you could look into Iowa, Einstein, and MCW if you want more outside the T20. All great programs.

Also congrats on managing to improve on a 518!
 

Fencer

MSTP Director
10+ Year Member
Oct 10, 2007
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TEXAS (Eden)
Status
Attending Physician
There are 4 MSTPs in Texas: Baylor, UT-Southwestern, UTH-Houston, & UTH-San Antonio.
For MD/PhD, state of residency does not matter.... You are fine and competitive. You will get offers. Practice interviewing....
 

nonamesleft

10+ Year Member
Apr 8, 2007
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wandering down a rabbit hole
Status
MD/PhD Student
0 for 3, and 3 of 30 sounds like there's something else that needs "improvement" with your application. Most often culprits are the essay(s) and the interview.
Maybe add a few safety schools? not the ones with massive numbers of applications/year..


Also, (someone fact check me on this) I believe you're only counted as re-applicant at the schools you've previously applied to.