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Medical schools that like "different" applicants

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by Nelmezzodelcammin, May 13, 2014.

  1. Nelmezzodelcammin


    Feb 15, 2014
    Does anyone know which medical schools like nontraditional students with "different" backgrounds (as opposed to the typical junior science major with cookie cutter ec's)?

    BTW my gpa is 3.7 cum, 3.5 science with MCAT pending... so probably looking at less competitive schools.
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
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  3. Espadaleader

    Espadaleader 7+ Year Member

    May 27, 2010
    Those stats alone can get anyone anywhere. Top tens are full of people with similar scores on the "low" end but Fulbrights/Americorp/TFA/Entrepreneurs etc.
  4. Nelmezzodelcammin


    Feb 15, 2014
    Well I don't have anything as impressive as a fullbright but I do have a graduate degree in the humanities, some experience abroad, and some interesting volunteer experiences. Currently just finishing a "do it yourself" post bacc.

    I don't want this to turn into a what are my chances thread though... w/o an mcat that's somewhat pointless. I'm just curious about schools receptive to unusual applicants.
  5. Espadaleader

    Espadaleader 7+ Year Member

    May 27, 2010
    Pretty much all of them. The top schools more so.
  6. gonnif

    gonnif Only 1021 Days Until Next Presidential Election Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 7+ Year Member

    Jul 26, 2009
    The Big Bad Apple
    Despite the perceptions of applicants, what schools are open to nontraditional students is very surprising and unexpected. I have been dealing with admissions deans, directors and staff for nearly a decade in my role as the director of the National Society of Nontraditional Premedical and Medical Students and have a trend that more prestigious and competitive medical schools are now actively seeking out more "diverse" students (in age, background, education, etc). This seems to be a result of the upward GPA and MCAT trends to these schools and the growth and attractiveness of DO schools, which are drawing off many good but slightly lesser accomplished students. One adcom called it the "Geekification" of the applicant pool back to 3.8 GPA Bio Majors with research and little real world experiences or variation to serve a diverse population as physicians

    For example, Pritzker/University of Chicago and University of Pittsburgh have recruited at recent past OldPreMed conferences. Most students would have never thought of these research-heavy places to be nontrad friendly. They are looking for accomplishments but in diverse areas such as nonprofit work, social aspects, etc, career experience that most undergrads dont have. I have more and more Diversity offices at medical schools contacting me as they are putting the concept of a diverse, well rounded class under that area.

    I really think that many 3.5 GPA and 30 MCAT nontrads cut themselves short by not applying to top schools or limiting themselves to preconceived notions of what is possible.
    BeMD13 and smallbiz2doc like this.
  7. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator Physician PhD Faculty Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Oct 12, 2004
    This. I say "this" with the caveat, of course, that your stats should be within the range of the averages for the schools where you're applying.

    People sometimes get the impression that schools with very high average stats don't want nontrads. But the real issue is that on average, nontrads have lower grades and MCAT scores than trads do, and that makes it harder for them to gain acceptance to schools that value applicants with high stats. However, those schools do still want nontrads whom they consider academically qualified. The select group of nontrad applicants who have very high stats along with their interesting life experiences are heavily recruited by most if not all med schools, a phenomenon which I experienced both from the applicant and the adcom perspectives.
    smallbiz2doc likes this.
  8. Captain Sisko

    Captain Sisko U.S.S. Defiant 2+ Year Member

    Sep 30, 2012
    Plugging my own school here, but I'm going to say Minnesota. I interviewed with the chair of their adcom, a navy frogman who served in Vietnam before he was a math teacher, and then decided to go to medical school in the 70's. One of the first nontraditional students. Told me all about how they want their students to have that extra experience.

    Meeting my classmates at second look, it really seemed like the people who went straight through were in the minority. Still I think I was only one of maybe three people in their 30s but it definitely felt far more nontrad heavy
  9. Elewynne

    Elewynne ...c/o 2018!! 5+ Year Member

    Oct 30, 2011
    West living East
    I had great success with Mayo, Drexel, Rosalind Franklin, Temple, Jeff. I applied to Pritzker but had no luck there, but it may have been my MCAT more than anything.

    I tended to focus schools that matched my stats, took a significant percentage of out of state, and were not religion focused. If you're good at selling yourself via your AMCAS application, activity description, and essays, I feel most all schools are definitely interested in "different" applicants. The key is to sell yourself and your experiences in a way that focuses on the priorities of the school and speaks to the strengths you have as a nontrad with more experience.
  10. Goro

    Goro Faculty 7+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    ALL DO schools

  11. PlumbLine

    PlumbLine 5+ Year Member

    May 23, 2012
    Check out Rush and Baylor.

    One thing I remember seeing on Baylor's website was that they seemed to be really proud of how many different undergraduate majors are represented in their incoming class.

    But I also agree with what other people have said; pretty much every school is looking for the non-cookie cutter type applicants.

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