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Discussion in 'Re-Applicants [ MD / DO ]' started by princessbbn, Feb 21, 2007.
Where have you applied before? Pre-interview rejections or did you get some interviews? Did you ask for feedback from those places?
Your MCAT is fine. The average nationwide for matriculants is ~30. I wouldn't retake it -- too much risk. Your GPA is the issue. If you have 120 hours and a 3.4, one year of A's will get you to 3.5. Your ECs are solid. In fact, you could probably cut back on ECs and focus on your grades more.
Have you considered D.O.? In general they are more forgiving of earlier mistakes and look at the "whole applicant" more.
I think with a focused year of study and getting your undergrad GPA to 3.5 you would have a great chance. What cycle are you going to reapply for?
I applied for 2007 (don't know what cycle that would be), received one interview with a subsequent rejection... However, I only applied to Texas schools and there has been some discrepancy over one of my LORs (turns out none of the schools had received one of the letters and it had to be resent out...but by this point it was already *way* past the application deadline....i'm not sure if this affected the number of interviews....from what i heard, houston is the only school - my interview school - that gives out interviews before receiving all supporting documents such as the LOR so if this is true, my theory might be correct) i've tried calling for feedback on which parts of my application i should strengthen but they said they will not be advising until march....unfortunately i've already graduated so i can't raise my gpa unless i do a masters or retake classes, which is why i'm considering a SMP....but i'll definitely be applying again this coming cycle(?)....basically for the 2008 entering class....i'll probably also submit a few applications to DO schools as well.....
do you really think i shouldn't take the MCAT again? the second time around i only had time to finish reviewing all the material and doing a few practice tests (but hardly any practice questions at all)....therefore i think i would have made a higher score if i could have put the concepts i learned into practice (i have loads of questions and passages i could practice that i wasn't able to get to the previous times....) also....i had slight issues during the verbal portion of the MCAT (my watch's timer started going crazy and going off every 5-10 minutes so i definitely couldn't keep track of my time - so crucial for the verbal portion - and i was *freaking* out to say the least....fortunately i was able to turn off the alarm each time before the administrators heard) but back to retaking the test....my only concern is the computer-based testing change....on a scale of 1-10....how much do you think my chances would increase if i were to raise my score to 33-34?
lol.....okay i talk way too much.....btw....thank you *SO MUCH* for your advice....!!! really appreciate it!
For 2008 you've got about 4-5 months left before the application cycle kicks off. That's not a lot of time to work on things.
I really don't think an MCAT of 31 will do you much good. My main concern is the risk. You can't afford to have your MCAT score go down. If you were consistently scoring in the mid-30s on AAMC practice exams, then sure -- why not. But a 30/31 isn't going to WOW them into overlooking your GPA.
The GPA is what it is. You can't change it between now and June, when the 2008 cycle kicks off. You absolutely should be ready to submit your application in early June. "The early bird gets the worm."
Carefully evaluate your PS. There's always room for improvement. You also learned an important lesson on LORs -- keep tabs on what has been sent and received.
...but specifically for your question. I rolled my own informal post-bacc. I took undergrad science classes at my state U to bump up my GPA. An SMP was out of the question for me. Sorry, I can't help you with specific SMP information.
Increase your odds by applying to D.O. schools as well. It's a pain to do two applications, but if you get a D.O. acceptance and no M.D. offers you'll be glad you did.
I think if you apply early, broadly, and wisely you'll get in for 2008.
Your numbers are distressingly similar to my own when I was applying (except I had a veritable crapload of medical experience and I think I was older than you). First time I applied to MD only and got... wait for it... ZERO interviews.
second time I applied to both and got one MD interview (NOT from my state school) and a BUNCH of DO interviews. I'm a happy MSI at a DO school now (the MD school waitlisted me) and pleased with my outcome. DO has been a wonderful thing for me and my family, but it's definitely not for everyone.
Good luck. Apply broadly. Apply EARLY EARLY EARLY.
One thing I noticed, is that your shadowing experience started in Jan 2007, which means you had none when you applied. Also, you don't seem to have recent clinical volunteering experience. I think that's an area that could be improved.
Retaking the MCAT is probably going to be low-yield. Your numbers are competitive for DO schools, so think about that possibility. If you are dead set on allopathic MD programs, then SMPs is a definite option. You can head over to the postbac forum to see the dedicated thread about it.
I had similar numbers (lower GPA) and recieved several D.O. offers this year. I would work on the clinical side, maybe re-take some classes. D.O. will replace the bad grades with the new ones.
I spent some time researching SMPs last year and based on what I learned I think you would have a good chance of getting into one. The things you have to consider are the cost (quite massive for some of the programs) and the workload (you have to have the study skills to handle it, otherwise if you do not do well enough in an SMP, you will have essentially shot yourself in the foot). If you do well in an SMP, your chances of acceptance will be dramatically improved. I would look into this as soon as possible, since the application process is underway right now.
I concur with the other posters who have said that you will need some additional clinical exposure. I realize that you had a significant amount in high school, but I worry about it not carrying as much weight with adcoms. I would recommend volunteering at a local free/community/indigent clinic. If there is a medical school in the area, it is quite possible the school is involved with at least one such clinic, so if you can volunteer there you may have a chance to meet some of the clinical professors and/or students (some of these people may be adcom members).
An SMP is not going to raise your undergrad GPA (a post-bac will) and they can be extremely expensive as the poster above mentioned. I think what's really needed for your app is to apply as early as possible, get more clinical experience, and make sure your letters are all in order by June or whenever the Texas app opens. A 3.4/3.2 and 29 combination, while not Harvard material is also not insurmountable if you apply early and have clinical experience that clearly shows you've made a conscious and educated decision to become a doctor (whether said experience actually allows you to do that is another thread topic...). You might also consider applying to schools outside of TX, particularly if you have any unique personal statement components or EC's since those will make you stand out more for some schools that are less number heavy (Look on mdapplicants for a sense of those).