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Need some advice on strengthening my application

Discussion in 'Re-Applicants [ MD / DO ]' started by JAG94, Jul 21, 2017.

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  1. JAG94


    Jan 10, 2017
    I applied to 8 schools this past cycle (which was my first time) - the 6 MD schools in my home state of Ohio and then IU and Louisville. I only received interviews at Wright State and Toledo and was waitlisted at both schools. Given that I wasn't very successful, I am waiting to reapply until next year for admittance for fall 2019.

    Academically, my stats are 3.90 cumulative GPA (I think like a 3.86 or so science GPA) and 509 MCAT. I feel like I am in good shape with my GPA but my MCAT is maybe just a hair below most schools' average. I didn't have much time to study for it the first time around, so I feel like if I make a really concerted effort to study I can score significantly higher. I am thinking I will see how I am doing on practice tests and will re-take it if I do well on them.

    I think my big weakness was my resume. I had about 60 hours of shadowing, 200 hours as a part-time research assistant my sophomore year, 60 hours of hospital volunteering in an ER, 90 hours as an elementary school tutor, 25 hours volunteering at a local food pantry, and 30 hours at a local animal shelter.

    I spoke with the admissions director at one school I applied to and she said the only reason I wasn't offered an interview was because of my limited resume, and noted that I needed to have research and more clinical experience (my research assistant job was more like just keeping the lab organized rather than participating in any research).

    I was planning on enrolling in a grad program at my local university to do a master's in biology with a research focus. For more clinical experience I recently completed a scribe course and was hoping to be hired by the company part-time while in school, but now they've told me they will only hire me if I do not do the grad program. So unfortunately it seems that I have to choose one or the other now, and I've already looked and there really aren't any other options for research or scribing in my area.

    While the scribe program is a great opportunity, I feel like you don't stand a chance in admissions without some research experience. I also think I can get more clinical experience by volunteering at a local children's hospital and possibly an HIV clinic. I am also looking at a hospice (not sure if that is considered clinical).

    I am going to try to talk with more of the schools I applied to, but I would really appreciate some advice on whether I should go with the grad program or scribing and if you think I am on the right track with my plans to strengthen my application. Thank you!
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2017
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  3. Faha

    Faha 2+ Year Member

    Sep 15, 2012
    Volunteering at a local children's hospital will definitely help your application. I suggest applying more broadly next time and include OOS private schools where your GPA and MCAT are competitive. These would be schools such as:
    Oakland Beaumont
    Western Michigan
    Medical College Wisconsin
    Rosalind Franklin
    St. Louis
    Eastern Virginia
    Virginia Commonwealth
    West Virginia
    any new schools that may open for 2019 (Seton Hall, Roseman, NOVA MD, Kaiser, etc.)
    JAG94 likes this.
  4. doctorsaurusrex


    May 17, 2017
    I agree that you could use some more relevant experiences but I disagree that you have to do ALL the relevant experiences. I think you have overall good stats. I would say go with what your interest is. There's no point in doing anything just to fill a resume. I have no passion for research so I never did it. I loved hospice volunteering because I really wanted to help terminally ill people and their families. I had an interest in palliative care, talking to people, end of life issues, and hands on care for people. I also scribed because I wanted to learn more about what it's actually like to work in a hospital and I loved it. These experiences helped inform me that I wanted to go into medicine. I didn't do research just to have it for a resume. I have some friends for which research partially inspired their passion for medicine and they're continuing to do research in medical school because that's what they love to do. Gain the experiences you personally want.
    JAG94 likes this.
  5. CyrilFiggis

    CyrilFiggis 2+ Year Member

    Nov 4, 2014
    Your resume right now seems to be a bit scattershot. You didn't really commit to anything. It just looks like you're doing things to check the right boxes. Your ECs help tell the story of who you are and what your passions are. Do the scribe work and get more hours clinically. Not all schools require research, so don't take the AdComs suggestions as dogmatic. Finally, stop looking at your resume only through the eyes of admissions, look at it like you've already gotten into med school and all these ECs are what you want to do to help you in your professional career.
    doctorsaurusrex and JAG94 like this.
  6. JAG94


    Jan 10, 2017
    Thanks a lot for the help guys - I really appreciate it. I thought long and hard about this and decided that doing the scribe work was what I am most interested in. I am going to be scribing full time for a family practice this year and I am also going to look into volunteering at a hospice and other places that I am passionate about also. While I hope that I will have a much stronger application with these experiences, I definitely feel like the real benefit is that they will also help prepare me to become a physician.

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