Medical Nervous - what are my chances as a nontraditional?

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tantacles

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Hi there! I graduated in 2013 with a B.A. in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and have taken coursework since then to meet all other pre-requisites. My GPA is as follows:
Bacc: 3.30
Post-Bacc: 4.0
Overall Science: 3.43
Overall Non-Science: 3.64

I worked for 5 years in laboratory pharmaceuticals and in 2017, shifted into clinical work, first as a CNA and currently as an EMT. I took my MCAT in January 2020 and received a 496. I have ALWAYS had terrible testing anxiety. The reason, I believe, that my post-bacc grades were so good was because I worked with the community college's disability group and had a separate space and time-and-a-half to take exams. It helped considerably, but since I haven't been in school up to the point of taking the MCAT, I did not have the ability to request accommodations for the exam. Regardless, I have a second MCAT scheduled for Aug 14th, and have been averaging 503 on practice exams at home.

I have over 4,500 hours of compensated clinical experience and about 160 hours of volunteering in clinical and non-healthcare settings. Using the "holistic review," do you think the DO schools will consider me for interviews? I applied solely to DO schools, as I resonate deeper with their approach, and I have received secondary applications from all 14 schools that I applied to! That makes me feel pretty excited, but it's hard to know if it's automatic or because they actually reviewed what my AACOMAS app contained.

Thoughts? Thank you in advance for reading and any suggestions/considerations/input you may have.
Unfortunately, your MCAT, unless you get it up, is not going to cut it. With a 503, you should still be in contention for DO schools, but I fear with a 496 all of your applications are donations. secondaries are often given automatically to applicants by schools, so I would not use that as an indicator that your application is being taken seriously.
 

Goro

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That's a bummer, but thank you for the honest response. I sometimes wonder why the MCAT is such a hard cut-off or why schools bother saying they do a holistic review if they only care about your MCAT score. I don't feel that it's the sole measure of how well you can perform against the rigor of medical school.
Here's why, right from the AAMC; the MCAT is a predictor of a lack of success in medical school.

Also, holistic review doesn't mean that "we review every app we see, even if they're not competitive".

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tantacles

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That's a bummer, but thank you for the honest response. I sometimes wonder why the MCAT is such a hard cut-off or why schools bother saying they do a holistic review if they only care about your MCAT score. I don't feel that it's the sole measure of how well you can perform against the rigor of medical school.

Unfortunately, all I have for you are sobering answers.

MCAT-wise, this is the best predictor we have for who will do well in medical school. It's not that they don't care about anything else, but rather that if your score is low enough, you are unlikely to do well in medical school. It's not the only measure, but it's robust enough to matter.

As far as schools saying they do a holistic review is concerned, I will say that they do that. It's just that one part of your application being bad can still weigh down an otherwise great application.

It's also not just about your score. You're being compared with a litany of applicants who often have great extracurricular activities AND have been able to do well on the MCAT. Schools would rather not take a chance.
 

TheBoneDoctah

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The MCAT is the predictor that shows if you will succeed in medical school. If you start medical school and fail out, you are basically going thousands of dollars into debt with no job.

Buckle down and get your score up if you want to be a doctor.
 
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