manofgod747

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Jul 31, 2017
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Hi all,

Now that the application cycle is wrapping up, and given that I did not receive any II's except 2 Holds, I figured I'd seek some advice on how I can improve my application to have a better chance at the next cycle. Any advice + words on how I can improve is much appreciated! So here it goes:

Canadian Reapplicant
1. Stats
: 3.5 / 516->525 (2 tries)

2. Clinical Volunteering: ~400 Hours (lots of interactions with children @ hospitals + translating for people at a hospital in Korea)

3. Shadowing: 0 Hours due to being in Canada but currently working in the U.S. and looking for opportunities.

3. Non-clinical Volunteering: ~ 700 Hours (40 hours @ a homeless soup kitchen + 180 hours as a big brother + 500 hours as a volunteer basketball coach in a low-income neighborhood)

4. Research: ~270 Hours @ Total Synthesis Lab + 1300 Projected Hours Statistical Analysis Research @ a Hospital (will be around 1700 actual hours by next cycle)

5. Miscellaneous: 2 Yr. of Canadian Juco Varsity Basketball (National Champion one year // 1 Yr. of Church Student Union President // 6 Months of Congressional Intern on the Hill // 1 Yr. Scholarship Program studying liberal arts disciplines in Korea

6. Completed Secondaries in late Sep. / early-mid Oct. due to transcript issues and having to move.

7. School List:

Yale
WUSTL
UCLA
Virginia
Dartmouth
CWRU
Emory
Michigan State
NYMC
GWU
Georgetown
Maryland
St. Louis
Thomas Jefferson
SUNY Upstate
Stony Brook
VCU

---

So that is the basic rundown of my application. Some glaring weaknesses of mine are that I am Canadian and that I applied really late. The next cycle will be my 3rd application cycle, and I just want to make sure that I am not blind to any other weakness of my application that may be visible to others. I would love to get some feedback on my application from fellow SDN-ers and the adcoms (@Goro @LizzyM @Moko @gonnif and others) in the forum.

Thank you!
 

Goro

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GPA, lack of shadowing, and being Canadian were the things hurting. I can surmise that you thought your MCAT scores would remediate the GPAs...they didn't. At least six of those schools were outright donations.

International applicants need to be superstars. You'll probably have better luck with the 14ish DO schools that accept Canadians, especially MSUCOM and UNCOM.
 
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GoPenguinsGo

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Dec 19, 2017
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1) Why did you retake that MCAT? Was it expired? Was one particular section really week (sub 125)?

2) You need shadowing. 0 hours is DOA at any school.

3) Remove Yale from your list. A 3.5 just won't cut it for them.
 
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manofgod747

2+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2017
159
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  1. Pre-Medical
GPA, lack of shadowing, and being Canadian were the things hurting. I can surmise that you thought your MCAT scores would remediate the GPAs...they didn't. At least six of those schools were outright donations.

International applicants need to be superstars. You'll probably have better luck with the 14ish DO schools that accept Canadians, especially MSUCOM and UNCOM.
Thanks for your reply, @Goro. With shadowing experience added, is it realistic for me to pursue a low-mid tier MD acceptance? Or do you think it'd be wiser for me to focus on pursuing DO (in terms of # of schools to apply to)?

Additionally, I will be able to do rounds with doctors from my research team in the future. Will I be able to count that as shadowing?
 

manofgod747

2+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2017
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1) Why did you retake that MCAT? Was it expired? Was one particular section really week (sub 125)?

2) You need shadowing. 0 hours is DOA at any school.

3) Remove Yale from your list. A 3.5 just won't cut it for them.
Thanks for your thoughts.

1. I just wanted to improve my application in any way possible.

2. From what I've gathered on SDN, I've read schools may be lenient on Canadian applicants regarding shadowing (since we are not allowed to shadow back in Canada), but maybe that wasn't the case... With that said, I will be able to do rounds with doctors from my research team in the future. Will I be able to count that as shadowing?

3. Will do for the cycle coming up!
 

cj_cregg

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Jul 25, 2014
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In addition to the issues mentioned above, am I understanding correctly that you have zero clinical experience in the US? While the international hospital volunteering can be a good experience, you really have to show that you have at least some understanding of the US healthcare system. That + no shadowing are huge barriers for any applicant, let alone a reapplicant Canadian with a top heavy-ish list. GPA is a little low but everything else is fine.
 
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Moko

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My initial thoughts on your application:
- Significantly below-average GPA for the schools you were targeting. Keep in mind that the average GPA of all matriculants to USMD schools is 3.73 (SD 0.24)
- Good MCAT, though some may question why you retook a 516
- Top-heavy list
- Late application
- Lack of shadowing, and clinical experiences that would have made up for it (e.g. scribing)
- Mostly projected research hours at the time of application, despite applying to research-focused schools

The national championship is cool, and being a congressional intern is uncommon, but neither of these activities make up for the above issues.

Other possible considerations: poor writing and/or a red flag in your LORs. If you message me with your personal statement and activities descriptions, I'll be happy to look through them and provide my honest feedback.
Additionally, I will be able to do rounds with doctors from my research team in the future. Will I be able to count that as shadowing?
If you will be part of their clinical rounds, then yes, separate it out as its own activity and mark it as shadowing.

Apply early and apply broadly. Best of luck. &Readover
 
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manofgod747

2+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2017
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  1. Pre-Medical
In addition to the issues mentioned above, am I understanding correctly that you have zero clinical experience in the US? While the international hospital volunteering can be a good experience, you really have to show that you have at least some understanding of the US healthcare system. That + no shadowing are huge barriers for any applicant, let alone a reapplicant Canadian with a top heavy-ish list. GPA is a little low but everything else is fine.
The majority of my clinical volunteering was done at a Canadian hospital, which I'd imagine is ok..?

Btw, love your username. One of my favorite shows of all time!
 

manofgod747

2+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2017
159
110
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
My initial thoughts on your application:
- Significantly below-average GPA for the schools you were targeting. Keep in mind that the average GPA of all matriculants to USMD schools is 3.73 (SD 0.24)
- Good MCAT, though some may question why you retook a 516
- Top-heavy list
- Late application
- Lack of shadowing, and clinical experiences that would have made up for it (e.g. scribing)
- Mostly projected research hours at the time of application, despite applying to research-focused schools

The national championship is cool, and being a congressional intern is uncommon, but neither of these activities make up for the above issues.

Other possible considerations: poor writing and/or a red flag in your LORs. If you message me with your personal statement and activities descriptions, I'll be happy to look through them and provide my honest feedback.

If you will be part of their clinical rounds, then yes, separate it out as its own activity and mark it as shadowing.

Apply early and apply broadly. Best of luck.
Thank you for your reply! With regards to LOR's, is there any good way to check for a red flag in one of them? I had good relationships with the letter writers (at least I thought..) and don't imagine that'd be a problem, but would certainly like to make sure...
 
May 26, 2020
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Hi. So as a Canadian applicant who has accepted into several USMD schools this cycle, and interviewed with several other Canadians, YOU DO NOT NEED US clinical experience. What I did have was shadowing (minor) and clinical experience here in Canada. I think was made my application was extensive basic science research (like 2k+ hours with presentations and publications) because it’s the top-tier schools IMO that are the most Canadian friendly. Also, ngl I think where you went to school in Canada also matters so if you still want to reapply I would look into doing a Masters at a prestigious Canadian Uni (UofT, McGill). Feel free to PM me for more info though.
 

manofgod747

2+ Year Member
Jul 31, 2017
159
110
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Hi. So as a Canadian applicant who has accepted into several USMD schools this cycle, and interviewed with several other Canadians, YOU DO NOT NEED US clinical experience. What I did have was shadowing (minor) and clinical experience here in Canada. I think was made my application was extensive basic science research (like 2k+ hours with presentations and publications) because it’s the top-tier schools IMO that are the most Canadian friendly. Also, ngl I think where you went to school in Canada also matters so if you still want to reapply I would look into doing a Masters at a prestigious Canadian Uni (UofT, McGill). Feel free to PM me for more info though.
Do you mind if I pm you?
 
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