Jbirdy

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I am hoping to get people's advice concerning my current situation. Here's a pretty brief autobiography: I am a graduate of CSULB and I have taken the beautiful MCAT 2x. I took the MCAT again because I felt that my first scores were sub-par for many of the California schools - the first time around I got a 30 (7V,12P,11B) and the second time around I got a 33 (10V, 10P, 13B). Needless to say, I was very happy with the fact that I was able to boost my verbal score into an acceptable range. My undergraduate GPA was pretty solid at 3.7 BCPM and 3.7 overall.

Beyond the numbers, I feel like I was able to obtain strong letters from 3 science professors and 1 non-science professor. One of them is actually a faculty member at the USC undergraduate campus and another a professor of medicine at UCLA. The extracurriculars were also good but to be honest are nothing spectacular: research 1 year (no publications), volunteerism as Clinical Care Extender > 1 year, pharmacy clerk >1 year (with pharmacy tech license), >1 as a Docent at a Japanese Garden (random fun cultural stuff).

I submitted my application in mid July indicating that I was planning to take the MCAT again in August. Undoubtedly, this caused some what of a lag in my application completion date at many schools. It would be awesome to get some feedback from those who know about this crazy process. What are some of the strengths/weaknesses of my application? To date, I only have one interview at NYMC and I have not even heard back from any of the California schools regarding an interview - I have submitted secondaries to all of them except UCSF. I thought that by now I would know a little more than I do currently but I kind feel like I am still in no-mans land.
 

MilkmanAl

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I'm assuming the 33 was your August score? If so and you've gotten secondaries from every school, you're probably in decent shape. A 33 is a reasonably competitive score even for CA schools when paired with a 3.7. If you applied wisely to schools outside of CA, you should get an acceptance somewhere. I'd say your extracurriculars are average-ish, but your clinical experience might be a little light. All in all, you seem to be a strong applicant and are nowhere near no-man's land. Good luck!
 

fizzle

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In cases like yours where your numbers are fine, I'd say one of the most important aspects of your application is your school list. Did you apply broadly? I'd guess you did somewhat since you applied to NYMC, but I can't tell beyond that.

California schools, in addition to being difficult to get into, are notorious for lagging behind most other schools in the application cycle. In other words, they'll still be sending out plenty of interview invites through the next year (in fact, UC Davis only started its interviews in December :eek:), so don't give up hope!

As useless factually as it is, here's an anecdote for hope's sake: Last application cycle, my two roommates and I all received California interviews between January and March. They're now happily attending those schools and you can ignore me here :(

Like Milkman said, though, your application could use some more clinical experience (assuming all else is fine, such as your essays and your LORs), so work on that during the waiting period! When you go through interviews, your interviewers will most likely ask you about your current activities. You don't want to be caught short-handed when they do.
 
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NPEMTIV

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It'd be difficult for anyone to give too much feedback on your strengths/weaknesses without seeing your full app but things that come to mind regarding why you haven't heard back are some that have already been mentioned like where did you apply and:

-What was your personal statement like? Schools place various weight on these and if you came off wrong to the wrong school that could be detrimental.
-Your ECs are weak. With the number of applicants California schools get I would image a 3.7+ is very common for them and you'd really like to see some strong research or in-depth clinical experience (more than just shadowing etc...)

All is not for not, however, and I would certainly not count you out. A 3.7 is still very good and a 33 is solid. Have you considered writing a letter of intent to these schools? Something that reaffirms your desire to attend there and further elaborates on how your particular qualities and background would be an asset to them? I'm a fan of the LOI.
 

NPEMTIV

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Like Milkman said, though, your application could use some more clinical experience (assuming all else is fine, such as your essays and your LORs), so work on that during the waiting period! When you go through interviews, your interviewers will most likely ask you about your current activities. You don't want to be caught short-handed when they do.
This is some really good advice. :thumbup:
 

Mobius1985

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I don't see any evidence of leadership or teamwork among your ECs. Your research of one year is fine for many schools (assuming research didn't mean washing glassware). Hopefully your volunteer clinical care extender postition provided face-to-face patient interaction. (Not sure what this is exactly. What did you do? If you weren't working directly in the presence of physicians, then some shadowing would be good to add.)
 

Jbirdy

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First, I would like to thank everybody for the constructive criticism. I know that it is difficult to work off of such limited information :)

Some of you have voiced your concerns with my volunteerism. I just wanted to clarify what the Clinical Care Extender program is about. The Clinical Care Extender program is essentially a hospital internship, where CCEs (volunteers) work throughout the hospital side-by-side with the nursing staff. As a CCE, I have helped patients eat, walk, and even wipe themselves - I do not think that I can get much closer than that :rolleyes: CCEs are required to complete 48 hours per rotation (ie. stroke-unite, telemetry, medical surgical, joint-works, orthopedics, etc.) and must meet a 240 graduation requirement. I have actually exceeded this requirement and am planning on sticking with the program until I get a fat envelop in the mail.

You are right mobius, my application is lacking leadership experience and I have trying to remedy that as of late. I am currently applying for a admin or department coordinator position within the Clinical Care extender program.

Lastly, the following is the list of schools I applied to:
1. NYU - final decision pending - likely, "thanks for the bake sale money, but no thanks"
2. Albany - pre-interview hold
3. NYMC - interview invite
4. Rochester - denied
5. Penn State - continue to review
6. Oklahoma - nada, I claiming strong ties...
7. George Washington - nada
8. University of Virginia - long shot, but I love this school - nada
9. Emory - nada, but waiting for a likely no
10. Jefferson - nada
11. Einstein - nada
12. Medical College of Wisconsin - small pool
13. Toledo - nada
14. Tufts - nada
15. Case Western Reserve - denied

In State Schools:
16. Stanford - lol
17. UCI - nada
18. UCSF - small envelope = :eek:
19. UCD - nada
20. UCLA - nada
21. UCSD - pre-interview hold

Anyways, I think that's it...

Thanks again :)
 

iA-MD2013

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So, Aug scores came back in sept...and you were complete at most schools late sept/early oct? You still have time...no need to worry yet :)
 

Mobius1985

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The volunteer Clinical Care Extender program sounds perfect (even the butt wiping, LOL). I hope you described it well in the narrative portion, so it is clear to adcomms too, including the "volunteer" part. The variety involved is above the average, and surely involved some physician contact. Any physican shadowing you add, or leadership position acquired could be mentioned in an update letter to your favored schools.

Let me mention that if this "volunteer" position was required for graduation, is does not fulfill the unwritten requirement for altruistic service. The docent postition does, but may not have the expected degree of longevity. I don't want to come across as critical, because I think your application looks great. I am trying to view it was an adcomm's eye, so if you are stuck reapplying, you have an eye to what holes to plug, or what needs to be better described on a future application.

There is a good range of selectivity in the schools you applied to. With your stats, your application is sure to be completely evaluated, and not screened out.
 

Jbirdy

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If I’m unsuccessful this application cycle would it benefit it me at all to take the MCAT again? I feel that I am definitely capable of a 36ish MCAT but would 3 more points matter after 3 attempts? Originally (in the days before SDN) I would have been very happy with a 33, but after reading the through the mdapps of others I am beginning to feel a little self-conscious :)
 

Slowpoke

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I can vouch for the legitimacy of the Clinical Care Extender program as I myself am one. Maybe its a program only unique to California?

I may have misread your post, mobius, or you may have misread the OP's, but the graduation requirement of 240 hours is for the program itself, it is not school related whatsoever. Also volunteers are allowed to stay much longer than the requirement of 240 hours, although the majority of applicants don't even make it that far!

heres a website for anyone who would be interested in the opportunity to volunteer as a CCE!

http://copehealthsolutions.org/hwt/cce.html

edit: woah, I just read this over and it sounds like a blatant plug. hahaha rock on!
 
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Mobius1985

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If I’m unsuccessful this application cycle would it benefit it me at all to take the MCAT again? :)
It's pretty awesome to make a three point jump from 30 to 33 on the MCAT. By retaking again, you run the risk of a lower score. Obviously a higher score is always beneficial. Personally, for me the stress of retaking and the chance of a lower score, would not be worth the advantage of consideration by more selective schools. I think you have to decide this one on your own.
 
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