Sep 25, 2015
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Hello I was wondering if anyone could give me some insight into my odds of getting into medical school this year.

GPA: 3.82
Science GPA: 3.71

MCAT: 499
Phys = 126
Soc = 126
CARS = 124
Bio = 123

Volunteering/Shadowing:
40 hours job shadowing a neurosurgeon
15 hours volunteering at homeless shelter
170 hours of microbiology lab TA

I realize my MCAT score and volunteering are severely lacking, but I would like a realistic idea of what to expect. I stressed in my secondaries that I am a first generation college student and I explained the obstacles that I had to overcome as a single mother to a special needs child. I also received the FAP.

I applied to:

Irving- Haven't heard from

Stanford- Working on Secondary
Arizona- Working on Secondary
Howard- Working on Secondary
Creighton- Working on Secondary

Hofstra- Submitted Secondary
LLUSM-Submitted Secondary
Case Western- Submitted Secondary
OHSU-Submitted Secondary
Keck-Submitted Secondary
UW-Submitted Secondary

UMKC- Rejected
University of Nebraska- Rejected
Indiana-Rejected
Meharry- Rejected


I am a Washington resident and I am reluctant to retake the MCAT because I have a hard time with biochemistry and I'm not sure if my score would improve. I plan on applying to D.O. schools as soon as I get a letter of recommendation from a physician. I have also been interviewed for a position at 2 different scribe companies, so that I can strengthen my application. I should be working as a scribe within the month. I am also scheduling to volunteer at my church to feed the homeless. I would love to hear any and all suggestions to help improve my application. My GPA is on point and I think my backstory is empowering, the other half (MCAT and volunteering) is mediocre at best.

Thank you for your insight/suggestions!
 

ChrisMack390

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I'm sorry but you have a 499 on the MCAT. You are completely out of your mind applying to any of the schools on your list. The top 0.1% get into Standard and you are in the bottom half...

I don't mean to rag on you, but for your own sake please consider withdrawing your app and applying with a significantly improved MCAT.

You might have a shot at some of the newest DO programs since you have a nice GPA and EC list, but even then I'd be worried.
 
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Lawpy

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That MCAT will seal you out effectively from all MD schools. You need to retake and score a 510+ (or preferably around 515+, based on your school list) to be competitive. Right now, complete your AACOMAS app and get in the volunteering and DO shadowing now. By applying to DO schools broadly, you should get in somewhere without having to reapply.

EDIT: I just saw you don't have any clinical volunteering experience (shadowing is insufficient, since you need to be associating with patients and contributing to the hospital environment). Yeah sorry. You will not get accepted anywhere, MD or DO, without:

1. Clinical experience
2. Volunteering experience

Even with a 499, as long as you complete the above two sufficiently and can describe them well in interviews, you can get into a DO school. Otherwise, sorry. As of now, withdraw your app to focus more on the above and reapply early in June of the following cycle.
 
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METTA WORLD PEACE

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I'm sorry but you have a 499 on the MCAT. You are completely out of your mind applying to any of the schools on your list. The top 0.1% get into Standard and you are in the bottom half...

I don't mean to rag on you, but for your own sake please consider withdrawing your app and applying with a significantly improved MCAT.

You might have a shot at some of the newest DO programs since you have a nice GPA and EC list, but even then I'd be worried.

Well...looks like you're not just an a-hole to me, but to everyone here. Nice attitude dude.
 

NotASerialKiller

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Well...looks like you're not just an a-hole to me, but to everyone here. Nice attitude dude.

Attitude? The OP was being extremely unrealistic, don't spread your rage around just because you don't know how to get away with a lie.
 
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Promethean

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As others have said, that 499 is going to make things hard.

However, I don't think that you have to write off MD schools entirely. There are newer MD schools, and ones with a strong primary care focus, that are more accepting of lower range scores. TCMC was taking people with 24s last cycle. Don't know how the 499 maps over to the old numbers exactly, but you might have a shot at some of those schools.

Please don't apply DO if you have no interest in Osteopathic Medicine, just because you think it will get you in someplace. Either want to do it, or spend a little time getting your scores up/applying a little more strategically.

You are kind of late to start new primaries for this cycle, especially with low scores. You've already laid down the money, so might as well see it through and maybe something will work out. If I were you, I might add a school or two with lower average MCATs and then start shifting focus to next years cycle.

I hear you about not doing well in biochem, but that is precisely why you shouldn't get into a school right now. Like that is what the MCAT is there for, to ascertain whether you are ready for what you want to do. You aren't. If you know you have a weakness in something that is absolutely 100% applicable to what you will be doing in the first couple of years, build on that and try again when you are stronger and more confident. Don't set yourself up for failure by getting into someplace and then falling on your face when the material starts hitting you hard and fast.

Take a biochem course. Online, if you have to, or at a community college, or just drill on it yourself. Whatever works to master that material. Review the other sections too, and retake with confidence.

Meanwhile, scribing is good. So is volunteerism. Do all that. But if I were you, I'd seriously reconsider your plan to settle with your current mastery of biochem. That will not serve you well, even if you get a seat.
 
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Goro

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Odds are zero for MD schools unless you're a veteran or URM. You're merely OK for DO schools, but apply broadly and skip the coastal Touros, CCOM, AZCOM and Western.

And do some better research. Stanford's median MCAT for acceptees is 36!

Hello I was wondering if anyone could give me some insight into my odds of getting into medical school this year.

GPA: 3.82
Science GPA: 3.71

MCAT: 499
Phys = 126
Soc = 126
CARS = 124
Bio = 123

Volunteering/Shadowing:
40 hours job shadowing a neurosurgeon
15 hours volunteering at homeless shelter
170 hours of microbiology lab TA

I realize my MCAT score and volunteering are severely lacking, but I would like a realistic idea of what to expect. I stressed in my secondaries that I am a first generation college student and I explained the obstacles that I had to overcome as a single mother to a special needs child. I also received the FAP.
Thank you for your insight/suggestions!


And metta, chris is neither an a-hole, nor a lying sack of s**t either.


Well...looks like you're not just an a-hole to me, but to everyone here. Nice attitude dude.
 
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lmn

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Yikes, sorry OP but your list is way off and you're honestly just throwing money out the window, especially with schools like Stanford. Also make sure you are checking the msar, I don't have access to it any longer, but at least one other site shows that Nebraska's class is 85% in-state, I don't know their interview/acceptance rate for OOS, but I wouldn't guess it to be very high, especially with your stats (http://medical-schools.startclass.com/l/77/University-of-Nebraska-College-of-Medicine). And meharry is a historically black school. Aside from your low stats, your list is just setup for failure.

Being a single mother (or mother at all) makes things much harder, but your MCAT is absolutely destroying your application, and your EC's are also sub par. I personally would cut your loses where they are this year and focus on either redoing the mcat or putting your effort towards DO schools. You may have a good story, but I don't think your MCAT inspires any confidence that you will be able to succeed in med school, and that will be a big issue.
 

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I'm going to be an a** and assume that she is an URM based on her vernacular ("on point"), her single mother status, and being a first generation college grad with an "empowering backstory."

Also, she applied to Howard and Meharry, two of the four HBCU med schools.

And I know I'm just a lowly premed, but I think she'll get into at least one of those schools if not more. I hope OP updates us with her good news soon. OP please don't drop out.

I have a really good feeling you're getting in somewhere.
 
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Dec 7, 2014
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Hello I was wondering if anyone could give me some insight into my odds of getting into medical school this year.

GPA: 3.82
Science GPA: 3.71

MCAT: 499
Phys = 126
Soc = 126
CARS = 124
Bio = 123

Volunteering/Shadowing:
40 hours job shadowing a neurosurgeon
15 hours volunteering at homeless shelter
170 hours of microbiology lab TA

I realize my MCAT score and volunteering are severely lacking, but I would like a realistic idea of what to expect. I stressed in my secondaries that I am a first generation college student and I explained the obstacles that I had to overcome as a single mother to a special needs child. I also received the FAP.

I applied to:

Irving- Haven't heard from

Stanford- Working on Secondary
Arizona- Working on Secondary
Howard- Working on Secondary
Creighton- Working on Secondary

Hofstra- Submitted Secondary
LLUSM-Submitted Secondary
Case Western- Submitted Secondary
OHSU-Submitted Secondary
Keck-Submitted Secondary
UW-Submitted Secondary

UMKC- Rejected
University of Nebraska- Rejected
Indiana-Rejected
Meharry- Rejected


I am a Washington resident and I am reluctant to retake the MCAT because I have a hard time with biochemistry and I'm not sure if my score would improve. I plan on applying to D.O. schools as soon as I get a letter of recommendation from a physician. I have also been interviewed for a position at 2 different scribe companies, so that I can strengthen my application. I should be working as a scribe within the month. I am also scheduling to volunteer at my church to feed the homeless. I would love to hear any and all suggestions to help improve my application. My GPA is on point and I think my backstory is empowering, the other half (MCAT and volunteering) is mediocre at best.

Thank you for your insight/suggestions!

It sounds to me like your application would be much stronger next year, and that it would be a good idea to begin planning to reapply. Whatever you do, don't submit your secondary to Stanford - that's just a waste of money.

If you are a historically underrepresented minority applicant, then between that and your story you might stand a chance at a few places. You would need to take another year off, scribe and volunteer at a hospital, and if you can, retake the MCAT. Aim for anything above a 500. Your GPA is strong, and I know of at least one person in a DO school with a 24 MCAT (498 equivalent). (FWIW, the friend I'm thinking of is ORM.) Put a great deal of time into your essays - see if you can find people who have served on admissions committees to look over your primary essay. With a strong essay, more volunteering experience, and your GPA, hope is not lost.
 
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The OP came to this forum asking for advice. Whether the feedback is negative or positive it is what she asked for and probably expected. That doesn't make anyone an " a hole" just cause they didn't LIE to her.

EDIT: Apparently I don't know how to quote a post but I'm obviously talking to you Metta
 
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studentdocftw

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Sorry OP, but your MCAT is not competitive at all. Historically, a competitive MD MCAT score has been around ~80% (yours is 47%). Even worse, last years class had an average matriculant MCAT of 31.4, making your score even further from the average matriculant. Outside of veteran status, URM, or some significant EC, your chances for MD are very slim. Your school list is also out of reach (don't submit any more apps if money is an issue). Furthermore, your reluctance to retake because you "have a hard time with biochemistry" is a bit disconcerting. Medicine IS biochemistry, so you are going to have to learn the fundamentals presented on the MCAT. Study hard, focus, and retake! Alternatively, apply broadly to DO schools (newer ones) and you may get some IIs where your life story can win the adcoms over!
 
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Spector1

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Yeah, you might want to retake that mcat for the next cycle.


Well...looks like you're not just an a-hole to me, but to everyone here. Nice attitude dude.

coming from the guy who faked... err I mean merely exaggerated his volunteering activities.
 

ChrisMack390

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Well...looks like you're not just an a-hole to me, but to everyone here. Nice attitude dude.

The a-hole is the person who says "yeah dude go ahead and apply to Stanford!"

I first posted on this board a year ago with crap ECs and a low GPA. If some of the people on here hadn't set me straight I would be a re-applicant by now. Instead I took my time and bolstered my app and have significantly increased my chances of getting something.

I didn't say anything rude to OP. I reserve that for people who are blatantly lying on their application with no remorse.


PS - Thanks @Goro ;)
 
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Sep 25, 2015
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Thank you, everyone for your advice and honesty! I used the MSAR to judge what schools I had the best shot at (before I took the MCAT, guessing that I would not do outstanding) and I meant to apply to a school called Sanford, but accidentally hit Standford.

I should say I am reluctant to take the MCAT because I already bled money for Kaplan. I studied for 3 months and I spent a lot of my time focusing on PHYS/CHEM because that is traditionally my weakest area. On all of my practice exams I did the best on the BIO, so I was shocked to see that I did so terrible on test day. A big issue with retaking the MCAT for me is the lack of funds. I simply can't afford to take time off to study again to take the MCAT and I do not have any resources to get me the help I need. I am very proud of the fact that I graduated with my undergraduate degree debt-free, but perhaps I should have taken out loans. It is hard to expect someone to stop working when they receive food stamps and live in a trailer. I want nothing more than to become a doctor, but I have to make sure bills are paid because I have a son. There is nothing to justify why I did so poorly on my first MCAT, but I wanted to explain my own "reality" of why, at this point, it is simply not possible for me to retake the MCAT.

I disagree that medicine is mainly biochemistry. I do not think that many physicians could walk someone through the Kreb's cycle in the blink of an eye. Medicine is biology based and I was enjoyed every second of anatomy and physiology. I will take everyone's advice and ignore submitting Stanford's secondary. They are one of the few schools that doesn't wave the secondary fee for FAP. Howard doesn't wave their secondary fee either...

I am not an URM. I know my volunteering is lacking, but I am constantly surrounded by the medical world because of my special needs son. I go to the hospital 3 times a week for physical, occupational, and speech therapy for my son. I have seen my son have every procedure possible performed on him to try to find a diagnosis for him. My son had 2 non-vascular strokes while I was in my undergrad and I still managed to graduate with an amazing GPA. I have also experienced some of the best and some of the worst physicians out there. I know this is different from volunteering, but I do have experience with the healthcare field.

I am okay with taking an additional year off to focus on a healthcare career, volunteering, and saving up money to retake the MCAT. I do want to apply to D.O. schools and I am hopeful that perhaps my backstory can help land me an interview or two. I am also an older applicant (26), so I don't want to waste too many more years. Thank you everyone for your feedback.
 
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Giovanotto

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Best of luck OP, I hope you get in somewhere this cycle. Please keep us updated.
 
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I disagree that medicine is mainly biochemistry.

Medicine may not be mainly biochemistry, but guess what you have to pass if you hope to practice medicine?? Biochemistry. While taking other incredibly dense and high-volume basic science courses at the same time. No school is doing you a favor if they accept you because of your compelling story, only to have you flunk out if you are incapable of handling the material. Med schools have tons of applicants to choose from. It's on you to prove that you can handle it, and scoring better on the MCAT is a way to do that.

Also. I am sorry to hear about your son's struggles. You should be proud of what you've managed to achieve while dealing with that. But you absolutely, positively, under no circumstances should start down the path of a medical career unless you have lots of support/help with caring for him. This may be a career based on caring for others, but it can be incredibly inflexible when it comes to things like having the time to care for a family member. The preclinical years would be tough, the clinical years and residency would be nearly impossible.

Just some food for thought. Best of luck to you!
 
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medic86

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Perhaps not, but it's a pretty big deal in your preclinical coursework. It would behoove you to strengthen your weaknesses.
Warning: some offensive language.
I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself. :p
 
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takeurmeds02

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Dude, you're probably better off waiting until next cycle. Don't waste your chance to apply in attempts to rush the process.
 

goldy490

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Let this be a lesson to people to check the damn Demographics and Acceptance Tabs on MSAR!!!

You're non-URM applying to Howard and Meharry, and then applied to a bunch of state schools that have significant in-state bias. Even with a good mcat, you'd be DOA for the majority of these places esp. Sanford, U Washington, Meharry, and Howard.

Dude, you've gotta be applying to the new, private medical schools if you want a shot. Plus, if money is an issue, check out the OOS tuition for the schools you applied to...
 

cantankerous

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Would you even have the time for medical school with your son? I'm glad you want to get involved in healthcare, but there are better careers that will let you balance your time better.
 
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Thank you everyone for your words of wisdom/advice! I will expand my knowledge of biochemistry. I managed to get a B out of the class and I understand the concerns that people may have. I understand the basic tenants of the subject, I just haven't sat down and memorized all of the enzymes and components to certain cycles.

I am not concerned with the cost of tuition with medical school because I can take out loans. I am also not concerned with how I will manage my time throughout medical school. I worked 30 hours a week throughout my undergraduate degree, while I attended school full-time, and spent time with my son. Because of my socioeconomic status I am fully prepared for the schedule that lies ahead in medical school. I also have a strong support system, despite being a single parent.

Many of the secondary applications I have filled out have directly asked me if I am on state assistance or received FAFSA. They understand that I am disadvantaged financially. I realize this is different from URM, but there are obstacles nonetheless.

Does anyone have suggestions on what schools I should look into applying for next year?
 
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