Alethea

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2008
16
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hello everyone! I'm getting ready to submit my primaries this week (hopefully this isn't too late), and I would really appreciate some opinions/advice about my chances and where I should apply.

Here's a rundown of my application:
3.64 cum GPA
MCAT:
1st time: 29 R (11 PS, 9 VR, 9 BS)
2nd time: 35 O (11 PS, 12 VR, 12, BS)

Extracurriculars:
-~100 hours of shadowing (ER and pediatrics)
-1 semester of research in a neuroscience lab (planning on continuing this during the fall semester)
-*many* hours of volunteer work (nursing home, radiology department of a local hospital, burn unit of a university hospital)
- Served as a Biology lab TA for 2 semesters
- Tutored children at a local daycare
- member of the university's marching band for 3 years (>20 hour/week time commitment during the fall)
- other non-medical related work experience

Right now, I only have 5 schools that I plan on applying to. Any suggestions on what schools (if any) I should add?
- UAB
- University of South Alabama
- Emory
- Vanderbilt (my undergraduate university)
- Tulane (?)

I am an Alabama resident and would like to stay around the South for med school if possible.

Thank you! :)

[Edit] Oops...forgot to add that I am a Molecular & Cellular Biology major, Neuroscience minor, and I'll be graduating in December [/Edit]
 
Last edited:

camaras2480

Wrapping things up
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 21, 2007
2,234
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Hello everyone! I'm getting ready to submit my primaries this week (hopefully this isn't too late), and I would really appreciate some opinions/advice about my chances and where I should apply.

Here's a rundown of my application:
3.64 cum GPA
MCAT:
1st time: 29 R (11 PS, 9 VR, 9 BS)
2nd time: 35 O (11 PS, 12 VR, 12, BS)

Extracurriculars:
-~100 hours of shadowing (ER and pediatrics)
-1 semester of research in a neuroscience lab (planning on continuing this during the fall semester)
-*many* hours of volunteer work (nursing home, radiology department of a local hospital, burn unit of a university hospital)
- Served as a Biology lab TA for 2 semesters
- Tutored children at a local daycare
- member of the university's marching band for 3 years (>20 hour/week time commitment during the fall)
- other non-medical related work experience

Right now, I only have 5 schools that I plan on applying to. Any suggestions on what schools (if any) I should add?
- UAB
- University of South Alabama
- Emory
- Vanderbilt (my undergraduate university)
- Tulane (?)

I am an Alabama resident and would like to stay around the South for med school if possible.

Thank you! :)

[Edit] Oops...forgot to add that I am a Molecular & Cellular Biology major, Neuroscience minor, and I'll be graduating in December [/Edit]
I think you have a well-rounded application. In fact, the only thing I see that you don't seem to have is leadership. Perhaps you could take on some type of e-board role in your last semester? Not necessary with all your other ECs, but it would just really round out the circle.

Your school list is fine, albeit short. I'd say bringing that up to the 10-12 range; others on the forum would tell you 15.

Consider Georgia, Tennessee, Louisville, Arkansas, and surely keep Tulane, it would act as a reasonable safety.

Look for canjosh for some input, I think he is familiar with the southern belt.
 
OP
A

Alethea

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2008
16
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you so much for the quick reply! I definitely should add some leadership to my application (I think the only thing I have in terms of leadership right now is TAing). I'll see what I can do my last semester and then hopefully update my application with that information as soon as I can.

I'm having a little trouble finding nearby schools that are OOS friendly and have stats that are reasonably within my reach. I'll keep looking :D
Would it be a very bad idea to apply only to 5 schools?
 

camaras2480

Wrapping things up
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 21, 2007
2,234
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Thank you so much for the quick reply! I definitely should add some leadership to my application (I think the only thing I have in terms of leadership right now is TAing). I'll see what I can do my last semester and then hopefully update my application with that information as soon as I can.

I'm having a little trouble finding nearby schools that are OOS friendly and have stats that are reasonably within my reach. I'll keep looking :D
Would it be a very bad idea to apply only to 5 schools?
I think 5 schools is risky. Even if money is an issue, I'd push it to at least 10 just as a safety. For more competitive schools in the south, you could consider Wake, St. Louis (too far north?), Miami, and Baylor.

For less selective schools, you could consider GWU, Georgetown, Kentucky, Maryland, Louisville, Tulane (which you already have), East Tennessee, Kansas, South Carolina, and Arkansas.

Some of them don't have the best OOS numbers, but I think you have a shot at more or less all of these.
 

Mobius1985

10+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2007
3,484
1
Congratulations on the outstanding improvement in your MCAT score.

I would list the TA postion under teaching, not leadership. The variety and intnsity of your community sevice/clinical experience will help you stand out.

I agree that you should add at least five more schools to improve your chances of an acceptance in one cycle. I know it seems like you're a shoo-in for your state schools, but I'm evidence that things don't always work out that way. Your MCAT is nice enough that someone might offer you some scholarship money to enhance your chances of attending their school. You never know if you don't try.
 

canjosh

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 18, 2004
1,171
1
Houston
Status
Medical Student
Here's a rundown of my application:
3.64 cum GPA
MCAT:
1st time: 29 R (11 PS, 9 VR, 9 BS)
2nd time: 35 O (11 PS, 12 VR, 12, BS)

Right now, I only have 5 schools that I plan on applying to. Any suggestions on what schools (if any) I should add?
- UAB
- University of South Alabama
- Emory
- Vanderbilt (my undergraduate university)
- Tulane (?)

I am an Alabama resident and would like to stay around the South for med school if possible.

Thank you! :)

[Edit] Oops...forgot to add that I am a Molecular & Cellular Biology major, Neuroscience minor, and I'll be graduating in December [/Edit]
Ok, I like your list so far. I'd be surprised if you didn't get interviews at UAB and USA. As long as your personal statement is good, LORs are solid, and there aren't unusual grades on your transcript...I'd say your chances are quite good at your state institutions. Way to nail the MCAT!

You could add Arkansas...they assess all the OOS folks late in the cycle. So, if you've got an acceptance elsewhere, you can withdraw from Arkansas if desired so you're not strung along.

Vanderbilt, Emory, Tulane...excellent choices. As suggested before, consider adding Miami and Wake Forest. I'd place Baylor in the solid reach category for you, but you wouldn't be out of line if you applied there. Just realize that the mean cGPA there is ~3.85 with an MCAT of ~35. And unlike other private schools, they have the in-state quota to fill.

You could apply to the public Texas schools, but that'd be low yield, and requires you to fill out another application. Your MCAT might get you an interview at one of these schools, but you'd really be fighting an uphill battle to get an acceptance here...there are just so few OOS spots available. If you do fill out the TMDSAS, consider applying to the DO school--TCOM.

One school that you never hear about around here is OU. Perhaps we don't hear about it in Texas because 'Oklahoma' is considered a cuss word. At any rate, they do consider applicants from OOS. They do have some unusual prerequisites, so look into that. Pretty easy to find on their website. I believe there is a foreign language requirement, or extra English, or a lot of humanities, or something. There is also a DO school in Oklahoma--Oklahoma State. (You know, the school with the screaming football coach)!

So, here's the list to consider:
--UAB
--USA
--Tulane
--Vandy
--Emory
--Miami
--Wake
--Arkansas
--Baylor
--EVMS
--VCU
--South Carolina
--Texas public--if you want
--OU--if you have prereqs
--osteopathic schools--2 each in Florida and Arizona, 1 each in Texas, Oklahoma, and Georgia. These would be stats 'safeties' for you. Only apply if you're truly interested in osteopathic medicine.

Many of the other schools mentioned by camaras, et al are reasonable as well. You could apply to just about any southern public school that takes any out-of-staters, and expect to be somewhat competitive. Just peruse the websites, and consider where you could tolerate living for 4 years. I'd say that 12 schools would be a good target number.

As mentioned by another poster, nobody is a shoo-in anywhere. But, I'd say you've done well to make yourself a very solid candidate for your in-state schools. Congrats, and good luck!! :thumbup: :thumbup:
 

camaras2480

Wrapping things up
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 21, 2007
2,234
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Told ya canjosh would give you more insight, lol.

Perhaps we don't hear about it in Texas because 'Oklahoma' is considered a cuss word.
:laugh:
 
OP
A

Alethea

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2008
16
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Mobius1985: Thank you! I'll be sure to list my TA experience under the right category and add a few more schools to my list.

canjosh: Wow, I really appreciate the in depth reply. I'll definitely consider adding Wake Forest, Baylor, Arkansas, and South Carolina. Thank you for the advice and encouragement! :)

Naijaba: Those numbers are very encouraging :D Thanks for the link!

camaras: You were definitely right about canjosh lol Thank you so much for your input!
 

Phosphorus Ylide

Peace, love, and coffee.
7+ Year Member
Jun 27, 2009
475
1
Planet Earth
Status
Attending Physician
Hello everyone! I'm getting ready to submit my primaries this week (hopefully this isn't too late), and I would really appreciate some opinions/advice about my chances and where I should apply.

Here's a rundown of my application:
3.64 cum GPA
MCAT:
1st time: 29 R (11 PS, 9 VR, 9 BS)
2nd time: 35 O (11 PS, 12 VR, 12, BS)

Extracurriculars:
-~100 hours of shadowing (ER and pediatrics)
-1 semester of research in a neuroscience lab (planning on continuing this during the fall semester)
-*many* hours of volunteer work (nursing home, radiology department of a local hospital, burn unit of a university hospital)
- Served as a Biology lab TA for 2 semesters
- Tutored children at a local daycare
- member of the university's marching band for 3 years (>20 hour/week time commitment during the fall)
- other non-medical related work experience

Right now, I only have 5 schools that I plan on applying to. Any suggestions on what schools (if any) I should add?
- UAB
- University of South Alabama
- Emory
- Vanderbilt (my undergraduate university)
- Tulane (?)

I am an Alabama resident and would like to stay around the South for med school if possible.

Thank you! :)

[Edit] Oops...forgot to add that I am a Molecular & Cellular Biology major, Neuroscience minor, and I'll be graduating in December [/Edit]
Congrats on the score increase! :thumbup: How did you study for the second time around?
 

TopSecret

Removed
Jul 14, 2009
1,095
4
949, 310
Status
Attending Physician
Hello everyone! I'm getting ready to submit my primaries this week (hopefully this isn't too late), and I would really appreciate some opinions/advice about my chances and where I should apply.

Here's a rundown of my application:
3.64 cum GPA
MCAT:
1st time: 29 R (11 PS, 9 VR, 9 BS)
2nd time: 35 O (11 PS, 12 VR, 12, BS)

Extracurriculars:
-~100 hours of shadowing (ER and pediatrics)
-1 semester of research in a neuroscience lab (planning on continuing this during the fall semester)
-*many* hours of volunteer work (nursing home, radiology department of a local hospital, burn unit of a university hospital)
- Served as a Biology lab TA for 2 semesters
- Tutored children at a local daycare
- member of the university's marching band for 3 years (>20 hour/week time commitment during the fall)
- other non-medical related work experience

Right now, I only have 5 schools that I plan on applying to. Any suggestions on what schools (if any) I should add?
- UAB
- University of South Alabama
- Emory
- Vanderbilt (my undergraduate university)
- Tulane (?)

I am an Alabama resident and would like to stay around the South for med school if possible.

Thank you! :)

[Edit] Oops...forgot to add that I am a Molecular & Cellular Biology major, Neuroscience minor, and I'll be graduating in December [/Edit]
Very good chance.
 
OP
A

Alethea

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 16, 2008
16
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Congrats on the score increase! :thumbup: How did you study for the second time around?
Thanks! I actually didn't do anything very different the second time around. The main reason I re-took was because I was extremely disappointed with my verbal score (I had been scoring in the 12-13 range on the AAMC practice tests). I figured my nerves got to me the first time, and I ran out of time on that section. So, I didn't really prepare for this section much for the second exam.

As for the increase in my BS score, I think the thing that helped me the most was taking some upper level science courses, like biochemistry, genetics, cell bio, etc. I know this isn't necessary to do well, but I really think it helped me a lot. I also took a neuroscience class that forced me to read *a lot* of dense scientific journal articles and interpret weird graphs every week. I think this made it easier to tackle those dense, convoluted experimental biology passages.

Other than that, all I did was go through the AAMC subject outlines and make a 50 page study guide (I wrote a few sentences about all of the concepts listed, wrote equations, etc.) For the last few weeks, I just studied from this study guide, highlighting things I was having difficulty remembering, and re-reading everything several times. Even though a lot of the concepts I studied didn't show up on the actual exam, it helped just knowing that I had a pretty good grasp on every concept that could show up on the exam.

For my first MCAT, I took all of the AAMC practice tests and went over everything that I missed. For my second MCAT, I did the exact same thing (re-took the practice tests). I was afraid that AAMCs would not be very accurate in predicting my score the second time through, but it turned out that my average on the practice tests was almost exactly what I got on the real thing.

I know my study method wasn't very structured, but I hope this helps a little bit! I think the most important thing is having confidence during the exam and not panicking. Don't let a few weird questions or a tough passage throw you off. If you are confident in your content knowledge and have experience reading and understanding dense passages, you should be fine. Good luck! :)