Plans for next year in the case I am rejected from med school

Iatro

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Currently I have 3 interviews, 2 which have been attended and one in a few weeks. The first was an MMI at a school that doesn't have an incredibly high acceptance rate. The second, about 50%, however I severely botched the first of two interviews, which I feel may have ruined my chances. The third is i 2 weeks, we will see how that goes.

I am posting this thread to ask what you think my plan of action should be for next year in the case I don't get into any of the schools. I am subject to hear back in march, but I realize there is a solid chance I don't. I am unsure if I should reapply next cycle, as my application has changed very little (I have done pretty much nothing this year, reason being, I thought my app was strong enough this cycle to get in, 3.9/3.9 from top school, 36 balanced, clinical research+basic science research+teaching+global health etc.) I am currently one year out.

I am hesitant to reapply for c/o 2018, as again I have done very little this year and there is the chance I am picked off a waiting list in the middle of the summer so I don't want to waste thousand of dollars. Yet, whether I do or don't reapply, what are some ideas for how to spend the next year? It is difficult for me to figure this out, as I truly believe I am ready for med school next year. I have thought about masters programs, but they are incredibly expensive. Post-baccs and SMPs seem like they cater to apps that don't have strong numbers, so it doesn't seem to be a proper fit for me. Working at the NIH for a year might be an option, but slaving in a lab for a year or two just doesnt rub me the right way.

Thank you for your input in advance!

EDIT: The invites I have received this cycle are from top (20) schools, and i think applying late/not broadly enough have put me in this position. I really feel like I could thrive at a top school and so if I was to take additional time off, I would hope to be pursuing an activity that allowed me to rack up invites from top 20 and even top 10 schools. So what are some spectacular ECs you have heard of that you believe (would) put you in such a position? I am especially interested in research.
 
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Fakhter

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you mean to tell me you have a 3.9 and 36mcat and you didn't get in

........i smell a troll
 

BABSstudent

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I think applying late/not broadly enough have put me in this position. I really feel like I could thrive at a top school and so if I was to take additional time off, I would hope to be pursuing an activity that allowed me to rack up invites from top 20 and even top 10 schools. So what are some spectacular ECs you have heard of that you believe (would) put you in such a position? I am especially interested in research.
Applying late and not broadly is what did it.

If you want to go to a top 10, you are going to need some intense research experience, an awesome GPA and MCAT score. You have two of the three. However, getting the research experience that those schools want with just an undergrad degree is going to be difficult.
 

Doctor Strange

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you mean to tell me you have a 3.9 and 36mcat and you didn't get in

........i smell a troll
Considering they applied late and to only top 20 schools, this isn't that far-fetched.
 

Fakhter

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Considering they applied late and to only top 20 schools, this isn't that far-fetched.
I don't understand why pre meds that only want admissions to top 20's do that. Why don't they at least have a hand full of safety schools? Only with stats like that you can say I have a few safety schools. If you think you're too good for those schools then why complain when you don't get in?
 

yehhhboiii

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you mean to tell me you have a 3.9 and 36mcat and you didn't get in

........i smell a troll
In the past three years, 10% of people with similar stats did not make it into any medical school.
 

Titus Times

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I don't understand why pre meds that only want admissions to top 20's do that. Why don't they at least have a hand full of safety schools? Only with stats like that you can say I have a few safety schools. If you think you're too good for those schools then why complain when you don't get in?
I like to call these people the smartest idiots, or the Best Idiots.

This is where your Ego can cost you big time, they think their too good for something outside of a top 20. Just think some kid somewhere with a 3.3 and a 27 mcat is going to be an MS1 this year and you might not with your 3.9/35+.

And you know whats even worse, the OP is considering not applying next year because he thinks he might come off the wait-list over the summer. Think about it, if you don't come off the wait-list you will be another late applicant, this is where life smarts beats book smarts.
 
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Iatro

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I did apply to some safeties, no positive feedback from any of them.

If some people from top 10s or top 20s could respond with why they think the schools accepted them (maybe the types of research they were doing) it would be greatly appreciated.
 

Titus Times

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I did apply to some safeties, no positive feedback from any of them.

If some people from top 10s or top 20s could respond with why they think the schools accepted them (maybe the types of research they were doing) it would be greatly appreciated.
What were the names of these said "Safeties" you applied to.
 

Sephiroth

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you mean to tell me you have a 3.9 and 36mcat and you didn't get in

........i smell a troll
Some of you don't seem to get it, there are tons of people with solid numbers, and people don't get in for all sorts of reasons, or no real reason other than bad luck possibly. And really, the closest thing to a "safety school" is an in-state school with relatively low admissions stats, but even that can be far from a guarantee. Everything can be so nebulous and unpredictable with med school admissions - some people who get accepted to top 20 schools don't even get invites from tons of middle-of-the-road schools. For any given single individual, anything can happen really.


To the OP, figure out what you could deal with doing for the next year. If you could survive doing lab work and you think that's your best bet, go for it (it's what I'm doing).
 
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TopTomato

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I'm not saying the OP is a troll, however I would say the OP used a lack of intelligence in the schools he applied to. Sounds to me like his ego got in the way of his judgement. Hopefully everything works out for the OP.
 
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Some of you don't seem to get it, there are tons of people with solid numbers, and people don't get in for all sorts of reasons, or no real reason other than bad luck possibly. And really, the closest thing to a "safety school" is an in-state school with relatively low admissions stats, but even that can be far from a guarantee. Everything can be so nebulous and unpredictable with med school admissions - some people who get accepted to top 20 schools don't even get invites from tons of middle-of-the-road schools. For any given single individual, anything can happen really.


To the OP, figure out what you could deal with doing for the next year. If you could survive doing lab work and you think that's your best bet, go for it (it's what I'm doing).
I don't think you get it. Look at the schools he applied to.

With those stats, if he applied middle of the road, I'm willing to bet he would have gotten in somewhere.
 
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To the people criticizing OP, there are plenty of people who don't visit SDN and more who are uninformed about the process. There is no reason to ridicule someone for not making the right choices since this process is already as unpredictable and complicated as it is. There are high stat applicants who make mistakes such as applying to only a few schools, believing that name matters and applying to only top schools, or believing that numbers matter more than they really do. This isn't always due to an inflated ego, it can be due to misinformation. I can't wait until some of you people on this thread apply and make some damaging mistake just because you haven't considered it before.
 

Sephiroth

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I don't think you get it. Look at the schools he applied to.

With those stats, if he applied middle of the road, I'm willing to bet he would have gotten in somewhere.
look at the post I quoted, see what my statement was directed at.
 

TopTomato

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To the people criticizing OP, there are plenty of people who don't visit SDN and more who are uninformed about the process. There is no reason to ridicule someone for not making the right choices since this process is already as unpredictable and complicated as it is. There are high stat applicants who make mistakes such as applying to only a few schools, believing that name matters and applying to only top schools, or believing that numbers matter more than they really do. This isn't always due to an inflated ego, it can be due to misinformation. I can't wait until some of you people on this thread apply and make some damaging mistake just because you haven't considered it before.
I called a spade a spade. The general consensus on SDN here is that if you have such good stats like the OP here, and you would more or less likely want a good shot at getting into medical school then you should apply broadly. Now with that said, the OP does have impressive stats, and there's still time left, so who knows maybe he'll get in and he'll be the one laughing at me.
 

487806

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I called a spade a spade. The general consensus on SDN here is that if you have such good stats like the OP here, and you would more or less likely want a good shot at getting into medical school then you should apply broadly. Now with that said, the OP does have impressive stats, and there's still time left, so who knows maybe he'll get in and he'll be the one laughing at me.
Well said. Also, why does your avatar show a tomato.drinking tomato juice?
 

PreMedOrDead

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To the people criticizing OP, there are plenty of people who don't visit SDN and more who are uninformed about the process. There is no reason to ridicule someone for not making the right choices since this process is already as unpredictable and complicated as it is. There are high stat applicants who make mistakes such as applying to only a few schools, believing that name matters and applying to only top schools, or believing that numbers matter more than they really do. This isn't always due to an inflated ego, it can be due to misinformation. I can't wait until some of you people on this thread apply and make some damaging mistake just because you haven't considered it before.
This.

Also, you people do realize that 1 in 10 people with a 3.9/36 don't get into medical school, right? And it's not always necessarily because they screwed up in their application. This isn't THAT much more likely to get in than a 'more reasonable' 32/3.9.

OP, if you don't get in by May, you should reapply and be in the first day. On the first day, you should be applying realistically. Apply to maybe 10 top schools in the top 20 if you feel really inclined to go to one of them. Then add in 5 mid-tier private and 5 lower private schools. That should give you a pretty good success rate. The Midwest private schools tend to love CA applicants (SLU, Loyola, Creighton, MCW, etc)

If you'd like to do research, do whatever interests you and has a likely chance of publication. That's all that matters. You could publish a new, more efficient way to basketweave underwater, and they would be intrigued by it. In fact, I'd be impressed more by that then some guy doing some hardcore physical chemistry research (okay, maybe not Pchem, but you get my drift). It's just the fact that you've participated in the research process and contributed significantly to your group.
 
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Iatro

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This.

Also, you people do realize that 1 in 10 people with a 3.9/36 don't get into medical school, right? And it's not always necessarily because they screwed up in their application. This isn't THAT much more likely to get in than a 'more reasonable' 32/3.9.

OP, if you don't get in by May, you should reapply and be in the first day. On the first day, you should be applying realistically. Apply to maybe 10 top schools in the top 20 if you feel really inclined to go to one of them. Then add in 5 mid-tier private and 5 lower private schools. That should give you a pretty good success rate. The Midwest private schools tend to love CA applicants (SLU, Loyola, Creighton, MCW, etc)

If you'd like to do research, do whatever interests you and has a likely chance of publication. That's all that matters. You could publish a new, more efficient way to basketweave underwater, and they would be intrigued by it. In fact, I'd be impressed more by that then some guy doing some hardcore physical chemistry research (okay, maybe not Pchem, but you get my drift). It's just the fact that you've participated in the research process and contributed significantly to your group.
Basketweaving is more impressive than pchem? I guess that explains a little bit of my dilemma...I did biophysics research lol

Right now I am living on the east coast with my parents. I'm thinking next year, I head back out to LA. Retake the MCAT and go for 40+. Find a solid lab where I can ultimately get an independent research project going. And tutor the MCAT as well. Do you think this would get me into a top school (UCSF, UCLA, Stanford etc.)? I already have one invite from those three schools, I hoping for an app where I can get all 3 (and many more). If not, what else could I add that's unique. I am interested in public health. I have saved some money up, how does one go about starting a nonprofit serving the third world (I am going way out on a limb here).

Again, I want to emphasize I am not a troll. The only think I might be guilty of is feeling like my soul is being crushed.

/end rant.
 

PreMedOrDead

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Basketweaving is more impressive than pchem? I guess that explains a little bit of my dilemma...I did biophysics research lol
You're interpreting me wrong. I'm saying any type of research will work, as long as you contribute, are engaged, and hopefully have something to show for it. Top schools love publications, for example.

Right now I am living on the east coast with my parents. I'm thinking next year, I head back out to LA. Retake the MCAT and go for 40+.
Not necessary. A 36 is a 96-98th percentile score. That's not holding you back, and scoring will help very, very sparingly. However, if you had a bad test and scored below another 36 or even lower, your chances drop significantly.

Find a solid lab where I can ultimately get an independent research project going. And tutor the MCAT as well. Do you think this would get me into a top school (UCSF, UCLA, Stanford etc.)?
Good ideas. Yes, it would help, but guarantees absolutely nothing, of course. You also need to get your application in way earlier and apply much more realistically. You can also update schools with your activity during the cycle, so don't delay because your AMCAS isn't more impressive by next cycle. It already is pretty impressive, the late app could very likely have sinked you along with applying too top heavy. Try splitting into thirds schools above your average, schools that are slightly below your average, and a couple schools that are significantly below your average. For the lower ones especially, make sure they don't get 14,000 applications and that they don't only accept 10% OOS.

I already have one invite from those three schools, I hoping for an app where I can get all 3 (and many more). If not, what else could I add that's unique. I am interested in public health. I have saved some money up, how does one go about starting a nonprofit serving the third world (I am going way out on a limb here).
If you're looking for something truly unique, medical programs love military service and peace corps. Most people aren't willing to do this. That's why they're so impressive.

Again, I want to emphasize I am not a troll. The only think I might be guilty of is feeling like my soul is being crushed.
I know you're not a troll. SDN has this weird thing where they think a 3.9/32 is an average applicant (and it's not even close, it's above an average matriculant to medical school). Yet for some reason they have something against people with killer GPAs/MCATs, saying that everything should be easy for them. It doesn't work that way. There is still a significant portion of applicants with the > 3.8 > 33 range that get rejected every cycle for many, many different reasons.

Now in your situation, don't let this be soul crushing. There's still a chance you'll get in. However, I think you should realize that where you get your medical degree will have almost no impact on your future. But not getting a medical degree (not getting in) will. You absolutely don't need to go to Harvard/Hopkins/Penn/Pitt/Columbia/WashU/Pritzker/top 10/top 20/etc, and going to a school that isn't so 'prestigious' is not something to be ashamed of. The vast majority of medical schools have exceptionally low admission rates (< 5%). It's competitive, and you are owed nothing. Be happy with wherever you can get in. People are far too preoccupied with prestige when it does very, very little for your residency placement, which is going to be your top certification (along with fellowship), and essentially decides your true fate as a physician.
 

BABSstudent

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Basketweaving is more impressive than pchem? I guess that explains a little bit of my dilemma...I did biophysics research lol

Right now I am living on the east coast with my parents. I'm thinking next year, I head back out to LA. Retake the MCAT and go for 40+. Find a solid lab where I can ultimately get an independent research project going. And tutor the MCAT as well. Do you think this would get me into a top school (UCSF, UCLA, Stanford etc.)? I already have one invite from those three schools, I hoping for an app where I can get all 3 (and many more). If not, what else could I add that's unique. I am interested in public health. I have saved some money up, how does one go about starting a nonprofit serving the third world (I am going way out on a limb here).

Again, I want to emphasize I am not a troll. The only think I might be guilty of is feeling like my soul is being crushed.

/end rant.
Honestly, it is not the MCAT score that is keeping you out of medical school. I wouldn't even think of retaking it. Focus on where you went wrong. That means applying early.
 

PreMedOrDead

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Honestly, it is not the MCAT score that is keeping you out of medical school. I wouldn't even think of retaking it. Focus on where you went wrong. That means applying early.
Beat you to it. ;)

OP, hopefully that is helpful. If you have any more questions feel free to ask.
 
Jan 31, 2012
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Basketweaving is more impressive than pchem? I guess that explains a little bit of my dilemma...I did biophysics research lol

Right now I am living on the east coast with my parents. I'm thinking next year, I head back out to LA. Retake the MCAT and go for 40+. Find a solid lab where I can ultimately get an independent research project going. And tutor the MCAT as well. Do you think this would get me into a top school (UCSF, UCLA, Stanford etc.)? I already have one invite from those three schools, I hoping for an app where I can get all 3 (and many more). If not, what else could I add that's unique. I am interested in public health. I have saved some money up, how does one go about starting a nonprofit serving the third world (I am going way out on a limb here).

Again, I want to emphasize I am not a troll. The only think I might be guilty of is feeling like my soul is being crushed.

/end rant.
Well, definitely don't take the MCAT. Retaking a 36 is quite ridiculous. More numbers won't get you into a top school, they are highly selective and almost every viable applicant has big numbers. At some point, they don't matter anymore for top schools. These schools look for something else that you may be lacking, maybe strong independent research or leadership or just that special little thing that shouldn't really matter but actually does because a ****load of people apply. Don't feel bad though, you want a top school because you've worked hard and feel that you deserve it. It's just kind of a crapshoot when the competition gets that stiff.

Really though, you just need to apply Top 20 + a broad range of other schools and you will make it. You know what went wrong this cycle and it's an easy solution.
 

HughMyron

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Apply at the start of the cycle, and look beyond Top 50 schools. Medical school success is more about you than the name of your school.

In your year off, I recommend working as an ER Scribe. More fun than being a CNA or EMT, and more informative and useful to your career. Ask your premed advisor, a lot of scribe companies go through them to look for students to work. Make sure you can type fast, above 60 wpm at least.
 
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Iatro

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If I was to reapply, could I pretty much use the same application? I feel like my PS is very solid, which has been confirmed by some people in the know (med students at top schools, administrators, professional writers). I would obviously tweak a few of the points, but as I said previously, the experiences really haven't changed.

Also, for letters of rec, could I reuse them? I haven't been in touch with my former professors at all.
 

yehhhboiii

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If you feel that your only problems were that you applied late and not broadly enough, then go for it. But if you end up being unsuccessful, it could be due to other factors. A lot of people think they have good applications. But if you haven't been on an admissions committee, then you're not in a position to judge properly.
 
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Iatro

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If you feel that your only problems were that you applied late and not broadly enough, then go for it. But if you end up being unsuccessful, it could be due to other factors. A lot of people think they have good applications. But if you haven't been on an admissions committee, then you're not in a position to judge properly.
is there any way to find an admissions committee member to read my app?
 
Jan 31, 2012
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is there any way to find an admissions committee member to read my app?
Some schools will allow you to talk to the admissions office to see what they didn't like about your application. The general wisdom is to do it after May 15th and only if you haven't received any acceptances at that time.
 
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I'm really surprised, how are your clinical experiences? Are you a good interviewer?

I'd be surprised if you did'nt get in somewhere. And if you took another year to work at the NIH, I'd be very surprised if you didn't get into a top 20. Your app is pretty similar to mine
 
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Take your ego down a notch, stop feeling so entitled, and find a job or EC that makes you less "cookie-cutter" (the fact that you've been doing practically nothing for the past year hurts your app immensely.) You say you're really interested in research but also really interested in public health, however it seems like your app is lacking depth in both of these areas.

I doubt it's your PS that's the problem; everyone has a "good" or "really good" PS. Unless you're a naturally gifted writer and/or you have truly meaningful experiences to write about, it's not going to improve enough to make a difference. Chances are adcoms weren't especially moved by your sick grandmother and/or 1-week "life-changing" experience in [insert 3rd world country here.]

It'll be worth much much more to you to improve on your activities and experiences.

Also, make sure that your immense ego and obsession with prestige/attending a top 10 doesn't come across in any way in any of your essays or interviews. That might be your biggest hurdle.


Good luck.
 

IslandStyle808

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This.

Also, you people do realize that 1 in 10 people with a 3.9/36 don't get into medical school, right? And it's not always necessarily because they screwed up in their application. This isn't THAT much more likely to get in than a 'more reasonable' 32/3.9.

OP, if you don't get in by May, you should reapply and be in the first day. On the first day, you should be applying realistically. Apply to maybe 10 top schools in the top 20 if you feel really inclined to go to one of them. Then add in 5 mid-tier private and 5 lower private schools. That should give you a pretty good success rate. The Midwest private schools tend to love CA applicants (SLU, Loyola, Creighton, MCW, etc)

If you'd like to do research, do whatever interests you and has a likely chance of publication. That's all that matters. You could publish a new, more efficient way to basketweave underwater, and they would be intrigued by it. In fact, I'd be impressed more by that then some guy doing some hardcore physical chemistry research (okay, maybe not Pchem, but you get my drift). It's just the fact that you've participated in the research process and contributed significantly to your group.
Very true

What people know is that 90% do get in, based on AAMC statistics, but what most people don't know is HOW MANY SCHOOLS THEY APPLIED TO AND WHAT SCHOOLS. This is why it is important to apply broadly so that your chances reflect the 90% acceptance rate and apply to safety schools also.