Dismiss Notice
Check out the new Application Assistant, where you can calculate your LizzyM score, see how you rank compared to other applicants, and see a list of schools where similar students were accepted.

MD & DO Please Help: 3.62 cGPA; 3.56 sGPA; Heavy Upward Trend; July 25th MCAT

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by Movado 21, 05.15.14.

  1. SDN is made possible through sponsorships and our volunteers. Learn about SDN's nonprofit mission.
  1. Movado 21

    Movado 21 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    01.11.14
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Greensburg, PA
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN Extraordinaires, I am in dire need of your assistance. I have a significant amount of questions/concerns, so please bear with me. Before "diving into" the heart of the application process (specifically, paying the fees and submitting), I'd like to hear professional/realistic opinions on my chances of receiving an interview at the programs which will be listed below. Thank you so much for your time and effort, SDN.

    Anyways, back to my statistics:

    Academic:
    - PA Resident
    - Major: Chemistry
    - Institution: University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg
    - GPA Excluding Freshman Year: 3.90 cGPA; 3.94 sGPA (66 credits; Soph. and Jr. Years)
    - Fr. Year only included Gen. Chem and Gen. Bio courses along with general-eds. (lack of maturity/dedication led to a ~3.0 cGPA)
    - Heavy courses (calc's 1-3, o'chem, engineering physics, all the upper levels, etc.) earned A's during my soph. and jr. years.

    Extracurricular/Clinical:
    - President-elect; Gamma Sigma Epsilon Chemistry Honor Society Rho Theta Chapter (~3oo hrs.)
    - Board Member; Westmoreland County Child Death Review Team (~100 hrs.)
    - PA State Tested Nurse Aide (500 hours)
    - Presidential Ambassador; Office of the President (~100 hrs.)
    - Author; Assessment of Water Quality Parameters in Acid Mine Drainage (presented at the 16th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in the Chemical and Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Honors University) *not formally published
    - Chemistry Judge; Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science (~10 hrs.)
    - ParentWISE Spokesman; Family Services of Western PA (~10 hrs.)
    - I will have completed roughly 80 hours of M.D. shadowing by the end of this Summer, and hope to accumulate another 40 hours shadowing a D.O.
    *Inorganic Chemistry Tutor position in the works for next term.

    Now, back to the MCAT. I am scheduled to take the exam on July 25th. I am going to send out my applications (AMCAS and AACOMAS) as close to June 3rd as possible (that week) - of course, without the MCAT score included (will disperse immediately when received). I figured it'd look much better sending the applications out early without the MCAT as compared to waiting until the end of August. Can you provide me with some insight on this?

    Another concern: My undergraduate institution. Yes, I am one of those students who chose to stay at the sister-campus rather than transfer. I truly enjoy the personal relationships I have established with my professors, and the opportunities a small campus has to offer to its students. Not to mention, I have received exceptional letters of recommendation, and have a strong capstone research in the works. DOES THIS HURT MY APPLICATION? I have received many different answers regarding this...

    Now to the real concern, the schools I'd like to apply to:
    *Please feel free to refer me to other schools if you believe my chances are low. I have the MSAR, so I have a general idea on how I need to do on the MCAT, but have never been one to give up.

    MD:
    - Drexel University College of Medicine
    - Eastern Virginia Medical School
    - George Washington University Sch of Med & Hlth Sci.
    - Georgetown University School of Medicine
    - Jefferson Medical Coll. of Thomas Jefferson Univ.
    - Northeast Ohio Medical University
    - Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
    - Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
    - Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
    - Temple University School of Medicine
    - The Commonwealth Medical College
    - The University of Toledo College of Medicine
    - University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
    - University of Maryland School of Medicine
    - University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
    - Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
    - Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine

    DO:
    - Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine, NC
    - Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Carolinas Campus, SC
    - Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine -Virginia Campus, VA
    - Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine - Bradenton Campus, FL
    - Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine - Erie/Seton Hill, PA
    - Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine, VA
    - Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, OH
    - Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, PA

    In conclusion, I am seeking realistic/honest advice on my chances at any of the above schools. I am using the SN2ED study schedule (3 month), have a compelling personal statement, and believe my AMCAS and AACOMAS applications will be strong (i.e. descriptions, essays, etc.). I need to know if the schools will take my upward trend into consideration, whether or not they will discriminate against my institution, and an MCAT score I NEED to earn to be considered competitive.

    *PLEASE feel free to recommend anything else you feel necessary. I can take constructive criticism very well, and really need to assistance at this point.

    Thank you for your time and effort,

    Joshua
     
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. ciestar

    ciestar 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    09.18.13
    Messages:
    2,156
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Based on what I've read, you seem to have no clinical experience? This weighs much more than you staying at Greensburg.
     
  4. Movado 21

    Movado 21 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    01.11.14
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Greensburg, PA
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Ciestar,

    I listed the "PA State Tested Nurse Aide (500 hours)" in the "Extracurricular/Clinical" section of my post. Perhaps you accidentally skimmed over that listing. I probably should have listed that as one of the first experiences in that section, though.

    Thank you for your quick response.

    Joshua
     
  5. Movado 21

    Movado 21 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    01.11.14
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Greensburg, PA
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I am glad you brought that concern to attention.

    For those whom are wondering about this listing, the 500 hours were accumulated in a nursing home/physical therapy setting. Details will be listed within the application, as well as in the personal statement.
     
  6. ciestar

    ciestar 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    09.18.13
    Messages:
    2,156
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Medical Student
    My apologies! I definitely missed that!
     
  7. Movado 21

    Movado 21 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    01.11.14
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Greensburg, PA
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    No worries! :)

    Joshua
     
  8. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Gold Donor 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    11.04.11
    Messages:
    16,957
    Location:
    Alta California
    Status:
    Attending Physician, Academic Administration
    Verified
    Physician
    Verified
    Faculty
    You need only apply to one (throwaway) school on opening day to gain lead time on the verification process. Add the schools that fit your score after receiving the MCAT . It only takes a business day to add schools after transcript verification. This saves money and prevents potentially becoming a re-applicant at all your target schools. You can always pre-write secondaries while you are waiting.
     
  9. Movado 21

    Movado 21 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    01.11.14
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Greensburg, PA
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I was unaware that submitting an MCAT score after initially dispersing the application (w/o MCAT score) would/could classify me as a re-applicant. My primary concern was showing the schools I was "on the ball" with the application, but it appears I can no longer do so? I am afraid waiting until late August will hurt my chances, but certainly do not want to be classified as a re-applicant.

    Is finding secondary applications as simple as searching the medical school's site? I was also unaware these could be accessed early. I was under the impression that a student would be sent a secondary application after his/her application was "passed on" to a higher level.

    Thank you for your prompt response and valuable information,

    Joshua
     
  10. Movado 21

    Movado 21 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    01.11.14
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Greensburg, PA
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Please excuse me if I did not understand your post as you intended.

    Are you saying I can not disperse my application to medical schools without an MCAT score? If I did so, are you saying I would be classified as a re-applicant once I were to update my application with my MCAT score?

    My apologies,

    Joshua
     
  11. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Gold Donor 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    11.04.11
    Messages:
    16,957
    Location:
    Alta California
    Status:
    Attending Physician, Academic Administration
    Verified
    Physician
    Verified
    Faculty
    If you only apply to one school, you have all the advantages of an early application without the expense of applying to schools that may not match your metrics. You lose no time applying to subsequent schools because after verification of transcripts one may add more schools with no delay.

    If you apply outright to all of your target schools and your MCAT does not make you a good candidate you will become a re-applicant at all these schools (not a desirable outcome) in any subsequent cycles.

    Secondary questions are available on the school specific threads as soon as they become available.
     
  12. Movado 21

    Movado 21 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    01.11.14
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Greensburg, PA
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Gyngyn, THANK YOU for your valuable information/advice! I would have been heading down the wrong path had you not alerted me about the one school application technique.

    Best regards,

    Joshua
     
  13. woltej1

    woltej1 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    07.31.11
    Messages:
    240
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    For DO, I believe the Lake Erie system has a dress/attendance policy that was brought to my attention when asking advice on a school list. It definitely made me take that school off my list.
     
  14. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Gold Donor 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    11.04.11
    Messages:
    16,957
    Location:
    Alta California
    Status:
    Attending Physician, Academic Administration
    Verified
    Physician
    Verified
    Faculty
    This is so much funnier with your new avatar!
     
  15. Movado 21

    Movado 21 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    01.11.14
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Greensburg, PA
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Eh. I guess a formal dress code is not ideal, but at least the Erie/Seton Hill campuses are not in locations where extremely warm/humid weather would make dressing "business" an uncomfortable nightmare!
     
  16. woltej1

    woltej1 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    07.31.11
    Messages:
    240
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    After a long night of studying and having to get up early and do it again, wearing sweats and sneakers sounds a lot better than slacks and dress shoes though.
     
  17. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    06.10.10
    Messages:
    29,360
    Location:
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    Status:
    Non-Student
    Verified
    Faculty
    No

    Another concern: My undergraduate institution. Yes, I am one of those students who chose to stay at the sister-campus rather than transfer. I truly enjoy the personal relationships I have established with my professors, and the opportunities a small campus has to offer to its students. Not to mention, I have received exceptional letters of recommendation, and have a strong capstone research in the works. DOES THIS HURT MY APPLICATION?

    Very decent list! Since you've dropped LECOM, replace it with WVCOM, or VCOM. I believe that NEOMU is highly region specific. Replace with VA Tech or maybe even . I cannot recommend LUCOM.

    MD:
    - Drexel University College of Medicine
    - Eastern Virginia Medical School
    - George Washington University Sch of Med & Hlth Sci.
    - Georgetown University School of Medicine
    - Jefferson Medical Coll. of Thomas Jefferson Univ.
    - Northeast Ohio Medical University
    - Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
    - Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
    - Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
    - Temple University School of Medicine
    - The Commonwealth Medical College
    - The University of Toledo College of Medicine
    - University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
    - University of Maryland School of Medicine
    - University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
    - Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
    - Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine

    DO:
    - Campbell University School of Osteopathic Medicine, NC
    - Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Carolinas Campus, SC
    - Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine -Virginia Campus, VA
    - Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine - Bradenton Campus, FL
    - Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine - Erie/Seton Hill, PA
    - Liberty University College of Osteopathic Medicine, VA
    - Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, OH
    - Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, PA

    In conclusion, I am seeking realistic/honest advice on my chances at any of the above schools. I am using the SN2ED study schedule (3 month), have a compelling personal statement, and believe my AMCAS and AACOMAS applications will be strong (i.e. descriptions, essays, etc.). I need to know if the schools will take my upward trend into consideration, whether or not they will discriminate against my institution, and an MCAT score I NEED to earn to be considered competitive.

    *PLEASE feel free to recommend anything else you feel necessary. I can take constructive criticism very well, and really need to assistance at this point.

    Thank you for your time and effort,

    Joshua[/QUOTE]
     
  18. Movado 21

    Movado 21 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    01.11.14
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Greensburg, PA
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    [/QUOTE]

    I made the appropriate changes to the list of medical schools (i.e. VTech swap with NEOMU, etc.).

    As far as my upward GPA trend and current list of extracurricular involvement (forgot to add 1 or 2), do you believe I have a strong enough list to suffice for these medical schools?

    Please advise.

    Again, I appreciate your time.

    Joshua
     
  19. CaptainDO

    CaptainDO

    Joined:
    11.13.13
    Messages:
    104
    Status:
    Medical Student
    [/QUOTE]

    Goro... I believe the only thing you say is, "I cannot recommend LUCOM." Seriously man. You are doing a disservice to people by telling them that. I sincerly hope that you are ok with telling people not to apply there who have good chances... and then they don't get accepted anywhere. You are taking opportunities away from people. Why dont you let them decide and make that decision for themselves. They are stacking up the school with a lot of resources, technology, and very experienced faculty. The Speaker of the House for the AOA is one of the professors, they are taking the COM very seriously. You should really think about what you are telling people.
    Here is some advice for you Joshua: Apply broadly and everywhere. Med school is one of the most competitive graduate level schools to get into. Less than 1% get accepted. Georgetown in 2011 had over 13,000 apply for (somewhere around) 150 seats... and these are people from the Ivy league schools, the home instatution, and other really good schools. They all have homerun GPAs, MCATs, and CV's. You should be published or have research, have lots of hospitals exp, volunteer, great letters of recommendation from MD's/DO's (better chances with professors of X medicine), connections don't hurt, and some sort of life that tells a great story for why you want to go into medicine. Apply everywhere... how upset will you be if there was a school you could have gotten accepted into and some guy (who knows what his background is... not saying this as a diss but more of a fact that you are a stranger as anyone can put things on the internet) on an internet blog told you not to apply there b/c he didn't recommend it? Just saying.
     
    Last edited: 05.16.14
  20. artofmedicalschool

    artofmedicalschool

    Joined:
    05.16.14
    Messages:
    2
    Status:
    Resident [Any Field]
    Something you may not hear much but is something to seriously consider is to wait a year and apply next June. Set yourself up for success by taking any reason a school shouldn't accept you out of the equation. It sounds like you want to get your applications out on the first possible day. For any schools who do rolling acceptances, this may mean a delay in acceptance or application review if your MCAT isn't back yet. What if you do poorly on MCAT day or are sick and decide not to submit your test? (those things have happened to other people before) On the other hand, waiting to apply when your score comes back may hurt your chances. Either way, you are starting off your application process a little behind/disadvantaged, which is already worrying you enough to seek advice. As far as an MCAT score NEEDED, telling you a number gives you a false sense of hope/despair. I know people who got into top schools with 7 c's on their transcript or a 19 MCAT because they had other strengths in their application that were too hard to pass up and overall still kept them a competitive candidate. In other words, study hard for the test but also take away/change any reason a medical school wouldn't take you. Look at it as an art not a science of statistics, number games and specific benchmarks. Seeking opinions can be helpful but also extremely overwhelming. You stated you already got advice/opinions but if it was what you were looking for you wouldn't be asking it again. You need to do what is right for you but I am a huge believer that if you are already hesitant about things on your application it will show up in the way you fill out your application and interview.

    Waiting a year may help you overcome your concerns and doubts in a few ways. It can give you an opportunity to strengthen your application. Research, clinical experience, life experience, etc. It may provide you an opportunity to strategically network/spend time with some people who are on the admission committee at some of those schools. You could get a job that will serve you well in your medical career. I know a few very specific jobs I would recommend to someone that would be extremely helpful for medical school and one's medical career. This could also let you save some money for medical school.

    People a lot of times talk about missing a year's worth of physician salary by waiting a year to apply. In the end it will not matter. Setting yourself up to get into medical school now and gaining experience and skills that will help you for medical school and residency will serve you much more than rolling the dice and feeling uneasy about applying now. And by waiting and getting better as a person/applicant can make the year's worth of salary argument a moot point if it means you match into a specialty you may not have gotten into had you not waited.

    One year of waiting may be the best thing you ever did for your chances. PM me and we can go over the specifics in detail.
     
  21. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    06.10.10
    Messages:
    29,360
    Location:
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    Status:
    Non-Student
    Verified
    Faculty
    I wouldn't have recommended them if I didn't think you were competitive there. Now go crush the MCAT!



    As far as my upward GPA trend and current list of extracurricular involvement (forgot to add 1 or 2), do you believe I have a strong enough list to suffice for these medical schools?
     
  22. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    06.10.10
    Messages:
    29,360
    Location:
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    Status:
    Non-Student
    Verified
    Faculty
    If you paid attention, you'll have noticed that I commented that Joshua has a very good list. He is not merely limited to LUCOM or nothing. I suppose that this is why the MCAT has a significant reading comprehension section.

    I cannot recommend LUCOM because I have a profound distaste for the politics of their parent organization. You're all big boys and girls, and you can make your own decisions. Goro isn't putting a gun to your head.

    Goro... I believe the only thing you say is, "I cannot recommend LUCOM." Seriously man. You are doing a disservice to people by telling them that. I sincerly hope that you are ok with telling people not to apply there who have good chances... and then they don't get accepted anywhere. You are taking opportunities away from people. Why dont you let them decide and make that decision for themselves. They are stacking up the school with a lot of resources, technology, and very experienced faculty. The Speaker of the House for the AOA is one of the professors, they are taking the COM very seriously. You should really think about what you are telling people.
     
    chemguy79 likes this.
  23. Movado 21

    Movado 21 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    01.11.14
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Greensburg, PA
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I plan on it!!!

    Thank you for all of the encouragement and compliments.

    Take care,

    Joshua
     
  24. CaptainDO

    CaptainDO

    Joined:
    11.13.13
    Messages:
    104
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Just out of curiousity, why are you taking the MCAT on July 25th... this puts you at a little bit of a disadvantage due to the fact that a lot of schools are rolling admissions. Not that I am discouraging you, but every cadidate has a better chance of acceptance the earlier they apply with a complete application. You will not get MCAT results until a month after taking it.
    I wish you good luck and I hope that you are accepted at a place you feel is a good fit for you. Keep in mind that lifestyle is apart of choosing where you want to live... meaning that you will be spending the next 4 years of your life in that area.
     
  25. Movado 21

    Movado 21 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    01.11.14
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Greensburg, PA
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Simply put, I felt I needed the extra time to prepare for the exam. I knew about the one month delay, but I just didn't feel confident taking the exam without a solid 3 month preparation. Believe me, I wish I wasn't in this spot, but I'm still continuing to hope for the best.

    Thank you for the well wishes.
     
  26. CaptainDO

    CaptainDO

    Joined:
    11.13.13
    Messages:
    104
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I figured that was the case... Some advice about the test... if you do not feel confident taking it then, don't force the issue. You will psyche yourself out. I actually cancelled and rescheduled my first MCAT b/c I was not feeling confident. The MCAT is a funny thing. A lot of emphasis on a really poor evaluation... it basically tells you how well you may do on STEP 1... that's it. Doesn't tell you that you are going to be a horrible doctor or not or how well you will do on STEP 2 or 3. I actually don't know how it compares to the COMLEX, but I am sure it is probably similar to the STEPs. There are a ton of strategies on how to take it. Just find what works for you and stay consistent.
     
  27. K1NG

    K1NG 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    07.22.12
    Messages:
    371
    Don't mean to jack this thread, but I'm still not understanding this. Seems like a good idea but not sure how exactly it works.
     
  28. Movado 21

    Movado 21 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    01.11.14
    Messages:
    29
    Location:
    Greensburg, PA
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    This issue really only applies to students who are taking the MCAT exam at a later date, but still want the advantages of having their AMCAS/AACOMAS applications verified by the respective service. What gyngyn is saying here is that applying to all of your target schools BEFORE having an MCAT score might not be the best idea because a strong MCAT score is never guaranteed (you can also get ahead by using the "throwaway" school method mentioned above). With that being said, if you DID push out your application to your target schools before taking the MCAT, and later find that your MCAT score doesn't meet the school's standards, then you're in hot water. Of course, this would force you to wait "X" amount of year until applying again, where you would be classified as a re-applicant (not in your favor).

    I hope that helps.
     
    K1NG likes this.
  29. ciestar

    ciestar 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    09.18.13
    Messages:
    2,156
    MDApps:
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Basically choose a throw a way school. So even if you get verified and then your mcat sucks, you would only have to withdraw from ONE school. Choose one that you'd never attend or have a chance of attending, so if you have to apply next cycle, you wouldn't be a reapplicant at that school.
     
    K1NG and gyngyn like this.
  30. K1NG

    K1NG 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    07.22.12
    Messages:
    371
    Thanks for clearing it up guys. Does that affect the time it takes for your primary to be verified?

    I'm planning on retaking the MCAT early August and aiming for 30+ to make up for my current score if 28. My plan was to apply to all my schools but send the secondaries back when I receive my new score.
     
  31. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Gold Donor 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    11.04.11
    Messages:
    16,957
    Location:
    Alta California
    Status:
    Attending Physician, Academic Administration
    Verified
    Physician
    Verified
    Faculty
    August is really late for MD schools. Even if you use the one school verification method you are seriously behind. Your transcript will be verified by the time you receive your scores and it will only take a business day for your designated schools to get your primary. You had better have the secondaries pre-written if you want a fighting chance (even with a much better MCAT).
     
  32. K1NG

    K1NG 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    07.22.12
    Messages:
    371
    So I guess it would be better to hand everything in asap and hope for the best. If I do go that route I will def have all my secondaries pre-written, but if it's still late then it won't be worth it. With my stats I think it's best to apply early.

    I'm also applying DO as well as a bunch of in-state MD schools. One of my top choices is FSU and they seem really in-state friendly. I was browsing through previous threads people have gotten in there with 26-29 MCAT before
     
  33. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Gold Donor 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    11.04.11
    Messages:
    16,957
    Location:
    Alta California
    Status:
    Attending Physician, Academic Administration
    Verified
    Physician
    Verified
    Faculty
    Apply early to a single school (if you are set on applying this cycle). At least you can target the right schools when you have your MCAT back.
     
    K1NG likes this.

About the ads

Share This Page