Jan 6, 2020
6
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi! I’m an ORM CA applicant, and this cycle was my first. I applied to 32 MD programs, but have not received any II’s. I do believe one problem for me was my school list; although I did apply to lower-tier programs, overall I shot too high!

School list aside, I would really appreciate some feedback on how I should proceed and maximize my chances for admission during my reapplication.

I graduated from a top 10 public university in 2018 and have since been working full-time as a research assistant doing basic science research at a top 5 medical school and volunteering as a nurse assistant. I applied with no non-clinical volunteering, but I started volunteering with a program last month. I have provided a brief overview of my application below. Please let me know if I can clarify or add anything. Thank you in advance!


GPA:
BS in Pharmacology
Overall: 3.50
Overall Science: 3.48
Overall breakdown: Freshman: 2.96 Sophomore: 3.26 Junior: 3.66 Senior: 3.91
Overall science breakdown: Freshman: 2.56 Sophomore: 3.26 Junior: 3.70 Senior: 3.90

MCAT:
Total: 516 C/P: [131] CARS: [124] BB: [130] P/S: [131]

Research Experience:

Biopharmaceutical industry intern: I was a summer intern at a biopharmaceutical company during college.

Undergrad basic science lab: 3000 hours total. Began Junior year. Volunteered 40 hours per week during senior year working on senior thesis. I was awarded a small grant for my project. Graduated with distinction in research for my project. Presented 1st author poster.

Gap year basic science lab: 3600 hours total. Co-author nature publication.


Clinical Experience:

Nurse Unit Assistant: Hours: 120
Speak with patients and offer anything they might need. Restock supplies. Discharge patients.

Hospital lobby volunteer: Hours: 250
Started during high school and continued the summer after my freshman year of college.


Shadowing:
Total 100 hours
Shadowed oncologist, neurologist, and orthopedic surgeon.


Teaching:
I was a teaching assistant for an upper-division cancer biology course during which I hosted review lectures alongside a graduate student.
 

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I'm honestly surprised you didn't receive any IIs. My first thought is that you likely shot too high with your school list. Another possible reason could be your CARS score- some schools will screen out applicants with lower than a 125 in an MCAT subsection. During the next cycle, try to apply to lower tier schools. Be sure to look at MSAR to see what schools you have a good chance at.
 
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OP
R
Jan 6, 2020
6
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm honestly surprised you didn't receive any IIs. My first thought is that you likely shot too high with your school list. Another possible reason could be your CARS score- some schools will screen out applicants with lower than a 125 in an MCAT subsection. During the next cycle, try to apply to lower tier schools. Be sure to look at MSAR to see what schools you have a good chance at.
Would you recommend that I retake the MCAT? I feel confident that I can raise my score, but I'm not sure if it's needed and/or I should spend the time to improve my application in another way.
 

Davidfromcali

5+ Year Member
Sep 16, 2014
59
87
Status
Pre-Medical
Your clinical experience is quite weak. what you’ve written makes me believe you’d rather do research than clinical medicine. You have thousands of hours of research but far fewer clinical hours. And one of your experiences, you write that you volunteered in the hospital lobby. What did that really entail?
 
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OP
R
Jan 6, 2020
6
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Which schools did you apply to ?
I applied to these schools:
stanford
ucsf
ucsd
ucla
davis
irvine
usc
northstate
riverside
cal u
ohsu
baylor
emory
tulane
uwash
wash st louis
perlemen
umiami
wisconsin
vanderbilt
unc chapel
einstein
toledo
chicago med
dartmouth
george wash
kaiser
indiana
ohio state
usf
cornell
brown
harvard
 

GreenDuck12

5+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2014
653
380
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Your list is heavily weighted towards programs where either your gpa is significantly below the mean while mcat score is close to it or schools that are less friendly to OOS applicants. Personally, I wouldn’t risk retaking a 516 mcat. If I were in your shoes I would reapply with a broader range of schools.
 
Last edited:
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Faha

7+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2012
9,818
4,008
Status
Attending Physician
Over 20 of the schools you applied to were completely unrealistic with your GPA. When you reapply I suggest these schools:
Vermont
Quinnipiac
Albany
New York Medical College
Drexel
Temple
Jefferson
Penn State
George Washington
Eastern Virginia
NOVA MD
Oakland Beaumont
Western Michigan
Wayne State
Medical College Wisconsin
Rosalind Franklin
TCU-UNT
California University
Kaiser
California Northstate
UC Davis
UC Riverside (if you are from that region)
UC Irvine
Also apply to at least 6 DO schools and include Western and TUCOM-CA
 

Goro

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Jun 10, 2010
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I applied to these schools:
stanford
ucsf
ucsd
ucla
davis
irvine
usc
northstate
riverside
cal u
ohsu
baylor
emory
tulane
uwash
wash st louis
perlemen
umiami
wisconsin
vanderbilt
unc chapel
einstein
toledo
chicago med
dartmouth
george wash
kaiser
indiana
ohio state
usf
cornell
brown
harvard
You have a lot of donations on this list. More comments to follow
 
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Goro

Gold Donor
7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
55,440
82,790
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
Hi! I’m an ORM CA applicant, and this cycle was my first. I applied to 32 MD programs, but have not received any II’s. I do believe one problem for me was my school list; although I did apply to lower-tier programs, overall I shot too high!

School list aside, I would really appreciate some feedback on how I should proceed and maximize my chances for admission during my reapplication.

I graduated from a top 10 public university in 2018 and have since been working full-time as a research assistant doing basic science research at a top 5 medical school and volunteering as a nurse assistant. I applied with no non-clinical volunteering, but I started volunteering with a program last month. I have provided a brief overview of my application below. Please let me know if I can clarify or add anything. Thank you in advance!


GPA:
BS in Pharmacology
Overall: 3.50
Overall Science: 3.48
Overall breakdown: Freshman: 2.96 Sophomore: 3.26 Junior: 3.66 Senior: 3.91
Overall science breakdown: Freshman: 2.56 Sophomore: 3.26 Junior: 3.70 Senior: 3.90

MCAT:
Total: 516 C/P: [131] CARS: [124] BB: [130] P/S: [131]

Research Experience:

Biopharmaceutical industry intern: I was a summer intern at a biopharmaceutical company during college.

Undergrad basic science lab: 3000 hours total. Began Junior year. Volunteered 40 hours per week during senior year working on senior thesis. I was awarded a small grant for my project. Graduated with distinction in research for my project. Presented 1st author poster.

Gap year basic science lab: 3600 hours total. Co-author nature publication.


Clinical Experience:

Nurse Unit Assistant: Hours: 120
Speak with patients and offer anything they might need. Restock supplies. Discharge patients.

Hospital lobby volunteer: Hours: 250
Started during high school and continued the summer after my freshman year of college.


Shadowing:
Total 100 hours
Shadowed oncologist, neurologist, and orthopedic surgeon.


Teaching:
I was a teaching assistant for an upper-division cancer biology course during which I hosted review lectures alongside a graduate student.
A huge hole in your app is the lack of nonclinical volunteering.
I agree that the app is way too research heavy, you are handicapped by having a lower cGPA coupled with a high MCAT (which still is not, in my opinion, competitive for WashU/U Chicago class schools.) In addition, while upward trends are always good, a single strong SR year is not enough data points for most MD schools.

If you're boning for the MD either bulk up on service and target the schools which value service (many of which are in my list below) or do a DIY post-bac or SMP.

You're fine for DO right now, and keep in mind that beggars can't be choosy.

I recommend:
U VM (maybe)
Miami
Tufts
George Washington
Georgetown
SLU
Albany
Rosy Franklin
NYMC
MCW
VCU
EVMS
Wayne State
Wake Forest
Netter
Jefferson
Temple
Drexel
Creighton
Tulane
Loyola
Uniformed Services University/Hebert (just be aware of the military service commitment)
Oakland-B
Seton Hall
Nova MD
TCU/UNT
CUSM
Kaiser
UCD
UCI
UCR IF you're from the Inland Empire
Any DO program. I can't recommend Touro-NY, Nova, Wm Carey, LUCOM, for different reasons. MSUCOM? Read up on Larry Nasser and you decide. LMU has an accreditation warning, which concerns me. CalHS is too new and appears to be too limited in rotations sites.
 
OP
R
Jan 6, 2020
6
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Over 20 of the schools you applied to were completely unrealistic with your GPA. When you reapply I suggest these schools:
Vermont
Quinnipiac
Albany
New York Medical College
Drexel
Temple
Jefferson
Penn State
George Washington
Eastern Virginia
NOVA MD
Oakland Beaumont
Western Michigan
Wayne State
Medical College Wisconsin
Rosalind Franklin
TCU-UNT
California University
Kaiser
California Northstate
UC Davis
UC Riverside (if you are from that region)
UC Irvine
Also apply to at least 6 DO schools and include Western and TUCOM-CA
Thank you very much for your help!
 
OP
R
Jan 6, 2020
6
0
Status
Pre-Medical
A huge hole in your app is the lack of nonclinical volunteering.
I agree that the app is way too research heavy, you are handicapped by having a lower cGPA coupled with a high MCAT (which still is not, in my opinion, competitive for WashU/U Chicago class schools.) In addition, while upward trends are always good, a single strong SR year is not enough data points for most MD schools.

If you're boning for the MD either bulk up on service and target the schools which value service (many of which are in my list below) or do a DIY post-bac or SMP.

You're fine for DO right now, and keep in mind that beggars can't be choosy.

I recommend:
U VM (maybe)
Miami
Tufts
George Washington
Georgetown
SLU
Albany
Rosy Franklin
NYMC
MCW
VCU
EVMS
Wayne State
Wake Forest
Netter
Jefferson
Temple
Drexel
Creighton
Tulane
Loyola
Uniformed Services University/Hebert (just be aware of the military service commitment)
Oakland-B
Seton Hall
Nova MD
TCU/UNT
CUSM
Kaiser
UCD
UCI
UCR IF you're from the Inland Empire
Any DO program. I can't recommend Touro-NY, Nova, Wm Carey, LUCOM, for different reasons. MSUCOM? Read up on Larry Nasser and you decide. LMU has an accreditation warning, which concerns me. CalHS is too new and appears to be too limited in rotations sites.
Thank you very much for your suggestions. If I were to leave my research job and spend the next 6 months focused on community service and increasing my clinical hours, would I be a competitive applicant next cycle for the schools you have suggested despite my GPA?
 
Aug 7, 2019
138
143
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I think you need more shadowing, possibly a lot more shadowing. I was a reapplicant and what held me back was that I had too heavy of a clinical. research background in cancer care and most of my shadowing was too heavily slanted towards specialties such as radiation oncology, medical oncology, ent, and infectious diseases/internal med. What really helped my application was scribing and additional shadowing in primary care as it allowed me to show that I had a broad and representative perspective of medicine. If I were you I’d consider becoming a scribe and it doesn’t even have to be for that long. If I were you I’d do scribing, pick up more shadowing, and apply to some DO schools next cycle. Scribing should show the adcoms that you’re not just someone whose solely interested in research and specialty medicine which should make the difference. If you had higher stats I doubt that would be an issue. Not saying you don’t apply md, but at the very least, the DO interviews will serve as good preparations for any MD interviews if that’s what you want. Anyways good luck!
 

ciestar

All grown up! MS4!
5+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2013
6,398
7,218
Status
Medical Student
I think you need more shadowing, possibly a lot more shadowing. I was a reapplicant and what held me back was that I had too heavy of a clinical. research background in cancer care and most of my shadowing was too heavily slanted towards specialties such as radiation oncology, medical oncology, ent, and infectious diseases/internal med. What really helped my application was scribing and additional shadowing in primary care as it allowed me to show that I had a broad and representative perspective of medicine. If I were you I’d consider becoming a scribe and it doesn’t even have to be for that long. If I were you I’d do scribing, pick up more shadowing, and apply to some DO schools next cycle. Scribing should show the adcoms that you’re not just someone whose solely interested in research and specialty medicine which should make the difference. If you had higher stats I doubt that would be an issue. Not saying you don’t apply md, but at the very least, the DO interviews will serve as good preparations for any MD interviews if that’s what you want. Anyways good luck!
No. OP doesn’t need anymore shadowing. 100 hours is beyond sufficient.
 
Aug 7, 2019
138
143
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
No. OP doesn’t need anymore shadowing. 100 hours is beyond sufficient.
So what would you suggest? A simple no isn’t going to help the OP. If the OP wants to have a balanced application then he/she needs to have balance. 100 hours in specialty medicine is not adequate in being representative of medicine. I had a similar situation albeit I had a much heavier research background (6 publications w/ early authorships in flagship journals + several presentations at national conventions) and a lot more shadowing. If you think some volunteering in January is going to help, I highly doubt it. If the OP doesn’t get in and starts something in the next month or two it probably will look like he/she is trying to check boxes. In my opinion, It would be a more natural transition to say that no acceptances caused some introspection which led to wanting to continue to explore medicine as clearly what he/she saw wasn’t enough. That’s why I said scribing because scribing is the perfect counterbalance to a research and specialty heavy app. But again, that’s just me.
 

ciestar

All grown up! MS4!
5+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2013
6,398
7,218
Status
Medical Student
So what would you suggest? A simple no isn’t going to help the OP. If the OP wants to have a balanced application then he/she needs to have balance. 100 hours in specialty medicine is not adequate in being representative of medicine. I had a similar situation albeit I had a much heavier research background (6 publications w/ early authorships in flagship journals + several presentations at national conventions) and a lot more shadowing. If you think some volunteering in January is going to help, I highly doubt it. If the OP doesn’t get in and starts something in the next month or two it probably will look like he/she is trying to check boxes. In my opinion, It would be a more natural transition to say that no acceptances caused some introspection which led to wanting to continue to explore medicine as clearly what he/she saw wasn’t enough. That’s why I said scribing because scribing is the perfect counterbalance to a research and specialty heavy app. But again, that’s just me.
Scribing would be fine to increase clinical experience. Shadowing has its point of diminishing returns. OP does NOT need more shadowing hours.

OP has little volunteering. That is also a problem. Their school list is bad, too.

Yes, the box checking thing tends to be obvious. This is partially why schools recommend taking a year off between applications to improve your app.
 
Aug 7, 2019
138
143
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Obviously the OP does not NEED more shadowing if you look at the raw numbers but if you pair shadowing in primary care, scribing, and volunteer work it would look a whole lot better than if the OP only did some volunteer work. Volunteering alone for this short of time wouldn’t be the experiences needed to transform his/her app in time for next cycle. Literally the OP could say they reflected on the app and realized it wasn’t reflective of medicine and certainly not his/her desire to serve. Anyways it’s not my app
 
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