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Please help on the journey of getting accepted to medical school...

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by Dream11, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. Dream11

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    I've been lurking on this thread for a while but now I am needing help with my journey to medical school. Any advice will be greatly appreciated! I will try my best to make this post as structured as possible to ensure enough background is given.

    Background
    I came from a small city with a population of 30,000. My ethnicity is Hispanic. Moved to a bigger city and attended a public state school in Texas. During my undergraduate career, did the usual pre-med stuff; non-clinical volunteering, clinical volunteering, involved with student organizations, etc. Traveled with a non-profit organization to Central America to provide medical assistance. Held executive positions at multiple student organizations. Become a science tutor for the school, and later, got promoted to a supervisor in the tutoring center. Graduated December of 2016 with a B.S. in Biology. Spring of 2017 studied for the MCAT which I then took it in June of 2017. Decided not to apply the 2017 cycle because I lacked a letter from a doc. I then became a scribe working in the ER in July of 2017. While I was a scribe, I received two awards for being outstanding on my documentation. In February of 2018, I was offered a manager position for the scribe company I work for. After much thought, I accepted the position. One of the main reasons why I accepted the position is because I wanted to gain more experience in the business side of medicine. The downside, though, I was not able to apply again this cycle. When the application opened earlier this year, I was really busy with the sites I am in charge of. I was constantly having to travel to various locations to hire and train new individuals which didn't give me the proper time to focus on the application. I would have to say, this position I am in is a stressful job. Considering the scribe company I work for is a small company, my position involves many positions. For example, I am in charge of hiring, training, managing, and if needed scribing at my sites. Ultimately, I plan on resigning by the beginning of next year because I want to focus on getting on my main goal and that is to get accepted into medical school. I want to avoid, at all costs, a similar situation that happened to me this Summer. However, I have gained so much experience that I know will be useful in my future career as a physician. Fortunately, I have 2 docs that are willing to write a letter for me.

    At this point, I feel a little depressed because I am not getting any younger, granted I am 24 which is not too old. I am just a little confused on what steps I should be taking next. I want to become a physician no matter what.

    According to my stats, which I will provide below, I am only competitive for DO schools. MD schools are pretty much out of the picture. Preference wise, I am okay with either an MD or DO school. Ultimately, I want to go into Emergency Medicine. A couple of main concerns are;
    • Considering it is October already, should I still apply to DO schools or should I wait until next cycle?
    • Considering my background, am I competitive for any MD schools?
    • Willing resigning at my current position and become a scribe again have any effect on my application?
    • Considering everything as a whole, should I retake the MCAT for the third time?
    Stats:
    MCAT 1: 492 (Summer of 2016)
    MCAT 2: 501 (Summer of 2017)

    cGPA: 3.49
    sGPA: 3.47

    Clinical Hours: 200+
    Volunteering Hours: 100+
    Research Hours: 0

    I think I should have covered the majority of things. Again, any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thank you all!
     
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  3. lilsebastian18

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    There will be others like Faha and Goro who can speak to the kinds of schools you should target but I just wanted to comment on the age thing. You're still a baby at 24. I had those same concerns about being too old at 24, they're silly, get them out of your head now, not worth it to stress over. Having those same notions, I haphazardly applied more times than the average bear should, and regret it 100%. I took a few years off, waited, improved the S out of my application and will be in medical school next year and I wished I would have just waited in the first place. I also have tons of life experiences (because I took time off) I was able to talk about at my interviews and it made for some pretty laxed interview days. So again, you're still young, and you'll get there, if you promise yourself you won't give up. Your time will come.

    Given that it is already October, theres no chance in Texas since TMDSAS closed 2 weekends ago. I think most would probably advise you to sit this cycle out and put the best application forth early next cycle. Your URM status does help you a bit, especially with TMDSAS so I think your best shot would be just to start working on beefing up your app now and apply next year. The general consensus is to take the MCAT as little times as possible and only take it a 3rd time if you are absolutely crushing it on your practice exams, think 509+ (I could definitely be wrong on this). If you do decide to wait a cycle or even two, work on every facet you can now. Do more volunteer (foodbank, shelters, etc.), beef up your GPA with some post-bacc classes if you can. This not me taking anything away from your scribing experience, but the mindset you have to take is, ok I did all of these great things as a scribe but so what? There are applicants with better stats that also held leadership positions as a scribe (other clinically-oriented jobs).

    Also look into UNTHSC's Med Sci program, it is well regarded for the Texas schools. Applications for that have just opened - maybe not even opened yet - and the deadline isn't until next Spring.
     
    Dream11 likes this.
  4. goldfish_goldfish

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    First of all, you are an underrepresented minority with some levels of clinic experience, you should apply to low-medium tier MD schools but maybe wait till next year. You could be considered and then they might put you into a master's program and then interview after a year to get into the medical school.

    As of DO schools, you can still apply now, there is still more interviews taking places and even I have a lot of schools that I have not yet received a decision/interview invites. Considering the national average of DO school matriculants are 502-503, you have a decent chance here with all of your clinical working experience. DO/MD letter is an absolute must so I am glad you have doctors who are willing to write them for you. If you can not get these letters before November, apply next year. If you can get your application verified and send out in like 1-2 weeks, you should apply this year. NOTE: This is my personal opinion on the timing of application.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Dream11 likes this.
  5. andrek82

    5+ Year Member

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    (Posted in the wrong thread)
     
  6. Goro

    Faculty 7+ Year Member

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    MCAT scores are lethal for MD. Apply broadly to DO, especially targeting the newest schools. I can't recommend Touro-NY, Nova, Wm Carey, LUCOM, for different reasons. MSUCOM? Read up on Larry Nasser and you decide.
     
    Dream11 and goldfish_goldfish like this.
  7. PapaGuava

    PapaGuava SDN Bronze Donor
    Bronze Donor Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

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    You have a decent chance at DO schools if you want to apply this cycle,
     
  8. Dream11

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    Thank you so much for the advice, I greatly appreciate it!

    For the most part, I think it would be wise to sit out this year and apply next cycle. However, I will start working on my application for the next cycle already. When you mention taking post-bac classes, would you say only taking classes at a university or is it fair to also take classes at a community college? I wold prefer to take courses at a community college since they are inexpensive.

    I will also look into the UNTHSC's Med Sci program as you mentioned. Again, thanks for the response.
     
  9. Dream11

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    When you mention low-medium tier MD school, which school are those exactly? Is there a list of some sort.

    I will sit out till next cycle because I don't think I will be able to get everything in. I also want to take my time and build a solid application as opposed to going through it quickly. Similar to the question I asked regarding the MD schools, do you happen to know if there is a list of which DO schools I would have a high chance of getting admitted?

    I greatly appreciate the response!
     
  10. MakeLifeHappen13

    2+ Year Member

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    Definitely do not apply this cycle, you're way too late. Your MCAT is borderline for DO schools. You should put in 3 months of hardcore MCAT studying and retake, shoot for >504. You can roll the dice next cycle with your current MCAT score but if you don't get in, you will be a re-applicant and would have to retake MCAT anyways. Whatever you choose, apply early! This means have your secondaries submitted by July if possible.

    If I were in your position I would cut way down on hours and focus full time on MCAT studying as this is the most important factor for you right now.

    On a side note, why did you put your clinical hours as 200? If you were a scribe that was promoted to scribe manager I was expecting easily 1000+ clinical hours.
     
    #9 MakeLifeHappen13, Oct 11, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
  11. Dream11

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    Ideally, I know it would be best to retake the MCAT, however, I just fear my score will be lower than 501. I I think I can start studying for the MCAT and start taking practice exams. If I start scoring above 504 on the practice exams, then I will retake the MCAT, if not, I will just apply with the score I have.

    Now thinking about it, I definitely have way more than 200 hours lol I guess I didn't put much thought into the number of hours I have.
     
  12. MakeLifeHappen13

    2+ Year Member

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    It's funny but your application is very similar to what mine was. I'm also hispanic and was a chief scribe for the company I worked for and your GPA is almost identical to what mine was. I had 0 research and about ~100 hours of volunteering. The only difference was the MCAT. I had to retake my 496 MCAT and got a 507. With this score I was able to land 9 interview invites. Believe me when I tell you that if you can bump your score up a few points, and apply broadly, you will have a lot of interviews to DO schools. You might even get some from low tier MD programs.

    Right now with a 501, MD is pretty much a no go, and DO is possible but definitely far from a sure thing. You have about ~8 months before apps open up for the next cycle. That's plenty of time to get your score up. You can do it. Good luck!
     
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  13. lilsebastian18

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    I think upper level science classes at a university tend to be preferred but I can't imagine adcoms not being sympathetic to financial constraints. I think you're making a great decision by waiting. Good luck!!
     
  14. goldfish_goldfish

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    Get the MSAR for MD schools. It’s $27 a year. I got it when I was preparing in 2017 and again this year. It lists our location, MCAT score, matriculate data, and some introductions of the school. Apply as many DO school as you can afford to increase chances if your MCAT is below their average which is 502-503. I wouldn’t recommended any other list for you. Those are unofficial and sometimes with errors.

    Hope that helps.
     

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