Apr 7, 2010
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Hi, I'm kinda new to SDN... see how much of a help it has been for you guys!! I thought I'd also give it a shot.

I'm currently in the current application cycle- applied for about 18 schools, had a bunch of rejections/meaningless holds, and received interviews for SUNY Stony Brook (1/26), SUNY Downstate (2/24) and GWU (2/5..rescheduled for 3/5 because of the DC snowstorm). I'm waitlisted at SUNY Stony Brook and SUNY Downstate, and still need to hear back from GWU. I've been feeling a bit dejected about how this process has been going along so far, and am facing the reality that it may not work out this year and that I'll have to reapply.

First, my stats:
MCAT: 25S (V:7, P:8, B:10) in 2008, 30R (V:7, P:10, B:13) in 2009
Major: Biology, graduated 2009 at Cornell University
cGPA: 3.48 (bad freshman start <3.0 but definitely increased it up afterwards)
sGPA: 3.57
Residence: NY
AMCAS submitted end of July, all secondary applications completed around September

Research: 2.5 yrs doing independent microbio research, summer public health research internship about drug overdose

Clinical: Heavy experience. 1.5 yrs volunteering at ER, summer ER internship at a busy public NYC hospital, free clinic volunteering for 2 yrs in college, tons of shadowing exp. in pediatrics/neurology/anethesiology, currently a medical assistant at a non-profit community health center.

Leadership/EC: college community service group, sorority, brazilian dance club, private HS tutoring job, director of a mentorship team within a pre-health organization, Human Anatomy course TA

I am not sure what to do as of now...should wait it out for the end of this cycle's process (even though it's so late in the game now) to come and see if I'd get in, or should I start preparing myself for reapplication? Also, depending on what exactly I should work on, should I rush to apply for the 2011 or apply to the 2012 cycle? I don't know if I should retake the MCAT again (kinda scared that my low VB score :( won't change because I tried really hard to do better and didn't..and that my sciences scores will lower), and am sure if I retake I'd need good quality time to study for it. Should I continue with my current job/find another one relatable in the field..or work on my GPA/grades, and thus do a Masters Program/take some higher-level science classes during my time off? (also, haven't many masters programs' deadlines already passed?) I truly love the community health work I'm doing because I'm passionate about working with the underserved in medicine, and don't mind sticking with my job or finding better relatable positions in the field. Given all these factors and its timing, and the time I need to also redo my personal statement well/reapply....I'm not sure if it would be wiser for me to reapply for the 2011 cycle or for the 2012 cycle. The last thing I want to do is rush the process til I go crazy, but I do want to get things in as early as possible.

ANY thoughts, advice, comments would be MOST appreciated...:scared: Thanks so much in advance!
 

Buzz Me

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If you don't get in anywhere, I'd focus on improving your MCAT and taking post-bac classes to improve your GPA. Both are below average for matriculants, and since the rest of your app looks fine (clinical experience, extra-curriculars, presumably strong letters), you have time to dedicate to this goal. Are you currently taking any post-bac classes since you graduated last year?
 
Apr 7, 2010
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If you don't get in anywhere, I'd focus on improving your MCAT and taking post-bac classes to improve your GPA. Both are below average for matriculants, and since the rest of your app looks fine (clinical experience, extra-curriculars, presumably strong letters), you have time to dedicate to this goal. Are you currently taking any post-bac classes since you graduated last year?
Ah, I actually thought about it but didn't because I thought anything that wasn't some special matriculating program like a Masters wouldn't appropriately count towards GPA reinforcement. But enrolling a few upper level science classes per semester without a degree still counts right??

Also, would I be viewed as a stronger applicant if I were to have had taken these classes (have the grades) before applying v. be taking the classes after I applied for the application cycle? (a factor I would put in whether or not I would apply to the 2011 cycle). Thanks!
 

jslo85

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Jan 27, 2010
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Hi, I'm kinda new to SDN... see how much of a help it has been for you guys!! I thought I'd also give it a shot.

I'm currently in the current application cycle- applied for about 18 schools, had a bunch of rejections/meaningless holds, and received interviews for SUNY Stony Brook (1/26), SUNY Downstate (2/24) and GWU (2/5..rescheduled for 3/5 because of the DC snowstorm). I'm waitlisted at SUNY Stony Brook and SUNY Downstate, and still need to hear back from GWU. I've been feeling a bit dejected about how this process has been going along so far, and am facing the reality that it may not work out this year and that I'll have to reapply.

First, my stats:
MCAT: 25S (V:7, P:8, B:10) in 2008, 30R (V:7, P:10, B:13) in 2009
Major: Biology, graduated 2009 at Cornell University
cGPA: 3.48 (bad freshman start <3.0 but definitely increased it up afterwards)
sGPA: 3.57
Residence: NY
AMCAS submitted end of July, all secondary applications completed around September

Research: 2.5 yrs doing independent microbio research, summer public health research internship about drug overdose

Clinical: Heavy experience. 1.5 yrs volunteering at ER, summer ER internship at a busy public NYC hospital, free clinic volunteering for 2 yrs in college, tons of shadowing exp. in pediatrics/neurology/anethesiology, currently a medical assistant at a non-profit community health center.

Leadership/EC: college community service group, sorority, brazilian dance club, private HS tutoring job, director of a mentorship team within a pre-health organization, Human Anatomy course TA

I am not sure what to do as of now...should wait it out for the end of this cycle's process (even though it's so late in the game now) to come and see if I'd get in, or should I start preparing myself for reapplication? Also, depending on what exactly I should work on, should I rush to apply for the 2011 or apply to the 2012 cycle? I don't know if I should retake the MCAT again (kinda scared that my low VB score :( won't change because I tried really hard to do better and didn't..and that my sciences scores will lower), and am sure if I retake I'd need good quality time to study for it. Should I continue with my current job/find another one relatable in the field..or work on my GPA/grades, and thus do a Masters Program/take some higher-level science classes during my time off? (also, haven't many masters programs' deadlines already passed?) I truly love the community health work I'm doing because I'm passionate about working with the underserved in medicine, and don't mind sticking with my job or finding better relatable positions in the field. Given all these factors and its timing, and the time I need to also redo my personal statement well/reapply....I'm not sure if it would be wiser for me to reapply for the 2011 cycle or for the 2012 cycle. The last thing I want to do is rush the process til I go crazy, but I do want to get things in as early as possible.

ANY thoughts, advice, comments would be MOST appreciated...:scared: Thanks so much in advance!
Just my honest opinion.

You need to raise your MCAT. I presume you're applying for allopathic programs and a 30 is on the low end of the spectrum. The real problem with your score is your verbal. Most programs require an 8 or 9 in each section and it is only a 7. Furthermore it has not improved from the second time you have taken it. Congrats on the Bio section though. Your writing score also suggests you can write but you can't read :oops:

The other criticism I have is your research experience and possibly your clinical experience. Hear me out but also keep in mind that this is purely my opinion and it is projected to be negative as I am trying to find fault with your application. You say you've done 2 and a half years of research but do you have anything substantial to show for it? Abstract/poster presented? Publications in journals? For example, my own research resume is very limited as I haven't done any bench work but I have worked with several doctors and dabbled in clinical research and have 2 publications in the Journal of Hospital Medicine and Cutis for dermatology. Usually when you put something down on your resume as something you have done for a while, Adcoms expect you to have something to show for it. This leads me into your clinical experiences because you have done quite a bit but if you don't have strong LOR from your physicians that you work with then it really doesn't mean anything to them besides a resume filler to be honest. If you do have them then I take that back, but in my experience during interviews they asked about certain experiences I had in the OR/preceptorships and then read off a letter that my physician had wrote (it was open file).

Just my 2 cents.