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Possible reapplicant, please give me some advice

Discussion in 'Re-Applicants [ MD / DO ]' started by manofmen, 05.17.14.

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  1. manofmen

    manofmen

    Joined:
    03.05.14
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    108
    Hi all,

    First off, thank you so much for reading this. I was new to SDN these past few months and I am struck by the kindness and help of random strangers, especially during a difficult time as this. I am a possible reapplicant who was unsuccessful in the 2013 cycle. This year has been very disappointing to me, and has culminated in 3 waitlists. I have four burning questions to ask you guys.

    My stats:
    -CA Resident, 34 MCAT (11PS,12V,11BS)
    -3.69GPA
    -ECs: I would like to think that they are fairly unique, and to be honest, I thought they were the strong point of my application. I had two leadership positions, one of which was starting a healthcare nonprofit that I have spent nearly 4 years on. On interviews my interviewers mentioned that they liked my experiences, but I guess something must have been lacking.
    -I applied to 26 schools, and the majority of my schools were top-heavy. I guess I thought that my ECs would make up for the lack of stellar academics.


    In my gap year, I was continuing my extracurriculars, and have added nothing particularly new to my application except a new part time job mentoring at-risk students. Last year, I was complete at most schools in mid to late October, although ironically all the interviews I received were from schools were I was complete in early November.

    My questions are:
    1) do you think that this is a clear case of applying late? This is completely of my own doing and I know I should have applied way way earlier, and I am set to apply on the first day in a few weeks.
    2) Would it be ok for schools to see that I basically continued the activities that I did? I didn't really add anything new but I am very passionate about the my extracurriculars in college and enjoy what I do. I spoke with an admissions counselor at a med school and they said it wouldn't hurt to get a little more clinical, even though they said a lack of it didn't hurt me (they didn't say anything specific about what was wrong with my app). I'm hoping to get in touch with a few more schools before June.
    3) I spent months laboring over my personal statement last year and the unequivocal response was that it was great. Obviously, if I am reapplying schools might look at my old application. I've been scouring these threads and it seems like I should at least add to what I did. Since my motivations stayed pretty much the same and I felt like I poured my heart and soul into the essay, you guys feel like a few revisions would suffice? I definitely don't want any schools thinking I'm lazy or anything.
    4) LORs. I think my letters were good enough that I got those interviews. Do you think keeping them as is, maybe adding one from my new work would be good enough for a reapp?

    I'm staying on the waitlists, although I'm losing hope day by day. This year was full of great stress and regret. Alas, there are much worse things in this world than being a reapplicant to med school.

    Sorry for such a long post, and thank you so much for your help.
     
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  3. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion 10+ Year Member

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    3 waitlists says to me that there's nothing fundamentally wrong with your app. Applying late is certainly a factor. Give up on finding out exactly what happened. There are just too many people trying to get into the yes pile.

    The biggest factor is California. You just don't get any home field advantage as a Californian, and having to apply more than once is just how it goes.

    The question now is whether you jump on a new app cycle in about 2 weeks, or whether you put in another year so that you have a different app.

    Given that you got waitlists, I'd vote for you to reapply June 1 to a more balanced list of schools, and get those secondaries done within a week. Note that if you wait to apply until you find out about this app year, then you're repeating your late app mistake. It's not wasted time & money if you get an acceptance in the next few months. It's insurance.

    Make sure you are doing real work this year, such as a real job with responsibility, and continue clinical volunteering. Think of what you'll want to be able send to schools as an update in six months.

    An SMP would be completely inappropriate given your stats, so when people tell you that's what to do, just ignore that dumb advice.

    Best of luck to you.
     
    Last edited: 05.17.14
  4. BrawnsNBrain

    BrawnsNBrain Twitter: @BrawnsNBrain

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    What @DrMidlife said. My opinion is, however, don't reapply with the same application. I'd recommend getting someone with more experience to answer what I feel are the big two questions for you:

    1. Reapply with basically the same application?
    2. Keep the PS the same?
     
    manofmen likes this.
  5. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion 10+ Year Member

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    Well, yeah. Generally when you reapply you have to rewrite your PS and all essays. Any repeat schools will have a copy of your old app. They'll look at the old app and the new app side by side, and if you haven't changed anything, why would they change their mind about you?
     
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  6. manofmen

    manofmen

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    thanks for the help @BrawnsNBrain. @DrMidlife, thanks for the help. Do you feel like I could keep components of the old PS, though? I definitely feel like changing the beginning and end would be good, especially to give the indication that I am not rehashing old stuff, and I would certainly rewrite my secondary essays.

    I ask only because given that I merely continued my old activities (actually a big reason I took a gap year was to continue an activity and gain deeper experience before med school), I feel like the content of my PS would stay the same, I would just be using different words. My plan right now is to add in detail about activities I've done for this year, while keeping the 'feel' of the essay the same.
     
  7. gonnif

    gonnif Only 1431 Days Until Next Presidential Election Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

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    Refresh it, dont have to total rewrite, Open/add paragraph on what you have to further commitment and motivation towards medicine.

    And CA is the most competitive state. This was pointed out to me in an odd way last year when I met several of Touro DO school students in Nevada who said that majority of their class was CA residents with great academic backgrounds. It was close enough to southern california that it almost was being there.
     
  8. Scottpilot

    Scottpilot MS3 2+ Year Member

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    Specifically what kind of healthcare non-profit did you start? I have to say, that is really awesome and unique, regardless of what it entails.

    Also, please forgive me if I missed it but do you count your healthcare non-profit as clinical experience, or do you have other clinical experience in addition to your non-profit. I apologize for it not being clear to me.
     
  9. manofmen

    manofmen

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    hey there. i helped start a mobile health app with some engineering students at my college and after getting good results from our pilot and a ton of grant money decided to develop it into a full on community intervention near my home. i did count that as clinical experience although it was kind of broader than that. i think the day to day interactions with doctors and patients wasn't really substantive, and so that came more from shadowing internists, urologists, etc.
     
  10. About28

    About28

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    Wow. We seem to be applicant twins. I'm a 3.68 with a 34 MCAT and I applied late this cycle too (complete October to November). I'm from MA, only slightly better than CA. I have some pretty unique ECs too. Check out some of my posts, they could be useful to you because of how similar we are.
     
  11. lalalaaaaaa

    lalalaaaaaa 2+ Year Member

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    Whats' your school list?

    Make sure to send in an update letter to all of the schools you are waitlisted at to express interest and show that you are still working hard.
     
  12. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

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    Yes.
    1) do you think that this is a clear case of applying late?

    Yes
    2) Would it be ok for schools to see that I basically continued the activities that I did? I didn't really add anything new but I am very passionate about the my extracurriculars in college and enjoy what I do.


    Keep as is. and a new one can't hurt.

    4) LORs. I think my letters were good enough that I got those interviews. Do you think keeping them as is, maybe adding one from my new work would be good enough for a reapp?

    Apply strategically and early this time around.
    I'm staying on the waitlists, although I'm losing hope day by day. This year was full of great stress and regret. Alas, there are much worse things in this world than being a reapplicant to med school.
     
  13. manofmen

    manofmen

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    It was super top heavy. I applied to most of the top 25 schools, most of which had averages higher than what I had. My CA schools were already pretty competitive. Like I said, I was counting on my EC's but I guess my unimpressive stats probably did little to impress them. Do you think I should avoid the schools that rejected me the first time? As of right now I was thinking of applying to the same schools, but adding a few others: NYMC, SUNY, Florida, Rush, OHSU. I'm adding Texas schools although Baylor and UTSW seem quite competitive.

    And I have indeed sent updates to all the waitlist schools. One of them has had a lot of waitlist movement already but my number hasn't been called so I'm probably going to call in tomorrow to ask them about the waitlist. I've already sent in 2 updates and a letter of intent.
     
  14. DrMidlife

    DrMidlife has an opinion 10+ Year Member

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    Reapply to every school in California. Reapply to the others that you really like, within reason.

    Watch it with the public schools outside California. You have to be in the top 5% of applicants to be considered at most of these, so the odds are Harvardesque. Your numbers are great but not that great. Pick a few but not SUNY and FL and OHSU and Texas. I suggest that if you do 25 schools, no more than 3 should be OOS public, and they count as reaches. No more than 20% reaches. Reach is defined by whether your numbers are below the matriculant averages, plus the whole prestige/location vortex.

    Also watch it with the schools that get more than 10k apps. You might do better at a Cleveland Clinic than a Georgetown just on the size of the app pile, for instance.

    In general you should use the MSAR and the AAMC FACTS tables to make a list that's way too big, and narrow it down by looking at med school website FAQs and a map and whatnot.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  15. Scottpilot

    Scottpilot MS3 2+ Year Member

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    Very unique experience!! Hope you continue it throughout medical school!

    Not sure how many hours of shadowing you have...but continue your clinical experience, and try to get some direct patient contact if you don't already have any (it can only help by giving you personal experiences and stories to talk about in your essays and interviews). Thinking of essays, make sure your PS and all secondary essays reflect your unique story while conveying why medicine or why you would be a good physician.

    Lastly, like others said, apply early!

    Good Luck!
     

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