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Question about where to apply

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by dradams, Apr 6, 2004.

  1. dradams

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    I am a nontrad applicant (33 year old AP Biology teacher- married with a 14 month old son) applying for the 2005 entering class. I live in Florida and have for a long time. I have family in Florida as well and would someday like to practice in Florida. I am applying to both allo and osteo schools. Should I apply to a large number of schools (many out of state for me) or should I focus primarily on the Florida schools, since my top choice would be to stay in Florida? Do I need to apply to a lot of out-of-state schools to increase my chances?
     
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  2. scrabbler

    scrabbler too much sugar
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    For every school you apply to, you need to ask yourself, if this were the only place you got into, would you go? If you were only accepted at a school in Ohio for example, can you see yourself spending at least four years there?

    There's no point in applying to out-of-state schools if you're more willing to reapply if need be rather than move to another state, uproot your family, diminish your chances of coming back to FL for residency, etc. If you're willing to make the sacrifice, then by all means apply to other schools.
     
  3. dradams

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    Excellent advice. That is what I've been trying to do with each school on my list and I keep thinking that I really should just focus on Florida. Thanks.
     
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  4. patzan

    patzan Waiting for March 20th
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    Being from Utah, I only had one in-state option, so I had to apply to a lot of out-of-state public/private schools. I would recommend buying the 2004-2005 MSAR book and go through schools you're interested in to get a good estimate of your chances (they show #interviewed/accepted etc.). I applied to a few I was pretty sure I'd get into (and did), more that were in-line with what I was figuring I'd get on the MCAT w/ my GPA, and a few "long shots." I got in to most of my mid-range schools and waitlisted at a few long shot schools.

    I'd say don't bother applying to any schools you wouldn't be willing to go to. Looking back to some of the schools I spent hundreds of dollars flying out to for interviews plus application fees, I wish I hadn't. But I still recommend a low-ranking "back up" if you are worried.
     
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  5. LP1CW

    LP1CW Senior Member
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    DrAdams,

    What do you stats look like? I'm guessing you haven't taken the MCAT yet? What's your GPA look like? Also, how old are your prerequisites like chem, bio? If you've been out of school for a while that might be somethign to look into. I think some schools have a cutoff on the number of years since you've taken some classes.


    Also, being an older applicant, you'll probably have more luck applying to DO schools, they generally look at the whole applicant. Apply to a wide range of schools. Good luck with the process.
     
  6. dradams

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    MY stats are: 3.0 overall GPA 3.8 science GPA. I have a Masters in Biology from Columbia University. My prereqs are older ('94-'97) but I teach college level biology at the high school where I work and I teach as an adjunct instructor at a nearby community college. I've taken two MCAT practice exams so far and scored 29 both times.
     
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  7. LP1CW

    LP1CW Senior Member
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    29 MCAt, is that even across the board. I mean 9,10, 10?

    I think you sound solid. I think anything above an 8 or 9 on the MCAT is solid. I think you'll have a really good chance.

    Also, I don't think your age will be a factor. In fact, in might help you at some schools. Life experiences seem to matter. You'll bring something different to your class, your future patients. You are a lock for DO programs. Shadow a DO, maybe two. Get a couple of supporting letters from them, express an interest in primary care.

    And you look good for MD programs. So, I'm guessing your lower grades are from early on in your academic career. They'll focus on your upward trend. And the masters can only help.

    Apply to all the schools that you'll consider moving to. Also, I think there is a new DO school openning up in Florida. But apply MD too. Look at Albany, NYMC, Drexel, and other schools that are open to applicants outside of the state. Maybe Vermont. And of course all the Florida schools. I think you should feel confident to apply anywhere. The 29 is solid. It's about the mean for most schools. But you have other aspects of your application that will help you, your life experiences. The interviews won't be a problem for you.

    Either way, I think you're well positioned. Good luck.
     
  8. dradams

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    Thanks for the encouragment. Actually my practice MCAT scores are not that even (7P, 10B, 12V).
     
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  9. efex101

    efex101 attending
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    Make sure that you look into the schools that you are applying to for the policies on the age of pre-reqs. Some schools will specifically not allow pre-reqs to be X or Y years old (7 for many) by the time you "matriculate" which for you would be 2005 just FYI.
     
  10. dradams

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    Thanks for the advice efex. I'll check into that.
     
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  11. drlexygoat

    drlexygoat Eat, Drink, and Be Merry
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    To the OP

    Your GPA and MCAT should get you at least an interview at USF, FSU, UF, Miami, and Nova (If you apply DO). You'll probably have several acceptances, but this process is never a sure thing and hard to predict.

    Each Florida school has it's pros and cons, that's for sure. UM has great research but is $$$. FSU is cheap but brand new and still working out the kinks. USF lacks a big reputation outside of the southeastern US but has hospitals like Moffitt and All Children's to make up for it. UF has Shands but you'll have to live in Gainesville. Nova has a gorgeous campus but different curriculum, being that its' DO.

    If I was in your shoes (I'm a FL resident and will be going to UM next fall it looks like) and I wanted to eventually come back to FL to practice, why not stay here for school? You can't beat the tuition prices (except at Miami) and have a GREAT shot at getting in your first time.

    Bottom line: don't apply to schools' you wouldnt actually GO to if you got in. If you're cool with living out of state, then apply. Save yourself some time and money and think about it before you dump buckets of cash into app fees where you'll turn them down in the end.
     
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  12. dradams

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    Thanks drlexygoat. Great advice. I am really starting to contemplate only applying to the FL schools. Is that stupid to only apply to 5 schools (#5 being Nova-DO)?
     
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  13. LP1CW

    LP1CW Senior Member
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    Yeah, I think you could apply to just Florida schools considering that one of the schools you're applying to is Nova, but I'd also apply to LECOM's Florida branch. Go shadow a DO. Learn as much as you can, if you haven't already done it. You have to let them know that you truly want to be a DO. Express a strong interest in their programs. And get a couple of DO letters of support, a NOVA graduate would be ideal.

    I think you'll get into each DO school. I think you should also make sure it's clear, when you're filling out your secondaries, that you chose to apply to only a few schools. Express your need to stay in Florida. Visit the schools, try to have a name, a person, at each school that can be an advocate for you. Go in now, start the process early, call and ask to set up a time to meet with the associate director of admission at each school. Tell them you'd like to talk about the application process, that you're concerned about your age, etc. and create an ally.
     
  14. dradams

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    That is great advice. I have shadowed one DO already and plan on contacting more. That is a good point about letting them know why I am applying to only FL schools - I hadn't thought about how they may view only applying to a small number.

    Someone else told me to meet in person with Admissions Directors also. Do applicants do this often? It's not real easy for me to get to some of the school locations when my wife and I both work full-time and we have a toddler to boot. But I could see the value in it.....hmm. Maybe.
     
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  15. meanderson

    meanderson Senior Member
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    I wouldn't be overconfident about the whole process. The overall gpa is very low for florida allopathic schools. you must have a ton of total hours to have a 3.0 gpa total and a 3.8 science. Your grad science classes won't count that much) for florida allopathic schools, and your prereqs are very old. The most important thing to do right now is get your DO apps in order. If you haven't been observing DO's that should be your #1 priority now, because NOVA and that other satellite DO school in florida are your best chances. (that's assuming a 28-29 mcat. 32-34 and florida's allopathic schools come much more into play)
     
  16. dradams

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    That is true, I have a ton of credits. I have two BS degrees, the first in a nonscience major (not good grades) and the second in biology which I graduated with a 3.84 - hence the overall GPA of a 3.0.

    Also true about the older prereqs, but I've looked at all of the FL schools and none have stipulations about the age of prereq courses. Although I know it still may be an issue.
     
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  17. meanderson

    meanderson Senior Member
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    oh ok.....you're in good shape then if you earned a whole second degree in bio with a 3.84 gpa.

    The mcat is going to be huge. If you are scoring 29 on practice tests, that's a range which you could go up or down a few points and have a drastic impact. +3 gets you a 32 and makes you a really good candidate for USF and UF. -3 gets you a 26 and you probably aren't going to get into allopathic florida schools.
     
  18. dradams

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    That's very true about the MCAT +/- 3 scares me a bit. It's the physical sciences which I have not had in quite a while that's bringing me down. Does it make a big difference getting a second degree with a much higher GPA? Will they primarily look at my second degree? Without my foolish first degree I would be sittin' pretty, but when I average everything together I only get a damn 3.0! Sucks.
     
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  19. efex101

    efex101 attending
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    I think that you will be fine GPA wise with your more recent degree. I would be concerned with the lack of "recent coursework" and although the Florida schools will probably (did not apply there so no real data) accept older pre-reqs you are competing with people that have *current* pre-reqs. I have no idea how much of an issue this will be but for sure go look at each individual school web page and look under pre-reqs and the FAQ...
     
  20. efex101

    efex101 attending
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    FAQ from UofMiami:

    I have been out of school for some time and some of my premed courses such as chemistry were taken 10 years ago. Will you accept those credits?

    Yes, we will accept them but this is something that any admissions committee is going to look at very carefully when making a decision. Better questions to ask yourself are: 1) Will those 10-year old courses give me the current foundation in the sciences that I will need to survive medical school? And 2) Am I going to be prepared to take the MCAT with knowledge that is 10 years old?

    OK, so I am a Florida resident and my undergraduate GPA is a 3.2. What kind of score do I have to get on the MCAT to offset my relatively low GPA and become a competitive applicant?

    GPAs and MCAT scores do not offset one another. Both of these factors have predictive value for success in medical school, particularly in the first two years which everyone seems to think are the hardest. Therefore, admissions committees generally look for students who have good GPAs and good MCAT scores.
     
  21. dradams

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    I did look at each school and none mentioned anything about the "age" of the prereqs. Also I have been a teacher for the past 5 years (teach college level biology at the high school and community college) and right before that spent 2 years on grad school studying biology. I have never left the academic setting.

    Is that a plausable argument?
     
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  22. efex101

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    I would not think so but I am not an adcom. It is my understanding that most medical schools want to see recent coursework under your belt regardless of who you are or what you do. It all boils down on how *you* want to present yourself do you truly believe deep down than when compared to other applicants that have recent courses either in pre-reqs or other stuff that adcoms will see you as competitive? if your answer is an objective yes then go for it. Regardless, it would seem difficult to do really well on the MCAT with pre-reqs that old unless you are very very gifted and can bring back things quick. I would contact all the FL schools and ask them directly. You may be pleasantly surprised and they say sure no need to have recent coursework but beware they will expect a good MCAT score...because if you are that good to not have to brush up on pre-reqs you must be the caca right?
     
  23. efex101

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    Again, see this answer the adcom gave on the UofMiami FAQ:

    Am I going to be prepared to take the MCAT with knowledge that is 10 years old?
     
  24. dradams

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    You are absolutely right about not being prepared for the MCAT without current coursework. I am having the most trouble with the physical science portion of the practice exams because of that exact reason. I do fine on the bio section because I teach that and verbal is good also but chem and physics are rusty for me without a doubt.
     
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  25. efex101

    efex101 attending
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    Well good luck anyways! the beast is looming ahead....
     
  26. dradams

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    Thanks.
     
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