Re-applicant seeking advice for upcoming cycle

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The Obelisk

New Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 3, 2016
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Hi all,

I applied relatively late (most secondaries completed in October) to about 14 MD-PhD programs this cycle and have not had promising results. I interviewed with one state school and have been rejected from all others so far. I believe my issues lie in not having substantial clinical/volunteering experience, but I would still appreciate your opinions. My background is as follows:

GPA: ~3.7/4.0 small liberal arts school. Biochemistry major
MCAT: 510 (127 C/P, 125 CR, 129B, 129P/S). 84% overall
Publications: 2 - both in high impact journals (e.g. Nature), one second authorship. Currently have a smaller publication in the works and another large publication in a few months.
Clinical Experience: ~45 hours shadowing residents and attending physician
Volunteering: None
Non-trad - second year post-graduation, working at a high-caliber research institute as a research associate and lab manager.
I've done research since my freshman year of college and have worked in 4 different laboratories. LORs were from 2 different PI's, a grad-student/current post-doc I worked closely with, and my school's committee. All of which were strong.

I am thinking of re-applying early this cycle but including a few MD-only programs this time. I'm wondering if I should retake the MCAT or focus purely on increasing my clinical hours. I have a very busy schedule and it was difficult to find sufficient time for studying last cycle. If I am to retake it I should begin reviewing material asap. I appreciate your thoughts on this.

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Yes, you need more clinical volunteering in a health care setting. Your MCAT and GPA are fine so no need for a retake. Where is your state of residence?
Yes, you need more clinical volunteering in a health care setting. Your MCAT and GPA are fine so no need for a retake. Where is your state of residence?
Thanks Faha. State of residence is MA. Interestingly, I haven't heard from UMASS but have been interviewed by another public school out of state.
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Schools where you have a chance for an interview with your stats include:
New York Medical College
Penn State
Oakland Beaumont
Western Michigan
Medical College Wisconsin
Rosalind Franklin
St. Louis
Hey The Obelisk,
I think you need several hundreds of hours of volunteering time, at least. It doesn't really matter where you volunteer so find somewhere that you like that's medically related :). Your main problem is probably that the committee is not convinced that you want to be a doctor and volunteering more will make that more convincing. I also think it may be better to get a different LOR from a PI/professor instead of post-doc/grad student.

Best of Luck,
Thanks for the input from both of you, definitely going to try fit in more volunteering before the new cycle.

Faha: No interview from tufts this time around. Might have been due to a relatively late submission. Hopefully can change that this cycle.