Re-Applicant Seeking Advice

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Full Member
2+ Year Member
Aug 1, 2019
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Hello everyone,

First I would like to thank you all in advance for taking the time to read through my post. About me, I am ORM from CA, UCLA graduate (gpa: 3.85, sgpa: 3.89) in 2019. My first MCAT score was 510 (129/125/128/128), I retook the MCAT hoping to raise it into the 90 percentile and raise my CARS, but lowered 2 points (130/127/126/125). I applied to around 40 MD schools, broadly, this year, no DO, and did not receive any II. I am now planning to re-apply for the next next cycle, for a seat in the class of 2026. I have a lot of family in TX and frequently visit and have thought about establishing residency in TX and applying to schools out there.

My extracurriculars before my gap year:
- 40 hours - clinic trips in Mexico
- 50 hours - performed EKGs for high school student athletes for at risk individuals for sudden cardiac arrest
- 60 hours - shadowing an internal medicine physician at his practice and at his medical insurance business
- 500 hours - public health research concerning smoking in Korean Youth in Los Angeles (no publications or posters)
- 35 hours - primary school mentor
- 150 hours - CEO of a small business selling collectibles/clothing apparel
- 400 hours - UCLA Women's Basketball practice player

During my gap year
- 600 hours - emergency medicine scribe
- 100 hours - continuing research (presented 2 posters at UCLA research day and currently working on a paper)
- 120 hours - youth basketball coach
- 30 hours - shadowing a vascular surgeon
- 20 hours - virtual volunteer tutor during coronavirus

Any suggestions regarding what in my application needs to improve would be great help. Also insight into moving to TX, I have greatly considered this as I genuinely enjoy TX and have thought in the past of moving when I am older. If I were to stay in CA I would retake my MCAT as it is expired and hopefully get it to 513+, volunteer with the homeless community in Los Angeles, and get a leadership position at my work. In TX I would have a similar plan, but maybe finding clinical research instead of scribing. I also plan to apply to DO schools next time I apply.

Thank you again!

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@Goro thank you, I definitely regret not applying to DO schools and am planning on applying to them next cycle. Any input on anything else I should pursue or which plan moving forward is better?
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It's really hard to say how you can improve. Retaking your MCAT and seeing a score drop is a huge red flag to adcoms. If you retake your MCAT, a 513 won't save you- you want something like a 517+. Right now, two scores of a 508/510 is telling medical schools that this score is the best you can do. A 513 is more likely to be seen as statistical luck than a genuine improvement. The rest of your application honestly looks fine, but yes, I would definitely apply to DO schools.

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
Med School Tutors
@MedSchoolTutors thank you for respond. I am more taking my mcat as I believe it will expire for some schools. I took the test in August 2018. Do schools consider the 2-3 years from the date of matriculation or when you apply?
It is when you apply, so for the schools that have a 2 year MCAT cutoff, that 2018 MCAT will expire. However, this is the minority and most will have a 3 year cutoff.

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
Med School Tutors
It sounds like you're doing all you can. California is just a really rough state, and MCAT scores are getting higher and higher. 510 used to be safe and now its 513.

You gave yourself a shot at MD, and you had a good shot. Best thing you can do for insurance is try DO on take 2. Be sure to get a letter and check your boxes off for it. I regret not doing DO on my second try, I had to do it on my third.

Be sure to rewrite everything. I got dinged for keeping part of my PS the same. If it didn't work once it won't work again. Get some new eyes on your app.
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