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Reapplicants...I really need your help!!!

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by patient101, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. patient101

    patient101 New Member

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    Hey guys

    I am new here...but I am so glad I found this
    forum. Anyway, I am in the process of applying
    to med school....but so far I have been waitlisted
    by one of my state schools, 2 rejections, and one
    "hold for interivew" which is pretty much a nice
    rejection as well. I have applied to 16 schools,
    and my application was complete mid oct.
    Here are my stats:
    MCAT 10B 10V 8P Writing P
    Undergrad gpa (Bio major) 3.53
    1 year research with one publication
    Lots of volunteer work, leadership stuff, and
    great clinical experience.
    Good LORs.

    I know its still early in the season...but I just
    wanted to have backup options ready.
    If, I don't get in...would it worth it to apply again
    this June for 2004 entering class. I know they
    look for significant improvement...but I am not
    sure what I can do between now and June that
    would significantly improve my application.
    I am considering taking the mcat again, but I am really
    afraid of doing worse (as this happened to one of
    my friends). I have read lots of success stories with
    reapplicants on this forum...so I would really really
    appreciate any suggestion/advice/help from anyone:)
    What have most SDNers done to improve...when applying
    consecutively? Love to hear it
    Hopeful:)
     
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  3. streetdoc

    streetdoc Senior Member
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    This has been on my mind too.
    It's a scary idea (not getting in and having to take the MCAT again) and i'd love to hear how other SDNers have improved their chances.
    thanks,
    streetdoc
     
  4. lalalala

    7+ Year Member

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    hey fellas, i don't have any firsthand knowledge to convey, as i haven't even applied yet, but i wanted to encourage you guys to keep ya head up! from what i've garnered through reading the posts here is that med school waitlists are very active, especially at the state school level. also a good # of people do get interviewed in march and april.

    FWIW, i wouldnt take that MCAT again, esp if you think you will go down. but if you really feel that you can improve to, say, a 31+, then i would take it. your only single digit score is in phys sciences, which is probably better than having it in bio or verbal.

    here's a thread from last year that may prove to be helpful

    http://www.studentdoctor.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3663&highlight=reapplicant

    good luck!
     
  5. pickles

    pickles Member
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    patient 101...i wouldn't fret, you have very good stats!! I'm sure you will hear soon with some interviews:) My advice, as a reapplicant, is if you don't get in (which i think you will) an excellent option is a post-bacc/master's program. I am currently enrolled in one and I can't tell you how drastically the application process has changed for me. I went from having one interview last time i applied, to this year already having 5 interviews and 1 acceptance. Post-baccs are not only excellent opportunities to improve your grades but also show med schools your determined to get there any way possible. In a lot of my interviews it's what I talk about...so if your looking at a great way to improve your app and increase your chances I'd say go for a post-bacc. My only comment however is that your stats already look really good so i don't see why you won't get in this year...GOOD LUCK to you!
     
  6. Jadeite

    Jadeite Thought Puddle
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    Please don't think I'm being mean. But I do want to be honest. You *DON'T* have good stats. You want to improve your GPA (Take some more (SCIENCE!) classes this fall & spring before next summer.), and take the MCATs again. Take a Kaplan or Princeton Review course (whichever is closer to where you live!) and bring that score up to AT LEAST a 30. (Trust me, this test is 75% about studying really really hard.) And while you're out getting an A in biochem and studying your ass off for the MCATs, volunteer in a doc's office, do some lab work, etc. And if you must work, make sure it's medical related. You can never have too much clinical, and since there is only so much you can do with your stats, it's a good idea.

    Sorry to be rough on you, but you can do it!

    Jade~

    And I know it's not fun to think about it, but I had to reapply and you just have to get to that point where you can say "Yeah, It's not going to happen this year." Lucky for you, it's a little early this year, so you might still get in. But I'd start gearing up for that April MCAT anyway.

     
  7. Gumshoe

    Gumshoe LARGE Member
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    Patient:

    You have good stats. I think the major thing with this process is the randomness factor. Jadeite thinks that you can improve your chances by getting 30 or better and a little higher GPA. I ask, how practical is it to take an exam, get 2 points higher (with risk of getting same or lower), study all that time? ... and meanwhile next time around that 30 doesn't really look that different. That 28 isn't going to keep you out of med school, nor will the 3.5. Improving them, yes, will help, but it's way better to spend time doing something else that will make your app stand out, rather than studying undgodly amounts or wasting money to get 2 points higher and a .1 change in GPA. Come on now, jadeite. I think this whole stats thing is ridiculous.

    Do your best, get the stuff in early as possible, and be persistent. That is the best advice. YOU WILL get in, if you want to. The time factor, of course, is the key. Good luck.

    Does anyone disagree greatly with that advice?

    Talk to me.

    Gumshoe
     
  8. pickles

    pickles Member
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    Patient 101...the reason I said you have good stats because if you look at the national averages of accepted medical students you are just a little shy. Average MCAT score is around 29-30 and GPA 3.58ish. What an average is saying is that for every high end score that enters medical school is balanced by a lower score...hence an average. Plus if you look at the stats for some schools (like drexel for example) the averages for accepted mcat scores are a little more than a 9 in each section...making you a good candidate! So unless you want to go to harvard and the like I'd say you still have a chance. How's your state school looking??
    Lastly, My stats were not that different then yours...so don't give up hope!
    Just my 2 cents;)
     
  9. Gumshoe

    Gumshoe LARGE Member
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    Pickles, nice name.

    My question is, what do you think is the most important part in the process? Did you get in already?

    I like what you said. I'm still waiting on some decisions ...

    Gumshoe

    :cool: wishing I could wear sunglasses instead of winter coats
     
  10. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27
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    I think I'll chime in on this one, as a reapplicant who got in.

    Your stats are a little low. 3.53 isn't bad, nor is a 28. But they could be a bit better. Someone suggested a post-bac, which I think is totally not needed. Perhaps you should consider an MS or MPH. Here's a good thread where the merits of an MS is talked about vs. post bac, and where I argue that an MPH is also very good. Given your relatively high GPA (I assume your science GPA is about 3.5 as well), I doubt you need many more "hard science" classes to get in. If you like public health, an MPH could be great. But, that's 2-years, and you do seem to be pretty close to having good stats. I definitely would NOT just sit around and reapply next cycle - definitely do something academic (a class or two, retake MCAT, more research).

    OK, OK, here's the thread: http://www.studentdoctor.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=49027&highlight=post+bacc
     
  11. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27
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    oh, one other thing. Above I mention that an MS or MPH takes two years. The thing to keep in mind is that the MS and MPH are useful after med school (much much much more so than a post-bacc), and it's very hard to improve your application between cycles. Since your stats are borderline, perhaps you don't need much improvement. But skipping the next app cycle to do something productive (both for yourself and for your app) can really help. I did a 2-year MPH, and I think the extra year really helped my application as it gave me more time to improve my GPA and it gave me more time to do research. I think doing very little will only kill your chances next time. Adcoms will probably not look favorably upon someone who hasn't done much since the last admissions cycle. Bottom line: do something, and make it good!
     
  12. To the original poster

    We have similar stats- and I'd hate to say it *news flash news flash*but I didn't get in last year. Reapplying aint the worst thing in the world. Worse case scenario: next year is a personality development year...shadow, research, volunteer, pick your nose without accountability. I'm shadowing and researching. All I did was make an effort to convince adcoms that I have my heart set on medicine. Realistically, it's not easy to boost your numbers- especially your GPA. Work on the 'intangibles' and see the acceptances roll in. Plus, f you dont get in this year you'll realize just what kind of an honor it is to be accepted somewhere next year. It's like the thrill of having sex after holding off for twice as long...but different.

    MEDSCHOOL BOOYAH
    Billy Reapplicant, MD
     
  13. calipaww

    calipaww Senior Member
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    i agree completely with sham this i am a reapplicant and granted that I had some trouble with amcas last year ... but my gpa is the same as yours. last year i interviewed at two schools and got no acceptances. this year with some seriously good timing and reshaping my application by writing better responses to mysecondaries i have gotten 8 interviews and 1 acceptance so far. I got a 27 on my MCAT , far from great . I also just showed adcoms that i have heart and really focused on my stregnths, no b*ll , just gave them me not who i thought they wanted me to be. i think that is key. yes it is a risk because it is not a sure shot application. however, it is possible.

    When I was re-applying I was also toying around with the possibility of taking the MCATs again..I had already taken them twice, and did the same with a redistribution in my science scores. basically , i was told to really evaluate my test taking. if i really though i could do better i was told to take it again. however for me my problem was my verbal. I knew for a fact that that score was not going to move any higher. so i just took a stab at it..

    i say use your year to continue doing what you love to do.. you will automatically shine at it. dont do reserach cause you think that is what med schools want. i personally have not spent a minute of my pre-med life in bench research. If you want to go to the top schools yes .. they like numbers.. but now i have faith that every school does not think like this.

    Also .. APPPPPLLLLLLLYYYYY EAAAARRRLLLY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Honestly i think this is why my reapplication was successful! I literally had a 0-1 day turn around for my secondaries. you should be a pro at this the second time around. do not slack. timing is everything!!!! send you recs early , during the summer ! they should have everything but your secondary application !!!

    hope this helps !!!
     
  14. HouseHead

    HouseHead Powdered Floor Queen
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    I'm reapplying this year. But I'm in the opposite boat as many of you: I had good stats but everything else was working against me.

    My stats: 3.65 GPA, 3.66 science GPA, 39Q MCAT.

    But I'm non-traditional, took 7 years to complete undergrad, had a number of withdrawals, and had very little experience. Not to mention that I think my essay didn't make the whole picture look much prettier. Oh yeah, I also applied kinda late, after taking the August MCAT and then having my s.o. in a building that was hit by a plane. But I digress...

    I applied to 10 schools (since *everyone* was telling me that my stats were good enough to do that- I didn't even apply to 2 of my 4 in-state schools), interviewed at 3, and got waitlisted for 2. But in the end, didn't get in.

    In my lag year, I started work as a medical assistant (still do that). I also did some hospital volunteering. In this round of apps, I applied earlier- still not very early, had to wait to de-waitlist- improved my essay dramatically, had some great experience under my belt, and then completed the secondaries (to 15 schools) much more quickly. Now, I've had 5 interview offers when last year at this time I had only had 1.

    The short story: take an honest look at where you are weak. *Learn* from your failure. Unless you are an uber candidate, you should always be working to improve your candidacy anyway, until an acceptance is in your hands. Even though it didn't get onto my AMCAS this go-round, I began volunteering as a research assistant at a *very* prestigious lab this fall, partly to be able to tell interviewers about it, partly to be able to "update my file" with a new letter of recommendation later, and partly because I was going nuts without intellectually challenging work.

    Talk to your advisor. If you don't have one- Well, I dunno, I guess you're doing what you can then. If you've graduated, you can probably go back and speak with you undergrad pre-med advisor. That's what I did, but I also already knew where my weaknesses were, and what I had to do to improve them.

    Being a re-applicant can be a good thing. Adcoms know that you've had an opportunity to re-evaluate yourself, and that you should be stronger for it. If you get an interview as a re-applicant, you will get major points for showing that you identified your weaknesses and dealt with them. True, it may take longer to deal with poor stats than with a lack of experience, but deal with it you must.
     
  15. XCanadianRagwee

    XCanadianRagwee Membership Revoked
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    Speaking from experience...as I am a reapplicant this year. First off, unless you absolutely love your part time job, and can get it to be full time...or can find a full time job you love, find a backup. This past year has been what I felt a waste of time. I have a great paying full time job, but if I could have done things differently, here's what I would have done. (Just letting you know the only reason why I didn't do the following is cuz I am trying to gain residency).

    If I do not get in this year. Yes, I am reapplying again. I will mainly concentrate on more clinical experience. I also plan to shadow a few more doctors.

    I also am going to "fast-track" a MS program. Starting this summer and going until next summer I will find a program to pursue for a full year and get my masters. I haven't even looked yet, but will do so once I have a 2 week vacation. Hopefully I can TA a lab or somethign to help pay for schooling.

    Lastly, I hope y'all make it. I do not wish my situation upon anyone trying to make it to med school.

    If you want more specific advice PM me.
     
  16. patient101

    patient101 New Member

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    Hey guys...I would like to thank you for your
    advise and support:)

    Some of you suggested post bac progs..however I though
    those progs were only to finish/take pre-med requirements?
    I was a bio major and have taken numerous scienc classes
    already with Sci gpa abt 3.45.

    Also the MS programmes...if I start in summer/sept...when
    I apply in (june, really early this time)...I still will not have
    anything to put on the application at the time...and I know
    some of you said you did the MS prog. which helped a lot...but
    did you guys finish prog. and apply one year later?

    shamthis and calipaww...Im glad things worked better for you
    this year!!! You guys said you had similar stats as me...so
    neither of you retook mcats or extra classes? and improved
    in clinical exp, research and ECs?
    I am already working full time in ER where I get to work with a lot
    of doctors and lots of pt. contact. Also I was planning
    on takin EMT course in jan and be certified...perhaps do some
    more research. Any other suggestions??

    Anyone else have anymore feedback??? Much appreciated
    I love this forum :clap:
    Thanks everyone
     
  17. Gumshoe

    Gumshoe LARGE Member
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    I find it insane that someone would go to grad school IN ORDER to get into Med school. Spend upwards of 20-40K in 1-2 years just to get into med school? I just wouldn't even think of it. I think you can do many other things to make your app look better. If I'm going to grad school personally, it's for a career in that specialty/related field (like genetics)... and not medicine.

    Anyone feel me?

    Gumshoe
     
  18. calipaww

    calipaww Senior Member
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    right on!! i agree to the above !!!!!!!!
     
  19. DarkChild

    DarkChild Senior Member
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    i agree with the two previous posters who said be wary of doing a masters - its just a waste of money. as i see it, only do a masters if its something that you can say you would otherwise be interested in - i.e. if you didnt get into med school. so say a masters in public health or ...?
    a better idea though would to work somewhere - maybe a hospital or a lab but not even and then just reapply as is. i'm betting that you didnt turn in your apps as early as possible the first time, nor did you apply to enough schools.
    thats what I did this round - sent off my apps a lot earlier and applied to way more schools. it worked out pretty well. (and I was working in a field completely unrelated to medicine - I just said that because I knew I was going to spend the rest of my live doing medicine, I might as well try something I would never get a chance to do again)
    also with your 28 MCAT score. go to the AAMC site for the MCAT and find the reapplicant data. it shows how repeat testers with any given score do on there next MCAT. so it shows you that of folks who got say a 30, 25% of them scored the same, 50% scored higher and 25% scored lower. its really useful because you can just look up your score and go - alright with an 8 on the VR section it makes sense for me to retake the test because 70% of the people who do score the same or higher (thats a real stat btw)
    here's the link:
    http://www.aamc.org/students/mcat/examineedata/tables.htm
    but honestly I think the real point is to apply across the board.
    apply to like 20 schools
    throw in some DO schools
    and apply early. hopefully since your pre-med office has everything already, you'll be able to get your apps out early. which seriously is like 70% of the battle.
    aim to have your apps complete in like september. any later and you're really digging yourself into a hole.
    good luck
     
  20. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27
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    Yes I feel you....(please don't take this the wrong way) like a large, hairy, flacid donkey penis.

    I suggest that everybody who thinks doing a masters (or MPH) is a waste of 20-40K really should read this http://www.studentdoctor.net/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=49027&highlight=post+bacc
     
  21. SolidGold

    SolidGold Florida winters are the best!
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    Doing a masters degree may be a waste of money, but a post-bac is definitely a waste of money. Why? Because there is no degree associated with it. Certainly, a one or two year masters degree may not of be of some use, but at least a degree can be earned. Since it costs money for either type of program, its nice to walk away with at least a degree. But I also believe that choosing between the two programs really depends on your undergrad GPA.

    After getting a Masters in Biomedical Science, my application has become a lot more competitive and it has landed me more interviews already than I had last year, and at some better schools.
     
  22. aquaboy

    aquaboy Surfer, sailor, swimmer!
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    To patient101:

    I am a reapplicant and have had much more success this year. Last year I applied with a 29P and a 3.7 GPA and got no love. I only received one interview invite and was waitlisted. This year I have improved my MCAT (VR mostly) and have had much more success. I have had 5 interview invites and took the MCAT in August of this year (that put me a little behind). I don't know what others are saying but if you have above a 3.5 GPA then you're fine. Improvement can always help as well as an upward trend. You may want to consider retaking the MCAT because I think that PS is the easiest section to improve upon if you study hard. If you don't get in this year it won't kill you and life goes on. Actually, not getting in last year was great because I have moved to FL and found a cancer research position, I have 4 abstracts accepted for presentation and subsequent publication in journals. Life is great and I am making money and gaining a valuable "life experience". Hang in there. The only thing that you might want to improve upon is that 8 in PS. Hope my experience has helped.:D
     
  23. Adcadet

    Adcadet Long way from Gate 27
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    I don't understand why most people are assuming you have to pay for a masters degree. Most of the people in my MPH program are fully supported by research assistantships. Now if you can't get support from your school, and obviously there are some, the cost is a huge issue.
     

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