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MD Reapplication WAMC 3.75/516/ORM Looking for advice!

doctorBsquared

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2+ Year Member
Jun 20, 2018
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    Your ECs seem pretty strong to me. You have leadership, volunteering, clinical experience, all at a high level. I don’t think your app is lacking there.

    To answer your questions:
    1. You can’t really create an X factor in a couple months. I’m not sure you can really “create” it at all. Certain people have life stories that are very powerful and rare, which goes a long way. But not everyone needs that kind of factor. A good narrative (aka framing your app like a plot line) helps a lot. If you can weave a story which shows your motivations for medicine, that would help more than just stating you did XYZ.
    2. Probably not. Like I said, I think your ECs are sufficient for a T20. They probably aren’t what’s stopping you.
    3. It depends. How badly do you want to go to a top school, and why? If you’re 100% set on getting into a place like NYU, then yes, retake it. A 516 won’t get you there as an ORM. Keep in mind retaking is dangerous. Unless you get something like 520+ on your retake, it’ll look bad. But ask yourself if it’s reeeeally worth retaking.
    4. Get in secondaries ASAP. Being late in the cycle is a huge disadvantage unless you have incredible stats or a very compelling reason. Your lateness probably played a huge part. And you mention that you often didn’t get secondaries in until the deadline, so my hunch is they were rushed. Don’t underestimate essays. People on here and Reddit rarely mention how important writing can be. If your essays are crap, that will get you rejected. Make a quality personal statement that tells a story, and prewrite secondaries so you have time to edit them and submit them as soon as possible.

    Where did you apply this cycle?
    Who wrote your letters?
     
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    Faha

    Full Member
    7+ Year Member
    Sep 15, 2012
    14,207
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    1. Attending Physician
      The interview season extends until March so you could still receive interviews. Your school list was top heavy. If you need to reapply I suggest these schools:
      Vermont
      Quinnipiac
      Tufts
      Rochester
      Hofstra
      Einstein
      Seton Hall
      Drexel
      Temple
      Jefferson
      George Washington
      Virginia Commonwealth
      Eastern Virginia
      Wake Forest
      NOVA MD
      USF Morsani
      Miami
      Tulane
      TCU-UNT
      Pittsburgh
      Ohio State
      Cincinnati
      Oakland Beaumont
      Wayne State
      Western Michigan
      Medical College Wisconsin
      Loyola
      St. Louis
      Creighton
       
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      candbgirl

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    • Jul 14, 2005
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        While you seem to have all ECs checked I’m not sure if you really do.
        1. Clinical research may not be the same as clinical experiences. Enrolling “participants” (your word) into a diverse range of emergency trials really looks more research that face to face interaction with the sick injured and dying. Your activity with Health Leads sounds more appropriate for inclusion in nonclinical volunteering.
        2. Your entry for nonclinical volunteering really doesn’t show your altruism to those less fortunate than yourself. You should get off campus and out of your comfort zone and serve the unserved/underserved in your community.
        3. Although you have 90 hours of shadowing you should try to get some hours with a primary care doctor.
        4. Don’t retake the MCAT.
        5. You really did apply top heavy. Did you use the MSAR to develop your list?

        Hopefully you’ll still hear from schools this cycle.
         
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        doctorBsquared

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        Jun 20, 2018
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          The other advice on here is basically saying don’t retake the MCAT, just apply to schools where your MCAT is realistic. I think that’s the best overall advice. I’m only saying that IF you are absolutely set on a top school, you’ll probably have to retake. But I don’t think going to a mid-tier school will prevent you from doing mental health research, so I’d agree with them that a retake is likely unwise.

          Based on your school list and your reply to me (vouching for your writing abilities and rec letters), I think your MCAT and timing are what hurt you this cycle. Your school choices are all very competitive - the sort of places where people with 520 MCATs get regularly rejected from, before interviewing. I personally doubt that your ECs/service were responsible for your cycle, because those schools you mentioned all have a huge academic medicine/research bias. Maybe the other posters know better, but that’s just my 2 cents.
          Good luck, and here’s to hoping that your silence turns into IIs soon
           
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          dustnstars

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          Aug 11, 2020
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            While you seem to have all ECs checked I’m not sure if you really do.
            1. Clinical research may not be the same as clinical experiences. Enrolling “participants” (your word) into a diverse range of emergency trials really looks more research that face to face interaction with the sick injured and dying. Your activity with Health Leads sounds more appropriate for inclusion in nonclinical volunteering.
            2. Your entry for nonclinical volunteering really doesn’t show your altruism to those less fortunate than yourself. You should get off campus and out of your comfort zone and serve the unserved/underserved in your community.
            3. Although you have 90 hours of shadowing you should try to get some hours with a primary care doctor.
            4. Don’t retake the MCAT.
            5. You really did apply top heavy. Did you use the MSAR to develop your list?

            Hopefully you’ll still hear from schools this cycle.
            PLEASE DO NOT QUOTE THIS MESSAGE

            Hi thank you for your response!

            I definitely understand what you mean by clinical research may not be the same as clinical experiences but I was in the emergency department actively enrolling participants into studies while patients were in the emergency room. So I was often interacting with people who had just come in for a traumatic injury, brain hemorrhage, stroke, seizure, Lyme disease, heart failure, etc. It's definitely not pure clinical, but I also wouldn't really count it as research cause I did no data analysis. We were mainly interacting with and enrolling patients and talking to care teams about eligibility etc.

            As for nonclinical volunteering I think you're right that I could def use a boost there. I guess I've been kind of counting my research with incarcerated populations as working with underserved communities and also did volunteer at a homeless shelter that was right next to a prison so we had a lot of recently discharged people. But definitely something to improve!

            I used mainly my research interests to develop my list. If there was a professor I wanted to work with at a school I applied there, which often skewed me to the top. Thank you again for your advice!
             

            dustnstars

            Full Member
            Aug 11, 2020
            119
            195
              The other advice on here is basically saying don’t retake the MCAT, just apply to schools where your MCAT is realistic. I think that’s the best overall advice. I’m only saying that IF you are absolutely set on a top school, you’ll probably have to retake. But I don’t think going to a mid-tier school will prevent you from doing mental health research, so I’d agree with them that a retake is likely unwise.

              Based on your school list and your reply to me (vouching for your writing abilities and rec letters), I think your MCAT and timing are what hurt you this cycle. Your school choices are all very competitive - the sort of places where people with 520 MCATs get regularly rejected from, before interviewing. I personally doubt that your ECs/service were responsible for your cycle, because those schools you mentioned all have a huge academic medicine/research bias. Maybe the other posters know better, but that’s just my 2 cents.
              Good luck, and here’s to hoping that your silence turns into IIs soon
              Thank you!! I definitely agree that the mcat and timing hurting me. I think when I originally went into the cycle I kind of banked on my ECs pulling me through at some schools that are less stats oriented such as UCSF but didn't expect to be delayed this much. I'll wait to see what happens this cycle and reflect more on what to do about my MCAT next cycle! Thank you again!!
               
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