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Medical Received 7 interview invites, but have no acceptances. What might I need to change for reapplication?

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esob

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Hi,

I am preparing for a reapplication for next cycle in case it doesn't work out this year and would like a review of my application. Specifically looking to see if I have any deficits I can improve. I applied MD this cycle to 39 schools and have been extremely fortunate to receive 7 II's. However, I have only been rejected and waitlisted after what I felt were strong interviews and want to prepare for the worst.

I would appreciate if all information regarding my school and state of residence could be removed before posting. Thank you so much in advance!

Background:
  • IL resident
  • Asian female
  • Graduated from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Have a physician parent
Stats: 3.73 sGPA, 3.82 cGPA, 511 MCAT

Clinical experience
  • 100 hours hospital volunteering
  • 200 hours hospice care volunteering (continuing in gap year)
  • 100 hours shadowing (internal med, cardiology, derm, radiology, orthopedics, emergency med)
General Healthcare experience
  • 300 hours paid employment as an administrative assistant in a private medical practice. Worked on billing, etc.
  • 100 hours working with the Chief Medical Officer and staff of a hospital in an administrative role. Became interested in healthcare administration and process improvement from this
  • Have worked 1000+ hours in my gap year so far in the corporate healthcare world (analyst job). Has been an extremely valuable experience and something I thought made my application unique. I plan to stay at the company for the stable job if I have to reapply
Non-clinical volunteering
  • 200 hours Crisis Text Line counselor
  • ~100 hours tutoring economically disadvantaged students grades 1-6. The program offers one-on-one tutoring and I've been working with the same student all year. Just started this in my gap year and sent as an update to schools
  • 50 hours cooking and providing meals for a local domestic violence shelter
Other experience
  • 400 hours as a General Chemistry TA in undergrad
  • 300 hours of research. 100 hours in Psych lab, 200 hours in a Neuroscience. Worked on a clinical project in the Neuroscience lab and presented a poster senior year
  • ~2000 hours intercollegiate athletics. Played club as there was no varsity program for my sport. I was voted All-Big Ten sophomore and junior year (First Team and Second Team). Captain senior year, minor leadership position junior year
  • 400 hours as a restaurant hostess
Other notes/my thoughts
  • No red flags on application
  • Got feedback from the one school that rejected me post II and was told my personal statement was good, interview communication and body language all fine
  • I am thinking about retaking the MCAT in May. I'm worried my average stats might be preventing me from getting the outright acceptance and my score did drop from my practice scores

Thank you again!
Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if you got picked up by a school by the time the cycle is over. Your application is fairly well rounded, though you are correct that your stats are relatively average for MD schools. Unless you feel confident that you can significantly boost your MCAT, I don't think I would chance a retake since a similar or lower score would validate that a 511 is probably your peak. If, however, this was a significant (ie 4+ pts) drop from your practice tests average, then it might be a viable risk.

Otherwise, the only thing that really pops out is that your community service is fairly underwhelming, especially given that the tutoring only started recently. It looks like you tried to check the box instead of possessing a sustained commitment to the community. I imagine that the text crisis line doesn't involve any face-to-face human interaction? Your community service section overall leans toward a picture of someone who is not all that interested in being physically present with underserved populations. Removing the recent tutoring and the text line leaves you with only 50 hrs of face-to-face time with the less fortunate. Coupled with your background of having a physician parent, you can imagine how this might appear to an adcom.

Again, I wouldn't be surprised if you still got in this cycle, but if I had to give my best advice for a second cycle, I would highly recommend beefing up the community service (and adding in some family med shadowing). You've technically checked all of the boxes but none of them particularly jump off the page and you really want the adcom to know you have a passion for helping people.

Best of luck with this cycle!
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Don’t retake the MCAT. That’s a very good score and is not your problem. What is your school list? Could it be too top heavy? The fact that you have 7 interviews means that your app is fine, and I don’t really see anything in it that is a glaring negative. You could always have more clinical experience , and while you did just start the tutoring gig, you also have 200 hours as a crisis line volunteer. Keep the tutoring thing going because that area is the only real “weak” area.

How many of the 7 interviews have you gotten responses from?
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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School list was not top heavy. 39 apps to low/mid tier MDs. All of my interviews have been in line with my stats. I am still waiting to hear from 2 schools but I feel like there’s something preventing me from an outright acceptance.

You had 7 interviews and have gotten waitlisted or rejected from 5 of them?
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Rejected from 1, waitlisted at 4 (one is slightly better than a waitlist since they take people off throughout the year). Waiting to hear from 2

The fact that you have that many waitlists means you’re probably going to get into one of those schools. But the fact that you have 4 WLs and a rejection says to me that your interview skills might not be as good as you think. It could be that your non-clinical volunteering is holding you back, but I tend to doubt it unless you interviewed at mission schools with a heavy emphasis on community service like Rush. I know you said you got feedback that your interview was good, but that’s just one school and honestly you can’t always trust what they say unfortunately.
My physician parent went to a T20 school and has no connections to any of the schools I applied to unfortunately
That’s actually not really a bad thing imo because at least you know it wasn’t a courtesy interview.
 

Goro

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Despite what you were told, seven II and 0 accepts screams poor interview skills to me. People are also very poor judges of their won interviews.

39 schools? I'll wager a fair number of them were donations. But 7 IIs shows that you were a very good candidate on paper.

IF you have to reapply, work on interview skills, and make sure to have DO schools on the list. I can't recommend an MCAT retake. Your score is fine.

But be patient; most schools are being more conservative now with the lack of the Multiple Acceptance Report.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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I have interviewed at 2 service heavy mission schools. Got rejected from 1 which makes sense but haven’t heard from the other yet. I know I might not be the greatest interviewer but I have had overwhelmingly positive experiences with all of my traditional interviews. Really connected with the interviewer, thought I spoke passionately and enthusiastically about the school. Got a lot of “really hope you choose to come here, etc”-like feedback. But I will definitely stay hopeful with the waitlists. Thank you for all of your feedback!

People are not great judges of their interview skills, as the black cat said. And you really have to take what schools and interviewers say with a grain of salt. First, even if an interviewer really loves you, they are just one part of the puzzle. But second, most people dislike confrontation and will say whatever to avoid it. I have friends who were told similar things only to be rejected despite having excellent applications.

Unfortunately it probably is your interview skills with some of them and the two service oriented schools were not great uses of app money since you don’t have a service-focused app. But you have a bunch of waitlists and plenty of time. The chances are still good that you’ll get in.
 

Mr.Smile12

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People are not great judges of their interview skills, as the black cat said. And you really have to take what schools and interviewers say with a grain of salt. First, even if an interviewer really loves you, they are just one part of the puzzle. But second, most people dislike confrontation and will say whatever to avoid it. I have friends who were told similar things only to be rejected despite having excellent applications.

Unfortunately it probably is your interview skills with some of them and the two service oriented schools were not great uses of app money since you don’t have a service-focused app. But you have a bunch of waitlists and plenty of time. The chances are still good that you’ll get in.
Just adding, your interview is part of the whole application upon final deliberation. You can't predict how your file will be scored or received in final committee, and there can be a fine line between accept and waitlist.

Sent from my SM-N960U using SDN mobile
 
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