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Revamping app to reapply -- advice needed!

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by tport, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. tport

    2+ Year Member

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    *** A BIT LONG, BUT PLEASE TAKE THE TIME TO READ AND HELP!*** I didn't really want to post for fear of jinxing myself out of any possible interviews that may be lurking in the mail for me this month, but I need to be realisitc as well... I may not get any interviews and may need to reapply. So I'm posting for some advice on revamping my app for next cycle. Here is my story in a nutshell:

    -Graduated college with Sociology major (after switching from Bio and doing AWFUL my freshman year b/c of getting involved with wrong crowd and not studying). Decided not to do the med school route just yet, and explore other options.
    -Went into working in mental health for 2 years
    - got a Masters in Literatutre and creative writing (strictly as a hobby and something to do for fun -- not as a career path)
    - went in to teaching special ed for the past 7 years (teaching high school kids with severe behavioral problems) I teach science -- got a teaching credential because I had to
    - finally decided 3 years ago to get back on track with med school (as I had originally planned before college). Did post-bac and finally applied this year -- may not get any interviews.

    Here are my stats:
    I have A LOT of different GPAs b/c of all the different schooling I went to Here are my AMCAS GPAs:

    Post Bac BCPM: 3.67
    Undgergrad BCPM: 3.11
    Graduate BCPM: none

    Post Bac Overall: 3.69
    Undergrad Overall: 3.23
    Graduate Overall: 3.8

    I'm taking Microbiology this upcoming semester to boost up my GPA a bit more (I got all A's in my post-bac classes except O-chem because I had sudden health problems and surgery in the middle of o-chem -- this dropped my GPA b/c I got a B and a C.)

    E/C's -- I have all sorts of good things on my app -- lots of volunteering, 1 1/2 semsters of research (recent), 1 1/2 years of hospital volunteering (recent), triathlete, creative writer, involved in my church, etc. I think this section is really good.

    I have really good letters of rec.

    My MCAT is another story -- took it twice -- got a 26Q, then a 28S. For any of you with wives/children/families, on a personal note, I had two miscarriages within a year (this is the healht problem I'm referring to above) -- the second one was right before my MCAT and I had surgery 10 days before the test.... retook it a month later and my score went up, but it was TOUGH times for me emotionally and physically. I'm SUPER proud of my 28, but schools don't really care. They want a good number. I studied like crazy, but obviously my mind and heart were elsewhere.

    So that's my brief (sorry, not really) story in a nutshell -- here are my questions:

    1) Should I retake MCAT again??? I live in an area with 6 med schools around me (one DO). I DO NOT want to move away from here for med school b/c it would be just so hard for me and my family. I am 4 1/2 months pregnant again and we have both sets of parents foaming at the mouth to watch the baby when it's born. I just want to stay here... I know I can bring up my score, but is it worth the risk? (By the way, I know I could/should apply to more schools, but my mind's pretty made up... it just doesn't make sense, sorry)

    2) With my background, what direction should I take with my personal statement -- I didn't really dwell too much on my teaching experience for too long in this year's and I'm thinking of really playing that up... also should I talk about my losses and how they've impacted me (a GREAT deal) in the past year, and how they affected my scores? My advisor thinks it's a bit personal, but it's life, and it happened, and I can't deny it. What do you think?

    3) I work full time and volunteer monthly right now at a food bank, and will be taking one class next semester... I'm pregnant and have to be careful, so I can't overdo it... is there anything else I should/could do between now and July to get my e/c's looking better? My AMCAS E/C section is pretty good, in my opinion,

    Anyway, thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to read this and help out in any way you can.... Thanks!
     
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  3. punkiedad

    punkiedad punkie's dad
    2+ Year Member

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    It sounds like you are on the right track. I don't know where your app is weak, though maybe some of the allopathic schools might want some better MCAT numbers.

    Are you committed to going the DO route? With your experience and credentials, you sound like a great candidate. When were you complete? did you send in your secondaries? Did you follow up with any of the schools?

    You are obviously committed to your geography so you know what schools you can apply to and still stay at home.

    I
     
  4. Crelal

    Crelal So close, yet so far away...
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    I heard a rumor that CA is a tough place to be from in the application process... maybe someone else can comment on that piece of the app...

    The other area that may need work is your personal statement- you have a great essay score, but sometimes those of us who write well about other topics have a hard time writing about ourselves. (I got an R!)

    I am a reapplicant who used one of the editing services, and went from one interview to seven, with one interview to go and six acceptances to date. The only differences in the application were two additional upper-level science courses and the essay.

    It may also be worth it to call each school to which you have applied and get feedback from someone in admissions. You may have to wait until April or May to do so, but that still gives you a few months to jump through the hoops, err... I mean, work on strengthening your application.

    Best of luck! :luck:
     
  5. tport

    2+ Year Member

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    Thank you for the replies!
    punkiedad -- Because I took August MCAT, I was complete at most of my schools since Sept., but some later... so I guess at some I was later in the game. I was rejected pre-secondary by one, post-secondary by another, one I am on pre-interview hold at, one just never gave me a secondary, and the other two are the ones that I am still holding my breath for. The D.O. school threw me for a loop when it asked me for a letter of rec from an M.D/D.O. I worked with. I didn't know I'd have to get a letter from one, so I had to track down the psychiatrist I used to work with and try to get one from him... since it was right before Thanksgiving and Christmas, he still hasn't sent it in! Ahhh! But I called the school today and they said it is still fine, and they interview all the way until April, so I may still have a shot. I don't really know.

    I am not opposed to D.O. at all, and in fact, the location of the D.O. school that I really like is actually a great fit for where we live. Hopefully they'll show me some love!

    Crelal -- you're right about the personal statement... it was hard to write and get across who I really am. I think it needs some revamping. What editing service did you use? That is a good idea. It's also a great idea to call the schools once the season starts coming closer to an end... I totally forgot about that. I guess I'm just a little embarassed and scared to hear what they really think! But I'll have to suck it up!
    You're right that CA schools are tough -- most are ranked in the top 50, so it's tough. But a few are middle ranked, and there are D.O. schools, too, so that is good.

    Thanks guys!
     
  6. pianoman511

    pianoman511 Member
    Physician 10+ Year Member

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    Just remember, if you go with the DO route, your GPA will be calculated differently which may be to your advantage. This will be especially important with your MCAT.
     
  7. fahimaz7

    10+ Year Member

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    I think you'll get in sooner or later. Keep trucking and make sure you express who you are in your personal statement. You have a very unique application and I would highlight how you would add diversity to the student body as well as what you might be interested in down the road.

    GL!

    I'm curious, what was the breakdown on your MCAT score?
     
  8. tport

    2+ Year Member

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    Thanks guys!
    fahimaz7 -- my MCAT breakdown was: PS-9, BS-9, VR-10. I was scoring much better in verbal on my practice exams, but bad timing and nerves got a hold of me both times and I only got a 10. The other two sections were pretty much right on with my practice exams -- I just got caught on some questions.

    Would you guys retake the MCAT one more time if you were me (third time)? I'm sure I could do better now that I can focus better, but I don't know if it's worth the risk. I just think that most of the UC schools won't even look at me with a 28. Is it worth it?
     

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