• Livestream AMA: Join SDN as we welcome Dr. John Ligon, a Pediatric Oncologist with the National Cancer Institute on May 11th at 8:00 PM Eastern. Register now!
Apr 7, 2021
Status (Visible)
  1. Pre-Medical
Hey, first time posting on here, but have been lurking for quite a while. I just want some feedback on my school list and overall application. I want to preface this by saying that I am an Indiana resident, which makes IUSM my in-state school. This seems to be probably the best in-state school to have in terms of being relatively easy to get into. They place a super strong emphasis on taking in-state applicants, and the acceptance rate for in-state applicants appears to be ~50%. This combined with me wanting to not spend a crazy amount of money applying makes me think that it's okay for me to just apply to like ~12 schools if I pick them well, but open to feedback on that. (I hope its okay that I stole this template from someone else lol)
  • State/Country of Residence: Indiana
  • Ties to other States/Regions: Did my undergrad out of state in WI, still considered in-state only in IN. Adding Wisconsin and MCW due to this connection though
  • URM?: No (White male)
  • Year in School: Junior
  • Undergraduate Major(s)/Minor(s): Biochemistry major, Computer Science Minor
  • Graduate Degrees (if applicable): none
  • Cumulative GPA: 3.83
  • Science GPA: 3.86
  • MCAT Score(s): 519 (128,129,131,131)
  • Research Experience: ~1,500 hours over three years, all with the same lab.
  • Publications/Abstracts/Posters (include how you were credited e.g. First author, second author, etc.): Publication in progress, don't think it'll be ready to include on my app )-: I did a poster for my bio class that they said was official, and we could list on applications, but that seems pretty weak to me
  • Clinical Experience (paid or volunteer): >2,000 hours of paid work as a medication tech for patients with severe Alzheimers/dementia (includes monitoring vitals, giving injections, and providing emergency care in the event of a fall/other issues)
  • Physician Shadowing: 120 hrs (60 neurology, 40 orthopedic surgery, 20 family medicine) (I got all of these within like a two-month window though)
  • Non-Clinical Volunteering: (weakest part of my app, IMO) ~200 hours working at a local food bank (a lot of projected hours here). ~300 hours doing a few mentorship programs at my school. One was a TA position, and one is just a general mentorship
  • Other Extracurricular Activities: Barbell club member, TA for biochemistry (4 semesters), One-on-one mentor for some incoming freshman (through a mentoring club), member of a premedical society
  • Hobbies: member of the barbell (fitness/lifting) club at my school. Also, love camping and playing frisbee/spike ball
  • Other Employment History: I had a summer internship working in production at a major biotech company, building some cutting-edge medical devices. Plan to talk a little bit about how I was initially interested in engineering/biotech, but didn't like the work I was doing here, and then fell in love with my clinical job.
  • Immediate family members in medicine? (Y/N): Y (only way I got shadowing during COVID lol)
  • Specialty of Interest (if applicable): potentially neuro (fits well with my shadowing/work experience) Nothing set in stone yet
  • Interest in Primary Care (Y/N): unsure
  • Interest in Rural Health (Y/N): N
  • Medical School List: Focusing on Indiana/Wisconsin/Midwest connection

WashU/Mayo Clinic/UChicago (These are the reach schools in my general area that I'm most interested in applying to)

Harvard/JHU/NYU (Probably not applying here, but would be open to trading these in for other reaches if people think that's a good idea)

High Target:

Vanderbilt (I like this school a lot, and really like the area)




Indiana University

University of Wisconsin

Medical College of Wisconsin

Saint Louis Univeristy

University of Virginia (just kinda throwing up high yield OOS stuff at this point)

University of Pittsburgh

Virginia tech

Ohio State


I'm probably gonna pick 3 of the reaches, 2 of the high targets, and all of the targets. Just trying to decide which reach schools are most worthwhile, and get feedback on my target schools that I don't have connections to (everything after SLU). The last few were just sort of random OOS-friendly spots below my stats. Planning to only apply to 12 schools since I have such a solid in-state option, and am looking to keep it reasonably cheap. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!
Last edited:


SDN Gold Donor
7+ Year Member
Mar 1, 2013
Status (Visible)
  1. Non-Student
I think your analysis is right on target and agree with your Midwest focus.
If you want to drop some schools, I'd agree that Harvard, JHU and NYU are the least likely. Everything else makes perfect sense --

Add Ohio State maybe?


7+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2012
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
Remove Virginia Tech since they have a small class with a regional bias. You could add Western Michigan.
About the Ads


5+ Year Member
May 28, 2014
Status (Visible)
  1. Medical Student
For starters, your app is top tier, nothing is weak there. I think if you're only going to apply to 12 schools, your list is pretty optimized. Though to be honest, I would apply to at least 15 schools.

Definitely keep all the reaches and high targets. Add Case Western.

Probably remove VTech.
Feb 23, 2021
Remove Virginia Tech since they have a small class with a regional bias.
VT has a 1.6% IS acceptance rate and 1.0% OOS acceptance rate with 75% of last year's class being OOS. This is a modest bias if you ask me. They do have a small class, but I would still apply. Just my 2 cents.
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user
About the Ads

Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
  7. This thread is locked.