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Sep 28, 2009
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Hi everyone. I would love some advice on whether I should apply this cycle (application is ready to go, but not submitted), or if I should take the MCAT for the third time next year and get some research experience as well.

The first time I took my MCAT in 2018, I was working three jobs while finishing up my undergrad. I also got into a car accident the night before the test, but still took it (not the best decision but it happened in the evening and AAMC call centers were closed). I got a 505 (125,126,126,128). I know I should have devoted more time to it, but I didn't have anyone to depend on at the time and I needed to work to live.

I worked for a year, as a scribe and medical assistant before getting a job at a non-profit that does international humanitarian work (health, education, economic dev. and recovery, etc). I retook the MCAT in 2019 and got another 505 (126/128/124/127). I was devastated and decided to explore another topic I was interested in - public health. I am currently getting my MPH at Columbia, but would like to still pursue an MD or DO and possibly fuse these two paths. I would prefer to attend a school in the Northeast, but otherwise I realize my MCAT score is not competitive at all. I would appreciate your feedback on the most effective route I can take here.

Undergrad: Small private liberal arts college in northeast
Grad: School of Public Health (MPH - current)
Major: International Studies, minor: Anthropology
GPA: 3.84 (Science 3.8)
MCAT: 2018 - 505 (125,126,126,128) / 2019 - 505 (126/128/124/127)
Clinical Hours: 1000+ Worked as Scribe and Medical Assistant for Primary Care office for around a year.
Work Experience: 4 years during college as language teacher, 1 year post-grad in healthcare, 1.5 years post-grad at large international humanitarian NGO
Research: Hoping to get some done at university, but none yet. Worked three jobs in college and could not afford to be an unpaid RA.
Volunteering: Worked and helped establish free health clinic, work for humanitarian organization but also volunteer with them
Leadership/Extracurricular: Many clubs with leadership positions in a couple, few honor societies, etc.

Additional Info:
White Female, 24
Exceptional recommendation from my undergraduate med school admission committee (5/5)
Strong personal statement regarding trauma, addition and prejudice (not my own addiction, careful and tasteful)
Disadvantaged background and financially challenged
I am very confident in my interview and interpersonal skills :)
I think you have a slim chance at MD, a reasonable chance at DO. I would study hard and retake the MCAT if you think it's possible for you to do better. That being said, if you've taken it twice, there's a good chance you've hit your cap of what you can do unless there was some reason your studying didn't go well. I think it's reasonable for you to apply to MD and DO this cycle, but your application would definitely be stronger (the research issue . . . though there are some schools that aren't too picky about that) if you had some research and a better MCAT.


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Mar 12, 2013
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Chances at DO are decent. I’m not sure I would retake the MCAT unless you are absolutely dead set on MD and can really nail down why you are scoring low. I also would like to see multiple practice exams with you scoring 510+.

If I were in your shoes, I would apply to mostly DO schools and throw in a few MD to In-state schools (which will most likely just be throwing money down the drain).
Jun 11, 2010
Somewhere west of St. Louis
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I can't recommend a retake. You have hit your plateau.

I suggest:
Seton Hall
Temple (maybe)
SLU (maybe)
WVU if from the Appalachians
Oakland U Beaumont
Wayne State
Loma Linda (only if you are SDA or a very devout Christian)
Rosy Franklin
Uniformed Services University/Hebert (just be aware of the military service commitment)
Your state school(s).
Any DO school. I can't recommend Nova, Wm Carey, BCOM, ICOM and LUCOM, for different reasons. MSUCOM? Read up on Larry Nasser and you decide. LMU has an accreditation warning, which concerns me. CUHS is too new and appears to be too limited in rotations sites. UIW refuses to post their Boards scores, which is fishy.
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