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So I haven't gotten into medical school with a 38 MCAT, need advice please.

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by neopentanol, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. neopentanol

    neopentanol Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Sad story. I have a 3.4 GPA and a 38 on the MCAT, and last year I matched to TCOM in Texas as part of the Texas match program. I decided I didn't want to go to a DO school since residency's are harder to match to, and with my 38 (14,13,11,O), that the only reason I matched there is I was disadvantaged by the fact that my MCAT score came out October 14th, the last day to submit the application. So, I declined, deciding to reapply next (this) year earlier in the cycle to gain acceptance to a better, namely MD, school.

    So here I am this year, with no acceptances, and two dean's of admission telling me I was basically blacklisted for being accepted to TCOM and declining, and that it would be difficult for me to ever gain acceptance after committing such a heinous crime. They said it made me look like I care more about the degree than medicine, somehow making me unfit to be a doctor because I didn't want a DO degree.

    I am tremendously bothered by not being in med school and on my way to becoming a doctor, which is a great deal important to me as I'm sure it is to many of you. I am left with a few options. In a rush to get into med school this year, either I can to apply to a carribean school, or TUCOM in Las Vegas where deadlines haven't passed and I still have time to gain acceptance. Can anyone give me any perspective or advice?
     
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  3. Janny

    Janny 2+ Year Member

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    I am sorry to hear your story. Where did you apply this year? It seems to me that you should be able to get into a US MD school w/ your stats. Maybe you could try applying next year and mention your reasons for not taking a DO acceptance in your PS.
     
  4. Green Pirate

    Green Pirate Neurotic Neuro Enthusiast 5+ Year Member

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    yeah I agree. perhaps you were aiming too high in your selection of schools? You should basically explain that you are not a fan of the DO philosophy, and do not want to pursue that path.
     
  5. SupergreenMnM

    SupergreenMnM Peanut, not chocolate 2+ Year Member

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    Yeah, I agree too. That GPA kills you for all the top schools but if you apply to some lower/mid level allo schools you should have a good chance. Turning down a DO slot doesn't mean you aren't committed to medicine, you just might not agree with the DO philosophy of medicine.
     
  6. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I think it's fair to say that we do not know nearly enough about OPs credentials to make such a statement. Nonnumerical factors also play a huge role in admissions. Applying late is certainly one possible reason OP didn't get much interest in a prior year but not necessarilly the only possibility; there are at least a half dozen other things that could have made schools head for the hills. The fact that the dude applied DO with his 38 in the first place (and apparently no real interest in the DO philosophy etc) suggests to me some concern about weakness in his app.
     
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  7. Darkshooter326

    Darkshooter326 Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    I agree also.... with the deans of the med schools.

    That is why, regardless of the situation you should only apply to schools that you would actually attend....wait for it.... if you didn't get in anywhere else.

    I understand you were a bit handcuffed with your MCAT score release, but if the rest of your file was complete at schools, the october release date shouldn't have hurt you that much.

    Regardless, that is in the past. You need to do something to show how much you actually want to be a doctor, if you really want the MD. I am sorry this happened to you though.

    :luck:
     
    drumstix likes this.
  8. frikarika

    frikarika RADIOHEAD 5+ Year Member

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    Planet Telex
    How about your EC's, leadership, volunteer and hospital experience, ect?
     
  9. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Being "in a rush" rarely gets you to your goals. In fact, it is probably where you went wrong in the first place, firing out applications late in a cycle rather than waiting on the next one. This is not a race and if it takes another year to set up the subsequent 40 ideally, you probably should spend that extra year.
     
  10. mintendo

    mintendo 5+ Year Member

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    I don't understand how schools can find out if you've ever declined acceptances in the past. I know there is that little box you can check on the AMCAS app but is that all there is to it?
     
  11. Carl Weathers

    Carl Weathers I voted for Arnold 7+ Year Member

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    What would happen if someone got into a DO school, then applied to MD schools without giving up the DO acceptance, thereby not giving up their "big chance?"
     
  12. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    The AMCAS box plus many secondaries ask about prior applications. Plus the OP went through the Texas match which also has elements of shared application info.
     
  13. neopentanol

    neopentanol Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Thanks all for your responses

    I have a substantial amount of both health related and non health related volunteer work and extracurriculars, I don't believe the problem lies there. However, I haven't done any research. As for applying to the DO school, on the Texas application service it is typical to apply to all Texas schools with that application, and to find out more about it before and during interviews. I completely understood and agreed with the DO philosophy while applying, but after my interview I did some research by asking people in the medical field and reading these boards that scared me a bit from seeking the DO degree, primarily in regards to matching to more competitive residencies, some of which I plan to go for. This new information made me change my mind, deciding that there are too many negatives with that degree, and I wondered why I should limit my residency options if I didn't have to, and that maybe with my MCAT score I should go for an MD.

    With the majority of DO graduates attending primary care specialities, if you're telling me that I care more about the degree than medicine, then you are disregarding the possibility that I am seeking a path other than primary care, in which case a DO degree may not be appropriate for me.

    I feel like I fell in an unlikely trap that leaves me as the guy walking around with a 38 MCAT and no acceptances.

    One point I may make is this, I didn't apply totally early this year. My texas application was completed in september, but one of my letter writers took their time and submitted the letter october 13th, again a couple days before the deadline. My primaries for nationals were sent in November. Could my timing be the major issue, and if so, why won't the Dean's of admission at UT San Antonio and UT Houston acknowledge that late submission is the problem, rather than the ugliness of declining my acceptance to TCOM.

    Great huge thanks to all who are taking the time to consider my issue!
     
  14. gujuDoc

    gujuDoc 10+ Year Member

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    My advice to you would be to alk to adcom directors at schools you got rejected at and find out what stood out as a weakness that could have led to your lack of getting in anywhere and go from there to improve upon it. Maybe even consider doing a SMP program or something like that if you think it will improve your chances.
     
  15. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    This argument would carry much more weight if you weren't currently weighing caribbean options because of a "rush" to start. This is not a better launch pad for competitive specialties.
     
    drumstix and Sterno like this.
  16. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    There are a few every year, for a variety of reasons. Numbers are just part of the application process. I still think there might be other weaknesses to your application besides the easy out (blacklist) schools are telling you, and your late applicant plight, though. It's not really adding up for me unless perhaps your PS, LORs, etc also made them question your application.
     
  17. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    There is more to selecting candidates for medicine than stats. Your 38 is awesome, truely, but medicine is a proffession, and therefore anything that makes it look like you might act unproffessionally in the future is going to be a glaring red flag to adcomms. Applying to a school that you had no intention of going to is quite unproffessional. Even if you originally thought you would like to go and then found out more about DO later and changed your mind, that shows lack of preparation. You are applying to join a proffession where you will be responsible for peoples lives, so any sign of irresponsibility should be taken very seriously. Then in addition to this red flag, you applied late. You stated that it was because you didn't get your letters in time which once again is a sign that your not preparing for the admissions process well.

    Apply again EARLY, specifically address what happend with your DO school acceptance in your PS, and don't just say that you realized that you didn't want to do IM, blather about personal growth a bit. But honestly, you might have shot yourself in the foot by turning that DO school down.
     
  18. ChessMess

    ChessMess 2+ Year Member

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    Personal statement can make or break.
     
  19. NervousNed

    NervousNed 2+ Year Member

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    hold on a second, generally psipina is an anti stat person, all her posts are in regards to how a 38 on the MCAT doesnt show how well a doctor your going to be, well it does mean something, that is a very impressive score, and you should be proud, and if everything else in your application was fine, then simply because you said no to a DO school does not warrant black listing. If you do not get accepted this year, maybe you applied to late, apply next year, and out of state. Apply to private schools, you will get into an MD program from there. Everyone has a reason to turn down schools, and how is turning down a DO school shooting yourself in the foot? Medicine is competitive, the schools should know that. He applied broadly, he felt if he couldnt get in any MD school he still wants to do medicine, and so he applied to DO as well. Next year just apply to more schools, outside the texas system, they cant black list you from all the schools. Dont let psipina put you down, apply next year, you didnt do anything incredibly wrong. Because the texas match system you may have got yourself in trouble but next year you will be a very strong applicant, and i wouldnt write about it in my PS like suggested before. Apply out of state, get out of the texas system, you'll find yourself an acceptance.
     
  20. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    My one thought is that Texas schools probably really dislike it if you decline a match offer to reapply just because the whole match system has this delicate balance. If you weren't applying through TMDAS again, you might have had more success. My advice would be to continue to improve your application and apply super early next year -- also, apply broadly outside of Texas because I think you might have burned your bridges there. And, your explanation for turning down TCOM isn't going to win you any points, so you need to find a better way to spin that.
     
  21. KJunior

    KJunior

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    I might have missed something since I didnt read all the replies, but did you apply anywhere other than Texas? If you haven't getting away from the TCOM system might help.
     
  22. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    Dude, I said that the 38 was truely awesome, meaning a great indicator of academic prowess. It does indicate some great potential, but not everything necessary to be a great doctor is measured by standardized tests. I'm not the one who rejected the OP, I was just trying to explain the logic of adcomms blacklisting people who turned down an acceptance previously. The OP did something that was unproffessional (and yes applying to a school you have no intention of going to is unproffessional), and in the world of medicine "unproffessional" = "the plague". This had to be explained in order for the OP to get my advice about writing about what he's learned in his PS next time. The reality is that the OP might have shot himself in the foot, I don't make reality, if I did the the world would be a whole lot different, trust. Even our resident adcomm member (Lizzy) has repeatedly talked about how stats aren't everything, so I'm not pulling this theory out of thin air or anything. I'm not trying to put the OP down, simply telling it like it is and giving the best advice I can think of considering his reality. Despite what many here on the preallo board seem to think, reality isn't always happy sunshine and butterflies and sometimes you're just screwed. In the OP's case being screwed is a distinct possiblity, however there are a few things he can try differently when he gives it another go.
     
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  23. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search 5+ Year Member

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    Right behind you
    I like you and your posts, but if you wrote in paragraphs (preferably short) I would actually read what you have to say more often. Just a pointer. :love:
     
  24. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    lol, last time I checked 10 sentences = paragraph . . . but I'll try to dice them up a bit more just for you :love:
     
  25. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search 5+ Year Member

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    Right behind you
    I never heard of paragraphs having a sentence limit....and it's not just me, someone mentioned it on another thread before. Please do not be condescending, as I know how to read since I was 4.
     
  26. beaverfetus

    beaverfetus poo-tee-weet? 5+ Year Member

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    your stats are good enough to get into an MD program... easily. Unless you are not disclosing somethign about your application e.g. criminal conviction? There is NO reason not to reapply. Do not settle for Caribbean etc.

    DO and MDs have markedly different philosophies, make it clear why you want an MD.

    edit:

    and make sure you do the two common sense things that everyone can tell you: apply early, apply widely
     
  27. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    Sooo not trying to be condescending, sorry if it came off that way. I was taught that a paragraph was 7 sentences + a few in a few writing courses. I just thought it was odd to make a "break it up into paragraphs" comment on a 10 sentence paragraph. I was serious that I would try to break them up more if they are that hard on they eyes.
     
  28. albaniandoc

    albaniandoc 7+ Year Member

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    This might be another issue altogether. My bit of advice is that it doesn't matter if you are planning on becoming a brain surgeon, you tell the admission comittee that you are going into primary care as a family physician to alleviate the shortage of primary caregivers. I know this might sound like a lie, but that's exactly what they are wanting to hear. If you tell them that you have no interest in primary care, they might be turned off by that answer.
     
  29. Tired Pigeon

    Tired Pigeon 7+ Year Member

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    She's absolutely right on this. I have seen people get away with being labeled as arrogant, gunnerish, weak-minded, unfocused, unintelligent, and on and on, and they've still done ok getting through med school. The one single word you don't ever, ever, ever want associated with your name is "unprofessional". Once you've picked up that label, it's like trying to shake the label of child molester -- people just never forget it.

    OP, you probably need to go outside of TX. Sounds like the admissions system there is a small world & if you've got the unprofessional label it's going to be close to impossible to remove the stain in their eyes.
     
  30. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    I think maybe another part of the "unproffessional plague" that is hard to understand pre-medschool is that the weirdest stuff can be labeled as unproffessional, stuff that you would previously think of as pretty minor. At my school we can have our grades knocked down for unproffessional behavior like being late to class/dissection/small group. I remember there was a post on SDN a while ago about a school declaring that not pushing in chairs after yourself after a meeting was unproffessional and they were threatening disciplinary action about it.
     
  31. Tired Pigeon

    Tired Pigeon 7+ Year Member

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    I've noticed this at my school too. It's the sword the administration holds over your neck for four years.
     
  32. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search 5+ Year Member

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    Right behind you
    I am surprised at the lack of courtesy that seems to be the rule with the majority of students. I notice people don't usually do things such as push chairs back when they leave the table, and I find it weird because I always thought it was the proper thing to do.

    Same with not letting doors slam behind you, or being mindful of people in hallways (like when people are blocking a hallway and then they give you an annoyed look when you give them an "excuse me"....um...you're blocking the way).

    I am kind of glad schools are doing this, if just because it should be common sense.
     
  33. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    I agree that manners are definitely important, however most students don't enter medschool with the expectation of disciplinary action for failing to push in a chair. This is the sort of thing that might be forgotten after a massive pretest study session when we are all a little less than coherent, and though less than optimal behavior, certainly shouldn't effect your future as a physician. For the most part I agree with the definitions of unproffessional behavior but even this seems like a stretch to me.

    I'm also a little offput by your claim that the majority of medstudents are, by rule, discourteous. This has not been my experience in medschool at all.
     
  34. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search 5+ Year Member

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    Right behind you
    I'm not in medical school. I was referring to undergrad students in general.
     
  35. psipsina

    psipsina Senior Member 5+ Year Member

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    Sorry, for some reason I thought you were in medschool. Way to much biochem in a day does a girls brain wrong.
     
  36. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

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    Gone Walkabout!
    First of all, going offshore should be a last resort. It's expensive with no guarantees on the other end. If offshore is the only option (and I don't believe that it is at this point) then take it but save for last resort.

    Second, if you are reapplying, do not use your personal statement to explain or mention anything about having an acceptance at an osteopathic medical school but turning it down. Unless you fill out an application that specifically asks for your previous application info, don't volunteer this information.

    Third, apply early and apply broadly to allopathic medical schools. You have already stated that you are not interested in osteopathic medicine so apply to a very large number of schools. Make sure that nothing negative is in your application (LORs, plenty of good extracurriculars and good positive personal statement).

    Finally, do realize that while your MCAT score is above average, your GPA is below average thus you need to apply broadly. An above MCAT does not make up for a lower GPA. You can raise your GPA by taking some post bacc courses and getting As in them if you want to take the time to do this. Otherwise, apply broadly and apply early. I suspect that your low GPA coupled with your late application was a huge problem for you.

    If you have made up your mind that osteopathic medicine is not for you, then do whatever you have to do to make yourself as competitive as possible for allopathic schools.
     
  37. AnEyeLikeMars

    AnEyeLikeMars Member 7+ Year Member

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    I have exactly no knowledge of the Texas match program....but, since it is a match, does that mean it's non-rolling? (I don't see how you could have a rolling match)

    In that case, maybe there's another reason why you didn't get into an allopathic school.
     
  38. AnEyeLikeMars

    AnEyeLikeMars Member 7+ Year Member

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    How could you apply late 2 years in a row? You should have learned your lesson. After having been through a cycle already, you should have had everything ready to go.
     
  39. Orthodoc40

    Orthodoc40 7+ Year Member

    This is such a premed, pre-allo myth. :rolleyes:
    MDs and DOs pretty much treat hypertension, diabetes, etc.. the same way.
    MDs and DOs pretty much perform the same ACL repair on the football player's blown out knee.
    Take a look at match lists from some of the DO schools this year and last - you'll see them in every type of specialty there is.
    Instead of perpetuating 'things you've heard' about DO philosophy and training, find out for yourself.
    This would be a good idea for people (like the OP) who actually apply to DO schools, too, you would think.
    This is why the motivation comes into question when someone turns down an acceptance - 'do they want to be a physician, or do they want the letters?'
     
  40. Green Pirate

    Green Pirate Neurotic Neuro Enthusiast 5+ Year Member

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    good god this has been my absolute BIGGEST pet peeve since I started college. I think I'm the only one on this floor who is meticulous enough to spend 2 seconds making sure the door closes gently instead of advertising my departure or arrival to the whole building via a loud BANG. And it's always the people who come home late at night that slam their doors. I like to go to bed relatively early (~midnight), so this can be greatly disturbing. On the other hand, I wake up way before everyone else in the morning, and I could easily slam my door as loud as I want and wake up everyone as I head off to breakfast. But I choose not to be a complete asswipe.
     
  41. foofish

    foofish 7+ Year Member

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    Exactly....and I personally find it a little strange that on one hand you turned down a spot at a DO school but on the other hand you'd now rather go to a Caribbean school just to go somewhere...especially if your original concerns were over the "ease" of matching (since I'd say it's easier to get an MD residency with a US DO degree than a Caribbean MD). Your desire for the MD degree was so strong last year that you threw away a guarenteed thing, so where is that now (and also, isn't TUCOM a DO school)? I'd stick it out...
     
  42. neopentanol

    neopentanol Junior Member 10+ Year Member

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    Great advice guys, thanks.

    And you are right that it seems strange that now I am in such a rush, but I miss being in school more and more each day and the years are adding up faster than I thought. I was prepared to wait a year, but not two or maybe three. At this point, I do somewhat regret not taking the position at TCOM, and just trying extra hard to shine on the USMLE, but that is the past and I must face where I am today, with a strong desire to start studying medicine, and the uncertainty of facing another application cycle. I'd like to believe that I wouldn't have any problems getting into an allopathic school if I apply early this year, but I'm not as confident about this as I used to be.

    Thanks again everyone, I am reading each and every post and it is very helpful.

    It seems from the responses that the best course would be to begin immediately some volunteer work and some volunteer research assistance, maybe 2-3 days a week to add to my current EC's, and in the meantime apply ASAP this year. What else can I do from now until June to help my application, seeing as there are only two months left. I would like to hear you guys' input on this. Thanks!

    One other thing, national schools will see my gpa as a 3.3, with a 3.2 science gpa because they do count minuses and pluses in the transcript.
     
  43. Old ortho

    Old ortho 2+ Year Member

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    You can also apply for a special one year master's program to strengthen your academics.
     
  44. OCPreMed

    OCPreMed Member 7+ Year Member

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    alright I didn't read anything above except the guy saying do the masters right before this one.!!!

    DO THIS:
    DON"T apply "just to get in this year"... dude.. do a 1 years master in nutrition.. (columbia has one that you can still apply to)... the 1 year off if you are SOO antsy but with a 38~! DUDE, less than 5% of test takers get that score man, you got skills..

    REAPPLY outta state, no one will care you applied and declined DO. Trust.

    SUMMARY
    Keep busy with a 1 year masters in nutrition somewhere.. reapply outta state.... youll get in way more places.

    I have NOTHING against DO but it just seems you are FORCING and RUSHING .. i think you should take your time and pick the best fit school not the make shift school, DO or MD
     
  45. gsmithers68

    gsmithers68 2+ Year Member

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    wait so where all did you apply? another portion of this issue could be in your school selection. I think that you can easily talk about the differences between DO and MDs and use that as leverage to strengthen your case for why you declined your acceptance. I think that you need to definitely try and pick your schools wisely. It may also be helpful to make sure you address this issue in your PS for sure. I wouldn't give up hope. Apply again. Pick different schools. And make sure that your application is damn good because that is what you can control not if the guy reading your file just ate a gut bomb burrito, hates life because of it and even more so every application he reads that day.
     
  46. Cirrus83

    Cirrus83 Too old for this 10+ Year Member

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    She wasn't trying to be condescending, that's why she threw in the love smiley.

    But it's fairly hard to read tone over the internet (they actually did a study about that, and people failed miserably), so even though your response seemed overly mean considering the love smiley she had for you, it's an understandable misunderstanding.

    Either that or it's time to call an internet cat fight! :laugh: (joking tone here btw)
     
  47. Cirrus83

    Cirrus83 Too old for this 10+ Year Member

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    I think paragraphs in an academic essay can run pretty long like that, but on the internet people tend to break up your thoughts into smaller packages to make them easier to swallow, since huge paragraphs are somewhat more fatiguing to read.

    Your paragraphs don't even have to have totally separate ideas here though, I think you can just throw in a line break whenever the heck you feel like it.

    You know, this topic might be worth investigating...proper internet paragraph length etiquette.

    Oh, I just had an insight...maybe it's just that more broken up lines are much like spacing your papers with 1.5 lines or 2 lines spacing, because it's easier to keep track of the line you're on that way. Maybe the fatigue of the larger paragraphs comes from having to keep track of where in the paragraph you are more carefully.

    Someone commission a research paper on this ASAP! lol
     
  48. Cirrus83

    Cirrus83 Too old for this 10+ Year Member

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    OP, if you didn't apply anywhere other than Texas then that's your biggest mistake. Don't go to the carribean or something ridiculous like that. I know it feels like crap that you have to wait yet another year, and go through the painful application process yet again, but it's not the end of the world.

    I don't know how widely you applied this time but it kind of sounds like you just applied to Texas schools. Either way, apply more broadly next time around and assuming that you don't have any glaring problems you didn't mention I'm fairly confident you'll get in somewhere.

    Include a few DO schools next time around too as insurance, and if you don't get into any MD programs just suck it up and accept that you'll have to live without the letter M. On the bright side with your test taking abilities you should be able to do quite well on the USMLE and match decently even from a DO school, so even if you can only get into DO next cycle, it's not the end of the world.

    Sorry that you got screwed over this time though.
     
  49. GreenShirt

    GreenShirt 10+ Year Member

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    Yikes, TCOM is one of the best DO schools out there, usually appearing in the top 30 for PC in the US News and World Report. The residency opportunity out of there would not have been bad if you had done well on the USMLE, and it looks like you are an awesome test taker. However, if you don't like the DO philosophy then it was better that you didn't go and end up resenting it later.

    From what I know the Texas system sounds very limiting (I'd like someone to explain to me how it works if they have time). You'll prbably have better chances in applying nationaly, since you can access more schools. Just make sure you're productive this year w/ classes, research, volunteering, or clinical experience, so that you can show during interviews that your doing something that expands your horizens and stregnthens your experience. Good luck next round!
     
  50. Prince Abubu

    Prince Abubu 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 2, 2007
    TX
    maybe you're just some weird kid who's socially awkward and doesn't have the social skills to become a doctor. You probably got rejected post-interview because of that.
     
  51. p9142

    p9142 UR out of your element! 5+ Year Member

    654
    0
    Oct 25, 2005
    I'm sure the OP appreciates your constructive comments.
     

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