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Solid Reapplication?

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ironlionzion

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First time I applied for the 2012 entry I interviewed at several schools ranked 30-50 and was waitlisted at all of them and eventually rejected. Here are my stats and ECs before:

3.85 sGPA, 3.87cGPA from a tier 2 school
33
120hrs shadowing ortho/hospital volunteering
few days shadowing oncologist and gastroenterologist
summer hospital research internship
semester of inner city tutoring
semester of undergrad research

Now, in addition to what I had before (it's been 2 years since my last application):

3.9 sGPA, 3.88cGPA
PBK, magna cum laude
Retaking MCAT, probable 35-37
another semester of undergrad research
Year of NIH postbac research
NIH Academy (health disparities workshop/seminar. approximately 50 hrs total)

I know schools that I have already applied/interviewed at will want to see a significant increase in the quality of my application, but I've also heard that if you interview and don't get in, your chances are close to zero the second time around. Is that true? What have your experiences been with reapplying. Should I try to avoid reapplying to the same schools?

Will applying to 30 be enough? I think I applied a little top heavy last time and to only 16 schools. I was also late in the cycle (secondaries complete early October). Things have worked out after being rejected the first time - I really enjoy my time at the NIH and having time off from school (highly recommended) but I really want to start medical school!
 
G

gmcguitar4

It could have been your interview skills, personal statement, late application, weak LOR's, or any combination of the above. Do you need to retake the MCAT? I would suggest you don't because there is nothing wrong with it. Look at your application and see what the weak parts are and concentrate on those.

If you apply to 30 schools with your current stats and don't retake MCAT..you should be perfectly fine. I also see that your GPA changed slightly cause you took more courses...it might be worth gettin a few fresh LOR's from those professors.
 

ironlionzion

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It could have been your interview skills, personal statement, late application, weak LOR's, or any combination of the above. Do you need to retake the MCAT? I would suggest you don't because there is nothing wrong with it. Look at your application and see what the weak parts are and concentrate on those.

If you apply to 30 schools with your current stats and don't retake MCAT..you should be perfectly fine. I also see that your GPA changed slightly cause you took more courses...it might be worth gettin a few fresh LOR's from those professors.


I think it was a little bit of all of those factors combined with small number of applications and too many reaches. I've reworked my PS, will get a couple new LOR, and will definitely turn in the app ASAP. I will also work on interviewing, though it is something I"m just not incredible good at. I got feedback on interviewing from a couple deans of admissions and the overall sentiment was good but not outstanding. Something I just need to work on.

I'm retaking the MCAT in part because I know I can do better. I also think it would be weird if I don't retake it, as it's been a couple years.
 

WillburCobb

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Based on your numbers I really feel its the more subjective aspect of your application what's hurting you (i.e., interview skills, essays, personal statement, lack of meaningful clinical experience or volunteering, personality issues such as a sense immaturity or lack of humility, etc.). Look at those, be honest with yourself, don't make excuses and figure out what you can change. Did you contact the schools you applied to last time? If so what areas did they mention could be improved?

I agree with gmcguitar4, don't retake the MCAT. It will do very little for you unless maybe you score 38+. Also, I know there's a grid with MCAT on one axis and GPA on the other pulbished by the AAMC out there, I just don't feel like digging for it right now, which shows the statistical chances of first time and re-applicants being accepted and generally re-applicants statistically fair better than first time applicants, especially once they've surpassed a certain MCAT and GPA combo (which I know you already have). Granted this is just the overall precentage of those who apply and are succesfully admited, and there are multiple factors affecting the numbers, but overall re-applicants tend to have better luck. Lastly, there's nothing wrong with re-applying to schools, unless you have no desire to go there.
 

ironlionzion

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I did contact a few schools for some feedback. One school I interviewed at was more primary care oriented, but my experiences and personality don't match with that - and I agree with them. The other school I interviewed at was my alma mater, which rarely accepts its own undergrads because they have a large BA/MD program already, so I wasn't surprised. The other two schools I was waitlisted at were a good match for me in my opinion, but I interviewed late (February) and they said there was just too much competition. Basically, waitlisted as I was a good applicant but not outstanding enough.

When I applied, I had 4 AMCAS "experiences." During college I focused on schoolwork and spent my freetime hanging out with friends. In the past year, I've spent a lot of time doing things outside of my research job, I now have 14 significant experiences including more research, volunteering, a publication, honors, etc. I'm comparing my current application to my application from two years back and, at least to me, there is significant improvement. I hope the adcoms feel the same way.
 
G

gmcguitar4

With all that you provided, I think your app will be very solid.

I would say just practice for interviews. Just practice your people skills. Maybe try an acting course or stand up comedy course or something. They will take away any anxiety you have with interacting with people. For my prep, I just tried to just talk to as many people as possible and find out their interests. You can always relate to someone somehow. So when I talked to the interviewers, they would ask me questions and I would ask some questions and find out about them and express interest. No better way than that to get someone to like you.
 

ironlionzion

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Thanks for the advice guys, much appreciated. I just saw some AAMC report that showed pre interview, grades and MCAT are the most important. Post interview, it's almost all on the interview, with the LOR a close second followed by grades, etc.

I'm getting two new letters which are going to be much better than a couple I used before. Looks like I really just need to work on interviewing skills more than anything.
 

lalalaaaaaa

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Sounds like you definitely put in the work to do well in the coming cycle. Seems like you're good to go! :thumbup:
 

jemstone

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Would you be willing to share the "primary care-oriented" school you applied to? Was it a state school?
 

ironlionzion

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state school was Hawaii. I was pretty shocked getting rejected from them. The acceptance rate is >30% instate.
 

hughnguyen22

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First time I applied for the 2012 entry I interviewed at several schools ranked 30-50 and was waitlisted at all of them and eventually rejected. Here are my stats and ECs before:

3.85 sGPA, 3.87cGPA from a tier 2 school
33
120hrs shadowing ortho/hospital volunteering
few days shadowing oncologist and gastroenterologist
summer hospital research internship
semester of inner city tutoring
semester of undergrad research

Now, in addition to what I had before (it's been 2 years since my last application):

3.9 sGPA, 3.88cGPA
PBK, magna cum laude
Retaking MCAT, probable 35-37
another semester of undergrad research
Year of NIH postbac research
NIH Academy (health disparities workshop/seminar. approximately 50 hrs total)

I know schools that I have already applied/interviewed at will want to see a significant increase in the quality of my application, but I've also heard that if you interview and don't get in, your chances are close to zero the second time around. Is that true? What have your experiences been with reapplying. Should I try to avoid reapplying to the same schools?

Will applying to 30 be enough? I think I applied a little top heavy last time and to only 16 schools. I was also late in the cycle (secondaries complete early October). Things have worked out after being rejected the first time - I really enjoy my time at the NIH and having time off from school (highly recommended) but I really want to start medical school!
A lot of people would kill to have your numbers and your interviews. It must have been something else.
 
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ironlionzion

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A lot of people would kill to have your numbers and your interviews. It must have been something else.

I applied to 16 schools. Secondaries complete in October (way too late). At least 4 of them were reaches, (UPenn, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia), several of them were state schools where I was OOS (UCI, UCSD, UColorado, etc).

For interviews, Hawaii wants primary care docs - not a good fit for me. I interviewed at my undergrad's med school, same tier as BU, but it's incredibly difficult to get into because they already have a large BA/MD program so they don't take many of their own. Einstein and BU were nice matches, and I interviewed well at the schools (got feedback). The competition is just intense, and I applied way too late in the cycle and while my scores/grades were competitive, my ECs were lacking.

I think I know generally what I did wrong. I applied too late, I applied to a narrow range of schools, and I applied to too many OOS schools.

I'm mainly curious whether I'm doing enough in my year off and whether I should apply to those same schools who rejected/waitlisted me the first time.
 

hughnguyen22

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I applied to 16 schools. Secondaries complete in October (way too late). At least 4 of them were reaches, (UPenn, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia), several of them were state schools where I was OOS (UCI, UCSD, UColorado, etc).

For interviews, Hawaii wants primary care docs - not a good fit for me. I interviewed at my undergrad's med school, same tier as BU, but it's incredibly difficult to get into because they already have a large BA/MD program so they don't take many of their own. Einstein and BU were nice matches, and I interviewed well at the schools (got feedback). The competition is just intense, and I applied way too late in the cycle and while my scores/grades were competitive, my ECs were lacking.

I think I know generally what I did wrong. I applied too late, I applied to a narrow range of schools, and I applied to too many OOS schools.

I'm mainly curious whether I'm doing enough in my year off and whether I should apply to those same schools who rejected/waitlisted me the first time.
Good luck this year.
 

cabinbuilder

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I did contact a few schools for some feedback. One school I interviewed at was more primary care oriented, but my experiences and personality don't match with that - and I agree with them. The other school I interviewed at was my alma mater, which rarely accepts its own undergrads because they have a large BA/MD program already, so I wasn't surprised. The other two schools I was waitlisted at were a good match for me in my opinion, but I interviewed late (February) and they said there was just too much competition. Basically, waitlisted as I was a good applicant but not outstanding enough.

When I applied, I had 4 AMCAS "experiences." During college I focused on schoolwork and spent my freetime hanging out with friends. In the past year, I've spent a lot of time doing things outside of my research job, I now have 14 significant experiences including more research, volunteering, a publication, honors, etc. I'm comparing my current application to my application from two years back and, at least to me, there is significant improvement. I hope the adcoms feel the same way.


So basically you made poor choices with your school list and applied too late. Apply where you have the best chance of getting in and apply the first day. Do not take the MCAT over, that is not what is holding you back. Work on your interview skills and see if your undergrad does mock interviews.
 

ironlionzion

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I ended up retaking and scored a 38 (14PS, 12V, 12BS). Pretty happy with that.

I definitely am applying the first day it opens - already have my transcripts and letters of rec at AMCAS.

I just started some additional clinical volunteering. Things are going well in lab. I'm going to be on a paper submitted in a couple months. Since I can't write that on my AMCAS as it's not in press, my PI noted it in her letter.

My undergrad does offer mock interviews over the phone, which I'll schedule. NIH also has some career counselors that do it in person as well.

Overall pretty confident that this cycle should be successful. I'm definitely applying broadly to 35 schools. I really want to get in this time lol.
 
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