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Some advice

Discussion in 'Re-Applicants [ MD / DO ]' started by EMT2ER-DOC, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. EMT2ER-DOC

    EMT2ER-DOC Why so Serious?????
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    Hey guys,

    It is looking more bleak for me this year. Currently, out of 10 schools, I received 2 rejections. I have a lot of hurdles to overcome.

    I had no direction as an undergrad and because of it I graduated with a 2.59 Cumm GPA back in 1997 and a low science GPA. Since then, I have been living my life and have a position performing cancer research at a major hospital and becoming the laboratory manager.

    I have also completed, for the most part, a Masters in Biology degree. The only thing left is to defend my thesis. With missing my thesis grade, I have a 3.4999 Cumm GPA and a 3.78 science GPA.

    My MCAT scores were 24 in 1996 (minimal studying), 20 in 1997 (no studying) and recently a 22 with much studying and a full time job and a family and running out of time. When I did the AAMC practice tests I was finishing and scoring 28-30.

    When I spoke to my #1 choice, they told me that all they want me to do is raise the MCAT to 25 and above. I am planning on retaking in April so I am expecting the rejections.

    My question to you is, how did you guys deal with the rejections? How did you guys not allow the depression get to you?

    I am depressed right now and am trying to move on. How can I psyche myself back up for the next round while getting kicked in the stomach every now and then?
     
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  3. mustangsally65

    mustangsally65 Sally 2.0
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    Hi EMT! I'm sorry to hear about your situation. As you probably know, we have similar MCATs and I'm not getting any love this year either.

    I just got a pre-sec rejection from my state school, the only school that interviewed me last year. I had a 24R, 24R, and 22R MCATs respectively in Aug 04, Apr 05, Aug 05. So things are looking pretty dismal for me this year as well, I applied to 13 schools, have been rejected so far from 6, submitted secondaries for the other 7, and had one interview.

    I wish I knew a DO so I could apply osteopathic. I'd love to learn OMM, but since I have no one to write an LOR, I couldn't apply. I'm still trying to avoid retaking the MCAT, but it is a definite possibility. I hate that thought. :mad:

    I don't really have a lot of advice, because you have clinical/medical experience, your Masters GPA is fine, and perhaps the worst part of your app is your MCAT. I'm in the exact same situation. My undergrad GPA is 3.5 overall, and 3.65 for sciences. I could use some more clinical experience, and have registered for a phlebotomy course at my local community college for the spring semester, but I am having a few personal health problems right now and don't know if I'm going to be having surgery in January or not, so odds are I'll be withdrawing from that course.

    Maybe if you got more shadowing experience and more volunteering time it might help? You could also try applying to some of the schools that are called "lower-tier" (I hate that phrase! anyone who accepts me is great in my book!) like Meharry, Morehouse, Howard etc. I definitely think a better MCAT would help, but you and I both know that that test is easier said than done, so I won't go there.

    I'm staying positive by thinking about my one interview, and telling myself that it's barely December and I still have a long time to get an acceptance. I guess it's not very healthy to put all that hope on one interview and one school, but you have to do something to stay positive. Try to take it one week at a time, and not think about next fall but instead which schools you will be hearing from in the next few weeks. Focus on the schools that haven't rejected you yet. It's not much, but it keeps me out of dispair most days.

    Just remember you are not alone. We're all here to help and support each other. I wish you the best and I hope you get into a school(s) that you can be happy at for the next 4 years. Good luck! :luck:
     
  4. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    hey, sally -- i just wanted to encourage you to apply do if you're interested even without the do letter because it's not a requirement at every school. off the top of my head, i can tell you for sure that it's not required at dmu, azcom, ccom, comp or unecom. if you post on the pre-do forum, you'll probably get an even more extensive list. a lot of do schools understand that you might very well live in an area with no do's, so they're okay with accepting an md letter, and some schools like unecom and dmu just want a letter from anyone who's observed you in a health care setting (dmu) or had a professional relationship with you (unecom). good luck! :luck:
     
  5. EMT2ER-DOC

    EMT2ER-DOC Why so Serious?????
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    Thanks for your advise. Regarding the volunteering, I have 14 years of experience as a volunteer EMT (1 year as sergeant, 1 year as 1st Lieutenant (3rd in command), 5 years as crew chief), I also am a volunteer interpreter for the hospital I work at.

    I was just rejected from LECOM which is a lower Tier school and I am not sure why.
     
  6. mustangsally65

    mustangsally65 Sally 2.0
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    Thanks for the DO info. :thumbup:

    I think sometimes we just have to stop trying to figure out what caused us to be rejected and move on. If you think about it too much then it really gets depressing. I'm no expert at med school admissions, but it seems like the only thing holding you back is your MCAT score. I would think at least some of the schools would be willing to give you an interview.

    I don't really know what to say, except that this process really stinks and there's no way to know excatly why some people get rejected and others get accepted with similar stats. Try to stay positive, even though it is really tough sometimes. :hugs:
     
  7. ShyRem

    ShyRem I need more coffee.
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    I didn't have a DO letter. I applied to the following without one:

    UNECOM
    DMU
    MSUCOM
    PCOM (both campuses)
    NYCOM
    OUCOM
    KCOM

    I must've though CCOM required one 'cuz I didn't apply there. I didn't apply to AZCOM due to weather (my daughter doesn't handle extreme heat very well - she dehydrates very quickly).

    Good luck!
     
  8. Doctor Bagel

    Doctor Bagel so cheap and juicy
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    this is a good question. i think the thing that you have to keep reminding yourself is that no matter what happens this time around, it doesn't mean you still can't be a physician. each rejection is just a rejection from one school for one year -- don't let it escalate in your mind beyond that. my other big advice is to be sure to have fun now. i know applying is stressful and can occupy all your thoughts, but get out of that trap. go on trips, spend time with your family and friends, etc. focus on integrating positive things into your life.
     
  9. futuremd22283

    futuremd22283 Titleist
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    EMT, you have really good experience in work and in life. I also took the EMT class and currently working as an ER tech. Since it seems like your only downfall is your MCAT, the main thing that you need to concentrate on is that. I took the Princeton Review. I made a 13 on the first diagnostic test (really depressing). I made a genuine effort to better myself for the test. By the end of the class, I made a 23 on last diagnostic test. I was still not satisfied, so I kicked up my study skills and got together with groups of people and did almost nothing than study for about 3 weeks before the test. I made a 28O on the actual test. The class is a lot of money, but in the long run, that money becomes not nearly as important. The class is definitely worth it. As far as the stress, luckily I had a very good group of friends that was constantly there for me. I was also in a semi state of depression before I got in. They were trying times, but somehow human will got me through them (I am very stubborn and will not give up on anything). Good luck to you, you definitely deserve a chance.
     
  10. Dude..you are money and you need to know that. Compare yourself to anyother undergrad applying to medical school. Your maturity and clinical experience are amazing without any questions.

    This is the way you need to start thinking...not to just to feel better but this is the reality. I am a third year applicant and when I met other interviewees (college seniors) at my interviews..they were so immature and had no idea what the f*** they were doing. I knew "I was the sh**. And I deserve to be accepted over them".

    Your clinical experience is even better than mine (and most others) so keep that in mind.

    Just take the MCAT again and you will be ok. ALSO - keep in mind, if nothing works out you can go international. A doctor is a doctor, no matter what school you go to.

    You are going to be just fine...
     
  11. shawmahmed

    shawmahmed shawmahmed
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    did you guys ever think about applying to podiatric schools. they only require 21-24 on the mcat and 3.0-3.4 g.p.a. its not competetive at all and if you guys applied you would surely have a chance to get in. i applied last friday and got an interview invite on wednesday. the application process is very short. good luck.
     
  12. IAMS

    IAMS in the scheme of things
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    EMT2ER-DOC,

    It's clear by your volunteer experience that you are committed. And will be an amazing doctor. You shouldn't let any challenge get in between you and your goal. Any challenge is just temporary, and you will get past it. Believe it.

    You have already done the best thing you can do, in talking to the school and finding out what they want from you - an improved MCAT score. I know Sally has similar issues, and its tough after taking it three times to think you can improve, but you CAN. And you MUST to show them you can.

    I hate the standardized test, and think it should be done away with, because it has no correlation to successful physicians. But what it does have correlations to are passing the boards. What do the med-schools do when their students are in trouble with passing their tests, they find tutors, they organize group study sessions, they help you find the way to best learn the material and more importantly, to channel that material through you during the standardized test.

    Not that I know the answer for you, but for me, the MCAT was about relaxing and finding clarity before the exam because most of the information is found in the passages. The more I focused on "comprehension", the better I did. But this might not be your method. There are keys from each section that you have to know instincually, and a non-trad like me, I didn't really get a grasp them, like carbo-cations for instance, until I took organic chemistry and tried to explain reactivity to classmates. I found that through my group sessions, working to verbalize the concepts solidified the material in my own mind.

    In medical school, you'll also depend on classmates to gather the vital information to pass the boards, so these skills will be what you need to succeed in the long run. Just remember, you don't need to learn this all on your own. Find others who want to study, they are out there, and work on finding the ways you learn best. Your key to success is obviously in kicking ass in the MCAT this spring. Don't give up, you'll show them who's boss!
     
  13. TX515

    TX515 Senior Member
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    Please understand some are better than others.
    It seems that your MCAT is holding you back, so focus on raising it. You should consider investing in a prep class if you have not already done so.
    As far as depression goes, it is tough not being accepted. I know the feeling. If medicine is what you want to do, then you should keep at it. With this time of year, take time to think about all your blessings to front the depression. I am sorry things have not gone how you want them to have gone, but take the time to enjoy what you have. Five years from now you may be busting out 35s on the MCAT. Who knows?
     
  14. JohnUC33

    JohnUC33 A Stinkin Conservative
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    If your main concern is to be a doctor (regardless of the M.D. vs D.O.), then apply to a DO school. You seem like you would definately make it into a DO school somewhere. Just shadow a DO for like a week or a few days, and he'll probably be willing to write you a letter. I really hope you don't think DO schools are sub-par. At the end of the day, DO's are doctors just like MD's, seeing the same types of patients and making the same money.
     
  15. jbone

    jbone Herro!
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    It would be good to shadow a DO to see what they are all about. That being said, it is not necessary to get a letter from a DO. Only at certain schools this is a requirement. I was accepted into 8 DO schools without a letter from a DO. It just depends.
    I agree though, I'd go DO. :thumbup: Good luck :horns:
     
  16. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    I would recommend that you do some soul-searching about what went wrong during this Christmas break. For example, do you know why you ran out of time on the real test when you didn't run out of time on your practice tests? Were you strict about the time limits on your practice tests? It's essential to time yourself EXACTLY when you take practice tests and not give yourself any extra time on the sections or take extra breaks. Have someone else proctor you if necessary to keep you honest. The other thought that comes to my mind is that you may have test anxiety. If that is the case, you need to work on controlling that. Try some meditation techniques until you find something that helps you. Also, since you did "much studying" for the last MCAT you took, you may need to change the way you are studying. What were you doing to prepare yourself for the MCAT? You might consider trying a different method like EK, or taking a commercial prep course if you tried going it alone. Two thing that the course does are to give you a study timetable with weekly assignments and to hold you accountable. It also provides you with people to support you. But courses are expensive and the quality can vary, so don't sign up for one without doing your homework and really considering whether you have the time and motivation to get your money's worth out of the course.

    One thing you should NOT do is just throw your up hands and give up. Some people do get into medical school with MCATs in the low 20s; not all allopathic schools have MCAT thresholds. You should research which ones do not, and apply to them. Applying DO or international is also an option as some people have suggested, although you probably won't want to go international because you have a family. You could also consider other health care fields like PA that involve patient contact and have some autonomy. Whatever you decide, I hope that things turn out well for you. :luck:
     
  17. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
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    I think the first step for you is to turn around your anticipation of rejections. For most of us, we will get more rejections than acceptances. All it takes is one.

    Secondly, as you may know, the stats you provided won't wow many an adcom. Though graduate grades don't carry so much weight, you have certainly shown improvement, and that you can handle the quality and quantity inherent in medical education. Also, by reapplying, you're showing that this is indeed something you wish to do. Your research experience - lab manager is also a leadership role - will also prove beneficial. I hope that you touched on these things in your personal statement.

    I will tell you from my own experience the April MCAT seemed a bit easier (I took two August and one April MCAT). Regarding your scores, do you stress out in standardized test situations? Perhaps taking a course to simulate the experience may prove helpful. Also, by the third time, you're also used to the testing environment and all the accompanying accouterment.

    As for dealing with the rejection, I can only tell you it becomes a part of you, and one you need to work through on your own. However, as I said above, all it takes is one acceptance, and that's the one you're working towards.
     
  18. musiclink213

    musiclink213 My room is a mess
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    For me, I've so far recieved something like 5 or 6 rejections out of maybe around 15 or so schoolsl. It's tough, but a friend of mine gave me a couple of quotes:

    "All your life, you are told the things you cannot do. All your life they will say you're not good enough or strong enough or talented enough; they will say you're the wroong weight or the wrong type to play this or achieve this. THEY WILL TELL YOU NO, a thousand times no, until the no's become meaningless. All your life they will tell you no, quite firmly and very quickly. AND YOU WILL TELL THEM YES."

    ""Some men give up their designs when they have almost reached the goal; while others, on the contrary, obtain a victory by exerting, at the last moment, more vigorous efforts than ever before." -Herodotus

    According to my friend, it helped him get through Navy boot camp. Just think how close you are, it doesn't matter how long it takes to get there, it just matters that you get there, and you will one day soon.
     
  19. EMT2ER-DOC

    EMT2ER-DOC Why so Serious?????
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    Thanks everyone for all of your wisdom. I will take all of the advice given to me.

    To answer people's questions:

    1) I did apply DO, and in fact it was a DO school that gave me the advice about retaking. This is also my top choice.

    2) In addition to studying for the MCAT I was taking 2 graduate school classes, working on my thesis, and working full time as well. I burned out pretty quickly

    3) At the time I was enrolled in Kaplan on-line but my time was very limited for the reasons state in #2

    4) I re-signed up for kaplan for the april test. I have no classes and only need to do touch ups on my thesis.

    5) I will be doing a lot of practice tests to work on my timing. I am not sure what happened on test day other than my body revolted. During the PS section, I had to pee for the last 30 minutes but I did not want to go for fesr of losing time. During the VR I had a massive headache, probably from not having my normal cup of joe and the air conditioning. These were the 2 sections that I scored lower on during test day that I scored high on during practice runs.

    6) I am not giving up because this is what I want to do. And until I have exhausted all VIABLE options, I will continue to try.

    7) The Masters program was the advise of an admissions dean in one of my top 5 schools.

    Happy new year everyone and thanks again.
     
  20. EM Junkie

    EM Junkie SDN Donor
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    EMT2ER-DOC, have you thought about applying to the Caribbean?

    I am an MS4 (US grad) applying to Emergency Medicine. However, with new residencies popping up every year, you have a better chance of getting into one of them as a US-born FMG than you used to in the past. I recently interviewed at LSU-Shreveport's Emergency Medicine residency, and probably 75% of their residents are FMG's from the Caribbean.

    Either way, I definitely commend you for your commitment to medicine! I am not sure that I would have that much resolve after what you have been through. Good luck!!

    -Scott, MS4
     
  21. EMT2ER-DOC

    EMT2ER-DOC Why so Serious?????
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    Hello Scott, thanks for your input. As much as I wish, the Caribbean is not a viable option for me. The reason is that I currenty have 2 young children (almost 5 and 2) and one on the way.

    My wife's support system is thus very important. My in-laws have already told us that they will more than likely move near us should we move to a location that is amenable to them so her support system will be there as well.
     
  22. psychedoc2b

    psychedoc2b Senior Member
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    Geez!

    Don't despair!

    Now, think if Kaplan did not work for you the first time, then why did you use them again! Go to princeton review also and check them out. I recommend you take the MCAT again and focus on it only.

    This is how it goes: You do all of the example problems in princeton review and know them backwards and forwards. The formulas must also be at your fingertips.

    Do as many Q's as possible this is where Kaplan comes in. Do all of the AMCAS review exams and see how you are doing. If on the princeton review exams you are scoring in the 30's, then you are ready to go and take the exam.

    Verbal seems to be a problem too, I bet. Do passages and learn the tips from princeton review on how to conquer these insane passages!!

    Remember the MCAT is not insurmountable. You need to think like the MCAT, breathe the MCAT, and ace the MCAT.

    Go back to your plan on studying for the MCAT. If you have to sign up for Kaplan and princeton at the same time, then do it! You want to go to medical school, right?!!! So, spend a little money now and the rest should come down the pipe.

    Again,take some time off and focus ONLY on the MCAT!! Forget about extracurricular activities, phlebolomy, and shadowing if you already have some.

    You have another shot at this MCAT so go out and CONQUER it!!

    Nobody comes out of the womb doing well on the MCAT. They just prepared and studied for it.

    And, if you seem depressed, then know that there are others out there that took the test more than three times and got into medical school.

    Put MCAT as your first priority and everything else second!

    If you need a cheerleader and need support, I suggest some therapy or exercise or something to help you focus and not burn out.

    Cheers!
    psychedoc2b
     
  23. psychedoc2b

    psychedoc2b Senior Member
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    Retake the MCAT and focus, please see Conquering the MCAT!!

    psychedoc2b
     
  24. psychedoc2b

    psychedoc2b Senior Member
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    Again, don't give up!! I can tell you given my illness and experience that persistence does pay off. Now, again, please focus only on the MCAT!!! I hate to see such talent wasted. You can learn from your mistakes and become a success. MCAT score will get you into the door of medical schools. I think for you the rest will follow since you have done everything possible except raise your MCAT score.

    If someone like me can do it against all odds, you can do it too.

    psychedoc2b
     
  25. kutastha

    kutastha 2K Member
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    It's doable to do well in this situation. When I took my MCAT I was working 10 hour days in my lab (trying to finish up my dissertation so I could grdauate in time for med school), then going to Kaplan in the evening, coming home after and doing practice questions til I fell asleep. Then I hit the books hard on the weekends, also going into lab. In retrospect, this sounds a lot like third year of med school.

    My body also requires a basal level of caffeine. About two weeks prior to the test, start weaning yourself. If you require a cup in the morning before the test, keep on having it. As for the bladder issue, I have a peanut-sized bladder myself, so the only fluid I had all day was the coffee in the am. Once again, in retrospect, blocking out the urge to pee comes in handy in surgery.
     

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