Dec 8, 2010
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So a little late for this, but I submitted most my secondaries in October. I've only heard back for 1 interview (out of 12, but the majority were top 25 primary-care schools), and I am beginning to get worried (2 rejections).

On my application, I played up athletics to a very strong degree. In High-School/first 2 years of college, I was a pseudo-resident triathlete at the Olympic Training Center (ranked 2nd in the nation for 16-19), competed internationally; however I finally decided that the dreams of the Olympics were compromising my dream for medicine. So, I left the team, and I became an amateur in the sport. Since then, I've competed in marathons and an Ironman (and I remain very competitive, i.e. 15-25 hours a week training compared to 30+ while I was at the OTC in Colorado Springs). I played up my dedication, endurance, and perseverance to the upmost on my primaries and secondaries. But with all this attention on sport and fulfilling these personal goals, my volunteering is very lackluster. I've only volunteered about 200 hours and shadowed 4 physicians since I left Team USA.

Other background: I attend a state school where I'm on a full-ride for academics (Fellow/state scholarships). I'll be getting my BS (honors) in Biochemistry with a minor in mathematics, I've been researching 10-15 hours a week for almost a year, my GPA is a 3.88 (BCPM 3.91- All my Bs were in the same semester when I entered college, due to spending the first 3 weeks of class racing in Europe, I detailed this on my application since the semester contrasts harshly with my others), and my MCAT score is a 33R.

When I say I played up sports, I mean I really did. I love running, swimming, and cycling, so it has shaped who I am. I love to help people, but my time is more spent on these goals that I set against myself. Will application committees hate this adrenaline junkie aspect of me?

I'm great friends with a lot of docs, and triathlons (in this area) are the trademark sport of medicine. Strangely enough, I've received e-mails from 2 professors that are Ironman athletes.
 

Ursa

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all it takes is one...you should be ok other than applying really late
 

Catalystik

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How many hours of clinical experience did you list on the application, and how many months did it take to accumulate those hours? What is your involvement in nonmedical community service? Any leadership or teaching/coaching/TA/tutoring? Hours of shadowing and was at least one a primary care doc?

Other than the ongoing research, what else are you currently involved in EC-wise?
 

canjosh

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I doubt your athletic background has anything to do with lack of response from schools. It's more likely to be absence of something that Catalystik mentioned, or that you applied too top-heavy.
 

TriagePreMed

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Well, nobody likes meatheads, just saying. If you come off as more interested in your sports than your medical education, that'll happen.
 

KickedOut

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Well, nobody likes meatheads, just saying. If you come off as more interested in your sports than your medical education, that'll happen.
Not exactly sure you're aware of what a "meathead" is...perhaps you were going for "gym rat". The cast of Jersey Shore are a bunch of meatheads, constantly working out to get bigger, obsessed with their physique...hardly the goal of an Olympic-caliper endurance athlete.

I personally believe the amount of dedication and hard work that goes into training for some of the events you listed will translate well with med schools. I'm a runner and all of my interviewers have responded positively to it.

I agree with canjosh's perspective. Best of luck.
 

Mizoodles

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Everyone who posted in reply to you has no idea what they are talking about. Your EC's aren't lacking. You don't need to do the boatload of EC crap that everyone else talks about on here - obviously, training at the elite level you do requires an intense amount of time and effort. Medical schools will see this and know this. And they sure as hell will know that you aren't a meathead for training as triathlete. It is a sport filled with professionals of doctors, lawyers and the like - the median income for triathletes is something like 140K.

You applied late. You'll get in somewhere -you'll just find out a little bit later. Your EC stats are far better than someone who filled their times with pre-med clubs and so "generously" clocking in hours to fill their resume with hours of near-worthless volunteer work.

I'm a college runner, and the adcoms LOVED it.
 

Mizoodles

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Well, nobody likes meatheads, just saying. If you come off as more interested in your sports than your medical education, that'll happen.
There is some correlation between people with cat avatars and dumb posts. I haven't quite figured out why.
 

TriagePreMed

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I didn't say he was a meathead. I said people don't like them, and if you come off as one, you won't be liked.

Mizoodles, good luck on the verbal section.
 

canjosh

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Everyone who posted in reply to you has no idea what they are talking about. Your EC's aren't lacking. You don't need to do the boatload of EC crap that everyone else talks about on here - obviously, training at the elite level you do requires an intense amount of time and effort. Medical schools will see this and know this. And they sure as hell will know that you aren't a meathead for training as triathlete. It is a sport filled with professionals of doctors, lawyers and the like - the median income for triathletes is something like 140K.

You applied late. You'll get in somewhere -you'll just find out a little bit later. Your EC stats are far better than someone who filled their times with pre-med clubs and so "generously" clocking in hours to fill their resume with hours of near-worthless volunteer work.

I'm a college runner, and the adcoms LOVED it.
Yeah, I clearly have no earthly idea what I'm talking about. Just diarrhea of the mouth mostly. And you don't read for detail very well.

The OP said he/she has only gotten one interview...out of 12 applications. And what EC stats are you talking about that are far better?? I agree that a lot of the volunteering crap is pointless, but the only EC the OP talks about here is athletics. Time consuming and personally beneficial no doubt, but what has the OP done to truly explore a career in medicine? The viewpoint of an adcom could be, "wow, this applicant really wants to be a professional athlete, not a physician." It's not necessarily true, but it could be the impression they get.
 
Jan 17, 2010
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Well, nobody likes meatheads, just saying. If you come off as more interested in your sports than your medical education, that'll happen.
That's a random thing to say to someone with a 3.9 and 33R.

Didn't you say in another thread that your GPA < 3.0 and you were turned down for a post-bacc? You should be careful with the name calling.
 

TriagePreMed

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That's a random thing to say to someone with a 3.9 and 33R.

Didn't you say in another thread that your GPA < 3.0 and you were turned down for a post-bacc? You should be careful with the name calling.
Like I said, I am not calling him a meat head. I'm saying that people don't like meatheads, and if you come off as one, you won't be liked. Obviously the OP is not a meathead. He has stellar stats, but he could be coming off as one in his writing.

And yes, rejected at a post-bacc and a GPA under 3.0 (back then. I'm at 3.0 now with a 3.6 science).
 
Jan 17, 2010
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Like I said, I am not calling him a meat head. I'm saying that people don't like meatheads, and if you come off as one, you won't be liked. Obviously the OP is not a meathead. He has stellar stats, but he could be coming off as one in his writing.

And yes, rejected at a post-bacc and a GPA under 3.0 (back then. I'm at 3.0 now with a 3.6 science).
Endurance sports (running/biking) are extremely popular among med school students and faculty. OP's activities will surely attract great interest and be a conversation starter because of his accomplishments.

Don't be so free with advice in cases like this where you clearly don't know what your talking about. And, maybe you should consider taking up running, it'll play well when you apply. Good luck.
 
OP
T
Dec 8, 2010
149
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I didn't mean to start a flame war. Some things have recently changed for the better, and I'm no longer petrified when I try to sleep at night.

I was given early acceptance to my state school (33rd ranking in primary**) with 2 top 15 interviews PC schools newly granted. I know of several upper 30 MCAT scores with similar GPAs not selected during this round of acceptance, so something I did seemed to work (Perhaps my letters were top-notch or my interview was incredible). If I had another chance, I would pursue more ECs outside of sports (I only used 9/15 EC options with 6 dedicated to sports). Additionally, I've been contacted by more professors that are triathlete buffs looking for the occasional training buddy. So in this case, my sports background definitely helped me.

Every school I applied to, outside of my state school, was top 20. My philosophy was go big, or go home. Today, I was lucky as hell that it went my way. If it hadn't, I'm not sure what I would be feeling right now. Instead, I'm skipping on clouds and signing up for a few marathons to celebrate the incredible news! I know some of you are down to join me! We're late for Boston, so let's just bandit.
 
Last edited:
Mar 10, 2010
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I didn't mean to start a flame war. Some things have recently changed for the better, and I'm no longer petrified when I try to sleep at night.

I was given early acceptance to my state school (33rd ranking in primary**) with 2 top 15 interviews PC schools newly granted. I know of several upper 30 MCAT scores with similar GPAs not selected during this round of acceptance, so something I did seemed to work (Perhaps my letters were top-notch or my interview was incredible). If I had another chance, I would pursue more ECs outside of sports (I only used 9/15 EC options with 6 dedicated to sports). Additionally, I've been contacted by more professors that are triathlete buffs looking for the occasional training buddy. So in this case, my sports background definitely helped me.

Every school I applied to, outside of my state school, was top 20. My philosophy was go big, or go home. Today, I was lucky as hell that it went my way. If it hadn't, I'm not sure what I would be feeling right now. Instead, I'm skipping on clouds and signing up for a few marathons to celebrate the incredible news! I know some of you are down to join me! We're late for Boston, so let's just bandit.

"Go big or go home?" C'mon now, you don't need to get into a top 20 to be the best med student or doctor... as charles barkley would say "turrbile"

Now as to why you're not getting a bunch of interviews? There can be different reasons. You submitted secondaries in October which can mean you're trying to get an interview w/ a school that doesn't have many to give out or you'll be reviewed later on and may get an invite later on.

Other than that? Are having sports as ECs a negative? No way, having them are great. Having too many of them and not enough clinically related ECs does hurt. Admissions wants to see you truly understand medicine, the life of a physician etc. While sports does give a lot a good qualities, you still are not entirely in a medical setting. I have no clue what your 9 non sports related ECs are, but I'm just telling you in general what ECs are suppose to mean and their importance.
 
OP
T
Dec 8, 2010
149
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Status
Medical Student
Thanks Docta. I even submitted some secondaries in November. And believe me, I'm kicking myself silly for not paying attention to the importance of getting my application in early. My university's Premedical Program focuses on catering to Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas schools. To get our committee letter, we have to go through their application, submit LORs, and be interviewed. These interviews/reviews only occur in July or Sept: I missed the July date (being an idiot and not asking for my LOR in May).

To my knowledge, the lack of true secondaries (i.e. additional essays) for these schools results in September submission being still okay.

As to my 'go big or go home', my state schools rank meant that in all likelihood, I would attend school there. On the outside chance that I did gain admission in the top 15, I would have the choice and the chance to talk to my parents about being able to afford these schools. It's a common trait for triathletes: sign up for multiple key races in the early season (before race entries hit cap athletes) and decide on which race is priority as the date approaches and you can judge your fitness.

I'm extremely lucky for so many mistakes to not cost me another round of applications.

I am an idiot, but not due to my sports: unprepared defines it.