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Thinking about reapplying next year

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by justapremed, Dec 15, 2008.

  1. justapremed

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    Anyone else think this too? I feel like I've really worked hard during college (and even in high school) in order to succeed and have a good GPA. I overloaded every semester with many academic and science courses and after class, had my extracurriculars. MCAT score wasn't so great though and I had a terrible research experience where after a long time, I didn't get anything out of it. I think those are some of the things contributing to my terrible luck thus far this cycle, and I don't think I'm going to hold my breath anymore.

    I've just interviewed at some of the lower end schools on my list, and even then, I've been put on hold at 2 of them and rejected from 1. Of course, people say, you go to a med school to become a doctor, not to go to a prestigious school, but to me, that's much easier said than acceptable, just for myself. Argh. I don't want to get into Harvard or anything, but just getting all these no's or "maybe, let me mull over you for a little longer" even from the lower end of my wish list are really painful and makes me feel like all these years I've been just wasting my time.

    Argh, this is just a rant now. Now I just want to say, whatever: seriously plan my year off in order to improve MCAT score and other parts of my app other than my GPA, and re-apply next year.
     
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  2. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    I remember your app and waiting with you on MCAT scores. I remember our GPAs were almost identical.

    A couple of things, though:

    - SDN seems to think that there's something really and truly terrible about getting an MD acceptance and then not taking it. So if you *are* thinking of taking a year off, you might want to just withdraw before you find yourself with one offer and no other choice left but to take it (if this is how you feel). Apparently schools look down on people who have not 'taken their chance' at getting the degree (??)

    - Your app is very similar to mine except that I took off a couple of years to pursue a graduate degree and add other relevant ECs/life experiences (plus I took time to study for the MCAT). If you target the areas of your application that you most want to improve, then you may see quite a difference in the response that you get. The good news is that you are at least *solid* if not strong in all areas :) For me, a couple of years has made a HUGE difference in bringing me from a solid applicant to a strong applicant.

    Good luck in your decision...I know it's going to be a hard one to make, but you should consider making it now, before the decision is made *for* you.
     
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  3. fizzle

    fizzle New Member
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    A bit of advice: Reapplying is not so bad if you feel that you can make a stronger application next year. I had one interview from a lower-end school last year, and I am very glad that I did not get in, giving me another chance this year with a stronger application. And so far this year, I've gotten many more interviews than last year, including at schools I was rejected pre-interview at last year. I'm very glad to have another chance to apply. Not to mention, the extra year at home with my family is a plus!
     
  4. halekulani

    halekulani Member
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    1. if you didn't want to go to a low tier school, why did you apply at all to begin with? to add more notches to your ego?

    2. if you actually do still want to go to the schools you were waitlisted at, tell them! write them update letters showing your interest.

    3. if you're set on re-applying, you better focus really hard on making yourself look like an outstanding applicant for the next cycle. keep in mind you might even have to take more years off to even show the improvement you've made for your application.
     
  5. julyjones

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    My premed adviser told me that if you're accepted to a school and then choose to not attend and reapply (what you're thinking of doing), the next year other schools will have access to this information and pretty much blackball you. I'm not sure about the whys/hows of this, or even the accuracy, but that's what I was told.
     
  6. halekulani

    halekulani Member
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    i think it's a fair red flag to other schools about the applicant. it would be a fair gesture at least to withdraw from the school after the interview if you don't like it.
     
  7. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    This I would agree with. Unless you've done something totally amazing during your senior year that would change your life, consider taking 2 years off. There's a lot more you can do in 2 years off than you can in 1...

    But yeah. I mean it all comes down to what you want. The way I see (or saw) your application was that you had a ton of potential, but you had to work very hard to cram everything into 3 tiny little years (which is no small feat and I commend you, btw).

    I don't know that I could have made a 36 on my MCAT if I'd had to take it after my junior year. But I have no doubt that you can do just as well or better than I did if you take time off. Going from a 31 to a 36 MCAT will open a lot of doors for you (or at any rate, that's what I've been experiencing).

    I have no idea if having several open doors is going to help me at all when it comes to financial aid -- that's the only thing that really concerns me right now. But that would be the reason that I might consider re-applying in your shoes -- just so that you have options that you can choose between (expenses-wise). Prestige shouldn't be a *huge* factor in the decision, really. I totally know what you mean about wanting to have choices, but so long as you can find a school that you think you can live with (that doesn't cost a bajillion dollars) prestige should take something of a backseat (IMO).

    Anyway, good luck either way on your decision. It seems likely that you will get accepted somewhere based on what I remember of your stats. So good luck and hang in there, if that's your decision.
     
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  8. RoyBasch

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    Let me preface this by saying that I am also gearing up for reapplication (getting grim for me). But, you need to get over the undergraduate prestige complex. If you get into an American allopathic medical school, the only thing that will limit you're future as a doctor is how hard you are willing to work as a medical student, intern, resident, etc.
    -Roy

    Edit: the only caveat is that some of those lower end schools are really expensive, if you don't want to go to be saddled with such massive debt, that's an important consideration.
     
    #8 RoyBasch, Dec 15, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2008
  9. tdittyx2x3

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    I sympathize with your situation, so good luck with whatever you decide to do.

    I would suggest closely examining the schools you still have a shot at this cycle. Are they really a step down from what your looking for? Define some concrete criteria, compare them to the schools you're dreaming about, and take a deep look. Sometimes its easy to exaggerate differences in your head between schools (thank you CBear).

    Overall don't let the process getcha down, try to keep a positive attitude.. especially for those future interviews. :thumbup:
     
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  10. justapremed

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    Thanks everyone for the helpful comments and the suggestions.

    Here are a couple of things I have been considering or have popped into my mind before/during/after reading these comments:

    1. I haven't gotten waitlisted anywhere, actually. I do have 2 post-interview holds. However, of the 25 schools I turned the secondary app into, I am waiting to hear back post-interview from 3 schools, post-interview hold from 2 schools, post-interview rejection from 1 school, absolutely nothing(!) from 14 schools (including my current undergrad, which really saddens me), and 5 post-secondary rejections.

    2. I did do a lot during undergrad (or at least tried), and that's one of the biggest reasons why I am considering reapplying. I feel like a lot of my efforts are incomplete and I think they can be much better... Everyone who's known me in undergrad knows that I'm pretty insane when it comes to handling large loads of work and activities, and I feel like I don't want to take anything less than what I want or what I think I deserve when it comes to med school admissions.

    My biochem professor, whom I've also TA-ed and worked for, thought that knowing me personally and having seen my work, she thinks that I'm too good for even JHU and they should be lucky to have me. However, I don't think the facts on my application really portray that... quite obviously.

    3. I think the reason why med schools frown upon its re-applicants having turned down previous acceptances is because they don't want people applying to become a "::insert name of awesome school:: 2013 graduate" but they want people to apply as a future physician, regardless of what the reputation of the school is (or at least ideally, that's the mindset they want their applicants to have).

    3a. Therefore yes, I suppose I should act quickly before I hear back from any of the 3 schools I haven't yet heard from, if I indeed choose to go that way.

    4. There were a couple of massive disappointment factors for me when I decided to apply, which was why I was really hesitant about applying now. Biggest was my MCAT score. I really think I can do better on the science sections. I'm a science major and I honestly love it; I also considered going the path of doing grad school in chemistry. Had I studied for more than just 2 weeks (of intense cramming... such a bad decision) before the test, and didn't have other issues freaking me out that morning, I think I would have done much better.

    5. But as someone mentioned, I don't know that taking 1 year off will really improve my app, especially seeing as how med school applications start in June. But taking 2 years off sounds quite scary :(

    And Pianola - you are remembering correctly. Thanks for your advices...

    Regarding prestige, I don't think it's *just* how I feel about the school's rank, but also what impression I got from the school at the interview; a couple of schools, the students giving tours made it pretty obvious that the majority of the class was there because it was their backup and the only school they got into. I'm not sure I want to end up at a school like that :(
     
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  11. halekulani

    halekulani Member
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    if you don't want to short yourself, definitely aim for 2 years off. i'm on my 2nd year myself, but i believe it's totally worth it. at least this way i know i put in 100% and there are no more what if i did this or that. wherever i end up is where i fully deserve to be.
     
  12. atl27

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    To the OP, I just want you to know that this is not true. Next year a school would not know you turned down another school unless they specifically ask on their secondary, which one school I applied to did ask, but I dont remember which one.
     
  13. littlealex

    littlealex little tiny alex
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    A quick note: research experience isn't always about whether or not you were able to get a publication out of it. If you were able to do interesting research and just didn't get any publishable results, you can still speak with wisdom about the process of research and what attracted you to it.
     
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  14. paradisedoc

    paradisedoc Senior Member
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    Try not to focus on the prestige of a medical school. All U.S. allopathic medical schools will provide you with a good education, and probably pretty similar. Many of the "lower tier" schools actually are more flexible in terms of allowing you to do more months of electives at other medical schools especially in your fourth year, and sometimes in your third as well, so you can experience other medical schools. The first two years are mainly learning the basics and many of the prestigious schools have very few hours of class time. So you will not be so disadvantaged if you think that you will be missing out on so much. Most students at most medical schools are not going to their first choice (except a some schools at the prestige top and some state schools for financial reasons.) so do not be chagrin if you get into a school that is not a first choice for most students. This is not like an undergraduate experience. You should feel that any U.S. allopathic medical school is an honor to attend. I believe that this concern about prestige will evaporate once you have your first day of classes.

    As far as cost to attend one of the more expensive medical schools, I know that the loans must of you take out are enormous and depressing. However, in my opinion, if you get into a school and attend rather than take off two years, you can use those first two years on the other end (once you have finished your training) to really tackle those loans. In other words, if you think of your income for two years between college and med school and compare it with your income for the first two years after training (even in primary care), I believe the difference in income can be spent to retire at the very least, the difference in tuition between an expensive medical school and a relatively expensive medical school. So from an entirely financial view, I believe it is worth it to plow through even with higher tuition rather than reapply in two years in the hopes of getting into a school with lower tuition. If you think reapplying means you can go tuition and expenses free in two years, go for it, but that is probably a long shot for any one.

    In summary, I would encourage you to go to any school that you are accepted to this cycle if possible.

    Best of luck. I hope that by the end of this cycle, you are blessed with multiple acceptances at schools that you feel happy about attending.
     

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