Apr 11, 2010
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Im actually a dental student but im writing in behalf of my husband.

He is applying for medical school for the second time now. His GPA is 3.98 and his MCAT score is 33.
His has worked as Physics MCAT princeton instructor, started his own program with Down syndrome Association, and he is currently a high school science teacher, and he has a bachelors degree from UCLA. Last year he received no interviews (he only applied to 5 CA schools), and this year he got only 1 interview so far (he applied to 22 schools all over US)....

I dont understand why this is happening, shouldnt he be top choice? why is out friend with 22 MCAT score and 3.7 GPA getting 5+ interviews?

Any thoughts?
 
Sep 29, 2009
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What schools did you husband apply to? If the 22 schools he applied to are the top 22 schools in the U.S.....well, there's your problem.

Your 22 MCAT friend probably applied thoughtfully, not broadly.
 

rHinO1

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No clinical experience? Applied late? Poor or inadequate letters of rec? These things kill apps.

Maybe he didn't apply broadly enough. Top 25 schools are a crapshoot no matter how strong an applicant is. Besides grades, there are a lot of other factors to consider.
 

georgearms

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How is your friend with a 22 MCAT getting 5 interviews?
 
Jan 17, 2010
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Your posting leads me to ask if English is not your (and his) first language? If so, did he have his essays reviewed by someone who writes well and whose mother tongue was English?

Wild guess, forgive me if I'm wrong. It's just that some of your wording was incorrect or awkward, maybe you were just in a hurry.
 

cliffhuxtableDO

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No clinical experience? Applied late? Poor or inadequate letters of rec? These things kill apps.

Maybe he didn't apply broadly enough. Top 25 schools are a crapshoot no matter how strong an applicant is. Besides grades, there are a lot of other factors to consider.
yeah, where is the clinical experience? looks like he wants to be a teacher who happened to take the MCAT.
 

Catalystik

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No clinical experience? Applied late? Poor or inadequate letters of rec? These things kill apps.

Maybe he didn't apply broadly enough.
Or the tone of his Personal Statement was "off" or he had no physician shadowing, or his clinical experience was of less than a year's duration, or he made no improvements since last applying. And what about a research experience?
 

cliffhuxtableDO

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ah i missed the reapplicant part the first read through. Cata makes a good point about not improving the app from one cycle to the next.
 

rHinO1

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Also, were his MCAT subscores balanced (10+ in each category)?
 

DM3

Oct 26, 2010
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No offense, but "top" is relative.
+1

33 MCAT is not 'top'. It's 'good'.

I have a friend who's 34 got her one acceptance to a brand-new school last year. That 'tens across the board' thing is starting to get a bit outdated, methinks.
 
Nov 25, 2010
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To add another possibility, maybe he is overqualified!

When I attended my interview at Georgetown, the person who invited me for the interview said she had originally decided to not invite me, because I was "overqualified." I thought that was hilarious. But that's something to think about!
 

Democritus

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No offense, but "top" is relative.

I think we can all agree that 90th or better percentile is top, no? The difference in MCAT points at 33+ correlates to only small differences in percentile which of course is the important measure.
 

DM3

Oct 26, 2010
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I think we can all agree that 90th or better percentile is top, no? The difference in MCAT points at 33+ correlates to only small differences in percentile which of course is the important measure.
I see what you're driving at, but think about how an adcom member would view a 33 against a 38,39 or 40. I don't believe for a second she would put the 33 in with the other scores on the basis of how the test is graded. A little bit of it is psychology; what's the 'real' difference between a 29 and a 30, or a 39 and a 40?

At any rate, top to me means "Top 1%", but that's just one opinion.
 

courtnes

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I see what you're driving at, but think about how an adcom member would view a 33 against a 38,39 or 40. I don't believe for a second she would put the 33 in with the other scores on the basis of how the test is graded. A little bit of it is psychology; what's the 'real' difference between a 29 and a 30, or a 39 and a 40?

At any rate, top to me means "Top 1%", but that's just one opinion.
I'd actually agree with Democritus - anything over the 90th percentile and you're just nitpicking.

Here's my experience:
34 --> 91-94 percentile

Would you retake that just to get a 39 or 40 and be in the top 0-3%? I doubt it, because schools would look at you like you're crazy, returns are diminishing over maybe 32 or so, and if you do worse, well, you're the idiot that took the test again. (Sorry for the hypothetical name-calling, but retaking after a 33 or so is a little bit silly.) So unless you're applying all Ivy League/other top tier/Cali schools, not worth it. And there are plenty of people who get into those schools with a 33 because most of those schools average 35-38 anyway.
 

MCAT guy

...
May 24, 2010
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Im actually a dental student but im writing in behalf of my husband.

He is applying for medical school for the second time now. His GPA is 3.98 and his MCAT score is 33.
His has worked as Physics MCAT princeton instructor, started his own program with Down syndrome Association, and he is currently a high school science teacher, and he has a bachelors degree from UCLA. Last year he received no interviews (he only applied to 5 CA schools), and this year he got only 1 interview so far (he applied to 22 schools all over US)....

I dont understand why this is happening, shouldnt he be top choice? why is out friend with 22 MCAT score and 3.7 GPA getting 5+ interviews?

Any thoughts?
I find it very interesting that when people post these questions they are mostly focused on GPA/MCAT.

As everyone has already mentioned, that is just the part of the app that says, "he could probably cut it academically". Next they want to see you really want to be a doc, PS, clinical, essays (why our school or do you fit in here), character. Also how unique is your story. Remember, most of this process has people reading a paper file about you (how entertaining or interesting is that file? GPA/MCAT is only on one page of that 10-20 page file).
 

MCAT guy

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May 24, 2010
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Get ready for the pre-med MCAT percentile debate!

Sometimes I wish I could change my screen name to, Applicant Guy or soon, Med Student Guy.

MCAT = super boring convo
 
Nov 27, 2010
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Maybe said friend has more clinical experience, research, has more unique major, and overall has some more "interesting" application.

Your husband on the other hand is just a high school science teacher, meaning that he probably has been circling around the same topics of science for at least a number of years now.

Basically, the friend is new to the field and is open to new knowledge, research, etc. While you husband has artificially limited his knowledge to the high school level science. It would appear had he been a professor at a college, but generally being a high school teacher is not really something that is that big of a plus, since that often times just requires a "education degree", while in college you are usually required to have at least a PhD.

Being a Physics MCAT princeton instructor is kind of meh as well. And the part about "started his own program with Down syndrome Association" can easily look like nothing compared to what a lot of the pre-med students go through, just look at the "What Are My Chances?" section.
 

DM3

Oct 26, 2010
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Get ready for the pre-med MCAT percentile debate!

Sometimes I wish I could change my screen name to, Applicant Guy or soon, Med Student Guy.

MCAT = super boring convo
No worries, you have a sweet avatar : D

"I've made a huge mistake."
 

jcpenny

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Maybe his personal statement reflects his "top student" attitude...and said friend is more of a humble applicant
 
Oct 17, 2010
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Maybe said friend has more clinical experience, research, has more unique major, and overall has some more "interesting" application.

Your husband on the other hand is just a high school science teacher, meaning that he probably has been circling around the same topics of science for at least a number of years now.

Basically, the friend is new to the field and is open to new knowledge, research, etc. While you husband has artificially limited his knowledge to the high school level science. It would appear had he been a professor at a college, but generally being a high school teacher is not really something that is that big of a plus, since that often times just requires a "education degree", while in college you are usually required to have at least a PhD.

Being a Physics MCAT princeton instructor is kind of meh as well. And the part about "started his own program with Down syndrome Association" can easily look like nothing compared to what a lot of the pre-med students go through, just look at the "What Are My Chances?" section.
Ahhh there we go... "just" a high school science teacher. Maybe you should think about where you would be without "just" a high school teacher.
 

RedRaider19

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Maybe said friend has more clinical experience, research, has more unique major, and overall has some more "interesting" application.

Your husband on the other hand is just a high school science teacher, meaning that he probably has been circling around the same topics of science for at least a number of years now.

Basically, the friend is new to the field and is open to new knowledge, research, etc. While you husband has artificially limited his knowledge to the high school level science. It would appear had he been a professor at a college, but generally being a high school teacher is not really something that is that big of a plus, since that often times just requires a "education degree", while in college you are usually required to have at least a PhD.

Being a Physics MCAT princeton instructor is kind of meh as well. And the part about "started his own program with Down syndrome Association" can easily look like nothing compared to what a lot of the pre-med students go through, just look at the "What Are My Chances?" section.
Wow... Really? Even though you view yourself as superior to "just a high school science teacher," I disagree with your post. With a GPA and MCAT that are well within the average of medical school matriculants, I would definitely say it is something PS/Secondary or lack of clinical experience related. Your husband sounds like a non-trad that could probably get in with ease if he got in some meaningful clinical experience and had other people look over his essays. Like many others have said, there is a lot more to an application than the numbers. While many will debate the MCAT, the simple fact is, I think there is almost no way that is the problem. Has he contacted any of the schools that have rejected him in the past and asked what he could improve on? That might be a great place to start.
Good luck
 

surftheiop

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Maybe said friend has more clinical experience, research, has more unique major, and overall has some more "interesting" application.

Your husband on the other hand is just a high school science teacher, meaning that he probably has been circling around the same topics of science for at least a number of years now.

Basically, the friend is new to the field and is open to new knowledge, research, etc. While you husband has artificially limited his knowledge to the high school level science. It would appear had he been a professor at a college, but generally being a high school teacher is not really something that is that big of a plus, since that often times just requires a "education degree", while in college you are usually required to have at least a PhD.

Being a Physics MCAT princeton instructor is kind of meh as well. And the part about "started his own program with Down syndrome Association" can easily look like nothing compared to what a lot of the pre-med students go through, just look at the "What Are My Chances?" section.

This above post is worthless, ignore it.


More realistically the issues arising are probably of

1) Geography - You said he applied to 22 "all over", this probably means about half of the schools have no real reason to believe he has any connection to the school/region.

2) Personal Statement- Your OP talked a lot about academics, which may lead me to believe your husband also values/talks about academics in his application. Personal statements aren't really a good place to talk about academics, your stats are written right there on the app for them, you don't need to mention them in personal statement.

3) Personal Statement Part II
Sometimes people like teachers/EMTs/etc, will spend their entire statement talking about how passionate they are about being a teacher/EMT and how awesome it has been, etc. Remember, this essay isn't an application for a teaching position, its for medical school. Make sure the focus is brought back to medicine.
 

gravitywave

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based on stats alone, 86% chance of acceptance. the fact that he's a reapplicant points to some other problem.

as others have said: insufficient clinical exposure, poor application strategy and/or lousy essays are the most likely culprits. he also needs a letter from a superior at his school regarding his job performance.
 

eablackwell

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Your husband on the other hand is just a high school science teacher, meaning that he probably has been circling around the same topics of science for at least a number of years now.
Teaching experience is seen as a big plus. My interviewers spent a long time asking me about my AP Chem classes and leadership positions within my school. Honestly, with stats like that and teaching experience, as long as there is an attempt at volunteer/clinical exposure in his app, then the problem must be with 1) PS or 2) LoRs. Gotta be careful with the LoRs when you're a teacher. Some superiors I wouldn't want an LoR from...sabotage much?
 
Last edited:
Jun 14, 2010
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To add another possibility, maybe he is overqualified!

When I attended my interview at Georgetown, the person who invited me for the interview said she had originally decided to not invite me, because I was "overqualified." I thought that was hilarious. But that's something to think about!
Your posts are always the same. We get it, you think very highly of yourself.
 
OP
N
Apr 11, 2010
27
0
Status
Pre-Dental
What schools did you husband apply to? If the 22 schools he applied to are the top 22 schools in the U.S.....well, there's your problem.

Your 22 MCAT friend probably applied thoughtfully, not broadly.
All the california schools, and all the private schools out of state...
 
Jan 3, 2010
9
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Pre-Medical
I completely agree with eablackwell- When I visited a top 10 for a pre-interview social they have the night before the interview, one of the students there was a former high school science teacher (clearly though I do not know his whole background).

I am assuming your husband doesn't have bad LOR (although that is possible)- at least in my experience, the letter writer would have let him know if he/she can't write a good letter.
Did your husband apply with the same PS? Try having the pre-med committee at his former school look it over and get multiple opinions.
Also, find out which schools will receive updates before interview invites and send an Letter of Interest or update letter (if something new has been going on).
Good luck!
 
OP
N
Apr 11, 2010
27
0
Status
Pre-Dental
Your posting leads me to ask if English is not your (and his) first language? If so, did he have his essays reviewed by someone who writes well and whose mother tongue was English?

Wild guess, forgive me if I'm wrong. It's just that some of your wording was incorrect or awkward, maybe you were just in a hurry.
Well, you are right, English is actually my fourth language:):p, but its my husbands first language, and im pretty sure his essay was really good, he speak and carry himself pretty well.
 
OP
N
Apr 11, 2010
27
0
Status
Pre-Dental
No clinical experience? Applied late? Poor or inadequate letters of rec? These things kill apps.

Maybe he didn't apply broadly enough. Top 25 schools are a crapshoot no matter how strong an applicant is. Besides grades, there are a lot of other factors to consider.
He worked at his doctor office for 2 years before applying, so he does have clinical experience, unless they want more?
 
OP
N
Apr 11, 2010
27
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Pre-Dental
Or the tone of his Personal Statement was "off" or he had no physician shadowing, or his clinical experience was of less than a year's duration, or he made no improvements since last applying. And what about a research experience?
The research he did during his time (3 years) that he was an undergrad at UCLA
 
OP
N
Apr 11, 2010
27
0
Status
Pre-Dental
To add another possibility, maybe he is overqualified!

When I attended my interview at Georgetown, the person who invited me for the interview said she had originally decided to not invite me, because I was "overqualified." I thought that was hilarious. But that's something to think about!
I actually heard this one before, I just didnt think it was true!?
 
OP
N
Apr 11, 2010
27
0
Status
Pre-Dental
I completely agree with eablackwell- When I visited a top 10 for a pre-interview social they have the night before the interview, one of the students there was a former high school science teacher (clearly though I do not know his whole background).

I am assuming your husband doesn't have bad LOR (although that is possible)- at least in my experience, the letter writer would have let him know if he/she can't write a good letter.
Did your husband apply with the same PS? Try having the pre-med committee at his former school look it over and get multiple opinions.
Also, find out which schools will receive updates before interview invites and send an Letter of Interest or update letter (if something new has been going on).
Good luck!
Thanks for the advice. I believe he got pretty good letter of recs, one from his research professor, one from the doctor he shadowed, one from the principal at the school (that pretty much loves him), and 2-3 more from professors....
He is just so over this process and ready to give up, and im trying to see what I can do to help him find out what went wrong. I should see if I can make some phone calls and find out.
 

CougarMD

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I think knowing where he applied, what he talked about in secondaries, and maybe even how quickly/slowly he got secondaries back will help. "Out of state private schools" sounds a lot like Yale, Harvard, Brown, Dartmouth, etc. Did he apply to schools that were a good fit for his numbers and his experience?

You said he worked at his doctor - what did he DO there? Did he get good clinical experience there, or was he working the front office?
 
OP
N
Apr 11, 2010
27
0
Status
Pre-Dental
I think knowing where he applied, what he talked about in secondaries, and maybe even how quickly/slowly he got secondaries back will help. "Out of state private schools" sounds a lot like Yale, Harvard, Brown, Dartmouth, etc. Did he apply to schools that were a good fit for his numbers and his experience?

You said he worked at his doctor - what did he DO there? Did he get good clinical experience there, or was he working the front office?
Oh no he did not apply to top schools out of state. He applied to schools like Boston, Tufts, NYU and so on ( and he only received an interview at Boston so far)

At his doctors office, he did NOT do any office work, but he got to shadow his doctor and stand next to him when seeing a patient.

Well I have to point out that even if he sent out his primary application in the beginning of JULY, he took a very long time before submitting his secondaries (each school took like 3-4 weeks before getting their secondaries submitted by him). Do you think this could be it?
 
May 25, 2010
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Oh no he did not apply to top schools out of state. He applied to schools like Boston, Tufts, NYU and so on ( and he only received an interview at Boston so far)

At his doctors office, he did NOT do any office work, but he got to shadow his doctor and stand next to him when seeing a patient.

Well I have to point out that even if he sent out his primary application in the beginning of JULY, he took a very long time before submitting his secondaries (each school took like 3-4 weeks before getting their secondaries submitted by him). Do you think this could be it?
Standing there may not be enough. I feel for your husband I applied last year with a 3.7 and a 35 MCAT and had no luck.

This year after a complete revamp of my personal statement, some soul searching, and some really awesome clinical research in burn patients it has been a totally different ball game.

The teaching is awesome, but it just wont be enough. It seems maybe his application does not show this is why I want to be a doctor? Thats at least why I feel mine failed last year, not enough clinical and not a clear statement of why medicine.

Also schools like NYU are going to get a lot of applicants and can be very selective.

Good Luck
 
Nov 25, 2010
295
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Pre-Medical
He is just so over this process and ready to give up, and im trying to see what I can do to help him find out what went wrong. I should see if I can make some phone calls and find out.
Instead of hearing us meaninglessly speculate, calling each school might be a better idea :)

The medical school in Nevada gives reasons why they rejected someone, but I have no idea about the others. gl
 

rHinO1

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Submitting a primary app in July could mean verification in August. Taking 3-4 weeks to complete a secondary is very slow. I think anything after two weeks is too long. As a reapplicant he should have been ready much sooner, IMO. Also, some oos schools can be iffy even if they have moderate average numbers. Schools like Boston, Drexel, Georgetown, and gwu all receive an extraordinary number of applications.

Also, did he make sure he met the lor requirements for each school, or specifically ask for an exemption?

I think all the possible reasons have been covered: clinical experience, ps/essays, lor, school selection, late app etc... However, I do not think the mcat score or gpa is the problem.
 
Nov 30, 2010
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There are a few things your husband might be doing wrong.
First off; you sell him well. But does he sell himself well? The application letters are quite important in getting an interview, as is the CV. He should have someone who has been accepted to medical school look those over.