very late applicant strategy: MCAT 524, sGPA 3.96, non-trad, lots of research

ontgny

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Long-time lurker here, but I thought this would be the best place to see what the wisdom is on very late AMCAS strategy.

Of course, submitting ASAP is the goal and key issue here, but I was wondering if late timing would impact which and how many schools to apply to, etc. I'm pretty set on applying this cycle unless the top dogs think I have no chance.

Unfortunately, between a demanding research commitment and personal life concerns that have come up in the past couple of months, I wasn't able to get my application together until now. I'm prepared to hustle through secondaries, though, now that things have calmed down.

In case it's helpful, more about me:

CA resident
HYPSM undergrad
ORM (LGBT and involved)
cGPA: 3.89
sGPA: 3.96
liberal arts background
(Chemistry pre-reqs taken after undergrad in a DIY postbacc, concurrently with full-time employment)

MCAT: 524 (CP 131 / CARS 130 / BIO 132 / PS 131)

4+ years of translational research with some clinical exposure (>3 is full-time+ after undergrad)
7 publications, half are 2nd author (no 1st author)
130h of clinical volunteering working directly with patients (free clinic)
400h of peer tutoring
1 year as a resident advisor (RA) during undergrad
50h of volunteering in a shelter on a public health project
40h of shadowing


My list from a few months ago is below, but may change based on advice here...

Baylor
Case Western (& CCLCM)
Chicago Pritzker
Columbia
Emory
Johns Hopkins
Michigan
Northwestern
Pitt
Rochester
Stanford
UC Davis
UC Irvine
UCLA Geffen
UCSD
UCSF
UPenn (Perelman)
Vanderbilt
WUSTL

Maybe:
(Harvard)
(Yale)
(UNC)
(Duke)
(Mt Sinai)
(Mayo)
 

Gandyy

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Well, its a strong application. But timing is a huge issue with MD schools especially. It is Late August now so hmm.

I agree with @NotASerialKiller .
 

gonnif

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Well, its a strong application. But timing is a huge issue with MD schools especially. It is Late August now so hmm.

I agree with @NotASerialKiller .
Especially in CA.

you would be an extraordinary candidate at top schools with that. You wont get verified for a few weeks and then secondaries. With work flow (ie number of applications ahead of you), you may not get reviewed until Late Oct or, more likely, early November
 

Lawper

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It pains me to see such a fantastic application not being submitted earlier than this. You haven't sent in your primary yet? You definitely would have had your pick of the litter if submitted earlier, hopefully @Goro @LizzyM and @gyngyn will say you're still set
Well, its a strong application. But timing is a huge issue with MD schools especially. It is Late August now so hmm.

I agree with @NotASerialKiller .
Especially in CA.

you would be an extraordinary candidate at top schools with that. You wont get verified for a few weeks and then secondaries. With work flow (ie number of applications ahead of you), you may not get reviewed until Late Oct or, more likely, early November
Yeah an application complete by late october/early november is a pretty bad issue for any MD school, even those following non-rolling admissions. I guess the best interest for OP is to apply in June the following cycle.

Top stats/excellent research/top undergrad/good ECs shouldn't be wasted by being late
 
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gonnif

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Yeah an application complete by late october/early november is a pretty bad issue for any MD school, even those following non-rolling admissions. I guess the best interest for OP is to apply in June the following cycle.

Top stats/excellent research/top undergrad/good ECs shouldn't be wasted by being late
I would suggest that only thing to add to your impressive list is perhaps a bit more clinical in a different setting. Also, with a background like that are you interested in MD/PhD? If, so, definitely delay until next year. This year would be a real gamble in time, money ,and effort.
 

DokterMom

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Pick of the litter next year?
Or seriously diminished chances this year...

Have you already written your PS?
How important is your medical school's prestige to you personally?

You've already waited a few years. Is there a major reason why one more cycle would be really bad?
 
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My guess is that you would still get some interviews and acceptances, but perhaps not at your top choices.

The huge question that comes to mind, though, from an interviewer perspective, is how did someone with your kind of profile get caught in this kind of situation? Maybe you've been ambivalent about applying this year (or ever) anyway? You said you've been lurking so surely you knew about the importance of getting verified and completed early. Is your partner going to go with you wherever you get in? Are you at risk of breaking up in a few months and being in turmoil? I think I would wonder if you've go too much going on in your life to begin med school at this time.
 
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ontgny

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Have you already written your PS?
I'm doing the final edits and will be ready to submit this weekend.

How important is your medical school's prestige to you personally?
Prestige isn't the most important. But it would be nice to end up at a school that has research I'm excited about. I wouldn't be thrilled to live in Irvine, but I'd be happy with anywhere else on my list.

Is there a major reason why one more cycle would be really bad?
I'm very ready to move on to the next stage of my career. I'm already in my late 20's. I know that doesn't matter, but I feel that I've done all I can do in my current position.
 
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ontgny

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My guess is that you would still get some interviews and acceptances, but perhaps not at your top choices.

The huge question that comes to mind, though, from an interviewer perspective, is how did someone with your kind of profile get caught in this kind of situation? Maybe you've been ambivalent about applying this year (or ever) anyway? You said you've been lurking so surely you knew about the importance of getting verified and completed early. Is your partner going to go with you wherever you get in? Are you at risk of breaking up in a few months and being in turmoil? I think I would wonder if you've go too much going on in your life to begin med school at this time.

All very valid points. I do have too much going on, but the pre-med process itself is a major contributor. Work and classes and volunteering have kept me very busy in the past year.

Edit: 2 of my manuscripts were published in late July with peer-review processes and revision experiments running through the month. I'm not sure if an interviewer would buy that, but it's something they could check with publication dates.
 
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ontgny

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With work flow (ie number of applications ahead of you), you may not get reviewed until Late Oct or, more likely, early November
Are there any II's left by then? Or does it depend on the school?
 

Spector1

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I'd just throw it in. Honestly, there are lots of people still applying
 
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StudyLater

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The only real question is whether or not you need some serious prestige for your future specialty. If you're not sure about your future specialty and don't care about waiting, then wait to be safe. If you do care about waiting, make the sacrifice of potentially losing out on a more prestigious school.; this would be an even better option if you intend to go into a specialty which requires minimal prestige. But no one's even saying you'd certainly get into a top 5-10 in the first place, if you waited for next year. You'd just have great chances at them.

If you wanna go now, go now. I may also end up having way better shots at prestige going next cycle, but I don't care for it or need it personally. I don't know your situation, though. You know the mantra, so just act according to your preference.
 

y123

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If I were you I would wait until the next cycle, especially if you want to get into a competitive specialty. You have a really strong application.

Are there any II's left by then? Or does it depend on the school?
Right now, yes. Not sure about the time when your application is complete though. Some schools are super early.
 
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piii

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The risk you are taking is that you will be competing for the last spots at many schools by the time your app is under review. There will be few others that are as competitive, so I find it hard to think you won't get any bites. But we are talking lower chances compared to applying earlier. You'll probably get into a great school! But you may not have many options. This also assumes you will have great essays (many of the schools on your list are a b*tch to write) and that you'll have great interviews.

I know it seems like you are ready to move on now. But you'd only be applying in less than one year! Having those options and that freedom may be a god send to you as you look back on your career in a few years.
 

Banco

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3.9 at HYPSM, 524, amazing extracurriculars. You can apply late and you will still get plenty of bites from the top tiers. You are one of those exceptions.

It would be better next year, obviously, but your case is far from hopeless.
 

Goro

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You're a rock star, but it is late in the process. I recommend trying a small number of schools, and if you're simply too late, apply 6/1/16, and take your pick.

Of your list, add all your maybes. The only schools I'd recommend adding would be Tulane, Einstein, BU, Hofstra and U Miami. Also consider UTxSW or UT-H.

You certainly have a bounty of choices! The schools I wouldn't recommend would be CNU, LUCOM or Loma Linda.


But hey, the DO cycle is longer,...my school will gladly take you!

Baylor
Case Western (& CCLCM)
Chicago Pritzker
Columbia
Emory
Johns Hopkins
Michigan
Northwestern
Pitt
Rochester
Stanford
UC Davis
UC Irvine
UCLA Geffen
UCSD
UCSF
UPenn (Perelman)
Vanderbilt
WUSTL

Maybe:
(Harvard)
(Yale)
(UNC)
(Duke)
(Mt Sinai)
(Mayo)[/QUOTE]
 

GrapesofRath

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The option to re-apply next cycle if you are willing to is the key here. Are you willing to put in time and money for a process that might not yield fruitful results?

I'm inclined to say give it ago this cycle and see what happens but there are two things to keep in mind a) turning down ANY MD acceptance you get from any school in hopes of gunning for top tiers next cycle if you apply this year is perhaps the worst mistake any pre-med can make b) Top tiers are not very friendly to re-applicants. It's possible you could be the exception and get legitimate consideration as a re-applicant at top schools but its not an ideal situation. Like I said above I don't blame you for giving it ago this cycle but realize both a and b that I listed above and make whatever decisions accordingly from that and many other factors.
 
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Noomm

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Wow! You are awesome! Amazing stats! You are a special applicant! You will get plenty of love from top tier medical schools! Excellent job! Superb resume! You have such a bright future! You are truly a rockstar! Keep up the good work! We need more people in medicine like you! I bet your parents are really proud of you! Wonderful!
 
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NotASerialKiller

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Wow! You are awesome! Amazing stats! You are a special applicant! You will get plenty of love from top tier medical schools! Excellent job! Superb resume! You have such a bright future! You are truly a rockstar! Keep up the good work! We need more people in medicine like you! I bet your parents are really proud of you! Wonderful!
When another pre-med uses 13 exclamation points for 13 sentences in talking about your application, you know it must be pretty good
 

DokterMom

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Excellent advice @Goro to add UTSW -- And I'd extend that to other Top Tier OOS public schools that are generally not OOS friendly if you decide to apply this year.

Why? If they're not OOS-friendly, then they're generally obligated to a large proportion of IS applicants. It's just my opinion, but I'd suspect they may want to cherry-pick their few OOS spots for folks whose numbers will buff up their numeric averages, and yours would certainly do that.
 

Goro

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U AZ, U CO, SUNY SB or DS, U IA, U WI, OhState all come to mind.

Excellent advice @Goro to add UTSW -- And I'd extend that to other Top Tier OOS public schools that are generally not OOS friendly if you decide to apply this year.

Why? If they're not OOS-friendly, then they're generally obligated to a large proportion of IS applicants. It's just my opinion, but I'd suspect they may want to cherry-pick their few OOS spots for folks whose numbers will buff up their numeric averages, and yours would certainly do that.
 
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ontgny

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Wow! You are awesome! Amazing stats! You are a special applicant! You will get plenty of love from top tier medical schools! Excellent job! Superb resume! You have such a bright future! You are truly a rockstar! Keep up the good work! We need more people in medicine like you! I bet your parents are really proud of you! Wonderful!
When another pre-med uses 13 exclamation points for 13 sentences in talking about your application, you know it must be pretty good
I read it as facetious. And appreciated it. LOLing xcore.

In all seriousness, I'm not fishing for validation. Feeling legitimately in a pickle, but I really appreciate all the advice! Lots of food for thought.
 
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ontgny

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I'd extend that to other Top Tier OOS public schools that are generally not OOS friendly if you decide to apply this year.
Really interesting point. Would that include University of Washington? Maybe they're the exception.
 

NotASerialKiller

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I read it as facetious. And appreciated it. LOLing xcore.

In all seriousness, I'm not fishing for validation. Feeling legitimately in a pickle, but I really appreciate all the advice! Lots of food for thought.
Haha yeah I'm honestly not sure whether it was or not, but regardless I'm sure people can't help but be impressed. Hope you end up happy with your decision whatever it is.
 
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ontgny

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Like I said above I don't blame you for giving it ago this cycle but realize both a and b that I listed above and make whatever decisions accordingly from that and many other factors.
Yes these are definitely things that I'm thinking about. Maybe @Goro's advice to pick a few favorites for this year is the way to go. But it does seem like a big commitment to do this all twice.
 
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ontgny

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you would be an extraordinary candidate at top schools with that. You wont get verified for a few weeks and then secondaries. With work flow (ie number of applications ahead of you), you may not get reviewed until Late Oct or, more likely, early November
Is it safe to assume that consideration for scholarships is out of the question? Or are they decided after admittances?
 

Goro

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It's a gamble! But if you were my own kid, I'd give the same advice.

I see plenty of posts in these forums from reapplicants who get admitted the 2nd time around after they've applied late in cycle #1.

Do let us know how it turns out!


Yes these are definitely things that I'm thinking about. Maybe @Goro's advice to pick a few favorites for this year is the way to go. But it does seem like a big commitment to do this all twice.
 
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GrapesofRath

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Yes these are definitely things that I'm thinking about. Maybe @Goro's advice to pick a few favorites for this year is the way to go. But it does seem like a big commitment to do this all twice.
If you apply ASAP and have a good list of schools you very well might like how this cycle turns out for you. The advise on applying to public schools was some very sage advice to say the least; you are exactly the type of person these schools who take few OOsers look for in the OOS apps they take. Middle tiers I think also would be excellent choices; Boston U, Hofstra, Tulane, Miami, Case Western, Rochester, Einstein, USC, Emory, UVA could all be very strong additions. And of course there is no school no matter how prestigious that is out of question for you; its just simply a matter of coming up with the right combination this late in the game.
 

gonnif

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Are there any II's left by then? Or does it depend on the school?
Probably most schools have them still

Is it safe to assume that consideration for scholarships is out of the question? Or are they decided after admittances?
It is done formally after admittance. However, informally (and usually early) is the recruiting of top students who maybe offered packages to entice them over another school
 
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Hey just wanted to point out, in case someone hasn't already, that you'd likely be verified pretty fast at this point. The latest update from the AMCAS verification thread has August 9th being verified in 18 days, and it's been dropping.

Chart from last year shows a pretty steep drop off by end of August for verification times:
 

LizzyM

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It you wouldn't attend Irvine if it were the only offer you had, take it off your list . Ditto every other school on the list that you'd prefer not to attend.. You are one of the rare ones that we'll save a spot for on the last interview day. This has been a theme lately: quality does not decline at the end of the cycle because there are those applicants, often non-trads, who are late but spectacular.
 
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ontgny

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It you wouldn't attend Irvine if it were the only offer you had, take it off your list . Ditto every other school on the list that you'd prefer not to attend.. You are one of the rare ones that we'll save a spot for on the last interview day. This has been a theme lately: quality does not decline at the end of the cycle because there are those applicants, often non-trads, who are late but spectacular.
Thank you for everyone's help!
I'm going to go ahead and apply. And I'll be very sure to choose wisely.
 

Australopithekus

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Wait a year and up those volunteer numbers. Then, rather than getting into one or two schools this cycle at full sticker price, let schools fight over you with scholarships next cycle. Seriously.