WAMC - 4.0, 520 VA, Mid EC, need to clean up school list

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haikuhero

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  1. cGPA and sGPA as calculated by AMCAS or AACOMAS 4.0
  2. MCAT score(s) and breakdown 520 (130,131,130,129)
  3. State of residence or country of citizenship (if non-US) VA
  4. Ethnicity and/or race W
  5. Undergraduate institution or category Low prestige school in the boonies of Alabama
  6. Clinical experience (volunteer and non-volunteer) 450 hours EMT over summers + plan to additionally work this summer
  7. Research experience and productivity 650 hours, 2nd author currently in the press, poster presentation
  8. Shadowing experience and specialties represented Family, Pediatrics, Orthopedics, + eShadowing (84 hours)
  9. Non-clinical volunteering - Local afterschool program for 3 years - present, 240 hours. Volunteer track coaching (64 h). Misc. community service (20 hours)
  10. Other extracurricular activities
    D1 Track & Field - 2500h
    Freelance Software Development - 1200h
    Launching a premed website with a team - 120h
    Volunteering based tech startup, founder -400h
    Tutoring - 240h
  11. Relevant honors or awards standard deans list, etc.
  12. Anything else not listed you think might be important

    My story is told through the lens that I got cancer twice while in college. Had to withdraw one semester for chemo & fly for a major surgery in another semester. It's a story of perseverance and a deep appreciation for medicine.

    It has limited me & some of the experiences I was able to do, so maybe my school list needs to be adjusted.

    University of Virginia
    Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)
    Eastern Virginia Medical School
    Virginia Tech Carillion
    VCOM

    University of South Florida
    University of Miami
    UCF
    University of Florida
    University of Alabama Birmingham (Same state as undergrad)
    University of South Alabama (Same state as undergrad)
    Columbia
    Yale
    UPenn
    Vanderbilt
    Medical College of Wisconsin
    ACOM
    LCOM
    Touro COM
    NYU
    Johns Hopkins
    Duke
    Icahn school of medicine
    Emory School of Medicine
    Saint Louis University School of Medicine
    Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
    University of Colorado School of Medicine
    Wake Forest School of Medicine
    Northwestern
    Mayo Clinic
    Case Western
    Ohio State
Any advice & direction is recommended! Thanks! Would be more comfortable applying to schools towards the top half of the list, rather than the bottom. Want to hear your thoughts on if that could be expanded!

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You do not need to apply to DO schools. Some MD schools will "yield protect" with your stats. I suggest these schools from your list:
University of Virginia
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Virginia Tech Carillion

University of South Florida
University of Miami
University of Alabama Birmingham (Same state as undergrad)
University of South Alabama (Same state as undergrad)
Columbia
Yale
UPenn
Vanderbilt
NYU
Johns Hopkins
Duke
Icahn school of medicine
Emory School of Medicine
Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Northwestern
Mayo Clinic
Case Western
Ohio State
You could add any of these schools:
Cincinnati
Einstein
Cornell
Hofstra
Jefferson
Rochester
Tufts
 
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You grew up in Virginia so is the community around your college in Alabama similar to the community you grew up in? Where did you do your clinical in-person (not virtual) experience and your community service?

You should not have to apply to a lot of DO schools unless you feel they fulfill better any opportunities to work with rural communities. If that is your purpose, look carefully at MD programs with rural health tracks.
 
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You grew up in Virginia so is the community around your college in Alabama similar to the community you grew up in? Where did you do your clinical in-person (not virtual) experience and your community service?

You should not have to apply to a lot of DO schools unless you feel they fulfill better any opportunities to work with rural communities. If that is your purpose, look carefully at MD programs with rural health tracks.

Grew up in Blacksburg VA and lived across the street from VCOM... so it definitely holds a very special place in my heart.
Both my EMT stints were rural (West VA/VA in Appalachian mountains) and in school were everything was transported at least 1 hour away.
Community service was also done in the rural south.

But was a military + immigrant kid so moved all over in both urban & rural areas.

Do you know any good MD rural tracks off the top of your head? Currently, only OOS friendly one was Columbia, because things like the two that FSU (serving rural panhandle of FL) seem to have a rural in state focus.

Edit: With that said, I do want to step outside of my comfort zone and explore urban locations. That's probably where there is such a spread. Thanks!
 
Do you know any good MD rural tracks off the top of your head? Currently, only OOS friendly one was Columbia, because things like the two that FSU (serving rural panhandle of FL) seem to have a rural in state focus.

Different region of the US, but take a look at the Tuft’s Maine track.
 
Do you know any good MD rural tracks off the top of your head? Currently, only OOS friendly one was Columbia, because things like the two that FSU (serving rural panhandle of FL) seem to have a rural in state focus.

WVU, UVM off the top of my head are both OOS friendly and have either rural tracks or some sort of emphasis for rural rotations.

Not sure of others, but there is some sort of certification for rural track for residencies you could Google. Probably a safe bet that any place with that designation with a med school attached has a similar student program.

Good luck my rural compadre!
 
WVU, UVM off the top of my head are both OOS friendly and have either rural tracks or some sort of emphasis for rural rotations.

Not sure of others, but there is some sort of certification for rural track for residencies you could Google. Probably a safe bet that any place with that designation with a med school attached has a similar student program.

Good luck my rural compadre!
Thank you! Both of these have been added to my list of research.

If anyone is following this thread -- the archive didn't mention -- VCU has a family practice & separate underserved + rural program!
 
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You are a rock star. Golden, if not platinum.

There is a question, if you choose to speak about your battle with cancer and your surgery: is the cancer issue solidly in the past? Might it recur...and mean that you need to take time off from medical school or can't finish? The choice is entirely up to you; it might be a great overcoming-adversity story but that may be something to consider. @Goro @LizzyM @gyngyn and @Moko might have something to say about that. If your oncologist says the cancer's done and dusted for good you're closing in on unobtainium.

You absolutely do not need DO schools on your list unless you want them. You also should add a lot more top 20 schools; at least half your list should be top-20s. At worst, you're pack fodder for Harvard and at best a solid applicant there.
 
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On paper, you are an outstanding candidate: great stats, great story, great ECs (including D1 sports, other non-medical achievements), etc. If your interview goes well and your LORs and writing are strong, you would most likely get an acceptance at my school (T20).

So aim high: T20s and any other well known schools where you can convince them that you would realistically attend over these T20s (for example, schools in VA, AL, etc. where you have a connection). The onus is on you to show that you should not be yield protected against. You should not apply to DO schools. Just focus on mid- and top-tier schools. Just my thoughts.
 
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You are a rock star. Golden, if not platinum.

There is a question, if you choose to speak about your battle with cancer and your surgery: is the cancer issue solidly in the past? Might it recur...and mean that you need to take time off from medical school or can't finish? The choice is entirely up to you; it might be a great overcoming-adversity story but that may be something to consider. @Goro @LizzyM @gyngyn and @Moko might have something to say about that. If your oncologist says the cancer's done and dusted for good you're closing in on unobtainium.

You absolutely do not need DO schools on your list unless you want them. You also should add a lot more top 20 schools; at least half your list should be top-20s. At worst, you're pack fodder for Harvard and at best a solid applicant there.

Thank you for your kind words.
Platinum, I see what you did there... because they gave me cisplatinum as a chemotherapy agent right?

The wonderful thing about testicular cancer is its high cure rate! I already had my one recurrence, which according to the gambler's fallacy means I shouldn't have another one.
Oncologist and statistics are on my side w/ respect to having this be behind me. Do you think that is something that I should explicitly mention in writing in my application? Or leave that discussion as/if it comes up in interview?

Thanks!
 
Thank you for your kind words.
Platinum, I see what you did there... because they gave me cisplatinum as a chemotherapy agent right?

The wonderful thing about testicular cancer is its high cure rate! I already had my one recurrence, which according to the gambler's fallacy means I shouldn't have another one.
Oncologist and statistics are on my side w/ respect to having this be behind me. Do you think that is something that I should explicitly mention in writing in my application? Or leave that discussion as/if it comes up in interview?

Thanks!

That, I honestly do not know. On the one hand, adcoms might be concerned about a potential recurrence or metastasis leading you to need LoAs or drop out entirely. On the other, there is an excellent story about how you overcame adversity and a very strong if cliche reason for pursuing medicine. I don't know enough to answer that question, but might suggest - tentatively - that including it is going to increase the variance of your application. More people will think it is awesome...and unfortunately there may be people concerned about your health and ability to finish medical school.

I would look for guidance from an admissions committee member here on SDN about whether it is a good idea to discuss your struggle with cancer on an application; would probably be okay to mention it at interview if it comes up. If you feel strongly that it is something that you should talk about, though, you should probably do it.
 
There are many opportunities other than the PS to go into detail about your experience recovering from your treatment. Think about what you want to highlight when people meet you as a physician where you want to work. Whatever you say, you need to feel comfortable talking about it, and not just to faculty.
 
That, I honestly do not know. On the one hand, adcoms might be concerned about a potential recurrence or metastasis leading you to need LoAs or drop out entirely. On the other, there is an excellent story about how you overcame adversity and a very strong if cliche reason for pursuing medicine. I don't know enough to answer that question, but might suggest - tentatively - that including it is going to increase the variance of your application. More people will think it is awesome...and unfortunately there may be people concerned about your health and ability to finish medical school.

I would look for guidance from an admissions committee member here on SDN about whether it is a good idea to discuss your struggle with cancer on an application; would probably be okay to mention it at interview if it comes up. If you feel strongly that it is something that you should talk about, though, you should probably do it.
Fair. The first paragraph definitely makes sense.
I definitely want to include my cancer journey on my application, however, I didn't make it clear that my question was referring to: should I explicitly say "I'm done with it" to try to stow away any worry about LoA/withdrawals. My personal statement draft already highlights some of my journey. I will probably add in a piece towards the end stating that the journey is now over in light of what you said.
Thank you for all your commentary and advice. It is very insightful.
 
There are many opportunities other than the PS to go into detail about your experience recovering from your treatment. Think about what you want to highlight when people meet you as a physician where you want to work. Whatever you say, you need to feel comfortable talking about it, and not just to faculty.
Definitely. I absolutely want to share my story as its own that has shaped me and my journey to medicine in the last two years. My PS draft currently highlights some of it, and a few of the secondaries I'm drafting touch on it as well. Thank you for your feedback!
 
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Should I explicitly say "I'm done with it" to try to stow away any worry about LoA/withdrawals?
Yes - you should say that your oncologist has given you the all-clear and that recurrence is unlikely. Again - I'd ask @Goro here or another adcom for advice on this one. I think you will be fine, though.
 
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Haven't looked at the premed forum in like 8 years but if this application isn't the closest thing to perfection then things have really changed. The nice thing about going somewhere like Harvard is that it keeps your options wide option, regardless what you end up wanting to do.
 
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Haven't looked at the premed forum in like 8 years but if this application isn't the closest thing to perfection then things have really changed. The nice thing about going somewhere like Harvard is that it keeps your options wide option, regardless what you end up wanting to do.
Yeah, if the adcoms aren't concerned about the cancer this is top 0.1 percent material. We've had Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, a couple professional athletes, the odd guy with several papers in top journals like Nature. I think we had a fighter pilot from Annapolis, too. This guy is right up there with them. Probably in the top 30 of applications I've read here, out of thousands.

This is what we would call a strong candidate for top 20 schools. In the top 10 percent. Platinum, closing in on unobtainium.
 
Yes - you should say that your oncologist has given you the all-clear and that recurrence is unlikely. Again - I'd ask @Goro here or another adcom for advice on this one. I think you will be fine, though.
We can't discriminate against someone because they had cancer. The OP's record speaks for itself.

Of you school list, I suggest:

University of Virginia
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Virginia Tech Carillion

University of South Florida
University of Miami
UCF
University of Florida
Columbia
Yale
UPenn
Vanderbilt
NYU
Johns Hopkins
Duke
Icahn school of medicine
Emory School of Medicine
Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Northwestern
Mayo Clinic
Case Western
Ohio State
Also suggest:

Pitt
Harvard
U MI
Cornell
BU
Vandy
Case
U Rochester
Einstein
Stanford
UCLA
Keck
UCSF
U Cincy
 
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We can't discriminate against someone because they had cancer.
Glad to hear it. I was worried that adcoms might be concerned about a risk of recurrence and not being able to finish medical school.
In that case, OP should apply to Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and all the top-20 schools he likes, plus a few midtiers and state schools for insurance.

Congratulations @exity...seems like a bright future awaits you! Who knows - maybe this time next year you'll be looking at an acceptance letter from Harvard Med!
 
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