WAMC (DO/MD School List Included): Non-trad, re-applicant, low scores, FAP, strong EC + Clinical Experience

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Oct 8, 2022
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Could use some feedback on creating a school list. I am a re-applicant, and an older (31) non-traditional applicant. 1st gen, who has qualified for FAP, and hoping to be considered disadvantaged based on economic factors. My application will be ready to submit as soon as the portal opens.

Quick summary of re-applicant:
Applied 2 cycles ago with a 3.0 gpa and 501 MCAT (I submitted my apps before I received my score).
Woke up and realized how crazy that was. Took a break from the following cycle and did the following:
  • ~20 credits of prereqs with straight A's
  • retook the MCAT with a 506
  • co-authored 5 papers, and started a clinical job at my local med school/hospital with significant clinical hours and direct relationships with both providers and patients
  • Continued volunteering

Undergrad GPA: 3.0
Grad school (Biomedical Eng./Design) GPA: 3.8
Postbac GPA: 3.2*
Cumulative GPA (unweighted): ~3.2
MCAT: 501; 506

*Combination of family health, working full-time, and COVID hit me hard. My trajectory is upward, with good grades in the last 20 credits over the past year.

North Carolina

Ethnicity and/or race:
White/middle eastern, 1st gen American

Non-Clinical Work Experience (non-trad career changer):
Spent 4 years working in medical device R&D after grad school. Worked on 2 successful FDA approvals, several medical devices, and was a leader within the company

Clinical Experience:
Non-volunteer: ~1,500
Currently an fMRI tech and clinical imaging manager at my local medical school (T20 public school) and their affiliated hospital. I've been in this role for about 18 months. Have also helped develop and manage 2 small clinical trials

Volunteer: ~500 hours.
Some unique projects like doing x rays for free dental clinics and designing prosthetics for children for a non-profit as well as more traditional avenues like hospital volunteering, red cross, etc.

Research Experience:
Hours: At least ~5,000
Lab Experience: Worked with 3 big labs over the past 5 years
Fields: Medical devices, wearables, fMRI, neuroscience/neurology, neurocritical care
Publications: 10 published, ~5 in the works (Mix of bigger names like Nature, Science, etc. as well smaller journals. I have 2 first author papers that I'm hoping will be published within the next 12-18 months)
Posters: Several
Patents: 1 in progress
Awards: Some grad school awards, as well as a Nature Medicine Spinoff award
Grants: Helped write a successful R01

Radiology, neurology, surgical specialties, primary care. The most notable of these is neurology, where I've had a great opportunity to shadow my mentor and PI in the neuro-ICU over the past year. Shadowed rounds, spent time with residents and fellows, attended sign in/sign off meetings, etc.

Non-Clinical Volunteering:
A lot of community volunteering over the past 10 years, at least ~5,000 hours. A lot of work with mentoring, coaching, and helping kids. Everything from after helping with school high school programs, coaching high school wrestling, coaching middle school wrestling camps, working with veterans, habitat for humanity, etc.

Other things:
  • Currently an undergraduate research supervisor and have helped a lot of undergrads get involved with published research and poster presentations.
  • Graduate teaching assistant in grad school (co-taught 3 courses)
  • Received a scholarship for healthcare innovation in grad school
Letters of Rec:
Strong letters from PI's and doctors/medical directors who were my direct supervisors and knew me on a personal level

Tentative School List:

  1. Campbell
  2. California Health Sciences University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  3. PCOM
  4. Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine
  5. Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine
  6. Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  7. Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine (ICOM)
  8. Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine
  9. West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine
  10. William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  11. VCOM
  12. Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine
  13. Liberty
  14. A.T. Still University-School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona
  15. Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine
  16. Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine
  17. Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  18. University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine
  19. Kansas City University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  20. Kansas Health Science Center-Kansas College of Osteopathic Medicine
  21. Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine
  22. Marian University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  23. Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine
  24. Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine
  25. Nova Southeastern
  26. University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine
  27. Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine at Bradenton
  28. University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine
  29. Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine
  30. New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine - NY
  31. Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine
  32. University of North Texas Health Science Center Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine
  33. Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific
  34. Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest

  1. UNC (NC resident)
  2. ECU (NC resident)
  3. Wake Forest (NC resident)
  4. Meharry Medical Colleg
  5. Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
  6. Mercer University School of Medicine
  7. The University of Texas at Tyler School of Medicine
  8. University of Houston College of Medicine
  9. Central Michigan University College of Medicine
  10. CUNY School of Medicine
  11. East Tennessee State University
  12. Florida State University
  13. University of South Alabama
  14. Howard University
  15. Louisiana State University
  16. Marshall University
  17. Albany Medical College
  18. Anne Burnett Marion School of Medicine at TCU
  19. West Virginia University School of Medicine
  20. Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
  21. Morehouse School of Medicine
  22. Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
  23. University of Arkansas
  24. University of Kentucky College of Medicine
  25. University of Louisville School of Medicine
  26. University of Mississippi School of Medicine
  27. University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine
  28. University of North Dakota School of Medicine
  29. University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine
  30. New York Medical College
  31. Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine
  32. University of New Mexico School of Medicine
  33. Southern Illinois University School of Medicine
  34. Meharry Medical College School of Medicine
  35. Mercer University School of Medicine
  36. University of South Carolina School of Medicine

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Last edited:
Noting you had a different post for MD/PhD chances, but I won't consider this a duplicate.

Adding to advice from the other post to focus just on MD/DO:
Why are you making this career change? I want to hear it in your words and from your experiences. This will be an expected question and theme to highlight in your application.

Your 506 was taken in the 2023 year? When did you receive FAP status, and did you exhaust your resources? You may want to petition AAMC to extend any free resources such as PREview support to prepare you for that assessment.

You mentioned having grown up as a first-generation child. Were you born in the US or emigrated as a very young child? Did you grow up in North Carolina or wound up there because of your recent job?

You have a lot of research experience (and research-adjacent) solidly in your resume/application, so the question is going to be whether you have enough clinical and community service. On the clinical side, I'll defer to the experts to comment whether your fMRI tech job is enough or whether you need at least to see/shadow other departments.

On the non-clinical community service side, itemize your activities, especially your work with Habitat, soup kitchens, veterans support, and "etc." that has nothing to do with coaching or mentoring kids (though tell us what you did and how long/hours).
I suggest these DO schools with your stats:
VCOM (all schools)
LMU-DCOM (all schools)
LECOM (all schools)
BCOM (all schools)
PCOM (all schools)
You are not competitive for most MD schools and many of the schools on your list admit very few (if any) non residents with your stats (Mercer and Mississippi do not admit non residents)
You could try East Carolina, Belmont, Alice Walton (when it opens), Roseman (when it opens)