WAMC/ School List Critique: 4.0 GPA 519 MCAT ORM

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  1. cGPA and sGPA as calculated by AMCAS or AACOMAS: 4.0
  2. MCAT score(s) and breakdown: 519 (129, 129, 130, 131)
  3. State of residence or country of citizenship (if non-US): FL
  4. Ethnicity and/or race: Asian
  5. Undergraduate institution or category: T5 Public School
  6. Clinical experience (volunteer and non-volunteer): ~500 hours over 2 years volunteering with community resource paramedicine team through the local fire rescue. I worked with individuals recovering from recent overdoses, houseless individuals, and those facing chronic diseases and other lifelong conditions. My main role is in visiting patients at their homes to determine their needs and then work on resource pairing. ~150 hours hospice volunteering, ~150 hours interning with the hospital quality improvement team. Projected to work full-time as a scribe over my gap year and through the application cycle.
  7. Research experience and productivity: ~500 hours in a neuro-oncology lab focusing on Glioblastoma (no pubs or poster presentations), ~100 hours working on a genetic association study (no pubs or poster presentations).
  8. Shadowing experience and specialties represented: 155 hours total: 10 hours ophthalmology, 30 hours pulmonology, 30 hours family medicine, 40 hours pediatrics, 30 hours endocrinology, 15 hours E-shadowing various specialties
  9. Non-clinical volunteering: ~100 hours helping to renovate homes in underserved areas of my town, 200 hours volunteering with an organization backed by the UN to provide support to Cameroon during the pandemic, ~100 hours volunteering at a local homeless shelter
  10. Other extracurricular activities (including athletics, military service, gap year activities, leadership, teaching, etc): 250 hours volunteering as an Organic Chemistry TA, served as an ambassador for undergraduate research for the university, including tennis as a hobby on my application as I have been playing since I was 7.
  11. Relevant honors or awards: National Merit Scholarship Winner/Benaquisto Scholarship Recipient (Not sure if I should include these), 3 merit scholarships that I received during college, Presidents Honor Roll, Honors program graduate
School List:
UF
USF
FAU
FSU
UCF
UMiami
Baylor
Pittsburgh
Columbia
Duke
Mt. Sinai
Hopkins
Kaiser
Mayo
NYU
Northwestern
UPenn
Stanford
UCLA
UCSF
UChicago
UTSW
Vanderbilt
Yale
Harvard
Washington University (in St. Louis)
Case Western
Emory
Boston University
Cornell
Ohio State
UVA
Cincinnati

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So what are your chief concerns? What concerns does your prehealth advisor have? How do you see yourself as a physician?
How have you networked with the schools? Do any of them have students who are similar to you?
 
So what are your chief concerns? What concerns does your prehealth advisor have?
How have you networked with the schools? Do any of them have students who are similar to you?
The main weakness I see is the lack of research productivity. This could hold me back at some of the research heavy schools on my list, so I wanted to see if that was a legitimate concern in the context of my entire application. I personally, haven't done much in the way of networking, I'm curious as to how I can start networking with schools, do schools have an admissions rep. similar to colleges? I definitely foresee myself continuing to work with some of the underserved populations that I have been serving, so service oriented schools such as Mayo and Mt. Sinai are higher on my list. I've been specifically looking at schools that have outreach clinics for their surrounding communities and have found that UCLA and Columbia have programs similar to the community resource paramedicine program that I have been working with.

I would also appreciate advice on the top heavy nature of my school list. I'm happy to attend any of my in-state public med schools, so I assumed that I could apply aggressively. But, I'm not sure if I'm setting myself up for disappointment when I don't get any attention from T20's and get yield protected from the rest of the schools on my list.
 
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Stats are solid; ECs are decent. You’re pack fodder for top 20s and solid everywhere else; split your application between mid tier schools and top 20s. Research productivity would be nice to have, but don’t fret about lack of it knocking you totally out of the running for top schools. Good luck!
 
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Would be crazy if anyone wanted more than this. Best of luck friend!
 
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The main weakness I see is the lack of research productivity. This could hold me back at some of the research heavy schools on my list, so I wanted to see if that was a legitimate concern in the context of my entire application.
Do you want to do research then? Why is this so important to you? Did you just get started in January? Not everyone needs to show productivity in research to become a physician, but it sounds like you're doing it just to be desirable for research-oriented schools.
I personally, haven't done much in the way of networking, I'm curious as to how I can start networking with schools, do schools have an admissions rep. similar to colleges?
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You haven't gone to any recruiting events or open houses? Have you talked with your prehealth advisor on campus? Read While You Are Waiting: Processing Health Professions Applications - SDN .
I definitely foresee myself continuing to work with some of the underserved populations that I have been serving, so service oriented schools such as Mayo and Mt. Sinai are higher on my list. I've been specifically looking at schools that have outreach clinics for their surrounding communities and have found that UCLA and Columbia have programs similar to the community resource paramedicine program that I have been working with.

If you are serious about this, then you need to decide on whether going to a research-heavy schools is really important to you. You also need a lot more hours in community service not related to health or education, and it should be done in the US. You have a good start it appears, so now you need more hors to show true commitment.
I would also appreciate advice on the top heavy nature of my school list. I'm happy to attend any of my in-state public med schools, so I assumed that I could apply aggressively. But, I'm not sure if I'm setting myself up for disappointment when I don't get any attention from T20's and get yield protected from the rest of the schools on my list.
You need to focus on your story because I don't see it. Without it, you can't match with a program's mission.

We're going to do a lot about this in the Becoming a Student Doctor cohort that begins in January.
 
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Do you want to do research then? Why is this so important to you? Did you just get started in January? Not everyone needs to show productivity in research to become a physician, but it sounds like you're doing it just to be desirable for research-oriented schools.

No Way What GIF by Hill's Pet Nutrition's Pet Nutrition


You haven't gone to any recruiting events or open houses? Have you talked with your prehealth advisor on campus? Read While You Are Waiting: Processing Health Professions Applications - SDN .


If you are serious about this, then you need to decide on whether going to a research-heavy schools is really important to you. You also need a lot more hours in community service not related to health or education, and it should be done in the US. You have a good start it appears, so now you need more hors to show true commitment.

You need to focus on your story because I don't see it. Without it, you can't match with a program's mission.

We're going to do a lot about this in the Becoming a Student Doctor cohort that begins in January.

Thanks for the advice! I'll definitely look into what I want in my ideal school and start speaking with some of the schools that I am most interested in attending. As it relates to research, I am happy with the amount of time I have spent and the lessons I have learned from my time in the lab. The lack of productivity isn't due to a lack of enthusiasm, and I'm interested in continuing research in medical school.
 
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I definitely foresee myself continuing to work with some of the underserved populations that I have been serving, so service oriented schools such as Mayo and Mt. Sinai are higher on my list.
The above aren’t service oriented schools.

Remove:
Stanford
UCLA
UCSF
Harvard
Yale

Add:
Keck
Rochester
Einstein
Hofstra
 
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The above aren’t service oriented schools.

Remove:
Stanford
UCLA
UCSF
Harvard
Yale

Add:
Keck
Rochester
Einstein
Hofstra
Thank you! I have seen students with school lists similar to mine be told that their list is too top-heavy. Outside of the modifications that you made, should I be concerned that my own list is somewhat unrealistic?
 
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Thank you! I have seen students with school lists similar to mine be told that their list is too top-heavy. Outside of the modifications that you made, should I be concerned that my own list is somewhat unrealistic?
You have good chances at FL schools and if you make the modifications, that should give you a broad list.
 
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  1. cGPA and sGPA as calculated by AMCAS or AACOMAS: 4.0
  2. MCAT score(s) and breakdown: 519 (129, 129, 130, 131)
  3. State of residence or country of citizenship (if non-US): FL
  4. Ethnicity and/or race: Asian
  5. Undergraduate institution or category: T5 Public School
  6. Clinical experience (volunteer and non-volunteer): ~500 hours over 2 years volunteering with community resource paramedicine team through the local fire rescue. I worked with individuals recovering from recent overdoses, houseless individuals, and those facing chronic diseases and other lifelong conditions. My main role is in visiting patients at their homes to determine their needs and then work on resource pairing. ~150 hours hospice volunteering, ~150 hours interning with the hospital quality improvement team. Projected to work full-time as a scribe over my gap year and through the application cycle.
  7. Research experience and productivity: ~500 hours in a neuro-oncology lab focusing on Glioblastoma (no pubs or poster presentations), ~100 hours working on a genetic association study (no pubs or poster presentations).
  8. Shadowing experience and specialties represented: 155 hours total: 10 hours ophthalmology, 30 hours pulmonology, 30 hours family medicine, 40 hours pediatrics, 30 hours endocrinology, 15 hours E-shadowing various specialties
  9. Non-clinical volunteering: ~100 hours helping to renovate homes in underserved areas of my town, 200 hours volunteering with an organization backed by the UN to provide support to Cameroon during the pandemic, ~100 hours volunteering at a local homeless shelter
  10. Other extracurricular activities (including athletics, military service, gap year activities, leadership, teaching, etc): 250 hours volunteering as an Organic Chemistry TA, served as an ambassador for undergraduate research for the university, including tennis as a hobby on my application as I have been playing since I was 7.
  11. Relevant honors or awards: National Merit Scholarship Winner/Benaquisto Scholarship Recipient (Not sure if I should include these), 3 merit scholarships that I received during college, Presidents Honor Roll, Honors program graduate
School List:
UF
USF
FAU
FSU
UCF
UMiami
Baylor
Pittsburgh
Columbia
Duke
Mt. Sinai
Hopkins
Kaiser
Mayo
NYU
Northwestern
UPenn
Stanford
UCLA
UCSF
UChicago
UTSW
Vanderbilt
Yale
Harvard
Washington University (in St. Louis)
Case Western
Emory
Boston University
Cornell
Ohio State
UVA
Cincinnati
Fine list
Also consider Wester MI, U Rochester, BU, U MI, SUNY.SB
 
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I'm sorry you're getting such horrible advice on this forum. Your stats and ECs make you competitive for all the top schools on your list, and whether or not you interview really depends on who is reading your application. Nothing wrong with wanting to go to a research-heavy school - the reality is that MD students won't even be doing that much bench work at these schools. Plenty of my friends have gotten into top schools without non-health volunteering so I wouldn't consider that to be a concern. Keep Stanford, UCLA, UCSF, Harvard, and Yale since you are competitive for all of these schools. Also, LOL med school admissions isn't like finance recruiting - you'll be totally fine without networking.
 
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I'm sorry you're getting such horrible advice on this forum. Your stats and ECs make you competitive for all the top schools on your list, and whether or not you interview really depends on who is reading your application. Nothing wrong with wanting to go to a research-heavy school - the reality is that MD students won't even be doing that much bench work at these schools. Plenty of my friends have gotten into top schools without non-health volunteering so I wouldn't consider that to be a concern. Keep Stanford, UCLA, UCSF, Harvard, and Yale since you are competitive for all of these schools. Also, LOL med school admissions isn't like finance recruiting - you'll be totally fine without networking.
Thank you! It's hard to sift through the conflicting advice, but I was leaning towards leaving my school list as is in addition to adding the schools that were suggested above. I definitely feel a lot better hearing about your opinion on networking and research-heavy schools!
 
Just want to give you another data point. I have similar stat (3.96 sGPA, 521 MCAT). ORM. decent ECs. My school list has some of the same schools like yours plus a lot more lower ranking schools. All my 6 interviews (2 A, 2 WL, and 2 waiting for result) come from lower tier schools. So, it is wise to apply broadly.
 
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Reviving this thread to add my cycle results...
Screenshot 2024-04-01 at 11.31.15 PM.png


Reflections:
I spent a lot of time crafting a narrative which eventually ended up being an emphasis on health equity and humanism in medicine. I adopted a story-telling approach for most of my experiences, trying to highlight the human element and connections that I developed through each of my activities. My personal statement touched on a medical condition that I was diagnosed with in high school which sparked my interest in healthcare. It was rounded out with stories of patient experiences that were especially impactful for me in a multitude of ways. I was initially hesitant at the top-heavy nature of my school list, but I was pleasantly surprised to receive attention from research heavy schools despite my lack of research productivity. My biggest piece of advice would be to stay true to who you are and what you enjoy doing. If you are truly passionate about your experiences, your reflections and ability to speak about them eloquently in an interview will come naturally. Feel free to PM me with any questions!
 
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You clearly interview well, with five acceptances from ten interviews and four waitlist spots. You're going to medical school somewhere - and maybe a top 20 if you're lucky. Congratulations!
 
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You clearly interview well, with five acceptances from ten interviews and four waitlist spots. You're going to medical school somewhere - and maybe a top 20 if you're lucky. Congratulations!
Thank you! Your advice was also really helpful when I was just getting started, really appreciate everything you do on here for all applicants!
 
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Thank you! Your advice was also really helpful when I was just getting started, really appreciate everything you do on here for all applicants!
Congrats on such a great cycle, future doc! This post gives me hope :)

Do you have any interview advice, with such an awesome conversion?
 
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if you are not interested in research, that is not a problem. Just don’t apply to programs that are steering students into academics. There are plenty of nonacademic opportunities outside the marble halls of academia. I knew very few people throughout my decades of practice as a department head in a 185 bed community hospital in a major suburban area who had any academic interest or experience.
 
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Great job!! Stats gets you far with the T20. Glad you decided to stick with your guns. Now, remember to continue wooing those schools on the WL too (LOIs, updates, etc.). One of those schools on your WL, I also got in from the WL, and they are receptive to love notes. PM me for details.
 
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Congrats on such a great cycle, future doc! This post gives me hope :)

Do you have any interview advice, with such an awesome conversion?
Thank you so much!

I would say that you should definitely prepare answers for the following questions: Tell me about yourself, Why medicine, Why (insert school), Tell me about your research, and Biggest strengths/weaknesses. Outside of that, the majority of my interviews were focused around discussing experiences that the particular interviewer found interesting. For those discussions, it is important to be able to reference anecdotes (ideally ones that you haven't mentioned elsewhere) to spur an interesting conversation. Definitely spend time doing mock interviews and even practice rehearsing your answers by yourself. However, be careful to not over prepare to the extent that your responses sound scripted. Hope that helps, and feel free to PM me if you have any other questions!
 
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