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WAMC TX applicant looking at AMCAS/would also appreciate general app advice

Hzreio

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jan 15, 2019
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394
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  1. Medical Student
As I finalize my list for AMCAS, I am wondering if there are any schools that may be recommended or any schools that should not be on my list. I am a TX applicant, but will mostly apply to higher-tier schools in AMCAS as I would consider going there over if accepted over a Texas school. I know my chances are likely best in TX, but would like input on if I'm reaching or if I have a reasonable shot at these schools.

Stats:

MCAT

05/2018 - 507 (128/125/127/127)
07/2019 - 520 (131/127/131/131)

(It goes without saying I'm thrilled to have made this improvement on my MCAT. But with it being a retake, how much will it hurt my chances? Obviously, without this retake, I would not even be considering the schools listed.)

GPA: cGPA: 3.82, sGPA: 3.71

ORM, male

Research: Clinical psychology (600 hours; 12/2016-05/2019) - No posters/pubs/presentations, but submitted developed the paradigm for a pilot study and submitted an IRB proposal for it. If I could go back I probably would have gone in a direction to produce more productivity, but, nonetheless, I learned a lot and this is one of my MM activities

Volunteerism:

Community Outreach Volunteer (180 hours; 1/2016-5/2017) - Active member in honor org that volunteered in underserved communities. I'd do stuff like help in grade school events (e.g tutoring, fundraisers), make and deliver care packages to homeless, help restore houses, that kind of thing.

Habitat for Humanity (24 hours; 3/2019 - Present) - I've done 3 build days so far (w 2 more planned). It's a fun and rewarding activity, but have reservations about how to present it bc it's more sporadic and the hours are not super significant or anything.

Medical Reserve Corps (68 hours; 5/2020 - Present) - Started as a result of wanting to help during COVID-19. For a local county, I check people in/out at testing sites, tell them where to go and make sure they get the correct labels so the tests go back to them. I wish I could be more at the frontlines performing the swabs, but hey I'm happy to serve however I can. I'm having a tough time assigning an end date to this, but in terms of longevity, I will only have been at this for a month when I submit AMCAS. I don't know if that will raise adcom eyebrows.

Clinical Experience:

ER/Front desk Volunteer (100 hours; 08/2017-11/2018) - Run of the mill volunteer experience. I walked around and cleaned rooms, restocked stuff, disinfected surfaces, helped people get where they're going, ran lab samples, etc. I did have a somewhat impactful experience watching an individual in the ER going through drug withdrawals, but I just wanted to do more the entire time.

Shadowing (110 hours; 06/2016 - 08/2020) - Ophtho (10 hours), IR (20 hours), FM (20 hours), Peds (60 hours)

Ophthalmic/Surgical Technician (1275 hours; 08/2019-03/2020) - I did eye exams on patients, obtaining a lot of basic ophthalmic data (e.g refractions, acuity, pressures, corneal topography). I assist directly in surgery, working extensively with 2 ophthalmologists by passing instruments, operating/calibrating lasers, sterilizing instruments, putting eyedrops and helping however I can. This is by far the biggest role I've played in a clinical setting and is a MM activity (obviously). It was cut short due to COVID-19, but have already been contacted to restart likely within the next 2 weeks.

Employment:

Lifeguard (240 hours; 06/2017-08/2018) - Just a summer job where I watched over and maintained municipal pools. Was CPR/first aid/AED certified and had training in spinal stabilization, ventilation and other emergency techniques through the American Red Cross

Leadership:

Aquatic Facility Manager/Head Lifeguard (325 hours; 06/2018-08/2018) - I supervised municipal pools by overseeing my staff/lifeguards, setting their rotations, and ensuring everything was running properly. I would also lead the conflict-resolution process anytime patrons had issues and perform normal lifeguard duties if needed.

Ophthalmic/Surgical Technician Trainer (50 hours; 10/2019-03/2020) - When starting, I was one of the first members of a team that was being built. So I played a role in on-boarding 4 additional staff members by having them shadow me and supervising their work until they were more independent. Again cut short to COVID-19 and plan to resume soon. I did not double count these hours.

Teaching:

Piano Instructor (1025 hours; 12/2016 - present) - I currently have a student base of 5 adults and 4 children whom I teach private piano lessons to on a weekly basis. For all of my students, there has been a successful teaching relationship of 1-3 years. I am proud of this activity and have learned a lot on the way, making it my last MM activity.

ECs/Hobbies:

Piano performance (1125 hours; 05/2015 - present) - Really, this activity started in 2004, but the hours are marked as starting in college. I kept this hobby alive in college and practice for demonstrations for my students and recordings just for my own documentation pleasure. Sometimes, I'll play in a public venue for wider audiences as a quasi-professional.

Weightlifting/fitness (1920 hours; 05/2016 - present) - No competitions or anything too serious, but I adhere strictly to my exercise schedule and it has produced a lot of benefits for me in life in terms of engagement, mood, and productivity. I also help people with their technique at my local gym.

Basketball/Guitar (15 hrs/month each) - Planning to include these briefly with my weightlifting entry.

School List:

Baylor
Case
Duke
Emory
Stanford
Harvard
NYU
Icahn
Mayo
USCF** I am a reapplicant to this school
UMich
UPitt
Cornell
TCU/UNT? (bc expensive tuition)
All TMDSAS

LoRs:

MD ophthalmologist/DO ophthalmologist (solid) - They know me quite well and we have an extensive, productive professional relationship over the last few months. Would it make a shred of difference anywhere that the MD ophthalmologist finished his residency at Emory and the DO ophthalmologist is faculty at one of my state schools?
Physics Prof (solid) - sat in front, went to every class, frequently when to office hours, raised my hand a lot in class; he knows my name and face
Government Prof (solid) - sat in front, went to every class, frequently went to office hours, he approached me to praise my performance on the first quiz; also knows my name and face
Biochem Prof (OK) - visited his office hours a lot and introduced myself 3-4 times, made an A in his class, but didn't have as solid a relationship with him as I did the other two profs
Lab PI (OK-Solid) - Worked in his lab for ~3 years. Honestly, I worked with a grad student a lot more than the PI, but the LoR is under his name (which is what the grad student told me to do when I asked for the letter). I can't think of any reason why this letter would be negative as he seemed appreciative of my work in the lab.




All the hours I've put are hours I have completed. Again, my school list is very top-heavy because I am also applying to all TMDSAS, which likely where I get an acceptance if I was even offered one. I get the feeling middle tier AMCAS schools would be more likely to pass me over because they know I would likely matriculate to Texas schools even if they offered a seat. This is why I have not included any. Any suggestions/comments on my application, school list, strategy, or anything else would be appreciated. TIA!

FYI I am a reapplicant to all TMDSAS +USCF for the 2018-2019 cycle. I am a first time applicant to every other school here.
 
Oct 14, 2011
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  1. Academic Administration
I'm not worried about your MCAT retake. You accomplished a +10 in composite score so that should put you in a great spot, in addition to your added volunteering for the Medical Reserve Corps. You're right in your strategy for listing schools, and you can obviously be as picky. Connect with the OOS schools on your wish list just to get an idea of what signals they may want for a Texas applicant who really wants to go to their school over a Texas medical school.
 

Hzreio

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Jan 15, 2019
480
394
116
  1. Medical Student
I'm not worried about your MCAT retake. You accomplished a +10 in composite score so that should put you in a great spot, in addition to your added volunteering for the Medical Reserve Corps. You're right in your strategy for listing schools, and you can obviously be as picky. Connect with the OOS schools on your wish list just to get an idea of what signals they may want for a Texas applicant who really wants to go to their school over a Texas medical school.

Thanks for the comment. What exactly do you mean by "signals" they want for a Texas applicant?
 
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