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MD What are my chances? (cGPA 3.67 sGPA 3.70 MCAT 511)

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Fijjt

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I am a low SES white male from rural PA (have FAP, Pell Grant). First MCAT was 28, second take is 511 (unlikely to retake). Went to 'decent' small liberal arts school, studied abroad in England. Have 72 hours volunteer experience working with patients with Alzheimer's and shadowing doctors at Penn State Hershey. Research interned at Hershey too for 3 months with a Dr there. Second year applying. 1.5 years of research experience in animal behavior, no publications. Tutor for 2.5 years for high school and college students (science and math). Recently (like just updated the schools that I didn't hear back from yesterday) got a temp, full time, job working at a large pharma company that produces vaccines - not just factory working, will be writing SOPs and variety of tasks. Currently demoralized from the Temple waitlist. Only interviewed at Temple so far.

My list:
Boston University School of Medicine- reject preII
Drexel University College of Medicine (doesn't allow updates)
Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth - reject preII
Harvard Medical School - reject preII
Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University - CCL (which I guess is wait-listed) post interview
Mayo Medical School - reject preII
Oregon Health and Science University
Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine - wait-listed preII (frustratingly doesn't allow updates...)
Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania -'rejected' (not offered II)
The University of Vermont College of Medicine
Tufts University School of Medicine
University of Colorado School of Medicine (doesn't allow updates)
University of Massachusetts Medical School
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine - reject preII (like pretty quickly)
Yale School of Medicine

Yeah, so some are pretty ambitious as I now realize haha. Here are some questions:
1: It is possible to still get interviewed/ accepted at the schools I haven't heard from at this time of the application process
2: In addition to my new job, what do you guys think I should do to buff up on my app? Volunteering? I don't have a lot of monies so preferably something that is cheap.
3: It's hard to get into med school :(
4: I want to go to a good, strong school with many connections that is MD. What are some good schools that I should apply to instead of the ones I likely won't get into. State = PA.
5: Am I demoralized for no reason?
 

pillowpet319

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1. It is possible to get accepted/ interviews at some of the schools you applied to -- perhaps UVermont and with the update letter going out to Temple, hopefully you get accepted off the waitlist there!

3 and 5. That being said, it is incredibly hard to get into medical school nowadays. I recently applied as well so I know the feeling of dread/ anxiety before hearing back. Overall, your application is solid but probably not the right fit for most of the schools you applied to. For example, Harvard/ Geisel/ UPenn/ UPitt/ Yale/ Mayo are all elite schools which will only take the most exceptional candidates in the country (either by stats or by story). Realistically, about 90% of your list are for schools that either a) receive a TON of applications, b) are incredibly selective, or c) both.

2 and 4. Have you purchased MSAR? This is by far the best resource for medical school applicants. You can look up the median GPA and MCAT score for all the schools you're applying to, as well as the interview/ application and interview/ matriculation ratio. These are all crucial numbers and it's worth spending the time to make sure you fall under the 10th through 90th percentile stats-wise. If you have to re-apply, I'd recommend looking to apply to as many new/ mid-tier/ low-tier private schools as possible. Take a look around other WAMC threads to find those types of schools; outside of your state school, they will be your best bet. That'd be your third time applying though, so you may have to apply to around 30-40 schools to guarantee yourself an acceptance. (I know, it sounds super daunting, but you'll get through it if you need to!).

4 (continued). Based on what you've provided, I'd say that you have a fairly interesting life story, but other than that, a pretty standard application (outside of your recent job and Alzheimer's patient experience). That doesn't mean it's bad by any means, but you have to think about the odds: What in your app is going to convince admissions committees to interview/ accept you over the other 5-10 people in the pile? Any MD school in the U.S will help you become a doctor, so I'd advise taking a bit of time to work on your app. Perhaps a publication, more in-depth clinical volunteering, or some strong LOR's from your current job could be useful.

I hope I'm not being too blunt. Like I said, I totally empathize with all of your struggles with applying and getting put on waitlists. You have solid numbers and extracurriculars; just focus on building a more unique application and choosing a better school list if necessary for your third time around.
 
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Fijjt

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Thanks. Is my applying for the third time a disadvantage?
 

pillowpet319

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Some schools (like Einstein, if I remember correctly) are okay with students applying a second time, but not a third. Remember that you're only a re-applicant to the schools that you have applied and gotten secondaries from. For example, if you hadn't applied to Temple the first time around, you would be a first time applicant to them this cycle.

So there's a good chance - especially if you haven't looked through all of MSAR - that you'll find a lot of schools you may want to apply to next year. @Goro is probably the best person to help find schools that are a) re-applicant friendly and b) mid-to-low tier private schools in your range.

It seems like the general consensus is that your third application cycle is your last competitive chance, so I'd advise taking some time off to make sure that your application is as good as you can before you submit. I'm still hoping that you get off the CCL, but it's never a bad thing to prepare for the next cycle if necessary :).
 

Goro

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If I read your OP correctly, fijjt, you have < 100hrs of clinical volunteering, and your only non-clinical volunteering [?] is tutoring. These will probably be lethal. You need to show that you know what you're getting into, that you really want to be around sick people for the next 40 years, and display your altruism.
 
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Fijjt

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Thanks for replying Goro, you seem like a well respected individual in this community.
I think I will apply to some clinical, patient contact, clinical volunteering now just to make sure. I will prepare for the next cycle as of now, but if I get off that CCL I will be very happy.
Also, thank you pillowpet319 for the discussion.
 
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