MD What are my chances? / Help with school list (518-520 / 3.90-3.95 cGPA / 3.90-3.95 sGPA)

skk_

_kks
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Oct 17, 2015
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Looking for help to build my school list. Aiming to apply this cycle - I put in my primary application with a placeholder school before I got my MCAT score (which came out today) so have my primary verified and just need to add the actual schools I plan on applying to / fill out secondaries. I've spent the last few weeks pre-writing a decent amount of secondaries already (mostly for the schools below), so should be able to get everything complete very quickly.

1. cGPA: [3.90 - 3.95], sGPA: [3.90 - 3.95]

2. MCAT: [518-520]

3. State of residence: PA, US Citizen

4. Ethnicity: Asian

5. Clinical ECs:
- [High hundreds range] hours clinical volunteer work
- [High hundreds range] hours paid clinical work

6. Research:
- [4-6] publications, one in a high impact journal (IF 30+), rest in medium impact journals (IF 10-20). Two first author.
- [2-5] poster presentations at national conferences
- Around [Mid thousands range] hours across three labs

7. Shadowing:
- [Mid hundreds range] hours split between three specialties

8. Non-Clinical ECs:
- [High hundreds range] hours volunteer work at various charities

9. Other info:
<some personal information/background removed>

Money is quite tight, so I likely cannot apply to more than 10 schools. Are my reach schools over-optimistic? I get the sense that they might be, and so are the main ones I'm looking at dropping.

School List:

Reach:
- Yale
- Columbia
- Penn
- NYU

Target:
- Tufts
- Temple
- Drexel
- Jefferson
- Rochester
- Penn State
- UCLA

Edit (June 2018): As noted in my response below, I ended having quite a successful cycle. See this post for more information. I've gone back and replaced exact numbers with ranges for anonymity reasons too. Sorry!
 
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md-2020

The Immaculate Catch
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It's a good list. I'd perhaps replace UCLA with Commonwealth (for basically guaranteed safety since you're a PA resident) and then cut low-yield low-score places like Drexel, Jeff, Temple (ik they're in Philly, but since you can only afford 10-11 apps they're not great choices). Consider swapping them for more target programs like Einstein, Mt. Sinai, and Dartmouth (If I'm doing the math correctly you're ~25 now? They love non-trads).
 

Faha

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Sep 15, 2012
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Keep Drexel, Temple, Jefferson and Penn State as your "safety" schools and add Commonwealth-Geisinger for the same reason. Then choose 5 reach schools that appeal to you and if those include Yale, Columbia, Penn and NYU then that is fine as long as you apply to your PA schools.
 
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blurb_123

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Aug 18, 2017
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As someone who browses around here quite a bit, 3 very legitimate pubs, well rounded ECs and your stats should be good enough to get into a top 10 school. If you don't I'll probably lose faith in the system, especially with your story. It's inspirational.
 

md-2020

The Immaculate Catch
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As someone who browses around here quite a bit, 3 very legitimate pubs, well rounded ECs and your stats should be good enough to get into a top 10 school. If you don't I'll probably lose faith in the system, especially with your story. It's inspirational.
It happens a lot more often than you think. Not that you should have faith in the system to begin with.
 

Goro

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I suggest:


Wash U
U Chicago
NYU
U Penn
Vanderbilt
Columbia
Sinai
Cornell
Northwestern
Case
Harvard
Yale
Stanford
JHU
U VA
U MI
U VM
U Cincy
Ohio State
U IA
UCSF
UCLA,
UCSD,
Miami
Tulane
Albert Einstein
Emory
BU
USC/Keck
Mayo
Rochester
Dartmouth
Duke
Pitt
Hofstra

You're not going to have time to apply to all of these, so prioritize!
 

Walter Raleigh

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I suggest:


Wash U
U Chicago
NYU
U Penn
Vanderbilt
Columbia
Sinai
Cornell
Northwestern
Case
Harvard
Yale
Stanford
JHU
U VA
U MI
U VM
U Cincy
Ohio State
U IA
UCSF
UCLA,
UCSD,
Miami
Tulane
Albert Einstein
Emory
BU
USC/Keck
Mayo
Rochester
Dartmouth
Duke
Pitt
Hofstra

You're not going to have time to apply to all of these, so prioritize!
The guy's a rockstar, and starting college late for the reasons that he did will only help him in adcoms' eyes. I'd pick 5 top tiers and 5 mid-tiers/state schools.
 
OP
skk_

skk_

_kks
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Oct 17, 2015
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@md-2020, @blurb_123, @Faha, @Goro, @Walter Raleigh:

I just wanted to update this thread and thank all of you for your advice and help.

I did what was suggested, redid my school list, and applied to roughly half reach schools and half mid-tier/state schools. All in all, I ended up applying to 20 schools rather than 10 due to being very fortunate to get the money to do so loaned to me by one of my research mentors. My secondaries were complete at 16 of the 20 schools during late August to early October, with the last four added very last minute near application deadlines in Oct.

Of the schools I applied to, I ended up receiving interview invites from:
- Pitt
- Penn
- Stanford
- NYU
- Columbia
- Vanderbilt
- Harvard (both programs)
- Rochester
- BU
- Hofstra
- Mayo (only applied to the main MN campus)
- Penn State

I have currently received no response from the following schools (which given how close to the end of interview season we are right now, I'm assuming means silent rejections):
- Yale
- Temple
- Geisinger
- Einstein
- Jefferson

and ended up getting pre-interview rejections from the following schools:
- Cornell
- Dartmouth
- Drexel ("hold" rather than outright rejection, but the way the e-mail was worded it feels like its basically the same thing at this point)


Last week I received my first acceptance: from Stanford. This was followed by two additional acceptances this week as well.

Thanks again for all the help. To be honest, I don't even know how things turned out how they did, since outside of my "interesting" path to college (info about I've had to remove from my OP, since several people managed to identify who I was based on it) and very strong research (I was also able to get a second 1st author paper accepted for publication prior to submitting most of my secondaries and mention it on there, so my research ended up being slightly stronger than indicated in my OP), nothing about my application was that special. Looking at the other WAMC posts on the front page right now, it actually feels kinda underwhelming compared to what many others that are applying with! This said, I am definitely OK with how things turned out even if I end up with no more acceptances, especially since i've been completely sold on Stanford since interview day, so have zero complaints :)

------
Edit with final update (June 2018)
With the cycle over and still getting PMed frequently about my application, I figure at this point there's no harm in listing the exact outcome of how things went. In the end, I received one additional interview invite following this post (13 total) and of these 13, went to 10 interviews that netted the following:

Accepted (6)
- Stanford
- Harvard
- Columbia
- NYU
- UPenn
- Hofstra

Waitlisted (4)
- Pitt
- Mayo
- Vanderbilt
- BU
Note: I withdrew from all four waitlists prior to April 30

Did not attend interview (3)
- PSU
- Rochester
- Einstein
 
Last edited:

Goro

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@md-2020, @blurb_123, @Faha, @Goro, @Walter Raleigh:

I just wanted to update this thread and thank all of you for your advice and help.

I did what was suggested, redid my school list, and applied to roughly half reach schools and half mid-tier/state schools. All in all, I ended up applying to 20 schools rather than 10 due to being very fortunate to get the money to do so loaned to me by one of my research mentors. My secondaries were complete at 16 of the 20 schools during late August to early October, with the last four added very last minute near application deadlines in Oct.

Of the schools I applied to, I ended up receiving interview invites from:
- Pitt
- Penn
- Stanford
- NYU
- Columbia
- Vanderbilt
- Harvard (both programs)
- Rochester
- BU
- Hofstra
- Mayo (only applied to the main MN campus)
- Penn State

I have currently received no response from the following schools (which given how close to the end of interview season we are right now, I'm assuming means silent rejections):
- Yale
- Temple
- Geisinger
- Einstein
- Jefferson

and ended up getting pre-interview rejections from the following schools:
- Cornell
- Dartmouth
- Drexel ("hold" rather than outright rejection, but the way the e-mail was worded it feels like its basically the same thing at this point)


Last week I received my first acceptance: from Stanford. This was followed by two additional acceptances this week as well.

Thanks again for all the help. To be honest, I don't even know how things turned out how they did, since outside of my "interesting" path to college (info about I've had to remove from my OP, since several people managed to identify who I was based on it) and very strong research (I was also able to get a second 1st author paper accepted for publication prior to submitting most of my secondaries and mention it on there, so my research ended up being slightly stronger than indicated in my OP), nothing about my application was that special. Looking at the other WAMC posts on the front page right now, it actually feels kinda underwhelming compared to what many others that are applying with! This said, I am definitely OK with how things turned out even if I end up with no more acceptances, especially since i've been completely sold on Stanford since interview day, so have zero complaints :)
:clap::clap::claps::claps::biglove::biglove::banana::boom:
 

thenucleusaccumbens

2+ Year Member
May 2, 2016
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513
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Medical Student
@md-2020, @blurb_123, @Faha, @Goro, @Walter Raleigh:

I just wanted to update this thread and thank all of you for your advice and help.

I did what was suggested, redid my school list, and applied to roughly half reach schools and half mid-tier/state schools. All in all, I ended up applying to 20 schools rather than 10 due to being very fortunate to get the money to do so loaned to me by one of my research mentors. My secondaries were complete at 16 of the 20 schools during late August to early October, with the last four added very last minute near application deadlines in Oct.

Of the schools I applied to, I ended up receiving interview invites from:
- Pitt
- Penn
- Stanford
- NYU
- Columbia
- Vanderbilt
- Harvard (both programs)
- Rochester
- BU
- Hofstra
- Mayo (only applied to the main MN campus)
- Penn State

I have currently received no response from the following schools (which given how close to the end of interview season we are right now, I'm assuming means silent rejections):
- Yale
- Temple
- Geisinger
- Einstein
- Jefferson

and ended up getting pre-interview rejections from the following schools:
- Cornell
- Dartmouth
- Drexel ("hold" rather than outright rejection, but the way the e-mail was worded it feels like its basically the same thing at this point)


Last week I received my first acceptance: from Stanford. This was followed by two additional acceptances this week as well.

Thanks again for all the help. To be honest, I don't even know how things turned out how they did, since outside of my "interesting" path to college (info about I've had to remove from my OP, since several people managed to identify who I was based on it) and very strong research (I was also able to get a second 1st author paper accepted for publication prior to submitting most of my secondaries and mention it on there, so my research ended up being slightly stronger than indicated in my OP), nothing about my application was that special. Looking at the other WAMC posts on the front page right now, it actually feels kinda underwhelming compared to what many others that are applying with! This said, I am definitely OK with how things turned out even if I end up with no more acceptances, especially since i've been completely sold on Stanford since interview day, so have zero complaints :)
Glad to hear this! Congrats!
 

masnerj

2+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2016
91
40
Status
Pre-Medical
Looking at the other WAMC posts on the front page right now, it actually feels kinda underwhelming compared to what many others that are applying with
I can't imagine a world where 4 publications with 3 as first author would be "underwhelming" considering you have the GPA and MCAT for the top schools.

Congrats OP on getting into Stanford!!!
 
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freedoctor17

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Sep 7, 2016
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I'm overwhelmed by how you thought this was underwhelming lol. Like everyone else said congrats! I heard Stanford takes really good care of their students.
 
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