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What exactly defines reinvention? Advice needed for such an applicant.

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by Agent_ai, 10.29.14.

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  1. Agent_ai

    Agent_ai

    Joined:
    05.11.14
    Messages:
    4
    I've read many threads where a few of the adcom posters have mentioned that some MD schools value reinvention. In fact, @Goro has been nice enough to post a list of these previously mentioned MD schools. I would like to preface that I didn't crawl into this hole over night and therefore I won't/wouldn't be able to crawl out over night as well. Furthermore, I'm a louisiana resident if that helps any.

    QUESTION 1: How long (semester hours/years) is needed for an applicant to be "favorably" looked at as a reinvented applicant?

    QUESTION 2: As I see it, I have 3 options as I'm only missing 2 courses to graduate after this semester.
    A.) I can delay my graduation by a year ( until Spring 2016) to take additional undergraduate courses to raise my ugradGPA then enroll in a SMP.
    B.) I can graduate this spring and enroll in a SMP immediately after.
    C.) I can graduate this spring, do a DIY post-bacc (I've been told that senior year grades are averaged even if there's 2 senior years on the application), then enroll in a SMP.

    My Specific Stats-including this semester's grades
    AMCAS - cumulative gpa: 3.04
    science gpa: 2.91 (worried about the screening but should be = or > 3.0 after next semester)

    AACOMAS - cumulative gpa: 3.75
    science gpa: 3.67
    MCAT - 37 (13/12/12)

    GPA break down by year: Freshman - 1.68 (took me 3 years, yes..) racked up 13 W's
    Sophomore - 3.45... 2 W's
    Junior - 3.61.. 3 W's
    Senior - 4.0
    The last 3 semester's have been 4.0 with science courses only; however W's are riddled throughout my transcript and abruptly stopped 3 semesters ago which is why I'm heavily considering an additional year of undergraduate coursework.

    EC's
    Research: 2 years - 1 publication (Forensic Chemistry; will this hurt?) as 3rd author, 2 posters, 2 presentations (1 at a regional conference), 1 pending publication as 2nd author.

    Volunteering:
    Certified EMT-B - 1000 hours (1.5 years)
    Substance Abuse Treatment Center - 290 hours (1.5 years)
    Community Service (varied) - 700 hours (2 years)

    Leadership:
    Founded a student organization for volunteering - President for 2 years
    Founded a local non-profit for low income elderly and children - 2 years and counting
    Through the non-profit and the student organization I have personally set up 60 different volunteer activities for a variety of things but low income elderly/children is a common theme throughout.

    Tutoring:
    General course work - 2 years
    ACT Prep for high gpa students with a current low "non-representative" score - 1 year

    Shadowing:
    60 hours (includes Family Practice and other primary care specialties and Surgical specialties)


    As you can see, everything started about 2 years ago which is the extent of my effort to "reinvent" my application. I'm extremely worried about my W's and that my last one was only 3 semesters ago. Thank you for any and all advice!
     
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  3. Boolean

    Boolean

    Joined:
    10.14.13
    Messages:
    1,442
    W's will be a bit hindering, but you've got a solid MCAT, some great EC's, and it looks like your GPA is on the way up. There isn't any specific period of time that defines reinvention. I'd say you want to maintain the roll you're on for at least 2 years total (positive EC's, high grades, etc).

    You've done well. Keep the GPA high and apply widely when you do apply.
     
  4. Agent_ai

    Agent_ai

    Joined:
    05.11.14
    Messages:
    4
    Thank you for the response. So, you recommend at least 1 more year of undergraduate course work with my current trend. Do you think an SMP after is necessary? I would like to apply only once (wouldn't we all) so I'm not opposed to taking another year or spending the money if it makes my application that much stronger.

    Also, do you know if schools look for any research experience or do they value medically related research more heavily? I ask since my only publication is in Forensic Chemistry.

    Again, thank you for the advice.
     
  5. Boolean

    Boolean

    Joined:
    10.14.13
    Messages:
    1,442
    Most of the time they'll be happy for you to simply have any research (given you aren't applying MD/PhD).

    If you're aiming for MD, I would say perhaps do a linked SMP. If you're aiming for DO, I don't see why you would necessarily need one.
     
  6. zzxxzz

    zzxxzz 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    01.13.12
    Messages:
    639
    Amazing MCAT, everything looks great except for that GPA. Being an LA resident is a huge plus, as all the LA schools have relatively lax admissions reqs and you'd have the highest MCAT score of your class at any of them. I'd take another year, but I think you'd be OK after that.
     
  7. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    06.10.10
    Messages:
    29,311
    Location:
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    Status:
    Non-Student
    Verified
    Faculty
    Considering that post-bacs or SMPs can be a single year programs, my take is that a year of solid success (3.7-4.0 GPA) is the mark of reinvention; that plus a good MCAT (34+)

    QUESTION 1: How long (semester hours/years) is needed for an applicant to be "favorably" looked at as a reinvented applicant?


    You're in an interesting situation. Your stats are excellent for any DO school, but on paper, problematic for MD schools. BUT, the upward trend is the mark of someone who is a successful reinventer. The only confounder will be the Ws.


    It might be worth taking a crack at an app cycle, warts and all, for MD schools. You're in a good position as others have mentioned for the LSUs, and Tulane. During the cycle, you may want to take a semester of courses just to show that the Ws are a fluke and you can handle a difficult curriculum

    The safer bet will be to try a SMP, I suggest waiting to see how the app cycle shakes out. Thus, I suggest a modified version of C.
    QUESTION 2: As I see it, I have 3 options as I'm only missing 2 courses to graduate after this semester.
    A.) I can delay my graduation by a year ( until Spring 2016) to take additional undergraduate courses to raise my ugradGPA then enroll in a SMP.
    B.) I can graduate this spring and enroll in a SMP immediately after.
    C.) I can graduate this spring, do a DIY post-bacc (I've been told that senior year grades are averaged even if there's 2 senior years on the application), then enroll in a SMP.

    My Specific Stats-including this semester's grades
    AMCAS - cumulative gpa: 3.04
    science gpa: 2.91 (worried about the screening but should be = or > 3.0 after next semester)

    AACOMAS - cumulative gpa: 3.75
    science gpa: 3.67
    MCAT - 37 (13/12/12)
     
  8. Agent_ai

    Agent_ai

    Joined:
    05.11.14
    Messages:
    4
    Well, it's true that the LSU's mcat average is only a 30 but I was worried since their mean gpa was at a 3.7 last year. However, I need to contact the dean of admissions because I've heard that they'll favor graduate gpa (as in SMP) over ugrad if it's at least 30 hours.
     
  9. Agent_ai

    Agent_ai

    Joined:
    05.11.14
    Messages:
    4
    I appreciate your response. DO schools, such as your own, would be willing to look past the exorbitant amount of W's? I'm certainly worried about the frequency and how recent some of them are.

    In regard to MD schools, is there anything else that I can do besides continuing my grade trend and current EC's to alleviate my red flags?
     
  10. zzxxzz

    zzxxzz 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    01.13.12
    Messages:
    639

    According to the MSAR, 10% of the students accepted at both of LSU's campuses had below a 3.4. All schools make exceptions.
     
  11. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    06.10.10
    Messages:
    29,311
    Location:
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    Status:
    Non-Student
    Verified
    Faculty
    DO schools are highly forgiving, hence the policy of grade replacement. we're more willing to believe that the you of now is not the you of then.

    I appreciate your response. DO schools, such as your own, would be willing to look past the exorbitant amount of W's? I'm certainly worried about the frequency and how recent some of them are.

    I think that's about it. And yes to zzxxzz's post, people do get in with stats below the 10th %ile, but I feel that those represent very exceptional people (URM, compelling life stories, unbelievably exceptional ECs, like serving in the military or Peace Corps, or being a legacy. Thus, it's better to be int he 10-90%ile range, where we know you have a better shot.

    In regard to MD schools, is there anything else that I can do besides continuing my grade trend and current EC's to alleviate my red flags?
     
  12. Ronpaulgolddigger

    Ronpaulgolddigger 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    11.19.13
    Messages:
    1
    Any updates? I feel erily close to your situation, that it is almost scary.
     

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