What to do next after unsuccessful 1st attempt...

wepio

10+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2008
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Pre-Medical
What do you do if you start running out of things to do to make your application stand out? I know the first thing I'm going to do is retake the MCAT, but aside from that, I'm coming to the end of the post-bacc UG bio-science courses I can take. I don't really want to enter a Masters program because most med-schools want you to finish them prior to matriculation and since I work full-time, it would take me at least two years to complete from when I start it. Doesn't there comes a point when shadowing/volunteering reaches a point of deminishing return? I guess this is my next course of action, and let me know if itwill be a waste of effort.

For the 2009-10 academic year:
- Retake MCAT and shoot for 32+
- Complete second degree in Biology
- Start taking mastes level Molecular Bio classes
- Complete EMT-basic training in fall, begin as weekend-warrior volunteer EMT in December
- Continue racking up volunteer/shadow hours
 

Dendrite

10+ Year Member
Oct 17, 2007
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Medical Student
Maybe you should try enrolling in a one year SMP. It's a one year master's program where you take med school level courses. It is primarily a means to show admissions departments that you can handle a medical school curriculum.

And concurrently, strengthen that MCAT score and just keep on volunteering; it may seem like there is only so much volunteering that an application can take, but to keep doing it, at least at a minimal level (i.e. 4 hours a week), is better than an application without it.
 

Loon

Clawed to bits
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Jul 13, 2007
336
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Medical Student
--Get more clinical experience, perhaps in something different. Not sure how hands on your ER shadowing is, but it can't hurt to diversify.

--Work on a new personal statement.

--See about a new letter of rec or two.

--Don't worry, this cycle is not over.

--Keep looking for things to improve your app, just in case.
 

shadowdawg6

10+ Year Member
Sep 18, 2008
40
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Pre-Medical
Just keep trying. If you want it bad enough you'll get there. I'm living proof....
 

MynameisMike

10+ Year Member
Nov 26, 2007
109
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Pre-Medical
There are certain intensive EMT courses that can be completed in just over 4 weeks. So if your packed for time, that would be a great way to get some quick clinical experience and eventually turn it into a weekend job for some cash.
 
OP
wepio

wepio

10+ Year Member
Jul 19, 2008
238
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Status
Pre-Medical
--...it can't hurt to diversify.
There are certain intensive EMT courses that can be completed in just over 4 weeks. So if your packed for time, that would be a great way to get some quick clinical experience and eventually turn it into a weekend job for some cash.
Do you think it'll be frowned upon to get EMT certified if I don't plan on making it a career? It'll certainly diversity my applicaiton, but I don't want the ad-com's to think that I'm being disrepectful of the EMT profession by earning the certificate, if my plan is to become a doctor. I see being an EMT as a way of gaining actual hands-on experience with patients, beyond what you can do as a shadow or unlicensed volunteer. Is this a bad idea?
 

silverhorse84

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5+ Year Member
Mar 31, 2008
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Do you think it'll be frowned upon to get EMT certified if I don't plan on making it a career? It'll certainly diversity my applicaiton, but I don't want the ad-com's to think that I'm being disrepectful of the EMT profession by earning the certificate, if my plan is to become a doctor. I see being an EMT as a way of gaining actual hands-on experience with patients, beyond what you can do as a shadow or unlicensed volunteer. Is this a bad idea?

Very few people stay an EMT for life - the pay is not good enough. Most EMTs move on to become a paramedic, but many are pre-med, pre-nursing, pre-PA, etc. Out of the people I work with (about 100 in the company), I think I'm the only one currently applying, but I'm not the only one thinking about medical school. From the people I've talked to, lots of EMTs move on to medical school - many of them warned me about people who start pre-med and "get stuck" and become paramedics instead. Once I got my acceptance, however, they believed me a little more when I said I'd someday be a physician :p

I haven't had any negative reactions to my telling schools I'm a EMT. Usually the response is very positive or neutral.

I've found it to be an awesome clinical experience, and for me it's definately putting me in a better position to enter medical school (I tend to be the shy type, so this is helping me come out of my shell so to speak).

Good luck and have fun! :D
 

NTF

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Jul 1, 2008
1,836
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Attending Physician
1) This application season is far from over - but kudos to you for preparing for all eventualities.
2) Check my mdapps. Our stats are eerily similar except in one area. MCAT. I think that's the main weakness in your app. The rest of it seems fine (assuming good essays).
3) If you applied late this year, DON'T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE NEXT YEAR.

Good luck. Stay strong. I personally think you'll get in this year.
 

tdittyx2x3

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 30, 2008
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Have you considered any of the DO options?

You will almost certainly get more options for next year if you include the DO schools, and while its not nice to say "backups", they just might back you up and into medical school next cycle. Btw, I'm proudly going DO next year and the more schools I interview at the more excited I am about attending one of them.

No need for an MD/DO debate but OP feel free to message me if you want to talk about it