Apr 1, 2010
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I just received my last rejection and am just baffled at what went wrong with my application and what to do from here for reapplication. I applied to 19 schools, got only 4 interviews, and 0 acceptances. Here are my "stats", please help me if you have any advice.

MCAT: 40 GPA: 4.0
Shadowing: 60+ hours in at least 8 different specialties including primary and family medicine
Leadership: positions in my fraternity every year and several across campus throughout my career
Volunteer: Consistent service in medical related settings throughout college, medical mission to Nicaragua
Summers: medical mission, freshman orientation, anatomy @ Hopkins SOM
Research: 2 years in microbiology with a Masters level thesis being published at the end of this semester
 
Feb 15, 2010
10
0
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Status
Pre-Medical
I just received my last rejection and am just baffled at what went wrong with my application and what to do from here for reapplication. I applied to 19 schools, got only 4 interviews, and 0 acceptances. Here are my "stats", please help me if you have any advice.

MCAT: 40 GPA: 4.0
Shadowing: 60+ hours in at least 8 different specialties including primary and family medicine
Leadership: positions in my fraternity every year and several across campus throughout my career
Volunteer: Consistent service in medical related settings throughout college, medical mission to Nicaragua
Summers: medical mission, freshman orientation, anatomy @ Hopkins SOM
Research: 2 years in microbiology with a Masters level thesis being published at the end of this semester

Is this one of those April's Fool jokes?
 
Apr 1, 2010
7
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Pre-Medical
Is this one of those April's Fool jokes?
I understand that it might seem that way. But I am 100% serious. I would never joke on these forums because I understand the stress of the application process and how these forum can both help and exacerbate that stress. Therefore, I would never to anything to increase that stress level. The reason I joined today and posted this thread is because I am genuinely baffled at my situation and am looking for any and all help I can get as to what to do during the next year to fix my problems and improve my chances of successful reapplication.
 
Apr 1, 2010
7
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Pre-Medical
I did apply to a lot of the top schools, but I also applied to a fair number of middle and bottom tier schools too. It was a good mix.
 
Mar 11, 2010
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Could be double adverse selection. The lower schools think you'll get in somewhere higher, and the top schools weren't impressed enough. Or it could just be that schools are very critical of cookie-cutter applicants (no offense), and put you in that very competitive pool. But this is just all a random-ass guess.

Need more info.

Why don't you tell us where you think your application was weak? Were your interviews at the top schools, or more the bottom? Where did you go for undergrad? How do you think your LORs were? Did your faculty members recommend in favor of particular schools? What is your age range (early 20s, mid, etc.)?
 

mooshika

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Jan 13, 2010
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Since you wrote another post wondering about sexual orientation, it makes me wonder about your PS.

First of all, I would not make SO the subject of your PS. It is OK if it is part of a story about "self-discovery" or "leading you to being involved in service" or something like that, but I think it as a topic in general is a non-issue for ADCOMS.

If you are asking NOW about what to include in your PS, it makes me wonder if there wasn't something in your PS that led them to believe that you were not secure in yourself - just a stab in the dark here.

If people are not confident in who they are or what they want to convey in a PS, it can come across in the writing.


The other thing I am wondering - have you done any travel? Something to distinguish yourself from the crowd?

m.
 
Oct 22, 2009
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Pre-Medical
By "last rejection" do you mean that you are rejected from all of your schools? That would be crazy.
 

Bernoull

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I just received my last rejection and am just baffled at what went wrong with my application and what to do from here for reapplication. I applied to 19 schools, got only 4 interviews, and 0 acceptances. Here are my "stats", please help me if you have any advice.

MCAT: 40 GPA: 4.0
Shadowing: 60+ hours in at least 8 different specialties including primary and family medicine
Leadership: positions in my fraternity every year and several across campus throughout my career
Volunteer: Consistent service in medical related settings throughout college, medical mission to Nicaragua
Summers: medical mission, freshman orientation, anatomy @ Hopkins SOM
Research: 2 years in microbiology with a Masters level thesis being published at the end of this semester
In the Off-chance that this isn't a 4/1 joke or troll (excuse my skepticism.)

Did u have any interviews, if so how many? Where u on any waitlists, if so how many?

Possibilities that come to mind:
1. Poor essays/PS
2. Unflattering LORs
3. Interview skills

Barring these I can't see why u won't get in even if u applied to all 20 schoools..
 
Mar 22, 2010
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Retake the MCAT.
I think so too. Plus a Frat always looks bad. After all, these doctors are the ones that frats made fun of while they were studying in the library. And I am 99.99% sure this is a April Fool's troll. 8 Specialties of shadowing including FP and primary? Duh, I usually equate Family Practice with Primary Care.
 
Apr 1, 2010
7
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Ok, have not been on in a while. So I though I would answer some questions that have been asked. First, I will reiterate that this is a completely legitimate situation, not a April Fool's (considering it is 4/13 now), or a troll. Second, I have been told by my advisors and 1 of the schools I interviewed with that my LOR were great, and I have no reason to think otherwise, so I doubt that is the problem. Retake the MCAT? Why? The chances of my score improving are incredibly slim. The 4 schools I interviewed at were kind of split: Duke and UNC from the top, UAB from the middle-ish, and MCG from my bottom\back-up list. I am 21 and will graduate from Auburn University in Al in May, though I am a Georgia resident from Atlanta. As far as shadowing specialist, the difference in listing primary care separate from family medicine is that the non-FM primary care I shadowed was in a hospital setting and thus different in many aspect from your more traditional FM practice. While I highly doubt that being in a fraternity hurt my application, even if it did, nothing to do about it now, I would like to focus on what can be done from here on out. As far travelling, I mentioned the mission trip to Nicaragua, and anatomy class at Johns Hopkins SOM, but other than that...nothing. My PS and essay could have been a issue though I put tons of work and got lots of help with them. And, while interviewing skills may have been the problem, only 4 schools even asked me for an interview so there must be another hole. And finally, no I did not even get wait listed anywhere. Thanks for the feedback so far, any additional ideas on what to work on of focus my time on next year, since as of this point I have no plans after graduation in May, would be much appreciated.
 

ShyRem

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I'd be willing to bet one of your LORs wasn't very good. In fact, I'd bet one of your LORs sunk you.

Call the dean of admissions at one or more of the schools that rejected you and ask for a feedback meeting.
 

GoodmanBrown

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Call the dean of admissions at one or more of the schools that rejected you and ask for a feedback meeting.
I wouldn't place bets on any one thing that sunk you because from this distance they all look perfect. I would echo Shyrem's comment that you start calling. However, I would contact the dean of admissions at every school you applied to. Be polite, let them know your situation and its unexpected nature (vis-a-vis your stats), and ask them to give you a quick overview of your strengths and weaknesses.

It's already almost time to start applying again this year, so you don't have a ton of time to update stuff, but I suggest you talk with as many admissions people as possible about what didn't work this time around.
 

mooshika

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I dont think there is really any way to get a good idea of problems in your application without looking over your whole application and your secondaries. I would strongly recommend that you either hire a professional consultant, and call the schools and ask for exit interview meeting to get feedback. Call also the schools where you did not get interviews and ask them, too. Also ask someone you trust and has some kind of knowledge in this area to critique your application. I am going to do that this year - have a couple of folks who I think are smart and objective eyeball it for me. Especially your PS. It can't be whiny or political. This is not the place to take that on.

Having been doing research recently into both the qualitative and quantitative factors for admission in order to rule out places for my own application, I have noticed that there are cases where, for instance a place like Brown, seems at first look that they have a decent size class, but in fact only really accept 20 or 25 people off the general AMCAS application pool because their ranks are filled with their seven year BS-MD people, early decision and Bryn Mar post-bac affiliated program. Even someone with your stats, at a place like that, would have a markedly LOW probability of getting an interview because there are upward of thousands (not exactly sure of these numbers but you get the gist) of people applying/competing for these few spots. ALSO, they tend to also favor, for instance, Brown undergrad alumni and alumni from other graduate programs at Brown. So you can't be baffled when you don't get any love from a place like Brown even with your scores.

Look at the statistics mentioned above for all of your schools, and even though - for someone with scores like me, lower than you - I may not be as "competitive" in terms of scores for some schools, I have a better chance of getting in a school with higher numbers because they accept way more people from OOS, for example, than I would at a place where my scores are above average and they only take 25 OOS people. Also, my personality and mission might fill a need that the school has that year. Get it?

You have to include these kinds of considerations and not simply the score ranges and missions of each school. Be very selective and make sure a good 2/3 of your applications go to schools that have a favorable applicant to offer ratio for your personal demographic, including scores.

I did not get into my state school that only takes state residents, and I can probably tell you exactly why without even going to an exit meeting and getting feeback. Go back and look at your application, look at the schools you applied to, consider the factors, and listen to your instincts and use sound judgment to make a realistic assessment. It will be good practice for when you are a physician because that is pretty close to what you will be doing for the rest of your life.
 
Mar 11, 2010
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If I were in your position,

I would not retake the MCAT.
I would continue to do medical school EC activities.
I would apply broadly next year, but focus a lot more on schools in the South. Seems that your interviews came from schools in the area more familiar with your undergrad program and the people who teach there.
I would schedule an exit interview with all the places that interviewed you to find out the flaws in your application.
 

dragonfly99

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I agree with docelh.
Also, I would apply to 30 schools next year.
Also, you probably need to practice interviewing. You may not have a problem in that department, but with 4 interviews I would probably have expected at least 1 or 2 wait list if not an acceptance.

I agree you need to contact all four of the schools that gave you interviews. Be really nice and say you really loved their school, you were diasppointed you didn't get a spot, and could they give you some feedback?

In this situation I would worry about some problem in your personal statement or one of the LOR's. You may want to think about getting a new LOR, that you know will be strong. You probably need to increase your volunteer hours (working for free in a hospital or nursing home). Perhaps you got stereotyped as a "nerdy" applicant with good numbers but not enough clinical experience.
 

DrHKitty

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I've heard that some adcom's google top applicants names. Try that and see if anything fishy comes up. If not, anything illegal/unencouraging on your facebook? You obviously don't have any problems on your app so it must be something outside of it.
 

gonnif

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Ok, have not been on in a while. So I though I would answer some questions that have been asked. First, I will reiterate that this is a completely legitimate situation, not a April Fool's (considering it is 4/13 now), or a troll. Second, I have been told by my advisors and 1 of the schools I interviewed with that my LOR were great, and I have no reason to think otherwise, so I doubt that is the problem. Retake the MCAT? Why? The chances of my score improving are incredibly slim. The 4 schools I interviewed at were kind of split: Duke and UNC from the top, UAB from the middle-ish, and MCG from my bottom\back-up list. I am 21 and will graduate from Auburn University in Al in May, though I am a Georgia resident from Atlanta. As far as shadowing specialist, the difference in listing primary care separate from family medicine is that the non-FM primary care I shadowed was in a hospital setting and thus different in many aspect from your more traditional FM practice. While I highly doubt that being in a fraternity hurt my application, even if it did, nothing to do about it now, I would like to focus on what can be done from here on out. As far travelling, I mentioned the mission trip to Nicaragua, and anatomy class at Johns Hopkins SOM, but other than that...nothing. My PS and essay could have been a issue though I put tons of work and got lots of help with them. And, while interviewing skills may have been the problem, only 4 schools even asked me for an interview so there must be another hole. And finally, no I did not even get wait listed anywhere. Thanks for the feedback so far, any additional ideas on what to work on of focus my time on next year, since as of this point I have no plans after graduation in May, would be much appreciated.
First, Rule One: Take a Breath.

1) recheck your application and ensure that all transcripts have been rec'd and transcribed correctly and that somewhere 2 A's didn't accidentally put in as 2 D's. Check all other sections and make sure all is there, is correct, etc.

2) write a short, concise, letter asking for reconsideration. stating that you believe my GPA, MCAT, volunteering, activities etc make would make a competitve candidate and a caring physician. Letter should be 1 short paragraph. Most schools will not respond but some schools will pull the file and examine. If you don't ask, they can't say yes. and the worst they can do is say no. that would then be a start to discuss how to improve

2) As a previous poster stated contact the deans and I would suggest the director of admissions with a well-written, concise letter of you background and your desire to improve your application in order to reapply. Ask them directly what areas of weakness did the adcome find in you and can you approve. Don't be shy, remember last year over 11,000 of MD applicants were applying for the 2nd time or more, a quarter of all applicants.

3) MCAT: If your MCAT is good, say 30, unless you can improve by 2-4 points, don't bother. Besides it is unlikely to be the issue

4) Don't sit on your butt: continue to prepare, even if part time with a class, volunteering, research, or a job that would be a positive on your application

So what are the issues? It is possible LOR's are not as strong as you may have wanted but that also seems unlikely.

The adcoms may look at your extensive background and think that you too are "geeky" without the high level of interpersonal skills and compassion needed.

Therefore I would take a good hard look at your personal statement and your interview abilities. Does you PS ring true? Try a completely fresh start by writing what you feel on what motivates you to become a physician. Do not try to edit while writing the first draft nor write with what you think the adcoms want to hear. You can then take it and mold and edit it. This is definitely an issue that the professional advisors can help with . They can also help with interviewing and I would think its worth your time to investigate. There are many on the net, though I can recommend based on what other people have told me.
 

mspeedwagon

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I wanted to correct the bolded statement: The PLME program at Brown is actually eight years and NOT seven.

Also Brown is a great place to apply if any ONLY if you fall in one of the following categories:
- RI resident
- Brown alum

Other than that, I agree with the poster. A vast majority of the seats at Brown are pre-filled, and it's not a great place to apply through AMCAS regardless of your stats.


Having been doing research recently into both the qualitative and quantitative factors for admission in order to rule out places for my own application, I have noticed that there are cases where, for instance a place like Brown, seems at first look that they have a decent size class, but in fact only really accept 20 or 25 people off the general AMCAS application pool because their ranks are filled with their seven year BS-MD people, early decision and Bryn Mar post-bac affiliated program. Even someone with your stats, at a place like that, would have a markedly LOW probability of getting an interview because there are upward of thousands (not exactly sure of these numbers but you get the gist) of people applying/competing for these few spots. ALSO, they tend to also favor, for instance, Brown undergrad alumni and alumni from other graduate programs at Brown. So you can't be baffled when you don't get any love from a place like Brown even with your scores.