When should post bacc students submit applications to med school?

Jlaw

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For those of us that finish in early May and plan to take the MCAT in early July, when should we be applying? Can we send in Primary's as early as possible and then secondaries after MCAT's or is it adviseable to wait for the next application cycle to get everything in as early as possible?

If it makes a difference in your answers, I will be applying to DO school and my realistically anticipated stats at time of application will be cGPA: 3.1-3.2, scGPA: 3.5-3.7, MCAT- hopefully at least "average" but going to pull out all the stops to score as high as I can. EC's: 1,000hrs as volunteer EMT, shadowing experience, volunteer in ED. I am a non trad with a BS in finance and 3 yrs working in that field before returning to school.

I would obviously like to submit as soon as possible but it feels like I need some more time to do a few more classes, volunteer more and make my application more credible. I guess this is what all post bacc/non trads go through though.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

DrMidlife

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My opinion:

With super crazy high stats, an MD applicant can wait for their July MCAT score and apply in August/September.

Without super crazy high stats, an MD applicant should wait for the following cycle instead of applying in August. Early, broadly, often!

For DO, an August app isn't late.

// my opinion
 
Jul 28, 2009
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For those of us that finish in early May and plan to take the MCAT in early July, when should we be applying? Can we send in Primary's as early as possible and then secondaries after MCAT's or is it adviseable to wait for the next application cycle to get everything in as early as possible?

If it makes a difference in your answers, I will be applying to DO school and my realistically anticipated stats at time of application will be cGPA: 3.1-3.2, scGPA: 3.5-3.7, MCAT- hopefully at least "average" but going to pull out all the stops to score as high as I can. EC's: 1,000hrs as volunteer EMT, shadowing experience, volunteer in ED. I am a non trad with a BS in finance and 3 yrs working in that field before returning to school.

I would obviously like to submit as soon as possible but it feels like I need some more time to do a few more classes, volunteer more and make my application more credible. I guess this is what all post bacc/non trads go through though.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
You should apply as early as possible (primaries in by June, everything else in by late July at the very latest). That being said, if you feel that your application can be bolstered by taking another year to do more classes, volunteer more, and generally improve aspects that you feel are weak now, then you should take another year to do so and submit in early June for the next application cycle. It really doesn't make sense to spend thousands of dollars on a crapshot (especially with a 3.1 cGPA) and then have to reapply again because you application isn't credible enough.
 

Jlaw

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You should apply as early as possible (primaries in by June, everything else in by late July at the very latest). That being said, if you feel that your application can be bolstered by taking another year to do more classes, volunteer more, and generally improve aspects that you feel are weak now, then you should take another year to do so and submit in early June for the next application cycle. It really doesn't make sense to spend thousands of dollars on a crapshot (especially with a 3.1 cGPA) and then have to reapply again because you application isn't credible enough.
Thanks for the responses. I'm going to decide which schools I want to apply to and then decide I guess. I'll probably try to speak to some people in admissions beforehand to see if they think I should do more.
The cGPA is on the low end but for DO many schools seem to have an average GPA of only 3.2-3.3. My science GPA is so far much higher than the average DO applicant. With grade replacement a year of retakes and upper level sciences would make me much more competitive with a 3.4-3.5 cGPA though.
 
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Are you just finishing your postbacc classes in May, or are they already completed? If you take your MCATs in July, your score may not be released by the time med schools finish accepting applications. If your MCAT does get submitted in time, you should keep in mind that you will most likely be one of the LAST person that the admissions officers see, making it much harder to be accepted; keep in mind that the admissions office receives thousands of applications for appx. 100 spots (varies drastically by school).

That being said, a year is a long time to wait - I would talk to your Postbacc advisor - they have more experience in this matter.
 

Jlaw

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Are you just finishing your postbacc classes in May, or are they already completed? If you take your MCATs in July, your score may not be released by the time med schools finish accepting applications. If your MCAT does get submitted in time, you should keep in mind that you will most likely be one of the LAST person that the admissions officers see, making it much harder to be accepted; keep in mind that the admissions office receives thousands of applications for appx. 100 spots (varies drastically by school).

That being said, a year is a long time to wait - I would talk to your Postbacc advisor - they have more experience in this matter.
I started fall 09 so I finish next May, 2011 and would take the MCAT in July of that year. I spoke with my advisor and he thought I should try applying next spring/summer rather than taking the glide year. Time is really the only factor making me want to apply earlier. Who wants to waste a year unless they have to. That said, the extra year could give me more time to prepare for the MCAT and take 2 semesters of upper level sciences/ retakes. A one year upper level sciences post bacc at a bigger name school with linkage opportunities may be a possibility if I continue to perform well. Hell maybe I should just wait:confused:

Anyway all advice appreciated, just trying to get some ideas in the works because it will be 2011 before I know it.
 

caseofthemndays

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If you take your MCATs in July, your score may not be released by the time med schools finish accepting applications.
Definitely not. If you're applying DO, primaries are open until March or April. August is fine for DO. One caveat, it may take up to 6 weeks to be verified by aacomas.
 

futureIDdoc

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I would apply this summer if coming off a post-bacc instead of waiting a year after the post-bac...just my two cents...
 
Apr 21, 2009
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I'm curious about this also, as I will also be finished in May 2011. Can you apply for primaries without your Spring grades? Or, would I have to wait until Spring grades to come in at the end of May and to apply for primaries and then secondaries?
 

DrMidlife

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I'm curious about this also, as I will also be finished in May 2011. Can you apply for primaries without your Spring grades? Or, would I have to wait until Spring grades to come in at the end of May and to apply for primaries and then secondaries?
Are you asking about applying to med school?

If so, there's no applying for primaries or applying for secondaries. You just apply, through AMCAS (MD) or AACOMAS (DO) or TMDSAS (TX). These open in late May or early June, such as this coming June 2010 you can start an application to begin med school in August 2011. When the app service (AMCAS/AACOMAS/TMDSAS) certifies your app, they give it to the med schools you've selected, and then those schools can do whatever they want, such as ask you to send a supplementary (or secondary) app.

You can apply without having completed all of the prereqs, as long as you'll complete them before matriculation. You can't apply without an MCAT score, which you typically take after completing the prereqs.

Best of luck to you.
 
Apr 21, 2009
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Are you asking about applying to med school?

If so, there's no applying for primaries or applying for secondaries. You just apply, through AMCAS (MD) or AACOMAS (DO) or TMDSAS (TX). These open in late May or early June, such as this coming June 2010 you can start an application to begin med school in August 2011. When the app service (AMCAS/AACOMAS/TMDSAS) certifies your app, they give it to the med schools you've selected, and then those schools can do whatever they want, such as ask you to send a supplementary (or secondary) app.

You can apply without having completed all of the prereqs, as long as you'll complete them before matriculation. You can't apply without an MCAT score, which you typically take after completing the prereqs.

Best of luck to you.
Yes, I was referring to applying to medical school. Thank you for clarifying. My advisor suggested that I take the MCAT next April/May because I need my MCAT scores in order to be nominated for linkage at my school. She stated that I would know all of the information that is going to be on the test, even though I won't be finished with physics II and orgo II. I'm not certain on how much truth this holds.

Also, how much money do you suggest allocating for application fees? I am probably going to be applying to about 25 schools.
 

DrMidlife

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Yes, I was referring to applying to medical school. Thank you for clarifying. My advisor suggested that I take the MCAT next April/May because I need my MCAT scores in order to be nominated for linkage at my school. She stated that I would know all of the information that is going to be on the test, even though I won't be finished with physics II and orgo II. I'm not certain on how much truth this holds.
Dig into the rules for linkage & the MCAT - get a 2nd opinion on the requirements from your postbac school. Get that school's advice on when you should take it.

All of physics is on the MCAT. The second half of ochem isn't heavily tested.

Also, how much money do you suggest allocating for application fees? I am probably going to be applying to about 25 schools.
Browse mdapps (www.mdapplicants.com). Some people have listed every penny they spent on what date with what results.

Meanwhile, it doesn't make sense to do a linkage program and also plan to apply to 25 schools, imho. You pay good money for that linkage benefit.
 
May 5, 2009
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I am wondering about this as well....The way scheduling works out, it seems as though post-bacs don't have a choice but too apply later. I would much rather apply later than wait another whole year...We are already going to have a glide year as it is. The only thing I'm thinking though is if we start prepping for the MCAT in March while finishing the pre-reqs, then we could potentially take it at the end of may/beginning of june. But that would be cramming a lot of studying into a short amount of time while we were busy with classes.
 
Oct 25, 2009
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I'm not really sure how a full-time post-bacc student is expected to study adequately for the March MCAT, but it remains an expectation. I figure the condensed nature of the program provides some advantage and any spare time in the spring should be devoted to MCAT prep--classes or no.
 
Jul 31, 2009
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Since you are applying DO the dates are fine. Do the primary apps ASAP so the only thing missing are your scores. Apply to top middle and bottom schools.