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dr.cfull

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A brief background,

I graduated from a top public university with a 3.5 gpa in biochemistry and 510 MCAT. I was a very successful student athlete there (three time all american, pac 12 champion, olympic trials finalist etc.). I graduated in 2016 and took a gap-year to ensure my application was set to go (CNA experiences with over 250 hours of volunteer, worked at my university medical center, did research at a local hospital, lots of community service, coaching and leadership positions, team captain etc.). I got 2 interviews with state schools which I thought went extremely well but was rejected at both. After that and receiving feedback, I published research, presented on the podium at a national conference, volunteered a ton, did ski patrol, emt, etc.

Second application cycle I applied to 21 MD schools and again only 2 interviews at state schools. Got waitlisted at one but rejected at the other. I understand my GPA is a little low but holy crap I thought this was a holistic process?? I have really great letters of rec and seem to check every box. Schools even told me my personal statement was very strong. I am ORM but I really didn't think it would be THIS hard with what I've done.

I know for a fact that my interview skills are not bad at all. Im a very personable guy from what I've been told and I love being social. I prepared very thoroughly for each interview (5 mock interviews with feedback) and I am just so confused why I'm not getting in.

Im getting really discouraged because idk what to do this next time around. Im planning on an SMP to help with GPA but even then I don't feel confident anymore.

I'd appreciate some guidance or words of encouragement!! haha

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deleted915763

Perhaps call some of the schools and ask for feedback on reapplying, or what areas you were struggling in.
 
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SpoiledMilk

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OP, your avatar status indicates you are a medical student which contradicts your post. Are you trolling us?

If not, we can better help you if you provide the schools you applied to on your first and 2nd application cycles.
 
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21Rush12

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On the surface in these situations I’m inclined to ask: one time MCAT or multiple? GPA trend?

If those things are normal, I think it has to come down to school list and interview skills. With the right application writing and work on interviewing you can make it.

Post-interview rejections tell me that your numbers aren’t keeping you out completely. Your interviews may not have gone as well as you think (people are notoriously bad at knowing how things went), and unfortunately only having two makes it tough to really hone it and do well compared with someone who interviews at 5+ programs.
 
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What states are you targeting? What tier of medical schools?

While interview skills might be keeping you out of the places you interviewed, there's something else keeping you out overall due to the low number of interviews.
 
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LoveBeingHuman:)

Actually, your MCAT and GPA are both low. If you filter the MSAR list using below 510 MCAT and below 3.5 GPA, one school shows up.

Keep in mind that even though the national average MCAT for an applicant that has been accepted to medical school is 510, which is what you have, this number is very heavily skewed because majority of the schools that have low MCAT averages (below 510) either care about GPA more than MCAT, have extremely high service requirements, or are biased towards their own state residents (you probably knock out in all 3 categories).

The post-interview state school rejections might be an interviewing issue
 

calivianya

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It's just really competitive, honestly.

3.5's on the lower end and now 510 is slightly below the average matriculant MCAT, but your ECs are good so you'd think schools would give you some credit for that. I also wonder what schools you applied to - perhaps you applied a little top heavy?
 
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MedicalDoge

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I agree that we will need to see your school list. If you are getting 2 interviews, then I don't think there is a serious red flag. As crazy as it sounds, your GPA is well below average, and your MCAT is average these days. However, if I was a betting doge, I would've put big money on you getting accepted due to your extremely impressive EC's during your studies (Olympic trials, really???).

The "holistic review" schools love to preach about only takes place after they screen your stats lol. My favorite pseudoholistic school is Duke, with a secondary application e-mail stating that they pick applicants based on a holistic approach, but typically have "the mean MCAT score and GPA of successful applicants has historically been 36, 517 and 3.80." Lol like how do you type that without laughing.
 
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892002

I feel like this is a school list issue. Your stats are a bit low, but if you applied broadly, you should have gotten in somewhere. Then again, we have similar stats and I also have no acceptances at this point.
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

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I feel like this is a school list issue. Your stats are a bit low, but if you applied broadly, you should have gotten in somewhere. Then again, we have similar stats and I also have no acceptances at this point.

I’m betting combo of school list and interview skills.
 
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LizzyM

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Only two interviews points to something in the application being less than attractive... I'd suspect GPA/MCAT. Outright rejections rather than perpetual waitlist seems to me to suggest that the applicant is not interviewing well or the schools are the ones who waitlist very few and are liberal with rejections.
 
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PreMedMissteps

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You’re instate for Washington.

Where all did you apply? Why waste time on UCs?

Is your GPA really a little below 3.5??
 
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Goro

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Only two interviews points to something in the application being less than attractive... I'd suspect GPA/MCAT. Outright rejections rather than perpetual waitlist seems to me to suggest that the applicant is not interviewing well or the schools are the ones who waitlist very few and are liberal with rejections.
I agree with my learned colleague. Frankly, OP, with your stats, you needed some DO schools on your list. Next time, start with PacNW
 

dr.cfull

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WA resident. Both schools are very mission based towards disadvantage, primary care, rural underserved etc. i suspect I just don’t fit their mold, but I do agree my interviews were not perfect by any means.

School List:

Creighton
Loyola Stritch
Albany
Nymc
Rosalind Franklin
Tufts
Rush
Thomas Jefferson
Drexel
Penn state
U A Tucson
Mayo az
Wake forest
Vcu
Uniformed services

To name a few. I can’t remember full list but I stuck with lower tier.

I do understand my gpa is low but. My college (uw) is notorious for grade deflation. Science classes curved to 2.3. That paired with athletics I really thought schools would give me the benefit of the doubt but I guess not. I plan on retaking mcat and doing an smp this year.

I do have an interview coming up with NSU MD so we will see about that.

Thanks for all your suggestions!
 

dr.cfull

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WA resident. Both schools are very mission based towards disadvantage, primary care, rural underserved etc. i suspect I just don’t fit their mold, but I do agree my interviews were not perfect by any means.

School List:

Creighton
Loyola Stritch
Albany
Nymc
Rosalind Franklin
Tufts
Rush
Thomas Jefferson
Drexel
Penn state
U A Tucson
Mayo az
Wake forest
Vcu
Uniformed services

To name a few. I can’t remember full list but I stuck with lower tier.

I do understand my gpa is low but. My college (uw) is notorious for grade deflation. Science classes curved to 2.3. That paired with athletics I really thought schools would give me the benefit of the doubt but I guess not. I plan on retaking mcat and doing an smp this year.

I do have an interview coming up with NSU MD so we will see about that.

Thanks for all your suggestions!


I guess I should also add that my letters of rec from college are a science professor and 2 non science so maybe that could also be a red flag? I do have one from the head coach and doctor I did research with and I know those are extremely strong.
 

curbsideconsult

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If UW is notorious for grade deflation, wouldn't the med school know that? Did you apply to UW and WSU?
 

candbgirl

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So you are against considering DO? You’ve applied MD twice without much success even in the interview phase. So maybe you should spend some time considering DO. As just about everyone has said your stats are lowish for MD and all schools get more competitive each cycle. It’s time to decide how badly you want to be a doctor. Are you continuing your activities each cycle? ADCOMS expect there to be significant improvement in your application each time you reapply. Good luck at your NSU interview.
 
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deleted480308

You are burning hundreds of thousands of dollars by not applying DO
 
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dr.cfull

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I am not against applying to DO next time around. I just really wanted in state but y’all are right! You’re a doc at the end of the day
 
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MDPedigree

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Honestly, maybe it was your secondary essays. Those make a huge difference in whether or not you're getting an interview. In my opinion, make or break. I had 2 interviews last cycle, 14 this cycle. Similar stats, it's just I worked way harder on my secondaries this time around. And for the record, my stats aren't that much higher than yours, and I'm ORM.
 

ShadowGryffin

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I am not against applying to DO next time around. I just really wanted in state but y’all are right! You’re a doc at the end of the day
PNWCOM is a DO school in Yakima. You can apply DO and stay in WA.
 

dr.cfull

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Honestly, maybe it was your secondary essays. Those make a huge difference in whether or not you're getting an interview. In my opinion, make or break. I had 2 interviews last cycle, 14 this cycle. Similar stats, it's just I worked way harder on my secondaries this time around. And for the record, my stats aren't that much higher than yours, and I'm ORM.

That’s a great point. I did put a ton of effort into them, but I will say I only had people edit the in state ones. Did you use any resources or anything for those?
 

FlavivirusProtease

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PNWCOM is a DO school in Yakima. You can apply DO and stay in WA.

I think they're super rural oriented though, so he would need to take that in mind if he was going to go there and wanted to stay in the city.
 
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MDPedigree

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That’s a great point. I did put a ton of effort into them, but I will say I only had people edit the in state ones. Did you use any resources or anything for those?
I actually didn't really have anyone proof read them, but I worked really hard to make sure they sounded perfect and fit the school's mission. Sometimes I would work full time for a couple of days even just on one secondary. Make sure you relate about yourself a lot and explain why you would be a good fit at X school. A lot of people overlook doing that, but trust me it makes a mountain's difference.
 
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PreMedMissteps

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I actually didn't really have anyone proof read them, but I worked really hard to make sure they sounded perfect and fit the school's mission. Sometimes I would work full time for a couple of days even just on one secondary. Make sure you relate about yourself a lot and explain why you would be a good fit at X school. A lot of people overlook doing that, but trust me it makes a mountain's difference.


That’s a mistake. You know what you’re trying to say, but a fresh set of eyes proofreading may notice that some parts are ambiguous or incomplete.
 

el_duderino

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You need an impartial third party who knows about med school to look over your complete app. Also second the recommendations to ask for feedback from places that interviewed you, and to apply more broadly and to DO.
 

MDPedigree

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That’s a mistake. You know what you’re trying to say, but a fresh set of eyes proofreading may notice that some parts are ambiguous or incomplete.
I disagree. I found that when I let other people take a look, they would often say to edit or remove something I thought was critical. I feel as though whenever you have someone else have a voice in your work, it takes away from you and the originality. If you don’t think something I have to say in my essay should be there, well that would be you.. not me.

Now while I agree having someone proof read isn’t a bad idea because it may correct something you missed, I don’t think I made a mistake by omitting that and instead checking and reading over my essays hundreds (yes you read that correctly) of times. I feel it made me come off as completely unique and genuine, despite maybe some controversial words and statements used.

When I took this approach, I got 14 II’s with a LM of 69. I took the proofreading route last year and ended with 2 II’s with the same stats. Both years I applied to about 30 schools.
 

dr.cfull

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I disagree. I found that when I let other people take a look, they would often say to edit or remove something I thought was critical. I feel as though whenever you have someone else have a voice in your work, it takes away from you and the originality. If you don’t think something I have to say in my essay should be there, well that would be you.. not me.

Now while I agree having someone proof read isn’t a bad idea because it may correct something you missed, I don’t think I made a mistake by omitting that and instead checking and reading over my essays hundreds (yes you read that correctly) of times. I feel it made me come off as completely unique and genuine, despite maybe some controversial words and statements used.

When I took this approach, I got 14 II’s with a LM of 69. I took the proofreading route last year and ended with 2 II’s with the same stats. Both years I applied to about 30 schools.

What schools were your II’s from??
 

MDPedigree

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What schools were your II’s from??
A lot of mid and low tier schools in the north east. (Drexel, temple, nj and ny state schools, netter etc.) I did have an interview at a top 5 and a T25 school though too
 

PreMedMissteps

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I disagree. I found that when I let other people take a look, they would often say to edit or remove something I thought was critical. I feel as though whenever you have someone else have a voice in your work, it takes away from you and the originality. If you don’t think something I have to say in my essay should be there, well that would be you.. not me.

Now while I agree having someone proof read isn’t a bad idea because it may correct something you missed, I don’t think I made a mistake by omitting that and instead checking and reading over my essays hundreds (yes you read that correctly) of times. I feel it made me come off as completely unique and genuine, despite maybe some controversial words and statements used.

When I took this approach, I got 14 II’s with a LM of 69. I took the proofreading route last year and ended with 2 II’s with the same stats. Both years I applied to about 30 schools.


You’re under no obligation to make any changes that a proofreader might suggest... however, if they make a sound comment, such as a paragraph isn’t clear, you should want to know that.
 
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MDPedigree

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You’re under no obligation to make any changes that a proofreader might suggest... however, if they make a sound comment, such as a paragraph isn’t clear, you should want to know that.
Ehh. I agree. I just felt I would let them proof read and they would always make comments I would ignore regardless, so whats the point? And to make sure it was clear, I would re-read the essays literally hundreds of times. I am a native speaker though so I guess I could trust my own judgement.

But hey, I'm just saying what I did and what worked for me. No one has to follow my advice. I think my results speak for themselves. and I just did a double check actually, and I had 15 II's from exactly 30 secondaries sent. A far cry from my 2 last cycle. All I changed in my app were my secondaries and some extra volunteer hours. Even my personal statement was almost identical (I basically just added a paragraph).
 

ciestar

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I disagree. I found that when I let other people take a look, they would often say to edit or remove something I thought was critical. I feel as though whenever you have someone else have a voice in your work, it takes away from you and the originality. If you don’t think something I have to say in my essay should be there, well that would be you.. not me.

Now while I agree having someone proof read isn’t a bad idea because it may correct something you missed, I don’t think I made a mistake by omitting that and instead checking and reading over my essays hundreds (yes you read that correctly) of times. I feel it made me come off as completely unique and genuine, despite maybe some controversial words and statements used.

When I took this approach, I got 14 II’s with a LM of 69. I took the proofreading route last year and ended with 2 II’s with the same stats. Both years I applied to about 30 schools.

I think proofreading is good for the sake of missed spelling mistakes, grammar issues, or something that is poorly worded, which is easily fixed and you can still get across what you were trying to say just worded slightly better. A separate set of eyes can fix things you didn’t even realize weren’t clear, even if they seemed that way to you!

My LM was a 68 and I got 10 II applying to 25 schools.
 

MDPedigree

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I think proofreading is good for the sake of missed spelling mistakes, grammar issues, or something that is poorly worded, which is easily fixed and you can still get across what you were trying to say just worded slightly better. A separate set of eyes can fix things you didn’t even realize weren’t clear, even if they seemed that way to you!

My LM was a 68 and I got 10 II applying to 25 schools.
Exactly. I agree that the only advantage of having someone else proofread is for grammatical, spelling, poorly worded etc. I would have maybe let someone proof read had I not been lowkey about applying (only really told some family). I bet on myself and worked extra hard with my own proofreading though to more than make up for it. But at the same time, this was over summer break and I omitted almost all responsibilities and worked on these full time. I know not everyone has that luxury, and so they may need someone to look it over just for the sake of time.
 

ciestar

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Exactly. I agree that the only advantage of having someone else proofread is for grammatical, spelling, poorly worded etc. I would have maybe let someone proof read had I not been lowkey about applying (only really told some family). I bet on myself and worked extra hard with my own proofreading though to more than make up for it. But at the same time, this was over summer break and I omitted almost all responsibilities and worked on these full time. I know not everyone has that luxury, and so they may need someone to look it over just for the sake of time.

Yeah, I was working 30 hours a week trying to manage this. My husband and my friend and her mom (a teacher) edited mine for me. It doesn’t help I don’t trust myself to proofread!
 
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Migrating_Onions

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The best advice I can give to you is to not give up.

You said it yourself your GPA is a 3.5, a little low. Perhaps explore your options with retaking a course in one of your worst subjects. This shows strong initiative to medical schools that you are a dedicated learner and you can weather through the adversity.

From another angle, you may wish to revisit other reasons why your applications were declined. Do you just not stand out from the crowd? Is your shadowing experience not very extensive? These are very critical factors that medical schools look into when considering a new applicant.

Further, if you believe your statistics are "good enough" to get into a medical school, apply to a less rigorous one that accepts applicants with your GPA and has a decent program.

As I stated in the beginning, the biggest piece of the pie here is to not give up. Reapply to all the schools you applied to because that shows a massive initiative on your end. Demonstrating the ethic to keep trying your hardest to achieve something you wish is a skill that will carry you well past applying to medical school, medical school itself, and residency.
 

mwsapphire

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A detail people are missing....is the 3.5 your overall or sci GPA?
You applied to mostly mid/low tier MD schools, for which a 3.5 sci GPA isn't bad, but if your sci gpa was <3.4 then it could be the real thing that's getting you.
A 3.5 is low but it's fatal with your EC's, so its making me suspect something is off here.
You really did need DO's to pad yourself out , though.
 

dr.cfull

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A lot of mid and low tier schools in the north east. (Drexel, temple, nj and ny state schools, netter etc.) I did have an interview at a top 5 and a T25 school though too

Which state are you from? and whats your gpa mcat breakdown if you don't mind me asking.
 

dr.cfull

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A detail people are missing....is the 3.5 your overall or sci GPA?
You applied to mostly mid/low tier MD schools, for which a 3.5 sci GPA isn't bad, but if your sci gpa was <3.4 then it could be the real thing that's getting you.
A 3.5 is low but it's fatal with your EC's, so its making me suspect something is off here.
You really did need DO's to pad yourself out , though.

Science is 3.46 and regular is around 3.55. I agree that I should’ve added DO
 

calivianya

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Honestly, with your sGPA, I wouldn't even say you need a SMP. Just retake anything you got a C- or worse in, plus add on other courses (especially easy ones categorized as science courses) you find interesting at your cheapest local state university. It would save you tens of thousands of dollars, and you could show a massive upwards trend in your sGPA.

My local state university was only around $4k/semester as an example. Difficult to find a SMP for that price...
 
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