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The school list you are left with is very top-heavy. Your stats are amazing; your ECs are alright but probably not up to par with those tippy-top schools. Send in the update if you want but I personally do not think it would move the needle. If you do not get accepted this cycle, apply much, much more broadly next time. Good luck.
 
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Moko

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650 hours research in an Alzheimer's lab, no pubs because of Covid
55 hours shadowing, half in primary care and half in oncology
110 hours clinical volunteering at my local hospital
50 hours nonclinical volunteering at my local food bank

WashU USC Northwestern Michigan Stony Brook Hopkins NYU Harvard Columbia Stanford Penn

Here's my play. I've been active in prepping to reapply since stuff started to reopen in August, and here's what's changed so far:

About 100 more food bank hours
Successfully published a sci fi novel
Started a new job as a field covid tester, going to lesser-served rural towns in my county. Two weeks in so far, ~20 hours per week
Your remaining list is very top-heavy. Even with 40 extra clinical hours and 100 extra non-clinical hours, your research, clinical experiences, and non-clinical volunteering will remain far below the top tier of candidates at these ultra-competitive schools. In your situation, I would hope to convert that II to an A, but otherwise, it's looking like a longshot.

Continue to accumulate clinical experiences and volunteering hours as you are doing, and stay safe while doing COVID work. Best of luck.
 
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Your remaining list is very top-heavy. Even with 40 extra clinical hours and 100 extra non-clinical hours, your research, clinical experiences, and non-clinical volunteering will remain far below the top tier of candidates at these ultra-competitive schools. In your situation, I would hope to convert that II to an A, but otherwise, it's looking like a longshot.

Continue to accumulate clinical experiences and volunteering hours as you are doing, and stay safe while doing COVID work. Best of luck.
Thats what I was figuring too. Unfortunately.

As an aside, what do you think my prospects of reapping look like? I've been told it is usually more difficult
 
Jun 24, 2020
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Thats what I was figuring too. Unfortunately.

As an aside, what do you think my prospects of reapping look like? I've been told it is usually more difficult
Would you consider DO? I am reading that it might not be too late to apply to DO this year.
 
Jun 24, 2020
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If possible I'd prefer to try MD again, but are you implying that's not feasible?
Not at all. You can reapply next year or apply to DO this year. You will get one extra year of pay. And in all practicality, there is no difference between MD and DO in live practice.
 
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Suggest you thoroughly evaluate both your personal statement and your secondary essays if re-applying. You are a writer so it would stand to reason that is not where your issues lie but I would consider this an area to scrutinize. Ask yourself if you are thoughtfully answering what they are asking for in a clear, articulate, and interesting manner. Make sure to tell your story in the process.
 
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If possible I'd prefer to try MD again, but are you implying that's not feasible?
On a more positive note, a friend of mine with stellar stats (much like yours and with pub etc) did not get a single interview till like Mar 2020, and is now attending a T20. Keep the faith, but prepare for Plan B, which I think should be this year DO, and Plan C next year reapply to MD.
 
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On a more positive note, a friend of mine with stellar stats (much like yours and with pub etc) did not get a single interview till like Mar 2020, and is now attending a T20. Keep the faith, but prepare for Plan B, which I think should be this year DO, and Plan C next year reapply to MD.
One concern I have about DO is that I've never showed interest or shadowed DOs. I've been told they look for that sort of thing? I'd imagine I'd just get yield protected, especially applying late
 
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One concern I have about DO is that I've never showed interest or shadowed DOs. I've been told they look for that sort of thing? I'd imagine I'd just get yield protected, especially applying late
I do not know the answer to that question. There are some DO experts on this forum who may be able to answer.
Regardless, wish you good luck. I am sure you will land in a great spot. Keep us posted.
 
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OP, others have great advice here but I just want to say that i think it's crazy that you haven't received more interest...yes, toss the Harvards aside but was it nuts to think that, say, Stony Brook was out of reach for a 4.0, 524 MCAT with 650 hours of lab research? And a space camp counselor? What more do these schools want? 😱 Anyway, you have great sympathy from me and I'll just note that it's not over until its over. I believe this could still turn your way.
 
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OP, others have great advice here but I just want to say that i think it's crazy that you haven't received more interest...yes, toss the Harvards aside but was it nuts to think that, say, Stony Brook was out of reach for a 4.0, 524 MCAT with 650 hours of lab research? And a space camp counselor? What more do these schools want? 😱 Anyway, you have great sympathy from and I'll just note that it's not over until its over. I believe this could still turn your way.
I'm at peace with the fact that it's likely my school list. So that was a huge misplay. But I've learned for next year. Appreciate your good vibes!
 

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I'm at peace with the fact that it's likely my school list. So that was a huge misplay. But I've learned for next year. Appreciate your good vibes!

The thing is yield protection is a risk with a 4.0/524. That's why you need to get a lot more clinical and nonclinical hours to show stronger interests
 
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The thing is yield protection is a risk with a 4.0/524. That's why you need to get a lot more clinical and nonclinical hours to show stronger interests
True true. Admittedly I didn't prioritize volunteering in undergrad like I should have. Didn't understand its importance. But I have the time now to aim high with the hours
 
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Isomerase

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The thing is yield protection is a risk with a 4.0/524. That's why you need to get a lot more clinical and nonclinical hours to show stronger interests

True true. Admittedly I didn't prioritize volunteering in undergrad like I should have. Didn't understand its importance. But I have the time now to aim high with the hours
I could be wrong, but doesn't @Goro usually say that DO schools don't yield protect?
 

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Howdy friends,

I posted this in WAMC initially, but it was suggested that I move it here instead. Maybe it will get more answers here.

I'll get right to it: disappointing cycle so far. 1 II, 5Rs out of 16 schools, including to my state school. For context, here's me:

GPA 4.0
MCAT 524
ECs:
650 hours research in an Alzheimer's lab, no pubs because of Covid
55 hours shadowing, half in primary care and half in oncology
110 hours clinical volunteering at my local hospital
50 hours nonclinical volunteering at my local food bank
1 semester as a tutor for organic chem
1 semester as a TA for biochem
Others: 3 years participating in NaNoWriMo, a novel writing competition, looking to publish a novel relatively soon. Also spent a summer as a space camp counselor.

I'm hoping still to pull this cycle out of the ashes, but it isn't looking fantastic given a misguided school list. Here's what I'm left with:

WashU
USC
Northwestern
Michigan
Stony Brook
Hopkins
NYU
Harvard
Columbia
Stanford
Penn

Here's my play. I've been active in prepping to reapply since stuff started to reopen in August, and here's what's changed so far:

About 100 more food bank hours
Successfully published a sci fi novel
Started a new job as a field covid tester, going to lesser-served rural towns in my county. Two weeks in so far, ~20 hours per week
Might get an A-. So GPA to 3.99

If I got some a few weeks more experience at work and the food bank, do you guys think this update would save me? Or is it looking pretty over? And, if it is over, should I be doing anything else right now to bolster myself for the next cycle? Or are my adjustments sufficient?

Many, many thanks
This is what is hurting you:
110 hours clinical volunteering at my local hospital
50 hours nonclinical volunteering at my local food bank

An update that you have just started something new isn't going to save you.

And by the time you update, it's probably going to be too late. I've found that people who get into the Really Top Schools, often have hundreds, if not even thousands of hours of clinical exposure and/or nonclinical volunteering.
 
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This is what is hurting you:
110 hours clinical volunteering at my local hospital
50 hours nonclinical volunteering at my local food bank

An update that you have just started something new isn't going to save you.

And by the time you update, it's probably going to be too late. I've found that people who get into the Really Top Schools, often have hundreds, if not even thousands of hours of clinical exposure and/or nonclinical volunteering.
Yeah, that's what I figured.

As a side note, what's your expert take on my reapplicant prospects, should the worst (yet now expected) outcome come to pass? How much is the reapplicant stigma going to hurt?
 
Aug 12, 2019
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Yeah, that's what I figured.

As a side note, what's your expert take on my reapplicant prospects, should the worst (yet now expected) outcome come to pass? How much is the reapplicant stigma going to hurt?
I'm a high stat reapp this cycle and had a situation similar to yours. I was ready to apply the very next cycle since I had continued to improve my app the instant I applied the first cycle (rejected until accepted, so do what you love).

This cycle has been successful, but there definitely feels like some type of bias. I don't know if it's chance or COVID/uber-competitive cycle, but I've gotten less love from "Top" schools this cycle than last. With a terrible app last cycle, I got a couple pretty early IIs to T10 schools, and a couple other IIs later. This cycle has been less successful with the "T20" schools in general, but I've gotten great results with other schools (half of which I didn't apply to last cycle). Luckily (or unluckily this cycle) for you, your school list was kinda short, so there are many schools you can add next cycle that you won't be a reapplicant at!

While reapplicant bias likely exists, successful reapplicants often have a much stronger app to counter this effect.
 
Jun 24, 2020
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I'm a high stat reapp this cycle and had a situation similar to yours. I was ready to apply the very next cycle since I had continued to improve my app the instant I applied the first cycle (rejected until accepted, so do what you love).

This cycle has been successful, but there definitely feels like some type of bias. I don't know if it's chance or COVID/uber-competitive cycle, but I've gotten less love from "Top" schools this cycle than last. With a terrible app last cycle, I got a couple pretty early IIs to T10 schools, and a couple other IIs later. This cycle has been less successful with the "T20" schools in general, but I've gotten great results with other schools (half of which I didn't apply to last cycle). Luckily (or unluckily this cycle) for you, your school list was kinda short, so there are many schools you can add next cycle that you won't be a reapplicant at!

While reapplicant bias likely exists, successful reapplicants often have a much stronger app to counter this effect.
Did you get any IIs from schools you re-applied to?
 
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Sample size is a bit small, but one from new school and one from old. Kinda getting off topic doe..
Not off-topic. Giving confidence to the OP that reapplication is not as bad as SDN makes us think it is. Of course, with appropriate imporvements (in OP's case volunteering and shadowing).
 
Dec 25, 2019
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Not off-topic. Giving confidence to the OP that reapplication is not as bad as SDN makes us think it is. Of course, with appropriate imporvements (in OP's case volunteering and shadowing).
I appreciate! I imagine I'll be able to get to 200 NC volunteering just fine, I'm already at like 140 with a semester to go. More concerning is shadowing... practically no one is letting students shadow right now, and I don't think virtual shadowing is really as valuable. But it may be the only option.
 
Jun 24, 2020
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I appreciate! I imagine I'll be able to get to 200 NC volunteering just fine, I'm already at like 140 with a semester to go. More concerning is shadowing... practically no one is letting students shadow right now, and I don't think virtual shadowing is really as valuable. But it may be the only option.
Finding outpatient physicians to shadow might be easier than a hospital due to COVID. If you try and network via family/friends, you may have better luck than cold calling. If cold calling, try smaller practices, because larger practices may have restrictions.
 
Dec 25, 2019
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Finding outpatient physicians to shadow might be easier than a hospital due to COVID. If you try and network via family/friends, you may have better luck than cold calling. If cold calling, try smaller practices, because larger practices may have restrictions.
Just one more question: I kind of assumed that 55 hours/ half PCP was sufficient as far as shadowing experience goes? What numbers should I go for instead?
 
May 21, 2020
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Just one more question: I kind of assumed that 55 hours/ half PCP was sufficient as far as shadowing experience goes? What numbers should I go for instead?
Your shadowing hours should suffice. I believe adcom SDN members have consistently said 50 hours of shadowing is enough. What Goro mentioned in his post above and what others have said is what you should really focus on improving: your clinical experience hours (includes hospital volunteering, scribing, CNA, etc.) and nonclinical volunteering need to be upped.

I'm also a successful reapplicant! I completed my secondaries very late two years ago and only got 1 interview. This cycle I improved my MCAT score by a lot, got a bunch of research hours, increased my volunteering hours and experiences, hella improved my essays, completed my apps super early, and broadened my school list (37 schools) so they weren't top heavy. I'm currently sitting at 4 interview invites (1 new, 3 schools I applied to first cycle) before Turkey Day, and 1 acceptance since mid-Oct. Reapplication can be daunting, but it's not impossible!

PS, my clinical hours (>200 hours), nonclinical volunteering (>400 hours, most of which I worked with underserved populations and had many stories to talk about) if you want to have a sample to gauge with. OP, you got this, good luck!
 
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The replicant stigma is mostly sdn hype.
True, except for the part that isn't. :cool:

As long as you are okay with being subject to a higher level of scrutiny, and being subject to a comparison to a prior application, with expectations of significant improvement that first time applicants do not have to deal with, and are okay with a lower acceptance rate, the rest of the so-called stigma is all hype.

My observation, as a future hopefully one time only applicant, is that the bias can definitely be overcome, as MANY people on SDN have demonstrated, but it is very real and is far from hype. The mere fact that schools ask the question, plus the information on the Miami website, is really all the evidence anyone needs. If it were really hype, it would be irrelevant, and schools wouldn't waste time and space asking. There are an infinite number of things schools really don't care about. There aren't questions on their secondaries asking about them. Being a reapplicant isn't one of them. JMHO and YMMV. :cool:

 
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First of all, I think you'd be absolutely insane to settle for a DO school with stats like yours. With a bit more fluff to your app and a broader school list, your prospects as a reapplicant are very high and while you may not go to a T20, you very well may go to a T20-T40 in a city that you love.

Reapplicants generally have a hard time applying because most reapplicants have applications that will never get them into an MD school without at least a few years of remediation. This is not the case for you- you have a better app than probably 95% of all applicants (and based purely off GPA/MCAT, you're in the 100th percentile of applicants).

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First of all, I think you'd be absolutely insane to settle for a DO school with stats like yours. With a bit more fluff to your app and a broader school list, your prospects as a reapplicant are very high and while you may not go to a T20, you very well may go to a T20-T40 in a city that you love.

Reapplicants generally have a hard time applying because most reapplicants have applications that will never get them into an MD school without at least a few years of remediation. This is not the case for you- you have a better app than probably 95% of all applicants (and based purely off GPA/MCAT, you're in the 100th percentile of applicants).

Kevin W, MCAT Tutor
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Is it insane because DO schools will reject or because OP will definitely get into MD or because DO pays far less or DO is respected far less or just prestige?
 
May 26, 2020
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Is it insane because DO schools will reject or because OP will definitely get into MD or because DO pays far less or DO is respected far less or just prestige?
There are legitimate reasons to pursue an MD over a DO degree that should not be ignored. OP is competitive for an MD from a top institution with those stats and the degree undeniably opens more doors than a DO degree so it is a very real pro/con balancing act for OP to identify their own priorities and goals. You seem to be fighting for OP to go DO pretty heavily here which isn't necessarily wrong. It's just that there are more nuances to the differences between the degrees than simply less prestige. In practice the differences are minimal but the problem is what will you be practicing? Some specialties are closed off to DO physicians. This may be sufficient to consider being a reapplicant and losing a year of attending pay rather than going DO. Don't get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for DO physicians. We just shouldn't reduce the DO vs MD debate for OP to simply being two different letters after the name.
 
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@Lorien : when were you complete? if on the later side more could still come realistically
Late July/early August for most, added a couple in late August. But I've heard several of my remaining schools are pretty behind on IIs, so that's where my residual hope comes from lmao
 
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There are legitimate reasons to pursue an MD over a DO degree that should not be ignored. OP is competitive for an MD from a top institution with those stats and the degree undeniably opens more doors than a DO degree so it is a very real pro/con balancing act for OP to identify their own priorities and goals. You seem to be fighting for OP to go DO pretty heavily here which isn't necessarily wrong. It's just that there are more nuances to the differences between the degrees than simply less prestige. In practice the differences are minimal but the problem is what will you be practicing? Some specialties are closed off to DO physicians. This may be sufficient to consider being a reapplicant and losing a year of attending pay rather than going DO. Don't get me wrong, I have the utmost respect for DO physicians. We just shouldn't reduce the DO vs MD debate for OP to simply being two different letters after the name.
I am not fighting for DO. FYI I am an MD accepted applicant myself. I am just giving the OP options. And from what I hear (except for may be some exotic specialties), DO is in many specialties, and get paid and get respected the same as MDs.
 
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