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What are my chances at medical school?

DogGuruDogGuru 2 replies2 threads New Member
edited August 2018 in Pre-Med & Medical School
Hello everyone!

I've just joined here at CC, and I am looking for as many opinions as possible. Would you all please chance me for medical school? I will also list some schools I am looking at applying to.

Here is my CV (please excuse the fact that it is still a little disorganized).

•Degrees Awarded:

-Bachelor's of Science in Physics ~Concentration in Materials Physics & Astrophysics~
-Bachelor's of Science in Chemistry
~Concentration in Biochemistry~
-Minor in Nanoscale Science
-Minor in Biomedical Science
~Concentration in Neuroscience~

•GPA Info:
-Overall GPA: 3.64
-BCPM GPA: 3.50
-Major GPA: 3.71
-Last 4 Years Institutional GPA: 4.0

*The low GPA is due to many early blunders during my first two years in college while completing my associate's. I had a lot of family medical issues that caused my grades to plummet and for me to take on many withdrawals. However, I have recorded documentation for everything within the time frame to prove my case. After my AA, my first semester at my state school wasn't the best, but afterwards, I held a 4.0 for about 5 years straight all while taking many upper level advanced courses and even quite a few 4000 and 5000 level physics and chemistry electives in many different specialties. Some of these courses included biochemistry 1 & 2, orgo chemistry 1, 2, & 3, analytical chem 1, 2, & 3, physical chem 1, 2, & 3, Polymer Chemistry, Advanced Wave Mechanics, Solid State Physics, etc etc.*

•MCAT Score: 524

•Extracurriculars, Volunteer Work, Clinical Experience, & Research Experience:

-5 years of clinical volunteer work
(Roughly 1900 Hours Equivalent ~ 8 hours a week on average for the entire 5 years minus a few summers for research ~ did rotations through cancer center, intense care, clinical unit, etc etc ~ was offered a job but denied it to maintain flexibility of volunteer schedule)
-2 months shadowing
-7 years of volunteer work at the Humane Society (4 hours a week ~ Roughly 1300 Hours Equivalent)
-Founded a nonprofit charity organization aimed at assisting those stricken by poverty and unfortunate circumstance (have been successfully running for 4 years now, currently working on new website and features)
-Wrote, defended, and published a Senior Honors Thesis. (Received publication in my university's library.) ~ Accumulated roughly 2 years of research experience during this process
-Conducted about 13 months of directed research for major. ~ approx. 575 hours
-University of Rochester Summer Scholar
-SURF Fellowship Recipient.
-1 Poster

Extra Information:

•State of Residence: Florida
•Age: 28
•Military Veteran

Schools Applying To:

1. University of Pennsylvania
2. Mayo Clinic School of Medicine
3. University of Pittsburgh
4. New York University
5. Stanford University
6. Duke University
7. Vanderbilt University
8. Johns Hopkins University
9. Emory University
10. University of Chicago
11. University of Michigan
12. Washington University in St Louis
13. Northwestern University
14. Case Western Reserve University
15. Brown University
16. University of Southern California
17. Cornell University
18. University of Virginia
19. University of Rochester
20. University of Maryland
21. University of Iowa
22. Ohio State University
23. University of Miami
24. Dartmouth College
25. University of Florida
26. University of South Florida
27. Thomas Jefferson University
28. Tufts University
29. University of Central Florida
30. Florida Atlantic University
31. University of Vemont
32. Florida State University

I know 32 schools is a lot, but considering my early blunders and fact that my list is a little too heavy, I find it warranted. I may apply to more at that as price and time and no issue currently.

Well, what do you guys think? I could appreciate any all feedback you may be able to give, including added advice.

Sorry for the small essay here haha.

Thank you in advance!
edited August 2018
20 replies
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Replies to: What are my chances at medical school?

  • artloversplusartloversplus 8661 replies255 threads Senior Member
    You have a top heavy list where most of the schools are beyond your stats can reach. You should research MSAR before applying so many top schools. Try drop some those and add ALL your in state schools to start and some lower tier med schools to increase your chances.

    Good luck.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 11077 replies137 threads Senior Member
    I personally think you'll be competitive. There is also something to be said about being a bit older and a veteran that adds an additional layer to your application. Plus you have the rest of the package in terms of MCAT, research, volunteering, etc...... Good luck and thank you for your service!
    · Reply · Share
  • coolguy40coolguy40 3063 replies8 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2018
    Good job on the MCAT! The list seems kind of top heavy, but it's really good that you have all of the Florida Medical Schools in there. That's your best shot. The idea is just to get in and be happy you did. Don't worry about prestige. Take off the prestigious schools and replace them with D.O. schools. D.O.'s are just as eligible for residencies as M.D. In fact, a good friend of mine is a D.O. orthopedic surgeon. Here's some suggestions on a few schools. Try University of Texas (Dell Med School), University of North Texas(D.O.), and Michigan State (Have a D.O. and M.D. school). Also try Texas Tech, Texas Tech-El Paso, and University of Texas Medical San Antonio(Well known OBGYN residency program).
    edited August 2018
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  • artloversplusartloversplus 8661 replies255 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2018
    Not all Florida Med schools are on his list, FIU and FAU for example are not on his list. You should go through MSAR for a list, it is very important.

    Stanford, for example. I have a friend who work for the final decision maker for med school, her drawer is full of perfect scored, perfectly groomed, rejected applicants. Why waste all the money to reach some thing that is worse than win a lotto?

    I do believe you have a chance at a MD school, but most likely not be at a top tier school. You might want to throw in some DO schools, just in case.
    edited August 2018
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  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 11145 replies240 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2018
    Excellent MCAT! Being a military veteran is a big plus at most mission driven med schools. (won't give you as much of a boost at top 20s, though)

    I agree that your list is top heavy and your research may not be significant enough for research-intensive schools. (JHU, WashU, Stanford, et al.)

    I also suggest you drop the following schools from your list: Tufts, Brown, Jefferson. These are all "low yield" schools.

    Brown has a very small program (90 students/year) and 45 of those slots go to in-house BA/MD students. Tufts & Jefferson each get over 13,000 applications.year for ~150 seats.
    Think about adding some mid-rank midwestern private schools--Creighton, SLU, Loyola, Oakland-Beaumont. Maybe Rosalind Franklin--which loves re-invention stories.

    I think you can risk not applying to DO schools this cycle. Complete an application cycle and see what happens. If you don't get any acceptances, spend a year strengthening your app, and reapply broadly to MD and DO schools.
    edited August 2018
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  • TheNanoGeekTheNanoGeek 9 replies13 threads Junior Member
    @artloversplus FAU is on my list. I had thought FIU was, but I must've missed it. I have heard numerous reports from others stating that while mu GPA may be in the lower percentile for the top programs, my upward trend, MCAT, and ECs make up for it in a lot of ways. Correct me if I am wrong there. My dream school is a toss up between UPenn, Mayo, Pitt, and NYU, so I would LOVE to get into one of those programs. Though, I do see what you're coming from in regards to Standford, but I would also assume that that may be the case for most if not all top programs. Sometimes, you gotta take a leap of faith lol. My reasoning for going for a top program is because I am gunning for a very competitive residency.
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  • Jugulator20Jugulator20 1573 replies19 threads Senior Member
    Getting into any residency is somewhat different than med school. The final decision is made by a computer program. Getting into residency consists of 3 parts. One, being offered an interview. Two, the place the residency program director (PD) ranks you (ie are you his first choice, second choice, thirtieth choice, not ranked, etc). As to the first two parts: below is a link to 2018 survey of factors that PDs consider important in deciding to offer an interview (Fig 1). Fig 2 is a list of factors that PDs consider important in deciding where to rank an applicant. To translate what’s most important to PDs who responded in deciding to offer an interview is how one does in med school (eg Step 1). Going to a highly‐regarded U.S. medical school is not so important. What’s most important to PDs in deciding where to rank is performance during interview coupled with performance in med school. Going to highly‐regarded U.S. medical school is not so important. I think even if you look at factors PDs list from specific individual specialties, name of med school is not so important.
    You don’t have to go to a "top program" to get into a very competitive med residency.

    The third part is how a student ranks a program (same process as PD). If interested look at 2017 student survey as well.
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  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 11145 replies240 threads Senior Member
    You may want to take a look at these threads-- about lowGPA/high MCAT applicants-- to get a feel for what kind of success they've had.



    I'll second what @Jugulator20 above has said about competitive residencies. MY daughters graduated from a mid-ranked state med school. The top 15% of the graduating classes routinely match into competitive specialties (ortho, ENT, ophthal, uro, derm, neurosurgery, rad onc) and match at "brand name" programs. (Mayo, Harvard, Yale, UCSF, UTSW, UCLA, Vanderbilt, JHU, Stanford, etc)

    Truthfully, it's much more important where you do your residency than where you go to med school.
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  • TheNanoGeekTheNanoGeek 9 replies13 threads Junior Member
    Alright, you all have given me a lot to think about. Thanks! However, I have another question, if I'm looking at a school whose average GPA of those who matriculated is a 3.7 and the average MCAT is a 515 with me having a 3.64 (just shy of the average) and a 524 (well above the average), could I consider that a safe school to apply to?
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 11077 replies137 threads Senior Member
    I don't think "safety" applies to any medical school.
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  • WayOutWestMomWayOutWestMom 11145 replies240 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2018
    ^^Absolutely true.

    A high MCAT does not bring forgiveness for lower GPA. Top schools want it all.

    Plus med schools are insanely yield conscious. Make sure you research the schools you apply to and have a good explanation for the "Why this school?" question. If you can't convince them you're sincere and are only applying as a back-up/safety school, they won't bother to interview you.

    Lastly make sure to read the mission statement for each school. You need to be a match for the school's stated mission as well as having the right stats.
    edited August 2018
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  • Jugulator20Jugulator20 1573 replies19 threads Senior Member
    edited August 2018
    I agree 100% with @momofsenior1 There’s a saying that one’s stats can get you to the med school door, but it’s the rest of the app that gets you through. So maybe your stats don’t get you immediately rejected. Adcoms will then look carefully at rest of your application (eg ECs, LoRs, secondary essays, PS) to see if you possess the qualities they believe MDs should have (eg leadership, altruism, compassion, ability to communicate, maturity, etc), do you fit with school’s mission statement, if yes to all, maybe you get an interview invite. You show up for your interview and be rude, cocky, arrogant, immature, etc, and no matter how pretty your MCAT is, you can say adios to your chances at that school. My point is that after stats, even a 524 MCAT, there are many aspects of an application that can end any applicant's chances.
    edited August 2018
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  • TheNanoGeekTheNanoGeek 9 replies13 threads Junior Member
    Perhaps safe was the wrong choice of word. I meant it as me being competitive against the average.
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  • artloversplusartloversplus 8661 replies255 threads Senior Member
    If you want a "safe" school, throw in NOVA. With 524 Mcat, you are pretty sure can be accepted. But, if you want your pride, you should apply only to MD schools.

    Its too early to call for a competitive residency right now, got in a first tier school does not automatically match you into a competitive residency. Not only you have to have good step scores, your class rank play a large part of the decision. My nephew went to one of the "med tier" school that WOWM listed. He was able to match into an opthal residency.

    If you have applied an independent grant and wrote a research paper on it all by yourself, you might have a chance to crack at those top research oriented med schools, ie, Stanford, JHU and Mayo. Otherwise, only include some of your "dream schools" and revise your top heavy schools. Perhaps, if you are extremely lucky, you dream might come true.

    Good luck.
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  • artloversplusartloversplus 8661 replies255 threads Senior Member
    BTW, OP, you are a so called "non-traditional" med school applicant, there are plenty of "non-traditionals" got into med school and competitive residencies. Search in Sdn and there is a special section devoted to that. But for a non-traditional get into top tier school is very rare and almost impossible. If you were a 4.0 student, you could already been there, done that. Most non-traditionals have some deficiencies in GPA, so, most of the non-traditionals do not get in to top tier schools.

    To apply for 35 schools is a big effort, do not waste your efforts for pie in the sky dreams.
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  • AndorvwAndorvw 367 replies9 threads Member
    My reasoning for going for a top program is because I am gunning for a very competitive residency.

    Agreed with what other people said, your class rank in med school is very important (in addition to your Step scores). Top schools are full of super stars (best of the best) and where do you think you would be in such class? You might have better chance in mid or low tier schools where you can be at the top of the class.
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  • thumper1thumper1 79170 replies3574 threads Senior Member
    But, if you want your pride, you should apply only to MD schools.

    This comment is beyond offensive to the growing number of students in D.O. programs who will be part of the next generation of very competent and well educated doctors.

    There is NO pride lost by going to D.O. schools...where, frankly, the education is very identical to MD schools except that DO schools get the added DO perspective and education.

    The residencies for MD and DO students will be fully merged by 2020.

    At the end of the day...folks graduating from DO school will also be DOCTORS.

    Nothing shameful about D.O. schools...nothing.

    @artloversplus your comment is offensive to the many D.O. Students out there.

    And also discouraging for students who have the potential to be accepted to D.O. Schools but not MD schools. Isn’t it a shame you are discouraging someone from following their dream to become a doctor because of your perception that D.O. School is somehow beneath them?

    My opinion...even strong students like this one should have one or two DO schools on their application list. Med school admissions are not a slam dunk for anyone...and having options is a good idea.
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  • artloversplusartloversplus 8661 replies255 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2018

    My comments are just reflection of facts, not in anyway to offence to any DO applicants.

    Perhaps you have not seen my posts enough to know that my D is a 4th year DO student, she has just sent out her residency application TODAY. She is applying to about 100 programs. My D is doing well in her school(top 10%) and she had a high enough score to get into the field of her choice, OB, but not sure if she can get the desired location/program she wanted. She will try for Stanford and UCSF but the chances are slim.

    So I know why DO is less desirable to those who have the stats to MD schools and some applicants are borderline for MD schools won't consider DO because:

    1. The name of DO is less recognized in the US and not accepted as MD in other countries.
    2. They have to take and be tested for OMM, in addition to the regular classes.
    3. They have to take USMLE and COMLEX to maximize the residency exposure, even on the paper the residency matching have been merged.
    4. Regardless the publicity, some top residency programs won't interview/hire DO applicants.
    5. DO residency programs are limited, my D is in the top 3% of COMLEX scores but she still is going after MD residency programs only. As you know, residency in medicine is every thing, where you go to med school is irrelevant.
    edited September 2018
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  • thumper1thumper1 79170 replies3574 threads Senior Member
    Then stop insulting DO programs. At the end of the day, your DO doctor daughter will be a doctor.

    Instead of insulting others, celebrate their success.
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  • artloversplusartloversplus 8661 replies255 threads Senior Member
    edited September 2018

    My remarks are reply to the OP, not to all the med school applicants. I am not insulting ANY applicants.

    Apparently, OP think he is good for his list of top heavy schools with a lot of pride in his past 5 years achievements in this 4 years institution. He has no incline to apply for ANY DO schools because he think that a 4.0 GPA in this 4 year school can override his not so sterling Community College past. What he found on this board is opposite of what he envisioned. My remarks are pointing out to him that he should also apply to DO schools, but if he wants to keep his pride as his first post indicated, then do not apply to DO schools and face the consequences.
    edited September 2018
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