Things I learned from past experience:
APPLY EARLY - applying early gets you interviews. Getting interviews early in the cycle gives you a very high chance of acceptance or being waitlisted early on. The waitlist really moves quite fast when the following summer comes around.
INTERVIEWS ARE EXPENSIVE - wow I have spent sooo much money. Its priceless. I just laugh when I see the credit card bill.
TAKE SDN ADVICE WITH A GRAIN OF SALT - there are so many 40 MCAT 4.0 GPA superstars with research publications, ridiculous number of clinical hrs, and ECs. Those people only represent a small population of premeds. If you want to go to medical school you still need to jump through all the hoops and try your best to be \"better than average\". If your goal is to get into a top 20 med school, dont listen to me.
NEW (12/13/2010) Looking back: Retaking MCAT and waiting for next cycle vs Applying early
I made a difficult decision May 2010 to continue with the applications for this cycle. I had taken the MCAT Aug 21 2009 and got a 29 but scored poorly on the verbal section. I tried to seek out advice on what I should have done. There really wasn\'t anyone out there that was in a situation like mine.
I studied really hard for the MCAT putting in nearly 350 hrs of prep over 4 months summer 2009. My verbal scores on practice tests were all over the place. I started out making 4s and 5s. Near the end of prep I was making 8s, 9s. My verbal scores were not consistent. Once in a while I ended up with a 7 or 6 on a practice exam but the following week I would make an 8. I decided that I had put in the effort in my prep and went ahead with the test on Aug 21st. One month later I saw my scores. I was disappointed with my verbal but happy with my science scores. I guess sometimes even with hard work, things don\'t go your way. Thats just life.
I had to make a hard decision. If I retook the MCAT I would have to take it again August (Summer) 2010 making me a late candidate again. Thus I would have to apply for the Fall 2012 cycle to be considered an early applicant. In addition, I was going to need new recommendation letters since my letters were used for the prior cycle and would be out of date. Given these downsides, I decided to apply early June 2010 for the Fall 2011 cycle.
My 2011 Med Cycle Strategy.
I learned a lot from the past year. I didn\'t get into medical school because I applied late during the previous cycle (Late August). Understand that there are soo many candidates applying. It is critical to have letters of recommendations, MCAT scores, personal statement essays, and supporting documents ready to go on June 1st. Don\'t delay. Start working on your application on May 1st. Get it ready to submit June 1st when they begin accepting applications.
Take the MCAT early August the previous summer from when you commit to applying. If you need to retake, then retake ASAP like April or March. Having that MCAT ready to go is important.
Not having your application materials ready can really reduce your chances of interview invites since your application will be held up. Consider applying to a future med school cycle if your materials aren\'t ready to go.
Given that my MCAT score is average and that I have a dismal verbal score, applying earlier than ever before was crucial to getting those interviews.
Also plan on applying to a couple of backup schools. I applied with the intention of getting into a Texas Med School (My dream schools) and various osteopathic schools OOS (backup schools). If I don\'t get into a Texas school then I will probably end up going OOS. I don\'t want to wait another year which may end up requiring me to retake the MCAT.
I was told the statistical odds of an acceptance after interview ranges from 33 to 50% per school. It is wise to apply to numerous backup programs.
Applied to :
Texas Tech Foster El Paso
Texas Tech Lubbock
UT San Antonio
(Will fill in missing dates later) Updated: December 11th 2010
6/1/2010 - Submitted TMDSAS and AACOMAS. All supporting docs sent.
6/22/2010 - TMDSAS sends app to Texas schools.
6/25/2010 - AACOMAS releases app to OOS DO schools.
7/1/2010 DMU COM, AZCOM, KCOM --------- 2ndy App invite
7/2/2010 DMU COM 2ndy App Complete
7/7/2010 KCOM 2ndy app Complete
7/8/2010 NSU COM 2ndy app complete
7/8/2010 - AACOMAS releases app to LECOM-B: A representative visited UNTHSC during the summer. Talked about their program in FL. I thought it was interesting. They have a Problem Based Learning curriculum. Decided to sent my app there too in June.
7/9/2010 AZCOM 2ndy Complete
7/15 - Received LECOM-B 2ndy App, Submitted it same day. Easy.
7/15/2010 - Interview invite to Lubbock WOOOT!!! FIRST INTERVIEW!!
7/23/2010 - Interview invite to El Paso. NICE.
7/27/2010 - LECOM-B completed processing
7/28/2010 - Interview invite to AZCOM. (9/27/2010)
8/9/2010 - Interview invite to DMU COM (9/17/2010)
8/9/2010 - Interview invite to LECOM-B (10/8/2010) - A person actually called me. I was speechless.
8/13/2010 - Interviewed at Texas Tech Lubbock. Amazing school. Nervous going into the interview but it turned out to be really easy. Very conversational. Really liked the school. They have early clinical exposure starting MS1 instead of MS3. Location is far from home though.
8/19/2010 Interviewed at Foster School of Medicine El Paso. Fantastic School. They sold themselves better than Lubbock.
Downsides: Location (far from home)
8/26/2010 Interview Invite to KCOM - October 4th
8/31/2010 Interview invite to NSUCOM - Nov 15th
9/17/2010 Interview at DMUCOM
9/27/2010 Interview at AZCOM
9/28/2010 Waitlisted at DMUCOM - Disappointed - Found out during the morning classes that day.
9/28/2010 Accepted to AZCOM - First acceptance!!!! I\'m going to become a doctor. One of the happiest days of my life. AZCOM called me during lunch. Went from having a crappy day due to DMU waitlist to euphoria after I found about my acceptance. What a day!!
9/30/2010 Canceled LECOM-B interview.
10/4/2010 Interview at KCOM - Amazed at the school. Way better than what I had expected.
10/6/2010 Acceptance to KCOM - WOW.
10/6/2010 Invite to UT Houston - I didnt expect this since I\'m way below their average stats.
10/11/2010 - Canceled NSUCOM interview - due to other school acceptances.
10/29/2010 - Attended UT Houston interview - big school, impressive facilities, cheap tuition. I doubt I will get an acceptance here since I\'m below their averages.
11/15/2010 No luck on pre-match day. Other people in Med Sci getting prematched. Blaming my verbal score...
12/11/2010 UNTHSC Med Sci semester is over!!! I\'m updating this file with results so far.
12/13/2010 Paid KCOM deposit and ordered background check. I\'m most likely going to attend this school. If I get accepted in Texas somewhere then it will be very hard to decide where I end up going.
12/23/2010 Prematched to TCOM!!!!!! I\'m so happy I got accepted to a texas med school.
1/1/2011- I have decided to rank Texas school as such:
1 UT Houston - closest to home
2 TCOM - Id be happier at this school than living far away in el paso.
3 El Paso - location is far away, could care less about MD vs DO degree...
Chance of acceptance to Houston is small but it can happen. Its not over until June 15th.
3/15/2011 Withdrew my acceptance to KCOM. Lost $1000 dollars to pay for their December deposit. Oh well.