Stats: 12 applications total 6 MD/6 DO, 6 interviews, 4 waitlists, 1 accept, 1 reject.
Graduated undergrad in Aug. 2004. Had been a bit burned out on biology coming out of high school and changed my major after a year as a bio major. I wanted to see what else was out there. By my senior year I decided I wanted to go back to medicine but needed to finish my current studies first as I was completing dual degrees. After graduation I took a semester off to work. Returned to school in Jan. 2005 to finish my pre med requirements over the spring and summer semesters. This necessitated taking the August MCAT. (Did okay on MCAT, in the running but not phenomenal) Returned to work as a pharmacy tech during the application process.
I was interested in primary care and osteopathic medicine early on so I actually completed those applications first. All applications generally reflected either in state or what I felt taught a philosophy which matched my approach to medicine. Have some family background in healthcare (mostly pharmacists and 2 MDs)
Got a bit of a late start because of the August MCAT. Had to wait for scores to come back. Didn't start interviewing until late December. Received 7 interview offers, but didnt take KCOM's because they told me that they had already filled their class. When I started to hear back I began to feel like the waitlist king after I received 4 in a row. Accepted to WVSOM, a school which I really liked anyway so I'm happy now.
Notes and Advice:
Looking back from the other side and talking with students and faculty I can say the following:
Get the applications in as early as possible.
Don't take the August MCAT if you don't think you're going to ace it. (I know this is changing with computerized testing but for me it was true)I ended up with scores that were solid but not fantastic and a 30 or 31 probably could have pushed me over the edge a couple of times.
Also, that late MCAT really puts you behind in applications. If you have any weaknesses then you want to be considered early. I was fighting for slots in classes that were already 3/4 or more filled by the time my interview dates came up.
(Please take this next bit with a grain of salt, I don't write it to be cynical, it is simply a reflection of some things I've seen in my application year)
I hate to say it but for the average applicant this whole process is a crap shoot. Most of us are very qualified and have excellent potential and maybe extras like personal support from alumni.
However, you can be above the 'average accepted applicant' data in every quantitative way, and still loose out by luck of the draw. Most, but not all, admissions comittees still sit down with say 50 jackets and plan to hand out 10 offers that day. But you just happen to be in the stack next to the Yale undergrad who did mission work in Kenya for 6 years and the Stanford biochemist who has already been published for helping his mentor in infectious disease research. Any other day you would have been in but you got a bad draw. Now some schools, such as VCU, work around this using a ranking system for their applicants, but that seems to affect your position on the wait list more than anything else.
Beyond that, good luck, have faith, and try to breathe deeply when you check your mailbox and email hourly everyday waiting for letters. I still think things work out as they are supposed to. Questions and comments are always welcome.
P.S. Its hard to to do but start preparing early for the change in personal relationships that happen when you start medical school. Unless your significant other has medical professionals in their family, they have no way of knowing what it is you're going through except that you're more distant now because of your lack of time. I was in a way blessed that I've been in a long distance relationship for over a year so the adjustment was minimal for us. However, some of my friends, married and unmarried have had a very hard time with the adjustments.