11/14 rejection letters

Its very comforting to know that there are others out there like myself who are still in pursuit of a career in medicine after years of leaving undergrad/grad school.

Brief intro, I am 40 and completed undergrad in '93 (3.4 GPA, BIO major); applied to med school in '94, needless to say I didnt get in. Went to grad school, only to regret having done so at the time. All in all, my GPA suffered due to a series of tragedies in my family; nonetheless, I managed to pull myself together to complete the program ('99) with 2.9 GPA. Since grad school to present (~11 yrs)I’ve been employed as a Research Scientist. And along the way, I was/am involved in several community outreach programs and volunteer(ed) as time allows.

After deciding to try my luck with med school again, I took a few classes at a CC in my area - aced those and went on to take the MCATs in May’09 and then again in Sep’09…my second attempt was to see if I could improve my scores only to loose a few points. MCAT score second time around low 20s…With advice from outside sources I went ahead with completing the application process and now I’m three rejection letters away from 0/14 chances of getting into medical school for 2010.

Yes I could improve my scores and maybe take a few more classes - seeing that most of my science courses are over a decade old - which I thought wouldnt be a problem seeing that I’ve been actively involved in research since I left grad school.

My question is, how difficult is it to get the attention of an adcom member to go over my application and tell me what I’m lacking? and does anyone know of any schools in NY/NJ/CT who will be willing to have such discussion with me?


A fair amount of schools will agree to discuss your application and ways to strengthen it with you. Really, the only way to find this out is to call/e-mail them and ask if they will do so. They have already rejected you, so what do you have to lose by calling them and asking if they will talk to you? The worst they can do is say “No, we don’t do that”.

There may be other factors involved, but there are a couple of things that stand out to me:

  1. The 2.9 graduate GPA. Grade inflation in grad school is rampant - a 2.9 graduate GPA is often looked upon as worse than a 2.9 undergrad GPA because the expectations are that nearly everyone will get all A’s and B’s in grad school. In many grad programs, a C is equivalent to an F.

  2. The CC courses in combination with a below average MCAT score. The average MCAT score for applicants in 2009 was 27.9, while the average MCAT for matriculants was 30.8. Yes, you aced your CC courses, but your below average MCAT makes that fact not help you at all.

Thanks for your response.

My problem with calling/emailing is I was under the impression that they (SOMs) dont want to be bothered hence the “sorry our office cannot provide you with further advice” comment.

Nonetheless, since my post I have found one school in CT who is willing to meet with me once the 2010 admission cycle is complete.


Sorry for the response to your applications. It is a bummer to work so hard and have that kind of response. I think you’re doing the right thing by taking Emergency!'s advice. Good luck in your discussions with the CT school (and any others you might get) and best of luck as you work towards strengthening your application for the next try!

Also, consider attending the OPM conference in Chicago this summer. You will find both great support and some solid advice–it may give your esteem a little boost, too, which we can all use from time to time.

  • adrienS Said:

My question is, how difficult is it to get the attention of an adcom member to go over my application and tell me what I'm lacking? and does anyone know of any schools in NY/NJ/CT who will be willing to have such discussion with me?


Ask them, the worse they could do is say no and you be exactly where you are now. You have nothing lose and everything to gain. A well written email, with a CV, and a request to discuss, is all that it takes

The admissions director for my school is always doing counseling. What is the worse that they can say? No. So move onto the next.

I absolutely agree that you have every right to ask any schools that rejected you for an “exit” interview. Many will do that.

Needless to say, for some reason I have learned that if you drop lower on a subsequent MCAT attempt this raises red flags to ADCOMs. Also, I think that your scores might be at least ONE of the reasons for the unsuccessful attempts, but I would also want to know what other parts, if any of the app needs improvement. Then go after it like it was the only thing that mattered and improve your application and MCAT if possible and re-apply! Good luck!


I could be wrong about this, but isn’t a 3.0 minimum required to be awarded an advanced degree such as a Master’s??

Either way, anything under a 3.5 from graduate school is a death sentence on an app to med school.

In additional to sitting out a year to take upper division/graduate courses in the hard core sciences, I’d retake the MCAT as well.