Ways to Improve Application for Next Year?

Some preemptive questions if I have to reapply:

Besides a post-bac program (too expensive) and higher MCAT (I plan to retake) what are some ways to improve an application? Working in a lab for a year? I am already a 14 year volunteer paramedic. Before 2001, I worked as a medical technician for 4 years-should I go back to that? (I currently work for my family’s not-medically or scientifically-related business.)

Also, my LORs may be average, (from professors I only had for one class). How can I improve them if I have already graduated?

Is a LOR from a physician you have shadowed worth anything? How long should the shadow be? Can it be from a DO if you are applying to allo schools?

While I am a huge advocate of planning ahead, before I redirected all of my efforts in that direction, I would make sure I had maximized everything I can do for this app cycle. You sound very fatalistic - you need to learn to believe in yourself as an applicant.

Regarding the re-app, if necessary: average LORs will kill you. The readers ass/u/me that all LORs are a bit inflated and if they appear ‘average’, then they are more accurately ‘unenthused’. A strong letter comes from professors who know you to some degree…to obtain those, you need to have told the professor(s) upfront, at the beginning of the term, that you plan to ask them for one & to please keep your eyeballs peeled on me so you can write a good one.

Weak MCAT? You don’t give a score, but if it is mediocre & the rest of your unable to bolster it, then you will need to retake it. If it is competitive, even low-competitive, statistically you are more likely to lower or match your score than to raise it. So retaking it poses a degree of risk.

If you have pre-reqs where the grades are weak - retake them. Work on getting superlative LORs. And, probably the most valuable resource - the schools that reject you. Many, not all, will be willing to review your application with you to point out where you feel short & where you did well. That way you can hone your app in a targeted, more efficacious way vs. a willy-nilly, knee-jerk approach that most reapplicants take. Many reapplicants remain unsuccessful because they simply try to improve their app without really ever trying to discern what was weak in the first place. It is not what YOU perceive to weak, it is ALL about what the AdComs perceive as weak.