What am I doing wrong?

Hey Ryan (respectfully…know you don’t care for “Dr. Gray”)

I’ve been out of undergrad for about 3 years now and graduated with a 3.03 overall GPA and a 2.504 science GPA and had taken the MCAT once and made a 499. I applied to a handful of MD schools during my senior year of undergrad and got one interview but was ultimately not accepted. I then began working in a pediatric hospital surgical department as a PCT (transport mainly, running labs, etc) and took the summer to study for the MCAT with a formal, professional study course (K****n) and my score actually dropped to a 496. I then re-took biochem (which I had made a D+ in in undergrad), took Biology 2 (which my undergrad institution did not offer), and several other 300-400 level biology courses totaling 27 hours in 4 semesters. My GPA was a 3.74 for those courses (so now we are looking at a 3.16 overall and a 2.97 science GPA). I worked full time, volunteered at a local health clinic about 4 hours a week, and shadowed in the spare moments that I had. After a year of limited patient contact in the surgical department, I was hired as a clinical assistant/ortho tech in a private orthopedic practice where I have extensive patient contact. I then studied on my own for the MCAT for about 4 months and brought my score up to a 500. I finally felt prepared to apply and spent months fine-tuning my personal statement and EC essays and applied to about 13 MD schools and 9 DO schools. I only got ONE interview to a DO school. I guess my question is what the heck am I doing wrong? I have a strong upward trend (which I thought was a good thing), my MCAT score isn’t great but it isn’t bad, and I have leadership experience, good rec letters, and what I thought was a good personal statement. Any insight would be appreciated because I’m at the point where, if I don’t get accepted to this one school, I’m looking at going back to school full time (most likely in the form of a biomedical sciences masters program, which I guess is a post-bac and not an SMP because it doesn’t have application/MCAT help) which is very difficult to swallow because I’m married and my wife’s income is not enough to sustain us by itself, so I am worried about accruing more debt. Appreciate your help.

Hi mtpowell25, it sounds like the problem right now is simply your statistics. You have great healthcare experience, leadership, recc letters. Assuming that you have a strong personal statement, the only issue is your MCAT and GPA, which are both below the 10th percentile for most MD programs. That seems like where you should focus all your energy at this point. To be honest, it’s extremely encouraging that you got an interview at a DO program, especially since you only applied to 9. Hopefully this won’t be necessary, but if you do need to apply again for another cycle, I would recommend applying to more than 9 DO programs if possible. Either way, I think that the SMP is a great idea. It will show medical schools that you can handle the workload and it will also sharpen some of your science which may result in a better MCAT score. If you are worried about the cost, think about doing whatever it takes to get that MCAT score higher. If you got 1/9 DO interviews with a 500, imagine how you would do with a median mcat score (or close to it)! Keep working - it sounds like you are very close!!!

Hi! Thank you for your question! Dr. Gray covered your question on Session #169! If you were interested in applying for the Application Renovation series Ryan mentioned, you can apply at applicationrenovation.com!

Thank you,