Reach Medical Schools: To Apply or Not Apply?

Around this time of year, many premed students are choosing what medical schools they will apply to this cycle. Sifting through the MSAR and looking at that medical school with a high median gpa and MCAT score may be discouraging for those with lower stats.

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The first time I applied to medical school in 2016, I know I definitely was! I thought, why the heck would I even try applying to some of these schools? Look at those stats!

I obsessed over the numbers and discouraged myself in the process. If this sounds familiar, I would just like to give you some motivating advice and encouragement not to think like this!

Why you say?

You know when your mom or dad is like, “Well you definitely won’t get in if you don’t apply!” or “Oh come on you never know, you might as well try!”.

Well I’m here to second those encouraging words because medical schools review your applications holistically and you are more than just your numbers!

And to back that statement up with some evidence I’ll show you my stats from 2016 versus the one school I got an interview from that cycle. Spoiler! I was waaaayy below their medians for MCAT & GPA.

These are my verified GPAs from the 2017 application cycle. (Very annoying that I had to put classes I took in high school 😭). Also I had an undecided major until half way through sophomore year and worked a crap ton as a waitress (awful decision)!

Their median GPA for accepted students
median gpa for medical school
My MCAT Score in 2016
And their median MCAT score for accepted students
applying to medical school

This data is from 2020, so it may be slightly different than when I applied, but either way close enough.

Takeaway

By no means am I suggesting that you purposely apply to 20 medical schools that have stats way above yours, but don’t count yourself out completely and apply to 2 or 3 if you would love to go to that school!

This was my dream school out of the (mere) 5 that I applied to. There were two with much lower stats and I didn’t hear a thing from them… I thought if I heard from from any school it would NOT be this one.

I told my mom, “Mother, this is pointless. I’m not good enough for this school! Why waste the money?!” And like I said earlier she said “You don’t know that, just apply and see what happens!”

So I’m here to tell you the same thing! Pick some safety net medical schools, plus a bunch of schools where your stats are at or above their medians, then reach for the stars for those last few!

I applied to all the schools in my home state so that’s why I applied to this school even though they were more competitive.

You are more than your stats!

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Why Premeds Should Apply to Their Reach Medical Schools
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