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Percentage of filled seats by rolling admission?

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I'm a Canadian who only considered US med schools recently and submitted my primary today. I know it's very late but I figured it couldn't hurt to try. Everyone knows earlier is better but I was wondering if there were any stats on how much better? Like am I fighting for a remaining 50%, the last 10%, or is it practically filled up by now?

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I applaud your commitment to expanding your med application chances by applying to the US! I went through the same in the 2020-2021 cycle. Depending on your GPA/MCAT and citizenship status, it unfortunately could've hurt to try by submitting your primary this late in the 2022 cycle. I'll explain:

If you are only Canadian and neither a US citizen nor PR, then I would expect there to be about 2% of MD interview invites left for applicants like you on October 1st (I wouldn't know about DO but should be significantly higher perhaps in the 50% range). Normally if your GPA is >= 3.80 and your MCAT is >= 514, then you would have been considered a competitive Canadian applicant if you had submitted early (we're talking secondaries in by end of July), had a diversified school list, and had a passable personal statement with no red flags. Before people get upset, the GPA/MCAT numbers can compensate for each other to a degree (to illustrate: lowest successful threshold GPA I've heard of is ~3.6x range with MCAT > 520 or lowest successful threshold MCAT is ~510 range with GPA > 3.95). Unless you have an amazing X factor, you should certainly forget about the T30 schools if you don't have the first described grades.

But by submitting your primary now (we can even assume you submitted your secondaries today), you've been pushed to the end of the pile. Though adcoms don't just filter applicants chronologically (they flag applications into many piles based on their 'holistic' needs of filling a class), you can be assured that your status as a Canadian is not beneficial. Unless you have that X factor that would warrant you being placed into an express pile (combined with the threshold GPA/MCAT), you are at the back of the line for MD interview invites. And adcoms are reluctant to extend their last interview invites to only somewhat competitive Canadians, who are at best seen as out of state and at worst seen equivalently to international applicants. To put it simply, you don't stand out in this pile.

So now you've submitted your primary, hopefully just to one school as your 'throw-away' to get the process going and not your whole school list. Unless your GPA/MCAT is remarkably high and you have some exceptional X factor, I would be very surprised that you would receive an interview invite at this stage in the cycle. I say this even if you submitted secondaries today to the top 30 most Canadian-friendly medical schools. For Canadians hoping to have a chance in the US, submitting secondaries ASAP is crucial and this in turn requires submitting the primary ASAP. (For the record, the last 15 of the top 30 most Canadian-friendly schools are not even realistically Canadian-friendly, per MSAR.)

So how did it hurt you to apply this late, other than financially? The disadvantage now if you are wholly unsuccessful this cycle is that you are seen as a reapplicant to any schools that you already listed for transmission on your primary should you try again in subsequent cycles. This is an added burden on future you, who will need to very tangibly show how you improved as an applicant and deserve their interview invite (and this, even if the only reason you did not receive an interview invite the first time is because you applied late! nothing to do with a bad quality application in the first place! yes it's crazy!). And the reality for most applicants who try again in back-to-back cycles is they did not improve very remarkably in that short amount of time. So it's a sure disadvantage, though completely unclear how severe it is. So why did I mention hopefully you just listed one throwaway school on your primary? To give you the chance to reflect on your true odds of getting an interview invite before spending any more of your hard earned cash making charitable donations to the AAMC and a bunch of wealthy admin offices.

Now if you are a dual citizen, the situation changes and you probably have access to more like 15% of MD interview invites left. But you are still competing with people who were complete back in July who have not heard back yet (adcoms constantly compare and contrast new applicants with existing ones they've reviewed preliminarily to determine whether you pass the threshold for an interview invite), who have raised the bar so-to-speak on what it takes to get an interview invite. You can understand now how applying early before the bar is set is a distinct advantage, in addition to the highly increased number of interview invites to be given out and the consequent relative generosity with which adcoms give them out at the beginning.

And we haven't even talked about getting accepted following an interview invite. But you can expect the in state vs out of state vs international labels to still apply when deciding who to extend offers of admission.

So if you are looking for stats, you won't find them because the data is not publicly available. You will, though, find lots of dejected anecdotes from excited applicants who had their hopes dashed when they learned through experience that getting accepted to the US as only a Canadian citizen is a competition only marginally easier than our domestic one, and arguably requires more strategy to optimize expected value from resources (money, time) spent.

I hope that was clear enough.

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That was very clear, thank you. I've asked on some other forums and they've responded similarly, but yours was the best for being so thorough! It turns out I'm not fully verified and can still withdraw to avoid the dreaded re-applicant status and get most of my money back. You've helped give me realistic expectations of my chances and now I know I have to be ready to submit as soon as possible next year.

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Great, I'm glad! Note there is no reapplicant status when applying to Canadian med schools, since applications are all considered for the present cycle only and in competition with the current year's applicants only. So I hope you weren't shy in shooting your shot this year broadly across Canada.

If you or anyone has any other questions, feel free to continue the thread. I'm also happy to answer PMs, but it can get tiring replying to the same questions about American vs Canadian Casper, top x most Canadian-friendly USMD schools, importance of shadowing...

For the record, my answers to these:

-- Yes, Canadian and American Casper exams are virtually the same. American Casper has more topics relevant to American culture/reality like gun violence, health insurance, affording health care, etc. In general, there are some template answers you can learn to get the skeleton down and basically just have to fill in the blanks for each ethical scenario. I wrote American Casper in June and Canadian Casper in August, but you could just do them back-to-back since you don't get feedback anyway so how you know where to improve (NOTE: apparently they are releasing quartile information starting this cycle, so may be worth waiting for the release to know if your strategy or template is working). Biggest factor imo for Casper success: hitting 120+ wpm. Evaluators are human, humans tend towards being lazy, and lazy means looking for heuristics. More words on the page seems to be correlated with a greater scenario score (but do try to avoid repeating yourself), since it gives the impression you know what you're talking about. The Casper people claim their test cannot be studied and your score is resistant to change over time, but anecdotally it totally can be studied and people do improve their score. The test-makers claim the data says otherwise, so maybe I just surround myself with highly ethical people who happen to all be fast typists.

(As an aside for Casper, I have a suspicion the Canadian evaluators are slowly becoming immune to the current metagame of template answers. Since Casper has been in broad use across Canada since ~2017 and only since ~2019 in the US, I think the same template strategy will work better in the US. The reason for this is US applicants have not yet all adopted the same strategies and are perhaps even naively taking the exam without studying. Consequently, the US evaluators find the use of template strategies novel and aren't bored yet by the same formulated answers. Canadian evaluators on the other hand are two years ahead reading the answers from a more homogeneous applicant pool that knows well enough to pre-study. This is only my impression and YMMV, though I do think Casper's validity will decrease with time as applicants smarten up to more effective ways of presenting their answers. If you consider this a game, then the developers may need to rebalance by retraining their evaluators to look for different aspects of the answer to offer greater granularity that would distinguish a 9/10 from a 10/10 answer. I was happy to be done with Casper, but now it seems Canadian and American residency programs are starting to use it too:  https://carms.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360016014892-I-am-a-Canadian-medical-graduate-which-programs-require-the-CASPer-for-the-2021-R-1-match- . We're all going to have to keep up with the metagame...)

-- Top 5 most Canadian-friendly at the time of 2020-2021 cycle was probably NYMC, Wayne State, SUNY Upstate, Stony Brook, VCU. But do cross-check with MSAR and https://forums.premed101.com/topic/98764-list-of-canadian-friendly-usmd-schools-2019-ver/ to see which schools are worth your time (i.e. ignore schools that claim to take Canadians but matriculate fewer than 2). If you have top-tier stats like 3.9x/520+ then feel free to add T30 schools since those tend to be blind to applicant origin.

-- Yes, some shadowing is important. At least a few dozen hours in two separate medical specialties appears important for the US. Note the quickly diminishing returns past 50 hours in one specialty, both for you and for your CV evaluator. I would probably stick to 25-30 hours each.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Put yourself in a position to succeed like others have outlined. For both MD and DO it is getting late. You are are basically beyond the edge of throwing away money. It is actually the same reason why its dangerous to apply early decision because you can't apply any where else until now. Add that to the fact that you are not a citizen.

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