Wait-- it costs 3 grand just to APPLY to med school?? That's insane.
Not for one med school. Like many, he applied to 20 (or thought he had anyway!). There's the initial application fee and almost all schools have a fee for their secondary (where you fill out more info each one requests). Since his MCAT and GPA are so high, he got automatic secondaries from pretty much everywhere - and sent them in - without knowing he didn't have some basics most schools want (sigh).
I'm sorry for what sounds like an awful experience. Could you elaborate a bit on what incorrect information he received from his advisors?
1) He was told he was a terrific candidate for MSTP - a super competitive program. He was told his research was unique and would attract admissions.
In reality, he's researching how kids acquire language - not a medical deal really. It's a Brain and Cognitive subject. MSTP schools want to see prior medical related research. In addition, my guy has only been on his topic for one year and two summers (having been on other things prior). Med schools told him they want a minimum of two years in the same study. This one was the biggie that never got him even looked at for interviews according to feedback.
2) He was told if he wasn't accepted for MSTP, schools would automatically consider him for plain ole med school, so he figured that was his Plan B. That's true at the school he attends (where he's on the Waitlist for med school), but NOT true in most of the places he applied - hence - he never applied to med schools at those places. Even at those that do consider for med school, the med school folks were likely to have looked at his stats (not necessarily noticing the research part) and assume he'd get MSTP, so would look for more likely to attend candidates.
If he'd known those two key FACTS, he'd have adjusted his applications accordingly - and according to real medical people, be happily attending med school this fall.
But there's still 3) He was told it doesn't matter when you submit secondaries - anytime is fine. In reality schools like to see interest and part of showing interest is having those secondaries submitted within a couple of weeks of getting them. He didn't even have everything he needed from his school within a couple of weeks for some of the schools...
That's minor though - still annoying. All of the "real" info came from med school admissions feedback.
In the end, he got 2 interviews - from his own school where he's done so well and from a school they helped get MSTP (probably a formality for them to invite someone to interview from his school TBH). His own school rejected him from MSTP and put him on the wait list for med school. The other interview led to a wait list as well (again, we're thinking formality since it's MSTP, but who knows). We don't know how those will turn out, but like any waitlist, we're not holding our breath.
Upon checking the credentials of his Pre-Med advisers (in hindsight - after being blindsided by the real info he received in feedback), he saw that absolutely none of them have anything medical in their experience - they weren't even pre-med themselves in college. They seem to be just grads who needed jobs. Who knows where they're getting their info from. One wants to yell at them to go across the street and talk to the med school admissions at their own school to get REAL info to pass on... esp since he's not the only one who was told incorrect info.
It'll mean another year off for him (Take 5 being his first) - not very pleasing - but not the end of the world either. We were prepared to hire an outside consultant, but the doctors he's shadowed were as aghast at what happened as we were and have taken him under their wing giving advice and info for this year's apps. We trust their info! It's also helped him feel this is the right course for him. When all he was getting was rejection after rejection (without even getting interviews at most places), it definitely made him question himself. Fortunately, folks suggested he ask for feedback and he got it - helping us all realize what had happened (sigh). It's frustrating, but beats him thinking it was him!