Originally Posted by toby13
My post doesn't really have much to do with scores and my chances, although I've included the scores just for your reference.
MCAT: 31R (12BS, 10PS, 9VR)
all other GPA: 3.83
undergraduate college: UC Berkeley
I am going to be a non-traditional applicant this upcoming cycle (2012-2013) in the sense that I graduated May 2011, leaving me with 2 years gap before starting medical school (hopefully). In those 2 years I continued doing volunteer work in palliative medicine/hospice work and have experienced working in two different immunology/leukemia labs (at Stanford and currently at UCSF). The main predicament I am in right now is that I am starting to get very interested in pursuing clinical research instead of basic science bench research. I've only been at my new lab for 5 months (the previous lab I was in for 6 months, but the lab relocated so I decided to find a new position instead of move across the state), so I am a little worried that application committees will question my decision to leave my newer job.
My honest reasons for leaving are as follows:
I want to pursue clinical research because I haven't been fully exposed to it yet. It will allow me to get more exposure to patients, doctors, and nurses, and I will learn new things that I am curious about.
There have been some instability issues with my current lab in terms of organization and general lab issues that my role has been changing from mainly research-oriented to more administrative oriented. Basically, the job has become less of a stressful learning experience and more just a stressful and unrewarding experience.
So, given my description, do you guys have any suggestions or opinions about my situation? Do you think admissions committees will look at my application and see my 5-month lab position as a red flag because of the short time I wanted to spend there? Or do you think my reasoning for leaving is substantial enough for adcoms to be okay with?
I plan on getting a letter of rec still from my current PI, but I don't absolutely require it since I have 6 other people already writing very strong letters for me. For the majority of schools, will I need him to write me a letter?
Thank you very much for your help.
I think your two obvious application blemishes are the sGPA and the cali resident. Unfortunately you will have to pray for an OOS acceptance (but not absolute, there can be a chance).
The 5-months of research wont be a killer. You just need to explain it if it comes up during an interview.
Unfortunately, you have the possibility to getting screened due to your science GPA. So if I were you I'd apply to 30 schools (at least).
If you don't get in, would you consider a SMP? You seem like a great candidate for that.