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37 MCAT, 3.73 GPA, shadowing experience needed?

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by Arminius, 04.24.12.

  1. Arminius

    Arminius

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    Pre-Medical

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    I came here to ask some advice. I graduated college with a Chemistry degree (3.73 overall GPA, cum laude, senior fellow of the department), at the age of 17 (I just turned 18 two weeks ago). I took my MCAT that same year, and got a 37Q. I'm currently working full-time at the NIH as a post-baccalaureate IRTA, with my own independent research projects. I plan to apply to M.D/Ph.D programs next year. However, I have no shadowing or clinical experience. Do you think I would really need a lot of shadowing experience to have a good application? I work long hours in the lab every weekday, so that drastically limits the amount of time I have available. Worse is that there isn't a medical school around (I don't think so, anyway), where it would be easy for me to find a doctor willing to hang around. I've looked into volunteering at the NIH clinical center, but all the jobs there sound like they are more clerical and not clinical. I would greatly appreciate any advice you may have.

    Thanks,
    Arminius
  2. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing Herd Protection SDN Advisor

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    Physician Faculty SDN 7+ Year Member
    ECs are less critical for MD/PhD programs, but you're still expected to have an understanding of what a doc does, and to get some patient interaction experience.

    Shadowing (a passive observership) need not be done on a regular basis. It could be completed in big lumps of time over breaks when you visit home. Perhaps your own physician or those of family members would allow you to shadow. About 50 hours is the average. I like to see 60-80. I suggest you get at least 40.

    You need clinical experience, too, where you actively engage patients. This can be acquired in other locations besides hospitals, like skilled-nursing homes, hospice, clinics, rehab centers, etc. If you get 3-4 hours per week over the next year, you'd be more than fine.

    You didn't ask, but I'll suggest that you also do some nonmedical community service for a cause you care about, take on a leadership role, and maybe do some teaching. Adcomms will be looking for evidence of maturity and responisibility, and these activities can help with that, as does getting your own project. Congrats on that.
  3. Arminius

    Arminius

    Joined:
    04.24.12
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    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Thanks a lot for your advice! Now, do you think my age will be a disadvantage or an advantage when I apply? I took my position at NIH for two years, just because I felt that if I applied straight out of college, my age would work against me. I'll be 19 when I apply, 20 when I hopefully enter. Is that still too young, or do you think it'll be a non-factor, assuming I get all my shadowing and maybe some tutoring done?

    Thanks,
    Arminius
  4. Arminius

    Arminius

    Joined:
    04.24.12
    Messages:
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    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Oh, and yes, I wanted to actually take a break from the semester schedule and work on research for a little bit =P
  5. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing Herd Protection SDN Advisor

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    Your age will be a nonissue. But you will need activities every bit as comprehensive as those of your competition. You cannot use as an excuse that you had less time to get in the same Experiences. As I suggested before, also look for a leadership role and give time to those in need out side of a medical environment.

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