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Am I on the right track?

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by K1NG, Jul 22, 2012.

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  1. K1NG

    K1NG

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Status:
    Pre-Medical

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    Before I start, just want to apologize for the long read lol I didn't realize how long it would be until I finished. I just wanted some feedback and advice on where I currently stand. I appreciate those of you who will take the time out to read it!

    I was really inspired by Diggidy's success story and felt that this would also give me an opportunity to document my improvements (hopefully) and accomplishments as I continue on my path to acceptance into med school.


    Currently, my overall GPA is 3.39, sGPA 3.36 Let me breakdown my GPA per semester so it paints a clearer story:

    Freshman

    Overall GPA 2.94
    sGPA 2.81

    Classes taken: Bio I, Bio II (honors), Gen chem I, Gen chem II (honors), Stats (honors)

    Sophomore
    Overall GPA 3.33
    sGPA 3.28

    A&P I, A&P II, Org I, Org II, Calculus

    Junior
    Overall GPA 3.96
    sGPA 4.0

    Physics I, Physics II, Genetics, Histology, Cell&Molec
    I was also an LA for A&P

    I feel that I have a very strong upward trend, and if I continue that through my senior year I hope that will make up for my poor performance early on. I'm taking ~16 credits for the Fall semester. Best case scenario, I get straight A's, which will put my overall GPA at 3.49 and sGPA at 3.45.


    Now onto my ECs, which is what really concerns me. I wasn't able to do much, especially during my freshman and sophomore years. This was largely because I was struggling just to get decent grades (as you can see from the grades I was getting) and I didn't want to take on more responsibilities than I could handle. On top of that, I was also working ~15-25 hours a week helping my parents with the family business (and I still am going into my senior year). I developed a good work ethic over time and now getting A's while still working the same hours. Now that I had a hold on my classes, I started volunteering a little bit. Here is what I have so far:

    15 hours Hospice volunteer (since Jan 2012) - will continue next week
    5 hours Habitat for Humanity (since Feb 2012) - hard to get hours for this because they rarely have openings
    6 hours tutoring disadvantaged children (since April 2012) - will resume when school opens in August


    It's not much at all... I started some of them but stopped because my grades were dipping. However, I was really enjoying them. But now that I have a hold on my classes, and am back from vacation, I will use the rest of my summer to dedicate time to hospice volunteering. I will also leave my weekends open to volunteering once school starts. Is there anything else I should add to this list (besides already adding hours to my current list)?

    Other ECs:

    • First place in undergraduate symposium for my group's poster presentation of our research (it was just analytical research, no lab work)

    • 1 year as an LA for A&P (Fall 2011 to Winter 2012, will be continuing my senior year)

    • Member of pre-med society

    • Just got inducted into Tri-Beta Honors society because of my performance in my junior year

    • Dean's list (Winter 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012)

    • Will begin research in the upcoming semeser

    I feel that most of my ECs are recent, because I didn't want to sacrifice my already low GPA early on (I hope adcoms understand this). On top of that I already had a responsibility in helping my parents manage the family business.

    Basically, I know that I have to take a year off already, since I'm obviously not applying this cycle and don't even have an MCAT score yet. Now that I'm entering into my senior year, I wanted some feedback on where I stand. How are my ECs? Besides the activities that I'm currently working on, should I get involved in any others? How high of an MCAT do I need to be competitive? Should I take the MCAT January, May or August?

    Sorry about all this blabbering lol I really needed to get this off my chest and get opinions and feedback from others. I'd greatly appreciate it. :thumbup:
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  2. davidbm95

    davidbm95

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    Messages:
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    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    hSDN Member
    You have a nice upward trend. I would advise you to increase your volunteer and shadowing hours. Try to get it in the 100-200 hour range for volunteering and 50 hours for shadowing.

    I think you should shoot for a 30+ on the MCAT. Try to raise your GPA next year and get more EC and you'll be more competitive. Are you involved in any research?
  3. K1NG

    K1NG

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Thanks for the reply. Good call on the shadowing, I haven't started that yet. I think for the rest of the summer I'm going try to get as much hours as I can volunteering and shadowing. Hopefully I can find a doctor to shadow in the one month I have left. What's the best way to shadow a doctor? I haven't been volunteering enough at the Hospice yet to make some connections. I guess I might have to cold call some doctors in that hospital.

    I will start research in the Fall semester as an internship. I will be given a topic by my PI early August to research on. I have not done research before but I'm really looking forward to gaining experience in the lab.
  4. Goro

    Goro

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    Faculty SDN 2+ Year Member
    It would help if you'd give us your cGPA and sGPA (total) and skip the novella.
  5. K1NG

    K1NG

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Messages:
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    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Ha, yeah sorry about the essay lol. Just had a lot going through my head. I posted my GPA trends because I thought they would come in handy. Anyways, I posted my cGPA and sGPa in the beginning, which are 3.39 and 3.36, respectively.
  6. K1NG

    K1NG

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Messages:
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    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Bump!

    I was hoping I could get some more suggestions on how to improve my app, especially my EC's. I already know what I have to do with my grades and MCAT, so that's pretty straightforward (keep aiming for A's and get a 32+).

    Classes are starting in a few weeks so I was hoping to get some tips and advice on how to improve my app over my senior year, and maybe point out weak areas that I can improve on, since I still have time to do so.
  7. lolcat

    lolcat

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2009
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    Location:
    Orlando, FL
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    SDN 2+ Year Member
    nice upward trend! i would say def try to get some shadowing done, like davidbm95 already suggested. as for other ECs, maybe you can volunteer at the ER or maybe a free clinic just to get some more exposure with some different type of patients. i would say try to get a position in some clubs but you're already a senior and classes are about to start so don't know the chance of that.

    maybe LizzyM or Catalystik can also join in to give some advice for ECs, because personally my ECs aren't very great either


    EDIT: I found this list, maybe it can help out? try to fill all the categories as best as you can
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012
  8. K1NG

    K1NG

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Just a quick update... After this semester I'm at a cGPA 3.45 and sGPA 3.42. The semester could have gone better but life gets in the way sometimes. Its alright stuff happens.

    I just have a quick question in regards to grade replacement for MD schools. I was thinking of retaking a C that I got in Gen Chem I as a freshman. If I get an A in that class, that would give me a B for a total of 8 credits right? If so, it would increase my cGPA and sGPA by 0.02... giving me a cGPA of 3.47 and sGPA of 3.44. That will not be my final GPA since it won't include my other 16 credits that I will be taking for my final semester. Any input if it'll be worth it or not? If it helps, my final GPA would be 3.54/3.53 when it's all said and done (when I graduate... subtract 0.02 to get my GPA if I don't retake Gen Chem I).
  9. Catalystik

    Catalystik Herd Protection SDN Advisor

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    Physician Faculty SDN 7+ Year Member
    1) For MD schools, the transcript will show both classes, with 4 credits of C and 4 credits of A respectively. Mathmatically this will be calculated into your application GPA the same as 8 credits of B would be.

    2) Unless you really didn't understand the class well enough to excel on the MCAT, there is no reason to retake for MD applications, as you redeemed the grade by doing better in other chem classes. Taking another original upper-level Bio class or Biochem instead, and getting an A the first time would be a better use of your time, IMO. For DO applications, which have grade replacement, retaking is more enticing, as this would have a more beneficial effect on your GPAs, however, your GPAs as projected will already be in the competitive range for DO schools without the retake, so again, why go to the effort and expense?
  10. K1NG

    K1NG

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Thanks for the advice! The only reason I was thinking about retaking that class was to increase my GPA. My biggest fear is to be overlooked as an applicant because my numbers are too low. But you're right, it might be better to take other upper level classes instead. I will be taking three 4000 level bio classes next semester, a 3000 level bio class, and a psych class.. putting me at 16 credits.

    My goal is to get into a FL med school, preferably USF because it's close to family. I had a slow start so I'm trying to make up for it. Do you think I should be considering an SMP? I know USF offers one.

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