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Gpa: 3.34, Bcpm: 3.61 Mcat: 27

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by PRodulous, 07.07.08.

  1. PRodulous

    PRodulous

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    Hello all,

    So here’s my situation, I’m applying at MD schools in Illinois and I’m curious about my chances of getting into these schools. My MDApplicants link is below:

    http://www.mdapplicants.com/viewprofile.php?id=10922

    Here’s what Med Schools will see:

    GPA: 3.34
    BCPM GPA: 3.61
    MCAT: 27 M (BS10 PS9 VR8)

    Short List of Work Activities:

    -1.5 yrs Working as Crisis and Intervention Counselor
    -1 yr of Vice-President/Co-Founder of Boxing Club
    -1 Semester of Research in Psychology Department
    -1.5 years of Research in Psychology Department – Done as directed, then independent research. Did independent study, wrote 34 page paper, presented at Undergraduate Research Symposium. Was offered job after project.
    -1 yr of Volunteer Leader in Free Health Clinic presenting health oriented topics to patients in waiting room.
    -Part-time job (~24 total hrs a week during school) as a supervisor where I acted as the manager on duty (did managerial tasks).
    -3 months – Current as full-time Research Assistant developing Biomedical Diagnostic Equipment
    -Beginning to Volunteer in ER of Hospital and will begin shadowing this month.

    Now for “what makes me so special” (but I think schools may overlook this):
    -I’ve spent a total of 5 and 1/2 years finishing my undergrad, finished with majors in Biology, Criminal Justice, Psychology, and a minor in Chemistry
    -Though my GPA is 3.34, my GPA of the last 120 hours is 3.82 and of the last 60 hours is 3.88.
    -My BCPM maybe 3.61, but the last 120 hours is 3.89.
    -Essentially, I really screwed around the first year and a half, then started performing well in almost all my sciences (mostly A’s with occasional B’s).

    From this, I have a few questions. First, are my Work/Activities considered to be “good” or “excellent” in any way?

    Second, do you think schools will notice my upward trend in my grades? Or will they just notice the calculated GPA and BCPM GPA?

    Third, taking into account my work/activities, GPA, and MCAT scores, what do you think my chances are of getting into MD schools in Illinois (see the MDApplicants link for an exact list)?

    Finally, what do you suggest I do to better increase my chances? I’m assuming answers will be to retake the MCAT, volunteer, or to shadow. The most obvious approach would be to retake the MCAT and score higher, but that’s my score from the second time around. Though I’ve done better on practice tests, I’m weary in my ability to pull it higher. Thanks for reading my post and any comments or suggestions would be much appreciated.
     
  2. NTF

    NTF PGY-2 Moderator Emeritus

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    1) Your EC's are good. I wouldn't call them excellent. Their are only two things that you're missing: more inpatient contact experience. While ER stuff is good and health clinic stuff is great, adcoms people tell me that since most of your training in medical school will be with patients in an inpatient hospital setting, they want to see that you've spent time with patients in the hospital (besides ER or emergency services). Also while the Psych research stuff is good, med schools like research that is directly related to clinical applications and treatments. Working in an academic lab at a medical school is the most ideal. Commercial biotech or bioequipment less ideal. Honestly, though I'm nitpicking cuz your EC's are very good. But you want your EC's to be impressive given your lopsided academic record and low MCAT.

    2)Yes, they will absolutely notice your upward trend and it will work in your favor. Also your triple major and minor will also offset your low GPA. But your BCPM is competitive already for state schools.

    3) I think you have a decent shot at a state school. Isn't Rosalin Franklin in Illinois? I thought they had pretty low averages for matriculants.

    4) Yes volunteer (preferably in an inpatient hospital setting), Yes shadow.

    But honestly, that 8 in VR is really the keeping your app from being "decent" to "probable". I say bite the bullet and retake if you can. I'm not sure why but med schools really seem to value VR scores alot. Maybe because that's the one people do worst on. I won't lie though. That 8 VR versus getting a 9 or 10 in it will probably cost you some interviews. I know it seems arbitrary (and it is) but getting less than a 9 a section when you have other blemishes on your record will hurt you.

    But overall I think you have a decent shot at getting in. Just thank the lucky stars you are an illinois resident. If you lived in CA, you'd be screwed.
     
  3. PRodulous

    PRodulous

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    I was definitely looking for research at hospitals, but I found that most places schedule volunteering research at hospitals during the day from 8a-5p (which is when I work). Suggestions on places to search?

    That's great to hear, I kinda hoped that this trend would also offset my MCAT score too. And yes, I'm asking for alot.:p

    Yup, yes it is in IL. From what I've read, average score is ~29. I've also read online that the score inflated by out of state applicants such as those from California. Anyone know of this is true?

    Two things. First, in ER volunteering, isn't it a mixture of inpatient and outpatient exposure because a patient's required treatment is not always going to be outpatient? Second, I've already submitted my primary app and I'm waiting on my secondaries. Will schools be able to view MCAT results from August or September? Or have I reached a point of no return for retaking for this app process?

    And nontradfogie, thank you for the quick reply!
     
  4. NTF

    NTF PGY-2 Moderator Emeritus

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    1)Hmmmm. tough one. If you don't have time for it, you don't. At this stage though it might be a little too late to get research experience. You're better off doing as much physician shadowing as possible (in as many specialties as you can)

    2)Unfortunately despite your upward trend your MCAT will still hurt you at most allo schools. But they are actually quite competitive at DO schools.

    3) I don't know anything about Rosalin Franklin other than that they have low averages.

    4) ER is not the same as inpatient care. It's actually kind of a breed of it's own, but actually much more similar to Clinic care. On inpatient units you are actually treating patients for the long term until discharge. Trust me when you spend time on inpatient units you'll see how different is compared to ER. ER's handle traumas, give preliminary diagnoses, stabilize, do short-term treatment, and manage symptoms but then they shuffle them on to inpatient services to do the real treatment. Either that or d/c to outpatient services. Please don't make the mistake in your interviews of confusing ER medicine with medicine in other specialties. It's a typical mistake that kind of irks faculty interviewers because they expect you to have done your homework about how hospital systems work and the nature and role (broadly) of different medical specialties.

    5) Probably not too late for an August or September test. But you'll have to inform each individual school that you have new scores and may even have to send individual score reports. Otherwise they'll just assume your old scores are the only ones.
     
  5. abcabc1

    abcabc1

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    Your ECs are solid, but nothing extraordinary. I also recommend more inpatient experience, but have a hunch that not gaining this won't hurt too much. If it's just the same ER volunteering/shadowing that every other Joe Schmo premed has, it probably won't help too much either. It's definitely still worth getting.

    Your upward BCMP helps. Your MCAT score hurts. You might need to retake it. My unscientific observation is that, 10 or so years ago, you wanted to have a 29/30 with no section less than 8. These days, it seems you want a 30/31 with no section less than 9.
    IL is still a tough state and being an East Asian Male doesn't help (though being a South Asian Male may help less).

    Don't assume that Chicago Medical School at RFUMS is not selective or that it's easy to get into. They get a lot of good applicants from across the country (with California and Illinois being the states with the most matriculants, in that order). Because of your upward BCMP and IL resident status, you'll probably get an interview. I don't say this to be rude, but applicants to RFUMS with much better MCAT scores than yours are a dime a dozen. You have a good chance with them, but it could easily go either way.

    With your current MCAT score, don't apply to Pritzker. Your chances are not that good at NYMC either (similar to RFU, but being form IL helps at RFU but not NYMC). Other than that, your list is solid. Your core is UIC, RFU, Loyola and Rush. The shotgun approach won't help in your case (unless your MCAT scores go up). Good luck!
     
  6. PRodulous

    PRodulous

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    Thank you nontradfogie and abcabc1 for your responses. Your comments are definitely leaning that my MCAT score is my weakest leg. Guess I may have to bite the bullet and go for it. I already have the foundation of the test material to build upon. I'm just still a bit shaken up because I thought I did much better this time around. Again, thanks for the responses, they've helped a lot!
     
  7. PRodulous

    PRodulous

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