Dec 31, 2013
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Pre-Medical
I am currently a senior and only have 2 more classes left to get my biochemistry degree this spring. I have a 3.34 cGPA/3.11 sGPA. I was planning on applying this cycle but I'm not sure anymore. I haven't taken my MCAT yet.

I have no research experience but I have some shadowing and some hospital volunteer experience as well as a few leadership positions and plenty of other volunteer work. I'd prefer applying to MD schools but I am open to DO as well.

Since I'm only part time this semester, do you think my time would be better spent doing research for a semester or studying for the MCAT? If I do take it/apply this cycle, I want to take it by April so I can get my applications in asap at the beginning of the cycle. I'm worried about the MCAT so I'd personally rather not do research and spend my time studying for it but do you think not having any research experience is a big drawback? By the way, I'll be taking 2 difficult classes (pchem 2 and biochem 2) plus commuting quite a bit (about 2 hours each way) to campus this upcoming semester.

I also was diagnosed with cancer (Hodgkin's lymphoma) in January and took spring 2013 semester off (that was supposed to be my final semester before graduating) to go through surgery, chemo, and radiation and so I went part time this fall and obviously will be part time in the spring to finish up. Do you think that affects anything?
 

edgerock24

5+ Year Member
Jul 28, 2012
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Medical Student
I would tend to agree with you, in that you should drop the research and really focus on your MCAT studying. You can always start up some more research after you've taken the exam. Also, studying while taking those two courses may be rather hard regardless. Do not hesitate to postpone your exam date if needed. Seriously, take your time. Don't rush yourself for this exam. Give it your best shot on your first attempt.

Now, onto your GPA. Unfortunately, your GPA's are quite low for MD schools. If you do decently on the MCAT (27+), then I feel as if you will be fine for a number of DO programs. However, if you do exceptionally well (maybe 31+ or so) on the MCAT, then you could consider an SMP program if you really want to attend an allopathic school. Up to you.

I can't comment on how adcoms will view your cancer treatment. However, I would assume they would obviously try to understand your situation and give you a ton of props for staying committed to becoming a doctor. Best of luck with everything!
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
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Somewhere west of St. Louis
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The sGPA is not competitive for MD schools, and the cGPA is circling the drain. You're still fine for DO programs, but MCAT will make or break you.

DO programs will be less interested in research, and more in your other ECs.

I have no research experience but I have some shadowing and some hospital volunteer experience as well as a few leadership positions and plenty of other volunteer work. I'd prefer applying to MD schools but I am open to DO as well.

An applicant who takes a part-time load and does research and prepares for MCAT will be looked upon more favorably than one merely two two things. We do expect you to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time, because medical school will be a lot, lot harder.


Since I'm only part time this semester, do you think my time would be better spent doing research for a semester or studying for the MCAT? If I do take it/apply this cycle, I want to take it by April so I can get my applications in asap at the beginning of the cycle. I'm worried about the MCAT so I'd personally rather not do research and spend my time studying for it but do you think not having any research experience is a big drawback? By the way, I'll be taking 2 difficult classes (pchem 2 and biochem 2) plus commuting quite a bit (about 2 hours each way) to campus this upcoming semester.


Very sorry to hear of this but fortunately Hodgkin's is one of the easiest cancers to cure, so we'll keep fingers crossed for your good health. As a factor for your application, none at all.

I also was diagnosed with cancer (Hodgkin's lymphoma) in January and took spring 2013 semester off (that was supposed to be my final semester before graduating) to go through surgery, chemo, and radiation and so I went part time this fall and obviously will be part time in the spring to finish up. Do you think that affects anything?[/quote]
 
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