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3.58 cGPA, 3.48 sGPA, 35 MCAT. School List Input

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by minnow15, May 20, 2014.

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  1. minnow15


    May 20, 2014
    Hello SDN,

    I'm finalizing which schools to apply to for this cycle, and would greatly appreciate your input. I majored in psychology and neurobiology. My cGPA is 3.58 and my sGPA is 3.48 from a top UC, and I have a 35 MCAT. My freshman year is doing most of the damage to my GPA, and I have one C+ from multivariable calculus during my first semester in school. I am a California resident.

    I specifically want to go into psych, which is what my PS is about. I have also geared most of my experiences towards that goal. Here are the ECs that I am planning to include on AMCAS:

    -Clinical psychology lab (2+ years)
    -Neuroscience lab (1 year)
    -Psychiatric research at hospital (6 months)

    -Clinical psychology lab mentioned above (this experience is more clinical than research. Most of my time is spent interviewing patients with mental health questionnaires and diagnostic tools).
    -Hospital volunteer in mental health department (started in March 2014, will continue until I hopefully get into a school)
    -Medical mission to Honduras
    -High school volunteer in geriatric/psychiatric unit and emergency department (200+ hours)

    Non-clinical Volunteering
    -Homeless shelter (1 semester)

    -Math/Science tutor (1 year)

    -Running (I'm a marathoner, ran 2 marathons during undergrad)
    -Music (did choir for most of undergrad, and I practice a lot of guitar in my free time)
    -Active member in pre-medical organization (3 years)

    Unfortunately, no shadowing experience with physicians. I contacted quite a few doctors, but it’s pretty much not feasible to shadow a psychiatrist considering how private therapy sessions are. I do have shadowing experience with other mental health clinicians though.

    Here is the current list of schools I have, roughly ordered based on matriculant GPA/MCAT statistics:

    Mount Sinai
    University of Washington (state)
    UC Davis
    Loma Linda
    George Washington
    University of Maryland
    Penn State
    Rosalind Franklin
    Eastern Virginia
    Virginia Commonwealth

    I would really appreciate any feedback on schools I should add or take out, or the balance I have in my school selection. Generally speaking, I think I have enough reach schools, need to add some more mid tier schools, and maybe a couple more safeties. In regards to location, I would like to be somewhere not too rural so I can have better exposure for psych shadowing/outside clinical experience.

    Thanks for your help!
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  3. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Lifetime Donor Gold Donor SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

    Your MCAT may be too high for some of your safety schools.
    Are you aware of LL's abstinence agreement?
    GT and GW get >12k aps.
    U of W is not kind to Californians (except for UIM).
  4. NavyDoc23

    NavyDoc23 2+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2013
    Why not UCI or UCR?
  5. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Lifetime Donor Gold Donor SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

    UCR is a mission based school.
    UCI would be fine.
  6. minnow15


    May 20, 2014
    Thank you for your input guys. I'm in the process of figuring out if I can even apply to UCI - my school has a weird chem/ochem sequence where biochem counts as the second semester of ochem, so I'm not sure at the moment if I'm allowed to double count biochem to fulfill 2 requirements
  7. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Lifetime Donor Gold Donor SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

    I'll bet they let it slide.
  8. minnow15


    May 20, 2014
    I hope so! You said that my MCAT score might be too high for some of my safeties - do you have some examples of what you think are good safety schools for me to apply to with my stats? Thank you!
  9. jonhamm

    jonhamm 2+ Year Member

    Jul 14, 2013
    Lack of shadowing will kill you everywhere. You're going to have to get some shadowing in that isn't psych (surgery, internal medicine, family/general practitioner is pretty standard)
  10. ThisCouldBeYou


    Oct 27, 2013
    Adcoms want to see you've explored what it means to be a doctor. That's why you need to have some hours shadowing. Without it, your application won't be viewed favorably. Most applicants haven't selected which field of medicine they want to go into until after rotations.
  11. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Lifetime Donor Gold Donor SDN Moderator 5+ Year Member

    About half of the schools that responded to a recent survey by a sub-committee in the AAMC said they would consider applicants that had not shadowed as long as they had reasonably validated their commitment to medicine in some other way. I admit that "shadowing" is the most common way to achieve this but it can be done other ways.
  12. minnow15


    May 20, 2014
    Thank you everyone for your advice. I have a neurosurgeon and an internal medicine doctor willing to let me shadow them, so I should be able to get that base covered before I submit my apps in mid June!
  13. phunky

    phunky 2+ Year Member

    Nov 21, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014

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