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MD 3.8 38 MCAT, NO hospital volunteering (yet)

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by harveyheart, 09.24.14.

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  1. harveyheart

    harveyheart 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    09.23.14
    Messages:
    2
    Hey Guys,

    So I'm an ORM California Resident, hoping to come back to California for med school (any MD school in California is fine). Currently a senior at a top 15 right now for undergrad. Planning to take at least one gap year, so I'd want to apply next year. I was just wondering if my COMPLETE lack of hospital volunteering will sink my app, and if I should take an extra gap year to get more clinical experience? For what it's worth, I do plan to volunteer during my gap year, hopefully sooner, as I haven't been able to do so during my time in college, due to a variety of reasons, one being heavy course-load and the other being the difficulty of actually getting to the hospital in the small city I'm in (no car until this year and the bus takes ~2 hours to get to the hospital either way, so it was pretty much unfeasible given my schedule). Here's a basic outline of my stats/EC's:

    History Major (with a focus in the history of science/history of medicine)
    ~3.8 sGPA, ~3.9 cGPA
    38 MCAT (14PS, 11VR, 13BS)
    -About 2.5 years of research so far with the same lab (worked ~12 hours/week during school year, full time all 3 summers, will have 3.5 years when graduated), 1 pub (4th or 5th author...) with one or two more hopefully before I graduate, multiple posters and presentations.
    -3 semesters as a study group leader for introductory biology during the fall (study groups were officially sponsored by the course, I worked closely with the professor), working with first semester freshmen.
    -Currently a TA for Biochemistry
    -~100 hours total of volunteer work from various activities (I have some nursing home visits, not sure if that counts as clinical?)
    -~30 hours shadowing a radiologist, will get in much more shadowing during this upcoming winter break.
    - Very actively involved in my campus Christian fellowship, have held various leadership roles within it.
    - Worked part time during my sophomore year at the gym, was trained in CPR/AED for what that's worth.

    What should my plan of action be? I know I seriously need to bump up my volunteer/EC's/clinical. What do you think I need to do to be competitive for California schools and the Top 25? Thank you guys in advance for the help!
     
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  3. MajorBubblez

    MajorBubblez

    Joined:
    07.31.14
    Messages:
    247
    You don't need hospital volunteering. It's really just a way to develop an understanding of the goings on inside a hospital. You can get that in so many other ways that if there's other things on which you would rather spend your time volunteering, go for it. You look great buddy. Good job on the MCAT.

    Also nursing home can count as clinical volunteering, assuming you were near the patients when they were with their docs/nurses and not just picking up trash or something.
     
  4. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    06.10.10
    Messages:
    29,354
    Location:
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    Status:
    Non-Student
    Verified
    Faculty
    Yes. I've seen tons of threads in the Reapplicant Forum from people with exactly your stats and profile who got rejected because they basically never set foot in a hospital or never got within smelling distance of a patient.

    Here's the deal: You need to show AdComs that you know what you're getting into, and to show off your altruistic, humanism side. We need to know that you're going to like being around sick or injured people for the next 40 years.

    Here's another way of looking at it: would you buy a new car without test driving it? Buy a new suit or dress without trying it on??

    We're also not looking for merely for good medical students, we're looking for people who will make good doctors, and 4.0 GPA robots are a dime-a-dozen.

    Not all volunteering needs to be in a hospital. Think hospice, Planned Parenthood, nursing homes, rehab facilities, camps for sick children, or clinics. Check out your local houses of worship for volunteer opportunities.


    I was just wondering if my COMPLETE lack of hospital volunteering will sink my app, and if I should take an extra gap year to get more clinical experience? For what it's worth, I do plan to volunteer during my gap year, hopefully sooner, as I haven't been able to do so during my time in college, due to a variety of reasons, one being heavy course-load and the other being the difficulty of actually getting to the hospital in the small city I'm in (no car until this year and the bus takes ~2 hours to get to the hospital either way, so it was pretty much unfeasible given my schedule).
     
  5. harveyheart

    harveyheart 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    09.23.14
    Messages:
    2
    Thank you bubblez for the advice! I'll continue to visit the nursing home, the experience has been great.

    Thanks Goro! I have had some patient contact in the past (doctor who I shadowed was kind enough to let me interact directly with patients, have some nursing home experience which i hope to continue) but obviously not enough. Do you think it'd be wise to delay my app for an extra year while I gather the experience necessary to prove that I can handle it/am sincere in my intentions? Would applying next June, after having gotten a bit more clinical in, not sound convincing?
     

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