SDN members see fewer ads and full resolution images. Join our non-profit community!

MD 3.81cGPA 3.68sGPA 30MCAT Texas Resident

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by teefero, May 12, 2014.

  1. teefero

    teefero 2+ Year Member

    Jul 5, 2013
    Dallas, TX
    -Texas Resident
    -B.S. in Computer Science w/ Pre-Med Specialization
    -B.A. in Chemistry
    -First-generation African American, parents are from Cote d'Ivoire and Cameroon.

    I am lacking hours of volunteering in my application and I want to know how much this is going to hurt my chances. I am realizing how badly this reflects on me now, and am absolutely punching myself over not paying more attention to this. I have some interesting EC's and a big interest in Human Rights that I hope will cover me a little bit.

    Okay here we go!

    3.81 cumulative GPA (do I round these?)
    3.68 science GPA
    30 MCAT (12 V, 9P, 9B)

    Computational Research in Biochemistry Lab for 2 years during the semester -wrote 2 programs for the lab
    -3rd year became a Hamilton Undergraduate Research Scholar in same lab and began being paid in the lab, starting wet lab work as well as continuing with my own computation project

    1st Year was in Student Leadership Initiative (SLI), program through Human Rights department. Traveled to Rwanda/Uganda/South Africa to conduct qualitative research on human rights topic of choice. Chose refugee communication to focus on. Spend about ~400 hours in total for this project, earned class credit for upper level history class, wrote research paper, and did volunteer work in Uganda (~20 hours)

    Shadowed OBGYN for ~30 hours

    Tutored privately and at school (was only freshman in the center allowed to tutor because of my AP credit and knowledge of math). Created lesson plans and worked with students on math and science courses from grades 6 to college level

    Internship at AT&T for 2 summers in a row doing technical work and working in group projects as well as with internal AT&T clients. Did this for monetary reasons and to know for sure I did not want to go into this field

    President's Scholar - highest merit scholar at SMU, awarded full-tuiton and room and board as well as study abroad travel and tuition fees (Am studying at UNSW in Sydney, Australia right now)

    Mortar Board Honor Society - received entry into senior honor society as a sophomore, acted as History in Fall 2013

    Employment: always employed whether it was at Sol Irlandes (restaurant) or AT&T, or Tutoring all my years of college and even before. During school I work ~10-20 hour work weeks while keeping up a 18-hr load and during the summers ~40 hours.

    (DR) Associate Professor/Research mentor/1st year bio teacher
    (DR) Mentor for SLI program/traveled to Africa together
    (DR) Chemistry professor
    (DR) family doctor

    Things that could hurt me:
    No significant volunteer hours, little projects here and there I volunteered to do
    and also volunteered at a soup kitchen twice last year (~20 hours)

    My reasoning? I was working and following my passions. I know it looks bad, and I don't know how to explain it but I just don't want it to reflect on me that I don't care about people. Because I do, I just can't quantify it in hours ...

    Been told that I have a really strong personal statement.
    Topic is about my pacemaker and how being on the surgery table and a patient since I was a kid has taught me to appreciate patient care, and also given me the opportunity to learn first hand about my own body. I relate my physicians to teachers and the hospital to being my classroom.
    Also went to a Camp with kids with heart disabilities and I speak about how this experience opened my eyes to how compassionate I could be to my fellow peers going through similar and in some cases, much worse, heart difficulties.

    Schools I am applying to:
    UT Southwestern / Dallas
    UT / Galveston
    UT / Houston
    UT / San Antonio
    Texas Tech / Lubbock
    Texas Tech / El Paso
    Texas A&M / Bryan

    Baylor / Houston
    Georgetown / Washington D.C.
    Tufts? / Boston
    John Hopkins / Baltimore
    Northwestern / Chicago
    Vanderbilt / Nashville
    U of Washington / Seattle
    U of Colorado / Aurora
    Stanford / Stanford
    Loyola / Maywood
    Duke University / Durham
    U of Chicago?

    Will I have a chance at some of these top med schools? Georgetown is my #1. I am afraid my volunteer hours takes so much away from my application, it's really discouraging me.

    I appreciate any information you have for me!
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. teefero

    teefero 2+ Year Member

    Jul 5, 2013
    Dallas, TX
    Also considering adding some other schools like:
    Drexel, Jefferson Med, Geisel, and Emory
  4. shopsteward

    shopsteward 7+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2010
    Walking the dog
    Apparently your "passions" do not include helping other people, or spending your time with sick people (a single camp attended as a patient doesn't really demonstrate anything).

    Your numbers are fine, but your lack of volunteering and of clinical experience do stand out rather. You might get away with this, but not if your excuse is that your passions lie elsewhere.
    chemguy79 likes this.
  5. teefero

    teefero 2+ Year Member

    Jul 5, 2013
    Dallas, TX
    I do constantly help other people. It was not one single camp attendance either, I attend that camp for several years. I have visited my friends in hospitals when they have been there. I'm a passionate person.

    It feels strange now to start to build hours at a hospital in the next three weeks. I worked at least 20 hours a week every year, sometimes in multiple jobs, while taking up to 21 hours sometimes.

    What do you suggest I do to fix this? Should I write an additional essay explaining the lack of volunteering?
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
  6. teefero

    teefero 2+ Year Member

    Jul 5, 2013
    Dallas, TX
    I also need school advice. Should I just try for less top-tier now? ...

    Also, what if I accumulated all the small things that I volunteered to do throughout the years medical wise? It's not about the hours, I just am struggling with how I should list all the small little things that I have offered my time to.
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
  7. shopsteward

    shopsteward 7+ Year Member

    Jun 25, 2010
    Walking the dog
    Tier has nothing to do with it, so nothing wrong with aiming high stats-wise. But you might check MSAR and SDN to see which schools to avoid because they like more volunteering. For instance, see this thread - - for advice from Catalystik to someone who had 180 hours of clinical volunteering and 35 hours non-clinical volunteering -
    "UColorado tends to prefer more active clinical experience than you have mentioned. Your nonclinical volunteering is weak for Georgetown. Instead, maybe consider Rush, Oakland, UToledo, and Rosalind Franklin."

    Your application needs to tell a coherent story as to why you want to become a doctor, what experiences you have had which have led you to a medical vocation, and what you have done which demonstrates that you want to spend the rest of your working life helping sick people and know what it will be like to do so. So you need to set out any clinical experience helping others which you have had in a way which supports that story.

    Good luck.
    teefero likes this.
  8. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Moderator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

    Nov 4, 2011
    Alta California
    The deficit in clinical experience will make it hard to convince the committee that you know what you are getting into.
    That is your major challenge. You would otherwise be a good candidate for most of the schools on your list.
    Last edited: May 13, 2014
    teefero and chemguy79 like this.
  9. Goro

    Goro Faculty 7+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    I have seen 4.0, high MCAT people rejcted at my school and others because of a lack of clinical experience. You MUST demonstrate that you really want to be around sick people for the next 30-40 years, and that you know what you're getting into. So, keep on doing the voluntering. Not all volunteering needs to be in a hospital. Think hospice, nursing homes, rehab facilities, or clinics.

    teefero and chemguy79 like this.
  10. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 2+ Year Member

    Jul 27, 2013
    4th Dimension
    I give you 95%. Dat URM status and Texas residency... You're pretty much set.
    bambam92 likes this.
  11. teefero

    teefero 2+ Year Member

    Jul 5, 2013
    Dallas, TX
    Do you think it's something I should delay my application over? For a full year?
    If I did delay my application, would I have to receive new LORs?

    I'm in Australia until August 1, would it look rushed to volunteer at one place my whole last month here every single day? Would i be worth delaying my application 2 months? I would be ready to submit it now in every other aspect. OR I could submit, pray that I get the interview, and begin volunteering at different places in Australia and when I return to Dallas. This way I will be able to share my stories with them in my interviews/update them and quell their worries. I just have to hope my application is strong enough for them to want to talk to me in person.

    I got chosen to become a Community Outreach Fellowship at my school which means I am able to choose a project of my choice and implement it into the community with the help of a mentor and an outside organization. It's a year long project through the Human Rights Department. This is something that is in the future, but I will be able to talk about at interviews.
    Last edited: May 13, 2014

Share This Page