Jun 6, 2012
91
9
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I am a senior at a non-HYP Ivy. Applying next cycle. (June 2014)

cGPA: 3.83
sGPA: 3.86

MCAT: 12ps/11vr/11bs
-bit disappointed in the BS section, thought i could have score 1-2 pts higher there but likely stupidity and two rough orgo passages deep sixed me here.


Bio major
NJ resident- Asian Indian

(Activity length of time reflects how much I'll have done by the time the cycle opens up)

4 semesters of research, 6th author on a PLoS pub (nothin impressive i know)
-enjoyed some of the moments in the lab but in the end felt i had exposure to research and wanted to have the time do teachign/more volunteering. Stopped after fall semester junior year. Getting letter from PI.

Volunteer in Oncology wing of area hospital -2.5 years when in school -200 hours or so
Volunteer with a suicide crisisline - 2 years - 200 hrs
Volunteer with college ems squad -2.5 years - 250 hrs
Little bit of shadowing - only 15 hours or so, a rad onc + an opthalmologist

Hospital volunteering over two summers back home - about a 100 hours on a cardiology floor wheeling around/talking to patients/helping with menial tasks

TA for 3000 level physiology - 2 semesters
TA for biochem - 3 semesters
TA for intro physics - 4 semesters
TA for into bio for non majors - 1 semester

TA for a prison education program where we go to a nearby prison and teach community college style courses - 1 semester (doing this currently, unsure whether I can do it next semester due to scheduling)

Bio student advisor for 1 year - Meet with freshman bio majors, tutor a bit, help out with course planning, etc


Thank you for taking the time to read that. I did post this once before but I got a bit sidetracked into a convo about my PI writing me a LoR (I was worried he wouldn't, he seems happy to do so). I have a list of schools below. What do you homies think of top 20 chances.? My mcat is low for them, I thought maybe I could get away since many seemed to have averages of 35/36 but now im hearing 37!? What do you homies think of my chances at a place like Einstein, Dartmouth, or Mayo (where I seem to match their MCAT)? I'd appreciate any and all feedback. Brutal honesty welcome. Lastly, while I certainly realize no school is a "safety" I feel good about chances at getting an acceptance out of my "reasonable" list.


Tentative reasonable school list:


UMDNJ- NJMS
UMDNJ - RWJ
Cooper Med

Tufts

Drexel
Jefferson
Temple
Penn State-Hershey

Albany
Hofstra
SUNY-Downstate
SUNY-Upstate
U of Rochester


GWU
Georgetown

Tulane
UMiami-Miller
Wake Forest

Rush
Loyola Stritch
Rosalind Franklin

Reach schools that I may waste money on (not all of these, some of them after more research)

NYU
Dartmouth
Mt. Sinai/Icahn
Weill
Columbia
Vandy
Baylor
Duke
UMich
Northwestern
Emory
UVA
Mayo
UMich
 
Last edited:

nemo123

5+ Year Member
Jul 22, 2011
2,035
986
Status
Medical Student
A pub is a pub is a pub for med school admissions. It doesn't matter that it was published in Plos One as long as you know that like the palm of your hand. I think the top research schools will question a little bit whether you are interested in pursuing research in your career because you quit your lab a little early.

Mayo, although it isn't as stat centric as the other top schools (that isn't to say they don't like people with high states), likes to pick a very diverse incoming class. Do you have any kind of exotic life experience that could pique their interest?
 
OP
S
Jun 6, 2012
91
9
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
A pub is a pub is a pub for med school admissions. It doesn't matter that it was published in Plos One as long as you know that like the palm of your hand. I think the top research schools will question a little bit whether you are interested in pursuing research in your career because you quit your lab a little early.

Mayo, although it isn't as stat centric as the other top schools (that isn't to say they don't like people with high states), likes to pick a very diverse incoming class. Do you have any kind of exotic life experience that could pique their interest?
You are right, it may not look the best. I do have 5 semesters of research so Id hope that'd be enough but I certainly see your point.

Ur right I don't have anything craaaazy for mayo. Its not unique but I guess my app's relative strength lies in teaching and volunteering.
 

nemo123

5+ Year Member
Jul 22, 2011
2,035
986
Status
Medical Student
You are right, it may not look the best. I do have 5 semesters of research so Id hope that'd be enough but I certainly see your point.

Ur right I don't have anything craaaazy for mayo. Its not unique but I guess my app's relative strength lies in teaching and volunteering.
That being said, your school list looks like you're applying broadly enough (because some schools can just be crapshoots), but your list includes a lot of schools. Some of the schools you are applying to get like 10000 applications (Jefferson, GWU, Georgetown), so you might possibly want to cut them off. I'd also get rid of Penn State. You could always keep Mayo on the list as you never know what might happen.
 

sat0ri

Everything we see hides another
5+ Year Member
Feb 3, 2013
512
295
742 Evergreen Terrace
Status
Pre-Medical
A pub is a pub is a pub for med school admissions. It doesn't matter that it was published in Plos One as long as you know that like the palm of your hand. I think the top research schools will question a little bit whether you are interested in pursuing research in your career because you quit your lab a little early.

Mayo, although it isn't as stat centric as the other top schools (that isn't to say they don't like people with high states), likes to pick a very diverse incoming class. Do you have any kind of exotic life experience that could pique their interest?
I want to get something clear, a pub is a pub is a pub... so long as it's not in a undergrad. journal, am I correct? That's the one minor stipulation I hear, but I did want to hear from the online community. (Nemo, you've become a synecdoche for the entire internet)
 

nemo123

5+ Year Member
Jul 22, 2011
2,035
986
Status
Medical Student
I want to get something clear, a pub is a pub is a pub... so long as it's not in a undergrad. journal, am I correct? That's the one minor stipulation I hear, but I did want to hear from the online community. (Nemo, you've become a synecdoche for the entire internet)
Yes, as long as it is in a peer-reviewed journal that other scientists will read to get ideas from lol. Lol thanks sat0ri! But I think those titles go to Catalystik and LizzyM lol.
 
Last edited:
OP
S
Jun 6, 2012
91
9
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Be there any more thoughts? Any adcoms floating around? More thoughts welcome.
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
52,622
76,325
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
Chances are outstanding. Maybe add USC and/or Stanford to the list. U Penn too. Delete the SUNYs and add Einstein, maybe BU.
I am a senior at a non-HYP Ivy. Applying next cycle. (June 2014)

cGPA: 3.83
sGPA: 3.86

MCAT: 12ps/11vr/11bs
-bit disappointed in the BS section, thought i could have score 1-2 pts higher there but likely stupidity and two rough orgo passages deep sixed me here.


Bio major
NJ resident- Asian Indian

(Activity length of time reflects how much I'll have done by the time the cycle opens up)

4 semesters of research, 6th author on a PLoS pub (nothin impressive i know)
-enjoyed some of the moments in the lab but in the end felt i had exposure to research and wanted to have the time do teachign/more volunteering. Stopped after fall semester junior year. Getting letter from PI.

Volunteer in Oncology wing of area hospital -2.5 years when in school -200 hours or so
Volunteer with a suicide crisisline - 2 years - 200 hrs
Volunteer with college ems squad -2.5 years - 250 hrs
Little bit of shadowing - only 15 hours or so, a rad onc + an opthalmologist

Hospital volunteering over two summers back home - about a 100 hours on a cardiology floor wheeling around/talking to patients/helping with menial tasks

TA for 3000 level physiology - 2 semesters
TA for biochem - 3 semesters
TA for intro physics - 4 semesters
TA for into bio for non majors - 1 semester

TA for a prison education program where we go to a nearby prison and teach community college style courses - 1 semester (doing this currently, unsure whether I can do it next semester due to scheduling)

Bio student advisor for 1 year - Meet with freshman bio majors, tutor a bit, help out with course planning, etc


Thank you for taking the time to read that. I did post this once before but I got a bit sidetracked into a convo about my PI writing me a LoR (I was worried he wouldn't, he seems happy to do so). I have a list of schools below. What do you homies think of top 20 chances.? My mcat is low for them, I thought maybe I could get away since many seemed to have averages of 35/36 but now im hearing 37!? What do you homies think of my chances at a place like Einstein, Dartmouth, or Mayo (where I seem to match their MCAT)? I'd appreciate any and all feedback. Brutal honesty welcome. Lastly, while I certainly realize no school is a "safety" I feel good about chances at getting an acceptance out of my "reasonable" list.


Tentative reasonable school list:


UMDNJ- NJMS
UMDNJ - RWJ
Cooper Med

Tufts

Drexel
Jefferson
Temple
Penn State-Hershey

Albany
Hofstra
SUNY-Downstate
SUNY-Upstate
U of Rochester


GWU
Georgetown

Tulane
UMiami-Miller
Wake Forest

Rush
Loyola Stritch
Rosalind Franklin

Reach schools that I may waste money on (not all of these, some of them after more research)

NYU
Dartmouth
Mt. Sinai/Icahn
Weill
Columbia
Vandy
Baylor
Duke
UMich
Northwestern
Emory
UVA
Mayo
UMich
 
OP
S
Jun 6, 2012
91
9
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
lol i dont know about stanford, at least not as a serious addition. Same with Upenn, feel my mcat just isnt there for them. Yea forgot to add einstein and BU. Prob add USC just to have a Cali school in the mix (hard to beat the location).
 

nemo123

5+ Year Member
Jul 22, 2011
2,035
986
Status
Medical Student
^UPenn is stat centric and a 34 is going to be on the low side for them. Their MCAT acceptance average is supposedly a 37 now. BU gets tons of apps every year and they might think you are treating them as a safety school (just make sure you show your interest). Stanford is possible, but like I said, quitting the lab early might not go over so well with them (they're super interested in candidates with extensive research experience like all the top 20s).
 
Jun 25, 2013
570
260
Status
Medical Student
I just want to say you have some badass ECs man.

Suicide crisis hotline is totally admirable. Also working with prisons. Those will DEFINITELY make you stand out.

Good luck bud!
 
OP
S
Jun 6, 2012
91
9
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I don't know if you (Gyngyn, LizzyM) respond to WAMC threads and I'm certainly not looking for you to read my whole story in the original post but what are your thoughts on this? I did lab for 5 semesters since I got started early in freshman year. Won't have done research for 1.5 years by the time I apply. I'm assuming tippy top schools might look at that a bit askance. Thank you for your thoughts. @gyngyn @LizzyM
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
22,938
31,560
Status
Academic Administration
I think your reach list is a reach list and the others are reasonable. Do try to get some shadowing of a primary care doc; that is lacking. If you could tie your prision volunteering with some shadowing of a physician or mid-level who works in a prision, you could have a little theme going in that regard. That amplifies your volunteerism with incarcerated populations.
 
OP
S
Jun 6, 2012
91
9
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
@LizzyM How big is that reach? Like monkey bar reach or say your prayers, put your affairs in order, and jump like a madman reach? Curious is all.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
22,938
31,560
Status
Academic Administration
Little bit of shadowing - only 15 hours or so, a rad onc + an opthalmologist
Based on that experience do you have an idea what doctors do all day -- the length of their day, the variety of settings in which they practice, the variety of patients they see, the proportion of time spent with patients vs documentation, the training?
It just feels as if those specialties are outliers in the practice of medicine with regard to the duration of time (minutes) spent in a patient encounter, the number of encounters with a given patient in a year and over a decade and the likelihood of a meaningful physician-patient relationship. Primary care is much different and I think you should get a taste of that before you go forward.

As for reaches, those top 20 will be madman reaches for you given that your MCAT is 2-3 points below average.
 

gyngyn

Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Nov 4, 2011
23,845
38,912
Status
Attending Physician
Your ability to articulate what you have learned from your experience and your insight into the human condition will make the difference between a simply good application and one that beckons to the screener.
 
  • Like
Reactions: pazmole
OP
S
Jun 6, 2012
91
9
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I'd just add everybody is certainly right and I admit the shadowing pretty minimal but I volunteered on the telemetry floor (IM docs ie hospitalists and IM residents) wing where I did observe physicians talking to family members, giving diagnoses, dealing with non-compliant patients who refused to take their meds, discussing end of life issues, sitting down and using the electronic records and complaining about their paperwork duties. Again, this was not formal shadowing of Dr. X but I have some insight into what non-superspecialist docs do. It was more of a keeping my eyes and ears open sort of thing.

@LizzyM...is this ok? I'll def try to formally shadow an IM/Family practice doc if I can.
 
Last edited:
OP
S
Jun 6, 2012
91
9
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
@gyngyn I'm sorry to be such an idiot but are you saying that I have a decent app, how it plays will depend on how I present myself? Again, totally sorry for being an idiot.
 

gyngyn

Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Lifetime Donor
7+ Year Member
Nov 4, 2011
23,845
38,912
Status
Attending Physician
The difference between a decent application and an exceptional one lies in the ability to express the transformative effect of one's experience.
 
OP
S
Jun 6, 2012
91
9
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
I see what you are saying. Gotta say, love the yoda-ness of your responses. Or at least that was my impression of them lol.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
22,938
31,560
Status
Academic Administration
I'd just add everybody is certainly right and I admit the shadowing pretty minimal but I volunteered on the telemetry floor (IM docs ie hospitalists and IM residents) wing where I did observe physicians talking to family members, giving diagnoses, dealing with non-compliant patients who refused to take their meds, discussing end of life issues, sitting down and using the electronic records and complaining about their paperwork duties. Again, this was not formal shadowing of Dr. X but I have some insight into what non-superspecialist docs do. It was more of a keeping my eyes and ears open sort of thing.

@LizzyM...is this ok? I'll def try to formally shadow an IM/Family practice doc if I can.
In the shadowing section of your AMCAS (one of your 15 experiences), note that you also observed hospitalists and medical residents interacting with patients, families and team members in the telemetry unit where you volunteered.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Catalystik
OP
S
Jun 6, 2012
91
9
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
@LizzyM Idk if I can say this but gurl you da bomb for responding to all my queries.
 
OP
S
Jun 6, 2012
91
9
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
@Catalystik if you have the time I'd appreciate any input. I've seen you on thsese boards and would be nice to have one last set of eyes on this as I ride off into winter break.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
32,359
11,961
Camp SDN: The Place for Summer Fun
I am a senior at a non-HYP Ivy. Applying next cycle. (June 2014)

cGPA: 3.83
sGPA: 3.86

MCAT: 12ps/11vr/11bs
-bit disappointed in the BS section, thought i could have score 1-2 pts higher there but likely stupidity and two rough orgo passages deep sixed me here.


Bio major
NJ resident- Asian Indian

(Activity length of time reflects how much I'll have done by the time the cycle opens up)

4 semesters of research, 6th author on a PLoS pub (nothin impressive i know)
-enjoyed some of the moments in the lab but in the end felt i had exposure to research and wanted to have the time do teachign/more volunteering. Stopped after fall semester junior year. Getting letter from PI.

Volunteer in Oncology wing of area hospital -2.5 years when in school -200 hours or so
Volunteer with a suicide crisisline - 2 years - 200 hrs
Volunteer with college ems squad -2.5 years - 250 hrs
Little bit of shadowing - only 15 hours or so, a rad onc + an opthalmologist

Hospital volunteering over two summers back home - about a 100 hours on a cardiology floor wheeling around/talking to patients/helping with menial tasks

TA for 3000 level physiology - 2 semesters
TA for biochem - 3 semesters
TA for intro physics - 4 semesters
TA for into bio for non majors - 1 semester

TA for a prison education program where we go to a nearby prison and teach community college style courses - 1 semester (doing this currently, unsure whether I can do it next semester due to scheduling)

Bio student advisor for 1 year - Meet with freshman bio majors, tutor a bit, help out with course planning, etc


Thank you for taking the time to read that. I did post this once before but I got a bit sidetracked into a convo about my PI writing me a LoR (I was worried he wouldn't, he seems happy to do so). I have a list of schools below. What do you homies think of top 20 chances.? My mcat is low for them, I thought maybe I could get away since many seemed to have averages of 35/36 but now im hearing 37!? What do you homies think of my chances at a place like Einstein, Dartmouth, or Mayo (where I seem to match their MCAT)? I'd appreciate any and all feedback. Brutal honesty welcome. Lastly, while I certainly realize no school is a "safety" I feel good about chances at getting an acceptance out of my "reasonable" list.


Tentative reasonable school list:


UMDNJ- NJMS
UMDNJ - RWJ
Cooper Med

Tufts

Drexel
Jefferson
Temple
Penn State-Hershey

Albany
Hofstra
SUNY-Downstate
SUNY-Upstate
U of Rochester


GWU
Georgetown

Tulane
UMiami-Miller
Wake Forest

Rush
Loyola Stritch
Rosalind Franklin

Reach schools that I may waste money on (not all of these, some of them after more research)

NYU
Dartmouth
Mt. Sinai/Icahn
Weill
Columbia
Vandy
Baylor
Duke
UMich
Northwestern
Emory
UVA
Mayo
UMich
Top schools aim to train future leaders in medicine and prefer to see activities listed that support that potential. I'm not seeing peer leadership on your list of Experiences.

I'm not saying don't apply to any top schools, but don't empty the coffers needed to pay for air flights and hotel rooms when interview time comes, just to chase a dream.
I'll def try to formally shadow an IM/Family practice doc if I can.
Since you have the time, this is a good idea, to get a view of longitudinal care in medicine, unless you already feel confident about answering interview questions dealing with the positive and negative realities of practicing medicine in the US, patient advocacy, cultural sensitivity, malpractice, medical ethics, current healthcare policy, difficult patients, insurance companies, professionalism, etc.
 
OP
S
Jun 6, 2012
91
9
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
@Catalystik Thank you for the advice. Could you clarify what you mean by peer leadership? As in starting an initiative that helps to deliver needed care or medical supplies to patients in developing nations overseas (just one example) or starting a meaningful club that actually does something?
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
32,359
11,961
Camp SDN: The Place for Summer Fun
Some of my favorite quotes: Leadership:
Mobius1985 said:
From a conversation with an adcomm member I learned that (at his school) one gets points for the intensity of the leadership experiences listed. Here are some examples of activities I've learned of on SDN and how I'd rank them (opinions, as always, may vary). Multiple experiences increase the score. It's OK to shine in another area if leadership isn't your forte.

Level I: 1) President of a club for a year. Led meetings. 2) Start small, common-interest club eg card playing, sport, adventure, campus cleanup. 3) Train, schedule, oversee freshman mentors. 4) Initiate food drive among your friends and collect donations for a food pantry. 5) Member of student senate.

Level II: 1) Club officer multiple years, eventually president, key in initiating new projects. 2) Start new club, attracting 20+ members to do community service, and/or arranging speakers, and/or successfully campaigning for a change on campus. 3) Shift supervisor or trainer of new employees. 4) Team captain. 5) Officer of student senate.

Level III: 1) Board member for health-related organization or charitable foundation for several years who helps organize/participate in health fairs, involved in presentations to get funding for projects, brings opinions to the meetings and campaigns to effect change. 2) President of three clubs some of which do community service or raise money for projects. 3) Organize 3-4 charity concerts with large attendance coordinating multiple committees. 4) Direct a play or other large production.

Level IV: 1) Chief Editor of school paper, writing editorials to sway opinion. Direct policy and staff. 2) President of student senate; initiates and carries through major change, coordinating large subcommittees. 3) NCO or officer in the armed forces who trained/led a team/unit in combat.

Level V: 1) Founded a charitable group, raised thousands of dollars for many projects, multiple year involvement, group continues after your departure. Branch groups started in other locations under your leadership. 2) Start a free clinic, recruit doctors, nurses, and student workers to volunteer their time. Raise the money for supplies/pharmaceuticals or get them donated. Help hundreds to thousands of patients in the time you're involved. 3) Start a successful company with 5+ employees and make a profit. Guide growth, legal and financial aspects.

LizzyM;9461629 said:
Leadership is not essential. Don't do it just to check a box and frankly, I never give much [weight] to leadership positions in clubs. What really gets us excited is taking charge of a large group of your peers or taking responsibility for "stuff" including other people's money. Teaching/tutoring is, in my mind, a different box. I've seen people take team captain role on a sports team or in organizing a group of peers to accomplish a task or as a service role for a group (such as president of a frat).3/29/10
 
  • Like
Reactions: nemo123