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MD 3.91 GPA 522 MCAT, not diverse ECs - WAMCs?

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Jersanta

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Stats are great, especially if you're applying to a research-intensive school and/or you're interested in going for research. However, many schools will be looking for clinical services though.... Just make sure to add a couple "safe" schools just in case.

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MaxPlancker

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Your app is a red flag…you have essentially no clinical exposure. You also don't come off well in the eyes of adcoms as a white & privileged applicant who hasn't done any volunteering…Beyond those two huge red flags, your ECs are really bare...
 
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Astra

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Biochemistry major at top 20 liberal arts school
3.91 GPA, 522 MCAT
Biomedical research for 3 summers, 1 publication
600 hours tutoring in college
24 hours shadowing experience
Phi beta kappa, two other academic awards from my university
but... No volunteering

Also, I'm white & financially privileged

My pre-health advisor at school told me that my application is strong enough that it makes up for my lack of volunteering and few hours shadowing. I believed her but now I'm pretty worried...she told me to apply to top 20 schools and she wouldn't be surprised if I got into a top 10. I believed her and submitted my app on June 8th but now I'm wishing I waited. What do you think?

Your stats show that you are capable to handle medical school. But you lack showing medical schools that you are a empathetic person and willing to serve others for no gain. So, what I would do if I were you is this.

Volunteer this gap year and if you get interviews, mention it.

Was your tutoring unpaid? if so, that is considered volunteering.

Overall, your app is excellent in terms of academic aspect but you are lacking the human aspect imo.
 
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MaxPlancker

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I didn't list all my ECs...if I kept listing

Would you suggest I do as much volunteering as possible for the rest of the application cycle or should I split my time up between volunteering and shadowing? I have a full time research position so I'll be busy but will definitely be able to volunteer and/or shadow on weekends and after my normal work hours, just wondering how much I can do to help myself in the meantime...
TBH, not volunteering over 3-4 years and then suddenly doing it before applying or during application season would be obvious to adcoms. However, you gotta do whatcha gotta do so yes you should start volunteering ASAP.
 
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Goro

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“This not the application of a person who dearly wants to be a physician. It is the application of someone who wants to be a doctor as long as it is convenient,”


Here's the deal: You need to show AdComs that you know what you're getting into, and show off your altruistic, humanistic 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.

I've seen plenty of posts here from high GPA/high MCAT candidates who were rejected because they had little patient contact experience.

Not all volunteering needs to be in a hospital. Think hospice, Planned Parenthood, nursing homes, rehab facilities, crisis hotlines, camps for sick children, or clinics.

Some types of volunteer activities are more appealing than others. Volunteering in a nice suburban hospital is all very well and good and all, but doesn't show that you're willing to dig in and get your hands dirty in the same way that working with the developmentally disabled (or homeless, the dying, or Alzheimers or mentally ill or elderly or ESL or domestic, rural impoverished) does. The uncomfortable situations are the ones that really demonstrate your altruism and get you 'brownie points'. Plus, they frankly teach you more -- they develop your compassion and humanity in ways comfortable situations can't.


Service need not be "unique". If you can alleviate suffering in your community through service to the poor, homeless, illiterate, fatherless, etc, you are meeting an otherwise unmet need and learning more about the lives of the people (or types of people) who will someday be your patients. Check out your local houses of worship for volunteer opportunities. The key thing is service to others less fortunate than you. And get off campus and out of your comfort zone!

Examples include: Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, Humane Society, crisis hotlines, soup kitchen, food pantry, homeless or women’s shelter, after-school tutoring for students or coaching a sport in a poor school district, teaching ESL to adults at a community center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, or Meals on Wheels.


What are you going to say when asked how you know you are suited for a life of caring for the sick and suffering? “That you just know”? Imagine how that will go over!


Biochemistry major at top 20 liberal arts school
3.91 GPA, 522 MCAT
Biomedical research for 3 summers, 1 publication
600 hours tutoring in college
24 hours shadowing experience
Phi beta kappa, two other academic awards from my university
but... No volunteering

Also, I'm white & financially privileged

My pre-health advisor at school told me that my application is strong enough that it makes up for my lack of volunteering and few hours shadowing. I believed her but now I'm pretty worried...she told me to apply to top 20 schools and she wouldn't be surprised if I got into a top 10. I believed her and submitted my app on June 8th but now I'm wishing I waited. What do you think?
 
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7331poas

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Your stats show that you are capable to handle medical school. But you lack showing medical schools that you are a empathetic person and willing to serve others for no gain. So, what I would do if I were you is this.

Volunteer this gap year and if you get interviews, mention it.

Was your tutoring unpaid? if so, that is considered volunteering.

Overall, your app is excellent in terms of academic aspect but you are lacking the human aspect imo.

Could you elaborate on the "volunteerism" for unpaid tutoring? If a person was to tutor peers and underclassmen unpaid would you consider that volunteering if it wasnt through an organization?
 

MaxPlancker

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Right... I was initially more attracted to biomedical research and planned on applying to MD/PhD programs, but a combination of personal experiences made me realize I want to practice medicine and not just research it. This realization came along a little late in the game, and I felt like I'd look like a phony if I suddenly crammed in a bunch of volunteering, so I didn't. I wish I had though, because now it looks like I'm going to be cramming in an even more obviously inauthentic way. But, for what it's worth, I swear I am an empathetic and caring person. Hopefully I can figure out a way to show that. Thanks a lot for your advice/comments.
Well I recommend starting now in case you take a year off or whatever...you gotta start sometime lolol. Otherwise, some schools might care, others may not.
 

Goro

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The tutoring is VERY commendable, but keep in mind that these aren't' patients.



I completely understand and anticipated everything you just said. I left out a few extracurriculars in my original post (if I included them I'm afraid I'd be too easily identified, they're pretty specific) but they're also not nearly enough to make up for everything you've pointed out. However, in my defense, the tutoring I've done has been extremely personal and I actually began tutoring before undergrad, working with students with learning and developmental disorders, and that is when I first connected with an interest in medicine (it's a good story). I emphasized in my application the parallels between tutoring and practicing medicine, which there are many, but again I know that this is not nearly enough to get me where I want to be. I was a little disillusioned by the encouragement and positivity of my pre-health advisor who, for some reason, thought my stats, research, and tutoring would be enough to get me where I want to go.

Thank you very much for your thoughtful comments. I appreciate it.
 
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