Dismiss Notice
Check out the new Application Assistant, where you can calculate your LizzyM score, see how you rank compared to other applicants, and see a list of schools where similar students were accepted.

3.95 cGPA, 3.9 sGPA, Minimal Clinical Experience

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by Woj12, 05.20.14.

  1. SDN is made possible through sponsorships and our volunteers. Learn about SDN's nonprofit mission.
  1. Woj12

    Woj12 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    05.20.14
    Messages:
    5
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I'm a junior applying to medical school this cycle. As the title says, I have a 3.95 cGPA and a 3.9 sGPA.
    I have not yet received my MCAT scores, but I'm expecting something in the mid-30s based on practice tests. I am waiting to submit my application until I receive my scores, which should be in mid-to-late June.
    I am a music performance major with minors in both biology and chemistry.
    I am an MN resident.
    I have a couple extended family members who are doctors. I have talked with them extensively and feel I know what being a physician entails.
    I have pretty extensive non-medical volunteer work with the blind, tutoring children in math, and with the homeless.
    I have some research experience working with an organic chemistry faculty member, but there are no publications from it as of yet.
    I have significant leadership experience between ECs and employment.
    I have applications in for brief shadowing experiences in Internal Medicine and Pathology. I will hopefully have completed these by the time I submit my application.

    I am concerned by my lack of clinical experience and was wondering if people could give me their thoughts on my chances in light of the fact that I don't have much experience. However, I do feel that this lack of experience was caused by a lack of availability, not by a lack of effort. To elaborate:

    I attended the first two years of UG at a small college in the middle of the woods. There were no clinical opportunities for volunteering at the school and I did not have a vehicle for pursuing more distant opportunities. During summers, I have been taking summer class and doing some non-clinical volunteering, but was unable to find any clinical positions which were both temporary and which worked with me taking class five days per week. In April of my sophomore year, I had to transfer very abruptly because the music faculty at my old school were insistent that I drop Pre-Med and do music exclusively, otherwise I would be barred from a performance major. As such, I transferred to a new school, this time in a more urban area with more volunteer opportunities. I have been doing my best to look for opportunities, but between practicing violin 20h per week for my major, taking a credit overload, and caring for a pregnant significant other, I have had little time to pursue substantial clinical experiences.

    I feel my personal statement is rather strong. It reflects on some rather substantial health problems I had at a very young age and also addresses how a very close family member's battle with cancer created the impetus for my pursuit of medicine.

    I have not seen my letters of recommendation, but I am confident they will be strong as well.

    Anyway, my apologies for such a wordy explanation. Here are some questions I was wondering about as I draw close to submitting my AMCAS:

    1) How big of a disadvantage will my lack of clinical experience create for me?
    2) Will my numbers and other experiences help compensate for the lack of clinical experience?
    3) When/how should I discuss my inability to have significant clinical experiences? Should I incorporate this somehow into the AMCAS? Should I mention this during interviews? Should I leave it out altogether for fear of sounding "whiny?"
    4) Would you recommend the addition or subtraction of schools from the list below? (I fear I have a disproportionate amount of "reach" schools).

    Many thanks to anyone who has taken the time to read this post in its entirety. Your responses are greatly appreciated!

    Schools:
    Mayo (my dream school)
    U of MN - Twin Cities
    U of Mich
    Texas A & M
    Johns Hopkins
    NYU
    Cornell
    Columbia
    U of NC
    Northwestern
    U of Chicago
    Rush University
    U of Iowa
    U Penn
    Vanderbilt
    U of Arizona
    Loyola
    U of South Dakota
    U of Wisconsin
    Medical College of WI
     
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. Zach Morris

    Zach Morris

    Joined:
    03.16.14
    Messages:
    21
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I think your list is a bit top-heavy, but that's just my opinion.

    Do you think you can adequately convince adcoms that you are committed to the profession without having clinical volunteering experience to back up that assertion?
     
    Goro likes this.
  4. Woj12

    Woj12 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    05.20.14
    Messages:
    5
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Yeah, I agree about the list and I'm already in the process of revising/expanding it. I am confident that I can express my dedication to the profession without clinical volunteer experience, provided I actually get a chance to interview. Between non-medical volunteer experiences and discussions/interactions I've had with physicians, I feel I demonstrate both a commitment to serving others and a sufficient precursory knowledge of the medical profession.
     
  5. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    07.27.13
    Messages:
    25,863
    Location:
    4th Dimension
    Status:
    Non-Student
    Your entire school list hinges on that test. If you score a 30+ you'll probably get in somewhere, but if you score a 35+ you can make your list a bit more topheavy. If you score <30, you might be in trouble.

    Why is it that >90% of WAMC threads don't have MCAT scores? It's like asking someone "WAMC of getting into an Ivy League university" but not having your SAT or ACT scores.
     
  6. ChEMD

    ChEMD 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    02.07.14
    Messages:
    512
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Why Texas A&M? Just curious.
     
  7. Woj12

    Woj12 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    05.20.14
    Messages:
    5
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    I have several ties to the area through family members who practice there. However, given the acceptance rate for non-residents, I may reconsider.
     
  8. Woj12

    Woj12 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    05.20.14
    Messages:
    5
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Thanks for your reply, but I do believe I stated that my MCAT score will be in the mid-30s, around 34-36. My main questions had to do with my lack of clinical experience. Quite frankly, I think knowing my projected MCAT score, along with other stats, should be sufficient to make an educated prediction of my outcome. I am fully aware that tier of school that will accept me hinges greatly on the MCAT. However, as stated, I was looking for advice regarding clinical experience, and would appreciate anything you had to add regarding that area.
     
  9. ChEMD

    ChEMD 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    02.07.14
    Messages:
    512
    Status:
    Medical Student
    If you have ties to the area, I say go ahead and apply, even as a non-resident. If you do, you might want to consider applying to any Texas school that you could see yourself attending. I only say this because the cost to apply to all TMDSAS schools is not much higher than only applying to one, and most of the schools don't have secondaries to fill out or any extra fees.
     
  10. Mad Jack

    Mad Jack Critically Caring Gold Donor 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    07.27.13
    Messages:
    25,863
    Location:
    4th Dimension
    Status:
    Non-Student
    How much your level of clinical inexperience affects you will also depend on how high your MCAT is. If you score a 30, it's going to hurt a decent amount. If you score a 35, it won't hurt you much.

    Just be careful about assumptions regarding your eventual score. The actual test is a very, very different animal than taking a practice test at home. All it takes is one bad passage or a letting the stress get to you and your score can take a 4 point hit.
     
  11. Woj12

    Woj12 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    05.20.14
    Messages:
    5
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Thank you for that, Mad Jack. It is reassuring to hear that my lack of experience won't completely disqualify me. Also, do you think it would be advantageous to indicate that I have spoken extensively with physicians and intend to complete a fair amount of clinical work and shadowing prior to graduation in my AMCAS 15?

    Thanks!
     
  12. ChEMD

    ChEMD 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    02.07.14
    Messages:
    512
    Status:
    Medical Student
    If I were you, I would plan on doing some clinical activities this summer and include them on your AMCAS planned activities. Make sure you actually do them, and use them as a talking point during your interviews. Talk about how these clinical activities confirmed your pursuit of medicine and all of that.

    I will note that I don't think adcoms really weigh planned activities very heavily when considering applicants for interviews because anyone can write anything really. So hopefully you'll get some interviews and be able to give your planned activities some merit.
     
  13. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    06.10.10
    Messages:
    29,220
    Location:
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    Status:
    Non-Student
    Verified
    Faculty
    My school and plenty of others have rejected folks just like you how have never set foot in a hosptial. You need to show you know what you're getting into. And "talking to relatives" isn't shadowing.

    Would you buy a new car without test driving it? Buy a new suit without trying it on

    You also need to convince us that you really want to be around sick people for then next 30-40 years.

    My student-interviewers would reject you before they left the room


    1) How big of a disadvantage will my lack of clinical experience create for me?

    They don't. 4.0 automatons are a dime-a-dozen.

    2) Will my numbers and other experiences help compensate for the lack of clinical experience?

    Leave it out because it will simply sound like you're making excuses. Apply with the best possible app, even if it means taking a gap year.

    3) When/how should I discuss my inability to have significant clinical experiences? Should I incorporate this somehow into the AMCAS? Should I mention this during interviews? Should I leave it out altogether for fear of sounding "whiny?"

    Hard to say without an MCAT score. MSAR Online is your friend.

    4) Would you recommend the addition or subtraction of schools from the list below? (I fear I have a disproportionate amount of "reach" schools).


    Ahh, another person who thinks "If I can just wrangle an interview, I KNOW I'll convince them!"
    Sorry, but magic thinking isn't going to get you far.

    I am confident that I can express my dedication to the profession without clinical volunteer experience, provided I actually get a chance to interview. Between non-medical volunteer experiences and discussions/interactions I've had with physicians, I feel I demonstrate both a commitment to serving others and a sufficient precursory knowledge of the medical profession.
     
    lmn likes this.

About the ads

Share This Page