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MD 36 MCAT, 3.63 cGPA, 3.53 BCPM, weak ECs

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by whph, 05.14.14.

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  1. whph

    whph

    Joined:
    05.14.14
    Messages:
    6
    Status:
    Pre-Medical
    Here are the stats:
    11 VR, 12 PS, 13 BS (36 total), this will probably be the strong point of my application.
    GPA is 3.63 cumulative but probably slightly lower AMCAS because I retook two classes. Based on my own calculations my BCPM GPA is 3.53.
    Averaged about a 3.8 in junior/senior year, 3.4 freshman/sophomore. I graduated with honors, cum laude from a state school in CT, majored in BME.

    After I graduated in 2011 I took an engineering job for 3 years. My job started with software engineering but quickly evolved into leading a team of signal analysts.

    My ECs are weak on some areas. I have 2 semesters of research experience but no publications. I started volunteering recently at a local hospital 7 hours a week, but no prior volunteer experience other than minor 1-day things. I also have just recently started shadowing an orthopedic surgeon, and will be setting up an observership with a cardiothoracic surgeon for this summer. So my concern is, is it too little too late?

    I only recently started creating a school list. I am planning on applying to around 10-12 schools. I will probably get some flak for this, but this rough list is constructed mainly of schools located where I think I would like to reside.

    Very rough list (I understand some of these may be way out of reach, please let me know):
    University of Connecticut
    Yale
    NYC based schools like Yeshiva, Columbia, NYU
    University of Colorado
    Do I have a chance at any of the University of California schools?
    Any other suggestions?

    Thanks a lot for any help!
     
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  3. BobGadha

    BobGadha

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    Hey, your scores are good. If you can afford to, you should apply to more schools (as you suspected!), apply more broadly (your list is a bit top heavy), and apply early. I think if you apply broadly and continue with your current EC's through the application cycle you'll have a good shot at getting into an MD school, IMO. CA schools OOS might be especially difficult, but if it's your dream, give it a shot. Best of luck to you!
     
  4. whph

    whph

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    Thanks Bob! So basically all of the schools I listed are 'reach' schools except for UConn and Colorado right? Would it be more difficult to get into a decent UC school than one of the NYC schools I listed? What are some more mid and low-level schools I should consider adding to the list, keeping in mind that I am interested in living in a nice area with good people? Thanks again!
     
  5. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

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    This is not a problem. it's hard enough for grad students to get pubs!


    My ECs are weak on some areas. I have 2 semesters of research experience but no publications.

    THIS is a problem. You will likely get rejected for not having enough ECs. You need to show us that you know what you're getting into, that you want to be around sick people for the next 30-40 years, and that you know what a doctor's day is like. A career in Medicine is not a reward for being a good student or being smart. It's a privilege that has to be earned. Take a gap year and learn and do some interesting things. And show your altruism.

    I started volunteering recently at a local hospital 7 hours a week, but no prior volunteer experience other than minor 1-day things. I also have just recently started shadowing an orthopedic surgeon, and will be setting up an observership with a cardiothoracic surgeon for this summer. So my concern is, is it too little too late?

    I only recently started creating a school list. I am planning on applying to around 10-12 schools. I will probably get some flak for this, but this rough list is constructed mainly of schools located where I think I would like to reside.

    Not likely..it's hard enough for the Californians! USC, you're fine for. Once you get your ECs in.

    Do I have a chance at any of the University of California schools?
     
  6. whph

    whph

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    Goro, do you think I shouldn't apply this summer? As in, would it be more difficult as a second time applicant if I applied now and didn't get in? Thanks.
     
  7. BobGadha

    BobGadha

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    I agree with Goro that it would be best to wait a year if you want to maximize your chances. I, personally, think if you apply broadly this cycle you could get in somewhere, but if you take the year to really explore the world of medicine (not just for your applications, but for your own awareness of what you're getting yourself into) and bolster your ECs you'll increase your chances significantly, especially at the mid-tier level. Since this process requires you to invest so much of your time and money, it's worth waiting a year, which isn't a long time in the grand scheme of things, to put your best foot forward. You have some nice digits working in your favor! Your problem is easily fixable! Keep up the good work, my friend. Keep calm and carry on with your ECs.
     
  8. BobGadha

    BobGadha

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    I believe UCol has in-state preference, so I would assume that means the competition for OOS seats becomes more tricky. I'm assuming you're a resident of Connecticut, since you went there for your undergraduate degree and put UConn and Yale at the top of your list. Your numbers look good for UConn. Again, you'll have to keep your ECs up. Einstein is a good school for your stats, but Columbia and NYU are supremely competitive. The "less competitive" UC schools, in other words the ones that aren't UCSF, UCLA or UCSD, have very, very few OOS's. I'm talking like 1% out of state. With that being said, on numbers and residence alone you'd be better off applying to the private NY schools than the public UC schools. But, those NY schools are so difficult. You need more mid-tier schools. It seems that you are looking into urban locations, so why don't you consider schools in Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston or Miami (I say Miami, because it's like if SoCal and Queens had a baby). They all have "nice areas with good people" as with most places in the world. ;)
     
  9. whph

    whph

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    Okay I will definitely apply more broadly. Are there any downsides to trying my luck this summer other than the time and money it takes?
     
  10. lmn

    lmn 2+ Year Member

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    If you don't get in, admissions committees expect to see some drastic improvements when you reapply. If you don't do enough things and make big enough changes by the time you reapply, it will appear as you didn't actively try to improve your application.
     
  11. BobGadha

    BobGadha

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    One downside I can think of is if you do end up reapplying next year, your task is going to be more difficult. You're going to have to show definite growth and revamp your application by adding novel items to your AMCAS itself and to your essays, which is hard to do. It's almost like you're adding another element to beating the ruthless game of admissions: competing against your past self. It's already such a competitive process that you don't want another thing to have to worry about. That's why you don't want to rush it. You want to make sure that you're representing yourself the best way possible the first time.
     
  12. whph

    whph

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    Would continuing to shadow 2 physicians, continuing to volunteer 7 hrs/week at a hospital, and working in labs part-time be considered enough growth? I would basically commit my year to improving the application if I didn't get in.
     
  13. BobGadha

    BobGadha

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    If you stick with it for a long period of time, I would think so. It all boils down to commitment; it's the commitment to the activities you choose to pursue and proving to the adcom that you realize, to the best of your ability, what the commitment to medicine means.

    Aside from admissions, it is good for you to explore these things before going forth. Everything is great in theory, but you might be surprised (and not necessarily positively) about certain aspects of the reality. Just like in any profession in the world, there are pros and cons. It's better to enter with your eyes open and realize some those cons before making this life-long commitment. In the ever-wise words of America's poetic treasure, Ice-Cube: "you better ch-check yo-self before you wre-wreck yo-self." This realization will add more depth to your application, rather than just the clich├ęd Manifest Destiny of "I've always known I wanted to be a doctor. I just know it's for me." You'll be able to write more honestly about why you want to be a doctor and answer questions about what concerns you have about med school/the profession.
     
  14. whph

    whph

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    Bob, thanks for the words of caution. I do not believe my commitment is the issue. It took me a long time to solidify my decision to become a doctor. I was pre med but didn't apply because I wasn't sure about it. Instead I worked for 3 years as an engineer, which helped me realize that it doesnt matter how much money you make if you dont enjoy what you do, and the thing that makes me the happiest is making other people happy. Not only to doctors make people happier, they legitimately improve their quality of life (well ok, not in all cases). If doctors don't make people happier then please stop me now! In case you go suggesting other careers where you improve peoples lives, know that I am also very curious about the workings of the body and love working with my hands (currently leaning towards procedural specialties). I believe the issue is in convincing the adcoms of my commitment.
     
  15. BobGadha

    BobGadha

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    I think it's great that you took time away, and I think adcoms will appreciate that. Keep up your exposure to clinical settings and passion for the field and you'll be fine! The longer your clinical experience, the more you'll be able to convince the adcoms of your commitment.
     

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