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39T; BA/MD - Should I stay or should I go?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by hydrogen3k, Feb 28, 2007.

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  1. hydrogen3k

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    Hi All!
    I just got my MCAT score today - 39T.
    I'm quite satisfied with the score, taking into account that I did not commit as much time as I was hoping to (~ 2.5 weeks total).
    Well, to get to the point, I'm part of BA/MD program. So, the med. school is not of that high caliber, but I can finish my undergrad at the end of this semester (2 years total) and medical school in the regular 4. So, should I stay and finish early. Or should I quit the program and apply out (in doing so, I lose a year and my reserved seat at the Medical School). So, what would you do? Oh yeah, I also have a 4.0 GPA and will probably have strong recommendation letters, but my EC aren't that great (just part of a few clubs, volunteering at the local soup kitchen, and taking part in a summer research program with Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis).
    Should I stay or should I go???
     
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  3. James Moriarty

    James Moriarty The Napoleon of Crime
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    Similar predicament except I have yet to take the MCAT (May 11th). Nevertheless, I am very interested in everyone's response. :)
     
  4. Soccer885

    Soccer885 Senior Member
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    With that MCAT and your GPA, you should be able to go where you want. Your EC's sound fine as well. If you aren't that fond of the medical school you are tied into, apply elsewhere. I am sure you would get into a higher caliber school if that's what you want. I would just make sure to get your application in early. I have seen people with great MCAT/GPA's not get in anywhere because they applied late (most likely, you can never tell when applying to medical school). Good luck to you and congratulations on an outstanding MCAT score!
     
  5. HunterGatherer

    HunterGatherer HunterGatherer
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    you have to withdraw from the program to apply to AMCAS?

    maybe you can use the MCAT score to ask XX for a scholarship?
     
  6. UMP

    UMP Recovered Under-Achiever
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    :thumbup: that would be the ideal situation
     
  7. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    Congrats on your MCAT scores. I think if I were you that I'd need a much more compelling reason than "the med school is not of that high caliber" to warrant giving up a guaranteed seat at XX and enduring the risks of re-applying to med school. I'm not even sure what you mean when you say that the school isn't of a high caliber. I'll admit that I don't know much about XX schools; I'm from FL. But you were fine with the idea of going to XX when you applied to the combined program in the first place a few years ago, and surely things haven't gotten that bad there while you were away at college. ;) We're talking about an accredited American medical school here. Lest you think that your stats make you a shoe-in to any med school, let me be the first to tell you that they do not. You really could reapply and not get in ANYWHERE. Stick around SDN for a few more months, and you will see some of the sob stories posted by other kids just like you; it happens every spring. I hope you will talk things over with your parents and maybe a professor or two before you make what may be a decision that you come to regret.

    BTW, I think this thread is more appropriate for Pre-Allo, so I'm going to move it. Best of luck to you. :)
     
  8. kidthor

    kidthor meep
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    Come on... this smells of troll.
     
  9. NovemberWhiskey

    NovemberWhiskey Junior Member
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    Your grades and MCAT are good, but top get in to the really high end schools you need a LOT more than that. If your EC's are so-so as you say, then its a gamble. How much a better school do you want to go to? With only 2 years of coursework come application time, and very few extracurriculars, I think you'd have a VERY difficult time getting in somewhere in the top 10, tho you would likely be able to get in to one of the top25 programs pretty easily. It depends what you have your hopes set on.

    Harvard/Hopkins/UCSF/Stanford--Don't count on it.
     
  10. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers
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    Consider the costs of applying out:

    1) the additional cost of college courses (because you need to stay in school an extra year)

    2) the expenses associated with applying/interviewing... this can be well into the thousands

    3) the additional time you'll spend in school which translates into one less year of employment (if you begin earning big bucks at 29 and work for 37 years vs. begin earning at 30 and work for 36 years)

    It is not unthinkable that you could end up on a few waitlists with no acceptances. Would you be okay with that?
     
  11. H_Caulfield

    H_Caulfield Junior Member
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    to the OP: be CAREFUL here. i had a 37 on the mcat and a 4.0, but was from a state school...and only got into 2 of the 17 schools to which i applied. Rutgers is the same deal; not to say anything bad about your school, but you'll be consistently beaten-out by guys from brown and cornell with 32 mcats. Trust me...I've been there. Didn't read your whole post but extracurriculars are insanely important; I'd done a summer of research and volunteered for awhile and the fact that I'd done nothing else hurt me immensely.

    XX is cheap, and you can save some time. Not many people have a chance to cut the process short. Realize that mcat and gpa aren't even half the story and do the smart thing.
     
  12. QuantumMechanic

    QuantumMechanic Avatar=One of the Greats
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    the problem is that you didn't play the EC game for top schools since you were in a comfort zone with the BA/MD program. although 39 is a great score (its what I got), you may think that getting into top schools won't be difficult if you were just flippin through the MSAR. unfortunately, its not that easy (trust me, I've gotten rejected from UCSF, Stanford, Hopkins, and Mayo and my ECs are probably alot more extensive and unique than yours, but I may be mistaken). the admissions game is cutthroat and its based much less on objective measures than you would imagine, especially once you broken the 35 and 3.8 barriers.

    I really don't know how good or bad XX is? Would you be unhappy there? Do you want to get out of NJ? You would obviously get into midlevel privates and maybe some top20 or even a top 10 if you tried (and if thats what you were after). You likely wont have trouble getting in somewhere if you apply, but its alot of stress and trouble if its not necessary.
     
  13. Medikit

    Medikit Plastic Bag Middle Class
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    I would say stay but, well.. I mean, it's XX. I can practically smell your post.
     
  14. madamebovary

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    i want to say first: congratz on your score.
    my question to you is that cant you apply to other med schools without leaving the program? just leave the program when you get in the med school?

    with your score and gpa and since you finish everything within two years, why not spend the two years building your e.c. and getting into the higher ranked med school.


    your choice, im just giving my two cents
     
  15. OncoCaP

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    My guess would be for you to stay and finish sooner unless there is some unusual reason to not to go to XX (I don't see one in your message). This seems like a great program to make it through faster. There will probably be several opportunities for you to go out of state once you get your MD and are looking for a place to do your internship and residency.
     
  16. Anastasis

    Anastasis caffeinated for safety
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    I think this is a great idea! :)

    And Congrats on your MCAT score!! That's awesome! :)
     
  17. baylormed

    baylormed On the Search
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    Stay. This process is stressful and if you don't have to go through it then don't. You are saving yourself time and money. Harvard may sound great but I don't know if 55K/year is my idea of great...unless they have juicy, juicy scholarships.
     
  18. soeagerun2or

    soeagerun2or Membership Revoked
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    Did you get published? Y - go for it. N - likelihood of admission elsewhere is slim so no.
     
  19. shblay

    shblay meine blindarm tut weh
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    congrats on your score. Is XX really that bad? For me, it would be tough to give up a guaranteed spot even it if wasn't my top choice in school. I think the saying about "a bird in the hand" kind of applies here right? Is it worth the risk to give up your guaranteed spot to take a chance of getting in somewhere else?

    Also, like others have said, can you not apply while still staying in the program?
     
  20. gujuDoc

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    I have a couple of friends up there in XX who I met on these forums. Anyhow, I talk to one of them regularly and will tell him to post on this thread when comes online. Both the people I know there are MS I's currently. At any rate, the friend who I talk to more often of the 2 of them happens to tell me many things about XX giving me the impression that it is essentially like the USF of XX whereas XX is more like the UF of XX. What I mean by this is that what my friend tells me is that XX has a wide diversity of clinical facilities and training centers instead of one centrally located academic teaching hospital and tends to be more focused towards clinical medicine. I've heard very good positive things about the program there and can't imagine that it would be a bad option. I will get my friend to post on here cuz he's an MS I if you'd like more info about the program.

    Anyhow, onto the second point I wanted to make. Your numbers are great but your extracurriculars aren't and I wouldn't be quick to say you can get into any school in the country with your numbers if you lack the extracurriculars. I have friends with similar numbers who have and are currently applying and have not gotten into every school they applied to or even every school they interviewed at. A lot of them had more extensive profiles then yours too. So keep in mind it is a gamble. If you think that you don't want to go to XX over a different school and you think that you can strengthen the rest of your profile and are willing to take the gamble then I'd go through with relinquishing your spot. But if you think that your profile isn't going to get that much better in terms of ECs and other factors then I'd keep your spot. The other factor also has to do with whether you feel you are ready to enter med school so quickly or would rather wait it out and have some time to enjoy the rest of your undergrad career. Put those things into perspective and see what you come up with.
     
  21. gujuDoc

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    No not really!! I know a lot of people who've been in this predicament from the 7 year program at my own school as well. It does happen. I have two friends after getting 35 on the MCAT who decided to do just this. One of them has far more extensive ECs then this one and yet while they've gotten interviews, they haven't gotten a lot of acceptances as of yet.
     
  22. hydrogen3k

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    Thanks for the responses; it really puts things into perspective.
    I can apply out, but that means I give up my spot in the medical school.
     
  23. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    The grass is always greener on the other side. It's sad when an obviously talented kid like the OP has to learn this lesson the hard way.
     
  24. NonTradMed

    NonTradMed Perpetual Student
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    Your stats will ensure that you'll get into another med school but perhaps not to the top 10 or top 5 that you may want to go for. If you decided to aim for just another med school, I really don't see the point of it since med schools beyond the top 20 are pretty much the same in terms of the quality of education they will give you.

    Can you apply while attending school? Or will they not allow that? Better yet, use your stats to leverage for a better scholarship. Your EC is good but the top med schools are very competitive so you may take a hit and as another poster said, the top med schools tend to accept more students proportionally from the each other's top undergrads (academic incest), so your GPA may not be compared as favorably when the Harvard/Duke/Yale schools are looking at your app.

    My suggestion would be to first see if you can cut a better deal with your current school and/or if you can apply while remaining in the program. Barring that, I'd suggest against applying to med school simply becuase there's no guarantee that you'll end up attending a better med school that would compensate for the lost years in wages and the extra stress of the admissions process.
     
  25. gujuDoc

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    Yeah exactly!! I have another friend who is currently contemplating what this kid is thinking about doing but think this particular friend of mine shouldn't do it because they have virtually no good extracurriculars to back them up in terms of getting into a top school. But I'm not going to try and convince them because their mind is already made up and they will learn on their own. I'm not trying to sound cocky or arrogant but its amazing how many times I have said something to someone about the whole app process for it to turn out to be true but they'll never admit it even though the proof is there. For instance, a few years back this girl was in AED just to pad her resume and I told her that all these club memberships and officer positions weren't going to do much in the long run. Anyhow, this girl blew up at me and got really pissed. I mean totally bitched me out. Turns out halfway through the semester she and her friend both quit being members and officers in the same organization. But sometimes people have to fall down a peg or two on their own to realize the reality.

    OP, what I just said above is not against you and I'm not saying it to be offensive so don't take my response to Q that way. I wish you luck with your decision but if your ECs and other areas of your app are subpar just be warned that you may not get in as easily as you'd like to a top school so don't completely change your decision til you've talked to admissions directors or members at potential schools of interest and heard their take on the matter.
     
  26. Garrison1

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    Numbers are VERY overrated in this process (especially if you are coming from somewhere other than the ivys/top public schools). My MCAT is in the 40s and gpa is above 3.9 and I still don't have an acceptance yet this cycle. If you can't also wow them with devotion to community service and/or research there are no guarantees at all.
    If I were you I would probably hold on to your guaranteed seat.

    That said there is always a chance you could get into a top 5.
     
  27. hydrogen3k

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    I think that agrees with my constitution. I really hope they give me a good scholarship (I don't want to be jipped). Maybe I can do just as well on Step One, etc.
    Just to add something else, last year another kid from the program, who scored a 40 and didn't have that great EC, left the program and got accepted into Harvard. So...I'm not saying that I will follow the same fate (probably won't even try to), but just to add something.
     
  28. gujuDoc

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    I think that shows how this process is very subjective. If they like you then you are in, but who's to say that they'll like you?? The process is tooooo subjective in many ways. There's no guarantees. My best advice to you is to talk to admissions directors of places of interest and see what they advise. Someone on here, I won't say who, called every single school they applied to before deciding whether it was worth it. Its good advice and something I'd consider doing is emailing or talking to them in person about your given situation.
     
  29. 45408

    45408 aw buddy
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    Um, when did a 4.0 and a 39T with kinda lackluster ECs = slim chance of acceptance elsewhere? Maybe slim for the top 10....


    For the OP - stay where you are. Save the time.
     
  30. hattie

    hattie Junior Member
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    please take into account the costs... not only of maybe giving up your only slot (not to be mean, but remember that so much of this process is solidly random, whether we like to think so or not), but also like a previous poster said, of extra undergrad, applying, maybe multiple times, and especially if you're thinking of trading in for out of state tuition (not sure if this would be the case for you or not) for what might be not a much better name school (granted, it could be a much better school, but also consider the big fish small pond scenario... you might end up in the same place residency wise if you rock your state med school vs. being in the middle of the pack at a big name school).

    Also it depends on what you might want to do with your career. If you're thinking someday you'd like to be a head of a big fancy department at a big name school, then yeah, your "pedigree" might matter and it might be a good idea to go for it. But if you're thinking you'd probably like to work in primary care, then it likely isn't worth the risk (or the extra loans)... your education will still be good, and your patients really won't care where you trained as long as you take good care of them.
     
  31. applyingsucks

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    Hey OP,

    I'm a Senior at XX, and I'll be going to XX next year. My advice to you is that if you like XX, there's no reason you shouldn't take it. If you want more life experience (i.e. more hours in the library) then stick it out and apply next year. Comming from XX your GPA doesn't mean anything (I know from personal experience). The MCAT is respectable, however if your looking into top 10 schools 38-40 is the norm.

    I applied to XX BA/MD and got rejected my sophomore year. I am happy I got rejected, because I was able to enjoy college. I didn't do that well on my MCATs, I have a solid GPA, but I feel like my real strong points were my extra curics, my research, an my experiences throughout my 4 years of college. As a 21 year old I was usually the youngest kid at interviews. I know that the top 10 schools want to see life experience, they want published research, they want all those BS experiences where you taught children english in ecuador, or cured AIDs in Africa, or built homes in New Orleans. Most of my activities were local, and I learned a lot from them, and most of the State schools I applied to appreciated that.

    Note I am not bitter that I got rejected from every top 25 school I applied to.

    My point is that Rutgers isn't an IVY, and if your looking to save time then go to NJMS, but if NJMS is not your dream school then you will regret it later on in life. You will do fine in any medical school you go to. Dont worry about it that much, I'll see you in Alexander Library.
     
  32. ssquared

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    No kidding. Not satisfied with a 39T? Sounds like somebody needs a smack upside the head.
     
  33. gujuDoc

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    Huh? They never said they weren't happy with their MCAT score?? They said they were considering reapplying to more top tier schools. They were curious whether the rest of their app's lack luster ECs would hold them back or whether they were better off going to the school they already hold an acceptance at. Those are two different things altogether.
     
  34. jklasser17

    jklasser17 Senior Member
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    Stay!!

    You have a guaranteed entrance into a US allopathic school. Your chances of becoming a better doctor do not increase by going to WashU/Harvard... In fact, you may even be at the top of your class at XX, that's not necessarily a bad thing. There are a lot more factors that will be considered for your residency than where you went to med school.

    I can tell you a few dozen sob stories of people who went to "top-tier" schools and it ended up not panning out the way they would have liked. Be grateful for what you have and keep it.
     
  35. Nikki2002

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    i say stay in your program for the love of god!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!





    congrats on the mcat btw
     
  36. gujuDoc

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    Yeah true!! :laugh: :laugh: I agree with the post above Nikki's post as well.
     
  37. ssquared

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    My apologies to the OP. I can't read. I also have bronchitis and a sinus infection right now, so I'm a little dopey. My bad :oops:
     
  38. brownie786

    brownie786 Bunny of Doom
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    I'm also in a combined BS/MD program however my program allows me to apply out. I'm taking the MCAT april 7th so we'll see how I do. Let me know what you decide.
     
  39. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    I think asking about the scholarship is a good idea. If the school gives them out, I'm sure you'd be a strong candidate to receive one.

    As for the other kid, you have no way of knowing what their ECs were really like unless you saw their AMCAS. Even then, you didn't read their LORs or attend their interviews with them, so you're still missing a large part of the story. It's all well and good to armchair quarterback, but keep in mind that you're making this judgment without knowing most of the info the adcom uses to make its decisions. :)
     
  40. James Moriarty

    James Moriarty The Napoleon of Crime
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    I know everyone always says "the grass is greener on the other side" so one should stay where ever they have a guaranteed acceptance, but isn't hindsight always 20/20? Throughout the course of the year, the pitfalls of 7 year programs have started to present themselves, and at times, I feel as if the administration 'misled' me into coming here (what I mean by that is, had they been more straight forward about the program, I would have never applied to start with).

    All that said, I know the collective SDN attitude is to stay wherever you are located; whether it be to avoid high costs, gambling with your career, getting rejected at the top schools - take your pick.

    Asking here is almost a moot point OP, because leaving a school is always going against the grain of the vox populi on SDN. I can appreciate your situation(although our motivations may be different) and will say do what you think you can live with. I am personally not sure I can stomach staying at place to which I came under false pretenses, no matter what the majority opinion is, but that's just me.
     
  41. 71263

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    Lol, thats always my first thought when reading a thread like this from a 'New User'! :smuggrin:
     
  42. turkleton

    turkleton Capeless Crusader
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    OP good luck sifting through all the opinions. Thought I'd add mine to contribute to your confusion.

    That score is fantastic and your GPA obviously has topped out. I agree with the above in that you still stand little chance getting into other schools after 2 years of college. With your credentials, I would stay at least another year, do some heavy duty research or an EC- year abroad volunteer project where you can enjoy the time and also count as an great EC-, continue with your already stellar academic performance and generate more good letters. While it may seem like a lot now, an extra year or two is really no big deal at your age- you're only 20 I'm guessing. If you wait, your line will look like this:

    GPA 3.9-4.0, 39 MCAT, great EC's/research/volunteer/possibly publish. That's a killer line.

    Anyone who guarantees Harvard/Hopkins is lying. However, you will be very, very competitive to land at those places. As for your undergrad, of course having the same stats from a 'big name' school would help. However, medical school ad-coms aren't stupid- they see talent where there is talent. Go to the XX premed office and take a look at med school placements of past graduates- I remember the list being very impressive with plenty of Harvards and Hopkins. You're in great shape and you really have a burden of riches. Good luck.
     
  43. karmega5

    karmega5 MS2
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    Maybe a minor concern, but would trying to leave a 7 year program make it hard to get LORs? Most probably wouldn't have any issues, but I don't know that all professors would be thrilled about you turning down their sure thing for a shot at somewhere else. Might show through a bit in their letters. Maybe not, though. I have LOR paranoia, can you tell?
     
  44. soeagerun2or

    soeagerun2or Membership Revoked
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    The top school is implied and he won't get in w/o ECs. Period.
     
  45. berkeleyboy

    berkeleyboy Senior Member
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    Hmmm....This is a tough one, this really boils down to what you want to do later in the future. Residency is a long time and if you save some time by not having to finish years 3 and 4 at XX, you can finish medical school earlier and you can get a head start on your residency....

    lets say you want to do Neurosurgery which is a guaranteed 7-8 years of residency training, you'd probably better be off staying at XX and saving some time.

    That being said, most of the surgery tracks are 5 years at least with more time if you want to subspecialize.

    Every year you are still in school or training is another year you won't be making an attending physician salary.

    Just another thought, nice mcat by the way.
     
  46. hydrogen3k

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    Many of my professor were surprised, actually, to hear that I was considering staying. During first year organic lecture, my professor wanted me to transfer to MIT for undergrad. But, I had already rejected many of the Ivies when coming into the program, so I didn't feel the need to turn back. I had financial/family issues that made me pick out the BA/MD program. Currently, I commute from home (~3hrs/day), so I can look after my sister and the home. So, taking 23 credits/semester with commute time and all, leaves me little space for EC. But, I guess, there is no reason to complain. I know many who are in much worse situation than myself in regards to family issues. I'm happy in the position I'm in. But paying ~$45,000 here and $55000 somewhere else doesn't make that much of a difference to me (screwed both ways, I guess :)

    Also, what do you guys mean by stellar EC? - Expand please...
     
  47. James Moriarty

    James Moriarty The Napoleon of Crime
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    Most of my professors were upset I was going into the program in the first place and told me if I changed my mind, to let them know. I have been keeping them updated on my status through out the year, just incase. Thank god I have been :).
     
  48. kdburton

    kdburton Ulnar Deviant
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    Do you have any clinical experience? It sounds like the rest of your application is solid, but schools will want someone who has had patient contact probably someone that has seen doctors interact with their patients. If you choose to apply outside of this program and it will cause you to need another year of undergrad then that would leave you a whole year to get some solid clinical experiences (shadowing, volunteering, etc). Your MCAT/GPA are outstanding, so with some better ECs (clinical stuff i was talking about) you would definately be a good candidate for schools outside of the one you're at. The only problem is that although you'll probably get in somewher else, theres no gurantee that the other school would be "better," so thats something to think about.
     
  49. searun

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    Ask people on SDN for good soup recipes....if you get published, it will look good on your AMCAS. Also join a rowing club and become really good at crew, for the Ivy League schools. Just my 2 cents. But if you can cook soup, you will be popular with the first years.
     
  50. CoolerTHANu

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    time is money, just get ur MD sooner, rock the boards, and go to a sweet school for residency when it actually matters
     
  51. Shpamme

    Shpamme status pages confuse me.
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    Totally agree with the last poster. I turned down a BA/MD joint program acceptance when I was in high school, and I think it was the worst thing I ever did. Ten years later, I'm back applying for med school--and it's not fun.

    In terms of fun, I know it's XX, but you're *so* close to XX--at least close enough that you could blow off steam on the weekends. And the real fun happens in your mid-20's--so go to a residency program in a cool city then if you're really interested in fun.

    In terms of your overall career growth, XX is a great med school too--you'll get a fabulous education with strong exposure to a wide variety of populations and conditions. Plus, the jury's still out on this one--but I've heard it mentioned on SDN and from practicing physicians that the caliber of your residency program is what really matters in terms of career trajectory. That's the time to really start getting picky IMHO.

    Go, go have a fabulous time and don't look back. You're young--anywhere you go, I'm sure you'll make it a blast. =)
     
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