4.0 GPA. Am I making good progress? (rising junior)

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Bellabijou10

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Hello! This isn't a typical "chance me" post since I have not taken my MCAT, but I just wanted to get a feel for how I am progressing and some areas that I might need to pay attention to a little more. Just some context, I am a rising junior bio major/neuroscience minor and this upcoming fall I'll be studying abroad in Denmark (woo!!). I plan to take one gap year before med school, take the MCAT after studying the summer between junior and senior year, and will apply senior spring/summer.

COVID of course put a halt to any clinical things as well as shadowing, so I am really lacking in those areas and am trying to get a second clinical job this summer and do some shadowing.

GPA: 4.03 (just have to take biochem and then done with prerequisites!)

Interests: pediatrics, reproductive endocrinology, neonatology

Research: 400 hours of research and 2 independent research projects/papers conducted during my sophomore semesters. Genetics lab!

Volunteering: 28 hours volunteering w/low-income children while their families attend sessions on nutrition/financial well-being/parenting, 80 hrs on Crisis Text Line, 40 hours serving homeless populations in Washington, D.C. on a class service trip as well as in the rural town around my college.

Non-clinical: 100 hours as a teaching assistant for an intro bio course, member of pre-health professions club + attended virtual shadowing events, 300 hours as a behavioral health technician working with children who have autism, completed a 2-week primary care virtual seminar talking to various primary care professions

Clinical: None??? (behavioral health tech follows a "treatment plan" and I work very closely to the child, but doesn't seem clinical/medical enough?)

Shadowing: None??? (does sporadic virtual shadowing count?)

Hobbies/other fun things: campus tour guide, 63 hours as a student senator for my college class, member of hip hop dance team, small jewelry Etsy shop, spent last summer waitressing during COVID times


Hospital volunteering is just starting to open up again, so I have an interview coming up to be a summer volunteer to get some clinical hours. While abroad, I'll be taking a medical/human health course where we work in Danish hospitals and are exposed to different areas of medicine. Super excited for that.

Thanks for any input!

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Clearly you are doing well with academics as long as you do well on MCAT and it appears you have a plan for that. In terms of activities, it is clear that you would benefit from one maybe two gap years in order to obtain clinical experiences. Its fine to start as a volunteer in the hospital but it depends on what you do if it will really be clinical in nature. I strongly recommend working as a MA, scribe, EMT etc. ( If you only take one gap year you will be applying at the same time as doing the only real clinical hours you will get ) These types of experiences are critical in helping you understand what it is like to be a physician and helps the med schools be sure you know what you are getting yourself in for when accepting an offer of admission. You will also need these experiences so that you can reflect and have stories to tell in your personal statement about why medicine. It is interesting that you will learn about different medical specialties while in Denmark but having clinical experience in US is of utmost importance because many schools put far less if any on out of the country experiences.
By the time you apply you should be able to obtain in person shadowing and if you do, I would omit the virtual shadowing from your experiences.
 
Clearly you are doing well with academics as long as you do well on MCAT and it appears you have a plan for that. In terms of activities, it is clear that you would benefit from one maybe two gap years in order to obtain clinical experiences. Its fine to start as a volunteer in the hospital but it depends on what you do if it will really be clinical in nature. I strongly recommend working as a MA, scribe, EMT etc. ( If you only take one gap year you will be applying at the same time as doing the only real clinical hours you will get ) These types of experiences are critical in helping you understand what it is like to be a physician and helps the med schools be sure you know what you are getting yourself in for when accepting an offer of admission. You will also need these experiences so that you can reflect and have stories to tell in your personal statement about why medicine. It is interesting that you will learn about different medical specialties while in Denmark but having clinical experience in US is of utmost importance because many schools put far less if any on out of the country experiences.
By the time you apply you should be able to obtain in person shadowing and if you do, I would omit the virtual shadowing from your experiences.
Thank you so much. I've seen multiple answers to this question, but is working at a nursing home as a personal care assistant considered clinical experience by adcoms in most cases?
 
Yes, since you are interacting with a patient(s) in a nursing home it can be considered clinical experience. The strength of the experience would depend on what you are doing and how you are able to show your impact and reflect on why it has helped you in deciding on purusing becoming a physician.
 
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