Doodl3s

7+ Year Member
Jun 17, 2009
404
14
151
NorthEast
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
EDIT. this is obviously a very limited description of myself. I like to consider myself a kid who got these grades without studying massive amounts. not a sick nerd, therefore think i'll be fine on the interviews as i'm able to really connect with people.DELETED EDIT

mainly though, i know i have good numbers. But i really have like NO volunteer hours or ECs.... i go home on weekends a lot and took tough classes fresh/soph year... my summers went to those publications. And the problem is, i know ECs and volunteer are very important, and i really have almost none. what do you guys think?
 
Last edited:

LuciusVorenus

Bad Medicine
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2009
2,952
614
181
Status
Medical Student
If you're doing MD/PHD you might get by with no volunteering
but just going for MD
I strongly suggest you take a year off and focus on doing some medical/non medical volunteering.
 
Sep 4, 2006
30,630
10,441
281
Inside the tesseract
We've seen it happen that high stat folks get no acceptances due to a paucity of the expected activities. I echo LuciusVorenus. Don't waste your application dollars. Wait a year to apply while you get in clinical experience, physician shadowing, nonmedical community service, and also if possible, teaching (coaching/tutoring/TAing) and leadership (very important if you want to try for the top twenty).

Why not PhD? Why do you think medicine is right for you when you have no experience interacting with sick people, clinical environments, or the work that physicians do all day.
 

catalase

Peroxides Beware...
Dec 21, 2009
81
1
0
Status
Medical Student
We've seen it happen that high stat folks get no acceptances due to a paucity of the expected activities. I echo LuciusVorenus. Don't waste your application dollars. Wait a year to apply while you get in clinical experience, physician shadowing, nonmedical community service, and also if possible, teaching (coaching/tutoring/TAing) and leadership (very important if you want to try for the top twenty).

Why not PhD? Why do you think medicine is right for you when you have no experience interacting with sick people, clinical environments, or the work that physicians do all day.
I disagree with both responders to your post. The real waste would be missing a whole app cycle with your stats just to bolster a less important part of your application (in the opinion of AdComs).

If I were you, I would apply this year, but I would submit in mid-late summer as opposed to in June. That gives you a chance to start some EC's (ie hospital volunteering) NOW, so you can put them in your AMCAS and talk about them in interviews.

Make sure you have a well thought out list of schools. With your stats and a good interview, you are a near lock at numbers schools like WashU. Know which schools auto-interview (OSU, Pitt, and Mich do off the top of my head). You won't get much love from some 'fit' schools like Pritzker and Mayo.

I do agree with the sentiment that you need to make sure medicine is right for you, and to consider MD/Ph.D. But if you really want to practice medicine, there's absolutely no point in waiting a year unless you won't be happy anywhere but a top 5 school.
 

J ROD

Watch my TAN walk!!
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Aug 1, 2005
58,227
1,968
281
working on my tan......
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I have seen some folks get into med schools with those numbers and a little volunteering and others.

I would recommend maybe shadowing and start volunteering now and update schools so when you have an interview you will have something to show and talk about.

Also, try to explain it in the PS.

I would try instate mostly then and save alot of money....because the lack of ECs will hurt.
 

Doodl3s

7+ Year Member
Jun 17, 2009
404
14
151
NorthEast
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
Thank you guys for the honest words. I was expecting a bunch of people to get on here and flame me about my numbers lol. Anyway, i HAVE been in a hospital setting quite some time. Those 3 publications are from clinical research with a doctor in one of those top 5's school's hospitals. So, in the process, I went to a hospital everyday, and I suppose you can say shadowed because for a few days I've went into every surgery he had for the day. Does that help?

What I'm missing is the volunteering at outside hospital stuff. I definitely have had experience in a hospital setting though, which I know is important since they want you to know you can handle where you'll be working with the rest of your life. I really do want MD, not so much PhD. I do plan to obviously do research in whatever field i go into, but not hardcore like that. And yes, i AM OK with not being in the top schools lol. I'm from ny, so columbia would be my first choice, but any of einstein/nyu/sinai would be awesome as well. I am a little disheartened at those who said i wait a WHOLE year! to just get in volunteering. Although, it seems that these concerns are from people who didnt think I've been in a hospital setting.(am i right?) Does it make a difference that the research included that I (unofficially) shadowed this doctor in the hospital for the last two summers, going in on surgeries, and seeing the patients who had the disease I was studying and was published on?

obviously I'm not trying to make up for the lack, but I HAVE been in a hospital setting and I do know what type of life I'll be entering. bear in mind, a close family member passed on 9/11 which does have a lot to do with my lack of time for some stuff... Obviously such will be explained in statements. maybe such a unique story may be of some help.

I kinda wanna hear from lucius and catalyst again... maybe knowing i have kind of 'off the books' shadowed and been in this hospital for the past two years (mostly the summers) doing clinical research, meaning I did follow him around and go into the OR with him on many occasions... i just dont have the clubs and weekly volunteer type thigns many kids have
 

startswithb

Future Urologist
7+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2010
1,750
90
171
Status
Resident [Any Field]
The hospital stuff you just described may make up for it. The point isn't to do all the standardized pre-med stuff just to say you do it. Having a meaningful response to "why medicine?" is the most important. You need to write a good personal statement highlighting your desire to study and practice medicine. On SDN, people will say volunteering is "required" but not all medical schools say the same. What they care about more than stocking shelves in an ER is that you have explored the field in depth and know what you are getting into. That being said, yes, volunteering is one way to do that, but not the only way. However, there is no reason you can't start now, because it will never hurt.
 

illegallysmooth

Smooth member
10+ Year Member
May 21, 2008
1,506
78
271
Buffalove
Status
Attending Physician
The Dean of Admissions at Univ of Rochester told me they deny people with stats like yours because they never did anything for anyone else.

It's your decision.
 

Doodl3s

7+ Year Member
Jun 17, 2009
404
14
151
NorthEast
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
The Dean of Admissions at Univ of Rochester told me they deny people with stats like yours because they never did anything for anyone else.

It's your decision.
lol, thats kinda harsh... and pretty terrible if they stereotype like that. They should have never admitted that. Saying things like that just makes them look bad.

Obviously i've been helping people. I always teach everybody all the subjects i learn and end up tutoring the whole class just on my off time to help other kids out. I always make an effort to be the nice guy and help everyone. Just none of it is documented "official volunteer" work. I know where I'm NOT applying now lol. seriously, if this is true, I would advise others not to apply there. That's ridiculously discriminatory. And honestly I wouldnt wanna be there if that is their stance...
"never did anything for anyone else" WOW:rolleyes:
 

ThaliaNox

10+ Year Member
Oct 18, 2008
882
2
0
Status
Medical Student
Sadly enough, the "we REJECT folks with 3.9/40 stats but no ECs" is a really common statement for admissions offices to make. I know mine does. However, I think you have enough clinical experience with the research to help offset this gut instinct of admissions offices, but your lack of volunteering is something you'll likely have to explain. However, unlike a couple similar "high stat/low EC" threads recently, you do have a very strong research background. In my experience, people who have strong research backgrounds and strong stats but mediocre volunteering do often get accepted.
 

illegallysmooth

Smooth member
10+ Year Member
May 21, 2008
1,506
78
271
Buffalove
Status
Attending Physician
lol, thats kinda harsh... and pretty terrible if they stereotype like that. They should have never admitted that. Saying things like that just makes them look bad.

Obviously i've been helping people. I always teach everybody all the subjects i learn and end up tutoring the whole class just on my off time to help other kids out. I always make an effort to be the nice guy and help everyone. Just none of it is documented "official volunteer" work. I know where I'm NOT applying now lol. seriously, if this is true, I would advise others not to apply there. That's ridiculously discriminatory. And honestly I wouldnt wanna be there if that is their stance...
"never did anything for anyone else" WOW:rolleyes:
It's not discriminatory. Medicine is a business, but it's an altruistic business. The dean pointed that out specifically. At the end of the day, you must have enough compassion and empathy for the patient. Just as your grades prove your intellectual capacity, volunteer work proves your capacity for these other qualities. Getting into med school isn't just about being smart - it's about being a well-rounded, mature individual. They aren't going to just take your word for it.

What do you mean in that you teach everybody the subjects you learn? Who are you talking about?
 

LuciusVorenus

Bad Medicine
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 14, 2009
2,952
614
181
Status
Medical Student
Thank you guys for the honest words. I was expecting a bunch of people to get on here and flame me about my numbers lol. Anyway, i HAVE been in a hospital setting quite some time. Those 3 publications are from clinical research with a doctor in one of those top 5's school's hospitals. So, in the process, I went to a hospital everyday, and I suppose you can say shadowed because for a few days I've went into every surgery he had for the day. Does that help?

What I'm missing is the volunteering at outside hospital stuff. I definitely have had experience in a hospital setting though, which I know is important since they want you to know you can handle where you'll be working with the rest of your life. I really do want MD, not so much PhD. I do plan to obviously do research in whatever field i go into, but not hardcore like that. And yes, i AM OK with not being in the top schools lol. I'm from ny, so columbia would be my first choice, but any of einstein/nyu/sinai would be awesome as well. I am a little disheartened at those who said i wait a WHOLE year! to just get in volunteering. Although, it seems that these concerns are from people who didnt think I've been in a hospital setting.(am i right?) Does it make a difference that the research included that I (unofficially) shadowed this doctor in the hospital for the last two summers, going in on surgeries, and seeing the patients who had the disease I was studying and was published on?

obviously I'm not trying to make up for the lack, but I HAVE been in a hospital setting and I do know what type of life I'll be entering. bear in mind, a close family member passed on 9/11 which does have a lot to do with my lack of time for some stuff... Obviously such will be explained in statements. maybe such a unique story may be of some help.

I kinda wanna hear from lucius and catalyst again... maybe knowing i have kind of 'off the books' shadowed and been in this hospital for the past two years (mostly the summers) doing clinical research, meaning I did follow him around and go into the OR with him on many occasions... i just dont have the clubs and weekly volunteer type thigns many kids have
Being in a hospital setting definitely helps, but here's why I say wait a year. You have AMAZING numbers topped with research that puts you in the top 1-3% when it comes to research. I'm guessing you also have great LORs. It would just be a shame to apply and have to settle for a mid tier school this year because of a lack of clinical than to just wait a year, get some extra ECs, and have a good shot at getting into at least one top 10. With numbers like yours and some ECs, I wouldn't be surprised if you got interviews at most of the schools you applied to. I mean if you have been in a hospital setting non volunteer wise, and you can explain why medicine and why you haven't had time for other ECs, you'll still have a good shot at a mid tier school, but this is a choice you'll be living with for the rest of your life so, I don't know.
 

Doodl3s

7+ Year Member
Jun 17, 2009
404
14
151
NorthEast
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
Being in a hospital setting definitely helps, but here's why I say wait a year. You have AMAZING numbers topped with research that puts you in the top 1-3% when it comes to research. I'm guessing you also have great LORs. It would just be a shame to apply and have to settle for a mid tier school this year because of a lack of clinical than to just wait a year, get some extra ECs, and have a good shot at getting into at least one top 10. With numbers like yours and some ECs, I wouldn't be surprised if you got interviews at most of the schools you applied to. I mean if you have been in a hospital setting non volunteer wise, and you can explain why medicine and why you haven't had time for other ECs, you'll still have a good shot at a mid tier school, but this is a choice you'll be living with for the rest of your life so, I don't know.
ugggh... i had my heart set on going right into med school, and these numbers only reinforced doing so... I have no idea what to do with a year off. And taking a year off to do almost specifically volunteer... i dunno. This would also then entail finding some crappy minimum wage job unless i get paid research while doing volunteering. I had no plans to take a year off... oh man, this effin' sucks. I think I'll still probably apply now while starting a committed volunteer work.

@illegally, I'm the type of guy who takes time out of his day to meet with people who are doing bad in the same classes I am and sit them down and explain them the topics. Personally, I dont really have to study to do well (in the sciences only lol). But part of understanding it means I apparently have the ability to sit down and break down stuff, and I have been told this by other I have taught. I take time to meet these people in the library and sit for 2-3 hours and teach them. Just cause I like to cause it makes me happy to see them happy when they do better because of me. This kind of stuff isn't what i call "documented" volunteer work, which is like those weekly committments to doing stuff most people DONT EVEN want to do, JUST to put on their resume. =/.

I suppose my best bet is to somehow come off that I really do enjoy helping people and making their lives better at the interview, without having the documented volunteer work to show it (which sounds pretty bad actually). Also, I do lots of little volunteer jobs, like breast cancer walks, Kids for a cause, relay for life, etc... One time deals...
 

naijaboi

MS0
Nov 20, 2009
287
4
41
Boston, MA
Status
Medical Student
My advice would be to apply. Address your lack of clinical/ECs in your PS. Your non-documented volunteer activities can be included in your PS - you can also find ways to fit it in your activity section especially if you won some kinda service award in school and have professors that would back it up in your PS.

I also had very limited clinical/ECs when I applied. I included my shadowing under my research experiences.
 

Tortue

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Feb 7, 2008
86
0
91
Status
Pre-Medical
Apply!! you have excellent numbers and research, you might think that your one time volunteer activities don't count but I think each school is different. Also, you mentioned that you have tutored and you can explain your "lack" of volunteer work in your PS. You can combine your research with shadowing since you were at the hospital and observed what the physicians did. You still have time to volunteer until you apply and keep the schools updated on your volunteer work. Good Luck !:luck:
 
Mar 30, 2010
1,483
6
41
Status
Medical Student
By all means, apply. True, a few schools might snub you for your lack of ECs. But many, many will give you interviews with those stats.
 

MilkmanAl

Al the Ass Mod
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2008
12,032
60
161
Kansas City, MO
www.facebook.com
Status
Resident [Any Field]
The real waste would be missing a whole app cycle with your stats just to bolster a less important part of your application (in the opinion of AdComs).
I think you should apply to a few schools - maybe 5-7, depending on how many state schools you have - but I have to point out that the quoted is a bit misleading. It's like saying "your brain is more important than your heart." That's great and all, but you're still ****ed if you're missing one. With no clinical or volunteerism EC's at all, getting into med school is going to be a serious challenge. That's why I suggest limiting your application to a few schools that are likely to poop themselves when they see your stats, and hope for the best. That way, you limit your financial outlay and will still have about as good of a chance of getting in as you would if you applied to 30 schools.

edit: Oh, and as others said, you're money for MD/PhD programs, volunteering or no, if you don't mind 8 more years of intense schooling.
 
Sep 4, 2006
30,630
10,441
281
Inside the tesseract
I kinda wanna hear from lucius and catalyst again... maybe knowing i have kind of 'off the books' shadowed and been in this hospital for the past two years (mostly the summers) doing clinical research, meaning I did follow him around and go into the OR with him on many occasions... i just dont have the clubs and weekly volunteer type thigns many kids have
Clinical patient and environment experience can certainly be gained through clinical research. That it included some unofficial shadowing is fine, though I think you need to shadow a primary care doc, too, at a minimum. I'd even say you ought to include the unofficial tutoring of your peers (maybe get one to be your "contact person" that you worked with the most), as it shows that you have some altruism. All this puts you in a stronger position than first seemed to be the case.

I think you need to decide where your goals lie. I think you're fine to go ahead and apply and have a decent chance of an acceptance somewhere, with some added shadowing, and anything else you can do before mid-summer (I like catalase's suggestion) and continue through the application season, since your clinical experience is still seemingly on the sparse side. But if you aspire to a "top school," the lack of leadership and regular nonmedical/noncampus community service will probably hurt you (except at maybe WashU).
 

GodisGood12

7+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2009
174
0
141
Somewhere
Status
Medical Student
Heres my story, it may help it may not, Idk.

I applied this past cycle with a 4.0 and 38 MCAT from my state school, I graduated in 3 years. My E.C.'s were super average and not compelling or super englightening: I researched for 3 years with pending pub (3rd author), voluntered at a clinic for 2 summers (200 hours), shadowed doctors (40 hours), and was on the council of a big organization that did a lot of charity work. Other than that, Im a regular guy, dont have a crazy personal story, my PS was pretty good, and i had pretty good recs, nothing amazing. Im not socially awkward, in fact id say im pretty lively so my interviews went well.

The result of my app cycle wasnt what ppl I knew expected. I got really really pushed around by big name schools, (top 30) no interviews from top 30 schools except 1 (i applied to a tons of schools), and from schools that I would have loved to get into but were not known for high stats, rejected me sooo soo easily without interviews. I got accepted to a few schools, and waitlisted at a few. Honestly, I found myself in like a hole. Obviously Im so soo sosoo thankful to get in anywhere, but I felt like the low stats schools didnt even bother (perhaps im wrong), and the Big Name schools scoffed at my lack of story or interesting E.C.s. So a lesson learned is stats can get you into A medical school, but def def not the school you might count on or bank on.

I would say apply if you have the money, dont bother on big name schools, except maybe washU. Apply to a few top 30 schools (1-3), and mostly to State schools and lower schools. I think if you do some serious volunteering in the next few months, along with your research, youll most likely get in somewhere. I wish you good luck.
 
Mar 28, 2010
16
0
0
Oklahoma
Status
Pre-Medical
I applied this past cycle with a 4.0 and 38 MCAT from my state school, I graduated in 3 years. My E.C.'s were super average and not compelling or super englightening: I researched for 3 years with pending pub (3rd author), voluntered at a clinic for 2 summers (200 hours), shadowed doctors (40 hours), and was on the council of a big organization that did a lot of charity work. Other than that, Im a regular guy, dont have a crazy personal story, my PS was pretty good, and i had pretty good recs, nothing amazing. Im not socially awkward, in fact id say im pretty lively so my interviews went well.

The result of my app cycle wasnt what ppl I knew expected. I got really really pushed around by big name schools, (top 30) no interviews from top 30 schools except 1 (i applied to a tons of schools), and from schools that I would have loved to get into but were not known for high stats, rejected me sooo soo easily without interviews. I got accepted to a few schools, and waitlisted at a few. Honestly, I found myself in like a hole. Obviously Im so soo sosoo thankful to get in anywhere, but I felt like the low stats schools didnt even bother (perhaps im wrong), and the Big Name schools scoffed at my lack of story or interesting E.C.s. So a lesson learned is stats can get you into A medical school, but def def not the school you might count on or bank on.
Wow, your story is really disheartening. Do you have a criminal record or something? Anyone know if this sounds typical of how medical schools respond to, what seems to me, excellent stats?
 

GodisGood12

7+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2009
174
0
141
Somewhere
Status
Medical Student
Wow, your story is really disheartening. Do you have a criminal record or something? Anyone know if this sounds typical of how medical schools respond to, what seems to me, excellent stats?
No, no no criminal record, nothing off the mark. not one single red flag I can think of.

You deal with what you get, Idk. Im thankful. Hard work always pays off eventually.
 

GodisGood12

7+ Year Member
Jun 2, 2009
174
0
141
Somewhere
Status
Medical Student
APPLY for sure. Don't take a year off unless that is what YOU want to do, which it doesn;t sound like you want to. Apply to a decent number of schools. Do not make the mistake of applying to schools with lower-end stats ("safety schools"), they are wonderful at picking out who is just using them as a safety. However, if you truly want to go to one of these "safety" schools, give them compelling reasons in the "why school XXX" essay on the secondary.
Excellent point, let those schools know you want to go there. Apply broadly, and let them know how much you want to be there! People don't give enough credit to essay writing.
 

MegaSpectacular

Removed
Dec 27, 2009
321
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I have seen some folks get into med schools with those numbers and a little volunteering and others.

I would recommend maybe shadowing and start volunteering now and update schools so when you have an interview you will have something to show and talk about.

Also, try to explain it in the PS.

I would try instate mostly then and save alot of money....because the lack of ECs will hurt.
Agree, just start getting experience now.

Definitely apply, taking a year off to volunteer is an ABSOLUTE waste of time.

I have 200+ hrs volunteering. It is the biggest waste of time ever.

I have over 50 hours shadowing though, and that is priceless stuff. Just grab some clinical experience.
 

MegaSpectacular

Removed
Dec 27, 2009
321
0
0
Status
Pre-Medical
ugggh... i had my heart set on going right into med school, and these numbers only reinforced doing so... I have no idea what to do with a year off. And taking a year off to do almost specifically volunteer... i dunno. This would also then entail finding some crappy minimum wage job unless i get paid research while doing volunteering. I had no plans to take a year off... oh man, this effin' sucks. I think I'll still probably apply now while starting a committed volunteer work.

@illegally, I'm the type of guy who takes time out of his day to meet with people who are doing bad in the same classes I am and sit them down and explain them the topics. Personally, I dont really have to study to do well (in the sciences only lol). But part of understanding it means I apparently have the ability to sit down and break down stuff, and I have been told this by other I have taught. I take time to meet these people in the library and sit for 2-3 hours and teach them. Just cause I like to cause it makes me happy to see them happy when they do better because of me. This kind of stuff isn't what i call "documented" volunteer work, which is like those weekly committments to doing stuff most people DONT EVEN want to do, JUST to put on their resume. =/.

I suppose my best bet is to somehow come off that I really do enjoy helping people and making their lives better at the interview, without having the documented volunteer work to show it (which sounds pretty bad actually). Also, I do lots of little volunteer jobs, like breast cancer walks, Kids for a cause, relay for life, etc... One time deals...
DO NOT DO THIS:

And taking a year off to do almost specifically volunteer...
Volunteering is just an application filler. People talk about it like it is special or something. I learned more from 1 shift shadowing 8 hrs than I did in 100 hrs of shadowing. Don't do it.
 

Doodl3s

7+ Year Member
Jun 17, 2009
404
14
151
NorthEast
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
Only SDN can make a kid with a 40 and 3.8 gpa feel like he won't get into med school :laugh: ... luv you guys.

i'll get started on a more dedicated volunteer program now. I could always ask the doc i got published with to shadow more if need be, or at least get him to mention it in his Rec he's giving me. I am applying this cycle and i'm applying early! One thing i know is that even though i dont have lots of ECs... its rolling, applying on day 1 since i have the MCAT done is gonna help a lot. I know a lotta people who got in early but people who applied even 2 months later didn't get in with way better stats cause spots filled fast. If need be I'll add an update about volunteer work.

Hopefully at the interview my very demeanor can show I'm a personable guy who really is in this to help people. I'm not in it for the money. And as far as lower schools go. It is true i wanna stay instate (NY). Tbh, i'd prolly choose schools like stony and downstate over MANY "so-called" better (higher ranked) out of state schools, I will be sure to let them know that so they dont think I'm using them as safety.

I never had a big head for those big schools either, I could care less about harvard. My goal really is to make the best NYC school i can possibly make.
 

Doodl3s

7+ Year Member
Jun 17, 2009
404
14
151
NorthEast
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
Hey guys, giving a little update, and had some questions.

I've decided to go ahead and apply this year. Mainly, I apparently SHOULD be able to make a medical school. The people who tell me I'm no good are saying this assuming it'd be a waste if I didn't try my hardest to make a top 20. This is sort of true, however, to be honest, I'm not one of those kids whose bent on getting into harvard. I want to stay in New York, making my TOP top choice Columbia (which I know will be hard, lack of EC's considered)

Anyway, I had a question related to this and my PS. I hear advice to list shortcomings in one's PS. I have done so, in a brief manner that explains the personal reasons for only doing small things like breast cancer walks, and tutoring, and stuff like that, because I didn't have the time for a dedicated type of service. (partly for personal and the fact i was doing dedicated research).
-My advisor, whose been getting people into med schools for 20 years at my university (a "new/wannabe" ivy private, not bad) said to remove the statement about my Comm. service. this is the opposite of what many here have been saying. Just wondering. thanks guys :)

EDIT:ADD: in another thread right below me is a girl who also apparently has low ECs. Credit to ThaliaNox for this idea, but is it a good idea in work/activities to add "selected community Service", as I do many different yearly events, like relay and march of dimes, etc....
 
Last edited:
Jan 24, 2010
74
0
41
New York City
Status
Medical Student
I agree with your adviser. The PS is not the place to make excuses for holes in your application unless there was a very very very good reason for it. Not just that you didn't have time. Do not point out your weaknesses, especially since you're working on them currently. Only address them if they ask you (either on secondaries or interview).

PS I'm in the same boat as you. Good stats, lacking one EC or another. I'm also shooting for Columbia, so best of luck to both of us!
 

jbz24

5+ Year Member
Jan 22, 2010
670
3
91
Status
Attending Physician
Agreed, don't use the personal statement as a means to address weaknesses. You want it to tell a story highlighting why medicine and your strengths. Any weaknesses can be brought up during interviews. And with stats like that, you won't be screened out of any interviews.

Of all the ECs, I would say research is by far the most important for top tier schools. Given that you have a strong research background, I think you're good to go. I would even work your application around that fact. Just make sure you have a reason why MD only and not MD/PhD if it comes up during an interview (for example, you're more interested in doing clinical trials in addition to doing academic medicine and teaching medical students/residents, something like that). Add whatever fluff you can come up with to your application and spend some time now fixing weaknesses like volunteer. I think you have a great shot at one of the big 4 in NYC.
 
Sep 4, 2006
30,630
10,441
281
Inside the tesseract
If you have a zit on your chin when you go to an interview, are you going to say, "I'm sorry I have a zit on my chin. I was too busy to wash my face with soap and water regularly, and I didn't have time to go to the store and buy some acne cream."? Of course, you wouldn't. It would make the interviewer examine that blemish even more closely to see if there were something unusual about it that caused you to bring it up. He would be so distracted by your mentioned imperfection that he would miss some of what you said about your strengths.

So don't point out the blemish in your application. Both of you already know it's there, so there's no reason to emphasize it. I agree with your advisor, too.

It's fine to make a list of misc volunteering. I'd name the activity Short-Term Community Service.
 

foofish

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Apr 23, 2006
1,204
4
141
SDN
Status
Medical Student
lol, thats kinda harsh... and pretty terrible if they stereotype like that. They should have never admitted that. Saying things like that just makes them look bad.
I don't think it's a stereotype, but it's more just that someone in that situation is simply less competitive than other applicants.

If you have two applicants who both have equally fantastic scores, grades, and publications but applicant A has additional activities and volunteer work while applicant B has none, the school is going to pick applicant A. The volunteer work and extracurricular activities in themselves are impressive, and also the fact that applicant A managed to achieve the same academic accomplishments with an increased extracurricular load (i.e. less time to devote to academics) makes applicant A's scores/stats more impressive than applicant B. Does that mean applicant B won't get in anywhere? Of course not, but they will have a tougher time than people who have the complete package. Good luck!
 

Shaq

7+ Year Member
May 31, 2010
80
63
171
Status
MD/PhD Student
you will get into a med school. don't expect to land many top 20 acceptances because of your clinical research. in general top tier schools like to see that you have done basic science research. that is the most impt. if you have research and volunteering and high stats, you will get in anywhere. that being said, it really differs from school to school.