Apr 13, 2010
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Hello,

I am new to these forums, actually trying to assist my sister with her medical school applications. She has a very high MCAT (41), but a relatively low med school GPA from a top 5 national university (3. 41 an Ivy League). She was a biology and math major, has some science classes where she recieved stellar grades and good recomendations, but overall her record has been fine but not exceptional. She was in charge of a major cultural dance team in undergraduate, as well as a director of a project working with local children infected with HIV.

She had significant medical school research experience the summers after her second and third years of college and labs of top tier medical schools, and after graduating this past year, works in the lab of a fairly recent Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine, and has managed to get published working for him. He will also be writing her a highly favorable LOR, as did her boss at one of her summer positions, plus her 2 undergard profs. As far as clinical experience, she is looking at a hospital volunteer program for pre-med students, shadowing doctors, which she will complete this summer to gain more clinicial experience. She will also probably take 1 or 2 difficult science classes, she was thinking neuroscience, over the summer, to demonstrate her academic abilities. She will be doing both of these things after submitting applications at the earliest possible date, and following up with the schools regarding her progress. Also working on a strong personal statement, including getting professional help with it.

My question is, where should she apply and where does she have a decent shot? I recomended a wide base of applying, a number of top 50 schools in a wide geographic range, but also a number of second and third tier schools. Any particular places that might be more favorable? Here is a preliminary list, any that you think might be particularly good shots. Add any others to this list that you think might be useful.

NYMC
Einstein
Mt. Sinai
Cornell
SUNY Downstate
Albany
SUNY Buffalo
Rochester
Tufts
BU
George Washington
UMDNJ
Temple
Drexel
U Penn
Jefferson
Case Western
Cincinatti
Ohio State
Rosalind Frankllin
University of Illinois Chicago
Northwestern
University of Chicago
Michigan State
University of Michigan
University of Wisconsin
Wisconsin Med
UNC
Wake Forest
Duke
University of Utah
Texas-San Antonio
UCLA
USC
UC Davis
UC San Diego
Loma Linda
Stanford
University of Miami
 

BBender716

Med school drop out!
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Jan 12, 2009
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I think if she gets the clinical experience down (shadowing + hospital volunteering), she will be a very attractive candidate despite her less than stellar GPA, which is coming from a competitive school with a math major to boot. But this clinical experience is a MUST. If she had a 41 + 3.9 GPA without clinical experience, she'd still be hard pressed to get in so have her focus on getting that clinical experience, both shadowing and volunteering. Then I think the applying broadly will definitely be a solid move. Guaranteed to get some bites from top tier schools because of that MCAT + publication + LOR from a PI with a Nobel Prize.

Make sure between now and application time she gets:

-shadowing of physician
-hospital volunteering
-if she doesn't have already: 2 sci professors LOR (who have taught her), 1 non-sci. LOR (who has taught her)

Hope this helps! PM me if you have any more Qs.

EDIT: oh and do NOT worry about taking difficult classes. Take the easiest ones possible this summer. She's already proved her smarts with the MCAT and being a math major. What she needs is a GPA boost. Some may argue this, but take lots of credits and lots of EASY credits to boost it. She has nothing else to prove.
 
Apr 13, 2010
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Thanks Bender! That is good to hear, and I'll let her know about the courses. As a general rule, if you haven't already completed the experience at the time of the application (it is still in progress), is it still fine to list? I assume it is, as she starts the emergency medicine shadowing program in the May, and will be in the process of completing it when her application is recieved in June, that will be alright?
 

BBender716

Med school drop out!
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Jan 12, 2009
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Thanks Bender! That is good to hear, and I'll let her know about the courses. As a general rule, if you haven't already completed the experience at the time of the application (it is still in progress), is it still fine to list? I assume it is, as she starts the emergency medicine shadowing program in the May, and will be in the process of completing it when her application is recieved in June, that will be alright?
It's iffy if she doesn't have anything else, but you can count what you've already completed.
 

Whatyousay

A few loose screws
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Aug 9, 2009
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Just a heads up... if your sister plans on applying to UT-San Antonio, I hope she can demonstrate some connection to Texas.

Texas public medical schools cap admissions for out-of-staters at 10% of each incoming class, so she'll be competing for a very small number of spots before you even begin to analyze her stats.
 
Sep 4, 2006
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Applying with one month of clinical experience will make her application iffy at any school. The average applicant has 1.5 years of weekly experience. A last minute decision to go into medicine without evidence that she's tested the waters for a period of time will not impress adcomms. If she applies MD/PhD she'd have a better shot of acceptance with a minimum of clinical experience, but her GPA won't make her competitive for the most-selective programs.
 
Apr 13, 2010
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She actually mentioned that she worked as part of a project with an inner-city hospital where she mentored youths who were HIV patients at the hospital, both regarding personal and academic issues as well as health issues. This was done on a weekly basis for 2 years I believe. Does that count as clinical experience? It seems to me that it would in that she had direct patient contact and it was through a hospital....give me your thoughts please.
 

schrizto

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May 14, 2008
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That is kind of a random list of medical schools. What state is she a resident of? For example, Michigan State really isn't worth it if you're OOS since their OOS tuition is so high. And you have SUNY schools on there such as Upstate, Downstate, and Buffalo but no Stony Brook? Or Case and OSU but no Pitt?
 
Sep 4, 2006
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She actually mentioned that she worked as part of a project with an inner-city hospital where she mentored youths who were HIV patients at the hospital, both regarding personal and academic issues as well as health issues. This was done on a weekly basis for 2 years I believe. Does that count as clinical experience? It seems to me that it would in that she had direct patient contact and it was through a hospital....give me your thoughts please.
You might ask her to what extent she was part of a therapeutic team and exactly what the health-related interaction consisted of (the personal and academic counseling would not be included) and the time involved in that portion. It could be that it was clinical experience.

The rest of it would be an excellent community service.