516 MCAT/ 3.8 GPA help with schools

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Aug 23, 2015
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I'm a Senior and I'll be graduating with a Biochemistry degree after 3 years with a 3.8 sGPA and a 3.8 cGPA. 516 MCAT (C/P 126, CARS 131, Bio 130, S/P 129) I have very significant history in my nuclear family of severe substance abuse, and I want to be a psychiatrist.

I have shadowed three psychiatrists (a generalist, an addictionologist, and a child psychiatrist) for a total of 160 hours. I also have 80 hours volunteering in a detox facility. I have two jobs: I'm a drug and alcohol peer educator at my university, and I am a tech (I do admissions, discharges, and psychoeducational groups, among other clerical stuff) in a detox and rehabilitation facility. I do research on mitochondria, and I'll be second author on a paper to be published in December, and possibly first author on a paper in the spring. I was the Junior class senator at my university, and was just recently reelected Senior class senator, the vice chair of the policy and finance committee for the senate, and the chair of communications projects for the administrative sexual violence prevention committee at my school. I was also the president of the MUN team at my school for a semester. After I graduate this year, I'm going to send in my apps in June while working full time at my job as a behavioral health technician.

I made a VERY preliminary school list that I would love some help with! UMiami is my alma mater and favors UM applicants, and I'm a Florida resident. I denoted 3 schools that have substance abuse programs. I think I have a lot of reach schools in here, so I'm looking for some suggestions that might be more realistic for me. Any help is appreciated!!!

1. Case Western

2. Chapel Hill

3. UF

4. USF

5. Hopkins—Sub Abuse

6. NYU—Sub Abuse

7. Wash U—Sub Abuse

8. Tulane

9. Duke

10. FSU

11. Michigan

12. Wake Forest

13. UMiami

14. Drexel

15. UCF

16. Colorado University

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Hi there,

Your list is good, but I think you need to add some more schools. Your MCAT is on the low side for Case/Hopkins/NYU/Michigan/WashU, but still within range (medians for these schools are 36-38, which is 518-521 new scale).

I would look into schools like Emory, USC-Keck, UVA, Jefferson, Boston U, Rochester, and Einstein.

I am also a tiny bit concerned about your # of volunteering hours, but given how unique it is and your other personal experiences with substance abuse and your obvious passion for it, I don't think it will be an enormous issue. If you have one thing you should work on, it is more patient contact (which can be done any number of ways, including substance abuse programs).
Boost the volunteering experience over the next year. Take care of that and you'll take care of the biggest weakness in your app.

UNC OOS is not a particularly good use of an application. You are barely above the 10th percentile of WASHU's MCAT so if you want reaches there are probably better ones. The rest of your list is fine. Apply to ALL Fl schools. Here is a rough list of other schools that might be worth consideration(note I included some you already listed I think also). Do an MSAR search on them, look into them. This is hardly some exhaustive restrictive list, rather its just to give you a ball park estimate and to get you started with something.

Case Western
Wake Forest
Medical College Wisconsin

Consider all Fl schools. Put in a few lower tiers on top of that. Pick maybe half a dozen medium tiers. Throw in about 5 reaches of your choice(try to stick with those where your MCAT is within a point or two of their median). That should add up to close to 20 schools and make a solid list.