A peculiar situation- admissions inquiry

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Nov 22, 2008
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I have searched everywhere for answers to this question, but no forum or medical school website seems to have the answer.

My situation:

I have two bachelor's degrees.
The first (age 18-21): B.A. in psychology (cgpa 3.5)
The second (age 22-26): B.Sc in chemistry (cgpa: 4.0)
Mcat score: 37

As far as volunteer experience goes, I have shadowed two doctors, one at a hospital and one at a clinic for one year each. I've also volunteered at a homeless shelter, an orphanage and a helpline (over two years for each vocation). I also have two years of research experience.

I am currently 26 and going to apply for medical school with these stats. My question is twofold. One, what are my chances for top (Harvard, Columbia, John Hopkins, etc.) and bottom medical schools? And two, how will the two degrees be looked at. That is, will they be averaged, will more weight be given to the second, more recent degree, or is not known/predictable?

I would really appreciate any advise offered. Even sources that I could follow up on would be greatly appreciated.


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Mar 23, 2008
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what are my chances for top (Harvard, Columbia, John Hopkins, etc.)...
That's going to depend on just how much shadowing (which does not count as volunteering unless you were working with the hospital in some official capacity that made it count) you've done. You might be lacking clinical experience, but your numbers and everything else are great.

...and bottom medical schools
See above.

And two, how will the two degrees be looked at.
Medical schools will look at your overall GPA and your science GPA. That is, they'll calculate your GPA using every single college course you've taken. They'll do the same for your physics, chemistry, biology, and math courses. Since you didn't do one of the notoriously difficult majors like engineering, physics, or math, schools probably won't consider your degrees beyond noting that you have them. Your upward GPA trend will be looked upon favorably.


Duke of minimal vowels
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Sep 13, 2008
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You definitely are in good shape, but you need more volunteering. The sooner the better, because you don't want to look like you did it last minute because of the fact that you needed some more hours. Better to transition it from your previous volunteering into this, and to continue until you are accepted somewhere.


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Apr 4, 2007
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Assuming you graduated with the same semester hours for each of your degrees, your cGPA will be about 3.75. All post-high school grades are essentially averaged together by AMCAS. Your BCPM GPA will be much higher, since your 4.0 probably encompasses most of the included classes. There is an AMCAS GPA calculator somewhere on this website if you care to search for it. With the MCAT of 37, you will be in good shape for consideration at many of the most-selective schools, considering you have two years of research experience. Your volunteerism is quite adequate. Depending on what you did during your shadowing time, your clinical experience may or may not be sufficient. You are expected to have a certain amount of face-to-face interaction with sick people. If your shadowing consisted of sitting in a chair and watching, it is not sufficient. If your shadowing consisted of assisting the doctor, performing helpful tasks that assisted in the patient's care, and maybe speaking to the patients about something that impacted their care, then you're probably fine. Also, some types of helplines would qualify as "patient interaction", even though it was not really face-to-face.

I agree that schools won't care what you got your degrees in.