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Advice on what to do next?

Jaggar

New Member
May 8, 2020
9
0
  1. Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
    Hi all.

    Topic is as the heading says.
    So to give some background, I'm a recent graduate of a canadian university, did a B.Sc with overall GPA of 3.23 (and for the record, my first two year averages were about 82% each, and last two years averages were about 79% each, one undergrad course a C and all others are B- or above). I've written the MCAT once and had a 510, no section below 126, and am going to write it again this July (if Covid doesn't cancel it).

    I don't have any research experience, or volunteer or work experience in a healthcare setting. I have sparse extracurriculars, with the only significant activity during my undergrad being volunteering ~130 hours with my local police (why the police? when I was first looking to volunteer somewhere, I considered my options, and every person who had volunteered at a hospital told me that it mostly consisted of helping people with directions, and I thought- I could help others in more significant ways than that- and went with the police, though I admit I should have done more personal research on healthcare volunteering positions).

    I hope to practice medicine someday in North America. I'm applying to some MD and DO schools in America with lower average matriculant GPAs and MCAT scores, and I am going to apply to Irish Medical schools. I also have no qualms about Caribbean medical schools, though I understand that they are a last resort.

    Here are some of the things going through my head:
    • I could technically (depending on how quick my references write their letters) still apply to and aim to get into the classes starting August 2020 at Caribbean Schools (June 30 deadline)
    • I can apply to and aim to get into the classes starting January 2021 at Caribbean School, and try to get some healthcare volunteering in before that date, possibly even a job as a lab assistant or at least a tutor.
    • I am currently applying to classes starting August 2021 at US MD and DO schools, and Irish and Caribbean schools. Again, could aim to obtain the same volunteering and work experience as mentioned in previous point.
    Just to point it out: any volunteering and work experience I obtain now won't show up in my applications in the above scenarios since applications are already open. The exception is at the Caribbean ones (since their August 2021 applications begin later). Also, how soon I can begin volunteering or working depends on how quickly Covid measures in my area permit so.

    Additionally, it is difficult for me to obtain a position such as Research Assistant or Associate as my bachelors prepared me with a understanding of various sciences, but not specialized in one field (eg Chemistry.) and so I don't understand the some skills involved in many research assistant positions, which is why my position would likely be a Lab assistant or so.

    And finally, I could attempt a Master's degree, though many master's degree's require research, and I'm not so research oriented. To the point, I'm not the type of person with a desire to initiate research. I'm more of a course-taking person. If someone gave me a research question, I could come up with a project and carry it out, but I can't come up with a question myself. I personally haven't applied to master's programs because when I get to the part of the application that asks "what are your research interests," I'm left blank.


    Now, to ask for the advice: which of the mentioned options would help me the most in my applications? Also, if someone would like to suggest other options, I'd be open to listen.


    And as a side note, is my situation too bad to even get into Caribbean schools? My sister who's a Nurse Practitioner says so, and it's a real rain-on-my-parade.
    Also, I hope this is the right sub-forum for this, but please let me know if it isn't and I can repost to appropriate place.

    Edit: There's also an option of taking a year to gain clinical experience, volunteering, and maybe work in a research lab, and then apply for DO schools starting in August 2022, though I'm wondering if given my GPA, MCAT, and then mentioned experience I would gain, would I then be competitive for DO schools?
     
    Last edited:
    Dec 9, 2019
    202
    671
    1. Pre-Medical
      • I could technically (depending on how quick my references write their letters) still apply to and aim to get into the August 2020 Caribbean School intakes (June 30 deadline)
      • I can apply to and aim to get into the January 2021 Caribbean School intakes, and try to get some healthcare volunteering in before that date, possibly even a job as a lab assistant or at least a tutor.
      • I am currently applying to August 2021 intakes at US MD and DO schools, and Irish and Caribbean schools. Again, could aim to obtain the same volunteering and work experience as mentioned in previous point.
      I'm sorry but I'm really confused what you mean by intake. Do you mean accepting applications or starting school?
       
      Dec 9, 2019
      202
      671
      1. Pre-Medical
        Apologies. I mean that those are the months when students start their classes. I'll edit the post to clarify that
        Ahh got it. Well I can't speak to anything about Carribean or Irish schools. I know that many advise against Carribean schools but really I am not suited to answer any questions about them.

        In terms of your third bullet point, to be part of a US MD and DO class that starts in August 2021 you would need to apply this summer. Unfortunately, without any clinic experience and a lower side of average GPA, I would say its nearly impossible that you would see an acceptance out of this cycle. Clinical experience is pretty much a pre-requisite. If I were you, I would take some time to work in a clinical job, do some consistent volunteering, and either try out research or find a leadership role in your community and then plan to apply to DO programs next summer for entry in August of 2022. I think applying to US MD/DO programs would be a lot of time and money spent on a goal just to set yourself up to fail. If you are as serious about this goal as you seem, I would say take an extra year to get your application in the best shape possible. Hate to be negative but I'm just trying to give you an honest opinion!
         
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