Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,587
78,785
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
Top schools seen to like not just research but varied interests and service. I strongly recommend getting more service, especially to others less fortunate than yourself. Get off campus and out of your comfort zone. The SDNers who have gotten into top schools and shared feedback with me have literally 100s of hours of patient contact experience. Don't be a cookie cutter...polish that app and aim high!

The "flowing doctors on slow days" might count as shadowing.

Looking for advice to round out my application going into secondaries/interviews. The advice I've gotten so far is that my research/teaching is top notch, but I need more unique volunteering to demonstrate compassion and something that makes me stand out. My whole application is on a theme of academic medicine, and that I want to be able to teach, research, and practice medicine. I just graduated undergraduate and am applying this cycle. My goal is to stay in California. I would take UCSD/UCLA/UCSF over Harvard/Yale/Hopkins any day.

cGPA/sGPA: 3.8
MCAT: 11/14 (bio)/11

Research: Research assistant in structural biochemistry for 4 years and 2nd author in a Nature subjournal. 1st author poster presentation and a senior honors thesis my last year. The honors thesis was completely my own independent project, separate from the one that I was on for the first 3 years that led to the publication. ~4,000 hours. I'm continuing it into my masters in a 5-year BS/MS program.

Clinical volunteering: 100 hours in ICU volunteering over 2 years, currently projected to do 50-100 hours more in ED this year.

Shadowing: None yet, scheduling it soon to update on secondaries/interviews. However, I did spend a significant amount of hours following doctors around in the ICU because there were slow days, so I can talk about what it's like to be a doctor.

Non-clinical volunteering: 50 hours as a tutor to low socioeconomic students in a mainly hispanic school for 2 years. Also continuing to do ~50 hours more as the year progresses.

Extracurriculars: Teaching assistant for 2 years ~2,000 hours. Head TA for last year. Helped found a science and health education/outreach organization that also serves as premed advising, currently treasurer for it. Did brief social media volunteering for a website that publishes health/science articles which eventually led to the organization I helped start.

Typical awards and honors like PBK, honors list, etc.

School list: Applying to 40+ schools, including all the UCs, most of the top tiers, and a decent number of safety/match schools like Arizona, Virginia, Miami, Tufts, etc.

Should I be talking more about my hobbies and interests in secondaries? I didn't include them on the AMCAS because it felt irrelevant. I have an extensive background in performance music and play piano, violin, guitar, and I sing, although I haven't done much performance since before college. I was wondering if it's better to include it on a "tell us more about yourself" prompt or to bring it up during interviews.
 
OP
C

CaliforniaAsian

2+ Year Member
Aug 5, 2016
35
64
Yeah don't apply to 40+ schools. Apply smart not with desperation
Haha, thanks for the advice but I've already submitted and plan on filling out the rest of the secondaries. I got advice that by casting a wide net I could potentially hold multiple acceptances and choose to go where I am offered the most financial assistance, ultimately saving more money.
 

GrapesofRath

2+ Year Member
May 5, 2015
5,320
3,803
Status
Non-Student
Haha, thanks for the advice but I've already submitted and plan on filling out the rest of the secondaries. I got advice that by casting a wide net I could potentially hold multiple acceptances and choose to go where I am offered the most financial assistance, ultimately saving more money.
I can pretty much guarantee if you are applying to over 20-25+ schools with your stats you are including schools that are bad choices for you
 
OP
C

CaliforniaAsian

2+ Year Member
Aug 5, 2016
35
64
Top schools seen to like not just research but varied interests and service. I strongly recommend getting more service, especially to others less fortunate than yourself. Get off campus and out of your comfort zone. The SDNers who have gotten into top schools and shared feedback with me have literally 100s of hours of patient contact experience. Don't be a cookie cutter...polish that app and aim high!

The "flowing doctors on slow days" might count as shadowing.
Thanks Goro. So aside from the need to have more service/volunteering, which I expected, is there anything else that seems to be lacking from my application?
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,587
78,785
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
You look pretty golden. I don't think that you need to apply to 40+ schools...you'll burn yourself out. You'll be fine with 20-30
 
OP
C

CaliforniaAsian

2+ Year Member
Aug 5, 2016
35
64
You look pretty golden. I don't think that you need to apply to 40+ schools...you'll burn yourself out. You'll be fine with 20-30
Just in case...

Baylor
Boston
Case Western
Columbia
Drexel
Duke
Emory
Dartmouth
George Washington
Harvard
Mt. Sinai
Johns Hopkins
Mayo (not Arizona)
Northwestern
Penn State
UPenn
Thomas Jefferson
Stanford
U of Miami
Tufts
UArizona Phoenix
UArizona Tucson
USC
UCLA
UCSD
UCSF
UCD
UCI
UCR - family here
UChicago
UColorado
UIllinois
UMichigan
UMissouri
UNC
UVirginia
UWashington
UWisconsin - I have family here
Vanderbilt
Brown - I am aware of their mission statement
WashU
Cornell
Yale
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,587
78,785
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
Delete those in red

Baylor only 0.6% of class is from outside TX
Boston
Case Western
Columbia
Drexel-resource protection. if you're going to school in Philly, it will probably be U Penn.
Duke
Emory
Dartmouth
George Washington They get a gazzilion apps. Try Hofstra or Einstein instead
Harvard
Mt. Sinai (or NYU)
Johns Hopkins
Mayo (not Arizona)
Northwestern
Penn State-see Drexel, plus I can't recommend them as thier parent body prtected a child molester for > 25 years.
UPenn
Thomas Jefferson (or Temple)
Stanford
U of Miami
Tufts Have you seen their tuition? Try U VM
UArizona Phoenix
UArizona Tucson
USC
UCLA
UCSD
UCSF
UCD
UCI
UCR - family here Apply only if you're from the Inland Empire
UChicago
UColorado
UIllinois (SUNY SB might yield better odds, or OH State)
UMichigan
UMissouri: try U IA insead. U MO doesn't like OOS
UNC- likes OOS even less

UVirginia
UWashington-You're not from a WWAMI state
UWisconsin - I have family here (family ties don't mean anything. But your stats do, so I'm OK with this.)
Vanderbilt
Brown - I am aware of their mission statement: doesn't matter...they like their own.
WashU
Cornell
Yale