StudyRunSleep

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i am new, i apologize if i am posting in the wrong forums or if this sort of question has been asked before. But i love these forums, great advice and very helpful pre-med students. Thankyou!!

my Story: the problem is that i go to a semi decent college and i recently decided i wanted to go to medical school. But...i haven't done any volunteer work or have any extracurricular activities, except a few dean's list awards (3.4 GPA), i will be a senior next year. I have been studying for the MCAT this summer, and i am convinced that i can score a 30 or above on the MCAT. I also have 3 more semesters to go, have to stay an extra semester since i changed my major...maybe i will end up with a 3.5 and a 30 on MCAT and a semester of research + 100 hrs of volunteering + a few running competitions (0 wins, atleast i try).

Well my questions is that if i take a year off and do volunteer work + research, will it help me get into a better medical school? (i live in a very competitive state when it comes to medical schools)

I am afraid that the admission committee will look at my application and it will raise a red flag since i have pretty no activites/vounteering during my college years.

Any advice would be helpful, i am totally freaking out! Thank you.
 

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StudyRunSleep said:
i am new, i apologize if i am posting in the wrong forums or if this sort of question has been asked before. But i love these forums, great advice and very helpful pre-med students. Thankyou!!

my Story: the problem is that i go to a semi decent college and i recently decided i wanted to go to medical school. But...i haven't done any volunteer work or have any extracurricular activities, except a few dean's list awards (3.4 GPA), i will be a senior next year. I have been studying for the MCAT this summer, and i am convinced that i can score a 30 or above on the MCAT. I also have 3 more semesters to go, have to stay an extra semester since i changed my major...maybe i will end up with a 3.5 and a 30 on MCAT and a semester of research + 100 hrs of volunteering + a few running competitions (0 wins, atleast i try).

Well my questions is that if i take a year off and do volunteer work + research, will it help me get into a better medical school? (i live in a very competitive state when it comes to medical schools)

I am afraid that the admission committee will look at my application and it will raise a red flag since i have pretty no activites/vounteering during my college years.

Any advice would be helpful, i am totally freaking out! Thank you.
you have 3 more semesters... that's plenty of time. 3.5 and a 30 will get you in somewhere MD
 

QofQuimica

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It sounds like a year off might be helpful for you, but if you decide to go that route, make sure you have something significant planned. I think that doing something like Teach for America or Americorps or some other kind of volunteer job is a great way to spend your time off. You also need to make sure to get some clinical experience in. This is very important; most med schools care a great deal about this. Best of :luck: to you, and I'm going to move this thread to pre-allo. That's a more appropriate forum for your question, and you'll get more responses there. :)
 
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braluk

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QofQuimica said:
It sounds like a year off might be helpful for you, but if you decide to go that route, make sure you have something significant planned. I think that doing something like Teach for America or Americorps or some other kind of volunteer job is a great way to spend your time off. You also need to make sure to get some clinical experience in. This is very important; most med schools care a great deal about this. Best of :luck: to you, and I'm going to move this thread to pre-allo. That's a more appropriate forum for your question, and you'll get more responses there. :)
Q!!! MAN its been a while since ive seen you post. what have you been up to and what has been taking you away from us ;)
 

joanofarc0907

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I'd say take a year off and show the Adcoms that you really want to be a doctor and have the experiences to prove that you will stay interested. Do the volunteering, especially clinical, and do the research. It can only help you get into a better (or any) school.
 
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StudyRunSleep

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thanx for the advice! i will probably do something worthy to help my appl the year off. but now i have to be prepared for tantrums from my family.
 

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StudyRunSleep said:
I have been studying for the MCAT this summer, and i am convinced that i can score a 30 or above on the MCAT.
This is one of my pet peaves on SDN. Hanging around on here, you'd think a 30+ is a given. But you don't have an MCAT score until you take it. Thus you cannot go around saying you are convinced of a "30 or above" until you manage that. The average of all MCAT takers is way below that. The average of all applicants is lower than that. The average of allo matriculants is around that. So most people really don't get 30 or above. Save the 30 or above talk until you actually manage it. :rolleyes: (Note: even if practice tests show a decent score, lots of people do worse under the actual stress of the test, and most folks tend to be within 3 points above OR BELOW their average (not best) practice test.)

That being said, there is no penalty for taking more time if you need it, and if you use the time to make yourself a better applicant, it can be helpful. The goal is to line your ducks up in a row before you pull the trigger. If you don't have enough in the EC category, then like any other prereq, you need to remedy that before applying. Good luck.
 

QofQuimica

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braluk said:
Q!!! MAN its been a while since ive seen you post. what have you been up to and what has been taking you away from us ;)
I'm already at med school doing summer research. Unfortunately, this cuts into my SDN time. ;) I still check the MCAT forum daily, but you're probably not hanging out in there much. :)
 

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It sounds like you are well on your way for med school. Having no volunteering/research in college is not a 'red flag'. It merely means you didnt' decide until late to do medicine. Start volunteering and research and other ECs NOW. Maintain good standing on your overall GPA and science GPA. Aim for a 30. You say you live in a competitive state for med school. This means you may be borderline still. But you are not out of the running by any means. I would wait until I have some ECs under my belt and a 30 minimal on the MCAT before applying. ECs aren't as important as the stats, so make sure your numbers. Dont' sacrifice your numbers for ECs. I did that and I think my app suffered as a result. Also, wait until your MCAT score comes in before talking about getting into a 'better' med school. Your GPA is borderline for med school in general. Your first aim is to qualify for *a* med school somewhere.
 

chewsnuffles

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Law2Doc said:
This is one of my pet peaves on SDN. Hanging around on here, you'd think a 30+ is a given. But you don't have an MCAT score until you take it. Thus you cannot go around saying you are convinced of a "30 or above" until you manage that. The average of all MCAT takers is way below that. The average of all applicants is lower than that. The average of allo matriculants is around that. So most people really don't get 30 or above. Save the 30 or above talk until you actually manage it. :rolleyes: (Note: even if practice tests show a decent score, lots of people do worse under the actual stress of the test, and most folks tend to be within 3 points above OR BELOW their average (not best) practice test.)

That being said, there is no penalty for taking more time if you need it, and if you use the time to make yourself a better applicant, it can be helpful. The goal is to line your ducks up in a row before you pull the trigger. If you don't have enough in the EC category, then like any other prereq, you need to remedy that before applying. Good luck.
I'm sorry but I think we'll have to agree to disagree. First, I AGREE that there are some people who go spouting off that they will get a 30 who havn't even looked at the MCAT yet, and just think they are smart. Probably won't even pass 27...
BUT, lets look at the MCAT scores critically. If you were a smart High School kid (got 1400+ SAT) did well in verbal, THERE IS A HUGE coorolation between your verbal score and your MCAT VR score. Nothing is a given, but it is the only thing I think that has been shown to relate to your MCAT score. Now second, if you've taken some hard science corses, you're pretty well prepped for the PS and BS sections, and can probably manage 10's. A 30 for a great test taker isn't that hard if they have the prep, BECAUSE they are a great test taker, and the MCAT is just a test. I think "choking" on the real thing is what dooms people, of course I am welcome to other opinions. But, I know that "choking" is something that can be overcome with practice, and people who in undergrad have to take long tests (example, my p-chem tests always went 3 hrs +, had to take em during the lab section) are pretty well prepped for it.
Doesn't mean that you have to like people who assume 30+, but I don't think it is rediculous to say something like that...
 

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chewsnuffles said:
I'm sorry but I think we'll have to agree to disagree. First, I AGREE that there are some people who go spouting off that they will get a 30 who havn't even looked at the MCAT yet, and just think they are smart. Probably won't even pass 27...
BUT, lets look at the MCAT scores critically. If you were a smart High School kid (got 1400+ SAT) did well in verbal, THERE IS A HUGE coorolation between your verbal score and your MCAT VR score. Nothing is a given, but it is the only thing I think that has been shown to relate to your MCAT score. Now second, if you've taken some hard science corses, you're pretty well prepped for the PS and BS sections, and can probably manage 10's. A 30 for a great test taker isn't that hard if they have the prep, BECAUSE they are a great test taker, and the MCAT is just a test. I think "choking" on the real thing is what dooms people, of course I am welcome to other opinions. But, I know that "choking" is something that can be overcome with practice, and people who in undergrad have to take long tests (example, my p-chem tests always went 3 hrs +, had to take em during the lab section) are pretty well prepped for it.
Doesn't mean that you have to like people who assume 30+, but I don't think it is rediculous to say something like that...
By the numbers, my friend, most people don't break thirty. SDN is totally littered with stories of people SURE they were going to break thirty and then did not, for whatever reason. I think that the point is for the OP to not count his chickens (or his MCAT score) before it hatches (is reported on Thx.)

OP:

EC's--yeah. Do something clinical, once or twice a week for a few hours. A clinic. A hospital. Go to counseling and career services at school and they should hook you up.

MCAT--in '07 they are offering a LOT more MCAT administrations. Don't take it early just to be early. Take it when you're ready--doesn't mean you have to hop on January just because you want to be first or whatever. June is when AMCAS opens. I bet you could take it anytime before then and be FINE if you're applying in '07 for '08. Take it once and do it up, if you can.

Good luck to you. Taking a year off is not a tragedy. Work. Make some $. Do some travelling. College is a good time in your life, but post-college is awesome too. The ball's in your court. Go for it!
 
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StudyRunSleep

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i wasn't trying to be cocky or anything like that, I been studying a lot and scoring high on practice exams, that's why i am convinced i can get a 30. but i will never underestimate the MCAT.

Thanx for being honest, you are all right all. i do realize overconfidence could hurt me.
 
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StudyRunSleep

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everyone seems to encourage taking a year, and i will do that. btw, i have set up 2 volunteer opportunites (research + patient care) and i will also be doing research at my school, so my ECs are set up for now.

1 more question:
any ideas about deferring the loans if i take a year off, like any suggestions on where i can work and still get a deferrment?

i am not willing to spend 2 years doing something like teach for america, its too long, and if i join peace corps like americorps, the pay isn't that great, i don't mind doing it but i rather do something more rewarding.

is there anything better like research or something clinical which offers deferrment? or is there any other way that i can defer my loans?
 

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StudyRunSleep said:
any ideas about deferring the loans if i take a year off, like any suggestions on where i can work and still get a deferrment?
There are different types of deferment. A deferment means there are no payments required on your student loan during an approved period. For subsidized Stafford Loans, there is no interest that accrues during a deferment period. There is no pre-payment penalty, however, at any time. For Federal Stafford/Direct Loans made after July 1, 1993, there are three types of deferments:

In-school Deferment - As long as the student borrower is enrolled at least half-time (as defined by the school, normally six units for undergraduates and 4 units for graduate students), no interest accrues and no payments are required until after a six-month grace period after the student ceases to be enrolled at least half-time. An in-school deferment form completed by your school's registrar staff may be required to verify your enrollment unless your school is a participant in the National Clearinghouse where enrollment data is electronically transmitted to this agency who then notifies lenders, loan servicers, and guaranty agencies.

Unemployed Deferment - Student borrowers may be eligible for an unemployment deferment for up to three years after leaving school. A special deferment form will be required each year.

Economic Hardship Deferment - If the student borrower is not eligible for one of the above two deferments, he or she may be eligible for this deferment. A borrower can not have earnings beyond the low standard of living as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
 

sentrosi

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That 100 hours of volunteering. Is it medically related?

Either way, you still have time to get some ECs. You don't need to have a billion ECs to get looked at. I think they would prefer you to do a few ECs and be dedicated to them...and better if the EC you dedicate to is medically related.
 
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