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Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by premed21, Jan 5, 2009.
Hi. I am in almost the exact same boat as you. I am a CA resident want to try for CA schools. I got a 3.62 and a 3.7 GPA and I was told that with a 30 I probably got a 50/50 chance and with a 35+ I got a very good chance. So since your GPA is better than mine take it how you will.
I think for how many docs you should shadow it couldnt hurt to shadow as many as possible. But if you find a field that you really enjoy spend more time there. Ive shadowed only 3 docs but Ive been working with one of them for about 9 months now.
Where do you go to school now? What topic are you reseraching?
Thanks for the advice Jackson. I go to a CSU and my research is in biochemistry. I really need to do something in leadership to put as an EC.
Im a biochemistry major at occidental college. For leadership you try to start a club on campus. I am running a team for Relay for Life this year too. There's a lot of easy stuff that you find
Also for your research make sure you know the background info. Why you are doing it? Prinicples behind it, etc. Interviewers may ask you about it.
OP, you should hit a 35 MCAT for a real shot at California. It has to be balanced. California has a crap ton of really good applicants, but not enough med school seats. So they can really cherry pick who they want. Maximize your MCAT to stand out. This comes from experiences of myself and many friends through 3 application cycles. Unless you are a URM, it is VERY competitive.
i want to hear the answer to that one too.
Originally Posted by premed21
Volunteer: ~250 hrs in ICU and ER of hospital
Shadowing: Have not done yet (how many doctors should I shadow?)
Typical is 2-3 docs at 8-40 hours each, depending on your interest, available time, and how well the physician tolerates your presence.
Anybody know the answer to this? To me, 3.70 looks so much better than 3.69 but does it really matter in the eyes of adcoms?
GPA: your AMCAS GPAs will most likely be slightly different than whatever your school reports, but it's hard to believe that a 3.69 would like any different than a 3.70. Sure you may get some sort of artificial feeling that a 3.70 just LOOKS higher than 3.69, but adcoms aren't stupid.
MCAT: Yeah, sorry to say but to be competitive in california you NEED to have a 35+. It's absolutely terrible, I agree with you, but that's the reality. I think you can squeek by with a 30+ if you have some solid ECs (pubs, epic leadership not some bull**** club you started, something very unique), but don't count on that one.
Quoted for truth.
As for the 3 cycles, I didn't mean that I went through 3 cycles. I applied and got into med school in one cycle. But I'm referring to friends who applied in 2006, myself in 2007, and friends who are applying now in 2008. All California natives. The only ones successful in getting into CA schools had MCAT scores of 35+ or are URM. I myself had a 33 with a 3.8, got secondaries for every California school but did not get any interviews at all. I'm not trying to burst your bubble or anything, I'm only being real. Best of luck.
Premed21. Try looking into tutoring programs at your school or possibly seting one up yourself. At my college we have a couple, but the tutors seem to run everything, meeting times, study groups, etc. That might be considered leasdership.
For Relay for Life see if your school is holding an event. My school is having theirs in April. If they are, the whole thing is online. You create your own team and you can send emails to those you want to join. Then fundraising is done in a similar fashion. I also play football and I just got the whole team to join. But its tough getting involved with only one semester left.
But I'll try to think of some other stuff for ya
Applied to a total of 22 schools, including CA schools. I'm at the Medical College of Wisconsin and couldn't be happier. Although in-state tuition would have been nice.
Yeah, it is really tough in CA, too many qualified people stats-wise. My friends that applied were all Indian or Chinese, and perhaps they are way too overrepresented in the state premed population, because my buddy, who is Chinese got a 38 MCAT and still got no California love (but he is on his way to UT-Southwestern). Another girl, Indian, got a 36, but she did really well in the cycle. If I remember correctly, she got into USC and UCSD. It is rough.
I thought you were a chemistry major? Dork.
You know Im a kines at heart though
You are right, if you are URM....all you need is like a 23 and you can get in to UCSF easy. You dont even need to fill out the secondary.
Sense sarcasm? Maybe? I didn't mean that at all. You still have to be an above average applicant, but not ridiculously crazy like other applicants. My really good friend, super-smart, 3.8 GPA outta Berkeley coupled with 32 MCAT just got into UCSF. He is a URM. So 23, no.
Premed 21, where do you go to school right now?
Cali is rough. Do as well as you can on the MCAT but realistically a 35 on the MCAT won't serve you as well in Cali as impressive and interesting ECs will.
You need something that stands out. Now it could be a 45 on the MCAT but who can count on that? It could be a passion that shows through in your extra curriculars, it could be passion for an under represented minority group or underserved community. It could be a serious interest in research. As long as it makes you a little different so you can stand out.
People say Cali schools are especially a crap shoot but I don't necessarily agree. Its just they're not looking for what premeds think they're looking for. For some reason there is this very common misconception that there is a neat and tidy checklist to get into medical school (good GPA, good MCAT, some volunteering, some clinical experience, some research). But the fact of the matter is that if thats all you do then you won't stand out and you will have a hard time at a lot of schools - especially the highly competitive California schools.
Make yourself different and you'll do well. But follow some imaginary premed checklist and you'll be pretty disappointed.
While applying, I researched some schools and heard from SDN and word of mouth from lots of out of state schools. MCW takes a lot of OOS applicants... a significant number of my classmates are from California as well. Also researched into the school and found that doing medical research is guarenteed for anyone interested. Then found out it is ranked in the top 5 for anesthesiology, which is something I'm very interested in. And finally, I think the Children's Hospital here is in the top 3 in the country, just another plus. If your interested in knowing anymore about the school PM me and I'll let you know. Take care.
Heed her advice. It is true, everyone in CA is very qualified in terms of stats, so you either have to have super ridiculous stats or something that really makes you stand out. There are so many premeds that they can hand pick interesting folks. In other states having rocking stats is enough because the competition is less fierce. Obviously the hard part is doing something that will make you unique.
So does that mean us Cali kids have a better chance at out-of-state private schools than California schools? Is that why everyone tells us to apply broadly?
Definitely true. Most of the people who I've seen have to reapply only applied to Cali schools which killed them.
I don't think you need a 35 to get into a California school, nor do I think a 35 guarantees you a spot in California either. I have heard plenty of stories going either way. What I have really noticed is California schools love applicants with a humanitarian background or work done in rural or under-served populations (especially Davis/LA). Each school is different. They also like spanish speakers, because that is a huge advantage especially in southern california where there exists a large hispanic population. Trying studying abroad or doing stuff that makes you different and unique. And don't do it just to get into a california school, but do it for the experience......Strong MCATs/GPA help...but medical schools (especially California) with a large pool of strong applicants are good at weeding out the smart kids (high MCAT/high gpa) from the ones who actually have a shown dedication and interest in the field. With your GPA, I think a 32-33 would be good.
Apply early and write your secondaries well is another good tip. Service to Hispanic populations is a big plus at most schools too.
Service to Hispanic populations? Can you give some examples of this? I feel like the Hispanic population is so great in southern California already that the volunteer service I do already incorporates this. Are you referring to like doing community service in specific areas which are known to have a greater Hispanic population?