Am I looking okay for this cycle?/Putting things on my app that I will be doing this summer.

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TheBoneDoctah

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Hi, I just wanted to ask if I would look like I could be competitive this cycle. I am taking MCAT 5/1/21 so I know you can't give me super helpful advice without that but I'm just wondering about the rest of my app.

Junior graduating May 2022. White, male.
State of residency: MN, not sure if I'm supposed to put my college but it has a medical school so that narrows it down!
Family in Medicine: Sister is a Nurse at Mayo???
GPA: 3.7 Trend(3.2-3.5-3.9-4.0-3.9)
Clinical experience: 1010 hours as a CNA in a facility with memory care, long-term care, and a rapid recovery unit. I floated everywhere and worked every shift (AM, PM, NOC).
Non-clinical Volunteering experience: 1. ~100 hours (Usher at a church, seating people to follow Covid-19 guidelines, as well as disinfecting the church afterwards (pews, bathroom etc..)). Have done things like packing food with Feed My Starving Children, as well as spending a Saturday cleaning up campus through a church program. I am still doing this and plan to till I graduate.
2. ~ 80 hours, Volunteer group leader/tutor at an after-school program in a rougher part of a major city. Spend 2.5-5 hours a week volunteering here. It is with a primarily minority population (Arabic, African-american, somalian). We provide food not only for the children but the families as well, as well as books and other programs). Ages 5-13. I will be doing this all summer and till I graduate. Can get a good LOR out of this I think, not sure how to spin it as working with underserved populations without seeming weird though?
Clinical volunteering: None, could potentially get a small amount in the next year but not before applying this cycle.
Research: None at the moment but this week a professor asked me if I would like to work with him through UROP(undergrad research opportunities program). I am writing a proposal right now and have been told it should be good. This would start in May and go through December. The program only allows a committal of 120 hours but this professor has published work similar to this and already has 3 publications this year so that could be a possibility? I would be presenting this work at a symposium as well. Also planning to do research with another professor or through the hospital this summer as a full-time job. Not sure how including research on my application would work? Hoping to but it would have only recently started?
Shadowing: 24 hours in the ER from senior year of high school. Have doctors now who would let me but their hospitals don't allow it. One primary care doc who runs his own clinic said I could shadow once a week on procedure days if I'd like. Trying to make it work with my schedule and get 20-30 hours by the time apps open up.
Other things: Minnesota student association At-Large representative, and on the Health&Wellness committee through that. One of two undergraduate students on a Policy review committee with professors from my college that meets once a month to discuss major requirements/diversity in classes. Eagle Scout. Literacy tutor freshman year at the same place I now volunteer at above. Human physiology TA (this class has 4 professors, they teach this course as well as courses in the medical school curriculum at my college.) Hoping to get a LOR from the course director but not sure how good it would be. Last LOR would be from a leadership/humanities course I took that talked a lot about diversity/racism etc...


Obviously, I know this could change but I am interested in Emergency medicine and Anesthesia. I would be okay with a DO if those are attainable specialties as a DO. I Am trying to decide if I should apply to DO this cycle or only MD. Some docs have made it seem like MD would give me the best chance of matching into those. Please let me know what ya'll think I will obviously update in a few months with MCAT.
Your chances are going to hinge on the MCAT. Your GPA and ECs are good. I am not sure if I would start research at this time (unless you were really interested in it) as you aren't gonna have enough time to get anything meaningful really done. Plus, research isn't that big of a deal for medical school admissions. Personally, I would use your time to continue doing your non-clinical volunteering helping people less fortunate than yourself and then KILL your MCAT. If you do that, you will have a good shot if you apply smart.

Although it really doesn't matter what you wanna specialize in at this time, yes you can easily do anesthesia as a DO. We had a DO match into Hopkins anesthesia and he didn't have any connections, etc. Anesthesia is very DO friendly and there are a ton of matches every year.
 

TheBoneDoctah

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Thanks for the response, I guess I just hear so many different opinions about research and if it is needed. I've noticed SDN users seem to push it less while the premed community on reddit makes it sound like your SOL without it. I figured getting some this summer may be helpful in the future if the cycle doesn't go as I hope it will. I realize it is soooooo early to be thinking about specialties but I just know I have a decent idea about what I may want to do and want to make sure I don't screw myself over... This may be more of a question for Goro but is there a consensus "best DO schools", or ones that are more known for having students match in more competitive residencies?

The "best" DO schools are the ones that have solid rotations and have been around the longest. Where and what you match into has more to do with YOU and not the school.
 
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