Hi, this is my first post but I have been reading this forum for quite some time. I am currently a graduate student in the chem. I will defend my PhD thesis in fall of 2007 or the spring of 2008. I am applying for fall of 2008. My undergrad GPA is 3.3 (Biochem), and my science is about the same. My grad GPA is 3.5 (Chem). I'm taking the MCAT in August (because it's the last paper one). I just decided to apply to medical schools in late April and have been studying since then with Kaplan. I feel as though I will get somewhere in the low-30s (worst-case). I started volunteering at the hospital and in an AIDS clinic at the end of May (3 hrs/week each). I am going to Africa to do a premed/volunteer program for 3 weeks in the fall. I was told by some family members that are doctors that I have shown a commitment to research, but none to medicine, so I HAVE to do all these things (they are really fun so I love it). I have lined up a few shadowing opportunities (7 doctors to shadow in the next year) through my family. I am worried because this is all a very recent development. When I apply, all my activities will only be for about year. In addition, my GPA is pretty low. I'm retaking Physics 1 because I got a C and taking Physics 2 for the first time next year, but those won't significantly affect my GPA. My questions: What more can I do to beef up my application? If I get a 30-32, should I retake the MCAT? How many publications should I have? (The average for our lab is five (first-author). Should I apply to med-school that focuses more on research? Will that give me a better chance? Extras: AA, 24 Thanks for reading this. I really would appreciate any input (positive and negative-please).