Dec 13, 2010
33
0
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Hey guys,
I'm new to SDN so forgive me if I haven't posted this in the correct area or whatnot. I am currently applying to medical school and so far, it doesn't look too good. Here's my stats/activities:
-Double major in Biology and Psychology, minor in Spanish
-cGPA: 3.6
-sGPA: 3.43
-MCAT: 28P; VR-10, BS-10, PS-8 (ouch)
-Hospital Volunteer for 2 years in various departments (although I'd like to think they care more about what you got out of it rather than how long you did it)
-Physician Shadowing since August 2008
-Environmental Volunteer through a student organization since August 2006
-Research Assistant since June 2007
-Have been a member of a student theater group since August 2006, I have actually overseen the annual charity show for 2 years now and have been elected to the executive board
-Member of psychology honor society
-Tutor for biology, math, physics, chemistry, spanish, and psychology since October 2008; teaching assistant for the Biology Department in Spring 2010
-Have been on the Dean's List at our school for the past seven semesters (and hoping to be on it this semester); upward trend in both science and overall grades after my first semester of my sophomore year (that semester my grandma passed away and my mom got really sick so I spent a lot of my time taking care of her, its also the main contributor to my poor science GPA)

Other than that, I haven't really done much outside of hobbies such as piano playing, reading, yoga, etc. I know that its not a diverse set of activities, but I was really involved in everything I did so I hope that adcoms will appreciate the consistency...

As far as the MCAT goes, I was actually surprised- physics and general chemistry are my best subjects, the fact that I did this bad really worries me, although I know that I didn't have time to check that section over. For this cycle, would re-taking the mcat be an option? I don't know if schools would accept the January score as an update and by the time the scores are released, most schools will probably have filled their classes. Does anyone have any other suggestions for this cycle? I would say for the next admissions cycle as well, but I would not have any significant changes to my application at that point (except for perhaps GPA and MCAT).

If it helps, I'm a NY resident and have applied to the SUNY schools, NYMED, Albany Medical, Drexel, Penn State, Temple, Hofstra, GWU, and University of Illinois-Chicago. I have been complete at most of these places since the middle of September and I am still under review. I know with these statistics that I wasn't going to get invited to an interview right away, but is three months a normal time to wait? I've just got this overwhelming sense of doom :/

Anyways, thanks for any input, I really appreciate it! And sorry for such a long post, but I figured that if you guys were going to give advice, you would probably want as much detail as possible.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
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Camp SDN: The Place for Summer Fun
I think your ECs are very nice. No worries there, at least. They are actually good enough to have some trumping power over the lower stats.

Your cGPA is near the mean for those accepted, but your BCPM GPA is on the low side. If by any chance you got great science/math grades this semester, by all means include them in your fall update letter hoping to sway adcomms positively. I hope you'll take more science next semester.

As far as the MCAT goes, while DO schools tend to consider the January MCAT, all but one MD school (Howard) won't consider it, at least officially. But I recall a post where an applicant called a number of his schools and found that two more of them would consider a January retake though it wasn't their official policy.

It's way too early to give up hope on your application. UIC gave out interviews through May a few years ago as I recall (and not for a waitlist spot either). Adcomms tend to cherry pick the shiniest applications first. There's still hope they'll like yours, but it may still be lower in the pile.
 
OP
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Dec 13, 2010
33
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Status
Thank you very much for your advice and encouragement catalystik! I'm not giving up per se, its more so that I'm trying not to get my hopes up for this cycle. As far as science classes go, I am taking a research class next semester under the bio department that is two credits. However, most of the biology courses that are offered next semester are courses that I have already taken or do not fit into my schedule (my other classes are requirements for my psychology major and spanish minor that I must complete). Do you think that this would be enough? There are a few courses that I can take such as Marine Biology. Would you suggest taking that class? The classes within the biology department that I have not taken are more focused on ecological and behavioral biology. I would take chemistry classes, but many of them do not fit into my schedule or have prerequisite chemistry classes that I have not completed or will be able to complete. Also, do you think I have a realistic shot at getting into the schools I have applied to? I'm sorry to badger you with so many questions but I really appreciate your advice and feedback!
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
32,359
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Camp SDN: The Place for Summer Fun
1) There are a few courses that I can take such as Marine Biology. Would you suggest taking that class?

2) Also, do you think I have a realistic shot at getting into the schools I have applied to?
1) If it's a guaranteed A, you could consider it. What about Astronomy or Statistics? Did you take any science this semester, and if so what grades did you earn?

2) With a 3.6/28, stats tables available through AMCAS suggest (with some extrapolation) that you have a ~32ish-50% chance of a successful application to an MD school.
 
OP
G
Dec 13, 2010
33
0
Status
Hello Catalystik,
Sorry for taking so long to respond back, its finals week at my school. I did take a chemistry course and I just found out that I got an A. However, I also already sent an update letter to some of my schools. Should I send the schools an official transcript once I get my grades for this semester in? Also, I have already taken statistics but I did not realize that schools would accept Astronomy as part of the science GPA. Is this true for most schools? Once again, thank you so much!
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
32,359
11,961
Camp SDN: The Place for Summer Fun
An official transcript isn´t necessary. You can just inform them of the classes and grades earned in an email.

AMCAS considers Astronomy a science course included in the BCPM, so the grade earned will be included in that designation for all AMCAS schools you apply to. I´d post hte link for what is included in the BCPM but I am away from my usual reference materials this week. Check the sticky above as it might be there.
 

misslala

10+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2008
51
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Are research units counted towards you science GPA? on my transcript it says directed research in medicine, but i don't know if it will count.

Also,does LOR from a lab PI counts as the LOR from science or non-science professor?

Thanks
 

dragon529

MS-III
10+ Year Member
Jul 25, 2007
715
2
Los Angeles, CA
Status
Medical Student
1. Research counts for science gpa only if it's listed under Biology, Physics, Chemistry or Math department. In your case, I doubt it'll be science gpa.

2. LOR from lab PI usually counts as science. I'm assuming that lab is bench work lab or clinical lab.

Are research units counted towards you science GPA? on my transcript it says directed research in medicine, but i don't know if it will count.

Also,does LOR from a lab PI counts as the LOR from science or non-science professor?

Thanks
 
OP
G
Dec 13, 2010
33
0
Status
Hope that everyone had a good holiday season!

misslala- good luck with your application!

dragon529- congratulations on your acceptance(s) :)

Catalystik- Thank you so much for your help and encouragement, I am pretty sure that without you I would be suffering from extreme anxiety. I hate to bother you with so many questions, but I wanted to ask you about updates. I contacted most of my schools before the holidays and sent them my unofficial transcript and grades for my chemistry class through email. I also sent my top choice, which is a local school, a letter about why I want to attend their school and why I want to continue to work in the area after receiving my education. Should I send an update letter to my other schools? And if so, what should I include (other than what I have done this past fall semester and what I am planning to do in the spring semester)? Will sending my schools an update letter increase my chance of getting an interview? Also, I am not taking the MCAT again for this cycle. Is this going to severely hurt my chances at my schools? Once again, I am so sorry to bombard you with questions. Thank you so much for your help!
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
32,359
11,961
Camp SDN: The Place for Summer Fun
1) Should I send an update letter to my other schools? And if so, what should I include (other than what I have done this past fall semester and what I am planning to do in the spring semester)?

2) Will sending my schools an update letter increase my chance of getting an interview?

3) Also, I am not taking the MCAT again for this cycle. Is this going to severely hurt my chances at my schools?
1) YES! Include fall grades that reflect well on you, augmentations of pertinent activities, anything new that's intersting, but not planned activites, only what you've already done. Also try to come up with a reason why each school is a good match for you and a statement that you look forward to being offered an interview invitation.

2) It helps at some schools, but not at others. Some schools won't even accept supplemental materials.

3) No, it won't make a difference for this cycle, since there's only one MD school that (officially) will even look at a January score.
 
OP
G
Dec 13, 2010
33
0
Status
Thank you very much catalystik, i've done what you said and have sent most of them out, so now all i can really do is wait at this point.