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App review / when to apply

alw44

New Member
Apr 6, 2020
6
2
1
  1. Pre-Medical
Hi all. I appreciate any and all thoughts you have about my situation. I'm a first generation college student and don't have anyone able to provide guidance (only a husband that fully supports me and tells me to do what I feel is best). Here goes:

Background

First generation college student
White, female, 27, married with 2 kids
I'll be writing a disadvantaged essay

Undergraduate School
B.S. in forensic science 2014
GPA 3.4 & sGPA 3.06
Slight upward trend (Cs in general chemistry and biology up to A- in physical chemistry)
Worked full time to support myself but also competed on my college's national mock trial team and physical chemistry research

Graduate School
M.Phil. in chemistry 2016
GPA 3.81
sGPA without CHM690 research credits 3.58
Became a PhD candidate but left with my master's degree for personal reasons
Graduate research assistant for 2 years and teaching assistant 2 years

MCAT
Plan to take MCAT March 2021 (maybe... this is 1 thing I need advice on).

Work
Full time retail job October 2010 - August 2014
Pharmaceutical sales early 2017-current ** This is what sparked my interest in medical school. I did not know I wanted to go to medical school prior to 2019.

Nonclinical Volunteer (w/ estimated hours if applying June 2021):
-Outreach for a local nonprofit- provide college and career guidance to first generation students (250 hours over 12 months)
-Crisis Counselor with Crisis Text Line (250 hours over 18 months)
-Support Group Facilitator and Community Educator for Alzheimer's Assn (50 hours over 12 months)

Clinical Volunteer (w/ estimated hours if applying June 2021):
-EMT with small local dept (1000 hours on call over 14 months)
-Sexual Assault Victim Advocate for local nonprofit (200 hours over 12 months)

Situation in Question
For the schools I'm interested in applying to (both MD and DO but goal is nearby state MD school), my prerequisites do not expire. I am concerned (as I believe I should be) about my GPAs. I'm confident I can do fairly well on the MCAT (I scored a 493 on my diagnostic.. I'm aware this is a horrible score, but this is 7-10 years after taking my prereqs so I feel that solid content review and practice will allow me to boost my score fairly significantly).

I am also concerned about the duration of my clinical and volunteer experiences. I ultimately decided I want to apply to medical school in August 2019 so these experiences are more recent. I'm worried it will be perceived as "she only participated in all of this to check the boxes for her application." I most likely wouldn't have done all of this if my decision to go to medical school didn't give me the push... but I have been wanting to volunteer with a domestic violence shelter and first gen students for a long time so these are things I am very passionate about.

My husband will be out of state with the military for about 8 months but we don't know when he's leaving due to COVID (was going to be June 30th, now it might be August, if not August then maybe October). With two kids, work full time, MCAT studying, volunteering, I just don't know what to do at this point. I think if the rest of my application seems okay, I'd like to do my best to apply in 2021.

Do you suggest I bust my butt, take the MCAT in March 2021, and apply in June?

Take a few classes (they would have to be online) to have some recent science coursework (even though the schools I'll be applying to said a recent MCAT score is fine) and take MCAT/apply in 2022?

Something else?

I know this is a super specific situation and partly depends on what I think I'm capable of given my personal situation... but I'm really looking for some feedback on my application (GPA/ECs/timeline).


Thanks so much for reading!
 
Upvote 0

KnightDoc

Full Member
2+ Year Member
Mar 14, 2019
6,555
2
7,334
126
  1. Pre-Medical
Hi all. I appreciate any and all thoughts you have about my situation. I'm a first generation college student and don't have anyone able to provide guidance (only a husband that fully supports me and tells me to do what I feel is best). Here goes:

Background

First generation college student
White, female, 27, married with 2 kids
I'll be writing a disadvantaged essay

Undergraduate School
B.S. in forensic science 2014
GPA 3.4 & sGPA 3.06
Slight upward trend (Cs in general chemistry and biology up to A- in physical chemistry)
Worked full time to support myself but also competed on my college's national mock trial team and physical chemistry research

Graduate School
M.Phil. in chemistry 2016
GPA 3.81
sGPA without CHM690 research credits 3.58
Became a PhD candidate but left with my master's degree for personal reasons
Graduate research assistant for 2 years and teaching assistant 2 years

MCAT
Plan to take MCAT March 2021 (maybe... this is 1 thing I need advice on).

Work
Full time retail job October 2010 - August 2014
Pharmaceutical sales early 2017-current ** This is what sparked my interest in medical school. I did not know I wanted to go to medical school prior to 2019.

Nonclinical Volunteer (w/ estimated hours if applying June 2021):
-Outreach for a local nonprofit- provide college and career guidance to first generation students (250 hours over 12 months)
-Crisis Counselor with Crisis Text Line (250 hours over 18 months)
-Support Group Facilitator and Community Educator for Alzheimer's Assn (50 hours over 12 months)

Clinical Volunteer (w/ estimated hours if applying June 2021):
-EMT with small local dept (1000 hours on call over 14 months)
-Sexual Assault Victim Advocate for local nonprofit (200 hours over 12 months)

Situation in Question
For the schools I'm interested in applying to (both MD and DO but goal is nearby state MD school), my prerequisites do not expire. I am concerned (as I believe I should be) about my GPAs. I'm confident I can do fairly well on the MCAT (I scored a 493 on my diagnostic.. I'm aware this is a horrible score, but this is 7-10 years after taking my prereqs so I feel that solid content review and practice will allow me to boost my score fairly significantly).

I am also concerned about the duration of my clinical and volunteer experiences. I ultimately decided I want to apply to medical school in August 2019 so these experiences are more recent. I'm worried it will be perceived as "she only participated in all of this to check the boxes for her application." I most likely wouldn't have done all of this if my decision to go to medical school didn't give me the push... but I have been wanting to volunteer with a domestic violence shelter and first gen students for a long time so these are things I am very passionate about.

My husband will be out of state with the military for about 8 months but we don't know when he's leaving due to COVID (was going to be June 30th, now it might be August, if not August then maybe October). With two kids, work full time, MCAT studying, volunteering, I just don't know what to do at this point. I think if the rest of my application seems okay, I'd like to do my best to apply in 2021.

Do you suggest I bust my butt, take the MCAT in March 2021, and apply in June?

Take a few classes (they would have to be online) to have some recent science coursework (even though the schools I'll be applying to said a recent MCAT score is fine) and take MCAT/apply in 2022?

Something else?

I know this is a super specific situation and partly depends on what I think I'm capable of given my personal situation... but I'm really looking for some feedback on my application (GPA/ECs/timeline).


Thanks so much for reading!
I am just a premed, so please don't give my opinion any more weight than it deserves, but I think your ECs are fine, and the fact that you are not a lifelong volunteer is not going to be fatal. It's a very decent mix, you have a legit hardcore science background, and a very decent story, so you should be good. That's the good news.

Now the bad. Given your grades and your baseline MCAT, this is going to be far from a slam dunk for you. Given your family situation, how reasonable is it for you to uproot your family for this? That's an important consideration, because the odds are against any random person being admitted (overall 40% admit rate), and that is with being able to apply to two dozen or more schools, and not being tied to a single city or state.

You can take the MCAT whenever you are ready, and then apply whenever you are ready. 2021 sounds reasonable if you can put in the time to study while raising two kids with no help. You don't need more classes if your prereqs aren't too stale, because however many classes you would take will not materially change your post-bacc GPA, which is already good. You just have to be mentally prepared to be disappointed if you are not in a position to apply widely like almost every successful candidate. Good luck!!!!!
 
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