Flipper19

2+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2016
21
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Pre-Medical
I am about to enter my second year of undergrad, but will definitely be graduating in 3 years rather than 4, so I am in a bit of a dilemma of whether I should apply during the summer before my third year or take a gap year. I will have finished all of my prereq classes (including biochem) except for the last quarter of physics before this spring, which is when I plan to take the MCAT if I apply in the upcoming cycle, so that shouldn't be a major problem.
My cGPA is currently a 3.81, my sGPA is a 3.75.
My ECs are reasonably strong (at least I think so):
- heavy research experience (in a lab since fall of freshman year; already have 5 poster presentations, 2 abstracts published, 4 more abstracts and a review paper currently in progress/submitted for publication)
- ~200 hrs hospital volunteering (will be ~400 hrs by next summer)
- ~30 hrs international clinic volunteer trips (will be ~60 hrs by next summer)
- ~450 hrs non-clinical volunteering (will be ~900 hrs by next summer) with an executive board leadership position since spring of freshman year
I have also had a job with an international tutoring and consulting company since September 2015, and work about 10 hrs a week.

I am mostly worried that I will not have a strong enough EC/research/work resume compared to students who apply after their third year, and I also currently have no shadowing experience and know basically no professors that I would feel comfortable asking for a letter of rec other than my PI, so any input/advice/opinions would be really helpful!
 
Last edited:
Feb 26, 2016
107
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Medical Student
I say apply. The admissions committees will know that you only had 2 years in undergrad. and that you've made the most of your two years.

Good luck
 

TheBiologist

2+ Year Member
Sep 14, 2015
1,226
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Pre-Medical
there is a chance but it's not necessarily likely

if you can demonstrate maturity and score high on MCAT go for it
 
Aug 26, 2016
153
105
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Status
Attending Physician
If you do well on the MCAT you may be fine. Although it was many years ago I had similar numbers and did the same but made the mistake of taking MCAT in the fall of third year and still got in. That happened because although I had the credits I wasn't initially intending to graduate in three vs four until premed advisor suggested it. I had to change major to general science as well because it wasn't pre planned.


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Flipper19

2+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2016
21
1
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Pre-Medical
Thanks for all the replies. If I do end up applying this coming cycle and don't get in, would being a reapplicant to the exact same schools put me at a disadvantage?
 

Matthew9Thirtyfive

*breathes in* boi
Moderator
2+ Year Member
Jan 11, 2016
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Thanks for all the replies. If I do end up applying this coming cycle and don't get in, would being a reapplicant to the exact same schools put me at a disadvantage?
The general advice seems to be that being a reapplicant at all is a disadvantage.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
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Academic Administration
Thanks for all the replies. If I do end up applying this coming cycle and don't get in, would being a reapplicant to the exact same schools put me at a disadvantage?
It might be a slight disadvantage but in all likelihood, you will be turned down the first time for lack of shadowing experience and lack of LORs from >1 professor who can speak well of you. Those things can be corrected with time so it won't be too bad but applying and coming up empty is an emotionally grueling process and it takes time away from your studies and costs thousands of dollars. I believe it is far better to plan for a gap year during which you are working/volunteering and doing admissions related things (writing essays, traveling, interviewing, etc) while gaining valuable life experience. No one ever regrets taking an extra year, particularly if they've finished college in just 3.
 

claduva94

2+ Year Member
Apr 21, 2014
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Medical Student
I did exactly that and found plenty of success. That said, if I could do it again I would have waited. Think critically about the value of that year and what else you could do with it. And yes you would be a reapplicant if you apply to the same schools and yes it would put you at a disadvantage; you would want to be sure you have something different on your application compared to the previous one.
 

kawi609

2+ Year Member
Jul 24, 2016
99
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Pre-Medical
I think the only applying rule is at least 90hrs.
 
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Flipper19

2+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2016
21
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Sorry, could you clarify what you mean by at least 90 hrs? Of what, shadowing?
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
23,144
32,678
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Academic Administration
Sorry, could you clarify what you mean by at least 90 hrs? Of what, shadowing?
You must have completed 90 credit hours of coursework (typically a degree is 120 credits, you need to be 75% through that amount thus 90 credits).