Tappinfool66

7+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2010
497
235
Philadelphia
Status
Medical Student
Hi everyone,

Here's my situation. I just started my last semester of undergrad. I was planning on studying for the MCAT this spring and hopefully taking the exam in April or May depending on how my practice scores were. Even though I was going to take the exam this spring, I was planning on waiting a year to gain some clinical experience (hopefully working as a medical interpreter) and applying in June 2014. However, I just had coffee with a friend today who is also pre-med and he tried to convince me to apply this summer. His reasoning was that I wouldn't need a whole year to gain clinical experience, that I'd do fine in this coming cycle.

For some background info on me, I'm a non-traditional student. I left school for a year and a half a few years ago to be my dad's caretaker. I'm a Spanish major. 3.92 cumulative gpa, ~3.9 sci gpa, 30 hours shadowing two surgeons (planning on shadowing more this semester), volunteering twice with Habitat for Humanity over the past two summers (1 week each, planning on going again the next two summers), fairly decent work experience tutoring chemistry, biology and Spanish and I studied abroad in Spain last spring. Either way I'll be doing some kind of clinical work this coming year, but I was planning on having clinical experience before applying. Right now, Mayo is my dream school, but I haven't visited so I can't say that with certainty.

So, my question is, is it okay to apply this cycle? Or would it be better to wait, not rush and have more clinical experience before I apply?

Note: Sorry if this should be in the what are my chances thread. I'm not really as interested in what my chances are, but rather I'm looking for advice on what would be best.
 

eggs13

Lift Heavy, Get Tough
7+ Year Member
Jun 22, 2011
683
29
Believeland
Status
Medical Student
I think as long as your clinical experiences so far (and during this semester) are meaningful, then you'll be fine. In addition to shadowing some more, I would look to get some clinical volunteering. I'm sure you're experience with your dad was quite meaningful and that will make your application unique. The only thing I really see lacking is research, so if you did take a year before applying I'd suggest focusing on getting research experience and sprinkle I'm some clinical volunteering on the side in order to make your app as competitive as possible.

Good luck!
 
OP
Tappinfool66

Tappinfool66

7+ Year Member
Jul 14, 2010
497
235
Philadelphia
Status
Medical Student
I think as long as your clinical experiences so far (and during this semester) are meaningful, then you'll be fine. In addition to shadowing some more, I would look to get some clinical volunteering. I'm sure you're experience with your dad was quite meaningful and that will make your application unique. The only thing I really see lacking is research, so if you did take a year before applying I'd suggest focusing on getting research experience and sprinkle I'm some clinical volunteering on the side in order to make your app as competitive as possible.

Good luck!
Thanks for your response. The thing is, I haven't really had any clinical experience yet. That's why I was wondering if I should wait to apply to have had clinical experience before I do so, or if gaining that experience during the cycle after I had submitted my primaries would be okay.
 
Oct 4, 2012
1,318
4
Right where I belong
Status
Medical Student
If Mayo is your dream school, I would say that you are better off waiting a year and doing the clinical stuff before applying. Your GPA is good and so is the tutoring but you have only volunteered a total of three weeks. That does not sound like very much to me.

Since you plan to apply next June, you might want to give yourself more time on the MCAT and take it in July. Make sure you keep up with the Habitat projects this summer and find good clinical activities. You should also continue your shadowing, I have heard 50 hours is good.

I think you could get into a medical school if you applied this coming cycle, assuming you do well on the MCAT. However, I am not sure you would get into the school of your choice.