5+ Year Member
Mar 21, 2010
Medical Student
Just like to ask opinion from the forum here to see what my chances are in applying to MD school. About myself:
- bio/chem major (basically premed)
- will be finishing my junior year this coming June, have 2 quarters left till graduation (about 6 courses), completed all required courses to apply to medschool + few more.
- science GPA 3.99, overall GPA 3.95, all As, couple A-, and 1 B+ in Spanish 4.
- experiences: 1 summer research internship, 1 year chemistry tutor at my university, currently doing clinical internship for 1 quarter at a local doctor's office, volunteered at many places during high school but not much during college due to heavy course load and my tutoring job.
- activities: didn't involve in any sport team in college but used to be in swimming team & fencing team for 4 yrs in high school. Still doing swimming, running, and martial arts for fun.
- will be taking MCAT on 5/1, currently my practice test scores are only about 28-29 on average, will try to get 30-32 range.
- have good relationship w/ many professors, have tons of friends, and had been told that I've good listening & verbal skills, so I may do ok in interviews (if I get thru the 1st screening and get to the interviewing round)
- languages: 4 quarters of Spanish plus medical Spanish (will take next year) and an Asian language (my parents' native language)

My concerns & questions:
- I'm in California, my school is UCSC, a decent school (I love my school & its environment) but not as highly ranked as UCBerkeley, UCLA, UCSD, will that hurt my chance ?
- I don't have a job this coming summer yet, planning to volunteer at a local place this summer. I'm enrolling in GMB for volunteering in central America for 1 week this summer
- My GPA is high but MCAT may not be that high. Ideally, I like to get to 35-36 range, but may not be the case, may only get 30, I have only 1 shot at MCAT on 5/1
- my life is pretty normal w/ loving, 2 career parents w/ several college degrees, middle class, so no special/unique circumstance (like dad in jail, single mom), i.e. I do not have disadvantage background. In fact, I'm an American born Asian male, belong to the group that usually has high GPAs, will that hurt my chance ?
- what schools and how many schools should i apply to maximize my chance ?
- should I apply to DOs school also ?
TIA for your honest feedback.
Last edited:


7+ Year Member
Jul 15, 2009
Resident [Any Field]
did you just miss the subforum that bears this exact title?


o hai
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Nov 9, 2007
Deep South
Fellow [Any Field]
To address your concerns:

1. Your GPA indicates that you are working extremely hard and are intelligent. Do well on the MCAT and any questions about your university aren't relevant anymore.

2. Volunteering over the summer is good, if you can find a job then all the better but if you can't, it won't kill you either.

3. Your "normal situation" won't hurt your chances, but it won't help them either. People from disadvantaged backgrounds often get some (minimal) advantages in the process but your normal upbringing won't hurt you.

4. California residents, tend to have a tougher time than other applicants at getting into state schools. Apply broadly, to a number of private and public (state) schools that are relevant to your interests.

5. The number of schools you should apply to and the possibility of applying to DO schools can be better addressed once you have a solid MCAT score to bring to the table. Come back then and let us know what's going on, it'll be easier to provide you with feedback when we know what else is going on.

As a side note, I don't see much volunteering or other extracurricular activities on your application. You should try to beef those up over the summer or consider taking a year off to bolster them.

Best of luck.
Sep 4, 2006
Inside the tesseract
Nice GPA.

High school experiences arenm't going to help you in the med school application process, unless you continued the activity into the college years. List the swimming, running, and martial arts. Consider resuming the fencing. It's unique and interesting if you can list it.

The average med school applicant has 1.5 years of weekly clinical experience. One quarter of a clinical internship isn't going to impress adcomms that you've tested the vocation of medicine thoroughly. I expect some of that time was shadowing. Carve those hours out and list them separately. Add enough other shadowing, ideally with about two other specialties, to total 60-80 hours.

Teaching experience is desirable to list on the application, so the tutoring is good.

Average research listed is about a year. A summer's worth is the minimum. About 40% don't list it at all, so it's good you at least tried it.

Regular nonmedical community service is good to see. Do you have some? The one-week planned abroad trip is great, but should be frosting on the cake, not the main meal in this category.

I don't see any leadership. Do you have plans for that?

Unless there's something you're not telling us, it looks like you decided to go into medicine a quarter ago. You aren't ready to apply to med schools this summer. You need to beef up a number of areas first. Suggesting schools would be premature. After graduating, consider a job in research or a clinical arena. Meanwhile, get some regular volunteering started.