I'm an Asian Cali male applicant who applied to a majority of top/mid-level schools, and UCs. I have a 3.90/34 (10 in verbal) but lack clinical volunteering experience (I've done some minor tutoring/club-related volunteering). I have shadowed quite a bit though. Everything else about my app should actually be pretty strong. Given that I go to a large public school, my recs might be a bit less personal, although 4/5 come from professors Ive had very close interactions with. Given my background as the ultimate ORM, I understand my MCAT is a little on the low side, and that lack of substantial volunteering hurts me. When should I start worrying about no IIs? I submitted everything pretty early (within 2-3 weeks of first possible submission date). On an semi-related note for planning purposes, will taking an engineering job in a field unrelated to medicine during a potential gap year hurt my chances at re-application? Or should I fully devote a gap year to doing research? My goal is to attend a top 20-30 school. Ultimately, I'm interested in academic medicine and I'd love to get publications, so I'd be down to work as a research assistant for a year towards that goal, but I also understand that I have to pay for medical school... I should mention that I just started regular clinical volunteering which will last through this upcoming year/and stated this in my app.