Apr 11, 2010
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I am a sophomore at The Ohio State University. I attended Akron University my freshman year where my cGPA was a 3.5. I am only in my second quarter at OSU because I suffered a severe brain injury fall quarter, so I am going to take summer classes to catch up. Getting back into the swing of things at school was tough last quarter, I received a C in calculus, and a B in the first section of chemistry. I was recently elected chair of the philanthropy committee in my fraternity which will hopefully allow me to show that I can lead and organize charity events. My brother just got accepted to Ohio U's DO school and two of my uncles are doctors, including my father so I'm under a lot of pressure. I want to get into a good med school very badly and I want to know what I need to do this summer as far as shadowing or should I try for some kind of job at a hospital? I'm striving for A's this quarter and in the following quarters to come, but I'd like to have other things under my belt in case my GPA isn't outstanding when it's all said and done. Any suggestions?
 
Sep 4, 2006
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Inside the tesseract
Activities aren't as important as maintaining a high GPA, so don't rush yourself if your time management skills would be overly challenged, because there's nothing sacred about applying at any certain time. Apply when you're ready and you've built a competitive application. There should be no pressure. Don't allow a perception of it to rush you before you're ready.

When the time comes, you'll want to start gaining clinical experience. If any of the physician family members has an office practice, consider volunteering for 4 hours per week or even working there, and gain some shadowing experience some of the time. Or get in some hospital, free clinic, nursing home, or hospice volunteering. Nonmedical/noncampus community service is also valued. Think about what you'd like to do for this. Also decide how much research, if any, you plan to engage in, whether for a summer, or a year or two, and strategize how to get that in. Leadership (you've got that covered), teaching/tutoring/TAing, hobbies, sports, and artistic endeavors also have a place on the application.

But again, don't rush. Do it right. Folks in their 30s and 40s are getting into med school. You won't be way behind if you don't end up applying until after you're 24.