Olive9243

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Apr 24, 2012
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Hello!
I apologize in advance for the long thread. Here goes...

I would like to get into medical school in the states- preferably in New York.
I am an unusual case and my story isn't finished, so I understand my acceptance is conditional upon my maintaining/improving my performance.

Facts:
-I am a junior at a SUNY
-Decided late, so taking a gap year and applying for 2014
-Comparative Literature Major
-Business Minor, Biology Minor (double minoring)
-cumulative gpa = 3.84
-science gpa without statistics = 3.93
-science + math gpa (yikes) = 3.74
-volunteer at hospital 3 hours a week (just began this semester)
-have followed nurses at nyu hospital every day for a month
-have volunteered at blood bank
-beginning Neurobiology research on effects of drugs on rats for all of next year (10-12hrs/week)
-taking Physics at a CUNY this summer (which I understand doesn't look as good)
-shadowing a physician this summer a few hrs/wk
-dance a lot (classes and clubs)
-volunteer with crisis prevention hotline
-in two honors societies
- I have TA-ed for Intro to cellular/molecular biology
-very little to no employment experience (eek)

I understand I am lacking in my extracurriculars and there is no guarantee of my MCAT score. Suggestions? Thoughts?
Any suggestions for ECs for next year?

Thank you! Feedback much appreciated.
 

curlyfry1

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Apr 24, 2012
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I've heard that some times in interviews that will ask you about particularly low grades, or some people choose to explain this as part of their personal statement, so you can try to make up for the grades from statistics.

As far as EC for next year the most rewarding EC I've done with my work with a nonprofit that gives medical care to the homeless. Since I started working with them I've been very involved with street medicine. I know there is a program similar to this in New York City. Its called Project renewal healthcare. It might be a good idea to work with a group like that because its both philanthropic and clinical. If I were you I would also work really hard on getting a good physical science score on your mcat, it might show a mastery of the subject despite lower grades in that area. Good luck!!!
 

Olive9243

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Apr 24, 2012
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Great- thank you so much for your help (and prompt reply)!
Any other advice from you or others is much appreciated.
 
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Mazdave

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Feb 1, 2011
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Hello!
I apologize in advance for the long thread. Here goes...

I would like to get into medical school in the states- preferably in New York.
I am an unusual case and my story isn't finished, so I understand my acceptance is conditional upon my maintaining/improving my performance.

Facts:
-I am a junior at a SUNY
-Decided late, so taking a gap year and applying for 2014
-Comparative Literature Major
-Business Minor, Biology Minor (double minoring)
-cumulative gpa = 3.84
-science gpa without statistics = 3.93
-science + math gpa (yikes) = 3.74
-volunteer at hospital 3 hours a week (just began this semester)
-have followed nurses at nyu hospital every day for a month
-have volunteered at blood bank
-beginning Neurobiology research on effects of drugs on rats for all of next year (10-12hrs/week)
-taking Physics at a CUNY this summer (which I understand doesn't look as good)
-shadowing a physician this summer a few hrs/wk
-dance a lot (classes and clubs)
-volunteer with crisis prevention hotline
-in two honors societies
- I have TA-ed for Intro to cellular/molecular biology
-very little to no employment experience (eek)

I understand I am lacking in my extracurriculars and there is no guarantee of my MCAT score. Suggestions? Thoughts?
Any suggestions for ECs for next year?

Thank you! Feedback much appreciated.

OP, are you looking for someone to tell you your grades are fine? Because they're fine. A 3.84/3.74 is pretty much around or above average at most schools. If you get a solid MCAT score, you will be fine stats-wise for plenty of schools. I wouldn't spend any time trying to explain low grades unless you deliberately want to confuse the people reading your application. Work on your ECs and you will be decently competitive.

By "get into a medical school in the states", do you mean instead of the Caribbean, or are you an international student?
 

boshtrich

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Jul 20, 2011
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A lot of this highly depends on your MCAT so I would wait until you have a score to worry about anything. In general, anything over a 32 should pretty much guarantee you get in somewhere (NY is a good state to have residency in). I would apply to all the SUNY schools, NYMC, Albany and the New Jersey schools. I would be very surprised if you didn't get into any of those schools with a decent MCAT (NYMC accepted me with a 3.7 cGPA, 3.6 sGPA 33 MCAT). A 35+ opens the door for the competitive NY schools like Columbia, NYU and Cornell. For ECs, just look for any hospital with openings in departments that give you patient contact. A year or two of solid volunteer work would be plenty for most NY schools. Just be sure you can talk about it in interviews.
 

Olive9243

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Apr 24, 2012
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I am from NY and I would like to get into a school in the US that is not in the Caribbean/Guadalajara, etc. I'd prefer a major city like NYC, Boston, or I'd do a SUNY.

Thank you for your assurance re: my grades.
All of you have said to work on my ECs, and I know I should. Are there suggestions as to the best type of EC to supplement my others (though they are few and far between)?
Should I tutor, TA again, do a medical type of volunteering (walks, more hospital, etc.), do a non-medical volunteering, do something totally unrelated (a hobby-esque EC like a dance team, literary club, etc.)? What would show leadership?
Keep in mind that I will be a senior and it will be my last year to buff up ECs (besides my gap year, which is a whole other discussion...).

Any ideas are more than welcome! Thank you all for your responses, once again.
 

Mazdave

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Feb 1, 2011
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I am from NY and I would like to get into a school in the US that is not in the Caribbean/Guadalajara, etc. I'd prefer a major city like NYC, Boston, or I'd do a SUNY.

Thank you for your assurance re: my grades.
All of you have said to work on my ECs, and I know I should. Are there suggestions as to the best type of EC to supplement my others (though they are few and far between)?
Should I tutor, TA again, do a medical type of volunteering (walks, more hospital, etc.), do a non-medical volunteering, do something totally unrelated (a hobby-esque EC like a dance team, literary club, etc.)? What would show leadership?
Keep in mind that I will be a senior and it will be my last year to buff up ECs (besides my gap year, which is a whole other discussion...).

Any ideas are more than welcome! Thank you all for your responses, once again.

IMO, your biggest gap is probably in volunteering. What you do can be medically related or not, but I would look for an opportunity to give your time to help people who are less fortunate. Especially if it is something you could continue into your gap year, that would be the first thing I would look into doing.

I'm not sure if nurse shadowing is a worthwhile use of your time or if you should look into dropping that...does Cat or someone else more knowledgeable have an opinion on that?
 
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I'm not sure if nurse shadowing is a worthwhile use of your time or if you should look into dropping that...does Cat or someone else more knowledgeable have an opinion on that?
If you're considering nursing as a career, by all means, shadow nurses. If "following" them while assisting patients in some way is part of your volunteer interactive clinical experience, then it's cool. I see you've been able to find a physician to shadow. If this person is not in primary care, try to add that if possible to broaden your range of experience.

Volunteering at the blood bank and the crisis prevention hotline are good nonmedical community service. You have research planned and teaching in place. I hope that you'll continue in some of these areas, as longevity is valued.

The honors societies don't help you unless they lead to leadership. You'd look more interesting if you spend that time with a dance team or develop other hobbies.
 

Olive9243

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Apr 24, 2012
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First off, thanks for all of your time- it means a lot!

Regarding my shadowing nurses, I was unclear before: I am not currently doing so. It was a summer program where I intensively shadowed nurses on a medically complex ward. It was a great experience, and I was very much in contact with patients- though because it was not a physician, I can see how this may not help my "package".

The blood bank volunteering was at an NYC hospital and for a brief stint in the summer.

Though I have had a lot of interesting exposure across the board, I do not show longevity/commitment in any area nor particular leadership. I have danced for a long time and have taken many dance classes. While dance will be noted on my transcript/resume, my other hobbies (drawing, writing, reading cooking, etc.) are not regulated by a formal organization- nor do I have much desire for them to be.

In regards to extracurricular activities I can add, I suppose I should look for more volunteering and maybe another hobby organization. Perhaps I can try to find a leadership position.

Will also be taking a gap year, if anyone has suggestions on how I could best capitalize upon that time and have a great experience. Thank you all!
 
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