Jul 23, 2009
57
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Pre-Medical
I have been creeping on this forum for long enough...thought I'd ask the masses about my situation:

37N, 3.9 GPA (both science and regular) from ivy league

ECs: varsity sports team captain, volunteer work, clinical research, and "shadowing" in a residential treatment program (it was psych patients and the head was a MSW not an MD).

PBK, magna, honors

I just submitted my AMCAS yesterday and am waiting for transcripts (I had a late grade that delayed me).

My concerns are my late application (I have a feeling it will take a while for processing) and my lack of "real" shadowing. Do you think they'll look upon clinical reasearch/volunteer positions as sufficient clinical exposure? I'm also moderately concerned about my "N" on the MCAT writing.

Do I have a shot for UPenn, Harvard, Vandy, UMich, UCSF (OOS), Cornell, Baylor, Mayo, Dartmouth, Tufts?

Any help is appreciated- thanks!
 

Mobius1985

10+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2007
3,484
1
It may take three to four weeks for verification at this time in the cycle, so this is a good time to get ahead of the game and start prewriting your Secondary essays from prompts in the school-specific threads so your turn-around time will be a few days when you are formally invited to complete them.

Clinical research is a perfectly adequate way of obtaining clinical experience as long as you are interacting with patients. You would need other activities for your community service.

Shadowing a non-physician was probably an interesting experience in a psych ward, but would not be the type of shadowing you need to have. Why not get something going with an MD so you can include the experience in a future update letter?

In the absence of strong leadership experience and extreme immersion in humanistic activities, whether you'll be considered by the research giants among the most selective schools will likely depend on how substantive your research involvment was. I'd suggest you might want to add some mid-range schools to be on the safe side. Another reason to do this is that your WS is below the 10th %tile for some of the schools on your list (See the School Selection spreadsheet stickied to the top of this forum).
 
Jun 5, 2009
167
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Status
Pre-Medical
Another reason to do this is that your WS is below the 10th %tile for some of the schools on your list (See the School Selection spreadsheet stickied to the top of this forum).
Yikes, does that really matter? In that case, my score of "M" is at or below the 10th percentile of 99% of all the med schools :scared:. I thought the consensus on these forums was that the writing score doesn't matter. Plus, when a med schools 10th percentile WS score is N, that means that there are students who still get accepted with a score less than that. Personally, I liked EK's way of describing it: the writing section is only there to tire you out before starting the biological sciences section. :thumbup:
 
OP
M
Jul 23, 2009
57
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Yah I'm not sure anyone actually knows how much the writing section matters. Its especially frusturating because usually I'm a decent writer and got perfect scores on SAT verbal and SAT II writing. Ah well that's the nature of the beast I suppose.
 
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Stratego

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Mar 24, 2009
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Captain of a varsity sport is certainly leadership, but I don't think it is the type of extraordinary leadership that overshadows an average research experience when applying to a research-intense institution. We can't judge the substantiveness of your research, so you will have decide if it's going to impress "Top Twenty" adcomms.

I agree you need to apply more widely.

SDNers as a general rule seem to agree that writing score is not much noted by adcomms, but perhaps that is different at the most-selective schools like those where you are applying who have to publish their median scores and don't want applicants to think they have lax standards.

The shadowing you've done is significant. If you didn't mention it in your Personal Statement, maybe you can mention it in some of your essays.
 
OP
M
Jul 23, 2009
57
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm really impressed with the detailed advice- thanks for your time!
 
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honker

Junior Member
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Aug 3, 2006
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Northern CA
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Going to an ivy undergrad with your GPA will get you additional consideration at the ivy med schools you apply to. However, you need to have a well-rounded app with significant research or other extraordinary ECs to be successful with the top schools. You will need to explain how you got such a low writing score given the rest of your academic background.
 

camaras2480

Wrapping things up
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 21, 2007
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Pre-Medical
SDNers as a general rule seem to agree that writing score is not much noted by adcomms, but perhaps that is different at the most-selective schools like those where you are applying who have to publish their median scores and don't want applicants to think they have lax standards.
The WS score raises flags when its J, K, or L. Some argue that an M at least raises eyebrows. I think with an N, you should be alright.
 

Mobius1985

10+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2007
3,484
1
Do you guys have any advice on how to spin being a nanny for 3 months? That's what I'm doing before I go do some inernational health work.
I would probably lump it with any other short-term employment you've had. I doubt you'd need much description as most folks know what nannies do. I suppose that depending on the age of the children, you could comment that a surviving the stress and sleeplessness has prepared you well for life as a resident, b) negociating for good behavior has enhanced your people skills, or c) multitasking meal prep, after-school activities, homework help, and household tasks proves you have the superb organizational skills and time management essential in a physician. Yes, I'm kidding.
 

camaras2480

Wrapping things up
10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Aug 21, 2007
2,234
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Pre-Medical
I would probably lump it with any other short-term employment you've had. I doubt you'd need much description as most folks know what nannies do. I suppose that depending on the age of the children, you could comment that a surviving the stress and sleeplessness has prepared you well for life as a resident, b) negociating for good behavior has enhanced your people skills, or c) multitasking meal prep, after-school activities, homework help, and household tasks proves you have the superb organizational skills and time management essential in a physician. Yes, I'm kidding.
:thumbup: :D