MD Canadian, 3.88 GPA, 518 MCAT - Top tier American med school?

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


New Member
Sep 21, 2015
Reaction score

Members don't see this ad.
Hi everyone,

First time posting on here. I'm a 3rd year Microbiology and Immunology major at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada. Expecting to graduate in 2017. I do not have permanent residency or citizenship in the US, but I am a Canadian citizen.

GPA: 3.88 (over Years 1 and 2). Expected to be >3.90 by the end of 3rd year.

MCAT: 518
(129, 128, 131, 130)

- Volunteer research assistant in a microbiology/infectious disease lab in summer of 2014.
- Won a studentship to work in another lab in the summer of 2015, researching the effects of antiretroviral drugs on HIV+ populations (more translational medical research). I am continuing to work in this lab until April 2016.
- Presented a poster at a local symposium, and will have at least 2 more poster publications by March 2016. I also submitted an abstract (first author) to present at a renowned international conference, but I'm not guaranteed that my abstract will be accepted. If all goes well, I will also have a journal publication by the end of 2016.

- Crisis counselor (speak with suicidal, depressed, schizophrenic individuals) - 300+ hours (ongoing)
- Hospital volunteer shift supervisor (direct contact with patients in acute care, NICU, rehab, as well as with dementia patients at the attached care home) - 160 hours
- During highschool, I organized school events and charity fundraisers thru the leadership club - 350 hours
- Informal volunteering at my local mosque - 500 hours
- Have volunteered at many children's summer camps
- Briefly volunteered at a homeshelter (one summer)
- Much more, but the above are the major ones

- Chair of Recruitment - Phi Delta Epsilon International Medical Fraternity
- Executive Board Member - Undergraduate Research Opportunities (club)
- UBC Orienations Leader
- Debate (grade 8-10)
- Tae Kwon-Do (grade 7-11)

Letters of Recommendation:
- 1 very positive from my current principal investigator (science/medicine faculty)
- 1 very positive from a family friend (personal)
- Expecting another strong letter from a new science PI, as I hope to work in a different lab next summer (science faculty)
- 1 good reference from Crisis Centre (volunteer/community)
- If needed, I can ask for a letter from my old English professor (non-science faculty)

- Many UBC awards, mostly based on academic excellence
- Research Studentship ($5000)
- A couple of minor scholarships ($3000)
- In high school: Top science, math, and English student

American medical schools that I am considering (in no particular order, other than the first five):
- Johns Hopkins (#1 dream school)
- Harvard (#2 dream school)
- Stanford
- UChicago Pritzker School of Medicine
- Yale
- UPenn
- Mayo
- Columbia
- Cornell

What are your thoughts? Do I have a realistic a chance at Johns Hopkins or Harvard, or am I just kidding myself here? Any input, advice, and critiques are welcome!
Last edited: