Sep 17, 2017

While I am definitely grateful for where I have come today, I feel somewhat lost about how to best perfect my application for medical school. I am a senior at UC Berkeley, planning to apply end of this cycle.

So far, some about me:
3.98 GPA (Chemistry Major)
518 MCAT
Chinese-American from California
Intending to do primary care/family medicine

However, I will be honest and admit my extracurriculars are no where as impressive as many applicants here. I have decent research in medical biology (will publish honors thesis by end of semester), but minimal clinical experience and shadowing. I have a volunteer position at a hospital (prob ~70 hours by the time I apply), and only 15 shadowing hours so far. I have virtually no leadership/awards. Letter of recommendation probably are slightly above average, nothing special.

First of all, what are my chances, assuming I earn a little bit more shadowing hours (~40). All my friends tell me I'm guaranteed into a school, but I'm scared that because of my stats, I'll be scrutinized even more on my extracurriculars. Am I actually more or less guaranteed into a school in the US?

Second, what should be my top priority before I apply in 9 months? Volunteering, shadowing, non-clinical ECs, etc.?

Thank you!


7+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2012
Attending Physician
Volunteering and shadowing should be your priorities. Try and accumulate 50 hours of shadowing and 200 hours of clinical volunteering.


2+ Year Member
Oct 20, 2016
Do some clinical volunteering. Maybe hospice or hospital volunteering? Food kitchens, for the less fortunate etc. I would recommend applying next year after accumulating many hours. Otherwise I'd say you're a really good applicant
About the Ads