Chances at UCSF & other top tier schools?

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The Mull

Hold that thought.
10+ Year Member
Apr 12, 2010
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You obviously have stellar numbers, but seem light on the volunteer and clinical experience side of things.

What drives you to go into medicine? I am guessing that it isn't electrical engineering. You need to show ADCOMs you know why you are going into MEDICINE and not something else. You often do that with clinical experience (shadowing, volunteering [like you did in the ER], and such things).

What did you get out of your ER experience?
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Just my two cents, but a good chunk of the schools you've listed are research powerhouses (and you have no biomedical research). I'm not sure if the expectations for research are the same for non-trads with non-life science backgrounds, but as an undergraduate applying right after school I felt like biomedical research was an unstated requirement at schools like Harvard.

You can check out mdapplicants to look up profiles of people who were accepted to your goal schools. Many people list their ECs and experiences in addition to their scores so you can get a better idea. Good luck :)
Well, after a point you're just adding new features to technology and you have to ask yourself, is this my legacy? I mean, the work (not to mention the pay) is great, but I sure as hell am not saving lives. Not directly, anyway. My friends think I developed a messiah complex when I hit 30 :)

The ER experience was really useful, because it let me get up close with the "real deal". I think everyone should spend some time with the homeless and the crazies in an ER setting before deciding to be a doc. I wish I could expand on the clinical experiences, but I still work fulltime (I have a family to take care of) and with post-bac classes and all (said family again) have no extra time . I'm hoping the adcoms will take that into account.

I'm concerned because of my mcat score, primarily. The 36 puts me right at the median for the top schools and the median is probably skewed lower a bit due to the olympic swimmers etc who get in. So I was wondering what the EC/Research background looks like for students who get admitted to the top tier.

Thanks for taking the time to reply!

Be ready for addressing in your PS and your interviews how your engineering background relates (or prepared you for, or pushed you to) your career in medicine.

Given limited time constrains, I would recommend physician shadowing. It is high yield for experience per unit of time.

Will having non-biomedical research experience hurt your app? Not as long as you can show them that you like research in general and you understand the differences between clinical research, basic bench science research and your type of engineering research. There's not much you can do you retroactively to change you background obviously, so you must show that you've been introspective about your experiences in a manner that relates to what the schools want.

You aren't going to find a specific stat such as: "55% of students had clinical reseach experience". MSAR gives you % of students with "reseach experiecne" per school.

And an MCAT at that matricuant median isn't bad. Remeber that medians aren't influenced unduely by outliers.
Agree with the poster above. You can definitely still apply to these schools if you rationalize your interest in medicine, but if I were you I think I'd apply much more broadly just in case it doesn't work out.