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10+ Year Member
Dec 22, 2008
Status (Visible)
Major: English and Philosophy, minor in History
Home state: IL (central)
Overall GPA: 3.8*
Premed GPA: 3.46*
MCAT score: 28*
Parents from India
EC: 3 years volunteering tutoring English to immigrants one on one (3 hours per week during each semester)

Would I have any chance at an MD program anywhere in the US?

*Those are "what ifs". I have a 3.6 overall right now (middle of sophomore year). So far I've only taken Bio1/2 (B+ for both lec, B for for labs) and Chem1(A lec, B+ lab). So my premed courses GPA is 3.33 so far. I know I did not try as hard as I could have so far but I am willing to try my best from here on out. But I want to be realitic and not just asume all A's, so I am put 3.46. MCAT is a complete guess.

I plan to finish gen chem next semester, do orgo1/2+labs during the summer and physics during my junior year. I'm ok with taking a year or more off after college to do volunteer work or whatever will help.

Constructive criticism of my plan would help. Do I need more ECs? Is research or medical related EC a must? Thanks!


The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
The Other Side of the Portal
Status (Visible)
  1. Attending Physician
You'll probably have a good chance at both your Illinois State schools, providing you live south of I-80 (SIU's zone of preference). To have the best chance of success, you need the highest GPA you can manage. Aim for an MCAT score of 30 or more (take practice tests until you are scoring consistently in that range). Other important elements are leadership (your tutoring demonstrates that), a research experience, humanitarian service, and clinical experience. Admissions committees prefer to see a sustained involvement in the latter two, not just last minute quick, intense experiences.

Whether schools outside your state will consider you will depend on how competitive your application is a few years from now.


10+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2007
Do I need more ECs? Is research or medical related EC a must?

Research is highly desirable, but not essential. If you have it, more schools will consider you. Medically-related extracurriculars are essential to success. Ideally, you would have at least 150 hours of volunteer time in a clinic, hospital, nursing home, hospice, or other location. It's preferred if it occurs over a long period of time to show your dedication to the idea of becoming a physician. If you can get in 3-4 hours a week, that would be fine. Another extracurricular that shows you understand what being a doctor entails, is physician shadowing, where you follow each doc around for 8-40 hours depending on your interest and the doc's tolerance of your presence. You meet these docs while volunteering, and ask if you can watch them in the office or on hospital rounds. Doing this with 2-3 types of specialists is ideal, and adds substantially to your application.
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