Aug 4, 2009
2
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I am a 4th year Chemical Engineering student and 3rd year Chinese Language and Culture Student. I will be a double major in both of these programs after spending next year, 2009-2010, one academic year abroad in China for a language immersion program (you're not allowed to speak english). In addition to these majors, I am also an instrument rated private pilot.

I am worried about my numbers... I have not yet taken the MCAT but suspect to score around a 30-32 (hopefully). I currently have a 3.51 cGPA and 3.25 BCPM. My BCPM is low but I will have one more year of biology and some chemistry before I apply and hope to get my BCPM to about 3.4-3.5 and my cGPA to 3.56-3.6. Does anyone have any advice on what these numbers look like? I have time during a break to volunteer at a hospital in China for 4 weeks to learn about eastern medicine, would this help my resume out?

Also, I will be 24 when applying to med school and I took general chemistry when I first got to college, at age 18-19, will this cause a problem?
 
OP
H
Aug 4, 2009
2
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I hate to bump my own message... I'm wondering if everybody thinks that it is a good resume booster for a white male to be able to fluently speak Mandarin Chinese. Also, what do you think about the 1 year immersion program. Thanks!
 

Naijaba

10+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2007
1,057
107
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi Harley1821,

Certainly you have some very significant experiences/talents; and yes, they will make your application stand out. Although it is very unique for a white person to speak Mandarin, there will be many Chinese applicants who speak Mandarin fluently [Mandarin is spoken by 2.6x more people throughout the world than English]. I think if you stress why speaking the language is important to your career as a physician (do you intend to practice in high need Chinese communities?), then it would be more valuable as a character trait.

Realistically speaking, your GPA is your biggest setback. If you make it to secondary screenings then your experiences will speak for themselves. While nothing completely replaces low grades, the MCAT tends to have approximately equal weight. If you do the 1-year program make sure you study continuously for the MCAT, and do well. It is easy to be caught up in the day-to-day tasks of a long volunteer experience and put studying on the back burner. Don't do this! Make sure you study everday.
 

Stratego

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2009
2,128
0
Status
1) I will have one more year of biology and some chemistry before I apply and hope to get my BCPM to about 3.4-3.5 and my cGPA to 3.56-3.6. Does anyone have any advice on what these numbers look like?

2) I have time during a break to volunteer at a hospital in China for 4 weeks to learn about eastern medicine, would this help my resume out?

3) Also, I will be 24 when applying to med school and I took general chemistry when I first got to college, at age 18-19, will this cause a problem?
Ni hao,

1) The median stats for those accepted to med school are cGPA of 3.65 and MCAT of 31. Since your cGPA will be a bit below that, it would be good to get an MCAT score of 32 or better to compensate.

2) Volunteering abroad makes you interesting, but cannot substitute for clinical experience and community service in the US. Rather than volunteering intensively for 4 weeks, it would look better if you spent 3-4 hours a week doing so for the entire time you're there. Having a knowledge of Eastern medicine will give you interesting background for essays. There is a lot of Western medicine practiced there too, from what I've heard, and it might be fun to see how similiar the healthcare systems are. I'll bet you'll be asked this at an interview.

3) Your Gen Chem classes won't expire in 6 years, but your recall is probably pretty fuzzy. You may need to relearn a lot of it on your own. An on-line Kaplan course is something you might consider investing in while you're in China to help guide you (if you'll have internet access).
 

anxiousteen

10+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2007
223
1
Status
from your original post, you don't say you are a white person who speaks chinese.

make sure in your application that you make this obvious. they don't spend a lot of time reading your application, and they might just assume you are chinese like i did (even if you have a white name)

on a side note, i know many people who join culture clubs and celebrate their own culture, but you are someone that is interested in a culture of another country. i think that is real diversity.