nm825

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Mar 11, 2012
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I am a spring semester senior at a top 50 school.

cGPA 3.65 sGPA ~3.40

MCAT taking in April

My clinical experience consists of ~100 hours in an ER enrolling patients in clinical studies as part of a class.

Over the past three summers, I have worked 40 hours a week for a local police department enforcing town codes and ordinances. Whenever there was a medical call in town, I would usually go to it with an EMT and provided any help I could usually this would consist of removing the stretcher from the ambulance.

I have served as the vice-president of my fraternity for my semester and various other leadership positions within the fraternity.

I served as vice-president of my junior year dorm council.

I am currently taking an EMT class and as part of that I will work in the ER for 16 hours and ride with a fire department for a dozen or so hours.




Anyways, my school's committee packet is due 2/22. I have been freaking out about it because I know my ECs and LORs are going to be incredibly weak. I honestly haven't had much interaction with my professors through out my 3.5 years, so these letters are going to be bad. I spoke with my Biochem professor today and he basically said that he doesn't know me but could write a short, generic letter explaining the difficulty of his class I need a last resort.

My plan has always been to take a gap year and apply mostly to DO schools, but I have come to the conclusion that I am just not going to be able to complete this committee letter. I now am considering taking a second gap year.

Has anyone else done a second gap year? What should I do during that two year timeframe? If I actually try to foster a relationship with a few of my professors this semester and get good LORs, will medical schools look down upon that my recommendation letters came from the same semester? How screwed am I?
 

DrEnderW

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First, I think you do have options. Your cum GPA is not stellar but it surely isn't bad. What it really comes down to is how you do on the MCAT. If you score well, you will be competitive for many MD schools and all DO programs.

My advice would be to try and get your committee letter complete. With your need for stronger letters in mind, work on forging some strong relationships this semester and ask for letters of recc towards the end of the semester. While these may not be initially seen in your committee packet, they will be ready in time for submitting them to medical schools. Additionally, can you request letters from some of the volunteering positions you have done?

Number 1 priority is getting ready for the MCAT. Second priority would be getting your committee packet complete and them supplementing letters of recc by the end of the semester.

As for gap years, I am doing 1 year in a translational research lab at a hospital while applying. I know a handful of people doing this for 2 years.

Good luck!
 
Oct 10, 2012
274
2
NY
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Pre-Medical
you're not screwed at all. make an effort to get to know your professors and have them think highly of you this semester. schools will probably not notice and almost definitely not care if all of your letters (from professors) came from the same semester. you should still have letters from other activities.

get all A's this semester too. Start getting a lot of clinical experience (alongside MD's, NOT EMT's). And some non-medical volunteering would be great as well.

you will be all set to have a good shot at MD schools in two years. find something you will enjoy (that will also look good) to fill that time, and you are in great shape.
 
OP
N

nm825

5+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 11, 2012
582
174
Status
First, I think you do have options. Your cum GPA is not stellar but it surely isn't bad. What it really comes down to is how you do on the MCAT. If you score well, you will be competitive for many MD schools and all DO programs.

My advice would be to try and get your committee letter complete. With your need for stronger letters in mind, work on forging some strong relationships this semester and ask for letters of recc towards the end of the semester. While these may not be initially seen in your committee packet, they will be ready in time for submitting them to medical schools. Additionally, can you request letters from some of the volunteering positions you have done?

Number 1 priority is getting ready for the MCAT. Second priority would be getting your committee packet complete and them supplementing letters of recc by the end of the semester.

As for gap years, I am doing 1 year in a translational research lab at a hospital while applying. I know a handful of people doing this for 2 years.

Good luck!
Who did you come into contact with regarding the research position?
 

LPpostbacc

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May 4, 2010
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3
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Pre-Medical
you're not screwed at all. make an effort to get to know your professors and have them think highly of you this semester. schools will probably not notice and almost definitely not care if all of your letters (from professors) came from the same semester. you should still have letters from other activities.

get all A's this semester too. Start getting a lot of clinical experience (alongside MD's, NOT EMT's). And some non-medical volunteering would be great as well.

you will be all set to have a good shot at MD schools in two years. find something you will enjoy (that will also look good) to fill that time, and you are in great shape.
Agreed here. Your letters won't be due until April (maybe even May). There is plenty of time to get to know a couple of your professors this semester. Go to office hours a few times, get to know them.
 
Oct 31, 2012
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MS1- TTUHSC
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Medical Student
Personally, I don't think training as an EMT is less of a clinical experience than shadowing a MD. You'll see all sorts of injuries and you learn to handle high stress situations, which is a definite plus. I know a guy who got a spot at a top 20 med school with a below par GPA because of the experiences he had as an EMT.
Also, I agree that there is plenty of time. One of my LORs came from my spring upper-level science professor. Given, I was in his office more than once or twice, and I actively participated in class, but I still got a stellar letter.
 
Oct 10, 2012
274
2
NY
Status
Pre-Medical
Personally, I don't think training as an EMT is less of a clinical experience than shadowing a MD. You'll see all sorts of injuries and you learn to handle high stress situations, which is a definite plus. I know a guy who got a spot at a top 20 med school with a below par GPA because of the experiences he had as an EMT.
Also, I agree that there is plenty of time. One of my LORs came from my spring upper-level science professor. Given, I was in his office more than once or twice, and I actively participated in class, but I still got a stellar letter.
you might be right, i really don't know. but at this point, with his/her existing EMT experience, i think we can all agree that some diversity is what's best. that's all i meant.
 

DrEnderW

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Dec 5, 2012
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Who did you come into contact with regarding the research position?
I actually got mine (luckily) through a random connection I made. From there I applied, interviewed, etc.

However, I suggest you ask some professors in your department or someone on your pre-med advisory committee if they have suggestions. I know there were specific labs that took students from my school every year and were recommended by my bio department. Also, if you've done research in undergrad, it is possible that your research professor could have some connections with collaborators. If nothing else, does you school have a career services website? I applied to multiple positions through that.

Getting a research position, I admit, is way easier if you have extensive research experience. I don't think many places would take someone with limited experience.