Oct 2, 2009
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Pre-Medical
So far from reading the SDN forums I have read some great advice, but I have a question. :confused:

1. I am a freshman undergrad, majoring in Biomedical engineering at IIT ( engineering/ research University). I did a semester of college at a local community college and got B's in both Chem I & II will that hurt my GPA when applying?

2. I am also not doing so well in Calculus 2 and engineering physics, I think I will be getting C's in both classes. However all of my other classes are A's. if I can get A's and B's for the rest of undergrad, and maintain a 3.5 or above GPA, then will that "fix" the C's on my transcript?

3. I also have 2 semesters of research experience.My group presented at ACS ( American chemical society conference) this year, I am also scheduled for 3 more semesters of research before graduating, will that be enough?
with a a job and school work I haven't had time to volunteer yet, is volunteering necessary?

thanks for all the great posts , any advice would be appreciated
Thanks !
 
Sep 4, 2006
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Keep getting As (not Bs) and you can compensate for the Cs. The research you've mentioned is fine.

You must have community service. You also need physician shadowing and clinical experience. The latter can be via a job, volunteering, or through clinical research. Leadership and teaching are also good experiences to list.
 

aztri

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Jul 31, 2009
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Unfortunately, you don't get any sympathy from adcoms for taking engineering (calc-based) science courses with extra higher level math courses and having a lower sgpa than straight science majors. When you enter your transcripts into amcas, it will calculate your sgpa for you. Your sgpa will be comprised of math, biology, physics, and chemistry courses only (BME A's will not factor into your gpa). Engineering is apparently not considered science... My advice is take additional science courses (i.e. bio, chem, etc.) so that they can be factored into your sgpa. The upside is that at least you will have a legitimate and useful degree to fall back on if you don't get into med school right away.
 
Oct 2, 2009
12
0
0
Chicago. IL
Status
Pre-Medical
If I maintain a 3.5 GPA and complete Honors Biomedical Engineering degree, I am guaranteed into two local medical schools through a Biomedical Engineering Program that Transfers Students into MD/Ph.D. programs with specializations in Biomedical research.
IIT partners with RUSH medical college and Rosland Franklin Medical College.

1. Since I have already completed my humanities and non science requirements in high school and my first semester I can take an additional upper level Biology and chemistry course every semester. Can I use those courses to raise my sGPA?

2. I have worked in a pediatrics office for a year as a CNA, will that count as shadowing?

3. I have also been a Anatomy and Biology Lab assistant for Three Years and a Preschool Student teacher for two years should that also be mentioned?

4. as far as community services go what about volunteer work through AmeriCorps?
 

Bernoull

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Mar 24, 2007
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If I maintain a 3.5 GPA and complete Honors Biomedical Engineering degree, I am guaranteed into two local medical schools through a Biomedical Engineering Program that Transfers Students into MD/Ph.D. programs with specializations in Biomedical research.
IIT partners with RUSH medical college and Rosland Franklin Medical College.

1. Since I have already completed my humanities and non science requirements in high school and my first semester I can take an additional upper level Biology and chemistry course every semester. Can I use those courses to raise my sGPA?

2. I have worked in a pediatrics office for a year as a CNA, will that count as shadowing?

3. I have also been a Anatomy and Biology Lab assistant for Three Years and a Preschool Student teacher for two years should that also be mentioned?

4. as far as community services go what about volunteer work through AmeriCorps?
Why does ur status say MD/PhD if u're in undergrad?? Status =/= aspiration.

1. Any science/math course counts for sGPA.

2. Sounds like clinical exp rather than shadowing. The latter entails following an MD/DO around to gain appreciation for what they do.

3. Definitely it shows leadership etc etc..

4. Volunteering and community service are synonymous is most cases. In ur case u've volunteered and that's good. Is this ur only volunteering? How long was it? ADCOMs like to see good time committment..

Goodluck
 

aztri

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Jul 31, 2009
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That's nice that you have an in at two local universities! However, if you don't want to do Md/PhD they may not be the best fit for you. I would recommend making your app as strong as possible so that you have chances at other out of state (oos) schools as well. So let's talk about that app.

Regarding your research, 2 semesters past + 3 semesters before you graduate = plenty of research experience to apply. I would suggest that you make an effort to get your name on a publication (doesn't even have to be first author) and/or submit an abstract and go to a conference to present your work. I know you said that your group presented at ACS, but that is different than you presenting. With five total semesters of research you should be able to openly discuss your work and your contribution to the research group's overall project. Work on getting your name on something published, even if its only an abstract.

As for you gpa: When you enter your transcripts into amcas, you are required to select from a drop down menu the kind of class you are entering. For example, if you took BME ###: Transport Phenomena, you would classify this as and engineering course and it would count only into your cum gpa. But any course that is MAT, PHY, CHM, or BIO are all fair game for boosting your sgpa. You can take additional classes in any of these areas to raise your sgpa, but usually you should try to show that you can do better in an upper divisional course in an area that you have a less than stellar grade in. Not a must, but better than not. Also, rather than just taking random science courses to raise your gpa, I recommend taking classes that interest you and that have material that will be covered in med school. For example, biochem, immunology, and anatomy (congrats you've taken this one already), etc. are good classes to take. The reasoning is that you will be crazy busy in med school and if you already have seen some of the material, you will learn it and understand it better the second time around, which will ultimately make you a more knowledgeable physician.

Working as a CNA in a pediatrics office is good! But what did you do there? Working the front desk doesn't count as shadowing. I assume your obvious ambition and charm won over the MDs working there and they let you follow them around a bit? You want to be able to answer questions like "what was one instance where you were really impressed with medical services provided?" and "was there ever a time when you thought a situation could have been handled differently?" Also, it is best to shadow more than one field to show that you have a breadth of clinical experience.

Lab assistant and preschool teacher work should definitely be included on your app. You want to look like a well rounded person with tons of experience in many areas. You should show that you ventured out to explore other areas than medicine and you are a better more knowledgeable person because of it! So yes, these EC should be included. What else do you have? What do you do for fun - as in do you have an hobbies? Hobbies/interest areas, such as being part of a club, sports, art, etc., are great to show you are a real person and plus they help make your interviews more conversational. Your interviewers have interests too. It's nice when you can relate because it eases the interview a bit. Leadership activities are pretty big must as well. On you app you must have these four things to list in ECs: Clinical, Volunteer, Leadership and Research. But you also so have diversity as well (tutoring, hobbies, publications, whatever).

Oops! I didn't read down to number 4 yet. Yep, Americorps is great for volunteer work :) When it comes to doing your ECs, you should show extended commitment (i.e. volunteered 4hrs/week for 2 yrs). If you did something for inconsistent blocks of time, average the time per weeks for your application. Remember to not embellish time committed to much. You shouldn't be spending more time per week at your ECs than there is time in a week.

Anyways, hope this helps!
 
Oct 2, 2009
12
0
0
Chicago. IL
Status
Pre-Medical
@ Bernoull thanks for pointing that out I am currently a Pre-Medical student i did not notice that.

as far a publication goes, I published another abstract in the ACS conference under my name. however I am not presenting that abstract to the committee this year, is that status considered published pending presentation?
I am also working under a PI who has agreed to publish my name in his publication which I worked on with him, however that publication will not be published until next year.

The BME honors to Med program that I am in currently also allows a select group of students to take classes at Pritzker Medical School ( University of Chicago), but It is a very competitive opportunity. I have heard about the program and that it requires a lot of time outside of class to maintain a good grade. I am not sure if I should apply for the Med classes, because as a BME student I already have 19 credit hours a semester. If I don't take the class will it make my application less competitive?

As far as hobbies go ,I have not done any EC since high school aside from Phi theta Kappa and honor student association , mostly academic groups and lab research at local colleges and hospitals.

Thanks everyone for the great advice!