5+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2015
Medical Student
Hello SDN members,

I would like to get your advice on my chances of getting into medical school, specifically an MD school, at the age of 20 with getting my Biology degree early?

To further explain, I technically started college at the age of 15 while being in a unique dual enrollment program. I am currently a senior in highschool and a junior in college with the amount of college credits I have, however this is not the main point.

I know my age is a huge factor as to whether or not I can get in, as it shows a level of maturity. With the path I'm taking now, I'll be set to apply at the age of 20. I am worried that I am not doing enough currently though, despite being told by others that I'm doing fine.

I've been a tutor on and off for 3-4 years, I have a 3.9 GPA (I am taking my MCAT next summer), I have done multiple healthcare charity walks volunteer opportunities, as well as one for Habitats for Humanity. Currently I am a volunteer notetaker, and I have a few professors that I am close to, and I am also currently doing clinical research, a case study that is, that has a high likelyhood of being published. I plan to also go volunteer in Haiti next summer, as well as doing a few more research projects. I still feel a great amount of anxiety and feel that I am lacking still. I am conflicted about volunteering at a hospital, as there seems to be a back and forth on this website, however I have some clinical/patient experience from the shadowing and research I have done to put on my AMCAS.

Am I doing the right thing, or am I not doing enough?
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5+ Year Member
Aug 25, 2014
I think you're doing fine. Relax and take a deep breath from time to time. Don't get so caught up in your resume that you start doing things just to "look good" instead of taking it as worthwhile experiences to show something about yourself. The most important things are grades, MCAT, and extracurriculars, and you sound like you've got that all on a good track. Have some confidence in your abilities.

The idea about volunteering at a hospital is you want to do a volunteering opportunity that is worthwhile. Meaning, if you're just working reception or gift shop, that doesn't really say much. It doesn't tell med schools you've been immersed in the environment and that you know exactly what is the kind of work you're getting into, because for many a pre-med they might have some idyllic view of medicine and believe it to be some kind of trophy career with prestige and a high salary. The reality seems to be quite the opposite and adcoms likely would prefer someone who understands that because then they're driven by a selfless desire, humility, altruism, etc...

So yes do get volunteer hours and maybe even shadowing hours as long as you will be working with patients and getting clinical experience. For instance, a volunteering position that lets you assist nurses and nursing assistants with changing, positioning, feeding, bathing patients... Get familiar with all the grossness, unpleasantries, from dealing with the wonderful patients to the downright nasty and rude ones. Become acquainted with the non-patient care side of medical care: what are all the bureaucratic things a physician must deal with and other non-medical challenges? See the environment that the doctors and entire allied health staff work in, how they work with each other, how their roles differ, etc. This will help show adcoms you have made yourself aware of what being a physician is really like and that it's really for you.
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