Nov 28, 2010
138
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
(i actually just calculated my GPA last night and it is a little lower than i previously thought, which reflects the # on a previous thread in the pre-MD forum)

overall: 3.67
science: 3.47
non-science: 3.87

-taking MCAT this summer

-BS in Biotechnology, minor in Communication; graduated May 2010

-Currently: Full-time research assistant at prestigious university near me focusing on stem cells/regenerative medicine. I am also beginning a post-bac program (5 courses, 20 credits in all) this summer to be completed the summer before I apply to med school - i am aiming to apply summer of 2012 to begin fall 2013

-i am also currently a mentor in a teen parent program at my former college; i work with undergraduate teen mothers to help them balance the overwhelming task of being a mother and college student.
*stemming from this...i am a former teen parent myself. i had my daughter at 17 years old and went straight to college with my class, raising her as a single parent throughout my undergraduate years. i graduated this past may of 2010, as i mentioned above. my daughter is now six and in kindergarten.

Undergraduate years...

-year-long internship at pharmaceutical company during my senior year; research technician responsibilities, specifically hepatocyte isolations
-year-long thesis completed on the link between the american diet and cancer
-semester-long independent study, clinical research, topic: placebo effects of asthmatic patients
-member of three honor societies at my college including a national honor society
-founder and president of my school's biotech club (president for 2 years)
-big sister in "big brothers, big sisters" for almost 2 years until my little's family moved across the country
-tutor at my college's writing center for 4 years
-tutor for science courses for 3 years
-staff writer for my school's newspaper
-about 40 hours of hospital volunteer experience
-participant in 2009 MIT SeaPerch, built working underwater ROV with team of two others from my physics course
-Spring 08: Coordinated & Facilitated 6th Annual Green Chemistry Lecture @ a local college where I took Organic Chem; in charge of collaborating w/ guest speaker (Yale Professor) & all advertising/PR for event

Awards (all during undergraduate years):

-Recipient of Honors Program scholarship 3 years in a row
-Chosen to represent the writing center and present/speak at the 2008 NEWCA conference (New England Writing Center Association)
-Chosen to be a part of the Presidential Advisory Board for this year, 08/09.
-2009 winner of GFP...creative problem solving contest open to students at my school, placed 1st & won $5,000 in cash!

Misc

-Nanny for summer of 2008
-Water Safety Instructor and Camp Counselor for Summer of 2010 before I began my research position


I would really like to stay in Boston and am therefore aiming for Tufts or BU. Umass would be great, but is a long commute (over an hour away).

I would really appreciate some feedback - thank you!
 

startswithb

Future Urologist
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Things look great to me. All you need to seal the deal is a competitive MCAT. A 30-32 would be great. Aim high and you'll be likely to get there. Good luck!
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
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Considering that you're aiming at some fairly selective med schools, contrary to previous opinion, I think that some additional As in some upper-level Bio postbac classes would be a very good idea.

Other than the weak clinical experience that you have 1.5 years to improve on, and a lack of mentioned shadowing which is fine to get in at the lst moment, I think you'll have a very good application in June 2012. Since you live in Boston, why not make an appointment with admissions staff at the two schools and ask what you can do to become more competitive? They might give you insights into what they value most highly.
 
Nov 17, 2010
51
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Temple, TX
Status
Medical Student
Considering that you're aiming at some fairly selective med schools, contrary to previous opinion, I think that some additional As in some upper-level Bio postbac classes would be a very good idea.

Other than the weak clinical experience that you have 1.5 years to improve on, and a lack of mentioned shadowing which is fine to get in at the lst moment, I think you'll have a very good application in June 2012. Since you live in Boston, why not make an appointment with admissions staff at the two schools and ask what you can do to become more competitive? They might give you insights into what they value most highly.
I completely agree. If you were applying more broadly and were willing to move, your application would be really solid, but with geographic limitations you need to focus on what THEY want. Most admissions staff are more than willing to meet with prospective students in the down time between acceptances and next year's application, and you should definitely take advantage of that.
 
OP
pinkzebra
Nov 28, 2010
138
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I completely agree. If you were applying more broadly and were willing to move, your application would be really solid, but with geographic limitations you need to focus on what THEY want. Most admissions staff are more than willing to meet with prospective students in the down time between acceptances and next year's application, and you should definitely take advantage of that.
thank you all so much!

yes, i totally agree that As in my post-bacc will be good. i also plan to do some shadowing/gain clinical experience after i take the MCAT this summer. i just dont have time to do all at once :)

as far as meeting with admissions at tufts and BU...i have never heard of this being done? i would absolutely love that though. how would i go about setting this up, just contacting admissions when the application season is over (maybe late spring?) and requesting this?
 
Nov 17, 2010
51
0
Temple, TX
Status
Medical Student
thank you all so much!

yes, i totally agree that As in my post-bacc will be good. i also plan to do some shadowing/gain clinical experience after i take the MCAT this summer. i just dont have time to do all at once :)

as far as meeting with admissions at tufts and BU...i have never heard of this being done? i would absolutely love that though. how would i go about setting this up, just contacting admissions when the application season is over (maybe late spring?) and requesting this?
I just emailed the Dean of Admissions at the schools I was interested in and they were either willing to meet with me themselves or able to point me in the right direction. I'd shoot them emails around March, when interviews are pretty much wrapping up at most schools. All of the schools I asked were very accommodating and I was glad I did it. Good luck!
 
OP
pinkzebra
Nov 28, 2010
138
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
sorry to resurrect this thread! but i had a few additional questions and felt like it'd be easiest for others to just scroll up to see my original post for background information

-i have 40.75 hours (i finally checked out the exact number) of clinical volunteer experience at the hospital; how much more do i need?

-how many hours spent shadowing are considered sufficient? i want to shadow a pediatrician and a family physician. 25 each? not enough?

-i am really interested in working with underprivileged populations. there is a poor and homeless shelter for women and children in boston i would absolutely LOVE to volunteer at. only problem is, not sure it's considered "clinical." i would volunteer as a companion for these women and visit them weekly. if i kept my 40.75 hrs of hospital volunteer experience, volunteered here for a year+, and completed shadowing...would that be sufficient? or do i need to just focus on hospital volunteering?

*side note: my dream school is UWashington for the obvious reasons of primary care focusing on underprivileged populations. i did post saying that i want to stay in the boston area, but my husband and i discussed this and we are more open to moving if the area is good for jobs, family life, etc. i have family in seattle and love it there, so that is wonderful. do i stand a chance as a OOR applicant if i were to rack up my shadowing/volunteer hours in underprivileged areas until my application time (june 2012)?


THANK YOU!!!
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
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I'm really glad you came back to the same thread so as to keep the tale in one place and easier to follow.

See this thread about OOSers applying to UW. I believe you'd have to live there a year as a nonstudent before you could apply as an in-state applicant: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?t=791072

1) -i have 40.75 hours (i finally checked out the exact number) of clinical volunteer experience at the hospital; how much more do i need?

2) -how many hours spent shadowing are considered sufficient? i want to shadow a pediatrician and a family physician. 25 each? not enough?

3) -i am really interested in working with underprivileged populations. there is a poor and homeless shelter for women and children in boston i would absolutely LOVE to volunteer at. only problem is, not sure it's considered "clinical." i would volunteer as a companion for these women and visit them weekly. if i kept my 40.75 hrs of hospital volunteer experience, volunteered here for a year+, and completed shadowing...would that be sufficient? or do i need to just focus on hospital volunteering?
1) The average applicant has 150 hours of clinical experience gained over 1.5 years.

2) 25 hours each is fine, as the average amount of volunteering is 50 hours. Two primary care specialties is a good goal.

3) This would not be clinical, but it would be nonmedical community service to the poor (an area in which you are already strong, but it would be a great activity to add). What about volunteering in a family planning clinic, free clinic, low-income clinic instead (as clinical experience needn't be in a hospital)?. A hospice or nursing home are other clinical environments.
 
OP
pinkzebra
Nov 28, 2010
138
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
can i ask an additional question? :)

you are just so helpful, and i really appreciate the advice from someone who knows what they're talking about

what are your thoughts on SMPs? since i am looking to stay in the boston area due to my family situation (although UWashington is my dream school, but they hardly take any OOR applicants so i cant count on that), would you recommend the Tufts or BU SMP over staying in my research assistant position over a year?

i feel like there are pros and cons to both. if i were to be part of a SMP, i would have 2.5 yrs of research under my belt (one semester clinical research undergrad, one year bench research undergrad, one year bench research as a college grad, research assistant position), so i dont worry about my lack in that area. these programs just seem like a good boost for applicants who are really interested in boston schools.

thoughts?
 

Long Way to Go

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Jan 2, 2011
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I'm you are deciding between Tufts and BU's SMP's, I would say that BU's probably better. There are good threads about it in the Postbac forum.

Could I ask why you feel you have to stay in Boston? That's really putting all of your eggs in one basket?
 

ridethecliche

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I'm you are deciding between Tufts and BU's SMP's, I would say that BU's probably better. There are good threads about it in the Postbac forum.

Could I ask why you feel you have to stay in Boston? That's really putting all of your eggs in one basket?
I'm guessing it's because she doesn't want to have to move with her child...
 
OP
pinkzebra
Nov 28, 2010
138
1
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
I'm guessing it's because she doesn't want to have to move with her child...
yes, exactly.

you can read a little about my story above on my very first post...but basically, i am a nontraditional applicant for the most part. although i just graduated this past may of 2010 and am the same age as a recent college grad, i attended college through a single parent program - there were 10 parents at a school of about 2000. a lot of people get confused about this...the school, itself, was not solely for single parents. there just happened to be a great program for us at this particular college. i had my now 6-yr-old daughter during my senior year of high school. i met my now-husband when i was a freshman in college (he was a junior) so the long and short of it is:

-my husband (who graduated from the same school as me in 2007) has a wonderful job here. especially in this economy, that's saying a lot.
-we love my daughter's school; she was accepted on a partial scholarship to an incredible independent school nearby. it is K-12 (different campuses, but she will have the experience of growing up with the same friends) and we would really like to see her stay there. education for her is very important to us.

my reasons to stay in boston are basically for my family. medical school is not going to be a cakewalk; our support system is here, and i would like to attend medical school in a place that my husband can have a lot of support and feel as comfortable as possible. it is going to be a difficult time for us all. to be in a new, unfamiliar place where my husband would have to find a job and my daughter would need to attend a good school would make things a lot tougher on us. i realize that MA schools are competitive (even our state school i have heard?), but that is a chance im willing to take because i want what's best for my family. i dont want my personal success to come at their expense, if that makes sense.

so that's it in a nutshell :laugh: that's why i wonder if the BU or Tufts SMP would be to my benefit, or if they are not worth it...
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
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i wonder if the BU or Tufts SMP would be to my benefit, or if they are not worth it...
In your case, since you're severely limiting yourself geographically, if you can afford it, you might ask this question when you speak personally with the deans as to how much more competitive you'd be, assuming high performance, of say, 3.7+.