10+ Year Member
- Oct 14, 2011
- Reaction score
Hi - I'm sure you've been asked a million times, but I would greatly appreciate input about my individual application to medical school.
I would like some advice on applying to medical school during the 2019-2020 cycle while also trying to improve my competitiveness. My GPA is my primary worry, as well as a lack of volunteer experience, but my work experience and commitment to research are strengths. I initially wanted to pursue a PhD, but my work experience led me to change directions toward medical school. In general, I was not focused during undergrad and was satisfied with just doing “okay.” I really had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. Here’s a summary of my stats and experience:
Age: 27, female
Institution: major research university, middle tier
Major: biology (minor in neuroscience) - lots of science credits
MCAT: 509 (only taken once)
Clinical experience: I have been working in clinical research for the last 4 years doing clinical assessments and procedures with a severely ill psychiatric population. I’ve also shadowed and observed several hours of ECT.
Research experience: 7 years of research experience, including 3 years in the same lab during undergrad with a senior thesis. While working, I have 2 first-author research papers; 2 first-author review papers; 2 second-author research papers.
Volunteer experience: truthfully, not much. I did some volunteer work over 7 years ago during undergrad, but my time is limited now due to full-time work.
Is there any reasonable chance of me gaining an MD acceptance? I have a few MD schools on my list (state schools), but plan to apply widely to DO programs. Also, I am aware that I am below several DO schools’ cutoffs for sGPA.
Ultimate question: should I apply this cycle? And regardless of whether I apply this cycle, how can I best spend my time during the next year to improve my chances of acceptance? I will be taking a science course during the summer and plan to continue with additional coursework during the fall. Should I retake the MCAT? Enroll in a post-bacc?
Thank you so much for your help!
Having worked in the same lab for seven years, what changed? Will you complete a master's degree? How did you get this clinical research project, which it appears to be very different from your original biology lab? The little issue that is apparent is your GPA, but it's not clear to me what you've taken and whether there is any way to see your grade trends by year as well as the academic rigor of your courses taken (non-research credit) in your last couple of undergraduate years.