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First time posting - to try or not to try , that is the question..

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deleted983296


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Hey everyone ,

It's my first time posting here ( although i am a devoted stalker of sdn), and I would really love to hear some output on my application/Situation.

some background about me :
I graduated high school early - so started to work from an early age. When the time i was 18 , me and my friends ( and a group) of adults open our own charity activities ( which is still going on - almost 10 year after!) - where we organized food/supplies gathering events for single moms/children/soldiers - every month. Then at 19 I left my country and arrived to U.S. Had to work for awhile , save money to put my self through school - worked a lot mainly with people , became a manager several times - then sales supervisor and even help to create facial line and promote it. In the middle of all the working , started to go to school - didn't know match back then , didn't know about volunteering or research ( i started in community college ) . During my time in the 2 year college i did the usual things , student ambassador , international student advisor , honors program , presidential scholar program, some dean list terms and that about it. Then I got married (because i wasn't getting any younger) and started with BA in a 4 year college . During my first semester in the 4 year college i got pregnant , so had to take off a year ( i have no one here in U.S besides my husband )- during my pregnancy and a year off , I continued to work as much as i could and I actually volunteer in local pharmacy next to my house ( was amazing ! have about 200 hours?!). Then I got back to school and guess what ? doing so much better in the 4 year college with toddler at home ( good at time managing and my husband works from home). So as of now , I have one 2 more semesters to graduate and I was thinking maybe i should try to apply this cycle ( Freaking out honestly) or should i wait for next one? The biggest Pro about applying this cycle is kind of obvious - a year wouldn't be waisted ! but I also know that next cycle I will be way more competitive.

So if I apply this cycle :
1)first of all i will be late ( will take the mcat around end of June ) to apply - and only if i will have good score then I would dare to apply
2) my GPA is bit low - by the end of this semester around 3.7 and sgpa 3.65 ( I am doing better in the 4 year college)
3)for research : one year of wet lab , one year of bioinformatics lab ( yield 2 poster), one year of clinical research at mount sinai hospital
4) Clinical : not sure if I can put in here my clinical research as well?? but also a year of volunteering assisting a doctor in his rounds ( in underrepresented area)
5) community : my 200 hours in local pharmacy , I also have my own business where i make all natural candles and donate 30% of the profits to charity organization i love
6) Orgo TA in school , as well as private tutor
8) deans list/ school staff - like what i wrote above
9) work in costumer care all my life ( not sure how many hours- i worked for 8 year ?)- trained people , was supervisor
10) I am a mother ? not sure if thats relevant
11) me and my husband have another business where I have to help with writing small programs ( Its a whole thing to explain )

now if I apply next cycle:
1) i will not be late
2) my gpa will be a bit higher - 3.75 and for sgpa 3.68
3)I will have more research- extra year of bioinformatic research - with 2 pubs and extra 2 posters , and another year of clinical research ( as a chief - supervisor) -- so in total will have : 1 year of wet lab , 2 year of bioinformatic ( 4 poster, 2 pubs), 2 year of clinical ( one year as supervisor )
4)extra year of clinical rounds plus I am starting another cool volunteering program so a year of that .- so in total 3 years of clinical
5)community - maybe i will search for something extra ? I would rather continue with my candle line and create facial line and donate even more money
6)an extra year as a TA
7) maybe another deans list - I am not going to get involved in school - too old for that
and that is about it - maybe i will come up with some other things to do .
8) if i wait a year - i get a committee letter

So my main question is should wait another year or just apply this year? try my luck? what you guys think? I know i don't have my mcat yet ( I am scoring about 517 on my practice ) so it's hard to tell, but if i score btw 513-518 ?

sorry for the long post , very nervous !
 
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RocuROMANium

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How many shadowing hours do you have? How about clinical hours? It’s clinical if you are directly interacting with patients.
 

curbsideconsult

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If I were you, I would wait a year.

What is the type of volunteering you do at the pharmacy? Are you working as a pharmacy tech unpaid? If so, I wouldn't consider that any sort of meaningful volunteer work.

What exactly do you do with the doctor on his rounds?

Your candle company sounds interesting, but to me it seems like too much fluff and not enough substance.
 
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deleted983296

How many shadowing hours do you have? How about clinical hours? It’s clinical if you are directly interacting with patients.
thank you for your replay - my medical rounds is direct contact with patients - about 300 hours so far . My job is to follow the doctors in his rounds , prep the patients ( talk with them), help get the right dressing , he is the only wound care doctor in that hospital so every week we see about 100 patients . For shadowing - i have about 20 hours in ED.
 
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deleted983296

If I were you, I would wait a year.

What is the type of volunteering you do at the pharmacy? Are you working as a pharmacy tech unpaid? If so, I wouldn't consider that any sort of meaningful volunteer work.

What exactly do you do with the doctor on his rounds?

Your candle company sounds interesting, but to me it seems like too much fluff and not enough substance.

i wasn't a tech ( honestly not sure what tech is?) , i actually did it even before i was thinking to apply to med school . What I basically did is greeted customers and help them around the store - i wasn't a cashier nor did I helped the pharmacist - I was there just to talk to people ( mainly older people ). for my candle business - what do you mean by fluff ? I started this company as a gate way to create my own facial line - which something i wanted to do for a long time , I wasn't doing it for med school. Also we were able to donate 5k this year for this great charity that help children and single moms. For the rounds , we see about 100 patients every week , i basically help the doctor by prep the patients ( just asking some question, talking mainly ), prep the dressing ( he is a wound care doctor ) and sometimes help to record notes .
I know I don't have as much EC as others , that is why i am worried and thinking of applying next yer , but i am not getting younger and also i have a child . Do you think med school will look at all this in a negative way ? keep in mind I don't have all the time like other to study and to do other things , so it actually a lot of work to stay afloat - money vise and everything else vise ( I have no one here in the states). what so you advice i should extra ( besides what i wrote in the post) during a year off to make myself better applicant ?

thank you for the response !
 

curbsideconsult

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i wasn't a tech ( honestly not sure what tech is?) , i actually did it even before i was thinking to apply to med school . What I basically did is greeted customers and help them around the store - i wasn't a cashier nor did I helped the pharmacist - I was there just to talk to people ( mainly older people ). for my candle business - what do you mean by fluff ? I started this company as a gate way to create my own facial line - which something i wanted to do for a long time , I wasn't doing it for med school. Also we were able to donate 5k this year for this great charity that help children and single moms. For the rounds , we see about 100 patients every week , i basically help the doctor by prep the patients ( just asking some question, talking mainly ), prep the dressing ( he is a wound care doctor ) and sometimes help to record notes .
I know I don't have as much EC as others , that is why i am worried and thinking of applying next yer , but i am not getting younger and also i have a child . Do you think med school will look at all this in a negative way ? keep in mind I don't have all the time like other to study and to do other things , so it actually a lot of work to stay afloat - money vise and everything else vise ( I have no one here in the states). what so you advice i should extra ( besides what i wrote in the post) during a year off to make myself better applicant ?

thank you for the response !
A pharmacy tech is someone who helps a pharmacist with filling prescriptions. Greeting customers and helping them around the store isn't what I would consider meaningful volunteering, especially if the pharmacy is a for-profit entity.

What I meant by fluff is that while your candle business is interesting and makes you more well-rounded, it's not a direct, service-to-the-needy activity. Yes, it's good that you donate some of your proceeds, but it's not "down and dirty" as some other volunteer work like hospice or volunteering on a pediatric cancer floor or the wound care you're doing with the doctor you volunteer with. If you did not have the wound care experience, I would say you need something more significant in terms of volunteering, but it looks like you're getting both clinical experience and good volunteering experience with this doctor. Nobody likes wound care, not even doctors, so this activity is a plus.

Med schools will not look down on you for having a family.

Based on your additional information, I think you could apply this year if you got a good MCAT score, but why rush it? If you wait a year, you have time to save up and improve your application and take your time with studying for the MCAT.
 
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deleted983296

A pharmacy tech is someone who helps a pharmacist with filling prescriptions. Greeting customers and helping them around the store isn't what I would consider meaningful volunteering, especially if the pharmacy is a for-profit entity.

What I meant by fluff is that while your candle business is interesting and makes you more well-rounded, it's not a direct, service-to-the-needy activity. Yes, it's good that you donate some of your proceeds, but it's not "down and dirty" as some other volunteer work like hospice or volunteering on a pediatric cancer floor or the wound care you're doing with the doctor you volunteer with. If you did not have the wound care experience, I would say you need something more significant in terms of volunteering, but it looks like you're getting both clinical experience and good volunteering experience with this doctor. Nobody likes wound care, not even doctors, so this activity is a plus.

Med schools will not look down on you for having a family.

Based on your additional information, I think you could apply this year if you got a good MCAT score, but why rush it? If you wait a year, you have time to save up and improve your application and take your time with studying for the MCAT.

Deep down I know you right , and i needed to hear it from someone else besides me - so thank you for that. Do you think I should add community volunteering or just continue what I am doing ? ( i suppose to start congestive heart failure program - where I have to be an advisor for patients with CHF- this will be again more clinical- about 200 hour a year maybe ) I don't really have an idea of what to do for community besides the basics which in my opinion as you said "fluff" - I love volunteering in places that are unique i guess ( for me volunteering in the pharmacy was great , i spend my day talked with senior about their life problems - i did it to get away from my house for 4 hours; and the wound care is also amazing , we help seniors/ immobile patients - I get to see and learn so much; and of course my research projects are great , especially the bioinformatic one thats going to result in publication next year and I actually got to present it in a poster presentation this year ). I really appreciate your input !
 

futuremdforme

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Apply next year and you'll be in a better place for a good school and to feel confident that you'll get in (assuming a good MCAT).

Definitely do some volunteering -- 3-4 hrs/week will add up. Hospice is amazing (especially if you like older adults), or something with kids if you're comfortable with them.
 
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curbsideconsult

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Deep down I know you right , and i needed to hear it from someone else besides me - so thank you for that. Do you think I should add community volunteering or just continue what I am doing ? ( i suppose to start congestive heart failure program - where I have to be an advisor for patients with CHF- this will be again more clinical- about 200 hour a year maybe ) I don't really have an idea of what to do for community besides the basics which in my opinion as you said "fluff" - I love volunteering in places that are unique i guess ( for me volunteering in the pharmacy was great , i spend my day talked with senior about their life problems - i did it to get away from my house for 4 hours; and the wound care is also amazing , we help seniors/ immobile patients - I get to see and learn so much; and of course my research projects are great , especially the bioinformatic one thats going to result in publication next year and I actually got to present it in a poster presentation this year ). I really appreciate your input !
In my opinion, you're getting both clinical experience and service-to-the-needy volunteering by working with a doctor in an underserved area helping him do work that very few people are interested in doing. I think you can continue with the CHF program, especially since it seems you're excited to get involved with it.

Take your time, don't rush your app.
 
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JSReed

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Apply next year and you'll be in a better place for a good school and to feel confident that you'll get in (assuming a good MCAT).
Agreed. Will give you a bit more time for the pubs and to add a little more volunteering. But more importantly, it'll give you a bit more time with family. It's basically a non-stop hustle from here on, so it may be good to get in some quality time while you can. But either way, seems like you're in a decent spot.
 
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deleted983296

Thanks you all for great advices !! I will probably push the application to next year and will take my MCAT over the upcoming summer , who knows maybe I will be able to pull out 520 !?
 
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