andie2

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what is the most important thing to focus on to make you more competitive to get into med school?
 

engdoc

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i would say GPA and MCAT tie isn't that what the "not so short guide to get into medical school" says?
 

IckeyShuffle

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what is the most important thing to focus on to make you more competitive to get into med school?

MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT







and gpa
 
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GoinBack2Cali?

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MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT







and gpa

Not entirely true. I would say GPA, Research, LOR, and MCAT. In that order.
 

IckeyShuffle

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Not entirely true. I would say GPA, Research, LOR, and MCAT. In that order.

I stand corrected. Your stats will get you the interview. This being mcat and gpa. there is no way that adcom members are sorting through each application as there are far too many. The screening process involves weeding people out based on mcat and gpa. so these are the two most important. once you get the interview, eveything else kicks in. This being clincial experience, volunteering, research, personality, all of the fluffly stuff. But still, the mcat is the most important factor in getting you to the interview. it is how they compare across colleges, a great equalizer if you will.
 

viper2fast505

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MCAT with a decent GPA, i think MCAT is more important because some schools will use the score to weed people out before they even look at the rest of your application like. You need to be a mix of Mother Teresa and Albert Eienstein.
 

Agent47

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MCAT and GPA are main factors but ....To be a competitive student you need to have solid background on Extra activities like ...Lots of Volunteer work, Research, Clinical Exper., Join clubs...participate in school's activity. Med school will also look at these factors. They wanna know if you're capable of doing Medicine.

Good Luck!!:)
 

ICCONFETTI

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MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT

pretty good gpa to boot

volunteer, research

and you're good to go
 
E

Eric Lindros

Not entirely true. I would say GPA, Research, LOR, and MCAT. In that order.

No way, MCAT is much more important than research and LOR

My opinion in terms of importance:

MCAT > GPA > URM Status > Research + Activities > Letter of Rec
 

notdeadyet

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what is the most important thing to focus on to make you more competitive to get into med school?
Don't look like everyone else. Unless you're a particularly brilliant bean, it's easy to get lost in the shuffle. Set yourself apart in some way so that you are noticed/remembered.
 

Anastasis

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Not entirely true. I would say GPA, Research, LOR, and MCAT. In that order.
Then I'm going to take a wild guess that's the order of your strengths.

But I'm going to say I think Eric has it right:
MCAT > GPA > Research + Activities > Letter of Rec > PS

Removing URM status because I don't know how much that helps any more will all the extremely qualified minority applicants out there. And adding PS
 

PChemGrad

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Being Rich, and attaching a blank check to your application, doesn't hurt your chances.
 
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melissainsd

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... being well rounded.

I totally agree. It seems like today to be "competitive" schools want you to have it all. Have a good GPA, volunteer in the health field, get a good MCAT score, do research, and still find the time to explore your own interests (in order to make you stand out). Apparently they have decided we shouldn't sleep.
 
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Eric Lindros

Then I'm going to take a wild guess that's the order of your strengths.

But I'm going to say I think Eric has it right:
MCAT > GPA > Research + Activities > Letter of Rec > PS

Removing URM status because I don't know how much that helps any more will all the extremely qualified minority applicants out there. And adding PS

Yes, forgot about PS and agree that it does play a role, though probably the smallest.

I probably should not have included minority status because it's not a controllable factor like the rest of them and minorities are obviously much smaller in numbers, but it definitely helps if you are one.
 

TheAmazingGOB

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MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT MCAT

I totally agree with this. I applied last year with a crappy MCAT score, stellar GPA, solid LORs, research, volunteer, clinical experience, leadership, blah, blah, blah. Didn't get in and only interviewed at my state school.

Retook the MCAT, got an awesome score. Reapplied to a lot of the schools I applied to the first time and some new ones. I was invited to interview at most of them (some top 20) and have two acceptances in the bag.

Bottom line is ECs are important, but only during the selection process. If you don't have a great MCAT score, you won't even get past the post-secondary screen regardless of how good everything else looks (I know there are always exceptions, but as a general rule).

MCAT>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>ECs, LORs, gpa
 
W

Wizard of Oz

Then I'm going to take a wild guess that's the order of your strengths.

But I'm going to say I think Eric has it right:
MCAT > GPA > Research + Activities > Letter of Rec > PS

Removing URM status because I don't know how much that helps any more will all the extremely qualified minority applicants out there. And adding PS

:thumbup: There's a reason why Anastasis is an advisor.

My school is MCAT 85% of the application, 15% everything else. I know of no in-stater at my school who was rejected with a 32 or better. The interviews at my place are given out in the order of MCAT score, and if you don't have the score, you don't get interviewed until all of the spots are doled out. Plain and simple.

I'd throw GPA in there second with specific emphasis on a lack of sub-B grades. Interview? If you were really prepared to go into medicine, the interview won't affect your chances. Same with LOR's. Research may be a tie-breaker at the higher-end places. Extremely few members of my class had signifcant research.
 

soeagerun2or

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MCAT -Indicates ability to comprehend the level of material that will be presented. Also, has a correlation to USMLE Step I. Read: low score = low acceptance because we're worried you wont pass.

GPA - Indicates work ethic and willingness to comply to requirements for personal advancement. Read: low GPA means you're a slacker, not motivated, or had another problem.

Volunteering/shadowing - Indicates proximity to medicine and knowledge of what it is to be a doctor. Read: forget about it if you don't have it.

Research - Indicates knowledge of broader picture of medicine, evidence based medicine, and purpose of medical reasearch. Also, academic institutions are not short sighted and are educating their future instructors. Read: it's a double-plus-bonus if you have it but not that big of a deal if you don't.

Extracurriculars - Prove you're not just a study dork, leadership roles are a plus. Read: we need something to discuss at the interview.

Interview/PS - Indicate ability to form a coherrant thought and interact with others. Read: proofread your PS, don't be a weirdo at the interview.

So yeah, MCAT is the most important because at the end of the day the question is "Are you going to succeed at medical school?" The rest of the questions "Why do you want to be a doctor?" "Will you be a good doctor?" don't really matter because you can teach how to be a good doctor and everyone lies about why they're in it anyway.
 

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blah blah blah. I say your leadership in medicine. I have a crap GPA and a decent (34) MCAT, great research, great leadership, great LORs. And thus far, I haven't been rejected from an interview. Just be 'smart enough' on paper, and then delve into whatever you're passionate about (you can NOT be passionate about GPA or MCAT) and use that to make yourself seem like a great individual (instead of one of the same old they read/interview every day). If you stick to formulas, you may get in, but your life will be predictable and boring and will never have fullfilling measures of success.
 

docdude

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MCAT -Indicates ability to comprehend the level of material that will be presented. Also, has a correlation to USMLE Step I. Read: low score = low acceptance because we're worried you wont pass.

GPA - Indicates work ethic and willingness to comply to requirements for personal advancement. Read: low GPA means you're a slacker, not motivated, or had another problem.

Volunteering/shadowing - Indicates proximity to medicine and knowledge of what it is to be a doctor. Read: forget about it if you don't have it.

Research - Indicates knowledge of broader picture of medicine, evidence based medicine, and purpose of medical reasearch. Also, academic institutions are not short sighted and are educating their future instructors. Read: it's a double-plus-bonus if you have it but not that big of a deal if you don't.

Extracurriculars - Prove you're not just a study dork, leadership roles are a plus. Read: we need something to discuss at the interview.

Interview/PS - Indicate ability to form a coherrant thought and interact with others. Read: proofread your PS, don't be a weirdo at the interview.

So yeah, MCAT is the most important because at the end of the day the question is "Are you going to succeed at medical school?" The rest of the questions "Why do you want to be a doctor?" "Will you be a good doctor?" don't really matter because you can teach how to be a good doctor and everyone lies about why they're in it anyway.

As a nontrad, i find this (not all, but especially the GPA part) very misguided. GPA is your ability to read books, attend class and to participate. Fortunately for those who have lives, 'extracurriculars' (depending on what they are) show much more work ethic. What the hell are extracurriculars? What you did outside of class? For those of us who worked our butts off outside the classroom, I think we do a fine job showing our work ethic, follow through and committment. I think you are however right, that MCAT scores weigh more and that if you show committment outside of your GPA, but have a solid MCAT, you're safe. Plus, according to my interviews, anything above a 32 was considered very strong (this includes UCSF). So as long as you can do 32 or above, I think you're fine. That 38 thing is just the average for the MIT/Harvard kids who you happened to take the Princeton Review with (or wait, was that me?). yup.
 
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Eric Lindros

blah blah blah. I say your leadership in medicine. I have a crap GPA and a decent (34) MCAT, great research, great leadership, great LORs. And thus far, I haven't been rejected from an interview. Just be 'smart enough' on paper, and then delve into whatever you're passionate about (you can NOT be passionate about GPA or MCAT) and use that to make yourself seem like a great individual (instead of one of the same old they read/interview every day). If you stick to formulas, you may get in, but your life will be predictable and boring and will never have fullfilling measures of success.

Well, a 34 is not a "decent" score, it's an awesome score and that's probably a huge reason you haven't been rejected from an interview. ;) Not that those experiences don't count, but you are definitely downplaying how good a 34 is.
 

Frank Hardy

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Since you are trying to be admitted to medical school, focus on the admissions test. AKA the MCAT
 

spicedmanna

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blah blah blah. I say your leadership in medicine. I have a crap GPA and a decent (34) MCAT, great research, great leadership, great LORs. And thus far, I haven't been rejected from an interview. Just be 'smart enough' on paper, and then delve into whatever you're passionate about (you can NOT be passionate about GPA or MCAT) and use that to make yourself seem like a great individual (instead of one of the same old they read/interview every day). If you stick to formulas, you may get in, but your life will be predictable and boring and will never have fullfilling measures of success.

Eh, although I agree with you in principle, I want to point out that your MCAT score is in the 93rd percentile! This means you out-scored 93% of the people who took the MCAT. It's a darn good score and you know it. Your score most certainly contributed to you receiving interview invites and acceptances.

Okay, yes, other perhaps more intangible factors are important. But first, you need to get your foot into the door, so they can notice your incredible attributes and accomplishments. This means scoring well on the MCAT and having a solid GPA, as others have said. It's a numbers game initially, then it's the whole package after that.
 
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