Dec 7, 2010
188
0
The nati'
Status
Medical Student
Okay so Heres my story:

Major: Biochem

GPA: started off low (freshman year = alot of fun) went high. I'm currently looking to apply w/ a GPA between 3.3 to 3.4 and Science around 3.5.

MCAT: taking it this summer...assuming a 30. 30 to me is a pretty safe number and I'm confident that I can hit it.

Degree: Currently hold an Associate in Aviation Technology (Applied Science) as well as a Commercial Pilot's License. I'm also a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI and CFII). I've read that med schools like people who have left prior careers to study medicine. Not that I'm some super experienced pilot but I'm really hoping this helps.

Employment: Currently employed at a local ED for a little over a year. Have plenty of contact with pts and have seen more than enough to see it ain’t like the movies and TV shows lol.

Volunteer: by the time I apply I'll have been volunteering at a local Ronald McDonald house for about a year. I know this isn't like groundbreaking volunteering but I love it and it wasn't until last January that I changed my major from business to biochem to pursue med school. Basically my schedule is crammed with chem classes and credit hours.

Research: Starting in January I'll be getting at least two quarters in of biophysical chem research. same reason as above that I haven't been at it longer.

Shadowing: Starting in January I'll be shadowing a local Neuro surg for as much as I'd like.

My major concern is my GPA and that it may appear that I'm trying to squeeze everything in. Given that it's been less than a year since I made the decision to pursue my dream I think I've done well with the time that I've been dealt.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
32,359
11,958
Camp SDN: The Place for Summer Fun
My major concern is my GPA and that it may appear that I'm trying to squeeze everything in. Given that it's been less than a year since I made the decision to pursue my dream I think I've done well with the time that I've been dealt.
Those would be my concerns as well. You've done a fine job squeezing everything in during a short time, but adcomms like to see evidence that you've thoughtfully considered medicine over a period of time rather than that you made an impulsive decision to change careers. If you spent some years outside of an academic environment while you worked, you're more likely to get away with it.

Your projected application GPA and MCAT score are more in line with the successful DO acceptee (mean stats 3.48/3.35/26.09), but with a stronger MCAT score, a recent steep upward grade trend, and high BCPM (and perhaps with a forgiving state MD school) an MD acceptance isn't impossible (mean stats 3.67/3.61/31.1).

EC-wise, I suggest you try for a broader shadowing experience, ideally to include a primary care doc, too. I would imagine it wouln't be difficult to set up some formal shadowing of an ER doc. Watching a lot of surgeries won't give you much appreciation for physician-patient interactions, so be sure to attend the office hours too. Be aware that some Do med school require a DO LOR. Your teaching will be terrific. Any peer leadership to mention? Don't forget hobbies, artistic endeavors, and sports.

After applying, I'd strongly suggest you continue with your nonmedical community service and your clinical job, possibly even the research, sending in periodic updates to schools about what you're doing to help sway adcomms toward a positive decision on your file.
 
OP
museic
Dec 7, 2010
188
0
The nati'
Status
Medical Student
First off I'd like to thank you for your insight catalystik. Your time and wisdom is much appreciated.

The one thing that might cover my butt with the impulsivity thing is that I originally was in school as a premed. due to certain situations and an excess amount of fun I changed after my freshman year because I figured I wasn't capable of getting in. This isn't to say that I didn't want to be a doctor anymore, it's just to say that I was slightly distracted and more importantly discouraged. That being said even if I don't get in this year (applying this summer) I'm def. going to keep up the job and nonmedical community service, in addition to adding some more. This includes research as well.

I def have the upward grade trend. it's not super dramatic but I went from a 2.4 up to a 3.3 with the last two years being on dean’s list every quarter (aside from summer:x) but still maintaining above a 3.5 every quarter.

I couldn't agree more on the broader shadowing experience. The NS is actually a DO so I emailed him out of the blue for the experience as well as a LOR.

As far as peer leadership I don't have any formal experience to brag about but I'm absolutely a leader first. Any suggestions on this end?

I suppose other note worthy endeavors would be tutoring and loads and loads of experience in the performing arts from HS. Singing, dancing, acting, you name it I did it.

I'm not sure if any of this helps but I figured I would elaborate a bit more and see what you thought.

Once again thank you for your advice!:)
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
32,359
11,958
Camp SDN: The Place for Summer Fun
High school experiences don't help you unless they continued into the college years.

For peer leadership, here are my favorite quotes:
Mobius1985 said:
From a conversation with an adcomm member I learned that (at his school) one gets points for the intensity of the leadership experiences listed. Here are some examples of activities I've learned of on SDN and how I'd rank them (opinions, as always, may vary). Multiple experiences increase the score. It's OK to shine in another area if leadership isn't your forte.

Level I: 1) President of a club for a year. Led meetings. 2) Start small, common-interest club eg card playing, sport, adventure, campus cleanup. 3) Mentor freshman. 4) Initiate food drive among your friends and collect donations for a food pantry. 5) Member of student senate.

Level II: 1) Club officer multiple years, eventually president. 2) Start new club attracting 20+ members to do community service, or arranging speakers, or to successfully campaign for a change on campus. 3) Shift supervisor or trainer of new employees. 4) Team captain. 5) Officer of student senate.

Level III: 1) Board member for health-related organization or charitable foundation for several years who helps organize/participate in health fairs, involved in presentations to get funding for projects, brings opinions to the meetings and campaigns to effect change. 2) President of three clubs some of which do community service or raise money for projects. 3) Organize 3-4 charity concerts with large attendance coordinating multiple committees. 4) Direct a play.

Level IV: 1) Chief Editor of school paper, writing editorials to sway opinion. Direct policy. 2) President of student senate; initiates and carries through major change. 3) NCO or officer in the armed forces who trained/led a team/unit in combat.

Level V: 1) Founded a charitable group, raised thousands of dollars for many projects, multiple year involvement, group continues after your departure. Branch groups started in other locations under your leadership. 2) Start a free clinic, recruit doctors, nurses, and student workers to volunteer their time. Raise the money for supplies/pharmaceuticals or get them donated. Help hundreds to thousands of patients in the time you're involved. 3) Start a successful company with 5+ employees and make a profit. Guide growth, legal and financial aspects.

Leadership is not essential. Don't do it just to check a box and frankly, I never give much wait to leadership positions in clubs. What really gets us excited is taking charge of a large group of your peers or taking responsibility for "stuff" including other people's money. Teaching/tutoring is, in my mind, a different box. I've seen people take team captain role on a sports team or in organizing a group of peers to accomplish a task or as a service role for a group (such as president of a frat).3/29/10