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MD GPA 3.7, MCAT 41, PhD in Bio. What schools and chances?

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by Alexphd, Sep 24, 2014.

  1. Alexphd


    Jul 15, 2014
    Hi all,

    I am about to graduate in December, and I am now applying to medical school. I need some help picking the schools and I would like to know what my chances are.

    GPA: 3.72 (Rutgers New Brunswick)

    MCAT: PS 14, V 12, BS 15 : Total 41

    Graduating in December with a PhD in Cell and Molecular Biology from UPenn

    Application weaknesses:

    1. No volunteering
    2. No medical experience outside of my pathology lab.

    *To counter point 2, I am looking to start shadowing a physician and a Pharm PhD in October.

    Schools I am considering:
    1. Columbia
    2. Upenn
    3. Harvard
    4. David Greffen UCLA
    5. University of Washington St. Lious
    6. University of washington
    7. NYU
    8. Rutgers Robert wood johnson

    My program advisor suggested that I pick 3 top schools, 3 medium but strong school and 3 safe schools (but not too safe, as they may think i will not pick them anyway).

    I need help in completing and modifying the list and figuring out what my chances are for the schools. I also need to consider expenses, and which schools have better scholarship funding/grants to reduce or even completely eliminate debt, because I am not entirely certain I want over $100K-200K of debt added at my age (late twenties), especially if i go a more academic route.

    I will greatly appreciate everyone's advice! Thanks!
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  3. Afford

    Afford 2+ Year Member

    Jul 29, 2014
    Volunteer in a hospital. Shadowing doesn't count as clinical experience, so hospital volunteering will help with your two weaknesses.
    I would add more schools in top 20-40 because your MCAT is too high that safety schools might not even give you an interview.
    gyngyn likes this.
  4. Alexphd


    Jul 15, 2014
    Thanks, this seems to be good advice and has been mentioned several times, so I am trying to arrange it now.

    What is the lowest range of schools that I should look at? Should I not bother with anything below top 50?
  5. breakintheroof

    breakintheroof MS-Zero 2+ Year Member

    Jan 20, 2013
  6. Goro

    Goro Faculty 7+ Year Member

    Jun 10, 2010
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    Don't bother applying until you get some shadowing and clinical volunteering.

    Here's the deal: You need to show AdComs that you know what you're getting into, and show off your altruistic, humanism side. We need to know that you're going to like being around sick or injured people for the next 40 years.
    Here's another way of looking at it: would you buy a new car without test driving it? Buy a new suit or dress without trying it on??
    We're also not looking for merely for good medical students, we're looking for people who will make good doctors, and 4.0 GPA robots are a dime-a-dozen.
    I've seen plenty of posts here from high GPA/high MCAT candidates who were rejected because they had little patient contact experience.
    Not all volunteering needs to be in a hospital. Think hospice, Planned Parenthood, nursing homes, rehab facilities, camps for sick children, or clinics. Check out your local houses of worship for volunteer opportunities.

  7. Alexphd


    Jul 15, 2014
    I know I am betting a lot on the grades and PhD to get a second look, and it is very risky, but being considerably older than the average applicant makes it difficult for me to justify waiting a year without giving myself a chance to apply now. The 3-year program seems to be friendliest to phds regarding lack of experience, and that is definitely one of my top choices. I will have to hope that volunteering starting in october until next spring will be enough to let the adcoms know that I am serious, and if I do get interviews, I am sure they will ask me about it.
  8. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist 5+ Year Member

    Apr 20, 2012
    hSDN Member
    hSDN Alumni
    What are you going to say as your "Why Medicine?" if you've never volunteered before and have minimal patient contact? "Wanting to help people" and "I want to work with sick people" are out of the question if you haven't demonstrated this.
    researchismymiddlename and Goro like this.
  9. Faha

    Faha Physician 5+ Year Member

    Sep 15, 2012
    Has your application already been verified and have you applied to any schools yet ? Schools that you could consider would include Einstein, Mt. Sinai, Rochester, Pittsburgh, Case Western, Tufts, BU, Georgetown, Northwestern, Loyola. Most schools have already filled 1/3 or more of their interview slots at this point in the application cycle.
  10. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Moderator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

    Nov 4, 2011
    Alta California
    Closer to 2/3, I'd say
  11. mcloaf

    mcloaf 5+ Year Member

    Jan 21, 2012
    Sounds like you already know what you need to do in terms of beefing up volunteering and shadowing.

    I'd suggest applying to more than 9 schools and including some more choices outside the top 10-20 since you're applying with lacking extracurriculars/exposure to medicine. I also wouldn't bother with UW, they take very few students out of their region.
  12. Abstractions

    Abstractions 2+ Year Member

    May 23, 2014
    When you say closer to 2/3, do you mean that 1) Close to 2/3 of the total II's have already been sent out? or 2) That close to 2/3 of the II's have been unofficially "assigned" to people based on an internal ranking, although they may not have been sent out yet.
    Bin Rushd likes this.
  13. gyngyn

    gyngyn Professor Moderator Physician Faculty Lifetime Donor Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 5+ Year Member

    Nov 4, 2011
    Alta California
    2/3's have been offered already (at my school, anyway).
  14. Alexphd


    Jul 15, 2014
    Thank you everyone for your thoughtful responses. After discussing this issue further with faculty, I have come to the decision to apply early next year, after I get some clinical experience under my belt. I have made mistakes trying to rush the application process, so I decided that I should stop while I am ahead and take some time to become a strong candidate.
    gyngyn and breakintheroof like this.
  15. Catalystik

    Catalystik Providing herd protection Physician Faculty SDN Advisor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Sep 4, 2006
    Inside the tesseract
    Good choice. I'm glad you listened. If you submitted an application this season but have not yet been verified, you can pull your application and get a refund of all but the base $160 fee. Plan to apply early in June 2015 for the best possible chance.
    gyngyn likes this.

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