Great GPA, low CARS, WAMC? or advice for next steps/gap year.

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Full Member
5+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2017
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Hello Everyone!

I thought I'd ask you guys for some advice as I've been struggling to decide what to do for the remainder of this application cycle. To start off, I am a NY resident however, I completed my undergrad at Queen's University in Ontario and I'm majoring in Life Sciences.
My cGPA is 3.83 and my sGPA is 3.85 on the AMCAS scale.
My MCAT score is 506 overall and my breakdown is PS-127, CARS-122, BS-128, PSYC-129.

To list off my EC's
- Volunteer/Shadowing at a cardiology ward (mostly worked with Nurses and PCTs, but got to observe some physicians) (40 hours)
- Volunteer/Shadowing at a Dental clinic. (Got some really great hands-on experience as I got to work with patients and assists dental surgeons with minor things) (50 hours)
- Summer clinical Research at the hospital I volunteered at before (250+ hours)
- A second summer research experience at my University. This time I received an Undergraduate Student Research Award and a grant by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) (500+ hours). I'm actually continuing this project into my 4th year and will be making a poster, report, and hopes of publishing any data. Overall, I'll have 4 semesters worth of research completed by the time I graduate.
- 3rd year Class Ambassador (1 year)
- Life Sciences Student Council President (1 year)
- Co-founder of Queen's Helping the Homeless (A club on campus) (1 year)
- Volunteer at a camp that specializes in working with underprivileged youth (2 years)
- Orientation leader (80 hours)
- Intramural Volleyball (3.5 years)

I understand that my CARS score is very low, but I was persuaded to apply anyway by my parents in hopes of some In state love.
My question is, what are my chances? Was I doomed from the beginning? I've only applied to NY schools, mostly SUNY but I have some secondaries from OOS schools that I have not completed yet because I think I am too late and It would be a waste of money. I've considered DO but I really want to stick to MD as I hope to pursue research alongside my practice in the future.

If I am doomed, what should my next steps be? I'm planning a MCAT retake this summer where my emphasis will be on CARS, but then what do I do for my gap year? I'm thinking I should get more clinical/shadowing experience. I'm not too keen on doing a masters because I don't want to delay the process 2 more years. I've read about SMPs but it seems those are for low GPA circumstances.

Any help or advice would be much appreciated!!

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Full Member
7+ Year Member
Aug 4, 2016
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@Goro is king of good advice.

Personally, I think the CARS score is lethal for all MD/DO programs. A 122 is a 5/6 on the old scale and is roughly 25th percentile. Retake with a 126+. The clinical hours also need to be increased (preferably with vulnerable patient populations). It's too late in the cycle.

Retake, get more clinical experience and submit applications in June.