Honest opinions, please?!

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


New Member
10+ Year Member
Oct 12, 2008
Reaction score

Members don't see this ad.
Hi everyone! I am totally new to this, and I have no idea of how competitive I would be. Be honest...be brutally honest. I want the truth!! I promise that I won't cry! +pity+Here is everything right now:

1. English/French degree with expected GPA of 3.3 at graduation
*In 2007 I graduated with my English BA and Philosophy minor (3.1 GPA). My French BA is 3.7, but averaged in will be 3.3GPA total (both are from the same school).
2. fluent in French
3. will study abroad in France this summer
4. conversational in Spanish
5. minority stats: female, documented native American and tribal member, bone cancer survivor
(gosh I feel so dirty putting these sacred things about my life in terms of getting into a medical school program; but honestly these are major personality defining things for me)

Right now I am finishing my BA. However, I have 1 1/2-2 years of pre-requisites before I would be able to apply to med school in addition to this. Should I stay at my home school (Indiana University) and attempt to increase my cum. GPA or apply to a post-bacc somewhere else? Also, in the two years before applying:

1. I have begun volunteering, and over the next two years I will have ALOT of volunteer work with cancer (cancer camp counselor, cancer mentoring, speaking, charity events, a cancer advocacy project that I have already gotten off the ground, etc.). This really is a passion for me.
2. There are several research projects involving cancer and fertility that sorely need to be done, IMHO, and I intend to do them before applying to med school.
3. I do some writing on the side, and I have been published. Should I include this on applications?

What am I missing?! If you were me, what would you be doing during these next two years? Oh yes, and I am 24. Would my older age at application count against me? Thank you in advance, oh omniscient ones! :)
Last edited:


Full Member
10+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2007
Reaction score
If I were you, I'd stay at IU to complete the med school prerequisites. You could even delay your graduation so that you will have priority in signing up for the classes. Either way, any undergrad classes you take will help raise your overall GPA as long as you get As. Since your GPA is sub-par (but happily shows a rising trend), you need to do whatever it takes to get As in your science classes and prove to adcomms that you will do well in a mostly-science med school curriculum. I expect you have very few science classes so far, so hopefully, your BCPM (bio, chem, physics, math) GPA will be high. If your GPA stays at 3.3, I would say in general you'd need an MCAT of 33-34 to compensate, however with your native American status, you'll likely do fine with a slightly lower score.

A consistent pattern of volunteerism helps to establish you as a person with the proper humanitarian setpoint to do well in medicine. If it is medical volunteerism, that is even better as it provides the needed clinical exposure. Your work with cancer patients will look very good on your application. It shows a clear commitment to medicine and a familiarity with what medicine is like, along with your own personal exposure to the medical environment.

Having a research experience helps make you appealing to more medical schools. The fact that your planned research ties in with your cancer experiences is very nice (though not essential).

Absolutely mention your non-research published work.

Being older will work in your favor, as you are presumably more mature. You certainly have a richer background as a result.

You've demonstrated leadership already in some of your mentioned projects. That's good. Your multilingualism will be appreicated. If you are active in tribal affairs I'd find some way to mention that in an essay or listed experiences.

Overall, I am very optimistic about your chances, as you seem determined and have clear goals. You'll have an interesting application and Personal Statement. Keep in mind, as you proceed, that you'll be needing good Letters of Recommendation, good interviewing skills, and an above average MCAT. Best of Luck!