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Sep 28, 2009
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  1. Attending Physician
Hey everyone! I want to apply in the 2021-2022 cycle (so about 9 months from now) and I'm extremely worried about my clinical experience, which I'll list below with my projected hours by the time I apply. My college pre-med advisor told me upfront that I really lack clinical exposure, so I'm pretty stressed out. I am an international student, so state schools are no Bueno for me. Here are the details:

My GPA is 3.77 and I haven't taken the MCAT yet (scheduled for Jan) but hope to make a 515+ on it. I graduated from college last year (Class of 2019).

Research: ~1600 hours, 1 Pub mid author

Clinical volunteering: ~200 hours working as a patient transporter and a hospice volunteer by the time I apply

Non-clinical volunteering: ~200 working at the American Red Cross Blood Drives and their Food Bank

Shadowing: ~20 in the U.S in pulmonology, ~50 outside the U.S. in Cardiology

Leadership: Student committee co-chair in my Master's program, Graduate TA, Math tutor throughout college, manager at my college writing lab

Other things: I will finish my Masters at the Harvard School of Public Health in computational biology next year, hope to work in a related field during my gap year.

How can I better my application for the next cycle? Will focusing all my energy on a killer MCAT score help offset my lack of clinical experience, or should I focus more on getting more clinical experience (Covid-19 isn't helping R.I.P.)
to fix your clinical experience, go get some more clinical experience. It's the only way. Cold call and e-mail every place you can find, and if they don't respond, e-mail again!

In addition, also do well on the MCAT. You only need to do a few hours per week to get more clinical experience.

And keep in mind, as an international student, you really can't skip any piece of the puzzle. You have to have it all to get in.
Mar 12, 2013
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That sounds good! I'm currently doing virtual shadowing, hopefully that'll count? Beyond that, I'll try to get more volunteering hours in at the hospice. In-person shadowing is just not happening these days (I tried cold calling and cold emailing). Are these experiences enough?
Yes, virtual shadowing works (for now). Programs know about COVID.
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