How to go about filling in the holes in my app? Should I apply now anyway?

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Jun 5, 2021
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Have been really struggling to interpret my application since I think I have some pretty big gaps in there (namely lack of volunteering, clinical stuff). What schools should I aim for? Northwestern/Columbia would be a dream but not sure how much of a reach those will be.

  • State/Country of Residence: MI
  • Ties to other States/Regions: Lived in KS, IA, CT, HI, MO but mostly MI
  • URM? (Y/N): N (but LGBTQ 🏳️‍🌈 )
  • Year in School: Master's in art history in UK
  • Undergraduate Major(s)/Minor(s): bio + art history
  • Awards/honors/recognitions: high distinction, various honors awards, phi beta kappa, new directions scholarship, biochem facilitator of the year, (potential) distinction in my master's program
  • Graduate Degrees (if applicable): MA in art history in UK
  • Cumulative GPA: 3.94
  • Science GPA: 3.9+ (havent calculated exactly but something around there)
  • MCAT Score(s): 520
  • Research Experience: Neuroscience lab ~800 hrs, neurodev lab in uk 200 hrs (will continue working throughout the application process however)
  • Publications/Abstracts/Posters (include how you were credited e.g. first author, second author, etc.): 1 first author (art history), 1 third author
  • Clinical Experience (paid or volunteer): EMT work in tel aviv (200 hours), will work again as an emt in UK while I apply
  • Physician Shadowing: 20 hours general surgeon, 20 hours neurologist, hoping for more
  • Non-Clinical Volunteering: rip :/
  • Other Extracurricular Activities: cofounder of ethical business club (helped spread it to UCLA, through the club donated ~1000$ to various orgs), chess club, Business of Art society, Art Law society, jewish org at uni
  • Other Employment History: university-employed tutor for honors calc 2, orgo, and biochem for three years, final year as a lead tutor for biochem.
  • hobbies: chess master, graphic design (have my own personal company) (peep my profile for examples), guitar, soccer
  • Letters of Rec: 2 PIs, two art history professors (I think 2 should be good and 2 will be great)
  • Immediate family members in medicine? (Y/N): Y
  • Specialty of Interest (if applicable): neuro/onco
  • Interest in Primary Care (Y/N): Y
  • Interest in Rural Health (Y/N): Y? idk for sure

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Admissions advisor
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Oct 14, 2011
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I think it's too early to think about schools to apply to without having a handle on the dearth of non-clinical experience/community service first. I also think that your US clinical experience may seem a little light (EMT in Israel/UK only?). When will you be able to return to the US?


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Jul 14, 2005
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When are you coming back to the states? Do well in your grad program, enjoy Europe and then come home and get your application together. You really aren’t ready to apply anytime soon. But keep in mind you have a very good MCAT that will expire at some point. You need 200+ hours of clinical experiences in the USA. These can be paid or volunteer but they must be face to face opportunities to interact with the sick, injured and dying. You also need about 50 hours of physician shadowing the US. Be sure to include some with a primary care do . You also need 200+ hours of nonclinical volunteering. This should be focused on the unserved/underserved in your community(again in the USA). Think of services like homeless shelters, food banks, veteran centers, camps for disabled kids, etc.. Something to get you out of your comfort zone.
So what are you plans for returning? And don’t apply without the expected prereqs. Good luck as you move forward.
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