I feel like I'm wasting/ wasted my gap year. Please could use some guidance because reddit and sdn are all i have

May 1, 2020
22
5
Ok so in short I decided to go to medical school instead of physical therapy school right before I graduated, so my application needed help before it was ready.


To summarize my current app...


I graduated with a cumulative GPA of 3.59, sGPA of 3.4 (averaging 2 Cs in gen chem with retaking them for 2 A-s).


Several teachers have agreed to write me strong letters of recommendation. ( 4 now but might ask for more and make it 6)


ECs in short are sports every year of college (soccer freshman year, cross country sophomore and junior year, track junior year ( currently hold 6 school track records), volleyball senior year), started my own track club (was the president), was in my school's drama club and was the lead in plays on and off campus, environmental club, video game club (idk if this club is worth mentioning tho), produced award winning films for film club, etc.


In terms of volunteering, I have 100 volunteer hours from when I wanted to do physical therapy, but I'm not sure if this looks good if used. If so I'm assuming it'll be considered non clinical because I was with a PT the whole time. I have probably 20 additional volunteer hours from doing random things throughout college just for the experience. Stuff like making sandwiches for homeless, making Thanksgiving boxes for less fortunate, etc.


For clinical experience I just recently completed and EMT course and have the ability to work for an EMS company but will probably volunteer at first because volunteering is only 911 calls and working is more transporting patients.


Lastly for shadowing I only have 3 hours due to covid but the doctor I shadowed didn't really give me any insight from shadowing. He just bragged about how successful he is and how he drives a Porsche and when I asked more about what he does as a doctor his main talking points were botox injections and EM sculpt machines...


Anywho that's what I have so far and the only thing I really managed to do over the summer was finish an EMT course and have teachers agree to write me a letter. I still have no..
MCAT (haven't studied yet)
Research ( which is something I really want to do)
Hours shadowing doctors across several specialties + clinical and volunteering experience.
Organic labs or biochemistry (I didn't take orgo labs in undergrad cause I didn't need it for my major, but now that I do need it I can't find a school that offers them separate like mine did)



Now that it's mid September and I want to apply the following cycle I know I need to eventually take those missing classes, study for the MCAT and do decent to make up for my weak GPA, volunteer as an EMT, do research, and shadow doctors.


I just wanted to know if I was missing something or if there was something I was overlooking. I don't have anyone to go to with this for help and I don't want to go ahead and do all this and then come application time I missed something crucial and I'm forced to take another gap year.


My current plan is to


Start studying for the MCAT TODAY and take it in 6 months ( since a lot of people only take 3 months for it I'm hoping 6 months of study time is enough to secure a decent score especially since I don't have any other form of school work besides taking the missing classes)


Start volunteering/ working as an EMT about 20 hours in total


On Monday start cold calling places to find research to do but tbh this is my biggest uncertainty on how to do and one of the major reasons for writing this post. I'm not sure how much time I'll have to dedicate to have decent research experience or if the next 6 months will be enough.


Take the organic lab classes.(hoping they offer it separately) My major concern for this is if it's ok if I do this online for a community college. I know usually it's frowned upon but given the pandemic will it be acceptable for right now? Also biochemistry if I can afford it


And then shadow more doctors whenever I have free time and covid regulations allow.


I know this is long but if you got through all of it then God bless you. I'm hoping that doing what I said before the summer will be enough to complete my application and make me competitive. If anyone has any feedback, criticism, information, ANYTHING, I'm more than open to hear it. Tysm for your time.
 

candbgirl

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There is so much you need to do I’d forget about research. It’s doubtful you’ll find anything for just a few months that would be beneficial. You might find some basic work cleaning tubes etc. But your time can be better used and it will benefit your application!
You need 50 hours of shadowing. A good bit should be with a primary care doc. You also need at least 200 hours of clinical experiences. This can be paid or volunteer. Your plan to do EMT transport isn’t a good idea. It will be looked at by many as ambulance driving. You need face to face contact with patients. You need to be able to show ADCOMS that you know what you are getting yourself into. Do you want to spend the next 35+ years dealing with the sick, injured and dying? This will help you find out so you can answer that question! You might be able to use the PT hours as long as you acquire another 100+ hours more focused on sick people! You also need at least 200 hours of nonclinical volunteering with those less fortunate than yourself. This means helping the unserved/underserved in your community. You seem to have started that with some of your volunteer activities.
And of course there is the MCAT. Don’t take it until you are consistently scoring at or above your target goal on several FL practice tests. You only want to take this test once. Your GPAs are below average for MD but look into DO schools. They might offer you a viable path to becoming a doctor. And with your interest in PT it might be a good fit!
There is no hurry so take your time and do all of this right. You really only want to apply once with the best application possible!
Good luck!
 
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candbgirl

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OP I just read another post you made in May. You do understand that IF (big IF) you are ready to apply next May/June you won’t start until 2022. The application process runs about a year. So there is no way you will start in 2021.
 
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May 1, 2020
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Wow thank you so much @candbgirl for being so thorough! For EMT I was going to volunteer at a place that allows be to basically be the third EMT and from that help out sick patients without being primarily responsible. I was gonna volunteer part time so if I do it this way it'll count towards clinical hours right? If so I shouldn't have much of a problem hitting 100+ hours in 6 ish months.


I can definitely get 50 hours shadowing doctors since my mom is a nurse and knows a few, and for volunteering I think I could find some really fun volunteering opportunities that I can do these following months to put me at well over 200 before application time.

And the MCAT will be my primary focus these upcoming months and will put in a few hours everyday to study for it and will take your advice and not take it until I'm hitting a certain score consistently. If I do all this and perform well on the mcat would you say I'd be ok to apply next summer . I guess research will be if I have enough time + I'll be taking the classes I'm missing in a 3 week winter program.
 
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May 1, 2020
22
5
OP I just read another post you made in May. You do understand that IF (big IF) you are ready to apply next May/June you won’t start until 2022. The application process runs about a year. So there is no way you will start in 2021.

And yea I know now lol that was back when I knew nothing about this whole process.
 
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