hs2013

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So I know someone with a solid gpa, who did great on the MCATs, and tons I mean TONS of ECs but didn't get into MCW(Medical College of Wisconsin).
They had a 3.75 gpa, 3.73 for science, and got 34N on MCATs and these were their ECs

Research
2 years in Cancer lab as undergrad
1 year in industry
6 months in neurobio lab (continuing)

Volunteering
Volunteer with underpriveledged children (50 hours)
Volunteer at nursing home (125 hours)continuing
Volunteer in ER (100 hours)continuing
Volunteer in animal shelter (75 hours)
Taught Sunday School (25 hours)
Lead fundraiser to raise over $10,000(125 hours)
Helped out with Engineering days (50 hours)
Random volunteering (habitat, concession stands) (20 hours)

Shadowing
Pediatric oncology (5 hours)continuing
Pediatric er (8 hours)continuing
Family Practice (10 hours) continuing
Oncologist (3.5 hours)'wasn't really my thing'

EMT Basic (110 hours)continuing
Tutoring High schooler (7) continuing


How is that possible? I want to get into MCW and think I might be able to do better with my GPA and maybe MCATs but I know for a fact that my ECs won't even come close to touching those of theirs. Are ECs really not that important?
 

torshi

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*He probably F'ed up during the interview or the adcoms didn't like him.
*Maybe a flaw in his LOR's (crappy)
*Horrible Personal Statement

and EC's are extremely important

You need:
Great LOR's
Great EC's/Clinical/non-clincal exposure
Research
High GPA/MCAT
Great Personal Statement
 

DaisyBuchanan

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Aren't you still in high school? Relax buddy, you'll be fine. I'm no adcom, but what I'm not seeing is a whole lot of consistency in your friend's activities. 50 hours is not much time to spend doing something, and might seem like a resume padder. Maybe LizzyM or Catalystic (sp?) can give more insight.
 

torshi

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Aren't you still in high school? Relax buddy, you'll be fine. I'm no adcom, but what I'm not seeing is a whole lot of consistency in your friend's activities. 50 hours is not much time to spend doing something, and might seem like a resume padder. Maybe LizzyM or Catalystic (sp?) can give more insight.
I think he still is but he is *referring to someones application, as an example.
 

briton

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ECs show Admissions that you have commitment not only to a career in medicine but also to helping society. So yes, they are important. It seems to me though that as long as you have sufficient volunteer experience and clinical experience you should be okay. Having a lot may benefit you, it may not. A ton of ECs won't cover up a bad personality or a bad interview.
 

startswithb

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I think another big point we're missing here is the subjectivity of the individual adcom looking at the applicant. He didn't get into MCW, but will or did probably get in somewhere else. You can't have your heart set on one school before you even apply. It's random. State schools, maybe, but private schools, definitely not. Apply broadly.
 

torshi

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I think another big point we're missing here is the subjectivity of the individual adcom looking at the applicant. He didn't get into MCW, but will or did probably get in somewhere else. You can't have your heart set on one school before you even apply. It's random. State schools, maybe, but private schools, definitely not. Apply broadly.
Agreed. :thumbup:

The chances of getting into the dream med school is unlikely, because you don't know your chances since everyone else applying are as good as you.

It might be easier to set a dream school for undergrad, but when it comes to med school, don't set your hopes for *one school, because it will hurt you if you don't get in, but you'll start to realize that when it comes time it won't really matter what med school you even go to, the only thing you will care about is becoming a physician.

That's why applicants apply broadly to about *20+ schools, just hoping to get into any school.
 

solo75

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So I know someone with a solid gpa, who did great on the MCATs, and tons I mean TONS of ECs but didn't get into MCW(Medical College of Wisconsin).
They had a 3.75 gpa, 3.73 for science, and got 34N on MCATs and these were their ECs

Research
2 years in Cancer lab as undergrad
1 year in industry
6 months in neurobio lab (continuing)

Volunteering
Volunteer with underpriveledged children (50 hours)
Volunteer at nursing home (125 hours)continuing
Volunteer in ER (100 hours)continuing
Volunteer in animal shelter (75 hours)
Taught Sunday School (25 hours)
Lead fundraiser to raise over $10,000(125 hours)
Helped out with Engineering days (50 hours)
Random volunteering (habitat, concession stands) (20 hours)

Shadowing
Pediatric oncology (5 hours)continuing
Pediatric er (8 hours)continuing
Family Practice (10 hours) continuing
Oncologist (3.5 hours)'wasn't really my thing'

EMT Basic (110 hours)continuing
Tutoring High schooler (7) continuing


How is that possible? I want to get into MCW and think I might be able to do better with my GPA and maybe MCATs but I know for a fact that my ECs won't even come close to touching those of theirs. Are ECs really not that important?
Its the MCAT. Not MCATs. You take it once.
 

juliedi

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Its the MCAT. Not MCATs. You take it once.
:thumbup: This is a little pet peeve of mine. Even my dad, who is a physician and did take the MCAT at one point, calls it the MCATs. I feel bad that it bugs me but it does!

Not that this really matters for the topic at hand.
 

hiyaman

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Aren't you still in high school? Relax buddy, you'll be fine. I'm no adcom, but what I'm not seeing is a whole lot of consistency in your friend's activities. 50 hours is not much time to spend doing something, and might seem like a resume padder. Maybe LizzyM or Catalystic (sp?) can give more insight.
Is it bad to do small hours per week over the course of a long time? So like if I tutored underprivileged children or something for 1-2 hours per week for a year would that look bad because of the hours spent? Do they ask you how long you did the activity or is it just hours that they ask for?
 

getright

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Is it bad to do small hours per week over the course of a long time? So like if I tutored underprivileged children or something for 1-2 hours per week for a year would that look bad because of the hours spent? Do they ask you how long you did the activity or is it just hours that they ask for?
Interested in knowing this as well. By the time I apply, I will have only accumulated about 50 hours of tutoring over the course of about 14 months.
 

DaisyBuchanan

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Is it bad to do small hours per week over the course of a long time? So like if I tutored underprivileged children or something for 1-2 hours per week for a year would that look bad because of the hours spent? Do they ask you how long you did the activity or is it just hours that they ask for?
Interested in knowing this as well. By the time I apply, I will have only accumulated about 50 hours of tutoring over the course of about 14 months.
Tutoring might be a different story. I know a lot of people say it's not how long you do something, it's what you got from the experience, but it's also important to do something consistently. I was talking about things where 50 hours could/should be knocked out in like 3 months or less. But like I said, I'm no adcom :cool:
 

datongnoodles

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Is it bad to do small hours per week over the course of a long time? So like if I tutored underprivileged children or something for 1-2 hours per week for a year would that look bad because of the hours spent? Do they ask you how long you did the activity or is it just hours that they ask for?
Almost all my ECs were like this, just 1-2 hours per week, spread out over 1-2 years. I was worried before but now at least two schools have specifically mentioned my EC in their acceptance letters (UMich and Pitt) and how they were impressed by my dedication. I think it really just depends on your situation. I'm non-trad, and was working full time, and managed to commute 60-80 minutes roundtrip for the 1-2 hour volunteering every week. Plus I was able to talk about why I found it meaningful and what I really learned from it. So I guess it's really true that quality matters way more over quantity.
 

startswithb

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My older professors call it the Med-Cat. Srsly! At least three of them.
 
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My older professors call it the Med-Cat. Srsly! At least three of them.
Yeah a doc I was talking to the other day was it calling it the MedCAT too. I had heard "the MCAT" and "MCATs" but MedCAT was a first.

I wonder if more people use to call it that back in the day
 

DM3

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Patient-contact ECs are reallllyy light...
 
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Patient-contact ECs are reallllyy light...
^^^ Agree

You should plan on shadowing many doctors to get some clinical exposure, and it's always valuable to stick with one doc for a long period of time to accumulate a lot of quality experience and see a lot of different things.

Shadowing is unbelievably critical
 

SoundofSilver

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How is that possible? I want to get into MCW and think I might be able to do better with my GPA and maybe MCATs but I know for a fact that my ECs won't even come close to touching those of theirs. Are ECs really not that important?
MCW is just one school. The process is a crapshoot, perhaps someone at MCW wasn't impressed with his/her essays or letters. Or maybe they didn't click with their interviewer.

I'd be pretty surprised if your friend didn't get in anywhere, assuming he or she applied to an adequate range of schools.

ECs are important. So are GPA and MCAT. In fact, everything on your app is important. Just do your best and hope for the best.
 

solo75

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Med-CAT would be more accurate than MCATs since the M stands for Medical. Maybe we should start calling it the Med-Co-Ad-Te?
 

rafflecopter

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Its the MCAT. Not MCATs. You take it once.
While we're on the subject of MCAT pet peeves. I hate it when people say "writing the MCAT." That's something AAMC does when they come up with questions, we (as test takers) take the test :hungover:.
 

solo75

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While we're on the subject of MCAT pet peeves. I hate it when people say "writing the MCAT." That's something AAMC does when they come up with questions, we (as test takers) take the test :hungover:.
Debatable... as there is now a writing section.
 
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^^^ Agree

You should plan on shadowing many doctors to get some clinical exposure, and it's always valuable to stick with one doc for a long period of time to accumulate a lot of quality experience and see a lot of different things.

Shadowing is unbelievably critical
I get confused about this...some people say that only about 50 hrs of shadowing is needed?? Is it as important as clinical volunteering??
 

courtnes

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That's a Britishism, no? To "write" a test means to take it?
 

Helen Wheels

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solo75 said:
Its the MCAT. Not MCATs. You take it once.
Well, that is the ideal strategy. Many people, like myself, for example, sat through that beast more than once. :cry:

But I still use just the singular when referring to it. :)

startswithb said:
My older professors call it the Med-Cat. Srsly! At least three of them.
Yeah, a physician I shadowed called it that! He was probably in his mid to late fifties.
 

Isoprop

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How is that possible? I want to get into MCW and think I might be able to do better with my GPA and maybe MCATs but I know for a fact that my ECs won't even come close to touching those of theirs. Are ECs really not that important?
It's not just about stats, ECs, LORs, etc. It's about fit. Admissions people are trying to build a class mosaic, and your personality and interests may conflict with what the school is looking for.

This is even candidates with the most competitive CVs and stats don't get acceptances from everywhere.
 

DrYoda

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It's not just about stats, ECs, LORs, etc. It's about fit. Admissions people are trying to build a class mosaic, and your personality and interests may conflict with what the school is looking for.

This is even candidates with the most competitive CVs and stats don't get acceptances from everywhere.
This is what it's about. You won't get in everywhere, one person not getting in to one school doesn't mean anything. This is why people apply to multiple schools.

I didn't even get an interview at the most poorly regarded school I applied to (it was one of my state schools too). It doesn't mean it's an exceptionally hard school to get into; they probably saw a guy from the city with high scores applying to a ruralish lower tier school and figured they wouldn't waste their time with me.

Edit: You should stop worrying about med school and residency and worry more about college at this point.
 

WorldChanger36

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OP, There are many reasons why some people get into some schools and others do not. Besides personal feeling of the interviews and adcoms there are lots of other reasons why a person can be a good fit or not. No one is ever a shoe in to any school. It is a bit of a misunderstanding that if a person has high scores that this increases there likelihood of acceptance into a specific school and this may not be the case. Take for example mid tier schools, while they do accept people with high scores they also like to accept people that want to go to there school and are most likely to attend there school if accepted. Adcoms are not stupid, a person with a 3.7 GPA and a 34+ MCAT is much more likely to go to an upper tier school if accepted and turn down the acceptance to a mid tier school. This means more work for adcoms in the rush season to get seats filled. They are not likely to create more work for themselves and accept a person that they know is not likely to attend. With is why you see people with beautiful scores and great EC never get extended interview to some mid tier schools. A rejection does not always mean "we don't want you" it also means "thanks but it seems like you have interests else where." Just as it is just as much of a mistake to apply to school that you dan't have the grades for, it is a mistake to apply to schools that your scores greatly exceed. Of course this needs to be take with a grain of salt because after all it is just speculation of what I have observed on this site.

So when you get to college just do your best and you will be fine and if you are still gunning for MCW when you apply good luck to you.
 

hiyaman

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Almost all my ECs were like this, just 1-2 hours per week, spread out over 1-2 years. I was worried before but now at least two schools have specifically mentioned my EC in their acceptance letters (UMich and Pitt) and how they were impressed by my dedication. I think it really just depends on your situation. I'm non-trad, and was working full time, and managed to commute 60-80 minutes roundtrip for the 1-2 hour volunteering every week. Plus I was able to talk about why I found it meaningful and what I really learned from it. So I guess it's really true that quality matters way more over quantity.

Thanks for the input, I was wondering because I'm tutoring a child 1-2 hours a week, but I hope to continue tutoring her for this year until she finishes geometry at least.