jiggahova

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up until now i thought i had a really strong application for medical school, but now I'm having doubts. I have a 3.8 gpa, but no hospital volunteer work, how bad does that look? I did volunteer as a researcher; I am supposed to have my name published as one of the last authors but i really had nothing to do with the project, do you think that will do me any good? Other than that i just shadowed a doc and thats it. I expect around 30-32 on my MCAT which im taking in a couple months. Do you guys think I have a chance to get into like BU or Tufts? Also how important are LORs from professors, I really don't know any of my professors personally. anyone else in my shoes? Is there anything else you guys would recommend doing in the next four months to strenghten my app
 
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CarrieBad

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up until now i thought i had a really strong application for medical school, but now I'm having doubts. I have a 3.8 gpa, but no hospital volunteer work, how bad does that look? I did volunteer as a researcher; I am supposed to have my name published as one of the last authors but i really had nothing to do with the project, do you think that will do me any good? Other than that i just shadowed a doc and thats it. I expect around 30-32 on my MCAT which im taking in a couple months. Do you guys think I have a chance to get into like BU or Tufts? Also how important are LORs from professors, I really don't know any of my professors personally. anyone else in my shoes?

You NEED to have some hospital volunteer work, not just for applying as you have shadowing experience, but you should get some patient exposure to make sure that being a physician is really what you want. It is one of the most difficult professions, and as my grandfather said, "if there is anything you could be happy doing instead of being a doctor, do that." How can you know you want to be a physician without spending time with patients? Also, if you volunteer in a hospital you will be able to have a rec from a physician who has seen you in action.
 

Slowpoke

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You have a fantastic GPA!

However, you lack some of the most crucial parts to being an applicant

as CarrieBad addressed, how will you answer the question "Why do you want to be a Physician" if you've never had any patient contact, if you've never even step foot in a hospital!

Your published research is great, but are you going to be able to intelligently talk about it, to be able to answer questions about it? If not, that is going to be a HUGE red flag.

To be blunt, you've got a lot of work ahead of you, but don't despair, individuals would donate limbs for such a strong GPA. Don't let it go to waste bud.

Secure a hospital position, get to know your professors, start doing something - now is the time.
 
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HumidBeing

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You don't have to volunteer in a hospital. It looks like you do need to strengthen both your clinical experience, and your amount of volunteering. You can work on those separately or together. You have time, but don't delay too long. Duration of volunteerism says a lot.

And do get to know some of your professors well enough that they can write good letters of rec for you.
 

fireflygirl

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You have a fantastic GPA!

However, you lack some of the most crucial parts to being an applicant

as CarrieBad addressed, how will you answer the question "Why do you want to be a Physician" if you've never had any patient contact, if you've never even step foot in a hospital!

Your published research is great, but are you going to be able to intelligently talk about it, to be able to answer questions about it? If not, that is going to be a HUGE red flag.

To be blunt, you've got a lot of work ahead of you, but don't despair, individuals would donate limbs for such a strong GPA. Don't let it go to waste bud.

Secure a hospital position, get to know your professors, start doing something - now is the time.

I completely agree. You could start by talking to your advisors and seeing what kinds of connections they have to local facilities where you could start doing some volunteer work. Even some consistent work that you could do over the next year would be helpful. I am not sure what your plan is until you graduate or start medical school but if you have the option to take some time off, I am sure it would be very helpful for your application. I always encourage students not to go straight from UG to medical school and even if you take a year off and explore the field a little bit, I think it would not be helpful for you as a person but also for your application.

Also, another thing to keep in mind is that it's going to depend on what kind of medical school you want to attend. A lot of the larger, research oriented schools really want to see a certain model - they want to see the good GPA and MCAT (which you seem to have covered) but the ones that have a heavy focus on research, want students with that same interest. Tufts may or may not fall into that category. So I am not sure what your future goals are, and if you want to be a researcher at some point, but it might help you decide what schools you want to look into. It also may guide the kind of of volunteer/research work you want to do. Regardless, as others have said, you may want to start getting yourself involved in whatever meaningful work you can as soon as you can. Good luck!
 

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Don't worry about not having "much to do" with the research. Just put it on your application in terms of what you DID do, don't overplay it, but if your name is on the publication it will help your application. Just be sure to read the paper when it comes out...do try to make sure you understand the project so you can discuss it in your interviews later.

The GPA is great. The MCAT I think you can do well.

What you need is to increase your exposure to the medical field without sucking up too much of your MCAT prep time. I do think you need to start some health care volunteer work. It doesn't have to be a hospital, but that would be good. A doctor's office, nursing home, etc. would be good. If you don't know what you want to do as far as fields within medicine (i.e. pediatric vs. adult medicine) I'd just go to your school's health professions advisor and/or career office and see if they have tips on the best local hospitals to volunteer at. Get started now, as you might need to sign up now in order to be able to volunteer next semester. If you feel too overwhelmed starting volunteer work before taking the MCAT, you could wait until after. It might hurt your application a little to have not done long term volunteer work, but if you keep at it and have a meaningful experience as a volunteer you'll be able to get in to some medical school.

As pointed out above, you do really need more exposure to know whether or not you would actually like being a physician. In my mind, though, the problem with a lot of these volunteer positions is they don't really let you do anything, and the stuff you end up doing doesn't have much to do with the kind of stuff you'll do as a doctor....at least that was my experience.
 

violet7

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I'd say you DEFINITELY need some hospital volunteer work involving interaction with patients. I have a friend who eventually got accepted to med school but had several negative interview experiences where interviewers questioned her knowledge of medical field and lack of patient contact...also I know one MSTP who did phenomenal on his PhD interviews, but was waitlisted because MD committee questioned his clinical experience (he thought volunteering was a useless waste of time).
 

jiggahova

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well to be honest i think volunteering is a waste of time, i tried it and quit because i wasn't doing anything to benefit anyone, I was supposed to be patient transporter but when i showed up they just made me sit in a room for hours and do nothing. You don't think shadowing a physician is enough to answer the question on why i wanna be a doctor? Also what type of volunteering positions would you guys recommend where I can get the most patient contact and how do you go about getting those?
 

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well to be honest i think volunteering is a waste of time, i tried it and quit because i wasn't doing anything to benefit anyone, I was supposed to be patient transporter but when i showed up they just made me sit in a room for hours and do nothing. You don't think shadowing a physician is enough to answer the question on why i wanna be a doctor? Also what type of volunteering positions would you guys recommend where I can get the most patient contact and how do you go about getting those?
You need a reason to pursue medicine. Shadowing (how much are we talking about) fulfills that need. Working/Volunteering in a clinical setting helps too. However, you must must must must volunteer some of your time. As Humid said, you don't need to volunteer in a hospital. You can volunteer with a group on campus, through your school's community service office, through a medical mission, through alternative spring breaks, afterschool tutoring programs, in a soup kitchen, etc. However, committment to volunteering is important. Serving soup one day out of 4 years is not going to help you.
 

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well to be honest i think volunteering is a waste of time,

In often is, but it's also part of the game and you need to play it at least a little. Volunteering in a medical setting is never going to involve doing anything real exciting, so don't go in expecting to feel like an essencial part of the medical team or anything.

I'm sure this is going to irritate someone, but even if all you can find is sitting in a room doing nothing as a patient transporter it is better than nothing. On your application it will still say volunteered in patient transport at hospital. All you have to do after that is talk intelligently and focus on the few times you were doing something (i'm assuming they let you transport a patient at least occasionally).
 
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1. Get clinical experience
2. Research will not hurt your application even if you did not have much to do with the project. Just make sure you can explain it.
3. Never estimate what you think you can get on the MCAT
 

Chemist0157

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I think adcoms and interviewers know that most of us do very little while volunteering, especially in a hospital. In this case, showing that you made an effort to at least be in that kind of environment is noteworthy. Doing other community service would be a great idea.
 

MilkmanAl

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In often is, but it's also part of the game and you need to play it at least a little. Volunteering in a medical setting is never going to involve doing anything real exciting, so don't go in expecting to feel like an essencial part of the medical team or anything.

I'm sure this is going to irritate someone, but even if all you can find is sitting in a room doing nothing as a patient transporter it is better than nothing. On your application it will still say volunteered in patient transport at hospital. All you have to do after that is talk intelligently and focus on the few times you were doing something (i'm assuming they let you transport a patient at least occasionally).
Listen to this advice. It's accurate on all counts. :thumbup:
 
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