BlueBee20

2+ Year Member
Jul 24, 2016
44
20
Status
Medical Student
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reports of my assimilation are greatly exaggerated
2+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2016
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Probably still at work
Can't help you too much with ECs because I feel like they should be pretty personalized. Everything depends on how it broadens your view of medicine and how much it impacted you.

For the schools, get the MSAR! It is the best $30 of the whole process. You would learn the regional bias for UCSD is pretty big in comparison to Keck, etc (Sadly...I would love to go to UCSD as well!). They also give their mission statements which will help you guide your decisions.
 

FutureOncologist

I support cancer... research
5+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2014
652
721
Status
Resident [Any Field]
You're honestly fine. You seem to be well rounded in philanthropy. If anything, clinical may be a bit behind if you're a CA resident (from my understanding, UCSD are regionally biased with whom they select... I could be wrong.) How clinically involved are you? How many hours each summer did you work as an Ophtho tech? What work is entailed in working with the surgery department? Do you wheel around patients and shadow doctors/surgeries? Or do you just take phone calls at the front desk?

If you are well on your way to >500 clinical hours by the end of junior year, then I say you should just stick with everything you're involved in that won't interfere with increasing your GPA and excelling on the MCAT. If you want to be more involved than that, then look at other passions you have. Don't be that check-box premed. It stands out pretty obviously. I worked for admissions during M4 year and I have opted against those stereotypical premeds that couldn't say anything more than "I got 500 hours in X volunteering and 250 hours in Y research." There's nothing that they could say more and it didn't impress me. It is so glaringly obvious, they lose points in my book.

Finally, my personal opinion is those foreign doctor shadowing/volunteering programs are okay, but they won't make adcoms fall head-over-heels for you. If you've worked in the surg dept. and worked with the ophthalmologist, then you can spin it as shadowing if you were in the room with the physician for a good amount of time. It's a waste of $3,000 (or so) if you do it. As a former medical student adcom, I personally didn't care for it. But other adcoms would almost vilify you for doing something meaningless as that. HOWEVER, schools like Emory actually looks at those programs in a positive light. PA schools love that stuff and will count it as HCE. So it's mixed across the board. Safe to say, save the $3K for a trip with your boyfriend/family. Or you could save it for the expensive application system that is the AMCAS. If you're not feeling confident, then applying to the AACOMAS will drain your bank account even more!
 
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BlueBee20

BlueBee20

2+ Year Member
Jul 24, 2016
44
20
Status
Medical Student
.
 
Last edited:
OP
BlueBee20

BlueBee20

2+ Year Member
Jul 24, 2016
44
20
Status
Medical Student
Can't help you too much with ECs because I feel like they should be pretty personalized. Everything depends on how it broadens your view of medicine and how much it impacted you.

For the schools, get the MSAR! It is the best $30 of the whole process. You would learn the regional bias for UCSD is pretty big in comparison to Keck, etc (Sadly...I would love to go to UCSD as well!). They also give their mission statements which will help you guide your decisions.
Thanks for the advice! I'll definitely get that.
 

ThoracicGuy

5+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2013
9,596
23,461
Status
Attending Physician
Hi all! I'd like some advice on what to focus on during my last year of school before taking the MCAT in the Spring and applying for MD and DO schools. Some of the schools that I would like to apply to with good chances of getting in are: University of Florida - Gainesville, University of Illinois - Chicago, University of Texas - Houston, University of Wisconsin - Madison, and University of California - San Diego.

Right now, I have a cumulative GPA of 3.71 and a science GPA of 3.48. This year, I will be taking physics 1 +2, astronomy, general biology lab, anatomy 1 + 2, and biochemistry. I plan on bringing both of my GPA's up this year. I've calculated out with a mixture of A's, A-'s, and one B+ that I could get my science GPA up to 3.63 with the classes listed above.

I have not taken an MCAT practice test yet and cannot predict my scores.

I've worked in the surgery department of a hospital, and as an ophthalmic technician in an ophthalmologist's office for the past two summers. At school, I'm currently the president of my sorority. Our philanthropy involves helping a local women's shelter. In addition, I volunteered at a nearby primary school this past semester. I'm a member of the American Medical Women's Association, but I'm honestly not that involved. I've been involved in our school's dance marathon, and the Miss America Association which both support Children's Miracle Network Hospitals. This upcoming semester, I'll be joining a kinesiology and neuroscience related research lab.

What EC activities should I focus on? Is there any key medical school app component that I'm "missing"? How should I begin studying for the MCAT - what classes are best/what books? Also, I want to do something over winter break and was thinking about applying to do the Atlantis Project - any thoughts, experiences, or other suggestions?

Thank you in advance!
Are you a Texas resident? If not, don't bother with Houston.
 
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BlueBee20

BlueBee20

2+ Year Member
Jul 24, 2016
44
20
Status
Medical Student
Are you a Texas resident? If not, don't bother with Houston.
No, I'm not. Are all of the schools in Texas like that? And, what other states favor residents like that?
 

ThoracicGuy

5+ Year Member
Jun 11, 2013
9,596
23,461
Status
Attending Physician
No, I'm not. Are all of the schools in Texas like that? And, what other states favor residents like that?
Many state schools are like that. California is difficult for non residents. Invest in the msar and it has all that info.
 

FutureOncologist

I support cancer... research
5+ Year Member
Jun 25, 2014
652
721
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I work 7-8 hours 3 days a week at the ophtho office, so I'll have around 240 hours there for this summer. I worked only 2 days a week last summer. I work directly with the ophthalmologists there and they bring me into the rooms frequently because they know I'm premed. I take histories, perform diagnostic testing, instill drops, check muscle balance and pupils, etc. At the hospital, I get 10 hours a week. I'll get 70-80 hours from there this summer. Last year, I had a little bit less than that. In the surgery department, I move patients to and from surgery tables, run specimens down to the lab, turn over rooms, grab equipment for different surgeries, etc. I'm allowed to go into watch surgeries sometimes and a couple of the doctors know me and have had me come in multiple times. I try not to be a check-box premed, but I want to make sure I'm not missing something huge that would hurt my chances of getting in. I definitely have a few EC's that are not typical for a premed. Thank you for all of the advice! I probably will not do the Atlantis Project, maybe I'll try to take an extra class abroad or something.
If you applied to my school or to the other school in which I was accepted, you'd be on hell of a candidate. However, MD apps are not guaranteed by any means, so be sure to apply broadly. Also, make sure you ace the MCAT the first time.
 

mw18

5+ Year Member
Jan 7, 2014
890
959
Status
Medical Student
Your school choices are interesting. You'll obviously have to apply to more schools than those, but those schools listed are public schools. I don't have the MSAR anymore, but I believe Florida shows some in-state preference and I know that UCSD does. If you are a California resident, UCSD is still very difficult. But for an OOS applicant, it can be quite the challenge. UW and Illinois likely show prefernce as well.

The classes that helped me the most on the MCAT (old MCAT, fwiw) were genetics and biochem. Obviously they were all on there, but when I got to the genetics stuff I only had to read it once because I truly knew it. Most of my classes weren't that way. My advice is to take a block of time where you're not in school and you're not working to truly give MCAT prep all that you have.
 
Oct 9, 2016
2
1
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi @BlueBee20 did you end participating with Atlantis Project? I was accepted to their program but am feeling finicky about it because the idea of paying to shadow foreign doctors doesn't make much sense to me. I like to know what you decided to do!
 
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BlueBee20

BlueBee20

2+ Year Member
Jul 24, 2016
44
20
Status
Medical Student
Hi @BlueBee20 did you end participating with Atlantis Project? I was accepted to their program but am feeling finicky about it because the idea of paying to shadow foreign doctors doesn't make much sense to me. I like to know what you decided to do!
Sorry for the late reply! No, I did not end up doing the Atlantis Project