Dial71

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I plan on applying to medical schools this summer and I would like some advice about my application.

My stats are 4.0 GPA, 4.0 Science GPA, 41M (13 VR, 14 BS, 14 PS). My undergrad is a private, liberal arts college, with little brand recognition. I am a Chemistry major.

Application Pros:
  • approx. 2 years experience in organic chem. lab (possible pub.)
  • 2 years experience working as an ER tech (20-24 hours a week)
  • Student President of SGA at CC
  • good rapport within chem department (hopefully leading to a good LOR)
  • some tutoring experience
Application Cons:
  • I spent my first two years at a CC; I took the Gen Chem and Bio series there; Organic and Physics were taken after transfer
  • leadership experience is not consistent
  • no formal volunteering: I had to work in order to pay for my expenses and thus had little free time to volunteer
I want to try for some top schools; in particular, Mayo, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, and Duke. Of course, I will also be applying to my state schools.

Do you think that my app is competitive enough?
 

iheartmcats

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Jul 30, 2009
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No, your GPA needs to be slightly higher. Your MCAT is subpar for these schools. And volunteer experience is absolutely crucial to show that you really CARE about people and not just yourself.

Just who are you kidding here??
 

csheng89

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Your stats are very impressive so you definitely have a good shot. I don't see any reason why you shouldn't apply to some top tier schools. However, keep in mind that stats only get you so far, especially at those schools you mentioned. I've heard stories of ppl who got 40+ MCAT but still rejected from like WUSTL. You never know, really depends on the adcom and what type of applicants they're looking for. For a top tier med school, everyone is gonna have the good stats, otherwise they wouldnt even get an interview. Congrats on the beasty stats though!

I plan on applying to medical schools this summer and I would like some advice about my application.

My stats are 4.0 GPA, 4.0 Science GPA, 41M (13 VR, 14 BS, 14 PS). My undergrad is a private, liberal arts college, with little brand recognition. I am a Chemistry major.

Application Pros:
  • approx. 2 years experience in organic chem. lab (possible pub.)
  • 2 years experience working as an ER tech (20-24 hours a week)
  • Student President of SGA at CC
  • good rapport within chem department (hopefully leading to a good LOR)
  • some tutoring experience
Application Cons:
  • I spent my first two years at a CC; I took the Gen Chem and Bio series there; Organic and Physics were taken after transfer
  • leadership experience is not consistent
  • no formal volunteering: I had to work in order to pay for my expenses and thus had little free time to volunteer
I want to try for some top schools; in particular, Mayo, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, and Duke. Of course, I will also be applying to my state schools.

Do you think that my app is competitive enough?
 

mmmcdowe

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No volunteering is worrisome, but over all you have pretty good ECs. To be honest, if you really want to maximize your chances I would take an extra year to work and do ECs. About half of top 10 students took time off, and it wasn't because they all had terrible applications.
 

Dial71

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Thank-you for your comments.

I know that numberwise my app is good, but I don't know if I have enough ECs to look competitive. I see that other applicants have tons of ECs. My mentality has been quality over quantity.
 

Dial71

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No volunteering is worrisome. To be honest, if you really want to maximize your chances I would take an extra year to work and do ECs.
I already work in healthcare and I have been doing so for two years. I haven't pursued volunteering because I believe that I can do more good in a skilled job. Not to mention that I need the money.

Isn't the spirit of service more important than any particular activity?
 

robflanker

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I'll be the debbie-downer here but i'm less impressed with CC grades than I am with 4yr grades. But clearly you can do work at a 4-yr by getting a 4.0. Whats the credit split like? aka 80 credits from CC and 30 from 4-yr....

Excellent MCAT too.

Me nitpicking aside - you should be competitive anywhere you want to go provided you get the apps submitted in a timely manner and can interview.

Good luck to you
 

mmmcdowe

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I already work in healthcare and I have been doing so for two years. I haven't pursued volunteering because I believe that I can do more good in a skilled job. Not to mention that I need the money.

Isn't the spirit of service more important than any particular activity?
The spirit of giving your time for free is not the same as serving for money. I agree, you have great medical experience (make sure you can justify how your experiences link you to a desire to be a doc though), but some volunteering (be it health care or not) is something that they look for. Bust out a MSAR and flip to Harvard or another top school, you will notice essentially everyone reports volunteer work. Your ECs are good enough to get you into medical school, but you will have a lot more trouble getting into the most competitive schools if you don't round them out some more.
 
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Washington University (Missouri) is famous for being the most-selective med school in the US, with median acceptee MCAT of 38 and cGPA of 3.9. Only 73% of their applicants list community service on their applications per the MSAR, so that might be one for you to keep in mind.

To be fair, researching the other schools on your list above, volunteerism is reported as Mayo (83%), Hopkins (75%), Columbia (65%), and Duke (76%). These are lower than I would have guessed, but perhaps they represent students who are working full time to stay in school or support a family. Working 20-24 hours per week is less of an excuse not to be involved in your community. You might be feeling that you're getting picked on, but our purpose is to help improve your chances of success when we see a weakness that can be repaired.

LizzyM, an SDN member who is also an adcomm at a top twenty med school, has said that she is leery of an applicant who can't find even two hours per week to get involved in volunteerism. Isn't there a soup kitchen locally you can give some time to? Last minute community service might look suspicious, but it's better than not even trying.
 
Last edited:

bellakk

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I plan on applying to medical schools this summer and I would like some advice about my application.

My stats are 4.0 GPA, 4.0 Science GPA, 41M (13 VR, 14 BS, 14 PS). My undergrad is a private, liberal arts college, with little brand recognition. I am a Chemistry major.


Application Pros:
  • approx. 2 years experience in organic chem. lab (possible pub.)
  • 2 years experience working as an ER tech (20-24 hours a week)
  • Student President of SGA at CC
  • good rapport within chem department (hopefully leading to a good LOR)
  • some tutoring experience
Application Cons:
  • I spent my first two years at a CC; I took the Gen Chem and Bio series there; Organic and Physics were taken after transfer
  • leadership experience is not consistent
  • no formal volunteering: I had to work in order to pay for my expenses and thus had little free time to volunteer
I want to try for some top schools; in particular, Mayo, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, and Duke. Of course, I will also be applying to my state schools.

Do you think that my app is competitive enough?
I think your app looks great though I agreee that you need some volunteering/EC's that are NOT medical/science related. Your application is slightly skewed towards medicine/science. You need more balence. YOu could get involved in the SGA again, not even necessarily in a leadership role (though that'd look best). Something like a minor in a language or the arts or participation in a choir or ensemble or sport. You need to show that you are more than just a smart kid with an aptitude for science. Volunteer with big brothers big sisters or something like that. Literally an hour a week is all it takes. Get more involved with an honor society on your campus, usually they have organized volunteer opportunities. Volunteering in a healtcare setting is unnecessary for you.

Your clinical experience looks great but they like to see "doctor" shadowing on your application. Working in a hospital is great "clinical" experience but I think adcoms really want to see that you've spent at least a couple days doing nothing but watching physicians work. Never underestimate the importance of physician shadowing.
 

getright

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I'd get some nonclinical volunteer work in asap and then I'd apply to every single top 25 school tbh. Your gpa and mcat are amazing.
 

Dial71

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So the consensus is more volunteering. That is definately what I felt that my app was lacking. I wasn't so sure that I needed it, but after reading the responses here, I will make it so.

I also have one doc lined up to shadow. In addition, I work close to the doctors in the ED and I plan on asking at least one of them for a LOR.

Again, thank-you all for your comments. I am glad that no one poted anything unhelpful; even people with good stats need advice.
 

bravofleet4

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i think you have a shot at those schools but not a very strong one. i just think like others have stated those schools are looking for something beyond stats. by that i mean something very special and unique that not many could do. i guess really it's just a question of what you think you can offer to medicine. your scores only reflect an ability to handle the rigorous coursework involved in medical school but nothing more. that's why the extracurriculars fall under greater scrutiny in that case.

I'm only say this b/c I met someone with a 4.0 and 40 MCAT who only got accepted to 1 school out of 6...
 
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OP,

I think the 41 MCAT will help you get interviews. The GPA will be taken for granted; top-tier schools will expect you to have gotten a 4.0 at an average school.

Are you interested in mainly research or primary care? I would delay one cycle and devote the year to either research or volunteering depending on which it is. If you have your heart set on a top-tier research institution, I would wait a cycle and get a job in a top-tier medical school research/clinical lab and bust tail to get a few authorships, while doing a little volunteering. That would really bolster your shot.