Mar 19, 2010
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Hello everyone,

I have wanted to become a physician since I was in junior high school and now with a quarter left in college, I thought I would check out how I fair so that I apply wisely. I'm nervous about my chances because it seems everyone on this forum is some genius of some sort with crazy GPA's and MCAT scores. So, I was hoping to get some advice on my stats and extracurriculars (I know I lack leadership so I'm searching for some positions now) and what schools I should apply to. I'm a California resident (attending a UC school), so I'm hoping my resume is strong enough to be considered by any California school - I know they are extremely difficult to get into. If not, what out of state schools should I consider? I wanted to mention that I struggled my freshman year and partially some of my sophomore year, but took the courses over that I did poorly in, getting A's (I calculated both grades into GPA). Thank you for all of your suggestions and comments!

Cumulative GPA: 3.7 BCPM: 3.71 Non-Science: 3.68
MCAT: 35 (12/11/12)
Microbiology and Immunology B.S.
Political Science B.S.






Extracurriculars:
  • NCAA Athlete: Division I (scholarship)
  • EMT-I: Certified in California (NREMT), BLS and ACLS certified (working as one for a little over a year ~ 16-20 hours a week during class; ~30-40 hours in the summer)
  • Volunteer: at a Trauma Hospital; ER volunteer ~3 hours a week for a year and a half
  • Shadowing: three M.D.s - a pediatric surgeon, cardiologist, and family physician for roughly 20-30 hours each
  • Non-clinical Volunteer: Habitat for Humanity (once a month for two years; each day is about 8 hours)
  • Research: two years on stem cells and neurogenesis; poster and publication
  • Latin America trip: one week in the summer (will have gone 3 times after next trip this June); traveled with physicians, dentists and nurses to provide care to hundreds of families
  • Tutored at a local community college during the summers for 3 years in Biology and English
  • Member of a few organizations on campus but didn't hold any leadership positions
  • Fluent in French (I don't know if this holds any value or not to admissions)
That about sums it all up. I'm African American and female (don't know if gender affects much, if at all) and will be applying as an URM. I was wondering if any California schools had a M.D./J.D. program because I am considering taking that path, but haven't made my mind up. Of course LSAT scores would help, but does anyone know if there are universities with medical schools that are more difficult to get into than their law schools and vise versa? If so, which ones seem to be more even in competitiveness? Thanks everybody!
 
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bravofleet4

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i'd like to say that URM status gives you a huge advantage but now that I think about it I don't really now the exact stats. However, I think you would present a very unique and interesting application that most applicants would die to have. Your GPA and MCAT are not the highest I've seen but still pretty damn good. You also have pretty much covered every single type of extracurricular I can think of (research, teaching, hobby, non-medically related community service and clinical with the exception of leadership)

i have no recommendations i can make to improve you app. the only advice i can give is that your school bookstore will have (if they haven't already) be selling copies of MSAR. MSAR lists all the medical schools in the United States and will include all the relevant stats. I would also consider top 20 or IVY league schools in your case as in addition to your URM status you are also a division one athlete which is hard to come by. Therefore, schools will compete over you to add diversity to their student body.
 
Sep 4, 2006
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You will have a very, very nice application. Well done, even if you probably didn't sleep much. You probably don't need a Leadership experience, but if you can work it in before submission time, more power to you.

Two non-California schools to add to your list, as they tend to favor Californians, are UIllinois and Rosalind Franklin (north of Chicago).
 

bravofleet4

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holy crap i just realized she's a double major too...yeah you can do whatever you want.
 
Mar 19, 2010
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Thank you for all the responses :) I'm curious to know, is being fluent in french something I should mention in my application? I specifically took years of it, beginning in High School so that when I became a doctor, I could participate in the Doctors Without Borders program (hopefully working in Africa and some Caribbean islands like Haiti). Will it hurt my chances if I don't get a leadership position? And should I apply to all California schools, or should I aim for the ones I can most likely get into?
 

J ROD

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Thank you for all the responses :) I'm curious to know, is being fluent in french something I should mention in my application? I specifically took years of it, beginning in High School so that when I became a doctor, I could participate in the Doctors Without Borders program (hopefully working in Africa and some Caribbean islands like Haiti). Will it hurt my chances if I don't get a leadership position? And should I apply to all California schools, or should I aim for the ones I can most likely get into?
Def mention the French thing....I would not worry about the leadership thing this late......I would apply to all of them!
 
Mar 19, 2010
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Thanks J Dub, I definitely will mention it :) I have a few more questions though. Does anyone recommend a joint degree program like M.D./J.D., M.D./M.P.H or M.D./M.B.A? I have done some research on all three and I am considering pursuing one. I have a minor in Public Health and a bachelors in Political Science, so I feel a J.D. or M.P.H. would be slightly easier compared to an M.B.A. However, I doubt a J.D. would come in handy while practicing as a physician. A M.P.H. appeals to me the most and I feel it could assist me while I travel in programs such as Doctor's Without Borders. But, I've also heard that M.B.A.s are great to have if you wish to run your own practice, which I do after a few years of humanitarian efforts. I know this seems like planning way ahead, especially when I haven't even been accepted into medical school yet, but does anyone recommend these degrees? Does anyone have experience with these programs or could offer advice about them?
 
Mar 11, 2010
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I'm impressed with your accomplishments, especially doing all that while being a NCAA Div. 1 athlete.
 
Mar 19, 2010
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Thank you docelh. I wasn't a student athlete all five years...just three, but it was definitely challenging those years!!
 
Sep 4, 2006
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In another thread, you said:
I struggled with general chemistry...took Chem 1A three times! D+ first time, C- second time, and finally the third I got an A. Good luck and I hope this helps!
Does your "Cumulative GPA: 3.7 BCPM: 3.71 Non-Science: 3.68" include all the grades you've earned? I ask because AMCAS will figure all your grades into your application GPA regardless of whether your college offers forgiveness for retaken grades.
 

J ROD

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Thanks J Dub, I definitely will mention it :) I have a few more questions though. Does anyone recommend a joint degree program like M.D./J.D., M.D./M.P.H or M.D./M.B.A? I have done some research on all three and I am considering pursuing one. I have a minor in Public Health and a bachelors in Political Science, so I feel a J.D. or M.P.H. would be slightly easier compared to an M.B.A. However, I doubt a J.D. would come in handy while practicing as a physician. A M.P.H. appeals to me the most and I feel it could assist me while I travel in programs such as Doctor's Without Borders. But, I've also heard that M.B.A.s are great to have if you wish to run your own practice, which I do after a few years of humanitarian efforts. I know this seems like planning way ahead, especially when I haven't even been accepted into medical school yet, but does anyone recommend these degrees? Does anyone have experience with these programs or could offer advice about them?
I created my own MD/PharmD thing...I didnt get anything cut out but I did not have to explain the why med school now question.

It depends on what you wanna do. Policy stuff....MPH.....own practice...MBA.

I think the JD would not be that helpful unless you wanna do actual legal work.
 
Sep 4, 2006
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Does anyone recommend a joint degree program like M.D./J.D., M.D./M.P.H or M.D./M.B.A? I have done some research on all three and I am considering pursuing one.
I was wondering if any California schools had a M.D./J.D. program
If you scroll down further on the list of SDN Forums, you'll see "Med Business" where you can learn more about MBA options, and "Masters of Public Health" for MPH information. I didn't find anything about MD/JD. According to the MSAR, no California MD schools have a joint MD/JD program.
 
Mar 19, 2010
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Catalystik, I did calculate those retakes into my GPA (hurts it considerably). If I would have passed a couple classes the first time, my GPA would be closer to 3.85-3.9 :( Talk about frustrating. And thank you for your help on the joint programs...I will look into that forum! (you too J DUB)
 
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Catalystik, I did calculate those retakes into my GPA (hurts it considerably). If I would have passed a couple classes the first time, my GPA would be closer to 3.85-3.9
Your hard work paid off, as yor GPAs are still very competitive despite a slow start.