capta1incrunch

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Hi - I just got my MCAT scores back and I need some advice on where to apply.

I'm going to be a Cornell grad with a 3.92 GPA. Of course, 5 of those are A+s, which are 4.3s at Cornell so my AMCAS GPA will be a bit different.

MCAT is 11/10/11/N.

I have good to great ECs - standouts being several years of research in a Microbiology lab, chair on the school Habitat for Humanity board, SMDEP, much shadowing, and co-authoring a scientific poster, winning a poster competition in intro bio among 670 other students.

I am applying to the U of Arizona Med School and Stanford, this much I know for sure (I am an Arizona resident). That being said, I need to round out my list with reaches, matches, and safeties. I want to generally stay on the West Coast, save the few on the list...

These are the ones I'm mulling over.

U of Colorado Denver
Oregon
Michigan Ann Arbor
UPenn
U of Rochester
Dartmouth
Brown
UChicago
Northwestern
Rush University
U of Nevada-Reno
U of Illinois-Chicago
 
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GoSpursGo

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Moving to What are my Chances.
 

mmmcdowe

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I don't know if a class award for a bio poster is worth posting, but if its important to you I guess it is.

Any clinical experience besides shadowing?
 
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capta1incrunch

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I don't know if a class award for a bio poster is worth posting, but if its important to you I guess it is.

Any clinical experience besides shadowing?
The SMDEP was mainly a whole summer of clinical experience. Outside of that, no.
 

mmmcdowe

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The SMDEP was mainly a whole summer of clinical experience. Outside of that, no.
Ironic, but I didn't know what that was and, when I checked it out, it says that it offers "limited clincal exposure" :D. I'm glad that you have a lot of shadowing, but I am worried that your clinical experience might me a tad on the low side. Perhaps you should consider getting involved in something?

Physician parent?
 
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capta1incrunch

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Ironic, but I didn't know what that was and, when I checked it out, it says that it offers "limited clincal exposure" :D. I'm glad that you have a lot of shadowing, but I am worried that your clinical experience might me a tad on the low side. Perhaps you should consider getting involved in something?

Physician parent?
1) I've already submitted my AMCAS...how would it help me now to start doing more clinical work? Not all secondaries allow you to mention what you have been up to since submission.
2) What is physician parent?

Thanks a lot for the help, btw.
 
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CaliforniaKid

Hi - standouts being winning the class-wide poster competition in intro bio
Excellent. This will almost guarantee you a seat in any medical school of your choice.

Also congrats on the ivy 3.9 as this is light years better than a non ivy 3.9

:claps:
 

Stratego

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1) I've already submitted my AMCAS...how would it help me now to start doing more clinical work? Not all secondaries allow you to mention what you have been up to since submission.
2) What is physician parent?

Thanks a lot for the help, btw.
1) It will help you to get involved in more clinical experience now to give you material pertinent to mention in future update letters and to discuss at interviews, if offered. As your current experience is very sparse relative to most applicants, this may sway an adcomm to decide in your favor. If not, it will make you a better applicant when you reapply next year and give you a decent answer to the inevitable, "What have you done to improve your application since you last applied?" If you could just do some form of clinical volunteerism for 3-4 hours a week, that will be sufficient.

2) She is asking if one of your parents is a physician, as that can be another source of clinical experience that is unofficial.
 

mmmcdowe

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1) It will help you to get involved in more clinical experience now to give you material pertinent to mention in future update letters and to discuss at interviews, if offered. As your current experience is very sparse relative to most applicants, this may sway an adcomm to decide in your favor. If not, it will make you a better applicant when you reapply next year and give you a decent answer to the inevitable, "What have you done to improve your application since you last applied?" If you could just do some form of clinical volunteerism for 3-4 hours a week, that will be sufficient.

2) She is asking if one of your parents is a physician, as that can be another source of clinical experience that is unofficial.

Exactly.
 
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capta1incrunch

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Look, here's the thing. I can understand why you would say my clinical exposure is sparse, but to say a bunch of shadowing and SMDEP is *very* sparse seems questionable. SMDEP is well-known amongst adcoms as a good program for prepping pre-meds for the realities of the clinic, which, after all, is the point of clinical experience. Besides that, my ECs are a balanced mix of volunteer/clinic/research.

I ask because if you really think my clinical experience is so sparse as to preclude me from getting into every single school I apply to, well, then I need to look into what I'm going to do with that extra year.
 

mmmcdowe

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How would physician parents compensate for skimpy clinic exposure as far as an application is concerned?
Because you have spent your whole life shadowing a doctor. For example, I have a doctor dad and it was a very big advantage for me, as I also had skimpy clinical volunteering in college. I was able to justify a lot of my insights on medicine based on my living with a ER doc that has worked no less than 100 hours a week since I was born. It teaches you a lot of stuff that you wouldn't see by watching doctors just at work.

Also, there is a view that doctor parents make good doctor children. Be it an upbringing thing, genetic, or some other factor, IDK.
 

mmmcdowe

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Look, here's the thing. I can understand why you would say my clinical exposure is sparse, but to say a bunch of shadowing and SMDEP is *very* sparse seems questionable. SMDEP is well-known amongst adcoms as a good program for prepping pre-meds for the realities of the clinic, which, after all, is the point of clinical experience. Besides that, my ECs are a balanced mix of volunteer/clinic/research.

I ask because if you really think my clinical experience is so sparse as to preclude me from getting into every single school I apply to, well, then I need to look into what I'm going to do with that extra year.
Looking at the pictures, SMDEP seems like an excuse for pre-meds to run around in white coats. :laugh: I know nothing of the program, but that's what the pictures tell me

That being said, you have to understand that many pre-meds have an entire year or more of medical volunteering. So yes, even if you spent every day of those six weeks doing clinical volunteering, it is a little on the sparse side compared to people who have done hundreds of hours of volunteering. A year long commitment shows more dedication than a summer program as well.

As far as shadowing goes, it is the lowest yield of any clinical experience. I didn't even both putting mine in my application.

You wanted our advice, you don't have to agree with it. However, please don't think that we are trying to bash you, we are just giving you our opinions.
 

Stratego

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you have to understand that many pre-meds have an entire year or more of medical volunteering. So yes, even if you spent every day of those six weeks doing clinical volunteering, it is a little on the sparse side compared to people who have done hundreds of hours of volunteering. A year long commitment shows more dedication than a summer program as well.

As far as shadowing goes, it is the lowest yield of any clinical experience. I didn't even both putting mine in my application.
One of the adcomms who posts frequently on SDN has said that she likes to see at least a year of exploring an interest in medicine on applications. Having a 150 hours of clinical experience at the rate of 3-4 hours per week for a year outweighs 150 hours obtained over three months of a summer. And I'll add that the average applicant seems to have about a year and a half of clinical experience. Some have years and years of full-time employment or consistent weekly volunteerism to list. We are not dismissing the value of the program you participated in, just putting it into perspective.

As an alternative point of view to mmmcdowe, I have the opinion that shadowing has importance, as it gives you a good idea of what day-to-day life as a doctor will be like. It's true that some MD programs don't regard it at all, but most do, and your job as an applicant is to have a Primary that will appeal to the greatest number of schools. It sounds like you feel you are particularly strong in this area, and I think that's good.
 

camaras2480

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One of the adcomms who posts frequently on SDN has said that she likes to see at least a year of exploring an interest in medicine on applications. Having a 150 hours of clinical experience at the rate of 3-4 hours per week for a year outweighs 150 hours obtained over three months of a summer. And I'll add that the average applicant seems to have about a year and a half of clinical experience. Some have years and years of full-time employment or consistent weekly volunteerism to list. We are not dismissing the value of the program you participated in, just putting it into perspective.

As an alternative point of view to mmmcdowe, I have the opinion that shadowing has importance, as it gives you a good idea of what day-to-day life as a doctor will be like. It's true that some MD programs don't regard it at all, but most do, and your job as an applicant is to have a Primary that will appeal to the greatest number of schools. It sounds like you feel you are particularly strong in this area, and I think that's good.
Absolutely.