I should have a 3.8 gpa when I apply and think I will do well on the MCAT but I am worried about my lack of clinical experience. My freshman year I wasn't pre-med so I didn't do anything medically related. Sophomore year I volunteered at a hospital 3 hrs/week for one semester. This year I wanted to do research and also volunteer at a free clinic. I spent 2 days as a technician at a biomedical research facility but I couldn't continue because a herniated disc in my back won't allow me to stand/move around as much as a needed to. I am supposed to start at the clinic in January but my back still isn't good enough to do it. My grades were also not as good this semester as in the past because of my back. Before I had one B in a science class and one in a non-science class. This semester I got 2 Bs in science classes and one in a non-science class. I would have only gotten 1 but got 2 more because of my attendance. I wanted to take the MCAT in January but I don't think my back will be good enough to sit that long so I am going to wait until May. I wanted to do some research but my back probably won't be good enough to until March and by then I will be spending most of my time studying for the MCAT. I should be able to do some shadowing before I apply but not near as much as I'd like to. I have done some non-medical volunteer work since my freshman year. I have also worked ~20 hrs/week thoughout college except when my back got too bad so hopefully adcoms will take that into consideration. I wanted to go to Washington this summer and intern for my senator. It would be after I apply so it wouldn't help with my application but it is something I have wanted to do for a while. Would I be better off trying to do research and shadowing or volunteering in a clinic this summer instead? I wanted to go to Baylor but I now realize I don't really have a chance there. My first choice now is UTSW but I don't think that is likely either. I'm going to apply to my state school (not ranked) which may end up being better for me anyway because the scholarship I have now would pay for my first year if I stay in-state. I was also wondering if I should mention my back problems in my PS or if it would just sound like I am making excuses.