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Lack of Research Experience/ Athletics as EC

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uptothecatchsc

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I am currently a senior and planning on taking a year off and applying to schools this summer. I have a 3.5 c/sGPA and I scored a 38 on my MCAT with a perfect verbal score. I have only one semester of public health research experience (non-lab) and a summer of shadowing. My main EC is a Div. I sport at a nationally ranked level, which is the main focus of most of my time.
Am I at a serious disadvantage in applying to schools?
What can I do in my year off that will strengthen my application? What type of job should I try to get and how do I let schools know about this?
 

cantwaittobeMD

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I would honestly say you need to spend that year working on clinical experience. The summer of shadowing is nice but some volunteer work would really push your application to competitive levels. I dont know how much weight that adcoms place on athletes, but I have heard they will look very favorably on your application. Also, if you just need to get a job (extra cash, loans, etc.) I would suggest getting a job as a lab tech. That way you may be able to get some research and paid at the same time.
 

bannie22

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no clinical volunteering = no med school.
i dont knw how adcom thinks abt 15 on verbal (which means a not as high science score)
 

medicalmatins

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no clinical volunteering = no med school.
i dont knw how adcom thinks abt 15 on verbal (which means a not as high science score)

If the OP got a 29 with a perfect verbal score, I'd agree with you. But a 38? That seems fine to me.... I'd give a lot for a 38.
 

tremulousNeedle

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I disagree with Bannie22. I am a senior medical student and I interview for my school's admissions committee.

Your MCAT is super strong and don't let anyone let you otherwise. MCAT of 38, VR of 15, that leaves 23, right? Even if it was lopsided like 9 and 14, that is still an awesome score.

Research exposure is good, tons of experience is not necessary, just build up your experiences and what you did and learned on AMCAS.

I do NOT agree that "no clinical volunteering = no med school".

Basically, schools use the EC's to determine 3 main things (plus a couple others):
1) Your understanding of what it means to be a physician, your motivation for the profession.
2) Your compassion for others, desire to help others, commitment to a cause or activity.
3) That you have a life outside of medicine

They are also used to demonstrate strengths such as leadership, commitment, honesty, etc.
As long as you can accomplish these things you should be a competitive candidate. For most programs, the difficulty of being a Div 1 collegiate athlete won't be ignored. It demonstrates interested outside of medicine. It also shows commitment and dedication for something you enjoy. You probably need to beef-up some areas of your application, but could probably get a decent number of interviews right now if you cast a broad enough net.
Good luck
Erik
 

mike911

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I have roughly the same GPA, just a little higher science GPA, with a much lower MCAT (33). I have had zero research exp. and it might of put me at a disadvantage but i still currently have 6 interview invites so far. So do not worry. I would make sure you have some clinical exp. tho
Good luck
 

catalase

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Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Spend some time volunteering, doesn't have to be a ton of time, but it should be significant. AdComs (fair or not) love applicants who are athletes during their undergrad years. If you don't believe me look at some of the fact sheets from some more competitive schools. A lot of them will brag about the fact that their school's entering class contains x number of athletes, musicians, non-trads, etc.

Your 38 MCAT really sets you apart, in addition to what I've said above. Good luck.
 
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Your heavy involvement in athletics also shows you can be dedicatd to a cause without concern for personal gain, as the gains of the team override your personal concerns. I think this will excuse you from some of the usual and cutomary community service, but I do still think you need clinical experience where you work one on one with patients and develop a comfort in dealing with them. It would be easiest for you to get involved in clinical volunteering as you get credit for two important activities on the application. Even if you have to do it on your free weekends, I believe you should get this started in some clinical environment for 4 hours a week ASAP and continuing through the application cycle so you have something to say in update letters, and an improvement in your application if you have to apply. I can't guarantee that any or most schools will overlook the low amount of clinical involvement, but you have a chance someone will, considering your other positives. If you can get a clinical job after graduating, you still need to engage in community service, though it need not be medical. Maybe you'd enjoy coaching some kids, as an example.
 
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