JackyLin

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Mar 29, 2010
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Hey guys, just wandered into the site by chance when I was looking up some stuff for MCAT, and this seems like a perfect place to gain much valuable information. I am currently an undergraduate sophomore in UCSD, with spring quarter just starting. Up until recently I have not had the goal to try to enter a decent medical school (was aiming to do something with psychology), but now I've changed my major, and I was wondering whether it is too late to get into a good MD by the time I graduate. I have basically nothing on ECs that is of related importance, and my projected GPA by the end of junior year is cGPA 3.72ish, and sGPA 3.7ish. I would really like any constructive advice on where I should go now as it seems to be so much to do and I am overwhelmed ><
 
Sep 4, 2006
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Get some clinical experience started ASAP. Look into research options at your school. Start some nonmedical/noncampus community service. Think about leadership and teaching experiences. Your GPA is good; keep it there.
 

bravofleet4

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this is a good time to investigate undergrad research. i would go visit my counselor to see if your school has a website listing undergrad research opportunities or e-mail a professor you've taken a class with before and whose research you find interesting. that way you can start during the summer or in the fall which would be perfect.

also talk to any pre-med friends or visit the school counselor to ask about clinical opportunities near UCSD. You want a weekly activity that you can put in like 4/hrs per week. it can be at a free clinic, hospital, or nursing home.

there are lots of EC's you can pick up if you keep your eyes open like tutoring or TAing but the two activities I've listed up are pretty easy to get into. Don't expect openings right away b/c it might take a while to find a professor who has openings in his lab and the clinical opportunities might have an interview process you have to pass first, so look into this stuff right away!
 

aztri

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Try to stay involved in the experiences you start. Commiting long term to clinical, research, volunteering and leadership experiences carries much more weight than short stints of it. So make sure you pick things that you are interested in! Also, the more your experiences fit together like a puzzle and show the path you took to deciding to apply to medical school the better. It will become important in your interviews when your interviewer asks "why medicine?" or "what events influenced your decision to pursue medicine?" Additionally, you can then talk about aspects of experiences you enjoyed and would like to incorporate into your future career as well as those that you don't (i.e. you become really interested in cancer research and want to continue it as a physician - or - you think research is valuable to medicine and are glad you participated in it, but you don't want to pursue it as part of your career). Also, make sure you have some fun in undergrad. Pick something you like to do as a hobby (i.e. sports, art, etc.). This will also show that you are a well rounded person and not just a pre-med zombie. And as Cat said, keep that gpa up :)
 

JackyLin

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Mar 29, 2010
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Ok, first of all thank you guys for your advices, I find them pretty helpful and now I have an idea on what things I should start doing. Just a few questions. What kind of experiences would be classified as clinical experience? Volunteering in a hospital? are there other options? and what exactly is the "shadowing" term I see alot in the posts on this section? Lastly, from what I have read alot of people seem to stress on studying for MCAT "after" finishing all the pre-req courses, however, due to my major change, I am behind on the chem sequences, and wont finish ochem by the end of junior year. I was wondering if I plan to take the exam after junior year for application that fall, would it be a good idea to start studying on subjects that I have taken/finish (physics/bio/finishing general chem this quarter/verbal)? Again, thanks alot for anyone who contributes :):laugh:
 

aztri

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Personally, I think it would be wise to invest in a set of examkrackers mcat prep books (you can buy them used online - they don't change much from year to year) and start flipping through them. You can take a class if you want to when you're getting ready for the test. But reviewing stuff you learned and may have forgotten will be good prep work on your own time. The mcat is a beast of a test and you want to do well! So make sure you are staying fresh on the fundemental sciences. Also, ochem I is emphasized far more than ochem II (I'm not even sure you really need to have taken II for the test). However, you should take the first ochem lab before the mcat. It will help immensely when you get to ochem passages about lab techniques.
 

JackyLin

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I plan to use the materials presented in this guide from SDN http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?p=8092168#post8092168, so like BR and EK 1001 for phys/ochem/genchem, and EK 101 verbal+ TPR hyperlearning verbal workbook, except using TPRH bio sci review with EK bio and EK 1001 bio instead of BR bio. However, the TPRH bio review and verbal workbook I got are from 2006, would that be too outdated if I plan to take MCAT next year?
 

bravofleet4

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to each his own...