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Looking for Honest Opinions/Critique

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by NoCanDo, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. NoCanDo

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    I'm looking for a critique of my chances at getting into some schools in the next application cycle.

    Here are the raw numbers

    cGPA: 3.973
    sGPA: 3.930

    MCAT: 34P (14 PS, 10 VR, 10 BS)

    Chemistry major/Math minor
    I've spent my entire college career at a small state school, save a few classes I took at a community college while in high school.

    Extracurriculars:

    Tech work at hospital - 18 months @ 20 hrs a week
    TA in Gen Chem Labs - 2 semesters @ 6 hrs a week
    SI Leader for Organic II - 1 semester @ 10 hrs a week
    Volunteer Tutor for 6 semesters
    active member of a few clubs
    President of one club
    Goodwill volunteer - 4 hours a month
    Salvation Army volunteer - random events

    I have some research experience, but my project was abruptly discontinued due to unforeseen developments.

    I am applying to all Texas schools.

    Please let me know what you think of my application/chances at a glance. Thank you.
     
  2. JaggerPlate

    10+ Year Member

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    Texas is competitive and, as I'm sure you know, has it's own application service. However, I think it's pretty clear your chances are very, very good.
     
  3. ILikeFood

    ILikeFood NSU Class of 2013
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    You'll get in unless you bomb the interview and/or write a poor PS
     
  4. GoSpursGo

    GoSpursGo Allons-y!
    Administrator Physician 10+ Year Member

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    I went ahead and unbolded your stats, which you obviously know are competitive; I want to let you know that, speaking as another Texan going through this process, it's really not everything. I DID bold your tech work at the hospital, because that's what I'd like to hear more about- what exactly did it involve? Did you get actual patient contact, or was it more behind-the-scenes, never saw a patient type thing? If it's the former, you're golden; if it's the latter, you may run into some problems, as I don't know that would be considered "clinical experience," which is really important.

    I was in a position similar to yours, high stats, bench research instead of your tech job, but a bare minimum of clinical experience. It obviously worked out OK for me because I got into Baylor, but I got lucky and had just an outstanding interview there. I really think that it's held me back at a bunch of my other schools such as UT Southwestern- even though I had done research there for two summers, I'm pretty sure my clinical experience held me back somewhat. A bunch of other schools where my stats said I should have been a shoo-in haven't accepted me, again I think because of my clinical experience.

    Overall, you really have a strong app. If that tech job isn't really clinical experience, get some next semester, and I think you'll have a great shot at every school in Texas
     
  5. NoCanDo

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    Thank you all for the responses.

    The tech work was really just grunt work. The vast majority of my shift is spent moving patients. I aid them in getting from bed to a stretcher/wheelchair/another bed a lot and then take them across the hospital. I also run anything and everything wherever it needs to go. In a 10 hour shift I typically see 30 in-patients up-close and personal. It's unskilled labor, but I think it would be a hard case to make that I don't have any clinical experience.

    I appreciate the input, people.
     
  6. dragonfly99

    10+ Year Member

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    I'm not from Texas but I'd think your chances would be excellent. Apply to Baylor too.
     
  7. GoSpursGo

    GoSpursGo Allons-y!
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    OK, excellent then; when you said "tech" job, I thought you were working in the lab or something running patient samples or something. Make sure you make that clear on the TMDSAS; since you don't have a place on the TMDSAS where you get to describe the activity, I might call it something else that sounds more "clinical"... maybe it was just me, but I got the wrong impression.

    It sounds like you have the clinical very well covered. In light of this, I'd say only your personal statement or a nightmare interview could stop you :)
     
  8. NoCanDo

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    Thanks for the encouragement!

    While I have some of your attention, though, I'd like to ask about the lack of research. I've been told that I will be passed over initially at Baylor and UTSW due to this absence. I wasn't told that I didn't stand a chance, only that it would be a distinct and effective negative.

    I suppose I could explain in greater detail the circumstances surrounding my project's termination in a private message if one were interested, but long story short: I won't have any real significant research experience at the time of my application.

    What do you think will be the effect?
     
  9. GoSpursGo

    GoSpursGo Allons-y!
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    At UTSW, which is a highly research-based school, I think your absence of research will be a negative, but not insurmountable. Luckily for you, UTSW screens their apps by numbers initially, and if your numbers are above a certain threshold, you automatically get an invite. Your numbers are easily above this threshold. So just make sure you apply early, and you'll at least get an interview to state your case!

    At Baylor, I very much got the feeling that research, while certainly important and a fundamental aspect of the school, wasn't as much a necessity. It's great if you have it, but they have a bunch of non research people there too. Of course, research is always a plus, but not a necessity.
     

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