Looking to apply this upcoming summer (2016), help make sure I'm not missing something?

kelminak

7+ Year Member
Jan 16, 2012
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Hi everyone,

As the title states, I'm looking to apply this upcoming summer. Here's what I will (in theory) have by that point:

uGPA: 3.1-3.2
sGPA: 3.4-3.5
MCAT (not theoretical): 28 (7/12/9)
Volunteering: 200+ hours in hospital, first as call light, then in surgery waiting
Idaho applicant

The main thing that I know I'm lacking is shadowing, and I have struggled to make this happen so far. With that, I also don't have any letters of recommendation. I'm hoping to get some letters this year from faculty at my school, and once I arrange shadowing (ideally during Thanksgiving break?), I could get a letter from a physician as well.

What else should I be fitting into this year to make sure that I'm 100% ready to apply? I want to make my first attempt as strong as possible, so some external help making sure something doesn't slip past me is greatly appreciated. Thanks for all of your help in advance! :)
 

Dr. Death

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Feb 11, 2015
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Do you have any other ECs? So far you are very light on those from what you mention. Non healthcare volunteering? Leadership? Research? Work experience? If not then you need to get some more on your resume
 
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kelminak

kelminak

7+ Year Member
Jan 16, 2012
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Medical Student
Do you have any other ECs? So far you are very light on those from what you mention. Non healthcare volunteering? Leadership? Research? Work experience? If not then you need to get some more on your resume
No, unfortunately I was an atrocious student who lost my job, GPA, etc. to video games for a long time, and have managed to turn my life around from that point (I even got my same job back). I am not sure what I can get involved with within the space of a year that doesn't look like I'm just obviously doing it for my application. I am already a full-time student, working 25+ hours a week, along with volunteering 5.5 hours a week, so although I'm willing, I'm not sure how much more free time I can dedicate to another activity yet. Any specific examples of what would be good to get involved with?
 

Dr. Death

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Feb 11, 2015
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Well working that much and a heavy volunteering commitment is pretty good. Do you work in healthcare? If so you could reallocate your volunteering to two 2-3 hour per week volunteering commitments. You could also volunteer at a soup kitchen over christmas break or something like that. Shadowing is important but overstated on this site. 30-40 hours should suffice.
 
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kelminak

kelminak

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Jan 16, 2012
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Well working that much and a heavy volunteering commitment is pretty good. Do you work in healthcare? If so you could reallocate your volunteering to two 2-3 hour per week volunteering commitments. You could also volunteer at a soup kitchen over christmas break or something like that. Shadowing is important but overstated on this site. 30-40 hours should suffice.
I don't work in healthcare. I currently work for the IT department of my university which is considered the absolute best job on campus in terms of flexibility (and I can get homework done on the job, there's really no job better), so I don't really want to give up that job considering how amazing it is. I'm not even sure what kind of healthcare job I can get with just a degree in biology, but if it made *that* large of an impact, I could try to find something. I figured since my GPA is the biggest concern in being ready to apply, sticking to that job would be best. I have been there for 3-4 years now so I don't know if that counts for anything in terms of commitment, but it definitely doesn't provide healthcare experience. The shift I'm doing for volunteering has to be from 6:30 AM to 12:00 PM and isn't flexible beyond letting me go a couple minutes earlier for class, and considering it gives me the most patient exposure of any position I've had, I would like to stick with it too if possible. I do appreciate your advice though and like the input. I do just want to get some primary care shadowing in since a majority of the schools I'll be applying to focus on that heavily (PNWU accepts the most Idaho students and that's a huge deal to them), so that's what I'm going to try to fit in during the Thanksgiving break. I hadn't considered doing some volunteer work over Christmas break and I would definitely have the time to, that's a good idea! I'm sure there's something I could do around here during that break, so I'll see what I could do! :)
 

mathnerd88

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Jan 4, 2013
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I would actually try to get that cGPA up. 3.1-3.2 is already an autorejection at some medical schools. Maybe retake some coursework that you didn't do well in.

What are your subscores in your MCAT? You wrote 7/12/9, which means it is your PS/V/BS?
 
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kelminak

kelminak

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Jan 16, 2012
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I would actually try to get that cGPA up. 3.1-3.2 is already an autorejection at some medical schools. Maybe retake some coursework that you didn't do well in.

What are your subscores in your MCAT? You wrote 7/12/9, which means it is your PS/V/BS?
I don't have my GPA up to that point yet, which is what I'm working on all year to have it hopefully around that point by the time I apply (looking good so far). So I don't think it's possible to get it higher than that. I've never heard of a GPA above a 3.0 being an auto-reject at schools? Where did you see this information?

Yes, my MCAT was 7/12/9 PS/V/BS.
 

mathnerd88

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At CUSOM, you need a 3.2 or higher in your cGPA and sGPA to even make it to their secondary.

It is possible to get it higher. You just have to retake some of the classes you did poorly in and get a much better grade. There is such thing as grade replacement policy for AACOMAS that you can take advantage of.

With most DO schools averaging around 3.4 cGPA and 27 MCAT, you really need to find out how you are going to stand out compared to other applicants. Your sGPA is fine.
 
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kelminak

kelminak

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Jan 16, 2012
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At CUSOM, you need a 3.2 or higher in your cGPA and sGPA to even make it to their secondary.

It is possible to get it higher. You just have to retake some of the classes you did poorly in and get a much better grade. There is such thing as grade replacement policy for AACOMAS that you can take advantage of.

With most DO schools averaging around 3.4 cGPA and 27 MCAT, you really need to find out how you are going to stand out compared to other applicants. Your sGPA is fine.
I know there's grade replacement because I'm already doing this. I don't think I was clear before: I already have a bio degree and I'm retaking classes to get my GPA from a 2.7 to >3.0 this year. So I know that my GPA is going to be on the lower end, but I don't know what else I can do other than wait for another year and only have once chance to apply before my MCAT expires (**** no I do not want to take that **** again).
 
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mathnerd88

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I know there's grade replacement because I'm already doing this. I don't think I was clear before: I already have a bio degree and I'm retaking classes to get my GPA from a 2.7 to >3.0 this year. So I know that my GPA is going to be on the lower end, but I don't know what else I can do other than wait for another year and only have once chance to apply before my MCAT expires (**** no I do not want to take that **** again).
Ahh, gotcha. When did you take the MCAT? Last year?
 

AnatomyGrey12

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I don't have my GPA up to that point yet, which is what I'm working on all year to have it hopefully around that point by the time I apply (looking good so far). So I don't think it's possible to get it higher than that. I've never heard of a GPA above a 3.0 being an auto-reject at schools? Where did you see this information?

Yes, my MCAT was 7/12/9 PS/V/BS.
On the school websites... In addition to CUSOM there is a 3.25c/s cutoff at KCU-COM. Those are the only two that I know of that are hard cutoffs but at some of the top DO schools they will send you a secondary to have you pay the fee but you won't have a great chance of an interview, let alone an acceptance. Just do your homework on the requirements for each school and you should be fine OP. With your science GPA and the MCAT and if you have decent EC's you should have a good amount of interviews. If you can get some clinical experience started that would help a lot as well. DO schools eat that up apparently.
 
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kelminak

kelminak

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Ahh, gotcha. When did you take the MCAT? Last year?
Yep, did it last September. I wanted to do it before they put the new format in.

On the school websites... In addition to CUSOM there is a 3.25c/s cutoff at KCU-COM. Those are the only two that I know of that are hard cutoffs but at some of the top DO schools they will send you a secondary to have you pay the fee but you won't have a great chance of an interview, let alone an acceptance. Just do your homework on the requirements for each school and you should be fine OP. With your science GPA and the MCAT and if you have decent EC's you should have a good amount of interviews. If you can get some clinical experience started that would help a lot as well. DO schools eat that up apparently.
Good deal, I'm not interested in the best of the best, just any acceptance. I know PNWU is one of the newer ones and like I said before they take the most Idaho students, so I'm trying to curtail a little to what they would want. You're right that I need to get some sort of clinical experience, but I don't have any qualifications in that regard with just a bio degree and don't have the time to get certified to be a scribe.
 
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AnatomyGrey12

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Go took your local hospital and ask if they have a volunteer program. Then try and ask to get put in the OR. You will mostly do janitorial stuff but sometime you push around patients in beds, viola patient exposure + a clinical environment. Just a couple (2-4) hours a week adds up fast. Good luck!
 
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kelminak

kelminak

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Jan 16, 2012
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Go took your local hospital and ask if they have a volunteer program. Then try and ask to get put in the OR. You will mostly do janitorial stuff but sometime you push around patients in beds, viola patient exposure + a clinical environment. Just a couple (2-4) hours a week adds up fast. Good luck!
Like I said before, I already volunteer 5.5 hrs a week at my hospital, so I do talk to families and patients every week. I volunteer in Surgery Waiting, so I talk to them as they check in, escort families to patients beds before/after surgery, and walk around the surgery pre- and post-ops quite frequently. Can volunteering and clinical experience be wrapped up into one thing? I figured that was my "clinical volunteering" and I just haven't done any non-clinical volunteering, which is why @DrDeath was saying maybe volunteer somewhere during my Christmas break at somewhere other than my hospital.
 
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