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Med School Application Issues

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by bigchoader, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. bigchoader

    bigchoader Guest

    Jul 17, 2005
    First of all, this is not a what are my chances question. I am worried about being competitive for the upcoming cycle and my advisor has not been all that helpful, so I figured I would ask SDNers about my situation.

    So before I ask I think I should tell about my situation. I am a senior Bio major who, only about a year ago, decided that I definately wanted to become a doctor. I will be graduating from a State school with a 3.9 at their institution but I am a transfer student from a different State school and my GPA from that other school, along with credit from classes taken abroad, My GPA is going to be at a 3.4. Drastically different, I know. My cumulative BCPM is about a 3.6. I got a 30 on the MCAT.

    First of all, my EC's are sparse. I have hospital volunteering from this semester, I shadowed one doctor so far (but I plan on shadowing this summer). I have held leadership positions in a fraternity. I play alot of IM sports. I have been assisting around a Med Sci. Lab this academic year. Does anyone have any suggestions as to the best way to improve my EC's before Applications go out in June?

    How should I spend my gap year. I think it is clear that I need to do something advantageous to my application, but what would that be? I am 5 weeks away from graduation and have no plan. I wanted to go abroad but I was thinking that I need to stick around here and improve my application. Does that mean a job in a laboratory? A job at a hospital, Like an ER tech?

    As for my personal statement: Should I address my poor GPA (ie. try to explain How I allowed myself to be completely unfocused at one school and remain incredibly focused at another?). Should I mention an upward trend in my GPA? Should I just keep it about my desire to be a doctor?

    Please give me any advice as to how I should go about improving my application.
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  3. LizzyM

    LizzyM the evil queen of numbers Faculty SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

    Mar 7, 2005
    You aren't going to attract the attention of the top schools (given the gpa & MCAT below their averages) but you may have a chance at the next tier. That said, you need to show that you have made a mature decision to pursue medicine and that you have tested that decision through clinical exposure. You should do something clinical in the coming year, either as a paying job or as volunteer work in addition to a non-clinical job.

    If you had an awakening along the path to medical school and it changed the way you approached your studies, then it might be worth weaving the story into your PS. Your upward trend will be visible to the adcom members who take the time to open your application. The big worry will be that you'll get screened out on the basis of the gpa without a further investigation of the breakdown or the upward trend.
  4. notdeadyet

    notdeadyet Still in California Moderator 10+ Year Member

    Jul 23, 2004
    If your home university transcript shows the classes you took abroad, complete with grades, they are factored into your GPA. If your home university transcript only shows credits and the grades are only available from the foreign university, they will not affect your GPA.
  5. Mastac741

    Mastac741 Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Nov 6, 2005
    You're right on the border line. I think you'd get in if you apply broadly and apply early. You'll get a lot of interviews that way. Apply to 25 schools - you won't be sorry.

    Don't waste your money on the IVY-league schools like Harvard, Yale, Case, Stanford, etc. They'll take your money and promptly send you a rejection letter. They'll probably even send you a secondary before they reject you.

    I have a 30 MCAT - 4.0 BCMP, 3.8 Accum, and have 1 accept and 4 waitlists. I applied to 23 schools, six interviews, 1 post-interview reject. Sometimes I wish I applied to more schools so that I could have better options on where I'd go.

    I applied a little late since I took the AUG MCAT, so maybe you can get away with applying to fewer schools if you apply early. Good Luck.

    PS - oh if you're female and a minority, forget what I said. You should get in where ever you want. White male here - kinda sucks when applying.
  6. ruefr

    ruefr Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    You can do it. I did it w/ a lower GPA, but my MCAT was a little higher, and I had some impressive ECs. 3.4 isn't bad. It isn't great either. I'd definately try and get a relavent full time job durring the year off, either research or patient centered.
  7. bigchoader

    bigchoader Guest

    Jul 17, 2005
    Thanks for the replies. Could you all try to be a little more specific about jobs after school. For instance, what does it mean to get a research job? I am working in a lab right now but I am more of an assistant that anything. I could not see myself endlessly sectioning and staining tissue for another year. As for patient centered, are there any specific jobs people could recomend. ED tech is really one of the only ones I can think of. I mean I cant be a nurse and probably not a paramedic either, in the one year I plan on taking off.
  8. ruefr

    ruefr Junior Member 2+ Year Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    When they ask on an app, or in an interview what you're doing durring time off, it's HUGE to have something meaningful to talk about and connect to your medical interests. If a more involved role in research is your thing, you might check out the NIH post bac IRTA program. Its a highly subjective experience, and totally depends on what lab you get into, but its a great way to spend 1-2 years while applying. The program has plenty of people in it trying to better their chances of getting into med school. I've heard its very competetive, but I didn't have a hard time getting in, and haven't heard any other horror stories about getting in. I applied the winter before the summer I came here, but if you put in an app asap, and start calling labs, you should be able to find a spot. If research isn't your thing, then I'd recomend you try and get some sort of hospital gig.
  9. Heimerfink

    Heimerfink Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Feb 10, 2006
    Start by learning how to spell words that you italicize. That might help your admissions essay.

    Also... uh, apply to 25 schools. Don't waste your time on anything in the top 15. Apply very early, and you might get into a decent school.

    Prob apply to like 25. Get 4 interviews. Might get into 1-2.

    Best of luck.
  10. stiffany

    stiffany Hurry up and wait... 5+ Year Member

    Nov 1, 2005
    I still recommend putting a few "reach" schools on your application since I actually had more luck with the higher (but not very top) schools this cycle than the low tier ones with a blemish on my record (low science GPA). Also, try to get some great recommendation letters and make sure your personal statement is really top notch with some interesting extra-curriculars (even if they were just short-term in your case with not much time to start new stuff before applying). These things will both help you get noticed at maybe not the very top tier schools, but certainly their companions in the 20's and below. I really think that these items plus my MCAT score are what got me into medical school this year. You could also reconsider taking the MCAT if you think you can do better, although with a 30 unless you get practice scores in the 34+ range consistently before the test, it might not be worth the risk.

    No matter what you do: Apply broadly and early!

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