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Med school competitiveness so far and honors thesis question.

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Would it be beneficial for me to write an honors thesis?


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Lunk7

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Hey all,

????I am entering my final semester at CU Boulder and am torn whether or not to write and defend an honors thesis. I am seeking opinions regarding if it is worth the time and commitment considering my crazy schedule resume so far (I am aiming for a top 25 MD school)???

-I am not sure if honors theses are helpful for application strength.
-Writing and defending an honors thesis is the only way to graduate with honors at CU Boulder. I don't know how much honors really matters, but my inner perfectionist would be ashamed if I didn't.


-research: I have taken independent studies for credit in the Behavioral Genetics lab for 2 years. I am somewhat ambivalent about research but have learned a bit and found it a valuable experience. Whether or not I end up completing my thesis, I can still discuss my research experience in an interview. I also think my PI will be able to write me a great LOR.

-GPA: 3.98 overall 4.0 science GPA Integrative Physiology major with extra chemistry etc. at CU boulder (I have 1 semester left)

-Work: I work 20+ hours a week as a certified personal trainer and fitness class instructor. I also work the front desk at the same gym. I create nutrition/supplementation/training programs online for clients and friends. The client-trainer relationship I have found to be very similar to Dr.-patient relationships.

-Volunteer and clinical experience: (I have done these nearly every week throughout undergrad):
1.
I coach a Special Olympics powerlifting team. This has truly been a life changing experience that I plan to discuss in essays and interviews
2.I volunteer regularly as a Diabetes Educator at DAWN clinic run by CU medical school. As a certified trainer, I can do more than most undergrads as I am legally able to help diabetic and prediabetic patients with lifestyle modifications (diet, exercise, medication adherence, glucometer use, etc.).
3.I volunteer at events such as fundraiser 5k races helping participants stretch, tend to injuries, hydrate etc.
4.I have shadowed a variety of doctors, surgeons, and PTs since high school.


-Extracurriculars: My primary hobby is bodybuilding. I compete in bodybuilding competitions, train, and follow a strict diet. Bodybuilding can be a selfish endeavor. However, I have made it a part of my story as it gives me credibility, knowledge, discipline and passion for my work, volunteer work, and clinical experience.

-MCAT: I have not taken it yet- A very stressful and overloaded work, volunteering, classes, research, etc. schedule has not afforded me the time to appropriately study. Once I graduate this spring I plan on studying while keeping up my work, clinical, and volunteer experiences.


So...
1.I would appreciate any input as to whether an honors thesis would be worth cramming in my busy schedule (I am a little worried that my current undertakings will suffer considering the time commitment of a proper thesis)
2.What do you all think my outlook is for admittance into a top 25 MD school?
 
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pooppooppoop

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It sounds like you would be doing the thesis because you feel some sort of obligation / pressure from medical school admissions. An honors thesis can be a large undertaking, and I would recommend you pursue it if you enjoy and are passionate about the research project. If you don't love the research, you may miserable at many points during the project.
 
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DoctorSnow

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I'd agree with the above poster^. If you find it interesting and can handle the time commitment, do it. Also, are you planning on taking a gap year or 2? I only ask because the MCAT takes about 3-6 months of prep + waiting a month to get your score back so if you are graduating this Spring and taking 1 year off, that means you will be applying this May. If taking 2 years off, you'd be able to properly study for the MCAT over this summer and take it in the Fall. Just make sure to take your time and give the MCAT the amount of hours you need to crush it if you're gunning for those top medical schools because many of my peers with 3.8+ GPAs were doing the same thing and didn't properly study for the test and ended up with <505s. My buddy actually has a 4.0 and studied for a few months and ended with 507 (which has been definitely hurting him this cycle). Good luck!

Edit: I like your volunteer experience with diabetes patients and lifestyle changes. Sounds really cool!
 
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Lunk7

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Thanks for the feedback so far guys! To clarify I will be hopefully applying May of 2020. I plan on spending 3-6 months prepping for the mcat and will likely take it (hopefully just once) in late 2019 or early 2020.
 

Golden_Caramel

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From experience, I would say that med schools are not impressed by the "honors student" title. Doing an honors thesis does give you another thing to talk about during interviews. But as mentioned by others, I would only recommend this route if you're truly interested in committing to another project
 
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pommes

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Don't do it. It's not going to change your app. Spend the time on the stuff you listed that makes you happy (plus, you sound a bit overextended). Do a thesis only if you're super into the work or if it would also help you net a publication.
 
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