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Meh GPA, No MCAT, Good research, ? ECs...help!

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by not so calm now, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. not so calm now

    5+ Year Member

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    I'm thinking about applying in the next cycle, but am not opposed to waiting an extra year.
    Here it goes:

    • graduated in 07 with a 3.299 gpa (unsure as to science gpa, but thinking it's a little bit lower). competitive school, but no excuse. Took all prereqs but organic chem lab and physics lab. I am confident I can explain this well, but briefly: immaturity, lack of direction, and some misguided sense of rebellion
    • involved in 3 labs in college (psychology and neuropsychology, but with patient populations.) Co-author on one pub, and one's under review, but I'm expecting it to be accepted. Really, really enjoy research
    • worked as a tech in a behavioral neuroscience lab for about a year (different school). no pubs from this.
    • 1 year volunteering as a DJ for local radio station (community service?)
    • 6 months volunteering at youth homeless shelter
    • >1 year volunteering as clinic/medical assistant at family planning clinic, mostly staffed with nurse practitioners.
    • Volunteered for said family planning clinic also as an escort (block protesters and make clinic more welcoming for patients) and also lobbied for pro-choice issues with this group - including phone banking, tabling, talking to people at large events, etc.
    • about 3 months volunteering in ED (about 3-4 hours/week). Did not like this so much. Was pretty bored and felt kind of useless, though I became an expert at getting patients blankets and snacks)
    • Since graduating, i've taken a pharmacology class and o chem lab I (As in both, hoping this makes my gpa a 3.3 now.)
    • Currently work as a research specialist in a physical med and rehabilitation psychology dept. lots of patient contact, learning lots of interesting things (strokes, TBIs, etc.) Really enjoy this job. Hopefully will have another co-author publication in the next 6 months.
    • Planning on taking MCAT in April and am studying furiously
    Can you think of anything I need to do that I'm not doing?

    I would like to shadow a few doctors in some different fields, but it's very difficult seeing as how I work when they do (8-5).

    Assuming I get >30 on the MCAT, which I definitely think is likely, would it be a good idea to apply this year? I'm not opposed to the DO route, but I don't know any DOs, and my boyfriend is an M2 at the school that I work at, so I'd love to stay here.

    Also, should I ask for a rec letter from someone who supervised my volunteering?

    Thanks, any advice/constructive criticism is appreciated.
     
    #1 not so calm now, Dec 12, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2008
  2. Mobius1985

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    Your research background is great. The great variety of clinical experiences you've had are great. You've demonstrated your altruism. I expect your current job requires a lot of teamwork. Shadowing would be a good plan. What makes you think doctors don't work after 5 pm, lol. I wish. If you want to shadow after normal work hours, try Hospitalists, ER docs, Intensivists, and Pediatricians. In addition to the above you're expected to demonstrate a leadership experience. Maybe the lobbying would qualify.

    With your current assumed GPA, you might have a shot at a DO medical school with an MCAT of 25+. If you'd like to apply with a reasonable chance of success to MD medical schools, think about getting your cGPA and BCPM GPA up higher, by taking more undergrad classwork (1.5-2.0 years, with the latter potentially getting your GPA up to 3.5). Even with an MCAT of 34+, you still need a string of straight As in upper-level science classes to prove to adcomms that you'll survive their intense curriculum, considering your past performance. It looks like you still need to take Physics lab, and possibly one more Orgo lab?

    Your ECs are great, but for adcomms to appreciate them, your stats need to exceed their automatic cut offs.
     
  3. Mobius1985

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    None of the schools I applied to required such a letter. As long as your application includes contact information for the supervisor you may not need one. Such letters are usually very impersonal about the number of hours worked and postion held. If the supervisor knows you well enough to have observed your performance, include positive comments by others in the department, and make the letter personal and glowing, then it might be worth getting.
     
  4. WeAreNotRobots

    WeAreNotRobots doctor of medicine
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    yep, you have solid EC's and potentially a second/third publication: great. as for GPA and MCAT, it really depends on where you want to apply. also, you can check out the data here (http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/start.htm) and try to make a decision for yourself.

    finally, don't forget about the rest of your application. work on your personal statement and get AWESOME LOR's from some of the EC's you've done.
     
  5. alibai3ah

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    I agree with Mobius for the most part. Except I don't think you need to take 1-2 year worth of classes. Sure your gpa is not as strong, but if you have a strong upward trend in your last 2 years and an impressive MCAT 33+...with your EC's I'd say you have a good shot at the lower/middle tier schools. Lots of people get in with sub 3.5 gpa's....but they are usually coupled with 33+ MCAT and good EC's. You have the latter, just work hard on the MCATs and apply this year.
     
  6. alibai3ah

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    Although if you want to take a years worth of classes during your glide year (the year you r applying to medical school)...you can send them update letters to let them know your gpa improvement while you apply. that is always a possibility if you are very anxious about your gpa
     
  7. mmmcdowe

    mmmcdowe Duke of minimal vowels
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    It will also depend on the school that your significant other attends. If its a 35, 3.8 average school, you'll need a lot more GPA bolstering to have a shot.
     
  8. Slowpoke

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    • Volunteered for said family planning clinic also as an escort



      hahaha oh man, was giving the post a quick glance and the word escort immediately jumped out at me.

      Male jigglo ftw. :laugh:

      An incredible EC for patient contact I must say.
     
  9. not so calm now

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    it's a 30, 3.6 average place. So with a high mcat....?? I've also got an appt to speak with the dean of admissions in febr, so hopefully i can get some helpful tips there.


    Thanks so much everyone! What do you think about SMPs? This school has one (or at least something similar) associated with it.
     
  10. not so calm now

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    Yeah "escort" really confuses people....especially since we're not really escorting, just standing in front of the door and blocking protestors.

    And I'm a female, btw. And ftw. :)
     
  11. not so calm now

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    In my main undergrad lab, I trained and coordinated schedules of the undergraduates a year below me. Would that count?
     
  12. Mobius1985

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