Dec 27, 2013
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A few changes since I last posted this

GPA:
3.89 for cGPA and sGPA
MCAT:Will take soon
Major: Biochemistry
School: Public Ivy
Year: Junior
URM: African American,
first generation college student, almost first generation high school (I remember my parents getting GED when I was in high school)
Did nothing freshman year/freshman summer/sophomore fall
everything below is 2013 did not decide I wanted to be an MD until then

Extracurriculars/research:
  • 1 year (1500+ hours) as research assistant for a ecology lab, ongoing, publication second author, posters, manuscripts, etc. I put an insane amount of time into this.
  • 1 year volunteer secretary for community center serving mostly african immigrants. Wrote constitution, by-laws, etc. ran soup kitchen there for a month.
Clinical:
  • (150+) Research associate for clinical research at a hospital. Consent patients to studies, talk to doctors, enroll them in studies too. lots of observational stuff ~300 hours by May.
  • NEW: Harvard medical school internship.
  • Shadowed doctors.
  • 50 hours emergency department volunteering. Standard stuff.
There are other things like student groups, nothing really substantial though.

Should I study more for MCAT or should I take it and probably get a 32? Also I would like to get into a top tier school if that is possible or am I setting my goals to high?
 
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Aerus

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If you get a decent MCAT (30+), the top 20's are well within your grasp.

A shadowing letter is useless. You will need 2 LORs from two science professors and 0ne from a non science professor.

Good luck!
 

nemo123

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It's hard to say what your school list should be without an MCAT score, but if you can score 32+, you will be golden for the top 20s.
 

masaraksh

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Golden for top 20s?!

3.90/3.85 even with a 35-39 MCAT is respectable. But there are plenty of applicants with those stats and better.
ECs seem average at best:
- 800+300 hours research is kind of normal (thats less hours than having two summer research terms, which many top applicants have)
- 1yr community center is good
- 50hrs ER + a little shadowing is very little, and thats putting it nicely.
.... and thats it!?!

I'd add some mid-ranking schools to the list.
 

nemo123

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Golden for top 20s?!

3.90/3.85 even with a 35-39 MCAT is respectable. But there are plenty of applicants with those stats and better.
ECs seem average at best:
- 800+300 hours research is kind of normal (thats less hours than having two summer research terms, which many top applicants have)
- 1yr community center is good
- 50hrs ER + a little shadowing is very little, and thats putting it nicely.
.... and thats it!?!

I'd add some mid-ranking schools to the list.
OP's an URM and a first generation college student.
 

masaraksh

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I don't see how that is an excuse for essentially not doing anything in college outside of going to classes.

Still, adding schools outside the top 20 is a good idea.
 

nemo123

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I don't see how that is an excuse for essentially not doing anything in college outside of going to classes.

Still, adding schools outside the top 20 is a good idea.
Generally, I've found that some people don't put their hobbies or non-medical ECs/volunteering on their WAMC posts until someone asks for them lol. OP, do you have any hobbies that you engage in?
 
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Goro

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Suggest you get more patient contact volunteer experience.

With a good MCAT >34, then all high-tiers are doable (for example, Pitt, Northwestern, WashU, U Chicago). With an avg GPA (~32) then aim for low-mid-tier (Rosy Franklin, Rush, SLU, MCW, Loyola)
 

solitarius

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Dude...

Get an MCAT > 27 and you are set.
Get an MCAT > 32 and you will definitely get into at least one Top 20 if you apply to all of them
Get an MCAT > 35 and you will probably get accepted to at least one of the following (if not more): Harvard/Stanford/Hopkins/Penn/Yale/UCSF/ or Columbia


Outside of MCAT, the only marginal weakness (and it's pretty minor) I see in your profile is little clinical experience outside of research-related activities. If you want to add clinical hours in a non-research activity, that can only help.
 
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Aerus

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I don't see how that is an excuse for essentially not doing anything in college outside of going to classes.

Still, adding schools outside the top 20 is a good idea.
OP has shown altruism through volunteering, has done an insane amount of research that has resulted in a second author publication, and probably has other stuff not listed. I don't think you understand how desirable a URM (1st generation African American, no less!)+excellent GPA+good MCAT+second author publication applicant is. :p

If OP pulls out a decent MCAT, the top 20's are definitely possible. Pull a good MCAT, and the sky is the limit.
 

masaraksh

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URM/or not ... my point was that ~3.9ish GPA, 1000hrs research (not really insane thats less than two summers full time), 1yr volunteering is pretty much par for the course when looking at top 20 schools.

50hrs ER volunteering + shadowing checks off a box but doesn't do much. I mean, anyone can get that done in a month.


My guess is that there hopefully is "other stuff not listed" as well as strong MCAT.
 

Aerus

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URM/or not ... my point was that ~3.9ish GPA, 1000hrs research (not really insane thats less than two summers full time), 1yr volunteering is pretty much par for the course when looking at top 20 schools.

50hrs ER volunteering + shadowing checks off a box but doesn't do much. I mean, anyone can get that done in a month.


My guess is that there hopefully is "other stuff not listed" as well as strong MCAT.
Assuming each summer is 3 months (which is an overestimate at many schools), you'd get less than 500 hours full time. I don't see this as "less than two summers".

With a decent MCAT, OP is in reach of gaining a top 20 acceptance. I think you're confusing "can get a top 20 acceptance" with "will get many top 20 acceptances". If OP wants to comfortably expect multiple top 20 acceptances (including a handful of top 10's), then yes more EC's and a good MCAT will be needed.
 

lazyindy

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not to hijack thread but approximately how much of a boost is it to be a first-generation college student?
 
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OP
A
Dec 27, 2013
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Pre-Medical
Suggest you get more patient contact volunteer experience.

With a good MCAT >34, then all high-tiers are doable (for example, Pitt, Northwestern, WashU, U Chicago). With an avg GPA (~32) then aim for low-mid-tier (Rosy Franklin, Rush, SLU, MCW, Loyola)
This is directed at anyone, it has been a semester and a few things have changed. science and cumulative GPA roughly equal at 3.9 and I am doing an internship at Harvard medical school in clinical research. My LOR will be from clinical research coordinator, and lab PIs. I plan on taking the MCAT soon I just started studying a few days ago, also I got a 30 on practice. What do you think a good strategy would be now study more for MCAT or postpone application until July or take it mid/early June. Ideally I would like to go to top tier school not sure of possibility though given low MCAT/lack of motivation to study...
 

gyngyn

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This is directed at anyone, it has been a semester and a few things have changed. science and cumulative GPA roughly equal at 3.9 and I am doing an internship at Harvard medical school in clinical research. My LOR will be from clinical research coordinator, and lab PIs. I plan on taking the MCAT soon I just started studying a few days ago, also I got a 30 on practice. What do you think a good strategy would be now study more for MCAT or postpone application until July or take it mid/early June. Ideally I would like to go to top tier school not sure of possibility though given low MCAT/lack of motivation to study...
An MCAT over 30 can make the difference between a good school and an amazing school. It can also be the difference between loans and a scholarship. It's your call.
 
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Goro

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If you're getting a 30 on practice that's a good sign. if you feel your are ready, then take it in June/July, and apply ASAP.


I plan on taking the MCAT soon I just started studying a few days ago, also I got a 30 on practice. What do you think a good strategy would be now study more for MCAT or postpone application until July or take it mid/early June. Ideally I would like to go to top tier school not sure of possibility though given low MCAT/lack of motivation to study

AdComs like that.

not to hijack thread but approximately how much of a boost is it to be a first-generation college student?
 

Laureatebarrel

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URM/or not ... my point was that ~3.9ish GPA, 1000hrs research (not really insane thats less than two summers full time), 1yr volunteering is pretty much par for the course when looking at top 20 schools.

50hrs ER volunteering + shadowing checks off a box but doesn't do much. I mean, anyone can get that done in a month.


My guess is that there hopefully is "other stuff not listed" as well as strong MCAT.
Not to distract from the thread, but OP you need to chill out.