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Need a little advice

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Treese, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. Treese

    Treese Angel
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    I?m new to this website. What advice can you give me? I'm a single mom and working hard towards my BS and I should graduate in 2006 and I hope to start med school that Fall. I?m in the process of taking my science classes now, and so far my GPA is a 4.0, I have done a lot of community service in the and out of the medical world. I have not done any research. How can I make myself a better candidate, and also what I can do to make sure I have a high MCAT score, to make sure I have a good chance of getting in? I also noticed that a lot of people have already started applying to schools, and that they are applying to at least 10 schools. I do have 4 already in mind.

    Thanks for any help you can give. :luck:
     
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  3. PianoGirl04

    PianoGirl04 living for tomorrow
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    Welcome to SDN! Don't feed the trolls. :D

    The 4.0 GPA and community service should go a long way for you. Also, you mentioned that some of your service has been medically related...I'm not sure what kinds of things you did, but you probably have some clinical experience through that. (If not, it's worth the effort to get a volunteer job that's clinically related or shadow some doctors ASAP! I think the big hole in my own application was my lack of clinical experience.) Definitely make sure you can get strong letters of recommendations from people who know you well...go to your professors' office hours, for example, and develop a rapport with them.

    The research issue is difficult to say much about. It looks like you're building a pretty strong application profile as it stands, so you may not need research experience. However, if you want to get into an MD-PhD program or a very competitive, highly ranked school, research is important to consider. I would only do it if you definitely want to and have a sincere interest in the issue being studied...don't do it just because it might help you get in.

    As for the MCAT, start studying early and look into taking a prep course if you think you need it. If you don't want to do a full course, definitely buy the books and study on your own. Take lots of practice tests too...and definitely time yourself so you aren't thrown off by the time limits on the actual MCAT.

    On the issue of choosing schools...10 is actually quite a low number. Most people apply to 15-20 schools. If you keep up the GPA and ace the MCAT, you should be able to apply to a few less than that, but 4 is definitely too small! The generic advice is to apply to all your state schools and also choose a mix of "safety" schools, good prospects, and reaches. Looking at the average GPA and MCAT of the first-year class (see the MSAR or USNews for that) really helps a lot. But the big lesson that most of us applicants learn is that no school is really a "safety" school, and the process can be pretty random.

    The only issue I see in your application right now is that you're a single mother...adcoms might question whether you can balance the responsibilities of med school and raising a child. Keeping your GPA up is one way to demonstrate that you can. Also make sure you can respond to anything an interviewer might ask about that...for example, think about arrangements for day care and school. But to be honest, I'm not completely sure how adcoms look at single motherhood, so maybe someone else around here can shed some light on the issue.

    Props to you for thinking about schools and things so early (since you'll be applying in over a year from now)! It seems like you really have your act together. :)
     
  4. taylor92107

    taylor92107 surfing to success
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    Shadow shadow shadow, apply as early as possible and ask for your letters of recommendation WAY in advance!!!! Good luck :D
     
  5. EM Junkie

    EM Junkie SDN Donor
    Gold Donor Classifieds Approved 15+ Year Member

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    All the advice so far has been great. If your school has a pre-med advising office, you should definitely check in with them too. If not, look online for the websites for other schools' professional school advising departments. They have a lot of helpful advice.

    -Scott, MS2
     

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