PingPongPro

7+ Year Member
Jan 28, 2010
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First, and foremost I know most people hate chancing/giving advice to people who still haven't taken the MCAT yet, but please still tell me if I am on an okay path, and what I can do to increase my chances to get into med school. I plan to apply senior year so I will be taking a year off.

School:UCLA
Major: Physiological Sciences
cGPA: 3.639
sGPA: 3.545

-Hospital Volunteer through a program to help patient safety at the hospital. I am shadowing physicians/nurses/PA/etc. as I volunteer. I just started this year, but i plan to do about 2 yrs total.
-Nationally Certified EMT. I have not worked yet as an EMT, but I am hoping to try and get a job as a part-time EMT over the summer. But it seems very hard to get a job that matches my schedule.
-Research: Started this quarter. I have committed 1 year to it and I plan to stay at this lab longer and if not, I hope to research until I graduate.
-Sunday school teacher: Since freshmen year
-Private Tutor: 3 hours a week for about 1 year.
-2 years of intramural basketball. Not sure if this amounts to anything or even if its worth putting, but I thought i might as well mention it.
-Would a Christian Club on campus be acceptable to put down as an EC?


I know I need to raise my gpa, do well on mcats, and get some real physician shadowing in, but what else can I do to impress adcoms?
 
Sep 4, 2006
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Inside the tesseract
I think your planned activies look good. You have time to raise the cGPA, and more importantly, the BCPM GPA.

The combination of hospital volunteerism to get clinical environment experience and EMT/first responder for contact with a lot of sick people is a good one.

Be sure to do some formal physician shadowing eventually; 60-80 hours split among three specialties would be nice to see. Maybe hit on some of the docs you meet at the hospital safety gig.

A year of research is about average, staying at the same lab longer gets you bonus points. Publications get you gold stars.

Teaching is a valued experience, so put both the tutoring and Sunday schools teaching there.

Definitely mention the basketball. Stree relieving activities are good to list, along with other hobbies.

Clubs don't help you much unless they are a springboard to leadership (which you didn't mention) or helping others. If you want to stand out, I suggest getting involved in a community service organization or starting one, and using the membership to accomplish good, under your direction. Possibly the Christian Club could be utilized in this way, but if it has other clearly defined goals, then move on and think of something else creative. (Not to say you couldn't join just for social purposes.)
 

bravofleet4

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Jan 17, 2009
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i think the list of current activities is pretty good. there's also a lot more you can do with them if you find the incentive. therefore, you can stick with just what you have and try to take it as far as you can.

in research, a publication would be very impressive and you can also do poster presentations

in hospital volunteering, there's often student committees run by the volunteers, so there's possible leadership experience

in the christian club, there's another place you could become an office and get more leadership experience

and etc etc etc...

since you've just started these activities recently, i think you have enough on your plate. In fact, I wouldn't add anymore major EC's, without subtracting one out. For example, if you find you're not learning anything new after 1 year in the hospital, I would just quit and look for something else after the summer of your junior year. After 1 year and assuming you're doing 3-4 hours a week, you have enough clinical hours to be competitive. That's really kind of the secret I think behind people who have all those wonderful lists of EC's. They spread it over their years in undergrad rather than cram it all in their junior year...
 

PingPongPro

7+ Year Member
Jan 28, 2010
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Thanks for the replies so far. I'll definitely try to use the advice.

What cGPA and sGPA should i strive for by the time I graduate for md schools? How about california schools?
 

canjosh

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Jun 18, 2004
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Thanks for the replies so far. I'll definitely try to use the advice.

What cGPA and sGPA should i strive for by the time I graduate for md schools? How about california schools?
The California schools are a crapshoot, you hear of people with 3.9s and solid MCAT scores not getting into the UCs. Honestly, you should strive for all As from here on out. The higher your GPA, the more choices you'll have when you apply. You can find statistics about GPA of accepted students in the MSAR to give you a good idea of your competition at each school.