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shankara

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Apr 28, 2012
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I am an American of Indian origin, male, about 21 years. Just completed my degree in biomedical engineering; very much want to be a doctor (MD is OK, MD/PhD is preferred since I love research). Lots of rejections although most schools asked for secondary applications; 4 interviews so far, 1 of them rejected, some hope in the other three (U-Pitt, CWRU and Toledo) but I can not count on these any more. CGPA=3.66, SGPA = 3.45, MCAT = 36 (14 in Biology), 2 summers of research (1 research paper), some shadowing experience, not much volunteering experience due to academic pressure in college, although recently I have accumulated about 40 hours in a hospital.

My plan is to do a special master's degree in physiology and work extremely hard, gain some volunteer experience and plenty of shadowing experience. I have applied to Michigan, CWRU and U-Cincinnati SMP's.

Any suggestions on how to improve my chances? Any advice? Will my chances improve with SMP if I do well? Is one of these SMP's better than others? Your help and ideas will be greatly appreciated.

Shankara
 
Sep 4, 2006
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I am an American of Indian origin, male, about 21 years. Just completed my degree in biomedical engineering; very much want to be a doctor (MD is OK, MD/PhD is preferred since I love research). Lots of rejections although most schools asked for secondary applications; 4 interviews so far, 1 of them rejected, some hope in the other three (U-Pitt, CWRU and Toledo) but I can not count on these any more. CGPA=3.66, SGPA = 3.45, MCAT = 36 (14 in Biology), 2 summers of research (1 research paper), some shadowing experience, not much volunteering experience due to academic pressure in college, although recently I have accumulated about 40 hours in a hospital.

My plan is to do a special master's degree in physiology and work extremely hard, gain some volunteer experience and plenty of shadowing experience. I have applied to Michigan, CWRU and U-Cincinnati SMP's.

Any suggestions on how to improve my chances? Any advice? Will my chances improve with SMP if I do well? Is one of these SMP's better than others? Your help and ideas will be greatly appreciated.

Shankara
For MD, I think you'd get just as much mileage from postbac undergrad upper-level Bio and Biochem as you would from a far more expensive SMP, and even that may not be needed if you have a recent steep upward grade trend in the sciences. But yes, if you got a 3.7+ GPA in the SMP, your chances would be better.

You really don't have enough research to be a good candidate for MD/PhD with only two summer's worth of experience, IMO. The low cGPA is a double whammy. See: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?p=10563823 and I don't have any insight into how MD/PhD adcomms would consider an SMP GPA.

I see your major weakness as sparse clinical experience, maybe low shadowing hours, and no nonmedical community service. If you also don't have teaching or leadership, that leaves even more room for improvement.
 

shankara

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For MD, I think you'd get just as much mileage from postbac undergrad upper-level Bio and Biochem as you would from a far more expensive SMP, and even that may not be needed if you have a recent steep upward grade trend in the sciences. But yes, if you got a 3.7+ GPA in the SMP, your chances would be better.

You really don't have enough research to be a good candidate for MD/PhD with only two summer's worth of experience, IMO. The low cGPA is a double whammy. See: http://forums.studentdoctor.net/showthread.php?p=10563823 and I don't have any insight into how MD/PhD adcomms would consider an SMP GPA.

I see your major weakness as sparse clinical experience, maybe low shadowing hours, and no nonmedical community service. If you also don't have teaching or leadership, that leaves even more room for improvement.

Thank you for your reply. How do you accumulate clinical experience? I can accumulate shadowing hours but any advice on what I can do beyond that?

Regarding postbac work in Bio or something, I think it is too risky and I would rather stick with SMP, expensive as it may be. My GPA shows steep upper trend with a perfect GPA two semesters ago, but unfortunately biomed engineering courses are not considered science (which is unfair since they are mostly applied science), so I cannot show a good improvement in sGPA. Thanks again, your comments are very helpful.
 
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How do you accumulate clinical experience? I can accumulate shadowing hours but any advice on what I can do beyond that?
Shadowing is a passive observership, where you focus on what the physician does. Clinical experience requires interaction with the patient, with your focus being on their concerns.

You can get clinical experience with sick people through the workplace, for class credit, data gathering for a clinical trial, or via volunteerism. It can be gained at a free, family-planning, or private clinic, surgicenter, hospice, hospital, VA, residential home, rehabilitation facility, nursing home, among others.

Clinical patient experience is not always gained in a medical environment, eg EMT, battle field medic, home hospice care, physical therapy aide, or special camp environments. In such a case, it's probably a good idea to acquire some experience in a clinical milieu where doctors work, like those listed above, though some feel shadowing might cover this.

The advantage of gaining clinical exposure through volunteerism, is that it also is looked on as community service, another unwritten expectation looked for on an application.
 

shankara

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Apr 28, 2012
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Shadowing is a passive observership, where you focus on what the physician does. Clinical experience requires interaction with the patient, with your focus being on their concerns.

You can get clinical experience with sick people through the workplace, for class credit, data gathering for a clinical trial, or via volunteerism. It can be gained at a free, family-planning, or private clinic, surgicenter, hospice, hospital, VA, residential home, rehabilitation facility, nursing home, among others.

Clinical patient experience is not always gained in a medical environment, eg EMT, battle field medic, home hospice care, physical therapy aide, or special camp environments. In such a case, it's probably a good idea to acquire some experience in a clinical milieu where doctors work, like those listed above, though some feel shadowing might cover this.

The advantage of gaining clinical exposure through volunteerism, is that it also is looked on as community service, another unwritten expectation looked for on an application.

Thank you very much. This is valuable advice.
 

Priti Dave

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Dec 12, 2011
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I am an American of Indian origin, male, about 21 years. Just completed my degree in biomedical engineering; very much want to be a doctor (MD is OK, MD/PhD is preferred since I love research). Lots of rejections although most schools asked for secondary applications; 4 interviews so far, 1 of them rejected, some hope in the other three (U-Pitt, CWRU and Toledo) but I can not count on these any more. CGPA=3.66, SGPA = 3.45, MCAT = 36 (14 in Biology), 2 summers of research (1 research paper), some shadowing experience, not much volunteering experience due to academic pressure in college, although recently I have accumulated about 40 hours in a hospital.

My plan is to do a special master's degree in physiology and work extremely hard, gain some volunteer experience and plenty of shadowing experience. I have applied to Michigan, CWRU and U-Cincinnati SMP's.

Any suggestions on how to improve my chances? Any advice? Will my chances improve with SMP if I do well? Is one of these SMP's better than others? Your help and ideas will be greatly appreciated.

Shankara
For Indian it is hard to get in. Go out of country and get over M.D that is best way. If you see out of USA school 90% Indian.
 

medicalman123

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Feb 15, 2012
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Why do you want to be a doctor? Although you have terrific numbers, you seem to be pretty clueless about the whole process and your decision to apply to med school comes across as rather arbitrary. Assuming this came across in your interviews, you may want to take a moment and consider why you have a passion for medicine specifically. Not a personal attack, but the country doesn't need more doctors who picked the career for all the wrong reasons
 

shankara

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Apr 28, 2012
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Sorry, that isn't my area of expertise. But folks in the Postbaccalaureate Programs forum have probably posted on the issue, so you might Search or ask there, unless someone else comes along who can chime in.

Thanks again. I appreciate your kind replies.
 
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