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Need some serious & HONEST advice

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Flawless

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Ok so this is my first post on SDN and it is very long one. Sorry, I just couldn't shorten it any more.

I graduated last december with bachelors in MCB and even though I applied for the last year's cycle, I didn't take it seriously enough and missed the secondary deadline for all of the schools I had applied to. I know it sounds really bad but it was mostly because my poor MCAT scores had discouraged me. I took MCAT twice last year and my scores were...
22M (9PS, 4VR, 9BS) for June 13
26O (10PS 6VR 10BS) for July 10

And I just took my third MCAT yesterday.. it was hard but I think I should get at least 30+.

Ok so here are my other stats.
Overall GPA: 3.75
sGPA: 3.5 (With three advanced medical courses including physiology and neuroanatomy offered directly through Medical school for graduate students and seniors)

My ECs:
-Volunteered in six different departments in two hospitals over the course of three years
-Was Undergraduate Research Associate for my senior year for very advanced neuropsych lab where I ran fMRI protocols for subjects
-Was a peer advisor through advising office
-was on Undergraduate student committee for MCB
-Researched effects of medical ethics course on students' perceptions of contemporary health issues and presented results at Undergraduate research symposium
-Did an honors project where I did a literature review on psychology of suicide bombers
-Lots of dean's list and other similar awards
-A lot of non-clinical volunteer experience
-Vice-President of Chemistry/Pre-professional Club for my sophomore year

So that's about it. And since graduation, I haven't been doing anything medically relevant. Do you think that'd look bad on med schools?

Also here are the schools I applied to this year:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Rush Medical
Loyola
Northwestern
U of chicago
Southern Illinois
Rosalind Franklin
Saint Louis University
Drexel
Tufts
Boston University
New York Medical College

Do you think I should add more schools?.. if so which ones?

With all these stats, what are my chances at the schools above as a IL resident?

Also I have great LORs from two research advisors, One from advanced physiology prof, one from organic chem prof, and one from student volunteer coordinator from one of the hospitals I volunteered at.

So again, what are my chances? And share any other advice that you might have for me.

I also come from very poor family and was approved for FAP (fee assistance program), do you think med schools look at that as a factor?

Also since I already took many classes that several SMP programs offer, I did not consider that as an option for my gap year. Do you think it'd look bad if I just do random min-wage jobs during the gap year?

Sorry for asking these many questions but I'd really appreciate any advice you got for me. Just be honest!

I also believe I wrote really strong personal statement but I am not sure anymore after I submitted it. If you want to read it and give me some opinion on it, PM me and I'll send it to you.

Thanks!
 

Stratego

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26O (10PS 6VR 10BS) . . .I just took my third MCAT yesterday.. it was hard but I think I should get at least 30+.
Overall GPA: 3.75
sGPA: 3.5
Also here are the schools I applied to this year:
University of Illinois at Chicago
Rush Medical
Loyola
Northwestern
U of chicago
Southern Illinois
Rosalind Franklin
Saint Louis University
Drexel
Tufts
Boston University
New York Medical College

1) And since graduation, I haven't been doing anything medically relevant. Do you think that'd look bad on med schools?

2) Do you think I should add more schools?.. if so which ones?

3) With all these stats, what are my chances at the schools above as a IL resident?

4) And share any other advice that you might have for me.

5) I also come from very poor family and was approved for FAP (fee assistance program), do you think med schools look at that as a factor?

6) Do you think it'd look bad if I just do random min-wage jobs during the gap year?
1) It will look lazy; I wouldn't say it will look "bad", but I'm sure you have a good explanation. You need to resume some medically-relevant activity now, like volunteering 3 hours per week, maybe at another venue than where you've got the previous experience, since that is already pretty strong.

2) I'd wait to see what the third MCAT score is before adding more schools. If you don't get above a 30, I'd add some DO schools instead of more allo.

3) Presuming an MCAT of 30, you have a good chance at UIllinois, and a great chance at SIU if your parents live south of I-80. Northwestern, UChicago, Tufts, and BU I'd say low to no chance. Loyola, Rush, Rosalind Franklin, Drexel, SLU, NYMC a decent chance.

4) Send update letters periodically through the cycle letting schools know about relevant activities and why they are a great fit for you.

5) Might have a small effect.

6) Random jobs are fine, but also doing community service and something medical is a good idea. It doesn't have to be much.
 
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camaras2480

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University of Illinois at Chicago
Rush Medical
Loyola
Northwestern
U of chicago

Southern Illinois
Rosalind Franklin
Saint Louis University
Drexel
Tufts
Boston University

New York Medical College

Just FYI, I don't know if it's too late, but I don't think you have a shot at the above schools.

1. Do you think I should add more schools?.. if so which ones?

2. With all these stats, what are my chances at the schools above as a IL resident?

3. Also I have great LORs from two research advisors, One from advanced physiology prof, one from organic chem prof, and one from student volunteer coordinator from one of the hospitals I volunteered at.

4. So again, what are my chances? And share any other advice that you might have for me.

5. I also come from very poor family and was approved for FAP (fee assistance program), do you think med schools look at that as a factor?

6. Also since I already took many classes that several SMP programs offer, I did not consider that as an option for my gap year. Do you think it'd look bad if I just do random min-wage jobs during the gap year?

1. Consider looking through NY, VA, PA, and OH in addition to IL for 'low' tier schools. Examples: Albany and Temple.

2. What Stratego said.

3. Cool - those should be good enough.

4. Yup. My only other advice is to apply DO as a backup.

5. Nope.

6. Do not do SMP. It is not meant for a candidate like you. Do whatever you'd like - random jobs won't look bad, but they won't look good either. Try and stay involved in something medical/scientific - it would look better.
 

Stratego

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I moved Tufts. I had it in the wrong category. Camaras is right.
 

Flawless

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Thanks stratego and camaras.. your advice is valuable... does anyone else have any more suggestions??
 
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