azhong

10+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2009
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Hello,

This is my first post but I've been lurking these forums for about a year now since my last year in undergrad.

cGPA: 3.40
sGPA: 3.28
MCAT: 38S

Basically, I graduated in 2009 from UC Berkeley with a double major in Molecular and Cell Biology and Economics and while I was there, I volunteered at a free clinic for a year and did some research at a clinical psychology lab for about 2 years that involved a bit of patient interaction. I did relatively bad academically my first two years in college but I picked it up my last two years, which is the reason why my GPAs are relatively low.

Now I'm currently contracted for a year as a research associate at a relatively large medical instrumentation/biotech company and I was wondering if it was worth it for me to apply this cycle. Compounding all of this I don't think I will have the greatest of LORs either.

So basically, I'm very tentative to actually applying this year so I wanted to get some of your opinions based on what I've listed so far about myself.

Thanks!
 
If you have a steep upward trend in science classes those last two years, I think you're fine to apply in June 2010 based on numbers.

Based on ECs, it sounds like you have enough clinical experience (is it over 150 hours?), but I'd be concerned if nothing is recent. You don't mention shadowing, an essential in my mind, but you could get 60-80 hours of that done very quickly (3 docs) so you'd have the shadowing done and also have recent clinical exposure. You've got the research, but what about leadership, teaching, nonmedical community service, sports, artistic endeavors, and hobbies? I hope you'd have something to list under some of these. With some last minute beefing up, you might be good to go, depending on the answer to the above.

You don't think the LORs are malignant do you? That could be a death knell if red flags are raised.
 
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azhong

10+ Year Member
Feb 9, 2009
2
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Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Ah thanks for the input. Yeah I definitely have more than 150 hours in volunteering at both the clinical psychology lab and free clinic and they are both recent. I don't have any hours shadowing though, and I also do not have much in terms of leadership experience or teaching etc. It's going to be relatively difficult to beef up my app anymore since I am working full time right now, but I do get some clinical experience in my job.

My mindset right now is that I should apply for the heck of it, but I'm not sure how healthy that mindset is haha.
 

ziggydoc

Growing a Heart
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Aug 2, 2007
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Well, I think LORs play a huge role in the process (especially if everyone elses' make them sound like they can walk on water), even having a luckwarm LOR sometime raises questions. But other than the professors, you can have your current supervisor write them as well, which may help depending on your situation. Like Cata said, if you have a strong upward trend for your science classes your GPA is fine, but make sure you apply to ALOT of schools, especially since you are from CA (not sure if you live there, but if you don't its prob better since CA schools are very hard to get into). Do some shadowing even if its only for a few days, you can hammer that out in a few weekends no problem (hospitals don't close on weekends so even if you work full time you can get some shadowing in). Finally, since you are working fulltime, it is not like your GPA will be improving through post-bac or masters (by improving I mean showing med schools you can do academics) the only thing you should be asking yourself is: do I have enough ECs to be competitive, if the answer is yes then apply this year, if not then boost them up slowly over this year and apply next year. Good luck
 
You don't need everything I listed, but enough to look well-rounded and interesting. If there could only be a single improvement you'd make before submission, it should be the shadowing. Hit on your old pediatrician or family doc, parents of friends, contacts from volunteering, and don't be that applicant whose Primary was tossed to the side due to the lack of this critical (for the vast majority) EC.
 

drizzt3117

chick magnet
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Oct 29, 2006
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I bet if you apply early and to a lot of schools (25-30) you'll get in to some mid tiers, although it's hard to say if you'll get any attention from the UCs. I bet USC would take a long look though.
 

bravofleet4

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Jan 17, 2009
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i think you will be fine as long as you apply broadly
 

klmnop

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Feb 9, 2009
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Same question, worse stats:

MI resident, 3.31, 3.2sci, 30Q, Good letters, Research 1.5yrs, extensive hospital jobs + volunteering.

2010 App: No MD interviews.

Doing research since January, most likely attending Tufts SMP in fall, w/possible MCAT retake after completion.

Keeping in mind there's a new private school opening in Michigan for 2011 apps. Do I even bother applying to a few local/midwest schools with the prospect of sending midterm SMP grades, or (due to my low numbers) should I just hold off until I'm done and have something significant to show.

I'll repost in the Tufts Post-bacc thread to get those opinions as well.
 
Same question, worse stats:

MI resident, 3.31, 3.2sci, 30Q, Good letters, Research 1.5yrs, extensive hospital jobs + volunteering.

2010 App: No MD interviews.

Doing research since January, most likely attending Tufts SMP in fall, w/possible MCAT retake after completion.

Keeping in mind there's a new private school opening in Michigan for 2011 apps. Do I even bother applying to a few local/midwest schools with the prospect of sending midterm SMP grades, or (due to my low numbers) should I just hold off until I'm done and have something significant to show.

I'll repost in the Tufts Post-bacc thread to get those opinions as well.
Rather than posting at the end of an old thread, you'd do better to start your own thread. FWIW, I'd wait to reapply until summer 2011, unless your low GPA is due to a bad first year at college and you have a steep upward trend since then.
 

klmnop

10+ Year Member
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Feb 9, 2009
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Duly noted, sometimes people don't like new threads with those kinds questions. And no, no significant upward trend, though first year was ~3.18 I think.