Jan 25, 2013
4
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Hello,

I'm currently studying to take the MCAT on april 4th. I'm a senior, graduating in may.

Current GPA:
cGPA: 3.64 sGPA: 3.485

4.0 Freshman, C in Ochem sophomore year, C in vertebrate physiology junior year, all other grades are B or above. A- in Organic Qualitative Analysis (upper division ochem focusing on lab)

All science courses have a lab.

My ECs aren't stellar.
Performance choir - 9 years
Member of a few clubs on campus (chem club, bio club, pre-med club, doesn't round me out much)
Research Intern - San Diego Zoo (paid - 400 hours, with powerpoint presentation of findings to zoo staff and professors)
Hospital Clinical Quality Intern - Safe Surgery Auditing (paid - 400 hours - with presentation of findings to lead hospital staff)
Facilitated negotiations for purchase of [Company] surgical equipment for local hospital between hospital president and [Company] representative (removing company name for privacy reasons)
Starting to participate in a homeless ministry.
Shadowing experience: ER physician - 1 day (6 hour shift), Family Physician 1 day - (8 hour shift).



After graduation I'm hoping to get a Scribe position. I've applied and been called back for an interview at a local hospital near home.

I haven't done any clinical volunteering. One question i have is do you think the paid internship at a hospital along with my coming scribe job :)xf:) would be sufficient?

I'm already taking at least a year off if I apply this cycle, but I'm wondering if my lack of volunteer experience and community outreach (which i'm working on this semester) would seriously affect my chances.
My top school is University of Minnesota (my state school, while i'm at undergrad in california).

Options:

  • If i do well on MCAT - apply anyway, if i don't get in work on community outreach portion of my app for next cycle.
  • If i do poorly on my MCAT, don't apply - work on both bettering my MCAT score and improving my community outreach portion of my app.
  • Regardless of MCAT score, don't apply and focus on improving my application.

I'm also trying to create a list of schools to apply to. Would the MSAR or the US NEWS rankings be worth purchasing? How else did you all make your lists, besides locational desirability?

I'm only applying to MD schools because I am seriously considering practicing medicine outside of the US (doctors without borders, 2 week to 3 month missions, or simply living in europe) and DO is not as widely accepted internationally as MD.
 
Last edited:
Apr 17, 2011
2,056
81
Status
Pre-Medical
Hello,

I'm currently studying to take the MCAT on april 4th. I'm a senior, graduating in may.

Current GPA:
cGPA: 3.64 sGPA: 3.485

4.0 Freshman, C in Ochem sophomore year, C in vertebrate physiology junior year, all other grades are B or above. A- in Organic Qualitative Analysis (upper division ochem focusing on lab)

All science courses have a lab.

My ECs aren't stellar.
Performance choir - 9 years
Member of a few clubs on campus (chem club, bio club, pre-med club, doesn't round me out much)
Research Intern - San Diego Zoo (paid - 400 hours, with powerpoint presentation of findings to zoo staff and professors)
Hospital Clinical Quality Intern - Safe Surgery Auditing (paid - 400 hours - with presentation of findings to lead hospital staff)
Facilitated negotiations for purchase of [Company] surgical equipment for local hospital between hospital president and [Company] representative (removing company name for privacy reasons)
Starting to participate in a homeless ministry.
Shadowing experience: ER physician - 1 day (6 hour shift), Family Physician 1 day - (8 hour shift).



After graduation I'm hoping to get a Scribe position. I've applied and been called back for an interview at a local hospital near home.

I haven't done any clinical volunteering. One question i have is do you think the paid internship at a hospital along with my coming scribe job :)xf:) would be sufficient?

I'm already taking at least a year off if I apply this cycle, but I'm wondering if my lack of volunteer experience and community outreach (which i'm working on this semester) would seriously affect my chances.
My top school is University of Minnesota (my state school, while i'm at undergrad in california).

Options:

  • If i do well on MCAT - apply anyway, if i don't get in work on community outreach portion of my app for next cycle.
  • If i do poorly on my MCAT, don't apply - work on both bettering my MCAT score and improving my community outreach portion of my app.
  • Regardless of MCAT score, don't apply and focus on improving my application.

I'm also trying to create a list of schools to apply to. Would the MSAR or the US NEWS rankings be worth purchasing? How else did you all make your lists, besides locational desirability?

I'm only applying to MD schools because I am seriously considering practicing medicine outside of the US (doctors without borders, 2 week to 3 month missions, or simply living in europe) and DO is not as widely accepted internationally as MD.
GPAs are fine, and you'll need to do well on the MCAT

ECs are good, but like you said, a lack of community service is significant.

definitely focus on service during your time off.

otherwise, you should be good to go assuming your MCAT score starts with a 3 and has two digits.

not saying that anything lower is bad, but because of your state and relatively low sGPA, your MCAT needs to be solid.
 
OP
K
Jan 25, 2013
4
0
Status
Pre-Medical
GPAs are fine, and you'll need to do well on the MCAT

not saying that anything lower is bad, but because of your state and relatively low sGPA, your MCAT needs to be solid.
Thanks for the reply!

Would med schools think of my state as being Minnesota (where I'm a resident, and grew up) or california (4 years undergrad at private university)?

Also, I've been told to apply as soon as I possibly can in the application cycle. However, the sooner I apply the less I'll be able to add to the community service - any advice on whether i should wait to apply or if applying early and updating schools via secondaries would be best?
 
Last edited:
Apr 17, 2011
2,056
81
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks for the reply!

Would med schools think of my state as being Minnesota (where I'm a resident, and grew up) or california (4 years undergrad at private university)?

Also, I've been told to apply as soon as I possibly can in the application cycle. However, the sooner I apply the less I'll be able to add to the community service - any advice on whether i should wait to apply or if applying early and updating schools via secondaries would be best?
not sure about the residency question

regarding when to apply, if you get a good enough MCAT score before graduation, then i would go ahead and apply this june. your ECs are good enough, and you can add in some community service starting now and continue into the application cycle.

now, if you take a year off and apply june 2014, then your application will most likely be much stronger. but are you willing to put it off for another year? that's a question only you can answer.
 

mcloaf

7+ Year Member
Jan 21, 2012
5,176
4,648
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Thanks for the reply!

Would med schools think of my state as being Minnesota (where I'm a resident, and grew up) or california (4 years undergrad at private university)?

Also, I've been told to apply as soon as I possibly can in the application cycle. However, the sooner I apply the less I'll be able to add to the community service - any advice on whether i should wait to apply or if applying early and updating schools via secondaries would be best?
That depends. You should be able to maintain your residency in Minnesota while away at college assuming that your driver's license and voter registration is still in MN and your parents still live there. That being said, if you're hoping to get into a MN state school with IS residency, call and make sure.

And yes, MSAR and/or USNWP are worth the money as they aren't very expensive.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
32,279
11,858
Camp SDN: The Place for Summer Fun
I haven't done any clinical volunteering. One question i have is do you think the paid internship at a hospital along with my coming scribe job :)xf:) would be sufficient?
What type of active (nonsedated) patient interaction did you engage in during the paid internship? From the description you give, there may not have been any.
 

survivordo

Gettin' through it
Jan 18, 2013
1,116
21
www.facebook.com
Status
Resident [Any Field]
Konli,

I think you're doing fine. Please remember that not every applicant gives baths to the homeless from 8AM to 5 PM daily and then works on their nationally recognized community outreach program at night. You are observing an extremely skewed view of the applicant pool here on SDN. Be sure to do well on the MCAT and you will be on your way.

Good luck,

Survivor D.O.
 
OP
K
Jan 25, 2013
4
0
Status
Pre-Medical
What type of active (nonsedated) patient interaction did you engage in during the paid internship? From the description you give, there may not have been any.
My job mainly focused on patient interaction actually. Every 'data point' I acquired involved me sitting with patients from when they entered the peri-op suite all the way through to surgery.

I would usually have anywhere between 1-2 hours of downtime sitting with a patient, either making small talk or not talking at all if they preferred. I interacted with both patients and families as they waited, and usually they welcomed the distraction and light-hearted conversation to take their minds off things.

At the same time - I juggled staff interaction, sometimes very pleasant but other times aggressively against being audited by some undergrad student the administration put in there.

Each day i would do at least 2 cases - averaging about 4-5 hours of direct patient contact per day.

EDIT - Also, someone told me i was 'throwing my money away' if i didn't have extensive shadowing experience. I feel like my experience at the hospital involved the shadowing of anesthesiologists, nursing staff, various speciality surgeons from Urology to Full Knee / Hip replacement as I was tasked with auditing them. I already have a goal in mind for my specialty (Emergency / family practice) - and i've shadowed a doctor separately for a day in both departments. I'm not sure I need to waste a physicians time setting up a bunch of shadowing days when I already have a plan and experience in both an OR, pre-op, ER, and ICU setting.
 
Last edited:

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
52,538
76,108
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
OK, despite the fact that you've spent a lot of time IN a hopsital, how do we know that you'll actually like being around sick and injured people for the next 40 years, much less taking care of them?

Given the many thousands of applicants who've already done the volunteer work, why should UM or any other school pick you?

You'll need to do better at showing your altriusm. We've low-wait listed people with ECs like yours.

I think that with a good (>30) MCAT score, you'll get some interviews (that sGPA may hurt with UM and other schools). How you handle the interviews will determine your fate for the next year or so.

I haven't done any clinical volunteering. Options:

  • If i do well on MCAT - apply anyway, if i don't get in work on community outreach portion of my app for next cycle.
  • If i do poorly on my MCAT, don't apply - work on both bettering my MCAT score and improving my community outreach portion of my app.
  • Regardless of MCAT score, don't apply and focus on improving my application.

I'm also trying to create a list of schools to apply to. Would the MSAR or the US NEWS rankings be worth purchasing? How else did you all make your lists, besides locational desirability?

I'm only applying to MD schools because I am seriously considering practicing medicine outside of the US (doctors without borders, 2 week to 3 month missions, or simply living in europe) and DO is not as widely accepted internationally as MD.
 
OP
K
Jan 25, 2013
4
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks for the replies and advice.

I'll skip applying in this application cycle and instead focus on strengthening my application with both my resume and my ps/essays. A year to work on the application itself would be invaluable as at the moment i'm kind of stretched for time, and would have to rush on the application more than i'd like.

I should have a job lined up in the medical field as a scribe. I wouldn't be idle for the 2 year break but rather would be saving to help pay for school while gaining experience in an Emergency Dept. (I'm thinking about emergency medicine as a specialty).

Goals for the time between now and applying June 2014:

  • Gain volunteer experience at a hospital, or multiple hospitals (a larger trauma center perhaps in addition to a U of M hospital to gain connections)
  • Work with a second volunteer program such as ESL tutoring, Big Brother, Soup Kitchen, etc.
  • Continually be working on my personal statement, essays, and networking
  • Do exceedingly well at work as a Scribe

To me this decision makes the most sense, does anyone have any advice for other things to focus on during my time 'off'?