Sep 23, 2014
I'm a nontrad student who will be applying this upcoming cycle. I wanted to lay out my resume to see how competitive others think I will be and to get some advice on the following areas:
-which range of schools should I apply?
-will the grades from a local state university weaken my application to the point I won't be competitive at top schools?
-will my LOR's lack of high status hurt me?
-how can I improve my application? Should I pursue the EMT course in the spring or wait until next summer? Research?

Undergrad Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a math minor, 3.9/4.0 gpa, magna cum laude, top 25 private university, graduated 2010
Masters Degree: Economics, from an ivy league university
-I was in a PhD program but left and took the masters after deciding I wanted to pursue a medical career. I was specializing in Health Economics and my research was on health outcomes, the healthcare system, and personal health decisions.

Science Courses at top 25 university:
Chemistry sequence (took in 2006-2007): A, A

Science courses at a local state university :
Biology: I took the biology sequence over a summer - A, A
Organic Chemistry sequence, lecture: A, A
Organic Chemistry Lab: A-, A-
Physics sequence: A, A
Anatomy and Physiology sequence: A, A
Biochemistry (taken online through UC berkeley extension program): A-

(I'm not sure if I have to add my math andstatistics classes into the science GPA, but if so, my math GPA was ~3.8/4.0, so my overall science GPA should be ~3.9/4.0)

MCAT: I'll be taking the MCAT this upcoming April and expect a 33-36 based on pretesting

Letters of Recommendation: 2 science, 1 economics, 1 professional, 1 service
1. Organic chemistry professor, local state university - I think she's only a lecturer, but I'll have her for two semesters and am rocking her class; has already agreed to write for me
2. Anatomy/physiology professor, local state university - really only lectures as well. I'll have her for two semesters as well and am rocking her class, has already agreed to write for me
3. Undergraduate thesis advisor - economics professor who I worked with and did research with for a couple years. He wrote me a LOR for my teaching position and for my phd program.
4. Boss for the Graduate Resident Fellow position I had during my phd program
5. Boss at my critical care unit volunteer position - she's the head of volunteer services at a hospital

1. Teach For America - Secondary Math Teacher - 2010-2012 - tons of great stories/experience through this
2. Critical Care Unit volunteer - ~10 hours per week for 10 months, 2014-2015
3. Graduate Resident Fellow - 1 year - responsible for 400+ undergrads; mentor role, etc.
4. Shadowing - I've shadowed an ER doctor, an orthopedic surgeon, and an ENT doctor. Any of them would give me a solid reference if I asked but I'm not sure this is needed?

Still in the works:
-I'm trying to get a paid position either as a medical scribe / hospital patient worker of some sort. I might start looking at hospices in the area.
-In terms of what I will do after I apply and for my year off (June 2015 - August 2016), I'm going to try and work as an EMT, a medical scribe, do research/get an internship, etc. Any suggestions on what to do with that time would be greatly appreciated.

I apologize for the length, but I really wanted to get a sense of what people thought of my resume and what I could look to be shooting for to give me extra motivation or to suggest. My goal is to simply get in somewhere and if possible, to get in at the best school possible.

Thanks for any advice/suggestions.


5+ Year Member
Feb 6, 2014
Medical Student
Based on what you have written here, you are more than okay at every level. The only thing that stands out is MCAT. If you are getting 33-36 on MCAT practice tests already, I'd take it ASAP. The test is changing after January, making it longer, with more info, and a different scoring system. I don't think it is known how predictive current MCAT practice tests will be for the new test, so you might as well get it out of the way while you know you can get a good score.
Sep 23, 2014
I was planning on taking it now, but my advisors told me to take the new one since schools will likely favor that one.

Thanks for the response btw. Any thoughts on areas of improvement I could look into?
Mar 3, 2014
Your numbers look great. Looks like you are a little light on community service. I'd try looking at soup kitchens, homeless shelters, children advocacy shelters.
If you could balance your app out with some service oriented work, I think you should do very well provided you speak well, are a generally nice person to be around.

Something to keep in mind for 2015 (and beyond)...the MCAT is changing for a reason: to create Doctors who are better speakers and presenters. They want empathetic clinicians. Gone are the days of Dr "Superior".... you should present yourself as someone who is humble, smart, is a shoulder to cry on, a good pillar of the community...etc.

Best of luck.
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