Zona Pellucida

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 17, 2008
2,446
3
Status
Medical Student
Just looking at things I should improve or continue to better my application:

So this is what I have right now:

Junior UnderGrad

Cumulative GPA: 3.73 --> My BCMP is lower than my cumulative... I attempted to calculate it earlier and I think I was about a 3.3ish but that was before the end of this semester (which I got a 3.93 in)

Shadowing experience: Shadowed a dermatologist multiple times over a 5 week period. I also plan to shadow more physicians next semester.

Research experience: I have done a lot of research in my Cell Biology (RNAi with C. elegans, molecular cloning) and Microbiology courses and I am also in a program where I will plan research 1 on 1 in Spring '09 with a member of the Microbiology faculty at my college. The research will then be done throughout my senior year and is "for sure happening". While I am applying though, this research will only be in the transition from planning to actual action... would this still benefit my application as the research won't be completed until March of my senior year?

Also, I have applied to a 10 week research opportunity this summer but there's always the possibility of getting denied here.

Volunteer Experience: I have about 100+ hrs in general of community service that I have done from high school and I will begin volunteering at a local hospital next week (Emergency Dept.). This way I will have both clinical and hospital experience.

MCAT - May 28th - I started studying December 13th and am VERY nervous for this test as I believe it will make or break me. I do have one C on my transcript in General Chem I but I got a B in II. This was the worst course I have ever taken in my 3 years of college in that the professors SWEAR by this 'new age method' where there is ZERO lecture and students get in groups of 4 and "teach eachother" while the professor chills at the front of the room. Awesome! I loved being taught by college freshman who are in a 100 level course and know nothing. Maybe thats why the test averages were around 42%. Sorry for ranting... little bit of hatred towards Gen Chem :thumbdown:

I've been told to retake if I am nervous about that C, yet the course is still taught the same way, and I don't believe it would be worth it.


Thoughts?

Anything I should do MORE of or does it all really come down to me doing well on the MCAT?

Thank you
 

caveat87

10+ Year Member
Aug 15, 2008
171
32
Status
Pre-Medical
Just looking at things I should improve or continue to better my application:

So this is what I have right now:

Junior UnderGrad

Cumulative GPA: 3.73 --> My BCMP is lower than my cumulative... I attempted to calculate it earlier and I think I was about a 3.3ish but that was before the end of this semester (which I got a 3.93 in)

Shadowing experience: Shadowed a dermatologist multiple times over a 5 week period. I also plan to shadow more physicians next semester.

Research experience: I have done a lot of research in my Cell Biology (RNAi with C. elegans, molecular cloning) and Microbiology courses and I am also in a program where I will plan research 1 on 1 in Spring '09 with a member of the Microbiology faculty at my college. The research will then be done throughout my senior year and is "for sure happening". While I am applying though, this research will only be in the transition from planning to actual action... would this still benefit my application as the research won't be completed until March of my senior year?

Also, I have applied to a 10 week research opportunity this summer but there's always the possibility of getting denied here.

Volunteer Experience: I have about 100+ hrs in general of community service that I have done from high school and I will begin volunteering at a local hospital next week (Emergency Dept.). This way I will have both clinical and hospital experience.

MCAT - May 28th - I started studying December 13th and am VERY nervous for this test as I believe it will make or break me. I do have one C on my transcript in General Chem I but I got a B in II. This was the worst course I have ever taken in my 3 years of college in that the professors SWEAR by this 'new age method' where there is ZERO lecture and students get in groups of 4 and "teach eachother" while the professor chills at the front of the room. Awesome! I loved being taught by college freshman who are in a 100 level course and know nothing. Maybe thats why the test averages were around 42%. Sorry for ranting... little bit of hatred towards Gen Chem :thumbdown:

I've been told to retake if I am nervous about that C, yet the course is still taught the same way, and I don't believe it would be worth it.


Thoughts?

Anything I should do MORE of or does it all really come down to me doing well on the MCAT?

Thank you
From what I have learned through the process, your cGPA is definitely competitive while the science GPA is slightly lower that desireable. There are a lot of factors influencing how adcoms will view this (ie: how competitive your ugrad school is, trending, etc.) but you should be in good shape. Your research is good and if you have an opportunity to publish that would look nice. Your volunteering will also look good. The only thing you really need to improve on is leadership (which i kinda need as well lol) but don't let this compromise your grades. Get a 33+ MCAT and you should be in great shape...make sure at the least you break a 30. Good luck in your app cycle!
 

Zona Pellucida

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 17, 2008
2,446
3
Status
Medical Student
Thanks for the feedback!

When I was in highschool I was a teacher for summer school for grades K-8 at my old elementary school. Would something that far back count as "leadership experience"?
 
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Mobius1985

10+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2007
3,484
1
Sorry, AMCAS, the application service, directs you not to list any activity from the pre-college years.
 

Zona Pellucida

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 17, 2008
2,446
3
Status
Medical Student
Ouch.

That kills any leadership hopes.

Not really sure about how to go about gaining this...

I won't have time to this upcoming semester as I will be shadowing when I can, volunteering at the hospital, trying to maintain/increase my GPA, planning research with my faculty mentor, and studying for the MCAT.

Will it be okay to worry about my 'leadership aspect' during the summer?

I really feel like I have enough on my plate for Spring '09
 

Mobius1985

10+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2007
3,484
1
If you are taking the MCAT in May, it suggests you plan to apply to med schools this summer. If you have no leadership until then, you'll have nothing to put on the application. Further, at best you''ll have 6 months of clinical experience by application time (my interpretation of your summary). This would be considered sparse. Your shadowing will be fine as you've planned it out. The research you are planning won't help you much as you can only report what you've already done. Happily, it seems you already have some research under your belt, before the one-on-one, faculty-mentored experience begins.

Consider the possiblity that your application won't be all it should be by June 09, the prime time to submit to AMCAS (or by mid July at the latest, to have the most optimal chance). Taking another year to make your extracurriculars really solid, and to raise your BCPM GPA will enhance your likelihood of getting an acceptance on the first try.
 

Zona Pellucida

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 17, 2008
2,446
3
Status
Medical Student
This makes me worried, however, as I really don't want to wait long to get into medical school. I would much rather apply this summer (perhaps mid-summer) as I don't want to sit around wasting a year beefing up my application. Would I still have a chance if I 30+'d the MCAT? The only real problem seems to be leadership and if I don't have to interview until basically next year, can't I find something by then that would qualify as a positive leadership experience? I definitely appreciate your response as I've noticed you seem like a great voice to many pre-med's asking questions yet I truly do not want to take an extra year. Medical school + Residency takes long enough and I really don't want to throw another year into the mix if there is still a reasonable chance I will be okay without doing it.
 

Mobius1985

10+ Year Member
Apr 4, 2007
3,484
1
I understand your feelings and desire to take the gamble. I was in your shoes once. I applied "late", but was fortunate to get a few interviews anyway, and ultimately was accepted.

Your compromise position is workable. Apply mid to late summer after you've begun your leadership experience and your new research experience is underway. Send update letters to all your schools after each term or so, giving added details of your ongoing, pertinent experiences and improving GPA.
 

Zona Pellucida

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Nov 17, 2008
2,446
3
Status
Medical Student
Thanks for the help Mobius.

That seems to be like a plan that will suit me, even if it is a bit risky. I have heard from reading the forums that if you are lacking a bit in an area of the application it is important to apply as early as possible. I will take the MCAT May 28th, and if all goes well, I won't get my scores back until late June. I hope to then start applying ASAP (complete).
 
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