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ebirdrugby

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I really appreciate everyone on SDN helping each other out. I've been reading many people's posts and realize I have very little EC in comparison. Ok, here's what I have:

32M (12 PS, 8 VR, 12 BS)
cGPA: 3.9 sGPA: 3.9

I'm worried about my lack of clinical volunteer hours.
I've been volunteering for a Chinese Association for ~5 years.
3 months at Red Cross.
Only just started at hospital 3 months ago!
Also just started volunteering at a high school and my university 5 months ago.

~110 hours of shadowing in different specialties.

I've also worked 18 hrs a week at a restaurant for the past 5 years. That really made it impossible to find a stable volunteer job. Would medical schools sympathize with my need to work or just see this as an excuse?

I really appreciate everyone's input and please be honest with me. Do I even have a chance with so little volunteer work?
 
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There's always a chance, but probably not a great chance, despite having good numbers. Your shadowing is good. Your longevity of involvement with the Chinese Association is nice to see, but what community service did you provide through this organization, since you said you volunteered?

Any leadership roles taken on? Any teaching, hobbies, sports, or artistic endeavors? What about research? All of these categories strengthen a med school application.

The work hours should be listed, but honestly, 18 hours a week isn't enough to have prevented you from giving some time to others. List it, but don't expect it to provide an excuse. OTOH, don't beat yourself up about it, as you obviously gave your time to the highest priority, namely getting great grades. Lacking ECs are fixable. A low GPA haunts you forever.

Other than the above, your application looks like that of someone who made a last minute decision to go into medicine. Give consideration to waiting a year unless potentially paying for two expensive application cycles would be financially feasible for you. This is just one opinion, BTW. What did your faculty advisor say?
 

ebirdrugby

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I've been playing rugby in college, which is a pretty big commitment time wise (~11hrs/wk). That combined with work, school, and the Chinese association really left me with little time to do other things. These are things I did all throughout college.

My role in the Chinese Association includes performing Chinese Lion Dancing around the community and also help teach the younger team members. There's also a yearly event called the Asian Celebration where the whole team helps out.

It was a late decision for medicine, Spring term of Junior year. A friend passed away and became my primary motivation. Before that, I was just pre-health but didn't really have any profession in mind.

So for Senior year, I focused on raising my grades and taking all science classes to get another major, to look like a stronger applicant. I did managed to squeeze in time for volunteering for the Red Cross.

A year later, now, I really began to devote all my time to volunteering and shadowing since I'm done with undergrad. I'm a tutor at a high school and a TA for anatomy for the University, so I do have a little bit of teaching experience.

So, would med schools take into consideration my late decision for medicine and see that I've really done a lot since the decision?
 

ebirdrugby

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I did talk with the pre-med advisor and she said to go for it. I also met with an advisor from a med school 5 months ago and she just told me to shadow more. (That's before I had any shadowing experience). But she didn't comment on my lack of clinical volunteering.

BTW, thanks so much Catalystik for replying, I really need all the help I can get.
 
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So, would med schools take into consideration my late decision for medicine and see that I've really done a lot since the decision?
A more sustained interest/ECs would demonstrate to adcomms that you've tested medicine over a period of time to make sure it's right for you. Still, you have other good activities. With luck, you'll have a shot. But just in case your application doesn't yet have sufficient appeal, I suggest you live your application year as if you know you'll need to reapply. Stay involved in pertinent ECs, especially clinical experience. Maybe consider a summer of research. If you get a job, it could be in research or clinical areas, or wiating tables, just be sure you're doing something clinical and something that is nonmedical community service, at a minimum, to discuss in update letters.
 

ebirdrugby

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Thanks for your feedback. It really made me feel less confident, but i need to face the reality. Would it also help since I grew up in another country and am fluent in 2 other languages?

So, I guess with so little clinical volunteer work, most adcoms would want to know how much interest I have for medicine. All I can do now is just to show them I am interested and I really loved shadowing physicians and contacting patients.
 

ebirdrugby

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Yeah, I speak Mandarin and Cantonese. Anyways, thanks for your advice. I still plan to apply this cycle and really aim to show I am really interested in medicine. Hope all goes well.
 

ebirdrugby

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Hi Dr. Catalystik,

Thanks for all your advice!

I spent numerous hours "studying" for the 2 interviews that I got. I am excited to tell you that I have been accepted to 1 school so far, but that's all the way across the country for me. Nevertheless, I'm very grateful for you help.

Thanks
 
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