elleE23

2+ Year Member
Aug 18, 2015
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Hi Everyone,

I am looking for help deciding what my priorities should be while completing my prerequisites. I took Bio I and II this summer and got A's, and am starting Physics, Chemistry, Biostatistics, and Psych in the fall (although I am considering dropping psych to lighten my course load). From reading threads, I have learned that getting all A's is most important for a non traditional, but what about after that? I was doing research with a professor, but his schedule doesn't fit with my school schedule, so I wouldn't get a lot of time in the lab. I also have the option of a scribe position, but it's two 8 hour shifts a week. I am good in terms of shadowing and volunteering.

When I go to apply, I will likely have a 3.5 cGPA and a 4.0 sGPA (hopefully if things go according to plan). So, what should I prioritize? Should I try and do research and scribing? One or the other? Or just focus on getting A's. I don't want to decrease my chances of getting into a school because I'm lacking in a specific category.

Thank you in advance!
 

Goro

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Do a search in this forum for posts by the wise DrMidlife.

Hi Everyone,

I am looking for help deciding what my priorities should be while completing my prerequisites. I took Bio I and II this summer and got A's, and am starting Physics, Chemistry, Biostatistics, and Psych in the fall (although I am considering dropping psych to lighten my course load). From reading threads, I have learned that getting all A's is most important for a non traditional, but what about after that? I was doing research with a professor, but his schedule doesn't fit with my school schedule, so I wouldn't get a lot of time in the lab. I also have the option of a scribe position, but it's two 8 hour shifts a week. I am good in terms of shadowing and volunteering.

When I go to apply, I will likely have a 3.5 cGPA and a 4.0 sGPA (hopefully if things go according to plan). So, what should I prioritize? Should I try and do research and scribing? One or the other? Or just focus on getting A's. I don't want to decrease my chances of getting into a school because I'm lacking in a specific category.

Thank you in advance!
 
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Ad2b

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Getting A's is not as easy as it sounds. Even if one has overcome the immaturity factor, it's still tough. Don't underestimate the work required. Good luck!
 

Law2Doc

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...I don't want to decrease my chances of getting into a school because I'm lacking in a specific category...
I am cringing at your checklist/specific category approach because you are trying to be the "cookie cutter applicant" rather than an inspired one. Adcoms only partially want to see you check all the boxes. They want good grades and good MCAT first and formost, but after that they want you to have solid ECs you are also passionate about and interested in. They really don't want applicants who look like they just did X hours of research to have done some research and Y hours of scribing to have checked the working in a hospital box and Z hours of volunteerism they don't care about either.

They want to see a passion and real interest for whatever ECs you do, as well as be comforted in the fact that you know what you are getting into. And if one of your interests has a "wow" factor that makes for a good essay or "hook" for med school, even better.

I think the point is the best applicants aren't doing certain ECs just because they think med schools want them, but rather med schools find themselves inspired by the passion and success some applicants have with certain ECs. Yes, you absolutely need clinical exposure of some type, to show what you are getting into. Yes, the schools that are research heavy prize research experience. And yes may schools value public service and volunteering. But unfortunately in our "monkey see, monkey do" world, if Stevie gets in with 100 hours of research and 200 hours of scribing and a few weekends working with Habitat for Humanity and Bobbie gets in with 100 hours of research and 200 hours of scribing and a few weekends working with Habitat, the next person will show up with clipboard in hand looking to check off similar boxes.

But playing it safe in this way is not the way to get to the top of the pile, just somewhere in the middle.