Reccomendations/Experience/EC Activities...!?! Help

Jentwisl

10+ Year Member
Dec 29, 2008
54
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Pre-Medical
Hello, my name is Jonathan and I wanted to ask some of you more experienced people a few questions. I graduated highschool with a 2.0 and a permenant red mark on my forhead from the desk lol.....anyhow before I entered College (University of New Orleans) I realized I wanted to become a Doctor. I have always been pretty bright, but I never utilized it. Anyhow the first semester or two was naturally a bit rocky because I went from doing nothing at all to having to do real well. My first semester I got a 3.0 then I got a 3.3 in the second semester followed by a 4.0 in my third. I am now a Junior going into my second semester and my current GPA is cGPA 3.5 and sGPA 3.7. I think my GPAs are not to bad, but Id like to get my science to a 3.8 if not 3.9 and my cGPA to atleast 3.7. I actually plan on starting to study for the MCAT sometime in January, when I will take it is another story.

First Question! Should I study for the MCAT a lot now and take it in the beggining of the summer incase I need to retake it at the end of the summer or should I use the extra time to better prepare and take it at the end of the summer as my first attempt. I am fairly well at test taking and I took a Kaplan free practice test this past semester and scored a 26 I believe with no preperation at all and no study of Physics ( I got 10 in Bio 10 in V and a 5 in Phys.)

Next Question! I am really worried about my resume and how empty it will be. I am in no clubs at all, I have never seen an advisor yet, I am not to close with any professor I have taken even tho I did well in their classes, I have no volunteer experience. This has been the one aspect that has stayed true to my old bad habits. I am wandering if it is too late to get all these things on there? I did however work 40hrs a week alongside 16hr + each semester so it's not like I was doing nothing lol. Is it too late....?

How do I go about asking for a letter of rec. from professors? Can I ask them of previous professors who prob. don't even remember me or should I try to focus on getting them from upcomming professors? I plan on asking for one from a professor I took this semester for Genetics and will be taking for Molecular Bio next semester....I figure I get As in both courses she should write me a nice rec. letter.

Sorry for the essay guys, but you know as well as I do how important this is to me and I want to make sure every aspect is covered!
 

Droopy Snoopy

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Apr 3, 2006
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Hello, my name is Jonathan and I wanted to ask some of you more experienced people a few questions. I graduated highschool with a 2.0 and a permenant red mark on my forhead from the desk lol.....anyhow before I entered College (University of New Orleans) I realized I wanted to become a Doctor. I have always been pretty bright, but I never utilized it. Anyhow the first semester or two was naturally a bit rocky because I went from doing nothing at all to having to do real well. My first semester I got a 3.0 then I got a 3.3 in the second semester followed by a 4.0 in my third. I am now a Junior going into my second semester and my current GPA is cGPA 3.5 and sGPA 3.7. I think my GPAs are not to bad, but Id like to get my science to a 3.8 if not 3.9 and my cGPA to atleast 3.7. I actually plan on starting to study for the MCAT sometime in January, when I will take it is another story.

First Question! Should I study for the MCAT a lot now and take it in the beggining of the summer incase I need to retake it at the end of the summer or should I use the extra time to better prepare and take it at the end of the summer as my first attempt. I am fairly well at test taking and I took a Kaplan free practice test this past semester and scored a 26 I believe with no preperation at all and no study of Physics ( I got 10 in Bio 10 in V and a 5 in Phys.)

Next Question! I am really worried about my resume and how empty it will be. I am in no clubs at all, I have never seen an advisor yet, I am not to close with any professor I have taken even tho I did well in their classes, I have no volunteer experience. This has been the one aspect that has stayed true to my old bad habits. I am wandering if it is too late to get all these things on there? I did however work 40hrs a week alongside 16hr + each semester so it's not like I was doing nothing lol. Is it too late....?

How do I go about asking for a letter of rec. from professors? Can I ask them of previous professors who prob. don't even remember me or should I try to focus on getting them from upcomming professors? I plan on asking for one from a professor I took this semester for Genetics and will be taking for Molecular Bio next semester....I figure I get As in both courses she should write me a nice rec. letter.

Sorry for the essay guys, but you know as well as I do how important this is to me and I want to make sure every aspect is covered!
1) I'm somewhat out of date on this since I took this thing almost 6 years ago, when it was still pen/paper and offered 2x/yr. Still, the exam is a beast. Adcoms at different schools view MCAT scores differently; some take all into account, some look at only the top score, some average, etc. Regardless, your best bet (in this and really every single step in the process) is to do it right the first time and slam it home. You'll also want to apply early, so have your scores available by July of your application year.

2) You need medical-related experience in some form. If your 40 hrs/wk is as an OR scrub tech or phlebotomist then volunteering at a soup kitchen is just app fluff. If you're a waiter then you absolutely need to start shadowing/volunteering in a hospital or clinic setting.

3) My 5-month-old is waking up so I'll let others address the LOR issue. Usually gotta do more than ace a course to get a rec (sure anybody will write one but to get anything other than generic I mean). Notice you didn't mention research, maybe approach the prof to assist with labwork, kill two birds etc? You should also be able to get a rec out of #2 above, and keep in mind many schools require a non-science prof letter.
 
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236116

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10+ Year Member
Dec 8, 2008
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My first semester I got a 3.0 then I got a 3.3 in the second semester followed by a 4.0 in my third. I am now a Junior going into my second semester and my current GPA is cGPA 3.5 and sGPA 3.7. I think my GPAs are not to bad, but Id like to get my science to a 3.8 if not 3.9 and my cGPA to atleast 3.7. I actually plan on starting to study for the MCAT sometime in January, when I will take it is another story.
you're doing ok on the gpa front, keep it up

First Question! Should I study for the MCAT a lot now and take it in the beggining of the summer incase I need to retake it at the end of the summer or should I use the extra time to better prepare and take it at the end of the summer as my first attempt. I am fairly well at test taking and I took a Kaplan free practice test this past semester and scored a 26 I believe with no preperation at all and no study of Physics ( I got 10 in Bio 10 in V and a 5 in Phys.)
did you do physics yet? have you done the chems and bio yet? how did you do in them?

Next Question! I am really worried about my resume and how empty it will be. I am in no clubs at all, I have never seen an advisor yet, I am not to close with any professor I have taken even tho I did well in their classes, I have no volunteer experience. This has been the one aspect that has stayed true to my old bad habits. I am wandering if it is too late to get all these things on there? I did however work 40hrs a week alongside 16hr + each semester so it's not like I was doing nothing lol. Is it too late....?
get cracking. red cross, big brothers big sisters, community outreach, play a sport, coach a sport, vol in the ed, go shadow someone. rising junior is late in the game, but doable. are you planning to apply this summer?

How do I go about asking for a letter of rec. from professors? Can I ask them of previous professors who prob. don't even remember me or should I try to focus on getting them from upcomming professors? I plan on asking for one from a professor I took this semester for Genetics and will be taking for Molecular Bio next semester....I figure I get As in both courses she should write me a nice rec. letter.
i'd go with upcoming ones. make an impression. talk to the instructor- make sure she's ok with writing recs.
 

Jentwisl

10+ Year Member
Dec 29, 2008
54
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I took my first physics and the teacher was a joke so I breezed through it without learning anything but got an A.....other than that Ive recieved As in all my bios and chems Ive taken except my first gen chem...got an A in 2 gen bios 2nd gen chem first ORGO and then in nutrition,cell and molec, populationg genetic evolution and ecology, genetics and all the labs...my maths are what is killing my science GPA.

Im joining the Pre-Med society this comming semester and maybe the Bio club also....I just quit my job that I was working 40 hours and am going to try to get a job working like 20 hours. Might consider taking out a small student loan to help with misc. expenses so I can volunteer/shadow/study.....

How do I find a doctor to shadow?
 

erskine

hit it, H
10+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2008
240
2
Status
Pre-Medical
I think you should forgo joining the premed society, unless it has extensive volunteering/clinical experience involved, or you'd be in some official position. The one at my school seemed more as a way of networking and socializing than anything useful. Volunteering at a hospital or getting a research position seems more worthwhile to me, and volunteering in a hospital will allow you to meet potential doctors to shadow.

You might also want to consider delaying your application date a year or so, just to build up your ECs. I'm a lot like you (really no volunteer work or clinical experience since I decded to pursue a career in medicine late) but I'm thinking about taking 2 years off in between getting my bachelor's and applying for med school just so i can get more clinical experience.
 

Jentwisl

10+ Year Member
Dec 29, 2008
54
0
Status
Pre-Medical
As long as my GPA and MCAT are decent I should still be able to get in with a list of ECs huh? I mean I am going to try and cram a lot into a little amount of time....do they look at the length of all your EC with much scrutny? Like If I have a lot, but all where only within the last year...will they look at that in a negative way?
 

cbrons

Ratatoskr! *Roar*
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Jul 29, 2007
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Hello, my name is Jonathan and I wanted to ask some of you more experienced people a few questions. I graduated highschool with a 2.0 and a permenant red mark on my forhead from the desk lol.....anyhow before I entered College (University of New Orleans) I realized I wanted to become a Doctor. I have always been pretty bright, but I never utilized it. Anyhow the first semester or two was naturally a bit rocky because I went from doing nothing at all to having to do real well. My first semester I got a 3.0 then I got a 3.3 in the second semester followed by a 4.0 in my third. I am now a Junior going into my second semester and my current GPA is cGPA 3.5 and sGPA 3.7. I think my GPAs are not to bad, but Id like to get my science to a 3.8 if not 3.9 and my cGPA to atleast 3.7.
Your high school grades don't matter at all anymore, hah, I was a similar student in H.S. (I think I graduated with a 2.7 or something)
Your college marks are excellent, keep trying to raise them, but as it stands now, the sGPA is above-average while the cGPA is average
 

luctoretemergo

10+ Year Member
Dec 14, 2008
83
1
Indiana
Status
Pre-Medical
You might also want to consider delaying your application date a year or so, just to build up your ECs. I'm a lot like you (really no volunteer work or clinical experience since I decded to pursue a career in medicine late) but I'm thinking about taking 2 years off in between getting my bachelor's and applying for med school just so i can get more clinical experience.
I have been contempulating this, I am in the same position as the OP. 3.5GPA, biochem and bio major, but procrasinated in my decision for med school so I have no voulnteer/extracirrular experience. I have been debating on delaying my app a year and going undergrad for 5 years, and spending one of those semesters abroad in spain....I'm not sure how this would reflect tho, if it'd be worth the money for that experience to broaden my horizons or if I should just work my arse off trying to make up for lost time...
 

Jentwisl

10+ Year Member
Dec 29, 2008
54
0
Status
Pre-Medical
I have been contempulating this, I am in the same position as the OP. 3.5GPA, biochem and bio major, but procrasinated in my decision for med school so I have no voulnteer/extracirrular experience. I have been debating on delaying my app a year and going undergrad for 5 years, and spending one of those semesters abroad in spain....I'm not sure how this would reflect tho, if it'd be worth the money for that experience to broaden my horizons or if I should just work my arse off trying to make up for lost time...
Yah I am thinking of maybe delaying anyhow as I will have to cram a lot in withing the next year and a half. I have a good bit of credits left to take to get my Bio Degree however the majority of them are electives lol.....Id have to take about 16 hours the next 3 semester plus 6 hrs this summer and the summer before I would enter med school....wish I would have taken some classes the last 2 summers....

Is there any disadvantage to taking 5 years undergrad in the eyes of Med Schools?
 

Double A

10+ Year Member
5+ Year Member
Dec 25, 2008
169
45
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Medical Student
As far as I know there is nothing wrong with taking an additional year to improve your grades, build up your EC's, whatever it is you have to do... I would recommend taking that extra year to make your app really solid. Plus, taking heavy loads for the sake of graduating in four years may risk your GPA and you may regret it in the end.
 
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