Medical Should I Apply This Cycle?

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Jun 11, 2010
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Hello! So I was wondering, with my stats, should I apply this cycle? I really don't think I'm ready to apply, maybe in about two years I'll be, maybe after doing a post-bacc, but not now because of how abysmal my stats are. My parents (and technically relatives too) really want me to apply because they view any chance, no matter how small, as a chance at getting into med school. I on the other hand would rather use my first application well, meaning I have more experience and better scores to back it up. Optimally I'd like to do an MD/PhD one day. I should add I come from a family of doctors, everyone, including both sets of grandparents, and all of their children excluding one (a lawyer), is some form of MD or MD/PhD. What would you all recommend? Thank you in advance!

My Stats
About me: African-American female, currently Junior in undergrad, CA resident
cGPA: 3.076 (messed up sophomore year)
BCPM GPA: 2.854 (messed up sophomore year)
MCAT: 503 (124/125/126/128)
Research (my strongest category): 640 hours in a microbiology lab, got my own project and presented at ABRCMS 2017 (won award in my division), AAAS 2018 (won honors award in my division)
Clinical volunteering: 0 hours
Shadowing: 0 hours
Non-Clinical volunteering: 7 hours (church and with my club, Minority Association of Prehealth students), before college maybe 200 hours at church?
Jobs: Research was my job, this happened between spring of my freshman year and spring of my sophomore year
Ahh, parents, doing their best out of love and ignorance to ruin your medical career.

No, it's not worth applying this cycle. Accepting you into med school where you have yet to demonstrate that you can handle it would be a disservice to you.

Also, you have zero ECs. This is a major issue. Here's why:
What are you going to say when asked how you know you are suited for a life of caring for the sick and suffering? “That you just know”? Imagine how that will go over!

From the wise LizzyM: I am always reminded of a certain frequent poster of a few years ago. He was adamant about not volunteering as he did not want to give his services for free and he was busy and helping others was inconvenient. He matriculated to a medical school and lasted less than one year. He's now in school to become an accountant.

Here's the deal: You need to show AdComs that you know what you're getting into, and show off your altruistic, humanistic side. We need to know that you're going to like being around sick or injured people for the next 40 years.

Here's another way of looking at it: would you buy a new car without test driving it? Buy a new suit or dress without trying it on??

We're also not looking for merely for good medical students, we're looking for people who will make good doctors, and 4.0 GPA robots are a dime-a-dozen.

I've seen plenty of posts here from high GPA/high MCAT candidates who were rejected because they had little patient contact experience.

Not all volunteering needs to be in a hospital. Think hospice, Planned Parenthood, nursing homes, rehab facilities, crisis hotlines, camps for sick children, or clinics.

Some types of volunteer activities are more appealing than others. Volunteering in a nice suburban hospital is all very well and good and all, but doesn't show that you're willing to dig in and get your hands dirty in the same way that working with the developmentally disabled (or homeless, the dying, or Alzheimers or mentally ill or elderly or ESL or domestic, rural impoverished) does. The uncomfortable situations are the ones that really demonstrate your altruism and get you 'brownie points'. Plus, they frankly teach you more -- they develop your compassion and humanity in ways comfortable situations can't.

Service need not be "unique". If you can alleviate suffering in your community through service to the poor, homeless, illiterate, fatherless, etc, you are meeting an otherwise unmet need and learning more about the lives of the people (or types of people) who will someday be your patients. Check out your local houses of worship for volunteer opportunities. The key thing is service to others less fortunate than you. And get off campus and out of your comfort zone!

Examples include: Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, Humane Society, crisis hotlines, soup kitchen, food pantry, homeless or women’s shelter, after-school tutoring for students or coaching a sport in a poor school district, teaching ESL to adults at a community center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, or Meals on Wheels.
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