10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jul 17, 2007
Attending Physician
Your application seems above average to me, except for the below average GPA. From what you posted, it doesn't sound like much will change with your application over the next year, so why not apply? I understand that the process can be expensive, but barring the intangibles or unknowns (interview, personality, social skills, LOR's), you stand a good chance of acceptance if you apply broadly enough (more schools than average because of the lower GPA).

I don't think more publications will give you a big push, but obviously the more the merrier (this really only applies to schools where research experience is looked upon highly). Also, if you don’t think more classes will help your GPA much, then you’ve already answered that question for yourself.

Masters programs don't typically improve your chances of getting into medical school. If you want to earn a master’s degree, do it because you like the subject matter, not because you want to go to medical school. If you think a masters degree will make you a better doctor and get you the career focus you want, then by all means incorporate it into your training. I.e. Getting a random master’s in biology is less useful/purposeful and less easily explained during an interview, than say a master’s in public health or epidemiology.

-senior medical student (T-42 days) / admissions committee interviewer
Mar 11, 2010
How does a recent immigrant (from Asia!) nail an 11 VR? Nice job.

That MCAT is stellar. ECs seem strong, but I'm not the best judge.

I think you got a shot.
Sep 4, 2006
Inside the tesseract
I think you should go ahead and apply after getting in some more shadowing hours if possible, like double what you have. It could all be with one doc and you could get it done very quickly.

When adcomms look at your application, they'll see your year-by-year grades. It won't be immediately apparent that you had five quarters of excellence, rather it will look like one year's worth of high performance. I would proceed with the plan to take additional classes in upper-level science, including your classes and grades in update letters through the cycle, along with an update on the research and your current volunteering (which you'll need to continue through the application year). This will give you a lot to talk about at interviews, too, and if worse comes to worst, position you well to reapply if need be (with the newly earned grades listed on the Postbaccalaureate line, under Senior year grades). I do think you have a reasonable chance of an acceptance this cycle, though maybe not in California, and agree with "apply broadly" to a generous number of schools.

Do you have any Leadership to mention? And don't forget hobbies, sports, and artistic endeavors to make yourself look well-rounded and interesting. Overall, your listed Experiences look very solid though.

Use secondary essays to explain why your academic performance was subpar for so long. You are generally asked to discuss a Challenge you overcame, a Stress and how you handled it, or Explain blips in your academic road.
Sep 4, 2006
Inside the tesseract
1) I really dont know what classes to take. Can I repeat some of the upper division classes that I took?

2) I doubt that my GPA would reach the 3.50 mark.

3) I have also looked into various SMP programs and the program at UCinn is pretty appealing to me with the Ohio residency deal and the high linkage. Should I go ahead and apply to this program?

4) In terms of Leadership experience, can my peer-tutoring experience be considered as leadership experience?

5) So am I pretty much doomed for having a bad GPA and a high MCAT?

6) I have one other question, does the fact that I am qualified for FAP make me an economically disadvantaged applicant?
1) You could retake any science or math where you got a C or lower.

2) I agree. Apply anyway.

3) SMP is a good backup plan, but I don't think you'll need it. Apply to be on the safe side.

4) I'd list it under the Teaching category.

5) It will destroy my world view if someone doesn't snap you up, so I hope not.

6) No idea.