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Should I even apply?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by wongb18c, May 15, 2007.

  1. wongb18c

    wongb18c Lucky dumb med student 5+ Year Member

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    May 13, 2007
    FL
    Hey new to the forums... some quick questions

    I understand that most schools look for a well rounded candidate with GPA and EC etc...

    I only have a 3.46 and currently do not have any extra activities, because during school I work part time after classes to partially pay for my tuition. However, I do plan make up for the lost EC time later on, but obviously prior applying to any schools. That's only if I get a decent score on the MCAT.

    My question is, if I score decent, say around a 32-33 on the MCAT (which is what I'm averaging on the AAMC practices), with my GPA do I have any chances at any schools at all? Should I even bother applying to any schools? What do you people suggest as EC's to help boost my profile?
     
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  3. geneticclone

    geneticclone Guest

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    Jan 5, 2007
    If you really want to go to med school, im not sure if it would be enough for a md school(I think it is but im not sure) but its probably enough for a do school.
     
  4. nick_carraway

    nick_carraway 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 7, 2007
    I hope that your GPA is good enough since I have a 3.3 and I'm applying for 2008.

    As for your ECs, do research if you want top tier schools (which I'm guessing that you don't). Otherwise, definitely get clinical experience since it's easier to do and takes much less time to get into the routine than bench research.

    Make sure to choose ECs that interest you, though. If the daily tasks bore you, you won't take the initiative to do extra work and then you won't end up with a good experience. Teach if you like to teach, work abroad if you like to travel, tag and spay/neuter feral cats if you like animals--just be passionate and your enthusiasm about your work will come through in your PS, secondaries, and interviews and you'll be a surprisingly competitive applicant.

    My only warning is to make sure that whoever your supervisor is, is used to working with university students. If they have a plan in place to train you and to keep you moving from peon to an independent worker, then that's excellent. You don't want to do the same things for an entire term/month/year. Hopefully the ECs you choose will allow progression with increasing responsibilities and contribution to the organization/project.
     
  5. DrVanNostran

    DrVanNostran 10+ Year Member

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    Mar 19, 2006
    I second that. Getting clinical exposure is key. Get some volunteer hours in and do some shadowing at the least.
     
  6. wongb18c

    wongb18c Lucky dumb med student 5+ Year Member

    113
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    May 13, 2007
    FL
    Thanks for the replies.

    To start off, I'll do as you suggested, I'll definitely try to get some clinical experience... probably will start off with volunteer work at a hospital. Then I plan to get involved with research with my bio chem department professor if possible. I'm graduating soon, and depending how well I do on the MCAT, I might quit my PT job and do a full time EC replenishment.
     
  7. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Dec 20, 2004
    Part of the point of med schools insistance on applicants getting clinical experience is to help them decide they actually want to go into medicine, and know what it's about apart from eg TV. It's a bit backwards to take the MCAT even before you have explored this.

    Additionally, it's a bit presumptuous to speculate on gettng such a "decent" score -- you have a zero until you take it. The average for matriculants is a 30, so the majority of people who get into med school don't have the 32-33 range you are hoping for (and their GPA average is higher than yours). At least you didn't say, "if I get a 35+" like a poster yesterday. Good luck, but such score is far from in the bag regardless of your hopes.
     
  8. wongb18c

    wongb18c Lucky dumb med student 5+ Year Member

    113
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    May 13, 2007
    FL
    I don't know about what others might think, but for me, considering med school isn't unreasonable prior to having clinical experience. Furthermore, I don't believe it's backwards to take the MCAT first, then after receiving your scores deciding whether you have a chance or pursuing the med school option.

    Anyways, I'll see after I take the test. So you're saying with my GPA, if I get below a 35, then chances are very slim so don't bother applying... is that correct?
     
  9. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I said nothing of the sort. I said you have no basis for expecting to rock the MCAT until you take it, or at least until you have rocked about three consecutive full length practice tests. Most people don't get the score you are hoping for.
     
  10. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    You can do it in whatever order you want, but it's expensive both in time and money to prepare for the MCAT for a path you haven't even explored in the least. Most people start shadowing and volunteering early so they know if it's right for them. The whole point of med school's focus on "why medicine?" and requiring clinical exposure, is that it really really really isn't right for everyone. And adcoms focus on maturity relates to this because mature people look before they leap. You seem ready to leap (at least as far as the MCAT) but haven't looked yet.

    You will come across a ton of complaining on the various boards and a lot of it is from people who didn't have a good idea of what they were getting themselves into. Many doctors you may talk to (and you really should talk to many) will tell you they might not recommend it to others. Many successful matriculants will suffer great angst during the early years of med school when they finally realize that their picture of medicine doesn't match the reality and suddenly some of the non-health careers their friends are doing starts sounding quite appealing. Do your research -- don't try to slap on a few months of clinical experience at the end in hopes that it is adequate for adcom window dressing. It probably is, but might not be adequate for its real purpose -- to help you figure out whether this path makes sense.
     
  11. thoffen

    thoffen Member 10+ Year Member

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    I support what Law2Doc says about the MCAT and the personal importance of getting clinical experience immediately. I'd also like to express concern about your extracurriculars and the way you present yourself. Doctors are community leaders, and you need to start asserting yourself within your community. Volunteering and leadership are not things you should just tack on when you find the time to round out your application. They should be things that interest you and demonstrate a passion for giving back. You should want to do them regardless of reward. You will learn quickly that medicine is a lot more give than take, so you had better be a giver.
     
  12. wongb18c

    wongb18c Lucky dumb med student 5+ Year Member

    113
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    May 13, 2007
    FL
    It can be quite expensive and time consuming, especially for someone like me who has school and work, but I will have free time just not now. And I get your points of "wanting to help the community" or "having a passion to be the medical field because you sincerly deep down in your heart want to help others and better the community". My EC's are blank at the moment, I know, but unlike most premeds, I was unsure of what career to pursue and decided very late. Also, I do have my reasons and difficulties during school... I will make up for it, do Adcoms take that into consideration at all?
     
  13. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I said nothing about helping others or bettering the community -- that was the prior poster (and not exactly his/her point either). You need to get clinical experience to help YOU know if medicine is right for you. Right now, from what you've described, you simply have insufficient basis to know if medicine is a good path for you. It might be, but it also very well might not be what you have in mind. Which is why this should really be your next step, not the MCAT. Clinical exposure is only partly done for purposes of admission but in big part is meant to help you see what patients are like, what doctors do, and whether this career still has any appeal when you see it up close.

    As for having blank ECs, your work is certainly an EC. However med schools will expect people who can balance multiple things, so you get no points for not being able to do ECs because of academic difficulties.
     

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