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I am torn about what to do. As of now I am planning on being a traditional applicant. I am a junior chemistry major. I have good extracurriculars (research, leadership, clinical experience...) I also am expecting good LOR's. I don't have great numbers:
3.6 cGPA
3.4 sGPA
29Q MCAT

I don't know if I should apply this cycle, or take a year off and apply next cycle. I don't have any concrete plans for my year off, I would probably do some research at a pharmaceutical company with my chemistry degree. I also don't know if I should retake the MCAT.

My Pre-health advisor says I should not apply this cycle, but I don't really want to wait. Any advice would be much appreciated!
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

Osteo Dullahan
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Unless your mcat is unbalanced then apply. Also if you have more then 100 hours of clinical you'll also be good.
How I would do it in your situation. Apply to 5 DO schools, 15- 25 MD schools. Also do this very very early in, you'll get in somewhere no problem. Also apply to the schools which are opening up/ taking there first class.
 

IDoIt4Love

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Your fine. Apply like I stated above and you'll be in medical school.
i agree. i didn't apply early or broadly, and only had slightly higher stats than yours. got 4 M.D. interviews: 2 wait-lists, 1 pending, and, well, 1 acceptance (and 1 is all it takes!)

good luck! and keep in mind, a year off really isn't such a bad thing. i didn't have a concrete plan for my year off either; i just worked a bit, clinically volunteered a bit, worked on my research from senior year a bit...and most of all, relaxed and took a break after 16+ years of non-stop being in school! i feel ready to return to school and i'm happy i took my much-needed break!
 

J ROD

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I live in CT, so UCONN would be ideal, but it is a tough school to get into.
To be really competitive there, I think you need to raise either the GPA or MCAT to at least averages.....

I would consider taking the yr and getting stronger.

I think you are less than 50%...but it is possible.

Your stats are strong for DO.
 
OP
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Dec 30, 2009
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First I just want to thank everyone for all your help!

Second, in regards to J Dub's comment, would it be better to apply now, get rejected, and apply again next cycle, or should i just take the year off assuming I will get rejected and apply next year? Or maybe a better question is how difficult is it to be a re-applicant?

If I do take a year off, I have no idea what I will do, however, I will probably graduate with an honors thesis in chemistry for my research and I will most likely raise my GPA to about a 3.6 or higher. So I know it will improve my chances, I would just much rather apply now rather than wait a year.

Any ideas of useful things to do with a year off? And maybe those of you that did take time off b/w undergrad and medschool, what did you do, and was it worth it?

Thanks again for the advice!
 

osteohopeful09

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Anywhere you apply, go for it when you know you can make it. It looks weaker to apply to the same program year after year. if you apply twice, the adcom will NEED to see some sort of big change you've made.

if you have your heart set on Uconn (which is competitive, since the price is so good for in-state), then your year off will need to be taking upper level bio/chem courses. Your MCAT is pretty fine as it is.

I took a year off, worked in a toxicology lab to make living money, and took a few BIO courses at Quinnipiac (in Hamden), un-matriculated.

Oh yea, isn't Quinnipiac opening a new med school? Check it out, although it is private (so it will be $$$). The first couple years are going to be very small classes from what I hear, but still, you could try applying now to Quinn...
 

robflanker

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As far as I know Quinnipiac med school is a few years away yet.

UConn Med is very competitive - check out the MSAR to see how you relate to the average numbers. Off the top of my head, I think its above 3.7 cGPA average and like a 32 or 33 MCAT - which means you are quite a way below avg student for UConn. But again i'm rattling the numbers off my head as my MSAR isnt handy right now
 
Feb 27, 2010
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You guys are always on here giving advice about... Look Op, if you want to apply, do it. People are getting in with 3.2's without time off...Non Urms. If you do not mind in state tuition, apply broadly and you will be fine. No one really knows the scope of activities and your personality. WHy your grades are slightly, and I mean slightly lower than average. A 3.6!!! You will be fine. Do not let people discourage you.
 

robflanker

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You guys are always on here giving advice about... Look Op, if you want to apply, do it. People are getting in with 3.2's without time off...Non Urms. If you do not mind in state tuition, apply broadly and you will be fine. No one really knows the scope of activities and your personality. WHy your grades are slightly, and I mean slightly lower than average. A 3.6!!! You will be fine. Do not let people discourage you.
This doesnt make a whole lot of sense.

Ppl aren't getting into UConn with 3.2s... maybe other places - so seen as the OP said they are in CT and would like to stay there, we are advising them on it.
If the OP was in-state for somewhere that took 3.2s then it'd be a diff story.
Personality doesnt get you into medical school on its own.

Thanks for the Rah-Rah attitude but the OP is in a very competitive state and if they want to stay there, then they should see how they stack up vs other in-staters
 

Arjuna

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I am torn about what to do. As of now I am planning on being a traditional applicant. I am a junior chemistry major. I have good extracurriculars (research, leadership, clinical experience...) I also am expecting good LOR's. I don't have great numbers:
3.6 cGPA
3.4 sGPA
29Q MCAT

I don't know if I should apply this cycle, or take a year off and apply next cycle. I don't have any concrete plans for my year off, I would probably do some research at a pharmaceutical company with my chemistry degree. I also don't know if I should retake the MCAT.

My Pre-health advisor says I should not apply this cycle, but I don't really want to wait. Any advice would be much appreciated!

Take one-two years off, raise the GPA by taking 20 credits a semester and classes over the summer, and retake the MCAT after going through Exam Krackers and/or Kaplan. Do research at an institution all these two years, and reapply, with the above. You will get into a top 25 school.
 

J ROD

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First I just want to thank everyone for all your help!

Second, in regards to J Dub's comment, would it be better to apply now, get rejected, and apply again next cycle, or should i just take the year off assuming I will get rejected and apply next year? Or maybe a better question is how difficult is it to be a re-applicant?

If I do take a year off, I have no idea what I will do, however, I will probably graduate with an honors thesis in chemistry for my research and I will most likely raise my GPA to about a 3.6 or higher. So I know it will improve my chances, I would just much rather apply now rather than wait a year.

Any ideas of useful things to do with a year off? And maybe those of you that did take time off b/w undergrad and medschool, what did you do, and was it worth it?

Thanks again for the advice!

Here's teh deal...

Apply this yr and you might get in.

But, let's say you dont and have to reapply. Some schools like to see the persistence and effort...others want to see ALOT of improvement.

Talk to some folks at the school and find out.

I would get that GPA over a 3.6 and retake the MCAT if you think you can get near that 32/33. You also can build the ECs.

You need a little more to feel safe to apply to me. Both GPA and MCAT are below average.....

take the yr and get stronger...for instate and OOS.
 
Sep 4, 2006
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With your mediocre-ish stats (MCAT score and BCPM GPA), your chances probably lie in the strength of your ECs. Do you mind giving more detail? With excellent leadership, nonmedical community service, and/or research, your experiences might trump your numbers.

Also, if you're set on applying this cycle to allo only, the quickest fix for your application (assuming good ECs) would be to retake the MCAT if you think you could get at least three more points.
 
OP
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Dec 30, 2009
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With your mediocre-ish stats (MCAT score and BCPM GPA), your chances probably lie in the strength of your ECs. Do you mind giving more detail? With excellent leadership, nonmedical community service, and/or research, your experiences might trump your numbers.

Also, if you're set on applying this cycle to allo only, the quickest fix for your application (assuming good ECs) would be to retake the MCAT if you think you could get at least three more points.
I am an EMT, I have volunteered at home at least 200hrs a year for 2 years, I also volunteer at school at least 200hrs for 2 years. I am on the executive board of our EMS program at school and I am also on the executive board of our Pre-Health association. I am a head tutor, meaning I oversee other peer tutors. I did an internship last year shadowing in 4 different medical fields which was about 60hrs. I have done research for almost a year now and just received a prestigious grant for my research to continue over the summer from our school. I am also a biology lab assistant and I volunteer at a hospice facility once a week.

So I don't think I need many more EC's, I just need to work on the numbers.
 

bravofleet4

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yeah, i agree. i think you have plenty of EC's. The value of waiting 1-2 more years doesn't seem like it would reap much benefit. Your GPA can only improve so much even if you did get straight A's. What is your sGPA though? If you did poorly in your pre-requisites, getting good grades in the upper-division courses would prove that you can handle science classes. That would be one advantage taking a year off could offer and shouldn't be overlooked since it's worth more than any decimal point increase in GPA.

are you sure you can't do any better on the mcat? I assume you just have difficulty taking tests rather than you have any problems with the material given your major and EC's. If you can increase 2-3 points, then I think it's worth it.
 
Sep 4, 2006
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I agree that you have good ECs. The only suggestions I'd make would be to 1) do some additional physician shadowing if that 60 hours included other medical fields (unless you meant four physician specialties), but that would be easy to fix in a short time. And 2) Consider some nonmedical/noncampus community service, assuming you are referring to campus tutoring (if it's tutoring in the community, then disregard).

I think that applying this coming cycle is reasonable, but I'd continue to build the strength of the ECs further (especially the research) as you improve your GPAs, as mentioned, consider retaking the MCAT, and live the next year as if you knew you'd be reapplying as all those activities will make for great update letters, good material for interviews, and if worse comes to worst, an even stronger reapplication.