since i'm feeling like a worthless pile of ****, why not start a chances thread!!!

Doc.Holliday

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Sorry everyone, but I just have to. I'm going through a tough time right now, as many of you are too I know, so maybe this will help a bit, set me straight, or let me know I'm wasting my time.

So, here we go, a condensed version of my college career thus far:

----------------------------------------------------------------
University: Tulane
Year: Sophomore
Majors/Minors: Cell/Molecular Biology major, Spanish and History minors
Overall GPA: 3.4
Science GPA: 3.3
Extra Curriculars: Developmental Genetics research, some volunteering, Honors fraternity member with leadership positions, pre med honor society, premed society, service organization member, blah blah
MCAT: yet to take, but judging from SAT scores etc and my understanding of subjects-- 30+, 35+ not out of the question but improbable.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Ok, so that’s the simplest view of me...

#1 Judging solely on the above data, am I looking ok? My top choice school is again Tulane, base decisions on that if possible. Outside of Tulane, the only other schools that stand out as places id want to go are NYU or other new york schools, and of course Harvard and Hopkins and such, but I’m not really in the running for top top schools I know.

More detailed info:

Grades and Coursework: all prereqs finished by end of sophomore year. Could graduate in 3 years choosing to stay longer to study languages (Spanish, French, German) and history. Grades have obviously been ok, not great. Bs in all chems and maths, higher in biology, scattered grades in humanities. I've always taken an extra heavy course load (18+ hours, normal being 15). Grades should go up junior and senior year as I’ll no longer be taking 3 sciences w/ labs at a time.

Extracurriculars/research/volunteering: outside of the honors frat I won’t be doing anything not medically related. For research, I’m very involved, only undergrad in lab so I learn an amazing amount. I will continue working in that same lab over summers and during year until I graduate. For volunteering, right now it’s on hold as class and research take up my time; I’ll start again over the summer. I know several people that will be setting me up to shadow docs in the future, not sure how much, but probably an unusually large amount, I feel this is more beneficial for me personally than volunteering.

#2 Now with that info what do you think? Damn guys I’m annoying myself, sorry for this, but I really need some feedback right now, so please bear with me. Anything I’m lacking? Advice? besides just relax hehe, I know that but cant just now
 

chaldobruin

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Doc.Holliday said:
Sorry everyone, but I just have to. I'm going through a tough time right now, as many of you are too I know, so maybe this will help a bit, set me straight, or let me know I'm wasting my time.

So, here we go, a condensed version of my college career thus far:

----------------------------------------------------------------
University: Tulane
Year: Sophomore
Majors/Minors: Cell/Molecular Biology major, Spanish and History minors
Overall GPA: 3.4
Science GPA: 3.3
Extra Curriculars: Developmental Genetics research, some volunteering, Honors fraternity member with leadership positions, pre med honor society, premed society, service organization member, blah blah
MCAT: yet to take, but judging from SAT scores etc and my understanding of subjects-- 30+, 35+ not out of the question but improbable.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Ok, so that’s the simplest view of me...

#1 Judging solely on the above data, am I looking ok? My top choice school is again Tulane, base decisions on that if possible. Outside of Tulane, the only other schools that stand out as places id want to go are NYU or other new york schools, and of course Harvard and Hopkins and such, but I’m not really in the running for top top schools I know.

More detailed info:

Grades and Coursework: all prereqs finished by end of sophomore year. Could graduate in 3 years choosing to stay longer to study languages (Spanish, French, German) and history. Grades have obviously been ok, not great. Bs in all chems and maths, higher in biology, scattered grades in humanities. I've always taken an extra heavy course load (18+ hours, normal being 15). Grades should go up junior and senior year as I’ll no longer be taking 3 sciences w/ labs at a time.

Extracurriculars/research/volunteering: outside of the honors frat I won’t be doing anything not medically related. For research, I’m very involved, only undergrad in lab so I learn an amazing amount. I will continue working in that same lab over summers and during year until I graduate. For volunteering, right now it’s on hold as class and research take up my time; I’ll start again over the summer. I know several people that will be setting me up to shadow docs in the future, not sure how much, but probably an unusually large amount, I feel this is more beneficial for me personally than volunteering.

#2 Now with that info what do you think? Damn guys I’m annoying myself, sorry for this, but I really need some feedback right now, so please bear with me. Anything I’m lacking? Advice? besides just relax hehe, I know that but cant just now

First of all, don't worry. A 3.4 is not bad at all. Anything lower than that would make it very difficult to get in, though. Make sure you work your ass off to at least keep that 3.4 as a minimum. Besides, you are only a sophmore. You can get that up to a 3.5/3.6 if you really worked hard enough. Also, if you score a 30+ on the MCAT you should be ok academically to get some interviews (obviously not at the top schools though).

The fact that you are the only undergrad in your research lab is a big plus. Also, it is great that you are proficient in another language. Keep those things up, make sure you get nothing less than a STELLAR letter of rec from your lab supervisor.

Make sure you do get some clinical experience, thats an obvious one. I don't need to elaborate much on that. Also, a leadership position will help you a lot. You claim you possess a leadership position in the honors fraternity, keep that up. Get very involved in one of these EC's that you are passionate about. I advise you don't put too much time and effort into the pre med clubs, those are not impressive to adcoms.

Overall, assuming you have great LOR's, a stellar essay, and a 30+ MCAT, you should have no problems getting interviews at mid tier schools. The only problem is, that with your borderline GPA, you have no room to screw up on the MCAT, essays, or anything else for that matter. Good luck and try and keep that GPA up!
 

Medikit

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You can't really make any predictions until you have an MCAT score in your hand, and given your GPA you definitely need to kick some ass on that test.
 

Dr. Chiquita

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With your science GPA, schools like NYU/Mt. Sinai and up will be tough. Not impossible if you do incredibly well, maybe closer to 35 and up on MCAT. But you are in a good shape for Tulane if you scored 30 and above. If you could, I would try to bring up your science GPA as much as possible though.

When applying, don't limit yourself to schools in your GPA and MCAT range. Do apply to both reach schools and safety schools (for the lack of a better word). One thing I learned from all this is that there are definitely some surprises.
 

vikaskoth

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if your #1 on is Tulane, then i think you are fine right now and shouldnt feel like your losing grasp. Are you a LA resident also? because being a Tulane Undergrad and LA resident, increase your chances of getting an interview, early if you get your stuff in. Are you applying to creative scholars right now? if not i guess its too late.

You need to get some clinical exp. shadowing stuff like that, you have plenty of time though, I didnt have any clinical or research when i was a soph.

For the MCAT, I would recommend taking Genetics and Anatomy&Physiology(excercise science class) its two semesters that are independent of each other, spring is more helpful than first. It can be a tough class, but i took one semester pass/fail.
You get cadavers in the lab, which is really awesome, and you actually do the dissection, not just stading there and watching.

Also, just start thinking about who you might get to write your recs, next year Kathleen will have a meeting with all the juniors and get you started on asking profs. and making you turn in a draft of you personal statement.
 

stoic

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don't worry too much. as long as you do well on the mcat you should be in decent enough shape.

i got in with a similar gpa.
 

Law2Doc

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Doc.Holliday said:
Sorry everyone, but I just have to. I'm going through a tough time right now, as many of you are too I know, so maybe this will help a bit, set me straight, or let me know I'm wasting my time.

So, here we go, a condensed version of my college career thus far:

----------------------------------------------------------------
University: Tulane
Year: Sophomore
Majors/Minors: Cell/Molecular Biology major, Spanish and History minors
Overall GPA: 3.4
Science GPA: 3.3
Extra Curriculars: Developmental Genetics research, some volunteering, Honors fraternity member with leadership positions, pre med honor society, premed society, service organization member, blah blah
MCAT: yet to take, but judging from SAT scores etc and my understanding of subjects-- 30+, 35+ not out of the question but improbable.

----------------------------------------------------------------

Ok, so that’s the simplest view of me...

#1 Judging solely on the above data, am I looking ok? My top choice school is again Tulane, base decisions on that if possible. Outside of Tulane, the only other schools that stand out as places id want to go are NYU or other new york schools, and of course Harvard and Hopkins and such, but I’m not really in the running for top top schools I know.

More detailed info:

Grades and Coursework: all prereqs finished by end of sophomore year. Could graduate in 3 years choosing to stay longer to study languages (Spanish, French, German) and history. Grades have obviously been ok, not great. Bs in all chems and maths, higher in biology, scattered grades in humanities. I've always taken an extra heavy course load (18+ hours, normal being 15). Grades should go up junior and senior year as I’ll no longer be taking 3 sciences w/ labs at a time.

Extracurriculars/research/volunteering: outside of the honors frat I won’t be doing anything not medically related. For research, I’m very involved, only undergrad in lab so I learn an amazing amount. I will continue working in that same lab over summers and during year until I graduate. For volunteering, right now it’s on hold as class and research take up my time; I’ll start again over the summer. I know several people that will be setting me up to shadow docs in the future, not sure how much, but probably an unusually large amount, I feel this is more beneficial for me personally than volunteering.

#2 Now with that info what do you think? Damn guys I’m annoying myself, sorry for this, but I really need some feedback right now, so please bear with me. Anything I’m lacking? Advice? besides just relax hehe, I know that but cant just now
If you get the MCAT score you predict you will certainly be fine. However there is nearly no correlation between good SAT scores and good MCAT scores, and I know quite a few people who got A's in all the prereqs and didn't get 30+, so until you take a few full length practice MCATs, it's sort of silly to guesstimate a score.
 

worriedwell

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I'm a 4th year med student...after being around this stuff and doing things like giving tours and working with the admissions office at my school, i feel like i have a decent grasp of how things work...but still take my advice with a grain of salt. no matter what anyone tells you, there is no perfect formula. committees often have unwritten and unspoken agendas like quotas, geographic and school bias etc, that you have no idea how to predict.

My advice:

Grades-It is good that you got a lot of the tough stuff out of the way early...i recommend taking the full 4 years to finish college. Your junior year grades are very important, committees do look at trends in grades...but senior year grades they usually don't see...so if you show that you are willing to work your butt off to get very stellar grades your third year, it accomplishes to goal of bringing up your gpa, and also showing a positive trend of maturing and working towards a goal of going to med school. Also, since it seems you'll have plenty of time to graduate with enough credits, don't take too full of a course load so you can devote enough time to each class...and it would be a good idea to take science classes that you feel you'll have a good chance at getting As in (to boost science gpa).

MCAT-don't blow it off, work hard, i would suggest taking a prep course that allows you to take practice exams (timing the test is key to make sure you finish), get over 30 (anything over 33 is gravy). If you feel you are capable of getting a 35+, that will help tremendously as it puts you on par with the best med school students in the country, but it still doesn't seal the deal if you have enough other deficiencies.

Research-don't underestimate this...it can help a lot...do your best to try to get your name on publications...academic programs with big names like seeing people into research and might even forgive other shortcomings for this.

Clinical experience-this is extremely important...be able to show that you have done something somewhat substantive...they want to know you have an understanding of what it means to be a doc. Especially at places that are clinically very strong like NYU where they expect you to be competent and capable of handling dealing with sick people (Bellevue hospital, a very hands on experience).

Languages-a huge asset to your application...anything that can show you are a unique and interesting, well rounded individual is very attractive. Definitely follow through with that, although it may be a good idea to do much of that your senior year (even study abroad, or spend a month in another country-these are great conversation pieces)

Letters of Rec-start thinking now about getting 3 quality letters...one from your lab pi, and then get other people who can give good letters to you, go to their office hours etc. It is always better to get a more senior professor write a good letter, but the most important thing is that it is a good letter.

Extra currics-depth rather than breadth...being in all those bs honor societies mean nothing, as practically every med student was on ten of them...focus on meaningful extra currics that you enjoy and can be involved in. one or two of those (regardless of their relationship to medicine) go much farther than 10 crappy resume fillers. Committees aren't stupid.

OVERALL-I know I just listed a ton of things for you to think about, but it is a rare applicant who has all of the above things perfectly laid out. You just need some combination of these things to make you seem like an interesting mature human being. You'd be surprised how much committees forgive a couple points on the MCAT or a couple tenths of a point on a gpa if you show in other areas of your application that you are a tremendously motivated or interesting person. Its the Gestalt that matters, not a cookie cutter formula. That being said, there are basic cutoffs that get you in the door and there is no denying that GPA and MCAT are basic guidelines. For you, since it sounds like you've already got some research, some language minors, and are confident in your MCAT abilities (although be wary, it doesn't always correlate with SATS), I would focus on doing well in Junior GPA, and getting a little clinical experience. Hope I was helpful. And it sounds like you are on the right track and should do very well, so don't stress out, but its good to know these things earlier rather than later.

By the way, my advice is geared towards aiming at a place like NYU...I'm not sure if it is relevant for other schools that may have other criteria or geographic restrictions (like a state school).
 

dnelsen

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Not to rip on the OP, but this is a good example of something I see all too often. The OP is a sophomore with a 3.4 GPA and he/she is in an honors fraternity and the pre-med honor society. Does the term 'honors' mean nothing anymore? At my undergrad (not a top tier school by any means) you would have to have at least a 3.75 to be in any honor society. As you progress the GPA requirment drops (maybe only a 3.5 was necessary for seniors).

Is there honor inflation just like grade inflation?
 

stoic

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dnelsen said:
Not to rip on the OP, but this is a good example of something I see all too often. The OP is a sophomore with a 3.4 GPA and he/she is in an honors fraternity and the pre-med honor society. Does the term 'honors' mean nothing anymore? At my undergrad (not a top tier school by any means) you would have to have at least a 3.75 to be in any honor society. As you progress the GPA requirment drops (maybe only a 3.5 was necessary for seniors).

Is there honor inflation just like grade inflation?
"not to rip on the OP, but... actually, i guess i'll rip on the OP."

you forgot your soapbox.
 

Aero047

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hell tons of people are doing worse than you and youre complaining about feeling like a piece of ****?
 

45408

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Medikit said:
You can't really make any predictions until you have an MCAT score in your hand, and given your GPA you definitely need to kick some ass on that test.
troof
 

llort

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yes, you are a worthless pile of ****, if you say so. because if you believe it, then it is true and you will reflect it. you are already pysching yourself out. if you're looking for pity, try the "spouses and wives" forum. my stats sucked 3.4/25, but I've already gotten 4 interviews and a couple of acceptances because instead of pissing and moaning on sdn about being a "worthless pile of ****", I decided that I was a bad ass motherfudger and any school would be lucky to get me, and this has worked out well. change your attitude, chief, or else throw in the towel.

PS. I thought that I was going to get a 30+ on the MCAT too, but that didnt quite happen.
 

beep

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you sound like you know what to do and are doing it. it's easy & common to feel worried & low at points during this process, but truly you sound like you are doing fine. obviously, as you already know, raising your grades, doing well on the mcats, and getting in some clinical experience will help you strengthen your app. but for where you are in your education and for the non-reach schools that interest you, you are doing all right so far. also, you sound like you're planning to do basically the right things going forward.

have faith and keep plugging away.

p.s. i second the advice to take all 4 years in school. in fact, even taking a year off and doing something cool after college might enhance your app. no need to rush.

p.p.s. if you can do all the med-school related stuff plus add in something else interesting, fun & not medically related, that will probably help you. unless you love your honors frat, i would drop it and do something more distinctive--service, performance, travel, culture, activism, teaching, whatever. your grades (for better or for worse!) will speak for themselves when it comes to "honors".
 

scotchtape

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I was in the same exact boat as you.
3.4/34. My bcpm was 3.44. I have gotten 11 interviews. I applied to 25. Never sent back my Tulane secondary. Made some top 50 schools. Mostly between 20-50. Don't worry. You can make it. Do early to Tulate