Apr 8, 2010
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I am currently an Oregon resident into my Spring term (quarter system) of Sophomore year with a cGPA of 3.25. As of now I have not begun any pre-med courses (starting next year) and don't have any significant clinical experience (plan on starting on those ASAP).

I started off slow due to being horribly immature and not thinking about my future, a mistake that I fear will cost me dearly. I intend on doing 5 years of undergrad before applying and have changed my study habits substantially (last term I changed what would have been an abysmal GPA of <3.0 to a 3.43 mid-term, not great but much better than expected). This term I'm averaging all As so far.

Provided I can get my GPA as high as I can (a mid range 3.6 is possible if I can average around a 3.8 GPA or better from this point forward), what MCAT and ECs would I need to be competitive at any school (not going to be too picky, as long as the school isn't absolute trash I'm happy to just be admitted to one)? As of now, my primary target is OHSU (in-state school).

Also, how should I get started on E.C.s? I have a cousin who is currently applying to OHSU soon, so I have a decent idea of what to expect.

PS: I know all you can say will be based off of vague estimates, but I just need to know that the path is at least plausible as well as some guidance.

Thanks!
 
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bravofleet4

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in terms of EC's you could start looking into undergrad research or volunteering at a hospital. Any EC that you want to have weight with the admissions committee should be done for more than a year.

since you plan to be in undergrad for 5 years, you won't even be taking the MCAT for 2 years. With so many hypotheticals and unknowns it's really worthless to speculate especially since you haven't taken any of the pre-req's or have any idea what the MCAT is like.
 
Apr 8, 2010
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in terms of EC's you could start looking into undergrad research or volunteering at a hospital. Any EC that you want to have weight with the admissions committee should be done for more than a year.

since you plan to be in undergrad for 5 years, you won't even be taking the MCAT for 2 years. With so many hypotheticals and unknowns it's really worthless to speculate especially since you haven't taken any of the pre-req's or have any idea what the MCAT is like.
I've some idea what the MCAT was like - I've looked at the test on a number of occasions (not that I could do well on it yet without the proper education).

I appreciate the response - I'm not asking for a definitive "will I get in or not" type answer, but rather if the goal of getting into a decent medical school is still within reach or if I should just scrap the idea completely.

Thanks.
 

aztri

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Since you have yet to start your pre-reqs, you are at the perfect point to start planning what you aim to gain from those classes. The mcat is largely based on material learned in gen chem I and II, gen bio I and II, ochem I and lab (to a lesser extent ochem II), physics I and II, and some physiology. To get more out of these classes than just good grades, make sure you learn and thoroughly understand the material. When you have to start studying for the mcat, this will be way more effective than having to relearn (cram) everything covered the previous few years in the basic pre-req coursework.

As far as ECs go, there are four main areas that should be covered: Clinical, volunteering, research, and leadership. It is up to you to choose what interests you and how you can incorporate those interests into gaining these essential experiences. Bravo is correct in that longitudinal commitment is very important. 4 hours per week for a year is much better than a few short weeks over the summer. Also, don't be a pre-med zombie. Make sure you have a fun component to your life (i.e. a hobby such as sports, art, etc.) that shows you are a well rounded person. Overall, your application should paint a nice picture of why you want to be a part of medicine, what you hope to contribute to it, get out of it, and why are you an amazing canidate for med school. If you follow your interests this should happen seemlessly.
 
Apr 8, 2010
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Since you have yet to start your pre-reqs, you are at the perfect point to start planning what you aim to gain from those classes. The mcat is largely based on material learned in gen chem I and II, gen bio I and II, ochem I and lab (to a lesser extent ochem II), physics I and II, and some physiology. To get more out of these classes than just good grades, make sure you learn and thoroughly understand the material. When you have to start studying for the mcat, this will be way more effective than having to relearn (cram) everything covered the previous few years in the basic pre-req coursework.

As far as ECs go, there are four main areas that should be covered: Clinical, volunteering, research, and leadership. It is up to you to choose what interests you and how you can incorporate those interests into gaining these essential experiences. Bravo is correct in that longitudinal commitment is very important. 4 hours per week for a year is much better than a few short weeks over the summer. Also, don't be a pre-med zombie. Make sure you have a fun component to your life (i.e. a hobby such as sports, art, etc.) that shows you are a well rounded person. Overall, your application should paint a nice picture of why you want to be a part of medicine, what you hope to contribute to it, get out of it, and why are you an amazing canidate for med school. If you follow your interests this should happen seemlessly.
Thanks for your insightful response. I definitely appreciate being pointed in the right direction

Is it safe to assume that you think I can get into a decent allopathic school ASSUMING I do well in my remaining course work (pre-med included), score decently well on the MCAT and get some good E.C.s in?

I just want to make sure I'm not chasing after a pipe-dream.

Thanks!

PS: Worst case scenario, I am willing to consider a D.O. school, but a M.D. is my first choice.
 
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If you can get your cGPA up into the 3.6 range, get a decent MCAT score, and appropriate ECs, your bad first year will not hold you back from getting an acceptance to an allopathic med school. Many med school aspirants have a bad first year before they adjust to the new academic climate. Redemption isn't as difficult, time consuming, and expensive if you figure things out as quickly as you did. Your dream is still alive.
 
Apr 8, 2010
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If you can get your cGPA up into the 3.6 range, get a decent MCAT score, and appropriate ECs, your bad first year will not hold you back from getting an acceptance to an allopathic med school. Many med school aspirants have a bad first year before they adjust to the new academic climate. Redemption isn't as difficult, time consuming, and expensive if you figure things out as quickly as you did. Your dream is still alive.
Thank you. That is very encouraging!

I'll be sure to follow through with my dream. :)