SMP or Show Commitment to Experiences?


New Member
May 26, 2020
  1. Pre-Medical
Hi everyone, I'm a bit new here and I'm looking for some guidance on what to do for my next steps. I graduated undergrad in May 2019, and have been working as an EMT and scribe ever since (both paid clinical experience). I'm thinking of applying to SMP's March 2021, but thinking I should maybe continue my volunteering to show commitment and length of time, so that might postpone applying to SMP's in March of 2022? I know quality >quantity and I truly wish I discovered these experiences (special needs aquatic program, special olympics, online crisis text counseling, volunteering in a free clinic) sooner and COVID really postponed some of it. Would adcoms look down on 11 months or 1 yr of volunteering?

cGPA: 3.3, sGPA: 3.0, with decent upward trend
MCAT: 520
State: CA
Ethnicity: Burmese
Clinical: >1200 hrs of EMT so far, and ~300 hrs of scribing in an ED so far, free clinic volunteer for low income population (not yet started)
Non-clinical: Volunteered at a food bank for 3 years for my fraternity as well as fundraised for the American Cancer Society, Special needs aquatic program (started April 2020), Special Olympics coach (estimated start July 1st 2020 if COVID lifts), online crisis text counseling (started May 2020)
Research: 200 hrs bench work for 1 yr
Leadership: 1 yr on executive board for fraternity leading food bank collection and fundraising for American Cancer Society, 1 yr of being a member and 1 yr of being Vice President of a club that traveled to Latin American countries on medical/clinic trips

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!


Rule One: Take a Breath
10+ Year Member
Jul 26, 2009
The Big Bad Apple
  1. Non-Student
1) SMP. Without showing evidence of the ability to handle the academic intensity of medical school, no matter if you have more dedication to service than Mother Teresa, you wont make past an initial screening
2) Volunteering on Campus for fraternity may not be as strong as you think as it doesnt show leaving your comfort zone on campus
3) Foreign medical/clinic can have a negative impact on your application as a large fraction of schools have stated (see below) (emphasis added)
In the spring of 2016, the GSA Committee on Admissions of the AAMC distributed a survey to the designated medical school admissions contacts at each AAMC member medical school. The goal of the survey was to gather information on current medical school admissions practices related to requirements for clinical experiences for medical school applicants. The Committee on Admissions understands that such activities are increasingly difficult to obtain in the United States. Some medical school applicants may be pursuing such clinical experiences in foreign countries. A wide variety of international programs exist, and concerns have been raised about the level of supervision of students in some of these programs.
Member schools expressed significant concern with regards to premedical students engaging in unsupervised clinical activities in international settings.
In particular, 45-50% of those schools completing the survey described applicant involvement in invasive procedures in international settings as either harmful to, or of no value to, their application. Examples of such invasive procedures include giving vaccinations, suturing an injury, pulling teeth, and delivering a baby. This concern of admissions officers persisted, albeit at lower levels (35-40% of respondents), when the students were supervised by a health professional while performing such invasive procedures in international settings.
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New Member
May 26, 2020
  1. Pre-Medical
Sorry, I should have clarified. I understand the SMP is like the 2nd chance to really prove you can handle the curriculum, but totally understood thank you so much! The volunteering for the fraternity was for a local food bank outside of campus, and required a good amount of organization for not only this event but other events to fundraise for the American Cancer Society. Lastly, the VP of the club was more so directed towards organizing members, as I've only been on 2 medical trips and wasn't planning on talking about that. It was more so talking about leading a team to organize meetings and encourage members to go on these trips. Hope that clarifies some things and let me know what you think!
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