Nov 1, 2010
163
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MN
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Title more or less says it all. I have a fairly solid GPA and MCAT score to ride on, but my ECs are extremely mediocre (at best), consisting of Pre-med club treasurer, about 500 hours volunteering at a hospital, and organizing a fund-raising event for disabled adults.

I'm trying to get them up, but between 18 credits this semester, working two jobs totaling ~60 hours a week, and being an SI instructor is really leaching all of my free time. How poorly is it going to reflect on me if I don't have hours and hours of research, shadowing, volunteer, etc if my stats are above average?
 

Dr McSexy

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Having a job is an "EC" as well, fwiw.
 
Nov 29, 2009
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Title more or less says it all. I have a fairly solid GPA and MCAT score to ride on, but my ECs are extremely mediocre (at best), consisting of Pre-med club treasurer, about 500 hours volunteering at a hospital, and organizing a fund-raising event for disabled adults.

I'm trying to get them up, but between 18 credits this semester, working two jobs totaling ~60 hours a week, and being an SI instructor is really leaching all of my free time. How poorly is it going to reflect on me if I don't have hours and hours of research, shadowing, volunteer, etc if my stats are above average?
I'm really confused as to why you think your ECs are mediocre...you've got leadership (treasurer), 500 hours of clinical volunteering (that's a LOT), and you've actually helped organized a fundraiser for disabled adults (shows your empathy and compassion for others).

If you are working 60 hours a week and doing well in school, it'll be okay with respect to your volunteering hours (and possibly shadowing if you're not already doing that in your clinical volunteering), but it won't make up for the lack of research. The issue is whether you "need" research or not, some have gotten away with it, but I would say one can "make time" during the summer or any other period of time to "dabble" in research.

I'd say you're in good shape with respect to leadership and volunteering---you could try to squeeze in shadowing, although I'd probably focus on getting some type of research gig first.

Just know that your ECs are not mediocre as of now--you've got a very impressive amount of clinical volunteering, leadership, and community service (the fundraising thing). Just focus on the other aspects (research and shadowing) and you'll be okay! If necessary, play up the "I need to work card"--although the issue is you have such a large amount of volunteering, I don't know why you couldn't shift those hours around to do a bit of research.
 

Showtime14

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Oct 8, 2010
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Never thought to consider that, so thanks. That should help me out a good bit then.
As is stands now, you're golden as far as grades/MCAT is concerned. Your clinical volunteering is awesome, and your leadership skills are awesome (organizing events + SI instructor) and you are heavily involved in work (60 hours a week= almost like two full time jobs) AND you're taking 18!!! credits of upper level coursework. That is almost unheard of. I would just relax, take a year off and do a post-bacc research program, maybe the NIH one, and then apply and wait for the scholarships to roll in. Beast job on the MCAT btw.
 
OP
O
Nov 1, 2010
163
0
MN
Status
Pre-Medical
I suppose calling the ECs themselves mediocre was incorrect. I meant more along the lines that I'm lacking in the quantity that it seems like most have, as well as the diversity (no research or shadowing). Also, the 60 hours of work / 18 credits isn't too impressive, 20 hours of my work is essentially studying time for my 18 credits, and 3 of my 18 credits belong to a class that should be called "Show up [whenever I don't cancel class] and take this A". :laugh:
 
Oct 25, 2010
46
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Medical Student
Quit worrying.

My EC activities included mountain biking, and about 50 hours of volunteering, plus a regular summer job. That's it.

Had 4.0 GPA, 33 MCAT, applied to one school, and I'm now a fourth year student. Those who don't get in with what you've already done are those who blow the interview.

Enjoy some of college, it's your only shot.
 
Sep 11, 2010
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WTF noob! you got a 3.98cGPA and 43R on MCAT (according to your MDApps page) and you're worried!?
 

gettheleadout

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Last edited:

gettheleadout

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I can't believe I didn't even consider that before taking this thread seriously...:smack:
I mean, there's a chance OP is serious, but....nearly perfect GPA and a 43R? 500+ hrs clinical volunteering + work, leadership, teaching, community service? Who in his/her right mind would be concerned about his/her chances with those stats?
 
Nov 29, 2009
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Brooklyn, NY
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I mean, there's a chance OP is serious, but....nearly perfect GPA and a 43R? 500+ hrs clinical volunteering + work, leadership, teaching, community service? Who in his/her right mind would be concerned about his/her chances with those stats?
The socially awkward people who have the time to do that well in school AND do all that the OP has done. ** I kid **

But to go back to what others are saying, I would say it is possible this is a troll post, but let's hope that some of our fellow applicants don't have this much time on their hands to post new threads and actually respond to them with lame questions/answers. Give the OP the benefit of the doubt..and assume he/she is legitimately concerned!
 
OP
O
Nov 1, 2010
163
0
MN
Status
Pre-Medical
I'm not trolling, I was just merely concerned that only having ~4 ECs to put down might be a severe turn-off. I'm aiming to get into California schools (that's where my girlfriend ended up after her job search), and I've been told numerous times that California schools are extremely difficult to matriculate into when you aren't a resident of the state.

Also, my 500 volunteer hours are a bit of a stretch - it was a required internship I had to do, full time, for a little over three months. Since I wasn't paid to do it, I'm just listing it as volunteer work, even though it wasn't truly me just volunteering my free time to help volunteer.

This thread can be locked as it seems that my ECs might just be good enough. I'll still aim for trying to get some research in, though. Thanks fellas :thumbup:
 

gettheleadout

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I'm not trolling, I was just merely concerned that only having ~4 ECs to put down might be a severe turn-off. I'm aiming to get into California schools (that's where my girlfriend ended up after her job search), and I've been told numerous times that California schools are extremely difficult to matriculate into when you aren't a resident of the state.

Also, my 500 volunteer hours are a bit of a stretch - it was a required internship I had to do, full time, for a little over three months. Since I wasn't paid to do it, I'm just listing it as volunteer work, even though it wasn't truly me just volunteering my free time to help volunteer.

This thread can be locked as it seems that my ECs might just be good enough. I'll still aim for trying to get some research in, though. Thanks fellas :thumbup:
If this is true, you have one of the highest MCAT scores I have ever seen. Also, hobbies and stuff count as EC's; they don't just want to see that you're a robotic teacher/pro bono laborer/student, you need to do stuff you enjoy to relax too you know?
 
Sep 29, 2009
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I'm not trolling, I was just merely concerned that only having ~4 ECs to put down might be a severe turn-off.
Fair enough. Here's my advice, assuming you are not a troll:

quality >> quantity. if you have 100 EC's but can't talk meaningfully about any one of them, you'll raise red flags. Not many people are able to fill all the EC spots on the AMCAS. Those that do are probably itemizing every little thing....e.g. I've shadowed ~6 different docs but I lumped them all into one category. There are some folks who would make 6 different entries for that.

The only thing you really need to do now is get some shadowing experience. Start sending e-mails and making calls now to schedule stuff for winter break. Spring break is another good time to get shadowing in.

:luck:
 
OP
O
Nov 1, 2010
163
0
MN
Status
Pre-Medical
Sounds good, thanks gentlemen. I wasn't even giving this second thoughts until I told my friend/fellow pre-medder that I only had a handful of ECs, and he went on a 10 minute lecture about me getting serious and doing activities other than school/work to fill up those extra spots I had.
 

chrisoc13

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Jun 26, 2010
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Sounds good, thanks gentlemen. I wasn't even giving this second thoughts until I told my friend/fellow pre-medder that I only had a handful of ECs, and he went on a 10 minute lecture about me getting serious and doing activities other than school/work to fill up those extra spots I had.
Also you can list a hobby or two in your ECs. In fact I would recommend it. I listed skiing because I wanted to put something fun in and it has been brought up at every single interview. I was unsure if I should put it but am so glad I did. Often times it has been a great ice breaker at interviews.
 
OP
O
Nov 1, 2010
163
0
MN
Status
Pre-Medical
Also you can list a hobby or two in your ECs. In fact I would recommend it. I listed skiing because I wanted to put something fun in and it has been brought up at every single interview. I was unsure if I should put it but am so glad I did. Often times it has been a great ice breaker at interviews.
Excellent, had no idea you could do that as well :thumbup: Thanks! I have some decently interesting hobbies (skydiving, for one) that would probably bring up some interesting conversations
 

morning

butane in my veins
Feb 6, 2010
1,319
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Sounds good, thanks gentlemen. I wasn't even giving this second thoughts until I told my friend/fellow pre-medder that I only had a handful of ECs, and he went on a 10 minute lecture about me getting serious and doing activities other than school/work to fill up those extra spots I had.
solution: avoid pre-meds like they're gonna give you herpes. which they are. sweet, sweet anxiety herpes.
 
Sep 15, 2010
187
2
Status
Pre-Medical
Also you can list a hobby or two in your ECs. In fact I would recommend it. I listed skiing because I wanted to put something fun in and it has been brought up at every single interview. I was unsure if I should put it but am so glad I did. Often times it has been a great ice breaker at interviews.
I completely agree. I listed travel as one of my activities so I could talk about some of the amazinging things I've been able to experience (outside of school). E.g. scuba diving off the coast of Africa, meeting the king of swaziland, seeing the pyramids....etc. It grabs people's attention and its fun to talk about during the interview.

You can also talk about any instruments you play, seminars you attend, etc. There is so much flexibility and it is best if your activities are well-rounded (hence not just putting medical EC relevant stuff)
 

a winner is you

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Only a 43 on the MCAT, 4.0 GPA and 500 volunteer hours? You might want to look into the DO route...
 

wanderer

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Best day of my life! 43R on the MCAT after anticipating scoring under 30. Definitely convinced med school is in my future now!
:troll:
 

thedoctor8706

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I only did 45ish hours of volunteering. 500 is a LOT. You really have nothing to worry about.
 
OP
O
Nov 1, 2010
163
0
MN
Status
Pre-Medical
op, i'd welcome a summary of your mcat study experience.
PM'd


And I'll reiterate, the 500 hours of volunteering isn't the volunteering you're all thinking of. It was a required internship over the course of a summer, but I wasn't paid for it, so I'm counting it as volunteer work and leaving it at that :rolleyes: