Timeline/fitting it all in to apply for med school right after undergrad?

doctorrr-t

Full Member
Nov 24, 2019
59
2
  1. Pre-Medical
    To matriculate into med school right after undergrad (no gap years), the application season basically begins junior year (MCAT taken during junior year, applications submitted early spring/summer after junior year). This is quite a short time to build a successful application, especially the resume/extracurriculars. Those of you who might have applied and gotten accepted or those of you with any knowledge/experience, could you provide me with a general timeline of how you fit everything in? Did you juggle volunteering/shadowing alongside internships during the summer? Or did you somehow juggle school work and off campus volunteering/shadowing, etc? Are we able to list the summer internship that we will be doing the summer after junior year (which would be done AFTER the application is submitted)? Is there a way to update your application or admissions officers on future accomplishments of that summer maybe through the secondary application or something? What about prerequisite courses- do we have to be done with all of them before applying to medical school (which would mean by junior year)? I obviously have a lot of questions but my main concern is how to fit it all in within a small time frame. I understand that this may be the reason why most people take gap years but I'm still trying to figure out a way to do it without any gap years.
     

    DarkKnight835

    It's not brain science or rocket surgery!
    2+ Year Member
    Jun 4, 2017
    48
    121
    1. Medical Student (Accepted)
      OP, what year are you in undergrad and what have you done so far?

      Speaking as a traditional student (applied junior year and accepted to go to med school right out of undergrad without gap years), it is a lot of work but it’s definitely possible.

      My freshman year was primarily used to adapt to college works, with very little extracurriculars beside from joining a few premed societies to form connections.

      The Summer after Freshman year was used to do a whole lot of volunteering (in the hospital and at a local youth group) and shadowing. Your connections from your premed societies could help you get in touch with people to start doing these activities. If not, google is your best friend! (Just typed “local hospital” volunteering opportunity)

      Sophomore year was used to find research positions within my professors‘ lab, no more than 10-20 hours of commitment in the lab per week. I also started to work as a tutor within my school for underclassmen (make money, a good experience to have in your CV, and really helped to hone in the knowledge for those particular classes for MCAT). Also, of course, while continuing to volunteer and shadow during weekends, albeit much less than Summertime.

      Sophomore Summer was the same as Freshman Summer.

      First semester Junior year was the same as Sophomore year.
      Second semester Junior year was when I enrolled in the bare minimum classes for full time status (I.e. 12 hours), and those classes were “easier” than the previous semesters’. I also reduced my extracurriculars significantly during this semester. I then used the ample time to study my ass off for the MCAT, asking for LORs, and prepare for a strong application to submit first day of June.

      Once application is submitted, I started to pre-write secondaries for the schools that I’m applying to (prompts from previous years can be found on this forum, they don’t change much).

      Again, it’s a lot, and you have to do all of that while maintaining stellar GPA. However, it’s not the end of the world if you have to take 1-2 gap years to fulfill them. The average age of matriculatants is 24 years old nationwide. You got this!
       
      • Love
      Reactions: 1 user
      About the Ads

      doctorrr-t

      Full Member
      Nov 24, 2019
      59
      2
      1. Pre-Medical
        OP, what year are you in undergrad and what have you done so far?

        Speaking as a traditional student (applied junior year and accepted to go to med school right out of undergrad without gap years), it is a lot of work but it’s definitely possible.

        My freshman year was primarily used to adapt to college works, with very little extracurriculars beside from joining a few premed societies to form connections.

        The Summer after Freshman year was used to do a whole lot of volunteering (in the hospital and at a local youth group) and shadowing. Your connections from your premed societies could help you get in touch with people to start doing these activities. If not, google is your best friend! (Just typed “local hospital” volunteering opportunity)

        Sophomore year was used to find research positions within my professors‘ lab, no more than 10-20 hours of commitment in the lab per week. I also started to work as a tutor within my school for underclassmen (make money, a good experience to have in your CV, and really helped to hone in the knowledge for those particular classes for MCAT). Also, of course, while continuing to volunteer and shadow during weekends, albeit much less than Summertime.

        Sophomore Summer was the same as Freshman Summer.

        First semester Junior year was the same as Sophomore year.
        Second semester Junior year was when I enrolled in the bare minimum classes for full time status (I.e. 12 hours), and those classes were “easier” than the previous semesters’. I also reduced my extracurriculars significantly during this semester. I then used the ample time to study my ass off for the MCAT, asking for LORs, and prepare for a strong application to submit first day of June.

        Once application is submitted, I started to pre-write secondaries for the schools that I’m applying to (prompts from previous years can be found on this forum, they don’t change much).

        Again, it’s a lot, and you have to do all of that while maintaining stellar GPA. However, it’s not the end of the world if you have to take 1-2 gap years to fulfill them. The average age of matriculatants is 24 years old nationwide. You got this!
        ahhh gotcha, thanks so much! I'm a rising sophomore now. I basically had the same exact freshman year as you and picked up some leadership roles in some clubs. Because of COVID, I've been mentoring/tutoring online as a volunteer and I have an internship at another institution which is research/biomed-based. I've been trying to get some shadowing in this summer, but not a lot of physicians can due to the pandemic lol so I've just been trying to figure out when the best time would be for shadowing and volunteering in a clinical setting. I also go to a school that is quite in the middle of nowhere so there aren't many big hospitals the area. I guess my best bet would be trying to get some shadowing in this summer and then the summer of next year and beyond. Also, were you able to list any internships that you were planning to have in the summer after you submit primary application or did you only provide them with experiences you gained in freshman yr-junior year (before summer)? Also, are we required to take all the prereqs before submitting the primary app?
         

        DarkKnight835

        It's not brain science or rocket surgery!
        2+ Year Member
        Jun 4, 2017
        48
        121
        1. Medical Student (Accepted)
          ahhh gotcha, thanks so much! I'm a rising sophomore now. I basically had the same exact freshman year as you and picked up some leadership roles in some clubs. Because of COVID, I've been mentoring/tutoring online as a volunteer and I have an internship at another institution which is research/biomed-based. I've been trying to get some shadowing in this summer, but not a lot of physicians can due to the pandemic lol so I've just been trying to figure out when the best time would be for shadowing and volunteering in a clinical setting. I also go to a school that is quite in the middle of nowhere so there aren't many big hospitals the area. I guess my best bet would be trying to get some shadowing in this summer and then the summer of next year and beyond. Also, were you able to list any internships that you were planning to have in the summer after you submit primary application or did you only provide them with experiences you gained in freshman yr-junior year (before summer)? Also, are we required to take all the prereqs before submitting the primary app?
          Depends on the school. Some allowed for updates to your application, while others do not, after you’ve submitted primaries. You can’t list experience you haven’t done in your application, so internships during your junior summer year wouldn’t count. However, you can do projected hours to existing activity (e.g. you can say you have volunteered for 150 hours, and will be volunteering for another 100 hours in the coming year), but these projected hours aren’t look at as important as the ones you have already completed.

          You don’t have to have all the prereqs in by the time of submitting application, but you should have them by the time of matriculation. Meaning you must have them completed before you graduate.
           
          • Like
          Reactions: 1 users

          Skarl

          Full Member
          5+ Year Member
          Jul 12, 2015
          244
          253
          1. Medical Student
            I had a good amount of success this cycle as a traditional applicant applying straight in (received double digit IIs, 8-10 As from “T5-20 schools”).

            You definitely need to plan ahead. I started my earliest activities winter of freshman year (research, hospital volunteering, student orgs) and was able to ”move up the ranks” in multiple organizations I was a part of into leadership roles by the end of sophomore/beginning of junior year. It was definitely tough—some semesters I was balancing 3-4 different extracurriculars at once while maintaining strong academic performance. You need to have lots of foresight, plan well, and be on top of logistical things like MCAT/AMCAS dates. But it’s certainly do-able!
             

            JSD2

            Full Member
            Jul 2, 2019
            87
            190
            1. Pre-Medical
              It takes some planning but it is totally possible. Freshman year I mostly just adjusted to college and started taking the intro premed reqs (gen bio, gen chem 1, etc.) and was mildly-moderately active in 1 philanthropy club that was affiliated with my living-learning community. I also emailed a PI (who took 8 months to get back to me) about research and managed to secure a 1 year research position for sophomore year. The summer after freshman year I did a non-medicine related study abroad program. Sophomore year I took more prereqs and did some research (and stayed in the same club as freshman year), and the summer after I did a paid research internship at a different lab. Junior year I stopped volunteering at the first lab (the people were great, but the organization horrid) and took more prereqs. Over winter break I studied for the MCAT and then took it in the second or third weekend in January. In March I started clinical volunteering at a nursing home that continued until October of senior year (the place started having a lot of employee turnover and stopped responding to volunteer time-slot inquiries). Summer after junior year I took some summer classes and did my apps. Senior year was just fufilling the last of my prereqs (physics 2 and gen chem 2) and vibeing since I was an ED applicant and got into my top choice.

              That being said I was able to include shadowing hours from high school because they were tied with an author pub. If I didn't have that I would have started shadowing sophomore year and stayed with the first lab through junior year at the very least.
               
              D

              deleted1032897

                Stopping by just as a friendly reminder to take it easy on yourself if you can't do it all in 2-3 years :) I remember junior year, considering switching my career aspirations, trying to do it all- full-time upper level science plus labs, research AND hospital volunteering, working because I needed to cover my cost of living- yikes! I cringe to remember it because I was obviously floundering and basically half-assing everything. Remember quality over quantity. When planning, being committed to longevity in a couple experiences is better (in my opinion) than brief stints at a bunch of experiences (especially for LORs). If it takes you longer to do it right the first time, you will look wise and mature instead of trying to do it all and having to re-do stuff or taking a GPA dip and trying to excuse it by pointing to the fact that you were doing the most.

                This is all moot if you can do it! Many people do it all well as evidenced by my successful colleagues above. Just remember that you're just as qualified if you have to spread it out a little :) ok good luck bye
                 

                KnightDoc

                Account on Hold
                Account on Hold
                2+ Year Member
                Mar 14, 2019
                6,725
                2
                7,503
                1. Pre-Medical
                  To matriculate into med school right after undergrad (no gap years), the application season basically begins junior year (MCAT taken during junior year, applications submitted early spring/summer after junior year). This is quite a short time to build a successful application, especially the resume/extracurriculars. Those of you who might have applied and gotten accepted or those of you with any knowledge/experience, could you provide me with a general timeline of how you fit everything in? Did you juggle volunteering/shadowing alongside internships during the summer? Or did you somehow juggle school work and off campus volunteering/shadowing, etc? Are we able to list the summer internship that we will be doing the summer after junior year (which would be done AFTER the application is submitted)? Is there a way to update your application or admissions officers on future accomplishments of that summer maybe through the secondary application or something? What about prerequisite courses- do we have to be done with all of them before applying to medical school (which would mean by junior year)? I obviously have a lot of questions but my main concern is how to fit it all in within a small time frame. I understand that this may be the reason why most people take gap years but I'm still trying to figure out a way to do it without any gap years.
                  You have correctly spotted all the issues, so go for it if you are in a position to do so, but don't beat yourself up if you are not. As has been pointed out by others, it is definitely possible, but it is not easy, and the people who are successful tend to be superstars.

                  Around 1/3 of all matriculants have no gap years, and around 5% of all MD seats are occupied by people coming from BS/MD programs, so only around 25% nowadays are "traditional" applicants going straight through after 4 years of UG. All of the issues you raised are the reasons why this number is so low. If you need gap years to be a competitive applicant, you are in very good company.
                   
                  About the Ads
                  This thread is more than 1 year old.

                  Your message may be considered spam for the following reasons:

                  1. Your new thread title is very short, and likely is unhelpful.
                  2. Your reply is very short and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                  3. Your reply is very long and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                  4. It is very likely that it does not need any further discussion and thus bumping it serves no purpose.
                  5. Your message is mostly quotes or spoilers.
                  6. Your reply has occurred very quickly after a previous reply and likely does not add anything to the thread.
                  7. This thread is locked.