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Tips on how to get started? Adjust myself for pre-med path? FIRST POST

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by working123, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. working123

    2+ Year Member

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    Hello y'all, so I'm currently a rising sophomore at a top 20 university, following the pre-med track.
    I'm undecided on my major although highly considering neuroscience while contemplating a variety of minors.
    In terms of my GPA, I currently have a 3.543 as a result of a less-than-exemplary work ethic and difficult transition. I took Orgo this past year just to get rid of it and while I didn't do bad in the class itself, it resulted in me focusing less in other classes and actually taking 3 instead of 4 during my spring quarter.
    I'm planning to do both bio and physics sequences this year so I can be completely done with pre-med science reqs by junior year and focus on other stuff.
    Aside from academics, I'm involved in 2 EC's that eat up a good chunk of my time. Other than that, all I've done so far is about 30 hours in the ER Clinical department at my local hospital this summer. My issue is that I have been working as an intern at a manufacturing company's lab all summer so I can save up on money for all my personal spending/books and supplies during the school year, leaving me no time to do anything else.

    I just have a bunch of questions really, like what should I do in terms of prepping for med school? Where should my GPA be at? I know I should do research but I'm lost as to when/how I should start. I also know I need hundreds of clinical experience hours but I don't get how I'm suppose to fit that in into a busy academic schedule. What's a good way to plan for the MCAT? LORs? Is going abroad on a trip necessary?? I just really overwhelmed and I need solid advice to take in and follow. I would really appreciate any input at this point.
     
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  3. djsbaseball2014

    2+ Year Member

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    First off... Take a deep breath! I am an upcoming sophomore as well and know how hard it is to jumble all these things around. In terms of your GPA, it is pretty solid right now, just continue to focus and do well in classes. Competitive GPA's are around 3.7 but that should not discourage you from applying to MD schools with below a 3.6 as long as the rest of your application is there. Research should be something you are interested in, i joined a chemistry research lab after my first quarter and absolutely hated it, so I as well am a neuroscience major and will be waiting till spring or winter quarter of this year after i take an upper division neuroscience class, to join in their research. I would just email a professor whose research interests you and then try and meet with them to discuss what you need to do. Hospital Volunteering is a big deal as it shows adcoms a variety of things, the big thing to remember is to not just go through a checklist of EC's because they are "required" they will see right through that. Instead, do things you REALLY enjoy doing and have a passion for. Time management is crucial and thankfully i have gaps in my schedule this quarter so i can go in and volunteer. MCAT you just need to study haha my pln is to follow a 3 month schedule this next summer and then take biochemistry, and then review a little before taking the MCAT. the most important thing to remember is only take the MCAT if you are 100% sure you are ready to. It should only be taken once! Letter of Rec's i would just continue getting close to professors and if you join a lab, there is a good LOR right there! Just stay relaxed and enjoy your undergraduate years. If you make time, everything will fall into place!
     
  4. Pacna

    Pacna Dyslexics, untie!
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    3.8+ is pretty safe, but starting at a 3.5, you'll obviously need higher than that to reach 3.8. Cumulative GPA in the 3.4-3.6 range will necessitate applying to DO schools as well to maintain "safety."

    MCAT - start studying January of junior year, and take the exam in May or early June. I took a TPR prep course, but others are fully able to study independently. Up to you on that.

    Build a rapport with your science professors. Make an effort to be interested and engaged with their classes. Go to office hours somewhat regularly, and talk about more than homework. An easy way I found to do this is to complete an honor's requirement for their course, though this may not be an option for you. You'll have about 6 months after a course ends to get a LoR before the professor forgets you. Ask right after the course ends. ASK IN PERSON.

    Not even a little bit.
     
  5. working123

    2+ Year Member

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    @djsbaseball2014 that's reassuring to know there are others in my feet! Thanks, I will definitely look into LORs with a research lab!

    @Pacna If I finish all the pre-med req classes by the end of my sophomore year, and study during the summer (of 2016), do you think shooting for a September MCAT date is realistic? Or am I getting too ahead of myself. Also, very happy to hear that abroad trips aren't necessary phewwww
     

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