To apply or wait?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by gsims2, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. gsims2

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    Just looking for some real advice here. As of right now I am studying for the MCAT and plan on taking it and applying this semester. I graduate in the fall. My question is this. I have a ~3.65 GPA, 1.5 years of research, a great LOR from that professor and a great LOR from a physician. ~60 shadowing ~200 clinical volunteering ~200 nonclinical volunteering. I worked 20-30 hours a week all throughout college and I recently got a job as a scribe in the ER. I am a white male, 22 YO and I live in Texas. I feel like as of right now I have a pretty average application and with the amount of time I have to study for the MCAT I feel like that will be about average as well. With these stats, would you personally go ahead and apply this cycle or wait and have an outstanding application for the next cycle?
     
  2. stairway2seven

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    Is your physician LOR from the shadowing opportunity? I've heard those don't hold much weight since they're always extremely positive and often don't tell much about you. A LOR from the ED position would be much more beneficial since you're working closely with a physician.

    I'm sure you're aware but studying for classes, working and taking on the MCAT is extremely difficult. You could very well be an outlier and get a great score but in my experience, this is not a recipe for success. Your GPA is good enough at many schools but it's nothing spectacular. I think your app will be improved significantly with a great MCAT score and the best way to do that is to have a devoted amount of time to study for it.

    I was in a similar position (3.6 GPA, taking MCAT as I was about to graduate) but pushed back my test because I just wasn't getting the scores I wanted. This resulted in me taking 2 gap years and it was a great decision for me because I was able to add a lot of experiences to my app and get a great MCAT score.

    TLDR: No, push back your MCAT date, study hard, get a great score, add some more experiences, apply later with stronger app.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    gsims2

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    The LOR is from a family friend that's an MD that we've known for many years. But yes, that is my thought process as well. Thank you for the advice!
     
  4. Goro

    Faculty Verified Expert 7+ Year Member

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    You should apply when you have the best possible app.
     
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  5. differentiating

    differentiating tu fui, ego eris.
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    Have you worked with this MD in any capacity, or are they just writing you a letter because you’re a family friend? I doubt the latter would do much to help your application unless that person had particular clout at a medical school or something along those lines.
     
  6. OP
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    gsims2

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    Most of my shadowing has come from him but that's about it. Other than that I would say no to any work related relationship.
     
  7. differentiating

    differentiating tu fui, ego eris.
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    Then I wouldn’t plan on using this letter, except for particular schools who require a physician letter (if any). It doesn’t sound like it would add anything to your application.
     
  8. OP
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    gsims2

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    So in essence you would say to wait and build a better app?
     
  9. ClamShell

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    How prepared are you for the MCAT as of now?
     
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  10. differentiating

    differentiating tu fui, ego eris.
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    Not necessarily - I’d just focus on asking for LORs from individuals who know you in a supervisory capacity (professor, research mentor, extracurricular mentor, etc.). Without an MCAT, it’s difficult to advise either way, so it depends on what you feel is realistic.
     
  11. stickgirl390

    stickgirl390 I tell chemistry jokes periodically.
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    Kinda depends on your MCAT score. Assuming you apply broadly to the correct schools, you could apply this cycle. Your GPA is on the lower side so it really does depend on your MCAT
     
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  12. ReggieVeggie

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    Was in a similar situation to OP two years ago. I decided to take one gap year to add something new and different to my application. I liked what I was doing and decided to take an additional gap year. These two years have given me tons of material to talk about during interviews and have (in my opinion) been a key factor in having a good app cycle.
     
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  13. OP
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    gsims2

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    Im
    95% through with content review (kaplan books) but have yet to take a full length practice. I planned on taking my first FL 2/17.
     
  14. OP
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    gsims2

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    My GPA would be around 3.8 but my first semester I got a 3.0 due to my own ignorance. Every semester since I have had at least a 3.4 or higher. Im not sure if that matters, just throwing it out there.
     
  15. Ad2b

    Ad2b SDN Gold Donor
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    MCAT > GPA in many cases; I think you've answered your own question and that's been supported by a sitting adcom (you feel average, adcom says apply with best application)

    At 22, you've plenty of time to make an excellent app. Why not do that? Then you're not average, or middling. To me, not an adcom or any sort of professional advice giver, it shows maturity that you took another year to shore up any perceived weaknesses on your side and put your best foot forward. And that, I have to think, plays very well into interviews.
     
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  16. golfman7

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    Based on how I did your fine if you do well on MCAT... gpa is good and have good experience. Aim for 29 or higher or whatever new scale is and I think you will get into a Texas MD or DO. I had 3.7/28 with worse ECs and got two interviews still... probably would have gotten in if I had interviewed better. I think if you do well on MCAT you should apply in June.
     
  17. golfman7

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    I think his GPA is competitive... he is in Texas and is around average for some schools again MCAT will be important... will determine whether he can apply or not.
     

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