JJ384

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Hey everyone,

I just discovered this forum, and what can I say? You guys are doing an awesome job! I wish I found out this forum sooner because it has tons of helpful resources. Anyways, I wanted to seek some advice from you. :)

I am currently a third year biology major at UCLA. I have an overall GPA of 3.7 and a science GPA of 3.5. I already took the MCAT and received a score of 33(10V, 12B, 11P). What draws me back from applying this year is the extracurricular activites. I looked at the AMCAS application, and I believe it asks for 15 extracurricular activities. I have been involved in clinical research for 2 years (1 publication), two summer volunteer work at medical center and 3 years of community service with leadership experience. Now that is only three things I can list on the AMCAS application! I am wondering if I should wait for another year, and strengthen this area. I really don't mind taking a year off if that will significantly strenghthen my application. I am particularly interested in California schools but I will be more than happy to go to any medical school!

Has anyone been in the same shoes? I would appreciate your input. Thank you!
 

VeggieGal

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med schools care about quality not quantity. it sounds like your stuff is pretty quality. you don't have to use all 15 spaces either. i would make sure that i had adequate clinical experience before applying because that can really hurt you if you don't.
 

javert

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To paraphrase Woody Allen: "It's not the quantity of your extra curriculars that counts. It's the quality. On the other hand if the quantity drops below once every eight months, I would definitely look into it." :D

Seriously though, quality comes before quantity.

Now, has all 3 years of that community service been doing the same thing with the same organization? If your involvement changed or if the organization you were working with changed, you may want to split it up into separate activites...not to boost the numbers but to give yourself space to adequately describe your involvement (the space on AMCAS is rediculously short for each activity).
 

Ambs

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VeggieGal said:
med schools care about quality not quantity. it sounds like your stuff is pretty quality. you don't have to use all 15 spaces either. i would make sure that i had adequate clinical experience before applying because that can really hurt you if you don't.
I completely agree with this.

To the OP: Your experiences sound excellent. You've been involved in your community for a number of years, and that speaks much louder than being involved in a handful of activities for brief periods. As said earlier, you don't have to fill out all 15 spaces, but I think you can separate or further break up the activities you've been doing. If you began activity X as position Y and moved up within this activity, then you can always use two spaces as opposed to one. Also, AMCAS only gives you 500 characters (I think) to work with in describing your activity. It would be hard, at least for me, to describe an activity I did for three years in 500 characters. Hence, split the activity up in more spaces.

Your GPA, MCAT, and experiences are terrific. Lastly, I would like the above poster, highly recommend that you get involved in the clinical setting working with patients if you haven't done so already. I found that interviewers really liked my extensive clinical background. It's only March -- you have a lot of time yet to get your hands on clinical, which you can continue throughout this application year.

I would say go ahead and apply this year! Good luck to you! :luck:
 

Ambs

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EDIT: Just read your post again. I see that you DO have clinical experience through volunteering at medical centers. You have a ton of research (congrats on the publication!), clinical setting experience, and lots of community service. Dude, YOU'RE GOLDEN! Apply!

You can list your community service in like two spaces and use a third maybe to list your leadership within that community service. PM me if you have any questions!

Also - you can list your clinical research as one activity, your publication as another, and any other special honors/grants/awards associated with your research as, yes, another activity.

Best wishes!
 

Kazema

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15 is the upper limit, not the requirement. Go ahead and apply, you look set to get in somewhere this coming cycle.
 

LauraMac

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i would definitely apply now. the ECs you do have are GREAT!

as for other things to add, maybe you can add dean's list as a category or maybe if you were in any clubs, even if you didn't have leadership roles, you could add that stuff.

good luck!
 

Cryptonacious

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remember those 15 activities also include honors, awards, publications, conferences, etc. For example, I included a research fellowship I received as one activity, described my research experience as another activity, listed publication as another, conference as another, etc. etc. catch my drift?!? any scholarships u may have can count as another activity, etc. etc. goodluck!

UCLAstudent said:
Apply. You'll be fine. Good luck! :)
 

Code Brown

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JJ384 said:
Hey everyone,

I just discovered this forum, and what can I say? You guys are doing an awesome job! I wish I found out this forum sooner because it has tons of helpful resources. Anyways, I wanted to seek some advice from you. :)

I am currently a third year biology major at UCLA. I have an overall GPA of 3.7 and a science GPA of 3.5. I already took the MCAT and received a score of 33(10V, 12B, 11P). What draws me back from applying this year is the extracurricular activites. I looked at the AMCAS application, and I believe it asks for 15 extracurricular activities. I have been involved in clinical research for 2 years (1 publication), two summer volunteer work at medical center and 3 years of community service with leadership experience. Now that is only three things I can list on the AMCAS application! I am wondering if I should wait for another year, and strengthen this area. I really don't mind taking a year off if that will significantly strenghthen my application. I am particularly interested in California schools but I will be more than happy to go to any medical school!

Has anyone been in the same shoes? I would appreciate your input. Thank you!
You are set! The only thing I would see if I could do in your case would be to see if you can set up some kind of TA position for the fall. However, not having this will in no way harm your application. Also, these 15 EC's include any work experience you may have and any clubs you are/were involved in (including intramural sports and the like).

You have nothing to worry about. Good luck!
 

Crake

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Since you just found SDN, just a word of advice:

Starting a post about how you wonder if your 3.7/33 with years of community service, volunteering, research with publications, etc is good enough to apply to medschool might rub some people the wrong way. Obviously if you're above the national average for matriculating students in every single category of your application, you should apply; asking for advice with those stats looks like showing off.
 

OSUdoc08

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JJ384 said:
Hey everyone,

I just discovered this forum, and what can I say? You guys are doing an awesome job! I wish I found out this forum sooner because it has tons of helpful resources. Anyways, I wanted to seek some advice from you. :)

I am currently a third year biology major at UCLA. I have an overall GPA of 3.7 and a science GPA of 3.5. I already took the MCAT and received a score of 33(10V, 12B, 11P). What draws me back from applying this year is the extracurricular activites. I looked at the AMCAS application, and I believe it asks for 15 extracurricular activities. I have been involved in clinical research for 2 years (1 publication), two summer volunteer work at medical center and 3 years of community service with leadership experience. Now that is only three things I can list on the AMCAS application! I am wondering if I should wait for another year, and strengthen this area. I really don't mind taking a year off if that will significantly strenghthen my application. I am particularly interested in California schools but I will be more than happy to go to any medical school!

Has anyone been in the same shoes? I would appreciate your input. Thank you!

To not apply to med schools now would be silly. If you don't get in, you could always reapply, but I promise you will get in if you apply to the right places. You have MORE than enough extracurricular experience---the "15 blanks" are not mandatory. In fact, it may be detrimental to you if you feel all of them out---it shows a lack of commitment.