rocketman0314

Member?
7+ Year Member
Jul 29, 2009
87
1
San Diego
Status
Pre-Medical
Hello All,

I could really use some advice. I am not sure where I stack up amongst other possible med school students, and would like to have some opinions of my current stats.

Age: 32
School: UCSD, currently going into 4th year as a biochemistry/cell biology major

Overall GPA: 3.84
Science GPA: 3.86

Mcat: Not taken yet

Research: I have been working in a neuropathology lab for the last six months ,and will continue to work there.
Previously worked in a chemosensory perception laboratory for 1 quarter

Volunteer work: I have organized warm clothing drives, I have gone into many hospitals and institutions (~100) to speak about the dangers and effects of drugs and alcohol to people who have problems with them.

I am not sure what to do with myself. I have always wanted to be a doctor. Just thought it was too lofty a dream to achieve.
If I were to continue doing research, possibly stay at UCSD for an extra 1 1/2 years and recieve a masters degree, and do some more volunteer work, do you believe I could get into a decent medical school?

Any help or advice is truly appreciated.

S
 
Jun 20, 2009
74
0
Status
Medical Student
Decide if you want to be a doctor first.

If you do, get some clinical experience this year, take the MCAT and apply.

I was the same way. I sucked in high school, flipped burgers for 8 years till I decided I wanted to take to be a primary school science teacher cause I secretly hated my job even though it paid well and I always liked Bill Nye. With a 3.6 in community college upward trending to a 3.84 at a tier 1 university, I realized I was a much better student than alot of the pre-meds taking the same classes as me and considered being a doctor as an option the summer after my junior year.

Shadowed a doctor that summer, realized this was what I wanted to do, etc. etc. I started hospital volunteering then and now I'm starting med school in August.

Remember to apply early. I didn't and regret it for peace of mind, because I think some schools just take your money unless you apply early, and because I'd have liked a shot at applying to a high ranked school. You can't even apply to most of the top 40 unless you get the secondary in by mid-november/december 1. Can't say anything about your chances, I think its a crapshoot though I had a several acceptances.
 
Last edited:

gman33

Moderator Emeritus
10+ Year Member
Aug 18, 2007
2,188
495
Status
Attending Physician
Don't waste your time with a grad degree. Your grades are good and it won't do much of anything to help your chances at med school.

Get some clinical experience ASAP. You should have around 200 hours of patient contact by the time you apply.

Take the MCAT very seriously. That is the only thing that will keep you out.

Make sure you apply to a bunch of well selected schools outside of CA. Med school is very competitive there and many well qualified applicants do not get in.

My main advice is to just make sure this is what you want before you go down this path. It can be a big pain in the butt and you have to have good motivation to keep you going. If you can find something else that will make you happy, I'd probably do that.
 
OP
rocketman0314

rocketman0314

Member?
7+ Year Member
Jul 29, 2009
87
1
San Diego
Status
Pre-Medical
I don't think anything else would make me happy. I have tried so many other things. I have just been "nervous" to succeed I think. Screw it, I'm going for it. It will be the best decision I ever made. I am confused about when I should apply. What time of year, and when should I take the MCAT exam?

Thanks.
 

Random Anesthesiologist

Random Anesthesiologist
10+ Year Member
Mar 16, 2008
1,543
304
I don't think anything else would make me happy. I have tried so many other things. I have just been "nervous" to succeed I think. Screw it, I'm going for it. It will be the best decision I ever made. I am confused about when I should apply. What time of year, and when should I take the MCAT exam?

Thanks.
Since your grades are pretty great, I second the advice on getting clinical exposure by shadowing. You can start now and rack up the hours.

Take your MCAT next March/April/May and apply EARLY, meaning get your AMCAS/AACOMAS (don't know if you are thinking of both MD and DO) filled out within a few days and submit.

The earlier you submit your applications and have your MCAT score, the earlier you get secondary applications and chances for interviews.

Depending on your MCAT score, apply broadly, but only where you know you'd like to go.

Good luck!
 

2010houston

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Jun 17, 2009
314
101
Status
Attending Physician
Also, if you really want to apply early, have your personal statement and extracurriculars already listed, and your personal copies of your transcripts already in your hands, so that you can submit AMCAS/AACOMAS close after when they open.
 
OP
rocketman0314

rocketman0314

Member?
7+ Year Member
Jul 29, 2009
87
1
San Diego
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks so much for all the wonderful advice. I have yet another question. Do you think I should focus on shadowing a doctor in lieu of volunteering in the neuropathology lab I currently work in? I don't think I have enough time to do both. Thanks.
 
OP
rocketman0314

rocketman0314

Member?
7+ Year Member
Jul 29, 2009
87
1
San Diego
Status
Pre-Medical
Where exactly should I go or what should I do to gain clinical exposure? Should I just go to the local hospital and ask to shadow a doctor? What would be my best method for attacking this. It sounds really fun actually.
Thanks.
 
Jul 29, 2009
1
0
Status
Medical Student
Your neuropath lab PI will probably have contacts / suggestions about who you could shadow. If you think that you know what field of medicine you're interested in you could email individual physicians and ask to shadow them, but you should expect to maybe hear back from 1 in 10 of them. Most docs at the san diego VA (UCSD) are quite approachable. If you're interested in cardiac, you can specifically contact Dr. Alan Maisel.

UCSD also has a volunteer program, I know that you can work in the Emergency Department and gain clinical exposure. This is probably the best long-term way to get some clinical exposure. Oh also there's a student-run free clinic that I think sometimes take undergrad volunteers. That's a great place to learn.

Also I know that someone wrote 200 hours of clinical contact, and I wouldn't be tied to that goal, but any program wants to know that you unnderstand what the life of a doctor is and that you're willing to go along with it.
 
OP
rocketman0314

rocketman0314

Member?
7+ Year Member
Jul 29, 2009
87
1
San Diego
Status
Pre-Medical
That's some great stuff. I will ask my PI. He is a nice guy. Can you point me in the direction of that volunteer program you are talking about?