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Trying to gather info for med app

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by gitfiddle2000, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. gitfiddle2000

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    Hello, I'm still pretty green to the information about med schools and I just had a few questions about applying for them.

    I'm about to finish my 3rd semester of college, I'm getting a 4.0 GPA for this semester but my cumulative gpa stands at around 2.95 (I messed around too much the first year) so I should be able to keep up the pace on bringing up my gpa, but what gpa would I want to shoot for before I even think about applying for med school?

    I've had the opportunity of working at a homeless shelter for the past 1.5 years. I'm going to start volunteering some weekends and also an hour or two of my workday and should have no problem reaching a few hundred hours of volunteer work by the time I get my associates.

    What I was wondering is how positively medical schools would look at my time working at the homeless shelter since the majority of my time there is for pay. On top of working with homeless people I work with mentally disabled people as the homeless organization has a division for that also. Would talking about my work with mentally disabled people also be beneficial?

    I have absolutely no experience in a medical environment. How many hours shadowing in a medical environment is usually considered to be in the "good" range? Also how does one go about shadowing a doctor, would I just enter a doctor's office and ask if they allow shadowing?

    Thanks in advance for the replies!
     
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  3. WeAreNotRobots

    WeAreNotRobots doctor of medicine
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    i think at this point, your gpa should be a top priority. it won't look good to come out of an associate's program with sub 3.0, and it will also make it difficult to transfer out.

    here's what you should be shooting for:
    http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/2008/2008mcatgpa.htm

    working with disadvantaged populations is a plus, and you need clinical. if your grades are hurting, then the more of these the better. maybe several hours a week 6 months to a yr. just start talking to doctors at clinics/hospitals/private practice to try to set it up.
     
    #2 WeAreNotRobots, Dec 13, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2008
  4. Mobius1985

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    Congrats on your 4.0 GPA this semester! It's good you realize that your GPA needs to be repaired while you have lots of time to do it. If your GPA is 2.95 after three semesters, then after three additional semesters of 4.0, it will be up to 3.47. many people apply after the sixth semester, but you will still have a GPA below the mean of accepted students (3.66). Unless you get an MCAT in the mid 30s, I'd plan on an additional two semesters of 4.0, to get the GPA up to 3.6 before applying.

    WeAreNotRobots is completely correct that your GPA has to be your top priority. If you are too distracted by your job, volunteering, research, etc and don't get your GPA up into a competitive range, no one will appreciate your fairly unique EC of working in a homeless shelter and having great experience with the mentally disabled (which is "clinical" experience, BTW). As you are paid to work there, you will still need a volunteer experience of some sort, to demonstrate your altruism. If this could be in a hospital, nursing home, or clinic for medically-ill people, that would be best (IMO, about 150 to 200 hours over 1.5-2 years at a pace of 3-4 hours/week is nice to have). When you work in a medical environment, you will meet doctors. They are the ones to ask if you can shadow them. Shadowing time with a single specialist varies from eight to hundreds of hours depending on your interest and the doc's tolerance of your presence. It's nice to do this with more than one specialty, if possible. It's very unlikely you could walk into a strange doctor's office and be given permission to shadow by just asking.
     
  5. gitfiddle2000

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    Thanks for the quick replies, all the info was really helpful so at least I have a bit of a direction now.

    I counted my semesters wrong, I'm a 2.95 after 2 semesters, but after your responses I've pretty much made up my mind for something I've been thinking about.

    I'm at a small community college in a small town (the only college in about 100 miles) so it can only take me so far, but I was thinking about staying at it for an extra semester or two to try and do some gpa repair (plus its at home and cheaper).

    The last part is yes, my job has been a bit distracting lol. Working 30 hours a week and taking 16 credit hours has been hell, but I'm sure i'm just preaching to the choir.

    Once again thanks for the replies, I'll try to make my goal getting over a 3.5 before I leave this college.
     

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