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qwerty751

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I am very concerned about the status of my med school application. For a little background, I was pre-PT until this past year when I decided it wasn't for me so I switched to pre-med. I am technically Biology Pre Med with a minor in psychology. My total GPA is a 3.73 with my science gpa being higher. Recently got a 498 on MCAT and retaking later this month. What concerns me is my apparent lack of work. I am currently shadowing my family physician and I have been working in my schools chemistry lab as a research assistants/TA for 3 years which has taken up a majority of my time this summer and in terms of humanity activities I am apart of a choir that travels around to nursing homes and shelters. But outside of that I have no clinical volunteer experience. I have had a couple of stints of volunteering at soup kitchens and a walk for MS patients, along with some science department activities, but outside of that I have no volunteering in a clinical setting. And I am afraid that it's getting too late for me to do anything about the clinical aspect since I planned on applying once I get my second MCAT score in late August. And I was hoping to not skip a year, but I am afraid my options are slowly going away. And since I joined so late I feel like I haven't been as up to date on what I needed to be doing and with such little time I have had. So is it too late for me for this cycle?
 

JustLookingforAnswers

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It really is never too late to pursue a career in medicine. First, may I ask: what made you decide to not pursue a career in Physical Therapy? Your GPA is excellent and overall is competitive, along with your other extracurricular activities (several years in research, humanity activities, etc). I think your application would be at least competitive for consideration for PT school.
 
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WhoTellsYourStory?

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If I were you I would not apply this cycle. I would not recommend rushing to retake your MCAT score. With such a low score there is probably a lot you need to work on and a month or two is not enough time for that. If your only clinical experience is your current shadowing than that is definitely not enough. In my opinion, you should take at least another year to improve your application. You shouldn't apply to med school until you have the best application possible, which includes MCAT score and ECs.
 
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qwerty751

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It really is never too late to pursue a career in medicine. First, may I ask: what made you decide to not pursue a career in Physical Therapy? Your GPA is excellent and overall is competitive, along with your other extracurricular activities (several years in research, humanity activities, etc).
Ive been injured quite a few times in my life so Ive been around a lot of PTs so I thought it was for me, but after shadowing for a little while I decided I felt I could do more. The problem is I switched pretty late and combined with a lot of other factors Im in the position I am in now. And Im really hoping to not skip a year but if this does not work out I am not sure what other options are there for me.
 

QuestionsAnswers

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Just based on what you've written here, I would highly suggest you 1). apply next year instead of this year. 2). Be *absolutely* certain that you can score significantly higher on your next MCAT. This means taking the time to improve not just a little, but significantly. You ideally should aim for a 510+, but I think even if you can get to 506-508+ you will be in a solid position for DO schools. Can you tell us your section scores for this MCAT?

What reason do you have to think you will score significantly higher at this point? Most people score within a similar range on retakes, and most likely even more so if they haven't done a lot of added prep.

It doesn't sound like you've had enough time to study and correct for whatever it was that caused you to get your current score. What would be very unhelpful is if you were to get a second low score... then you would have a record of 2 low scores to recover from AND you will have to wait a year.

Take your time to put together a good app that will get you into medical school. There is no need to rush and potentially make it much more difficult. Additionally, if you apply (early) next year with a better MCAT, you may have a few schools you can choose from.
 
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Gurby

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And Im really hoping to not skip a year but if this does not work out I am not sure what other options are there for me.

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confidentandgood

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Remember, clinical volunteering doesn't have to take place in a hospital. Hospices and nursing homes are just as helpful in building your familiarity with patient-to-patient interaction. But even with stellar volunteer experience, your MCAT score will hold you back at both MD and DO schools. Your GPA is fine.

I recommend taking a year off to boost clinical experience (your non-clinical looks great) and retake the MCAT (don't take it at the end of the month unless you're positive that your score will increase).

A year before graduate school is not the end of the world. A lot of students do it voluntarily (including myself). You might find yourself enjoying it.
 

thatwouldbeanarchy

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3 things you don't want to do: rush the MCAT, apply late, apply without sufficient clinical exposure.

From the sound of it, you have a strong GPA as well as shadowing and research experience. That's great. But it also sounds like you need significant MCAT prep time. Many schools average scores so that 498 really has the potential to hurt you. It's not a lost cause but you probably shouldn't rush into taking the exam again. Wait until you're consistently getting high scores on full-lengths and have addressed whatever went wrong the first time.

THEN and only then should you address the other gap in your application: getting some exposure to patients. Volunteer at a hospital, nursing home, free clinic, outpatient office or pick up a clinical job like scribing. Don't rush, you have plenty of time and you want to do it right the first time.
 
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