Mar 18, 2010
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Hi everyone, well I'd certainly like to talk about my own profile for applying in summer of 2010. I'd really appreciate any advice you all can give.

For any background info, my GF has been posting on this forum as well, her sn is Mixedfire and also posted questions before and relayed the info she got back to me. So far it's all been invaluable and cannot thank everyone that has contributed to her thread enough!

So here's my story.

GPA: 3.45
- The Backstory- I did transfer to another school after my sophomore year to be closer to my family. During the year of transition, my grades suffered immensely after getting a 3.75 my sophomore year in college. My grades rose slightly after my senior year, but I stayed for a 5th year to complete my degree. At that time, I had found out that I was suffering from anxiety disorder and OCD. After I got myself in treatment during fall of my 5th year, my grade trend rose to a 3.7 that semester and then a 4.0 the following spring. I also took classes after I graduated and still continue to take classes as an open university student, also getting a 4.0 while I've been an open university student.

After my graduation it came to my attention that my parents had kept from me that they had testing done on me as a child and found I had mild autism (aspbergers). They were concerned about my reaction if I found out, but a family friend (who graduated from UCSF) convinced my parents to tell me for sake of possibly talking about it for my applications. Given the situation I was in as a child, I do feel I have made incredibly progress over my life and really made leaps and bounds when I got the proper treatment going in dealing with my OCD and anxiety.

MCAT: I'm taking this in April, so much of my time has been invested in studying. Here is where most of my questions are related to, as I'm not sure what will get me in. I saw the extremely high MCAT scores I'd need to get into many of the schools, though my pre med advisor says that what I see in the MSAR tend to be overstatement of what a candidate would need.

Extracirriculars:
- 1 year as student athletic trainer
- Participated in speical honors program in sophomore year, working with global issues as a think tank, and assisted in fundraising by making speeches to send our honors class to South Africa for humanitarian missions.
- Also participated as a juvenille detention mentor in san franciscp for sophomore year, along as a counselor to juvenille inmates and also backed up their rehabilitation program listings and helped connect the specific rehab programs to the major detention center. Also spent 5 hours a week at the detention center with the inmates in group sessions.
- Helped found a fraternity junior year and served on first judicial committee, was a organizer in scholarship, pledge training, and philanthropy.
- Worked as clinical care extender in Los Angeles for 1 year as a senior.
- Worked at the USC medical school in research for the preventive medicine department in research, elevated to lead organizer in charge of control patient monitoring and also was a data technician for the research project. As a group the staff had a article published and continues to publish. Was there for 2 years.
- Currently working on another research project for scripps research in san diego, CA for the last year on immunosuppresant research.
THere are also other activities I did, but that would make the list pretty long...

Other Background information:
-Mexican background from both parents (father was first generation born, grew up working in migrant camps, mother immigrated from mexico and is a dual citizen), first male from mothers side of family to attend and graduate college.

-Also, do connections help when applying to medical schools? I do have a cousin that graduated from UCSF and family friends who graduated from there too, along with some other prominent doctors from other medical schools.


I know it's a long list, but really my questions are about the MCAT and about my background and back story, and how my profile would look.
Any information and advice is extremely appreciated and and criticism is also welcome (okay be constructive people)

THanks a lot!
-Strike
 

bravofleet4

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i wouldn't include that information regarding your GF...not just for privacy's sake but also b/c it makes you seem a little weak

you can write about you overcoming your problems on your primary app and your personal statement. there is also sometimes a section on the secondary to fill it out. however, the way you describe it, it doesn't really sound like a big deal. i mean lots of people undergo health problems in college due to stress. to me, it sounds like it was having to move back home after only have a little bit of time to adjust to college. that isn't to say though you couldn't embellish a little in how it shaped your volunteer/clinical experiences *cough *cough

your GPA is a little low. generally 30+ is good with high GPA. in your case, it should be higher like maybe 34+? i don't think the connections you listed will help you. however, you are a minority though which makes things a lot easier and not only that but you come from a disadvantaged background. I don't know for sure but that could make a tremendous difference in terms of how competitive you are. medical school are desperate for finding diversity and right now it's plagued by whites/asians/indians.

i think you have good enough leadership, tutoring, research, and clinical experience. You might want to shadow some doctors during spring break or intermittently for 40-80 hours. It's different that just volunteering in the ER b/c you're observing and you can ask questions. It seems to be one of those things that more schools are adding that they want to see and get checked off. If you can, try to get also get a paper published. Many applicants have research experience but only a small fraction actually have a presentation or paper to show for it. It would put you ahead of the others.

So yeah...just wait back for your MCAT. By then you'll have a much clearer picture of where you stand. There's only a few months left before the application cycle starts, so if you plan to apply this cycle, you're standing on okay ground. It's tempting to keep taking on extra EC's near the end, but you really want to nail that MCAT. It can dramatically make up for a low GPA b/c it shows you ultimately know your stuff and deserved all those A's.
 
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Mar 18, 2010
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The info about my gf was only for the forum members as a thank you. I don't intend to include that in my application in any way. Not sure why saying thanks for helping her out makes me weak... But for evrything else, thanks for the input
 
Sep 4, 2006
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You look to have a pretty strong application other than the low cGPA. I don't see physician shadowing mentioned; hopefully you already have that. With a good MCAT score and a rising trend in your earned grades, you could be in a fairly competitive position, assuming a good Personal Statement with smooth handling of the OCD/anxiety issue, supportive Letters of Recommendation, and acceptable interview skills.

Does that cGPA include the coursework taken after graduation? What is your BCMP GPA?

No, your connections won't help you.
 

VTBuc

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If you can get a 30+ on your MCAT and have some solid shadowing experience, your life experiences as well as your URM status will make you a very competitive applicant, in my opinion.
 
Mar 18, 2010
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yeah, I was surprised at first to see that I needed shadowing. Amongst my time spent in all other fields of EC work, it's just something I was really never told about or wasn't really explicitly told to me as needed for the resume.

However, the good thing is I do know about that now and can work to rectify that, which I thank you for. Is it fine to start shadowing and put down on your application that you will continue to shadow a physician or two as you turn in the application?

also, but saying being a mexican in cali may not be completely helpful...is this with california med schools in mind?

Yeah, the GPA listed is with the post undergrad coursework taken, although the post graduation classes have been physics and chemistry. The BCMP isn't as strong however, but also reflects the same upward trend.
 
Mar 18, 2010
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hmm, but can I start shadowing before I apply and also say that I'm continuing to shadow on my application? I'd like to shadow, but I know I wouldn't get in enough time to finish it.

how many hours would it usually take to be considered credible for an application?
 
Mar 18, 2010
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Well, after april 10th MCAT, I'll have a lot of time to spend with doctors, so I'm sure I can get some good time in, especially since I'd only have classes 3 days a week.

thanks very much for the advice
 
Mar 18, 2010
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cool, it'll be an interesting expereince for sure, although I am curious as to why you'd suggest a primary care physician