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Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by eppe9828, Dec 8, 2008.
1) It's important, sure, but your GPA is far from "bad." It's at or just below the average for most schools, and certainly isn't in the "unacceptable" range for any of them. It will always help to bump it up a bit, but you're far from needing to worry yet.
2) It sounds as if you've got the clinical experience mostly covered. Some sort of leadership experience (becoming an officer in a club, for example) would look nice.
3) Research is good and will certainly always help your app, but it's only necessary if you've got your sights set on a top 20 school or somewhere that emphasizes research heavily. If you're genuinely interested, go for it; if not, it sounds like your ECs are strong as is.
4) I think some sort of volunteerism/altruism would certainly look good on any app; seeing as you have the clinical side covered, you could also always try volunteering somewhere outside of medicine like Habitat for Humanity or feeding the homeless or something like that. Or you could try to make some of that time you work volunteer hours too. Again, your ECs sound solid as is, but if you wanted to buff them up, this would be an option.
You've obviously got a lot on your plate, so I don't think it's necessary to more add volunteering. Med schools just want volunteering to show that you know what life is like on the wards - you've more than got that covered already, so i doubt that volunteering is going to add much to your experience. I do volunteering, and all I do is get the patients water, clean up their mess, change linens, wheel them around in wheelchairs, help them change diapers, etc. Not much to add to things like shadowing, working in a gastroenterologist's office, etc. Your 20 hrs/week is plenty.
Research is always nice, but like I said, don't add to your already packed schedule. It's not really 'necessary' either. Next quarter, just keep doing what you're doing but raise the grades a little. You might even consider cutting back on the number of hours of clinical work. You still have another year and a half to do all the clinical work you want - why pack in 20 hrs/ week now, when you can get the same cumulative number of hours later, and have more time to study?
Your grades aren't as bad as you make them seem - they're about average for med school matriculants. Combined with all the clinical work you have, I think you're doing just fine. Hard quarters happen. But overall, I think you're still doing well. And if you want to add research, if that's an interest, then why not? Make sure to find your balance first, however.
Sure! There are people who got into med schools with much lower GPAs than a 3.6 who are doing fine
I wanted to thank you again for your advice and input.
To keep you updated, I ended up with an A in organic chemistry this semester
You're fine. Just do well on your MCAT and you'll most likely get into a US med school
Agree totally with this. Definately try to do some volunteer - maybe in the summer when school is done. And don't sweat your GPA - its very good. Maybe tell the GI clinic you need to cut back for you grades.?.?
I would HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend taking the KAPLAN MCAT prep class prior to your MCAT. It's a thousand bucks or so and about a month long, but it if you consider that people who take that test do better on their MCAT and are more likely to get accepted to medical school (i.e. a future doctor, where you will likely make 200K+/year), the cost is a bargain. The MCAT is by far the #1 thing med schools look at when evaluating allicants. I had a 3.9 undergrad GPA, volunteer, research, and worked as a nurse assistant in college, and got "ok" MCATs (27 - didn't take the Kaplan class). I ended up choosing a DO/osteopathic school over my home MD/allopathic school (accepted to both) because they had a great structure and acted like they at least wanted me to be there, which is more than I can say for my home school. But anyways, my point is that if I would have had a 30+ score on my MCAT I would have probably got in anywhere. And I imagine if you got a 30+ MCAT you could probably get in anywhere as well
Good luck. Take the KAPLAN class and ace the MCAT. Take it twice if your not happy with your scores. One test has never meant so much to your future. Just remember - once you get into med school, your golden. It's getting there that's the hard part.
So untrue. If this were true, I wouldn't be thinking about a reapp right now.
If you did all those things and had a 30+ I imagine the only thing you didn't do was apply to more programs. Or there was something during the interview that they didn't like. Did you apply to very competitive schools?
Put another way, it might not be enough to get a 30+ on the MCAT. There are also politics involved in who gets accepted to med school. A disproportionate number have family/parents who are docs.
I would appreciate more of your opinion and/or experience.
An addendum to this, having read your stats on the attached link, is that you are a very good applicant. Did you do any research, do any international/overseas medicine, volunteer, medical field work? If you are applying only to such competitive schools, you need probably all of those or more. And the truth is, a lot of applicants don't get in straight out of college and have to get a master's or PhD. That might be somewhat of the reality at the programs you are applying to. And again, with a lot of things, it's who you know. Do you know anyone who can call the med school / dean of admissions on your behalf? But good stats. I imagine you will be a great colleague someday.
I perhaps should have applied more broadly and I may have found more more success; it is impossible to say. I've done 3+ years of research and I have a 2nd author on a publication. I've done some, not a lot, of shadowing, and I've done some emergency department volunteering. I also instructed an MCAT class for underrepresented students (~90hrs, paid) I go to a low/middle tier state undergrad and there are no doctors in my (entire) family, both of which are surely hurting me right now. I have never gone abroad, however I've always held the opinion that one doesn't need to go half way across the world to make a difference and help people.
Sadly, I do not have anyone who can pull strings for me. Such is life I just have to keep my head up and hoping for the best, just like everyone else. Thanks for the supportive comments.
Your application sounds even better the more you go on. I would just apply to more programs this year, in addition to some of the ones you did previously. And I would apply broadly across the map - Emory, Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado, UW, Case Western, Indiana, Baylor have excellent reputations. Also all the schools in Cali. And I would definately apply to places you would have a very high likelihood of getting into (i.e. lower tier). Not that you would have to, but you could apply to an osteopathic school or two. With your grades/MCAT, you might be able to swing a scholarship at one of those places. There is also a new med school opening in central Florida this year - they are enticing good applicants by offering free tuition to the first graduating class (apparently got a lot of excellent applicants), but this was/is a one time deal.
I could probably guarantee you would get into my home state's medical school. And the med students there have it CAKE compared to many places (no call on rotations, lots of education, lots of free meals, easy parking, etc., etc.). They are great medical students, don't get me wrong, and the training is excellent, just not a super competitive place (as far as med school goes.
But as far as having to reapply, a similar situation can happen when med students apply for residencies and fellowships. A common mistake is applying only to 5-10 places, only highly competitive ones, or only going on a couple interviews. The reality is you have no idea what they want, and they might already have their applicants picked in their minds, so you gotta branch out. For example, when applying to residencies, most med student apply to 30+ programs and go on 10-15 interviews. This is even though over 90% land one of their top 3 choices! You need to have "insurance" with just about everything you do, right (car, health, dental, etc)? Applying to med school is no different. Unfortunately time consuming and expensive, but worth it in the end. You could really sell the research, publications, teaching, volunteering stuff on your interviews I imagine.
Also, make sure that someone with a strong grasp of proper English (such as an English major, who is way to picky for all practical purposes) reads your app and personal statement. ANY incorrect grammer or mis-spelling could be a nail in the coffin.
That's about all I can offer. Send me a PM if you have any questions about any of the above.
next time i freakin see "discouraged" it better be someone with a 3.4 or below -_-
Dude your GPA looks solid and with a couple more semesters under your belt you will definitly raise it a bit.
When it comes to ECs the way I have tried to approach it is take the school year to focus on classes maybe to a few things but nothing major. With your job that seems more than enough and like others have said, maybe take a cut in hours.
But then in summer you are really able to do a lot of stuff with so much free time, that is if you dont take classes. Volunteering is great, I work with the Salvation Army and they always need volunteers. Research, I would only do it if you are really interested in the topic and there are a lot of summer fellowships out there. Ive actually been doing research with a surgeon and it has been great. He works at Kiaser Permanente and there maybe opportunities at other KP facilities if you look into it. They really stress research to all their doctors.
But dude dont be sad, The Sooners are in the championship game! And if you are at Oregon the Ducks won the Holiday Bowl!
I am a senior, here are my stats:
3.31 cumulative GPA
3.19 science GPA
I have a definite upward trend in my grades, my last 3 semesters I made dean's list and this past semester (which included biochemistry and molecular biology) I made straight A's.
My ECs include:
President of a Pre-Med organization for 3 semesters, Research Assistant for 2 years (I will submit my article for publication this spring), Tutor at a Prep School for a year, shadowing a doctor for a year and a half, and Teacher Assistant in a science and medicine program a for high school students for a year.
I am wondering if I have a good chance of getting into a school with these numbers, i am also a URM.
If not, would a year-long accelerated Master's program starting this Fall increase my chances of gaining acceptance. Or should I instead put my focus into increasing my MCAT score over the next year.