WAMC 3.7/516 - Deciding to apply now or wait another year

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2+ Year Member
Oct 22, 2019
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Hey everyone! I'm all set to apply early this cycle - completed my personal statement, pre-wrote secondaries, got great LoR's, etc. - however, I'm a little concerned about my non-clinical volunteering and clinical hours. Unfortunately the pandemic put a lot of my EC's on hold (my fault for starting them late in undergrad), so I was wondering if taking an extra year to beef up my app would be worth it.

cGPA 3.72, sGPA 3.59 (upward trend), 516 (129/127/130/130), Asian, NJ Resident, ties to NY

- Genomics lab(1500+ hrs)
- Public health research (300 hrs)
- Biomedical research (300+ hrs so far, continuing into gap year)
- From all these labs, I'm currently a co-author on 3 manuscripts that will be submitted soon, but definitely won't be published by application time - I was hoping I could send update letters if they are published

- Volunteer scribe in a pediatric clinic (200 hrs), primary care setting for underserved
- Paid clinical research assistant (250 hrs) - it's research but my tasks were clinical (administer patients' treatment, take vitals, etc.)
- Temporary CNA in nursing home during COVID (~75 hrs), only worked for a few weeks and stopped once the virus started spreading through the facility

- Orthopedic/trauma surgery (70 hrs)
- Addiction physician (15 hrs), primary care setting

Non-Clinical Volunteering:
- Volunteer tutor (60 hrs), specialized high school for immigrants
- Animal shelter (40 hrs)
- Food bank during COVID (70 hrs)

- Photography (~1500 hrs): freelance business for weddings, events, etc. I was also a staff photographer at my school's newspaper for a year.
- Part-time in-class tutor at an elementary school (~150 hrs)
- Hobbies: classical piano and guitar, powerlifting

Gap Year Plans (not on my app): I'm starting as a diagnostic lab tech at a COVID testing center, and will begin working as an ED scribe once everything returns to normal

School List So Far:
Reach: NYU/NYU LI, Mt. Sinai, Cincinnati, Case Western, Ohio State, Pittsburgh, Boston U, Hofstra, Dartmouth, Keck
Target: Rutgers RWJ/NJMS, Cooper, Seton Hall, Albert Einstein, Rochester, Stony Brook, Western Michigan, Albany, NYMC, Thomas Jefferson, Emory, Drexel, Temple, Rosalind Franklin, Tufts, Quinnipiac, Loyola, George Washington, Colorado, Vermont

If I wait another year, I'll have significantly more clinical and volunteer hours, and would likely have some pubs as well. But waiting another year, especially since I have everything prepared for this cycle, just seems exhausting.


Admissions advisor
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10+ Year Member
Oct 14, 2011
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One can always add more hours, so I'm not so concerned about waiting another cycle if necessary. On face value, everything looks okay, even your clinical exposure and community service/volunteer hours (at least it meets expectations) for an application in the imminent cycle. Have you reached out to admissions recruiters and students attending schools (AMSA chapter officers) high on your wish list?