MD WAMC - 4.0, 520, limited clinical experience, Canadian with US citizenship

Mar 30, 2021
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Hello SDN! I'm a Canadian applicant with US citizenship. I just finished a cycle of applying to Canadian schools and I'm gearing up to apply to American schools. I'm quite unfamiliar with how the American system works so I wanted to ask everyone here for advice on that! I also just recently finished my list of schools that I want to apply to, and I'd love to know WAMC at finding success with them.

State/Country of Residence: Born in NY, live in Canada.

Ties to other States/Regions: No

URM? (Y/N): No, I'm ORM

Year in School: Entering 4th year

Undergraduate Major(s)/Minor(s): Health Sciences

Graduate Degrees (if applicable): None

Cumulative GPA: 4.0

Science GPA: 4.0

MCAT: 520 (fairly even distribution)

Research Experience: 4 summers of research (1500+ hours), 1 "best poster award" at a student symposium, but no publications

Publications/Abstracts/Posters (include how you were credited e.g. first author, second author, etc.): 2 research posters at student symposiums, 1 oral presentation at a student symposium

Clinical Experience (paid or volunteer): None :( (does shadowing and/or research experience count here?)

Physician Shadowing: 100 hours shadowing a neurosurgeon

Non-Clinical Volunteering: 1 year of playing music for seniors during high school (100 hours), 3 years as president of a musical volunteering club helping vulnerable kids (300 hours), 3 years as cofounder of a tutoring nonprofit (200 hours), 3 years as a homeless shelter volunteer (300 hours), 2 years as participant and program assistant for a homelessness service-learning experience at my university (100 hours), 3 years doing student's union committee work (100 hours), 1 year Kids Help Phone (50 hours)

Other Extracurricular Activities: Ranked nationally in music competitions (several awards)

Other Employment History: 5 years as an academic tutor, 2 years as a music teacher

Immediate family members in medicine? (Y/N): Yes

Specialty of Interest (if applicable): None

Interest in Primary Care (Y/N): Unknown

Interest in Rural Health (Y/N): Unknown

School List (ranked in order of preference):
• Columbia (Vagelos)
• Harvard
• Stanford
• NYU
• Yale
• UPenn
• Mayo Clinic
• Northwestern
• Vanderbilt
• Duke
• UCSF
• UCLA
• Icahn @ Mount Sinai
• UChicago (Pritzker)

What are my chances at the above schools given my (sad) lack of clinical experience as a Canadian? I'm mainly concerned about my lack of clinical experience but I would love opinions on how much the above schools care about that. Have a great day everyone!
 
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Jan 12, 2020
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I'll say it before the moderators / wise posters say it: you will not get interviews (or very many) with ZERO clinical experience. A gap year would probably do you wonders to fill in that seemingly only gap in your app.
 
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Mar 30, 2021
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I'll say it before the moderators / wise posters say it: you will not get interviews (or very many) with ZERO clinical experience. A gap year would probably do you wonders to fill in that seemingly only gap in your app.
Thanks for your input! Is it true that shadowing and research experience (both of which I do have) can compensate for a lack of hospital/clinic volunteering?
 
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Thanks for your input! Is it true that shadowing and research experience (both of which I do have) can compensate for a lack of hospital/clinic volunteering?
That's a big Fat NO! Without ANY clinical experience, your file will most likely marked as "I'm going into medical school for research purpose, not for taking care of people"
 
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KendallJennerSniperLady69

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Echoing previous posters that you need to delay applying for at least a year to get that clinical experience.

Your school list is literally the best schools in the US, meaning there's a very high chance that even with clinical hours you will not get in anywhere.

Your stats are a dime-a-dozen at those schools
 
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Echoing previous posters that you need to delay applying for at least a year to get that clinical experience.

Your school list is literally the best schools in the US, meaning there's a very high chance that even with clinical hours you will not get in anywhere.

Your stats are a dime-a-dozen at those schools
Exactly! If you don't have any patient contact and your whole app is based off of research, they'll be wondering why not just PhD if you just want to do research? IMHO clinical experience is the best way to showcase your commitment to the field of medicine.
 
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Faha

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Accumulate 200+ hours of clinical volunteering or employment with patient contact before you apply. You will also need to apply to some schools that are not as competitive as the ones you listed.
 
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Mr.Smile12

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Thanks for your input! Is it true that shadowing and research experience (both of which I do have) can compensate for a lack of hospital/clinic volunteering?
Your application would be DOA with no clinical experience. Shadowing for some of my faculty without any other patient facing interaction puts you in an auto deny pile.
 
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Banco

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To play devil's advocate, a recent poster with similar stats came back to update us that he was accepted without any clinical experience and only shadowing. He received 3 IIs and 1 A, and was not an international. So while I won't say it's impossible, you should temper your expectations if you apply with no clinical experience. It's already harder for canadians in general.

The rest of your application is obviously fantastic. I think if you had some clinical experience your current list wouldn't be so unrealistic (though you will need mid-tiers and safeties too).
 
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candbgirl

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To play devil's advocate, a recent poster with similar stats came back to update us that he was accepted without any clinical experience and only shadowing. He received 3 IIs and 1 A, and was not an international. So while I won't say it's impossible, you should temper your expectations if you apply with no clinical experience. It's already harder for canadians in general.

The rest of your application is obviously fantastic. I think if you had some clinical experience your current list wouldn't be so unrealistic (though you will need mid-tiers and safeties too).
OP has US citizenship so he’s probably applying as a US citizen.
OP how did you do in your Canadian application cycle?
 

Banco

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OP has US citizenship so he’s probably applying as a US citizen.
OP how did you do in your Canadian application cycle?

Ah sorry, missed that. Though the detail doesn't change much practically.
 
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OP has US citizenship so he’s probably applying as a US citizen.
OP how did you do in your Canadian application cycle?

I applied to 5 schools, received two IIs, and am waiting to hear back in early May. However, it seems that the Canadian system is quite different compared to the American system so I'm not sure what significance this holds.
 

candbgirl

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I applied to 5 schools, received two IIs, and am waiting to hear back in early May. However, it seems that the Canadian system is quite different compared to the American system so I'm not sure what significance this holds.
I’m sure it is different but if you're accepted in May, will you still apply to US schools? If you are accepted by a Canadian school when would you start classes?
 
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I’m sure it is different but if you're accepted in May, will you still apply to US schools? If you are accepted by a Canadian school when would you start classes?
In the event that I am accepted in May, then I won't apply to US schools. I think I'll skip this upcoming USMD cycle and build up my clinical experience following everyone's advice here. That would also give me another chance to give Canada a shot.
 
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