MD WAMC? Low GPA, Good MCAT, Strong EC's

genuinously

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May 24, 2020
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  1. Pre-Medical
    Hello!

    I am a recent grad that is planning to apply to medical school (applying MD only) this cycle, taking a gap year in between to continue research remotely at a local SoM (see 6c below) part-time and continue my role as an ER tech (see 5a below) full-time. I believe that while my extracurriculars are pretty good, my sGPA and cGPA are severely lacking, as far as averages go. I had hoped that my MCAT score (514) would help offset this GPA in showing my understanding of the sciences, despite my poor performance in my classwork (see 12 below). I am wondering if I have a shot at getting into an MD school this cycle? I was planning on a list of 20 schools, and while my residence is in CT, I don’t mind going elsewhere in the country, albeit hopefully in more urban settings. I am eager to get back into clinical work in patient care settings through teching this gap year, and I would really love to apply this cycle, but I have also learned that I may be better off doing an SMP, MS, or Post-Bacc (all of which I would need to pay for with loans, as I am hoping to pay off some of my undergrad loans with the money I make this year). I feel pretty at a loss of what to do, and would truly love some advice in this. Here is some info about me:

    1) cGPA: 3.48 sGPA: 3.24, majors Biopsychology and Community Health

    2) MCAT score: 514

    3) State of residence: CT

    4) Ethnicity and/or race: Asian American

    5) Clinical experience (paid and volunteer):

    a) 700+ hours as an ER tech at local Level I Trauma Center

    b) 800+ hours as a volunteer EMT-B

    6) Research experience:

    a) 500+ hours at a psychopharm lab (three years), no publications

    b) 300+ hours at a research company developing neurocognitive assessments, no publications

    c) 160+ hours working on a palliative care messaging and advance care planning project, continuing this opportunity during my upcoming gap year and planning to publish this year.

    7) Shadowing experience: 300+ hours (including entire summer after freshman year) spent shadowing in various clinical and non-clinical depts (Primary care, ophthalmology, OR, L+D, Cardiology, Central Sterile, Food Services, EVS, Operations, Finance…)

    8) Non-clinical volunteering: 48 hours as a community advocate, calling low-income ED patients who demonstrated needs pertaining to social determinants of health (food, childcare supplies such as diapers and furniture, prescription assistance, medical transport, etc.) and connecting them with resources to meet those needs.

    9) Important other extracurricular activities:

    a) RA for three years, Lead RA for final two years

    b) 90 hours working with university Health Services to plan and run substance-free programs and initiatives on campus

    c) 60 hours TAing for Epidemiology course

    d) 140 hours (3 semesters) TAing for EMT-B course

    e) Equestrian team 2 years

    10) Relevant honors or awards: Just Dean’s List most semesters

    11) Medical interests: I am wide open and look forward to my clinical rotations to help me decide. I am extremely interested in working with my hands and participating in procedures (EM, surgery), but I have also learned of the high need for folks in geriatrics and palliative care and would be open to helping out in those fields, too! I also find infectious disease/global health very interesting following my CH coursework.

    12) Anything else not listed you think might be important: I definitely overloaded on extracurriculars throughout the years, eager to help out both on and off campus as well as to work as much as I could to offset the financial burden my schooling took on my family. I piled on a very science-heavy course load because that is what I was used to in high school, but I really didn’t allow myself the time to earn the grades I had hoped for. I also had a personal emergency in fall of my Jr year that led me to withdraw from Orgo, which I later re-took. My cGPA does show a general upward trend 3.5-> 3.1 -> 3.7 -> 3.8 as I learned to ease back on extracurriculars and space out my difficult coursework to allow myself the time to excel in my classes, but I do feel that my cGPA and sGPA are the weakest points of my application. Any guidance is sincerely appreciated.


    Thank you so much in advance for your time in reading this, and eagerly looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
     
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    Faha

    Full Member
    7+ Year Member
    Sep 15, 2012
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    1. Attending Physician
      I suggest these schools with your stats:
      Tufts
      UConn
      Quinnipiac
      Vermont
      Albany
      New York Medical College
      Seton Hall
      Penn State
      Drexel
      Temple
      Jefferson
      George Washington
      Georgetown
      Virginia Commonwealth
      NOVA MD
      TCU-UNT
      Creighton
      Loyola
      Rosalind Franklin
      Medical College Wisconsin
      Western Michigan
      Oakland Beaumont
      Wayne State
      Also apply to at least 6 DO schools and include UNECOM.
       
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      genuinously

      New Member
      May 24, 2020
      3
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      1. Pre-Medical
        I suggest these schools with your stats:
        Tufts
        UConn
        Quinnipiac
        Vermont
        Albany
        New York Medical College
        Seton Hall
        Penn State
        Drexel
        Temple
        Jefferson
        George Washington
        Georgetown
        Virginia Commonwealth
        NOVA MD
        TCU-UNT
        Creighton
        Loyola
        Rosalind Franklin
        Medical College Wisconsin
        Western Michigan
        Oakland Beaumont
        Wayne State
        Also apply to at least 6 DO schools and include UNECOM.

        Hi Faha, thank you so much! I really appreciate you taking the time to construct this list for me. Please do take care!
         
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        CorgiLoaf

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        Sep 27, 2018
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        1. Medical Student
          Just a heads up, I don't think the hours you spent shadowing non-clinical depts (food service, finance, etc.) count towards your physician shadowing hours. In the W/A, the category is "Physician Shadowing/Clinical Observation."
           
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          genuinously

          New Member
          May 24, 2020
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          1. Pre-Medical
            @Archemia Thank you for the heads up! I am yet to tackle W/A. I'm wondering if it's worthwhile to mention shadowing the other departments (which helped me develop a better understanding of hospital systems), maybe in the notes section for the shadowing activity?
             

            CorgiLoaf

            Full Member
            2+ Year Member
            Sep 27, 2018
            349
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            1. Medical Student
              @Archemia Thank you for the heads up! I am yet to tackle W/A. I'm wondering if it's worthwhile to mention shadowing the other departments (which helped me develop a better understanding of hospital systems), maybe in the notes section for the shadowing activity?

              You can definitely mention it, but don't include those hours. If you really want to, you can make an "Other" section and talk about your experiences in the non-clinical parts of the hospital.
               
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