WAMC/School list: cGPA 3.41 (UCLA GPA 3.29, post-bacc GPA 4.0), MCAT 524

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Apr 29, 2023
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Hi there!

So I posted previously last year thinking I was going to apply, but after hearing feedback from here and talking it over with some friends and family, I decided to do a one-year post-bacc at Keck Graduate Institute in Claremont, and I am so happy I made that decision. Was able to excel in my classes, had some amazing experiences, and met some lifelong friends. That being said, I'd love some feedback on my initial school list!

For some context, I was struggling a bit in undergrad due to some mental health problems and two terminally ill family members I helped take care of at home, and my GPA definitely showed it. I also made the decision to work part-time throughout all of undergrad. I don't come from a super wealthy family or anything, but I didn't have to help them keep a roof over our heads or put food on the table. I worked to be able to pay for my own car, gas, food, and loans. I'm sure if I asked my parents, they would have helped me out a bit with some money for food and gas so I could cut my hours, but hindsight is 20/20 and I really wanted to make my own money to not have to rely on them. However, my father also opened a small restaurant when I started at UCLA, and I had to manage the restaurant alongside my brother, working at least 20 hours a week, and up to 40+ during the summers, which was definitely more of a family obligation than a choice.

  1. cGPA: 3.41, sGPA: 3.36
    • Year 1: 3.53
    • Year 2: 3.39
    • Year 3: 3.30
    • Year 4: 2.91
    • Year 5: 3.20 (Only took 4 classes this year, withdrew from Spring quarter due to family illness)
    • Year 6: 3.25
    • Post-bacc: 4.00
  2. MCAT: 524 (CP 131, CARS 131, BB 130, PS 132)
  3. CA resident
  4. Caucasian / Japanese
  5. Santa Monica College / UCLA undergrad, Keck Graduate Institute post-bacc
  6. Been working full-time as an MA at an orthopaedic surgery clinic for over 3 years. Recently transitioned to head DME coordinator for the group where I have my own independent patient schedule for fittings and measurements, as well as network with reps to learn about new products to then pitch to doctors and management.
  7. Unfortunately no research experience
  8. Have shadowed a couple surgeries in the OR, spine and total hip
  9. Been a volunteer tutor for homeless youth for the past two years following the same student (~ 150-160 hours)
  10. Avid rock climber, used to train a lot more when I had the time, but these days I've cut back to gym training 1-2 times a week, and maybe only get outdoors once or twice a year
  11. Received the Agnes Steven's Founder's Award through my volunteer organization (School on Wheels) for excellence and commitment to my student
  12. Had to do 6 years of undergrad mostly due to what was mentioned above, as well as working 20-30 hours a week during the school year, and commuting around 3 hours a day to get to school and back for all 6 years.
With all of this in mind, here is my initial school list. There are definitely a handful of reach schools in here, so feedback on schools to drop or add is totally welcome!

Stanford, UCSF, Duke, Yale, UCLA, UCSD, Mayo (MN and AZ), U Colorado, U Michigan, U Virginia, USC, U Vermont, Belmont, Wake Forest, U Iowa, Stony Brook, Rosalind Franklin, U Illinois, U Wisconsin, CUSM, Kaiser, UC Davis, UCI, U Arizona (Phoenix), MSU, BU

Thanks so much y'all, appreciate the time and help out!

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I suggest these schools with your stats:
New York Medical College
Penn State
George Washington
Virginia Commonwealth
Eastern Virginia
Wake Forest
USF Morsani
Rosalind Franklin
Medical College Wisconsin
Western Michigan
Oakland Beaumont
U Illinois
Arizona (Phoenix)
California University
The UCs (except Riverside unless you are from that region)
USC Keck
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What advice have you gotten from your Keck team? How many credit hours are involved with your postbac? 30 hours?

Have you had a chance to chat with admissions staff at the UC schools?
So my admissions team seems to think that I have a relatively strong application given my upward trend / 4.0 and my MCAT despite my background given the context, but of course I know my previous school record will always raise some level of concern. Trying to get as much info as possible since I've finally decided to apply this cycle. And yeah, it was a 30 credit hour program.

Had the chance to talk to admissions staff from MSU, BU, U Vermont and U of A Phoenix, since KGI has a relationship with those four schools, but no one from the UCs. Those schools seemed to agree that my app was competitive and encouraged me to apply.
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