WAMC/School List Help: 518, 3.73

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Nov 28, 2023
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I am applying for the 2024-2025 application cycle. Would like a not sugar-coated review of my application. I would also appreciate help on my school list as I feel like this could make or break my chances of receiving an acceptance. I am not opposed to OOS schools. I plan on only applying to MD schools via AMCAS unless you guys think it would be a good idea to apply DO. Thank you all.
Also I am a reapplicant.

1. cGPA: 3.73 sGPA: 3.81

2. MCAT score(s) and breakdown: 518 (C/P: 131, CARS: 126, B/B: 131, P/S: 130)
Taken on 5/14/2022, so I believe this is the last year my score is eligible

3. State of residence or country of citizenship (if non-US): Illinois

4. Ethnicity and/or race: Asian

5. Undergraduate institution or category: University of Notre Dame, Chemistry

6. Clinical experience (volunteer and non-volunteer):
~200 hours hospital volunteering
I am also applying to jobs trying to get a clinical position prior to applying. I will be working as much as I can when I land a job. I see this part of my application as a major weak point and am doing what I can to fix it.

7. Research experience and productivity:
~1000 hours undergraduate research
Worked for about 2.5 years in an inorganic chemistry lab. I was in charge of conducting my own research project (which I now see as a blessing and a curse) on nanoparticle synthesis. 2 research fellowships, 3 poster presentations, no publications

8. Shadowing experience and specialties represented:
~100 hours
Shadowed a medical oncologist, radiation oncologist, IR, and IM private practice

9. Non-clinical volunteering:
over 1000 hours volunteering in South Korea
I volunteered at a village in South Korea dedicated to sheltering people that had leprosy and other people with mental/physical disabilities. I slept on-site for over 6 months and worked 9-5. I plan on writing about this experience extensively as it was an incredibly impactful experience to me. I am listing this as non-clinical because the residents are technically not patients and my responsibilities were service-oriented. Also I need the service hours lol

10. Other extracurricular activities (including athletics, military service, gap year activities, leadership, teaching, etc):
~300 hours Undergraduate Chemistry Tutor
~50 hours Undergraduate Chemistry Lab TA
Treasurer of Chemistry & Biochemistry Club (1 year)

11. Relevant honors or awards:
Dean's List for one semester

12. Anything else not listed you think might be important:

Current School List:

Carle Illinois, Rosalind Franklin, Loyola, Northwestern, Rush, Southern Illinois, UChicago, UIC, Virginia Commonwealth, Virginia Tech, Penn State, MCW, Oakland University, Wake Forest, Georgetown, UNC Chapel Hill, Ohio State, Vermont, Emory, Tufts, Michigan, Dartmouth, Cincinnati, Albert Einstein, Case Western, NYU

I am very open to suggestions on my school list (schools I should add or take away). Thanks for the help.

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Your GPA and MCAT are ok for only MD (no DO) applications, but you'll need to target schools with median GPA's and MCAT's close to yours.

Developing a school list is above my pay grade. There are others here who can critique your list. You should indicate your prior application details too (year of application, school list, any II's, what has specifically improved since the last application).

You need to have more clinical experience to have a credible application, as you point out.

Your non-USA clinical volunteering will likely not fly well for your application. While you performed a noble service, schools will want hours in this country. You should try to get a couple of hundred hours of service to similar populations you served in Korea. This might explain your prior cycle results.

You have some time to do this if you're not having to work to support yourself. You'll have to figure out how to do these things before the MCAT time bomb goes off.
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Remove Rush and Loyola since they expect far more clinical hours exposure than you have. Also Carle is looking for applicants with an engineering background. Virginia Tech and UNC admit few applicants who are not from the state or region. You could add these schools:
Western Michigan
Boston University
New York Medical College
George Washington
I plan on only applying to MD schools via AMCAS unless you guys think it would be a good idea to apply DO. Thank you all.
Also I am a reapplicant.

MCAT score(s) and breakdown: 518 (C/P: 131, CARS: 126, B/B: 131)
Taken on 5/14/2022, so I believe this is the last year my score is eligible
You need to verify this. I don't think it's your last year for this MCAT, but you must check.

That said, where did your apply before? You have a solid prehealth team so what feedback did you get from them?

You should apply DO unless you want to contend with taking the MCAT again if this is your last year.