WAMC/School List Help (NJ Resident, 521/3.9)

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rhino02

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Hello everyone,

I'd really appreciate it if I could get some feedback on my app, and a rough school list that I made.

Summary of Application

Biochemistry Major (cGPA: 3.90, sGPA: 3.94)
MCAT: 521 (131/127/131/132)
NJ Resident, 23 years old
ORM: Asian
Undergraduate Institution: Stony Brook University
1 Gap Year

Not relevant, but I wanted to include that I only seriously committed to this path at the end of my sophomore year, I was in biomedical engineering until I switched to Biochemistry. I had always thought about medicine, even in high school, but was always debating it)

Clinical Volunteering:
~ 350 Hours (100 hrs at Hospital 1: mix of helping patients access and use the patient portal, as well as visiting/conversing with very sick and elderly patients - very similar to hospice volunteering, 50 hrs Hospice Volunteering: visited one or two elderly patients at different hospices, 200 hrs at Hospital 2: volunteer in the ER, again assisting patients in any needs)

Research Experience: ~ 350 Hours (Was a research assistant in 2 Psychology/Neuroscience Labs, no pubs or posters, in one lab I was running eye tracking experiments independently with human subjects and mostly collecting data, the other was mostly brain imaging data quality assurance). I consider both experiences valuable, and I learned a lot but I know it wasn't exactly groundbreaking work I was doing either. )

Shadowing Experience: 25 hours in the ER (I'm working on getting more, I have 30 hours from high school shadowing two oncologists, but not sure I can count them)

Non-Clinical Volunteering: 300 Hours (ESL Teacher: 200 hrs, teach English conversation/grammar to a class of recent immigrants, one of my favorite activities, After School Tutor: 100 hours)

Other Activities: Secretary of college's pre-med club, teaching assistant for a biology and linear algebra class

Awards/Honors: Dean's List (all four years)

Letters of Reccomendation:
  • 2 Science Letters: Cell Bio and Ecological Genetics Professors
  • 1 Non-Science Letter: Lab PI (also taught a Psychology class I took and did well in)
  • 1 Research Letter: Other Lab PI
  • Plan to get letters for my Hospital Volunteering Dept, and for my ESL teaching experience as well)


School List Draft:

  • Cooper Medical School of Rowan University
  • Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine
  • Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
  • Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo
  • New York Medical College
  • Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University
  • University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry
  • Drexel University College of Medicine
  • Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
  • University Of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • University of Virginia School of Medicine
  • Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
  • Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine
  • University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
  • Boston University Aram V. Chobanian & Edward Avedisian School of Medicine
  • University of Vermont
  • Wayne State University
  • Western Michigan University
  • Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
  • Rush Medical College
  • Kaiser Permanente
Any schools I should remove? Add?

Early Decision?
  • Part of me really would like to apply ED at NJMS or RWJ. I think a few things make sense: location/distance, perhaps a lower cost, and just a faster timeline. I think my stats are nice, but I don't know if my ECs are too strong, and that's why I don't really know if I stand a strong chance of getting into many other schools. I'd like to hear thoughts about this too.
Thank you in advance!

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Your list generally looks solid. What's your reasoning for wanting NJMS or RWJ ED? I think you could make the jump if you wanted but understand that it comes with risks (namely, if it doesn't go well you can't apply out to other places until September, sometimes October even).

Your app is great, although shadowing is a little low. You shouldn't count the high school shadowing; I'd recommend getting another 25, ideally with a PCP.
 
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Remove Rush since they expect far more clinical and non clinical hours than you have. Also Buffalo, Drexel, Wayne State may "yield protect" with your stats.
You could add any of these schools:
Tufts
Duke
USF Morsani
Washington University (in St. Louis)
Vanderbilt
Northwestern
U Michigan
 
Shadowing Experience: 25 hours in the ER (I'm working on getting more, I have 30 hours from high school shadowing two oncologists, but not sure I can count them)

Non-Clinical Volunteering: 300 Hours (ESL Teacher: 200 hrs, teach English conversation/grammar to a class of recent immigrants, one of my favorite activities, After School Tutor: 100 hours)
Yep, you need more shadowing, though you can shadow in an area that is not too similar to disciplines you already have some experience (so not Emergency Medicine or strictly geriatrics).

You have lots of tutoring or teaching. Can you find something else that gets your hands dirty and preferably in front of community members needing help (food distribution, shelter volunteer, job/tax preparation, transportation services, housing rehabilitation)? You need at least 150 hours in this category to avoid getting screened out at most schools. Rush looks for applicants with hundreds to thousands of hours in this bucket among their desired applicants.
 
Yep, you need more shadowing, though you can shadow in an area that is not too similar to disciplines you already have some experience (so not Emergency Medicine or strictly geriatrics).

You have lots of tutoring or teaching. Can you find something else that gets your hands dirty and preferably in front of community members needing help (food distribution, shelter volunteer, job/tax preparation, transportation services, housing rehabilitation)? You need at least 150 hours in this category to avoid getting screened out at most schools. Rush looks for applicants with hundreds to thousands of hours in this bucket among their desired applicants.
Thank you for the response! I will definitely try to get more shadowing like you said. Before I made this post, I was in the process of applying to scribe jobs. I was going to accept one, actually. It would be a part-time position, and even though there would likely be a decent amount of anticipated hours, the actual hours I would be working before the end of May would likely not be that much. I still have to do a lot of writing and prep for the application cycle, so from your opinion, and I'm scared that the position, along with the other stuff I have going on right now will hurt my writing and prep. (i know my writing will take time) Do you think it would be a better investment to find a volunteering opportunity that could bring me into contact with more underserved community members (and help the non-clinical volunteering hours) or do the scribing (and help the clinical hours)?
 
Your list generally looks solid. What's your reasoning for wanting NJMS or RWJ ED? I think you could make the jump if you wanted but understand that it comes with risks (namely, if it doesn't go well you can't apply out to other places until September, sometimes October even).

Your app is great, although shadowing is a little low. You shouldn't count the high school shadowing; I'd recommend getting another 25, ideally with a PCP.
I was thinking about ED because I thought it would increase my chances of at least getting into one school. I am wary of my chances with higher-tier schools, and I don't know if I'd essentially be throwing money away if I applied to them. I understand the risks of ED, however, and one of my concerns is if Rutgers (either NJMS or RWJ) are good schools for matching and residencies. (It seems good from what I've seen online). Another concern of mine is if by applying ED, I lose any ability to negotiate cost of tuition, if I were to get accepted.
 
Thank you for the response! I will definitely try to get more shadowing like you said. Before I made this post, I was in the process of applying to scribe jobs. I was going to accept one, actually. It would be a part-time position, and even though there would likely be a decent amount of anticipated hours, the actual hours I would be working before the end of May would likely not be that much. I still have to do a lot of writing and prep for the application cycle, so from your opinion, and I'm scared that the position, along with the other stuff I have going on right now will hurt my writing and prep. (i know my writing will take time) Do you think it would be a better investment to find a volunteering opportunity that could bring me into contact with more underserved community members (and help the non-clinical volunteering hours) or do the scribing (and help the clinical hours)?
I think the best outcome would be to try to do both; you narrowly have enough in both categories, although some on this forum may want your non-clinical hours to be focused more around direct help and less from a position of authority/expertise (i.e. teaching). Whatever you can reasonably accomplish is what I would recommend.
 
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