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what are my chances coming from a small liberal arts college??

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lonesomerose

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I was referred to this source by a friend and thus I am taking the plunge, because at this moment I am in desperate need of advice before I pull my own hair out. I am a rising senior at a small liberal arts college who will graduate in December of 2017. It is my lifelong dream to be a practicing physician and I have put in my blood sweat and tears into it. Right now however, I feel like I am not doing enough to get to my goal. I am preparing to take the MCAT in May and apply to Med schools in June.

Other info
Major: Behavioral Neurosciences
Minor: Chemistry thinking about picking up Spanish.
- will be 20 years old when applying for schools. Which I have heard would hinder me thus I am taking a gap year, what should I do during it to be a competitive candidate?

GPA:
currently
overall: 3.56
science: 3.49

- C+ in Organic chemistry I
- C in Biochemistry.
- withdrawn from Organic Chemistry II

I am planning on retaking these classes prior to my application to medical schools. I really can't let these grades be what prevents me from achieving my goal. I am not these grades, and these grades don't make up for who I am as an individual. I am worried as to what medical schools will think of me when they see these grades on the transcript. Does a withdrawal show up on my transcript when I am retaking the class?

Extracurricular :
- Created a website against mental health stigma and was a finalist for United Way.
- Conducted my own psychology research study, in a rural village in India will be presenting at a national conference for school psychologists. But not published
- worked in another psychology research lab for a year
- 100+ hours shadowing 2 family practitioners, a pediatrician, as well as a ophthalmologist and an emergency physicians in rural India.
-100+ hours volunteering at a local hospital in patient transport and GI recovery
- Mentor for Refugee
-Mentor for children with autism
- Was social chair, now treasurer for the Neuroscience club
- Secretary for the Asian Association
- Volunteer director for the Campus United way club

I feel like I should attempt to makeup for my other pitfalls here but, I don't have any internships or anything that others haven't done already that would make me stand out. Should get another degree? should I pursue a masters? get certified as an EMT?
 

shopsteward

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1. Don't panic. Your current grades are below average for MD but not impossible, and they are bang on for DO.

2. Don't rush. You are a senior aged 20: that puts you a couple of years ahead of where most people are, and you have plenty of time to sort yourself out. Take the time to get good grades in your remaining college courses - you could consider delaying graduation for a semester or two - as understanding the material and getting good grades are what matters.

3. The MCAT will be important to you, and you should only take it once. Don't take it until you thoroughly understand the material. Taking it this spring when at the same time you are taking/retaking pre reqs looks like a bad idea to me, so delaying your app for a year should be something you consider.

4. Your ECs need to concentrate on the USA rather than India.
 

lonesomerose

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Thank you very much for the advice! the only things I did in rural India was shadow an ophthalmologist and an ED Physician as well as gather data for my research project. Everything else took place in the states. Should I consider taking the GRE and doing a Masters in my gap year?
 

candbgirl

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Do you have any clinical work other than the shadowing? If not get some here and how much shadowing do you have here? Much will depend on your MCAT so prepare well for that. When you get your score come back with your list of schools and people will be glad to review it. I'm not sure why you would do a Masters.


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Goro

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Calm down! Two C's aren't going to kill you. That said, YOur GPAsm, while < median for MD schools, are fine for any DO school. And even fine for some MD schools, especially your state school (unless you live in CA).

You do need to get in the ECs...the stuff you did in India simply will be ignored.
Here what you should do:

Shadow, and volunteer.

Not all volunteering needs to be in a hospital. Think hospice, Planned Parenthood, nursing homes, rehab facilities, crisis hotlines, camps for sick children, or clinics.

Some types of volunteer activities are more appealing than others. Volunteering in a nice suburban hospital is all very well and good and all, but doesn't show that you're willing to dig in and get your hands dirty in the same way that working with the developmentally disabled (or homeless, the dying, or Alzheimers or mentally ill or elderly or ESL or domestic, rural impoverished) does. The uncomfortable situations are the ones that really demonstrate your altruism and get you 'brownie points'. Plus, they frankly teach you more -- they develop your compassion and humanity in ways comfortable situations can't.

Service need not be "unique". If you can alleviate suffering in your community through service to the poor, homeless, illiterate, fatherless, etc, you are meeting an otherwise unmet need and learning more about the lives of the people (or types of people) who will someday be your patients. Check out your local houses of worship for volunteer opportunities. The key thing is service to others less fortunate than you. And get off campus and out of your comfort zone!

Examples include: Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, Humane Society, crisis hotlines, soup kitchen, food pantry, homeless or women’s shelter, after-school tutoring for students or coaching a sport in a poor school district, teaching ESL to adults at a community center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, or Meals on Wheels.


I was referred to this source by a friend and thus I am taking the plunge, because at this moment I am in desperate need of advice before I pull my own hair out. I am a rising senior at a small liberal arts college who will graduate in December of 2017. It is my lifelong dream to be a practicing physician and I have put in my blood sweat and tears into it. Right now however, I feel like I am not doing enough to get to my goal. I am preparing to take the MCAT in May and apply to Med schools in June.

Other info
Major: Behavioral Neurosciences
Minor: Chemistry thinking about picking up Spanish.
- will be 20 years old when applying for schools. Which I have heard would hinder me thus I am taking a gap year, what should I do during it to be a competitive candidate?

GPA:
currently
overall: 3.56
science: 3.49

- C+ in Organic chemistry I
- C in Biochemistry.
- withdrawn from Organic Chemistry II

I am planning on retaking these classes prior to my application to medical schools. I really can't let these grades be what prevents me from achieving my goal. I am not these grades, and these grades don't make up for who I am as an individual. I am worried as to what medical schools will think of me when they see these grades on the transcript. Does a withdrawal show up on my transcript when I am retaking the class?

Extracurricular :
- Created a website against mental health stigma and was a finalist for United Way.
- Conducted my own psychology research study, in a rural village in India will be presenting at a national conference for school psychologists. But not published
- worked in another psychology research lab for a year
- 100+ hours shadowing 2 family practitioners, a pediatrician, as well as a ophthalmologist and an emergency physicians in rural India.
-100+ hours volunteering at a local hospital in patient transport and GI recovery
- Mentor for Refugee
-Mentor for children with autism
- Was social chair, now treasurer for the Neuroscience club
- Secretary for the Asian Association
- Volunteer director for the Campus United way club

I feel like I should attempt to makeup for my other pitfalls here but, I don't have any internships or anything that others haven't done already that would make me stand out. Should get another degree? should I pursue a masters? get certified as an EMT?
 
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lonesomerose

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Do you have any clinical work other than the shadowing? If not get some here and how much shadowing do you have here? Much will depend on your MCAT so prepare well for that. When you get your score come back with your list of schools and people will be glad to review it. I'm not sure why you would do a Masters.


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Thank you for your response. I have more than 100 hours of volunteer work here at a local hospital and I am pretty sure I probably have around 80 hours shadowing in the states. I mentioned masters because I wasn't sure exactly what to do during my gap year that would make me more competitive
 
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lonesomerose

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Calm down! Two C's aren't going to kill you. That said, YOur GPAsm, while < median for MD schools, are fine for any DO school. And even fine for some MD schools, especially your state school (unless you live in CA).

You do need to get in the ECs...the stuff you did in India simply will be ignored.
Here what you should do:

Shadow, and volunteer.

Not all volunteering needs to be in a hospital. Think hospice, Planned Parenthood, nursing homes, rehab facilities, crisis hotlines, camps for sick children, or clinics.

Some types of volunteer activities are more appealing than others. Volunteering in a nice suburban hospital is all very well and good and all, but doesn't show that you're willing to dig in and get your hands dirty in the same way that working with the developmentally disabled (or homeless, the dying, or Alzheimers or mentally ill or elderly or ESL or domestic, rural impoverished) does. The uncomfortable situations are the ones that really demonstrate your altruism and get you 'brownie points'. Plus, they frankly teach you more -- they develop your compassion and humanity in ways comfortable situations can't.

Service need not be "unique". If you can alleviate suffering in your community through service to the poor, homeless, illiterate, fatherless, etc, you are meeting an otherwise unmet need and learning more about the lives of the people (or types of people) who will someday be your patients. Check out your local houses of worship for volunteer opportunities. The key thing is service to others less fortunate than you. And get off campus and out of your comfort zone!

Examples include: Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, Humane Society, crisis hotlines, soup kitchen, food pantry, homeless or women’s shelter, after-school tutoring for students or coaching a sport in a poor school district, teaching ESL to adults at a community center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, or Meals on Wheels.
I have volunteered as a mentor for refugees as well as a mentor for children on the Autism spectrum are those things I should continue to work with?
 
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