Bubbada_G

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Jul 25, 2017
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Hey guys, I've been a longtime lurker of SDN and decided to make an account today and see what you guys would recommend for school choices. Graduated in 2015 and plan on applying next summer for matriculation in 2019.
  1. cGPA and sGPA as calculated by AMCAS - 3.6 cum gpa, 3.6 sgpa, strong upwards trend. Have taken 4 biology classes at HES since graduating, As in each one.
  2. MCAT score(s) and breakdown - June 17th, 524 (132/129/132/131)
  3. State of residence or country of citizenship - Northeast (don't want to give away too much information)
  4. Ethnicity and/or race - African-American, male
  5. Undergraduate institution or category - small LAC, degree in biochemistry, minor in English
  6. Clinical experience (volunteer and non-volunteer) - During college I volunteered at a free health clinic. First year (slightly less) out of college I worked as a medical scribe at a private practice in a Boston suburb. Weekly volunteering for the last 2 years at a free health clinic in the same suburb, where the majority of the population is Spanish-speaking. I had a strong Spanish background from college courses (+ having many hispanic friends), but this experience has essentially made me bilingual, and I now serve as a medical assistant doing patient intakes and various other duties.
  7. Research experience and productivity - 1.5+ years of research at Dana Farber. Sole first author publication in Nature Communications. Third author in Journal of Clinical Oncology. I was very fortunate to get this gig. PI was an MD/PhD in rad onc and him and I had close connections to his alma mater.. Other on and off research through college that isn't worth mentioning (you realize how meaningless it is when you start doing real research...)
  8. Shadowing experience and specialties represented - over 300 hours in MANY different specialties. I've been shadowing since high school. It started with one physician, who knew another, who then knew someone else, and so on...
  9. Non-clinical volunteering - I grew up very privileged, in an upper middle class neighborhood in a very affluent suburb with both parents in academia. I know how privileged I am to have grown up in these conditions, especially as a black male, and wanted to make sure I could try and make a difference for minorities who aren't as fortunate. There was a very well known (and global) sport for development program that did not have much of a presence in the USA. Coincidentally, the program was based out of my home town (would you guess the chances?). Rather than doing research like everyone else between 3rd and 4th year of college, I started up the branch of this program at middle schools in a town near me. That program continues to be successful, enrolling dozens of kids during the academic years at many middle schools, as well as during summer sessions. When I moved to Boston I also started a branch of the program at the elementary school my nephews go to.
  10. Other extracurricular activities (including athletics, military service, gap year activities, leadership, teaching, etc) - 4-year athlete in a D3 sport. Captain. genetics and organic chemistry tutor.
  11. Relevant honors or awards - a few athletics/academics awards. one award for best poster presentation
  12. Anything else not listed you think might be important - I do have one red flag. First week of freshman year I helped someone on a homework assignment even though I knew it was against the rules to do so. Ended up failing that assignment and getting a full grade reduction (somehow ended up with a C in this class...thank god it was a math class). Obviously no other issues since. Stupid me for helping someone I didn't even know. Never tried to say I made a mistake or make excuses for my actions... I've taken full responsibility since then and tried to show that I am honest and have integrity, characteristics physicians need to have.

I've always wanted to be a doctor. Look at my 5th year yearbook and it will say "bubbada_g wants to be a physician when he grows up." So, you're probably wondering why I am applying so many years after I graduated. I've been reluctant to apply the last few years because of my red flag, I thought the IA would automatically screen me out of any application. Next thing you know, years fly by. Recently, I realized there is no point dwelling on the past, and if a school wants to take a shot on me then they can. I know my chances at top schools are severely diminished by the IA but I realize it's better to get into a school than no school at all. I took the MCAT this past June, and did well, but realize it is probably too late to apply this cycle, especially since I haven't started my personal statement or gotten LORs yet. Planning on submitting my application next year, but it would be nice to get some advice on school lists early.

Thanks
 
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SLU Student

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Apr 11, 2017
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You can literally go anywhere. I doubt your IA will hold you back much.
 
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Beantown101

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Jul 25, 2017
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Everyone is right, I will b surprised if you're not in the news as that guy who got into every single IV league (assuming you apply to every single one haha). Congrats
 
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Start your list with WashU and then work outward in any direction.


Hey guys, I've been a longtime lurker of SDN and decided to make an account today and see what you guys would recommend for school choices. Graduated in 2015 and plan on applying next summer for matriculation in 2019.
  1. cGPA and sGPA as calculated by AMCAS - 3.6 cum gpa, 3.6 sgpa, strong upwards trend. Have taken 4 biology classes at HES since graduating, As in each one.
  2. MCAT score(s) and breakdown - June 17th, 524 (132/129/132/131)
  3. State of residence or country of citizenship - Northeast (don't want to give away too much information)
  4. Ethnicity and/or race - African-American, male
  5. Undergraduate institution or category - small LAC, degree in biochemistry, minor in English
  6. Clinical experience (volunteer and non-volunteer) - During college I volunteered at a free health clinic. First year (slightly less) out of college I worked as a medical scribe at a private practice in a Boston suburb. Weekly volunteering for the last 2 years at a free health clinic in the same suburb, where the majority of the population is Spanish-speaking. I had a strong Spanish background from college courses (+ having many hispanic friends), but this experience has essentially made me bilingual, and I now serve as a medical assistant doing patient intakes and various other duties.
  7. Research experience and productivity - 1.5+ years of research at Dana Farber. Sole first author publication in Nature Communications. Third author in Journal of Clinical Oncology. I was very fortunate to get this gig. PI was an MD/PhD in rad onc and him and I had close connections to his alma mater.. Other on and off research through college that isn't worth mentioning (you realize how meaningless it is when you start doing real research...)
  8. Shadowing experience and specialties represented - over 300 hours in MANY different specialties. I've been shadowing since high school. It started with one physician, who knew another, who then knew someone else, and so on...
  9. Non-clinical volunteering - I grew up very privileged, in an upper middle class neighborhood in a very affluent suburb with both parents in academia. I know how privileged I am to have grown up in these conditions, especially as a black male, and wanted to make sure I could try and make a difference for minorities who aren't as fortunate. There was a very well known (and global) sport for development program that did not have much of a presence in the USA. Coincidentally, the program was based out of my home town (would you guess the chances?). Rather than doing research like everyone else between 3rd and 4th year of college, I started up the branch of this program at middle schools in a town near me. That program continues to be successful, enrolling dozens of kids during the academic years at many middle schools, as well as during summer sessions. When I moved to Boston I also started a branch of the program at the elementary school my nephews go to.
  10. Other extracurricular activities (including athletics, military service, gap year activities, leadership, teaching, etc) - 4-year athlete in a D3 sport. Captain. genetics and organic chemistry tutor.
  11. Relevant honors or awards - a few athletics/academics awards. one award for best poster presentation
  12. Anything else not listed you think might be important - I do have one red flag. First week of freshman year I helped someone on a homework assignment even though I knew it was against the rules to do so. Ended up failing that assignment and getting a full grade reduction (somehow ended up with a C in this class...thank god it was a math class). Obviously no other issues since. Stupid me for helping someone I didn't even know. Never tried to say I made a mistake or make excuses for my actions... I've taken full responsibility since then and tried to show that I am honest and have integrity, characteristics physicians need to have.

I've always wanted to be a doctor. Look at my 5th year yearbook and it will say "bubbada_g wants to be a physician when he grows up." So, you're probably wondering why I am applying so many years after I graduated. I've been reluctant to apply the last few years because of my red flag, I thought the IA would automatically screen me out of any application. Next thing you know, years fly by. Recently, I realized there is no point dwelling on the past, and if a school wants to take a shot on me then they can. I know my chances at top schools are severely diminished by the IA but I realize it's better to get into a school than no school at all. I took the MCAT this past June, and did well, but realize it is probably too late to apply this cycle, especially since I haven't started my personal statement or gotten LORs yet. Planning on submitting my application next year, but it would be nice to get some advice on school lists early.

Thanks
 

Bubbada_G

New Member
Jul 25, 2017
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  1. Pre-Medical
I appreciate the kind thoughts from you guys but I think you are forgetting to realize that there are many qualified applicants who have no IAs. I was looking at some of the top schools, they have average gpa of 3.85+ and 518+ mcat. Doesn't a gpa hold more weight due to the consistency? the majority of people can study for a top mcat score if they work hard and smart enough...
 

SLU Student

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Apr 11, 2017
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I think you're putting a little too much weight on your one IA.

You also have to realize that there are very few URM applicants out there with your stats (especially AA applicants). The averages that you see take into account all the ORMs and non-minority applicants as well. You'll be more than fine. Schools love and need diversity.

As for GPA and MCAT, here are my thoughts:

GPA can often be inflated, and your argument about studying can be applied to a GPA as well. The majority of people can succeed in a class if they work hard enough; They also have more chances to succeed since most classes have multiple tests/projects. The MCAT, on the other hand, is standardized. Everyone in the entire nation takes the same test; there is no inflation since its the same everywhere. It's also considered an aptitude test, which means that your intellectual capacity plays some role in your score in addition to studying. Some people can study for years and never break 520.

On top of that, your GPA isn't even considered low because of your URM status. You're in great shape, my friend. The world is your oyster.

Good luck.
 
7

768730

Check out the graph that has your race/ethnicity and acceptance rate as a function of MCAT/GPA. I'm pretty sure people in your cohort have like 95% success rate. If memory serves, I also think the raw number of people in your situation (AA with 99+% MCAT) is extremely small, like a dozen or so each year. Who knows what those remaining 5% did wrong, but based on your post you have everything going for you (research, leadership, entrepreneurship, strong ECs, etc). Every top school is going to be trying to win you over.


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Bubbada_G

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Jul 25, 2017
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I guess we will see. I've read previous threads where IAs = instant death. By the time I apply it will have been 6 years. Doesn't hurt that it was first semester of freshman year either I suppose.
 
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