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What are my options?

ilovebabies

Full Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 22, 2010
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  1. Pre-Medical
    CA resident. 3rd year. 3.65 GPA (on its way up). Total and epic fail on the 03/27/10 MCAT :( and signed up for a retake July 29th (now deciding on pushing it to September instead so I can just continue to focus on school). Before I was deciding on whether to take a year off because my scores would not come out until the end of August or beginning of September. That would put me in the late pile already. So I've come to a decision of taking a year off.

    So here is the break down of my ECs so far and continuing:
    Jumpstart Americorps-freshman year (but thinking about doing it again senior year)
    Children's Hospital since 2008 (but on and off)
    Research-1yr
    mentoring 6yr old-7 months
    volunteering in a pediatric clinic promoting literacy by reading to children and reaching out to parents-8 months
    volunteering at a pediatric physical/occupational therapy clinic-recent
    tutoring US/World History at high schools-2 yrs

    Plans:
    I want to know if anyone has any abroad medical experiences (such as volunteering) or any further suggestions to improve my application for the next cycle.

    Thanks a bunch!! :)
     
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    Catalystik

    The Gimlet Eye
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    15+ Year Member
    Sep 4, 2006
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    1. Attending Physician
      You don't need an abroad medical experience to make you application shinier. Do it for the cultural experience or because you want to travel and practice your HS-earned second language. Or for fun. Or to gain a broader global perspective on healthcare disparities.

      I agree that you need some broad-based shadowing, ideally of three types of doc, of which one is primary care (peds is fine). A total of 60-80 hours would cover schools' expectations.

      Also, consider a peer leadership activity to make your application stronger.

      Be sure the clinical experience is recent and with some duration at the time you apply, either resume the peds hospital gig on a regular basis, or continue with the OT/PT clinic if you are allowed to work directly with patients.

      Your research is fine for general purposes. If you aspire to a research-intense program, a second year is advisable.

      The teaching EC is great.

      It's nice to see some nonmedical/noncampus community service on your list (mentoring and literacy project). I'm not sure what Jumpstart Americorps is. Could you explain what it entails?
       

      ilovebabies

      Full Member
      7+ Year Member
      Mar 22, 2010
      12
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      1. Pre-Medical
        Thanks for all of your feedback! I really appreciate it.

        Catalystik, Jumpstart is focused on serving underprivileged communities, going into preschools and basically being a teacher's aide in the classroom. The main part is that you work in a team (we call ourselves corps members) and pair up with a preschool child and become their mentor for the school year. It is meant to prepare them for their kindergarten year, help them socialize and develop their learning abilities.

        I'm actually going to apply to be a team leader for Jumpstart for my senior year, I'm sure that applies as leadership, right? If that doesn't work out, what else can I look into?

        I want to go abroad because I know that I won't be able to do so going into medical school. It's something I said I've always wanted to do but will never really get the chance to. Since I am taking a year off, I'll be taking advantage of that and do something for myself.
         

        Catalystik

        The Gimlet Eye
        Verified Expert
        15+ Year Member
        Sep 4, 2006
        35,024
        14,877
        The Other Side of the Portal
        1. Attending Physician
          Catalystik, Jumpstart is focused on serving underprivileged communities, going into preschools and basically being a teacher's aide in the classroom. The main part is that you work in a team (we call ourselves corps members) and pair up with a preschool child and become their mentor for the school year. It is meant to prepare them for their kindergarten year, help them socialize and develop their learning abilities.

          I'm actually going to apply to be a team leader for Jumpstart for my senior year, I'm sure that applies as leadership, right? If that doesn't work out, what else can I look into?
          Thanks for the explanation. And yes, being a team leader would be leadership.

          If it doesn't work out, there are other forms of leadership to consider. Look therough the MDapps link that many SDNers have below their avatar for more leadership ideas. Join a community service group and move into a leadership role by taking responsibility to organize others to get a task done.
           
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