What do you think?

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Dec 4, 2008
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Good morning! I am a senior pre-medical student, majoring in biology with minors in chemistry and latin at my university. I attended a health science high school, where I first gained exposure to a career in medicine. I have a strong Christian conviction to enter the medical field as a physician, and, more specifically, as a cardiologist. Throughout my undergraduate career, I have shadowed physicians at a local volunteer clinic for 2-3 hours weekly since my sophomore year. I have held many leadership positions in clubs, student organizations, and civic organizations on campus and throughout my hometown (ACS, ODK, Tri-Beta, Honor Council, etc). I am a junior deacon and in positions of leadership in my church. I have attended enrichment programs at the Medical College of Georgia (my first choice), and have engaged in research. I have applied to medical school for entry during the fall of 2009, and my overall GPA is 3.5 (A's and B's )and my science GPA is 3.3 (A's, B's, and 1 C in Organic 2). My current MCAT score is 21-T (6VR/7PS/8BS). I have had 1 interview at the Mercer University School of Medicine. I have also applied to 12 other schools, including Meharry and Morehouse. I just feel that my history and academic record are better indications of my ability to study and practice medicine. I have taken Kaplan. I know that the MCAT is important for gauging performance on the USMLE I and II, but I have seen examples of these tests, and there are differences in format and question presentation. What do you think? I look forward to hearing feedback from you all. Thanks so much!


SDN Chief Administrator
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Sep 30, 2008
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First of all, I commend you for sticking true to your convictions and being open about your religious beliefs; though a lot of people might say you should keep clear of politics and religion in applications, I'm personally of the opinion that it can be done in a respectful manner.

That said, let me cut to the chase: regardless of whether or not you personally feel that the MCAT is a good indicator of your ability to succeed in the future in med school, the fact is that med schools do care and will critique you partially based on your score. A 21 will not get you into any US allopathic med school; even for a school with a fairly low MCAT average like Mercer, Meharry, or Morehouse, your score is probably just too low. You need to retake the exam. I personally found Kaplan very helpful, so I can't help but wonder whether or not you completed all of the required material in your class; regardless, you need to find some method of studying that works for you (Princeton, exam-krakers, whatever), because whatever you did the first time didn't work.

Also, when you talk about how your "academic record is a better indicator or your ability to study and practice medicine," I feel compelled to make sure that you are aware that your GPAs are really only average even at Morehouse and Meharry, and would be considered below average at almost every other school in the country.

Finally... I'm sorry to be blunt, but are you a URM or come from a disadvantaged background? I think with even a modest 3-4 point improvement on the MCAT, coupled with your strong ECs, would make you reasonably competitive at Meharry and Morehouse, but they really cater to the minorities and disadvantaged in their missions.

Good luck this cycle, I hope you happen to be the lucky guy who gets in with a 21 this year, but if not, I strongly suggest retaking the MCAT; the cold hard truth is that it is a hoop you've gotta jump through to get into med school.