Iozuk

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May 3, 2009
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Out of curiosity, if you get a very high GPA in a formal respected post-bacc and a good enough score on the MCAT for any school on the list excluding Caribbean, is it possible to gain acceptance?
 
Jan 9, 2013
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Foggy Frisco
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Theoretically, though I'd assume it'd be a red flag for most schools. You might get interviews but I'd assume "discuss how your ECs impacted you" or "Why didn't you commit to any ECs?" might be a question you'd have a tough time answering.

Despite how many people utilize EC's in a manner that will simply allow them to check proverbial boxes, Med Schools want to see that you're interested in things outside of medicine and school, and interested in helping your community or a community that is in need of assistance.

And remember that there are people applying to most med schools with high GPAs and high MCATs (compared to "average" applicants) that also have ECs. You'd have to take that into consideration, as I'm sure adcoms would.

If I were in that position, I would definitely take some time to at least commit to the bare minimum, cookie cutter ECs so I wouldn't go into the cycle thinking I'd end up at Hopkins and end with nothing, wasting money in the process. And that probably wouldn't cut it for top schools (which I, personally, don't care about).
 

darkjedi

how did this get here I am not good with computer
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Oct 14, 2009
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It would be difficult to get into a good formal postbac if you didn't have any good ECs to begin with. There is also significant time during the postbac to pick up a bunch of ECs ranging from leading interest groups to volunteering at the local hospital. Since most people take a gap year while applying, many people also start year long jobs doing either research or non-profit work.

That said I picked up nearly all my experiences within the last 3 years before matriculation. It is certainly never to late to do something that interests you.
 
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Iozuk

5+ Year Member
May 3, 2009
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Theoretically, though I'd assume it'd be a red flag for most schools. You might get interviews but I'd assume "discuss how your ECs impacted you" or "Why didn't you commit to any ECs?" might be a question you'd have a tough time answering.

Despite how many people utilize EC's in a manner that will simply allow them to check proverbial boxes, Med Schools want to see that you're interested in things outside of medicine and school, and interested in helping your community or a community that is in need of assistance.

And remember that there are people applying to most med schools with high GPAs and high MCATs (compared to "average" applicants) that also have ECs. You'd have to take that into consideration, as I'm sure adcoms would.

If I were in that position, I would definitely take some time to at least commit to the bare minimum, cookie cutter ECs so I wouldn't go into the cycle thinking I'd end up at Hopkins and end with nothing, wasting money in the process.
I honestly would pick a person with no ECs versus one with them. Many people do ECs just to get in to med school. A person who doesn't do ECs is honest about it and in the future, it will be evident that this honesty would be bestowed upon their patients.
 
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Iozuk

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May 3, 2009
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It would be difficult to get into a good formal postbac if you didn't have any good ECs to begin with. There is also significant time during the postbac to pick up a bunch of ECs ranging from leading interest groups to volunteering at the local hospital. Since most people take a gap year while applying, many people also start year long jobs doing either research or non-profit work.

That said I picked up nearly all my experiences within the last 3 years before matriculation. It is certainly never to late to do something that interests you.
I worked for a year in a for-profit company dealing with the business side of hospital administration and patient flow.
 
Oct 5, 2012
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Also, I think most of the major well-known post bacs know the value of ECs and will thus strongly encourage you to volunteer, research, etc whilst attending. I would guess they do everything in their power to make you a competitive applicant as they are invested in their student outcomes.
 

Planes2Doc

Residency is ruff!
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Jul 23, 2012
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I previously had no ECs before I started my post-bacc, which was a year after quitting my job. This is because medical school is pretty much the only type of professional school that has so many ridiculous hoops to jump through.

I realize that some non-traditional students may feel exempt from the rule, but in reality, they at least need to jump through some hoops, at least not at the undergraduate experience destroying level you see here on SDN that takes place among traditional applicants. When I started my post-bacc, I did standard volunteering in the EC once a week. I also volunteered through one of my hobbies, which was actually very enjoyable and lots of fun. The only problem was that it was sporadic.

It always makes me cringe when a non-trad with an excellent GPA and MCAT wants to take yet another year off to do ECs to make them "stronger." I mean seriously, you're already older than other people that are in medical school and probably have good life experiences, is it necessary to keep going at the activities that every other pre-med is doing? You aren't getting any younger, so why waste that time away? Unless you are actually doing things you are passionate about, not what the ADCOMs are passionate about.

I know some non-trads that sacrificed everything to do this. They have families to take care of, and dropping a stable job to pursue their dream is a big step. It feels like a slap in the face to expect them to all of a sudden have to pick up a bunch of stuff just to prove their commitment. Is that sacrifice not enough?

Anyway, schools want to see you know the medical environment and all that jazz. So you can shadow and volunteer once a week, and probably get in.
 
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Iozuk

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May 3, 2009
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I previously had no ECs before I started my post-bacc, which was a year after quitting my job. This is because medical school is pretty much the only type of professional school that has so many ridiculous hoops to jump through.

I realize that some non-traditional students may feel exempt from the rule, but in reality, they at least need to jump through some hoops, at least not at the undergraduate experience destroying level you see here on SDN that takes place among traditional applicants. When I started my post-bacc, I did standard volunteering in the EC once a week. I also volunteered through one of my hobbies, which was actually very enjoyable and lots of fun. The only problem was that it was sporadic.

It always makes me cringe when a non-trad with an excellent GPA and MCAT wants to take yet another year off to do ECs to make them "stronger." I mean seriously, you're already older than other people that are in medical school and probably have good life experiences, is it necessary to keep going at the activities that every other pre-med is doing? You aren't getting any younger, so why waste that time away? Unless you are actually doing things you are passionate about, not what the ADCOMs are passionate about.

I know some non-trads that sacrificed everything to do this. They have families to take care of, and dropping a stable job to pursue their dream is a big step. It feels like a slap in the face to expect them to all of a sudden have to pick up a bunch of stuff just to prove their commitment. Is that sacrifice not enough?

Anyway, schools want to see you know the medical environment and all that jazz. So you can shadow and volunteer once a week, and probably get in.
Alright, they don't start for 4 months and I know a doctor who might let me shadow so I will try to go somewhere around 3x a week for a couple hours.
 

OCDOCDOCD

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May 26, 2012
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I honestly would pick a person with no ECs versus one with them. Many people do ECs just to get in to med school. A person who doesn't do ECs is honest about it and in the future, it will be evident that this honesty would be bestowed upon their patients.
Put yourself in the shoes of an adcom member for a minute. Who would you pick:

1) The guy who has nothing to show for his pre-grad career except a good GPA and MCAT score.

2) The guy who has a good GPA and MCAT score and also major accomplishments in something outside of schoolwork.

Even if you think #2 is faking his interest, the fact remains that he showed initiative by going out and doing something whereas #1 did nothing.
 

Jamie561

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Sep 2, 2011
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I honestly would pick a person with no ECs versus one with them. Many people do ECs just to get in to med school. A person who doesn't do ECs is honest about it and in the future, it will be evident that this honesty would be bestowed upon their patients.
I honestly would pick a person with sub-20 MCAT sub-2.0 GPA versus one with higher. Many people study hard just to get in to med school. A person who has garbage scores is honest about it and in the future, it will be evident that this honesty would be bestowed upon their patients.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
 

IslandStyle808

Akuma residency or bust!
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Aug 5, 2012
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Put yourself in the shoes of an adcom member for a minute. Who would you pick:

1) The guy who has nothing to show for his pre-grad career except a good GPA and MCAT score.

2) The guy who has a good GPA and MCAT score and also major accomplishments in something outside of schoolwork.

Even if you think #2 is faking his interest, the fact remains that he showed initiative by going out and doing something whereas #1 did nothing.
If I were an adcom, I would also pick #2 not because of the initiative but because, with similar stats, #2 can handle more than #1.
 

nabilesmail

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Dec 25, 2009
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I would pick High stats + ec' > High stats > mid stats good ec's > mid stats > low stats good ec's > low stats.

I find it funny that every medical school says to do activities that interest you instead of premed activities when this is completely false. If you dont have clinical/shadowing thats a Huge Negative, dont have research a huge negative for many schools. What medical schools really mean is "Do all the premed stuff AND Do activities that interest you"