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What makes an application strong?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by Lisochka, Nov 22, 2005.

  1. Lisochka

    Lisochka Senior Member
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    What makes a good application when you apply to a Med school?
    1) of course GPA (higher than 3.5)
    2) Of course MCAT
    what else?
    how much should be shadowing? 1 year or 6 months is enough?
    do you need a research too? what type of research?
    thanks guys in edvance :)
     
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  3. Anastasis

    Anastasis caffeinated for safety
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    I think you'll get alot more responses in pre-allo than here.

    I would make sure you have some kind of clinical experience, I volunteer at a free clinic. People say you should do research, I think you should only do this if you're really into research. Get some leadership experience in whatever ecs you do. But that's just the generic stuff... the thing that makes your app really strong is a "hook". That's kinda cliche but you need to find something that makes you you and go after it.
     
  4. Anastasis

    Anastasis caffeinated for safety
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    Sorry didn't answer this question before... I think 100 hrs of shadowing is plenty. That's what I'm aiming for.
     
  5. Will Ferrell

    Will Ferrell Senior Member
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    30+, 3.5+, some shadowing, some research, some hospital volunteering, some other non-med EC, early application, good interviewing skills.... standard stuff you'll get in with....
     
  6. McGillGrad

    McGillGrad Building Mind and Body
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    After proving yourself academically, you need to prove to them that you are a well-rounded person who can handle many different responsibilities at one time.

    You could do things like start your own business, organize events, travel, tutor, and of course spend time in a real hospital to get a feel for the clinical setting.

    Most importantly, be active and participate in competitive sports, whether on a team or not. Building your body and living a healthy lifestyle is right up there with expanding your mind.
     
  7. jebus

    jebus Membership Revoked
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    I totally agree with this. Working out imbues my day and my life with structure. It fosters dedication and commitment and it gives me muscles that women like. But is it that important to adcom members?
     
  8. jeffsleepy

    jeffsleepy Senior Member
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    I think an ideal application is one that is well-rounded in all aspects but has one part that really stands out. The basics are:

    1) 3.5+ GPA
    2) 30+ MCAT
    3) the extracurricular triangle of research, community service, and clinical experience (you don't need all three, but these are the most common)
    4) good recs and a half decent essay

    Most people try to stand out with a few awesome extracurricular activities but a 4.0 GPA or a 40+ MCAT will also do it for you. Even if you have high stats though, you still need some stuff to talk about during interviews.

    I think 6 months of shadowing is more than enough. The main point of shadowing, since you don't really get to do anything, is to show the ADCOM that you really know what you're getting into. A few months is all that's needed.
     
  9. mj1878

    mj1878 Water good...
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    I had no research, very little awards (just Dean's List a few times), 2.8 science and 3.4 overall, 30P MCAT. I think what made me stand out was my MCAT and that I had a TON of extracurricular, most not healthcare-related. I had the usual (volunteer at ER, peer wellness counselor on campus) but I also had two missions trips to 3rd world countries, a study-abroad in Mexico, volunteering at food banks, reading textbooks on tape for blind university students, Arts and Sciences student government, helping raise awareness for students with disabilities. In the end, I could not have asked for a better way to spend my time during undergrad than to study less and volunteer and be involved more. You can make up for a lowish GPA with a high MCAT. Good luck!
     
  10. silas2642

    silas2642 silas2642
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    They're looking for the whole package. Good gpa, good mcat, clinical experience, etc. might help get you in the door, but at the end of the day none of these things are going to separate you very much from a field of thousands of other applicants with identical qualitifacations. Be yourself, do things that interest you, and then show admissions committees that you are an interesting person who can bring something to the medical community.
     
  11. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
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    From my experience, I would say what they are looking for is passion for medicine and desire to help others. How you show that you have these two qualities is up to you, but can include some of the activities that previous posters have mentioned.
     
  12. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    Sadly, being ripped won't get you into med school. Adcoms tend to opt for the more "well rounded" candidates. But you will probably have a much better time once you are in.
     
  13. jebus

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    Yeah, I didn't think it was important. I didn't mention it anywhere in my personal statement or essay. Also, I'm not ripped - I'm just fit and I try to live a healthy lifestyle. I only work out for 1.25 hours/ day x 5 days a week. But one of my LOR writers told me he mentioned it because he thought a dedication to personal health is laudable. We'll see what happens. He was an adcom member at the U o' Cincy.... in the mid 70's. I'm pretty sure things have changed since then. If interviewers ask about stuff I'm definitely going to try to work in that whole spiel about structure and commitment, but I'll probably leave out the stuff about getting with hotties.
     
  14. McGillGrad

    McGillGrad Building Mind and Body
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    Adcom members will be very interested in a person that is more than just statistics. They like social people who participate in sports and have a healthy source of stress release.

    Plus, the more you have to talk about at the interview, the more memorable you will be afterwards.

    BTW- Real men work out for themselves, not for what women will like.
     
  15. Lisochka

    Lisochka Senior Member
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    ok, so far I understood that (correct me if I am wrong):
    100 hours or 6 months job shadowing,
    how long should be the volonteering?
    (isn't shadowing and volonteering the same? or you have to have both?)
    Should be research in a medical field or it could be any science research (like research in chemistry)
    I did not know that if a person was a missioner it could help... Does it really help?
     
  16. Anastasis

    Anastasis caffeinated for safety
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    Well, shadowing is specifically following a doctor around while he sees patients; volunteering can be anything, doesn't need to be clinically related though that may help. Volunteer with something that you're passionate about is the best advice. If you're just doing something to pad your resume that may become apparent in an interview.

    Someone mentioned shadowing-volunteering-research as a triad, that's a pretty useful way of looking at it.

    I was a volunteer with a church (I hate the term missionary, carries too much cultural baggage.) I loved every minute of it; it's probably one of the defining experiences of my life. I'll definitely mention it in a personal statement. I don't know how much it will help me but that's not the point. Please, please, please, do not do missionary work if you're only interested in it for your resume. But if you're really passionate about helping abroad, by all means go for it, it's a wonderful experience.
     
  17. Lisochka

    Lisochka Senior Member
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    thanks guys, a lot!!!!!!! :)
     

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