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What realistic expectations should I have?

InkJoy

New Member
2+ Year Member
May 7, 2018
4
2
76
  1. Pre-Medical
Hi,

I've recently finished undergrad and while I'm excited to start applying, I know I need either a gap year or two but need to know if even that's enough. In terms of academic stats, I've graduated with a 3.55sGPA/3.64cGPA (based on AMCAS sGPA guidelines, which would be higher with AAMCOMAS). I'm taking the MCAT in a couple of months and I know that's already putting me in an awkward place since it can go many ways. I have two big main problems, my EC's and my age. My EC's are sorely lacking as I've been working a lot of my life in the family business (with no pay but technically I'm being compensated). I have around 100 hours shadowing, I'm starting a scribing gig in a couple of months which will get me a lot of clinical exposure, and my nonvolunteering experience is mainly just helping a local Sunday school (200 hours) and going around teaching kids religious stuff (150 hours), I have around 100hours of research but mainly being the lab slave than anything meaningful, so my EC's barely exist. My plan is to study and do as well as I can on this MCAT and put in the work to get me an MD average score but most of my clinical hours will come just around 7-8 months before the application cycle (thanks Rona). In terms of my age, i am very young, let's just say I graduated college at a little after the age people typically go into college. People are telling me that will work against me heavily but I'm under the impression I can convey maturity through my life experiences (first gen immigrant, tough childhood the usual). Should I be expecting to apply next cycle if my MCAT score is decent with me being young and limited EC's or should I take another gap year? Sorry is the post is weirdly formatted, It's just I get nervous when it comes to this!

Good Luck to everyone applying and taking the MCAT, you're amazing!
 

jhmmd

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Apr 28, 2020
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desert highway
InkJoy said:
Hi,

I've recently finished undergrad and while I'm excited to start applying, I know I need either a gap year or two but need to know if even that's enough. In terms of academic stats, I've graduated with a 3.55sGPA/3.64cGPA (based on AMCAS sGPA guidelines, which would be higher with AAMCOMAS). I'm taking the MCAT in a couple of months and I know that's already putting me in an awkward place since it can go many ways. I have two big main problems, my EC's and my age. My EC's are sorely lacking as I've been working a lot of my life in the family business (with no pay but technically I'm being compensated). I have around 100 hours shadowing, I'm starting a scribing gig in a couple of months which will get me a lot of clinical exposure, and my nonvolunteering experience is mainly just helping a local Sunday school (200 hours) and going around teaching kids religious stuff (150 hours), I have around 100hours of research but mainly being the lab slave than anything meaningful, so my EC's barely exist. My plan is to study and do as well as I can on this MCAT and put in the work to get me an MD average score but most of my clinical hours will come just around 7-8 months before the application cycle (thanks Rona). In terms of my age, i am very young, let's just say I graduated college at a little after the age people typically go into college. People are telling me that will work against me heavily but I'm under the impression I can convey maturity through my life experiences (first gen immigrant, tough childhood the usual). Should I be expecting to apply next cycle if my MCAT score is decent with me being young and limited EC's or should I take another gap year? Sorry is the post is weirdly formatted, It's just I get nervous when it comes to this!

Good Luck to everyone applying and taking the MCAT, you're amazing!

1. You will have to clarify the first bolded point on AMCAS
2. Re: the second bolded point: You will need to have a different attitude about your ECs in order to make this work. Aren't there any telehealth opportunities in your area? Have you reached out to your PCP about shadowing? What about your undergrad's advising office?
3. Check back here when you have an actual MCAT score. It's very hard to advise w/out knowing what your MCAT score is.
4. Check out Goro's thread "advice for premeds who need reinvention"--it's helpful to traditional applicants as well as nontrads.
5. Good luck! :)
 

InkJoy

New Member
2+ Year Member
May 7, 2018
4
2
76
  1. Pre-Medical
1. You will have to clarify the first bolded point on AMCAS
2. Re: the second bolded point: You need a different attitude about your ECs in order to make this work. Aren't there any telehealth opportunities in your area? Have you reached out to your PCP about shadowing? What about your undergrad's advising office?
3. Check back here when you have an actual MCAT score. It's very hard to advise w/out knowing what your MCAT score is.
4. Check out Goro's thread "advice for premeds who need reinvention"--it's helpful to traditional applicants as well as nontrads.
5. Good luck! :)

First, thank you so much for the reply!

With respect to the first bolded point, It's just as simple as I worked in the family store but I was never officially hired or paid, It was really just our means of surviving, I had done some searching regarding this and I was advised to report it as paid work since they adcoms would assume I'm being compensated i.e. paying the bills in the house. I've been actively searching near me but shadowing/clinical work is quite hard the places I've contacted have guidelines that prevent new volunteers until a few months, this is also why my scribing job won't start until later. I will make sure to come back with an actual MCAT score, I wanted to wait until then but I just needed some advice to be able to go forward with realistic expectations. I'll be sure to read Goro's thread and thank you once again!
 
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Your grades aren't bad if you get a good MCAT. I had worse GPA's and got in.

Definitely focus on EC's after you take your MCAT. Find somewhere or somehow you can volunteer. Do something unique. You'll have a more full application and more fodder for your essays.

As for age, I did a couple gap years before school so I'm halfway through my 20's. I don't wanna sound like a jerk, but the gap from 20 to 25 is massive in maturity. I don't know why, but you develop so much in those 5 years. You certainly could be mature, but it will be more necessary to prove.

Unsolicited advice: Don't Sprint to med school. If you're young, you have the opportunity to do something cool and not be behind. I still have regrets for not doing Peace corps or something in between. You'll never have the chance again so if that appeals to you, do it. It would complete your app, too
 
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Cheezin

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Jan 7, 2018
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  1. Pre-Medical
In terms of my age, i am very young, let's just say I graduated college at a little after the age people typically go into college.
I'm 19 and my application will be verified (hopefully) in a couple days! If you remember, you can ask me what my experience was as a younger applicant haha. My MCAT is average with a high GPA from a state school. I have heard stories where someone was 22 and interviewed and said they would have accepted him if he was 24. I also know someone who is 18 and interviewed at NYU at 17/18 this past cycle, although he had a 522 lol. Anyways, best of luck in your journey!
 
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InkJoy

New Member
2+ Year Member
May 7, 2018
4
2
76
  1. Pre-Medical
Your grades aren't bad if you get a good MCAT. I had worse GPA's and got in.

Definitely focus on EC's after you take your MCAT. Find somewhere or somehow you can volunteer. Do something unique. You'll have a more full application and more fodder for your essays.

As for age, I did a couple gap years before school so I'm halfway through my 20's. I don't wanna sound like a jerk, but the gap from 20 to 25 is massive in maturity. I don't know why, but you develop so much in those 5 years. You certainly could be mature, but it will be more necessary to prove.

Unsolicited advice: Don't Sprint to med school. If you're young, you have the opportunity to do something cool and not be behind. I still have regrets for not doing Peace corps or something in between. You'll never have the chance again so if that appeals to you, do it. It would complete your app, too
Thank you so much for the insight! I won't lie, there's a part of me that want's to just jump in and apply to medical school but I am more than comofr
I'm 19 and my application will be verified (hopefully) in a couple days! If you remember, you can ask me what my experience was as a younger applicant haha. My MCAT is average with a high GPA from a state school. I have heard stories where someone was 22 and interviewed and said they would have accepted him if he was 24. I also know someone who is 18 and interviewed at NYU at 17/18 this past cycle, although he had a 522 lol. Anyways, best of luck in your journey!

It's awesome to hear there's someone else this young! I'm going to for sure bug you soon if you're ok with that!
 
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Hi,

I've recently finished undergrad and while I'm excited to start applying, I know I need either a gap year or two but need to know if even that's enough. In terms of academic stats, I've graduated with a 3.55sGPA/3.64cGPA (based on AMCAS sGPA guidelines, which would be higher with AAMCOMAS). I'm taking the MCAT in a couple of months and I know that's already putting me in an awkward place since it can go many ways. I have two big main problems, my EC's and my age. My EC's are sorely lacking as I've been working a lot of my life in the family business (with no pay but technically I'm being compensated). I have around 100 hours shadowing, I'm starting a scribing gig in a couple of months which will get me a lot of clinical exposure, and my nonvolunteering experience is mainly just helping a local Sunday school (200 hours) and going around teaching kids religious stuff (150 hours), I have around 100hours of research but mainly being the lab slave than anything meaningful, so my EC's barely exist. My plan is to study and do as well as I can on this MCAT and put in the work to get me an MD average score but most of my clinical hours will come just around 7-8 months before the application cycle (thanks Rona). In terms of my age, i am very young, let's just say I graduated college at a little after the age people typically go into college. People are telling me that will work against me heavily but I'm under the impression I can convey maturity through my life experiences (first gen immigrant, tough childhood the usual). Should I be expecting to apply next cycle if my MCAT score is decent with me being young and limited EC's or should I take another gap year? Sorry is the post is weirdly formatted, It's just I get nervous when it comes to this!

Good Luck to everyone applying and taking the MCAT, you're amazing!
You are expected to:
Know what you're getting into
Show that you really want to be around sick people for the next 30-40 years (talk is cheap; you have to walk the walk)
Demonstrate your altruism. Medicine is a service profession.

You apply when you have the best possible app.
 
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InkJoy

New Member
2+ Year Member
May 7, 2018
4
2
76
  1. Pre-Medical
You are expected to:
Know what you're getting into
Show that you really want to be around sick people for the next 30-40 years (talk is cheap; you have to walk the walk)
Demonstrate your altruism. Medicine is a service profession.

You apply when you have the best possible app.

Thank you for the reply! I’ll make sure I check with myself before the app cycle and see if another gap year would lead to more than just extra hours on my app, if so, I’ll definitely take one more.
 

Rachapkis

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As Gonnif and others often say, you should realize that 60% of applicants do not get in to any school, 20 percent of applicants get only one acceptance, and 511 is the average MCAT score of an admitted student. With that in mind, it is imperative to focus on excellence, not immediacy. That said, nothing you’ve done so far is disqualifying, but your prospects will depend in large part on your MCAT. I would not take the MCAT until you have done your utmost to succeed, hopefully with a score of 511 or higher. Good luck.
 
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