what would you do ...

This forum made possible through the generous support of SDN members, donors, and sponsors. Thank you.


Full Member
10+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
May 22, 2007
Reaction score
the stats:

TX res
cGPA: 3.2 = 3.0 engineering undergrad + 3.7 post-bac
sGPA: 3.2
MCAT: 10PS 10VR 11BS Q

summer internship in biomechanics lab
studied abroad during summer in Germany, did some work in bio lab (not research)
EC Volunteer at a level 1 trauma center (50+ hours)
taught English, helped run two summer school programs in China during a mission trip
worked in R&D for a biomed device company for 1 year, while taking post-bac classes
worked as a pharmacy tech for 1 year, while taking post-bac classes
keyboardist for church, performed at nursing homes, shelters, various events for 2.5 years
was a founding member/co-leader of a christian fellowship in college
will be going on a medical mission trip to a third-world SE Asian country this summer


1) Although it is more advantageous to submit an application earlier than later, would it be worth it to build up volunteer hours/experience in the next two months and apply at the end of June, as opposed to some time in May? (at least doubling my current time in the EC)

2) what would you do in my shoes to maximize the chances of getting in (anywhere in the US, but pref in TX) this year? should I still try to improve my GPA even though i have so many hours now? (doesn't seem very cost-effective at this pt)... is it more worth it to re-take the MCAT or build up my ECs to compensate?

3) does volunteering in an emergency center count as shadowing, too?

thanks so much

Members don't see this ad.
Assuming you continue your clinical ECs, you can always send schools update letters indicating you are increasing your hours spent volunteering after submitting your AMCAS. Completing everything early (and June is still early!!), IMO, outweighs the benefit of holding out for 60 or whatever more clinical hours but you'd still be perfectly fine submitting in early to mid June.

You do have a lot of unique ECs and great leadership and international experiences, which will help you a lot in addition to your great post-bac performance. Your best shot is going to be at your state schools, and I would also give a lot of consideration to DO schools given your GPA. You have made a lot of improvement, but the average matriculant GPA is around a 3.6-7 so it will be held against you.

Volunteering is different than shadowing regardless of being in an ER. Try to get some shadowing experiences before submitting your AMCAS and good luck!!
Members don't see this ad :)
thanks for your help, guys!
this may be a SMP situation? someone comment?
well, i was seriously considering SMP's, and even went to the trouble of sending all my transcripts to georgetown, but my advisor told me that TX schools don't really care about SMP's since the undergrad GPA is more important to them than a graduate GPA ... just taking classes closer to home will be a better bet for me, i think, instead of spending 50K+ with no guarantees of getting accepted

have yall heard something different?
Try to apply to DO schools. I think many MD schools have a GPA cutoff well above 3.2.