When To Apply?

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10+ Year Member
Sep 3, 2009
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I'm a junior biotechnology major, and recently decided to pursue medicine. I'm trying to decide if I should try to apply this summer, or wait untill the summer after senior year. I signed up to take the mcat on 4/10 because I will have all the prereqs done by that point, and have scheduled a light load for my spring quarter to study for it. The score I get then (assuming I like it) can be used for either application time.

I have a pretty good gpa (3.9) but don't have a lot of medicine related volunteer experience. My father is a doctor so I've grown up with that in my life (occasionally accompany him on calls when he did favors for people). Been exposed through him to a variety of facets of medicine- he has 3 board specializations. I just started volunteering at a hospital-will have 40 hours at the end of this quarter. I didn't really do any restocking it was all helping nurses and answering patient calls (i fed some patients as well). I'm planning on arranging shadowing an ER doctor for a shift (but that probably won't be more than 6 hours). I volunteered at a theraputic riding facility for a couple of weeks (and will continue next quarter) working with autistic kids teaching how to ride. I have research experience from after freshman year I spent all summer in a lab in a fellowship program (worked 40hr a week mid june through mid september).

In terms of outside of school I worked (up until this quarter at least) up to 10/15 hours a week at an instructor/barn supervisor at the barn on campus. I was responsible for the vetrinary care of horses during my shift. I got a horse in the fall of my sophmore year, so I've had to balance going out to the barn everyday along with school. I'm also on the equestrian team (not a super active member though).

I realize that I don't have an ideal amount of clinical exposure, but I was wondering if I get a 30+ on the mcat should I apply this summer or wait? I could use the extra year to improve my volunteer experience...

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Depends on how well you do on the MCAT and how much volunteering and shadowing you can get in....

I def think if you apply this summer you will have less of a chance unless your stats are really good. Plus, Cali is really competitive....

I would probably wait and build the app..and apply when I was stronger. It costs alot of money to apply and take alot of time and effort too if you apply broadly, which would be my recommendation coming from Cali since state schools are hard to get in there.
Don't apply until your application is all it can be. Adcomms like to see 1.5 years of clinical involvment. I'd say a year is the minimum you should take a chance on. The average applicant has about 150 hours of clinical experience, but it won't look good if it's all 'last-minute'. Your application should demonstrate a period of exploring medicine as a life-long profession, not an impulsive leap toward a career you know little about.

When one has a physician parent, some med schools will consider that as part of the shadowing expectation. It's still a good idea to follow a few other types of doc around, too, which should be easy to arrange through family friends over your breaks. That activity need not be experienced in regular weekly increments; brief bursts of intense activity are fine.

Your research experience is the minimum, but better than nothing. With an extra year, maybe you could get involved and build that activity further.

Moving your involvement with horses into a community service that is medically relevant is great and will be a talking point at interviews. Adcomms like to see that you are passionate about something.

A peer leadership experience would be nice to see.
i see a lack of social experiences in your application. perhaps u did not mention your involvment with clubs and societies?

horses are great.. but ure not becoming a vet ;)

jokes aside... i suggest applying after junior year.
it will be a good experience even if u dunt getin.

but if u have that 30+ mcat and a 3.9
and 40 hours in a quarter = 160 in a year.
add a few hours of shadowing.

i tink u will do just fun

( aslong as u have huma ninteraction expereicnes like i said:p)