Apr 6, 2010
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Hello SDN,

I feel that my numbers are pretty good and I have some good EC, but I am not sure if I have enough.

cGPA: 3.964
sGPA: 3.9

EC:
2 week-long medical mission trips to Peru, which included both philanthropic activities as well as physician shadowing and ample operating room exposure, one day was even spent doing rotations with the residents at a hospital in Peru

2 times attending the national prosection program, a selective program held yearly where students dissect cadavers and learn anatomy

Shadowed a dermatopathologist off and on for the past 3 years(who was my uncle at the time) and wrote a paper with him (first author, idk if this makes a difference or not)that is in the process of being published at the moment

Did community service through the headstart program in Orlando throughout the fall '09 semester.

Participated in various other community service events including walk-a-thons, relay for life, etc.

Was an officer in a club my freshman year, and have been an active member of a particular organization for the length of my college career

About to start shadowing another physician

I am taking the MCAT in June and I should do well on it.

I am also working on my PS at the moment that will be strong (it better be!!!) and at this point can be assumed to be a help to my application


My main concerns are:

I don't really have people that i feel can right STRONG LOR (not just generic, and my uncle cannot write one for me obviously) The only person that I feel could write me a strong LOR works at one of the med schools I want to apply to, so I don't think this is a good idea. (what are your thoughts on this?)

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thanks for your time :D
 

drizzt3117

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Oct 29, 2006
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he's no longer your uncle? If you wrote a paper with him and worked with him for three years, I think a LOR from him or someone in his lab would probably be a good idea.
 
Apr 6, 2010
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Thanks for the reply,

I have a very complicated situation that could not have come at a worse time.

The doctor in question is/was married to my aunt and they are going through a rough divorce at the moment, and he is not allowed to be in communication with anyone related to her (including me, as I am related to her), until the divorce is settled

This makes getting a LOR from him very difficult, on top of the fact that he was my uncle, although not by blood.

I always thought you cannot get a LOR from a family member?
 
Sep 4, 2006
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How many abroad, 2-week service missions did you participate in? If only two, I'd say your clinical experience is sparse. Even if you did six of them, you are still expeceted to have US-based clinical experience too.

Having less than 6 months of regular (weekly) community service might be a problem too. You have a bit of leadership, though nothing recent. How about teaching, hobbies, sports, and artistic endeavors? And you have no research experience, though a publication is helpful.

Your GPAs are great, but the ECs need beefing up. If you plan to proceed with an application this coming summer, which I think you might want to think twice about, I'd encourage you to continue your augmentation efforts through the application year. You can use the added activities for update letters and interview conversations. And if worse comes to worst and you get no acceptances, you'll be in a stronger position when you reapply.

The shadowing longeveity is well above average, and that the doc was your uncle is no problem, but you need more physician shadowing of a variety of docs, ideally one in primary care, and maybe one other.
 
Sep 4, 2006
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I always thought you cannot get a LOR from a family member?
Obviously, it would be suspect to get one from a family member, which is why the suggestion was made to see if someone else working in the same office/lab might provide it.
 

ThaliaNox

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Oct 18, 2008
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Don't take this the wrong way, OP, but I look at your ECs and think, "rich kid." Not exactly the impression you want your application screener or interviewer having. You desperately need a long term clinical volunteering experience here in the US, preferably in a free clinic or in an environment where you work with the underserved.

Picking apart your experiences a bit: Overseas experiences are seen as a fad, with little meat, the same for expensive "pre-med prep" experiences like your prosection program. Fundraising volunteering is also not as highly valued as other sorts of volunteering. The head start program, on the other hand, looks good. Maybe continue with that, pick up some leadership role if possible. If you shadow again, try to make it with a primary care doctor. Don't make too much of an impression that you're set on specializing. (I know that you probably worked with the dermatologist mainly because he was your uncle, but admissions people won't!) Finally, the lack of research will be an issue for top schools, and honestly, with everyone since you don't have a strong service background instead.

Overall, if you get a +30 MCAT I see you getting in somewhere, but your ECs are likely not going to get you top schools, especially with no research.
 

CaliGirl14

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Don't take this the wrong way, OP, but I look at your ECs and think, "rich kid." Not exactly the impression you want your application screener or interviewer having. You desperately need a long term clinical volunteering experience here in the US, preferably in a free clinic or in an environment where you work with the underserved.

Picking apart your experiences a bit: Overseas experiences are seen as a fad, with little meat, the same for expensive "pre-med prep" experiences like your prosection program. Fundraising volunteering is also not as highly valued as other sorts of volunteering. The head start program, on the other hand, looks good. Maybe continue with that, pick up some leadership role if possible. If you shadow again, try to make it with a primary care doctor. Don't make too much of an impression that you're set on specializing. (I know that you probably worked with the dermatologist mainly because he was your uncle, but admissions people won't!) Finally, the lack of research will be an issue for top schools, and honestly, with everyone since you don't have a strong service background instead.

Overall, if you get a +30 MCAT I see you getting in somewhere, but your ECs are likely not going to get you top schools, especially with no research.

Yeah I definitely see the rich kid in your ECs...