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Where should I apply, confused about "research schools? 3.84 GPA; 526 MCAT

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muggle68

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I got my MCAT score back yesterday, very pleasantly surprised and kind of in shock about where to go next?
UNC-CH undergrad, BA in Chemistry and BA in English, sGPA is comparable if not a little > cGPA
Volunteered last summer in Guatemalan hospital for 6 weeks, first assistant on surgeries ranging from amputations to cholecystectomies and then shadowing/helping out in clinics (113 surgical 102 clinical hrs)
Big brother/big sister mentoring: 70 hrs
Hospital volunteering: 60 hrs
Shadowed 3 doctors, about 60 hrs total
Volunteered as Chemistry peer tutor at UNC for 2 semesters
Trained HIV counselor/tester at free clinic for uninsured, 22 hrs
9 months volunteering in a bio lab trying to transform yeast for DNA mismatch repair study

The research didn't go anywhere, and I didn't enjoy it much. I'm probably not interested in doing basic science research in the future. Very open to clinical research, and I want to be a teaching doctor in the future.

Since getting my MCAT score back, I'm more conflicted about where to apply. I've submitted my AMCAS already and waiting to get it verified. I feel like I'm pretty competitive for top schools, but I want to have a life in the future to some extent and probably won't pursue research. I'm confused about what a "research school" is. Will a top school like Harvard or Johns Hopkins be worth it for me if I don't want to do a ton of research/go for a Nobel Prize in the future? Will they even consider me if I'm not into research? Do those schools even train people who just want to be good doctors, or is it all about research? What does "research" even really mean? All I know is the basic bench bio research I suffered through. Sorry for the long post but I have no idea which schools to apply to! Any input would be greatly appreciated

Currently thinking: UNC-CH, UCSF, Harvard, UVA, Emory, Wake Forest, Icahn at Mount Sinai, Oregon Health and Science
 

Phoenix628

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I am also in a similar situation to you, and I definitely am leaning toward clinical research instead of basic science research, though I have had a few different basic science experiences.

I would add whichever schools you think you might enjoy based on their curriculum. If you get an interview invite, you can check out the program further. I wouldn't limit yourself based on which schools are "known for research", because those schools are likely pretty good for other aspects of medical education as well!
 

Goro

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You're golden; aim high. I suggest:

Harvard
Wash U
Yale
Stanford
U Chicago
U Penn
U VA
U MI
U AZ
U Colorado
U VM
U WI
Ohio State
Jefferson
U IA
UCSF
UCLA,
U Cincy
Miami
Albert Einstein
Tulane
Loyola
Emory
BU
USC/Keck
JHU
Mayo
Pitt
Northwestern
NYU
Vanderbilt
Columbia
Sinai
Cornell
Duke
Case
Hofstra
Your state schools





I got my MCAT score back yesterday, very pleasantly surprised and kind of in shock about where to go next?
UNC-CH undergrad, BA in Chemistry and BA in English, sGPA is comparable if not a little > cGPA
Volunteered last summer in Guatemalan hospital for 6 weeks, first assistant on surgeries ranging from amputations to cholecystectomies and then shadowing/helping out in clinics (113 surgical 102 clinical hrs)
Big brother/big sister mentoring: 70 hrs
Hospital volunteering: 60 hrs
Shadowed 3 doctors, about 60 hrs total
Volunteered as Chemistry peer tutor at UNC for 2 semesters
Trained HIV counselor/tester at free clinic for uninsured, 22 hrs
9 months volunteering in a bio lab trying to transform yeast for DNA mismatch repair study

The research didn't go anywhere, and I didn't enjoy it much. I'm probably not interested in doing basic science research in the future. Very open to clinical research, and I want to be a teaching doctor in the future.

Since getting my MCAT score back, I'm more conflicted about where to apply. I've submitted my AMCAS already and waiting to get it verified. I feel like I'm pretty competitive for top schools, but I want to have a life in the future to some extent and probably won't pursue research. I'm confused about what a "research school" is. Will a top school like Harvard or Johns Hopkins be worth it for me if I don't want to do a ton of research/go for a Nobel Prize in the future? Will they even consider me if I'm not into research? Do those schools even train people who just want to be good doctors, or is it all about research? What does "research" even really mean? All I know is the basic bench bio research I suffered through. Sorry for the long post but I have no idea which schools to apply to! Any input would be greatly appreciated

Currently thinking: UNC-CH, UCSF, Harvard, UVA, Emory, Wake Forest, Icahn at Mount Sinai, Oregon Health and Science
 

anonymoose1640

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Since getting my MCAT score back, I'm more conflicted about where to apply. I've submitted my AMCAS already and waiting to get it verified. I feel like I'm pretty competitive for top schools, but I want to have a life in the future to some extent and probably won't pursue research. I'm confused about what a "research school" is. Will a top school like Harvard or Johns Hopkins be worth it for me if I don't want to do a ton of research/go for a Nobel Prize in the future? Will they even consider me if I'm not into research? Do those schools even train people who just want to be good doctors, or is it all about research? What does "research" even really mean? All I know is the basic bench bio research I suffered through. Sorry for the long post but I have no idea which schools to apply to! Any input would be greatly appreciated

Research does not necessarily mean monotonous pipetting for hours on end. First, basic science research can be very rewarding in a good lab with a good mentor (it just takes longer to get that reward usually). But basic science research isn't the only kind of research out there. You could do clinical research or translational research. Research doesn't have to be biology focused: you could do engineering (medical devices), anthropology, health policy, economics, public health, or any other topic under the sun. Your research could be sifting through datasets, pipetting on a bench, or in the field with real people. The only way to know what you would want to do is to explore those opportunities. The best way to get opportunities to explore is to apply to those big research schools.

No school will force you into research you don't want to do. Many have a thesis requirement, but many of them allow you to do your thesis on whatever research you want. Additionally, no school will tell you that you can't just practice as a physician when you graduate. You are your own person, the school simply opens new doors and new possibilities for you. I will let you know, however, that many of the top schools want to educate the future healthcare leaders of the country, meaning they want to educate people to be a doctor..."and". A doctor and an activist. A doctor and a researcher. A doctor and an innovator. A doctor and an anthropologist. The possibilities are endless. But it's something you should be aware of before applying.

I hope that helped address your concerns. Your application should take you far and your distaste for basic science research shouldn't hold you back. Good luck :)
 
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