Would it be an absolute waste to apply this cycle?

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Ihave Nonamè

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I've only had success getting lab research and non-clinical volunteering. I've tried all year to get into the hospital (even just to volunteer) but am consistently told that with covid they aren't bringing new people in. I just now met with a doctor over zoom who said I could shadow him but that it would have to be in the summer or fall when the hospital and clinic have eased restrictions. My applications to work as an MA in a clinic go ignored (largely because I'm not a certified MA). I have years of experience in customer service though I know these don't at all satisfy the hospital experience expectation...

I'm an older non-trad student and honestly don't want yet another year off. I've been told by a few that I should apply anyway, that others in this cycle will also be missing this past year of experience. I've thought to apply to just a handful though I know this halfway approach typically isn't advised. Would sending in a few this cycle be an absolute mistake? I'm graduating after next quarter with a degree in Cell and Molecular Bio (3.6-3.7 GPA at my current UC school and a poor academic past at another). I'm working in a neuroscience lab but will not have been there a year when I apply nor will I have worked as a volunteer in the community for more than a year. I plan to take the MCAT late spring/early summer. I'm mixed race black/white.
 

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I've only had success getting lab research and non-clinical volunteering. I've tried all year to get into the hospital (even just to volunteer) but am consistently told that with covid they aren't bringing new people in. I just now met with a doctor over zoom who said I could shadow him but that it would have to be in the summer or fall when the hospital and clinic have eased restrictions. My applications to work as an MA in a clinic go ignored (largely because I'm not a certified MA). I have years of experience in customer service though I know these don't at all satisfy the hospital experience expectation...

I'm an older non-trad student and honestly don't want yet another year off. I've been told by a few that I should apply anyway, that others in this cycle will also be missing this past year of experience. I've thought to apply to just a handful though I know this halfway approach typically isn't advised. Would sending in a few this cycle be an absolute mistake? I'm graduating after next quarter with a degree in Cell and Molecular Bio (3.6-3.7 GPA at my current UC school and a poor academic past at another). I'm working in a neuroscience lab but will not have been there a year when I apply nor will I have worked as a volunteer in the community for more than a year. I plan to take the MCAT late spring/early summer. I'm mixed race black/white.
Do you have any clinical volunteering and shadowing hours?
 
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candbgirl

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I've only had success getting lab research and non-clinical volunteering. I've tried all year to get into the hospital (even just to volunteer) but am consistently told that with covid they aren't bringing new people in. I just now met with a doctor over zoom who said I could shadow him but that it would have to be in the summer or fall when the hospital and clinic have eased restrictions. My applications to work as an MA in a clinic go ignored (largely because I'm not a certified MA). I have years of experience in customer service though I know these don't at all satisfy the hospital experience expectation...

I'm an older non-trad student and honestly don't want yet another year off. I've been told by a few that I should apply anyway, that others in this cycle will also be missing this past year of experience. I've thought to apply to just a handful though I know this halfway approach typically isn't advised. Would sending in a few this cycle be an absolute mistake? I'm graduating after next quarter with a degree in Cell and Molecular Bio (3.6-3.7 GPA at my current UC school and a poor academic past at another). I'm working in a neuroscience lab but will not have been there a year when I apply nor will I have worked as a volunteer in the community for more than a year. I plan to take the MCAT late spring/early summer. I'm mixed race black/white.
You posted in 2017 about starting ECs. What have you done since then? While it might be true that there might be a little latitude given to some applicants that lack an EC here or there, it might also not be true. Nobody actually knows. And there are thousands of applicants that will have everything they need to be a strong applicant. How many clinical experience hours do you have now? How much shadowing? Any with a primary care doctor? What is your cGPA? All courses you have ever taken will be counted in your AMCAS GPAs.
As you were told in 2017 , research isn’t that important. While it’s nice to have there are other activities that are way more important.
To apply without the expected activities isn’t a good idea. Additionally, We don’t know your cGPA and you don’t have a MCAT. You really only want to apply one time with the best possible application. You want your application to scream “I WANT TO BE A DOCTOR and here’s why. “. And from what you have shared your application doesn’t say that about you.
So apply once and do it right.
Good luck on the MCAT.
 
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Ihave Nonamè

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You posted in 2017 about starting ECs. What have you done since then? While it might be true that there might be a little latitude given to some applicants that lack an EC here or there, it might also not be true. Nobody actually knows. And there are thousands of applicants that will have everything they need to be a strong applicant. How many clinical experience hours do you have now? How much shadowing? Any with a primary care doctor? What is your cGPA? All courses you have ever taken will be counted in your AMCAS GPAs.
As you were told in 2017 , research isn’t that important. While it’s nice to have there are other activities that are way more important.
To apply without the expected activities isn’t a good idea. Additionally, We don’t know your cGPA and you don’t have a MCAT. You really only want to apply one time with the best possible application. You want your application to scream “I WANT TO BE A DOCTOR and here’s why. “. And from what you have shared your application doesn’t say that about you.
So apply once and do it right.
Good luck on the MCAT.
I worked full time in customer service as a food server while attending community college and commuting 2-3 hours each day. I asked about extracurriculars in Dec. 2017 but couldn't fit it into my schedule and could not afford to work/intern without pay. I struggled financially.

I'm aware that research is not a necessity but it was a rare opportunity for me in this pandemic. As above, I've been unsuccessful at getting into a hospital or a clinic. I thought meeting with this doctor to shadow was finally a step in the right direction but was told we'd have to plan for summer or fall considering present covid restrictions.
 
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mmchick

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I worked full time in customer service as a food server while attending community college and commuting 2-3 hours each day. I asked about extracurriculars in Dec. 2017 but couldn't fit it into my schedule and could not afford to work/intern without pay. I struggled financially.

I'm aware that research is not a necessity but it was a rare opportunity for me in this pandemic. As above, I've been unsuccessful at getting into a hospital or a clinic. I thought meeting with this doctor to shadow was finally a step in the right direction but was told we'd have to plan for summer or fall considering present covid restrictions.
I understand with COVID this has been difficult, but usually it's recommended that you secure these very important experiences (i.e. CLINICAL) well before you intend to apply.. even without COVID, scrunching it into the several months prior to an application - as it seems you were intending to do - is a bit late for a prospective applicant. These clinical experiences are arguably the most important ECs on an application because they are evidence for your interest in medicine and completed due diligence for exploring the field to know for sure you even want to go to med school. I think the question is not - will I be ok without the clinical experience - but more so, how do you intend to make a case you actually want to be in medicine when you were intending to secure these experiences so last minute? In other words, it's not the most favorable process to have intention to apply before the exploration phase...

All this aside, no one for sure knows your chances, especially without an MCAT. It'd be a shot in the dark to presume what you'd get on MCAT and from there it's speculation, even with strong stats, given that a lot of med school these days really favor some sort of clinical experience as a strong core aspect of application. You're always welcome to apply, but general advice is to intend to make your first application round your only app round as a reapplication carries all kinds of extra hurdles that are frankly unnecessary to put yourself through simply because you want to rush the timeline. Another year for a solid application is a drop in the bucket for the decades you'll be in the field.

EDIT - I'll add that perhaps you could come out on top with limited clinical experience given your financial struggles + that is a great story anyway for med schools (i.g. resilience, independent student, self-serving, etc.) but that excuse will only give you a few brownie points to explain a lack of experience along your timeline since freshman year of college, not so much give you a free pass to have little to no clinical experience at all.
 

Ihave Nonamè

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I understand with COVID this has been difficult, but usually it's recommended that you secure these very important experiences (i.e. CLINICAL) well before you intend to apply.. even without COVID, scrunching it into the several months prior to an application - as it seems you were intending to do - is a bit late for a prospective applicant. These clinical experiences are arguably the most important ECs on an application because they are evidence for your interest in medicine and completed due diligence for exploring the field to know for sure you even want to go to med school. I think the question is not - will I be ok without the clinical experience - but more so, how do you intend to make a case you actually want to be in medicine when you were intending to secure these experiences so last minute? In other words, it's not the most favorable process to have intention to apply before the exploration phase...

All this aside, no one for sure knows your chances, especially without an MCAT. It'd be a shot in the dark to presume what you'd get on MCAT and from there it's speculation, even with strong stats, given that a lot of med school these days really favor some sort of clinical experience as a strong core aspect of application. You're always welcome to apply, but general advice is to intend to make your first application round your only app round as a reapplication carries all kinds of extra hurdles that are frankly unnecessary to put yourself through simply because you want to rush the timeline. Another year for a solid application is a drop in the bucket for the decades you'll be in the field.

EDIT - I'll add that perhaps you could come out on top with limited clinical experience given your financial struggles + that is a great story anyway for med schools (i.g. resilience, independent student, self-serving, etc.) but that excuse will only give you a few brownie points to explain a lack of experience along your timeline starting your freshman year of college, not so much give you a free pass to have little to no clinical experience at all.
What I managed to get junior year -in the few months before the pandemic- was cut short or before I could even finish training. I began looking in the fall quarter and was able to start a couple things in January or February before it all shut down in March.
 

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I worked full time in customer service as a food server while attending community college and commuting 2-3 hours each day. I asked about extracurriculars in Dec. 2017 but couldn't fit it into my schedule and could not afford to work/intern without pay. I struggled financially.

I'm aware that research is not a necessity but it was a rare opportunity for me in this pandemic. As above, I've been unsuccessful at getting into a hospital or a clinic. I thought meeting with this doctor to shadow was finally a step in the right direction but was told we'd have to plan for summer or fall considering present covid restrictions.
So do you essentially have 0 hours? If that's the case, it would absolutely be a waste to apply this cycle.

Edit: Just saw your above post. The answer doesn't change. With that minimal level of clinical experience, the other parts of your application would have to be top tier to make up for the deficit. You already have a below average GPA when averaging in your prior undergrad and you don't have a MCAT yet.

It sucks, but to have the best chance of getting in, you would need at least one gap year to shore up your clinical deficiencies. Your app is really weak right now, and if you apply, you have a miniscule chance of getting in. A miracle may happen, but it's far more likely you waste thousands in application fees and brand yourself as a reapplicant.
 
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Ihave Nonamè

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So do you essentially have 0 hours? If that's the case, it would absolutely be a waste to apply this cycle.

Edit: Just saw your above post. The answer doesn't change. With that minimal level of clinical experience, the other parts of your application would have to be top tier to make up for the deficit. You already have a below average GPA when averaging in your prior undergrad and you don't have a MCAT yet.

It sucks, but to have the best chance of getting in, you would need at least one gap year to shore up your clinical deficiencies. Your app is really weak right now, and if you apply, you have a miniscule chance of getting in. A miracle may happen, but it's far more likely you waste thousands in application fees and brand yourself as a reapplicant.
Yup zero clinical and absolutely no idea how to get it!
 

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I worked full time in customer service as a food server while attending community college and commuting 2-3 hours each day. I asked about extracurriculars in Dec. 2017 but couldn't fit it into my schedule and could not afford to work/intern without pay. I struggled financially.

I'm aware that research is not a necessity but it was a rare opportunity for me in this pandemic. As above, I've been unsuccessful at getting into a hospital or a clinic. I thought meeting with this doctor to shadow was finally a step in the right direction but was told we'd have to plan for summer or fall considering present covid restrictions.
If you don't have 150+ hours each of nonclinical volunteering and clinical exposure, plus 50+ hours shadowing, then yes, it will be a waste to apply this cycle.

You apply when you have the best possible app, even if it means skipping a cycle. Med schools aren't going anywhere.
 
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EdgeTrimmer

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I would say you can try with 100+ hours if your have some other strong experiences to show but definitely not zero hours.
 

mmchick

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What I managed to get junior year -in the few months before the pandemic- was cut short or before I could even finish training. I began looking in the fall quarter and was able to start a couple things in January or February before it all shut down in March.
I thought you were an older nontrad so I'm confused by your explanation that in your "junior year prior to this pandemic" the clinical you had lined up was cut short. Are you a nontrad or are you undergrad? Conflicting descriptions of yourself; either way, if you're undergrad you certainly can take gap years without much to lose out on. Average age of medical school is roughly 26.


Yup zero clinical and absolutely no idea how to get it!
Things are clearing up re COVID.. you will get an opportunity to do clinical at least within the next year and into 2022.. All that everyone is suggesting is take at least the year to shore up some clinical hours or your app is a bust. Sorry that's not the answer you're looking for.. Good luck
 
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Ihave Nonamè

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I thought you were an older nontrad so I'm confused by your explanation that in your "junior year prior to this pandemic" the clinical you had lined up was cut short. Are you a nontrad or are you undergrad? Conflicting descriptions of yourself; either way, if you're undergrad you certainly can take gap years without much to lose out on. Average age of medical school is roughly 26.



Things are clearing up re COVID.. you will get an opportunity to do clinical at least within the next year and into 2022.. All that everyone is suggesting is take at least the year to shore up some clinical hours or your app is a bust. Sorry that's not the answer you're looking for.. Good luck
I'm not sure why this is conflicting. A nontrad student can be an undergraduate.
 
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My good friend was trying to apply this cycle and ended up in the same position as you. They applied to basically every volunteering and entry level scribe/MA position available, but things just weren't hiring during COVID. It sucks.

I say wait. With zero shadowing and some form of clinical volunteering/employment, I just don't think it would be possible to put together a compelling application. How can you convince a reader that medicine is the path for you if you've never worked with a patient or seen what a doctor does day-to-day?

I know it's frustrating to wait, particularly as a non-trad, but you don't want to have to do that application cycle twice, and if you apply with no clinical experience, that is almost certainly the fate you are signing up for.
 
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Yup zero clinical and absolutely no idea how to get it!
Here's a harsh truth: your safety, as well as that of your family and society, is more important than your med school plans.

In the mean time, you can work on your nonclinical volunteering. Venues include scribing, food banks, COVID screening or contact tracing, Meals on Wheels, election poll working (normally done by seniors) and whatever your local houses of worship can suggest.

Once COVID is over, not all volunteering needs to be in a hospital. Think hospice, Planned Parenthood, nursing homes, rehab facilities, crisis hotlines, camps for sick children, or clinics.

Some types of volunteer activities are more appealing than others. Volunteering in a nice suburban hospital is all very well and good and all, but doesn't show that you're willing to dig in and get your hands dirty in the same way that working with the developmentally disabled (or homeless, the dying, or Alzheimers or mentally ill or elderly or ESL or domestic, rural impoverished) does. The uncomfortable situations are the ones that really demonstrate your altruism and get you 'brownie points'. Plus, they frankly teach you more -- they develop your compassion and humanity in ways comfortable situations can't.

Service need not be "unique"; it can be anything that helps people unable to help themselves and that is outside of a patient-care setting. If you can alleviate suffering in your community through service to the poor, homeless, illiterate, fatherless, etc, you are meeting an otherwise unmet need and learning more about the lives of the people (or types of people) who will someday be your patients.

The key thing is service to others less fortunate than you. Examples include: Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, Humane Society, crisis hotlines, soup kitchen, food pantry, homeless or women’s shelter, after-school tutoring for students or coaching a sport in a poor school district, teaching literacy or ESL to adults at a community center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Meals on Wheels, mentoring immigrant/refugee adults, being a friendly visitor to shut-ins, adaptive sports program coach or Special Olympics.
 
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Ihave Nonamè

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Here's a harsh truth: your safety, as well as that of your family and society, is more important than your med school plans.

In the mean time, you can work on your nonclinical volunteering. Venues include scribing, food banks, COVID screening or contact tracing, Meals on Wheels, election poll working (normally done by seniors) and whatever your local houses of worship can suggest.

Once COVID is over, not all volunteering needs to be in a hospital. Think hospice, Planned Parenthood, nursing homes, rehab facilities, crisis hotlines, camps for sick children, or clinics.

Some types of volunteer activities are more appealing than others. Volunteering in a nice suburban hospital is all very well and good and all, but doesn't show that you're willing to dig in and get your hands dirty in the same way that working with the developmentally disabled (or homeless, the dying, or Alzheimers or mentally ill or elderly or ESL or domestic, rural impoverished) does. The uncomfortable situations are the ones that really demonstrate your altruism and get you 'brownie points'. Plus, they frankly teach you more -- they develop your compassion and humanity in ways comfortable situations can't.

Service need not be "unique"; it can be anything that helps people unable to help themselves and that is outside of a patient-care setting. If you can alleviate suffering in your community through service to the poor, homeless, illiterate, fatherless, etc, you are meeting an otherwise unmet need and learning more about the lives of the people (or types of people) who will someday be your patients.

The key thing is service to others less fortunate than you. Examples include: Habitat for Humanity, Ronald McDonald House, Humane Society, crisis hotlines, soup kitchen, food pantry, homeless or women’s shelter, after-school tutoring for students or coaching a sport in a poor school district, teaching literacy or ESL to adults at a community center, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Meals on Wheels, mentoring immigrant/refugee adults, being a friendly visitor to shut-ins, adaptive sports program coach or Special Olympics.
I'm safe. I'm vaccinated. I have no family here. Yes, I've been able to get some non-clinical volunteering feeding the homeless (without interaction however).
 

KnightDoc

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Yup zero clinical and absolutely no idea how to get it!
Yeah, you really have no choice but to wait. What people don't know is whether or not allowances will be made for people who have less hours than normally expected due to the interruption over the past year. But, people who had nothing BEFORE the last year and couldn't get anything last year (e.g., YOU) will be at a huge disadvantage to everyone who had SOMETHING before the pandemic (e.g., 150 hours instead of 300, etc.).

Given the rest of your profile, you really need to wait in order to give yourself a fair shot. Just applying for the sake of applying will be a waste of time and money, and, as was pointed out above, will needlessly make you a reapplicant, which you want to avoid if possible.

Also, while you are definitely to be commended for being on top of things and constantly asking questions, this particular question is premature without a MCAT score. If you are ready to take it this year, do so while the information is fresh. The score will be good for 3 years. But, if your score sucks, that's the end of the inquiry, so nothing else you are worrying about will matter. You REALLY need to know whether or not you have a competitive MCAT score before thinking about applying with one or two deficient ECs. JMHO as someone who really wanted to apply last cycle and hit the brakes at the last minute due to concerns similar to yours.
 
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I've only had success getting lab research and non-clinical volunteering. I've tried all year to get into the hospital (even just to volunteer) but am consistently told that with covid they aren't bringing new people in. I just now met with a doctor over zoom who said I could shadow him but that it would have to be in the summer or fall when the hospital and clinic have eased restrictions.
So you have no shadowing, and at most a paltry amount of clinical experience. How do you intend to convince adcom members that medicine is the right career for you, when frankly, I'm not even sure you have enough exposure to convince yourself of this? There's no need to justify yourself to us, but this is something to reflect on before you rush to apply.

Application to medical schools is all about probabilities, and while every applicant theoretically has a non-zero chance of acceptance to at least one medical school; for some applicants such as yourself who lack many of the requisite experiences and have a middling GPA, your chances are practically zero. I would recommend sparing your hard-earned money, emotions, and time, and wait until you have accrued the necessary experiences so as to have a competitive application before applying.

See below for my thoughts on shadowing:
Shadowing is mostly for your benefit, not ours. The point of shadowing is for you to see what a typical day is like for a physician: both the good and hopefully the bad. Are you okay with spending at least the next 8 years of your life pursuing a demanding career that consists mostly of bread-and-butter medicine, and a mind-numbing amount of documentation and bureaucracy? These non-clinical tasks can take up more than half of your time. Can you understand why there is such a high rate of burnout among physicians, and are you okay with living in those exact circumstances yourself? It's one thing to read about it, and another to actually experience it.

It's not uncommon for students to develop 'buyer's remorse' during medical school and residency when they can no longer justify spending all the effort, money, and time to pursue a taxing job that has lost its glamor. Some of these people did not adequately research this career, while others were not fully honest with themselves prior to matriculation. The lucky ones can afford to leave. Those without means and/or talent are stuck finishing their training as they otherwise have no way to service their debt. I am happy for those who found alternatives to medicine, but I do wish that they had found it prior to matriculation so their spot could have gone to someone else.

When I interview applicants, I assess how they know that medicine is the right career for them. How do you intend to address this convincingly without having seen what a physician's day is like? How do you know that you will not regret this decision 5-10 years down the road? Students do get in without shadowing, but these people typically have significant clinical exposure such as nursing or scribing. The real question isn't whether you can get in without shadowing, but rather, should you get in without it? Shadowing might just save you from making a $240,000 mistake. Just my thoughts and best of luck.
 
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Ihave Nonamè

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So you have no shadowing, and at most a paltry amount of clinical experience. How do you intend to convince adcom members that medicine is the right career for you, when frankly, I'm not even sure you have enough exposure to convince yourself of this? There's no need to justify yourself to us, but this is something to reflect on before you rush to apply.

Application to medical schools is all about probabilities, and while every applicant theoretically has a non-zero chance of acceptance to at least one medical school; for some applicants such as yourself who lack many of the requisite experiences and have a middling GPA, your chances are practically zero. I would recommend sparing your hard-earned money, emotions, and time, and wait until you have accrued the necessary experiences so as to have a competitive application before applying.

See below for my thoughts on shadowing:
Who's to say the wait won't extend into the next year? If we aren't able to work now while vaccinated they definitely wouldn't allow us in fall/winter with new variants and wetter weather. More importantly, I will no longer be receiving aid when I graduate and will have to yet again limit the hours that I work/volunteer for no wage.

I do agree that having no clinical experience is horrible as a Med school hopeful. I'm not arguing here about this. I have no idea what to do; it's pretty well out of my control.
 

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Who's to say the wait won't extend into the next year? If we aren't able to work now while vaccinated they definitely wouldn't allow us in fall/winter with new variants and wetter weather. More importantly, I will no longer be receiving aid when I graduate and will have to yet again limit the hours that I work/volunteer for no wage.

I do agree that having no clinical experience is horrible as a Med school hopeful. I'm not arguing here about this.
No one's to say, but it won't. Things are definitely opening up. Sure, a new, crazy, highly contagious, extremely deadly, vaccine resistant variant is always a possibility, but it's pretty unlikely. In any event, it just doesn't matter.

If the world had been shut down for the past three or four years, you'd be in very good company and would have a very strong case to make. However, the fact that you got a late start and then got caught up in a global pandemic is just not the schools' problem when they have over 50K applicants who don't have such problems, while they only have 21K seats to fill. That's the reality of your situation.

As I said before, I had a similar situation last year. I had no research and was counting on it last spring and summer. It never happened. My clinical experience was also very light and not getting any heavier last spring once my clinic, and every clinic in the country, stopped allowing people like us to volunteer. On top of that, my MCAT got pushed back three times until I was finally able to take it in August.

I finally gave in and acknowledged the fact that my late application would suck compared to what it could have been, so I pulled the plug. Given the crazy surge in applications, it turns out I dodged a big bullet, but I didn't even realize that at the time. I just took the advice of people here who opined that my deficiencies would not receive any special consideration from the adcoms, even though they were beyond my control, so long as there were candidates who didn't have them. Period. End of story.

Ultimately, it's your life and your application, so it's your decision. You have received the collective wisdom of a bunch of people with varying degrees of experience. What you do with it is entirely up to you.
 
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candbgirl

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When you lose your aid get a clinical job. Clinical experiences can be paid or volunteer. As long as you are dealing face to face with the sick, injured and dying you’ll be fine. Start looking now. Get something lined up . Clinical sites are hiring, they have to fill vacancies. What area do you live in?
 
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Who's to say the wait won't extend into the next year? If we aren't able to work now while vaccinated they definitely wouldn't allow us in fall/winter with new variants and wetter weather. More importantly, I will no longer be receiving aid when I graduate and will have to yet again limit the hours that I work/volunteer for no wage.

I do agree that having no clinical experience is horrible as a Med school hopeful. I'm not arguing here about this. I have no idea what to do; it's pretty well out of my control.
It'll likely be a while before clinical volunteer programs are back up and running, but I think your options for clinical employment should start improving soon, if they haven't already. One of the big problems when COVID was really bad was that lots of elective and outpatient medicine was just not happening, so the entry-level support jobs in those settings were also not available. Lots of that is beginning to go back to normal.

If I were you, I'd consider getting a CNA cert. I'd also get signed up with all the scribing agencies that service your area (Scribe for America, etc.) and shoot out a new round of applications for MA, CNA, and EMT positions; I feel like you'll likely have better options now. Having one of those jobs will also help with your financial issue.
 
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My clinical volunteering was also canceled during the pandemic, but I wanted to stay on track to apply this year, so I found work as a nursing assistant. N = 1 (and I know this isn’t commonly the case) but after ~50 applications I found a place that didn’t require a CNA cert
 
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What is your actual sGPA? Including all classes you have ever taken anywhere.

How do you know you want to be a doctor if you have zero clinical experience?
 
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Ihave Nonamè

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What is your actual sGPA? Including all classes you have ever taken anywhere.

How do you know you want to be a doctor if you have zero clinical experience?

Simply described, I feel obligated to help others when they come to me for it and I'm not satisfied until I do, when someone is unwell I tend to try to figure out what it could be (w/o giving medical advice - "are you drinking enough, did you eat out, did you stretch beforehand, etc"), imaging in particular is beyond exhilarating to me or otherworldly (of heart, bone, fetus, brain, etc) as is viewing live tissue under a microscope (eg: blood cells) or in dissection. In my A&P courses I felt at home, I felt capable and I knew that it was what I needed to be doing. I listen well and I am patient, particularly with the elderly.

I don't know my sGPA at the moment but it would be higher than my cGPA.
 

Banco

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It is frustrating I agree, but yes it would be a waste of time applying without any shadowing or clinical experience. You won't be able to substantiate a good enough answer to "why medicine."
 
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candbgirl

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It is frustrating I agree, but yes it would be a waste of time applying without any shadowing or clinical experience. You won't be able to substantiate a good enough answer to "why medicine."
I agree it’s frustrating for OP, but it’s frustrating for us too. We’ve asked questions and gotten no responses yet we continue to try to help him out. Anyway, OP I know you are disappointed in our overwhelming responses( including some from actual ADCOMS). I’m also sure if you repost your question someone will come along and tell you the exact opposite and encourage you to go ahead and apply. Ultimately it is your decision on what to do and it seems that nothing we tell you is going to change what you’ve decided. Good luck as you move along on your path to medicine.
 
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mmchick

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I'm not sure why this is conflicting. A nontrad student can be an undergraduate.
Typically nontrad in terms of describing an application to med school refers to an older individual who has been graduated from undergrad for a while and taken either gap years or multiple years off pursuing another career - the implication is it's been a while since you've been in school, so there are some additional considerations and benefits to look at applicants who still do well on MCAT, keep up ECs, positive activities for med applications etc. while being out of school. You're an older undergrad, got it. Either way, advice doesn't change.
 
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YCAGA

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Simply described, I feel obligated to help others when they come to me for it and I'm not satisfied until I do, when someone is unwell I tend to try to figure out what it could be (w/o giving medical advice - "are you drinking enough, did you eat out, did you stretch beforehand, etc"), imaging in particular is beyond exhilarating to me or otherworldly (of heart, bone, fetus, brain, etc) as is viewing live tissue under a microscope (eg: blood cells) or in dissection. In my A&P courses I felt at home, I felt capable and I knew that it was what I needed to be doing. I listen well and I am patient, particularly with the elderly.

I don't know my sGPA at the moment but it would be higher than my cGPA.
Not sure how to put this diplomatically…but that reply proves my point.
 
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Ihave Nonamè

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Not sure how to put this diplomatically…but that reply proves my point.
Oh goodness I suppose I should have instead written it was whispered to me by an angel following the passing of a dear aunt...

Don't be the bullies that everyone else online make you on this site out to be.
 
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YCAGA

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Oh goodness I suppose I should have instead written it was whispered to me by an angel following the passing of a dear aunt...

Don't be the bullies that everyone else online make you on this site out to be.
I’m not being a bully. I’m saying that your reasons for being a doctor are not well articulated and are easily questioned by the fact that you have ZERO clinical experience. Anyone who says that the reasons you just wrote are a good “why I want to be a doctor” spiel is someone you don’t want to take any advice from. So would you rather get realistic advice from a “bully” or bad advice from a yes man?
 
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Ihave Nonamè

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Typically nontrad in terms of describing an application to med school refers to an older individual who has been graduated from undergrad for a while and taken either gap years or multiple years off pursuing another career - the implication is it's been a while since you've been in school, so there are some additional considerations and benefits to look at applicants who still do well on MCAT, keep up ECs, positive activities for med applications etc. while being out of school. You're an older undergrad, got it. Either way, advice doesn't change.
No, "nontraditional" includes individuals that are enrolled in an undergraduate program several years after the completion of high school. Nontraditional encompasses a range of individuals in varying circumstances and your own description describes just one.

And why was this important enough to you to argue?



"The National Center for Education Statistics defines nontraditional students as meeting one of seven characteristics: delayed enrollment into postsecondary education; attends college part-time; works full time; is financially independent for financial aid purposes; has dependents other than a spouse; is a single parent; or does not have a high school diploma."

The implication rather is that the adult has other obligations that the young 19 year old does not.
 
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Ihave Nonamè

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I’m not being a bully. I’m saying that your reasons for being a doctor are not well articulated and are easily questioned by the fact that you have ZERO clinical experience. Anyone who says that the reasons you just wrote is a good “why I want to be a doctor” spiel is someone you don’t want to take any advice from. So would you rather get realistic advice from a “bully” or bad advice from a yes man?
Oh, you wished for a beautifully constructed personal statement written out here in an online forum...

You asked why I am in pursuit of medicine and I gave you a short answer. It lacks a patient, ok.

I haven't complained about any of the advice given here.
 
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mmchick

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You clearly are frustrated with all of our advice and were hoping we would bless your intention to apply with virtually 0 clinical experience. That is clearly not going to happen. Might as well just take it for what it is and either apply despite the overwhelming advice against it (it is your life after all) or heed the advice in which you sought. I think this thread is about summed up.
 
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YCAGA

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Oh, you wished for a beautifully constructed personal statement written out here in an online forum...

You asked why I am in pursuit of medicine and I gave you a short answer.

I haven't complained about any of the advice given here.
Nothing in your answer explained why you want to be a PHYSICIAN. I will break your reasons down because they somehow surpassed “I like science and helping people” in terms of cliche.

What I got from your post is that:

1. You like solving people’s problems. That is a good character trait and career goal to have…and you can do that in literally any job. That’s how the economy works: you receive money for solving someone’s problem. Even within healthcare, you need to articulate why you want to be a PHYSICIAN. My dentist has made me a lot happier than pretty much any doctor I have ever seen. Teeth problems suck. I don’t want to be a dentist or nurse or PA though, and if you don’t want to either, you will need to explain why with evidence. All those professions take anatomy, listen to people, help people, learn science, etc.

2. Imaging and histology can be cool but you haven’t shadowed a radiologist or pathologist so you can’t really speak to what they actually do. For example looking at live tissue under a microscope is something almost no doctor does, even pathologists.

3. Anatomy lab dissections will be maybe 100 hours of your 20,000+ hour medical education. Anatomy is also pretty cool, but you haven’t tied your passion for anatomy back to medicine, nor have you shadowed specialities that are anatomy heavy. If you feel at home in the anatomy lab, you should get a PhD in anatomy and teach medical students anatomy for decades, not just take the course over a semester or two.

4. Listening well and being patient are also great characteristics to have, but they are great to have in literally any profession. Computer science, law enforcement, nursing, law, sales, engineering…listening well and being patient will make you be much better at all of those jobs.
 
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Ihave Nonamè

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You clearly are frustrated with all of our advice and were hoping we would bless your intention to apply with virtually 0 clinical experience. That is clearly not going to happen. Might as well just take it for what it is and either apply despite the overwhelming advice against it (it is your life after all) or heed the advice in which you sought. I think this thread is about summed up.
Many above actually gave advice, and it was helpful.

Some of you now are moving beyond the territory of advice.

I.e.: Criticizing/laughing at my reasons for medicine, referencing posts of mine back to 2017 to make some point about me, your continued insistence that I'm not a non-trad, etc all provide nothing in the way of advice.
 
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YCAGA

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Many above actually gave advice, and it was helpful.

Some of you now are moving beyond the territory of advice.
I asked the same questions you will be asked in the first 30 seconds of any interview (especially if you apply with your current resume) and you called me a bully. I wouldn’t say you have been very receptive to feedback.

If you actually listen to my advice about why your “why medicine” response is so bad, you can focus on getting the experience to back up your words. It’s okay to be naive and wrong, but medicine is not going to work as a career for you if you are naive, wrong, and refuse to change.
 
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Ihave Nonamè

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Nothing in your answer explained why you want to be a PHYSICIAN. I will break your reasons down because they somehow surpassed “I like science and helping people” in terms of cliche.

What I got from your post is that:

1. You like solving people’s problems. That is a good character trait and career goal to have…and you can do that in literally any job. That’s how the economy works: you receive money for solving someone’s problem. Even within healthcare, you need to articulate why you want to be a PHYSICIAN. My dentist has made me a lot happier than pretty much any doctor I have ever seen. Teeth problems suck. I don’t want to be a dentist or nurse or PA though, and if you don’t want to either, you will need to explain why with evidence. All those professions take anatomy, listen to people, help people, learn science, etc.

2. Imaging and histology can be cool but you haven’t shadowed a radiologist or pathologist so you can’t really speak to what they actually do. For example looking at live tissue under a microscope is something almost no doctor does, even pathologists.

3. Anatomy lab dissections will be maybe 100 hours of your 20,000+ hour medical education. Anatomy is also pretty cool, but you haven’t tied your passion for anatomy back to medicine, nor have you shadowed specialities that are anatomy heavy. If you feel at home in the anatomy lab, you should get a PhD in anatomy and teach medical students anatomy for decades, not just take the course over a semester or two.

4. Listening well and being patient are also great characteristics to have, but they are great to have in literally any profession. Computer science, law enforcement, nursing, law, sales, engineering…listening well and being patient will make you be much better at all of those jobs.
There's little use in analyzing those points all as separate from one another. Listening is useful for law but you ignore that I am fully passionate about the human body and am entirely put off by legal discussion (as with engineering, computers science, sales, etc).
 

Ihave Nonamè

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I asked the same questions you will be asked in the first 30 seconds of any interview (especially if you apply with your current resume) and you called me a bully. I wouldn’t say you have been very receptive to feedback.

If you actually listen to my advice about why your “why medicine” response is so bad, you can focus on getting the experience to back up your words. It’s okay to be naive and wrong, but medicine is not going to work as a career for you if you are naive, wrong, and refuse to change.
I'm not presently in an interview.
 
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YCAGA

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I think this thread has run its course lol
 
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Ihave Nonamè

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Yep. If OP doesn’t want to close it maybe someone else can. It’s too bad because OP has gotten good advice. He just doesn’t like it. Oh well...
It makes absolutely no difference; you don't need to continue commenting on it as you are. You'll see above I liked a few helpful posts.

And sorry, why do you keep referring to me as male?
 
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