February 11, 2003 at 9:06 am #56456CaLiGirL:)Participant
I’m starting to realize that I (along with many of you) will be applying sooner than I thought…JUNE! I’m so nervous. Alot has been on my mind lately. I suddenly feel as if I am not a competitive candidate. I have met so many other premed students at UCLA and was blown away by how strong their applications will be. Volunteered here, volunteered there, followed this doctor, very high GPA, did awesome research, will be taking MCATS in April as opposed to August.
Where does this leave me? My GPA used to be pretty good until I transferred. I currently have a 3.5 (not counting the JC GPA), and that is IF I discount the D I got in my first quarter of Physics. Counselors have told me that I can retake it and have it taken off my transcript (they make an exception to do this only once for you). This quarter is still a big haze. I don’t know how it’ll turn out.
Can any of you guys give me some advice. Should I still apply this year? Should I wait another year to build my application? How confident to you feel with applying? What kind of EC’s do you have? I just need to let this all loose. I REALLY would like to apply this year…I’m just a little scared of rejection. I can’t believe it’s just a blink away…I’ve been dreaming about it for so long and now I have knots in my stomach… :boggled:
AnnieFebruary 11, 2003 at 5:24 pm #56458efex101Participant
Annie I would not stress out about what other people have for that is out of your hands. We really do not know if first of all what they are saying is even true. They may say that they have so and so but really do not, regardless everyone is unique and every circumstance will be different. I seem to recall that you do have EC’s right? they do not have to be the cookie cutter pre-med type of EC’s. I will tell you what I have, I have done two summers of research and will be doing a third this summer, have volunteered at my local hospital about 4 hours per week (but many times could not go), shadowed two different types of physicians, president for a club at school for one year, member of three different clubs at school (one honor, two major related), teach aerobics, and some other minor stuff. I did not necessarily do any of these EC’s just for medical school with the exception of volunteering in the hospital. I started doing a lot of EC’s when I started school and now have some good experiences to talk about. Look to see what you have done I am sure that you have a good amount of stuff that you may not even consider EC’s. If for some reason you do not have any healthcare exposure that may be one that you could add by shadowing a doctor. Do not think that if you have more or less EC’s that adcoms will either accept you or not, for there is much more to an applicant than EC’s. I think that you will be fine and are just getting the pre-application cold feet. Focus on the MCAT and the rest will fall into place. Good luck!February 11, 2003 at 6:51 pm #56460cafe ahnanParticipant
Have faith in yourself. I want to say, “stop trying to compare yourself to others.” but it is much easier said than done. I have had doubts all along the process. Well I am happy to say that I’m in! However, at every interview, I was intimidated and thought, “Wow he went to Harvard, what am I doing here? I have no chance.” Every acceptance letter I received, I was happy, but thought, “great. but I am still not good enough for univ. of chicago.” At every diagnostic test MCAT, I doubted myself and thought that the girl next to me was getting 12s and I should just give up.
Your GPA is better than mine, and if you can get a solid MCAT score, I think you will have a good chance. If you have doubts about your profile, make appointments with the dean of admissions at the schools you are interested in and ask them for their opinions. Make sure you have your resume/CV with you. When I met with the admissions deans, in addition to my resume, I had completed an AMCAS app so they could review it and give me input. One dean was very helpful and told me that I did not have any recent clinical experience and that she wanted me to pursue that ASAP.
Focus on what you have and be positive. Good luck.February 11, 2003 at 10:17 pm #56462loriParticipant
You need to realize that GPA and MCAT is only one aspect of your application. Of course, it is here where med schools “rate you” to see if your initially qualify for their school. Volunteering is an important aspect– but just another in the “whole scheme of things”. If you really sit and think about it, you probably have done more volunteering than you thought possible. I was dreading this area of my application. The more I gave thought to it, however, the more I realized I did more than I thought! Research?- nope, had none. Honor societies?- yes, plenty! Donating blood? Volunteering as a member of the PTA?(both yesses in my case) Shadowing? VERY IMPORTANT!! It is still not too late to try to volunteer at a hospital or a clinic. I did some volunteering in a local hospice unit (near and dear to my heart as my dad spent time in hospice before passing away). Have you donating time or monies to ANY associations? There is more than you could possibly know once you start thinking about it. Even if you can only volunteer once every other week, it is still something. One thing that helped my apps was my present work (past five years as a nurses aide).
Letters of recommendation are another important area of the app process. Be sure to get letters from instructors, employers who KNOW YOU WELL! VERY IMPORTANT!!!
Life experience is yet another aspect of the app process. This will reflect in your personal statement. Going to school while being married, having children, and working? This looks much better than the run of the mill student doing nothing but going to school. Be sure to stress this on your personal statement.
I, too, did not think I had what it took to get in. I had a pretty decent GPA (3.65 including an “F” I received while in the military). My MCAT was not too great.
Did you consider applying to D.O. schools as well as M.D.? D.O. schools REALLY LOVE NON-TRADITIONAL STUDENTS! Think about this option as well.
My advice to you is to still apply to med school this year. If for any reason, you don’t get it, then you can reapply the following year. Med school is not just about GPA’s and MCAT scores, believe me. If you have no volunteer work, START NOW!!!! Each person comes from a unique set of circumstances and you should not worry how others compare to you. I thought I had no chance in the world to get accepted, so I too, postponed a year (because of my MCAT scores). I took another prep course only to score one point lower the second time around :banghead: My pre med advisor could not understand why I waited in the first place (which was better for me anyways because my son will be in 1st grade when I start). I bit the bullet and applied anyways and low and behold, I’m in! I know it is a frustrating and scary process, but you too, shall overcome. Believe me! Best of luck to you! and DON’T KEEP WAITING— APPLY! APPLY! APPLY!February 12, 2003 at 8:01 am #56464CaLiGirL:)Participant
Thank you SOOO much for your input. I am looking to apply this year, I was a bit shaky (with cold feet) that’s all. I guess I needed the encouragement and I’d like to thank you for providing that for me :blush: .
As for the MCAT’s, I have the whole summer to focus on that and do my absolute best. If you can go over what I have and let me know what you think, I’d really appreciate it. Once again, thanks for your encouragement…you guys are wonderful :rotfl: !
AnnieFebruary 12, 2003 at 4:57 pm #56465efex101Participant
Girrl you have plenty of EC’s! do not feel that you need to have research to get accepted to med school, research is not required to gain admittance. If you feel like you would enjoy it and most of all, you have time, then it will not hurt. But it seems that you have plenty and will have great things to talk about as is. See your concern was really not necessary, you will impress adcoms!February 12, 2003 at 11:24 pm #56467TexasRoseParticipant
I have to share this little story about being intimidated by another premed applicant.
I was applying for a summer research program and needed a LOR from my Biology prof. He asked me to write a page about myself that he could reference to while he was writing the LOR. No prob, but he wanted me to do it in his office that day. (no pressure!)
Well, I started trying but it all sounded so corny and awful to me. There was another premed in the office who was helping the prof with some programming. This guy offered to “help.” Basically he proceeded to make me feel bad about being a nontrad, having a “mediocre” GPA (3.5), and not having more EC’s. I felt like a complete moron!
Later on I found out the guy was applying for the same program!!! Guess who got in and who didn’t! :laughing:
Moral of the story is there are premeds out there who make it a point to make other applicants feel bad. It’s a head game. Don’t participate! I think Adcoms see those guys coming and you won’t find most of them in your class next year!!!
I’m there with you, applying this June! 😉
TheresaFebruary 13, 2003 at 1:11 am #56469JumpuParticipant
It is because of those competitive premeds that I was biggest loner (loser?) in my undergrad years. Don’t listen to them and go with your head and your heart. You know yourself best! 🙂
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