Hi, I am sophomore heading into my junior year at THE Ohio State University. I am absolutely in love with stanford and so want to see if I have a decent chance at it/what else I should do to stand out. Thanks!
Note: As stated above, I am a second-year, but I plan on graduating a year early (during my junior year) and so I really just have 1 more year of college left. I'll be taking my would be senior year off as a gap year, and applying to medical school during the summer of 2014.
Major: Microbiology; Minor: Music
cGPA: 3.97 (most of my hard classes are done, so this shouldn't change much)
sGPA: 3.92 (most classes I'm taking next year are science classes, so hopefully this goes up)
MCAT: I plan on taking the MCAT in January 2014 at the earliest, depending on how confident I feel. I have begun studying this summer and have scored a 35 on a princeton review practice test. I hope to get a 38+ on the actual MCAT (big hope) once I'm actually done studying, but I feel confident I can score at least the average for Stanford.
-Interned for two summers at NIH (NCI) working with the AIDS and Cancer Virus Program
-Currently working in a lipidomics lab at OSU doing some cell biology/biochemistry research. I am published in 2 papers (general biochemical journals) as well as an abstract that was presented at the ATS conference in Philly. I am working on my honors thesis now and should be able to split it into two more papers by the end of next year. Both of those will be first-author publications.
-Working with the chair of Neuro-Oncology at the James Cancer Hospital here. This is not a laboratory position, but a "library based research" in which I do literature searches and help put together some of the chairman's talks and presentations. The main perks here are having regular access to the neuro-oncology clinic, as well as a hell of a recommendation letter.
-Will be a TA for organic chemistry labs this coming year. Teaching an entire class should be fun
-President of a club that regularly visits nursing homes and interacts/performs activities with the patients there to better their well-being
-Concertmaster (1st chair violin) for the Ohio State Community Orchestra, which is the one NOT for music majors (much more laid back)
-May or may not become a lab manager for the lab I'm currently working in, but I have trained many new students already in cell culture/basic lab techniques
-Research assistant in Emergency Medicine at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus. Duties include screening and enrolling patients, and consenting/assenting them into research studies. This might go into the research category but it isn't paid and I am not really doing research of my own or participating intensively in anything
-Hospice volunteer, I frequently play violin for senior citizens and patients with terminal illnesses, and have also played piano for cancer patients in the James Cancer hospital here
-Habitat for humanity: I've participated in a couple of construction projects this summer in building homes for families that are in need
-Volunteer in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (1 year) and will be volunteering in the emergency room at the OSU medical center this coming year. There are mainly administrative duties/what you can expect from general hospital volunteering but also provide some fun patient interactions
-I have also participated in general philanthropy events that most applicants probably also have so I won't list them here
-I am an Ohio resident, I know Stanford is private but I don't know if they still hold slight preferences for california residents or not
-I will graduate from Ohio State. Undergraduate degrees are certainly one of the many factors, and so obviously my GPA won't look as impressive as someone from say, Hopkins.
-I am Asian (lol)
-I haven't really received many significant awards or honors. I was awarded my first notable scholarship this summer for doing research, but other than that I really haven't won any crazy competitions or been selected to anything absurd that would make me stand out a ton. This is really my main focus for my last year at ohio state. I'll be presenting at at least 2 research conferences so hopefully can place high in those. I'll also apply to scholarships like crazy. Any other suggestions on this front would be greatly appreciated.
-What to do with an ENTIRE year off???? So far, I've really thought hard about traveling the world before committing myself to medical school. Maybe do some volunteering abroad. I may also return to the NIH as a post-bac student for a full year instead of just a 2 month summer so that I can maybe get another publication there. I could also stay in columbus working as a full time TA and continuing the research I'm doing here. Too many options to think about now though.
Obviously my score on the MCAT is probably the biggest determining factor as of now. I'm really pushing myself to kill it on the actual MCAT and be above average, but assuming I just get the average for Stanford, do I have a good shot?