getting into a great med school... help!

<p>I just turned 17 last week. I will be attending Drake University in the fall as a freshman. I have 27 college credits already because of AP tests. I will be double majoring in BCMB (biochemistry, cell and molecular biology) and philosophy. I plan on rushing and also volunteering at a hospital. I really want to go to Johns Hopkins or Duke or UPenn for med school... obviously, I need great MCAT scores and a high GPA, which I plan on getting, but what else would I need to accomplish to reach my goals? How good of an MCAT scores and GPA would I need? Anything else? I interview very well.
THANKS for any feedback!</p>

<p>3.7+ GPA and 35+ MCAT</p>

<p>Very competitive applicants have 4.0 GPA and near 40 MCAT, however.
You might also find [url=<a href="http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/pre-med-topics/377780-premed-forum-faqs-read-first.html%5Dthis%5B/url"&gt;http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/pre-med-topics/377780-premed-forum-faqs-read-first.html]this[/url&lt;/a&gt;] helpful.</p>

<p>Make sure you seek out research opportunities during the school year/summer and do LOTS of research in your field. My sister was accepted into an MD/PhD program at U of Kentucky Med School, and she has told me that research (as well as the other things you mentioned) is an extremely important factor. Additional ECs other than volunteering may be beneficial, too.</p>

<p>thank you both for the feedback! also, does it matter where you go for undergrad as much as how well you perform? Would Drake be viewed as a relatively good school?</p>

<p>and what kind of ECs should I look into? I'm not very athletic. It would be kind of hard to maintain a GPA above a 3.7, double major, volunteer, be involved with a sorority, and work (I took out loans for everything and need work study)</p>

<p>
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and what kind of ECs should I look into? I'm not very athletic. It would be kind of hard to maintain a GPA above a 3.7, double major, volunteer, be involved with a sorority, and work (I took out loans for everything and need work study)

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Whatever you want. If it was easy, everybody would be doing it, now wouldn't they?</p>

<p>My advice to you would be this:
Try something new sometime during your 4 years of college.
Continue doing what you like doing.
As far as volunteering: drop it for the first semester since it sounds like you already have a lot on your plate. Let yourself get used to the workload of college your first semester. It seems to me that a billion volunteer hours don't mean jack to med school adcoms if you have a 2.5 GPA. Volunteering can wait (unless it's something you're really really interested in doing, and would be doing it even if it didn't look good on a med school app).
Try to get a work-study job in a lab, if research interests you.
Don't be picky about which med schools you want to go to. It's especially naive at this point to be aiming for "elite" schools and here's why: even though USNWR ranks them highly and they have a great name, this doesn't guarantee that the med school will tailor to your particular interests (Duke, Hopkins, and Penn are all considered great research schools, but what if your interests lie elsewhere? I'm sure these are fine schools for going into just about any area of medicine, but you may find that there are options more compatible with your interests than one of these schools)</p>

<p>"does it matter where you go for undergrad as much as how well you perform? Would Drake be viewed as a relatively good school?"</p>

<p>GPA comes first, then the difficulty and and prestige of your undergrad can sometimes be a deciding factor when GPA + MCAT are both very close. Me schools adcoms often tend to turn a blind eye on undergrad or major difficulty if an applicant's GPA is low (<3.4). I've personally never head of Drake, but a quick search on its stats suggests that it is average at best, so if you want to realistically have a shot at top med schools you're definitely gonna have to be at the top of your undergrad class. </p>

<p>"and what kind of ECs should I look into?"</p>

<p>The three most important ECs med schools are looking for are (listed in decreasing importances) clinical volunteering, clinical shadowing, and science-related research. The research component will player a larger role if you're applying to top med schools or MD/PhD programs.</p>

<p>It is very doable to have straight A's, work, volunteer, Research, Greek life and combo of major(s)/minors and decent MCAT. There are good number of pre-meds who are doing it all without single summer class. My D. had even lighter academic schedule junior and senior year, since she needed to prep. for MCAT during junior year, and there are not many classes to have left for her for senior year. However, one of Med. Schools on her list has added to its requirements, so D. had to drop one of her minors, looks like she is short by maybe one class. It is OK, she kept more important for her Music minor. </p>

<p>It is all time management and very doable.</p>

<p>Miami,</p>

<p>It find it very misleading that you claim that it's "very do-able" for everyone to have outstanding grades, mcats, and all the EC's. Fact of the matter is, less than 10% of applicants who apply to med school have more than a 3.9 GPA, and fewer than 20% of applicants have a "decent" score. Though I'm sure your daughter is brilliant and perhaps these things are do-able to her, for most people it's very difficult to hit every single (mcat, gpa, ec, volunteer, research) point on the mark.</p>

<p>To the OP,</p>

<p>Unless you're a genius, you probably WON'T get into upenn/duke/jhu/harv. Realize that it doesnt matter what med school you go to (well, for the most part), and just concentrate on getting SOMEWHERE. You'll be applying "safely" with a 3.8+ GPA and a 37+ MCAT, but would have a pretty good shot wit about a 3.6 and a 33 MCAT. By safely, im referring to about a 85% chances that you'll get into at least ONE mid-tier school.</p>

<p>A good way to see if you have a good chance is to take your MCAT + GPAx10 + 1. If these number is above 70, then you're on track. If it's lower, then you've still got a shot but will need to have better EC's to really set yourself apart.</p>

<p>If you're really still gonna aim for JHU and the like, you'll need a 3.9 and probably around a 36-42ish to have a fair chance at it, and the only thing that will "guranatee" you into those types of schools is outsanding EC's and LoR's.</p>

<p>
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I really want to go to Johns Hopkins or Duke or UPenn for med school...

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Never aim for specific medical schools when you haven't even started college. </p>

<p>
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Unless you're a genius, you probably WON'T get into upenn/duke/jhu/harv.

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You don't have to be a "genius" to get into those schools. Who are you to say what the op is capable of?</p>

<p>I would say a huge majority of people attending those schools are geniuses. I'd also say a majority of people who apply and are NOT all that bright get rejected more frequently than others who are smarter. Hence, probably.</p>

<p>rainboe,
I said, it is doable.
"Fact of the matter is, less than 10% of applicants who apply to med school have more than a 3.9 GPA, and fewer than 20% of applicants have a "decent" score."
- the reason is strictly bad time mangement and not enough effort. I have never said that it takes no effort. It is not required to be genius. Average person with good working habits and time management can accomplish it. And GPA = 3.8 - 3.9 is very good and enough to be considered for any Med. School.</p>

<p>I love these threads</p>

<p>WHY are you so interested in these medical schools? Do you want to be a doctor, or do you want to be some kind of leading researcher?</p>

<p>Because, honestly, if you want to be a doctor who takes care of sick people, you really ought to give very serious thought to attending your home-state medical school. It costs much less than Hopkins or Duke, and the liver functions pretty much the same at Hopkins as it does at, just to pick one, Univ. of Kansas.</p>

<p>I'll also add that in my house, we're doctor-snobs, but we tend to care more where a doctor did his or her residency than were he or she went to medical school.</p>

<p>In fact, even if you want to be a leading researcher, you might consider going to your home-state medical school and then trying to do your residency at some place really snazzy like the places you've named.</p>

<p>JMO</p>

<p>It's very "doable" to get into Harvard Medical School too. </p>

<p>Of course it's doable but let's see, less than 10% of people are capable of getting into medical schools so it doesn't mean that everyone can develop the time management skills. People are still relatively young when entering college and a lot of them don't realize exactly what they want to do yet, which may hinder chances due to lower grades that won't permit them score anything close to a 3.8. </p>

<p>What's Drake University?</p>

<p>Well, setting realistic goals is part of growing up also. Usually people apply to wide range of schools. Few minutes research will show that Harvard will reguire higher stats than some other schools. Few more minute also will show that MD is MD no matter where from and some Harvard Med. School graduates will be working in the same office with non-ranked Med. School graduates seeing the same patients and making exactly the same $$ and Harvard name in their proffessional history will not guarantee that they will be the best MD in this office at all. There are very many variables going into making an MD, besides the name of Medical School.</p>

<p>It's kind of disconcerting that no one even knows what Drake is...</p>

<p>Well, it IS a private school with only 3500 undergrads. I'm sure not everyone here knows about the very very great school in Philadelphia either - University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (USP). A lot of people (whom you would expect to know) don't know what Rice is either.</p>

<p>I have been a graduate student, medical student, resident and fellow at 4 of the top medical schools in the country and have several friends who have done the same to other medical schools in the top 10. We are not geniuses. We are talented and worked very hard with good time management and focus. We were also a little lucky. It is not " easy doable" or everyone would do it. The US medical school you attend will not matter for most students unless you wish to go into academics or into a very competitive residency or specialty. Drake is a decent small school not unlike the college I attended.
You will need close to a 4.0 and mid 30's MCAT etc to be considered for one of the top medical schools.</p>