Please Help!!! Desperate for Pre-Med Advice


<p>I was wondering if I could get some advice from you guys since my pre-med advisors are not available during the summer. I am a 3rd year Biology (BS) major and Chemistry/Cognitive Science double minor at UNC - Chapel Hill.</p>

<p>GPA 3.23 (Which is very low/disappointing and this is the highlight of my concerns for applying to medical school).
MCAT: TBD (will be taking the MCAT on June 21).
Research Experience: 1 semester of basic research with Cell and Molecular Physiology (BIOL 395). Currently trying to obtain a position in a clinical research lab near home for 3-4 months.
Clinical Experience: Volunteered in the Emergency Department at UNC Hospitals for 50 hrs. Also volunteered during high school (~100 hrs. in the summer before college). I will also be shadowing 3 doctors over the course of this summer.</p>

<p>So my basic questions are: whether or not I should bother applying this year, or wait until the end of senior year to try and boost my GPA (hopefully)? Also, will my clinical experience this summer will make me a strong candidate even though my GPA is low? And finally, should I be looking into Post-Bacc/Special Masters programs after my undergraduate career? I feel my clinical experience and extracurricular activities are strong, but again, my GPA is the weak point (hopefully I do well on the MCAT as a saving grace). Any other advise would be greatly appreciated and let me know if I need to provide any more information!</p>

<p>Thanks in advance!</p>

<p>Your GPA is a major concern and will preclude you from interviews at many schools (barring an insanely high MCAT). Also, your clinical experiences this summer will not be listed on your application (provided that you submit your app in June), meaning that you will only be able to highlight them in update letters or at interviews. Your previous clinical experience is not a lot (the 100 hrs from high school likely will not count in the eyes of adcoms), so you might want to do more volunteering. Non-clinical volunteering would also help boost your cause. </p>

<p>I suggest that you delay your application a year and try very hard to maintain a high (3.9+) GPA during your senior year. Do you have an upward trend at all? Anyway, if you manage to pull off a 3.4 by the time you apply, then you’ll have a better chance. A 3.5+ would be ideal, but I’m not sure that you have enough credits left to make that big of a dent. =/ You can consider SMPs but they are a risk (and $$$)!</p>

<p>Also - what’s your BCMP GPA?</p>

<p>I think you should wait for 2 reasons–</p>

<p>The first is, of course, your GPA. It needs to be higher. </p>

<p>Take a look at this AAMC data sheet of the percentages of people with your GPA/MCAT to see how you’re putting yourself in bad place. Assuming an average MCAT (30-32), you have only slightly better than a 1 in 3 chance of admission. </p>

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<p>The second is your MCAT date. June 21 is too late. You won’t have a score until late July and by the time you get your score back, develop an appropriate list of schools, submit and get verified that pushes your actual application date back to sometime in August. Which is frankly too late, especially for someone with a shaky GPA. By the time you are submitting your primary, people will already be having interviews…</p>

<p>Your clinical experience won’t make up for a low GPA. (The first round of applicant screening is done by computer program which considers only your stats.)</p>

<p>Only activities that occurred after your first day of freshman college classes are put on your AMCAS application. Anything you did in high school (i.e. the summer before college) really doesn’t count. So your clinical hours drop from 150 –> 50. Also 1 semester in the research lab is minimal–you need more research exposure.</p>

<p>RE: post-bacc/SMP. That will largely depend on what your MCAT score looks like and if you are able to raise your GPA by the end of your senior year.</p>