Nontraditional applicant, making a career change from industrial chemistry. Hoping for the best!
60 hours volunteer patient transport in a hospital 35 hours shadowing two MDs and one NP in family medicine and surgery 500 hours work experience as a home health aide 200 hours volunteer health coordinator with community health center for refugees
Two summers and four semesters of undergraduate research in materials chemistry and biophysics, 3 publications (none first author) and some poster presentations 80 hours volunteer ESL tutor/ teacher's aide for refugees A bunch of paid and unpaid tutoring 3+ years of professional experience as a quality control chemist Some awards for high GPA and such One leadership position in an undergrad club Independent international travel for fun
// Applications //
Application Cycle One: 06/16/2014
Undergraduate college: Large State
Undergraduate Area of study: Physical Sciences
Total MCAT SCORE: 513
MCAT Section Scores:
Overall GPA: 3.98
Science GPA: 3.97
Summary of Application Experience
Advice to future applicants:
Trust the MSAR averages, you really do stand the best shot at schools whose average admitted LizzyM is below your own. Don't, however, be afraid to throw in a few reaches, you never know where or with whom your application may resonate. Be sure to apply to your dream school, even if it seems completely out of reach, you'll never know what could've been unless you try.
The one thing that concerned me most on my application was that pesky 8 on my VR section of the MCAT. I took the MCAT right before applying so didn't have time to consider a retake. My advice to future applicants is that if you feel you have a fairly strong application overall and are passionate and altruistic about your decision to pursue a career in medicine, one weak point in your app won't hold you back too much.
I spread my interviews out, starting with my first in September and my last in the end of January. I never scheduled more than 1 or 2 interviews per month and didn't schedule any interviews within a week or two of one another. This was my personal approach and obviously wouldn't work if you are planning on attending 10+ interviews, but I felt it really gave me some time to focus on each school individually. It also gave me the opportunity to cancel interviews at schools I knew I wouldn't attend once I started getting some acceptances.
I had a fairly good record of acceptance post-interview. My recipe for interview success is as follows:
1.) Arrive at least one full day before your interview if at all possible. This gives you some time to rest/relax before the interview without feeling too rushed.
2.) Spend the day before the interview exploring the city. I borrowed/ rented bikes in most places and saw as much of the city as I could. Its fun to sight-see and get a sense of the place you may call home. Also, it gives you things to talk about with interviewers and current students on interview day.
3.) If you exercise, definitely go for a run, bike ride, or at least a walk the night before. If you drink, have a drink or two the night before. Both will help you chill out before the interview.
4.) Have fun! Probably not possible at the interview because it is a bit nerve wracking, but enjoy the opportunity to travel and explore new cities. Don't get too wrapped up in the stress of the situation, if you have been invited for an interview, you deserve to be there. Take a deep breath and enjoy the ride.
Combined PhD/MSTP: No
Secondary Completed: No
Interview Invite: No
Interview Attended: No
Summary of Experience:
Decided not to complete secondary. Applied before I got my MCAT score, figured I didn't have much of a shot after I got it.