I have a question. Should I put off applying this year?
Here is my situation: I am an Elementary School Music Teacher 10+ years with a 3 and 6 y.o. keeping me on my toes. I have been diligently taking pre-reqs while working my butt off at work.(I hold a few key positions on staff at my school.) I serve in a high minority, low-income school while maintaining a high teaching standard, a percussion group, a choir, tutoring, and chess club (all after hours). I have received various awards of service and citizenship. I also volunteer on the UH campus for my chem professor 2 hr/wk and 6+ hr/wk in the summer.
I think my postbac sGPA is 3.5. I am in the process of filling out the Texas and AMCAS med school apps. I have taken Bio I/II with labs, Chem I/II with labs, Physics I/II with labs, Orgo I/II lab with I. This semester I am am taking Genetics (no labs available in my time slots) and Orgo Lab II. I plan on terminating my employment at the end of the school year and taking the MCAT in August. I also plan on volunteering at the local hospitals in my area about 5 hr/week.
In the Fall I am taking Statistics, Biochem, Physio, Microbio, and labs since I will no longer be working.
I have been trying to get a meeting with an adviser, but they are packed and my appointment times are limited.
Can/ Should I apply this year?
I know it is going to be a late application, but will the lacking of one or two classes (biochem and stat) hurt my application in TX? ( I live in Houston). Let me know what ya’ll think, because I need/want the feedback.
Thanks in advance!
I’ll give you two things to think about. 1 is that a late application definately decreases your chances. Bear in mind that if you take the MCAT in August, your application won’t be reviewed until complete (MCAT score received) which will be September, or possibly even October.
Also, it can strengthen your application to show a semester of full time school (which you will have that fall), and to excel in it. Preferably one would like to demonstrate exceptional post-bacc grades and a strong MCAT. The strongest application you could put together might be to take the full course load in the fall and aim for A’s. Then spend the spring doing further MCAT prep and getting your application and LOR’s together. Take MCAT in the spring (with the benefit of biochem and more prep time) and rock it, and apply EARLY. That would permit you to work in your “glide” year (if you can get a 1 yr position), and continue to volunteer, and have some nice time with your family. I so wanted to skip my glide year and it turned out to be a HUGE blessing to have that time to spend time with family and tend relationships before the stress of med school.
That somewhat longer schedule might give you a much stronger application, in my opinion.
Renee, I agree with Kate. The VP of recruitment at my first choice has really emphasized the importance of getting your app in as soon as possible. As the app season progresses, there will be fewer and fewer spots to fill, and from a sheer numbers perspective that’s bad for the applicant. Here is the lowdown on what I was told: be writing up your “experiences” and personal statement for amcas in a word .doc. I was told to get to a place where all you have to do is copy and paste your answers so you can get the app in fast.
I feel like I was given really good strategies from the school for essentially having 2 college careers: the stupid, young one and the mature, kick-butt student one. Based on my experience, I would not hesitate to contact your school(s) of choice and really a get to know them. Something that the kids straight out of college don’t seem to do is to take a personal interest in the school and its mission/dynamics. I was really happy that by the time I went to an open house people knew who I was and were really welcoming.
Just my .02. Good luck!
I’m going to have to echo everyone else on this. One of the single most important things is getting your application in early. My friend had a 37 MCAT and a 3.9 GPA and took his time with his applications and because of that he found himself applying again the next year. Now, you don’t need a 37 and a 3.9, but the story is the same: Get your application in at the very beginning of the cycle.
Thanks, Everyone for your insight! I have decided to go ahead and take it. This kinds of makes me happier, because the application process is daunting. I now know what is in store, and am eagerly awaiting the challenge. I am still planning on MCAT in August, and will take all science in the Fall. Any recommendations besides stat and Biochem?
How does the saying go…? “A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step.” See you on the journey!
I second madnessisay on keeping a working file for your personal statement and experiences. My application process would have been much less stressful if I’d done so.
Good luck to you!