Questions about clinical experience, mcat and apps

Non trad student looking to apply in May 2022 to start Med school Fall 2023. With questions about next steps regarding mcat, clinical experience and applying (questions at the very end).

About me:
26 year old east coaster living in California working in clinical research. Previously did not do well in undergrad (family health related issues, which I will discuss on apps) and did a gpa enhancer post bacc program. In between spent time living abroad in Argentina (I’m bilingual in Spanish and english) where my family is originally from.


  • large state school ugpa: 3.129
  • post bacc at Upenn gpa 3.69


  • 2-3 from dermatologists
  • 1-2 from academic upenn

Clinical experience:

  • medical assistant in private dermatology clinic (2 years)
  • peer mentor at adolescent substance abuse program (6 months)
  • studied learning and memory in fruit flies at UBA Med school in Argentina (6 month)…I lived in Argentina for 2 years as part of my gap years.

Non health experience:

  • worked in sales at software tech company in Argentina.


  • I am working at UCSD Cancer Center as a full time Clinical Research Coordinator (3 months).


  • currently studying for Mcat to take in may 2022, but difficult to study effectively with full time job.

I got some recent feed back from someone who use to be on admission that my clinical experiences so far aren’t compelling enough (I.e medical assisting), which surprised me. They mentioned that the clinical research coordinator position that I’m working as currently will be viewed as administrative even though I do interact with patients. They advised that I find a different more clinical job. Also, since getting into the Uc med schools is unlikely (while even working at a uc school), they said it’s not worth continuing to work there at the expense of mcat studying.

Separately, the crc job is highly demanding and working full time has made studying for the mcat quite difficult so I am not opposed to finding a new job ideally part time until I take the mcat in May 2022

My questions:

  • what clinical jobs would make my story more compelling?
  • I’m leaning towards taking a few months off to study for the MCAT. If I can swing this, would you advise for or against?
  • what gaps in my experiences/potential application do you see?
  • Any general advice?