Application Related Questions
My GPA is good and my MCAT scores are competitive, but I am 45 years old. How does that affect my admissibility?
First, it is illegal to base admissions decisions on age. Second, if anything, being an older (some people say non-traditional) applicant usually works to your advantage because, rightfully or wrongfully, admissions committees generally consider older applicants as having had more life experiences and therefore, more mature.
My GPA and MCAT scores are on the low side but I have been very active in community activities and volunteering. Will these offset my numbers?
Community service and volunteer experiences, particularly patient contact experiences, can only strengthen your application but they generally do not offset basic numerical credentials. Applicants should look at community activities and volunteer experiences as a way of demonstrating to an admissions committee what kind of person they are and their motivation to study and practice medicine. These are things that admissions committees look at right after they look at GPAs and MCAT scores.
I have had to work at two jobs while I have been in school and I have not had a chance to volunteer in the community or at the local hospital. Is that going to hurt my application?
Committees realize that some applicants have to work and they generally look at such candidates as having those things that one gets from having a job, being punctual and resourceful, dependable, being able to get along with co-workers, etc. Do not forget, everybody on the admissions committee has a full-time job and they are basically going to be sympathetic.
I have heard that it is necessary to do research of some kind to get into medical school. Is that true?
It all depends on the program and the school to which you are applying. At UMMSM it is not essential unless you are applying to the MD-PhD program. In that case, one of the selection factors is the extent, value, and productivity of your research experiences. For general admission to MD programs, however, research experiences can be undervalued by admissions committees.