Should I apply this cycle or hold off?

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    rachelsooy
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    Hello everyone, I am new here and hoping you can give me some advice.
    I am a 30-year-old non-traditional student, I have a BA in Ceramics and have taken classes sporadically over the last few years but finally made the decision to finish my pre-requisite classes and quit my job as a medical assistant in December.

    I am currently enrolled in an MCAT prep course that will begin mid-May and plan to take the MCAT August 2nd.

    My GPA in my undergrad was 3.1 my GPA in my science classes is currently is 3.7.
    I have over 10,000 hours of clinical patient experience from working in Dermatology for the last four+ years and plan to beef up my volunteer and lab experience over the summer.

    My questions are as follows:
    1a. Should I be concerned that I have minimal volunteer experience? Or is the direct clinical experience sufficient? (I have other extracurriculars that I will be listing).
    1b. How far back in my history should I pull from? I have volunteer experience in high school, but that feels like eons ago.

    2. Do I wait to apply until next cycle, even though I will be pushing my timeline back a full year, or do I apply to my top three schools(or all schools I am considering) even though the probability of getting an interview will be greatly reduced because the application will be submitted later in the summer/ early fall?

    3. If I do apply this cycle and then again next cycle will I ultimately be hurting my chances because I would be placed in a re-applicant pool for a few schools?

    4. In regard to school selection, I know I want to go into Dermatology, should I be looking for schools that primarily feed into the derm residencies? How would I go about doing that? Are there statistics for that?

    So far the advice I have received has been to see what my scores are like on the practice MCAT and let that dictate my decision about applying this cycle. I want to be competitive and hopefully, get in on the first attempt to save resources, etc.

    Thank you in advance for your knowledge and insight.

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