View Full Version : what are my chances?
05-01-1999, 02:53 PM
I am a junior at a NC university. I am majoring in Exercise Science. My GPA is 2.9 but I haven't received my MCAT scores yet. I have a lot of hospital experience and will have great recommendations. I want to apply for admission to DO schools for entrance in the year 2000. What are my chances of getting in & which schools should I apply to in order to maximize my chances?
05-01-1999, 04:11 PM
2.9 is a looooong way from the average gpa of accepted students of 3.4+.
Unless you are a minority and/or have an MCAT of 30+, your chances are not good, but not impossible.
Try Des Moines and Nova, I have been surprised more than once by their ability to look beyond the #s.
You might consider the Caribbean as a backup or a post-bac.
The DO world is one of connections and nepotism, meet the right people and your #s might carry less weight.
05-01-1999, 04:27 PM
Hi NC Student,
It is going to be tough, but if this is really what you want to do, go for it! My recommendation is to get your applications in early, (I've heard "Apply by the fourth of July") apply to a large number of schools, and in the meantime try to do very well on your last year of classes, perhaps shadow a DO and do anything else you can think of to maximize your chances. Be prepared to apply a second time, this happened to me, and I think med schools look at this as well.
I had pretty low numbers as well; UNE, Nova, Kirksville, Arizona, and Touro all asked me for interviews, the rest of the schools I applied to weren't interested - I applied to approx 15 schools.
05-01-1999, 06:13 PM
So do you think that I should apply to foreign medical school? If so where should I apply and what should I look for in applying?
05-01-1999, 08:42 PM
Honestly, you should consider podiatry school. You have no chance at all in medical school and even if you got in, come on, do you really think you could hack it with the rest of us? Some people just don't have the mental capacity to be blunt. Move on with your life. Except your limitations and don't be bitter or jealous of the white coats like us. Anyway, we ARE only DO's!
05-01-1999, 11:14 PM
I strongly encourage you to take Post-bac classes. Take some advance biological science and try to "A" all of them. If you are serious to be a medical doctor, prove it to yourself and to the admission committee that you can do it. However, if you can't maybe you need to reconsider your career goal. Tell yourself that it is your last chance.
Just share my experience, I thought my master program is diffficult, it is nothing compare to medical school.
I don't recommend you to go for foreign medical school. I know someone that is graduated from India and came to US a year ago. He applied many residency programs and no one accept him, just because he is a foreign grad. So, you have to really think about what you want to do.
By the way, if you are still in your twenties, wait a couple years and then reapply again when your GPA is higher.
You sound as "superior" concerning DPMs as some MDs are about their "superiority" to DOs. I doubt if podiatry school is a piece of cake.
I talked to a guy today that graduated from AUC a year ago, he was just notified that he finally recieved a residency spot. If you ask me, thats a long wait. You probably need to improve your gpa, you are in a position to make or break yourself, its all up to you.
05-03-1999, 06:05 PM
If you want to be a doctor give it your best shot. Life is lived once and there are no points for not attempting something. Apply this year definately to a few schools with the knowledge that you probably won't get in. Improve your grades by doing hard science courses (master of medical science programs are one year and are designed for this purpose pretty much) and do very very well on the MCAT. The key is playing the game without letting the game bring you down. It is just a game. Many many excellent doctors got into school only after several attempts and then only by the skin of their teeth. People who tell that you are inferior themselves have an inferiority complex and should not be listened to.
By the way, DPMs are doctors (and in my opinion are physicians albeit with a limited scope of practice). To think otherwise is to display your ignorance and is no different than saying (DOs aren't real doctors). They have a limited scope of practice but still do surgery (quite involved in some cases), prescribe medication, take night call and serve as faculty in large teaching hospitals. I personnaly know DPMs on staff (orthopedics for those of you who want to look it up) at Rush Presbyterian St. Lukes in Chicago and the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC. These places, for comparison's sake (and this is a shame) do not have any DOs in their orthopedics departments. If you want to practice medicine of the lower extremity or want to do orthopedic surgery of the lower extremity than look at DPM. Ofcourse their is a stigma, but who cares what fools think. Now coming down from my soap box.
05-04-1999, 12:24 PM
i recommend doing the post-bac thing..keep in mind that numbers are not everything, but they get you thru the first round and avoiding the garbage can..
spruce up your grades..if you are only a junior, then graduate, get a job, go to school at night, show that you are dedicated to doing this and that you are taking time to grow up and experience the real world..admissions committes, especially at CCOM, love to interview the non-traditional student, or folks who have already had another life--another career, and are now trying to do medicine..they think it shows committment..who would want to ruin their life by enduring this hell if they did not really want it right?
do not let people tell you that you can't do it..you can..i do not recommend foreign programs..the caribbean schools all cut 2/3 of their class just prior to the boards in order to maintain a minimum of 80% pass on the usmle..
consider DO schools cuz they are a bit more lenient on lesser scores, and do not wait too many years to apply..be strategic and apply when the pools are way down--like now..
accent the positive and the unique about you and you will find someone who wants you..
azcom is brand new and trying to fill its classes..erie is butt cold and trying to do the same..pikesville,west virginia are also lower score takers..
05-04-1999, 12:47 PM
Stay away from off-shore schools; the noose is tightening quickly around those necks...consider post-bacs, a MPH or grad school, more volunteer experience, etc. It might sound trite, but it is all about perseverance. Realistically, aim for substantial improvement in your GPA, acing the MCAT, and get some good letters of rec. from DO's.
[This message has been edited by drusso (edited May 04, 1999).]
05-04-1999, 12:50 PM
The comment about Caribbean schools cutting 2/3 of the class before boards is absolutely ridiculous. The students flunk themselves out and the #s are not that high.
With over 6,000 IMGs starting ACGME residencies ea year, it is a well-worn path. The # of ACGME positions increased by more than 150 in 1999. Since 1990, the #s have increased by several thousand.
You might consider PCOM's biomedical science Master's program. Most of the students get accepted to PCOM. The few that do not, usually get into one of the lesser programs like LECOM or NOVA. You should probably get the gpa up to 3.0 for serious consideration to the bioscience's program.
Every US-IMG that I have known has had little trouble in landing a residency slot. The isolated examples of one doctor from India and the AUC grad should not make one overlook the thousands of IMGs that are successful ea year.
Your best chances would be with Ross or Saba. Your #s are too low for St George's, Israel, Ireland and Australia. Ross and/or Saba will give you a chance. Avoid AUC, if at all possible.
You are very correct, in my educated opinion, about the foreign medical school path. I know several students from St. Georges that have attained residencies in various fields such as anesthesiology, internal medicine, and pediatrics. The primary care fields, and a few specialties are not that hard for good IMG students at the moment to get into. However, I would tell anyone "forced" to go abroad to go with caution. Of course, they have been threatening to cut down on IMGs for years now. The 2/3 of the class being cut is total nonsense though. Some people just had no business being in med school at all and flunked out. It is not as high as 2/3 anyway. From now on, if you don't know the facts, please keep a lid on the typing fingers. It is still a viable path (at this time) to go to a foreign school. You will need to assess whether you can hack it and score well on the USMLE. You will also have to be willing to jump through the licensure hurdles. For some, this is their only chance at becoming physicians. Many qualified individuals are denied admission every year to MD & DO schools, and many people that have no business going near a patient (usually not their stats, but otherwise) attain spots in US medical schools year after year in my opinion. I would definitely EXHAUST all other possibilities before going to a foreign school.
05-04-1999, 02:01 PM
NCStudent, I think prefontaine's suggestion of the biomedical sciences program at PCOM is a great one. Most students from that program do get accepted into the DO program but it's not guaranteed. There are many other, similar programs that are worth checking out, too. Exs.: Northwestern U., Allegheny University of the Health Sciences (or whatever they're calling it now).
You do have options, but it'll be a long hard haul. How much do you want it??
Phil E. COM 02
05-04-1999, 02:43 PM
st. george's accepted me over the phone..do not assume that your numbers are too low..give it a shot..
as for the 2/3's this is what i was told by their admit counselor after they accepted me on the phone..i can only tell ya what they told me!
also, i have done pcom's post-bac--or some of it anyway..i am not too sure it is worth it which is why i withdrew..you pay $4000/quarter to attend, everyone gets interviewed, but the catch is that you must maintain above a 90% to be considered for admission...in my class of 50, the majority of people interviewed at lecom and were accepted and very few were accepted into the pcom class of 2001..lots of folks had to go onto the second round of the masters to attain admission...THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES..
so, be careful when considering these programs..get the biggest bang for your buck..they may give you a way to get a foot in the door, but it was extremely competative and uncomfortable in there b/c everyone was trying to get the attention of anyone who would listen and help them to get in...
i am not sure how it is there now, but i think nova had one of these post-bacs and they admitted close to 100% of their class into the med school..you might look at that one more closely--better odds than pcom...
05-04-1999, 08:12 PM
In my opinion NOVA is not a lesser school in comparison to PCOM. NOVA is a relatively new school. It has excellent facilities and committed faculty and students. I believe that in time its reputation will grow and people will soon realize what a great school it is.
[This message has been edited by kundun (edited May 04, 1999).]
05-04-1999, 09:02 PM
I was watching one of those "Good Morning America" type shows last month and they ran a segment about how to choose your personal physician. The third point raised was to ensure that they graduated from an accredited US school and to be wary of those foreign or "carribbean types." Thought this may be an unfair characterization.
05-04-1999, 10:33 PM
actually, prefontaine, nova is now ranked very highly amongst the do schools--it recently just won a huge award which at the late hour and loads of studying i cannot get off the tip of my tongue..
however, they have a gorgeous billion dollar complex that overlooks the dolphin's training camp, brand new equipment, and they had a very innovative dean who has since passed on...but, they are on the move towards the top and they are accepting a more competative class i understand which beats their old rep as a not so academic institution ( back in their miami days)...
in the last year or so, i understand they have also really improved their rotation sites for the better..
the nice thing about nova is that i think they have a very innovative curriculum and truly are one of the DO schools that is ACTUALLY designing their curriculum to fit the COMLEX..
05-05-1999, 06:01 AM
I have a lot of trouble recommending the foriegn route to premed students. I know three people who went abroad and only one seems truly happy with his situation (he had special circumstances like holding dual US/Canadian citizenship and being fluent in 3 languages---he truly wanted to practice international medicine).
Things are getting SO damn political in medicine right now and Ross Univ. has managed to piss off everyone in medicine (and the government too) with their plans to open a foriegn accredited schoool in Wyoming. The AMA and AOA will not give up being in charge of controlling the physician supply curve (and the AMA only reluctantly shares the responsibility with the AOA anyway). I think that the fact of the matter is that IMG's are going to be scape-goated politically for a questionable physician surplus. Organized medicine will take this issue to the mat because it is "win-able" unlike the managed care issue. There will be a cap of residency slots at 110%-120% of all US grads. Anyway, that's what I see in my crystal ball...
Who advocates in Washington for IMG's?
05-05-1999, 06:32 AM
You have twice mentioned that NOVA is willing to accept students even through their grades are bad. I am from NOVA and I just want to clarify your statement. Can you back it up with some statistics?( I hope you can)
05-05-1999, 06:38 AM
The PACs and SIGs for IMGs are very powerful and have been for a # of years. With almost 25% off practicing US docs being foreign educated, they have become quite influential and very adept politically (read the AMnews). As long as the inner-city hospitals survive on IMG residents, it will be will difficult to curtail their #s.
Ayway, there is no indication of the #s leveling off, let alone being reduced. The talk about reduction has existed since at least '89. In the meantime, the #s have increasd from 2000 IMGs/year to 7000+ IMGs/year.
How many DO students are 'truly happy' with 'their situation'? Or US MD students? With 2/3s experiencing clinical depression during the educational experience, they do not appear to be happy campers.
Re Nova, for 23 months (while on rotations and at coferences), I have heard more bitching from Nova students than all of the other schools combined. Perhaps new facilities improve morale? Anyway, as long as one gets a degree, it does not matter what DO school one attends. The posts do not change my opinion...hell, I attend one of the schools right down there with Nova.
05-05-1999, 06:41 AM
Henry, where did I post anything about their grades being bad? I know some of them can't spell!
There are many lobbyists for IMGS. Where do you think a lot of the Caribbean school profits go to. To protect their interests, that's where.Ross & Modica (St. George) I know lobby like crazy, and have powerful political allies. But, I would certainly think long and hard before going the IMG route anyway, with today's political climate in medicine.
05-05-1999, 12:10 PM
Here are some facts:
The US Govt. gives teaching hospitals $100,000 a year for each resident in training. However, there is a push to limit the number of residency positions in an effort to reduce the amount that the government spends.
Currently there are a fair number of IMGs in residency in the US. However, many people say that these IMGs practice in under served areas. A recent study has shown that this in not the case. The study, by Politzer et al (1998) showed that IMGs did not help the physician supply in under served areas. The study actually showed that the IMGs are exacerbating the physician oversupply problem in the US.
05-05-1999, 12:12 PM
Can you clarify what do you mean by ".... lesser program like LECOM and NOVA"?
05-05-1999, 12:13 PM
Can you clarify what do you mean by ".... lesser program like LECOM and NOVA"?
05-05-1999, 01:09 PM
All right I have heard a lot of different things, but nothing that helps me yet. So, should I go to chiropratic school? Should I at least try to go to foreign medical school? I know my GPA is low and that I am not going to be any schools first pick. However, I want to help people and if that takes going to a far awya land then so be it! So tell me what I should do to go this route or any other route?
05-05-1999, 03:08 PM
nc--i think the choice is simple..if you REALLY want to be a doctor, and of this you are 100% CERTAIN, why settle for anything less? if you are sure that you want to be a doctor, you will do whatever it takes to be a doctor of medicine, not a chiropractor, podiatrist, what have you..
FIRST: decide what you want to do with your life..wanting to help people is a bit vague..you can accomplish this goal by becoming a lawyer, a doctor, an engineer..
SECOND: if medicine is what you want, decide what kind..these days there are a host of disciplines to choose from--allopathic, osteopathic, chiropractic, alternative, etc.
THIRD: if allopathic/osteopathic, work on getting those grades up, getting more life experience..you are young, and if you want it badly enough you will get it..admission to medical school is not something to be rushed into..look into post-bacs for the grade problem, get a job in or out of medicine--does not matter--i really think you should try to avoid going abroad unless you want to always be pushing a boulder up a hill..if you are confident in yourself and motivated enough, you will achieve admission stateside..
FOURTH: choose the course with which you will be the most satisfied..don't settle for second best..numbers don't mean everything but you've got to produce some sorta number that will allow admissions committees to learn who you really are by taking a closer peek at page two of your app.
hope this helps
it's sounds like the real problem is that you don't truly know what you want to do. i suggest volunteering or shadowing different professionals from different backgrounds...doctor who graduated from a foreign school, a D.O., a chiropractor, a podiatrist...you get the picture. i think then you will feel more comfortable in your decision making on what steps to take. the most important thing is that when you truly find out, no matter how long it takes,...go for it. it is good to seek advice on what to do, but ultimately you should know what's best for you
good luck with whatever you choose
05-07-1999, 04:01 PM
If you want a career with patient contact then you can consider any of the health professions. Physician's Assistants are similiar to Physician's with a shorter amount of training required (2 years,) slightly less pay ($50-$70k) and less job duties. The best thing to do would be to volunteer/work in the health care field or shadow a health care worker to decide which type of career you would be happy with.