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Advice for a med school hopeful with a B.S. and low GPA

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by TTLE, 09.27.14.

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  1. TTLE


    Hi everyone,

    I just graduated with a 2.9 cumulative GPA (2.75 science) and a B.S. in biological sciences from a UC.
    Out of high school I had hopes of getting into pharmacy and focused on that goal (albeit not very much). Even after ~500 hours volunteering in several pharmacies I was too stubborn to accept the fact that pharmacy was just not for me. I finally jumped to make the switch a few weeks before graduating from college to try for PA school. However after working as an ER scribe alongside physicians, I realized that becoming an MD appealed to me more in terms of amount of patient interaction and extent of patient care they provide.
    To this point I've completed most of the general med school requirements with non-noteworthy but passing grades. This is primarily due to a severe lack of interest and motivation with the mindset of pursuing a career in pharmacy throughout my 4 years. Although I cannot attribute my poor grades from simply not wanting to do better in school, as I did find myself striving to do better by changing my study habits but with little success.

    Options I've considered are to complete a SMP or to take additional sciences courses through open university to raise my science GPA. I didn't fail in courses so I can't technically retake any of them to replace my grades.
    Some additional info about me:
    -ER medical scribe
    -private caretaker for an elderly companion
    -PTCB-certified pharm tech (no experience working as a pharm tech so probably doesn't matter much)
    -served as a board member of my medical fraternity after being an active member for 3 years,
    -intern for health clinic (provided presentations on various health topics to the community)
    -several hundred hours of community service
    -approximately 500 hours of volunteering in pharmacies
    -volunteered abroad on a summer medical mission
    -no other clinical experience besides last 2
    -no research
    -no MCAT

    I've been researching SMP and post-bacc programs as they're described to be for those who are looking for a career change or as academic boosters for med school. I understand that my stats aren't very appealing at this point and it won't be easy but I'm willing to do what it takes to turn that around. After exploring the thought of engaging in different health careers, I can say I'm currently content with and committed to the MD route. Please feel free to provide any advice or criticism, it would be tremendously appreciate :)
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  3. dkt888

    dkt888 2+ Year Member

    Medical Student
    I was in a similar situation. I graduated from a UC with a cGPA of 3.05 and a sGPA of something like 2.8. I had 188 quarter units to claw my way back out of. I opted for a formal post-bacc option as I had been out of school for a few years and thought this would give me the opportunity to get the LORs I needed that I wouldn't get from undergrad. I took 51 quarter units during my post-bacc of all science courses and raised my GPAs quite a bit. If you want to know any specifics, feel free to PM me.

    What worked for me that I feel would work for you is taking advantage of AACOMAS/DO grade replacement. Retake Cs and get As, and you should be okay. For MD schools, it will be harder, but your GPA isn't so low that it's not doable. Your ER scribe experience may be enough, especially since you can use it to show why you are pursuing medicine vs. pharm. Shadowing physicians is also a good way to show you know what medicine is about. Plus, many DO schools require DO letters, and this is often a common way to get them.

    If I could do it differently, I would have studied for my MCAT earlier than I did. I had to basically relearn physics and o-chem since it had been so long since I took them. Since you have a science background, you may want to start studying for that now and get it out of the way before you start any classes.

    I can't comment on the SMP option as I know very little about it. Good luck!
  4. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    Your best bet will be a SMP, preferably one given at a medical school. Not all SMPs are for career-changers, and the best one for you if you have all your pre-reqs in would be one that mimics a med school curriculum, such as coursework that includes anatomy, physiology, histology, pathology, biostats, micro, pharm and/or neuroscience. Ace this, and do well on MCAT and there are MD schools that reward reinvention.

    mkk7 likes this.

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