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Ashamed yet Sticking my Neck Out There

Discussion in 'Re-Applicants [ MD / DO ]' started by ifyspify, Feb 12, 2012.

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  1. ifyspify

    ifyspify DocIfy

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    Hello everyone,
    After much trolling and reading of others with low gpa and screwed up postbaccs (like me) that eventually made it into medical school, I'm gonna bare it all lol.

    I am a 30year old female that started this med school journey 7years ago. I did not decide to start on this road until my junior year of college. And even then, the decision was based mostly on fear of being an "underachiever" (read the immigrant's dilemma of justifying parents' sacrifice of abandoning everything known for a better future in the land of plenty. Thus a bachelor's degree is certainly not enough. One can, should, must do better than parents).

    Unfortunately, my undergrad cum gpa was 2.96 and I graduated with a B.S. in Medical Technology (Lab Science. I'm the labrat that processes, analyzes, interpretes, and puts out data from clinical specimens. My favorite dept is microbiology). My 2006 MCAT score was 26S (11V,8B,7P). I was a lost, desperate child after my first woeful attempt at med school app (treated it like undergrad app) and jumped on the first postbacc that accepted me (the deadline had passed for others) without pausing to think.

    The first year of the postbacc was great. A's and B's with a gpa of 3.5 but decided to go for a second year (Master's) and further prove that I could hack it in med school (read severe inferiority complex and ignorance. I so regret this cause I feel I would have been accepted by now if I had applied with just the first year grades). Amidst the melodrama of med school apps, interviews, listening to other people, severe self-doubt, studying like my life depended on it, watching others get in while i was left behind and feeling very alone and questioning my true motivation in pursuing this medicine, I burnt out and it affected my grades. C's and W's. Looking back, I see this was a transformative time. But all I could feel back then was burnt out, jaded, and ashamed. I left the program, deciding that perhaps my true calling lay elsewhere.

    In the meantime, I worked as a Generalist in the lab at a hospital and got acquainted with my new home on the east coast. But try as I might, that little voice would not shut up. It kept nagging and nagging lol. So, I decided to go back and retake the courses I got C's and had withdrawn from at the SMP.

    I redeemed myself in biochemistry (one of my proudest moments), got a couple of C's but withdrew from neuroscience due to health issues that required surgery (I wasn't taking the chance of failing a 6credit course!). So, presently, my undergrad gpa is 2.96. Grad gpa is 2.86 and mcat score is 26S and 26P.

    I am older now, wiser, less eager to leap and quite comfortable taking the baby steps needed to get where I need to. I know now where I belong. In fact, all this time has helped me figure out how passionate I am about helping folks under the lgbtqi umbrella access much-needed care and services. There is a huge need and I can't wait to become part of the solution as a physician.

    Please help me carve a plan. I am prepared to do the necessary work for however long it takes. I plan on re-taking the mcat this may/june. I'm not sure if I will be able to return to the former postbacc and complete neuro.

    Should I get into another postbacc? Perhaps pursue another master's degree to redeem my gpa and apply next year? Simply take additional grad science courses until my grad gpa passes the 3.0 mark? I await your replies.

    Thank you.
  2. QofQuimica

    QofQuimica Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting.... Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Lifetime Donor

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    There's no secret that everyone else knows and you don't about how to get into medical school. You need reasonably competitive credentials and a sensible application strategy. Assuming you want to do community practice, I'd suggest retaking any classes where you earned C or lower; retaking the MCAT if your scores are both expired; and applying to DO schools. That will be the quickest and most efficient route to remediate your GPA to the point where you'd be reasonably competitive as an applicant. You should also make sure to get some facetime with a DO physician, since some schools require a letter from a DO.

    Edit: OP, please do not double post the same thread in multiple forums. I have merged your two threads here. Also, I think you mean that you were lurking in the forums, not trolling them. ;)
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2012
  3. GoZags

    GoZags

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    One piece of advice I would have for you is maybe look into the DO route because AACOMAS (DO app service) has grade replacement that works really well. So you get a C in one class, re-take it and get an A, and wa-la, A is counted on your transcript for the app process. I think this would really help you if you can get A's in all of those classes that you received C's in or lower B's even.

    Thats my only bit of advice. Not sure about MD program stuff
  4. ruiner

    ruiner

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    I would go DO, MD is going to take too long and frankly your GPA may never be competitive and the MCAT is also a few points low. Depending on how your classes and retakes go, the AACOMAS gpa calculation might look pretty decent and 26 is a competitive mcat score. Apply early, shadow a DO.
  5. princekc

    princekc

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    Well said Q.

    I will add that your retake should be classes where you earned C or lower at your undergraduate program.

    Retake the MCAT.

    Applying broadly (DO program > MD program). Preferably, DO/MD program at your home state.
  6. TriagePreMed

    TriagePreMed Removed

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    MD is out. No question about it. D.O. could be a possibility, but it'll be a hurdle. Why? You got under 3.0 in a graduate program. Graduate programs are often looked as inflated scores, so if you can't hack it in an inflated environment, how will you hack it in medicine? At this point retakes and post-bacc will be a waste of time. Instead, focus on getting into a DO linkage SMP and doing very well in it. This or move on to another career.
  7. ifyspify

    ifyspify DocIfy

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    Thanks for all the replies, I very much appreciate it.
  8. TriagePreMed

    TriagePreMed Removed

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    Wait, were you in an SMP? Because if you were, you're done for. It's time for a new career.
  9. ineed2stpsmurfn

    ineed2stpsmurfn

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    OP, ignore triage. that poster has a history of being super negative on other people's chances at redeeming themselves. In fact, triage told one poster they would never get in, and the person eventually got in. So just do what you know you need to do, and it'll all be alright in the end.
  10. shinbeats

    shinbeats

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    :laugh: Triage is a premed with a 3.1 gpa that has not even applied to medical school yet and some have even mentioned that he has not taken the MCAT. All he's doing is spewing misinformation across this network with his negativity. If you need real advice you should probably stick to the advice of Physicians, medical students, advisors or maybe applicants that have already been accepted since they have been through the application and interviewing process.
  11. Shnurek

    Shnurek

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    If you are doing it to live your life the way your parents want you to live it you will never be happy. If you truly want to be a physician and help people and cut the next 8-10 years of your life out to study your butt off then by all means do it.

    Some people score higher on the MCAT without even studying (me). Some people are more gifted than others and should go to medical school. I chose not to for many reasons. Not to insult you but with a 26 I would never go to you to see you as my personal physician. That's why I don't go to DO physicians nor any international medical graduate physicians (especially not Carribean) except maybe if they are from India. It is not bashing. It is just personal preference and I want the best care possible. With a high MCAT score it shows me that you have quick analytic reasoning ability and studying really won't help you on this "fluid intelligence". Read up on fluid intelligence and realize why it is so important and why the MCAT is such a good test to filter out those people that don't have a high level of it.
  12. shinbeats

    shinbeats

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    OP you have a lot of work to do.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  13. ruiner

    ruiner

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    :rolleyes:
  14. TriagePreMed

    TriagePreMed Removed

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    You don't even know that situation. Go to his thread. I never gave him advice. I only said "not gonna lie. Wouldn't have thought you'd get in this cycle. Congrats." So don't spread stupid rumors around here. I never said anything about never getting in, and there was no "eventually" since I only saw the success post.

    OP, you failed at an SMP. That's pretty indicative of your med school capacity. Don't take my word for it, but everyone will tell you that for an SMP to count you need a 3.7 and that the door is shut if you do poorly, most in your case dismissed.
  15. TriagePreMed

    TriagePreMed Removed

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    Almost a 3.7 science (only 1 C 9 years ago in stats) taking my sciences the first time around. I don't need to get into medical school to give advice. Not all your counselors and advisors in your schools have an MD or DO. Facts are just facts.
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2012
  16. scarshapedstar

    scarshapedstar MD c/o 2016

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    I've always been curious... is the cat with the + to help you/everyone else remember that cations are positive?
  17. lnphan

    lnphan MS2

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    I am curious too if OP's incomplete master program was an SMP. From what i've learned on SDN, SMP is the hail mary pass and one must get very high gpa to be moving on to med school.
  18. TriagePreMed

    TriagePreMed Removed

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    No, I just found it funny when I saw it, which was coincidentally around the same time I registered for the site.

    Agreed. If it were just a regular masters, things are still salvageable.
  19. FIREitUP

    FIREitUP

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    I'm sorry what did you get on your MCAT?
  20. ISUBird100

    ISUBird100

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    :rolleyes:

    Do you ask every doctor what they got on their MCAT? There are people that get into US MD schools with a 26 MCAT...
  21. TriagePreMed

    TriagePreMed Removed

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    That's why he probably doesn't go to black doctors because we all know it's just blacks that get in with those scores. :rolleyes:

    Also, I like how he takes the MCAT more seriously than the USMLE/COMLEX. It's probably because nobody with a low MCAT has ever gotten a high USMLE.

    Personal choice.
  22. GoZags

    GoZags

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    .
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2012
  23. DrV1984

    DrV1984

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    Good luck ifyspify!! It sounds to me like you have the dedication it takes to pull those grades up and get in! I think there's always a chance at redemption....and your application essay will be your perfect place to plead your case;)!!
  24. sirenomelia

    sirenomelia

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    :laugh: My MCAT is from 1995 and from before the day I started medschool or anytime after, no one has ever asked me about the score or has it been a factor. I had sub-30 classmates who were go-getters and became great doctors and know more than one guy that was >40 that dogged it throughout school and underacheived there and beyond. That number has limited relevance to correlation with passing boards but means nothing with performance as a working doctor.
  25. Coltran

    Coltran

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    Once I got into college no one ever asked me about my SAT score and once I got into med school, no one asked about my MCAT score. Those scores are a stepping stone to get to where you want to go. Once you get to med school, they only thing that will determine you success is how hard you work.

    If MCAT was a sign of "fluid" intelligence, then how come there was no space for it on residency application on ERAS and how come no program directors asked me for it. Wouldn't they want to know that I am fluidly unintelligent?:laugh:
  26. Prncssbuttercup

    Prncssbuttercup Established Member -- OMSIII

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    OP, what would your masters GPA be if you completed the courses you withdrew from for medical reasons, and is there any changing it? Also, your UG GPA is still an issue, many schools look at your UG primarily, and not your MS as much... So, if you can salvage some of this stuff, I think you have a shot at DO programs for sure... If you really want to do medicine, make it happen... I did it, others can too ;)
  27. FC Omar

    FC Omar

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    theres always the caribbean...
  28. ifyspify

    ifyspify DocIfy

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    To Sirenomelia and Coltran, thank you for the reminder that the grades and mcat are a means and not an indicator of success. The thing is, I know I belong here(in medicine, as a care provider). There is a strong need in my community and I want to be part of the solution. As a result of my experience as a Clinical Lab Scientist where I spend a lot of the time educating the clinical care staff on proper specimen collection, assisting to interprete lab data, providing guidance for proper test ordering, etc., I know that my experience and knowledge behind the scenes will make me a more effective and efficient physician. I just need someone/a school to notice.

    Good luck to you all and thank you again for your responses.
  29. Journey2become

    Journey2become

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    .Since .fluid intelligence tends to decrease with age, do you also avoid older, more experienced doctors too?
    I for one can’t wait until the day that one of patients asks me about my MCAT score! ..
  30. Packman2003

    Packman2003

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    Having just gone through the whole process 3 times before getting accepted, I can say that you need to rule out MD. There are too many red flags already. Some people are just better suited for certain careers. Any ad com is going to move on. Seriously, you can spend your time in better ways. I agree with others about looking into DO. I don't know a whole ton about applying DO though. We have an MD at my school who is the pre-med advisor. She is awesome. If you have somebody like this I would start there.
  31. DrAwsome

    DrAwsome

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    Don't take my advice as discouragement, but rather as my 2 cents on this issue. I think that you need to really think about this carefully. Not saying that you would not be a good doctor or that you don't have the skills to be a good doc. But you have to look at the reality of the situation. You are 30 now, so at best, you are looking at graduating at >35 given that you'll need 4 years of med school and 1+ year for the application process. That's assuming that a program would give you a shot. I think more realistically it would take years for the GPA to come up.

    I would not suggest the Carib route. Progressively it will become more difficult to find a good residency from an island school. MD will be rather difficult. DO is possible, but again it may take a few years.

    If you do get into medical school, then you are looking at graduating around 35+, and then you have to do residency after that, so another 3-5 years or so. Do you really think it makes sense to go through all that for start working this late?

    If I were you, I would look at other healthcare associated options. Ever think of doing something like PA school for example? Just a thought.

    Best of luck.
  32. biologieguru87

    biologieguru87 lover not a fighter

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    Another masters or degree sounds like an awful waste of time and money. I would say take the MCAT when you are SURE you are ready, i.e. making high scores on practice exams. Also, involve yourself with a medical school in some way. Work there, volunteer there, NETWORK, and get to know people who might be able to write you a recommendation.

    When theres a will, theres a way. Age is just a number and I'm sure you know how old you are and how long it takes to make a career in medicine, so i won't insult your intelligience by talking about age. If this is what you want - go for it! :)
  33. ShyRem

    ShyRem I need more coffee. Administrator SDN Senior Moderator

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    OP, there is nothing wrong with starting medical school at 30, 35, or even closer to 40. I started medical school at the age of 39 and am currently doing well in my chosen residency.

    I would suggest you listen to the above replies regarding grade replacement and DO schools. It will take many many years to raise your GPA to the 3.5+ needed to be average for MD applications, but grade replacement is much quicker.

    Only you can know if this is a path you want to take. If you are sure, then it's time to start repairing your GPA. Every journey starts with one step, and is completed by many small steps put together.
  34. KaseyA

    KaseyA

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    I would say that you set aside the grades and mcat issues for now and go volunteer/work at a hospital (in any capacity) for at least one year. Then come back to this forum with your new thoughts on the medical profession.

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