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Need some advice...

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by NonTradChas, 09.30.14.

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  1. NonTradChas


    Although I'm not certain it's 100% relevant I want to provide a quick back story...
    I am soon to be 31. I have always wanted to become a doctor. I love the profession. I have a B.S. in Chemistry from a top 10 Liberal Arts college. Unfortunately, while not lacking intelligence, I was young, ignorant, and lazy. I finished school with an overall 2.3 GPA, but closer to 2.7 in the sciences. I dated a woman most of my undergrad and continued dating her after college. I started work as a research chemist with an ink development company. Then I moved into a role as an analytical chemist focusing on litigation. I was performing well in the lab at work, taking steps to obtain a graduate degree, and ultimately focusing on medical school again. My girlfriend moved away for a post-bac year so I transitioned into a field engineering role with my company. This afforded me free travel and the ability to see her whenever I wanted. While working full time and traveling 80% of the time I started and ultimately completed a graduate M.A. program in Biology (~3.8 GPA). The recession hit, my girlfriend moved back close to town, and having been out of the lab for 2 years I found myself stuck in the field engineer position (albeit fortunate to still have a job). I knew medical school would be a huge strain on our relationship, so I didn't pursue school immediately after obtaining the M.A. Even though I didn't love my career and most of the time work just felt like a j.o.b. I found happiness in our relationship. My girlfriend and I ultimately split up. My goal was always to take the MCAT, attend medical school and become a doctor, but I never took the initiative and it just never happened. I don't regret that I have yet to attend. I don't regret the life I have lived. I simply hope to attend medical school and I am seeking some advice now...

    -My undergraduate GPA is really low (2.3, 2.7 sciences, B.S. Chemistry). I am not lacking in intellect, but I was severely lacking in focus while in college.
    -I finished a M.A. in Biology while working/traveling full time (3.8 GPA)
    -I have taken practice MCATs in the past (2006, 2011) and I am confident I could score 32+

    I am trying to determine the best approach to help myself get into and attend medical school within the next 2-3 years. I have performed some research and I understand many of the steps I need to take, but I have a few questions...
    Is my undergraduate GPA a complete application killer?
    If so, how can I correct this?
    My understanding is I don't really qualify for post-bac pre-med programs since I already have a B.S. and M.A. both in the sciences. Is this true?
    How much could a high MCAT score makeup for the undergraduate GPA?

    I appreciate any help/responses. I may have more questions, but those are the initial questions I have now. Thanks.
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  3. HinduHammer

    HinduHammer We Do Not Sow 2+ Year Member

    Medical Student
    I am/was in somewhat similar situation. I decided to do a post-bacc at the local CC because I simply did not have the money to do anything else. I started rocking classes, and taking more classes and rocking those, took the MCAT and did decent, all the while building my application vis-a-vis community service, volunteering, medical/clinical paid and volunteer work, research, and teaching. At this point, the feedback I have gotten from a few admissions committees is that my postbacc CC work is "ok" since it is combined with a decent MCAT. However, I cannot state this has worked yet because I haven't even received any IIs yet. That being said, though, it seems like to me the mot important step is the first one.

    For you, it seems like your first step (after truly deciding you want to become a physician), is to start taking the pre-med classes (preferably at a 4-year institution) and start preparing HARD for the new MCAT. Further, SMP programs, if financially feasible, would be a great thing for you. I am sure if you're willing to move you will find an SMP program that will take you. If nothing else, you can do your own homemade postbacc SMP by just taking the pre-med and other hard science courses at local institutions.

    You ought to familiarize yourself with DO grade replacement policies, as you could essentially replace you old GPA by re-taking those classes and doing well. I am about your age and am in the middle of my first app cycle with a less than 3.0 GPA. Would I recommend this to anyone (applying with less than 3.0 GPA)? Absolutely not. Am I cautiously optimistic? well, just call me don quixote, cuz I am 'bout to battle these windmills.
  4. Betty Jones

    Betty Jones

    If you can get 60% over 2.5 you can get admission in MCAT.

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