Jan 19, 2016
19
2
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Pre-Medical
My GPA (2.66) sucks and my MCAT (c/s 130 - CARS 131 - b/b 130 - p/s 130 - Total 521) score is great...what can I do???

I have tons of volunteer experience (Clinical + Non-clinical), 300+ hours shadowing (MD + DO), a few publications (Trauma, Immunotherapy, Public Health), and have done NK Cell Immunotherapy research for the past 18 months. Currently working as the Biology Lab Coordinator for a university and as a research for UCSF Peds Residency program. Recently, I developed 2 programs (functioning in rural High Schools) to push for underrepresented ethnic groups to enter STEM fields.

I mean really what can I do other than retake classes and continue with this EC/work?
 

To be MD

Med School Or Bust
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Mar 15, 2011
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My GPA (2.66) sucks and my MCAT (c/s 130 - CARS 131 - b/b 130 - p/s 130 - Total 521) score is great...what can I do???

I have tons of volunteer experience (Clinical + Non-clinical), 300+ hours shadowing (MD + DO), a few publications (Trauma, Immunotherapy, Public Health), and have done NK Cell Immunotherapy research for the past 18 months. Currently working as the Biology Lab Coordinator for a university and as a research for UCSF Peds Residency program. Recently, I developed 2 programs (functioning in rural High Schools) to push for underrepresented ethnic groups to enter STEM fields.

I mean really what can I do other than retake classes and continue with this EC/work?
I'd love to see people's responses on this, but check this out based on your race: https://www.aamc.org/data/facts/applicantmatriculant/157998/factstablea24.html.

You have a 38 MCAT (99th percentile, which says a lot), but your GPA means that if you're White/Asian, you have about a 30% chance of being accepted.

If I were you, I'd do a SMP and smash it, so that you can be a super attractive candidate to the world's best schools next year. Elsewise, you're welcome to roll the die and see what happens this time around. Just don't expect any schools to go gaga over your app because of your MCAT score.
 
OP
M
Jan 19, 2016
19
2
Status
Pre-Medical
I'd love to see people's responses on this, but check this out based on your race: https://www.aamc.org/data/facts/applicantmatriculant/157998/factstablea24.html.

You have a 38 MCAT (99th percentile, which says a lot), but your GPA means that if you're White/Asian, you have about a 30% chance of being accepted.

If I were you, I'd do a SMP and smash it, so that you can be a super attractive candidate to the world's best schools next year. Elsewise, you're welcome to roll the die and see what happens this time around. Just don't expect any schools to go gaga over your app because of your MCAT score.
I'm hispanic...does ethnicity really play a factor?
 

liquidsodium

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Jul 18, 2016
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Hey, we have the exact same MCAT subtest scores ^.^ Really, you sound like you've made a huge turnaround from wherever the 2.66 came from. I think doing well at an SMP (applying yourself the same way you did for the MCAT) and continuing those ECs would do wonders for your application.
 

To be MD

Med School Or Bust
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Mar 15, 2011
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I'm hispanic...does ethnicity really play a factor?
You have really odd numbers. For Hispanic applicants, there were only 2 applicants in your bracket--no acceptances, and there was someone who had a 39+ MCAT who did get accepted.

Looking at people who had slightly worse MCAT scores than you, you have about a 40% chance applying. If you have the money, go ahead and apply and see what happens; however, I think it'd be best to do an SMP and apply this upcoming June.

If you can do an SMP successfully and raise your GPA, then focus your app on schools who are orientated towards serving Hispanic communities (e.g., USC, UCLA, UMiami), you'd probably do very well next cycle.

Buena suerte :).
 

Azete

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I question the legitimacy of this post, but at face value your GPA will cause your app to get screened at most schools.

The ones that don't screen you, though, will almost certainly be intrigued enough to offer you an interview. Med schools salivate over superstar minority candidates, and your MCAT says you have the potential to be exactly that. You could do an SMP, which might help, but honestly I would just apply as is and see what happens. Certain schools redirect candidates to their pipeline programs (such as USF, which is specifically for minorities) that will guarantee you admission to their med school with certain performance levels -- I imagine this would be your worst case scenario.
 
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candbgirl

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What Hispanic group do you represent? Do you speak Spanish? Despite your great MCAT many schools set parameters for GPA/MCAT etc.. At those schools you would be screened out based on your GPA. Your ECs are really pretty interesting too


Sent from my iPad using SDN mobile app
 
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starspells

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What's your recent grade trend like? What is your year by year breakdown?
 

eteshoe

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+1 I just don't understand how you get that gpa but do so good on the MCAT.
Most likely there's been some time between when they were doing UG work and took the MCAT. With that gap being when they got serious about studying.



....or they were smart but lazy AF during college (actually had a friend like this: horrible GPA due to laziness, took the MCAT for the hell of it and got a 35)
 

piii

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Your MCAT says you are pretty intelligent, your GPA says you are lazy and have no work ethic. The latter is more important for med school. Retake classes and apply DO.
 
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LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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My GPA (2.66) sucks and my MCAT (c/s 130 - CARS 131 - b/b 130 - p/s 130 - Total 521) score is great...what can I do???

I have tons of volunteer experience (Clinical + Non-clinical), 300+ hours shadowing (MD + DO), a few publications (Trauma, Immunotherapy, Public Health), and have done NK Cell Immunotherapy research for the past 18 months. Currently working as the Biology Lab Coordinator for a university and as a research for UCSF Peds Residency program. Recently, I developed 2 programs (functioning in rural High Schools) to push for underrepresented ethnic groups to enter STEM fields.

I mean really what can I do other than retake classes and continue with this EC/work?
The trend over time and any extenuating circumstances (e.g. did you have a semester of ~0.0 but otherwise okay) would figure in. Your ethnicity and your language proficiency in Spanish may help. If you did very poorly (B- or lower) in any pre-reqs, you'd be wise to retake and then apply DO. Shadow a DO to be sure that is the path for you.

I would not immediately assume you are as lazy AF without knowing your circumstances in HS & undergrad. (Were any of these credits earned in HS?)
 

piii

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The trend over time and any extenuating circumstances (e.g. did you have a semester of ~0.0 but otherwise okay) would figure in. Your ethnicity and your language proficiency in Spanish may help. If you did very poorly (B- or lower) in any pre-reqs, you'd be wise to retake and then apply DO. Shadow a DO to be sure that is the path for you.

I would not immediately assume you are as lazy AF without knowing your circumstances in HS & undergrad. (Were any of these credits earned in HS?)
lmao LizzyM saying "lazy AF"
 
OP
M
Jan 19, 2016
19
2
Status
Pre-Medical
I am thankful for most of the comments left on this thread. They have provided me with a means of an alternative as well as different routes to possibly follow. To be frank with all of you...I have never opened a textbook or studied a single day during undergrad.

When beginning this "journey" I did not have the intention of becoming a physician or even going the medical route. I was simply in it just to get a college degree. As such, my grades during my first 2 years of college SUCKED! I was placed on academic probation after my freshman year. My last 2 years of college do show an upward grade trend. First two years of college GPA ave = 2.0...second 2 years of college GPA = 3.0 (3.5 GPA senior year). So yes there is an upwards grade trend. I was able to get into my ECs through word of mouth and knowing the right people (kind of how my life has always been...not intentionally of course). All undergraduate level courses were taken at a 4yr institution.

Despite my pitiful GPA, I always knew I was intelligent. My research PI caught onto this early on during my time with him. He urged me to take the MCAT and said that he'd pay for it. So I figured I had nothing to lose. I set aside 3 months to do nothing but research and study for the MCAT. I was very intentional about this. My first practice exam (no studying) was a 506...put in 3 more weeks of studying...510....3 more weeks of studying 512...essentially every 3 weeks I took a practice exam and my score would just a couple points. No practice test score was as high as my actual test score (highest was 519). I did research from 8am - 3pm (roughly) and would study the rest of the day or during downtime between experiments. On average I put in 5 hours/day 6 days/week for 3 months. I followed my study schedule religiously.

I understand that my GPA and MCAT score do not match up and there is no correlation at all w/ respect to publish data. I am in this situation and literally have no idea what to do other than to take/retake undergrad courses to raise my GPA so that I can POSSIBLY have the chances of even applying to a post-bacc or SMP.
 
OP
M
Jan 19, 2016
19
2
Status
Pre-Medical
The trend over time and any extenuating circumstances (e.g. did you have a semester of ~0.0 but otherwise okay) would figure in. Your ethnicity and your language proficiency in Spanish may help. If you did very poorly (B- or lower) in any pre-reqs, you'd be wise to retake and then apply DO. Shadow a DO to be sure that is the path for you.

I would not immediately assume you are as lazy AF without knowing your circumstances in HS & undergrad. (Were any of these credits earned in HS?)
Have you seen candidates such as myself? And if so, do they even have a shot at being looked at or even invited to an interview?
 

Goro

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My learned colleague is faculty at a school up the stratosphere. Your GPA trend needs to be much higher for med schools to take you seriously right now. The discordance between GPA and MCAT is not helping either.


Have you seen candidates such as myself? And if so, do they even have a shot at being looked at or even invited to an interview?
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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Have you seen candidates such as myself? And if so, do they even have a shot at being looked at or even invited to an interview?
I wouldn't see someone with your GPA unless your father was a Nobel Laureate and on the faculty.

Your PI can make a difference for you (they already have) by speaking with people they know personally to promote your application. That isn't going to get you very far. You do have an upward trend and you were not pre-med at the outset and you obviously have the smarts. I am almost never in favor of SMP but I think that you are a perfect candidate for one. Gather more information about that option. Basically, it will mean attending and paying for 5 years of medical school with the first basically being a probationary year.

Because you were on academic probation you an an IA which may get you a bit more attention as those are sometimes siphoned off for special attention. The discordance between the GPA and MCAT and the IA does suggest that "there is a story here".

Are you the first in your family to attend college? did your parents attend college? Did you grow up in modest circumstances (low income)?

lmao LizzyM saying "lazy AF"
:oops: I've been learning some new slang from my kids.
 
OP
M
Jan 19, 2016
19
2
Status
Pre-Medical
I wouldn't see someone with your GPA unless your father was a Nobel Laureate and on the faculty.

Your PI can make a difference for you (they already have) by speaking with people they know personally to promote your application. That isn't going to get you very far. You do have an upward trend and you were not pre-med at the outset and you obviously have the smarts. I am almost never in favor of SMP but I think that you are a perfect candidate for one. Gather more information about that option. Basically, it will mean attending and paying for 5 years of medical school with the first basically being a probationary year.

Because you were on academic probation you an an IA which may get you a bit more attention as those are sometimes siphoned off for special attention. The discordance between the GPA and MCAT and the IA does suggest that "there is a story here".

Are you the first in your family to attend college? did your parents attend college? Did you grow up in modest circumstances (low income)?



:oops: I've been learning some new slang from my kids.
Yes, I am the first in my family to attend college. My mom received a HS diploma and my dad did not graduate. I would say that I most definitely grew up in a low economic and medically underserved area.
 
OP
M
Jan 19, 2016
19
2
Status
Pre-Medical
So...what most of you are saying is that if I were to do some sort of SMP program AND excel in it (GPA 3.5+)...I would have a shot at being admitted to medical school. I would say that my application would be unique and have some factors that could serve as "eyebrow raising".
 

LizzyM

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Yes, I am the first in my family to attend college. My mom received a HS diploma and my dad did not graduate. I would say that I most definitely grew up in a low economic and medically underserved area.
Those are all mitigating circumstances. You are sure to have a good LOR from the PI who paid for your MCAT. If you have any opportunity to go to a MD /health professions grad fair where you can meet with admissions officers, take it! I think that they have some of these events particularly for students of color so check those out too. The point is to make a face-to-face connection with some of these folks and tell them your story so that they are on the look out for your application despite the screens. Everyone is looking for the most talented, even if they got off on the wrong foot at the start of college.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
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So...what most of you are saying is that if I were to do some sort of SMP program AND excel in it (GPA 3.5+)...I would have a shot at being admitted to medical school. I would say that my application would be unique and have some factors that could serve as "eyebrow raising".
I'm no expert on SMP so you should ask some questions of people who know those better than I do. Basically, you take classes alongside medical students and are awarded an MS in Anatomy or something like that. If you do better than most medical students in the coursework, then you are likely to get an offer of admission to that medical school or another med school provided you have the right personality.