Apr 9, 2010
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Hello, I am new to this forum. Well, I went to UC santa cruz first and have a GPA of 2.4. From there I went to UC Riverside and got a GPA of 3.2 and an overall GPA of 2.9. I am planning to take the MCAT in Aug (HOPEFULLY 33-35). What should be my plan of action and what are you my chances?

-Med school (DO or MD)
-Post baccalaureate Program (what programs take an overall GPA of 2.9?)
-Caribbean Schools? (I don't care where, just want to get into a school)

I know I messed up early in my career but at this point I just want to be a doctor some how some way. I wouldn't mind going to a Caribbean School if i have a chance to get in. Do you guys have any suggestions of which of these options I should take and what would give me the best chance. Thanks.
 
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...and for my real reply:

You need to take enough classes to get your GPA above 3.00 then bust your butt to get into an SMP. Excel at that and hope to get into an MD or DO [no tropics].
Thank you, what do you think about a a Caribbean school?
 

roseglass6370

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I hate to break it to ya, but with a cGPA of 2.9 your chances of scoring 33-35 on the MCAT are slim unless you absolutely bust your butt.

My best advice I have is find an SMP that will take you and work on bringing your GPA up to above a 3.0. Then, apply DO.

Don't subject yourself to the carib. Really. Don't do it. If you're serious about becoming a doctor, you would have the self-respect to go somewhere where you will get a quality education.

Best of luck!
 

Armastama

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Most of the post-bacc programs require at least a 3.0
I know you said 'most' but I applied to two post-bacs with <3.0 and was accepted to both.

OP- crush the MCAT and apply broadly to US MD / DO schools (with lower end GPA averages; check out MSAR) and if that doesn't work a year of graduate level science coursework in the form of a post-bac will increase you chances of acceptance while preparing you to be a better medical student. My $0.02.
 
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Okay...but what are the requirements for Caribbean schools, will I be able to get in with my current standings.
 

Jrsharp70

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With a 3.0, the only thing that will work for any medical school in the states is a sick mcat. D.O. Schools focus on gpa too, and people with decent mcats were in my group for interviews and not taken. Shoot for 30 plus and stay longer to retake some classes since aacomas does grade replacement. I would suggest a post-bac program if you can get a loan for 20k plus living.
 

plsfoldthx

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Do you think just a 30+ MCAT and a good SMP gpa (3.5+) will give him a decent shot at US allo?
 

roseglass6370

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Okay...but what are the requirements for Caribbean schools, will I be able to get in with my current standings.
You'd probably get into a carib school. All I'm saying is, do yourself a favor and exhaust all your options in the U.S. first.
 

apumic

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apumic

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Do you think just a 30+ MCAT and a good SMP gpa (3.5+) will give him a decent shot at US allo?
An SMP of 3.5 isn't going to do it. A 3.5 SMP is pitiful, considering most students are making almost straight-As as they know it's their last chance to prove themselves. Considering the average accepted GPA is 3.65 and the average MCAT is 31.5, the OP needs to prove to an adcom that s/he is capable despite the very low UG GPA. In other words, no, 3.5/30 wouldn't come anywhere near that. It probably needs to be a value such that the average of the UG GPA and SMP GPA is &#8805;3.4 with an above average (29+ MCAT). That way, if a given school evaluates the SMP and UG GPA as approximately equivalent (i.e., averages them) the OP still ends up as at least an average to slightly above-average applicant (only the top 40-45% of applicants get in, so one can reasonably expect that the averages of applicants are probably the lowest values one should expect to have a decent chance of being admitted with as the bottom 50% are basically cut early on). Therefore, I would expect 3.4/28 to be a good absolute minimum to shoot for (i.e., if one cannot achieve that, it may not be worth applying MD unless there have been other extraordinary accomplishments). So, in the OP's situation, an SMP of 3.9 would probably be the minimum sufficient to make up for past poor performance, assuming schools consider an SMP to be of equal importance to the UG GPA. The problem here is that we (SDN) know from experience that this is not true. The reality is that schools appear to see the UG GPA as, if anything, of greater importance than the SMP GPA.

I say this as a warning simply because we regularly get people at the end of every application cycle who got rejected after earning a 3.5-3.8 GPA in an SMP with a decent MCAT but a poor UG GPA and are very frustrated that their "mostly As" didn't even get them a second look. It's an understandable frustration, for sure, but UG GPA is just that important to many med schools. I don't think it's fair to tell someone that completing an SMP with what would be a good UG GPA (but is quite poor at the graduate level) would be likely to make them successful.
 

Jrsharp70

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Carrib schools take almost anyone since they know 2/3 will wash and they get 40 or 80k of your money first. Those left over still have a hard time
 

Daedra22

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DO schools allow you to retake and replace grades, so first I would work on doing that with a few classes (especially if you got a C or less in a pre-req). Then, with a good MCAT score (27+) you would probably have a reasonable shot at DO schools. The general consensus on the forums is that DO schools are far preferable to Caribbean schools, and I tend to agree; DO students with competitive board scores have good chances at residencies across the United States. Caribbean schools overall show less success in this area.
 
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DO schools allow you to retake and replace grades, so first I would work on doing that with a few classes (especially if you got a C or less in a pre-req). Then, with a good MCAT score (27+) you would probably have a reasonable shot at DO schools. The general consensus on the forums is that DO schools are far preferable to Caribbean schools, and I tend to agree; DO students with competitive board scores have good chances at residencies across the United States. Caribbean schools overall show less success in this area.
Thank you...I just don't want to waste anymore time. If I have a decent shot at a Caribbean school I just might take that. I got delayed in my school, and don't want to waste anymore time retaking classes I already took, granted i didn't do so well in them. I am still deciding if I should take my chances with a DO school. Hmm Ill do a little more research and see.
 

theWUbear

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I hate to break it to ya, but with a cGPA of 2.9 your chances of scoring 33-35 on the MCAT are slim unless you absolutely bust your butt.
Beginning to get sick of ^^^ comments. Yes, statistics are not in one's favor, but that's obvious when someone is aiming for for 90th percentile on the MCAT (chances are slim anyway). Heck, case is merely anecdotal, but I got a 33O with a 2.7. I suppose "unless you bust your butt", as a qualifier, makes this more acceptable. Because, (in case he didn't know it), ya have ta try hard to do well at the MCAT :rolleyes:.

My best advice I have is find an SMP that will take you and work on bringing your GPA up to above a 3.0. Then, apply DO.
SMP GPA will not raise your GPA. I strongly suggest a post-bacc for one year where you take all upper level BCPM courses (sprinkle in a retake or two of prereq you received C/D in)

Don't subject yourself to the carib. Really. Don't do it. If you're serious about becoming a doctor, you would have the self-respect to go somewhere where you will get a quality education.

Best of luck!
It is my opinion that St. George's University provides a 'quality' education, based on the work I have done with physicians from the university (recently hired by University hospital at my state med school). If you received a 2.9 simply because you drank too much/didn't care, and you can handle getting at/near a near a 4.0 in a post-bacc, and you can get a 33-35 MCAT, and you are confident that you will continue to take your work seriously, with hard work your 90th percentile MCAT will translate into a good USMLE score (studies have shown the correlation, I'm not saying it's perfect), and (barring a doomsday situation) there will be an internal medicine/peds residency waiting for you on the other side of the tunnel.

I am about to receive a 4.0 this semester - raising my post-bacc year GPA to 3.9. I start an SMP in the fall. I hope that 2 years of ~4.0 work, with a 33 MCAT will make someone forgive the fact that I have a uGPA of 2.9 in math. If it doesn't, I don't believe in OMM, and I am confident in my ability to continue to set the curve on exams, and score in the 90th percentile on standardized tests like I have all through my life. I'll be fine at SGU. Flame away SDN?
 

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1. NO Caribbean. It will not serve you well to have this back-up in mind. You will pull up your GPA and stay in the US.

2. Right now you have an upward trend. This is good. This MUST continue.

3. Try like hell to raise your GPA to 3.0 before you graduate. Even if you don't quite get it there, I would still advise applying to post-bacs and SMPs. If you're below a 3.0 you will need to try to focus your applications on those which do not publish a 3.0 admission policy. You will need to buckle down and do quite well in this program.

4. Take an MCAT prep course and take the MCAT when you feel confident and are consistently scoring in the low-mid 30s.

5. When you apply to medical schools, I strongly urge you to make at least half your list composed of DO schools. It has been my experience, and the experience of several classmates of mine plus others on SDN, that DO schools will appreciate your academic growth and commitment and take a less severe attitude to your prior 2.4 GPA.
 
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OP, if you think you're gonna put in the effort to get above a 35 on the MCAT, you might as well retake the pre-reqs.
 

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Let me ask you this, if you can't get more than a 3.0 in undergrad, what makes you think you are cut out for medical school? did you mess up early on, or did you just do bad consistently?
hmmm. i got a 2.95 undergrad...granted i got a 4.0 in post bacc and a good mcat....but i got multiple acceptances and i'm sure i'll do just fine in school...

stuff happens...you pick yourself up, move on with life, and do work son.
 

illegallysmooth

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hmmm. i got a 2.95 undergrad...granted i got a 4.0 in post bacc and a good mcat....but i got multiple acceptances and i'm sure i'll do just fine in school...

stuff happens...you pick yourself up, move on with life, and do work son.

:thumbup:

3.2 undergrad here, 3.3 in SMP, 34 MCAT. I worked my butt off in various clinical and non-clincal capacities all through school, and have a bunch of research. Grades matter, but low grades don't always mean a lack of ability.
 
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theWUbear

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hmmm. i got a 2.95 undergrad...granted i got a 4.0 in post bacc and a good mcat....but i got multiple acceptances and i'm sure i'll do just fine in school...

stuff happens...you pick yourself up, move on with life, and do work son.
I am so happy to read that, it gives me inspiration. Congratulations
 

Daedra22

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Listen to Young Gregory House about listening to Frazier.

You cannot lose! :thumbup:
I just have to say... as a fan of both of those shows, you made me laugh.

Also, to the OP, an extra year preparing you to enter a good medical school as opposed to a marginal one (I.E., Caribbean Med School) will be well worth it in the end, whether you do retakes or an SMP. When you're considering that med school is 4 years and residency is a minimum of 3, an extra year is minuscule in comparison. Further, residencies are getting increasingly competitive, and it may be harder for students outside of the US to get a good US residency slot in the future.
 

Buzz Me

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Would definitely NOT rush to try and get into a Caribbean med school. Improve your GPA, rock the MCAT, then see what your options are.
 

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Was your GPA low in your pre-med pre-req's?? Because if they were, that's another thing you need to bust your but in before you take the MCAT. "Hopefully a 33+" doesn't guarantee you anything...I hope you plan on working like crazy for a score that high.
 

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If it doesn't, I don't believe in OMM, and I am confident in my ability to continue to set the curve on exams, and score in the 90th percentile on standardized tests like I have all through my life. I'll be fine at SGU. Flame away SDN?
You would choose carrib over DO, wow... the attrition rate is far larger, the education is vastly regarded as inferior, the USMLE pass rate is much less. To the OP, if you have a shot at a DO, do that over caribb.... most people on here will agree.
 

illegallysmooth

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I don't believe in OMM, and I am confident in my ability to continue to set the curve on exams, and score in the 90th percentile on standardized tests like I have all through my life. I'll be fine at SGU. Flame away SDN?
Comments like these tell me you don't know enough about the D.O. profession.
 
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bro dont stress, ur an engineering major with an upward trend who just happened to royally spooge up his first years in college.
pwn the MCAT and you'll be cool
 

theWUbear

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You would choose carrib over DO, wow... the attrition rate is far larger, the education is vastly regarded as inferior, the USMLE pass rate is much less. To the OP, if you have a shot at a DO, do that over caribb.... most people on here will agree.
1. Attrition. Of course the attrition rate is much larger - they'll take anyone with a bank account. What does that have to do with me? With OP? Are we just anyone with a bank account? No, we are people with 4.0 (in my case 3.9) post-baccs in BCPM and 33+ (in my case 33, his MCAT hypothetical at this point) MCAT scores.

2. Education. Can you cite that SGU-trained physicians are measurably worse-educated?

3. USMLE pass rate. Of course the pass rate is much less - they'll take anyone with a bank account. What does that have to do with me? With OP? Are we just anyone with a bank account? No, we are people with 33+ MCAT's. 1500+ SAT's. Go ahead and tell me there's no correlation. Studies have been done showing correlation between STEP 1 and your BS score and another STEP with verbal. Not the best correlation, but a significant one nonetheless.

These statistics are often overused when personal circumstances make them irrelevant.
 

theWUbear

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Comments like these tell me you don't know enough about the D.O. profession.
I know that I am not a fan of OMM after only cursory reading. I know that 'doctors are too busy to care about the letters after their coworkers names'. I have no problem saying I do not enough about the D.O. profession by your standards.
 

JJMrK

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The DO application system allows for grade replacement. If I were you, I would think about spending 2-3 semesters retaking courses you got C's in for A's.

Also, moving this to "What are my Chances?"
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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1. Attrition. Of course the attrition rate is much larger - they'll take anyone with a bank account. What does that have to do with me? With OP? Are we just anyone with a bank account? No, we are people with 4.0 (in my case 3.9) post-baccs in BCPM and 33+ (in my case 33, his MCAT hypothetical at this point) MCAT scores.

2. Education. Can you cite that SGU-trained physicians are measurably worse-educated?

3. USMLE pass rate. Of course the pass rate is much less - they'll take anyone with a bank account. What does that have to do with me? With OP? Are we just anyone with a bank account? No, we are people with 33+ MCAT's. 1500+ SAT's. Go ahead and tell me there's no correlation. Studies have been done showing correlation between STEP 1 and your BS score and another STEP with verbal. Not the best correlation, but a significant one nonetheless.

These statistics are often overused when personal circumstances make them irrelevant.
Well there's also the part about clinical clerkship during the third and forth year. Many carib schools have partnerships where they send to rather low standard hospitals, most of which you will be improperly taught.
Regardless Carib schools are too much of a risk, however that is a personal opinion. If you can sleep at night knowing your risking 200k in a gamble, well then I say good luck.
 

Drrrrrr. Celty

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I know that I am not a fan of OMM after only cursory reading. I know that 'doctors are too busy to care about the letters after their coworkers names'. I have no problem saying I do not enough about the D.O. profession by your standards.
Well personally I'm interested in OMM, as well as being in love with PCOM. Sure there's little understanding behind the ancedotal evidence. But there are pleantly of medical things which aren't explained through science. All I know is that OMM specialized doctors rake in 200k+ a year, so I'd suppose that they are doing something right to make such a high amount.
 

theWUbear

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Well there's also the part about clinical clerkship during the third and forth year. Many carib schools have partnerships where they send to rather low standard hospitals, most of which you will be improperly taught.
Regardless Carib schools are too much of a risk, however that is a personal opinion. If you can sleep at night knowing your risking 200k in a gamble, well then I say good luck.
Would you like to stand by your comment that at many NY/NJ hospitals you will be improperly taught during your clerkships? I mean, I could understand you saying the location is undesirable (bad part of Brooklyn, old facilities, etc.), but with all due respect I think that comment is a bit radical and without basis. And Carribean schools are a big risk and an unsafe decision, for the average applicant. There is no denying that - statistics show it. We agree there. I only argue here for the specific case of me and the OP. My overall line of reasoning is that a set of statistics may or may not be relevant for each instance of unique circumstances.
 

hopestobe

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Hi everyone, I am in a similar situation. UG dismal gpa humanities+bio double major. I did some postbac to get a decent enough gpa to get into umdnj's smp , where I did well (no actual med school classes tho). Aftetwards, a premed adv told me my ug gpa was still too low so I took additional postbac classes. I read on sdn that its a bad idea to do more postbac after a masters, how bad does it look? I took diff courses that I had never taken before. I want to apply this yr but Im really worried. Ug gpa 3.2, postbac 3.8, grad 3.9, mcat 31, any advice would be appreciated, thx
 
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Hi everyone, I am in a similar situation. UG dismal gpa humanities+bio double major. I did some postbac to get a decent enough gpa to get into umdnj's smp , where I did well (no actual med school classes tho). Aftetwards, a premed adv told me my ug gpa was still too low so I took additional postbac classes. I read on sdn that its a bad idea to do more postbac after a masters, how bad does it look? I took diff courses that I had never taken before. I want to apply this yr but Im really worried. Ug gpa 3.2, postbac 3.8, grad 3.9, mcat 31, any advice would be appreciated, thx
Your question will get more attention if you start your own thread.
 

mspeedwagon

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I know a number of people that have gone to to the Carrib schools (Ross and SGU), came back and become successful physicians (i.e. matched and are able to practice in the US).

Their advice... try your hardest to stay in the US and do not go to the Carrib until you have exhausted every US option.

The reason for their advice, they had a very hard time getting back to the US (this will only become worse with the number of new medical schools). They were in a position where they had to take whatever residency they could get (most are primary care physicians, even if they didn't want to be) and really didn't have much of a choice of location to practice.

Between all the extra paperwork they had to do, the conditions and challenges of living in the Carrib, and the feeling of having money sucked out of them and their classmates (most of whom disappeared before the boards), they felt they would have been better of taking a year or two to make themselves better applicants for the US schools.

The Carrib is a great last-resort option. If you have exhausted everything in the US, then and ONLY then consider the Carrib schools (and ONLY the big four).

1. Attrition. Of course the attrition rate is much larger - they'll take anyone with a bank account. What does that have to do with me? With OP? Are we just anyone with a bank account? No, we are people with 4.0 (in my case 3.9) post-baccs in BCPM and 33+ (in my case 33, his MCAT hypothetical at this point) MCAT scores.

2. Education. Can you cite that SGU-trained physicians are measurably worse-educated?

3. USMLE pass rate. Of course the pass rate is much less - they'll take anyone with a bank account. What does that have to do with me? With OP? Are we just anyone with a bank account? No, we are people with 33+ MCAT's. 1500+ SAT's. Go ahead and tell me there's no correlation. Studies have been done showing correlation between STEP 1 and your BS score and another STEP with verbal. Not the best correlation, but a significant one nonetheless.

These statistics are often overused when personal circumstances make them irrelevant.
 
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