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2.91 GPA 32 mcat

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Drachfar

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Hi everybody. Im a recent grad with a bs in chemE. My gpa is 2.91 while I scored 32's on the two most recent paper MCAT's. I am in the current application cycle but its getting late, and Ive received no interviews. Currently I have been working as a scientist doing r&d of clinical blood analyzers(full time 5 months and counting), while volunteering at a hospital and as a teacher at a local church(also 5 months).

I really would perfer MD over DO and was wondering what you guys recommend or if anyone has been in a similiar situation. I considered retaking the MCAT's or doing a masters program such as GMS at BU. I dont have alot of free time, or money, these days so I have to make my choices wisely. Costs of masters programs and the two year duration are big negatives to me, but I am willing if it seems like the only way. How effective is a higher MCAT in compensating for a low GPA?
 

J ROD

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    Did you apply broadly?

    Also, the schools that you applied to can make a huge difference. Some schools have an average MCAT of 27 while other schools have a 32 average. Therefore, your nice MCAT can be only average there and great at the other place.

    I think your GPA is a red flag although it is in chem engin. I know a couple of guys that got into school with a 3.2 range GPA and a 30 MCAT, but our in-state average is 27. They can balance each other out but I think admin committees give the MCAT a bigger percentage.

    If your in-state schools have high MCAT averages, then I believe you will have to raise your GPA with extra classes. I would do the MS but you can also get a BS in Biology. You are close to getting in. I think the MCAT is the hardest thing to fix and you got a good score. You might just have to put in some extra time and effort. Since you have taken it twice and gotten the same score, I doubt you would improve up to a 35 or higher. It is very hard to jump up in the 30's unless there are some sort of circumstances previously.

    Lastly, if you do not get an interview, I would call or better yet visit the admission's office and get them to tell you where you need to improve. That way they know you are working hard to get in! When it comes down to the final acceptances, I believe it can only help you if they can put a name with a face. Good Luck!
     

    MaximusD

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    Drachfar, if you are going to be a science-based physician, then you need to become accustomed to using logic. Give a logical reason why you think the DO degree will hinder you. Perhaps you will find that it's just a baseless assumption that DO is inferior to MD and you can happily apply DO and possible receive an acceptance. If you have a legitimate reason that you cannot bypass, then by all means do not apply DO.

    I have a 32 MCAT and a 3.25 GPA in Premed. I haven't heard back from ANY in-state or OOS allopathic institutions. The DO schools that I have visited were simply amazing. The students were cooperative, albeit still fairly competitive. Some DO programs have better matchlists than certain MD schools (read: PCOM, DMU, CCOM...). I think if you visited some DO schools you would find that they are 1) much more nontrad friendly and 2) extremely rigorous and they focus on building SOUND clinical skills. For me, the latter is extremely important. You aren't taking the easy way out by going DO. The trick is getting over that annoying and irrelevant self-imposed stigma.
     

    LastDance

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    I agree completely with drmax. With your stats it will be difficult getting into an M.D school. Has it been done before, probably, but chances arent too good. Look, time is important. With your stats, you have a better shot at D.O schools. Look into these schools more closely.
     

    Wrigleyville

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    I hate to state the obvious, but your GPA is too low. If you want to improve your application you need to take classes. Your MCAT is not holding you back and considering you got the same score twice I wouldn't bother retaking it.
     

    Instatewaiter

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    No matter how high the MCAT is it will not make up for a lousy GPA. A high MCAT with a low GPA makes an applicant seem like a smart slacker. Med school isn't hard; it's a lot of work. So if the GPA is telling Adcoms that you may not be up to the work involved in med school it doesnt matter how high the MCAT is.

    The GPA is the issue. There are 2 options from here: SMP and Post-bac. I would recommend against doing a traditonal (2yr) masters.

    SMPs are 1 year graduate-level programs where you take almost all of the 1st year med curriculum. Since they are grad-level the grades do not get factored into Ugrad GPA. Personally, I favor this road. I did it and got in to MD with a 2.8/33R after a one perfect semester. These programs are very hard though. Understand that if you do mediocre (ie get Bs) you will basically ruin your chances of ever getting in. I feel like it is a large risk for a larger reward.

    Post-bacs come in a variety of flavors: some allow you to do the pre-recs while others allow you to take upper level science courses. This will get factored into Ugrad GPA and can raise it. But with a 2.9 it will take a lot of credits to raise the GPA up to very competitive range.

    Whatever you choose, it may be smart to add a few DO schools. Whatever you think about the cost, location, quality of education, possibilities for residency, 3rd year facilities, stigma associated with the degree, hastles of OMM, hastles of taking COMLEX and USMLE or what have you, when you come out as a DO you will have the same rights and responsibilities as an MD
     

    Drachfar

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    Thank you all for your responses. I have been weighing retaking the MCAT's, graduate school, or continuing what I've been doing. Right now I'm leaning towards a medical graduate program. I have to double check with the premed advisor at school though.

    I have nothing against DO. I really would like to get into a good residency if I am ever forunate enough to be matriculated into a school. I know that it can be done through DO, but I want to start off the best I can.
     

    HolyMoly

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    If you are leaning towards a graduate medical program, I would recommend the Georgetown SMP, which I did a few years ago. It is 1 year and you get a M.S. out of it, and it is probably the most prestigious program of its kind, with a rich history of connections with various medical schools.

    Your GPA is too low at this point, while your MCAT is very good but not spectacular. For a 2.91, you would need a 38+ type of MCAT to have a legit shot at MD schools these days. However, it can be done, and with the SMP under your belt it won't hurt. Furthermore, if you do very well at Georgetown, they will bypass your GPA and whatever and take you themselves! I have seen this happen to a number of my friends, so do not despair.

    Definitely consider the DO route to becoming a physician. The perceived stigma that exists against them is ridiculous and quite frankly something that will become outdated in our lifetime.
     

    Timmythemic22

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    If you are leaning towards a graduate medical program, I would recommend the Georgetown SMP, which I did a few years ago. It is 1 year and you get a M.S. out of it, and it is probably the most prestigious program of its kind, with a rich history of connections with various medical schools.

    Your GPA is too low at this point, while your MCAT is very good but not spectacular. For a 2.91, you would need a 38+ type of MCAT to have a legit shot at MD schools these days. However, it can be done, and with the SMP under your belt it won't hurt. Furthermore, if you do very well at Georgetown, they will bypass your GPA and whatever and take you themselves! I have seen this happen to a number of my friends, so do not despair.

    Definitely consider the DO route to becoming a physician. The perceived stigma that exists against them is ridiculous and quite frankly something that will become outdated in our lifetime.

    I agree with this whole-heartedly. However, OP, know that in the SMP program you are actively competing with highly-qualified students, many of which are re-applicants with a lot to prove. I was in the SMP program for 2005-2006 and found it amazingly informative, and have now recently received a MD acceptance for 2007. However, I had a 3.6 GPA in the program (taking medical school courses, mind you) and I wasn't even in the top half of the class. You are going to be in a very stressful environment, and I can only hope your 2.9 GPA is not a result of laziness or apathy, because they will lead to failure. I'm not trying to discourage, but just know what you're getting yourself into.
     

    Scottish Chap

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    Hi everybody. Im a recent grad with a bs in chemE. My gpa is 2.91 while I scored 32's on the two most recent paper MCAT's. I am in the current application cycle but its getting late, and Ive received no interviews. Currently I have been working as a scientist doing r&d of clinical blood analyzers(full time 5 months and counting), while volunteering at a hospital and as a teacher at a local church(also 5 months).

    I really would perfer MD over DO and was wondering what you guys recommend or if anyone has been in a similiar situation. I considered retaking the MCAT's or doing a masters program such as GMS at BU. I dont have alot of free time, or money, these days so I have to make my choices wisely. Costs of masters programs and the two year duration are big negatives to me, but I am willing if it seems like the only way. How effective is a higher MCAT in compensating for a low GPA?
    Most allopathic schools use 3.0 as an absolute minimum cut-off. Also, as unfair as it is, the humanities or art major with a high GPA stands more chance since medical schools really do care about the number and not the major. Again, I think it's unfair but a 3.8 GPA in any discipline tells the adcom that a person is successful, while a lower showing - for whatever reason - always leaves doubt in their mind. Even with a fine showing on the MCAT, I'm willing to bet that's the issue right there. There are one or two people on SDN who gained entry to an allopathic school with a sub-3.0 GPA and an MCAT in the mid-to-hight 30's, but you'll see that they applied to around 30 schools and received just one or two two interviews, and usually just one offer of admission, often from a waitlist.

    If you don't have any connections at a medical school or something else (a higher degree like an SMP M.S. or a Ph.D.), I think the allopaths will show no mercy. Have you considered one of the special masters programs with a medical school affiliation? Also, if you are not interested in a career in academic medicine, osteopathic medical schools are definitely a good, feasible option right now and, as of last year, you can practice in any U.S. state and in any specialty.
     

    Drachfar

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    Thanks everyone. I am going to try for an SMP program. Hopefully I'll get in. I am out to prove myself so I think this is my ticket.

    I messed up a great deal in undergrad. I was no slacker though. I worked two jobs to support college, and took the MCAT while working full time in the summer. This time around I'll have some money saved up so I can concentrate 100% on school. I regret not taking out more loans, but I cant do anything about that now. haha

    I think this forum did a better chance of convincing me to go back to school than my preheatlh advisor. Thanks
     

    mitawa

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    Thanks everyone. I am going to try for an SMP program. Hopefully I'll get in. I am out to prove myself so I think this is my ticket.

    I messed up a great deal in undergrad. I was no slacker though. I worked two jobs to support college, and took the MCAT while working full time in the summer. This time around I'll have some money saved up so I can concentrate 100% on school. I regret not taking out more loans, but I cant do anything about that now. haha

    I think this forum did a better chance of convincing me to go back to school than my preheatlh advisor. Thanks

    You may also want to consider the Caribbean if its allopathic medicine that you want to pursue.
     

    Feli

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    Hi everybody. Im a recent grad with a bs in chemE. My gpa is 2.91 while I scored 32's on the two most recent paper MCAT's...

    ...I really would perfer MD over DO and was wondering what you guys recommend or if anyone has been in a similiar situation. I considered retaking the MCAT's or doing a masters program such as GMS at BU...
    The biomedical sciences M.S. degree at Barry is done start-to-finish in only two semesters (and a variable number of summer classes) if you want it to be and are willing to go full-time. The 1yr masters program basically covers or at least scratches the surface of almost everything you will do in first year med school (anat, bioch, neuro, histo, ethics, research methods, physio, pharm, etc).

    I'll tell you that the 1 year M.S. is totally managable for someone who got an MCAT like yours if you are willing to work hard for a lil while in grad school. You obviously have the talent yet just didn't study enough or had too hard of an undergraduate major. As a Barry pod student, I had a good number of my first year classes side-by-side with the M.S. students. I got a 3.5 even though the podiatry students have harder lab exams and significantly harder physio. The school knows that M.S. students are looking to raise their GPA to make med school, so they will challenge you yet are willing to work with you a bit also.

    The M.S. program is great for someone who already has a high MCAT and just needs a few more "A"s. A lot of the one year M.S. students I met last year who got a 3.5 or better during the program are starting MD school this fall. Most of them didn't get into the elite MD programs and some are starting at brand new MD programs, but they are still in regardless. It is worth noting that most of them did the M.S. in the 05-06 year and summer following, took 06-07 to work research and put in applications, and they will be starting this fall in 07-08. I guess you are right if that's what you mean by the M.S. taking 2 years to help you. If you start the M.S. this fall 2007 and are applying to start MD school next fall 2008, only the first semester of your M.S. program grades would be done with.

    The 1yr M.S. program really sets it up so that your first year of med school is somewhat of a review after you apply yourself and complete the coursework. I almost thought about doing the M.S. program myself (I'm fairly similar to your situation: got 28R on the MCAT but only a 2.8 undergrad GPA as a biochem major and working 30hrs/wk at a hospital... upper calc II, calc-based physics I & II, inorganic, and p-chem killed my GPA). I shadowed podiatrists, liked it, went to pod school, and am quite happy and doing well here, though. I didn't really want to do a M.S., get another 30k in debt, and still only be a borderline applicant to MD/DO. Your slightly higher MCAT might make you a reasonably strong MD applicant after doing a M.S. degree with a 3.5+, though.
     

    Puravida82

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    First time poster :)

    I would have started my own thread, but I feel my situation is related enough to put here.

    I'm in even a worse bind. Cumulative GPA of 2.97 with a PSYCH degree, with a science of 2.57, with an MCAT of 33. Two jobs, ROTC, Research, volunteering, and living in a fraternity 5 years were not kind to my GPA. I graduated 2005 and since then I've worked as an EMT for a year, and just got a job as an ED Tech at Santa Monica.

    I applied to low level schools for Fall 07 across the board and got rejected (of course). My GPA is obviously abysmally low.

    Now what? With my GPA, postbaccs won't touch me. SMP's won't touch me. After doing some research, osteopathic maniupulation doesn't interest me. Non-US schools aren't an option for me either, the military won't allow it. I'm willing to put in a year (or more) of school in, but one year would be probably all I could do since training or deployment would get in the way.

    Any idea what I could do? (A million people suggested a change in career or going PA. Again, not an option...)
     
    C

    Critical Mass

    I would never recommend a career change for anyone. If you want to be an MD, you can overcome anything.

    A sub-3.0 GPA is a challenge, particularly if you can't retake any of your classes. Do what you can to boost the GPA, but the MCAT can equalize you to wait-list or better at a state school in which you are a resident.

    :luck:
     

    Nasrudin

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    I'm not the one to answer this question cause I'm still shoulder to shoulder with the rest of you wingnuts, but the key to any high stakes card game is to know who's at the table and to know who you're playing against. So here's my hand and how i'm playing it.

    Went to college back when Boyz II Men were on every radio station. Two different schools--2.5 years of 2.9 at one, 2 semesters of complete sheit at another I think cummulatively a 2.7 or something.

    Went back to school sort of feeling my way along but making 4.0, got my EMT cert, went to work in an ED. Got some confidence taking physics at CC, transferred to a 4 year to get a biology degree. Almost finished now. My gpa here is a 3.96 all science. So i'm holding a 3.9 science gpa and somewhere around a 3.2-3.3 cum. My strong suit for gpa is that my recent work over the last couple of years is all strong and there's an obvious split between my student careers. For me the MCAT is do or die. If I jam I could be in a position to apply allopathic straight away. If not then its SMP time.

    Part of it is knowing yourself and how long you're willing to wait until your luck might turn. I'm 33. It's funny if you would of asked me at 30 I would have told that time was short and that speed was of the most importance. Now, I've kind of shifted to it's the journey not the destination point of view. Also the DO thing is very personal decision as is overseas. I'm going to stay stateside and put my focus on allopathic schools without ruling out DO. For me its about arriving where I want to be in full-stride, not how soon I get there.

    Secondly is knowing what your throwing on the table in front of adcoms. I know that I'm not the boy science genius who's going to pull the attraction of future prestige for their schools, or the other worldly philanthropist who's going to seek out the most messed up situation and throw myself into it. My ploy will have to pull from my own experience working with all kinds of people in the last decade and why being a physician is what I want to do and to say that with as much self-knowlege and experience a premed could likely give. You have to know what their doubt's about you might be. For me it might be the fact that I only took around twelve units to get my 3.9 while working full-time or my patchy performance over the years, so what I can't prove with my actions I'll try to use persuasion in my statement.

    Everybody's up against the same process and its up to you to figure out where you come up short and to remedy that in a way that makes sense for your life. I would do a 2nd Bachelor's but that because I'm very hesitant to put me and my family into huge debt for an SMP and we're already in huge debt. But if your young and traveling light things will be different.

    Wow I just wrote a novel. I'm not even sure I would like to read this post. Good luck! peace-in-the-middle-east I'm out.
     
    M

    MDsomeday22

    Check out this link:

    http://www.mdapplicants.com/

    Enter your stats and you'll see that it IS possible for you to get in to medical school!


    Don't give up! I would definitely apply again before you get a masters (a hell of a lot cheaper than paying for 2-4 semesters of grad school).

    :)
     

    southpawcannon

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    Check out this link:

    http://www.mdapplicants.com/

    Enter your stats and you'll see that it IS possible for you to get in to medical school!


    Don't give up! I would definitely apply again before you get a masters (a hell of a lot cheaper than paying for 2-4 semesters of grad school).

    :)

    There's some site I viewed(wish I could remember the name) where you can enter GPA and MCAT, and based on those scores, you will get a rough idea of how competitive you are at the various schools. I believe it's broken down into highly-competitive, competitive, and some other, probably not competitive. Yet with non-trads or people who had an ok UG but awesome postbac and grad school, there isn't a way to calculate that in.
     

    stiffany

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    Hi everybody. Im a recent grad with a bs in chemE. My gpa is 2.91 while I scored 32's on the two most recent paper MCAT's. I am in the current application cycle but its getting late, and Ive received no interviews. Currently I have been working as a scientist doing r&d of clinical blood analyzers(full time 5 months and counting), while volunteering at a hospital and as a teacher at a local church(also 5 months).

    I really would perfer MD over DO and was wondering what you guys recommend or if anyone has been in a similiar situation. I considered retaking the MCAT's or doing a masters program such as GMS at BU. I dont have alot of free time, or money, these days so I have to make my choices wisely. Costs of masters programs and the two year duration are big negatives to me, but I am willing if it seems like the only way. How effective is a higher MCAT in compensating for a low GPA?

    Getting a master's degree will actually do nothing for your undergrad GPA. It's great to see someone with say a 3.9 master's degree after a not so great undergrad career, but at the end of the day a given school will still see that your GPA is below the coveted 3.0 (and lower than any of their averages) and cut you off just for that.

    I think your best is actually to consider doing a postbac that allows you to take upper level undergrad classes and do well at them if you end up not getting in this year. At a lot of schools, you can do postbacs on a part time basis and get them paid for by working in some capacity at the school. That way, you're not spending a ton of money on a master's degree and are also tackling the root of your problem - a below average GPA. However, on a part-time basis you'll probably have to spend a couple of years in this context so it's not a quick fix. Personally, unless you score a 35 or higher on the MCAT next time (and even then it's iffy), I don't think retaking the MCAT is really going to help you.

    If you don't want to take the time out to do anything classwise before reapplying, I say apply as broadly as possible (20+ schools in all tiers) and really make sure your letters and personal statement are stellar. But, I think it makes more sense to take some time to strengthen your app before trying again. While doing a postbac can be a bummer post-undergrad, it sure beats having to reapply again and again and really in the long run a year or two (especially if you can find a more exciting job, take time out to travel, go to plays or concerts, go kayaking, do something else fun) doesn't matter too much given the length of medical training and your future career.

    Good luck! :luck:
     

    RockShox

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    Hey I know that several schools around the country do a certificate program where you spend a year doing some of the med school classes and if you are above the class average you get a spot the next year. Perhaps what will work.


    Also, some have suggested that the MCAT is of less weight than GPA...I don't think this is true in reality... The MCAT being standardized is one of the few things that we have to overcome the issue of grade inflation. It is hard to tell how the "toughness" of one schools grading icompared to another the MCAT helps to overcome that.
     

    Krisss17

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    Also, some have suggested that the MCAT is of less weight than GPA...I don't think this is true in reality... The MCAT being standardized is one of the few things that we have to overcome the issue of grade inflation. It is hard to tell how the "toughness" of one schools grading icompared to another the MCAT helps to overcome that.

    I definitely agree with you, RockShox. I can argue til I'm blue in the face that the prereqs I'm taking at a CC are as good as a 4-yr, but it will really come down to how well I do on the MCAT. I feel that if I can get 30+,then it was definitely a good idea (not to mention more convenient and cheaper), if not...well, I was wrong.
     

    swissmiss

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    I was in the same boat as the OP. We have almost exactly the same numbers and my science gpa hovers around 2.0. I did a the BU program and so far I have only had one interview (I'll post again if I get in!). If you do a special masters program, make sure you do it at a school that you like. The competition is quite fierce, but perhaps not that different from pre-med. In my situation, it was the best choice because I didn't want to be stuck spending three or more years trying to slowly raise my gpa. It was painful, though, entering my old college record into AMCAS. If you want to save money, and you have the time, I'd personally recommend spending a couple of years taking upper division science classes at your state school. If you don't mind spending the extra money, and want to save a bit of time, then I would go for the special masters. Feel free to PM me for more details.
     

    AndyDufrane

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    first off, don't dispair, its not hopeless, just a tougher road.my story, graduated college in '99 from small state school in NY with not so greatbiology major 2.92 gpa w/ 27(11-V, 7-PS,9-BS) mcat, no volunteer experience and a semester research project..decided to pursue MS at Uof Buffalo, retook MCAT(got 30-9-V,9-PS,12-BS), got 4 interviews at allopathic schools(3 state, 1 private), got rejected by three but waitlisted by private school to no avail,) so reapplied, so joined AmeriCorp for a year service commitment, got 2 interivews(1 state, 1 private) and got waitlisted at both, finally got off waitlisted in July of 03, and am 2.5 months from graduation from an allopathic school in PA...lessons I learned along the way, you do not need to enroll in a formal MS program, look at the major courses taken by 1st and 2nd year med students(like Biochem, Histology, Neuroscience, Microbiology, Pharmacology, pathology) and take them at local state or private university(which ever is cheaper of course) and then also volunteer at local university research lab , preferably research oriented in a clinical or healthcare way, (heart disease, cancer,or public health issues etc) , volunteer at local hospital ER, or if somehow able to work in a clinic where they let you take a medical history or even do phlebotomy as those skills might be useful later on...as far as the DO thing, that is a debate for the ages, looking back, it might have been worth going to DO school if I could have saved the 4 years it took between college and starting med school, becuase almost at every clinical rotation and residency program I interiviewd, there were a number of DO's, so unless you are sure you want to go into surgery (where I think the bias against DO's seemed to me to because I don't think I ever met a DO surgeon, but I am sure they exist), then I would take a look at good DO schools like PCOM, anyway, I agree medical school is not hard per say, its jus the volume that kills you, PM if any further questions
     

    wallstdoc

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    I had the same MD/DO bias as you (and as many premeds have) when I was looking at medical schools. I wanted nothing to do with a DO degree, until someone convinced me to actually go visit a DO school (PCOM). PCOM is nicer than most MD schools I visited, esp the state schools. It cant hurt to take a look, and it might sway your opinion. I thought it may be more difficult to get a res, but there are a lot of osteo res programs that arent open to allos. I think that increases your chances of matching as you can apply to both. And by the way, there are TONS of DO surgeons, TONS, at least in the Philly area. PCOM has graduates in many surgical subspecialties; we have ties with many top surgical res. programs including Sloan Kettering.
     
    S

    saradoor

    Hi everybody. Im a recent grad with a bs in chemE. My gpa is 2.91 while I scored 32's on the two most recent paper MCAT's. I am in the current application cycle but its getting late, and Ive received no interviews. Currently I have been working as a scientist doing r&d of clinical blood analyzers(full time 5 months and counting), while volunteering at a hospital and as a teacher at a local church(also 5 months).

    I really would perfer MD over DO and was wondering what you guys recommend or if anyone has been in a similiar situation. I considered retaking the MCAT's or doing a masters program such as GMS at BU. I dont have alot of free time, or money, these days so I have to make my choices wisely. Costs of masters programs and the two year duration are big negatives to me, but I am willing if it seems like the only way. How effective is a higher MCAT in compensating for a low GPA?

    You might want to do something to improve your GPA or consider a foreign school. Unless you are a URM, the low GPA will only get you an automatic rejection from most schools. Good luck!
     

    FoughtFyr

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    You might want to do something to improve your GPA or consider a foreign school. Unless you are a URM, the low GPA will only get you an automatic rejection from most schools. Good luck!


    Bovine Scatology! I am a caucasian male. My undergrad GPA was 2.8 and 2.7 science. I had a 30 MCAT. I got an MPH with two years of 3.45 GPA (in a science oriented program - environmental toxicology). I got into and successfully completed the University of Illinois College of Medicine via the traditional admission route. IT CAN BE DONE!

    Steps:
    1. Re-orient your application to show that you can complete the rigors of medical school. Believe it or not, this is what most adcoms are looking for (I was on one).

    2. Check and recheck your letters of rec. Pick a reasonable tier school for yourself and do whatever it takes to get a LOR from a faculty there. For me, I took an MPH that was part of the UIC Occupational Medicine residency. All of my LORs were from medical school faculty.

    3. Reapply if you have to. Many (not all) adcoms give "points" to re-applicants as it show a dogged determination that you will need in medical school.

    4. Apply as early in the cycle as you can. If you are not getting interview offers, call the schools and ask them to re-evaluate your file.

    5. Don't give up!

    BTW - I'll finish my residency at the Mayo Clinic in June and will begin a job as tenure track faculty at Ohio State in July. How do you like them apples?!?

    - H
     
    S

    saradoor

    Bovine Scatology! I am a caucasian male. My undergrad GPA was 2.8 and 2.7 science. I had a 30 MCAT. I got an MPH with two years of 3.45 GPA (in a science oriented program - environmental toxicology). I got into and successfully completed the University of Illinois College of Medicine via the traditional admission route. IT CAN BE DONE!
    ...
    - H

    I had a 30 MCAT. I got an MPH with two years of 3.45 GPA (in a science oriented program - environmental toxicology).
     

    FoughtFyr

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    I had a 30 MCAT. I got an MPH with two years of 3.45 GPA (in a science oriented program - environmental toxicology).

    Yeah, but AMCAS separates out the graduate and undergraduate GPAs. Even if you combined mine I was still short of the 3.0 mark. BUT, having been on an adcom, I can tell you the the undergrad GPA is what it is. There are few schools with an absolute GPA cutoff at 3.0. I do agree it becomes more difficult at that point however.

    - H
     

    AtreyuRocks

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    There's some site I viewed(wish I could remember the name) where you can enter GPA and MCAT, and based on those scores, you will get a rough idea of how competitive you are at the various schools. I believe it's broken down into highly-competitive, competitive, and some other, probably not competitive. Yet with non-trads or people who had an ok UG but awesome postbac and grad school, there isn't a way to calculate that in.

    i think you're thinking of mdpotential.com. it's featured at the bottom of mdapplicants.com ;). i kinna-sorta checked it out. i think it's best for giving you a general idea of where to apply and where you're best chances for interviewing etc are, but mdapplicants is much better for circumstantial-based inquiries, if you are willing to sit there and do the digging/reading.
     

    Nasrudin

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    Bovine Scatology! I am a caucasian male. My undergrad GPA was 2.8 and 2.7 science. I had a 30 MCAT. I got an MPH with two years of 3.45 GPA (in a science oriented program - environmental toxicology). I got into and successfully completed the University of Illinois College of Medicine via the traditional admission route. IT CAN BE DONE!

    Steps:
    1. Re-orient your application to show that you can complete the rigors of medical school. Believe it or not, this is what most adcoms are looking for (I was on one).

    2. Check and recheck your letters of rec. Pick a reasonable tier school for yourself and do whatever it takes to get a LOR from a faculty there. For me, I took an MPH that was part of the UIC Occupational Medicine residency. All of my LORs were from medical school faculty.

    3. Reapply if you have to. Many (not all) adcoms give "points" to re-applicants as it show a dogged determination that you will need in medical school.

    4. Apply as early in the cycle as you can. If you are not getting interview offers, call the schools and ask them to re-evaluate your file.

    5. Don't give up!

    BTW - I'll finish my residency at the Mayo Clinic in June and will begin a job as tenure track faculty at Ohio State in July. How do you like them apples?!?

    - H

    Cool Story H! I think your story is an exception but not a random one, rather it shows how to make oneself the exception. This is one of the only things that makes sdn worthwhile--it gives you the chance to see someone go off the beaten path to create their own winning circumstances. The low gpa after so many credit hours becomes nearly immutable.
    Seeing as how you really did uniquely when your acceptance what do you think about the traditional advice given to the low gpa applicant about smp's and so forth? Also since I'm interested in public health as well but have zero dollars for investment in one, how do you fund those types of degrees? Do you think under more middle of the road circumstances that this is a risky proposition? I thinking if I i'm going to borrow 50 g's on my my credit with high intereest rates I might feel like its a safer bet for an SMP, what do you think?
     

    FoughtFyr

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    Cool Story H! I think your story is an exception but not a random one, rather it shows how to make oneself the exception. This is one of the only things that makes sdn worthwhile--it gives you the chance to see someone go off the beaten path to create their own winning circumstances. The low gpa after so many credit hours becomes nearly immutable.
    Seeing as how you really did uniquely when your acceptance what do you think about the traditional advice given to the low gpa applicant about smp's and so forth? Also since I'm interested in public health as well but have zero dollars for investment in one, how do you fund those types of degrees? Do you think under more middle of the road circumstances that this is a risky proposition? I thinking if I i'm going to borrow 50 g's on my my credit with high intereest rates I might feel like its a safer bet for an SMP, what do you think?

    The low GPA applicant is probably best served with an SMP as the classes are considered undergraduate, so they increase that statistic. That said, if you do not gain entry to medical school, the SMP is worthless. Even if you do gain entry, the SMP will not hold the same academic respect that a traditional masters (or MPH) will. So, the SMP is the academic equivalent of "going all in".

    For me, I really liked the idea of industrial hygiene as a career (good pay, good hours, emergency planning, etc.). See: http://www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~envjobs/job6.htm for more information. In the end, I was able to demonstrate that the toxicology, chemistry, and physics classes I took in my MPH proved I could handle medical school. If you can find a rigorous masters program that will lead you to an alternative job in the event that you don't get in, that is probably the best option.

    I took out student loans to pay for my MPH, but earned a full ride academic scholarship in my second year.

    - H
     

    Buckeye(OH)

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    The low GPA applicant is probably best served with an SMP as the classes are considered undergraduate, so they increase that statistic. That said, if you do not gain entry to medical school, the SMP is worthless. Even if you do gain entry, the SMP will not hold the same academic respect that a traditional masters (or MPH) will. So, the SMP is the academic equivalent of "going all in".

    For me, I really liked the idea of industrial hygiene as a career (good pay, good hours, emergency planning, etc.). See: http://www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~envjobs/job6.htm for more information. In the end, I was able to demonstrate that the toxicology, chemistry, and physics classes I took in my MPH proved I could handle medical school. If you can find a rigorous masters program that will lead you to an alternative job in the event that you don't get in, that is probably the best option.

    I took out student loans to pay for my MPH, but earned a full ride academic scholarship in my second year.

    - H


    Wait, after all that you helped me with, we didn't figure out that we both got MPHs at OSU?
     

    effwun

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    I've been kinda lurking around and reading the posts. I didn't want to start a new thread since my questions are pretty similar to the OPs.

    I'm a non-trad, started school at 25, and when I graduate this spring I'll be almost 29. I'll finish somewhere around a 2.9. I got a 28P without having taken most of the physics (only mechanics), and very little of the biology. I tend to think my GPA is lower because I had no choice but to work about 30+/- 5hrs a week throughout school, and money was still pretty tight, very little eating out, etc. So I also fit into AAMC's 'disadvantaged student' definition. Applied to 12 allo/3 osteo (used all the free apps I got basically, allo schools I applied to have an average of 29-32). 1 osteo interview and rejected. I would also note that everything got in pretty late, which will obviously change next cycle. (wish I had read some of the stuff on SDN sooner, but...)

    For one, does anyone have an idea how much of a difference that makes to the AdComs, ie the 'disadvantaged' status and working that many hrs/wk during school? I mean, supposing I re-take it and score mid-30's, will it make any difference?

    I know everyone says, post-bacc/grad school is the way to go. But I think at this point its too late to even get into one...and if I go through the cycle and don't get in I think I'll shoot for a January start at a Caribbean school.

    Also, if I go through the whole cycle again, should I even re-apply to the school that I interviewed at and was denied? I mean...maybe this is naive, but why would they like me more next year than this year?

    Finally, and I apologize if this is just tooo long, but does anyone have a rough idea of how much your research participation matters to the adcom?
     

    prionsRbad

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    I had to work full time through college too and I never considered applying as a disadvantaged student. I consider someone to be disadvantaged if their primary education (K-12) was somehow effected by their socioeconomic status. For example, if you had to work during high school to help support your family. A lot of people have to support themselves through college so be cautious when claiming disadvantaged status. :rolleyes:

    I think you should reapply to the school you were rejected from (if you really liked the school and want to go there). It depends on the school, but I know that ~15% of the entering class at TOURO were reapplicants.

    Lastly, the importance of research depends on the school. If you apply to any of the top 10 med schools in research for example, the adcom would definitely put more weight on your research experience than the top 10 med schools for primary care . . . this is all IMHO :D

    Good luck with your application, you'll get there!
     

    Instatewaiter

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    If you were to retake and get into the 30s it would definately help. Your MCAT score is at the lower end of the spectrum for Allo schools. That said, you have a second strike against you since your GPA is really low.

    Like it or not, GPA is used as a measure of dedication and how hard you work. Med school is not conceptually that hard. However it is a ton of work. To prove you are up to the challenge you need to have a minimum level of GPA. Generally this is around a 3.0. However in extenuating circumstances you can get in with below this. Usually this will require doing an SMP or lots of post-bac work. Since the MCAT is not terrible, I woud say focus on the GPA more. This is really your limiting factor.

    I say definately reapply to that school. If you do reapply you need to improve you application in a significant way from the last time you applied. Many of the secondaries will specifically ask you how you have improved since the last time you applied. So to improve you should prolly get more secondary medical experience and improve the GPA and/or MCAT.

    Research helps but is not going to help you more than improving the GPA and MCAT. You dont have to have research to get in but it can be the icing on the cake. Right now you need to work a bit more on the batter.
     

    ChaChaDocta

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    Do a Masters program! If you're really committed, prove it!

    My undergrad GPA was 3.12. My grad GPA is now 3.7-3.8 (depending on how finals week goes:scared: )... Not to mention that it gives you a year to round out your experience (volunteer! research!) and the program I'm in (Loyola Chicago MAMS) specifically works with you to polish your app from all angles from personal statement to perfecting interviews, so it's not just another number on your transcript, but a whole new dedicated approach.
     

    Parabola

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    I too have a chemE degree from Univ. of Washington and have a overall GPA of 2.91, with a prereq. science GPA of 3.4. My GPA when I entered the chemE program and having to work (20+ hrs/wk) to support my new family at the same time. I was 21 years old and had a kid! My family could provide little support to help our situation.

    In addition, I dont know about you, but I thought chemical engineering was hard! I think that medical schools should consider a chemE degree to balance out the lower GPA or take you over a relatively lower GPA biology major. The school of engineering is different than a liberal arts program. All my classes were curved at 2.7.

    What are other peoples thoughts on this?
     

    Instatewaiter

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    Med schools rarely take ANYONE with a GPA below 3.0 straight out of college. Sub-3 people generally have to do post-bacs or SMPs. Just because you were in engineering does not give you a free pass, as I am sure you are finding out. Some schools will give 'points' to GPAs from harder colleges or majors but not enough to make up for a 2.9. 2.7 curve is very normal. My college classes were either curved at a 2.7 or 2.3.

    I was always surprised that med schools take people with backgrounds in english, history, music etc over people in sciences. I have noticed those people have had a lot of catching up to do in the beginning of the semester but have adapted nicely.

    It is difficult to compare different majors at different schools but the med schools do a pretty good job.
     

    neurodoc

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    The OP mentioned the 2.9 UG GPA... I'd like to know, was that the Total GPA?
    AMCAS breaks down GPA into BCPM and non-BCPM. How does your GPA brak down?

    Someone suggested doing a second BA/BS in biology. You should be able to swing that in a year or two, and if you do well it will bring up your total and BCPM UG GPA. Retake the MCAT and get above 34 and you should be on your way.

    IMHO, the AMCAS "disadvantaged" program is a waste of time, in terms of getting accepted, unless you are also a "URM" and can fill some sort of quota. However, it will save you some money on apps, as I believe they offer discounts for those who can demonstrate economic disadvantage. There's plenty of lip-service about cutting some slack for poor folk of all ethicities, but this doesn't seem to benefit many non-URM candidates.:(

    Nick
     

    El Camino

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    Hello,
    I this seemed like the right thread to bring my story vs. starting a new thread.

    I am a non traditional applicant with 5 years of experience in military aviation as an aerospace engineer. My undergraduate science GPA (BCMP) is ~3.1. I have taken a 2 graduate and 6 postbacc courses since then and achieved a 3.4 science GPA (I worked hard but had difficulty transitioning to the lecture/test format). My MCAT score was a 29k (10V, 10PS, 9B). I took the MCAT prior to taking organic chemistry and am pretty confident that I could get it up to a 32 if I retake and maybe higher. As for the other stuff, I have about 500 hours as an EMT rescue worker and volunteered at various other activities, and have shadowed half a dozen or so doctors with different specialties. I had two interviews this year and was rejected at both. One said they rejected me because my GPA was too low and I'm waiting to get feedback from the other school.

    I'm considering doing the Geogetown SMP (if they accept me) but am really worried that with all of the competition that I won't be able to get the necessary grades to get an acceptance.

    Also, does anyone no of any other master's or smp in the DC area that I should look at?


    Any thoughts? Thanks!
     

    sehnsucht

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    Hi everybody. Im a recent grad with a bs in chemE. My gpa is 2.91 while I scored 32's on the two most recent paper MCAT's. I am in the current application cycle but its getting late, and Ive received no interviews. Currently I have been working as a scientist doing r&d of clinical blood analyzers(full time 5 months and counting), while volunteering at a hospital and as a teacher at a local church(also 5 months).

    I really would perfer MD over DO and was wondering what you guys recommend or if anyone has been in a similiar situation. I considered retaking the MCAT's or doing a masters program such as GMS at BU. I dont have alot of free time, or money, these days so I have to make my choices wisely. Costs of masters programs and the two year duration are big negatives to me, but I am willing if it seems like the only way. How effective is a higher MCAT in compensating for a low GPA?


    Apply early. Apply broadly and have patience. I know people personally who have gotten into medical school with lesser numbers than yours.
     

    JClass413

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    There's some site I viewed(wish I could remember the name) where you can enter GPA and MCAT, and based on those scores, you will get a rough idea of how competitive you are at the various schools. I believe it's broken down into highly-competitive, competitive, and some other, probably not competitive. Yet with non-trads or people who had an ok UG but awesome postbac and grad school, there isn't a way to calculate that in.

    The website is called princetonreview.com
     

    Docdog19

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    im not sure if this is the correct thread to post this but i saw a lot of adcoms on here and thought it would be a good spot for advice with a similar situation. im currently a ug junior with a 3.05 ug gpa with a science gpa of only 2.78 and am also a urm. i was debating whether to put applying off a year to have more time to prep for my mcat but some have told me that even a score of a 28-32 will still get me acceptance to quite a few places. for ec's i have 1+ year working in one of the top 3 leading hospitals out of the northwest. along with that have volunteered around 100 hours and am just now starting in research at my university. i was just wondering if these ec's are considered sub par along with if i should wait on the mcat and application process because i alone pay for school and the application process is a lot of money. also i was planning to take the mcat in august but i will be doing summer quarter 18 credits (quarter system) so i dont feel ill have much quality prep time for the mcat, which if i waited till next year i would have over 8 months of quality prep time after i graduate from ug. any advice on whether i should save my money, where to apply, etc. would be much appreciated. thanks!
     

    Idiopathic

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    Thank you all for your responses. I have been weighing retaking the MCAT's, graduate school, or continuing what I've been doing. Right now I'm leaning towards a medical graduate program. I have to double check with the premed advisor at school though.

    I have nothing against DO. I really would like to get into a good residency if I am ever forunate enough to be matriculated into a school. I know that it can be done through DO, but I want to start off the best I can.

    No offense, but didn't you already drop the ball on that one?
     

    surfmedstudent

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    Hello all,

    If someone could give me some advice that would be great. My UG GPA is 2.9, BCPM 3.2, Post Bac (2 yrs) 3.9 and MCAT is 26 (I am retaking this summer since I finished about 5 solid points below my practice test average). I would like to do an SMP program, however, my GPA is below the 3.0 threshold and I fear that my low MCAT scores will keep me from meeting SMPs minimum criteria. Does anyone know of any schools that would consider my application? I have research, volunter, and other EC activities. I applied to Georgetown but doubt I will get the nod. I have been looking into the Loyola MAMS program but there minimum GPA requirement is 3.0. Do SMP schools look at upward trends? Anyways, here's my story. Thank you in the future for any responses.
     

    Taliesinrk

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    I hate to state the obvious, but your GPA is too low. If you want to improve your application you need to take classes. Your MCAT is not holding you back and considering you got the same score twice I wouldn't bother retaking it.


    The above poster is incorrect. I mean, I hate to state the obvious, but it's what you get from a Cubs fan. While very low (I hate to admit that I agree about taking more classes), I know someone who had a 2.8 GPA and a 32 MCAT and got into her state MD school. Further, she is not a URM, so it is possible. While not probable, it can be done.
     

    sarahesque

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    idiopathic,
    why bother with the no offense? you're a jerk.
     

    Perrotfish

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    "If someone could give me some advice that would be great. My UG GPA is 2.9, BCPM 3.2, Post Bac (2 yrs) 3.9 and MCAT is 26 (I am retaking this summer since I finished about 5 solid points below my practice test average). I would like to do an SMP program, however, my GPA is below the 3.0 threshold and I fear that my low MCAT scores will keep me from meeting SMPs minimum criteria. Does anyone know of any schools that would consider my application? I have research, volunter, and other EC activities. I applied to Georgetown but doubt I will get the nod. I have been looking into the Loyola MAMS program but there minimum GPA requirement is 3.0. Do SMP schools look at upward trends? Anyways, here's my story. Thank you in the future for any responses."


    I'm probably not a great source for advice about what you should do, but I do know that you're looking at the two hardest SMP programs in the nation to get into (Georgetown seems harder than some DO medical schools). Try the certificate at VCU, or the one at Drexel which focuses on raising your MCAT scores (not the IMS program, the other one). Actually considering your post-bach Drexel might probably be perfect for you since the program is half SMP and half MCAT test prep. If you've ever been wait listed at a medical school Tulane also has good program you can apply to.

    If you really want to apply Loyola might waive their Ugrad requirement on the basis of your post bach. They let me at least submit an application on the basis of nothing but me asking and having decent MCAT scores.
     

    Dr2Bee

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    I think your MCAT is fine. The problem is your GPA...its on the low side for MD schools. To improve your chances, look into doing a post-bacc or SMP.
     
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