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Discussion in 'Underrepresented in Healthcare' started by azolesoul, Apr 18, 2017.
What’s your point? Lol
I think he's saying African Americans (esp. men) are being given handouts. I can, with firsthand experience, say this is wholly false.
Please don't tell me your this naive carter.
Thanks for the advice. I'm a first gen. student so it has taken a lot of learning by trial and error. I wish you all the best in your pursuits on becoming doctors.
Thank you! I appreciate the advice. It really means a lot.
I think you have a real shot at an acceptance. I agree with applying broadly and having strong ECs and LORs. Good luck! And good job on bringing your MCAT up.
Another factor that will play a major role is the type of MD schools you apply to. I have similar stats as you (check my signature) and they are pretty average/below average for the standard applicant but average/above average for an AA applicant. My personal statement, AMCAS experiences, secondaries, etc. all centered around my passion for working with underserved populations. Therefore, ~80% of the schools I applied to had missions similar to mine. I truly believe that's why I was offered 5 interviews having been out of school for FOUR years with no Master's/additional graduate-level courses/post-bacc. The schools who are ranked high for "social mission " (HBCUs) are very serious about picking applicants who they believe will fulfill their mission and are more receptive to well-rounded applicants who don't have super high GPAs and MCATs (like myself). I was accepted to my state school whose MCAT average was well above mine but I also fit their mission VERY well. So...apply SMART.
No. I meant that with those stats it will be tough for anyone to get in. You will have slight chance if you're AA male.
Please PM me for advice if you want. I also retook my MCAT and increased it 10+ points so I know exactly what you're going through.
So, if I'm able to do the post-bacc, what classes should I focus on? I know I need to take science courses but what should I focus on? I'm interested in neurosciences, anatomy, physiology, etc. In addition, I'll be on a campus with a HUGE associated hospital/medical school- should I do more shadowing and volunteering? My program involves research so that should be fun. I'm going to retake the MCAT and shoot for a score in the teens (I only studied for one month to get a 500).
I'm basically doing another 1-1.5 years of beefing up my application. What other things should I do in this time?
I'd also like to apologize for lashing out and throwing a tantrum on this thread. Life came at me fast.
Can't speak about classes you should be taking but I increased my MCAT by 18 points, so if u need any pointers, let me know. Good luck with the postbacc!
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Really happy for you! We all understand that you were going through a tough time, but I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say you're making some great choices!
From what I've read, it seems like you should just focus on upper level sciences courses, if they relate to classes you'd take in medical school even better. So, all those classes you're interested in would be fine. Just make sure you pace yourself. You need to get all A's in these classes, so keep that in mind when picking your course load. If you think you need some more volunteering hours it can never hurt and shadowing will show a continued interest in medicine. Above all else, make sure you study hard for the MCAT and ace your classes. I wish the best of luck to you and let us know if you have anymore questions along the way!
For those of you starting school in July/August, when do you plan on leaving your jobs?
Quitting my job on the last week of June, and moving to my new appartment on the first or second week of July, so I can get acquainted to the area before I start school.
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My dad got sick and moved in with me last fall, so I quit my job then to take care of him. He has since died, but I didn’t see any point in going back to work just for a few months. If he hadn’t gotten sick, I probably would have worked until the end of May or early June.
Wow Man, my condolences.
I got 3 MD interviews and, as on right now, one MD acceptance, one waitlist, and still waiting to hear from the other. I have a 498 MCAT, 3.92c and 3.89sci GPA. First time applying, AA female, and first gen, if you care about any of that.
I think you have a chance, if not this cycle, then next cycle. Maybe the rejections are coming from other weak parts of your app? I just feel like it is not all about the numbers, considering my 498.
How is it possible to have 3.9 sGPA but a 498 MCAT score? Did you not study for it?
MCAT is a different kind of test than normal school exams. Not everyone can afford to spend months not working to study, or thousands of dollars on prep programs. Even with lots of study, many still don't do particularly well. Standardized test taking is a skill all in of itself.
I can attest to that. MCAT has kicked my ass 5 times in a row (18, 487, 492, 500, 499). Even with my 3.7+ cGPA and sGPA, I still struggled badly with it while I thought it was going to be a piece of cake on my first attempt. To my defense English is my second language (been in the U.S. for 7 years), I worked night shift while trying to balance school studying and research, and MCAT is the first Standardized Test I've ever taken. Well, luckily I got into a DO school this cycle before I made the mistake of going Caribbean because I was pretty determined on going to medical school wherever offered me the opportunity.
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Exactly what @Ari77 said!
Yes, I work my butt off to keep a stellar GPA. I took my MCAT in June 2017, and planned to study that spring semester. I had 16 credits, including biochem, so I didn't have time to study a lot like I had planned. I also could not afford to take a course, so I had to rely on the kaplan books and practice exams. Also, I am not very good at standardized tests, which I plan to work on for step and stuff. I really did most of my studying the 5 weeks in between my last final and my test date. Yes, my score is sh*tty, but I also got in, so it doesn't matter.
I wasn't coming at you or anything like that I was just being curios lol. I am sort of the polar opposite I have 3.0 GPA but a 522 MCAT I was wondering how Med School Admissions would like at my app
Damn son, you goin all the way up
Unless you're down with Howard and their mission, then I wouldn't go to a school just because you got in. Actually, I would never apply to a school that I couldn't, at the very least, imagine myself at. If you applied, then maybe you might be fine going there. Just dont go to a school an end up hating yourself because of your decision.
Now, I don't think we can really give you any advice until we know what your bringing to the table. If you are doing a career change, then I think the master's program is a good idea. But it doesn't sound like this, so I will assume you need to do some GPA or MCAT improvement. I think there are better ways of doing this than spending a ton of money on a Master's degree that wont really help you out anywhere else. Also. is the Kansas program well known to Med Schools. I would make sure the juice is worth the squeeze before going to grad school. If I were you/when I was you, I would just take classes at my undergrad and really rock the MCAT on my retake.
Do NOT withdraw from a school you've been accepted at (if it’s your only acceptance). Med schools can see where you've been accepted, even in future application cycles. You could in theory withdraw from Howard pre-decision and go as a re-applicant in the next few years, but it will be tough. I'd strongly consider you wait and see what Howard does. It's a great school, US MD, and many of their grads are in amazing places now. I'd only withdraw if you would find yourself miserable there.
Nevertheless, I'd echo what was said before on the MS program. Don't do the masters if it is both expensive and not well known to local med schools. DIY post bac + MCAT retake may be cheaper and less stressful.
I honestly think if you have one bad side, either MCAT or GPA, you need to have one that’s very strong. We both have one bad side and one good side. The 3 interviews I had were for schools who are invested into primary care in underserved areas. I think since I have so many volunteer hours and ECs in underserved areas, and I state my goals clearly throughout all parts of my app, the low MCAT wasn’t that big of a deal, cause my Gpa shows that I am very competent. If you have certain goals, and you apply to school with those goals, I think having that one bad side is overlooked a bit. From my experience, at least!
My entire application is one bad side
But in all seriousness, being smart about your school list will get you a long way. Call schools and find out what they value most. I know a few people that have gotten into top medical schools with subpar GPAs because of stellar MCAT and letters of recommendation.
Congrats on the 522. That's amazing!
IMO, you should get in somewhere with a 522. If I were you, I wouldn't worry too much.
I have a sub-3.0 GPA overall but I haven't taken my MCAT yet so I'm hoping to really knock it out the park to compensate for my low GPA.
Agreed. @cmb123 I can attest to how difficult it is for people who re-apply after having gotten an acceptance during one cycle. I knew someone who got into a school (not sure which) but then he decided not to go to that school and instead reapplied. He had an incredibly difficult time the second time around. Luckily he ended up at a good school, but it was off the waitlist and like in June or whatever that he got in so it was so incredibly stressful. Though Howard may not be #1, #50, or #100 in the rankings, I would definitely attend if it was my only acceptance because it could be much worse and you could end up in the Caribbean. Plus DC is an amazing city! So many opportunities for service and connecting with vulnerable populations!
Agreed, as this was my experience this cycle! I only applied to schools where I fit their mission/vision and my goals aligned with that they stood for. I knew I had to be strategic with a low MCAT. Too many times I feel like I see people overshoot their shot with low MCATs, a lot of folks are misinformed. I am very proud of myself this cycle for everything I have overcome up until this point.
I have said this in previous posts though and will continue to say it again --- medical school admissions is only getting more and more competitive. If anyone is like at or below a 499 MCAT, I would strongly urge you to retake the MCAT and get at least a 502/503. I rounded out my cycle with 10 interview invites (#blessedAF) with a low MCAT, and I have one acceptance and it’s to a school I reeaally loved and was actually my favorite interview day. With the exception of the first school that I interviewed at, I thought I beasted all of my interviews. I’m sitting on four waitlists right now (one of the schools I’m on the waitlist for is the interview day I bombed ) and got rejected from one school post-interview. That school that rejected me post-interview was actually really nice and I was able to talk with someone on admissions as to why I was rejected. He basically told me my MCAT was too low, although I had amazing recommendations from my interviewers and they enjoyed me as a person. I think a lot of schools were afraid to take a chance on me probably because of my low MCAT. I am blessed that the school that accepted me has given me the opportunity to succeed because I know what I am capable of. Your MCAT is probably the most important part of your application. ECs/LORs, essays, etc. will definitely get you in the door, but your MCAT is very important y’all.
I just want to echo these sentiments. I was fortunate enough to get 7 interviews from a good range of schools with one acceptance so far with a sub 3.0 ugpa and a second mcat retake of a 517. If you know one part of your app will really hurt you I'd be really strategic and broad in your school list. I'm still kind of shocked at the kinds of schools I got interviewed at. It definitely wasn't what I was expecting (no instate love in a good state? what?)
I agree with your sentiments of a retake for sure!!
I also don’t think the blame, in your case, is your MCAT. At least not in 80%. They all saw your score and it got you through the door. At that point the seat was yours to lose (in my Goro voice). 10 II and 1 accept points to interview skills. I’m sure you did better in some than others.
I just say this to say that we have to remember that EVERY aspect of this process counts and that applicant should spend a serious amount time sharpening interview skills.
I agree with you about this to a point. 10 II are quite a lot so I imagine there may be something about your interviewing that isn't coming across quite the way you think... On the other hand, I feel as if schools are interviewing applicants for different purposes. For instance, from one of my interview days I know of a few people who received immediate acceptances that had stellar MCAT and uGPAs and I know of quite a few more that received waitlists with subpar MCAT or uGPA (I don't know of any with these imbalanced stats that received immediate acceptances). I think schools interview to see if you are absolutely outstanding or dreadful in person, but in general, if you fall in between, they already have it in their minds who they plan to accept.
I received 2 II, but I don't believe I was ever really considered for immediate acceptance given my low uGPA. Receiving a waitlist position is their way of saying, I'm acceptable but was never their first choice. I believe it would be very difficult for me to improve my interview skills to the point where it will tip my application to the acceptance range for most of the schools I applied to, therefore I will need to improve my stats if I hope to be successful in a future cycle.
Nah, not to toot my own horn but I know I definitely interview very very well. I had like four mock interviews (one before my first, three after that) and got extremely good feedback from like everyone. Had great rapport with the folks I was talking to during my interviews at medical schools (with the exception of my first interview day). I'm non-traditional and have interviewed for many many things, so I know when an interview is good and when an interview isn't! My low MCAT also came up in virtually every interview I did, so that kind of shows you what's their main focus in some regards, especially if your application is stellar and then one thing sticks out in a negative way.
Alsooo forgot to mention, but I did flub up in a few science classes in college! While talking with the man at the school I got rejected from, I think he mentioned one class I got a C in (Orgo), and then the dip in Physics I had as well as BioChem was like another factor at my demise. My sGPA is a 3.24.
Wait, why do you think this? You can definitely improve, you just really have to sell the hell out of yourself!
Please don’t do that. You need a physical support system. We can only say so much, but do you have people that you can talk to in person about you worries and thoughts?
I have no one. I just go through the motions everyday. I just feel numb and nothing feels good. If I can’t even get into a Caribbean school, how will anything ever work out?
I am so sorry to hear that you feel this way. I have no idea what goes on in your mind, but I am sure you have people who care about you and want you to be here on this earth, even if you do not realize it. Please, do not let this med school thing dictate your whole life. I am saying this in the nicest way possible: Not getting into med school is not the end of the world. It has taken some people 3 and 4 tries before they got in. If i remember correctly, this is your first cycle? If you are letting the stress of not getting in, on your first try, get to you this much, It will VERY hard for you to handle the stress of actually getting through med school. Please, get off this site and go talk to someone. Reading everyone's posts will only make things harder for you.
From your posts it seems like you do have an immediate family, which is a real life support system. While I think you are speaking somewhat in hyperbole, I do think your thoughts and emotions are valid. And if that is really the case, then you need to schedule a therapist visit right now. There is a limit to something people behind computer screens and phone lines can do.
As @Aspiring4MD said, there's a long road ahead. Step 1, rotations, and residency are extremely stressful, and that's all within 5-8 years of getting into med school. I think that in order for you to get ready for med school, you need to talk to someone in person, preferably a professional.
Trust me, I have. I've had interviews with wonderful people who genuinely seemed like they wanted me to come to their school. My application has been combed over by so many people I've lost count. I've literally checked all the boxes (and not in a way that makes it appear as if I'm checking boxes lol). The reality is I just gotta get one of my stats to scream, "this person is outstanding, immediate accept!" I'm working on getting my MCAT in 90th percentile or higher ATM. If that doesn't work then medschool just isn't for me.
Seeing a counselor or therapist would be a really good idea. I think EVERYONE should go to talk to someone every once in a while. You should look about doing this immediately and really start talking to those in your support system and really find out why it is you want to do this so badly and why you feel like it's med school or bust in terms of your life. Talking these things out will not only help you with your mental health right now, but can be useful when applying to medical school in the future if you decide to do so.
Giving up is never an option, and should never be an option for anybody no matter how hard life gets. If you're depressed and can't deal with it on your own, seek help, there are plenty of people whose sole job is to basically carry you out through the difficult times. Also, in your mind, you should always know that someone somewhere out there has been delt a worse hand than you have and chose to keep fighting anyway because he/she knows life is worth it. Trust me I'm from Haiti, and I've seen a lot growing up. The great Stephen Hawking (A man who couldn't speak, walk, or move independently but yet always found a way) who just passed away (may he RIP) once said:
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Before you do anything, you need to talk to a professional. Suicidical ideation is serious and you need to work through some things. I suggest calling the suicide hotline and you will have someone to talk to that is equipped to give advice in this time:
1-800-273-8255. Please give it a call. Come back once you have worked on yourself and we will still be here willing to help you. You have options you just need to work on yourself before we can talk about those options.
Can we get a moderator in here to intervene? Suidical ideation is nothing to be played with.
Don't know who I should be taging, but you guys come to mind.
This thread has been reported by several users due to the comments about self-harm. SDN takes such statements seriously and we would like to remind the OP and all posters that SDN should not serve as a place to obtain counseling or other advice regarding significant psychological issues. Anyone who is contemplating harming themselves should immediately seek professional counseling advice, not rely on SDN or other non-professional resources.
I will reach out to this member to make sure access to resources is made.
I am coming late to this and I am finishing catching up reading this thread (wish I had found it earlier) I have a 501 (second time, 494 first time around) add 3.4. I applied about 50%-50% MD/DO and got three interviews from each - I attended 2 of DOs and all 3 MDs, so far I was accepted to both DOs and my State MD school, one rejection and one pending... If you want to talk just PM me
I agree with this to a point as well I think you added to my comment perfectly by stating that when you’ve made it to the interview that your stats have already been deemed acceptable enough. Doesn’t mean you’ll be accepted, but you have a chance. (This of course excludes the program(s) that extends II blind of stats) I think being considered for acceptance vs “immediate” acceptance are two different things.
I’m sure you’re amazing I don’t mean to attempt to take that away from you at all. In general, the odds are that when a student has several interviews and gains none or one acceptance that interview skills need to be sharpened in some aspect. Schools are aware of our stats before inviting us to their campuses so logically, in some of those cases, it has to be something post II that takes these applicants from a maybe pre-interview to a no post.
Blemishes often come up during interviews, but are rarely the sole deciding factor. (It can depend on the individual, but then their position has to be defended and possibly overruled when the adcom meets).
MCAT matters matters matters! A lot! I can’t say it enough. My stance is that adcoms likely aren’t saying? “Wow, this applicant has a poor MCAT. Let’s give them one of our precious interview spots so we can then reject them solely based on their poor MCAT”. Most importantly, I just wanted to add to the convo that, for future applicants, interview skills need to be practiced.
Thank you for sharing some of your journey! I’m insipired and I’m proud of you! You have an acceptance and that’s what matters!
Omg thank you for those kind words.
Hey... so what schools send out blind II so I can know for next year lol.
I got you, I got you Here it goes, the Dean of Admissons at UCLA stated their disadvantaged committee operates this way when reviewing applications. He said that these IIs are blind to GPAs/MCAT and are based the remainder of the application. After the interview the stats are revealed and, depending on your interview, a 51 percentile MCAT or better keeps you in the ring, but doesn’t guarantee acceptance of course.
I’m just hypothesizing there, but I have a feeling that their definition of disadvantaged is not as black and white as defined by AAMC and that applying to Drew or PRIME may interrupt this process somehow. (I’m under the impression that Drew releases each application to Geffen only once the student has been rejected. Likely around Dec + for most.)
After speaking with the (former) Director of Student Diversity at UC Davis, a wild guess is that they may operate in a similar manner for a limited number of seats, but he’s at Yale now so I dunno.
All in all, don’t hold ya breath. Study MSAR and cast a well researched wide net.