Aug 13, 2013
364
87
Status
Psychology Student
My husband just got his MCAT scores today...he got a 25. We live in Texas, so he has applied to all 8 public med. schools. He is from Brazil originally with a B.S. in pharmacy (GPA: 3.9) and a M.S. in pharmaceutical sciences (GPA: 3.7). He has been a professor in Brazil for a nursing school, has some publications and many conference presentations. He completed all of the pre-med courses here in Texas at a local community college. His American undergraduate GPA is a 3.45-3.5(ish). Basically, all A's in math and science, his first year that he came here he literally registered for courses and never attended one class so he could work but keep his F1 visa in order, which made him get 4 F's on his transcript.

He is bummed, and I wanted to get some feedback to essentially find out if it is possible for him to still get an interview and possible spot in a medical school here in Texas considering his background.
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,725
79,129
Somewhere west of St. Louis
Status
Non-Student
TCOM!!!!!!

MD schools, no.
 

QofQuimica

Seriously, dude, I think you're overreacting....
Staff member
Administrator
Lifetime Donor
10+ Year Member
Oct 12, 2004
18,915
4,165
Florida/Fellowship
Status
Fellow [Any Field], Attending Physician
Possible, yes. Likely, no.

It would be nice if we could all be choosers of where we'd like to go to med school, but the reality is that with a 25 MCAT, he's not in a position to do that. So he (and you, by extension) need to consider how much him going to med school really means to him/you. If the two of you are really committed and serious about this, then you need to be ready and willing to leave TX in the event that he doesn't gain admission to one of your state schools. To increase his chances of getting an acceptance, he should apply much more broadly than just to your state schools, and he should particularly focus on applying to DO schools in less popular regions of the country (Midwest). I will leave suggestions of particular DO schools to others who are more familiar with them.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Goro

DrMidlife

has an opinion
10+ Year Member
Oct 30, 2006
7,506
2,604
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I suggest that leaving Texas should be considered after considering an MCAT retake for a future application cycle. Texas has abundant public medical schools, including a DO school, with moderate admissions competitiveness. Leaving Texas won't result in better MD odds. No way.

Applying to more DO schools outside Texas is a reasonable thing to do this year, but that MCAT score is still a major problem because it predicts future trouble on the endless hours-long multiple choice exams in med school and in residency.

Conquer the MCAT before med school. Seriously. Don't accept a low score.

Lastly, if by chance you are not permanent US residents or citizens at this point, close your app and regroup.

Best of luck to you.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TheTao and Goro
Apr 24, 2012
121
71
Status
Medical Student
It is possible but not likely. DO school seems to be a more realistic option unless you husband retakes the MCAT and scores 30+.
 

DocWinter

Gold Donor
5+ Year Member
Jan 2, 2014
1,145
1,234
Status
Resident [Any Field]
TCOM is the obvious choice. Your husband is not in a great position to choose, nor to get into a MD school, as those above have said. If you are willing to move, and interested in DO, his odds are very good.
 

eablackwell

It Wasn't Me
Moderator Emeritus
7+ Year Member
Nov 17, 2009
1,791
132
The Land of Sleepless Nights
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I'm going to echo that DO is likely the way to go (and really still, I'd look strongly at a repeat MCAT first).

Also, a question about his degrees from Brazil. I assume you've checked with medical schools and they accept his Brazilian school degrees? I know some people who have had problems with this from other countries and actually had to get a bachelors AGAIN in the US before applying- it was horrible. I know nothing about how Brazilian degrees are seen here- I only know Brazilians who did undergrad here, went to Brazil for med school, then came back her for residency.

In my class (an MD school) there are 2 students who, by the grace of God, came in off the wait-list with a 24, but they had amazing ECs/backstory, and GPA-wise were desirable. That being said, I seriously doubt my school would admit 24s (or even review apps of 24s) now. I think it was the special circumstances of my school at the time that allowed this 4-5 years ago.
 
Jun 13, 2014
6
0
I am not adding anything new here but I am going to echo the important considerations:

1. Are his degrees from Brazil recognized? I hope you have looked into that. My guess is that they are. I know that the pre-reqs HAVE to be done in U.S. institutions. Given that he's applied, I think it's silly to think you've not looked into this. But certainly the concern came up when I read your post.
2. Is he still on F-1? If so he's at a severe disadvantage. I would say his chances would drop to nil. I've heard of one of my friends make it into a school with a F-1 but that person had a 35+ score on the MCAT and multiple publications/honors/accomplishments as an engineering student at UT.
3. 25 on the MCAT is low. Please consider re-taking the exam and scoring at least over 30. Invest in MCAT classes. They really make a difference for the non-trad students.
 
OP
CogNeuroGuy
Aug 13, 2013
364
87
Status
Psychology Student
Yes,

From Brazil, he speaks Portuguese.

If he can speak Spanish, play that up.

Say he wants to go into primary care serving the poor Spanish speaking of Texas. If he doesn't convince himself that he does until after the interviews and personal statement have been completed.

If he grew up in Brasil and was not rich, play up his "disadvantaged" background growing up in a 1st/3rd world country (I've been to Brasil). And cultural understanding being a latino in the southwest. (I think Brazilians are latinos?)

If he can back up the F's with a good explanation(and it sounds convincing to me) it can be whitewashed. In fact it can be used as "over coming adversity as a foreigner" which is the type of BS med schools like to hear in the personal statement. (I had similar issues academically - I never once mentioned this to my interviewers or in my personal statement) That strategy seemed to work well for me. Only sell the positive. Ignore the negative unless you can put a credible positive spin on it.

I live in the state next door, they accept people with 22 fricken 2's on the MCAT, in state only. IF ! they speak Spanish (aka "Have ties to the state") and say they want to serve the under served.

BTW, I got a 25 MCAT and got in to medical school - MD.

I signed up for an SDN account just to reply to this message. Yes he can get in. In fact, has a good chance if he can play up his other strengths. The only thing I'm not sure about is the F1 visa thing. If Texas is going to educate him, they may want some kind of assurance he's going to stay in Texas to practice. That will be a a little more difficult to convince. Unless he has a wife, who he can say refuses to leave, and has kids and family support in Texas, any way make that all look good.

I think he has a good chance.

Another thing, call the admissions offices, ask what the chances are for an interview - I got interview invites the next day after calling.
Thanks for the reply. We are married and thus he has his green card (e.g. he is a permanent resident) which qualifies him to enter into any professional degree program and allows him to receive federal financial aid. He speaks Portuguese, Spanish, English and French.
 
OP
CogNeuroGuy
Aug 13, 2013
364
87
Status
Psychology Student
I'm going to echo that DO is likely the way to go (and really still, I'd look strongly at a repeat MCAT first).

Also, a question about his degrees from Brazil. I assume you've checked with medical schools and they accept his Brazilian school degrees? I know some people who have had problems with this from other countries and actually had to get a bachelors AGAIN in the US before applying- it was horrible. I know nothing about how Brazilian degrees are seen here- I only know Brazilians who did undergrad here, went to Brazil for med school, then came back her for residency.

In my class (an MD school) there are 2 students who, by the grace of God, came in off the wait-list with a 24, but they had amazing ECs/backstory, and GPA-wise were desirable. That being said, I seriously doubt my school would admit 24s (or even review apps of 24s) now. I think it was the special circumstances of my school at the time that allowed this 4-5 years ago.
He came to the US 7 years ago, since then he has completed all of the medical pre-req's here in the US despite him already sufficing those requirements between his BS and MS degrees in Brazil. Since his F1 visa at the time required him to be enrolled full time (12 hours) every semester to be legal here, he enrolled at a community college here in Texas where we live and has spent these past years just completing every math and science course they offered in their course catalog (all with A's....except those 4 classes he purposely skipped to be able to hold employment to pay bills).

We have been together for 5 years, engaged for 2 and married July 2013. As soon as we got married we submitted our application for his green card, and 3 months later we received it (I'm obviously skipping all the interviews we had to do). While he was still on his F1 (i.e. before we were officially married) he was studying full time, working full time and studying for the MCAT and GRE. Like I mentioned above, he speaks 4 languages, he has publications, professorship positions for nursing colleges in Brazil and a post-grad diploma in public health (e.g. beyond the master's degree).
 

eablackwell

It Wasn't Me
Moderator Emeritus
7+ Year Member
Nov 17, 2009
1,791
132
The Land of Sleepless Nights
Status
Resident [Any Field]
He came to the US 7 years ago, since then he has completed all of the medical pre-req's here in the US despite him already sufficing those requirements between his BS and MS degrees in Brazil. Since his F1 visa at the time required him to be enrolled full time (12 hours) every semester to be legal here, he enrolled at a community college here in Texas where we live and has spent these past years just completing every math and science course they offered in their course catalog (all with A's....except those 4 classes he purposely skipped to be able to hold employment to pay bills).
His ECs are awesome, so that will definitely help. I agree with the poster above you that if you spin it as "Speaks Spanish, from poor household, want to help underserved..." he has a better chance of matching with a low MCAT (completely ignoring the 4Fs).

Again, my question (out of my own ignorance on the subject) is if you checked if Brazilian Bachelors/Masters degrees are accepted by the schools you're applying to. Him being a US resident will help immensely, no two ways about it, but if you're applying to programs that require a completed US bachelor's degree (not just pre-med prereqs and MCAT), then you may run into a problem.

After doing some searching on SDN, I found several posts about this (not Brazil specifically, but foreign degrees). It seems some people (granted this is 3-4 years ago) found that even after having their transcripts evaluated professionally, AMCAS wouldn't accept the grades. However, many medical schools have rules for this type of situation and it seems to differ greatly from school to school. Some require a full year of schooling in the US, some require a certain number of credits, and some pretty much ignore you completely.

I found a thread where it was mentioned that all Texas medical schools require 90 credits completed in the US. I imagine, if he's been taking 12 credits a semester for 7 years, he likely has that, although if he was really doing that I'm not sure why he didn't go ahead and just finish some type of degree. ;) Good luck!