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3.0 hopeful

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by woopsidaisy, Aug 8, 2015.

  1. woopsidaisy

    2+ Year Member

    Aug 8, 2015
    Likes Received:
    So as you may have guessed from the title I want to go to medschool and I have slightly above a 3.0.
    First of all I know my chances are slim, and I am definitely doing a post bacc program, but I was wondering if I should spend a year working overseas (in a hospital) and boosting my application before applying to the program. Furthermore, I can only afford my home state's programs and they are not linked in any shape form or fashion. Is there any hope for me? Can anybody suggest a better idea? Should I give up and become a plumber (my dad's a plumber so it seems like the next logical step)...
    For those of you interested in backstory; here goes.
    Essentially, I realized far too late that I adored medicine. During my first two years of college my family was struggling and I was heading home almost every weekend to help with the kids. I wasn't focussed and I lacked direction. I mentioned to my family's physician how I had once wanted to be a doctor, but that my grades were terrible and I had no experience, and he insisted that I should at least come and shadow him and see if I enjoyed it. I did, and I fell in love right away. If there's a job for me this is it and I want to give it everything I have before I give up on it.
    My ECs are few and far between. I've been a research assistant (no publications), worked as a TA, and worked in the chemistry department of my school. I've spent two summer shadowing doctors who will write my letters of recommendation and that's basically it for my md related experience.
    In addition I worked for my school's plumbing company, was the head of PR for my school's dairy enterprise for a year, worked for my dad's plumbing company and I'm a three-time national competitor and state champion in speech and debate.
    Any advice or proposed last ditch efforts would be greatly appreciated.
    (ps- I am sooooo NOT opposed to DO school, would rather try for an MD (or DO) before I commit to a PA)
  2. GrapesofRath

    2+ Year Member

    May 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    I think this might be the best way to do this for you

    Your priorities should be in this kind of order
    1) Get your GPA up at all costs. You can add in all the EC's you want. Unless you do something along the lines of join the military for several years they won't overcome a poor GPA; Do or MD. Ace everything. IF you are open to DO programs acing this year getting your GPA up to a 3.2 will suffice. If you really want an MD, your probably looking at 2 years of aced post-bacc work to bring your GPA up to around a 3.4. And even then it's FAR from any sure thing you'll have an MD acceptance. The quicker route for an MD is acing an SMP but alas those programs are just about to start for this year and are ruthless(and more difficult to do well in with post-baccs with the consequences of not doing well being lethal). The most feasible plan here is DO.
    2) Get the MCAT score you need. For DO's aim for 60th+ percentile. Again, this is all predicated on doing well in your post-bacc. If you choose to go the MD route and either spend several years of post-bacc work or ace an SMP, 80th+ percentile on the MCAT is the minimum of what you'll want(the higher the better; anything 90th+ percentile would help your cause). Again, there's a long way to go there though before you can start talking about doing that well on the MCAT. As is the case above, the 60th+ percentile on the MCAT is more feasible than the MCAT score you'll need for an MD.
    3) Boost your EC's by gaining clinical exposure. Working in a hospital is a good way to do this. Volunteering is also necessary. Whether or not you want to spend a whole year building up your EC's in a hospital before joining a post-bacc is your decision. It is possible to do your post-bacc now, start volunteering in a hospital now for 5-10 hours a week and doing some other stuff on the side. There is no need for a "paid" official position at a hospital to fulfill your clinical experience.

    So there you have it that's what you need to do in order to make yourself a competitive candidate. Ace a post-bacc for a year get some clinical volunteering on the side(aim for say at least 150 hours) and get the target score you need on the MCAT and you can make yourself a competitive candidate for DO schools within a year. For MD, you are facing a longer road filled with many more obstacles.

    Also note you don't need to do a formal post-bacc program at all. Doing a DIY at your school you graduated from where you re-take anything C or lower and take a number of upper level science classes on the side more than gets the job done.
  3. candbgirl

    candbgirl Junior Member
    10+ Year Member

    Jul 14, 2005
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    You for sure need to boost your application but why do you think a year working in a hospital overseas is smart? Work in a hospital or health clinic or someplace but do it here.
  4. doc05

    doc05 2K Member
    15+ Year Member

    May 24, 2003
    Likes Received:
    shadowing is great, but it's only a start and doesn't give you adequate exposure.

    there are a lot of downsides to a career in medicine, and given that the odds are against you, maybe it's not even worth it. please do lots of research on the field. unfortunately the system is terrible and by the time you actually start practicing it will probably be much worse.
  5. Don't bother with anything EXCEPT for clinical volunteering until you get your grades up. The best, cheapest fix is to retake any of your C or lower grades. Schools love meaningful volunteer experience. It shows commitment, dedication, and if you have some stories to boot it should demonstrate compassion. Mix that with repeat coursework maintaining A- or better and you're set for a lot of DO programs.

    So let's make a list of things you SHOULD do:

    1. Find a good, affordable school to retake your courses

    2. Find a convenient place to volunteer 2-4 hours a week where you do something meaningful; you don't have to kill yourself or overextend your commitments volunteering for 16+ hours a week to "catch up" -- simply show dedication over a year or more's time and you've got what you need

    3. Once you've exhausted your retakes and you still feel you need more courses, evaluate your options to take upper level biology courses -- molecular biology, physiology, cancer biology, genetics, microbiology, biochemistry, etc etc

    DO NOT RUSH into too many courses at once. The trick I fell for was that my ONLY problem was motivation. Once I got motivated I thought I would be a 4.0 student. The problem is, while motivation is a HUGE factor, I simply didn't have the skills to tackle the hard courses. So start with hopefully easy fixes for your retakes. Make a 3.7+ GPA, rinse, and repeat with slightly harder and more courses. If you can do this for 1-2 years applying to mainly DO schools and state MD schools each of those years assuming you can make a solid score on the MCAT, you're golden.

    For your MCAT if you haven't taken it -- be strategic. For example, if you need to retake your pre-reqs, come up with a plan so that you can be studying for/taking the MCAT soon after you finish the last of the pre-reqs -- keep the information fresh.

    DO NOT bother with SMPs. You need to be volunteering now and trying to do ANYTHING but school in an SMP is NOT smart. Also, SMPs without true linkage is a scary prospect for someone in your position.

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