MD 3.2 GPA freshmen year to 4.0 Sophmore/Junior with all upper level sciences

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Competitive enough for M.D. schools

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5+ Year Member
Feb 16, 2017
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Hello everyone and thanks for taking the time to check out my thread.

I have an interesting situation regarding undergraduate curriculum. I am a Bio major. Freshmen year i took mostly Gen Eds, but ended up with a B in GenChem I and a C in GenChem II, and a B in calculus [Coursework done at a small private university you've never heard of]. After that I transferred to a community college, and finished up my Gen Eds, and I ended up taking Gen BioI/II and genetics there during my sophmore year. Then I ended up going to a state school, and I've maintained a 4.0 ever since i've been here. Gotten A's in classes like genetics/cell bio/organic chem. I'm even preceptoring for organic chem now. Have VERY strong LORs from 1 M.D., 1 Ph.D professor, and another M.D. research mentor. It's looking like I'll be maintaining my 4.0 until I graduate, and start studying for my MCATs senior year b/c I plan on taking a gap year. I am considering retaking Gen Chem II, though I'm not sure how much this will affect my application.

I know the prejudice about CCs, you don't have to tell me again. I assumed that by maintaining by GPA at my current school, I'll be able to add more credit to my application. So I feel like freshmen year has really set me back in terms of how my science/math/overall GPA when I apply to M.D. programs. I've talked to some people about this and they have told me it shouldn't be a big issue b/c of my upward trend, as well as my B's/C in Gen Chem II being all introductory coursework. I'm currently enrolled in classes like heavy upper level bio coursework like animal physiology and plan on taking things like endocrinology, medicinal chemistry, etc.. I have 3 medical service trips under my belt, as well as a non-medical service trip, as well as shadowing hours, I work as a ED scribe while in school, I do research, and other community service volunteering that I didn't elaborate about.

Personally, I'm slightly worried that schools will not even glance at my transcript listing the courses I've taken, because there might be a possibility of a damaged overall/science&math GPA because of my freshmen year.

I would like to know if I'm still remaining competitive for M.D. programs, as well as any pointers/flaws that could be pointed out in order to strengthen my application.

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Assuming everything else is competitive (i.e., volunteering, clinical exposure, research, MCAT score etc.), you will be fine. As long as your final s/cGPA is not very low (<3.5 +/- 0.1) you'll be very much in the running for MD schools. I haven't applied yet, but from what seems like the general consensus around here, I think you'll be fine. Be sure to score high on the MCAT; that'll get your foot in the door. Your EC's will speak to your personality, the "fit" of which will depend on the mission of the schools you want to apply to.

If you're looking to be competitive for the top schools, be sure to continue your research endeavors. While they're not explicitly required, and some get in without it, the vast majority have at least some experience in research. That doesn't mean you need a publication, but you need to show that you, at the very least, understand how to utilize science (literature, experimentation, methodology, etc.) in such a way that can extend to medicine.

edit: oh, also, the upward trend will be your friend.
Assuming everything else is good and your cGPA ia bove a 3.5, I'd say you're a strong applicant! Upward trend is extremely important, don't let the lower GPA deter you! I would apply to an even amount of lower/mid tier schools, with one or two top schools thrown in, provided you can keep this 4.0 up until you apply.