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3.4 gpa Premed Engineer (Late Descision)

Discussion in 'What Are My Chances?' started by ma32, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. ma32

    Dec 5, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Hi all,

    I am new to this forum, but I already love what I see. I was going to ask about my chances in this upcoming cycle starting May.

    I am a senior chemical engineer in a very good Texas public UG university. I have a 3.4 overall, and somewhere between a 3.0 and a 3.4 BCMP (depending on how they count my classes). These grades are not good!

    I made the decision to go to med school recently, after taking physiology, performing animal surgery in my research lab and volunteering this summer at a hospital.

    However, do you guys think I have a shot at getting in to a medical school this year? I really want to go into the UT branch (SW, UTMB), which is not exactly setting my sights too high or too low. I am taking the MCAT in April, so no score yet.

    Background: 2 engineering internships, 2 research positions in biomedical eng. and industrial cell engineering. volunteer work at oncology clinic (20hrs) and childrens hospital (100 hrs).

    I am trying to seal up an anesthesiology shadowing post this winter. That and a good MCAT could help a lot, but my GPA unfortunately sucks.

    And in the event I do not get in, anyone with advice on whether to get a science M.S. or do a dedicated medical post bacc, please chime in.

  2. JeetKuneDo

    10+ Year Member

    Oct 25, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Medical Student
    I think you will get in if you apply broadly. Get 30+ on the mcat and you should get in somewhere.
  3. GoSpursGo

    GoSpursGo Allons-y!
    Administrator Physician 10+ Year Member

    Sep 30, 2008
    Likes Received:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    Your research is an excellent EC, and considering you're coming a bit late to the game, you seem to have a reasonable amount of clinical experience, though ideally if you could put in about 3 hours of volunteering a week next semester so you could apply with ~200 hours, I think that would put you roughly on par with the clinical experience of most applicants.

    As you correctly identify, your GPA will be your limiting factor; I've heard that some schools can be a little lenient towards engineers on their GPAs, but probably not all THAT much. There just no real way around it, your GPA is below average for most med schools. Also, you should realize that UTSW is a top 25 school in the country; that doesn't mean you've got no shot, but you're going to really have to write an awesome personal statement and rock the MCAT. Luckily, there are schools in Texas outside of UTSW and UTMB, and they are all pretty good. With your GPA, I'd aim for at least a 33 or 34 to make up for your GPA, and I think that you should have a reasonable chance to get in somewhere.

    Good luck, and come hang out at the Republic of Texas thread in the Pre-allo forum :)
  4. Mobius1985

    7+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Fellow [Any Field]
    I share your concerns about your GPA, especially the low BCPM GPA. Don't do a masters, as that won't help your undergrad GPA, by which you are primarily judged. An informal post-bac of primarily upper-level science classes, will 1) raise your GPA, especially BCPM, since engineering courses aren't included in it, 2) assure Adcomms that you have what it takes to do well in a med school curriculum, and 3) make med school easier once you get in. Of course you could do a formal post bac instead, if you have the money.

    Maybe you will get in next season if you get a great MCAT, but plan for the next cycle, too, as way better stats than yours are passed on by med schools every year due to applications without the unwritten requirements I've mentioned above.

    My second concern is the spotting volunteering. Adcomms won't be too impressed with a summer of volunteering when they're looking for sustained interest in the medical profession of 1.5-2.0 years. Clinical experience via volunteerism will be viewed more favorably at 150 hours obtained at 3-4 hours/week, than 200 hours at 40 hours/week. If you are not actively getting clinical experience now, get it going ASAP. Definitely do the shadowing too, maybe with a few specialties. Hopefully, you have some other experience in the last three years that demonstrates your altruism (need not be medical volunteering; there's lots of other worthy organizations out there). I will look a bit odd if all your humanistic endeavors began when you decided to go pre-med.

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