3.45 cGPA, 3.3 BCPM, 36R

MDSchoolHopeful

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  1. Pre-Medical
    I was hoping to get some opinions on some things. I'm a recent graduate who has applied for the 2008 - 2009 cycle. As a NY state resident, i applied to mainly NY schools, NJ state schools, some penn schools and the DC schools.

    However, the cycle hasnt been going so great for me so far. I've been complete since early Oct., and have only received a hold, Upstate, and two rejects, Gtown & Rochester (im still waiting on about 15 outstanding).

    My stats are as follows:
    Frosh GPA: 3.1 (B- in calc, phys II, bio II)
    Soph GPA: 3.45 (Got a C in chem lab II)
    Junior: 3.65 (b- in orgo I)
    Senior: 3.95
    MCAT: 36R

    ECs:
    Shadowing - 100hrs
    Volunteering - 150hrs
    Research - Ongoing
    Worked throughout Undergrad
    Volunteered in nonprofit charity

    Basically, i was recently informed by an individual very involved in admissions that, given my current GPA (being below a 3.5 especially) i am a very long shot for admission in this cycle. So my question is, should i add more schools (if so which), should i go back to school (and if should i retake courses?). Also, what would i need to reach the appropriate GPA for admissions, id like to be able to reapply for the cycle directly after this one.

    Thank you all for your opinions.
     

    NTF

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    1. Attending Physician
      I see two problems with your application.

      1) The late application - being complete in October is late especially for an applicant with numbers like yours. The bad news is that you've reduced your chances of acceptance because you're fighting over fewer available seats. The good news is that you've only been complete for a short while, so for many schools you haven't actually made it through their review process. You could be looking at late interviews after January.

      2) Your scGPA leaves alot to be desired and you did poorly in the prereqs. While you have an upward trend, I can't tell whether that is mostly due to non-science classes. Don't worry about what final GPA you need because you're not going to have a lot of time before next June rolls around and you have to apply again. Take as many upper level science courses as you can manage and still get A's. Don't worry about the final numbers. Just get A's.

      If this year doesn't pan out (and there's still a boxer's chance that you'll get in somewhere), you have to look at these next few months as answering the question "Why am I a better applicant this year than last?". This means along with the extra coursework, maybe taking on a new EC or two. Also make sure you apply early next year. Shoot for being complete in August at the latest. The earlier the better.

      Keep your chin up. This application cycle is far from over. And if have to apply again, you'll solve alot of your problems by applying early.

      As far as adding schools - go for it if you have the time and money. But realize your chances of getting an interview decreases even more at this late date.
       
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      Mobius1985

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        I think your excellent MCAT score of 36 is more than enough to compensate for your low cGPA of 3.45. Perhaps the fact that you were complete only 6 weeks ago is enough to explain why you've had no interview invitations, but in case you are in the same position two months from now, other weaknesses in your application need to be considered.

        The bigest problem is the low BCPM GPA of 3.3. This is a non-problem if you've had 3 recent semesters of solid As in those courses, and you've repeated some of the lower grade classes. But if you've had recent low grades, then adcomms will question whether you have what it takes to succeed in their science-heavy curriculum. The only way to change that impression is to do as nontradfogie suggests, and produce a bunch of perfect grades for three semesters, then apply again.

        You didn't mention clinical experience, other than the shadowing. Hopefully, some of your volunteerism is in a medical setting with sick patient exposure. Otherwise adcomms will feel you don't know what you're getting into by trying to go into medicine. Great applications have been totally sunk by a lack of clinical experience. Adcomms will be more impressed by 1.5 years of three-hour-per-week clinical experience, than by 40 hours a week for three months.

        Humanitarian volunteering or service is considered to be very important. As you weren't specific in your description, I can't comment on whether this is a deficiency.

        Research is good, but again you don't specify if you started this 2 months ago, or if you've been doing it for three years. This would make a big difference.

        You don't mention any leadership. This is another expected component of a med school application.

        Finally, a great Personal Statement is essential along with good Letters of Recommendation. Have you been reassured that they are fine by an advisor?

        If all the above are solid, then though late, I still feel you have a good chance of eventually being offered interviews if you didn't aim at high-selectivity schools alone.
         

        nogolfinsnow

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          I'll have to slightly disagree with Mobius that the MCAT offsets the GPA. It helps, but only at the right schools, and it never completely offsets it. I had almost identical stats to you a few years ago. I got 1 interview and got accepted, but I still feel very lucky about it. If I had to do it all over again with the exact same stats, I would have focused much, much harder on getting clinical experience through shadowing etc and done more volunteering and I think it would be a good place for you to try to increase your hours. I had 1 year of research experience when I applied (so 2 by the time I matriculated) which I talked a lot about in the interview and I had played a sport in college, but I didn't have much clinical/volunteer experience. This also came up in the interview, so I'm sure it came up when people at other schools read my file. Someone is going to see that 36 and look deeper into your file, so you need them to see something very good in there. If your ECs are so-so, then they might pass and go onto the next file with a 33/3.7.

          You also need to formulate your Plan B. Reapplying with a 3.4 without significantly improving your application is not likely to gain better results next year. Maybe look into some sort of post-bac/SMP. Or if going back for more u-grad classes makes you want to vomit, try to really ramp up the ECs. Good luck.
           

          ohmedschool

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          1. Pre-Medical
            Read my MDApplicant profile (click on the triangle next to the schools to see the dates). We are exactly the same in terms of numbers, although I have more B-'s and C's. I think the only reason why you aren't doing well (as of yet) is because you have only been complete since October. I was complete at most places by August. Don't get discouraged. Things have worked out pretty well for me and I don't see why they wouldn't for you.
             
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