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I'm new to SDN so bear with me :)

So I already graduated from undergrad this past May, and I'm in the process of sending back my secondaries. My overall GPA is 3.52 (grades had been improving since freshman year and my last semester of undergrad was a 4.0 GPA). I have taken the new MCAT and the score is not great (494 new), I know this is crazy, but I've applied to 25 MD schools and 34 DO schools. Secondaries for all but 6-8 of them have been sent. So far, I've been rejected secondaries or interviews from 7 MD schools and 9 DO schools. I just wanted to know what you guys think my chances are of getting an interview.

Edit: I would really like to be in medical school for Fall 2016. I haven't applied to the Caribbean schools yet, but what about my chances at Caribbean schools? What are your thoughts on those schools in general?
 
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Saxappeal1

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OP, I think you need to retake the MCAT if you want to have a hope of either MD or DO. Your GPA works for DO and probably some lower MD's if your MCAT scores were higher.
 

Dral

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I'd be very surprised if you got an interview at an MD school unless you have some unbelievable component of your app. We already know your GPA is less than unbelievable, so it has to be something else. Sorry.

If you applied intelligently, you may have a shot at DO. Even then, your MCAT is just not up to par.

Best of luck. I'm not trying to be a jerk when I say, 'you'll need it'. :shy:

Edit: I think Saxappeal's advice is good. Multiple retakes are usually bad, but you need to retake and score probably above 24 or so to have an ok shot at DO.
 
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OP, I think you need to retake the MCAT if you want to have a hope of either MD or DO. Your GPA works for DO and probably some lower MD's if your MCAT scores were higher.
I did apply to some lower MDs. Could you tell me which schools are considered that?
 
OP
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I'd be very surprised if you got an interview at an MD school unless you have some unbelievable component of your app. We already know your GPA is less than unbelievable, so it has to be something else. Sorry.

If you applied intelligently, you may have a shot at DO. Even then, your MCAT is just not up to par.

Best of luck. I'm not trying to be a jerk when I say, 'you'll need it'. :shy:

Edit: I think Saxappeal's advice is good. Multiple retakes are usually bad, but you need to retake and score probably above 24 or so to have an ok shot at DO.
Would schools look at both old and new MCAT? Maybe they will not consider my old one too much, or how does that work?

Also you said apply intelligently, what did you mean by that? Like the schools I chose?
 

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Would schools look at both old and new MCAT? Maybe they will not consider my old one too much, or how does that work?

Also you said apply intelligently, what did you mean by that? Like the schools I chose?
Both your old and new MCAT scores are very, very low.
This makes an MD interview quite unlikely.
I suppose a DO interview is possible.
 

Dral

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Each school looks at multiple MCAT scores differently, so it's hard to tell.

You are correct. I meant that you applied to lower tier and newly opened schools opposed to upper tier, well-established schools...unless you have a stellar part of your app that falls in line with a certain school's philosophy which may cause them to overlook your low MCAT and relatively low GPA.
 
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Do NOT apply to Caribbean schools. If you get in and go, they'll wring the money out of you and spit you back out either degreeless or with a severely impaired chance of getting a residency, but definitely deeply in debt.

You need to take a year and retake the MCATs if you want a chance at medical school, a 30th percentile is very unlikely to cut it for either MD or DO.
 
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Each school looks at multiple MCAT scores differently, so it's hard to tell.

You are correct. I meant that you applied to lower tier and newly opened schools opposed to upper tier, well-established schools...unless you have a stellar part of your app that falls in line with a certain school's philosophy which may cause them to overlook your low MCAT and relatively low GPA.
I know for DO, there's a school named Burrell that is new. But are there any new/newer MD schools? Also, would it be too late to add those schools to my list?
 

Dral

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In my opinion, applying to more now would be like throwing money into the wind.

If it were me, I would take a year, study intensely for the MCAT...not take it until I scored consistently above 25 (or equally on whatever that is on the new scale) on practice tests, and reapply early next year.
 

candbgirl

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Let's put it this way- a 494 is equal to about a 21-22 on the old test. Your MCAT score is lethal for MD school and extremely low for DO. You have an okay GPA but your MCAT is awful. It doesn't matter what schools do about new v. old MCAT . Both of your scores will always be visible to the schools and there really isn't much difference at all. How did you study for the MCAT? What were you getting on practice tests? How long did you study before you took the exam. It's sad that you spent all of that money on apps for MD school. There might be some DO schools that will give you a look based on your GPA. What is your sGPA?
 
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Do NOT apply to Caribbean schools. If you get in and go, they'll wring the money out of you and spit you back out either degreeless or with a severely impaired chance of getting a residency, but definitely deeply in debt.

You need to take a year and retake the MCATs if you want a chance at medical school, a 30th percentile is very unlikely to cut it for either MD or DO.
I know, I have definitely heard about how it costs lots of money. I also heard about not getting a residency. But what if I don't want to go into a lucrative field like derm or surgery? Would Caribbean be okay for primary care?
 
OP
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Oh and don't ever apply Caribbean. There are countless threads on the reasons why- just do a search!
I've read a few of them, but the ones I saw were that they couldn't get residencies for a specific specialty. What about just for primary care? Is it just as bad? I did research at two different hospitals, and there were two residents in each department that was from a Caribbean school. Plus, I have a friend that going to a Caribbean school now and she's like, it's what I had to do to become what I wanted. I am definitely in the same boat :(
 
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Dral

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Please do a thorough search of threads here about the Carib as suggested by candbgirl.

Since the MCAT, I have taken 8 high stakes standardized exams, with 1 more to go. You HAVE to prove that you can study and do well on standardized exams.

If you go Carib and tank step I (like you have basically done with the MCAT). You are sunk and in massive debt with little chance at landing a residency.

If you fail step I you can retake. If you pass, you cannot retake like you can with the MCAT. You cannot retake regardless. If you fail then pass or pass the first time, but do poorly, you are again,as I said, sunk.
 
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Let's put it this way- a 494 is equal to about a 21-22 on the old test. Your MCAT score is lethal for MD school and extremely low for DO. You have an okay GPA but your MCAT is awful. It doesn't matter what schools do about new v. old MCAT . Both of your scores will always be visible to the schools and there really isn't much difference at all. How did you study for the MCAT? What were you getting on practice tests? How long did you study before you took the exam. It's sad that you spent all of that money on apps for MD school. There might be some DO schools that will give you a look based on your GPA. What is your sGPA?
I mean, the first time I took it, I just studied by myself. The second time, I took a prep course. I studied for about 2.5 months like all day everyday. I went over content practiced some strategy. I honestly thought I could at least hit a 500 for the new one...I thought I did better.

Edit: my sGPA is 3.0
 

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Since the MCAT, I have taken 8 high stakes standardized exams, with 1 more to go. You HAVE to prove that you can study and do well on standardized exams.
I take it you didn't include the shelf exams :naughty:

Sorry OP, a 494 reinforces the 20, so unless you somehow score a 510+ in the third attempt, I don't see medical school happening. Best to prepare for an alternative career.

I mean, the first time I took it, I just studied by myself. The second time, I took a prep course. I studied for about 2.5 months like all day everyday. I went over content practiced some strategy. I honestly thought I could at least hit a 500 for the new one...I thought I did better.
I think you should do a lot of practice problems and practice full-length exams using the "right" strategy that works for you. Head on over to the MCAT Discussion Forums for more info, but only consider retaking if you can honestly imagine yourself scoring substantially higher in the third and final attempt.

Edit: my sGPA is 3.0
Just saw this. Sorry, you're done.

Unless you can really really carry out a substantial improvement in your grades and MCAT, it's best for you to find another career.
 
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GrapesofRath

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Applying to the Caribbean is never the answer.

MD schools are a pure fantasy with a 20 and 21-22 score on your record.

You have a 20 on your record and what equates to a 21-22 on the new test. You MIGHT be able to find a DO II out of the newest DO programs or the ones with the lowest median scores. But even that is a bit of a stretch. Your best plan of action is to give it a go this cycle and see what happens. Who knows....maybe someone is enamored with your upward trend enough to send a II invite. But what you need to focus on this time is going all in on another MCAT re-take. This is essentially your last shot. Give it all you got and leave it out there. Set aside at least a few months for sufficient MCAT prep. If you don't get in this cycle with that MCAT attempt look at this 3rd MCAT attempt as your last chance of having a career in medicine in the US. The 2 poor MCAT attempts on your record will hurt, but if you do take it a 3rd time and are able to show real improvement(at least 500, preferably 503+) then your chances for DO programs shoot up considerably.

You really need to identify what has caused your problems twice now. In the event you don't get in this cycle and have to retake you really need a thorough review of it. A complete overhaul of your study habits. Devout significant time to a re-take, months if necessary. Every resource and possibility should be exhausted. Look at a 3rd and final MCAT attempt if it comes to it as determining whether or not you will be a physician in the US, everything you've ever dreamed and worked for; because it essentially will be if you don't get in this cycle to a DO program with your MCAT scores.
 

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Also if your sGPA is a 3.0 and you have those MCAT scores, I can't see DO happening. You are looking at grade repair AND a 3rd MCAT attempt just to have a chance at being a viable DO candidate. That is alot to ask for. Really try and ask if that is a risk and time commitment you are willing to consider taking. And regardless if you do want to do it, you really need to start thinking of a backup option if it doesn't work out, because frankly the track record of people with poor sGPAs and multiple poor MCAT scores being able to turn things around isn't very favorable.
 

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Also if your sGPA is a 3.0 and you have those MCAT scores, I can't see DO happening. You are looking at grade repair AND a 3rd MCAT attempt just to have a chance at being a viable DO candidate. That is alot to ask for. Really try and ask if that is a risk and time commitment you are willing to consider taking. And regardless if you do want to do it, you really need to start thinking of a backup option if it doesn't work out, because frankly the track record of people with poor sGPAs and multiple poor MCAT scores being able to turn things around isn't very favorable.
Yeah the bold is really the limiting factor here. If OP can sustain a 4.0 upward trend over few-to-several years of work as well as acing the MCAT after doing well, it is likely that OP can secure a medical school acceptance at that time. But the opportunity costs of doing so are very large and difficult to overcome.
 
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Yeah the bold is really the limiting factor here. If OP can sustain a 4.0 upward trend over few-to-several years of work as well as acing the MCAT after doing well, it is likely that OP can secure a medical school acceptance at that time. But the opportunity costs of doing so are very large and difficult to overcome.
Should I consider going to grad school and apply again instead? Also, would a year's worth of medical scribe experience help?
 
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What if I went to grad school and then reapplied? I'm actually not even sure how grad school works (length of time, when to apply, etc.) Or worked as a medical scribe for a year?
 

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Do you still have access to the student services office at your ug? If so maybe they can figure out what your problem is with the MCAT. Medicine has a series of high stakes exams that you have to take throughout your career. If you can't handle the MCAT you're going to have issues. And a 3.0 sGPA is low. One of the issues with the Caribbean is that even if you manage to do okay in your preclinical courses they may not let you take Step 1. The school will know about your MCAT scores and they just might not approve you for Step 1. And that would be awful. And honestly do you see yourself doing well on Step 1? And as Dral said you can retake a fail but if you barely pass - too bad that's your score and that's what you'll apply to residencies with. It's hard enough for IMGs to get residencies even with good scores. You really should figure out why you are doing so poorly on the MCAT.
 
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Dral

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@Lawper
Yah, didn't include them.

Step 1
Step 2 CS
Step 2 CK
Step 3
In service for three years (not as high stakes admittedly)
Derm boards
Still have Dermpath boards. I have two dermpath inservice exams this year, but they are totally low key.

Throw in shelf exams and it's a ton more.
 
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candbgirl

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Your grades aren't really the issue. You could use some bolstering in your SGPA but that could be fixed with the lovely grade replacement offered by DO schools. Your big issue is the MCAT. Grad school and scribing for a year aren't going to fix that.
 
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Dral

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Also, grad school GPA is considered separately. Most consider the grades to be highly inflated.

You will have to retake undergrad versions of your science courses for DO grade repair.

The question is do you try to nail the MCAT before spending effort on grade repair, or do you take the classes first in the hopes that they will help you with the MCAT.
 
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Lawper

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Should I consider going to grad school and apply again instead? Also, would a year's worth of medical scribe experience help?
What if I went to grad school and then reapplied? I'm actually not even sure how grad school works (length of time, when to apply, etc.) Or worked as a medical scribe for a year?
Grad GPA is listed separate from undergrad GPA. Not worth it for medicine, unless you are going in a different path altogether.

@Lawper
Yah, didn't include them.

Step 1
Step 2 CS
Step 2 CK
Step 3
In service for three years (not as high stakes admittedly)
Derm boards
Still have Dermpath boards. I have two dermpath inservice exams this year, but they are totally low key.

Throw in shelf exams and it's a ton more.
Well to play a small devil's advocate here, the situation/environment behind taking all those medical exams are different from that in taking the MCAT (I think having a strong support system helps). Of course, doing bad on them will be really painful and the school/program will raise hell for messing up.

But yeah, that is a lot of exams to be taken in medical school and beyond, and apparently there are also recertification exams occurring every decade or so (maybe shorter, not sure). It's just that statistically, everyone beating everyone becomes impossible when everyone is in medical school, so it's important for the minimum baseline to be set for everyone to cross.

Just some rambling, but I agree that standardized exams are critical in medicine.
 
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GrapesofRath

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What if I went to grad school and then reapplied? I'm actually not even sure how grad school works (length of time, when to apply, etc.) Or worked as a medical scribe for a year?
Grad school won't help you. Being a scribe won't help you at this moment. You need to demonstrate you can handle medical school. Grad school GPA's(unless it is an SMP) won't do that. You need to take upper level undergrad science classes and ace them. You need to take the MCAT for a 3rd and final time and do considerably better. Grade repair can help for DO programs but I still recommending taking some upper level science classes and acing them. That will do a much better job of demonstrating your academic skills than re-taking classes.

But yes, your first priority has to be the MCAT. That will decide your fate. You need to take as much time out of your life to dedicate to putting in months of strong, smart, efficient prep to give yourself the best shot. The average DO matriculant has an MCAT of a 27. That's around 503. Ingrain that number in your head. Tattoo it if you want to. That is your goal. 503.

You have 2 bad MCAT attempts on your record and a sGPA that needs work. But get that 503, and you've cleared your biggest hurdle. Retake some science classes, take several new upper level ones and ace them, and if you do all this then you can become a viable DO candidate. But only then, and realize you will be embarking on a path many in your shoes attempt but few succeed in. That's why a Plan B is so important.
 

candbgirl

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OP why would you think grad school
And scribing for a year would help? I don't think you realize that your MCAT is shutting the door on your dreams. That's what has to be dealt with.
 
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Goro

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Your MCAT scores (plus the poor sGPA) are lethal for both MD and DO schools and in fact a risk factor for failing out of med school and/or failing Boards.

They ARE consistent with what Carib diploma mills prey upon. Your're fine for any of them asl ong as you're breathing and can write a tuition check. But are you comfortable with the idea of being unemployed and deeply in debt?

Forget about sending in any more secondaries. They're a tax on the hopelessly optimistic.

Do you have test taking anxiety? That's fixable.

A retake of MCAT is in order, but ONLY if you can fix your deficits.


So I already graduated from undergrad this past May, and I'm in the process of sending back my secondaries. My overall GPA is 3.52 (grades had been improving since freshman year and my last semester of undergrad was a 4.0 GPA). I have taken both the old and new MCAT and the scores are not great (20 old, 494 new), though when comparing the percentiles, the 494 is a SMALL improvement lol. I know this is crazy, but I've applied to 25 MD schools and 34 DO schools. Secondaries for all but 6-8 of them have been sent. So far, I've been rejected secondaries or interviews from 7 MD schools and 9 DO schools. I just wanted to know what you guys think my chances are of getting an interview.

Edit: I would really like to be in medical school for Fall 2016. I haven't applied to the Caribbean schools yet, but what about my chances at Caribbean schools? What are your thoughts on those schools in general?[/QUOTE]
 
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zero0

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MD isn't happening. Only real chance at DO is Burrell. Even big 4 Carib is unlikely but you can try.

My advice, get some help with the MCAT and retake, then try again next year. Absolutely DO NOT submit anymore MD secondaries.
 

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MD isn't happening. Only real chance at DO is Burrell. Even big 4 Carib is unlikely but you can try.
Big 4 Caribbean schools are very easy to attend even despite bad stats. However, such a thought should be thrown out the window.
 
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GrapesofRath

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OP if you get nothing else from this post just follow this: Caribbean should be eliminated from your thought process. Don't even think anything of it. Eliminate it from your vocabulary. Your thought process. Your lexicon. Whatever you want to call it. Never think of it or consider it again.
 
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You all have been absolutely wonderful! I have so much to consider now. The advice I've gotten from this thread is so much better than any advice I've received from the other resources I currently have. Thank you all so much for your help!

p.s. Caribbean schools had been in the back of my mind for several years now, and I will no longer consider it an option EVER :)
 

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You all have been absolutely wonderful! I have so much to consider now. The advice I've gotten from this thread is so much better than any advice I've received from the other resources I currently have. Thank you all so much for your help!

p.s. Caribbean schools had been in the back of my mind for several years now, and I will no longer consider it an option EVER :)
No one here will argue that Caribbean schools are the answer to those who perform poorly in all aspects of academia. It does work for some if they can work hard and fix their deficits like night and day.

I'm still not sure if you understand completely how disastrous your GPA and MCAT is in the grand scheme of things. Your first plan by far is to consider how to shore up your weaknesses and develop a definitive + detailed plan on what you will do to improve to the 510 range, even if that means waiting a year.
 
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No one here will argue that Caribbean schools are the answer to those who perform poorly in all aspects of academia. It does work for some if they can work hard and fix their deficits like night and day.

I'm still not sure if you understand completely how disastrous your GPA and MCAT is in the grand scheme of things. Your first plan by far is to consider how to shore up your weaknesses and develop a definitive + detailed plan on what you will do to improve to the 510 range, even if that means waiting a year.
Yeah, that was definitely one of the many things I was thinking about. And when you say grand scheme of things, are you talking about Step 1? Like because of my MCAT score, it indicates that I might not do well?
 

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Doing poorly in med school and Step I.


Yeah, that was definitely one of the many things I was thinking about. And when you say grand scheme of things, are you talking about Step 1? Like because of my MCAT score, it indicates that I might not do well?
 
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Also, along with MCAT prep, what if I retook my Orgo I and Orgo II classes? I took them my freshman year and got C's on both of them, which is why my sGPA is as low as it is. All my other science classes, I received A's and B's. It's called doing a post-bacc right? How does that work?
 

GrapesofRath

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No one here will argue that Caribbean schools are the answer to those who perform poorly in all aspects of academia. It does work for some if they can work hard and fix their deficits like night and day.

I'm still not sure if you understand completely how disastrous your GPA and MCAT is in the grand scheme of things. Your first plan by far is to consider how to shore up your weaknesses and develop a definitive + detailed plan on what you will do to improve to the 510 range, even if that means waiting a year.
The majority of those who can turn it around enough to succeed in the Caribbean, get the Step 1 score needed for US residency as an IMG etc would be capable of repairing their undergrad GPA or MCAT enough that they could find a DO school for themselves. That's why Caribbean schools should not be an option; if you can succeed with the obstacles you face from that, there is a very strong chance you could have simply do some repairing of your app and been able to find a DO school for yourself(unless of course there are things like academic dishonesty, hidden felonies, truly horrendous interviewing skills etc which residency programs are always wary of Caribbean grads who did well there potentially having).
 

Lawper

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Also, along with MCAT prep, what if I retook my Orgo I and Orgo II classes? I took them my freshman year and got C's on both of them, which is why my sGPA is as low as it is. All my other science classes, I received A's and B's. It's called doing a post-bacc right? How does that work?
Heading a DO route is far less tedious for you than heading an MD route for many reasons. All you need to do are the following:

1. Retake any C/D/F grades and use the DO grade replacement policy to calculate your new GPA/sGPA
2. Retake the MCAT when you are prepared and score a 503+
3. Shadow a DO if you haven't done so and acquire a DO letter
4. Keep focusing on your clinical and volunteering experiences
 
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candbgirl

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But I don't think you understand this whole process isn't going to be a quick fix. I have serious doubts that you understand that you probably won't be able to apply this cycle at all and maybe not next cycle either. Retaking two classes isn't the only think you have to do. Even if you managed to get As in those classes it won't bump you up much for DO and hardly at all for MD. And then there is the REAL underlying problem. You have to figure out why you continue to score so low in the MCAT. You shouldn't retake the MCAT until you are scoring at least 10 points higher than what you scored before. And frankly that is almost impossible.
 

studentdocftw

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Heading a DO route is far less tedious for you than heading an MD route for many reasons. All you need to do are the following:

1. Retake any C/D/F grades and use the DO grade replacement policy to calculate your new GPA/sGPA
2. Retake the MCAT when you are prepared and score a 503+
3. Shadow a DO if you haven't done so and acquire a DO letter
4. Keep focusing on your clinical and volunteering experiences
This.

MD is probably gone with a 20 and 494 on your record..along with that 3.0sGPA. But DO is more forgiving and still possible. Step 1: Retake courses with Cs/Ds/Fs and get As..not Bs....or B+'s....As. Step 2: Focus on MCAT. You are going to have to score high to compensate for your 2 abysmal scores (probably 507+, I improved from 67% on the old test to 91% on the new, so it's possible for you to get at least 60-65% with adequate preparation and adjustment). Step 3: Reevaluate what you've done; If you improved grades significantly AND increased MCAT to 60%+, apply to DO school. If either of these steps failed, choose another healthcare field and pursue that.
 

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Op, you are done at MD schools. DO school is Unlikely.

I would look into podiatry programs and see if that would intrest you! Your mcat is fine for many of the mid tiered programs
 

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Resident [Any Field]
I know, I have definitely heard about how it costs lots of money. I also heard about not getting a residency. But what if I don't want to go into a lucrative field like derm or surgery? Would Caribbean be okay for primary care?
p.s. Caribbean schools had been in the back of my mind for several years now, and I will no longer consider it an option EVER :)
That's a good decision. I would only advise someone to consider Caribbean under 2 conditions. 1) You know that you have a strong work ethic and are capable of learning the material independently. This is not true of most incoming Carib students, but there are some who can legitimately learn medicine on their own but didn't make it MD or DO for some other reason. 2) You don't mind the idea of having to practice medicine outside of the U.S. I know a couple people that are at school in the Carib, but they are all originally from another country and would be able to practice there by just getting their MD degree. No U.S. board certification needed. I think all of them would prefer to come back to the U.S., but they don't mind going home to practice either. Tbh, the field really doesn't matter either. Yes, primary care would be easier to get into, but chances are unless you're a stellar med student you're essentially shooting for whatever bottom-of-the-barrel program you can get into.

A third point I'll add, is that unless you have some source of funding that can bail you out of massive debt should things not work out, I'd also avoid it. Some people are extremely naive about how much 200k+ actually is, and when reality sets in that they have that kind of debt and can't pay it, it becomes a very, very sad situation.


Op, you are done at MD schools. DO school is Unlikely.

I would look into podiatry programs and see if that would intrest you! Your mcat is fine for many of the mid tiered programs
This is actually a great suggestion. I know 1 or 2 people that had sub-24 MCATs and didn't seem to have much trouble getting into podiatry school. Yes, it will limit your practice options, but you'll still be seeing patients and making solid money (100k+). Plus, some of them are legitimately better than similar MDs or DOs at what they do. It might not be ideal, but it's something I would definitely consider if I were in your shoes.
 
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OP
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Sep 19, 2015
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Op, you are done at MD schools. DO school is Unlikely.

I would look into podiatry programs and see if that would intrest you! Your mcat is fine for many of the mid tiered programs
I have never thought of podiatry...it would be too late to apply for the Fall 2016 school year though right?
 
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Nope, applications opened up like last week! Just gotta get a pod letter.
Yeah, I can shadow a doctor here in my research facility. Do we need a letter to apply once we get secondaries? Could you tell me where I can get more information because podiatrics never crossed my mind. Do not a lot of people do it?