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AA female. Any suggestions for schools?

Discussion in 'Underrepresented in Healthcare' started by TRussell74, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. TRussell74

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    1. Hello! I am really looking for some advice on my chances of getting in this cycle with my stats. I am an Ohio resident and an 22 year old African-American female. Traditionalapplicant with a gap year.
      GPA: cGPA= 3.51 sGPA= 3.13 with an upward trend. No Ds or Fs
      MCAT: first attempt: 499 (125-125-124-125) second attempt 503 (126-123-127-127)
      EC: Cello, choir, theatre, orchestra for 4 years
      Shadowing: 30 hours with mostly primary care physicians
      Volunteering: Clinical- ambassador at OSU East and University Hospitals volunteer
      Community: over 100 hours as a camp counselor for inner city youth, Habitat for humanity, served lunch for elderly, miscellaneous, cleaned up local park
      Research: none but worked as a lab helper for 10 months in a research lab.
      Work experience: 2 years retail in high school. I worked as lab helper, campus safety officer, early reading tutor, Physics TA, and tutor during undergrad often working two jobs at a time.

      This is current list, please give any input:
      Case Western Reserve (I am legacy. Both parents graduated and father and aunt attended Case Medical)
      University of Toledo
      Ohio State Medical
      University of Cincinatti
      Wright State
      Wayne State
      Morehouse
      Meharrey
      University of Illinois
      Loyola
      Indiana University
      Central Michigan
      Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

      DO: Ohio University

      #56Today at 12:52 AM
      Last edited: Today at 1:00 AM
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  3. siliso

    Physician 7+ Year Member

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    Certainly possible. Also possible that you may be offered an SMP/MSMS in lieu of immediate acceptance that could improve your sGPA/ app and potential for acceptances next year, and if so you’d be well served to do it. Along with more clinical shadowing and volunteering. Best wishes!
     
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  4. TRussell74

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  5. CUatthefinishline

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    My thoughts:

    You should really consider adding more DO schools to your list if you apply this cycle, especially if you definitely want to start med school right away. &, like @siliso mentioned, you should try to ramp up your clinical shadowing, and all volunteering (clinical and non-clinical if either is below 150 hours). I'm not an expert, but my experience is that having high hours in volunteering helps to somewhat compensate for lower stats and reveals more about you as an applicant (& how you spend your time, especially if you're taking gap years). It's also best to pick one or two volunteer activities and do them for a longer period to show commitment/longevity. You need to give them as much as possible to consider outside of just your numbers to have the best shot.

    Also, how is being a "lab helper" not research experience (I could just be naive on this :p)? & what exactly did that entail (washing dishes, setting up experiments, data entry, etc.)? Having that as research experience could also boost your app.

    EDIT: Sorry! I didn't mean to just offer all this info and not answer your main concern. You have a good chance at getting into med school this cycle, especially if you add more DO's to your list and can really tell your story well (on and off paper).
     
  6. siliso

    Physician 7+ Year Member

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    I was referring to programs offered by medical schools themselves that offer some rigorous grad level courses that would demonstrate you can handle med school level material - even if you can’t move the needle much on your overall GPA, a great graduate level GPA can still help you to overcome the lower undergrad sGPA.

    Something like the programs listed in point 1 of this article:
    KeepCalmGoToMedicalSchool: Post bacc programs for underrepresented minorities

    Or this one:
    Home - Master of Science in Medical Science (MSMS) Program
     
    #5 siliso, Apr 16, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
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  7. TRussell74

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    Hello. Thank you for your advice. I plan on applying to 5 DO schools. Have any suggestions decides OU and LECOM? One of my volunteer experiences lasted for 4 years with my church. I did various things such as Habitat for Humanity, summer camps, serving, etc. As a lab helped I autoclaved dishes, ordered chemicals and materials, and made buffers and growth medias. I did not think it was research because I was not actually doing research myself. Right now I am doing a community based research project with the American Heart Association studying hypertension in local barber shops.
     
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  8. TRussell74

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    I want to try to apply broadly to MD and DO schools and if I am unsuccessful I will look into masters programs. I have strong interview skills and am a more holistic applicant because of my musical background (cello, choir, dance, and theatre)
     
  9. siliso

    Physician 7+ Year Member

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    The barbershop trial is a great study and will be an asset to your app (and community) for sure. Get it in there even if you’ve only put in a few hours so far.

    I think you have a fair chance to get admitted straight up and agree that a MSMS would be a fallback but a good one if needed.
     
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  10. TRussell74

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    I have done around 15 hours so far. We will be presenting a scientific poster May 1. Do you think my chances are highest for Ohio Schools or HBCUs. Sometimes I wonder if I would even have a chance in an out of state school.
     
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  11. CUatthefinishline

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    That's all excellent and exactly what I was talking about :) I'm sorry if I didn't catch that in your original post. & that is definitely research experience in my book. I worked on more "hands-on" on a project in undergrad for a couple of years, but even those that just volunteered to wash dishes or whatever definitely contributed in some way. You were in the lab and helping with research; that's research experience. I guess, I would ask a PI or Adcom about it to double check but I would definitely put that under research experience & discuss it as being an "entry" for you into research (then pivot to discussing the project that you're on now).

    I am not knowledgeable on specific DO schools, so I'm not much help with that list. Maybe @Goro can suggest some?
     
  12. carterjt47

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    You can add....
    Howard
    UCLA(Drew)
    Georgetown
    Philly triplets(Temple, Drexel, Jefferson)
     
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  13. STEPinthenameoflove2018

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    Forget a masters program you need to take a Kaplan course and get that Mcat score up. Honestly you’re spending a lot of money on applications this cycle when in reality you can use that money and energy to do well on that test. You can get a full ride to medical school with a semi competitive Mcat score. Instead of going in to more debt and doing a masters program carve out 3-6 months and master that material. Study hard. The Mcat is just a preview of the standardized test waiting for you in medical school. Take your time and do that exam right. Best wishes!


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  14. TRussell74

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    I appreciate your response but I think it would be risky to take the mcat again, even if I do extremely well it shows I take three tries to get something right and if I get lower then that's even worse. I am not really wanting a masters, if anything I would take some classes post bacc but I will be applying in June. I would rather go D.O than take the MCAT again.
     
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  15. STEPinthenameoflove2018

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    I know people who took the Mcat 5 times before - check and see do you have to post all your attempts?

    Whatever deficits you have that are prohibiting you from doing well on that exam are only going to be magnified during medical school so I would take my time and address them now. I know too many people who get “IN” to medical school but then can’t get out because of the standardized test requirements.

    Also the DO and MD residency programs are combining and there’s a shortage. As an African American woman you want to give yourself every advantage possible.

    Choosing to pursue osteopathic Medicine is a personal choice but choosing DO to avoid retaking a standardized test isn’t a really good reason.

    If I were you I would take my time and study right for the MCAT. Learn how to study for that exam. Med school is like studying for the Mcat except you’re required to know more detail. You need to master standardized test taking skills not only for classes but for the multiple board exams required to graduate and practice medicine.

    Have you tried a Kaplan course?

    Just because you get into a med school doesn’t mean you’re going to graduate and find a job in a field or location you like.

    You gotta put in the time now or potentially take the long road later.

    Wishing you the best in your decision.



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  16. STEPinthenameoflove2018

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    Also consider your long term goals... do you want to do Family practice? Internal medicine? Emergency? DO / MD not a big difference. MDs generally have the upper hand for more competitive programs though.

    Do you want to surgery or anesthesia or any competitive specialty it is HARDER to do so. I have DO friends tell me they have to score higher than MDs on standardized exams just to be compared to them.

    How old are you? If you’re in a rush to just be done and you want to do Family okay fine do DO but I challenge you to challenge yourself. The MCAT ain’t no thang if your prepare properly. You can do it!


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  17. TRussell74

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    I took a Kaplan class and studied for the exam for a very long time. I am not retaking. It is not that I want to avoid the exam, but I am ready to start medical school and don't want to risk my chances by retaking that test. I have friends who dropped their score and are now in a bind. I am primarily interested in Family Medicine. I understand getting an amazing score on the MCAT would help but I am not retaking.
     
  18. TRussell74

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    Also, I am afraid you are misinformed. You cannot keep a school from seeing an MCAT attempt unless you void and never get your score anyways. I am 22.
     
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  19. STEPinthenameoflove2018

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    Right I was asking whether or not withholding your score was an option, I wasn’t sure.

    What did you think of the Kaplan course? Do you think it was helpful? How long was the course that you took?
    Online or in person?

    In terms of DO schools I have heard good things about LECOM and MSU they are both top programs for Family medicine.

    Overall I think your application is well rounded. I would suggest adding a unique community service heath related project or study abroad experience.



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  20. STEPinthenameoflove2018

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    DO residency programs are now being required to take at least one MD student to remain accredited. Another reason to consider MD>DO if you can get in. Good luck!


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  21. carterjt47

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    URM students in past application cycles have gotten into shools with less stats by applying broadly. With the stats currently you can increase your chances you if you add/apply to the schools I just mentioned above.
    Howard
    UCLA(Drew)
    Temple
    Drexel
    Jefferson
    Georgetown
    George Washington
     
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  22. Kgizzle

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    As others have said cast a wider net. Also I would add just a few more DO schools, if you can afford it, for peace of mind
     
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  23. Twiggidy

    Twiggidy ASA Member
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    Focus on your in-state schools and do your best to prioritize MD vs DO. If you're totally focused on being a Family practice physician then it likely doesn't matter, but if for some reason you decide you want to do a competitive field a DO is going to put you way at the bottom of the deck. Also keep in mind expense. Do your best to go to the school that will give you the most money. Medical school is expensive and loans have higher interest rates. This will become a factor in career choice and your lifestyle once you become a physician.
     
  24. Throwaway5129

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    Is a full ride still possible even with a mcat retake?
     
  25. B4y 4RE4 N4Tiv3

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    To be honest, I think you should do a pipeline program to ultimately save yourself some money. What I mean by pipeline is do a 1 yr postbacc and they funnel you straight into med school. I think your MCAT score is fine but your science GPA can go either way. I dont know you well enough but if I WAS IN YOUR POSITION, I think the postbacc will help and you're also very young so you have time on your side.

    go forth and be great whoever you are!
     
  26. Pedsmd2b

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    DO NOT APPLY TO GEORGETOWN. I'm here now, and its an awful place for people like us (I'm also a fellow African-American female, and cellist!) I had similar stats as you, just higher MCAT, and I actually took it 3 times, the final time I got a 514 after doing one year of a 2 year post-bacc program and getting a 4.0 there. I don't know if this is still circulating, but I will say this wedge applicant excel spreadsheet, was basically on the nose, I had created my application list before doing this spreadsheet and was surprised that it was basically the same and I got interviews and/or accepted to all the schools in my category. I didn't apply to any DOs because I don't want to be a DO, not judgment, but I don't think people should apply DO justbecause they accept people with lower GPAs and MCATs...schools only list averages, which means they accept students with lower GPA and lower MCAT. You'll definitely get in somewhere with those stats and at the end of the 4 years, when you have that MD, its not really going to matter where you went. Good luck! PM me if you have any other questions...
     

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