Oct 9, 2009
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Greetings,

I've posted some in the Pre-Allo forum, but I think its better for me to post here.

Per Amcas my GPAs are:

3.11 BCMP
3.06 AO
3.09 Total

MCAT scores were 23R the first time, 29S the second

I applied to 7 schools, interviewed at 1, accepted at 0.

My LORs ranged from ok-awesome

I've worked in a neurology office for the last two years doing a combination of direct patient care, clincal trial visits, and secretarial work (filing, paperwork, IRB, GCP, etc--all related to Clinical Research on phase I-V trials for Multiple Sclerosis).

I am trying to decide what programs would be a good fit for me. My GPA is too low for my top choice (Washington University), but their admissions person said if I have good LORs and other Stats I should apply anyway, as the committee has discretion on the GPA requirement (also, as my undergrad school figures it, I have a 3.17). Is anyone in this program? What do you think of it? (other than the cost)

I did not apply Osteopathic and I think that was a mistake. I didn't apply because I have no knowledge/experience with DOs. This is one of the things I want to rectify.

I've been trying to figure out what program(s) would be best for me. I think I should do undergrad work, even though, per the amcas method, it would take 77 credit hrs at a 4.0 to raise my GPA to a 3.4.

So, other than Washington university, what programs would be a good idea for me?

I've taken all the prereqs. I got C's in Biology II, Physics II, Organic I & II. All others were A or B.

I know I want to take statistics and calculus, since I've only ever had one semester of college algebra.

Beyond the prereqs, what courses would be good to enhance my application?

Thanks, and sorry this got so long winded!!

Ambam
 

jslo85

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Greetings,

I've posted some in the Pre-Allo forum, but I think its better for me to post here.

Per Amcas my GPAs are:

3.11 BCMP
3.06 AO
3.09 Total

MCAT scores were 23R the first time, 29S the second

I applied to 7 schools, interviewed at 1, accepted at 0.

My LORs ranged from ok-awesome

I've worked in a neurology office for the last two years doing a combination of direct patient care, clincal trial visits, and secretarial work (filing, paperwork, IRB, GCP, etc--all related to Clinical Research on phase I-V trials for Multiple Sclerosis).

I am trying to decide what programs would be a good fit for me. My GPA is too low for my top choice (Washington University), but their admissions person said if I have good LORs and other Stats I should apply anyway, as the committee has discretion on the GPA requirement (also, as my undergrad school figures it, I have a 3.17). Is anyone in this program? What do you think of it? (other than the cost)

I did not apply Osteopathic and I think that was a mistake. I didn't apply because I have no knowledge/experience with DOs. This is one of the things I want to rectify.

I've been trying to figure out what program(s) would be best for me. I think I should do undergrad work, even though, per the amcas method, it would take 77 credit hrs at a 4.0 to raise my GPA to a 3.4.

So, other than Washington university, what programs would be a good idea for me?

I've taken all the prereqs. I got C's in Biology II, Physics II, Organic I & II. All others were A or B.

I know I want to take statistics and calculus, since I've only ever had one semester of college algebra.

Beyond the prereqs, what courses would be good to enhance my application?

Thanks, and sorry this got so long winded!!

Ambam
Your GPA is pretty low for allopathic schools and your MCAT is not good for those schools either.

Osteopathic medicine is virtually the same as allopathic medicine in today's society with the exception that DOs are privy to use OMM as an option in treating their patients. They are both licensed to prescribe and do surgery. DO students are required to take the COMLEX and if they choose to try for AGCME residencies they must take the USMLE otherwise they have AOA residencies.

You can:

A) Study and retake the MCAT while taking upper division science courses such as Microbiology, Biochemistry, Anatomy, Physiology, Toxicology, Histology, Pathogenic Bacteria, etc. to improve GPA and establish an upward trend in the hard sciences.

B) Apply for an SMP. Your GPA is in the low range but you will get looked at. Your MCAT is low to but if you applied early you might have a shot at decent programs. I'd still suggest you retake the MCAT.

SMP programs include; Georgetown SMP, BU MAMS, Tufts MBS, Drexel, Tufts ACMS, LECOM-E biomedical, KCOM MBS, AZCOM MBS, CCOM MBS, Nova MBS, RF MBS, PCOM MBS, etc. Go look at some random threads in this forum for more or check the stickied thread at the top by Dr. Midlife

C) Retake those courses you obtained Cs in and apply for osteopathic schools early and broadly. Go shadow a DO as well.

Good luck
 
Oct 9, 2009
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Hi!

I noticed you recommended SMP programs over Post Bacc acedemic enhancement programs, any particular reason why?

Also, how many programs should one apply to for SMP/Post Bacc? 5? More? Less?

Thanks,
Ambam
 

robflanker

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Because post-bacs are credits towards your undergrad GPA whereas an SMP is separate.

If you can raise your undergrad GPA up significantly, than a post-bacc is worth it. You did the math and it would take you 2ish years to get your GPA to a 3.4 which is still on the low side.

SMP is high-risk, clean-slate (of sorts, they still look at all your grades but the two GPAs are kept sep) where doing well helps ppl who have non-competitive GPAs.

I am amazed you even got an interview from an allopathic school with a 3.09.
 
Oct 9, 2009
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If I wanted to go osteopathic, would a post bacc be better, since they allow grade replacement? (I could improve Organic Chem, Bio II, and Physics II for sure (Cs currently).
 

robflanker

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You are going to want to repeat them regardless of MD/DO

3 Cs in the core classes hurts, if you retake them and get As - its a lot easier to sell on the whole 'im a much better studier, etc etc'
 

jslo85

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Agree with pretty much what Rob said.

Again, the option to your question is up to you. I personally would enroll at a local university as an informal post-bacc and retake each of those classes while also taking some upper division courses to show that you're serious about your goal and demonstrate that you're an A caliber student.

If you can raise your GPA to a 3.3 or so with your 29 MCAT, I'd apply broadly and early. Also keep in mind that some schools require a DO letter of recommendation and at least some form of shadowing.
 
Oct 9, 2009
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I think that I would be better off in a formal program. If I had to do it part time at a local university I'd be limited to pretty much one class a semester due to work and could be at it for a long time (too long). If I can go formal, I can take out loans to pay for it. Especially if its a certificate granting program. How challenging have people found it to get the financial aid needed?
 
Oct 9, 2009
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I believe I will apply to either three or four programs. My top choices, in order are:
Washington University (St. Louis)
UT at Dallas

And then 2/3: UC Berkley, Penn, and/or Oregon

Any opinions for or against applying to these?

Ambam
 

jslo85

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I may be mistaken (often the case), but isn't WashU's program primarily for a formal pre-med post-bacc while offering a few upper division science courses that are optional at the end? If so then that program is wrong for you.

http://ucollege.wustl.edu/programs/special-programs/post-baccalaureate-pre-medical-program

That's what I was looking at.

I like what the UT Dallas program has to offer.

There is a program at Oregon? I'm curious/a bit skeptical as to what you've found here, but please elaborate for my own curiosity

Penn SSP is something Rob can probably shed some light on.

UCB Extension is a solid program from what I've heard but I don't know if I'd relocate across the country for it.
 
Oct 9, 2009
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I may be mistaken (often the case), but isn't WashU's program primarily for a formal pre-med post-bacc while offering a few upper division science courses that are optional at the end? If so then that program is wrong for you.

http://ucollege.wustl.edu/programs/special-programs/post-baccalaureate-pre-medical-program

That's what I was looking at.

I like what the UT Dallas program has to offer.

There is a program at Oregon? I'm curious/a bit skeptical as to what you've found here, but please elaborate for my own curiosity

Penn SSP is something Rob can probably shed some light on.

UCB Extension is a solid program from what I've heard but I don't know if I'd relocate across the country for it.
For the Wash U program, they will adjust the courses to your needs. I've been talking to an admissions rep there. Also, since you can take ANY of the courses offered by Wash U (day courses cost $$) you have access to an impressive list of choices.

The oregon program is here http://advising.uoregon.edu/AA_Pages/AA_PreHealth_PostBac.html#degree And is also adjustable for those who already have taken prereq courses.

I'd love to hear more about the PENN program, it does sound like its what I need.

UT Dallas is my second choice, only because its farther away than Wash U.

I don't really want to move to california, especially as the berkley program doesn't offer any federal financial aid, just CITI bank loans. But its a good program.

I'm looking forward to talking to an advisor this afternoon, seeing what he has to say about my application and best course for improvement.

I'm also going to list out all the schools I want to apply/reapply to so I can be sure I'm meeting all the prereqs (MD and DO).

Ambam

Feeling more positive than she has for the last two months

P.S. For those who asked, no, it was not my state school that gave me an interview, it was the school that the Dr. I work for is associated with. I basically got the interview based soley on her LOR. She is an amazing lady!
 
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robflanker

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I'd love to hear more about the PENN program, it does sound like its what I need.
Have a read of the UPenn thread - go back 5 or 6 pages and feel free to ask any questions you still have about the program in that thread or PM me
 

drizzt3117

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Were you waitlisted before you got rejected? If so, you'd be eligible for the tulane acp.
 
Oct 9, 2009
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Hi,

So I just got off the phone with a GOOD adviser. Guy is awesome, has more experience than I can count wife is on an admissions committee for med school, etc etc.

Here's the thing: His advice was NOT what I expected. Everyone has been pushing me to retake classes and work on GPA, and he didn't really stress that. He said "if you can take some upper classes and get a few A's great, but you really need to get more hands on". Basically, his concern was with my ECs, and that I either didn't have the hands on experience that was needed or else I was doing a poor job of describing the experiences.

He suggested things like working for hospice, getting a nursing assistant certificate (and using it), or doing work with programs like planned parenthood.

He also totally destroyed my personal statement. Wish that had been done by my old adviser. Or any of the 6 or so people I had read it :(

On the upside, He's all for DO, thinks I should talk to the local DO school (there's one in my city) about my application and if they think I should apply this year or work on it for a year first.

It was interesting advice, and now I'm stuck. Should I still try for a post bacc program? Would I be better off seeing if I can cut back on work hours to get more hands on experience here? Should I find a different job entirely?

The only thing I really impressed him with was when he asked if I was applying this year, I said "no, I don't feel that I've significantly changed my application from last year". He said it was very rare for students to say that and to recognize that rushing to get an app out there isn't always the best choice.

SO, if you were told that the worst part of your application was your EC's, what would you do to improve it?

How much time is available during a formal post bacc to work on ECs?

Should I just skip the formal post baccs and do more "hands on" medicine like he suggested?

thanks,

Ambam

The now thoroughly confused.

@Drizzt: I was not wait listed.

P.S. And yes, for those following along, I have TWO threads on this same issue, on in the Pre-allopathic forum and one here. Never hurts to have different views.
 

drizzt3117

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read my reply to you in PA.

Hi,

So I just got off the phone with a GOOD adviser. Guy is awesome, has more experience than I can count wife is on an admissions committee for med school, etc etc.

Here's the thing: His advice was NOT what I expected. Everyone has been pushing me to retake classes and work on GPA, and he didn't really stress that. He said "if you can take some upper classes and get a few A's great, but you really need to get more hands on". Basically, his concern was with my ECs, and that I either didn't have the hands on experience that was needed or else I was doing a poor job of describing the experiences.

He suggested things like working for hospice, getting a nursing assistant certificate (and using it), or doing work with programs like planned parenthood.

He also totally destroyed my personal statement. Wish that had been done by my old adviser. Or any of the 6 or so people I had read it :(

On the upside, He's all for DO, thinks I should talk to the local DO school (there's one in my city) about my application and if they think I should apply this year or work on it for a year first.

It was interesting advice, and now I'm stuck. Should I still try for a post bacc program? Would I be better off seeing if I can cut back on work hours to get more hands on experience here? Should I find a different job entirely?

The only thing I really impressed him with was when he asked if I was applying this year, I said "no, I don't feel that I've significantly changed my application from last year". He said it was very rare for students to say that and to recognize that rushing to get an app out there isn't always the best choice.

SO, if you were told that the worst part of your application was your EC's, what would you do to improve it?

How much time is available during a formal post bacc to work on ECs?

Should I just skip the formal post baccs and do more "hands on" medicine like he suggested?

thanks,

Ambam

The now thoroughly confused.

@Drizzt: I was not wait listed.

P.S. And yes, for those following along, I have TWO threads on this same issue, on in the Pre-allopathic forum and one here. Never hurts to have different views.
 

DrMidlife

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Hi,

So I just got off the phone with a GOOD adviser. Guy is awesome, has more experience than I can count wife is on an admissions committee for med school, etc etc.
Call this guy back and ask him to answer the following questions:
1. Would you advise a candidate with a GPA that is more than two standard deviations below the MD average to apply to MD with that GPA?
2. Roughly what is the average GPA for MD school matriculants? For DO school matriculants?
3. Roughly what is the average MCAT for MD/DO matriculants?
4. Roughly what number of applicants are there for MD seats? DO seats?
5. Roughly how many total MD seats are there? DO seats?
6. Are GPAs and MCAT scores trending up or down?
7. Can I talk to your wife please?

Score him on his answers and see if you still think he's qualified to advise you. If he's off by a great deal or has no idea, that would be a red flag.

Answers to 2-6 (http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/applicantmatriculant/start.htm, http://www.aacom.org/infofor/applicants/Pages/default.aspx)
2. MD 3.66 total, 3.60 science, 3.74 non-science as of 2009
DO 3.48 total, 3.35 science, 3.58 non-science as of 2009
3. MD 30.8P
DO 26.1O
4. MD 42,269
DO 11,849 (2008)
5. MD 18,390
DO 5222
6. MD up
DO up

With your GPA, I believe his advice is irresponsible.

Best of luck to you.
 

jslo85

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I'm in support of his advice to consider osteopathic medicine as a route that you should pursue as well as expanding your clinical activities but I don't believe he addresses the main problem with your application.

Going osteopathic would still require you to retake classes and obtain As in some upper division classes to establish a "more competitive" GPA with which to apply. Some others may disagree but I believe your MCAT is sufficient for most osteopathic schools provided you apply early, you really need to raise that GPA to at least a 3.3 for both sGPA and cGPA. It sounds like he's side stepping your main problem in trying to strengthen other areas in your application in hopes that they would overcome your main deficiency.
 
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Perhaps I was a little hasty in my last post and not clear enough. He didn't try to tell me that I had a fine gpa and MCAT, he acknowledge that I already had a plan for improving and them, and pointed out that even if I didn't get into a post bacc, I should take courses again at a local college (my undergrad institution wouldn't do me much good as I've already taken most of the upper level human sciences that they offer (A's and B's in the upper levels)).

I had expected him to say maybe one or two of my ECs were off or a comment or two about my essay, instead, he really focused on them, and had comments about each EC and every paragraph of my essay. While not loosing site of the obvious problems of GPA and MCAT he took a look at my entire application and really had some good insights on parts of my application I thought were well rounded. I hadn't given much thought to my ECs, as most of them will naturally continue as there are groups in almost every region of the US.

I knew my statement would get rewritten to express the new experiences and classes I hope to be taking, but I didn't realize how bad my current statement was. The adviser from my school who read it had had very few comments on it, and the other 6 people who helped out had even less to say content wise. After his thorough review (over 30 minutes) I had an entirely new outlook on my essay and on my writing style (which I think was as much the issue as the content of the essay--I didn't get across what I wanted).

His conversation reaffirmed my decision to attend a post bacc and allowed me to refine my choices for where to apply. The quality of the advising at the post bacc will be very important to me, since I feel that I have not had the advising I need up to this point. With that in mind, I do not think I will be apply to UPenns program since its weakness is in the advising. I do think I'll be applying to Wash U and UT of Dallas . I'm still debating the Oregon program. I don't think UC Berkley is a good idea for me as I don't really want to move to California.

Thanks everyone, and I hope I have clarified that his concern was not the GPA/MCAT didn't matter, but that the rest of my application was not as good as I had been led to believe.

Thanks,

Ambam
 

jslo85

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Sure. In the end the option is still your own which I'm sure you know. Everyone's input here is simply trying to help you to make the best educated decision, that's all.

Anyway I don't know if you want any more opinions about the matter but I would personally say no to Oregon. I'm from Portland, about 2 hours away from Eugene and though I didn't go to UO, I have quite a huge number of friends that did that were pre-med. Though nothing that they voiced was ever negative about their UG experience, nothing was exactly positive either. If your whole idea is to get into OHSU, there are no strong linkages at any of the oregon universities. It's only for Oregon residents and even that is quite mediocre at best compared to other states. I'd look elsewhere on that option because I don't feel moving to Eugene to take science classes there is worth the money.
 
Oct 9, 2009
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Thanks.

I'm actually not worried about the linkage, I've got good ties to the school that already interviewed at and I know that if I can bring up my grades and experiences that I'd do well. Same with my state school. But, if Oregon doesn't stand out as a great program, I may not apply there. I'll start with applying to Wash U and UT of Dallas for the fall, if not accepted I'll apply to additional programs for the spring.

Thanks all, I'll let you know what happens.

Ambam