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Advice for a med school hopeful with a B.S. and low GPA

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical Allopathic [ MD ]' started by TTLE, 09.27.14.

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  1. TTLE

    TTLE

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    Hi everyone,

    I just graduated with a 2.9 cumulative GPA (2.75 science) and a B.S. in biological sciences from a UC.
    Out of high school I had hopes of getting into pharmacy and focused on that goal (albeit not very much). Even after ~500 hours volunteering in several pharmacies I was too stubborn to accept the fact that pharmacy was just not for me. I finally jumped to make the switch a few weeks before graduating from college to try for PA school. However after working as an ER scribe alongside physicians, I realized that becoming an MD appealed to me more in terms of amount of patient interaction and extent of patient care they provide.
    To this point I've completed most of the general med school requirements with non-noteworthy but passing grades. This is primarily due to a severe lack of interest and motivation with the mindset of pursuing a career in pharmacy throughout my 4 years. Although I cannot attribute my poor grades from simply not wanting to do better in school, as I did find myself striving to do better by changing my study habits but with little success.

    Options I've considered are to complete a SMP or to take additional sciences courses through open university to raise my science GPA. I didn't fail in courses so I can't technically retake any of them to replace my grades.
    Some additional info about me:
    -ER medical scribe
    -private caretaker for an elderly companion
    -PTCB-certified pharm tech (no experience working as a pharm tech so probably doesn't matter much)
    -served as a board member of my medical fraternity after being an active member for 3 years,
    -intern for health clinic (provided presentations on various health topics to the community)
    -several hundred hours of community service
    -approximately 500 hours of volunteering in pharmacies
    -volunteered abroad on a summer medical mission
    -no other clinical experience besides last 2
    -no research
    -no MCAT

    I've been researching SMP and post-bacc programs as they're described to be for those who are looking for a career change or as academic boosters for med school. I understand that my stats aren't very appealing at this point and it won't be easy but I'm willing to do what it takes to turn that around. After exploring the thought of engaging in different health careers, I can say I'm currently content with and committed to the MD route. Please feel free to provide any advice or criticism, it would be tremendously appreciate :)
     
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  3. SnakeOilForSale

    SnakeOilForSale Everyday I'm hustlin 2+ Year Member

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    Experiences are good but hard to tell what your chances are with low gpa+no mcat.

    One thing you absolutely have to do is score high on the mcat. For fixing the gpa, seems like you know your options: post-bacc, smp, apply DO with grade replacement. It's up to you to decide which one is right for you, but whatever route you take, you have to perform very well in order to have a fighting chance.
     
    TTLE likes this.
  4. TTLE

    TTLE

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    Thank you for your reply! Should I consider taking more courses through open university to raise my GPA before applying to any SMPs? I imagine with my current GPA the chances of getting into one are slim.
     
  5. V5RED

    V5RED MS-1 Lifetime Donor 5+ Year Member

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    Did you have an upward trend in undergrad or was it all pretty much consistently subpar? BTW a trend is not a bunch of low years and one high semester. I ask because it matters whether or not you have ever been able to maintain med school worthy grades for over a semester. If not, then you need to figure out why you did not achieve those grades and probably do a post bacc to fix them.

    An SMP is for someone who has a good reason to think med school will go well based on things like a strong MCAT and a strong upward trend with good grades in prerequisites but a GPA too low to get past screens.
     
  6. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

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    Either retake all F/D/C science coursework and use AACOMAS' grade replacement policy to go DO.

    You do not have to retake at your UG school...any college will do.

    OR, if you're boning for the MD degree, do the SMP, ace it, and ace the MCAT. The apply to hose schools that reward reinvention.
     
    TTLE likes this.
  7. TTLE

    TTLE

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    Unfortunately my GPA trend has been pretty stable and subpar. Thanks for the conciseness of the SMP description!
     
  8. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist 2+ Year Member

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    There's no reason to think you will be successful in an SMP when you've been consistently subpar throughout your whole academic career.



    Sent from The World Tree using SDN Mobile
     
  9. TTLE

    TTLE

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    I realize that. What would you recommend?
     
  10. V5RED

    V5RED MS-1 Lifetime Donor 5+ Year Member

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    It depends on why you performed at that level and what your study habits are like.

    Did you have media such as television, netflix, ratio, etc. playing while you studied? Most people will get far less out of studying with such distractors running.

    Did you actually have dedicated study time? Ie not study for a few minutes, log on SDN, study a few more minutes, hit up FB, study a few more minutes, check out Tinder, repeat ad nauseum.

    Did you complete most/all of your assigned homework regardless of whether it was for credit?

    If you can say no to the first and yes to the second and third, then your study techniques become the question. Did you use flash cards? If so, did you actually understand material before making them or did you make them and hope to understand by running through them(a very poor strategy)? If you did not understand material, did you read your books to try to understand? If that failed did you seek help?

    There are a lot more questions to ask, but those are a start. You need to have a good study plan and then prove you can actually perform at a med school level in a post bacc before getting into med school is at all realistic. You want the track record of years of good grades for two reasons. One is to prove you have what it takes to medical schools and the other is to build a strong study base so that you can handle the immense workload of medical school.
     
    TTLE likes this.
  11. Aerus

    Aerus Elemental Alchemist 2+ Year Member

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    Before you even start to attempt something like the MCAT, you need to figure out what is preventing your achieving academic success and address that. V5RED gave a detailed post on issues that you need to consider. Then, try yourself at studying for the MCAT and see if you can achieve a singular high score. You must assure that this subpar performance does not persist, as it will be lethal to your chances at entering the medical profession if it continues in your SMP and leave you with a lot of debt and a unmarketable degree.
     
  12. TTLE

    TTLE

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    Thank you for these tips to consider, V5Red. I realize that I can say that I've dealt with most of the distractions above with my study points at some point A big problem for me was always procrastination, which gradually improved over the years. I also failed to take advantage of resources that could've totally helped my performance. I'll keep your tips in mind as I continue to reassess and improve my study habits to see if med school is even a possibility.
     
  13. TTLE

    TTLE

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    Thanks for your advice, Aerus. Yeah first things first, I'll try to re-evaluate and work on improving my study habits before studying for the MCAT. Hopefully things look up and I can consider moving on with med school in mind.
     

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