Advice for psych undergrad w/ low science GPA

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by raindrops, Nov 12, 2002.

  1. raindrops

    raindrops New Member

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    I am a graduating senior psychology major-- a little nontraditional in my career exploration path so far. I was intending to go into medicine in the beginning and took all the premed courses. Unfortunately, I did badly and got around a B- (around 2.7?) GPA in those science courses. After that, I decided to delve into clinical psychology, which I have always loved. I am doing very well in that, almost a 4.0 GPA. My overall is a 3.3.

    So far, I have interned in a biotech company for a summer (not for me), worked in a microbiology lab (2.5 years after graduation), worked in a psychology lab focusing on child developmental disorders (1.5 years), and another psychology lab focusing on schizophrenia (1 year). I am hoping to be a part of an accepted research poster at a reputable conference, as well as possible part of a publication. Also, I have volunteered at a children's hospital for over 150 hours and am volunteering at a state mental hospital (will be 1 year).

    Sorry for the long historical explanation :p but I want to explain the whole picture... After much consideration, I am yet again coming back to the pre-med idea-- I think this is my real passion. My hope is that the importance I place on mental as well as physical well-being will make an impact on my patients, which is why I am again considering medicine. However, I realize that my GPA is very low, and am wondering, what do I need to work on to improve my application? I haven't taken the MCAT yet, and I am thinking about doing a post-bac to re-take courses (will it be the same to retake the classes at my first-class med school?). I HAVE taken the GREs and got good score, although unfortunately that doesn't make a difference :p

    Any practical advice or analysis ;) would be incredibly helpful, as I'm in the stage of "can I truly succeed in medicine", especially if I'm not planning on pursuing a MS or MPH before applying? It is just so much to devote to a possibly unattainable goal, and I don't want to give up all my work in psychology to do this is if won't work out. Thanks again for reading!! :)
     
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  3. Lebesgue

    Lebesgue Senior Member

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    Unfortunately time flows one way, so you're GPA is what you have and it will certainly limit your options. I think if you take some science courses (perhaps a full year) that are harder than those you did poorly in and ace them all it might say something. Also, if there's a legitimate reason you did poorly, you should mention that on an application.

    You should really concentrate on crushing the MCAT if that's the only thing you do. Cranking out a well-rounded 35+ (11/12/12) for instance will take some of the edge off your GPA.

    If you're hesitating on whether you want to risk your efforts in psychology to potentially get into med school, maybe you should scrap med school and go get a psych PhD if your passion lies there.

    If you really want to get into medical school however, be willing to expend all effort and take big risks. Remember any goal worth attaining shouldn't be guaranteed. Figure out everything you can possibly do to raise your GPA some, while making the rest of your package bomb proof, and you should have a shot.

    Good Luck!!! :) :) :)
     
  4. raindrops

    raindrops New Member

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    Thanks for the advice.
    By the way, by "my first-class med school", I meant "my first-choice med school"... :p -- I was wondering whether if I retake all my premed science requirements in the undergrad prgm of the school I really want to get into, if that would help any. Btw, my "first choice" is not in the, say, top 20 schools.

    Also, about where my passion lies-- I have found that it lies in mental health. However, there are many pathways to this, and I find that unfortunately, MDs often tend to overlook the importance of psychology in medical practice. I really want to be a doctor, not only because I love helping people in an applied medical setting, but also because I want to be able to blend my psychology background into the way I practice medicine.
     
  5. UCLA2000

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    You have a decent shot of getting into a lower tier med school with those stats.
     
  6. DW

    DW Fix me some sandwiches
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    rock the MCAT, and you'll be golden :) An gpa of 3.3, while not stellar, can be made up for. You've got everything else in place as I read it outside of the MCAT, so that should be your focus....

    One thing I would suggest, if you're not entirely opposed to leaving, is getting the hell out of california. The instate competition is severely stiff, and being a california resident seems more a burden than anything in the application process.

    good luck :D
     
  7. poloace

    poloace Senior Member

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    yeah-
    i love being from cali- but, i wish i could apply as if i were from texas. those texans are soooo lucky.
    peter
     
  8. raindrops

    raindrops New Member

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    Thanks for the input, guys...

    Although my overall is 3.3, my science is really low (despite being from berkeley i guess).. Do I need to do a post-bac?

    Actually, I'm from out of state so I'm wondering whether it's necessary and/or helpful to take my lower div science courses over at the school I hope to attend (no formal post-bac prgrm) In addition, my chances should be better since I'm an in-stater right?

    Btw, what MCAT score do I need to get in order to have a decent chance?

    Also, letters of rec-- I could get a rec from each of the 3 labs I'm in, but 2 are psych-- is that acceptable? In addition, do I need more ECs?
     

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