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Advice needed.

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by wrkndply, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. wrkndply

    10+ Year Member

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    Hi,
    I am really stumped on how to proceed with my life.
    A very brief background: My freshman year of college was a disaster and i had no aim or goal. My GPA sunk to a 2.0 (rounded down). Some specific events caused me to receive a new outlook on life and i transfered schools, switched majors and have been focused on school ever since with the hopes of one day getting into medical school (i refused to believe that one year could destroy my dreams). I have maintained straight A's ever since. But have not yet taken the MCAT.
    I still do not feel competitive enough and have thus looked deeply into doing a Special Masters Program (such as the Georgetown SMP) after i graduate. How helpful would such program be for me (assuming i do well)?
    Also, my grades are disperesed between two schools, how do i go about determining my overal BCPM and overall GPA? (is there a website that does it for you?)
    Also if i take the MCAT summer after my junior year, will it still be valid when i apply for med school during (maybe even after) my SMP year?
    Wether or not i decide to go the SMP route will dictate when i end up taking the MCAT (either this summer or the summer after i graduate)
    How much weight is given to an upward trend in grades? I am afraid to rely on that too much seeing all the other stellar stats ppl have-thus leading me to believe an SMP may be necessary.
    My school lacks a good pre-med advisor, so i welcome any responses + comments!
    Thank You
     
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  3. Tekbright510

    7+ Year Member

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    Someone will chime in about the SMP program because I do not know much about it but regarding your other questions...

    Your MCAT score is usually valid for about 3 years after you take it. This, however, varies by school and you should check with individual schools. At least 2 years is usually a safe bet though.

    I feel that an upward trend speaks volumes to adcoms. Personally, I had a not so stellar freshman year but I adjusted to the college and premed workload and really stepped up my focus and efforts in the next few semesters. I am applying this cycle, have had success, and have not been asked about my freshman year.

    A strong showing on the MCAT will also help balance out a poor initial start with college grades. In my case, I was fortunate enough to do well on the MCAT and that's one reason why I think my poor frosh year has been "forgiven".

    In short, work hard and continue to do well in school. Really put in a strong effort and do well on the MCAT. These two factors will go a long way for you. Take the stellar stats on here with a grain of salt...you do not need a 3.9, 35 to get into medical school.
     
  4. Mobius1985

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    If you had one year with GPA of 2.0 and two years subsequently of 4.0, then you'd have a GPA of about 3.3 at the end of junior year. and 3.5 by graduation time. If you get a decent MCAT, you might be competitive with that. You could eeven stay in school for a total of 5 years, and bump it higher. I don't think you need a formal (expensive) SMP. I agree that you will get credit for a steep upward grade trend after freshman year. Lots of folks take a year to figure out how to study and manage time well, and go on to recover and get into med school. There's a good chance you'll be fine, too, considering you've already demonstrated a good academic recovery.

    To figure out overall GPA try:
    http://medschool.ucsf.edu/postbac/pdf/AMCAS%20GPA_Calculator%20Version%204%20Final.xls
     
  5. pharm B

    pharm B Phar Noir
    Staff Member Administrator Rocket Scientist Pharmacist Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

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    In case you have any issue with the xls file above, make sure you set the macro security level to medium, then re-open the file and allow macros.
     
  6. wrkndply

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    Thanks! that link is awsome, that was exactly what i was looking for!
    So i assume that there is no such thing as a computer that screens out subpar stats.
    Although i guess i might have a chance with my upwards trend, would an SMP provide any additional benefits? Is there such a thing as 'networking' and building contacts in this process to get addmitance to a school?
    Thanks for all the replies.
     
  7. bluesmd

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    yes some schools do screen based on GPA but very few and the standards are usually really low. in SMP you can prove you can thrive in medical school classes. many take classes with first year med students. thus, if you do good it looks really good on your application. if you do mediocre it looks bad i think. not sure about networking ... you make it sound like you can bribe your way in. this is america, i don't think that works here.
     
  8. fahimaz7

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    2.0, 4.0, 4.0, 4.0 = win.
     
  9. mtnman12

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    gotta agree with what was just said...love that gpa...gives you a story to tell and shows that you've got what it takes. who really cares about freshman year anyway :)
     
  10. Iranian19

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    a quick question mobius, what does it mean by "cumulative all other undergrad AMCAS GPA"?
    I got:
    cumulative undergrad AMCAS GPA: 3.54
    cumulative undergrad AMCAS BCPM: 3.5
    cumulative all other undergrad AMCAS GPA: 3.67?
     
  11. MDAG11

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  12. Mobius1985

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    AO (All Other ) GPA = all classes that are not BCPM classes (English, history, engineering, language, philosophy, etc.)
     
  13. Mobius1985

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    I think most schools do screen out applications based on low stats, but they aren't going to look at individual years, only the cumulative undergrad GPA, and maybe the BCPM GPA (and MCAT score and subscores).

    If you are successful with the outlined GPA resuscitation, an SMP will not give sufficient additional benefit to make the high price worthwhile. If you fail in the plan and can't get your GPA high enough, then reconsider an SMP.

    If you work with a well-regarded alumnus of a med school (like in a research lab) and they know who (s)he is, a letter of recommendation from that person might get you extra points, but only if the rest of your application falls within the school's parameters for acceptance. Such a letter might act as a tie breaker. If your parent donates big bucks to XXXXX med school every year, that might win you some additional consideration at a private school.
     
  14. hedgehog1

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    So, when schools screen you based on numbers first off, they will only see cumulative GPAs? aka they won't see the trend? :(
     
  15. FadingPromise

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    .
     
    #14 FadingPromise, Dec 17, 2008
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2010
  16. RoyBasch

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    It could just be in Texas and perhaps a cadre of other really top-tier medical schools. A dean of admissions explained to me that trends matter. An upward trend can make a big difference. People with sub 3.3 GPAs get into medical school and the reason is often the trend. However, if you have done poorly at some point the onus is on you to prove that your first year was anomalous, so do what it takes to pull up your GPA, study hard and work with the system at your undergrad as well as possible.
    -Roy
     
  17. wrkndply

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    Thank You. These posts have been more than helpful!!! You've restored in me a sense of hope!
     

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