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10+ Year Member
Mar 3, 2007
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I would like honest advice an suggestion on how to improve my application. I recently joined sdn but have been lurking around for years. I hesistated to ask your opinions because some people are too harsh and frankly I am not in an emotional state to handle it. lol... PLEASE DONT TELL ME TO CHANGE MY GOALS AND LOOK AT OTHER JOBS. I have no inention of quitting even if I am applying untill I am 90. Im 24 by the way.Thanks..Have a great day!!

Ugrad gpa 2.7 , bcpm 2.7 Microbiolgy and Immunology major Chem/spanish minor
MCAT 22 6 ps, 8 vr, 8 bs I retook in jan and same score dif. breakdown. 7ps,7vr,8bs .....I just get crazy nervous prax test 28-33 range. Retaking in June hopefully better scores...
BUMAMS 3.2 I hated boston and the people and had a terrible time adjusting and it is a tough program. Recieved honors on my thesis and kick ass LOR from mentor...
ecs: 650+ hours at childrens hospital and free clinic, Shadowing progam at cornell (week long) Practing Medicine Providing Healthcare, 100+ research volunteer, 2 international medical missions, 50 hours of church related com.service.

I had applied to low tier school with the hope of my Jan MCAT score coming in and saving the day lol but it did not happen. I am waiting on like 8 schools..basically waiting on little envelopes this point. I applied to and auc like 2 weeks but I reallllyyyy dont want to go there.

Any suggestions on how to significantly improve my application between now and july (june mcat scores out) when I submit my AMCAS? Is there any real hope??

I wish you all the best of luck on your future endeavors!!!:luck: :luck: :luck:


has an opinion
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Oct 31, 2006
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You can't do a thing academically now, except maybe a PhD, to improve your app. Those grades are what they are.

A better MCAT score is important, of course, but it will only get you so far. As Law2Doc likes to point out, a good GPA can counter a bad MCAT, but a good MCAT can't counter a bad GPA. Between now and June you'd have to drastically improve that score. As in, clear your schedule and live at the Kaplan center with a private tutor.

Or how about slowing it down and doing something truly, truly impressive? Peace Corps. Totally. 27 months, make your Spanish perfect, no accumulated debt, get back with a few thousand dollars in your pocket. THEN do the MCAT and apply. This is the #1 thing I wish I'd done in my 20's or even in my 30's.

That's my $.02. Best of luck to you.


Yankee Imperialist
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Jan 22, 2003
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Since you don't want advice to go into another field I won't mention that that is your best bet.

But, before you go to an offshore medical school understand this. THE WASHOUT RATE IS HUGE! They can get you a degree, but they are in it for the money and if you can't hack it (and your numbers suggest you can't) you can be out a HUGE amount of money and time with nothing to show for it.

I would seriously have you consider nursing school or becoming some other sort of health professional if you want to help people.
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Dil Chahata Hai
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Jan 29, 2006
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Are you applying to DO schools? You won't overcome your GPA issue, but if you can eek out better MCATs, you certainly would look good for DO schools. Of course, this is provided that your experiences and other attributes are good enough (and you don't interview poorly). Also, a big advantage with DO schools is, for pre-reqs at least, they will replace the scores for the same class with the newer (higher) grade. When it calculates your GPA, it could be substantially better than that in AMCAS.

For you, I think the best game plan is to take some time off (at least one cycle), try to determine pre-reqs you might retake and get (hopefully) As in, and shadow a DO. You can reasonably work and do these other things at the same time, if money is an issue. DO school is so much better than offshore schools, for so many reasons. And I can tell you that the two allopathic academic medical centers where I have worked have all had DOs on their faculty. But I don't want to get into a DO vs MD discussion here... there are always plenty of those!

Point is, if you go DO you will be able to improve your GPA. If you don't you are stuck with what you have, PhD aside. And getting a PhD just to get into med school is one of the dumbest ideas I've ever heard. PhD level work requires a special person with dedication for their goal. Even some who *think* that's what they want to do struggle later on in the programs. Imagine what someone there only to get some letters and more grades will feel about it. It's a long process, and you really have to enjoy the work and be able to stick it out (and succeed).

If you look at your pre-reqs and there isn't much room for improvement (like, you got As in your basic Bio, Chem, OChem, and Math; as well as English) you can then focus like heck on the MCAT. Do so many tests that you want to throw up. Do them timed and under adverse conditions. Test anxiety is a major problem and I highly recommend you find a way to overcome it prior to getting into med school, anyway. The first two years are all about exams, and your residency is determined by the boards. So, you will have to find ways to train yourself to relax and keep on task and focused during exams. I'm sure there are tutors/educators out there who specialize in this.

Don't stress about the time it takes. I spent a number of years getting my ducks in order before putting my best foot forward on applications. It's really important to stress that... when you apply again, make sure you have done your absolute best not just at grades and scores, but also in your ECs and work experience. Peace Corps is not a bad idea, but it will add two years on top of another 1-2 retaking courses and prepping for the best MCAT ever. But, coming from a non-trad, you'll get to an age no matter what... and if you get into med school, you'll be a physician eventually. Everything is all relative. Sure, I'd like to have an extra ten years to pay down those loans I'm racking up, but I wouldn't take back what I have done with my life (my past life, my work, my extra schooling, etc) for anything. It's what helped shape me and will make me a better physician.

Anyway, that's the best advice I can give. You seem determined and, for some schools, determination counts for a lot. *Show* them how determined you are by working hard, improving the application, and showing your resolve for your decision to go into medicine.

PM me if you want to continue the discussion. I don't check the forums that often these days.



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Feb 25, 2005
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I've heard of ppl who get into some DO programs with weaknesses in one area (GPA,MCAT), but to be honest they typically have a stronger showing on the the other area or in postgrad/graduate work. It'll no doubt be difficult b/c of the low MS GPA on top of everything else. I have to agree with others that pursuing a doctorate would not help any. I however am not on an Adcom, so I suggest calling and speaking to the admissions office of some of the programs that you may be interested in.


Megalomania Extirpator
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May 26, 2006
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Here are some questions I would recommend addressing (not necessarily here, you do not have to tell us anything :)):

1. What were the causes of your poor undergrad GPA?
1a. What strategies, if any, have you developed for overcoming the cause(s) of said poor performance?

2. How much preparation have you honestly put into the MCAT?
2a. If you have put considerable preparation into the MCAT and believe that the poor performance is due to anxiety, have you been tested for this? (This may help with Q1 too.)
2b. What strategies have you developed/are in the process of developing for improving your performance on the MCAT in June? ("Hope" is not a strategy. ;))

Some other things to consider:
1. You should reconsider your analysis of the experience you had at the BU program for the following reasons:
a. Blaming your poor performance on Boston lends no insight into the real root causes of the problem and does not help you overcome your challenges.
b. If your mission in life is to practice medicine, you may have to go somewhere even worse than Boston for medical school (you cannot be too picky and any of us are lucky to have one admission... any admission).
c. BU MAMS is a tough program, but med school is far tougher, so if you are using the toughness of the program as a reason for poor performance, your aspirations for medical school are a bit too theoretical.

2. It appears that you have been running in a frenzied yet somewhat futile race towards a poorly visualized goal (without a map or directions of any sort). You cannot reach your goal without a clearly delineated and realistically developed plan. You may need to take a step back, honestly evaluate your challenges, identify your obstacles and figure out the best possible plan for overcoming these (please see the questions I posed in the beginning).

3. Take a deep breath and allow some stillness (both emotional and physical) to settle into you. I am very familiar with at least one flavor of the urgency that is compelling you to throw yourself in the ways and directions in which you have been. I also know that the expanding hole underneath you is being dug by precisely that same senseless urgency.

4. Contact admissions offices (the schools to which you have applied this year would be a good start) and find out what things you can possibly do to improve your application in their eyes. Do not be discouraged by the negative responses and gather every bit of constructive advice you can get - this will help you formulate your plan.

5. Remember that you are still young.

[This is a small personal request and is meant in the most positive, supportive, non-offensive and well-meaning way possible.
Please consider reducing the use of the word "like" in your speech and especially in your written communications. The statement "I am waiting on like 8 schools..." is nonsensical, and while I realize that this may appear as something trivial if you have become accustomed to hearing/saying it, it still hints at a lack of verbal sophistication and reflects negatively on you.]

I wish you the best of luck and hope that you will find the way to your goal. :luck:


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Jul 24, 2005
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Judging by your gpa and mcat, I honestly think that your chances of gaining acceptance into a US school are slim to none. If you are able to get the mcat up into the 30's range, you may have a chance at some of the DO schools due to your vast clinical experience, but I think that even those are a long shot at this point for you right now.

I know that you have a hard time taking exams and that you didn't like the environment in Boston, but the fact of the matter is taking exams under enormous amounts of pressure is a pretty huge portion of this process-- the boards are a major hurdle, and med schools do not want to admit students that cannot pass these exams.

The advice of the others seems more than reasonable-- before you consider reapplying, sit back and think about why you want to go into medicine and whether or not another field such as nursing would fulfill you. Also, sit down with an academic advisor to look over your entire resume to objectively look over your chances of gaining acceptance to a medical school, and then weigh the benefits and the risks to see if pursuing this career is still worth it for you. Also, if you decide that medicine is a must, get that mcat score up and check into some of the Caribbean schools.

Good luck. :luck:
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