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against the odds I'm in

E.A. Poe

the man
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2004
111
0
0
Hi,

I just want to express how happy I am to be going to medical school. So far these are my stats:

Applied through AMCAS: 10
Secondary applications completed due to financial constraints: 6

Accepted: 2
Waitlisted: 1
Rejected: 2
They've completely forgotten about me: 1

MCAT: 32-R
GPA: 3.37

Its been a very long and hard road for me to reach getting accepted. You may notice that my overall GPA is quite low. In fact, I was kicked out of college after my first year in 1992-93 as I decided that higher education wasn't the road that I wanted to take and my effort demonstrated this. After 5 years I returned to school to take on the improbable challenge of getting into med school while starting with a 0.947 GPA for my first year.

After coming back I earned a 3.66 with honors, 3 years research experience in a cutting edge field of biology, and was published three times due to the work I did. I absolutely worked my butt off, sacrificing the overall GPA a little in order to round myself out with the research but still doing what I could to keep the grades very high. I spent an insane amount of time doing all of this.

Come time for the MCAT last August, I was in NYC and the lights went out. After studying for a few months we ended up experiencing The Blackout for 2 days and none of us knew if we'd even be testing until the day of the exam at 6AM, when my site (Queens College) was powered back up. To top it off during the test someone went out of the wrong door in the basement of our building which resulted in a 20 minute long disturbance with an alarm, strobe lights, and fire trucks through which we had to continue testing. It was verbal reasoning -- my worst section I thought, and I thought I bombed it.

So its been a long road, pitfalls along the way but all of the hard work has been worth it and I'm in. To anyone who hasn't gotten in this year or is still working up to applying -- stay positive. You certainly can do it, too.
 

E.A. Poe

the man
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2004
111
0
0
Thanks. I got into MCW and AECOM and am waitlisted pretty high in the queue at University of Wisconsin. My choice order is UW, MCW, AECOM so I will probably enroll at MCW unless UW accepts me, but it will be a much harder for the wife to get a job in Madison than Milwaukee so the jury's still out on that.
 
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DrJ2B

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Jan 10, 2003
760
0
0
39
NY
Hey E.A. Poe!

Congratulations on your acceptances! Hard work and determination definitely work out in the end. I am still waiting for an acceptance, but I am not losing hope. Faith in oneself is so key in this process. Everything will work out as it should. Patience is so important. I wish you the best of luck in getting into UW and in all your future endeavors!

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
 

jtorres

Senior Member
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Feb 1, 2004
154
1
0
arlington, tx
poe you kick a$$. just a couple of days ago some "amateur adcoms" here on this site posted that Ws, Ds, and Fs will sink your boat and that you have absolutely no chance of getting in. that pretty much took the wind out my sail but reading your story only confirms what i beleive: only I detemine if I get in or not and only I determine how bad i want this. congrats to you.
 

E.A. Poe

the man
7+ Year Member
15+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2004
111
0
0
Thanks everyone.

About the admissions "advice" you heard -- its just not true, at least maybe outside of the top 10 or so schools (one of my rejections was from Harvard).

Here is what I know about poor grades affecting the acceptance process. Its best if its in the first year because it can be attributed to being unprepared or transitional difficulties. Anything that you get an F or D in go back and retake and get a high A even if you don't get credit for it. Limit your withdrawals to 2-3 over all of school if possible. You must have a good, plausible explanation for what happened. A low GPA will keep you from getting an interview at some schools but at each of the 3 interviews that I did have they all said that I had explained myself well and the GPA was no longer a factor in my application. However, I suspect that the low GPA is what put me on the waiting list at UW. When it comes down to going head to head with other qualified applicants for limited spots I don't see how it can't be considered by committee members.

If you are suffering from a low GPA make sure you strive for excellence in other areas in addition to current classwork. My extracurriculars were really superb and outside of getting published there is nothing that I did that no one with motivation couldn't do. I worked at the bench in a lab for 3 years putting in 20-30 hours a week, sometimes getting paid and sometimes getting credit. Here's what you do: approach a lab about helping out a postdoc with research. DO NOT get stuck doing dishes or other menial tasks unless its your foot in the door at a good lab. Postdocs will ususally always want someone to generate data for them and undergrads get paid a pretty low wage so its worth it to them. MAKE SURE YOU TELL THE PROFESSOR THAT YOU WOULD LIKE TO WORK WITH SOMEONE IN ORDER TO LEARN MORE ABOUT SCIENCE AND GET PUBLISHED (PUBLICATION=KEY) TO HELP YOU WITH YOUR CAREER GOALS. That way you are more likely to get paired up with someone who is successful. If they don't know you want this they won't think of it. They will actually like you wanting to do this because that's one of the main driving forces in academic science and will show you're motivated (=good letter of rec). Once you're there run all the PCR's and gels and anything else you can do to help because to get on a paper you have to significantly contribute to the project.

Volunteer for a few months in a hospital. Sit on a student committee that meets once a month for an hour. It all looks good and admissions just wants to see something showing you don't just study. You have to do this stuff but none of my interviewers really seemed to care. Really, though, the vast majority of the time you spend on extracurriculars should be in the lab IMHO.

MCAT -- study hard. This is what will offset your GPA the most. My adviser told me I needed at least a 30 and my chances went up with a higher score. Do not take this lightly.

Oh -- and I don't thing the fire alarm was an accident either.
 
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