Dismiss Notice
Check out the new Application Assistant, where you can calculate your LizzyM score, see how you rank compared to other applicants, and see a list of schools where similar students were accepted.

Am I non-traditional?

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by tabbycatdontcur, 05.20.14.

  1. SDN is made possible through member donations, sponsorships, and our volunteers. Learn about SDN's nonprofit mission.
  1. tabbycatdontcur

    tabbycatdontcur pharmacy world →medical word 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    05.19.14
    Messages:
    79
    Status:
    Medical Student
    I got a BS, took a year off, and just completed my first year of pharm school.

    I was wondering where to post the majority of my questions (I am applying to DO/MD but maybe also could post in nontraditional). Should I post the same question in multiple forums or just pick one and stick to it?

    Also I was wondering what focus I should have in my personal statement. I have a low UG GPA (3.1) but a decent pharmacy school GPA (so far 3.62) and I have read that if you have a low GPA, you need to address it in the personal statement, but that could take up a lot of my personal statement. Should I try to mingle my GPA with reasons for wanting to become a doctor somehow or is that too scatterbrained?
     
  2. SDN Members don't see this ad. About the ads.
  3. DrCharlemagne

    DrCharlemagne Old Maid in Training 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    02.27.10
    Messages:
    616
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Status:
    Medical Student
    You could post just about anywhere and get some answers. I guess you're technically non-trad, but pre-allo and pre-do are full of people who have taken a single gap year so you're not too much of an outlier.

    The first thing everyone will hone in on, though, is your UG GPA. As far as I know, the general consensus is that grad GPA is nice, but you're expected to do well there so it won't augment a low GPA from undergrad. No idea how that would hold for a pharm program. Your GPA as is stands now won't get you in DO or MD, and depending on how many bad grades you have from undergrad your decent pharm GPA will be severely watered down.

    Why do you want to make the jump now?
     
  4. tabbycatdontcur

    tabbycatdontcur pharmacy world →medical word 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    05.19.14
    Messages:
    79
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Well I never made below a C-. I think I made 5 or 6 Cs in undergrad, which half were science half non-science (I think). I went to a decently tough school and got an ACS certified chem degree which was really rigorous. I am going to study very hard via the SN2ed method, which I'm trying to get those books still (they are hard to get haha). I think I can get a 30+ which I hope will help me with a lot of DO schools in the 26-28 range and a 3.1 isn't extremely far from the 3.4-3.5 range of some schools.

    I want to work for a non-profit doing work for internationally underserved areas and that is difficult being a pharmacist. I learned this from going to GMHC 2013. Also, I wanted to do pharmacy because I wouldn't have to give shots because I HAD a needle phobia, but then actually had to become immunization certified. I never received any vaccinations growing up so I never became desensitized. Now that I conquered my fear, I would want to do something that would be beneficial for my desires.

    I am wondering if I should mention conquering needle fears and that this phobia was a reason that I didn't apply to med school originally instead of pharmacy school. Do you think I should?
     
  5. EMDO2018

    EMDO2018 Banned Banned

    Joined:
    10.08.13
    Messages:
    1,917
    Location:
    I don't know
    Status:
    Medical Student

    DO is definitely within reach if you do well on the MCAT. I assume you need a lot of ECs for pharmacy school, so you already have that part covered. Do you have any clinical experience or physician shadowing?
     
  6. LongTimeLurk

    LongTimeLurk first time post

    Joined:
    03.18.14
    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    right here, right now
    Status:
    Medical Student
    double post sorry
     
  7. LongTimeLurk

    LongTimeLurk first time post

    Joined:
    03.18.14
    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    right here, right now
    Status:
    Medical Student
    3.1 is probably at least 1.5 standard deviations from average matriculant - so yeah its pretty far from average at many schools. Some schools (now) will screen out below 3.2. You can easily pull that GPA up with grade replacement if you wanted to. Having said that, adcoms will likely heavily consider your strong pharm GPA. What I did before I applied was call the schools and asked to speak with admissions director. They are very straightforward (especially right now it is relatively slow for them). Ask them how they weigh your UG vs. grad work. You will get several different answers.
    Personal statement - If you realllly want to explain some poor grades be extremely careful in how you approach it. Unless people use crafty language it almost always comes off as an excuse and is off-putting. I threw in a one-liner in the middle of my closing paragraph in context of my other activities. But the rest of the PS talked about my unique learning experiences and blah blah
     
  8. tabbycatdontcur

    tabbycatdontcur pharmacy world →medical word 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    05.19.14
    Messages:
    79
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Yes I am shadowing a Family Medicine DO now.

    If this post is out of pity, I am not trying to get any. That's the last thing I want.
    Technically I have never made a C- or below. That post sounds misleading. I have only made Cs and above. I know that sounds minuscule but some schools say no C- grades.

    That's probably right, but I am hoping to get 1-1.5 standard deviations from the average MCAT to make up for it. I know you just can't look past grades, but I am trying to allow med schools to see that with my strong pharmacy gpa and a strong MCAT that I can make it.

    I need to address it from what I hear because I just can't sweep it under the bed, but I am going to tell them that once I graduated I took a year off, worked, and took classes at a community college and did really well and then did well in pharmacy school. I hope that this shows an upward trend for excelling academically. That's about all I can do.
     
  9. tabbycatdontcur

    tabbycatdontcur pharmacy world →medical word 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    05.19.14
    Messages:
    79
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Would mentioning that I would like to do international and local medical relief work as a doctor be a detriment to my personal statement? I know some schools really want you to stay in their state let alone the country.

    I am planning to stay in pharmacy as a backup in case med school doesn't work out. This means that I can't retake classes that I did poorly in to boost my GPA. Should I stay in pharmacy? It is a lot of time and money and I know I don't want to be here but if I leave and don't get into med school I won't have anything except a lot of debt and no way to pay it back. I am stuck with what to do.
     
  10. LongTimeLurk

    LongTimeLurk first time post

    Joined:
    03.18.14
    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    right here, right now
    Status:
    Medical Student
    That's probably right, but I am hoping to get 1-1.5 standard deviations from the average MCAT to make up for it. I know you just can't look past grades, but I am trying to allow med schools to see that with my strong pharmacy gpa and a strong MCAT that I can make it.


    Not how it works. When are you taking MCAT? Have you taken practice exam? While waiting for MCAT results you can easily pull GPA to more respectable range. It is extremely difficult (unlikely) that you will get 1.5 SD above average on MCAT. I'm not saying you will not get consideration from DO schools, just that you can guarantee a slot by re-taking coursework with C or below - if your C- that you mentioned was in a pre-req it will not count anyway.

    I need to address it from what I hear because I just can't sweep it under the bed, but I am going to tell them that once I graduated I took a year off, worked, and took classes at a community college and did really well and then did well in pharmacy school. I hope that this shows an upward trend for excelling academically.

    Just saying from experience - no you do not need to address it. Adcoms will see upward trend without you pointing to it. Again - I would call and ask how they will view your UG vs. Grad work. A strong PS statement reveals character strength, excuses for bad grades usually comes off as weak, unless you are a brilliant writer.
     
  11. LongTimeLurk

    LongTimeLurk first time post

    Joined:
    03.18.14
    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    right here, right now
    Status:
    Medical Student
    No not a detriment. Many view this as a positive.

    If you are not convinced about medicine then stay in pharmacy, thats a personal descision.
     
  12. tabbycatdontcur

    tabbycatdontcur pharmacy world →medical word 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    05.19.14
    Messages:
    79
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Yes a strong PS does show about one's character, but I am not going to write a PS that makes excuses for poor grades. I would address it but spin it off in a positive light. Well, you say don't address grades but others say do address it. hmmm....


    In undergrad, I took biochemistry and made a low grade. The next semester in advanced biochemistry I reviewed with the professor a couple days a week for 2-3 months because I wanted to do well and made an average grade. I know I still made an average grade, but could I point to this as something that I actually cared about excelling and went above and beyond to try and do better?
     
  13. tabbycatdontcur

    tabbycatdontcur pharmacy world →medical word 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    05.19.14
    Messages:
    79
    Status:
    Medical Student
    thanks!
     
  14. LongTimeLurk

    LongTimeLurk first time post

    Joined:
    03.18.14
    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    right here, right now
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Your effort is commendable. But, an adcom would read this and say, "so applicant worked extra hard and was just average."

    Again, if you realllly want to go this route (I don't recommend it) you need to have some extraordinary writing skillzzz.
     
  15. tabbycatdontcur

    tabbycatdontcur pharmacy world →medical word 2+ Year Member

    Joined:
    05.19.14
    Messages:
    79
    Status:
    Medical Student
    Ok well thankzzz
     
  16. Goro

    Goro 5+ Year Member

    Joined:
    06.10.10
    Messages:
    29,397
    Location:
    Somewhere west of St. Louis
    Status:
    Non-Student
    Verified
    Faculty
    Yes, you're a non-trad. You can post specific questions in specific forums, people are quite helpful here. Suggest that DO-related questions be in the DO forum, but general applicantion stuff can be here. Do not post the same Q in multiple forums though.

    I was wondering where to post the majority of my questions (I am applying to DO/MD but maybe also could post in nontraditional). Should I post the same question in multiple forums or just pick one and stick to it?

    The PS is for "who am I?" and "Why Medicine?" Do NOT dicuss poor grades in the pS> No matter how people try to do it, it always comes across to me as making excuses.

    Also I was wondering what focus I should have in my personal statement. I have a low UG GPA (3.1) but a decent pharmacy school GPA (so far 3.62) and I have read that if you have a low GPA, you need to address it in the personal statement, but that could take up a lot of my personal statement. Should I try to mingle my GPA with reasons for wanting to become a doctor somehow or is that too scatterbrained?[/QUOTE]
     
    DrCharlemagne and LongTimeLurk like this.

About the ads

Share This Page