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Am I totally screwed?

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by WannabeMD, Apr 11, 2001.

  1. Hello,
    I am new to this forum, and have a question for anyone qualified to help me answer it. I am a senior at Gettysburg College with a 3.2
    GPA,but only a 2.5 BCPM. I have 4 C's on my transcript. I had a D in organic, but retook it and got a B+ and B-. I'm taking my MCATs in 10 days(God help me)...on practice exams, I've gotten in the 25 range. I'm a Biology and Spanish double major and philosophy minor here, and am holding down 3 part-time jobs on campus along with 6 classes. I've had lots of volunteer experience and have become bilingual in Spanish after studying for a semester in Guadalajara, Mexico. I'm also involved in tons of extracurricular activities. I want to be a physician more than anything!!! I'm already taking a year off since I went abroad, and I was planning on starting to apply this June to enter in the Fall of 2002. During my year off, I'm going back to study in Mexico, working 2 jobs and shadowing a physician, getting married, and taking a few classes. I was planning on co-applying to accelerated nursing programs, as well as some graduate programs in Spanish. That way, if I don't get in the first time, I could reapply during my year of graduate
    work. Several physicians I've talked to have told me that I have a very good chance of getting in, regardless of grades, because of my activities and language skills. Others have told me to look at other careers. I know I can do this, even if I have to wait a few years. My question to all of you is do you think I have a chance? Would it be better for me to take some classes, work, etc. and then do a year of grad school before applying or do you think it's worth my while to apply for Fall of 2002 and just take classes and work for my year off? I'm really just looking for any knowledgeable opinions on my situation. I know I want to go into medicine, and I wouldn't mind waiting 2 years instead of 1, I'd just like to know before I shell out that kind of money. Please give me your honest suggestions.


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  3. mast

    mast Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Here is some advice is was given in 1996, "MAKE YOUR FIRST APPLICATION YOUR BEST APPLICATION." In other word don't apply with weak grades/MCAT/extracuriculars. My advise is wait a few years, take some advanced bio, chem, anatomy, physiology classes and get A's, and continue your volunteer stuff. It sound like you have overextended yourself, I did the same thing and my grades suffered as well. If you really want to be a doctor it can happen with some hard work and tough choices. I will be going to med school in the fall. Good luck.
  4. Gumbydammit

    Gumbydammit Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Salt Lake City, UT, USA
    I agree with mast fo' sure. I had a physician tell me, "Don't shoot yourself in the foot," relating the scenario to a weak application etc. I have heard of people getting into medical school with similar numbers but I feel they would be the exception and not the normal. Have you considered going the D.O. route?

  5. Thank you all for your advice. Yes, I am strongly considering osteopathic school; I am currently shadowing a D.O. and I feel that he really shows the humanitarian approach to medicine that I'm looking for. While I was planning to apply for Fall of 2002, I agree that it isn't my best application. I'm going to sit down and talk it over with my premed advisor, but I think I may take 2 years off in order to take classes or do a post-bac program in order to make my application kick a$$. Thanks again for all your opinions.
  6. Mikado

    Mikado Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 2, 2001
    No, you're not screwed. If you ace the mcat you are still in the running.

  7. Susan Redge MD

    Susan Redge MD New Member

    Apr 11, 2001
    Rochester Hills, MI, USA
    Your grades aren't good enough. You have been having too much fun and haven't been studying enough. You need to become tons more anal, study all the time, and kick ass on those exams.
    All the other applicants will have topnotch grades, letters of recommendation, and extra-curricular activities. They have Masters Degrees in molecular biology, they've done missionary work in Africa, they've worked with AIDs patients and on weekends they play in a band.
    You will really need to make a strong commitment, work extremely hard and be excellent in all you do.
    How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Make every step you take go in that direction.

    FSUMED Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2001
    Tallahassee, FL, USA
    I have to say that I agree with most of the comments before you. I can tell to you this much though. There is no way I would ever try to work 3 jobs. I guess I am a spoiled brat...never HAD to work. I do work a small part time job. But I basically feel like, screw it. This is college and it is about experience. You have the rest of your life to work. Also, since you know you will be in debt up to your arse, just take out a little more college loan $$$. I doubt you part time jobs would add up to one good college loan. By the way, I realize this is too late for you, so I guess, pray for miracle, and if you do get a decent MCAT go ahead and apply. I would actually think that with your ability to speak spanish, you could probably get into Ponce school of Medicine or University puerto rico. Both will accept mainlanders as long as they are fluent in spanish and the requirements are considerably lower(ave GPA's in the low 3's with MCAT in the mid 20s). And the plus is that you will be in an accredited US school, and may not necessarily have the stigma that goes along with Carribean Medical schools.
  9. "You have been having too much fun and haven't been studying enough. You need to become tons more anal, study all the time, and kick ass on those exams."

    I really appreciate everyone's suggestions. I just have to respond to a few things. I'd like to know where I gave the impression of having too much fun. Anal has become my middle name: I have spent many a weekend holed up in the library studying and writing papers. Knowing nothing about my extracurricular activities, you wouldn't know that they are topnotch. I haven't had the opportuntiy to work in missions in Africa, which is why I'm taking at least a year off to do some other things. I have studied my ass off for four years. Just because I do not have a 4.0 does not mean that I didn't work hard. This last year, I have been trying to make time to spend with friends, family, etc and to remember to have fun. I refuse to become a one-dimensional, unfeeling physician. I have tried my best to become a well-rounded person, who I think will make a very good physician.

    In response to FSU, I didn't have a choice whether or not to have jobs. I am paying for the majority of my education, and student loans are only used for tuition, etc. I have other expenses such as car insurance, registration, bills, stuff like that which most people have to pay for on their own. While I did take the time to have fun, I didn't have the luxury of not having to work.

    Once again,thank you to everyone for your comments, both positive and negative.
  10. FSUMED

    FSUMED Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2001
    Tallahassee, FL, USA
    Sorry man, I didn't mean to emply that working was not a necessity for you, I was just under the empression that people could get enough loans money and stuff. I did, my parents dont pay for my education. My car is paid for, but other than that I pay all my stuff, all with school loans. Again, didn't mean to emply that your working was just something extra.
  11. Scrofula

    Scrofula Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 20, 2001
    Boston, MA
    There will always be people trying to tell you that your numbers aren't going to be good enough to get into college, medical school, residency, etc.. If I had listened to my pre-med advisor I wouldn't have bothered applying to medical school because I had only a 3.2 GPA. I applied anyway and I got in on my first try. I'm not saying that my situation is typical, but it goes to show that anything is possible.

    However, many people don't get in the first time. I have at least two people in my class who tried for 5 years before they finally got in. If you really want it then you'll find a way to do it. A few schools in the country offer a post-graduate "masters in medical sciences" curriculum that is usually two years and have excellent records of placing students. These programs themselves are competitive (and pricey) but you might want to think about that.

    The D.O. route is good if you see yourself in primary care. Osteopathic school is not as easy to get into as people think though, and your options as to choosing a specialty are somewhat more limited. It's definitely another way to reach the same endpoint.

    Hope your MCATs went well. Good luck
  12. BlueFalcon

    BlueFalcon curmudgeon 10+ Year Member

    Feb 14, 2001
    With a 2.5 BCPM and a 25MCAT, there's a very high probability that you are screwed. I think anyone who tells you that you're in good shape is just blowing smoke up your arse.
  13. Tennessee18

    Tennessee18 Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    Lebanon, TN
    strongly consider the medical schools in the cariibean or the D.O path. You should consider retaking those classes you even got C's in and you need some A's in some upper level science courses. Godd luck
  14. Tennessee18

    Tennessee18 Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    Lebanon, TN
    please excuse my spelling errors, I make a lot of them when I type fast
  15. Pegasus

    Pegasus Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Just some encouragement....

    I made VERY low on the MCAT...but I had a 3.6 GPA. Had to work and struggle to pay for my college and that took 5 years. I did work in the hospital and had great letters of rec from Docs that I worked with.

    That all helped me, but my interviewers seemed to be most impressed about my struggle through undergrad and my determination to enter medical school. You have to show this to them. Your GPA is low, so if you dont get in this year, do somthing to show that you can handle the course load.
    My school offers a Medical School Anatomy Course for Grad students. They take the same course as us and if they do well, their chances of getting in are GREAT. My friend was in a similar situation as you, with a 2.6 GPA and he did the class. He got into every school he applied to!


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