Jul 18, 2009
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Hi all,
First of all, I am sorry for the length of this post...
I am having a hard time getting a good idea of my chances of gaining acceptance into an MD program because I am a non-traditional student. I would appreciate any thoughts/comments.
I am a 32-year old married mother of two young children. I started college in 1995 and did HORRIBLY. My freshman year GPA was a 1.62. Terrible. I was immature, unfocused, and really not ready to be in college. I was placed on probation but never dropped out or was suspended.
It took me 6 years to complete my undergraduate degree and I ended with a 3.23. I really pulled it together later in my college career, but unfortunately, that first year really killed me, despite several semesters of 3.7-4.0s. I graduated in 2001 with a BA in communication disorders and a minor in Spanish. I went right into graduate school, and earned my MS in speech/language pathology in 2003 with a 3.94. I started taking the prereqs for med school in 2007 and have done very well. I earned As in survery of chem, gen chem I, physics I, physics II, anatomy, and o-chem I. B in gen chem II and I am currently taking o-chem II. Unfortunately, I took bio and math during my disasterous freshman year, so my science GPA is only about a 3.1 or 3.2, despite all of the As I have earned taking post-bacc prepreqs. I have not yet calculated what my overall undergraduate GPA would be (taking my 3.23 undergrad and adding my post-bacc classes). I know that it would be somewhat higher than my 3.23, but probably not much, as I had 175 undergraduate credits.
I am taking the MCAT on September 3rd and applying for entering class of 2010. I realize that I am applying a bit late, but I didn't want to take the MCAT without having finished o-chem. I am also taking the Kaplan course.
Things that I am hoping will help my application are having worked as a speech/language pathologist and teacher for the past 6 years, volunteering with an AIDS doctor in Africa for a summer, having a master's degree, and studying abroad/speaking another language. Additionally, during my master's program, I conducted research with a faculty member on preschoolers who stutter. We presented this research at a national convention. I have shadowed several doctors.
I am also praying that the admissions committee realizes that my "bad stuff" was a long time ago, and I have really pulled myself up. My fear is that they will scan my application, see my stats, and not even bother to look into it.
I realize that it may be hard to make a guess on my chances without an MCAT score, but I would just like to hear people's thoughts. I am a MN resident but willing to relocate. I'd love to hear about any schools in which my chances may be better.
Thank you.
 
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redlight

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Hi all,
First of all, I am sorry for the length of this post...
I am having a hard time getting a good idea of my chances of gaining acceptance into an MD program because I am a non-traditional student. I would appreciate any thoughts/comments.
I am a 32-year old married mother of two young children. I started college in 1995 and did HORRIBLY. My freshman year GPA was a 1.62. Terrible. I was immature, unfocused, and really not ready to be in college. I was placed on probation but never dropped out or was suspended.
It took me 6 years to complete my undergraduate degree and I ended with a 3.23. I really pulled it together later in my college career, but unfortunately, that first year really killed me, despite several semesters of 3.7-4.0s. I graduated in 2001 with a BA in communication disorders and a minor in Spanish. I went right into graduate school, and earned my MS in speech/language pathology in 2003 with a 3.94. I started taking the prereqs for med school in 2007 and have done very well. I earned As in survery of chem, gen chem I, physics I, physics II, anatomy, and o-chem I. B in gen chem II and I am currently taking o-chem II. Unfortunately, I took bio and math during my disastrous freshman year, so my science GPA is only about a 3.1 or 3.2, despite all of the As I have earned taking post-bacc prepreqs. I have not yet calculated what my overall undergraduate GPA would be (taking my 3.23 undergrad and adding my post-bacc classes). I know that it would be somewhat higher than my 3.23, but probably not much, as I had 175 undergraduate credits.
I am taking the MCAT on September 3rd and applying for entering class of 2010. I realize that I am applying a bit late, but I didn't want to take the MCAT without having finished o-chem. I am also taking the Kaplan course.
Things that I am hoping will help my application are having worked as a speech/language pathologist and teacher for the past 6 years, volunteering with an AIDS doctor in Africa for a summer, having a master's degree, and studying abroad/speaking another language. Additionally, during my master's program, I conducted research with a faculty member on preschoolers who stutter. We presented this research at a national convention. I have shadowed several doctors.
I am also praying that the admissions committee realizes that my "bad stuff" was a long time ago, and I have really pulled myself up. My fear is that they will scan my application, see my stats, and not even bother to look into it.
I realize that it may be hard to make a guess on my chances without an MCAT score, but I would just like to hear people's thoughts. I am a MN resident but willing to relocate. I'd love to hear about any schools in which my chances may be better.
Thank you.
besides the rough start, you seem to have a really great application-truly interesting.

dont worry, adcom will be able to see your incredible turnaround because grades are reported by year (freshman, soph, junior, senior, post bacc, grad).

you will have to retake the courses you had less than a C in for them to count as completed pre-reqs (you mentioned bio and math freshman year)

i calculated (ignore the bcpm title) your gpa at 3.31 (+/-.01) factoring in all your grades assuming an A in ochem 2 [simulated 175 credits of 3.23 by saying you have 135 credits of B+ and 40 credits of B (plus 3 credits from gen chem I). i also assumed 22 credits for all those post bacc science classes you got A's in. i have a feeling it is more than 22 credits because i didnt really factor in labs].

if you nail the mcat (32 and higher.. but obviously the higher the better. 35ish would be excellent) i think you will be in good shape for whichever schools that like non-trads but are not too research focused. i dont really know which schools have that philosophy, sorry!

if you are indeed applying this summer, get your application in and verified as soon as possible. schools will wait till your mcat scores come in though. i think it would be best to just apply early for 2011.

why medicine, though? what is prompting you to make the career switch?
 
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camaras2480

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besides the rough start, you seem to have a really great application-truly interesting.

dont worry, adcom will be able to see your incredible turnaround because grades are reported by year (freshman, soph, junior, senior, post bacc, grad).

you will have to retake the courses you had less than a C in for them to count as completed pre-reqs (you mentioned bio and math freshman year)

i calculated your gpa at 3.30 (+/-.01) factoring in all your grades assuming an A in ochem 2 [simulated 175 credits of 3.23 by saying you have 135 credits of B+ and 40 credits of B (plus 3 credits from gen chem I). i also assumed 22 credits for all those post bacc science classes you got A's in. i have a feeling it is more than 22 credits because i didnt really factor in labs].

if you nail the mcat (32 and higher.. but obviously the higher the better. 35ish would be excellent) i think you will be in good shape for whichever schools that like non-trads but are not too research focused. i dont really know which schools have that philosophy, sorry!

if you are indeed applying this summer, get your application in and verified as soon as possible. schools will wait till your mcat scores come in though. i think it would be best to just apply early for 2011.

why medicine, though? what is prompting you to make the career switch?
I think, no matter what, that GPA will still be an issue. I vote SMP, or 2 years Postbac.
 

redlight

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I think, no matter what, that GPA will still be an issue. I vote SMP, or 2 years Postbac.
smp of she doesnt get in first cycle

yes the gpa is a problem, but she's a non trad with A's in nearly all the pre-reqs. she doesnt have to "prove" herself if she nails the mcat. i definitely think acceptance is possible in her situation with a 3.3 and a great mcat.

edit: snoop around mdapps... plenty of acceptances with 3.3 or less and a 30+ mcat. i dont think smp is absolutely necessary here.
 

camaras2480

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Mobius1985

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Taking an MCAT in September and getting results in October, even if you return your Secondaries within days of receiving them due to prewriting the essays, will seriously impair your chances of a successful application. Consider that there is little OChem II on the MCAT (many schools let one substitute Biochem for it). Consider taking the MCAT sooner if you are really planning to apply this cycle, if you are up to snuff in your Biology.

If not, I suggest you consider taking in January instead to give you some time to either retake some Bio during fall semester, or alternatively, taking an upper-level Bio course like Genetics, Physiology, or Cell Bio to redeem your low, early grades and to help you prep for the MCAT (Anatomy won't help you with that). Getting a very strong MCAT score is going to be your quickest route into med school.

Last suggestion is to add DO med schools to your list when you apply, as they are very forgiving of folks' early academic issues (their application service includes only the most recent retake grade when calculating your application cGPA) and have a reputation for looking at the whole application. This will improve your chances of success in just one cycle. If only MD will do, then apply to MD schools and Special Masters Programs (SMP) at the same time in case you don't get in the first cycle. See the Postbaccalaureate Forum of SDN for information on this last-ditch effort to redeem a low GPA. More post-bac classes won't help you when you already have so many undergrad credit hours.
 

canjosh

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Taking an MCAT in September and getting results in October, even if you return your Secondaries within days of receiving them due to prewriting the essays, will seriously impair your chances of a successful application. Consider that there is little OChem II on the MCAT (many schools let one substitute Biochem for it). Consider taking the MCAT sooner if you are really planning to apply this cycle, if you are up to snuff in your Biology.

If not, I suggest you consider taking in January instead. Getting a very strong MCAT score is going to be your quickest route into med school.

Last suggestion is to add DO med schools to your list when you apply, as they are very forgiving of folks' early academic issues (their application service includes only the most recent retake grade when calculating your application cGPA) and have a reputation for looking at the whole application. This will improve your chances of success in just one cycle.
Agree 110% with Mobius here. You just need grasp of the usual rxn mechanisms for Ochem, and there is not much Ochem on the exam anyways. Know some acidity and resonance type rules, and you're good to go.

The September date is really the biggest issue here. It doesn't take much to get rejected that late in the game. I understand that you're not getting any younger, and you're ready to move on...kinda the same boat with me. So I agree with Mobius to move the MCAT up, or postpone till next year.

Definitely apply DO, if you're at all interested. As others have said, they generally appreciate the non traditional applicants.

Good luck!
 
OP
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Jul 18, 2009
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Minnesota
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Thank you all so much for your responses. I am wondering if anyone can mention some schools that I might have a better shot at? I am planning on applying to Rosalind Franklin, Tufts, Loyola, Albany, New York Medical, plus the MN schools.
I already have a master's and due to my age, don't really want to spend more time earning another one. I know that I am applying late, but again, due to my age, don't really want to wait another whole year. Does AMCAS verify your app without MCAT scores?
Redlight, could you please explain what you mean by, "snoop around mdapps?"
Again, I appreciate your thoughts.
 

camaras2480

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Thank you all so much for your responses. I am wondering if anyone can mention some schools that I might have a better shot at? I am planning on applying to Rosalind Franklin, Tufts, Loyola, Albany, New York Medical, plus the MN schools.
Just throwing some options at you: Tulane, Temple, Jefferson, UIllinois at Chicago, EVMS, VCU, Loyola, Loma Linda, Creighton, and St. Louis.

I already have a master's and due to my age, don't really want to spend more time earning another one. I know that I am applying late, but again, due to my age, don't really want to wait another whole year. Does AMCAS verify your app without MCAT scores?
Yes.

Redlight, could you please explain what you mean by, "snoop around mdapps?"
He is referring to the website MDApplicants.com. This site has the stories of thousands of applicants - most include a brief history, their undergrad GPA, masters GPA (if applicable), MCAT, what schools they applied to, and where they got in.

Note that the data is rather skewed because generally, only the ones that do well and get in to medical school post their story, for obvious reasons. Also, there are many fake profiles, showing like 44S MCAT, 3.95 GPA, and didn't get in anywhere. Basically, take everything with a grain of salt.
 

redlight

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mdapplicants.com is a place where you can track your application process and find and view other profiles and see how they do in the admission cycle. it's completely self report, so some profiles will have embellished numbers and activities, or may even be 100% fake. however, i do think most are very accurate. i trust the ones that give the most detail and are very organized.

anyways, i went here: http://www.mdapplicants.com/searchprofiles.php
and under "statistics" i put in mcat greater than 29. for gpa i put over 2.0 (screen for people who put gpa as 0.0 to stay anonymous) but below 3.3
under "application status" i clicked "acceptance" to screen for only those who got in somewhere and unclicked "exclude incomplete profiles" just because some people get lazy and never tell the website that their profile is complete.

there seem to be plenty of people who get in with a 3.3 or less and a good mcat score it it's not impossible with the right school selection, ECs, mcat, etc.
 

redlight

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Just throwing some options at you: Tulane, Temple, Jefferson, UIllinois at Chicago, EVMS, VCU, Loyola, Loma Linda, Creighton, and St. Louis.



Yes.



He is referring to the website MDApplicants.com. This site has the stories of thousands of applicants - most include a brief history, their undergrad GPA, masters GPA (if applicable), MCAT, what schools they applied to, and where they got in.

Note that the data is rather skewed because generally, only the ones that do well and get in to medical school post their story, for obvious reasons. Also, there are many fake profiles, showing like 44S MCAT, 3.95 GPA, and didn't get in anywhere. Basically, take everything with a grain of salt.
true, but every year people with those stats get rejected/waitlisted from all schools they apply to because they are toolbags or didnt apply intelligently.
 

camaras2480

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