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Another low gpa advice thread

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JimmyT

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Hey everyone.

I graduated in 2008 with business and biology undergraduate degrees (senior business major before I decided Medicine was more of what I wanted to do). Anyways, my overall gpa was a 2.99 (2.93 in sciences). It might have been stupid, but I was working 60-70 hours/week while I was switching to medicine. Needless to say, it really hurt my gpa.

I really don't want to waste time by spending 2 years in a masters biology program when I know I won't be using the degree. If I took on a masters in public health or health administration and kept my gpa above 3.5, would this mitigate some of the damage of undergraduate studies? Or is getting a masters in biology unavoidable to make up for my low ugpa?

I have been scoring from 30-40 on practice AAMC mcats, but still very concerned about low ugpa. THanks for any advice.
 

BennieBlanco

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Hey everyone.

I graduated in 2008 with business and biology undergraduate degrees (senior business major before I decided Medicine was more of what I wanted to do). Anyways, my overall gpa was a 2.99 (2.93 in sciences). It might have been stupid, but I was working 60-70 hours/week while I was switching to medicine. Needless to say, it really hurt my gpa.

I really don't want to waste time by spending 2 years in a masters biology program when I know I won't be using the degree. If I took on a masters in public health or health administration and kept my gpa above 3.5, would this mitigate some of the damage of undergraduate studies? Or is getting a masters in biology unavoidable to make up for my low ugpa?

I have been scoring from 30-40 on practice AAMC mcats, but still very concerned about low ugpa. THanks for any advice.

Just do a DO, MD will be almost impossible because your GPA won't improve from masters. I think a few people have done it but it is rare.
 

Nasrudin

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pull up the brakes before you go too far forward from here. because you have to decide some basic strategicals at this point.

2.9 with a 120 credit load is not going to move anywhere fast = problem 1. Problem 2 = what will it take to get an adcom to seriously consider you.

Answer a couple of these to yourself: Am I comfortable with the DO path. Would I consider going to the Carib? What are my local options for taking courses. What is my financials for those courses and beyond?

Get a your footing on what you've got ahead of you. A couple of days meandering these forums with the search function should get you the word on the street about how this
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be done. Then given your circumstancials you can determine what your plan might look like.


The reason I trouble to tell you this is that you seem to be operating under the assumption that a general masters degree is going to pay your fare across the wide gulf of your previous mediocrity.

I would say that would be speculative at best.

But good luck.
 

cabinbuilder

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You can do what I did. Take all the pre-req's with low grades and take them all in one year formulating your own post-bacc course. Make sure it's a full load and try to work too while maintaining a high GPA to show the ability to manage a huge load. Forget the masters if you don't really want in. It doesn't improve on the core classes needed for med school admissions. Take the real MCAT and see what happens. There is nothing wrong with DO school either (I am one). Everyone calls me doctor. It depends on what field you want to do, DO's are traditionally primary care but I have plenty of DO surgeon friends. Apply broadly. Don't expect IVY league if you don't have the numbers. Be realistic in your chances and apply to where the stats are in your favor.
 

CogitoA1

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Your GPA is on the low side with respect to the average matriculating medical student, but I don't think medical school is out of reach. You will need to demonstrate that you can handle the courseload of a medical program, and, for reasons unclear to me, medical school admissions committees weigh your undergraduate GPA much more heavily than performance in graduate school.

So, you should probably prepare to invest a couple of years taking undergraduate courses. I realize that's probably not what you want to be doing, given that you just graduated, but that's likely the advice you're going to get wherever you look.

If you're able to pull close to a 40 on your MCATs, and show a couple years of excellent grades (4.0), I'd put your chances at entry somewhere as good.

On that note, continue seeking advice. Talk to adcoms of post-bac programs in your area. Talk to your premed advisors at your school. Write to whomever you think might be able to offer you informed advice.
 
N

njbmd

Hey everyone.

I graduated in 2008 with business and biology undergraduate degrees (senior business major before I decided Medicine was more of what I wanted to do). Anyways, my overall gpa was a 2.99 (2.93 in sciences). It might have been stupid, but I was working 60-70 hours/week while I was switching to medicine. Needless to say, it really hurt my gpa.

I really don't want to waste time by spending 2 years in a masters biology program when I know I won't be using the degree. If I took on a masters in public health or health administration and kept my gpa above 3.5, would this mitigate some of the damage of undergraduate studies? Or is getting a masters in biology unavoidable to make up for my low ugpa?

I have been scoring from 30-40 on practice AAMC mcats, but still very concerned about low ugpa. THanks for any advice.

You are the type of student who benefits from a strong performance in a SPM (Special Masters Program) for uGPA grade enhancement such as the type at Georgetown. The downside is that these programs are very expensive. The upside is that if you do well (no grade less than B+) you can get yourself competitive for medical school.

A masters in biology, health administration or public health is going to be nearly useless for you in terms of getting you competitive for medical school. If you want these degrees, then get these degrees but you won't help yourself in terms of medical school admissions.

Having a large number of hours with a low cumulative uGPA means that you will have to nearly do a completely full bachelors with no grades less than A to get yourself close to a competitive uGPA. You can do "damage-control" for osteopathic schools much faster but you will have to do significant retakes even for DO schools.

At this point, my advice to you would be to go to the AAMC site and look up postbacc/SMPs for grade enhancement/credential enhancement. There are loads of these types of programs out there. The next thing that you need to do is to stop trying to work and maintain a full-time courseload. You already know that it's academic suicide for you. Take your time and do excellent work. Good luck.
 

CogitoA1

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^ :) I'll defer to the guy who, you know, has actually gone to medical school, become a doctor, and been involved with admissions.

That said, if he's done 120 hours and has a 2.99 uGPA, another 40 hours at 4.0 would raise him to a 3.25 or so, no? A 3.25 uGPA with a strong upward trend, and an MCAT score in the high 30s... competitive numbers, all else being equal?

Is my math just off here?
 

JimmyT

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I have 193 hours total between the 2 undergraduate degrees. I also don't understand why medical schools would consider ugpa more important considering the fact that most people enter college at a very immature part of their lives (18ish). High grades in graduate school should show more maturity and growth and should be considered above ugpa imo, but it is what it is. I will probably consider retaking and taking other upper division courses as post-bac, because I really don't want to move out of state.
 
N

njbmd

^ :) I'll defer to the guy who, you know, has actually gone to medical school, become a doctor, and been involved with admissions.

That said, if he's done 120 hours and has a 2.99 uGPA, another 40 hours at 4.0 would raise him to a 3.25 or so, no? A 3.25 uGPA with a strong upward trend, and an MCAT score in the high 30s... competitive numbers, all else being equal?

Is my math just off here?

Not even close in today's uber competitive climate. SMP makes more sense at this point for the OP if he/she wants to go to medical school and doesn't want to do close to a complete bachelors or multiple retakes.
 

CogitoA1

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Not even close in today's uber competitive climate. SMP makes more sense at this point for the OP if he/she wants to go to medical school and doesn't want to do close to a complete bachelors or multiple retakes.

Hmmm... the AAMC has published a pretty helpful grid of MCAT and GPA numbers for applicants from 2005-2007.

http://www.aamc.org/data/facts/2008/mcatgpa-grid-3yrs-app-accpt.htm

According to this grid, someone applying with a 3.20-3.39 uGPA, and a 36-38 on the MCATs, has--leaving aside other factors--a 61% of being accepted to medical school. If he hits the 39-45 category, those odds climb to 70%.

What do you think?
 
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