SyrianHero

5+ Year Member
Feb 26, 2012
191
15
Status
Pre-Medical
I see many members on this forum tell people with poor stats in undergrad/on the MCAT to find a different career, but I think that could discourage someone who might have been a great physician from pursuing that path. For example, check out this link to see an applicant who had horrible stats in undergrad, and yet he was able to gain admission to medical school: http://www.reddit.com/r/premed/comments/120urh/do_any_of_yall_remember_this_guy/
It's obviously not an easy thing to do but it's possible, so we can be honest with people about the difficulty of becoming a physician but we shouldn't discourage them from trying. I just wanted to say that given how much negativity I see on this forum from time to time.
 

Jennyfishy

5+ Year Member
Mar 24, 2013
1,135
611
WI
Status
Medical Student
I see many members on this forum tell people with poor stats in undergrad/on the MCAT to find a different career, but I think that could discourage someone who might have been a great physician from pursuing that path. For example, check out this link to see an applicant who had horrible stats in undergrad, and yet he was able to gain admission to medical school: http://www.reddit.com/r/premed/comments/120urh/do_any_of_yall_remember_this_guy/
It's obviously not an easy thing to do but it's possible, so we can be honest with people about the difficulty of becoming a physician but we shouldn't discourage them from trying. I just wanted to say that given how much negativity I see on this forum from time to time.
It's true that there are a select group of people who end up making it, but you wouldn't also want to tell them ALL to apply to only top/mid tier medical programs without a backup plan. The likelihood of needing to reapply is moderately high if the whole academic package isn't there.

People on SDN tend to be stat-happy folks, but the advice you'll read on here is reasonable (with stats like those, you may want to apply to a few DOs or consider post-undergrad education like SMP/Post-bac if your GPA isn't top-notch), if you ignore the rude ones. Regardless, it's not going to be a clear-cut/easy path where schools will be fighting for you to come to their school. That's probably as realistic as you can be without setting someone up for failure as well :p

Either way, it's a nice feeling proving people wrong :D (I was also told by a few people to only apply to DO and low mid/bot tier med schools because of my MCAT score)
 

alpinism

Give Em' the Jet Fuel
7+ Year Member
Nov 6, 2011
3,093
2,755
Port Au Prince
I see many members on this forum tell people with poor stats in undergrad/on the MCAT to find a different career, but I think that could discourage someone who might have been a great physician from pursuing that path. For example, check out this link to see an applicant who had horrible stats in undergrad, and yet he was able to gain admission to medical school: http://www.reddit.com/r/premed/comments/120urh/do_any_of_yall_remember_this_guy/
It's obviously not an easy thing to do but it's possible, so we can be honest with people about the difficulty of becoming a physician but we shouldn't discourage them from trying. I just wanted to say that given how much negativity I see on this forum from time to time.
Agreed. However, realize that most people aren't willing to take the MCAT 4 times over 7 years just to get into U Kentucky.
 

CyberMaxx

Doing math in pen
10+ Year Member
Dec 6, 2008
1,029
534
Carrel 118
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Medical Student
Blearg, I can't believe I went through all of the comments. My favorite part was at the end when the conversation devolved into "are average and median different?" But you're right OP, SDN is often heavy handed when it comes to its advice. There are always plenty of exceptions to the med school admission norms, but I think the general concensus is on this site that you should be conservative and not assume that you're going to be that rare exception. Thats not to say you shouldn't aim high, but just that you should aim reasonably and aim high.

Also, if you can't pursue your dreams despite some negative feedback on an internet forum, your resolve probably isn't enough anyway o_O
 

Goro

7+ Year Member
Jun 10, 2010
53,196
77,613
Somewhere west of St. Louis
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Non-Student
It's one thing to be negative, but giving people realistic advice is another. Most people come here asking for the latter, not hugs and kisses. The rah-rah Pollyannas who bleat "you can do it! My cousin got into Harvard wit an MCAT of 0 and a GPA of 0.5!" do no one any good.

Yes, there will be people who get accepted with well less than avg stats, and people also win the Lotto, and that doesn't mean we should all run out and buy tickets.

That said, there are a number of medical schools that believe in the power of reinvention.


I see many members on this forum tell people with poor stats in undergrad/on the MCAT to find a different career, but I think that could discourage someone who might have been a great physician from pursuing that path. For example, check out this link to see an applicant who had horrible stats in undergrad, and yet he was able to gain admission to medical school: http://www.reddit.com/r/premed/comments/120urh/do_any_of_yall_remember_this_guy/
It's obviously not an easy thing to do but it's possible, so we can be honest with people about the difficulty of becoming a physician but we shouldn't discourage them from trying. I just wanted to say that given how much negativity I see on this forum from time to time.
 

bambam92

Membership Revoked
Removed
Nov 26, 2012
454
190
Library Basement
Status
Pre-Medical
Definitely a cool story. But the guy did have a 3.2 in UG which isn't too low, and then he did an MPH and got a 3.9! You can probably find people that overcome even bigger holes--but his achievement is still very impressive.
 

Pacna

Dyslexics, untie!
Jun 2, 2013
2,017
2,251
MN
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If you took the MCAT 4 times and didn't break 30, you really need to learn to study. The exam is not that hard.
 
Aug 8, 2013
1,395
903
Michigan
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If you took the MCAT 4 times and didn't break 30, you really need to learn to study. The exam is not that hard.
Yes! Unpopular sentiment on SDN but nonetheless true.

We also need to keep in mind that this process is expensive! As someone who doesn't qualify for FAP but isn't getting parental help, there is no way I would be able to reapply next year. I have been saving for 3 years for this single application process. While it is wonderful that many reapplicants have a second chance to get into medical school, many students don't have that option. Get in or bust your a** off in a low-pay, long-hour job. For many applicants it's not reasonable to count on a reapplication - applicants need to know their realistic chances so they don't screw their app up.
 

Pacna

Dyslexics, untie!
Jun 2, 2013
2,017
2,251
MN
Status
Medical Student
We also need to keep in mind that this process is expensive! As someone who doesn't qualify for FAP but isn't getting parental help, there is no way I would be able to reapply next year. I have been saving for 3 years for this single application process. While it is wonderful that many reapplicants have a second chance to get into medical school, many students don't have that option. Get in or bust your a** off in a low-pay, long-hour job. For many applicants it's not reasonable to count on a reapplication - applicants need to know their realistic chances so they don't screw their app up.
I was in the same boat. Forbearance would have only gotten me through 6 months of this year. Had I not received a nod this year, my medical career would have been over just due to the costs of applying.
 

Chimichica

Sweet brutality, of course!
5+ Year Member
Nov 12, 2013
204
88
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Pre-Medical
One should keep in mind that although yes GPA and MCAT are measuring aptitudes for evaluation, not all of us are going to be able to be evaluated the same. Someone who sucks at linear learning and has a low GPA/ MCAT may be a great influence or innovator once they become a physician. For example i may not be the best student but i am a very creative thinker when it comes to medicine which usually pays off big in the way that i practice my current craft in the hospital.
 
Aug 8, 2013
1,395
903
Michigan
Status
Medical Student
Someone who sucks at linear learning and has a low GPA/ MCAT may be a great influence or innovator once they become a physician.
Sure, but that poor linear learner will have to have enough ability to keep up with the (much faster paced) linear learning in medical school and successfully pass all their exams, including their boards. While someone who earns mainly B's in college will likely be fine, a C student probably won't be able to get to the point of being a physician and showing off their other skills....and then they are stuck with huge debts and no way to pay them.
 

DokterMom

SDN Gold Donor
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5+ Year Member
Mar 1, 2013
5,249
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One should keep in mind that although yes GPA and MCAT are measuring aptitudes for evaluation, not all of us are going to be able to be evaluated the same. Someone who sucks at linear learning and has a low GPA/ MCAT may be a great influence or innovator once they become a physician. For example i may not be the best student but i am a very creative thinker when it comes to medicine which usually pays off big in the way that i practice my current craft in the hospital.
Very true -- Of course you have to get accepted into a medical school and make it through before you get a chance to really shine. It's a sad fact of life that very often (in my experience), the skills you need at the top of your field are not the same skills you need to get to the top. Think: Great teacher vs. really competent school administrator. Totally different skill set.
 

LizzyM

the evil queen of numbers
10+ Year Member
Mar 7, 2005
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Academic Administration
The sad fact is that >50% of medical school applicants do not get admitted. This includes people applying for the second and third time. If you count those who never even apply, the proportion is even higher. As with college sports, "most pre-meds are going pro in something other than medicine." If the likelihood is high that you may need to find an alternative career, is it better to have that idea in the back of your mind earlier or later?
 

lovesfall

5+ Year Member
Jul 30, 2012
225
3
Midwest
Status
Medical Student
As someone who got in to a few medical schools with less-than-impressive stats and who never actually meant to jump through any pre-med hoops (I didn't even know about the "required" ECs until I was applying!), to some extent I do believe that what someone looks like on paper isn't the whole story and I am glad that some schools do take a more holistic approach to admissions. That being said, grades do matter in that if you can't learn the material well enough and fast enough, you are in for a tough time in medical school. Getting in isn't the finish line; it is just the beginning of the hard work. I realized while I was studying for my last set of finals that I felt like I was studying for the MCAT again in terms of the sheer volume of information I was trying to pack in, which made me a little bit sad because I had sort of naively hoped to have never had to study that hard again and now it is very clear that not only will I have to study that hard again, I'll probably have to study even harder to get where I want to go. I don't think that low-stat hopefuls should lose hope just because of their low stats, but be realistic and know yourself, what you're capable of, and how hard you are honestly willing and able to work because it is a long haul and I don't think it gets any easier for a while.