hernandez5

5+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2010
56
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Medical Student (Accepted)
Hey everybody: I am new to this thing and need some advice badly.

Senior, overall GPA 3.09, Psychology major. I have the stupid "changed-life" story that I do not want to overplay, but the past two semesters I have been at a steady 3.9, which shows how horrible my GPA was prior. At the time of the "change", I went to an academic advisor and told her to be honest about my chances into any medical school in the US with my new drive. She said, tough luck, find a different dream. I loved her for her honesty and completely took medical school out of my mind. However, as a senior, I go back to the office and a different advisor asks me why I discarded my medical school endeavors. Long story short, she tells me it is not impossible, which utterly confused me.

So here I am, thinking about going post-bac and making it my full-time job to nail the MCAT. After a little math, I came up with a final GPA of 3.2 and sGPA of 3.8.

What do I do? I have some strong connections in the medical field where I can volunteer/shadow, but like I said, I do not want to waste time volunteering when I could use that time more efficiently elsewhere.

I am a Georgia resident, born in Puerto Rico, so I could claim URM status.

I want to go to medical school badly and my freshman and sophomore years do not represent who I am as a person or student.

Any practical advice?
 
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hernandez5

hernandez5

5+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2010
56
24
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Need help badly people, please take a second to advise!!!!
 

MCAT guy

...
May 24, 2010
2,058
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Other Health Professions Student
Hey everybody: I am new to this thing and need some advice badly.

Senior, overall GPA 3.09, Psychology major. I have the stupid "changed-life" story that I do not want to overplay, but the past two semesters I have been at a steady 3.9, which shows how horrible my GPA was prior. At the time of the "change", I went to an academic advisor and told her to be honest about my chances into any medical school in the US with my new drive. She said, tough luck, find a different dream. I loved her for her honesty and completely took medical school out of my mind. However, as a senior, I go back to the office and a different advisor asks me why I discarded my medical school endeavors. Long story short, she tells me it is not impossible, which utterly confused me.

So here I am, thinking about going post-bac and making it my full-time job to nail the MCAT. After a little math, I came up with a final GPA of 3.2 and sGPA of 3.8.

What do I do? I have some strong connections in the medical field where I can volunteer/shadow, but like I said, I do not want to waste time volunteering when I could use that time more efficiently elsewhere.

I am a Georgia resident, born in Puerto Rico, so I could claim URM status.

I want to go to medical school badly and my freshman and sophomore years do not represent who I am as a person or student.

Any practical advice?
Yes, you could make it.

Shoot for a 33+, try to pull up the GPA with an extra year of all upper level sciences, etc. There are many options. Get lots of clinical experience.

Do a search. There are many people with similar GPAs that have gotten in. Check the AAMC grid for applicants (table 24 or table 25).

You need the clinical experience, excellent MCAT, and proof via your schedule that you can handle med school science load.

It will be very challenging though. Be open to DO also, DO gives grade replacement so your GPA could increase by retakes and they also have slightly lower admissions stats in general than MD. DOs do the same job.
 
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hernandez5

hernandez5

5+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2010
56
24
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
What would you guys recommend as for "clinical experience"? Should I go apply as a volunteer in local hospitals or would getting involved in research with my university (Georgia State)? Since I am a Psych major, my only connections would be within my psychology department...

and what would be my chances in getting into a local school? I know that beggars cannot be choosers but it would be ideal to study here in Georgia.

Thank you so much for your advice, I feel like I am alone in this challenge and it is overwhelming.
 

black hat

5+ Year Member
Aug 23, 2009
9
0
Status
Pre-Health (Field Undecided)
Don't underestimate clinical volunteering--even with excellent stats, your applications won't appeal much to adcoms if you haven't demonstrated any long-term interest in medicine. You can fit in a couple hours a week while studying for the mcat--through volunteering at a hospital, veteran's home, private office, etc...as long as you directly interact with patients in a clinical setting, it's alright. Pick whichever site you think you'll get the most out of, preferably one where you can start as soon as possible. Clinical research would be a pretty efficient way of fitting both research and volunteering in, but keep in mind that the average applicant has 1.5 years, so you need to catch up.

I'm not sure about your state schools--I'd look them up in msar and and see where you fit in. They'll probably be your best bet, anyway.

Good luck!
 
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hernandez5

hernandez5

5+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2010
56
24
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Thank you everyone.

>If I may ask, especially directed to people who have been in my shoes, what do you wish you would have known/done when you were in my position? [Please answer even if you have not been in my shoes :) ]

>Who should I "make friends" with for recommendations

>Are there any resources besides this website that will help me prepare for the road ahead of me?

Thanks again guys, I cannot express how valuable any kind of advice is to me at this point.
 

MCAT guy

...
May 24, 2010
2,058
11
Status
Other Health Professions Student
Thank you everyone.

>If I may ask, especially directed to people who have been in my shoes, what do you wish you would have known/done when you were in my position? [Please answer even if you have not been in my shoes :) ]

>Who should I "make friends" with for recommendations

>Are there any resources besides this website that will help me prepare for the road ahead of me?

Thanks again guys, I cannot express how valuable any kind of advice is to me at this point.
dude, search "SDN + whatever" on google. Or use the search function on this website with your specific questions. Asking about clinical experience or letters of rec or whatever, there is a bunch of info if you search.

good luck.
 
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hernandez5

hernandez5

5+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2010
56
24
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
dude, search "SDN + whatever" on google. Or use the search function on this website with your specific questions. Asking about clinical experience or letters of rec or whatever, there is a bunch of info if you search.

good luck.
Thanks man, I am just new to this whole thing and was in need of some direction. My advisor is not that great at doing her job. :/
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
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what would be my chances in getting into a local school? I know that beggars cannot be choosers but it would be ideal to study here in Georgia.
We can tell you better once you have some practice MCAT scores to predict from and a better idea of your final GPAs. Besides Georgia schools, you have the option of applying to the PR schools which are accredited equally to those of mainland USA (if you speak fluent Spanish and have "ties").
 
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hernandez5

hernandez5

5+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2010
56
24
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
We can tell you better once you have some practice MCAT scores to predict from and a better idea of your final GPAs. Besides Georgia schools, you have the option of applying to the PR schools which are accredited equally to those of mainland USA (if you speak fluent Spanish and have "ties").
I understand.

I can speak Spanish fluently but English is by far my stronger language. I do not even want to think about medical school in spanish right now. I know, however, that if getting my MD means moving back to PR, that is what I will have to do.

Considering the fact that I have not taken a chem bio or phys in 2 years, taking a practice MCAT would serve no purpose but to humble me. When should I start practicing for my MCATs? A year into my post-bac, higher-level sciences?
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
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Considering the fact that I have not taken a chem bio or phys in 2 years, taking a practice MCAT would serve no purpose but to humble me. When should I start practicing for my MCATs? A year into my post-bac, higher-level sciences?
Two to three months of intense dedicated study should be enough. And taking a practice test periodically during that time helps you shape the way you study. There is a good study plan stickied to the top of the MCAT Discussions Forum. Another option is to take a formal classroom prep course through, eg, Kaplan or Princeton Review (which provide lots of practice tests). There is one free test accessible through the AAMC website.

From what I've read on SDN, it's my understanding that Puerto Rican med schools use English texts, BTW. I don't know the extent to which lectures are in English or Spanish, and I'm sure it varies with the school. The fluency requirement is because a good number of the patients you deal with in years 3 & 4 won't have a good understanding of English.
 
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hernandez5

hernandez5

5+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2010
56
24
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Two to three months of intense dedicated study should be enough. And taking a practice test periodically during that time helps you shape the way you study. There is a good study plan stickied to the top of the MCAT Discussions Forum. Another option is to take a formal classroom prep course through, eg, Kaplan or Princeton Review (which provide lots of practice tests). There is one free test accessible through the AAMC website.

From what I've read on SDN, it's my understanding that Puerto Rican med schools use English texts, BTW. I don't know the extent to which lectures are in English or Spanish, and I'm sure it varies with the school. The fluency requirement is because a good number of the patients you deal with in years 3 & 4 won't have a good understanding of English.

So are you saying I should begin the study of MCAT after my 1st year of higher-level sciences, or after I complete all of them?
 
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hernandez5

hernandez5

5+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2010
56
24
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Start after you complete the prerequisite sciences, or at least everything but 2nd half of OChem (of which there is often little on the test).
Perfect. I will keep posting how things go as far as my getting some field work in. Im meeting with my advisor this Thursday and I will ask her to point out where in the University would benefit me most to get acquainted with some research.

Question 1: As for shadowing doctors, how do I go about talking to them on a non-medical basis? Do I set a regular appointment? Call the office? I can ask in general appointments but I doubt that is the way to go about it.

Question 2: What are the main disadvantages of thinking about U of PR? Will I be any less prepared to face patients post-medical school?
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
32,290
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Perfect. I will keep posting how things go as far as my getting some field work in. Im meeting with my advisor this Thursday and I will ask her to point out where in the University would benefit me most to get acquainted with some research.

Question 1: As for shadowing doctors, how do I go about talking to them on a non-medical basis? Do I set a regular appointment? Call the office? I can ask in general appointments but I doubt that is the way to go about it.

Question 2: What are the main disadvantages of thinking about U of PR? Will I be any less prepared to face patients post-medical school?
1) I would call the office and ask to speak with a nurse. The give the connection if one exists (like, "Dr XXX is my mom's physician and she suggested I call to enquire if the doctor permits physician shadowing for premedical students. If so, could you ask him . . ." or "I know Dr. XXX from the nursing home, and I was wondering if she permits premed students to shadow her at the office." Or you could ask them directly at the volunteer site after you run into them a few times.

2) I am by no means a PR school expert, but all their schools are accredited by the same body that accredits US mainland schools, and they have to pass all the same tests to become licensed. There is no reason to think you would not be as well prepared to match into a good residency program and practice medicine, provided you work hard and take the licensing exams seriously and get high scores. No matter where you go, you're pretty much responsible for teaching everything to yourself anyway. For more insights, check out the school specific threads in the Allopathic Medicine Forum.
 
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hernandez5

hernandez5

5+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2010
56
24
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
1) I would call the office and ask to speak with a nurse. The give the connection if one exists (like, "Dr XXX is my mom's physician and she suggested I call to enquire if the doctor permits physician shadowing for premedical students. If so, could you ask him . . ." or "I know Dr. XXX from the nursing home, and I was wondering if she permits premed students to shadow her at the office." Or you could ask them directly at the volunteer site after you run into them a few times.

2) I am by no means a PR school expert, but all their schools are accredited by the same body that accredits US mainland schools, and they have to pass all the same tests to become licensed. There is no reason to think you would not be as well prepared to match into a good residency program and practice medicine, provided you work hard and take the licensing exams seriously and get high scores. No matter where you go, you're pretty much responsible for teaching everything to yourself anyway. For more insights, check out the school specific threads in the Allopathic Medicine Forum.
Thank you, Thank you! I am just freaking out seeing some of these applicants to MCG on the forum, which make my application laughable. I do not want to slave myself with these next post-bacc years and then be here with people sending me to an SMP or telling me to forget it. This is why my post is entitled.."Before it's too late."
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
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With your projected cGPA of 3.2/and an MCAT score of 32, as a hispanic applicant, your chances of an acceptance to an MD school should be about 57ish %. With a 35, it should be 66%. If you get a 29, it would still be 50% or so. In my opinion, a very-high BCPM of 3.8 and a steep upward grade trend makes the odds more in your favor. Terrific ECs and LORs would make it even more difficult for schools to turn you away.
 
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hernandez5

hernandez5

5+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2010
56
24
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
With your projected cGPA of 3.2/and an MCAT score of 32, as a hispanic applicant, your chances of an acceptance to an MD school should be about 57ish %. With a 35, it should be 66%. If you get a 29, it would still be 50% or so. In my opinion, a very-high BCPM of 3.8 and a steep upward grade trend makes the odds more in your favor. Terrific ECs and LORs would make it even more difficult for schools to turn you away.
Thank you very much Catalystik. I will keep you and the forum posted on my progress. I love your picture btw, I can't help to think I am getting advice from a super smart cat wearing glasses. :laugh:
 
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hernandez5

hernandez5

5+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2010
56
24
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
She is super smart (my 5-year-old rescued feral kitten), and she tells me what to type.:)
Hahaha. Well let her know that I am forever grateful for her career advice. I will keep her posted on my progress and won't forget her when I am a doctor. :D
 
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hernandez5

hernandez5

5+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2010
56
24
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
Ok one more question just for fun...

If I were to excell in these next coming years and somehow manage a 35 on the MCAT, with the 3.2/3.8 cGPA/sGPA, URM, good ECs and LORs etc, would Emory be within my grasps? And if it were would it be worth the cost compared to MCG?

Be gentle with your response :)
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
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Sep 4, 2006
32,290
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The cat rolled her eyes.

With a cGPA below the school's bottom 10th percentile, Emory seems unlikely. Had you been planning on getting in a few years of research before applying? Strong leadership?

And personally, I'd pick the least expensive school where you have a chance of being happy. Not to say you'd necessarily need to pay the sticker price after you apply for financial aid.
 
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hernandez5

hernandez5

5+ Year Member
Nov 8, 2010
56
24
Status
Medical Student (Accepted)
The cat rolled her eyes.

With a cGPA below the school's bottom 10th percentile, Emory seems unlikely. Had you been planning on getting in a few years of research before applying? Strong leadership?

And personally, I'd pick the least expensive school where you have a chance of being happy. Not to say you'd necessarily need to pay the sticker price after you apply for financial aid.
Understood. I am planning on getting some research in but like I said I am connected with the psyc department and do not know what kind of research medical school is looking for. GSU is supposedly "known" for their reseach but I do not think medical school is going to care that I know how a certain environment affects aggression.
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
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For med school application purposes, any scholarly approach to adding to human knowledge is acceptable, particularly if it is publication-worthy, and/or you took a substantive role in the study hypothesis, design, data collection and analysis, and coming to a conclusion.
 
Nov 11, 2010
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Status
For med school application purposes, any scholarly approach to adding to human knowledge is acceptable, particularly if it is publication-worthy, and/or you took a substantive role in the study hypothesis, design, data collection and analysis, and coming to a conclusion.
From what I've read, You seem very knowledgable in this field. Is there a way I can contact you privately? maybe email? I'm sort of in the same shoes as Hernandez5, ironically it seems to happen to those bearing the last name. Except, I haven't started Majoring in anything. I've spent the last 5 years in the military after High School. My question is where do I start to begin my career in Dentistry? I've read a blog about a man who was on the waiting list for NYU for a year and a half, he has a Masters in Biomedical. Thanks Catalystik, say hi to the cat for me. "achooo!"
 

Catalystik

The Gimlet Eye
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2006
32,290
11,882
Camp SDN: The Place for Summer Fun
My question is where do I start to begin my career in Dentistry?
Hi AndrewH, I'm afraid my expertise relates to premed issues alone. SDN has a pre-Dental Forum that could be helpful to you. Cat