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Born Again Pre-Med, Will it fly?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by RighteousPathMD, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. RighteousPathMD

    2+ Year Member

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    My story is a little different from the normal applicant, and I'd like to get current applicant's take on a situation (who has experience with AMCAS, application codes for various schools, fin. aid, etc).

    SOME BACKGROUND:
    I started my college career at a prestigious institution, not an ivy, with the usual big aspirations of 17 year old freshmen with no true goals or motivation to satiate such grandeur desires. Needless to say, without proper motivation I found myself flirting with the 2.0 line of my gpa, and some semesters later ended up transferring to a local state school. Not a bad school either, mind you.

    Now matured, I had the goal of med school, and a new mindset, so I decided to start from scratch. Didn't transfer any credits, in fact, to the current school, a relationship between the previous institution and me didn't exist on paper (no transferred credits, transcript just like a 4 year freshman). Now, I had taken some of these intro premed courses over again, as well as the remainder of the requirements (which were a majority) and am about to wrap up here at the new school with a 3.8, take the MCATs, and apply to Med school.

    THE QUESTION:
    When applying to med. school, am I good to go regarding the application process and my transcript? I plan to just follow the normal route of any applicant, sending my transcript over along with MCATs to whomever I send these things over to. Since I started from scratch, with no real record of my previous institution, do I need to report previous institution transcript also? How kosher would that be, and how easy would it be to NOT?

    Thanks in advance,

    RighteousPathMD
     
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  3. LikeClockWork

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    You have to report all classes and send all transcripts from any classes to AMCAS. There's no real way to get around this, so you'll just have to bite the bullet. Having the very strong upward trend would help your "immature to mature" case for medicine though.
     
  4. RighteousPathMD

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    I guess the question is...Do I REALLY have to report from an older institution if I started off as a freshman, akin to someone who JUST started college, at another newer institution? IE. no links to any prior education..everything from scratch.

    The point is was or is it it worth the money/time to start over, and get the A, knowing you bombed some of those courses in a previous school?
     
  5. 194342

    Physician 7+ Year Member

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    This is very good advice. Always keep in mind that med schools are looking for a reason to eliminate you. There are a thousands of people out there who will say they "matured" after doing well in only a year in classes. Saying you're a new person, even if it is true, doesn't justify your worth in most adcoms eye's. The sad reality is that it will be very tough to prove your worth with a trashed undergrad GPA. You're on the right track, every problem requires the first step towards the solution.
    Good luck.

    Edit: for allo schools, you never count out a grade. If you retake the class, it averages into your GPA along with the old class. For Osteo, retakes replace the old grade. For both disciplines, you must report all grades received via a transcript for all education done at a secondary school(community college or 4-year track university.)
     
  6. redlight

    redlight Senior Member :D
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    yea there's only one righteous (and legal) path for you to take
    turn in all your transcripts and hope for the best.
    i just happened upon an mdapps today where someone had a sub 3.0 gpa 10 years ago, came back to college and retook the prereqs, had a 4.0 and a great mcat score (i think the breakdown was 13,13,13,S).. he got in somewhere.. i think you can too, regardless of your poor start gpa-wise, if you kill the mcat. yea, i know, easier said than done..good luck!
     
  7. lisichka

    lisichka certified demonologist
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    so if an interviewer/AMCAS application asks you: "what did you do during this and that period"? what would you say?:confused:
    i think it would be difficult to hide something like that.
    but good job on re-starting and doing well:thumbup:
     
  8. LostLost

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    The first mature step is to say that here look i screwed up and I am not afraid to admit that. Do extremely well in your undergrad now... keep that 3.8 and get above 35+ MCAT and you should be able to get in med school. Is it really necessary> I think yes. I took a class at a undergrad institution other than my alma mater. Dropped that class but I am sending in the transcript although it will make me look bad and up my number of W to 3. But I am not gonna start my career in medicine with a lie. I think it is a really bad and inauspicious beginning. Do the right thing and you will be rewarded.
     
  9. SirGecko

    SirGecko Go Navy
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    You have to report all college classes you have ever taken. So yeah, you have to report it. (people also have to report college classes they took in high school)
     
  10. decafplease

    decafplease Medical Student
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    There is a national registry of schools with student information that can be searched (I'm assuming by SSN). Almost every school in the nation participates, and evidence of your attendance (even for a 1 unit exercise class) WILL be searched for and found. AMCAS will then hold up your application until you submit the transcripts. If you don't, your primary app won't be sent. You will be found out, and they will note it on your application. Does NOT look good when you try to hide 180 units of 2.0 grades.

    Does anyone remember the website for the nation college registry thing? You can see a GIGANTIC list of schools on there. You'll find both of your schools, I'm sure. I'll try to find the link in an old thread.
     
  11. phospho

    phospho SDN Lifetime Donor
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    not sure if this is the particular one they use or not...

    https://www.degreechk.com

    it's able to look students up using their ssn, and they don't even need to have a degree...
     
  12. Mandarin142

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    Every class, every college/university/post-secondary institution regardless of whether it has any bearing on your status at your current institution must be reported to AMCAS. Even folks who took community college courses in high school have those classes factored into their AMCAS GPA..... you can't hide it and if you try to you'll be disqualified from seeking admission at any medical school now and in the future.
     
  13. chad5871

    Physician Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    I'm pretty sure it's this one.
     
  14. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    Wow, they even have community colleges.
     
  15. MossPoh

    MossPoh Textures intrigue me
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    The answer is, yes you REALLY have to report all scores. I'm in a similar boat as you. It is painful but it is something you gotta do. I have a 3.8 at this school but I started off at a 2.0 or so at my other university and worked my arse off to get it above a 3.0 (around a 3.3 when all was said and done)
     
  16. Agree with the above posters who said that ALL grades (from community college credits taken during high school on) have to be reported on your AMCAS app. Your upward trend in grades certainly helps, but your cumulative GPA will consist of ALL the classes you've ever taken.
     
  17. Charles English

    Charles English faithless, the wonderboy
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    wait. i have a quick question. what if your prior institution isn't on the clearinghouse list??? i am prepared to bite the bullet on some crappy grades i got right out of high school in '99-00' , but the University of Arizona isn't on the list.!! they have every other crappy school and otherwise in AZ on the list, but not UofA.

    weird, no? now i'm potentially facing a nice ethical dilemma. the classic "if you knew ahead of time that you wouldn't get caught, would you do XXX?"


    as much as it is going to shoot down my (to this point) perfect GPA, i'm still 'turning myself in' so to speak. i was an idiot when i was 19, i can explain that. BUT, is anybody else in this situation? does anybody else NOT have their old school on the list? i'm just interested.
     
  18. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist
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    I would still not risk it. The clearing house is the means of verification that we are aware of, there is no insurance that there is not a way that UofA submits students' data via other means.
     
  19. Charles English

    Charles English faithless, the wonderboy
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    yeah, it's definitely not worth it. you know, when i was in middle school, i literally shot myself in the foot with a pellet gun. the projectile is still in my foot. with the UofA thing i figuratively shot myself... oh well. c'est la vie.

    as long as i'm not shooting myself (either fashion) any longer i'm sure i'll still make it.
     
  20. decafplease

    decafplease Medical Student
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    Yep! That's it! Seriously, when people ask this question every 1.5 weeks, all we have to do is show them that link. The whole "I don't know how, but AMCAS will find out." argument is weak.
     
  21. Flopotomist

    Flopotomist I love the Chicago USPS
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    Does anybody else find it ironic that somebody with the SN "Righteouspath" is asking us if he can lie?
     
  22. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    He's not asking us if he can lie! He's asking us if it's CONSIDERED lying. :laugh:

    I actually feel for the OP because I feel like somewhere in our lives we should have space to screw up...and then be able to move on. People will invariably disagree, but the GPA earned 4+ years ago may or may not reflect who you are.
     
  23. 1956Goldtop

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    IMO, trying to hide past grades would be extremely foolish. Not only is it likely that you will be discovered, but if and when you are, the medical school that you are going to attend, or have been attending, has the right to rescind your acceptance or the receipt of your M.D. respectively. I had to report some grades from High school that I took under a college program at a time where I didn't care about school, and thus it brought down my AMCAS gpa. Just own up to your past mistakes and hope for the best. They see a breakdown of your GPA by year, so if there is an upward trend as you say there is, then adcomms will see it.
     
  24. Depakote

    Depakote Pediatric Anesthesiologist
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    like a lie of omission?

    This is true, and it is something that can be overcome in the admissions process...

    I'm not going to say that it will be easy, you'll be competing against plenty of people that hit the ground running and flew threw college with high GPAs and then got stellar MCAT scores. But there are spots for those of us that had some trouble in the past and overcame it. You have to demonstrate maturity and show that you have grown into a new person. The best thing I did that led to my acceptance was own up to my mistakes and take responsibility for them.
     
  25. searun

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    Just tell the truth. And do not refer to yourself as righteous anymore. And do not refer to yourself as born again. Just play by the rules and accept what happens. Have some self respect.
     
  26. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    Come on, guys, really. He just seems like someone unfamiliar with AMCAS, that's all. He was asking what the procedure was, the way I read it.
     
  27. RighteousPathMD

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    If I may;

    I want to extend my gratitude to the above posters who contributed positively with expedient and veritable answers to the inner-workings of the AMCAS application process. Much appreciated. And to those of you who were quick to judge and express your views relating my occupational ethics to my own moral code, actions, or diction of my post (however flawed your interpretation of the OP or my screen-name may be), the verbal irony was duly noted...and humorous.

    Now, regarding that "upward trend"...Do you guys believe that the fact that I've spent more than 4 years (however successful the majority of those years may be) towards achieving an undergrad degree will be a negative factor in my application? Will they take into account this "rebirth" or just look at it as blatant Van Wilder Syndrome. This is a continuation of that previous question where I was wondering if it was/is worth retracing my steps and starting from scratch.


    Again thanks.
     
    #26 RighteousPathMD, Jun 15, 2008
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2008
  28. JayJayEPT

    JayJayEPT UTHSCSA c/o 2012!
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    As someone who is in your exact position and having gone through this app process twice already, what your asking is dependent on a couple of things: which schools you're applying to (some schools are more understanding of such situations as opposed to others) and how you address your previous collegiate failures (I would suggest owning up to what happened in your personal statement so that adcoms understand that you have changed your van wylder ways).

    BTW, the second time around I made sure to look for the schools who are a bit more open to nontrads and also addressed the low GPA in my PS. I was fortunate enough to get 2 interviews.
     
  29. doomknight

    doomknight Bing
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    No, it's not worth it. I think you are better off getting ur degree and doing a post bac, it's not like you can hide ur past grades so what's the point of wasting four years of money and time, rather than just 2 years
     
  30. riceman04

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    How long did it take you to write that...getting all serious and stuff...you made me feel like I was in a courthouse or something with a shark standing over me.
     
  31. RighteousPathMD

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    It took minutes.

    Does anyone have any other input regarding my second question?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  32. 194342

    Physician 7+ Year Member

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    How long it took you to get your degree only matters if you were not a full time student for numerous quarters/semesters and can't explain what you did in your free time. Also, not having full time load and doing poorly doesn't bode well.

    I'd say rebirth is a hard sell. The Adcoms should be able to look at what classes you took and be able to tell why you took longer than expected (change in career focus will do it.) Hope this helps.
     
  33. RighteousPathMD

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    I see. That makes a lot of sense, Thanks.
    Anyone else with some input?
     
  34. mbd12

    mbd12 Futurama's cool, right?

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    I think many schools will be sympathetic to your circumstances. Schools want well-rounded students with varied life experiences. If you have proved over the past few years that you have really matured and grown they may well value that opportunity. I agree with previous comments that you should own up to your past academic failures, but phrase it in a possitive light. Say that you regret the failures, but value the sense of direction and calling that came out of it. Furthermore, even if your GPA isn't super impressive, there are many other places that you can make up for it on an app, such as high mcats, good letters (may be particularly important in your case, letters that say that you have genuinely grown and matured), volunteer activities, work, ect.

    If med school is something you're passionate about just do what you can and don't worry about the outcome.
     
  35. pianola

    pianola MS2
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    I think taking extra time can be a strength actually, so long as it shows that you've been working to a goal and that you're dedicated to what you do. (ASSUMING YOU ARE).

    I think the best thing that you could possibly do for yourself is just forget about your GPA(s) good, bad, or indifferent because they are what they are at this point. If you're asked to explain the earlier GPA make sure you have a story but don't dwell on it if you don't have to!

    The worst thing you can do in an interview/secondary IMHO is spend the entire time talking about what you "wish you'd done better." That will ONLY cause adcoms to review your weaknesses and consider them. You want them thinking about your STRENGTHS!

    Show that you're looking to the FUTURE and a FUTURE as a physician.

    My 2 cents.
     

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