lostsoul91

2+ Year Member
Feb 10, 2015
59
32
Status
Pre-Medical
Hi Everyone! I'd like to get some opinions on my chances for either M.D. or D.O. schools.

Cumulative GPA: 3.2 and Science GPA: 3.2 UC Berkeley Grad
Unfortunately not by AMCAS or AACOMAS calculation standards since I haven't applied yet. Also, I'm not sure if there is an external calculator out there to help us calculate it ahead of time, but if there is, please let me know!
I'm enrolled in a Post-Bacc program set to start late September, so GPA will be on the RISE.

Your MCAT score: N/A (510 best on TPR)
For TPR Practice Tests, I've scored, more recently, consistent 507s with one max score of 510.
Planning on taking the September MCAT and hopefully get at least a 510.
If you all have any suggestions of what MCAT scores I should aim for with my GPA for both M.D. and D.O. schools, that' be awesome!

Clinical volunteer activities
ER Volunteer
at 3 hospitals (Each for an average of 5hr/week)
Children's Hospital for 3 months
X Hospital for 4 months
Y Hospital for 6 months
Surgery Center Volunteer
(4hr/week) at Y Hospital for 5 months
EMT
for concerts, football games, and various other events (12hr/week) for 1 year
EMT Skills Instructor
at a local community college (6hr/week) for 1 year

Physician shadowing (include specialties and total hours)
M.D
. GI Specialist for 1 month, 12hr/week
PA Cardiothoracic Surgery 1 month, 8hr/week
Worked in an ER as an ER Tech, though it was dubbed "shadowing" I shadowed a lot of doctors while working.

Research
3 months
in a research lab, dealing with a specific protein important for lipid metabolism. Lots of pipetting, PCR, transfections, etc.
No publications.

Nonclinical volunteer activities
President
of Colleges against Cancer at UC Berkeley (12hr/week) 4 years total
President
of The Berkeley Project (huge scale community service project - 2000 volunteers) (12hr/week) 4 years total
Mentor
for Underprivileged Students in Richmond Middle School (6hr/week) 2 years total
Community Health Commissioner
for City of Berkeley District 8 (4hr/week) 3 months/1 summer
President Residence Hall Freshman year of college (15hr/week) 1 year
American Cancer Society: Relay for Life
in various degrees for 6 years

Employment
EMT
for an Ambulance Company (40hr/week) 1 year
ER Tech
(40hr/week) 7 months --> quit in order to focus on trying to get into medical school.
Gained a lot of knowledge and letter of recs. One doctor in particular took a keen interest and walked me through some steps of what I should do next to become a doctor.
Afterschool Middle School Teacher at an underprivileged school for a special government sponsored 5 week program (12hr/week)

Any suggestions of what else I can do to make myself a competitive applicant would be very, very much appreciated as well!
 

GrapesofRath

2+ Year Member
May 5, 2015
5,320
3,803
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For MDs you need to ace the post bac this year and get the GPA as close to 3.4+ as possible. Aim for 514+ on the MCAT. The higher the better even a 3.4/516 from CA is hardly some kind of sure thing

You'll be fairly competitive for a decent number of DO programs with a solid post bac year and 505+ MCAT showing

Also strongly recommend taking the official AAMC practice test. That will give you a much better gauge of where you stand.
 
Last edited:

Cardboard101

2+ Year Member
Jun 5, 2015
488
224
Status
Medical Student
Shadow a DO, get a DO LOR if you want to apply DO. Its required by some DO schools and strongly recommended by others.
 
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lostsoul91

lostsoul91

2+ Year Member
Feb 10, 2015
59
32
Status
Pre-Medical
For MDs you need to ace the post bac this year and get the GPA as close to 3.4+ as possible. Aim for 514+ on the MCAT. The higher the better even a 3.4/516 from CA is hardly some kind of sure thing

You'll be fairly competitive for a decent number of DO programs with a solid post bac year and 505+ MCAT showing

Also strongly recommend taking the official AAMC practice test. That will give you a much better gauge of where you stand.
AAMC practice test is next on my to-do list, but I'm waiting for a week before the test to take it since there's only one.
Nothing about this process screams sure thing, unfortunately. But thanks for the advice and I'll definitely shoot for the highest score possible!

When you say "3.4/516 from CA is hardly some kind of sure thing" do you mean for both in-state and out-of-state schools? I'm definitely going to apply far and wide and hope for the best with M.D. Schools. What are some schools in-state that are reachable, do you think?
 

Cardboard101

2+ Year Member
Jun 5, 2015
488
224
Status
Medical Student
AAMC practice test is next on my to-do list, but I'm waiting for a week before the test to take it since there's only one.
Nothing about this process screams sure thing, unfortunately. But thanks for the advice and I'll definitely shoot for the highest score possible!

When you say "3.4/516 from CA is hardly some kind of sure thing" do you mean for both in-state and out-of-state schools? I'm definitely going to apply far and wide and hope for the best with M.D. Schools. What are some schools in-state that are reachable, do you think?
Irvine, Davis, Loma Linda, Western U, Touro CA, Charles R. Drew (if you're black)

Irvine is probably a reach. I think their stats are a 34 and 3.8
 

GrapesofRath

2+ Year Member
May 5, 2015
5,320
3,803
Status
Non-Student
AAMC practice test is next on my to-do list, but I'm waiting for a week before the test to take it since there's only one.
Nothing about this process screams sure thing, unfortunately. But thanks for the advice and I'll definitely shoot for the highest score possible!

When you say "3.4/516 from CA is hardly some kind of sure thing" do you mean for both in-state and out-of-state schools? I'm definitely going to apply far and wide and hope for the best with M.D. Schools. What are some schools in-state that are reachable, do you think?
Take it one step at a time. Ace this year and do well on the MCAT first. If you can make your stats more competitive UC Irvine, Riverside(if you are from the inland empire) and UC Davis come to mind as CA applicant. Gyngyn advises CA residents apply to at least a dozen realistic OOS schools(I'd recommend doing more even). But you need to get your stats up first before all of this even becomes a discussion because a 3.2 is below the 10th percentile by a fair amount at pretty much any lower tier school. The key point I was just trying to say is you have to be realistic and ready for anything; even if you absolutely do phenomenal this next year and get up to a 3.4/516 the need to apply to apply to DO schools a CA resident still exists. Good luck.
 
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lostsoul91

lostsoul91

2+ Year Member
Feb 10, 2015
59
32
Status
Pre-Medical
Take it one step at a time. Ace this year and do well on the MCAT first. If you can make your stats more competitive UC Irvine, Riverside(if you are from the inland empire) and UC Davis come to mind as CA applicant. Gyngyn advises CA residents apply to at least a dozen realistic OOS schools(I'd recommend doing more even). But you need to get your stats up first before all of this even becomes a discussion because a 3.2 is below the 10th percentile by a fair amount at pretty much any lower tier school. The key point I was just trying to say is you have to be realistic and ready for anything; even if you absolutely do phenomenal this next year and get up to a 3.4/516 the need to apply to apply to DO schools a CA resident still exists. Good luck.
Irvine, Davis, Loma Linda, Western U, Touro CA, Charles R. Drew (if you're black)

Irvine is probably a reach. I think their stats are a 34 and 3.8
Awesome, so the main thing I should be focusing on is obviously my grades and destroying the MCAT. Other than that, do my extra-curriculars look okay? Should I be doing research or something during my Post-Bacc (I'm not working)? Or do you guys think I would be okay JUST focusing on getting my grades up with all of the stuff I've done so far?

For DO schools, I'm definitely going to Shadow at least one before the application opens in 2016.
 

GrapesofRath

2+ Year Member
May 5, 2015
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Awesome, so the main thing I should be focusing on is obviously my grades and destroying the MCAT. Other than that, do my extra-curriculars look okay? Should I be doing research or something during my Post-Bacc (I'm not working)? Or do you guys think I would be okay JUST focusing on getting my grades up with all of the stuff I've done so far?

For DO schools, I'm definitely going to Shadow at least one before the application opens in 2016.
You need to focus on your stats(GPA and MCAT) at all costs. The GPA as of now just isn't good enough for MD programs and nothing else really matters as long as that's the case
 
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lostsoul91

lostsoul91

2+ Year Member
Feb 10, 2015
59
32
Status
Pre-Medical
You need to focus on your stats(GPA and MCAT) at all costs. The GPA as of now just isn't good enough for MD programs and nothing else really matters as long as that's the case
Alright, I hear you loud and clear. Thanks for the advice and taking the time to reply! I really appreciate it!
 

Cardboard101

2+ Year Member
Jun 5, 2015
488
224
Status
Medical Student
Grades > research at this point. Get the GPA up, do well on MCAT (>80%). Buy some MCAT review books, start studying. Do the free tests and maybe buy some of the gold standard ones. Really helped me out when I was reviewing.

Whats your grade trend?
 
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lostsoul91

lostsoul91

2+ Year Member
Feb 10, 2015
59
32
Status
Pre-Medical
Grades > research at this point. Get the GPA up, do well on MCAT (>80%). Buy some MCAT review books, start studying. Do the free tests and maybe buy some of the gold standard ones. Really helped me out when I was reviewing.

Whats your grade trend?
My MCAT is on 9/11, so I'm already well into studying! I used TPR and have just started the AAMC question packs. I'm planning on taking the AAMC FL this coming Friday, a week before my actual test. I also found some old AAMC tests, so those will hopefully be helpful for at least the Verbal/CARS section.

You know, I don't really have a grade trend, which might be unfavorable. I have 6 C+'s scattered throughout my 1st and 3rd years. 1 C my 2nd year and 1 C- my fourth year. I'd say it comes out to be a better than B average as the GPA indicates...
 

Cardboard101

2+ Year Member
Jun 5, 2015
488
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Status
Medical Student
If you really want MD, take upper level science during post bac. If you want DO, a quick and easy way to raise the GPA is retaking some of those C's. I went from a 3.3 -> 3.6 with 4 retakes.

Best of luck o/
 
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lostsoul91

lostsoul91

2+ Year Member
Feb 10, 2015
59
32
Status
Pre-Medical
If you really want MD, take upper level science during post bac. If you want DO, a quick and easy way to raise the GPA is retaking some of those C's. I went from a 3.3 -> 3.6 with 4 retakes.

Best of luck o/
Wait, I don't get it. 4 retakes of C's? I thought you only get to retake classes if you get D's or lower in them. It sounds like you were able to remove those 4 grades off your record, how?

My understanding is that retakes of D's or lower will replace those grades, but for retakes of C's, the original C's will still stay on your transcript.
 

Cardboard101

2+ Year Member
Jun 5, 2015
488
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Status
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For osteopathic medical schools only your most recent grade is counted in your GPA.
For example: I earn an A, a B, and a C. Thats a 3.0 gpa.
If I retake the C and earn an A the second time around, the first C is still there but is marked as 0.00 credits, so it doesn't affect your AACOMAS GPA. I would then have a 3.66 GPA.

Do some research on grade replacement.
 
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lostsoul91

lostsoul91

2+ Year Member
Feb 10, 2015
59
32
Status
Pre-Medical
For osteopathic medical schools only your most recent grade is counted in your GPA.
For example: I earn an A, a B, and a C. Thats a 3.0 gpa.
If I retake the C and earn an A the second time around, the first C is still there but is marked as 0.00 credits, so it doesn't affect your AACOMAS GPA. I would then have a 3.66 GPA.

Do some research on grade replacement.
You just absolutely blew my mind. Thanks for the revolutionary information! I will do some more research. Obviously, I'm not as educated about the whole process as I should be. Glad you're around to shed some light and share knowledge I otherwise would have been blind to. Thanks so much!
 
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Cardboard101

2+ Year Member
Jun 5, 2015
488
224
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Medical Student
You just absolutely blew my mind. Thanks for the revolutionary information! I will do some more research. Obviously, I'm not as educated about the whole process as I should be. Glad you're around to shed some light and share knowledge I otherwise would have been blind to. Thanks so much!
No problem. Definitely look into it. Make sure you read the guidelines though. It basically sums up to:
1. Courses have to be similar/identical in content.
2. New course you're using to replace the old one must be same or greater units.
3. Courses can only replace on a 1:1. So no replacing a 3 unit lecture and 1 unit lab with a 4 unit class. You can only replace the lecture or lab.
You can even take them online/at community college.
 
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lostsoul91

lostsoul91

2+ Year Member
Feb 10, 2015
59
32
Status
Pre-Medical
Might be a dumb question, but for both the AMCAS and AACOMAS GPA calculation spreadsheets do we just omit the Pass/Fail classes?
 
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lostsoul91

lostsoul91

2+ Year Member
Feb 10, 2015
59
32
Status
Pre-Medical
Yes. They don't count towards GPA.
So, I was able to figure out my GPAs...cGPA is 3.28 by AACOMAS and 3.20 by AMCAS standards. sGPA however is a 3.09 by AACOMAS and 3.06 by AMCAS standards.

I'm enrolled in 3 upper division science classes now for fall quarter and plan on doing 4 more each of winter and spring quarter. I'm not sure how much of a jump I'm going to realistically have, but it's worth a shot. I'm confident I'll do well, but the fact is that 11 quarter classes aren't enough to get my GPA up to where it should be.

Should I be ruling MD out at this point?
 

Cardboard101

2+ Year Member
Jun 5, 2015
488
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Status
Medical Student
No, not entirely. If you can haul that sGPA up to a 3.3, ace the MCAT and ace the year you might have a shot at MD. If you have C's in science courses, retake them for DO schools. You'd be amazed how much your grade can change with 2-3 retakes.
Plug all your science courses in here: http://gpacalculator.net/college-gpa-calculator/
Replace the C's with an A or two and see where you stand if you ace the retake. Make sure not to count math in the AACOMAS sgpa.

You should still be fine for DOs provided you do well this year. The highest cutoff I know of is 3.25gpa