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Couple detail questions BCPM & GPA cutoffs

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by sgp, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. sgp

    sgp

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    Please forgive the questions that I'm sure are basic knowledge to most of you. I've just finally admitted to myself, and the world :) , that I want to be a doctor and not a nurse. I've become obsessed with leaning as much as I can as quickly as I can! Will someone please let me know what BCPM stands for. I've done the search but I just come up with the acronym. I assume it's biology, chemistry, physics, and math. Also, is this computed separately from your science GPA or is the BCPM your "science" GPA?

    My other question deals with cutoffs. I have Fs (from not dropping classes) and a D from a CC when I was a teen so as of now my GPA is 3.12. I have only As since I returned to school two years ago for nursing pre-requisites. I will have about 3.43 total and 3.79 BCPM (if my assumption is correct) by the time apply. Will this close the door to UCSF or Davis? What kind of MCAT would I need to get into one of these schools? I'm not intimidated by standardized test so I know I can make up some ground on that aspect. My kids and family are here in Sacramento so I'd rather not move them if AT ALL possible.

    Please don't tell me I'm not going to get in if it's just your opinion. If you know I wonÂ’t meet a cutoff with these numbers I would like to know that. If I can get an interview I am very comfortable with explaining that I screwed up as a teenager and have impeccable grades since then. Would waiting a year and applying with 3.54/3.85 make much of a difference?

    Thanks much!
     
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  3. QuakerPreMed

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    BCPM are the classes you designate on AMCAS as such. AAMC has the right to change things if they feel you put something in the wrong category. So, courses in say Nursing or Health do not count towards BCPM average -- it is sort of a science GPA, but not entirely. Think hardcore bio, chem, physics, math.
     
  4. y8507

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    BCPM = science gpa = bio, chem, physics, math

    There are no strict gpa cut-offs at any school (at least so they say), so it really depends on your other factors, such as your MCAT score, your activites, research, clinical experience, etc. I personally believe your MCAT is way more important than your gpa because gpa is so different depending on classes, schools, teachers, etc.

    UCSF will be tough since it's a top school, but you might as well try. Make sure to let your schools know about your family situation.
     
  5. sgp

    sgp

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    Well that's encouraging. The F that is screwing mine up is from a super basic chem class I signed up for when I was 17 and never went to. Man, if I only knew then....
     
  6. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    As a prior poster noted, there are no fixed cutoffs -- schools will look at your whole application, and having gotten 2 years of A's and having brought up your GPA to a 3.4 will help a lot in getting looked at by some schools. That being said, you need to apply broadly because, frankly, no one has great odds at the top schools (such as UCSF) and the California schools in general are among the most competitive state schools, so I would probably chalk both of these choices up as longshots. They will get thousands of applications, and will have hundreds of high GPA, high MCAT types to choose from. So I wouldn't bank on being able to stay in Sacramento -- you should absolutely apply, but apply elsewhere as well. With F's and D's in your past, and no lenient state schools, I would think that you will need to apply to a larger handful of schools than the average applicant to land an acceptance. Good luck.
     
  7. sgp

    sgp

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    family situation = good, ties to area?

    or

    family situation = bad, distracted student?
     
  8. sgp

    sgp

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    While it's very hard to hear, I appreciate the info. Until yesterday I naively believed that my grades had been removed from my record and would not apply towards my GPA. Thanks for the honest assessment.

    Do you think waiting an extra year and having a 3.54/3.85 would help at all? Or is it the presence of Fs, in general, that screw me?

    sgp
     
  9. Law2Doc

    Law2Doc 5K+ Member
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    It wouldn't hurt, but whether that kind of a bump merits an extra year is anybody's guess. If you can use the year to also enhance your ECs it might be worth it. And of course there's the MCAT -- if it's really high the difference in GPA from 3.4 to 3.5 won't mean much, but if you are on the cusp you might need the edge more. But remember, this is not an objective, by the numbers process, so someone with amazing ECs, experiences and interviewing skills can pass someone with an extra .1 in GPA.
     
  10. alwaysaangel

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    Do you have any research? Both of those schools are huge on research. Clinical experience?

    The median accepted for those schools last year were:

    UCSF - 3.82 overall, 3.83 science, 34 MCAT
    UC Davis - 3.78 overall, 3.76 science, 32 MCAT

    So your overall number is quite a bit lower.

    It doesn't mean it can't happen but it means its an uphill battle for you. But if you have some great extracurriculars, some publications with your name on it, an upward trend in your GPA and a good explanation for the poor grades then you have a shot.

    But keep in mind a lot of the process is luck. You could have a 4.0 40 MCAT and still not be able to COUNT on getting into either of those schools. So apply broadly and plan on probably having to leave the area, and if you don't then be pleasantly surprised.

    Also keep in mind that most premeds are good at standardized test taking - most of us even. It still kills a lot of people - its 2 full-years of prereqs packed into one test, and they write the test to be tricky - do a lot of work reviewing your material and learning the testing style.
     
  11. Wanna_B_Scutty

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    Would you be open to becoming a DO instead of an MD, sgp? For practical purposes of patient care, DO=MD, anyway. This would not so much be true if you wish to do academic research, but if you simply want to be a standard,, patient-seeing doc, DO schools might be something you should look into.

    I ask because Touro (TUCOM-CA) is in NorCal and, to be honest, you'd have a much better shot at getting in there than at UCSF: http://www.tu.edu/departments.php?id=43&page=20

    Good luck to you! :luck:
     
  12. y8507

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    i've only heard of the former. it won't be the biggest factor, but it can't hurt (imho).
     
  13. sgp

    sgp

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    Thanks so much all of you! Well now I'm thinking I should start the BSN program I applied to (I'm assuming I get in, just based on numbers/no interview) and work on research/volunteer and med school pre-requisites while I go through. I really don't want to be a nurse but I don't think I can take the chance of not getting in to med school and do a bio major. This sucks.
     
  14. foofish

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    I'd agree with this....a good friend of mine with essentially those stats (CA resident, great research/activities, and great personality) got rejected preinterview from one of those schools and is still waiting to hear back from the other. The UC schools are famous for being incredibly hard to get into. With a solid upward trend, a great MCAT, and great ECs/volunteering/research I think you should definitely be able to get into *a* med school, but you can't count on UCSF or Davis.

    I think what an earlier poster meant about mentioning your "family situation" is about your kids and wanting to stay in the area. Schools want to accept people they're fairly certain would attend, and saying you have a very strong tie to the area could be a point in your favor (as in, they can count on you accepting their acceptance offer). Good luck!
     
  15. Carmenita79

    Carmenita79 Senior Member

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    There are a lot of interesting branches of nursing too, ... nurse anesthesist (sp?), nurse practitioners, for example.... and it can get you to a high paying position faster than medical school in many cases.

    :luck:
     
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  17. sgp

    sgp

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    Hmm I suppose. My big thing about wanting to be a doc is to be able to diagnose and be in change. I also despise learning theory of ANY kind. My hardest class right now is cultural anthropology! I get As in these classes but I'm so uninterested that it's miserable. I'm sure whining a lot today! :rolleyes: I guess I'll do this nursing program + pre med and work on the fam about moving.
     

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