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Desperately Seeking Med School!!!

Discussion in 'Nontraditional Students' started by uclamireh, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. uclamireh

    uclamireh In relentless pursuit...

    Mar 6, 2007
    I am stuck! After so many rejection letters I am beginning to rethink my future as a physician. I have been rejected from 15 schools; and waiting for 3 three more responses - NYMC, Albany and Johns Hopkins. At this point I have no idea what to do next. Should I write pre-interview letters? Should I apply to overseas schools?

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, if you can offer any advice after reading my stats, I would greatly appreciate it!!!

    Basically I am 31 M.E. woman born in NYC and living in Cali. I have a B.S. from UCLA in Psychobio, but my GPA stinks big time (2.8 Sci and 3.11 in my major). After that I taught high school bio for 2 years and then went to Columbia to get an MPH (gpa 3.5). I worked in the public health field under grants from the EPA and CDC, working with adolescents, mothers and the uninsured. I also worked in a GP's office to get some clinical experience. My first MCAT was a 26, my second was a 32. I have no letters of rec from undergrad and 3 from grad. Now I am a health/life/academic advisor for adolescents.

    I am stressed, confused and in need of a serious drink!
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  3. spicedmanna

    spicedmanna Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    Don't let the process grind you down. You need to take a breath and figure out what went wrong. Was it your lack of certain EC's, your UGPA, your letters of recommendation, lateness in application, lack of applying broadly, or interviews, or some combination thereof? You need to get some feedback from knowledgeable people who have seen your file. Personally, given the information you provided, I think that the problem is in your undergraduate GPA (UGPA). Neither your decent MCAT score, nor your MPH will compensate for your poor UGPA. Before you reapply, you may wish to take a few fulltime semesters of undergraduate science classes in an attempt to raise both your BCPM and overall undergraduate GPA, where you are trending A's. You will need to prove your academic strength and this is one way to do it. MPH programs do not have the clout to demonstrate this, since there is the perception of grade inflation in graduate programs. Both your MCAT and your UGPA must be as good as you can get them. Your MCAT seems fine, but your UGPA is not.

    Also, if you can, contact the admissions counselors of some of the places in which you have been denied admission; they are often willing to help you out by pin-pointing the areas that you need to improve. This is one of the best ways to figure out what went wrong and how to address it.

    Another thing that adcoms look for is volunteer/community service and clinical experiences. You may need to suck it up and do some volunteer work and get some additional, direct contact with patients. Naturally, your academics should come first, however.

    When you reapply, make sure you apply EARLY and BROADLY. Use the MSAR as a resource.

    FWIW, pursuing DO schools may make sense for you since Osteopathic schools generally have lower GPA/MCAT averages, tend to be more forgiving of past academic history (the AACOMAS as grade replacement for repeated classes), and have an admissions process that strongly favors the more intangible aspects of an applicant's file, such as activities and experiences. Research osteopathy and see if it interests you.

    Good Luck! :luck:
  4. Orthodoc40

    Orthodoc40 7+ Year Member

    Agree with these suggestions. If you want to stay in Cali, there are a couple of DO schools there, too. Once you find out from some schools a bit of feedback (don't assume you know why you've been rejected!) fix it, address it, whatever, then reapply. EARLY!!! That includes early to DO schools, if you add them to your list. Many, many DO applicants this year got in with the same numbers you have. That MCAT score and grad GPA will be very appealing to a lot of them. Apply early though!! Good luck.
  5. ExtremeUnderdog

    ExtremeUnderdog Megalomania Extirpator 10+ Year Member

    1. Your undergrad GPA is low for allopathic schools. You will need to raise this GPA either by taking additional undergraduate (preferably upper division science) courses or by enrolling in a formal post-baccalaureate/Special Masters program.

    2. The MPH is inconsequential (I have had to endure this frustration as well) - it is entirely overshadowed by a poor undergraduate record and does not serve to compensate for a low undergrad GPA.

    3. Johns Hopkins was a very high "reach" school given your stats, and without knowing your other 15 choices it is hard to determine how much of the poor outcome you are experiencing can be attributed to school selection (too many "reach" schools perhaps?).

    In my very limited experience and humble opinion, if you are truly impassioned about medicine and if this is THE path for you, then your best option may be investing in a good Special Masters program (Drexel, Georgetown, Cincinnati, etc... I can't recall all the ones which would be appropriate for you, but you can check on the AAMC website). These programs are costly, however can be the ticket to med school if you are willing to put in the time and effort. You seem to be a good candidate for some of them (poor/borderline GPA and good MCAT) and the application cycle is underway for most of these programs right now, so I would suggest looking into them.

    As was mentioned above, you may have better luck with DO schools.
  6. Arien's Dad

    Arien's Dad Junior Member

    Mar 15, 2005
    First, hang in there! A lot of folks need more than one round to get in. I agree with 'Underdog that JHU seems a bit of a reach, but not because of the GPA. Schools like JHU and Emory tend to look for more traditional, fresh from undergrad types. After getting classes all over in the military and abroad, my GPA was nearly impossible to calculate. But I got in at a variety of schools because I concentrated my efforts on schools that welcome non-traditional or older students. These schools have more experience sorting through a career to identify a good prospect. Try some of the schools listed elsewhere here as being good for older students. And contact your state schools, and of course DO schools, and work with them to improve your application.
    As for why a 32 MCATand an MPH with career experience isn't getting accepted, that's a puzzler and I think it's too easy to blame the GPA. I was told that my package was interesting not because of undergrad, but for all the things I had done since then (I didn't have any of the normal prereqs for example). Again, you may want to rethink where you are applying and how you are presenting your information. The suggestion about contacting folks where you've been turned down is spot on - and many schools offer that up front as part of the application process (UofWash does for example). You can accentuate the positive parts of your application and that should be enough to overcome past weak points.
    Bottom line - my admissions folks where I go to school say they are looking beyond GPA, MCAT scores, etc. to find different types of students. Don't be shy - call the people where you want to go and work with them.
    Good luck!
  7. Noeljan

    Noeljan Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    May 23, 2002
    It is both the UG and grad GPA holding you back. You are going to need to take more UG classes, do a post bac, or a masters in a hardcore science (and we are talking you need as close to a 4.0 as possible). I think you can do it, but you have to show them you can do it.

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