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Did I make a fatal assumption? Do I have options?

effortwasted

New Member
Jan 12, 2018
4
0
  1. Pre-Medical
    I'm going to apologize in advance for the long post. I guess I want to just tell my whole story and see if I have a shot.

    I was born in the US, but my family is from India. My household wasn't rich or poor...I would call us middle class to lower-middle class. My parents had respectable jobs, my dad was a director at a local college and my mom was a high school teacher. The type of family that couldn't afford cable TV or video games...but we also weren't struggling for food and we had a stable household.
    I chose biomedical engineering as my major, which I realize now is already a imprudent decision because of GPA deflation. Anyways, during my first semester of university, my father lost his job. This crushed my family's fragile financial situation. Enter debt collectors, foreclosure sale of our home, power line shut down...and basically a s***storm.

    I spent a lot of time helping my dad type cover letters, update his resume, and prepare presentations for interview (my dad is smart as hell, but his grammar isn't that great). I also got a job to help the family out.

    By my second semester I realized this wasn't going anywhere. My grades were abysmal (talking C's and D's) and my family situation was not improving whatsoever. Since kindergarten, everyone had been calling me a genius... What is a ""genius"" worth in this world? I decided to find out. I withdrew from school and decided I was going to fix my family's situation.

    Time skip a bit to speed this up:
    I started a company with zero resources. Grew it to operations in seven countries. I did way more than secure my family's financial situation - all in a the period of a Spring and Summer semester.

    Then I came back to school. My attention was split between my company and school, so my grades were middle of the pack - I aced bio, physics, genetics, biochem and gen chem...but orgo wasn't so hot. As I sit here now as a graduate, my GPA is sitting at a 3.13.

    Towards the middle of my academic career, I took another semester off and I started a few free clinics in south asia and a non-profit school in india. I developed a lot of connection in the international business space.

    Upon my return to school. I took a clinical observation course. I had an idea for a medical device and I pitched it to my professor. TL;DR: This launched me into another company...I went through a highly respected accelerator, I secured series A funding, and I was able to leverage the connections I made previously to secure a multimillion dollar distribution deal. All of this occurred within a period of about two year. I also got invited to a research lab that was focused on musculoskeletal tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

    So ultimately, during my last two years of university, my attention was split between two companies, research, and my classes. Though as time went on, I became an absolutely savage time management machine. I ended my last two semester with 4.0s.

    I had always been operating with this idea that, medical schools want unique applicants. Anyone can maintain a high GPA right? Not many people can do what I did.

    TL;DR: I have extremely unique undergrad experience. However, I have a 3.13 GPA. I am prepping for my MCAT and I've been doing really well on the practice exams, so I am pretty confident going into this exam. However, upon deeper study and reading threads on SDN, it sounds like literally EVERY medical school passes your application through a GPA filter and they won't even look at an app with a GPA as low as mine.

    So essentially I could have the coolest experience in the world, but literally no one is going to read a single line of my app...so I am SOL. At least that is my understanding.

    I need your help or advice. Are there any medical schools that would even look at me? My hope is that killing the MCAT will open some doors...but that is a blind hope with nothing to back it.

    EDIT:

    I would like to add, for those who look this and wonder why I pursued the business-related stuff, if I want to be a doctor and I knew it was affecting my academics. Early in my academic career I attended a talk by Dr. Steven Charles. He spoke about he invented a medical device, made millions off of it, and then opened one of the most respected eye institutes in the country. He explained that because of the money he made, he never has to turn away a single patient because they can't afford treatment. I respected the hell out of that and I wanted to be that kind of doctor. I don't want to be rich, but I have seen how money can be used as a tool to benefit a doctor's patients.
     
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    Goro

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      I'm going to apologize in advance for the long post. I guess I want to just tell my whole story and see if I have a shot.

      I was born in the US, but my family is from India. My household wasn't rich or poor...I would call us middle class to lower-middle class. My parents had respectable jobs, my dad was a director at a local college and my mom was a high school teacher. The type of family that couldn't afford cable TV or video games...but we also weren't struggling for food and we had a stable household.
      I chose biomedical engineering as my major, which I realize now is already a imprudent decision because of GPA deflation. Anyways, during my first semester of university, my father lost his job. This crushed my family's fragile financial situation. Enter debt collectors, foreclosure sale of our home, power line shut down...and basically a s***storm.

      I spent a lot of time helping my dad type cover letters, update his resume, and prepare presentations for interview (my dad is smart as hell, but his grammar isn't that great). I also got a job to help the family out.

      By my second semester I realized this wasn't going anywhere. My grades were abysmal (talking C's and D's) and my family situation was not improving whatsoever. Since kindergarten, everyone had been calling me a genius... What is a ""genius"" worth in this world? I decided to find out. I withdrew from school and decided I was going to fix my family's situation.

      Time skip a bit to speed this up:
      I started a company with zero resources. Grew it to operations in seven countries. I did way more than secure my family's financial situation - all in a the period of a Spring and Summer semester.

      Then I came back to school. My attention was split between my company and school, so my grades were middle of the pack - I aced bio, physics, genetics, biochem and gen chem...but orgo wasn't so hot. As I sit here now as a graduate, my GPA is sitting at a 3.13.

      Towards the middle of my academic career, I took another semester off and I started a few free clinics in south asia and a non-profit school in india. I developed a lot of connection in the international business space.

      Upon my return to school. I took a clinical observation course. I had an idea for a medical device and I pitched it to my professor. TL;DR: This launched me into another company...I went through a highly respected accelerator, I secured series A funding, and I was able to leverage the connections I made previously to secure a multimillion dollar distribution deal. All of this occurred within a period of about two year. I also got invited to a research lab that was focused on musculoskeletal tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

      So ultimately, during my last two years of university, my attention was split between two companies, research, and my classes. Though as time went on, I became an absolutely savage time management machine. I ended my last two semester with 4.0s.

      I had always been operating with this idea that, medical schools want unique applicants. Anyone can maintain a high GPA right? Not many people can do what I did.

      TL;DR: I have extremely unique undergrad experience. However, I have a 3.13 GPA. I am prepping for my MCAT and I've been doing really well on the practice exams, so I am pretty confident going into this exam. However, upon deeper study and reading threads on SDN, it sounds like literally EVERY medical school passes your application through a GPA filter and they won't even look at an app with a GPA as low as mine.

      So essentially I could have the coolest experience in the world, but literally no one is going to read a single line of my app...so I am SOL. At least that is my understanding.

      I need your help or advice. Are there any medical schools that would even look at me? My hope is that killing the MCAT will open some doors...but that is a blind hope with nothing to back it.

      EDIT:

      I would like to add, for those who look this and wonder why I pursued the business-related stuff, if I want to be a doctor and I knew it was affecting my academics. Early in my academic career I attended a talk by Dr. Steven Charles. He spoke about he invented a medical device, made millions off of it, and then opened one of the most respected eye institutes in the country. He explained that because of the money he made, he never has to turn away a single patient because they can't afford treatment. I respected the hell out of that and I wanted to be that kind of doctor. I don't want to be rich, but I have seen how money can be used as a tool to benefit a doctor's patients.
      All you cool experiences aren't of use if you can't make it through medical school. You need to convince me that you can handle a rigorous med school curriculum. So far, you haven't.
      Read this:
      Goro's advice for pre-meds who need reinvention
       
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      effortwasted

      New Member
      Jan 12, 2018
      4
      0
      1. Pre-Medical
        Why are you looking to go to medical school? Based on what you wrote in your post, it sounds like you'd maximize your positive impact on the world by working as an entrepreneur.
        I want to be a doctor. That is where my soul is. My companies for me were just a tool that would make me a better doctor. I would have the FU money to never turn away a patient. I would hopefully one day have the resources to open hospitals that service the underprivileged.

        All of this means nothing to me though, if I can't become a doctor. I don't think I would ever be satisfied with my life if I gave up on this goal.
         

        effortwasted

        New Member
        Jan 12, 2018
        4
        0
        1. Pre-Medical
          All you cool experiences aren't of use if you can't make it through medical school. You need to convince me that you can handle a rigorous med school curriculum. So far, you haven't.
          Read this:
          Goro's advice for pre-meds who need reinvention

          That is how my 3.13 GPA is immediately perceived right? However, for my school my GPA would be considered decent. To graduate with honors distinction at my school, the GPA is a 3.15. At other schools in the state it is 3.5. Georgia Tech is notorious for a its grade deflation.

          Though I have read your post. I am looking into SMPs. However, there seem to only be two that offer a path into their medical schools. Drexel and Temple. Are there any others? I don't meet the 3.2 GPA requirements I've seen at the other respectable ones.
           

          Osminog

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          Dec 8, 2017
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            I want to be a doctor. That is where my soul is. My companies for me were just a tool that would make me a better doctor. I would have the FU money to never turn away a patient. I would hopefully one day have the resources to open hospitals that service the underprivileged.

            All of this means nothing to me though, if I can't become a doctor. I don't think I would ever be satisfied with my life if I gave up on this goal.

            Well, being an ORM with a 3.1 GPA is tough.

            Best options:
            1) Do well on the MCAT (512+) --> apply broadly to DO programs
            2) Do very well on the MCAT (515+) --> do a well-regarded post-bacc/SMP (e.g., UPenn) and get a 3.9-4.0 --> apply broadly to MD

            Option #1 would take less time than Option #2, but an MD is generally more desirable than a DO (especially for those seeking spots in competitive specialties)... Your call.
             

            Osminog

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              Though I have read your post. I am looking into SMPs. However, there seem to only be two that offer a path into their medical schools. Drexel and Temple. Are there any others? I don't meet the 3.2 GPA requirements I've seen at the other respectable ones.

              You don't necessarily need a post-bacc that offers a "guarantee." Just attend a well-respected post-bacc and do very well.

              At some of these programs, the GPA requirement is more flexible than you might think. Contact admissions to be sure. Tell them that you have a 3.13 GPA, and inform them about your individual circumstances.
               

              effortwasted

              New Member
              Jan 12, 2018
              4
              0
              1. Pre-Medical
                You don't necessarily need a post-bacc that offers a "guarantee." Just attend a well-respected post-bacc and do very well.

                At some of these programs, the GPA requirement is more flexible than you might think. Contact admissions to be sure. Tell them that you have a 3.13 GPA, and inform them about your individual circumstances.


                That makes sense. I'll reach out to them. Do you think SMP programs are the only option, or would it be worthwhile pursing something like a MS in Biomedical Engineering? I'm worried about spending several thousand dollars and a year of my life on programs that don't guarantee admission. Even Georgetown seems to only have 50% placement through their SMP.
                 

                Osminog

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                  That makes sense. I'll reach out to them. Do you think SMP programs are the only option, or would it be worthwhile pursing something like a MS in Biomedical Engineering? I'm worried about spending several thousand dollars and a year of my life on programs that don't guarantee admission. Even Georgetown seems to only have 50% placement through their SMP.

                  An MS in Biomedical Engineering probably wouldn't cut it. You need to prove that you're prepared for medical school courses.

                  SMPs aren't generally designed to be easy tickets to medical school. They're designed to be hurdles that you have to cross in order to prove that you've got the chops to tackle medical school coursework. Whether you're prepared to make the social and financial investment in yourself depends largely on how confident you are in your ability to academically excel and how committed you are to becoming an MD. If you count both drop-outs and unsuccessful graduates, you won't find any MD SMP programs with high overall success rates.
                   
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                  Goro

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                    That is how my 3.13 GPA is immediately perceived right? However, for my school my GPA would be considered decent. To graduate with honors distinction at my school, the GPA is a 3.15. At other schools in the state it is 3.5. Georgia Tech is notorious for a its grade deflation.

                    Though I have read your post. I am looking into SMPs. However, there seem to only be two that offer a path into their medical schools. Drexel and Temple. Are there any others? I don't meet the 3.2 GPA requirements I've seen at the other respectable ones.
                    We're talking about med school here, not a UG school. The median GPA for acceptees for MD schools is 3.7. For DO, 3.3-3.5.

                    SMPs are a dime-a-dozen. Keep looking....you'll find one.
                     

                    Blanky

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                      A couple semesters at 4.0 would look good.
                      A strong MCAT will look good.
                      Clinical experience, shadowing, volunteering, research would look good.
                      Start plugging away at checking those boxes.
                       
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