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do I have a chance?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by mspacman, Jun 30, 2002.

  1. mspacman

    mspacman Junior Member
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    OK... here's my story. I am a senior at an elite Ivy League school. I took the MCAT in April and scored a 41. BUT, the only thing is that my GPA sucks. It is really bad, like a 2.5 right now. And most of the lower grades I have received have been in my premed classes. I had a lot of medical problems the first 2.5 years of school. I probably should have taken a leave of absence, but I stayed anyway. I have tons of research experience, including some publications and one of which I am even the first author on. I also have a lot of clinical experience. I'm also an underrepresented, female minority. I know I will have great recs from the people I have worked with and also some of my professors. But what should I do about this really low GPA? I am planning on taking a year off after graduation. I was going to volunteer in some minority related health setting. But, should I retake these premed classes? Because, it's obvious that I know the material (From my MCAT score), so I don't know. Am I totally screwed for med school? This has been my lifelong dream... Please give advice.

    Thanks!!
     
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  3. Premed2003

    Premed2003 Senior Member
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    I think this is the first time I've heard someone getting a 41 on the MCAT, and it's so surprising that your GPA is not decent as well.

    This is a hard question. Your MCAT is amazing, yet your GPA indicates that you may only be a good test taker...if you in fact knew the material, then you should have done well in the classes. Unless, did you study a lot for the MCAT to learn the material?

    I'm not sure admissions committees would be able to look beyond the gpa. Even if you had health problems, etc, other people have similar issues but fare okay.

    Have you talked with your premed advisor? Are you a science major? If you did okay in your humanities but terribly in science classes, this could indicate lack of preparation for med school. If you're a science major and this shows genuine science interest, this may be slightly helpful.

    Sorry I can't be of more help.
    <img border="0" alt="[Pity]" title="" src="graemlins/pity.gif" />
     
  4. mspacman

    mspacman Junior Member
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    I studied a lot for the MCAT. Like 4-5 hours everyday for 2 months. I was really scared because of my GPA, so I knew I needed a very high score to even begin to make up for my GPA.

    I'm a humanities major. I don't know what happened with my GPA, I honestly don't. I have ADD, diagnosed in high school, but my doctor never wanted to give me meds for it. I think I always fundamentally understood the concepts in my premed classes, but it was really hard for me to organize them and synthesize answers from that. I felt like I knew more than the other people in my classes, but my tests just did not reflect that. Maybe I was just not interested in the material, who knows. I also went through a very traumatic experience and was depressed for the first two years of school, at least, so I'm sure that contributed to my horrible grades also. When I finally started taking meds for the ADD this year, my grades shot up. I'm confident that my senior year grades will be very good too. I don't know... I'm really scared that I won't be able to get in anywhere.. does the URM status help?? Also, my research has been primarily devoted to diseases concerning my community/ethnic background. I Hope this helps... do I even have a chance? I'm so worried... :-/
     
  5. mspacman

    mspacman Junior Member
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    Oh, I should add that by the time I graduate I'm pretty sure I'll also have a major in biology, so I'm kind of a science major and a humanities major.

    Thanks again
     
  6. Maple

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    Hey mspacman,

    If I were you..I wouldn't retake your pre-med courses. Since grades get averaged, it wouldn't be worth the trouble. I think you will get into several top schools with that mcat score and ethnic (yes..it will help!) background. Your grades are easily explained by your medical problems, and you should make an effort to incorporate these hardships in your personal statement and interviews. I honestly don't think that you will have problems..but there is never a sure thing with med school application process! :rolleyes: If you are applying next year, take high-level sci classes and ace them..then apply and see what happens..sometimes thats about all you can do. Don't stress over things that you cannot change quickly enough..try instead to explain them away!

    good luck! :)
     
  7. CoffeeCat

    CoffeeCat SDN Angel
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    Your MCAT score is amazing...I would suggest first taking a year off to make your application stand out and maybe retake any classes you did poorly in. Then I would recommend taking a post-bac course designed to increase your GPA. There are a few (but I can't search for them) so the best I know is georgetown. You actually get a masters and you can take it the year you are applying and you take med school classes along with med students. That way you won't have to retake the MCAT or loose a year of applying. Good luck :)

    <a href="http://www.go.to/physio" target="_blank">http://www.go.to/physio</a>
     
  8. missbonnie

    missbonnie floating
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    I would definately take some classes before applying. It may mean delaying your application a yr, but you want to get INTO med school right? and apply only once at that. I would suggest taking some upper-level science classes if you haven;t already (biochem, genetics, cell bio, molecular bio) to show the adcoms that you can handle the science. It will not help that much with the gpa though. It would also help if your premed committee somehow indicated your health problems in college.

    congrats on the mcat score!

    -bonnie
     
  9. Sweet Tea

    Sweet Tea Girl Next Door
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    mspacman--

    Way to go on the mcat score!! That's awesome! I just wanted to echo the other posters-- I think a post-bacc program would be beneficial, as would taking upper-level bios while you're still in undergrad to show that those first 2 years were a fluke and now that you've got everything under control they won't happen again. I would suggest discussing your medical/emotional reasons for doing poorly your first 2.5 years in your PS-- but don't whine!!! I think your best bet is to plainly and matter of factly state what happened, and how you fixed it, and then go on to point out your service work/publications/mcat score (congrats again) as a way of saying "look, this is what happened, and this is how i conquered it". just DON'T WHINE!!! I would also talk to a pre-med advisor at your school, and if possible someone at an ADCOM at one of your top-choice schools.

    Good luck!!
     
  10. coolwaters

    coolwaters Member
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    I think you'll have a decent shot if you do just as you have planned. Take your senior year to take upper level courses, and do very well in them. If you have one year of solid coursework with high grades, this will show Adcoms you've got what it takes in terms of study skills, etc. You should be able to raise the GPA up to around a 2.8 or 2.9, which doesn't stick out quite so much. You won't get interviews everywhere, obviously due to your GPA, but a number of schools will take a hard look at you, and a strong senior year will quell their fears about your studying habits and will enable you to establish a stronger link btwn. your illness and GPA. Good Luck!!
     
  11. efex101

    efex101 attending
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    Look into the Mayo Clinic post-bacc program for URM's. Go to their wab page and do a search for post-bacc. Good luck.
     
  12. geneman

    geneman The Transgenic Hobo
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    Ms. Pacman,

    You have a great shot at medical school! You know the only thing that is possibly holding you back -- a low GPA caused by poor pre-med class grades. You should also know what to do about this.

    I would recommend that, as a super senior undergrad, you actually retake those courses in which you did poorly. You must be able to assure the admissions officers that your MCAT score is the real you, not your low GPA.

    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by mspacman:
    <strong>OK... here's my story. I am a senior at an elite Ivy League school. I took the MCAT in April and scored a 41. BUT, the only thing is that my GPA sucks. It is really bad, like a 2.5 right now. And most of the lower grades I have received have been in my premed classes. I had a lot of medical problems the first 2.5 years of school. I probably should have taken a leave of absence, but I stayed anyway. I have tons of research experience, including some publications and one of which I am even the first author on. I also have a lot of clinical experience. I'm also an underrepresented, female minority. I know I will have great recs from the people I have worked with and also some of my professors. But what should I do about this really low GPA? I am planning on taking a year off after graduation. I was going to volunteer in some minority related health setting. But, should I retake these premed classes? Because, it's obvious that I know the material (From my MCAT score), so I don't know. Am I totally screwed for med school? This has been my lifelong dream... Please give advice.

    Thanks!!</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">
     
  13. mspacman

    mspacman Junior Member
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    Thank you to everyone for your kind and helpful replies!
     
  14. Doctor Octagonecologyst

    Doctor Octagonecologyst Junior Member
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    That MCAT is good for three years, so just get as many BCPM A's as you possibly can in that 3-year window. Then apply and you'll be in awesome shape.
     
  15. silver_eyes

    silver_eyes Senior Member
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    YESSSS!!!!! i have a chance. ok you see, i am not one of those genius pre-med peeps. i mean doctors are normal people right? anyway, i am soph at University of the pacific (UOP). just finsihed my freshman year. i got a 2.35 my spring semester 2002 ( i got a c- in g. bio and a c in g chem and an A in world religions ). in fall 2001 i got a 1.825, but that was b/c i got a F in math, but i will take that over. when, i have no idea (help me on that one). I got a c- in bio and i got a b+ in writing for college. are the c- and c in g chem and bio ok? i mean i am not stupid, i just dont know how to study for the darn stuff. there is soo much of it. Like for my bio final. i swear i studied like the whole week...about 3-4 hours a day only on bio and i still got a d or F on the final. It pised me off :mad: <img border="0" alt="[Pissy]" title="" src="graemlins/pissy.gif" /> !

    Ok, what i am trying to say,say i get below a cummulative of 3.5 and an average MCAT (25-30), do i have a shot at the lower tier schools? and on top o fthat i will start volunteering thsi fall at the county general hospital in the Er if i can and will continue doing that and i already have a research project independent of the univerisity on how migranes relate to depression.

    Is that ok? also, what are the lower tier schools? Is howard university good for med? also, what do i do if there is not enough people at my school that are pre-med? there for no pre-med club? are the kaplan/princeton review courses helpful or not?
    THANKS!
    -r. Khan
     
  16. kittyjuice

    kittyjuice Member
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    mspacman, what medication have you been taking? id like to take some of that stuff man. a 41? youll get in like swimwear if you apply to as many schools as you can. as long as you showed improvement in your grades in college, u are set.
    i wish i had a 41
     
  17. reesie0726

    reesie0726 Senior Member
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    silver eyes, since you are still a freshman, you have alot of time to bring up your gpa. adcoms can forigive a low freshman year gpa. now the more serious problem is that you have to figure out why u study for the premed classes and still perform poorly. I would not recommend taking more premed classes without trying to adjust your study habits or whatever it is that is keeping you from performing poorly. Maybe you should think of getting a tutor or see if your school has some study skills/learning specialist office. Figure this problem out and then kick butt in your classes from here on out, get to know your professors so u can get some good letters of rec and do some cool ec activities that you enjoy. Then get a good mcat score and u should be fine.
     
  18. silver_eyes

    silver_eyes Senior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by reesie0726:
    <strong>silver eyes, since you are still a freshman, you have alot of time to bring up your gpa. adcoms can forigive a low freshman year gpa. now the more serious problem is that you have to figure out why u study for the premed classes and still perform poorly. I would not recommend taking more premed classes without trying to adjust your study habits or whatever it is that is keeping you from performing poorly. Maybe you should think of getting a tutor or see if your school has some study skills/learning specialist office. Figure this problem out and then kick butt in your classes from here on out, get to know your professors so u can get some good letters of rec and do some cool ec activities that you enjoy. Then get a good mcat score and u should be fine.</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">thank you ressie. the school u are going to now uni of pit is my dream med school. keep up the good work. ok, i dont know whta is up wth the science teachers at our school, but they STINK!!!! and it is affecting me as a student. ok, i took g chem in the spring and got an f and i didnt learn diddly-poo. took it again in the summer and got a C? i dont think i am the problem.
     
  19. altaskier

    altaskier Altaholics Anonymous 92'
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    Take a crap load of classes to raise your GPA. As many units as you can. Get it to a 3.0 and apply. I'm sure you'll get in.
    Best of Luck
     
  20. kornlust

    kornlust New Member

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    Hey why dont you transfer out of that school if the education is very poor? Sounds like you dont have a lot of credits accumulated so start fresh at a diff school so the past wont haunt you....
    good luck.
     
  21. The DOC

    The DOC Junior Member
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    thank you ressie. the school u are going to now uni of pit is my dream med school. keep up the good work. ok, i dont know whta is up wth the science teachers at our school, but they STINK!!!! and it is affecting me as a student. ok, i took g chem in the spring and got an f and i didnt learn diddly-poo. took it again in the summer and got a C? i dont think i am the problem.[/QB][/QUOTE]

    Ok, you first need to realize that you cannot blame your profs for your problem. We all run into "bad" teachers in our scholastic lives, you need to suck it up and make up for their lack of teaching by studying harder yourself. Try refering to the book more often than class notes when studying. Hey, nothing is just handed to us.......you need to find out the best way to study for the tests given by these profs. You're in their world and need to play by their rules. No matter how ****ty and *ucked they may be . If you are commited, nothing will stop you from getting into med school. <img border="0" alt="[Pissy]" title="" src="graemlins/pissy.gif" />
     
  22. Raptor

    Raptor Found one
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    THE DOC is right about blaming people. I learned that you can blame teachers but the consequences will fall on YOU. What I did in those situations is I teach myself the materials. The best teacher is yourself. In addition, you can't tell the ADCOMS that your teacher made you have that grade.
    However, your kick a** MCAT <img border="0" title="" alt="[Eek!]" src="eek.gif" /> is stupendous. Talk about making up for that GPA. But get your GPA up to at least a 3.0 and you should do fine. I think some schools will WOW at that MCAT score and invite you for a interview. I am sure you will get in somewhere now with that MCAT score. Good luck.
     
  23. silver_eyes

    silver_eyes Senior Member
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    I thank you all for ur advice and am suprised in how much confidence you have in me, but i didnt even take the mcat, so i dont know who u are reffering to when u say, "However, your kick a** MCAT is stupendous. Talk about making up for that GPA. But get your GPA up to at least a 3.0 and you should do fine. I think some schools will WOW at that MCAT score and invite you for a interview. I am sure you will get in somewhere now with that MCAT score. Good luck." thanks for the advice. well i am not gonna have that many science courses next year (soph). here is my schedule

    1st semester: 2nd semester
    genetics with lab Micro with lab
    history of medicine english
    math (pre-calc) calc
    general physics I g. physics II

    so i think i am gonna do well. also, i will find sme way to retake my math class that i got a F in, which will boost up my GPA.

    So as long as i get a 3.0 im ok? even with a okay mcat score?

    Thanks SDNers. I know i can count on you guys for good, honest advice!
     
  24. Kry

    Kry cranky
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    By retaking that math class that you got an F in will only replace that grade on your school transcript, keep in mind all your grades (including all the F's you have plus the new grades from those classes) are calculated on your med applications.
     
  25. conure

    conure Master Distiller
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    Silver,

    this topic was started by spaceman who has a 41 on his MCAT. People are refering to him when acknowledging the MCAT score.

    Like others have said to you don't blame your teachers. I tried that also and it does nothing for you in the long run.

    I would suggest two things to you. First if you really want to do this (med school) you need to straighten yourself out, and you have plenty of time to do that, don't worry about entering med school when you graduate from UoP.

    Second you may want to just stop right now and take a break. Major in something else that you love and can do well in. Take some time (summers) to work in health care and/or other research to decide if its right for you. Because if you take that science load and F*up more then your in a real hole.

    I wish someone told me that in undergrad but they didn't and I just kept digging.

    good luck.
     
  26. sng33

    sng33 Senior Member
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    mspacman, how did you prepare for the MCAT and what materials did you use to get that steller score???
     
  27. Beagle

    Beagle Meet BEAGLE
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    Hey silvereyes!
    I liked what someone else posted--why not leave UOP and start over somewhere else? NO one will ever know...
    I have a freind who did average her first semester---3.3 GPA, but then her second semester and first semester of sophmore year, she started partying hard and basically failed a lot of classes. Well, she really wanted to get into med school so she dropped out of UOP and went to a Cal State school. She did well there and is now at a very good medical school. Of course she left out on the application that she had a history at UOP, but ...??? Anyone know if med schools check because they have so many applicants?
    BTW--I know UOP sucks in the area of pre med. Everyone there is a pre-dent, to the point where it is almost annoying...
    Anyway, they do have some help for pre-meds. You can intern for a doctor for units....I thought about pre-med for a while in undergrad and they set me up with a doctor to work with for 4 units or something...20hours/week...
     
  28. silver_eyes

    silver_eyes Senior Member
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    </font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Originally posted by Beagle:
    <strong>Hey silvereyes!
    I liked what someone else posted--why not leave UOP and start over somewhere else? NO one will ever know...
    I have a freind who did average her first semester---3.3 GPA, but then her second semester and first semester of sophmore year, she started partying hard and basically failed a lot of classes. Well, she really wanted to get into med school so she dropped out of UOP and went to a Cal State school. She did well there and is now at a very good medical school. Of course she left out on the application that she had a history at UOP, but ...??? Anyone know if med schools check because they have so many applicants?
    BTW--I know UOP sucks in the area of pre med. Everyone there is a pre-dent, to the point where it is almost annoying...
    Anyway, they do have some help for pre-meds. You can intern for a doctor for units....I thought about pre-med for a while in undergrad and they set me up with a doctor to work with for 4 units or something...20hours/week...</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">NO WAY!!!!! I cant and dont want to leave UOP. i am doing well in my humanities classes. i think b/c i didnt have any AP classes in high school, that the science stuff is a bit challening me and b/c i couldnt study in my room b/c my roommate would be on the phone all the time, come in hellla late at like 3am or 4am. and i couldnt go to the library b/c it was waay far and people have goten raped and attcked on the way there. beagle, u know what i mean. stockton isnt one of the safest cities.

    What are easy classes, like some one suggested that i can take and know i will do very well in so i can raise my gpa up.

    i am gonna take genetics with jongeward. hist of med with albala. physics with harlow and i dont who i have math with. Are the teachers good.

    I have alot going for me at UOP. i am in AXE, i am president of the MSA (muslim student association) which has &gt;70 members.. i already got a research job that pays 15 dollars and hour and i am gurantted to have my name published in a science mag, i will volunteer at the general hospital soon.

    also, how did u get paired up with shadowing a doctor?
     
  29. mspacman

    mspacman Junior Member
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    Hi everyone,

    I took a Kaplan course and I used some examkrackers books as well as the audio osmosis. I also got my friend who is a Kaplan instructor to tutor me for free. I didn't prep for the verbal because I'm a humanities major and so it was really easy for me. The only section that really gave me any problems was the physics section, which I just spent a ton of time doing practice problems on. Other than that, I felt that my undergrad classes (Even the ones i did poorly in) prepared me pretty well for the material covered on the MCAT. I mean, the MCAT stuff is so much more basic than the type of things we had to learn.

    Btw, the medicine I take is called Adderall.
     
  30. Beagle

    Beagle Meet BEAGLE
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    Hey Silver
    I took Physics with harlow first semester and I can tell you he is a lot easier than Alward. In fact, the only people who recieved C's in Harlow's class were those that really did not give a F--- about the course.
    Jongeward is good. He is a bit easier than vierra in Genetics, although Vierra is a better lecturer. However, do study hard in Genetics because it is another weeder class at UOP. All the bio majors and pre pharms have to take it so they want to get rid of you.
    I got that internship with a doctor from the career center. Just ask them and they can set you up~
    BEagle
    ps--how is second semester Gchem going?
     

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